Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 Year in Review

 2020 by the numbers...

4 quilts - 3 of the out of the UFO stack.

1 Instagram post so no Top 9 this year.  I took a huge step back from social media this year and am still struggling with how to cultivate a healthy creative presence.  

294 days since the world shut down because of Covid-19.  My quilt studio became my home office and making masks became every sewists #1 priority.

136 hours learning Spanish on Duolingo and the reason I haven't seen any of the shows everyone else was binge watching.

106 books read.  Thank goodness for Kindle!

2020 was not the year any of us was expecting.  I hope that the challenges and lessons learned from this year can bring growth and creativity in the year ahead.

Stay safe and happy quilting - XOXO Alice

Monday, December 28, 2020

Long Overdue

This is another one from deep in the UFO stack.  This is Jaybird Quilts' Toes in the Sand that I taught as a block of the month at Quilter's Way.  

Up until now I've always quilted my quilts myself but my amazing friend Rebecca has a new longarm and she was looking for practice quilts.  I'd already lined her up to baste my La Passacaglia and asked if she'd quilt this one for me as well.  

I can't even describe what a fabulous job she did quilting this so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.  She quilted each triangle with a different motif and every one is a masterpiece!!!  

The details are absolutely perfect and the texture is just unreal!

It came out more beautiful than I'd ever even imagined possible!!!

As soon as I got it back I curled up under it and binge watched a couple of episodes of Great British Bake Off Masterclass while tacking my binding.

This one is being gifted and I can't wait to see it in use.  Maybe I'll even get inspired and make a matching pillow case.

Quilt Stats:

Finished quilt is 64" x 93"
Pattern:  Toes in the Sand by Jaybird Quilts
Fabrics: PB & J by basic grey for Moda.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Quilted by: the amazing Rebecca Loren

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Winter Trees

This is the first (and probably only) new quilt I made this year.  I'm not a fan of fall so I haven't made a lot of seasonal d├ęcor for the interim between a totally Ghastlies Halloween and Rudolph puked up Christmas everywhere.  My foyer was looking a bit forlorn so I turned to my Pinterest porn for ideas.

This is a complete rip off of the quilt made by Cassandra at The (Not So) Dramatic Life.  I was totally smitten by hers and I knew I had the same Cotton + Steel print in my stash (finding it was the biggest challenge of this whole project).  She doesn't give a lot of directions but it's the kind of forgiving project where you can just wing it.  I just sliced and diced until it was the size I wanted.

Bubbling is not my thing but I got plenty of practice filling in all the background space.  I also tried some snowy sections at the bottom.  I came sooo close to running out of thread but for once I didn't have a thread emergency which was a blessing because waiting to have more thread delivered probably would have been the end of this.

Quilt Stats:

Finished quilt is 18" x 20"
Pattern: copied from Cassandra at The (Not So) Dramatic Life
Fabrics: Cotton + Steel by Sarah Watts, Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton. Binding: Grunge by basic grey for Moda.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Cotton.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Smoke Blue (4644).

Friday, December 18, 2020

Picnic Plaid

I don't know when I became a person who can't waste a single scrap but it's happened.  I had a bunch of miscut sashing strips left from my City Sampler.  For some reason I felt compelled to use them.  My first instinct was to once again pair them up with my treasured Liberty stack but once I pulled it out I decided I just didn't have another Liberty + Smoky project in me.  Digging thru my stash I stumbled on this fabulous plaid and decided to branch out. 
My sashing strips were 1 1/2" x 9" so I cut my plaid at 7" by wof and then sewed 1 1/2" strips to either side.  These were then subcut into 7" squares.  From there I attached the sashing strips to each plaid side making sure the white corners were on opposite sides.

I love an on-point setting!  It looks complicated but really isn't.  Bonnie Hunter of has a comprehensive chart that saves you from actually having to do math (and also gives you the correct equations in case that's how you roll).

I kept the quilting simple and just did a loopy meander.  I haven't done FMQ in a long time so this was an easy and forgiving transition back into it.  I love the way the pink thread pops against the smoky shot cotton!

Gratuitous binding shot.  Football season definitely inspired me to finish some quilts so I had something to occupy my hands.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 37" x 49"
Fabrics: Plaid from Stash, Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton in Smoky.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Peachy Pink (2435).

Monday, December 14, 2020

Big Swoon

Now that my quilt studio is doubling as my home office I've had to do a major clean out.  I unearthed this giant swoon block basted and just waiting to be quilted.

In the spirit of just get it done I kept the quilting simple and just did some echo quilting and added some extra rows to further define the elements.  After 7 years I was able to finish this off in an afternoon.  I'd even made the binding already so I just needed to slap it on and enjoy some Netflix and chill while tacking it down.

Lessons learned:
Flying Geese would have been better than HSTs for the zigzag border.
Don't use a directional print for zigzags!!!

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 37" x 53"
Pattern:  Adapted Swoon Block by Camille Roskelley
Fabrics: Tufted Tweets by Laurie Wisbrun, FSDS Sky & Kiwi, Bella Solids Bleached White.  Timeless Treasures Dots.  Binding: Crazy for Dots & Stripes by RJR Fabrics.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Natural White (2021).

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 Year in Review

2019 by the numbers...

5 quilts

4 pillows

5 months of the Shimmer block-a-long with Cluck Cluck Sew.

My Instagram #bestNine2019

 9th Boston MQG Retreat

2900 La Passacaglia pieces put together.

1 High School graduate

145 Books read. Favorites: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing and My Friend Anna by Rachel DeLoache Williams

This year has brought many changes.  It's always interesting to look back at what I've accomplished each year.  As I turn my focus to the new year ahead I want to thank everyone who has come along with me on this journey.  You have inspired me, encouraged me and made it fun.  Here's to all the future will bring!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Trim the Tree

Snow came early to New England this year so I used it as an opportunity to hide away in my studio and make something.  I still have a ton of scraps left from various Kate Spain holiday collections so I dragged those out and got started.

This is a great Christmas Tree pattern by Jitka Designs.  The pieces are tiny but since it's paper pieced it's not a problem to get everything lined up.

Tuesday we had a snow day so I was back at it.  I kept the quilting simple and just did a simple grid.  It's almost soothing to just power thru all those straight lines.

And now my foyer is that much more festive!

Trimming the tree with with this week's Brag About Your Beauties Pageant by Michelle at From Bolt to Beauty.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 12" x 16"
Pattern: Christmas Tree by Jitka Design.
Fabrics: Assorted Solstice, Flurry, and Jingle scraps by Kate Spain, Bella Solids Bleached White
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in Natural White (2021).