Friday, July 15, 2016

Swimming Along

We're in the lazy days of summer just swimming along with no set schedule.  We've spent a lot of time in Maine (with more to come) which means lots of progress on my La Passacaglia but we had a brief interlude of bad weather which sent us home early.  After 10 days with no TV the kids were ready to catch up on some screen time so I snuck off to my studio for some sewing.

My plan was to piece together the back for my Mendocino chevron but that seemed like too much work so I decided to just make a pillow with one of the leftover fussy cut mermaid blocks.  A square in square layout seemed obvious but I added a band of apricot to make the center block pop.  I thought it would be "fun" to challenge myself so I mitered the corners.

Pillows are great for picking thread colors and practicing quilting designs.  I love the way the turquoise thread pops against the orange.

I kept the quilting simple just outlining the pieces but did added a wavy pattern (Bernina stitch #4) in the Apricot.

Now that we're back at the lake I got a perfect morning to tack the binding and finish this one up.

I bought a truckload of zippers before Quilter's Way closed so I used my go to zipper closure tutorial by to S.O.T.A.K. Handmade for the back.

Swimming along with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 14" x 14"
Fabrics: Mendocino by Heather Ross.  Michael Miller Cotton Couture Apricot
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Light Turquoise (2805).

Friday, July 1, 2016

Wave Your Flag...

Our summer is off to a blazing start so I've had very little time in my studio and what time I did have I didn't feel like basting the stack of flimsys I've got growing.  Unless you've been quilting under a rock you've seen Camille Roskelley's Stars and Stripes quilt lighting up the internet.  I've been meaning to make a July 4th quilt forever and I fell in love with this one, especially when I saw the beautiful one done by my friend Wife of Erp.  With the clock ticking a quilt seemed like a bit of a stretch but a single block pillow was definitely doable.

This reminded me a bit of my British Invasion quilt so I dug thru my Flower Sugar stash for some red and blue.  The block is super easy and whips up in no time.  The directions are written for FQs but since I was using yardage I wish I had just made a red/white/red strip set and then cut it to the lengths I needed.
I wanted to keep it simple with wavy quilting to mimic a flag rippling in the breeze.  I did the first row free hand roughly in the center and then just kept following the line back and forth using the edge of my walking foot as a guide.  I love the effect but I wish I'd exaggerated the waves a bit more on my first row.

I was short of fabric for the back so I decided an invisible zipper would be the most efficient.  There are tons of great invisible zipper tutorials out there but I used this one by Stop Staring and Start Sewing.  I like using a glue stick to hold everything together rather than pinning.

It's not quite invisible but I'm pretty pleased with my first attempt.

Celebrating with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.  Hope you have a fabulous 4th!!!

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 13" x 17"
Pattern: Stars and Stripes by Camille Roskelley
Fabrics: Flower Sugar by Lecien, Kona Snow, Spot On by Robert Kaufman.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Cotton Request.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Natural White (2021).

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

W.i.P. Wednesday: Kicking Off Summer

Today's our last day of school/my last day of freedom so I've been trying to get all my projects to a point where I can work on them with snippets of time.

I finished up this Going Coastal flimsy and after 3 trips to Quilter's Way for more fabric got a back pieced together.

I also finally cut into the Mendocino bundle I've been hoarding and made this chevron top.  Once my backing fabric shows up I'm hoping to get them both basted and ready for quilting.

And I've been prepping more La Passacaglia pieces for all those inevitable road trips.

What will you be sewing now that summer has arrived?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Another Round

I really didn't mean to make another Briar Rose project...  I just wanted something to tryout my new Drunkard's Path templates and the scraps were just sitting there on the edge of my cutting table.  Next thing I knew I had a stack cut out and I was on my way.

There are a million great tutorials out there on curved piecing.  For these 3 1/2" squares I had the best results pinning using Amanda Jean's technique.  In no time at all I had them pieced together.

For the quilting I just decided to do a spiral.  It's a little wonky in the middle but it gets easier as you work your way out...  quilting it was definitely giving me the spins.

I found this pretty pink binding leftover from my Ruffled Argyle so I was ready with some handwork in time for family movie night (The Martian - not as good as the book but Matt Damon;-)

And here's the collection...  3 pillows and 2 quilts from a fat quarter bundle.  I finally busted into my Mendocino this week...  I've got full yards of that one so be prepared.

Until my next bender...  Chillin' with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 14" x 14"
Fabrics: Briar Rose by Heather Ross. Binding Wee WoodLand by Keiki.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Natural White (2021).

Friday, June 10, 2016

Let It Go

This one has been done for awhile but I was waiting for some water for the photoshoot:-)  When I was finishing up my Keeping It Together Again quilt I found a set of extra 9 patch blocks.  I'm really not in to batiks these days and wanted to pitch the whole lot but my inner-hoarder couldn't let them go.   I decided as a compromise with myself that I would use the blocks to make a charity quilt and then I could donate the rest of the fabrics.  I had a large piece of the stripey blue fabric but in the end it turned out I was one block short for the intended layout.  Not to be thwarted I made a 4 patch for the center block and went with it.

This was a great quilt for more free-motion swirly practice.  I quilted this at the BostonMQG retreat, the perfect post-cocktail hour project:-)  

I got some great new tips on blocking quilts from Meadow Mist Design and the amazing Caro of Splityarn that I tried out on this one and I got to use my new giant ruler that I won.  I usually run a basting stitch around the edges of my flimsy before I baste the layers together but I think from now on I'll take another pass around the edge when the quilting is done to hold everything together before throwing it in the washing machine.

I am happy to report this has been delivered to someone who will actually appreciate it and my studio is now batik free:-)  As Amanda Jean says, "It's all just fabric"!  How do you break up with fabric you no longer love?

Hanging around at this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 38" x 54"
Fabrics: Assorted batiks from stash.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo.
Thread: King Tut Suez (#915).

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

W.i.P. Wednesday: Conservation of Sewing

The Conservation of Energy principal states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can be altered from one form to another. The same law also applies to gift sewing... what I didn't make in teachers' gifts this year I made up for in graduation gifts for Audrey's friends.  With 5 gifts to make I fell back on an old favorite, the cup cozy.

Audrey raided my stash to pick out fabric combos for each of her friends.

And I got to use up some more of that Insul-Bright I picked up at Marden's.  2 yards seemed like a good idea at the time...  I should be able to make roughly 486 more cup cozies:-)  Any suggestions for using it up a little faster?

These are so quick and easy to whip up I was able to finish all of them in an afternoon.

And I was having so much fun I made an extra one for myself:-)  Only two more weeks of school left for us.  Let's see how much more I can get done before I become the family cruise director.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Strawberry Fields Forever

I feel like I've talked about this quilt so much in the making that there isn't much left to say.  I started it on the Boston MQG retreat in March and it's been amazing to watch a stack of fabrics transformed into a quilt.  I have to admit this wasn't my favorite Heather Ross line but I love how sweet it turned out.

And I'm still ridiculously pleased with how this butterfly quilting came out.  It truly makes the quilt!

After using up pretty much every last scrap making all the things with this collection I was a bit stuck for what to use on the binding.  Nothing I had left was working for me so I dug into my stash and came up with this Joel Dewberry woodgrain.  Perfection!!!

Hanging out with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts and a finish for Q2 of the 2016 Finish Along.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 60" x 60"
Pattern: Adapted from Jedi Craft Girl's Stair Steps quilt.
Fabrics: Briar Rose by Heather Ross, Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Soft White.  Binding Joel Dewberry Aviary Woodgrain in Orange.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Natural White (2021).
Quilting: FMQ inspired by Flutter Bys pantograph.