Wednesday, March 28, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday: Oops, I did it again!

I found yet another way to make zig-zags; )  Sorry for being such a tease last week, I just didn't have anything more to show.  I've been waiting to use my Verna jellyroll for a long time!  I love the fabrics in this line but was having a hard time finding a jellyroll pattern to use.  I almost never read quilting magazines anymore but I stumbled upon this gorgeous Chain Reaction quilt flipping the March/April 2012 issue of Quiltmaker magazine.  I was immediately drawn to the secondary zig-zag pattern and since the Xs are made with 2 1/2" strips it's perfect for a jellyroll.  It wasn't until I was putting the blocks together I realized the pattern was created by Lee, the wonderful hostess of W.i.P Wednesday at freshly pieced.  I've been lurking there but never linked up.  Obviously I'll have to today: )

This works up really quickly, the hardest part is keeping your squares going in the same direction when you cut so you end up with a big triangle and a small one.  I've just started sewing the vertical rows together.  I'm pinning on the intersections and will try to trim the whole strip at once before joining it to the next.  I'm just a little compulsive about getting my points to match;-)

Now do you see the zig-zag?  If you're really paying attention you'll notice there's more than just Verna in there.  I did all the right sides with Verna but pulled most of the left sides from stash...  Hope Valley, Carmen, again with the Nicey Jane, some Sweetwater Pure, California Girl, various Joel Dewberry collections and a few other random things I found.  It's an eclectic mix but I think it's working

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pure Doneness

I don't think I can express how happy I am to be done with this quilt.  This is another one that I started almost a year ago and I was as ambivalent about it now as I was then.  Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful quilt but I really can't take credit for any of it.  This is a total rip-off of the Pure Baby Boy quilt the fabulously talented Teaginny Designs created for Moda Bake Shop.

What changed my attitude was reading the fabulous book "Steal Like an Artist" by Austin Kleon.  My favorite quote, "Modern art = I could do that + Yeah, but you didn't."  Sure, everyone is impressed by a traditional quilt with a million tiny pieces and quilted feathers everywhere.  Modern quilts look deceptively simple but as anyone who's made one knows, it's really hard to get them right.  When less is more the less becomes really important! 

Looking back I see copying this quilt as part of my transition to modern quilting.   I definitely went through a phase where I was making other people's patterns with precut collections.  I made a lot of quilts I don't love because they aren't really me.  What I realize now is how much I learned from those quilts: how to use negative space, how to mix fabrics and effectively use solids, free motion quilting...  it's almost like I was in grad school using the mechanics I already had to explore the artistic aspects of modern quilting.  With so much input from blogs, flickr and pinterest there's no shortage of inspiration but that also makes it hard to find your own vision.  I'm starting to notice a shift so hopefully now I'm "graduating" and I can apply those lessons and ideas to jumpstart my own creativity and get back to making things I absolutely love: )

Another Friday finish so I'm linking up with :

Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Up Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict Can I Get a Whoop Whoop
AmyLouWho Sew and Tell

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday

I was too busy having fun at the BMQG retreat to start something new but this week I'm finally cutting in to this Verna jellyroll.  It definitely goes with the spring weather we're having here!

Monday, March 19, 2012


I'm still recovering from the Boston Modern Quilt Guild retreat this weekend. This is definitely one of my favorite weekends of the year! You just can't beat 3 days of sewing with some of the most ridiculously creative and talented people around.  An unbelievable amount of sewing was done and I am still floating on the inspiration high!

It was tough but I did manage to stick with it and get all of the straight line quilting done on this quilt.  The binding is on and it's one movie away from being finished.  Some wine and great conversation definitely helped beat the boredom;-) 

Another highlight was getting to test out this adorable portable pressing table my fabulous friend and retreat co-chair Aimee made for me.  And since she's just one of those super-duper nice people she even put together this wonderful tutorial so you can make one for yourself. 

We finished off the weekend with a trip to Marden's to feed the stash.  I'm going to need several more sewing weekends to make a dent in this purchase but first I'll need to catch up on some sleep;-)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ready to Retreat

I didn't intend for this to be such a quiet week but I've been busy getting ready for this weekend's BMQG quilt retreat.  It's really hard to plan what you're going to do with 48 hours of dedicated quilting time so as you can see I packed everything but the kitchen sink.  My goal is to knock one quilt off my TBQ list and to piece another quilt top but I have a feeling there may be a few distractions;-)  Check back next week to see how I did!

Of course there had to be some sewing going on...  it was feeling so spring-like here I started thinking about the days when I wouldn't be drowning in corduroy and wool so when I saw this adorable Flirt Skirt tutorial on Pinterest I had to try it.  The fabric is one of my favorite Jennifer Paganelli prints, Amanda Fleur from Pretty Please (again from stash: ).  It's a little big but I'll definitely be making it again with a few adjustments.   

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ruffled Riley Argyle

Really cool things about this quilt:

This quilt was made 100% from stash. Fabrics are: Riley by Anna Griffin and Bella Solids Bleached White for the argyle background, Playing in Spotzville by Jan Mullen for the ruffles, and Wee WoodLand by Keiki for the binding. I used a leftover scrap of batting (Dream Orient bamboo, of course) and "settled" for quilting it with thread (Aurafil 1231) I already had on hand.

The pattern is Diamond in the Ruff by the fabulous Vanessa of V and Co. and was published in Quilts and More, Spring 2011.

This quilt makes me insanely happy!

If you decide to make one for yourself Omnigrid makes an 8 1/2" x 24" ruler. It's worth the "splurge"!  Also, I made my ruffles using bias to cut down on the fraying and used my ruffler foot to ruffle them and then just cut them to the length I needed to fit on the quilt.
And since it's a Friday finish, I'm linking up with :

Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Up Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict Can I Get a Whoop Whoop
AmyLouWho Sew and Tell

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

And then I Swooned

You know all the cool quilters are making the adorable Camille's Swoon quilt not to mention hanging out at the Swoon-along with the fabulous Katy of I'm a Ginger Monkey.  I'm still kicking myself for being too intimidated to talk to Katy at Quilt Market even though I was standing right next to her in line for like 20 minutes waiting to get our books signed by Sarah Fielke.  LOSER!!!  Anyway, I really wanted to Swoon but I didn't see myself making a whole quilt.  I'd been brainstorming using it for the center of a medallion quilt or something like that but then I was digging through my stash and I came up with this pile of fabrics I'd put together for a baby quilt.  I thought this could be big, really big!

The fabrics are: Dots by Timeless Treasures, Tufted Tweets by Laurie Wisbrun, FSDS Sky and Kiwi, Crazy for Dots and Stripes by RJR Fabrics and Bella Bleached White.  And again, all from stash: )

After playing with the math I decided to make a 32" Swoon block.  Sorry, it was really dreary so I didn't take pictures along the way and it went together really quickly.  Once I finished up the block I felt like it was a little small, even for a baby quilt, plus I wasn't sure you'd look at it and instantly know it was one of my quilts so I added the zigzags;-)  I love the way they echo the lines of the block!  I made these with HSTs but if I did it again I'd go with flying geese to reduce some of the seam allowance bulk.  I also probably wouldn't use a directional fabric again.  It definitely upped the level of difficulty to get all the bubbles going the right way. 

The finished top is 36" x 52".  I don't have a big enough piece of spare batting so I will still get to make a trip to my LQS which gives me time to figure out how I'm going to quilt it.  The unbelievably talented Angela has a great post about how to quilt your Swoon so I have lots of options to consider.  And here's my tip for the day... this is the perfect time to make your binding.  1, it saves you from accidentally using the piece you had intended for your binding (been there, done that!). 2, you're still in the piecing groove. And 3, it is so nice to have your binding all ready to slap on as soon as you're done quilting.  It makes finishing those quilts so much easier!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Finally finished Fig Tree Quilt

Fun Facts about my Figgy HST quilt:
Made with fabrics currated from these fabulous collections by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Co.: Patisserie, Gypsy Rose, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Buttercup, Fresh Cottons, Strawberry Fields, and Butterscotch & Rose.  Cream solid from Breakfast at Tiffany's.
 Finished Size: 88"x96". This is the biggest quilt I've ever made and it will be a gift for my parents. 
That's 380" of hand tacked bias binding...
 and 408 4"finished half-square triangles.
It took 5 1/2 hours and 9 bobbins to quilt on the longarm at Laurena's.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pips, Pips, Hooray!

I finally got some finished shots of my Sherbet Pips ZigZag quilt.  February in New England is a tough time to get a decent photograph.  Even without snow on the ground it's been cold enough that my usually less than willing assistants refuse to stand outside holding up a quilt while I take pictures.  Luckily we had a nice day and I thought a trip to the playground would be the perfect spot to shoot this quilt. 

I love this kid in the background.  He thought we were hysterical, everyone else just thought we were crazy;- )

This quilt had a lot of "joy of quilting" moments...  my plan for adding a border didn't work out, the quilting was beyond mind-numbingly tedious, and then I had that little issue with the binding: (  I don't think it will ever be one of my faves but it is growing on me.  It's a great size for snuggling on the couch and the red means it (almost) matches my living room.