Monday, November 26, 2012

Nicey Windows

We had a low-key Thanksgiving this year and since my mother-in-law is also a quilter I can get away with sneaking in some sewing time. I've been inspired by the BMQG Precious/WIP challenge to finish some things up.  I made this top last summer to practice curved piecing before taking the plunge and cutting in to my precious Flea Market Fancy for my Urban Windows quilt.  As usual I got stuck when it came to the quilting.  I knew I wanted to do pebbles in the centers but my FMQ skills weren't up to it

Lots of practice and encouragement later I pulled it off the UFO stack and went for it.  I stitched in the ditch around the curved pieces and then did pebble quilting around them to really make them stand out.  Then I asked myself "What would Angela do?"  Quilt the crap out of it, of course:-)  So I pulled out my trusty copy of Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters and went for it.  In the white border I just did some loopy Ls.  It was hard to keep them even, especially since the white border is wider on two sides than the others to get the top square (the pods are longer than they are wide...).  For the outer border I went with all-over leaves.  I really like this pattern and would definitely use it again! 

You can really see the quilting from the back!

Rather than making yet another wall hanging I decided this would be a perfect companion pillow for my Nicey Jane gingham quilt.  Aren't they sweet together!!!

Quilt Stats:

Finished pillow cover is 21" x 21".
Pattern: Urban Windows by the amazing Jenny Pedigo at Sew Kind of Wonderful
Fabrics: Woodgrain by Joel Dewberry, Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey, Bella Solids
Bleached White. Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient
Thread: Aurifil 2021

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Reasons to be Thankful

This has been a rough year for so many people for so many reasons and there have been several points where things could have gone a different way for us also.  This is definitely a year to count my blessing and be thankful...

I was able to go back to work part-time this fall so I still have time to sew AND have money to buy fabric!

For all the quilty friends I've made this year in the BMQG and through my blog.  My quilts are better because of all your suggestions and my cheering squad keeps me going when I want to give up on something that isn't going right. 

My wonderful family overlooks that I will press fabric but not iron clothes, we wear shoes in our house because you never know when you're going to find stray pins & needles, and dinner may be a bit delayed while I finish sewing one last thing for 20 minutes:-)

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!!! 

Friday, November 16, 2012


I had hoped to finish up my Urban Windows quilt today but after loading it on the new longarm at Quilter's Way I realized my backing was 4" too short.  Ooops, epic fail!

I did manage to finish up my pincushion for the MQG swap that's due tomorrow.  Nothing like leaving it to the last minute!  I used some of my carefully hoarded Joel Dewberry Hope Valley and machine pieced the hexagons using this fabulous tutorial by Jacquie at Tallgrass Prairie Studio.  It really is as easy as she makes it look.  I used Essex linen on the back and stuffed it with Bamboo fiberfill.  I hope my swap partner loves it as much as I do!!!

I've definitely been hexed this week!  Only two more rows to go on my hexie blob wall hanging.

And like any good addict I hooked Audrey and her friends in to my obsession.  We've got a very special gift planned for their sixth grade graduation so these girls were my guinea pigs for teaching kids to make hexies.  They were awesome!!!  4 down, 64 to go;-)

Check out what these amazing quilters are doing on Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

What's Not to Love?

I'm so excited to have finished my LOVE pillow (with time to spare!).  I've really been working to improve my FMQ this year so all this negative space was the perfect place to practice everything I learned during my wonderful weekend with the amazing Angela Walters

Thanks to everyone for the encouragement on the pebble quilting!!!  I practiced for a while but finally decided to just go for it.  I'm pretty happy with the results but I don't think I'll be quilting an entire quilt with pebbles anytime soon!

Woodgrain/faux bois is everywhere these days so I decided to try it for this quadrant.  I think I made it a little too dense.  To me it looks more like waves than woodgrain but I can see doing this again.

This is my favorite section:-)  It's based on Paisley but I start with hearts rather than tear drops.  Absolutely perfect for this quilt!

It looks so great with all of them together!!!

The pillow form doesn't quite fit so I may have to make my own but Audrey already grabbed it for her room so I'll have to steal it back;-)

Tula Pink Sew Along
A huge thanks to the adorable Sara at Sew Sweetness for hosting the Tula Pink sew along.  It was definitely the motivation I needed to finally make this AND get it done.  I know I wouldn't have finished all that quilting if there hadn't been a deadline involved;-)  You should definitely check out the flickr pool to see all the other fabulous creations!

Quilt Stats:

Finished pillow cover is 16" x 20"

Pattern: LOVE  by the amazing Tula Pink.
Fabrics:  All from stash... So St. Croix, Poodle and Bell Bottoms by Jennifer Paganelli, Bijoux by Heather Bailey, Dear Stella Stripe and Ikat, Dots from Children at Play by Sarah Jane.  Kona Snow.
Batting:  Quilter's Dream Orient
Thread:  Aurifil 2000
Quilting: Based on designs in Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday: I ♥ Tula Pink

This week I finally got going on the Tula Pink Sew Along.  I'm a long time Tula Trooper so when Sew Sweetness announced this I knew I was in.  The hardest part was deciding what to do!  Finally I decided to at long last make the fabulous Love quilt.

Of course I used pink;-)  In the interest of time I scaled this down to be a pillow cover so it measures 16" x 20". 

For the quilting I started by stitching in the ditch around each letter and dividing the quilt in to 4 sections.

From there I pulled out Free-Motion Quilting by the Amazing Angela Walters and started practicing some of her patterns.  These concentric circles were fun but I have a hard time keeping them round.  Three more quadrants to go...  I'm determined to do one with pebbles but I'm going to need a lot more practice!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, November 5, 2012

Just Three: Not Ready for November

I love Traceyjay for starting Just Three!  It is so good at keeping me on track.  Things have been so busy (and they're only going to get busier) but it really helps to see my Just 3 list tacked on my bulletin board.

It was another successful month!  For October my goals were...

1.  Quilt and bind my Ghastly quilt.

I'm so obsessed with the Ghastlies!!!  I entered Cracking Up in the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  It's #455 if you want to vote for me:-)  Definitely stop by and check out all the amazing quilts there!
2. Make that Kindle Kozy.
Finally, my Kindle won't be naked any longer;-)  I love books but the Kindle has the advantage of being small and lightweight enough to carry around in my purse.  However, my pretty, pink leather case was getting scratched up that way.  I think I'll be making more of these as holiday gifts so watch for a tutorial coming soon.
and 3.  Finish they that shall not be named... 
I did but since I promised never to speak of them again I thought I'd share my Victory Garden quilt which I also managed to finish (the top at least).  Words cannot describe how much I am loving this quilt!!!
November's going to be another busy month so I'm keeping it simple... three for November:

1. Quilt my Victory Garden quilt.  Probably the biggest stretch but I committed to finishing in by Christmas.
2. Finish up my entry for the Tula Pink Sew Along at Sew Sweetness.  Deadline is 11/12.
3. Make a Pincushion for the BMQG Swap by November 17th.

traceyjay quilts

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A visit from the Modern Quilting Mothership

Today I had the absolute pleasure of hanging out with the amazing Alissa Haight Carlton.  If you're reading this I'm pretty sure I don't have to explain that Alissa is co-founder and Executive Director of The Modern Quilt Guild and author of two modern quilting books, Block Party and Modern Minimal

It was so inspiring to see Alissa's quilting journey and get up close and personal with some of the quilts from her books.  I think this one was my favorite...  I wanted to smuggle it home:-)

Reflecting on my own quilt odyssey I realized what a huge debt of gratitude I owe Alissa!  When I started quilting 20 years ago there were no other quilters even close to my age in my area and they certainly weren't making quilts like mine.  I tried out a couple of traditional guilds but it wasn't a good fit.  In recent years I had found a like minded quilting community online but it wasn't until the New England Modern Quilt Guild started in 2010 that I was able to meet with fellow quilting fanatics like me in person.  Now the Boston Modern Quilt Guild is my "tribe" and my quilting peeps have become some of my closest friends.  How could we not, we share the same obsession;-) 

As much as I absolutely LOVE to quilt, it's even better quilting with friends;-) 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trick or Treat Giveaway Winners

 Amie @ Fabric Warrior is the lucky recipient of this Vintage Ghastlies panel. 

Tawny won these fabulous fabrics for commenting at OCD: obsessive crafting disorder and Sewing by Stephanie will also be treated to some Ghastly fat quarters. 

"I got a rock"

Dawnmarie, you've been tricked but send me your information and I might treat you anyway;-) 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Ghastly Gathering!!!  It was truly inspiring to see all your Ghastly creations:-)