Random Roundup #14

Splendid Sampler:

I have been catching up on the Splendid Sampler blocks little by little.  I have made 4 this week.  The top one is eagerly awaiting it’s chain stitched center.  I’ll have some time to get that done this week.  I’ve already transferred the pattern into the fabric so I can begin that process.  The bottom one is not correct but I’m leaving it this way and never again piecing those tiny triangles.  It’s still cute though.  I love these two!  I’m moving from the pinks into lavenders and purples and love the combination.

Stash Enhancement:

Speaking of purples – a guild mate has been buying clearance fabrics and splitting them up with some of us so we all get a great deal on fabric.   This past month was dark pinks and purples which matches up perfectly with my block colors.   They are just all so gorgeous!

Craftsy 2012 Block of the Month:

I finally (!) basted the 2012 Craftsy Block of the Month quilt top.  I had purchased the backing fabric a long, long time ago as it perfectly matched the scrappy color story on the front.  I’m not sure how long this will take me to quilt.  I kind of want to try some free-motion quilting but don’t quite have the skills.  That means that I may end up doing some fancy straight line quilting with my walking foot if I don’t get any practice with FMQ.

I’m thinking of taking some older fabrics that I no longer like and making small quilt sandwiches to practice with.  That will definitely help me destash in a positive manner and learn a new skill all at the same time. 😊

Fun with Fungai

At a guild meeting a few months back we were given some fabrics to use in order to make some charity quilts for a local children’s hospital. We were able to select 6 fat quarters out of the entire selection that was available.  The fabrics I chose were all from a Japanese line called Mushroom World.  If interested, there are a few prints on deep discount at Hancock of Paducah’s fabric shop and other prints in the line are available on Fabric.com. I wanted to feature the fabric and make them the focus of the quilt and I needed to decide on a pattern that would do that.

I made wonky sized log cabin blocks with random sized squares surrounded by varying sized strips.  I picked blender fabrics that would pull all of the colors out and make them shine.  Those colors made this such a happy looking quilt.  A meandering squares continuous line quilting pattern was perfect!  Backed with a Riley Blake Chevron print then bound with a mixture of the red gingham and a solid red made this quilt complete and after a washing it will be ready to donate later this year.      I’m incredibly happy about how straight the chevron turned out on the back.  I tried to line it up correctly while basting and it worked.  And those quilted squares look awesome on it!  I’m excited to show this off at our guild meeting next week.

In other news, I am planning on updating my sewing space a bit and the first part was to get this unit from IKEA.  It’s from the BESTA collection.  Please excuse the ‘just finished assembling’ photo.  I have yet to place the shelves as I plan on adding an ironing surface to the top which makes it more organized and functional.  And that is way better than the ‘regular ironing board and the pile of junk currently stored underneath it’ system that I currently have going on.

When Inspiration Strikes

I recently posted the finish of the Wavelength Quilt on Facebook and a friend of mine sarcastically threw out that maybe I could make him a ‘blanket’.  We’ve been friends since high school but he did not realize that I made a lot of quilts as I do not normally post them on Facebook and he is busy serving our country in the Coast Guard.  Anyway, my first thought was ‘Challenge Accepted!’ so I asked what colors he liked.  The answer was blue.  That led to this fabric pull.   I adore that bottom blue print.  It’s from the Studio Stash line by Jennifer Sampou.  I love the mix of colors in this pull.

I’ve been dying to make some sort of wonky cross quilt and started in that route.  I cut each of the blue fabrics in random widths and lengths and cut the low volume strips in varying widths (1 to 2 inches wide). Next thing I knew I had covered my design door with a little forest of wonky crosses:  It did not take long at all to put all those together.  After a little more of that, and a little Tetris wonky cross placement, I ended up with a small throw size quilt top.  A little too small for my friend so I added borders on 2 sides but I still need to add more.  I’ve got a plan brewing and hope to have it worked out soon.  

Stash Enhancement:

I received some happy mail the other day from Missouri Star Quilt Company that included a few ‘Count with Me’ charm packs and a Half Hexie ruler which is going to help me make an adorable charity baby quilt. The charm packs contain numbers and whales and fish and all kinds of cuteness. There are a number of great patterns in that ModBlock magazine as well.  Lots of great inspiration to be had!

The Kaffe charm pack might be used in a swap quilt for a partner that likes bold and bright colors.  I’ve yet to figure out what I’m going to do for this swap. This is just one idea that I’m playing around with.  We need to stay in the modern realm and my partner didn’t give me much to work with.  I’m sure something will click soon.

There was also a ton of inspiration over on Instagram this past week as Amy’s Creative Side hosted the #igquiltfest.  There were so many great quilts and so many great works-in-progress. I hope you head over there and check it out for yourself!

Rainbow Rhapsody

Lots of rainbows happening around here right now.  I received the Rainbow Mini Quilt Swap quilt that my partner made.  Such wonderful loveliness!  I adore a ledger print and this is one of my favorites!  The flying geese in the corners add such a great element to this piece.  I’m very happy with this one and it’s already hanging in my sewing space.   She also sent these sweet solid mini charms (and some Lecien floss) which will be put to good use in a charity baby quilt that I have planned out in my head,  My partner was equally satisfied with the one I sent to her.    I used a Drunkard’s Path template to make this scrappy mini quilt.  I bound it in the dark grey crosshatch in order to keep everything a little bit contained.  This was the first time I attempted a spiral quilting technique.  I love how well you can see the quilting in these pictures.  The spiral quilting worked really well for this mini but I can see how a larger quilt would be a bit of a struggle.  

I have a bunch of low volume half moons left over that I need to do something with.  I’m thinking of making this same mini in an inverse color story and seeing if it comes out just a great as this one did.

I backed it in this JoAnn Fabrics print that I love:  I have this same print in a flannel.  It’s incredibly versatile.

I also made this Geometric Squirrel in a rainbow color story.  A friend of mine calls her daughter ‘Squirrel’ and has done so since her birth.  Little Miss was turning 5 this weekend and this pattern, which was released last week, had to be made to celebrate that occasion.  I bordered it with their favorite squirrel fabric and this fabulous grey that I need to start hoarding.  I hope I have a selvedge edge so I can find out what it is because I love it.  Anyway, this came out so stinkin’ cute that I can’t stand it!

I did add a sweet fussy cut of a dancing Woodstock with a heart as it was too cute not to.  This squirrel was made entirely from scraps (other than the grey border and the text background) that I had put aside waiting to be used and loved.  I also saw a rainbow as I was driving home from work on Friday.  Rainbows are everywhere!  That must have meant that a good weekend was coming. 

Wavelength Wrap-up

The Wavelength quilt is finished!  I absolutely adore this quilt!  It’s actually hanging over my lap as I write this post.  The pattern is Wavelength designed by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced.  Her version is in a gradient rainbow but I wanted to use my favorite colors and use that same gradient technique.  I chose teals moving out to aquas and I love the way the whole quilt looks.

I used an echo quilting technique inside each wave and then did a zig-zag outside the wave from seam to seam.    This one was a while in the making as I did not know how I wanted to piece the back or if I wanted to make it any larger than the pattern called for.  I ended up keeping it the same size as in the pattern and I picked up some Prisms wideback fabric a few months back when it was featured on Massdrop.   I had previously made this finish one of my March goals and will happily check it off the list.   I’m just going to enjoy my new quilt for a little while.  I suppose I can share with the cats……   

Random Roundup #13

Splendid Sampler progress:

I’m having fun with the Splendid Sampler quilt along.  We are at 6 blocks now as they are releasing two per week. These are some tiny hearts.  Those are 1 1/2 inch squares on the corners of the small hearts.   I went a little crazy on the flower pot one and my block is a little too big but there is no where to trim so it stays as is and I’ll fit it in somewhere.  I actually didn’t read the size directions on the vase and just went for it.  But I like how it looks.  I really like the block released on Thursday.  It would be fabulous in a larger size to use in a baby quilt.  And now the group shot:  The blocks are 6 1/2 inches (or supposed to be anyway) and there is still a long way to go.  The most recent Sunday block is an embroidery one so I may just skip it.  I’ll have to take a closer look at it and then decide.  I have a number of cross-stitch projects in the works that need my hand sewing attention instead of something new.  But, we’ll see.

Sugar Block Club:

I’ve also been making some progress on the 2015 Sugar Block Club blocks. This is February and March.  This block is a little too muted for my taste so I may remove the corners and do them in color to jazz it up a little.  There is just not enough contrast.  But, I am super happy with the appliqué center section!

Stash Enhancement:

I gave in at The Intrepid Thread during a big Flash sale she had recently and I picked up a number of fabulous things. Some great blenders: Then some Blueberry Park – this is so awesome in person! And daisies are my favorite. Then this gorgeous selection of purples: The top two are also from Blueberry Park.  This group also includes a print from the Rhoda Ruth line. The rest are all from the Macrame line from Cotton + Steel.  They are the most fabulous purples I have seen in a while.  My purples were really lacking and this sale came at the perfect time to stock up.

I should have lots to show next time as I have a few days off this week with just sewing plans in place.  Should be a good week full of creativity and hopefully some quilting.


A Friendly Forest

My quilt guild donates baby quilts to LeBonheur Children’s Hospital each year.  This event doesn’t occur until late summer but I like to have a few ready to go.  The first one for this year is made using a charm pack of Forest Friendzy.  The little owls are so adorable.  I used every bit of the Charm Pack and the sashing is from a jelly roll I had of Moda Bella Solids in Navy.  The colors are so vibrant and fun and I loved working with them. I used a solid orange binding with a little bit of green added and I’m glad I did as I think it lightens up the darkness of all that navy.  I quilted it using a variegated brown and backed with a mint and brown flannel dot print that was in my stash.  The flannel is soft and snuggly and worked really well with the colors on the front. It’s such a cute little quilt and I cannot wait to donate it to this fabulous hospital.

At my last guild meeting they handed out some fabric that we could use for one of these baby quilts so that should be the next one I work on.  It will be fun to see what each member of the group comes up with.  Everyone in the guild is incredibly creative but our styles are all a little different.  All the different mushroom quilts should make for a fabulous show and tell. I’ve got a couple of ideas and I really like the blue prints.  This line is a bit retro and is slightly out of what I am attracted to but I love the challenge of the whole thing. 

March Goals:

I’ve got a few goals for March that I think I should be able to accomplish.

  1. Baste, quilt, and bind the Wavelength quilt – I’ve got everything I need to get this done.
  2. Baste, quilt, and bind the 2012 Crafsty Block of the Month quilt – it’s such a fun design and I adore the fabric I used for it – I have everything I need for this one, too.
  3. Mushroom Baby quilt – nothing is done yet for this.  😊
  4. Go through my stash and give any fabrics that I no longer like to a friend who is just starting to sew.  Use same stash and batting scraps to make small quilt sandwiches to practice free-motion quilting.

I’m going to stop there as I know how I am and don’t want to overdo it.  But, I do want to get a lot done before vacations start revving up in late spring and into the summer.