Solid Savvy Mini Quilt Swap

My local guild, the Memphis Area Modern Quilt Guild, hosted an in-guild mini Quilt Swap.  Back in February we secretly drew names for our partners and received their color requests.  The challenge was to use only solids and incorporate one of the characteristics of Modern Quilting. I am not much of a solids user and it is always a challenge for me to use them because I really like the movement that patterned fabric gives to a project.

My partner listed blue, aqua, orange, and rainbow as the preferred colors.  Negative Space and Alternate Gridwork were the characteristics that were listed as the favorites.  My partner is someone whose work I admire and love (Janet from @simplypieced.) She has a precise and clean look to her piecing and I wanted to make her something that she could love as much as I love a mini quilt of hers that I have hanging in my sewing room.

I’d been wanting to make a new flying geese pattern that was recently released and floating around Instagram.  It is the Geese in a Circle pattern by Alyin-Niyla.  I thought I could mix up the colors a bit and make them all shine.My favorite variation is the one on the top left but I just had a do it a bit differently.  I couldn’t keep with the norm and made it my own.   I took 2 sections and flipped them around so the two sizes flowed away from each other.  How cool would this look in a larger quilt flowing back and forth like that?  It could be awesome!  I didn’t like all that negative space.  I know, I know, that the challenge was to incorporate some negative space but I just couldn’t have as much as was there.  So, I added some bias strips to the corners.  I’d been staring at it for weeks with uncertainty and it didn’t come together until I added those strips.  That was the piece that I needed to move this to completion.The quilting had to follow the flow of those geese. It just had to.  I put a solid teal on the back and it really shows off the quilting.  The label is printed on fabric and raw edge appliquéd on with some improv corners.  I like how that turned out so I may use that technique a bit more.I quilted it with some new-to-me Aurifil thread.  I’m just starting to use the Aurifil and my machine appears to like it very much.  I got some thread packs for Christmas and dig into them each time to pick just the right neutral to use for the quilt.  I’m super happy with it.  I may need to grab some colored packs and play.  🙂

Now I get to show you what I got!  One of my favorite patterns ever made in my favorite colors.Meghan made this one for me and I absolutely love it!  It’s going to look so great on my wall.

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A ‘Doll’ Quilt 

You may remember this Geometric Unicorn block (pattern designed by Kristy of Quiet Play) that I made some time back for an Instagram swap that I participated in.I decided not to use this block in the swap as I thought it would be perfect for my favorite little girl.  Her mom and I went back and forth about what I could possibly make.  I was thinking a book/tote bag or mini quilt wall hanging.  She thought a mini quilt might be good to use as a quilt for Miss G’s dolls.  So, that’s the direction I decided to head into.

My first step was to border the block.  What could be better than a rainbow border of some type.  So, I started to piece 1 inch strips together to create that look.That looked so awesome that I continued adding borders.  Next thing I knew it took on a path of its own and I ended up with a human size quilt made for my doll of a girl. I used my favorite rainbow print (that JoAnns no longer has 🙁) to bring it all together.  The hot pink and grey borders match the pattern of the rainbow fabric perfectly so it had to be included.I backed it with part of a duvet cover that I had left over from the Quilts for Pulse quilt.  It just adds to the happiness of this piece!  Wavy quilting lines – tighter over the unicorn than in the borders – gives it great movement.I’m pretty sure she’ll love it. I love making stuff for this family.  They really appreciate the time and effort that goes into all crafts and are makers themselves.

This was actually a quick finish as I started with the finished block yesterday morning.  Guild meetings tend to put procrastination at bay and I busted my butt getting it finished.  I really wanted to complete it in time for this month’s Show and Tell as it would be the only time to show it to the group before it got packed up in a box and shipped across the country.  I had just enough time once I finished it to shower, dress, and get to the meeting right on time.

The December meeting always includes a Dirty Santa swap where you can steal a previously opened gift or choose one to open yourself.  The third owner is the keeper so all items can only be stolen twice.  I was lucky enough to have drawn a number in the middle of the pack so some gifts had already been opened and stolen.  I stole this fabulous pillow and was able to keep it since I was the third owner.  Then I got to spend the rest of the time watching everyone else’s stuff get stolen while I happily hid my treasure away.  I’ve been eyeing this pattern on Pinterest and been dying to make one.  Now I don’t have to!And this is the item that I made for the gift exchange.  A sweet appliqué Christmas tree pillow.Its backed in Minky so it’s super soft and cozy. It was actually the first item opened and was quickly stolen.  I’m glad it got such a good reception.  Now I need to make one to keep.Any special handmade gifts you’ve made or received recently?  I’d love to hear about them!

Happy Holiday Sewing!

UFO Invasion

There has been a severe UFO invasion at my house.  It’s insane how many in-progress projects that I have right now.

  1. Wonky Cross Quilt:  This one has been hanging around my sewing room for a number of months waiting to be basted.It will be late for my friend’s October birthday.
  2. Wine Table Runner:  This one is basted and ready to be quilted but quilting has not yet occurred…..It’s for a November birthday so I need to get this one done and mailed out.
  3. Christmas Wall Hanging:  This one is for me but should still be done by the time Christmas Decorations go up!I’m going to place them horizontally and add the words ‘Joy’, ‘Peace’, and ‘Noel’ underneath. It should be fabulous!
  4. Big Ole Pillow:  I created this from the offcuts of the heart blocks from the Orlando donation quilt that I made.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it but then I found this big ole pillow insert that is perfect.  A pillow it will be.
  5. Turkey Sausage:  My Mom brought over the Turkey Sausage cross-stitch for me to make into a wall hanging.
  6. Stacked Squares:  I need to baste and quilt the Stacked Squares quilt for my Dad.The backing is finished and ready to go.  It’s a Christmas gift so I need to get moving.  The quilting plan is random meandering squares which should give it exactly the finish it needs.

I did make a couple of quick projects.  I moved from a cubicle into an office at the end of last week and it is beige and beige-grey and grey-beige.  The room is just screaming for color of any kind.  So, I made a mug rug and a snack bowl for my desk.  The inside of the snack bowl is laminated cotton so I can wipe away any crumbs.

Well, it appears that I have a lot to do…….

Happy Sewing!

    My Mini Sewcation

    I normally take the entire week of my birthday off to just relax at home and sew my little heart out.  It didn’t quite work out that way this year but I was able to squeeze in a few days on the end of that week and got some sewing time in!

    Quiet Play Mini Quilt Swap:

    I finished up the mini quilt of the Geometric Mermaid.  I made a little adjustment and I love it so much better.I had the perfect clamshell fabric to use on the back that really pulled it all together.

    Christmas sewing:

    I stayed on the geometric theme and made two of the three panels that I want to use to make a Christmas wall hanging.  First up was the Geometric Christmas Tree.  I used fabrics from the JOL line for the background pieces and some of the interior.The second was the Geometric Reindeer and I did that one in shades of red.  Mirror Dots for the win as the antlers and hooves. 🙂

    I’m also going to do the Geometric Sleigh in shades of silver and gold with a hint of red.  It should look really cool.  I can’t wait to finish this up and get it all together.

    Sugar Block Club:

    I got all caught up on my Sugar Block Club blocks.  I was a few months behind and I was glad to have the time to devote to them.  I just love this top one!  This palette is just so soothing.

    Stacked Squares:

    I finished the top of the Stacked Squares quilt and I think my dad will love it!I created the backing out of some left over golf fabric that I had on hand.  My dad lives on a golf course and I tend to make him golf themed items.  That has been a Dad gifting theme my whole life.  This quilt will only have a little bit of that theme on the back. 

    Still To Do:

    Baste many, many quilts – Stacked Squares, Wonky Cross, Triple Barnstar

    Mini Quilts – 3 in progress.  One for my guild and the Christmas one for me and one my mom just added to my plate that she needs in early October for Halloween decorating

    There is a lot to do……..Happy Sewing!

    Random Roundup #18

    I’m still trying to decide on a direction for the Quiet Play Swap on Instagram.  I finished the best Unicorn ever!It may get made into a cushion for a Christmas present. (Yes – I’m already starting on Christmas presents….) I’m going to tweak the borders on the geometric mermaid that you may remember from my last post and see if I like it better than I do now.  I got a lot of positive feedback at my guild meeting about the new direction that I’m thinking about for the borders so I will have to get that process going and see how I like it.  This unicorn may end up as my swap item if the border solution doesn’t work out.

    Stacked Squares:

    While I contemplated all that, I dove into a fabulous fabric pull for a quilt for my dad.  He requested a quilt so I dragged him into the sewing room to look at colors and he fell for the color palette on a mini quilt that I had received in a swap.  It had teals, mustards, blues, and greys.  Here’s what I pulled:I’ve really been wanting to make a Stacked Squares quilt and it lends itself very well to just about any color palette.  There is a free pattern on the Moda Bake Shop site that uses precuts and jelly rolls. I went to my friend Kelly’s site – My Quilt Infatuation – to get her measurements for cutting from yardage or fat quarters.  This fabric pull had a good selection of both.  Her middle squares were a little bit smaller than the original pattern but it doesn’t change the illusion at all.  She suggested 23 different fabrics to make 23 different blocks.

    I cut out all of my selected fabrics.  Then took a little break after cutting 23 fat quarters/quarter yard cuts of fabric.  I don’t normally cut my fabrics all at once, as I tend to change my mind halfway through, so my cutting stamina is really low.  The ice cream gave me the energy to sew all the squares together.I got all my squares sewn together just so I could then cut them apart.  I swear quilters get a little bit crazy. 🙂After all those cuts, I set up my portable design wall and got those squares all placed where I want them.  I’m still contemplating a few moves but I like how it looks overall.

    Some of those fabrics I got from a recent sale that The Intrepid Thread was having over the Labor Day holiday.

    Stash Enhancement:

    I picked up – at fabulous prices – a few awesome fabrics.  Some Cotton + Steel, Drawn Bubbles,  Remix, and the green chevron made up this beautiful selection.I used all but the yellow bubbles in the Stacked Squares quilt.  So they were all definitely a good buy.

    Then I stocked up on these Christmas prints for a wall hanging mini quilt I have in mind.  It’s going to be a bit fabulous!

    I cannot wait until I have a few moments (hopefully meaning a few days off this week) to work on my Dad’s quilt.  I think he’s going to love it!

    Mermaids or Unicorns?

    I went full force making the Mermaid pattern for the Quiet Play Swap.

    The pebble print from the Drawn line by Angela Walters is perfect for the background.This pile of mermaid parts became a gorgeous beauty once all pieced together.I’m trying to figure out what to put in the upper left corner.  More border or more flowers?  Should I hand stitch a shell?  Should I just rethink the whole corner/border situation?  I’m currently stuck so moved on to another project to clear my head. 

    One Geometric Unicorn coming up!Okay, I’m loving how this one is coming along.  Now, I’m not sure if I want to stick with the the mermaid for the swap or just go with this fabulous unicorn.  I do have a plan for either option other than the swap so there will be no sewing time put to bad use around here.

    While I contemplate my sewing world I can stare at these beautiful new additions to my stash.  A few short stacks from Sew Lux.  They are having a fat quarter grab bag clearance and I took my chances on a few colorways.  Blue:Grey (I love the darkest grey one):Red:Aqua – the flowery one on top is not really my style so I’ll have to figure out something for that one:Then I picked up this small bundle of Thicket to help boost my black and white print selection:A slightly productive week.  Now back to my day job after a three-day weekend to make sure nothing falls apart there.

    Happy Sewing!

    Random Roundup #17

    It’s been a rough few weeks at work but I finally got a bit of sewing in today!  It was so great and so incredibly relaxing……

    Quiet Play Mini Quilt Swap:

    I’ve been without a swap for a little while but I could not turn down one that encompassed one of my very favorite pattern designers.  We are required to make a mini using one of Kristy Lea’s patterns.  She designs the most awesome geometric pieced patterns.  I immediately went to her online store – Quiet Play – and picked up a bunch of new patterns.  Did I mention that they are all foundation paper-pieced?  So incredible!I decided to work on the Geometric Mermaid first to see if that’s the direction I want to go.  My first color choice for her tail did not give enough contrast against the background that I really wanted to use.I changed gears a little bit and -boom! – there it was. The perfect colors – saturated and gorgeous!Now I love it and hope my partner will too!

    Stash Enhancement:

    I haven’t bought any new fabric in a while and have been needing to fill in the most recent gaps in my low volume white selection.  I’m not big on solids or tone on tone whites so I was looking for something else.  It’s a bit harder than it looks.  I was really looking to replace a text fabric that I adore from a line called ‘The Chalk Line’.  I could not find the black on white but did locate a white on grey online at Stash Fabrics.Then I checked out their sale section and found some of those low volumes that I was looking for.  (I’ve been dying to get that notebook print.)That wasn’t all I found – I loved these so they went into my cart as well.

    I’m already looking forward to next weekend – a guaranteed 3-day weekend and free sewing time.  It’s going to be awesome!