Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Charity Quilting: Orange Garden

Another fun quilt made for Annapolis Quilts for Kids. The top was pieced by another member of the group and given to me for quilting.
The color choices on this quilt are fun and fresh.
I quilted this one with a fun flower motif. This is one of my favorites.

2015 Charity Quilt Count:  47

Monday, November 23, 2015

In the Mail Monday: Portable Design Wall

I've been wanting a design wall for ages. I've been crawling around on the design floor for so long my knees hurt just thinking about it. I don't remember how I learned about Cheryl Ann's Design Wall but I was so excited when I did learn about it. I was also excited to learn that Cheryl Ann was having a sale (the web special is available until November 30th). I made the leap and submitted an order.
The design wall is available in sizes from 18" by 18" to 72" by 72". As you know, I'm not one for going small. I went for the 72" by 72" model. As you can see, the box is small.  I almost couldn't wait to get it put together.
The design wall comes in an easy to carry bag. The wall is made up of light-weight poles similar to those used in tents.
Here are all the pieces. It took me about 20 minutes to assemble the wall for the first time. I'm sure that it wouldn't take that long a second time.
Here it is, all set up in my sewing space.  For the record, 72" by 72" may seem like a large size, but I could use a design wall much bigger.  I don't have anywhere to put such a thing, and the usability would be questionable, but I could use one.
I used my new design wall to work on the layout of my scrappy bee blocks quilt. This quilt will include the bee blocks from my guild bee.  You can make your own scrappy stars using the tutorials I wrote for my bee members.  Find the friendship star tutorial and wonky star tutorial at the links. You can also check out some of the other blocks I made as part of the bee from posts in June and July.

My review of the design wall: I'm glad I bought it. If I still had a cat I don't know that I would be as pleased with it (cats are enterprising little creatures and this would be an invitation to climbing). It is lightweight. Great if you want to carry it somewhere, or move it out of the way. Bad if you want it to stay put if you bump into it. It won't easily fall over, but it won't take much force to make it fall over if you are determined. I am willing to give up the stability of having a design wall permanently attached to a real wall to not have to clear out space in front of said wall to use it.  Overall, I'm glad I'm not on the floor any more and I'm glad I purchased the design wall. If you think this would work in your creative life, I recommend you check out Cheryl Ann's Design Wall.

Have you discovered any fun quilting or design tools lately?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Bricks and Stepping-Stones

I don't know if anyone remembers that I joined the Sew My Stash 2015 movement (if it can be called a movement) with a promise to not buy a bunch of fabric and to use more what I have. This quilt came entirely from my stash. The blocks, the backing and even the binding came from inside my sewing space. I should set more substantial goals to work through my stash, but this one resulted in a great finish. The pattern, Bricks and Stepping-Stones, is free from Bonnie Hunter's website. She has loads of free patterns that are great for quilters of all levels and you should totally check it out.
While cutting up some of my fabrics, I cut some strips. Here are my selections for the quilt. It turned out I didn't have enough, but this is what I started with. (This is not a tutorial. If you want to make a quilt like this go to Bonnie's site and get the full story there.)
I pressed and trimmed and stitched.
I pressed some more. Where Bonnie chose blacks and neutrals for her stepping stones, I pulled reds and some neutral/light fabrics. My stash is woefully lacking in neutrals and blacks.
I counted, and recounted. I realized I was short a few. I cut more strips and made more. Then I had about 20 extra.
I grabbed my stack of bricks.
I made some blocks. I made a bunch of blocks. 80 or 90 of them.
I pieced the backing with some leftovers from other quilts. Here, I've folded the backing and top into quarters so I can make sure I have enough room to load it onto the quilting frame. Backing is one of those things that does not hang out in my stash.
Again I used this fun flower motif. I matched the thread to the backing and quilted with Superior Thread's So Fine in red.
Quilted and off the frame you can see the full scrappy effect. I see at least one more of these in my future. I do still have bricks cut to the right size.
I grabbed my bin of leftover binding and stitched up some scrappy binding. The binding bin is another great reason to make scrappy quilts. The bin of leftover binding never seems to run low.
I machine-finished the binding on this utilitarian. I came to terms with machine-finished binding and the fact that I would never finish all the quilts I want to make if I hand-finished the binding. Check out my binding tutorials page if you want to see how I attach my binding. I still occasionally hand-finish binding, but the machine-finish is so much faster (about 30 minutes from start to finish once you're practiced) that I use it more and more.

Do you have more fabric than you will ever use? Remember, no one remembers the quilter for the fabric he/she hoarded. They remember him/her for the quilts they made and gifted with love.

Go! Make quilts!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Zombie Apocalypse

Last year during Quilters Quest I picked up this stack of fat quarters.
Just in time for All Hallows I managed to not finish a quilt. Read on to see the finished quilt top and wish me luck in finishing it before next October.
The prints are such fun. Since so many of these are larger prints, I decided to cut the blocks really big to showcase the fabric. I just didn't want to chop up the cute little zombies.
I pulled some solids from my stash to have a little more to work with. I cut the larger blocks and then used the leftovers to make the smaller blocks and added the green sashing to two sides.
A wider border pens all those zombies inside.
I had about a yard of the orange, so that's what ended up being the binding.

I've put the top away until I find a good backing for it. The finished top is around 52" by 52" so I will have to piece it and I don't have more of these prints to do it. Maybe I'll find a good backing in my shopping travels. Even though it isn't a finish, I'm putting it in the category of Sew My Stash 2015 because I did pull all the fabrics for the top and binding from my stash.

The bonus block:
I also made a block to send off to become one small part of the #zombiehugquilt. Because it just seemed right.

Did you make a quilt for All Hallows? I'd love to hear about it.