Thursday, February 27, 2014

Big Bold Update for Thursday

I finished up the quilting today. So glad it is finally done. I love the overall effect of the quilting. When I get some good light, I will share some pictures.
I thought the binding was so pretty I had to take a picture before I attached it.  I love scrappy binding.  To be fair, I love scrappy everything.
It was kind of a monster when it came to attaching the binding. I got it all stitched on. I am likely overly happy about the entire thing. Hopefully, the next time you see this quilt it will be done. That might take a while, though. I intend to finish the binding by hand. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Big Bold Update for Tuesday

I loaded up the Big Bold on the big long arm frame.  Since have a full-time job, the quilting of this one will take a while to get done. 
I doodled and doodled until I found the design I wanted to do.  I separated the quilt into four distinct quilting areas:  the outer border and the middle border, the narrow inner border, the solid stacks of blocks and the prints.  Each of these has its own quilting motif.
I took these pictures before I ran out of light, so I didn't get good pictures of all of these zones.  I'm using Superior Threads Fantastico for the top thread and Omni for the bottom thread.  Both are performing wonderfully, as I expected.
Here you can see the bubbles in the narrow border and the swirls that dominate the solid areas of the blocks.  The prints have a big flower with more swirls thrown in as filler and to act as the leaves.  Since this will be a bed quilt, I'm not going too crazy with the quilting.  I want to keep in soft.  Although, cotton batting (I'm using Warm & Natural) stays pretty soft no matter what you do.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Another Quilts for Kids Finish

I pieced up this cutie over the weekend and quilted it on Sunday.  Today, I finished it up.
Binding and label and done!

I used some swirl-like leaves and these big flowers as an all-over design.  The back isn't black.  It is a really dark brown.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Big Bold Update, the borders...

Today I attached the borders. I didn't get any quilting done, though. I loaded it onto the long arm frame and hope to get some quilting done on it throughout the week.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Quilt Shop Shopping

Today I went up to Bear's Paw Fabrics.  This great shop participated in the Quilter's Quest last year and is on the list again this year.  You can find out more about the Quilter's Quest at their site. It doesn't start until November and I'm already excited.  I should hurry up and finish the quilt from last year.  I have the top finished but need to get the back pieced so I can quilt it.
I couldn't pass up some coordinating prints for the charm pack from Moda called Mixed Bag by Studio M.  Such a fun line of fabrics.  The origami print could not stay on the shelf.  It had to come home with me.  I also picked up a couple pieces of wool felt for a simple project.  A skirt pattern that I thought I had to have.  The two rulers from Jaybird Quilts are something I wanted to try, too.  I was really looking for the Mini Hex N More ruler, but I figured coming home with the big ruler wouldn't hurt me.  

I need to quit admiring my ability to break my fabric diet and go finish my Big Bold quilt.  I did piece the borders today.  I hope to share the finished top soon.  I am still thinking and planning my custom quilting for that one.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Big Bold Update

First, let me apologize for the quality of the pictures.  These were taken at night, in my sewing room, with my iPad.  Yes, I know, that is no real excuse.  In truth, the pictures are pretty awesome even for all that.  The lighting up here is amazing!  I should know.  I paid the nice handymen to install it. 

Anyways...  Here is the update for my Big & Bold quilt.  This one is intended for my queen-size bed.  It is a pattern I drafted myself with the help of Electric Quilt 7.  I really like how easy this software makes my life.  Okay, it won't make coffee, but it is helpful.

The three blue fabrics were matched up to create this kind of wandering path through the big, bold prints that bring all the real fun to this quilt.  I will likely get held up for days trying to figure out how to quilt this monster.  Tomorrow I will try to get the three borders stitched on.  I'm usually not a big one for borders, but I wanted to widen this one without adding another column of blocks, which would have made the layout look weird.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Soho Chic Tinker Tote

A few months ago I decided to give the Quilt-As-You-Go Patchwork Bags Craftsy class a try.  Tara Rebman made it easy to follow along and learn her technique.  Last night, I managed to finally finish the binding on this one.
As usual, I didn't follow the directions exactly.  We all know that directions are there to be used as a guide.  
I think it came out great!   The fabric is Soho Chic by Sandy Gervais for Moda Fabrics.  I used part of a 5" charm pack, a 2.5" charm pack and three 1-yard cuts of coordinating fabric. I wish I had more of this fabric.  I really like this line.The bottom of the bag is some linen I picked up at the thrift store a couple years ago.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Big and Bold

Last year during Quilt Quest I picked up stacks and stacks of fat quarters. 
When I got to Cottonseed Glory in Annapolis I found a bin full of Kaffe Fassett prints and knew at least a dozen were going home with me.  There are some others in here, but the main point was I wanted big, bold prints.  I grabbed three different solids to coordinate:  navy, medium and light blue.
I drafted the pattern and set to trimming my fabrics.  I made a couple mistakes along the way, but still ended up with more than enough to make the required 42 blocks (12" x 12" finished).  My mistakes were mostly absorbed by the border squares, the little stack of 3.5" squares on the left.
I put my stacks on my small cutting mat and took the lot to the sewing machine.  Each block has the same four solid blocks with different prints opposite.
I lined up a single row of blocks so I could get an early idea of what I was looking at.  The final layout will be 6 blocks wide by 7 blocks long.  I just don't have the space to lay out all the blocks in my sewing room. 
The solids will be matched up, creating this staggered shape through the mixed up prints.  I did get all six columns sewn together tonight.  Getting them sewn into a whole will have to wait.
I ran out of room to put the last row on the right side.  I'm trying not to worry too much about the placement and just let this one be happy the way it wants to be.  Sometimes, I think I force things.  

The best part about this?  I get to try out my Fantastico and Omni threads from Superior Threads when it comes time to quilt it.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pretty as a Peacock

Yesterday at the monthly meeting of the Annapolis Quilts for Kids, Ellen pieced up this fun quilt that Janet cut out.  Today, I pieced the backing and got quilting.  I used this opportunity to do some different things.  I split up the quilting space totally by random and then just did different things in each area.  By random, I mean that the areas are set apart by wavy, organic lines and these areas are filled in with swirls, lines, bouncing arcs, some McTavishing and even some pebbles.  I finished off the edges in parallel lines using my ruler (after I found it, because I cannot be trusted to put my own tools away).
I pieced the backing so because I was concerned it wouldn't make it, or it would be really tight.  I added way more than I needed, but I think it came out just fine.  I even machine-finished the binding so I can move on to the next project. 
Here is a close-up look at some of the stitching.  Again, I used some Magnifico from Superior Threads for the top thread.  The results this thread gives still makes me happy.  I'll have to continue to expand my library of colors.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Azure Stars

This morning, before I went to the monthly meeting of Annapolis Quilts for Kids, I managed to get a little piecing done.
I pieced some stars together for stars for bingo.  These, along with others from the guild, will be sewn up into a quilt.  I found I had very little white Kona cotton for the background.  I used every bit I had, which was about 1/4 yard of fabric.  I have since put Kona in white on my shopping list.  There goes my fabric diet.
I pieced  as many half-square-triangle blocks as I could with the white I had, the green from guild and a couple blues I pulled from my stash.

I managed to sneak in this one with the 9-patch center.  Of course, that means I ended up with three more 9-patch blocks, but I'm not complaining. 

Finished size:  12" x 12"

Friday, February 14, 2014

I'm in love with the HST!

I have been teasing people with this quilt for over a week.  Today, I finally finished it.  The quilting the, binding, everything!  This is what happens when you get a second snow day!
I really like how this one came out.  It is so playful. 
I used different quilting in each area of the quilt.  The pink border got a small meander.  The pink areas got swirls, large and small.  The red has echoed hearts and little swirls to fill in around them.  The white has simple parallel lines that really help define it as a background area. 
Once I started adding borders, I realized I had outgrown my original backing.  I had twenty of the charms left over, so I pieced them into the backing fabric.  I love the effect.  If you look closely, you can see the shape of the heart in the quilting stitches.
I used a variegated thread on the top in pinks and reds (King Tut from Superior Threads) and a very light pink for the bobbin thread.  I even finished the binding by machine.  Otherwise it wasn't getting finished today. 

Made with two charm packs, about 1/2 yard of red solid, about 1/3 yard of pink dots and one yard of white-on-white for the backing.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow day, sew day...

Just some snaps of what I did with my snow day.
Borders attached.
Two more bags done!  More about this is this post.
A little embroidery. Design by Urban Threads.
My hexie BOM blocks from the Craftsy 2012 Block of the Month. All the blocks are finally done!
A little quilting on this pieced top I had hiding with some charm packs.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What About Ewe?

Don't criticize my puns, bad or otherwise.
I somehow ended up looking at Ayumi's tutorial on her blog Pink Penguin.  I knew the perfect fabric to use to make this darling little bag.  I grabbed all my knitting sheep fabrics and the coordinating prints I had.  Two of those are fat quarters I picked up over the weekend.
I won't go into construction, since this is taken from Pink Penguin. I will say her instructions are well-written and easy to follow.  Plenty of pictures make everything clear.
I have more fabric, so I should make some more of these cute little bags.  I know I can find homes for them.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Celestial Bloom

At the last Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild meeting, it was announced that Heather Kojan, the founder of the chapter, had a new quilt tutorial available on the Moda Bake Shop site.  I popped over and decided to give it a try.  Since I'm on a fabric diet, I had to pull these fabrics from my stash.  
I found this fun collection of bold flowers, bright yellows and oranges and this green that fit in with the bunch.

I cut and stitched and before I got very far I had laid out this block.  Just a starting point, but I had to start somewhere. 
I pieced and played with layout.  I had some minor problems with value that were rectified by some careful rearranging of the blocks.
Squaring up all those half-square-triangle blocks always leaves me with this fun little pile of trimmings.  I always want to do something with it, I just don't know what.
I rearranged the squares until I had this layout.  Then, I changed it a couple more times.
Here is one half of the top, all pieced together.
The finished top!  I decided not to add any borders to this one.  With a quilt this big (72" by 72") I didn't think a border really needed to be added.
I loaded it up onto the long-arm frame and totally choked.  I had no idea what to do with it.  I was forced to call it a night and get some sleep. 
The next morning I drew out the block design on some graph paper and got to doodling.  I doodled and doodled and finally settled on what I wanted.  This only shows part of what I though of and after I started quilting I never looked at it again.  Sometimes, my creative process is like that.
I loaded the long arm with some pretty Magnifico for the top thread and some coordinating Bottom Line for the bobbin.  This gives the top-stitching some shine.  I did these trapped bubbles in the triangular shapes along the outer edges.  I like it better without the outer lines, but once you start something, you have to finish it.  Ultimately, it adds loads of interest because the bubbles do different things in different blocks on the face of the quilt.
Swirls and bubbles ended up in the giant diamonds that make up the stars.  I just can't escape swirls.
The bubbles on the black background get sort of random in different parts of the quilt.  I like the overall effect, though.  Little places where your eye can go and see something unexpected.
The size is no joke, though.  I'm not sure how I'll ever finish another queen-size quilt for my bed if I think this one is huge!  All that remains is to cut, piece and attach the binding.

Finished size 73" by 73"
Quilting cottons; all pulled from my stash!  Even the backing.
Warm & Natural cotton batting
Superior Threads:  Magnifico and Bottom Line
Pattern from Moda Bake Shop