Thursday, March 26, 2015

Modern Quilting Mania

As you may know, I am a member of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild.  You may have also noticed that I'm not an overly modern quilter; nor do I identify myself as a traditional quilter.  I like to say that if you need to give me a title, an arbitrary label (that is as unnecessary as any other label that our society places on the humans that reside within our society) I would like you to use quilter.  That's what I am.
At a guild meeting I was the lucky winner of a stack of charm squares in Modern Neutrals by Amy Ellis for Moda Fabrics.  (You can pick up your own charm pack from the Fat Quarter Shop.)  I grabbed some coordinating solids and started working on some improvisation.  I didn't have a plan.  I just started working to see how big I could get the piece with the fabrics I had at hand.  There was much rearranging of blocks before a final layout was determined.  I would even build the blocks to fit where I wanted them.
I pieced the blocks together in to units that were then sewn into the top.  I managed to make it so I only had to sew one partial seam.  If I had planned a little better I wouldn't have had to sew any partial seams.  This isn't the kind of quilt that wants a border, so it didn't get one.
I don't often piece backings to this level.  This is the kind of quilt that sort of asked for this kind of backing.  I embroidered the label into that little 5" charm before sewing it into the backing.
Once I got it loaded onto the frame I needed to pick the right thread.
I ended up using the So Fine from Superior Threads.  This is a great thread for blending work.  I wanted to use the gray, but it just didn't seem like the right answer.  The resulting texture really shows.
I decided to quilt it with this wood grain motif.
I think this gave the quilt just the right amount of movement.
The backing shows the quilting really well in some spots.
I used more strips from the stack of fabrics for the binding.  Scrappy bindings are the best!
This is a pretty modern quilt.  But I'm still just a quilter.

DISCLAIMER:  None of the links in this blog post are compensated.  I include them because you may be interested in some of the things I have used or talked about.  I do not receive anything from sharing these links.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Charity Quilting: Puppy Love

I know it has been a few days since I last posted.  I've been rather busy.  I've been getting sewing and quilting done when I'm not working but the blogging was set aside for other things.
I finished up the quilting on this fun disappearing nine-patch.  This is a charity quilt made by another member of my local chapter of Quilts for Kids.  
I did a simple meander on this quilt.  This has definitely become my go-to for charity quilts. 
All folded up and ready for the next meeting.  I have a couple more to quilt up before then.
Last month I dropped off all of these.  

Friday, March 13, 2015

Hop to it!

A couple years ago I picked up a kit for a friend at a quilt shop in Virginia.  At some point the fabric came back to my sewing room.  I decided it was time to trim up the strips and sew something.
First I trimmed all the pieces so they would be mostly straight and got sewing.  This pattern isn't so much a pattern as a recipe.  It came with the kit and I couldn't find a good link to it online because the shop has since closed.  Here is a link to their Facebook page.  It has not been updated in over a year.  It makes me sad to see the local quilt shops close.
Simple pattern with simple quilting makes for a quick quilt that even new parents won't feel bad about putting on the floor.  I want my quilts to be used!
The quilting is a kind of big and long loop that mostly follows the lines of the piecing.  Nothing fancy.
I used a coordinating flannel on the back to make it extra snuggly.  I washed it and sent it along to its new home.  A friend recently had a baby and this is the perfect thing for brand new parents.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Manicure Case in a Snap!

I've been swept up by swap fever.  I haven't joined every swap that goes by.  Just a few of them.

First, let me give you a little of my swap background.  I've had some pretty horrible experiences with swaps.  Swaps where the host never followed-up and I never received a thing kind of swaps.  I swore off swaps for a while after that one.  Then, I did a couple charm square swaps with The Amateur Quilter last fall.  Absolutely amazing experience.  Every. Single. Time.  (I think I did four swaps with him.)  Since then I have tried to overcome my fear and have joined a couple swaps through Instagram.  Instagram is my new favorite thing.  Micro blogging with photos is just plain fun!
I joined the Sweet and Salty Easter Swap hosted by the absolutely amazing Angelina.  Part of this swap is to add at least four things to the Open Wide pouch for your partner.  I stumbled across this fun Snappy Manicure Wallet pattern from Noodle-Head and thought it would be the perfect addition.  I did some searching around in my stash and came up with some fun and girly fabrics.  This project was made using 100% stash.  Check out Sew My Stash 2015 for more information.
This pattern challenged me a little.  I don't often need to put elastic pockets on something.  This really was a nice introduction to a very simple way to do it.  Though difficult to see, there are four little pouches to hold your nail polish.   
I love doing zippers like this!  So easy and a fully lined pocket is an awesome thing.  Zipper pocket to hold your nail file, nail clippers and buffer.
I think I may have over-stabilized the lining and the outer but I still like how it turned out.  I'll try to find better stabilizer for the next one.  
Did I mention I'm in the Rainbow Mini Swap, too?  Guess I'll need two of these.  I hope my partner is half as pleased as I am with this one.

Have you joined any fun swaps lately?  

I missed out on another Open Wide Pouch swap (it filled up before I could join).  I considered the villains swap but couldn't settle on a suitable villain; I just like too many bad guys/gals.  I thought about a fabric swap, but step one was to "buy 3 yards of fabric."  I'm on a fabric diet so that one was right out.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thread Thursday: Lava and So Fine

Superior Threads always brighten my day.
I have decided to try Lava from Superior.  This poly thread was on sale so I picked up a couple cones.  Aren't these colors delightful!
I also received my latest club shipment of So Fine!  So Fine has become my favorite thread to use on the long arm.  Strong and blends nicely.

Do you have a favorite thread for piecing or quilting?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Low Volume Block Swapping

I couldn't resist when I saw a block swap on Instagram.  It was a block that I'v been meaning to try but hadn't.  It plays with color and low-volume fabrics in a way I hadn't really explored.  Time for an adventure!
Check out the post on how to make this block by Craft Buds.
I pulled out my stack of 5" charms.  I had a pretty good stack of neutral/low-volume charms from the swap I did with The Amateur Quilter last fall.
The instructions are super easy to follow.  I would chain piece each one while using the next for my leader/ender.
So I started sewing blocks.
I pulled dark and bold fabrics for the pluses.  Something that would show up against the multitude of low-volume prints.
I made them in all sorts of colors.
I used up scraps for the smaller low-volume squares.  These are a great way to use up some of those smaller leftovers.
I think each of these has its own character.  And I made more, and more...
I ended up with a big stack of blocks before I even knew how many I wanted to make.  The final count is 59 blocks.  I promised to send 12 off for the block swap.  No matter how many go off to the block swap I know that I have enough for a good-sized quilt.

This Craftsy article is a great description of low-volume prints.  In this instance I'm just using light prints that read as a light background.

Have you joined a block swap recently?  Or any kind of swap.  Guiltily, I must admit I am currently participating in three swaps.
Quilting is more fun than Housework
Linking up with Oh Scrap!  Check out some of the other great scrappy quilts out there!