Saturday, May 28, 2016

Prism quilt and a free motion experiment

My most recent quilt finish is one that has been waiting in my sewing room for a few years. I very rarely remake a quilt that someone else has made, but this one caught my eye and for some reason I really wanted to make it just like the sample. This is the Prism quilt by Zen Chic which uses her fabric line Prism as well. 

The piecing was all done by paper-piecing which was actually quite fun. And satisfying since all the points lined up so nicely.  But when I was done, I was totally stumped on how to quilt all that white space. My generous friend Denise agreed to let me use her long arm for this one. So I started marking out the lines I wanted to quilt on this.

 Here it is in progress on the longarm.

I did a combination of ruler work and free motion within the lines. It's in no way perfect, but as it's my first attempt at this kind of work, I'm pretty proud of the results.

I deliberately chose a variegated thread that blended with the background fabric just in case my quilting was atrocious! But that made it really hard to photograph the actual quilting.

It was really fun to work this way and of course not be shoving this through my 5" throat space on my Bernina!

I used the fun dotty print from the line for the binding.

And the back is a solid piece of fabric that I got from my LQS that matched well. I don't remember the name of it, but it has a subtle pattern on it (again, to mask the quilting if it turned out terrible!). I have since added my label.

Overall, I'm so happy with how this turned out and I hope to get to do more of this work in the future!

Quilt stats:
Quilt name: Prism
Fabrics: Zen Chic, Kona Cotton
Finished size: 73" by 73"
Finished: April 2016

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

My christmas quilt - a bee quilt with lessons

Last year I joined the Bee Hive quilting bee run by Blossom Heart Quilts and got put in a wonderful hive of women. We got along so great last year we decided to keep going this year!  More about that later though. My month to bee queen was August and I decided to make a Christmas quilt since I still don't have one. I chose the Ripples Block in red, green and black.  And I'm so thrilled with how this came out! Though it wasn't without drama.

I decided since this was a quilt I would bring out once a year that I wanted to so some special quilting on it. I have also been taking  Amy Johnson's Craftsy class "Quilting With Rulers on a Home Machine" and wanted to try out my new skills. By the way, the class is wonderful! I loved it so much I'm taking her 2nd class. And here are the results!

I even used a sparkly thread for those stars. It was very finicky to work with, but the sparkle it adds was totally worth it. It was very hard to photograph and capture it, but I tried...

The drama came in when I washed it. When the quilt came out, it had bled ALL over. This was despite having about 6 Color Catchers in the wash with it.

 This is one small area, but the entire thing looked like this. I literally stood in my laundry room and cried! All the work my bee mates and put into it and all the work I had done quilting and it was a MESS! Then I hit up the internet.  People recommended a product called Synthropol which is apparently sold in quilt shops. However, it was Sunday evening so that wasn't going to happen.  A friend from my guild told me that Blue Dawn has the same chemical make up as Synthropol and what it does is keep the dies in the water from adhering to your fabric.  So I got out a big plastic bin and filled it with water, Dawn, my quilt and a bunch of color catchers. I let it soak overnight and in the morning, dumped out the pink water and pulled out the color catchers which were dark pink.   I soaked it again all day and this time the water ran clear.  I let the quilt line dry and to my immense relief it looks SO much better!

There are a couple of small spots, but for the most part, you'd have to be looking for them to see them.  And the lesson I've learned going forward... add 1 cup of white vinegar to your wash load with a fresh quilt. It will also keep the dyes from sticking to your quilt!

So back to the photos. Here are some more close ups of my quilting...

 The back still needs its label (i have it ready!)

And the binding is a fun polka dot.

Many thanks to the ladies in my bee hive. They did tremendous work! I almost hate to put it away until Christmas!!
Quilt stats:
Quilt name: Christmas Ripple
Pattern: Ripple Block
Fabrics: scrappy
Finished size: 48" x 60"
Finished: April 2016

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Another nautical quilt!

A few months ago I posted this little quilt. It was a commission piece for my sister so I had to send it to Florida. I loved it so much that I decided to remake it in another colorway. My intention was to enter it in our Guild show in the fall.

As with before, the clamshells were cut on my Accuquilt Go and pieced together. The anchor is applique.

The fabrics are Kona solid and Michael Miller The Littles. I forget what the white fabric is. It's a tone on tone that I got at my LQS.

I quilted free motion swirls on this one with my domestic machine and was pretty happy with how they turned out. I will say - it was tough to find a mint green thread to match that fabric. It's an unusual color!

I used the stripe from The Littles for the binding because I LOVE a stripey binding!

My label is pieced in the back.

Shortly after I finished this, we had Volunteer Week at work. Each department decorates to show our appreciation. The theme this year was...wait for it.... anchors!  Needless to say, I was in charge of decorating. I hung this quilt and this quilt in our entry area. When people found out I sell my work, the baby quilt was immediately snatched up!  Guess I need to make another one! :)

Quilt stats:
Quilt name: Anchor and Waves in Blue
Pattern: original design
Fabrics: The Littles plus stash
Finished size: 58" by 70"
Finished: April 2016

Monday, February 22, 2016

A little boy Boomerang quilt.

I've been wanting to make the Boomerang Pattern from Crazy Old Ladies for a while now. I'm trying to pay more attention to "my style" and I'm definitely drawn to more graphic, geometric quilts.

Probably over a year ago, I saw this little monster fabric and just had to have it. Since then, I've been collecting what I would call "little boy" fabrics with no specific purpose.

Aren't those monsters adorable? (there are also lady bugs and pandas)
Then inspiration struck and I knew this pattern would be great to show these fabrics and still keep the quilt masculine.

The dinosaurs are my absolute favorite
I didn't have enough "novelty" fabrics so I hit up my stash to fill out the requirements for this quilt.

Backing with flannel is my new favorite thing and I found the most adorable 'monster' flannel!

 And sure enough, as I was putting this one together, my 4 year old little boy (he's four!?) was totally drawn to this and kept asking if he could have it! Of course he could have it, but then he didn't understand that he had to wait until it was finished!

I think I've mentioned before that my quilty goal for this year is to improve my quilting skills. I've been taking this Craftsy class  from Amy Johnson and got all the gear to start ruler work on my domestic. This quilt had to be a guinea pig!

I used one of the Westalee rulers that is intended for concentric designs but put them on end instead within the "boomerangs".  (btw- this company has the BEST customer service)

And I just used my walking foot for the straight lines.

Binding is all polka dots.

I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out. My son is already snuggling with this one and that's really all that matters.

Quilt stats:
Quilt name: Monster Boomerangs
Fabrics: The Littles plus stash
Finished size: 58" by 70"
Finished: February 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016

Anchor and Waves

Warning, this will be a picture heavy post because I just love this little quilt. This is my own design and I'm really happy with how it turned out. My sister in Florida asked me to make a quilt for her girlfriend who is having a baby this winter. She's doing a nautical room and my sister requested the coral and navy combo.

The fabrics are almost all Michael Millers "the Littles" line (which I see they have now expanded beyond nautical!!) and they are all nautical related. Whales, life preservers, boats and anchors. There are two other prints that weren't from that line that I snuck in, but I don't remember the names. One are little crabs that say "crabby" and the other is a boat print.

I did the clamshells with my AccuQuilt Go clamshell die and sorted them by color so it would mimic waves at the top of the ocean.

The white fabric is actually a tone on tone that looks like a nautical rope.

I free motion quilted the whole thing with swirls so it gave a watery effect. I used navy thread on the bottom, a coral in the middle and white on the top and only coral on the back.

The anchor I had designed previously with my Silhoutte Studio software for a past quilt. I printed it and then traced and cut the fabric by hand. I probably could have cut with the Silhoutte, but mine is pretty old and limping along. Sometimes it just eats my fabric at this point! I blanket stitched it to the quilt with my machine.

Label is pieced into the back per usual. Almost time to order more - do I redesign!?

And the binding is a gorgeous coral stripe from The Littles line by Michael Miller which I think sets off the quilt perfectly.

And now it's on it's way to Florida for a baby shower next week! I hope the mom loves it as much as I do.

Quilt stats:
Quilt name: Anchor and Waves
Pattern: none, self designed
Fabrics: The Littles plus stash
Finished size: ? forgot to measure!
Finished: January 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pollyanna Swap with Philly MQG

At this month's meeting, we had our Pollyanna swap with the members. We use a site called Elfster to organize it and I highly recommend it if you'd like to set up something like this. The individuals sign up, create wish lists and the site matches up the partners. It allows you to ask anonymous questions of your parter too! 

Anyway, I got my good friend Cathy who asked for a table runner 32" in length. She requested neutrals with a pop of red. I've been in her house before so it helped me know what to make for her! I had a mini charm pack  of Circa 1934 which had the perfect colors.  The size of mini-charms are perfect for english paper piece hexagons and I have the plastic templates for them so they technically aren't paper pieced!   These hexies are all sewn together by hand and then machine appliqued down to the cream fabric.

I did all the free motion quilting on my domestic machine and am pretty happy with how it turned out.

The back is a solid piece of the typewriter print from this line.

It looked pretty good on my coffee table I must say. I almost kept it! I know Cathy loved it though and I'll be sure to visit it sometime!

Quilt stats:
Quilt name: Table Runner
Pattern: none, self designed
Fabrics: Circa 1934, Cosmo Cricket
Finished size: Approx 32" by 20"
Finished: December 2015


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