Friday, September 30, 2016

Twice Blessed

If you haven't noticed, I love to quilt.  As in "If you told me that I could do anything in the world for the next hour, I would choose to quilt."

I recently dug into my 1 1/2" strip bucket of scraps, pulled out my Wedding Quilt pattern, and listened to a good book while quilting.

This happened:

I was playing with colored thread on the black fabric.  This time I chose Midas Touch FabuLux.  I liked it in some ways, but in other ways I thought it fought against the quilt just a little.

Making this quilt was a gift for me.  I enjoyed digging through my scraps, remembering where each piece came from (or sometimes saying "I have absolutely no idea where this came from!".  I enjoyed piecing these long pieces on my sweet new Handi Quilter Stitch 510, a machine I love more than should be legal.  I loved quilting ribbon candy -- lots and lots of ribbon candy -- in every single sashing strip.  I adored watching the thread color and pattern show up on the black fabric.  This quilt was a total gift to me, until it came time to hand-stitch the scrappy brown binding.  I had to pull out my diversion tactics and say "Honey, do you have a movie you want to watch tonight?" He did, and I bound the quilt while spending a little time with my husband.

After the quilt had been a gift to me, it was time to make it a second gift and give it away.  My two go-to charities are my local Children's Home and Quilts Of Valor but then I remembered a sweet couple from my church who are both going through some health challenges right now.  This quilt has found its forever home.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Scrappy String Quilt

Often, I have "top-secret" quilting to do and can't show any in-progress pics because the quilt will be in a magazine or on a video somewhere.  Sadly, when the quilts are eventually returned to me, I often forget to show them to you!

This is one of those quilts.  It is a super-simple quilt that I absolutely adore:

This is a big throw size and it has covered a few of my hotel room beds.  I love sleeping under this quilt!

I dove into my string collection and pieced up some simple blocks like Bonnie Hunter taught me.  Then I set the blocks with narrow black sashing and a lot of black background, knowing that I was going to quilt the background with a contrasting color.

I used Midas Touch FabuLux thread for the decorative quilting and it just shines on this quilt.

I'm very proud of my Craftsy machine quilting classes.  This pattern is one of my favorites in my latest class, Stunning Free-Motion Quilting Using Simple Shapes.  This LINK will give you $20 off the regular price of the class (no need to wait for a sale!).  

Friday, September 23, 2016

I Did It Again!

I love to see co-ordinating fabric scraps.  When they are all pretty and stacked neatly together after I finish a project, they practically BEG me to make something with them.  Who am I to turn down a request from oh-so-pretty fabric?

I took scraps from a recent project and turned them into this beautiful pouch:

I used Lori Holt's tutorial to make yet another yummy zippered pouch with the leftovers from my nephew's wedding quilt:

As I mentioned in this post, I picked these fabrics because they match my Be Cool FabuLux thread.  See:

Do you make projects with the leftovers from other projects, or is it just me?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Cutie Quilt -- Fenced In Wedding Quilt

My nephew recently* got married and I made him a wedding quilt of his bride's choosing.  The bride chose my Fenced In Cutie Pattern, queen sized, in neutral cool colors.

This is the result:

The original Fenced In pattern makes a smaller quilt, but I doubled everything and added enough border to make it fit their bed.  Fortunately, it was easy math!

I will admit that when the bride said "neutral, cool colors" I was stumped for a while.  Then I remembered my Be Cool FabuLux thread:

What could be more neutral or cool than this turquoise, light lime, and gray thread?  I took the thread to the Quilt Basket and picked out some American Made Brand solid fabrics to match the thread:

Anyone who knows me knows that I love ribbon candy quilting.  This quilt SCREAMED for ribbon candy quilting but I wanted to keep this quilt neutral and calming so I quilted a simple swirl all over.  The Be Cool thread looked great on this quilt!

 The bride isn't a quilter but one of her first comments was "Does this thread change colors?  I've never seen that before.  How cool!"  Dear Nephew, keep this woman!!!

*By recently I mean about 14 months ago.  Don't judge me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Simple Life

I was on vacation last weekend and am having a wee bit of trouble with re-entry into my real life.  I'm catching up on paperwork, but a little incentive was needed.

BAM!  Stephanie's Simple Life block tutorial showed up in my email!  I'm spending today humming a song from The Music Man and working a little and quilting a little and working a little...

I prepare a lot of quilt kits for my machine quilting classes and have stacks of odds and ends of leftover black fabric.  I'm using up that black fabric plus scraps from my 1 1/2" scrap bin to make a throw quilt.  I love "everything but the kitchen sink" scrappy quilts set with black.  I have quite a collection of them already and can't wait to add this one.  I'm having an absolute blast and getting things done, too!

Be sure to enter the giveaway at Stephanie's blog, while you are there!

Speaking of work, have you ordered Stephanie's Quilter's Planner yet?  I am deep into 2017 planning and simply can't wait for my new planner to arrive!  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

New Cutie Pattern! Forever In Peace

I am tickled to announce that my latest Cutie Pattern, Forever in Peace, is available in my online store HERE.

My quilt:

This 70"x70" quilt is now touring as a sample, but I took a close-up photo of the quilt to remind me how much fun I had quilting this one!

Surprising few, I quilted ribbon candy in this quilt and used FabuLux Midas Touch thread.  Ribbon candy and Midas Touch are two of my go-to tools in my quilting toolbox.

I used Andover Patriotic 2017 fabric in this version of the quilt and plan to make many more of these in other fabrics.  While the patriotic fabrics look great in this quilt, I hope to eventually make this pattern in modern fabrics to see how that looks, too.

Quilts of Valor is one of my favorite quilting charities and I had them in mind when I designed this quilt.  I will definitely be making a few of these quilts to donate to this wonderful charity helping wounded servicemen and servicewomen.

Friday, September 09, 2016

From the Vault -- Meadow Breeze quilt

Way back in 2010, the fabulous Pat Sloan offered and online block of the month called Meadow Breeze.  I, in my "I will live forever and easily be able to finish all of my hand applique projects" way, decided to hand applique this quilt.  Needle-turn, even!

I started strong but slowed down over time and eventually put the project aside.  I am going through all of the projects in my sewing room and trying to deal with them.  I discovered this project in its half-done state and decided it was done enough.  I put together the bits that were finished and called it good enough.

I added some very simple background quilting in white and golden yellow.  Last year, my dear mother-in-law saw this in pieces and kept repeating "I really love this quilt!"  Well, I took a hint and recently gave it to her for her birthday.

My quilt is missing some applique in the borders, but my in-laws both declared it "our favorite quilt yet!"

Thanks for a great quilt along, Pat!!!

I'm off to dig through my sewing room and find some other golden oldie unfinished quilts!

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Quilting with Rulers and Marking a White Sashing

I'm quilting a future possible Cutie Quilt pattern and this pattern has an odd-shaped sashing.  I'm treating myself by using Victoria Findlay Wolfe's Mostly Manor fabrics in this test quilt.  I usually use scraps in case I don't like the pattern, but using yummy fabrics makes pattern testing such a joy!  I  am spending a lot of time petting this quilt while I'm quilting it.

The sashing fabric is white and I marked it with my Bohin Chalk Pencil:

Can you see the markings?  No?  Well, let me turn on an ultra-violet light:

Cool, huh? I am quilting on my Handi Quilter Fusion and the UV lights are a feature.

It's time to quilt.  I grabbed my Handi Quilter Mini Scallop Ruler and started quilting from the middle to the point, all the way around the sashing:

I formed a diamond:

Can you see how the white thread is showing up against the white fabric?  Another fun feature of quilting under UV light.

Next I grabbed my Handi Quilter Right Angle Ruler and used the markings to help me stitch a diamond inside of the diamond:

Do you see anything missing here?

Like ribbon candy?

Since I am using my stitched lines as markings, I no longer need the UV light so I turned it off.

The ribbon candy is stitched all along the edge of the sashing, acting like stitch in the ditch without actually having to stitch in the ditch.  You say lazy; I say efficient.  Tomato, to-mah-to.

That unquilted diamond in the center of the sashing looks a little lonely.  I need to add some quilting:

I don't need to mark where I want to quilt because I can use the lines on the Right Angle Ruler as guidelines.

Perfect inner diamond inside the inner diamond.  No marking required!

You know what's coming next, don't you?  MORE RIBBON CANDY!

I like this design, I think.  I love trying new things when I quilt.  Sometimes they are the best thing since sliced bread; other times they aren't ideal.  Sometimes it takes a while to decide.  Any way, the quilt is quilted and I always learn something!

Now that I'm committed, I have to quilt this design in 70 more sashings!

Because you were going to ask: I will wash this quilt when finished and those chalk marks will go away.

Because you were also going to ask this: Yes, I will definitely show you pictures of the finished quilt when the powers that be (the Cutie Quilt Pattern people) decide what we're doing with this pattern, if anything.

Happy Quilting!

Friday, September 02, 2016

Quilty Zip Bag -- from leftovers

It is an understatement to say that my sewing room overwhelms me.  I have so So SO many projects in here and even finishing them doesn't seem to lessen the overwhelm.  Every project leaves scraps and they overwhelm me, too.  I'm trying to finish my scraps as I finish each project.  I'm not 100% successful, but I'm willing to try anything to have peace in my sewing room!

I recently showed a few pics on FaceBook and InstaGram of a pattern I'm designing.  I can usually design in EQ7 or on paper, but this quilt was being ornery and I needed to grab some fabric to see if it worked.  I grabbed a bunch of somewhat coordinating scraps, sliced, sewed, and was (I hope) successful!  The quilt is finished but the pattern is still in process.  

I took the leftovers from this rather dark and drab scrappy quilt and made a Quilty Zip Bag which I have made before and officially nicknamed "The Cutest Pouch Pattern Ever."

Even in drab colors, this pouch is ADORABLE!

I can only show a sneak peek of the quilt that gave birth to this pouch:

Sadly, I still have some scraps leftover.  Any suggestions on what to make from this pile of bits?

I might just cry "Uncle" and throw these in the scrap bin.