Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Modern Quilt Guild Challenge - Finished Quilt

Woohoo! I finished my first MQG Challenge quilt.

This was my first time sewing with curves and my first quilt made without any rulers.

When I first got the fabric for this challenge, I wasn't really sure what to do with it. The soft green/grey colors aren't really my typical style. I've been really into Sherri Lynn Wood's book, the Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, so I decided to try one of the scores from her book.

I had a hard time deciding what to do, but I decided on the Layered Curves Score. I have never done curved piecing before, and it's something I've wanted to try for a long time! I bought a few shades of grey and white to go with the fabrics sent, and I also got a 1/2 yard of the triangles from the Cottage Garden line.

This top was so much fun to piece! I made the entire quilt without rulers (except for on the facing), so the blocks ended up all different shapes and sizes. They were fun to make, but I got a bit nervous about how they'd fit together.

I used a lot of steam, and filled in with strips when the blocks were different sizes. It wasn't as difficult (or as stressful) as I thought it would be, and I really enjoyed the process. I'm actually starting to prefer sewing without a ruler! Sherri Lynn Wood also has awesome instructions, which make a huge difference.

I quilted it with an off-centered spiral in variegated (white & grey) Aurifil thread. I was going to try something different with the quilting, but I think a spiral was the right way to go with this one. I tried spray basting for the first time, and it is a game changer! I never minded pin basting, but I do occasionally get small puckers on the back. I got some tips from a friend on spray basting, and I have converted! It worked out so well.

I love the variety in these blocks, and how all of the different shapes come together. I am really looking forward to my next improv pieced/ruler-free project!

I ended up doing a fairly simple pieced back, with some of the left over border pieces. I finished this quilt with a facing, instead of binding (another first!). I liked the look of the border I had added, and didn't want to add a solid binding.
Overall, I'm very pleased with how this one turned out. I'm not quite sure what to do with it now, but I'm sure I'll think of something. I also need to think of a name for it so I can make a label.
I've also learned a lot making it, and I'm really looking forward to doing more improv piecing. It was a lot of fun, and I liked not having to worry about measuring, piecing and cutting accurately!
Linking up with NTT Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation and Crazy Mom Quilts. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Blue Sky Finished Quilt

Happy Summer!

I finished my Blue Sky Quilt this week, and braved the heat and humidity today in order to get a few photos of it. This quilt was part of my 2015 Quarter 2 FAL List, and the first lap sized quilt I've finished in a while.

I ended up quilting it with my walking foot, and did wavy lines across the top. I used a polyester fusible batting for the first time (I won it at my local guild a few months ago). It had a much higher loft than I'm used to, so there was a lot more drag from my walking foot than usual. I plan on doing the same quilting on another quilt, but with lower loft batting. Hopefully I have more success next time.

I was glad that I was able to use a lot of the larger scraps on the back of the quilt. I like this fabric, from Ty Pennington's Impressions, but it's not really my style. I definitely prefer the brighter, bolder, more saturated colors. I think these colors, and the blue quilter's linen work well for a "man quilt" though.

I used the same fabric on the back as I used for the binding, along with a few scraps. I wanted something darker to go with the masculine feel. The fabric is from Kim Schaefer's Moonshadow. Lately, I've really been leaning towards using darker colors as a neutral, so this was a perfect stash addition.

My brother is currently at home in Colorado, enjoying a few weeks off before starting his second year of medical school. I'll be able to mail it to him in a couple of weeks. It's around 65 by 80 (I think), so it should be a good, large, lap sized quilt for him. I know he doesn't have a lot of free time to lounge on the sofa and watch TV, but hopefully he can use it to keep warm while studying :) I'm impressed by his dedication, he told me he usually spends 60+ hours a week in class and studying, and this is just his first year. I can't believe how much work he puts in, but he's happy and he enjoys it, so that's good to hear.

I hope everyone in the US is enjoying the first day of summer. I am so happy we have air conditioning. It is too hot to do anything outside, so I have plenty of time to stay in and quilt.

This week I'm linking with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, and Crazy Mom Quilts because I finally have a finished quilt to share!!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Alison Glass Mini Quilt Swap

Happy Sunday!

This year, I have participated in a few instagram mini quilt swaps. The latest, the Alison Glass mini quilt swap, is just wrapping up. I love Alison Glass' fabrics, and this was a great opportunity to use up some scraps from my Triangle Transparency quilt, and expand my stash a little bit.

My partner said she really liked Alison Glass' Sun Prints, especially Mercury. Her mosaic had some wonky log cabins in it, and a string quilt, so I decided to make a mini wonky string quilt for her:

The top came together very quickly, and was a lot of fun to make. I used freezer paper as my foundation, and tried to make it a little wonky. Next time, I'll try to make it a little wonkier.

I quilted it with my walking foot, I didn't really have a plan, just some zig-zags and echo quilting until I filled the entire space.

I backed the quilt with Mercury, my partner's favorite fabric.

This swap was a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to receiving my package. I have one swap left, finishing next month, and I think I'll take a break after that. I have really enjoyed making mini quilts, and it has given me the opportunity to try new things, but I'm ready to do more sewing for me :)

Have you participated in any online swaps? What was your experience like?

This is another finish from my 2015 FAL list for the 2nd Quarter. I have two more finishes to share before the end of the month. I just need to get photos!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Finished Trail Tote

I finally finished another bag!

I've wanted to make Noodlehead's trail tote for a while now. I actually started it back in March (it was on my 2015 FAL list for 2nd Quarter), and took much longer to finish than I expected! The tote itself was easy enough to make, just took a while to get around to it.

I have gotten used to using smaller bags and carrying fewer items around with me all day, so the small size of this tote is perfect for me. It's just big enough to hold my wallet, phone and kindle.

The tutorial was easy to follow, and everything came together fairly easily (as with all of the Noodlehead tutorials and patterns I've tried). I have made a few bags this year, so I am getting more and more comfortable with them. I did have a bit of trouble with the strap, and the slider. I've never used a slider and "o" rings before, so I wasn't quite sure how to attach everything. I figured it out eventually though.

This was also my first time making piping. I think the piping I chose is a little too big for this size bag, but it's not too bad. I have some leftover, and I think it would be the right size for the large version of this tote.

I would definitely make another one of these. It's nice to have something crossed off of my to do list. This is my first posted finish of the quarter...and it's the end of May already! I've been doing a lot of sewing lately, just not a lot of photo taking and blogging.

Happy Saturday!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Supernova

Hello Again!

Here is my second entry for the Spring 2015 Blogger's Quilt Festival (you can see my first entry here).

I am entering my Supernova Swap Quilt in the hand quilted category.

My Supernova was pieced last year, using the tutorial by Lee @ Freshly Pieced. The swap was hosted by Stephanie @ Late Night Quilter and Sandra @ One Million Stitches. My partner, Amy, and I swapped blocks for 5 months. I used 9 of those blocks to put the top together.

I decided to hand quilt this quilt with black perle cotton. I was nervous about it at first, but I love how the black pops against the light background and bright colors! It makes me want to quilt everything with black perle cotton!

I made the back from leftovers I had. I think the quilting shows up very well on the back:

You can see the rest of the hand quilted entries on Amy's website. Hope you enjoy!

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Colorado Beauty


It's that time of year again for the Blogger's Quilt Festival from Amy's Creative Side. If you are new to my blog, welcome!

My favorite quilt from the last 6 months is my Colorado Beauty Quilt. This one was so much fun to make, and it's my entry in the scrappy category.

This quilt is very close to my heart because it reminds me of my home state, and one of my best friends, who is now the proud owner of this quilt. I was home for a visit a couple of weeks ago, and it was so nice to hear how much they loved the quilt I made them!

This quilt started with a few piles of made fabric/scrappy blocks sorted by color. I turned these into HSTs, and played with the design for a while, so many choices! You can read more about my progress in this post.

In the end, I chose this layout for a few reasons. I wanted the quilt to look like a map of Colorado when held horizontally--red rocks, purple mountains, and the green and amber plains (from west to east). When you hold it vertically, with the red at the top, I think it looks more like a sunset over the mountains.

The quilt's center is Denver (I marked it using a map), and created a Colorado Beauty block around it.

I love hand quilting, so I did add a bit around the center. I quilted the rest in straight lines.

And here's a picture of the back:

I loved the entire process of making this quilt, and was so surprised at how well my scraps came together. I wish it motivated me to make more scrap quilts, and use up the rest of my scrap bin!

You can see the rest of the entries for the Spring 2015 Blogger's Quilt Festival on Amy's website, it is fun to see everyone else's best work from the last 6 months. She has quite a few categories open, so there's something for everyone!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

SMS Giveaway Day - Quilting Jetgirl Patterns

Happy Wednesday and welcome to my post for SMS Giveaway Day!

Today I am giving away two patterns (of your choice) from Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl. Yvonne has a selection of instant download PDF Quilt Patterns for sale through Craftsy. Her patterns have been tested and/or reviewed by other quilters, and she documents her process, ideas, and tutorials related to quilting on her blog, Quilting Jetgirl. 

Here is a collage of the patterns available in Yvonne's shop. You can read more about the individual patterns here.

I was lucky enough earlier this year to pattern test Yvonne's Triangle Transparency Pattern. You can read more about my finished quilt here. I can tell you from my experience that Yvonne's patterns are not only creative, but very well written and easy to follow.

To enter the giveaway, please leave me a comment telling me about your favorite sewing pattern (for quilts, clothes, bags, anything!) For a second chance to win, my followers (old and new) can leave a second comment telling me how you follow me (email, bloglovin, instagram, etc).

Please be sure to leave an email address or some way to reach you!

The giveaway will be open until Sunday at 5pm PDT, and I'll pick a winner on Monday, May 11th. This is open to everyone.

Good luck!