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!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Kate's First Tutorial - A Scrappy Strip Pieced Cushion Cover

Good afternoon!

On Saturday I showed my local modern quilting group (South Florida Modern Quilters) a few examples of fun things you can do with strip piecing, and I wanted to share my tutorial for this purple cushion cover online. This is a great project (with any color fabric) to use up your string/strips/leftover binding scraps.

To make this cushion cover I first went through all of my strip scraps (I organize my scraps by strips/leftover binding, and everything else) and I pulled out all of the purple strips. I also took a few of my purple fabrics and cut strips that were between 1" and 2.5" (by any length). Some of the fabrics were more purple than others, and I used a mix of solids and prints.

Some of the fabrics were as long as WOF, but most were much shorter. I started by sorting my strips into two groups--the "long strips" cut from fat quarters (around 20" long) and the "short strips" that were leftovers, or cut from scraps, most were around 10" long. I took all of my strips that were similar in length and started sewing them together, side by side, to make a panel.

Any strips that were too long for the group, were trimmed after being attached to the existing strips. I was able to use the scraps with the other short strips, so eventually everything got used up (this is an example from another project, but same idea).

After sewing all of the strips together, I ended up with a couple of larger squares, a long with some smaller strip sets (made from the shorter strips/scraps).

Because this is improv piecing, the width/length don't really matter. I had 4 different strip sets, you may have more, or you may have fewer. My largest sets were about 18" by 20", I had two others which were made up of scraps, so ended up being between 8" and 18" long. Because you're working with scraps, it's hard to predict how large your strip sets will be, and you may end up with leftovers. Luckily, you can work the leftovers into your project. If you don't have enough, it's easy to add extra strips to make your top to the size you want.

Once I finished sewing my strips together, I pressed all of them to the side. I trimmed the edge of each panel (so I had a clean edge to work from ), and began cutting 1.5" strips. I ended up with about 30 strips, all with a width of 1.5", but with various lengths.

Because all of your strips are the same width, you can sew them end to end. You don't have to sew them all end to end, but you should sew them all in pairs, or larger groups, depending on the finished size you're gong for (this will help you mix up the strips a bit, and have a more random scrappy cushion cover). This cushion cover is 20" by 20", so I made sure that all of the strips I made were at least 20" long. Most were much longer.

Then, I started laying them out on my cutting board. I trimmed them all to a length between 21" and 22" (instead of trimming, you can also use your seam ripper to pull out the short seams). Because I'd sewn most of the strips end-to-end, I didn't end up with any identical strips.

As I was trimming the strips down to size (21" long), I started lining them up next to each other. As you can see from my photo, I ended up with very scrappy strips, so I didn't have to do too much rearranging (I also didn't really need to line them up ahead of time). I needed to make a cushion cover for a 20" by 20"cushion, so I continued with this process until I had 22 strips. Because the strips are 1.5" wide, they'll finish at 1". I added a few extra to account for shrinkage when quilting.

After I had all of the strips cut and lined up, I started strip piecing to sew them together. To make things easy, I just kept all of my strips in a pile next to the machine. I started by sewing them in pairs, then groups of 4, and so on. At this stage, I also started pressing the seams between strips open (this kept the final panel from stretching too much). My "top" was around 22" by 22" and I quilted with lines about 1/4" apart.

Once I finished quilting, I trimmed the panel down to 21" by 21" and added an envelope backing, made from scraps from the front of my cushion.

Ta-da!!! A finished cushion cover. This is a really fun project to do in any colorway. You could also do different color schemes, depending on what you have available (it would also be easy to do a rainbow themed cushion, you'd just need to line the strips up). I am really trying to use up some of my unloved fabric, and cutting it up into strips helps you focus on the color more than the print. I would definitely use this technique again with another color group, to use up some of my other scraps.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial, and if you have any questions, please let me know!

Linking with Tips and Tutorials Tuesday at Late Night Quilter