Sunday, December 7, 2014

Colorado Beauty

Since we got back from our Colorado Thanksgiving break, I've been working to finish my very exciting Colorado quilt top. I am very excited to finish and gift this one! I hope it's done in time for Christmas.

I wanted to make a Colorado inspired quilt, and thought it would be a little boring to make a pixelated quilt in the shape of Colorado (a rectangle). I got a lot of inspiration from pinterest, and decided to do a quilt that looked a little like a map of Colorado, with the desert, mountains and plains.
 

I started by making these improve/scrappy squares in different color groups. Red was for the western desert/red rocks, purple & blue for the mountains, and green & orange for the plains. I haven't been quilting for long, so I was very surprised at how many scraps I had from the last 6 months..

 

I turned all of those squares into HSTs and started playing on my design wall. My plan was to have a star where Denver was, and have the rest of the HSTs arranged randomly on the rest of the quilt.


While I was playing, I realized I had made a Colorado Beauty block in the center. I decided to keep it--it went perfectly with my theme :) and I drew up the plan for the entire top.


To plan the top, I printed out a map of Colorado and drew a grid on it. Then marked off my center block (the Colorado Beauty block) in the Denver area. The rest of the HSTs just framed it.

I finished up the top and basted the quilt today:

It was hard to get a good picture in my living room, but I'm really excited about this one.

This quilt represents a lot of firsts for me--my first scrappy quilt and my first roygbiv quilt. I am also in love with the design! I love the colors, the layout, and how this represents Colorful Colorado so well. I am already planning another one for myself, though I don't think I'll do all of the scrappy squares. I need a good rainbow bundle.  

I'll leave you with one more photo of Colorado before I go:

The Flatirons in Boulder
 Happy Sunday!

This week I'll link up with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story,  WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced,  NTT Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, and the Weekly Inspiration Linky Party at Nini and The Sea

And before I forget, I've also joined instagram (kateyates8). I've been posting a lot more of my WIP posts there, because I'm a lazy blogger :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Moody Blue - A Finished Quilt

After a nice visit home to Colorado, I'm back and ready to share my latest finished quilt, Moody Blue.
 
 

It feels very good to have this finished, and to be able to give it to my mom. I realized I bought this top five years ago, last weekend. Which officially makes this quilt my longest running project.
 
 Now that it's finished, I am really happy with the quilting. I don't think I'll try such a dense design, on such a large quilt, for a while. It took a long time. You can read more about it here and here.


I decided on a plain, navy blue binding, and an embroidered label (my first time doing a label this way, and I love it). You can see from the photo, my parents' deck was a little dusty.

View from my parents' front porch--The Twin Peaks in the background (Longs Peak and Mt Meeker)

I was very worried about washing this quilt, but luckily had a strip of blocks leftover. I was able to do a test wash last weekend to make sure the quilt was safe to wash. It was made of "mystery fabric" so I wasn't sure. Surprisingly, All Small and Mighty was better for the fabric than the "quilt soap" I won at last months' guild meeting.


I WANT A PUPPY!
 
It was wonderful to spend some time at home, and I got to see my favorite dogs. They enjoyed my photo shoot.


I'm glad quilts are machine washable, because these two enjoyed walking all over it.

I have many projects to finish between now and the New Year, I hope I stay motivated for the next few weeks--I think that vacation was just what I needed to motivate me to finish (and post about) a few of the other things I've been working on.

I'll link this week with Nini and The Sea, Quilt StoryMy Quilt Infatuation, and Crazy Mom Quilts

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

That's It - Finished Quilting

This week I finally finished quilting my Balinese Batik quilt, and I am so happy it's all over.

I wrote about this quilt twice before, here and here.


I loved this quilt top when I bought it 5 years ago. I like the prints, the colors, the metallic bits, and it reminded me of Indonesia, which made me happy.
 
 

I fell out of love soon after I started quilting. I quilted this with a large spiral, which I think was a good choice.
 
For the quilting, I used Aurifil 40wt in a variegated white/blue color (called out at sea, I think), and I think the thread really works. I have learned that one spool of thread is not quite enough for a quilt of this size -- I did run out of thread, with just the corners left--so disappointing!
 



This quilt top was made of 4 or 5 different types of fabric, all seemed to be synthetic. Some of the fabric was stretchy, some slippery, some wrinkly...all difficult to deal with. Have you ever quilted anything not made of quilting cottons?

The fabrics stretched and slipped all over the binding, and the basting didn't really keep it all in place like one would hope. Over time, this quilt became less rectangular, and more...something else. I couldn't really get a good picture (it's too big), but you can see in the photo below, it has some very wavy edges.


Also, the points were very, very bulky, and I ended up with a few puckers on the back.


My husband looked at it the other day, and said the wrinkles on the back "looked cool," I'm happy someone likes them.

I won't lie, this fabric was so slippery and stretchy, I even ended up with a pucker or two on the front. Luckily, the fabrics are so busy, you can't tell from the photos--so they don't count, right?


I've never had such problems with quilting, so I was kind of disappointed at first. If I had known better when I bought it, in my pre-quilting days, I'm sure I would have passed. Live and learn, right?

This quilt will end up on a bed, so I don't think it will be too noticeable. I am hoping no one else will notice the mistakes as much as I do.. I'm bringing it home for Thanksgiving in two weeks--I'm very excited to have this nearly finished.

One thing I haven't thought about--washing it or naming it. Can I even wash these fabrics? I really wish I'd thought about that a few months ago. I should have tried prewashing it, oops!

I'll worry about that next week when I'm done binding. For now, I'll just celebrate this small victory, and take a break with some hand quilting .

Happy Tuesday!

This week I'm linking with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and NTT Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Touch of Grey

Hello All,

 

 Welcome to my first entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side every Spring and Fall.

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For those of you who are new to my blog, welcome! If you already read my blog, you probably saw this quilt just a few days ago in my original post. Over the weekend I decided to take some pictures of the hand quilting, and then enter in BQF in the hand quilted category.


I am pretty new to sewing and quilting, so I do most of my quilting by hand. I find it relaxing, and I love to pass the time quilting a little bit every evening.


This was entirely hand quilted with DMC perle size 8 and size 5. This was my first time quilting with size 5, it was a challenge to pull that much thread through the layers, and the needle I had to use was massive. I like how well it shows up and I love the colors.


I used fairly big stitches, and quilted around the borders of each rectangle.


I had some large areas of negative space in the corners, so I decided to quilt shadow rectangles in those areas.
 
Still very crinkly from the wash.
 
This one took about 4 weeks to quilt. I called this one Touch of Grey, I felt like the different greys in the background and in the borders helped balance out the bright colors. I named my last quilt (Ripple) after a Grateful Dead song, so I thought I'd stick with that theme for now :)

Hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful weekend, now go check out the other quilts in BQF!

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, October 24, 2014

Touch of Grey - A Finished Quilt

Happy Friday!

I finally finished the binding on my second quilt made from my Amy Butler Spots jelly roll.



It was meant to be finished a month ago, for my middle sister's 16th birthday. I will have to get it in the mail this week. I'm just happy I finished it before Christmas!

I called this one Touch of Grey. It's completely hand quilted, though you can't see the quilting in the photos very well. I need to take more close-ups of it before mailing it off...The hand quilting I did was very similar to the quilting in this quilt's "sister," Maintain Block Integrity.


My goal with these two was to make similar, but not identical quilts for my younger sisters. I used the same fabrics to make the center squares back in May, but added on over the summer, and finished both of them in completely different ways. I didn't really have a plan for this one, so I'm glad it came together as well as it did.  

I tried to use some of the same solids in both of them, and gave them both the same scrappy solid binding. I had a hard time deciding which quilt to make for which sister--I hope I got it right! :)

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Linking with Crazy Mom Quilts

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Carpenter's Wheel - Finished Center

Happy Sunday!

Over the last week, I received a few extra yards of Essex Yarn Dyed linen, and was able to finish the center of my Carpenter's Wheel quilt top:


Annoyingly, when I started trying to piece all of these diamonds together, I realized that my 7" diamond template, wasn't 7" on both sides. The template I made was 7" across one way, and only 6.5" across the other side. By the time I realized it--after the center and the corners were pieced, I figured it was too late. I was not about to go back and rip all of those seams out, and trim down my blocks.

I pushed through, and I made them fit together. Have you ever done that before? I'm happy with it. You can't really tell that the diamonds are off from the photo, and I was still able to save all of my points because the squares of background fabric were too big for the slightly smaller on one side diamonds.

Now it's around 80" x 80", I'm waiting for fabric to arrive to finish the border--I'm adding a thin border of kona emerald, and another border of the Essex linen. I haven't decided what to do for the back yet. I'm not sure if I want to get 6 yards of fabric for backing, get a big sheet, or try to use scraps and make a very large pieced backing. How do you back your extra large quilts?

This week I'm linking with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and NTT Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Supernova Swap - Final Month

October is a very exciting month around here, quilting-wise. Not only is it my turn to be Queen Bee in the NQB Bee I'm in, it's also the final month of The Supernova Swap.

Because we're so close to the end, I got a bit excited and made my final block over the weekend. I'll have 10 total, but it's nice to have most of them done so I can play with different layouts.



Once I get my final block in the mail, I'll decide on my final layout. I'm also trying to decide what to do with the extra block....mini quilt? pillow? I don't know, but it's nice to see everything coming together!

Happy Wednesday!

Linking with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and NTT Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation