Monday, September 1, 2014

That time I won a blue ribbon at the fair

A few weeks ago I read a blog post about why we, modern quilters, should enter more quilts in the local fairs. It was a great post and I really wish I had pinned it because of course I cannot find it now. Anyhow, it inspired me to look up a few of the local fairs around where I live. It just so happened that the deadline for the one closest to me, the Evergreen State Fair, was just a few days later so I went for it.

I ended up submitting 2 quilts and a bag. The first, Crossknot, came from a pattern by Aria Lane. It was the first quilt where I have free motion quilted the whole thing, and also conveniently worked for the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild's binary show last January.

Today was the last day of the fair and the first day I've actually been able to go. It was pretty cool to walk into the sewing building and have this be one of the first things I see.

And that ribbon! First place in my category - though, to be fair, it may have been the only one in the category. As I looked around, there was a ribbon on everything. Womp, womp. But still - first place for me! 

As I turned around, I saw my mini quilt that I had made for a contest a few months ago with Timeless Treasures and Dear Stella. Another blue ribbon! LOL.

There were several quilts there to see, in all different styles.

There was one other item I took as long as I was making the drive out to the fair, my purple and grey cargo duffle (in the lower right of the picture). There were no winners for that category so everyone got a participation ribbon. It's quite a variety of styles.

After the sewing stuff, we checked out some delicious fair food (a foot of bacon drizzled with peanut butter and chocolate!!) and some cute animals before calling it a day. Oh, and a few other fun things like the hamster-like balls on water. I would TOTALLY go on those if they were bigger!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Free Motion Friday: Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt

Last winter I saw tons of gorgeous mini quilts popping up all over Instagram for the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap. It made me a little jealous, I've gotta admit. So when the chance came to sign up for the next round I jumped all over it!

My partner Kirstin had listed M-R Charbonneau as one of her favorite quilts and I really loved this one in particular of hers. So I decided to recreate it in Kirstin's jewel tones. You like?

Of course the piecing was fun, and it was my first real improv quilt, but the FMQ was a lot of fun. I did flowers in the colored squares and spirals in the background. I left the small border squares unquilted. I really love how the quilting looks on the plain purple back. And then it went off to it's new owner and lived happily ever after.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Swim away little mermaids!

It took about 2 weeks longer than I had hoped but these little ladies are all finished up! They will be in the hands of their tiny new owner very soon.

I had so much fun fussy cutting them and putting them all together. The quilting part was great too - I found a design I liked and went with it. I did add a few special touches here and there but I can't show those just yet.

I hadn't been to the aquarium in years so it was fun to plan a little trip there last week and was so excited to take quilt pictures there. I mean, could there be a more perfect setting? I even remembered to charge the battery for my nice camera and put it by my purse. And then I left the battery at home. Dang it!! Camera pictures will have to suffice.

And a few other pics I took on the camera later:

I'll be linking up to the August finishes party over at ALOYF as this was my goal for the month.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Free Motion Friday: Pink Paper

Last year we had a guild challenge for a quilt show that I was pretty excited about. We were to make a binary (two-color) quilt for a show at Island Quilter. I had been playing around a bit with paper piecing and really liked Julie Hirt's Block Rock'n series. So I decided it would be a good idea to make a whole quilt of the Icky Thump block. What was I thinking?!

I picked out my colors - pink and grey - and went to town. It actually wasn't so bad. I even made a giant block for the back of the quilt.

And then it was time for the fun stuff. Quilting!

This was only the second whole quilt I had free motion quilted so I was a little nervous. I played around with a few ideas and settled on some orange peel shapes in the light grey circular parts and some long skinny figure eights in the pink and dark grey parts. Those sections went up to 13" wide (I had enlarged the pattern a tiny bit) so it was a little tricky going back and forth but overall I think it turned out pretty well.

I was delighted to see my quilt hanging in the front window when we went to the show opening. So cool! Now, I sleep with this one every night and I'll be taking it down to the NW Quilting Expo in Portland this fall.

Monday, August 18, 2014

So many swaps and bees

When I first found the modern quilting world about a year and a half ago, I was so excited to jump right in. I would see my favorite bloggers - like Alyssa - making gorgeous things and I wanted to be the recipient of those gorgeous things! This opened my eyes to a whole world of happy mail day possibilities.

I joined a few sampler bees on flickr and got right to work, making blocks for my bee-mates and looking forward to the packages I would get in return.

the blocks I made my group for my very first bee

I've had a lot of fun joining various bees and swaps since then. It's always so much fun for swaps in particular to learn about the recipient and make something just for them. As a matter of fact, I have finished up 3 swaps in the past month or two that were a lot of fun.

The Sew Sew Modern swap was the most recent. I was a little nervous when I got my assignment because my partner is kind of a big deal - Anne Sullivan of Play Crafts. She was great though, giving lots of feedback and advice all along the way. She didn't know I had her so I was pretty excited when she said she really loved what I had made so far. I ended up making her a patchwork Super Tote and improving a little flying geese pouch and she loved them both. She has much better pics of them on her blog too if you'd like to see.

After I sent this off it was time to anxiously check my mailbox every day until I got this amazing package all the way from Cara in the UK!

I love it! I really, really wanted an Aeroplane bag and this one is even better than I could have imagined. Cara did an amazing job and I've already had to fend off a few Seattle MQG members from running off with it! Cara also made me a sweet little Lotus Pond pouch and added in some great extras. I've never used a hera marker so I'm excited to try it out. Oh, and she has really adorable tags!

More on the other swaps later. Have a great week!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Free Motion Friday: Mermaids

Ever since I got into this whole modern quilting thing, I've loved the look of free motion quilting. I'm not much of a doodler though so it's a little tougher for me to come up with designs or motifs I like. Thank goodness for the internet with so many amazing sources of inspiration! A few of my faves are Christina Cameli, who I took a mini class from when I fist started FMQ last summer, Lori Kennedy, who has step by step tutorials on SO SO MANY amazing FMQ tutorials on her blog, and of course Angela Walters, whom I am very excited to take some classes with at QuiltCon! 

This week I'm working on finishing up the mermaid quilt. A massive pain in my neck came out of nowhere and kept me from finishing on time but I'll be done with it soon enough! I pebbled around each of the girls to make sure they had enough air to breathe and then I started searching for some water / wave inspiration. I found several I liked but this was the winner. I'm about a third done with the quilting now. Thank goodness for my Juki with all that throat space!

I've started a Pinterest board for FMQ ideas if you're looking for some inspiration too. Happy Friday! 


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August: A Lovely Year of Finishes

I suppose it's time for a new monthly goal and a little update of what I've been working on, huh? I started working with these super adorable Ann Kelle mermaids a few weeks ago at the Seattle MQG sew in. I really love our monthly (or more) sewing days. I usually get a lot done and I get to hang out with some of my favorite quilty friends!

So here are my girls, all fussy cut. I love them on their own but it was hard to sacrifice so many more of them by the cuts I made. It may lead to more fabric shopping. Not my fault.

I've been working on some log cabin borders for the girls and I plan to get them finished into a baby quilt *hopefully* by this weekend. Wish me luck!


A Lovely Year of Finishes   Small Blog Meet