Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sleepy Sloths

I've been working on this one awhile, possibly procrastinating because it's just so cute to look at. But now it's complete and has gone off to live at it's new home.

I used Elizabeth Hartman's Sleepy Sloth pattern and altered the layout a little to suit me - I wanted both sloths to be hanging out on the same tree. This quilt is for a baby boy so I was a little worried at first that the body fabric might have too many girly designs but it turned out just right. This was my last bits of the Whimsicol print from Jeni Baker's Nordika line for Art Gallery Fabrics a few years ago.

Quilting this was a lot of fun and was all done with Aurifil on my Juki 2010. The tree definitely needed a bark-like motif and I knew I wanted some type of leaves in the background. Flipping through Christina Cameli's Step-by-Step Free Motion Quilting, I found several designs that would work and this is the one I settled on.

The sloths themselves were a little harder. I thought about trying to make it look like fur but that seemed like it might get complicated. Instead, I went with the swirls I've been practicing a la Vicki and Angela. I do love a good swirl. The backing is from Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis.

I think they all work pretty well together in the end. Plus, all that texture will be fun for tiny hands. It's now washed, dried, crinkled, and gifted!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

June do. Good Stitches blocks

Once again it's my turn to lead the Emerge circle in our quilt for this month. As someone who could barely stand to plug in my iron this past week due to a ridiculous heat wave, I'm keeping it easy this month. We'll be making a scrappy black and white plus quilt.

Instead of the usual 2 blocks, I'm asking each member of the circle to make one larger block and one strip, all from 5" squares.

(15) 5" square white/cream low volume or solid fabrics
(5) 5" square black/dark grey fabrics
* Please make sure you are using modern quilt-shop quality fabrics.

Arrange and sew per this picture - you will make one 4x4 block (measuring 18.5 x 18.5" when sewn) and 1 1x4 strip (measuring 5 x 18.5"):

Please press your seams open to avoid bulk and ship to me when you're ready.

In the meantime, I'll finish up my May blocks and get quilting the other two Emerge dgs quilts I have in the works.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Quilt-It Modern

Welcome to my stop on day two of the Quilt-It Modern blog tour featuring Riley Blake Confetti Cottons and Crayola Colors. I'm happy to show off this mini quilt that I've been working on just for today.

Riley Blake has always has solid fabrics of course, but they have changed them up and added a whole bunch of new colors - over 100 now! And they are so, so soft, almost like a brushed cotton. I just wanted to pet them the whole time I was sewing them up.

It is fantastic to have so many colors and shades to choose from but for me that can be too much of a good thing. Where would I even start narrowing them down!? I took the rainbow road and chose to work with the Crayola Colors as they already went together beautifully. I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of the fabric with the matching crayons but they really do match and the colors are so vibrant and pretty! And soft - did I mention soft? Also, the Crayola colors can be purchased in super adorable crayon box fat quarter sets.

I used EQ7 to design a paper piecing template to use for this project. I used freezer paper piecing (see my tutorial on that here) to make things easier. Those skinny strips and sharp points would have been a major paper-removing headache otherwise!

Originally, I was going to make all of the columns the same height but my plan evolved as I went. Who knows, maybe I'll end up making a second version with my original plan.

The straight line quilting was a no-brainer when looking at the finished design. I wanted to let the colors and shapes stand out and for the quilting to keep your eye moving. Same goes for the white binding.

And here are a few more pictures because look at those colors! I'd like to thank the local elementary school for having this fun mural too - I'll definitely have to come back here for more quilt photos.

I hope you are inspired to sew up some of these solids yourself now. Trust me, you'll love them! There is much more to come on this blog tour so do make sure to check in with the others. I've seen some sneak peeks and there is great stuff in the works!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Pillow challenge - take 2

The Seattle MQG is in the midst of a pillow-making challenge right now that I organized with Me+You/Hoffman fabric. I love their modern Indah batiks and wanted to give our guild the chance to play with them. Me+You was super generous in sending over tons of bundles for us to pass out to interested members, who are then to make a pillow cover with Me+You fabrics and any other Hoffman fabrics they want to add. They are going to be displayed at the Pacific Fabrics Northgate store for about a month starting July 15th.

I had a few ideas for what I'd like to make but finally decided on using the Meridian quilt pattern by Alison Glass and Jessica Beaudet. This is one of many patterns I have that I would love to make but have not found the time yet. All those curves are a little daunting as well so a pillow is the perfect place to start.

I cut up the provided fabric along with a few others (so happy I won some of their solids at Quiltcon!) to make 4 blocks from the pattern. I was not loving my creation. My 4 blocks didn't really look right to me but I could not figure out exactly what needed changing. I think they would be fine if I was making a whole quilt and all of the colors were incorporated into other parts of the quilt but not so much for just the 4 sections alone.

Yesterday, I cut pieces for 4 more blocks from a different section of the quilt pattern. I planned it out a little better this time and I think I like it better. Now I've just got to find some time to sew it together in the next few days and finish this pillow up! Although looking at it here, I may need to change out a piece or two before sewing. We shall see.

However it ends up, this has convinced me that I DO need to make a full quilt of this pattern. It shall be added to the never-ending to do list. Also, the original block (above, with the green) is now growing on me. Maybe it will be a 2 sided pillow!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cloudy with a chance of poppies

I was delighted when Amanda Herring asked me to join in on the Desert Bloom blog tour for her newest line with Riley Blake. She has made so many great fabric collections and this one had some prints I was seriously crushing on.

Desert Bloom is inspired by Amanda's love of Utah, a state I'd like to visit sometime, and she even sent along a sweet little Utah care package. Did you see the amazing cookies she had commissioned to match the fabric? Adorable!

The blues in this line are my favorite so I really wanted to make something to take advantage of those. I've been playing around with designing some paper piecing patterns in EQ7 and decided some clouds and rain might be cool. Even the Utah desert needs a little rain sometimes, right?

The clouds are 10 x 20" and were fairly quick to piece despite the amount of tiny sections. I may have to work on that... The rain blocks are also 10 x 20". How perfect are those geometric stripes for rain? I love them.

I kept the quilting pretty simple with horizontal waves for wind, vertical curvy lines on the rain, and some cloud-like echoes in the clouds. I was able to use the longarm at my local store, Sewing Machine Service, which made it go super quick and easy!

I couldn't leave out the red prints altogether and what better for the back of the quilt than a whole field of poppies that have been well watered with all of this rain? My friend Kenzie approves.

The quilt finishes at 60 x 70", a great size for snuggling on the couch. Just as soon as this ridiculously hot Seattle weather passes, that is!

Be sure to check out all of the other stops on the tour. There has been some great stuff so far with even more to come.

6/6 - Fabric Mutt
6/8 - Allison Sews

Monday, May 30, 2016

Sewtopia Virtual Challenge

I really love a good quilt finish, don't you? A few months ago I signed up to participate in the Sewtopia Virtual Challenge. They would send us some Me & You fabrics and we were to make something with them. The prizes are pretty great and I seem to work better with good motivation (and a due date!) so of course I was in. Not to mention I was already building up a stash of these beauties on my own.

I decided pretty quickly that these would make a cool Chaos quilt. I had just taken a class with Libs Elliott through Seattle MQG and loved her method that allows you to make up your own pattern with her technique. You should definitely take the class from her if you get a chance.

The black and white prints wanted a little pop of color so the yellow print was added in, along with the yellow and white solids and a little more of the arrow print. It was a bit overwhelming trying to plan out where the different prints would go on my coloring page so I made the blocks completely at random fabric-wise. I knew how many I needed of each different block and that was it. Thankfully I had access to a design wall to tweak the layout here and there when the blocks were done.

All of the quilting was done free motion on my Juki TL-98Q, even though it's mostly straight(ish) lines. I like the organic nature of the not-quite-perfect nature of the quiltingin lines compared to the fine points and crisp angles of the piecing. I even threw in a few spots of curved quilting to keep your eyes moving around the quilt.

A cool quilt of course needs cool binding and what better way than extend the yellow parts out into the binding. I used Debbie / A Quilter's Table tutorial and am mostly happy with how it came out. Those angles are tough to match up in just the right spot! I'd like to say they got easier with each angle done but let's be real - they did not. I think the whole quilt turned out pretty great though!

Now for what to name it.... let me know if you have any suggestions. Naming quilts is not my forte.

Stats for me:
Fabric: all Hoffman Me + You Indah batiks and solids
Batting: Hobbs 100% cotton
Quilting: FMQ Superior Magnifico top and bobbin, 90 topstitch needle
Size: 36.5 x 42.5"

This one was also on my finish along goal list for the quarter so yay me!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Rainbow Mini Swap

I think it's about time I share a little about this project that I completed back in March for the Rainbow Mini Quilt Swap on Instagram. I've done many swaps but this was my first official rainbow swap. It was so fun! Definitely check that hashtag for a ton of rainbow inspiration.

I started by pulling a bunch of pretty fabrics to cover a wide range of the rainbow. I wanted at least a few for each color and I ended up with 21 different fabrics! My partner Joanna was more a fan of prints than solids so I wanted to pull fabrics I thought she would be happy with. I went with a low volume fabric for the background, again for my partner's preference for prints over solids.

After seeing Jenn Rossotti's beautiful Ephemera quilt, I knew I wanted to try something similar but feared I might pull all my hair out with all those tiny curves so I went with bias binding strips instead. I made both 1/2" and 3/8" finished single-fold bias of each fabric. I drew out a 4" clamshell template to trace onto the background with frixion pens. This is the same method I used for my Valentine's swap.

Now for the hard part - getting that bias tape where I wanted it and making it lay flat. Much easier said than done. I laid it out as best as I could, stretching the outer curve while trying not to stretch the inner curve at all. I stitched down the inner curve first and that seemed to help a little with the outer. I think the pins worked a little better than the glue I used last time.

However, once I had sewn on all of the strips, I was disappointed to see that the background was now super wavy.

Pressing it helped a little but it still was not flat. Time to quilt it and hope for the best!

It worked! All quilted and now nice and flat. I started in the center and held the top taut while quilting each little section. It was fun using the clamshell shape as a starting point for all kinds of different quilting motifs.

I had fun playing around with the background space at the top too, giving it some clouds and windy swirls for this rainbow in the sky.

Knowing this mini would likely never be washed, I printed a fun label with my inkjet printer.

I ended up with extra strips of all the fabrics and I wanted to do something fun with those too. A pouch it is!

Add in some fun rainbow extras (and a few Quiltcon goodies since she was not able to attend) and off it went.

I was totally AMAZED to get this beauty in my mailbox a few days later. It is so gorgeous!! Jennifer designed this Seattle skyline herself and I could not be happier. The design, the fabrics, and totally fantastic graffiti quilting. It is perfect and was promptly hung above my machine. She also paper pieced a super cute matching butterfly mini mini quilt and included some thoughtful extras.

I would definitely recommend you join in this swap the next time it opens up.

Have a great week!
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