Friday, November 21, 2014

Free Motion Friday: FMQ Doodling

My birthday was a few weeks ago and I asked my boyfriend for some new quilting books. Lucky me, he was happy to get me exactly what I asked for. Two of them are FMQ specific, Graffiti Quilting by Karlee Porter and Shape by Shape by Angela Walters. They are both amazing! I've been having a lot of fun going through them to get new quilting ideas.

Of course, the best way to practice these motifs is to doodle them. I got these Stabilo pens in a swap last month and they are the best ever for this type of doodling. Plus, I like to change colors every page or so to keep the book extra pretty.

Here's some practice from Angela's book. I really love her signature design - it's instantly recognizable as hers. I'll have to practice this one some more but I think I'm getting the hang of it!

And here's some practice doodles from Karlee's book. I need to practice hers a lot more as I've never been one to just doodle all the time but I absolutely LOVE her style. 

So now YOU go and get your doodle on!


* Affiliate links above *

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Seattle MQG Retreat

This past weekend was the Seattle MQG's Fall Retreat and it was so much fun! Three whole days at a retreat center in the wilderness with nothing to do but sew. I guess we could have hiked or swam, but sewing was all I wanted to do.

Of course with the list I posted last week you would think I had tons of projects to work on but sometimes too many options are a bad thing. I made some Diamonds in Diamonds blocks out of some Cotton and Steel fabric I got a few months ago. I started setting them but need to do a little more work to finish the sashing. I'm really liking them so far though!

I made a cute little mouse friend to go with the Forest Abstractions coyote I pieced a few months ago. They are BFFs already and are going to have a lot of fun playing with their new owner. Just need to quilt this little guy and finish it up now!

I took my first stab at some graffiti quilting a la Karlee Porter and it was pretty fun! I was testing Juki to make sure he was ready for some FMQ so I could do a little work for a friend. Unfortunately I figured out that Juki does not like glue or applique work. Dang it, no quilting over her applique quilt. At least I figured out why the quilting didn't go so well on Falling - I had glue basted many of the pieces together.

On Sunday, I walked some friends through Noodlehead's open wide pouch tutorial, one of my favorites to make. They were great students!

This also happened to be my birthday weekend and my very sweet friend Kristen made me the most adorable birthday cake pincushion!

I'm already looking forward to our next retreat!


PS - sorry about all the IG pics. I actually did have my real camera there but only managed to take pictures of what everyone else was working on!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The List

Do you ever feel like you have a million projects you could be working on, but then when you have some free time you can't remember what any of them are?? Yeah, that's me. All the time. So I thought I'd make a little list and update it once a month or so. Or just make a list and see what happens lol.

Started projects:
- Double gears quilt: I had a bee make me these blocks in 2013. They are still sitting there. I wonder if there are enough to make a quilt top with some negative space instead of 100% blocks? Hmmm...
- Julia cardigan from teal jersey sheets: pieces are cut, just need to sew!
- Butterfly washi dress: pieces cut, back shirred, need to figure out a sleeve option and finish sewing the dress.  *** This one is going to be my ALOYF goal for November ***
- Forest Abstractions baby quilt
- Finish hand-sewing binding on Metallion
- Finish hand-sewing facing on Falling
- Resonance quilt: back is pieced but needs to be fixed, top needs to be pieced still. Twin size.
- Talahassee quilt: blocks still coming in from Stash Fabulous bee and need to make LOTS more
- 2014 Pile O'Fabric Skillbuilder BOM

Projects I want/need to start:
- August C+S Diamonds in Diamonds quilt: fabric set aside, nothing else done
- Bitches Get Stitches Swap
- giant Aeroplane bag
- arrow quilt using Sarah No Hats free pattern
- Simply Color Medallion quilt
- Blackboard pencil pouch for side swap
- something with the quick curves ruler I bought
- something similar to Jaybird Quilts Delight pattern
- Zsalya top - raise bottom of yoke
- Syrah skirt
- V& Co Chelsea bag pattern
- Trail Tote
- more Julia cardigans
- more tiny pocket tanks
- more Washi tops
- Beyond Neutral Arrows quilt
- scrappy Forest Abstractions - maybe make a tiny dent in the scrap bin
- Plus block quilt from Bluebird Park charm pack

Monday, November 3, 2014

Stitch it Swap

I'm a sucker for swaps and I just can't stop myself from signing up for them. I wonder if there's a 12 step program for that? I mean, they are always fun and I usually end up with some pretty awesome stuff but it can take a great deal of time figuring out what to make for your partner.

The most recent swap I took part in was the Stitch It Swap, hosted by Jennifer and Lindsey. This swap called for a pouch and some fun office supplies. I was given my partner and went to town stalking her. We seemed to like some of the same things and I wanted to try something with curves. I settled on the Paint Drips quilt and wanted to try to make it in a pouch version. My partner likes texty prints so I used those for the drips. I think it turned out alright though I do have some changes it would make for next time. Working with such small curves was a challenge for sure and I think I needed some even smaller to really make it work. Of course, I free motion quilted this one and each drip has a different motif. I added my partner's name to one of them also.

I wanted to play around with some more FMQ so I made a little blackboard pencil panel too. I turned that into a small, simple, zip pouch, bound on the sides with twill tape. I think it's a super cute addition to the bigger pouch.

I added in some of my fave crossover office supplies before sending it off to it's new home - glue (for basting all the things!), binder clips, super fine point sharpies, washi tape.

The package I received in return was awesome! Brandi made me a big pouch in my fave minty color and STUFFED it with office supplies. I was seriously spoiled over here. Notebooks, giant post its, washi, masking tape, and some fabulous drawing markers.

If you want to see some of the other amazing pouches made in this swap, have a look here. There are definitely a few I would like to recreate for myself!


Friday, October 31, 2014

Free Motion Friday: Falling

Alright, time for the quilting reveal of my Falling quilt I showed you earlier this week! I knew from the beginning exactly how I wanted to quilt this one. Blowing wind swirling the leaves down to the ground. I'm still working on the execution but this was good practice. I have several ideas pinned on my FMQ board that I was aiming for. I think some drawing is in order before my next one.

The top half of the quilt worked just fine, doing the FMQ in a matching blue 40 wt Mettler thread. Juki was in a terrible mood for the lower half however and my thread broke at least 25 times At least. Plus one titanium needle busted into three pieces. Dang! But somehow we managed to get through it and once it was done it was great.


In my quest to do anything and everything to make the thread stop breaking, I ended up buying a few extra spools of thread. The one I used the most on the lower half was a variegated YLI in the perfect shades of orange and yellow. It looks UH-mazing on the back. So pretty! Speaking of the back - I found this gorgeous sheet at Ikea in Portland last month that I bought for the backing. It was in the as-is section (no packaging) so I'm not sure exactly what it is but it feels like a 600+ thread count sheet. It was just the right size to use for the backing and facing.

This is my first time doing facing (using this tutorial). I can't imagine this quilt with a binding, I think the facing is just right. Of course, I still have to sew it down to the back but for now a little Elmer's will hold it just fine. That's where the binding app comes in, right Seattle MQG? Maybe some elves will finish it for me in the middle of the night. A girl can dream...

I'm so happy to be done with this one and ready to wash and use it. I haven't decided just yet where it's home will be but I think these Oakshotts are begging to stay at my house at least for awhile. As this was my ALOYF goal for October, I'll be linking up over at the party at Fiber of All Sorts and Sew Bittersweet Designs.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival

This is so exciting, now that I have a blog I can take part in fun events like the Bloggers Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side. It's a virtual quilt show - all the beauty, none of the shipping costs or crowds. Woo!

I'm entering my very first medallion quilt, Metallion. I made it in April as part of a challenge for the Seattle MQG. We could make any quilt as long as it incorporated metallic fabric, thread, or something else. Side note - why is metallic fabric almost always gold? Silver is so much better! Anyhow, medallion quilt + metallic fabric led me to the name Metallion.

Anyhow, I used some metallics (RK Quilters Linen and TT Dreaming in Pearle) and lots of other fabrics to create this beauty. I started with Julie Hirt's Bowie pattern (free on her blog) for the center and built out from there. I knew I wanted to put certain elements in but I really just planned each border as I came to it. This little guy comes out to 40 x 40".

As much fun as I had making it, I had even MORE fun quilting it. The second time anyhow. Yep, I quilted it twice. I was originally going to spiral the whole thing and it turned out awful. The top kept spinning with the spiral until it was completely turned and the corners were not even on top of the batting and backing any longer. It was the worst!

So I unpicked it all and did what I should have done from the beginning. Some custom FMQ, totally different for each border and so much fun. Actually, this is making me think I should make some more medallion quilts so I can have this kind of fun again!

Thanks so much for looking, I hope you've enjoyed Metallion as much as I do.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Falling {for Oakshott}

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. The air turns crisp. the leaves change colors, and it's acceptable to wear yoga pants and a hoodie all weekend. Here in the Seattle area, the scenery is gorgeous as usual and we've even had a bit of wind to make the colorful leaves sail through the air like it's a movie or something. I mean, how pretty are these trees?!

Almost as pretty as these gorgeous new Oakshott Autumn fabrics, I'd say.

I was super excited to have the opportunity to work with these to create my own pattern. Of course, I thought of the colorful leaves falling to the ground and wanted to find a way to show that in a quilt. May I present Falling:

I absolutely LOVE how this turned out and it looks even better in person with the cross-woven fabric shimmering in the sunlight. Don't mind those extra edges that are sticking out in my picture above - those are trimmed off after quilting. Why trim more often than is necessary? This tutorial assumes you know how to piece 60 degree triangles so please do refresh your memory on that if needed. There are tons of great tutorials out there.

Want to make your own Falling quilt? You got it! Here are instructions to make your own 52" x 84" quilt. It's all based on 60 degree triangles. And just for the record, this could also be lovely as an intense sunset (Ruby Reds bundle with Colourshott 35 Linosa background) or a wintery scene (use the Lakes bundle with a Colourshott White Marble background, reverse the row numbers so the snow is falling!).

Fabric requirements:
Oakshott Autumn Fat Eighth bundle - I used all but 2 of the greens
2 meters background fabric - mine is Colourshott 18 Celebes

I starched my Autumn bundle before cutting to keep the bias edges from stretching out with the triangle piecing. If you're going to starch, definitely do it BEFORE you cut. You could get a little shrinkage with the starch and then you won't be happy. Don't ask me how I know this... All triangles are 60 degrees and were cut with the Hex n More ruler - it has a blunt tip on the top of the triangle. If you are not using a triangle ruler with the tip trimmed off, make sure you add an additional 1/4" to the triangle height. Diamond and half hexagon heights will not change.

Background fabric - referred to in directions as BG:
    (45) 6 1/2" tall triangles
    (45) 3 1/2" tall half hexagons (use the Hex n More or other hexagon ruler)
    (45) 3 1/2" tall diamonds
    (45) 3 1/2" tall triangles
The biggest triangles can be cut from 6 1/2" by WOF strips; the remainder should be cut from 3 1/2" by WOF strips. Go ahead and stack your strips to save cutting time. Save your scraps for the side edges of each row later.

Autumn bundle - referred to in directions as FALL:
    (90) 3 1/2" tall diamonds
    (450) 3 1/2" tall triangles
Cut 3 1/2" by WOF strips of each color you're using (I used 19 of the 21) and then stack them in sets of 3-5 for faster cutting. Cut 4-5 diamonds from each color and triangles from the rest of the strips. Save your scraps for the side edges of each row later.

To cut the diamonds, first cut 3 1/2" strips, then cut a 60 degree angle off one end by lining up the 60 degree line with the bottom edge of the strip.

Turn the strip the other way and line up the newly cut angle with the 3 1/2" line on your ruler. Cut. You now have a 60 degree diamond.

Piece Triangles:
You're going to make 6 different kinds of triangles. Think of each one as a big triangle made up of 4 smaller triangles. I've saved some of the piecing by cutting half hexagons (equal to 3 of the smaller triangles) and diamonds (equal to 2 of the smaller triangles). Make 45 of each of the different triangle types.

A: these are the 6 1/2" BG triangles
B: sew 1 FALL triangle to a BG half hexagon
C; sew 2 FALL triangles to a BG diamond

D: sew 1 FALL diamond to 1 FALL triangle and 1 BG small triangle
E*: sew 4 small FALL triangles together
F*: sew 2 small FALL triangles to 1 FALL diamond
* E and F are interchangeable - make more of one or the other if you like them better

Piece Rows:
There are 14 rows in total. Use the indicated quantity of each triangle type, rearranging in a configuration you like. The floor makes a fantastic design wall if you don't have a real one.

Label each row with a piece of masking tape to keep them in order.

Row 1: 14 A triangles, 1 B triangle
Row 2: 13 A, 2 B
Row 3: 10 A, 5 B
Row 4: 8 A, 7 B
Row 5: 15 B
Row 6: 10 B, 5 C
Row 7: 5 B, 10 C
Row 8: 15 C
Row 9: 10 C, 5 D
Row 10: 5 C, 10 D
Row 11: 15 D
Row 12: 10 D, 5 E/F
Row 13: 5 D, 10 E/F
Row 14: 15 E/F

Using your leftover scraps from cutting, add a big half triangle to each end of each row. I pieced multiple FALL scraps to make the ends for the lower rows. If your half triangle is a little wider than it needs to be, it's fine. I leave those on until after quilting and just trim them off when I'm squaring up the quilt. Just make sure they are at least as wide as the outer point of that triangle.

And the quilt top is done! I always love the stained glass look of a quilt in the sun.

Baste and Quilt as Desired:
I'm lucky to have a big conference table at work that I can borrow for basing from time to time. I do have the quilting done on this but wasn't able to get good outdoor pictures of the final product just yet. Thanks a lot, Seattle weather! Be sure to check back Friday though and I'll show you all the details then. A teaser for now:

I hope to see you back here Friday for the rest! [Update: see finished quilt here.] In the meantime, be sure to check out the 6 other amazing bloggers on this tour. It's fun to see the wide variations we all came up with from the same bundle! Thanks so much to Lynne for hosting and the encouragement along the way!!

Grab the button below and follow along the blog hop:

21 October     Sonia Spence     
22 October     Rossie Hutchinson
24 October     Mary Menzer       
28 October     Alison Dutton      
29 October     Nicholas Ball       
30 October     Kati Spencer       
31 October     Wynn Tan