Monday, September 15, 2014

Diamonds in Diamonds

I was able to test ayliN-Nilya's new pattern, Diamonds in Diamonds, over the past few weeks and I really love how it turned out.

There are two versions included when you buy the pattern - one with straight lines and one with curves. I decided to go for it with the curves on this Botanics fabric version but I have a straight one in the works with some of my Cotton + Steel goodies.

This one I made into a mini for Yeechi, as part of a swap we did at the Seattle MQG meeting last week. I was lucky enough to take home an awesome pouch made by guild member Michelle.

I'll show more of the quilting on Friday. Have a great week!


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Rockstar Bag

Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness has a new bag pattern out and I was lucky enough to be one of her testers. She writes great bag patterns and even has a book out (and another on the way I hear) called Big City Bags so I knew the Rockstar Bag would be a good pattern to work with. Sara does a lot of fun sew-alongs on her blog that you should check out as well!

I knew I wanted to use this Lizzy House print for the outside of the bag but I only had a half yard minus a chunk and the pattern called for 3/4 yard. With some incredibly careful cutting and patience, I was able to get all of the visible outer pieces I needed. Yay! 

I paired it with this super pretty Andover Chambray and then a really fun older Alexander Henry print (see picture below) for a fun surprise on the inside of the bag.

There are lots of pockets, including the zippered flap on the front of the bag which would be perfect for change - as long as I can remember to zip it shut each time. There are also 2 large zip pockets inside the bag.

My biggest difficulty with this pattern came from the padding - I went with headliner foam (you can get it at Joann's with the utility fabric) instead of the recommended Soft and Stable. It would have been fine except that I used it foam-side out on a few of the pieces. The foam is not a fan of gliding through the sewing machine with ease so I had to put tissue paper under it for Every. Single. Seam. And then rip out the tissue paper from the seam. Ugh. Lesson learned - foam goes against the fabric from now on!

You should definitely check out the Rockstar Bag pattern. Don't forget to link up your versions in Sara's Flickr group!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Free Motion Friday: Serger cover

Earlier this year, I participated in a Flickr swap called the Sewing Room Swap where we were to make something for our partner's sewing room. My partner had requested a serger cover and I had a great time thinking up the perfect design. Luckily, I have a serger of my own to model for me.

I decided I wanted to make something with a lot of negative space to show off some free motion quilting. I made a row of colorful plus blocks and left the rest a blank canvas to play with.

I ended up quilting pebbles around the plus blocks to make them stand out. I left the blocks and plusses unquilted.

On the sides, I did wavy horizontal lines but I wanted something a bit more fun for the rest of the cover. I searched The Inbox Jaunt until I found this Double Loop Vine tutorial. It was perfect! I drew some guidelines and went to town.

I have to say, I'm pretty happy with how this one turned out. It was a little hard to send it off but I think my partner was happy with it as well.


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.