Friday, December 20, 2013

Two quilt finishes: Kaleidoscope and Jacquie Gering improv class

You know the thing with blogging, life gets busy and bloggin gets pushed aside--even reading my favorite blogs. Also, so does extra time for quilting. Anyway, I did manage to finish up the Kaleidoscope quilt from the Don't Call Me Betsy Kaleidoscope QAL (which only started in May 2011, ha!), and a little improv wall hanging from the improv piecing class given by none other than the lovely, talented Jacquie Gering. If you ever get a chance to take a class from her or even just to meet her, take advantage of it. She's an amazing artist and has a great personality to boot.

The kaleidoscope details...

Pattern: Don't Call Me Betsy Kaleidoscope QAL, throw size

Quilting: by me

Notes: Finished as part of the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild's UFOctober. I needed a little push to complete this. It has bugged me that my points don't match up well in almost every block where the convex angle is so that kind of sapped my motivation to finish it.

Who it is for: The quilt was always intended for my son and I'll put it on his big bed when he is old enough for one. Right now, it is draped over the rocker in his room. I hope he'll like it when he get's a bit older. It wasn't made with perfection, but it was made with love.

Fabric: most of it is Make Life by Sweetwater for Moda, but there are lots of others thrown in. I think most of it ended up being Moda. There is some Sherbet Pips, Peas and Carrots, American Primer and Sunkissed for sure.

The improv details...

Pattern: from Jacquie Gering's improv piecing class. Instructions for it can be found in her Quilting Modern book, the quilt is Urban Garden.

Quilting: by me

Size: about 24''x24'' (I didn't measure it exactly, but it is pretty small)

Notes: The class with Jacquie was inspiring and this pushed me artistically. I don't feel that's ever happened in a quilt class before and I loved it. This was a really intuitive quilt for me and I don't feel like I really nailed the design but I do enjoy it. It has a lot of energy, for sure. I am a little uncomfortable with how crazy it is. Also, the way I basted and quilted it distorted some of the shapes pretty badly but it sort of works with the design. I am declaring that a happy accident.

Who it is for: this quilt was made for my husband for his upcoming birthday. Many of the prints have extra meaning in them.

Fabric: the background is a blue/black shot cotton from Studio E. The rest are primarily text prints I have collected over the years with a few other solids and prints mixed in. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nature's Notebook Scrap Bag quilt

This quilt is so new that it is still in the dryer as I write this post. (I'm looking forward to seeing it all crinkled up.) I had two Moda scrap bags—strips leftover from their production of precuts—of Nature's Notebook by April Cornell and some coordinating yardage. I got the hair-brained idea to make a quilt for my sister in law and brother in law on Wednesday and here it is finished on Sunday, in time to give it to them tomorrow. It was one of those moments where I had to just try and see if it would happen. I lucked out that it did!

2 1/2" finished strips, 1 1/2" finished sashing

backing fabric

it's nearly a queen size!

I started with the vaguest of plans to sew the scrapbag strips together in sets of 8, cut them and sew them together into 3 stacked coin strips, separated by white solid and set into the medium blue print. I had the perfect amount of backing fabric stashed away and enough of the medium blue print for binding. To top it off, the wonderful Deb Geissler had just the time to get the longarm quilting done in a day, with a small rush fee. It was some seriously good quilting karma.

It is a really pretty quilt and has cheerful colors. I really hope they will like it!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Huckleberry quilt finish

It feels good to have a quilt finished! Isn't it the best feeling to take a new quilt out of the dryer?

This is the one I made at the class by Latifah Saafir on her Huckleberry quilt. It is also known as Porthole Baby Quilt from the book Seaside Home.

I love it and think it will look great in my son's room.

I quilted it similarly to Latifah's version. I tried something new to me in the center with overlapping rectangular shapes. The navy ring and grey border are concentric rings that I somewhat tediously marked out with a compass. 

I debated about the binding, but in the end went for the grey so it wouldn't really be seen. It makes that navy ring pop.

Fabrics: Kona in Navy and Iron; Reunion and Make Life by Sweetwater; Pezzy, Punctuation and Peas and Carrots by American Jane; 26 Letters by Chloe's Closet; Babysaurus by Blend Fabrics; Simply Color by V&Co; Robotex by Mint Blossom; Katie Jump Rope and various DS Quilts by Denyse Schmidt; Salt Water by Tula Pink; Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey; plus a few others

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Latifah Saafir workshop

The weekend before last I had the pleasure of listening to a talk by Latifah Saafir about listening to your inner artist and then attending a workshop where she taught us how to make the Huckleberry quilt. I have to say it was inspiring to see her quilts in person. She couldn't have been any nicer either. I was blown away by the way she approaches quilt construction and the fresh take she has on quilting in general. It really is unique. That girl has a gift! Making the quilt was so much fun and I am excited to have a new technique in my repertoire. Plus, my son is going to have a neat quilt to hang on his wall. I'm about to sit down to quilt it right now. I'm crossing my fingers my son takes a long nap to allow me to make some good headway. Wish me luck. :-)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

To Boston With Love



light shining through

I made a flag for To Boston With Love. I wanted to make it with a patchy, hand crafted, imperfect look so I freehanded my peace sign and heart. (I need to work on my wonky though—it's not nearly wonky enough.) It has an interesting design because when light shines through it you will see the heart through from the back in the middle of the peace sign. I can't wait to see the display with everyone's flag together. It will be amazing.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Finally, A Productive Week

Last week I got so much done. After a crazy March and an April to recoup, it felt really good to get some things checked off the list. In case you want to know, in the past two months I have had to say goodbye to a much loved and missed cat who was pooping and throwing up on the floors daily (poor little guy had a tumor), two bad head colds, painful dental issues resulting in a root canal and crown, kids with colds including my now 6 month old, hubby out of town for work, a trip to see my family for a week, a big presentation to the FRMQG on color theory and did I mention I have an almost 6 month old? The time has flown by.

Anyway, enough of my rambling... here are the projects.

The first is a pillow for my daughter with hand appliqued hearts and wonky improv piecing. It was a lot of fun. She saw me come home with those hearts a few months back and loved them, asking if they were for her. (Of course they were, sweetie!) We had a guest speaker explain a few techniques on hand applique using this heart shape. I'm not sure I'll be doing more of that anytime soon, but it is very useful to know how. I didn't want the pillow to feel too formal or stuffy, so I got improv-y with the rest of the piecing to give it some personality. It was my first time trying that.

Best of all--she loves it! In fact, she loves it so much that she cried because she didn't know which pillow she loved more: her mushroom pillow (which I made her a couple years ago) or the new one. Seriously melts my heart. I love a girl who appreciates handmade things!

the much loved mushroom pillow (left)
 and the new heart pillow

The second set of projects completed are a gift to some friends of ours. Jenny loves batik fabrics so I went out of my comfort zone and used them for this pillow set and table runner. (They are a charm pack of Sunrise Sunset batiks from Moda.) They go perfectly in their earthy/modern house. The table runner is a funny story because I was again being improv-y and didn't like the initial results. I then used a glue stick and randomly stuck on 3/4" strips of fabric on top of what I had pieced. Then I stippled it, leaving the edges raw to fray and weather. I really like the look. It adds a lot of texture. I think both of them really liked it too. It was fun to see how it picked up on so many of the colors that they have in their house.

lots of fun texture with the raw edges

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Quick, the kids are both napping!

After 4 months of my son being here, I'm still getting used to the idea of having kids, not just a kid. And it truly is lucky when they are both asleep for a nap at the same time. I hope to squeeze in this blog post before one of them wakes up.

The Front Range Modern Quilt Guild swapped our Madrona Road Challenge pillows on Saturday, and boy did I hit the jackpot! This beauty was masterfully made by Marti and is both foundation pieced AND hand quilted. Seriously awesome! Our guild had such a wonderful showing for the pillows. There was not a single pillow out of the whole bunch that was a dud. Of course Lyn will have delayed gratification of getting one of my pillows. Sorry, Lyn, but at least the pillow will come with a cool story!

I'm not going to win any awards for photo styling, but time is of the essence... I just made two adorable toddler/little girl aprons. The pattern is a freebie from Heather Mulder Peterson, just scroll waaaaay down. Each one only takes 3 fat quarters and they go together quickly. I can't wait for my daughter to wake up so I can give hers to her. The other is for my niece. My daughter loves to help in the kitchen and play with her food. (Thanks to Marti again, since 5 of the fat quarters I used were ones I won when she offered it up as a guild giveaway!)

I hear stirring upstairs...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentines Tablerunner

Happy Valentine's Day, a little early!

My unofficial resolution is to use my stash this year. I say unofficial because I know I won't be able to completely keep to that. I'm sure some of you understand. ;-)

In that spirit, I decided this Valentine's charm pack I had sitting around, along with a bit of yardage, needed to get out of my stash. It turned out pretty cute! Our family will enjoy Valentine's dinner in a more festive way this year.

Small projects like this are giving me a sense of accomplishment right now, but I do have to keep working on my Swoon quilt and the one for my almost 4 month old son. I also have plans for two throw pillows for friends of mine. I *may* need to go do a major clean of my sewing/laundry room, too. On to the next project!

The details...

Pattern: Geo Stars Tablerunner (free!)

Fabric: Candy Kisses by Sandy Gervais for Moda charm pack, classic dots in latte from Connecting Threads, border is another Valentine's line from Sandy Gervais by Moda (but I don't remember which one and the selvedge is now gone)

Holy cow! They like me! They really like me!

I'm feeling so flattered to have won a spot in Michael Miller's booth at QuiltCon with my pillows. Crazy! I knew I loved them but it is so nice to have recognition that others like them too. There were many wonderful entries for the Madrona Road Challenge. The coolest thing is how happy my Mom was to find out. :-)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

MQG Madrona Road Challenge

I'm back sewing again and man is it fun!  Becoming a mother of two has been wonderful, but tiring. There is also that nagging concern that I'm not paying enough attention to my older child but it is quality that is important, not quantity, right?

Finished pillows

In progress

Anyway, here is a recent finish. I made these two pillows for the Modern Quilt Guild Winter 2012 Challenge. One will be swapped because my MQG chapter (Front Range Modern Quilt Guild) also decided to do this challenge as a pillow swap. The other one I will keep. They will look perfect in our guest room/office.

I came up with the design, although it is pretty much a quarter log cabin at heart. I branched out a little with my quilting and although it certainly could be done better, I'm pretty happy with the results. Most of all, I hope the person who receives it enjoys it too!