Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Vintage Quilt Revival Block-along Week 2

Here are the latest blocks for my Sampler Quilt, from the Vintage Quilt Revival book.
Blocks 3 and 4

So far I’m keeping up with Sukie’s block along with the goal of making two blocks from the book each week.

Tea leaf block number 1
After making four blocks and analyzing the fabric choices, I’m going to lay aside the tea leaf block from last week. I’m going to stick with a mustard/orange/green/aqua palette. I’m just not happy with the way the eggplant colored block is playing with the other blocks. It may go on the back or become part of another quilt using the blues and greys from the Simply Color bundle.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Vintage Quilt Revival Block-along Week 1

I'm making another Sampler Quilt, this time from the Vintage Quilt Revival book.
I began quilting over 15 years ago, and colors and fabric lines have come a long way since then. After a few years of traditional quilting I switched to art quilting and had fun with it, but realized I’m not an original artist. Drawing is not my thing. While I was dabbling in art quilts, fabric companies woke up and dropped the dowdy fabrics. Thank you Modern Quilters!
So now I’m back to traditional quilting with a modern twist. This book is just what I have been looking for. I’ve joined Sukie’s block along with the goal of making two blocks from the book each week.
Here are my first two 12 1/2” blocks.
Tea leaf block number 1
double Z block 2
My fabric inspiration is V and Co.’s Simply color line, but I’m adding fabrics from my stash too.
It’s not too late to join.
Keep Stitching.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fabric Fast Week 3

An alcoholic walks into a bar....oops, wrong story. A quilter on a fabric fast walks into a quilt shop. That's just what I did last Thursday. I was on I-75 near Lake City, Florida and saw a sign for Fabric Art Shop. I was by myself, so why not. No,  I did not buy a thing. I looked and even got to touch Kate Spain's new Daydream line and Zen Chic's Sphere line. All I can say is gorgeous!
Sphere Yardage Zen Chic for Moda Fabrics
Daydreams Yardage Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics
If you are in the area of the junction of I-75 and I-10 the shop is worth a stop.
I came home and finished my charming bear paw baby quilt. 
Now I'm planning on how to use my Simply Color bundle to make one of the sampler quilts from Vintage Quilt Revival.

VintageQuiltRevival Vintage Quilt Revival, the Book!
Still having fun with my stash and easily ignoring sale notices both locally and online.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bear Paw Oversize Baby Quilt

When I saw this photo on Katy’s Instagram feed, I knew I had to make it. What’s not to love about a scrappy bear paw?
Capture of bear paw
Since I make a lot of baby quilts for our “Wrapped in Love” group, I decided to make it charm square friendly and only make one oversized block.
Here’s what you will need
  • Sixteen 4 1/2” blocks from assorted prints
  • four 4 1/2” blocks from background fabric
  • Eight 5” squares from background fabric
  • Eight 5” squares from assorted prints
  • Two 2 1/2” strips cut WOF (these will be cut into four 12 1/2” strips)
  • One 2 1/2” block from print fabric
  • Four 4 1/2” strips cut WOF
To make sixteen half square triangles
Select eight 5” print squares and eight 5” background squares and put right sides together. Draw a diagonal line.
pair background block and draw line
Stitch a scant 1/4” away from both sides of the drawn line. Make sure your stitching is a scant 1/4” away
stitch scant line next to pencil
After stitching both sides, cut apart on drawn line
cut on drawn line
Open triangle and press to dark side, then trim to 4 1/2” square
Each sewn pair of 5” squares will yield two identical triangles. If you want more variety, you will need to make additional pairs. You can always save the duplicates for a second quilt.
half square triangles
If you haven’t already done so, cut four 12 1/2” strips from the WOF 2 1/2” strips.
Following this diagram, lay out your block making sure the triangles are oriented according to the pattern and that you are pleased with the color combinations.
bear paw lay out
When you assemble your block, assemble each quadrant like you would a 9 patch block.
quadrant one

two quadrants
Make all four quadrants, then join the sashing strips
join sashing
Join one 12 1/2” strip to the right sides of the top left and bottom left quadrants
Join the top two quadrants
Join the bottom two quadrants
Join the two remaining 12 1/2” strips to the center 2 1/2” square
quilt top should now look like this
finished 26 inch block
Add the borders for a finished top
with borders

Quilt as desired. I did diagonal straight line quilting about 1” apart. After washing and drying the quilt measures 32 1/2” square.
finished quilted and bound
American Jane Pezzy print on the back
with backing
If you don’t want to make it with charm squares, just substitute four 8 1/2” squares for the sixteen 4 1/2” squares.
non-charm bear paw
Did I tell you I like the Bear Paw block? One of my first quilts was a bear paw. I hand quilted this one and soon thereafter decided I needed to learn how to machine quilt.
baby bear paw

Friday, January 17, 2014

Free Motion Feather

As recommended by Leah Day of the Free Motion Quilting Project, I try to do a little free motion play every day. My latest effort involved a feather.

I quilted a square, stitched a feather with a row of echo stitching, then drew cross-hatched lines in the remaining white space. I filled those with lines, experimenting with various textures and directions. This experimental design will definitely find its way to a quilt some day.

background feather

If you are playing with free motion quilting, why not link up with Leah and share your work.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fabric Fast Week Two

Hey, the fabric fast is not so bad … especially since back ordered fabrics continue to arrive. Ahem…
I am steadily working on my list of projects I want to complete over the next six months.
Yesterday I dove into my wax batiks from Ghana
pile of fabric
I am making a sewing machine cover for my daughter. I had forgotten how beautiful these fabrics are.
whole cover
I’m using the pattern from Malka Dubrawski’s book, Fresh Quilting.
Fresh-quilting cover
It’s a simple pattern, it’s small  and since I have the top done, I should have it quilted in no time.
Speaking of my daughter, while she was here at Christmas she and I visited our favorite thrift shop. When she returned home she transformed this

into this

Check out her blog to see how she did it. Seriously, sewing on fur? I’m amazed.
I’m still making my Tula Pink City Sampler blocks
Tula update
Gotta run, a package of fabric just arrived.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Group Sampler

One of the young women in our quilting group was not able to continue working on her sampler quilt with the rest of us. Three of us chose the blocks we wanted to make and I quilted it for her. We deviated slightly from the Craftsy BOM 2012 choosing only the blocks we liked the most and adding some of our own designs.
whole sampler
I love how Connie designed the left over fat quarters to make a pieced back.
Even though I have been busy with Christmas events, I decided to have some fun with free motion quilting. I took Leah Day’s free motion quilting a sampler and made my class sample by Leah’s instructions.
bom sampler quilt
As in our block selection, I chose to do some of the quilting I liked the best.
hexie block
I hadn’t done a proper feather in a while, so the hexie block got a feather on the left and a shadow repeat of the block shape on the right.
red geese
Connie liked the paper piece goose block, and made it with a red background. It was the perfect place for the in and out spiral that enchants me. I’m getting better at backtracking over the initial quilting line
dresden detail
Tracy was crazy about the Dresden blocks, but this one came out a bit shy of the 12 1/2 inch size. I love the way she compensated. This was the first block I did with pebble quilting, but more about that later
balkan puzzle detail
The Balkan puzzle block got some straight line echo quilting.
When it came to the border I was planning to do the river path design as suggested by Leah Day. The first line I quilted looked so skimpy as the border was wider than the pattern called for. So I added some straight line echo quilting. That still didn't look like enough, so I put pebble quilting opposite the straight line quilting.
border detail
Were I doing it again, I’d add more pebbles. And come to think of it, I will be doing it again. I still have mine with the white background to complete.
Had I taken photos before I washed the quilt, the quilting designs would have shown up better, but I had a terrible accident with the quilt top and got grease all over it when it got caught in my car door. I didn't want to treat it with any product and inhale fumes while I quilted it and washing an unquilted top was out of the question. So I just pin basted and quilted it with the stains on it, and it all came out in the wash thanks to Stanley Degreaser. That product has saved me more than once. Stanley home sales is long out of business, but another company bought the name and formula and I am still confident that it could get out the stains resulting from washing and drying a box of crayons with a load of clothes. (my original Stanley miracle)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hello Lindley Mae

Recently we went to Jacksonville to celebrate our dear friends’ 40th wedding anniversary. In addition  to the excitement of an anniversary party, they were also awaiting the birth of their second granddaughter.
The fabric is from Kate Spain’s Sunnyside collection. The pattern is Simply Woven from the Moda Bake Shop. It’s the second time I have used this pattern, and it was still fun to make.

A few days later than expected, Lindley Mae arrived. Mother, father, Lindley Mae and grandparents are doing well.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Zack’s Palm Leaf Quilt

On my nephew’s birthday and the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah I made him a quilt. I had made a few quilts before, but this was the first one I had paper pieced and also the first one that had free motion quilting. That’s the palm leaf pattern. I had seen it in a vintage quilt and found a paper pieced pattern to use. I had no idea the quilt had survived its first washing, but it showed up on a text message from my brother-in-law.
pot quilt
Whew, I have come a long way. (made in 2004) Check out the tension on the back of the quilt near the label.  And what kind of thread was I using to sew on the label? Horsehair with a whalebone needle?
pot quilt label
Anyway, it appears to have been loved and is affectionately called the “pot” quilt.
mary jane

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fabric Fast Friday

I'll be posting my progress on the fabric fast each Friday. So here goes.

It’s been three days and I’m already in trouble. I’m working on my Briar Rose quilt.

Why didn't the person who put together the solids coordinate bundle on  Etsy include any dark value fabrics?
I’m managing, by digging through my stash, but today I had lunch with friends right across the street from one of my favorite fabric stores.  In my life before the fast I would have just walked across the street and bought a yard or two of dark coordinates, but I resisted.
I should have checked with Pink Chalk fabrics before I purchased the Etsy bundle. Kathy Mack always posts a “What goes with What” article on her blog showing solid coordinates with popular fabric lines.
I’m sure this fabric fast will be good for me, but I’m telling you, it’s not easy.

Don't tell my husband, a box of fabrics I ordered prior to the fast arrived today, another one is expected soon.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Works in Progress 2014

In a last minute grab to take advantage of all the end of year sales both online and at my local quilt shops, I’m ready to take the plunge and declare a fabric fast. Jess of The Elven Garden and Rebecca of Making Rebecca Lynne have teamed up to encourage each other and the rest of the quilting world to stop buying and start sewing. So here goes my list of works in progress.
2012 BOM sampler, Make quilts from the following collections: Briar Rose, Glimma, Architextures, Comma, Simply Color, Sunnyside, Waterfront Park, and Dear Stella Dots.  In my last minute purchasing frenzy I bought solids to coordinate with these lovlies. I also have the fabrics for another Japanese One Yard, and fabrics and a pattern from the premier issue of Quilts and More magazine.
To tame the scraps I’m also joining the Economy block quilt along started by Brenda from Pink Castle Fabrics (her Istagram ID is justabitfrayed and Katy from I am a Ginger Monkey (Instagram ID imagingermonkey).
See the hash tag #economyblockalong on Instagram for ideas and inspiration. There are some great variations in fabric selection and placement The economy block is a square within a square within a square block. A simple Google search will find numerous free patterns. You can make them any size you want. I don’t plan to paper piece mine, but here’s a paper piecing pattern and some beautiful inspiration from Wombat Quilts

I’m still pondering what to do with the authentic African blue and yellow batiks, the African damasks,  the Bold over Batiks, the authentic French provincials, and the vintage Lily Pulitzer scraps that belonged to my mother. Oh yes, and that gorgeous piece of silk my husband brought me from Vietnam in 1970.
So here goes:
I pledge to 6 months of fabric fasting between January 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014
1) No fabric purchases for 6 months beginning January 1, 2014. 
2) At 6 months reevaluate status and decide whether to keep going for full year.  Evaluation July 1, 2014.
3) Create a UFO list and complete them
4) Exceptions
  • Backing: purchasing a backing to finish a quilt top is permissible.  However, attempting to use fabric in your possession for a backing is preferable. I do love a pieced back.
  • Books and Magazine purchases are allowed as they are not fabric.  Notions acceptable too.
  • Baby quilts for those special people in my life, but as with backing, it is preferable to use what I have.
I have a plan, by June 30, all the fabrics I’m lusting for in the spring 2014 releases will be on sale! Just kidding, perhaps I can live without Zen Chic’s Sphere, and Carolyn’s Botanica, and Kate’s Daydreamin’ and Lotta’s Mormor, and Malka’s From Outside In…

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January Project

Maybe I’ll finish this quilt in January, maybe not… Today I started the 100 blocks of Tula Pink’s city sampler. I received the book for Christmas, and it is perfect for the Briar Rose collection and some coordinating solids I have been saving.
I am fussy cutting the blocks to take advantage of the charming illustrations in the prints. The blocks finish at 6 1/2” After I made one block, I decided I would make two at a time. This is going to take awhile
three blocks
It’s more exacting sewing than I usually do. The blocks are not hard, but the pieces are small. I’m using 50 wt. cotton thread, a 70 microtex needle and my straight stitch throat plate. I’ll be posting photos each Wednesday showing my progress (or lack thereof). I’ll be posting more photos on Instagram. My user ID is sandcrab66.
three blocks
That frog is so cute I can hardly stand it! From here on out, the quilt shall be named Frog Picnic.