Wednesday, December 7, 2016

OMG: December

It's December and I don't have any holiday gift sewing to do! 
With no December 25th deadlines breathing down my neck, I'm making my One Monthly Goal something fun for myself. Three or so years ago, I stitched this lone star as part of a challenge from Victoria Findlay Wolfe's 15 Minutes Play. Basically, she sent a number of volunteers an ugly fabric and asked that we make something with it and made fabric. This is what I came up with. You can see the "ugly" fabric in the outer points. 

My goal for December is to finish this as a wall hanging (or pillow, but I'm thinking wall hanging--that star is only blanket stitched on and won't last long in my house of boys if it's a throw pillow!). 

Here's to holiday decor! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

OMG goal complete!

I'm happy to say that I finished my One Monthly Goal for November--I quilted the Smudgy Cat quilt! 

I wanted to use a few different designs, all freehand. On the two fussy-cut blocks, I did diagonal lines and then squiggles and zigzags in the frames around the cat.  (Isn't Smudgy cat so cute?!)

For the heart blocks, I tried a wavy crosshatch. Mostly because I didn't want to mark lines! I like how it turned out though. 

I was determined to piece the back from my stash. I succeeded! 

Monday, November 7, 2016

OMG: November goal

I'd like to keep working through my pile of quilt tops...these quilts could have happy owners instead of being folded on a shelf, awaiting a date with batting, backing, and some machine quilting. 

So my November goal for One Monthly Goal, recently moved to Elm Street Quilts, is to machine quilt this cute quilt. I stitched the top back in 2014--it's a free pattern from Benartex's website, using their adorable Smudgy Cat collection. Time to get it finished! 

The trees are so beautiful right now that I couldn't resist throwing the quilt top over a branch of one of our Japanese maples. Love the fall colors! 

Thanks again to Heidi for hosting OMG for most of 2016. It's one of my best motivators! Looking forward to continuing it with Patty at Elm Street Quilts.

Monday, October 31, 2016

October OMG complete!

Happy Halloween! 
See my favorite homemade Halloween project here, which we'll be using tonight during trick or treat!

I finished my October One Monthly Goal! My goal was to bind this handprint quilt from my son's preschool. I chose the leftover solids from the handprints to make a cheery, scrappy binding. I'm happy to have this done--now it's time to get it hung at preschool! 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

First Blush Blog Hop: Zipper Pouches

I'm thrilled to be the last stop on the Windham First Blush Blog Hop!

The First Blush collection by Ruby Red Designs is so light and airy, and full of vintage-inspired prints. It's been sitting in my studio for a few months, helping keep that summer vibe alive as the days get darker and colder. I've enjoyed seeing what everyone else created from their fabrics (see the links below if you've missed any!), and I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

If you've visited my blog before, you may know that my house is filled with, how does the rhyme go? Snips and snails and puppy dog tails.

This was my opportunity to create something girly! I have three nieces who are at just the right ages for filling zippered pouches with treasures. And thanks to this hop, I now have my first three Christmas gifts complete!

I used the Triple Zip Pouch tutorial from Debbie at A Quilter's Table as inspiration for these sweet pouches. I sewed a Triple Zip Pouch back when the tutorial was new and liked the construction method and the opportunity to add many different fabrics into the pouch. I sorted the fabric and picked five to use for each pouch for maximum mix-and-matchiness.

These pouches are larger than the sample in the tutorial, and I only used two zippers. I had fun coming up with a different way to customize each pouch as well!

A sweet gingham ruffle:

I had fun choosing different prints for the two linings (and of course different colored zippers!)

I fused a wavy ribbon on this pouch. I love the little floral stripe! 

Two more prints on the inside: 

These soft pinks and blues seemed perfect for a heart applique.

Pale white and pink prints on the inside as well:

Here's the fourth bundle I put together but didn't use. I think this might become my pouch...

A big thank you to Windham for providing me with the fabric to play with! And now it's your chance to win some First Blush (and more). For each day of the hop, Windham Fabrics will giveaway a FQ bundle of the collection, along with a small thread box of First Blush from Aurifil for each stop of the blog tour! Thank you Aurifil!

For a chance to win the FQ bundle and small thread box, leave me a comment letting me know if you've ever made a zip pouch. Because I'm the last day on the hop, this giveaway is only open until 9 am on Friday, October 28th. So leave your comment quickly! :) 

And if you missed any of the other stops on the hop, check them out here:

Blog Schedule
Monday, October 10 – Chris Dodsley, made by Chrissie D

Tuesday, October 11 – Sinta at Pincushion

Wednesday, October 12 -  Fat Quarter Shop

Thursday, October 13- Windham/Two Blondes and a Sewing Machine

Friday, October 14- Jennie at Clover and Violet

Saturday, October 15- Aurifil- Hilary Jordan

Sunday, October 16- Tina Egner

Monday, October 17 – Kristyne Czepuryk

Tuesday, October 18 – Allison Harris

Wednesday, October 19 – Erin Cox

Thursday, October 20 – Angie Wilson Gnome Angel

Friday, October 21 – Debbie at happy little cottage

Saturday, October 22 – Heidi Staples

Sunday, October 23 – Leanne Elliott

Monday, October 24- Greg Jones Grey Dogwood Studio

Tuesday, October 25- Wendy Sheppard Ivory Spring

Wednesday, October 26 – Stephanie Lynn Denton

Thursday, October 27 – Lisa Ruble

Rules for how to win:

Contest is open from Monday, October 10th through Thursday, October 27th. Contest is open to US and International entries. Winners will be chosen randomly from comments posted on blog posts and will be announced Friday, October 28th.

p.s. If you don't win, First Blush is shipping right now, so ask for it at your local quilt shop! And don't miss the BOM featuring First Blush by It's Sew Emma--you can find details on the Fat Quarter Shop website

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sewing with Jacquie!

A couple weeks ago, Jacquie Gering came to Kalamazoo. In addition to speaking at our guild meeting, she offered two workshops. I took them both! Seeing so many of her quilts up close and personal was inspiring--it was hard to decide what to make during each workshop!

The first day was Slice and Insert Improvisation. 
I chose to use the plus motif for mine. I had fun making these blocks--it was fun to vary the size of the blocks and the plus signs, and play with all these gorgeous indigo prints. 

I'd been saving this bundle of Stardust prints from Contempo for something special. This workshop seemed like the perfect thing. I love these blues!

I auditioned a few different solids for the background. My first try was the red-orange. My 7-year-old, who was with me (and complaining about how long it was taking me to choose one fabric!), was pushing the magenta you see below. Hence the magenta photo bomb. 

I also considered a neutral background: 

I ultimately chose this burnt orange color. I wanted to do something bolder than the neutrals, but not super bright. 

Can't wait to keep working on this quilt!

The second workshop day was Stitch and Flip Improvisation. I chose a dark purple for the background and grabbed blacks, whites, and grays for the corners. Jacquie demonstrated so many different ways to lay these blocks out. I really liked how four wonky corners together looked, so that's the layout I started working on. 
Here's how the black/white blocks looked: 

I liked it, but wanted a pop of color. I added in a few bits of lime, orange and turquoise just for fun.It'll be fun to sew these blocks together! 

Me with Jacquie--she's a great teacher and a lot of fun! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

OMG: October Goal

 My October goal for the One Monthly Goal challenge over at Red Letter Quilts was an easy choice!

I recently got my preschool handprint quilt back from my friend Diane Oakes, who quilted it. So my goal is to bind it! I have plenty of solid scraps left from making the handprints, so I'll be doing a scrappy binding.

I gave Diane free rein to quilt this--I love both the yellow thread color and the three different designs she used. Plus, she loosely quilted the edges of each hand print for a little added security. 

Can't wait to get this quilt done and hang it up at preschool!

Friday, September 30, 2016

September OMG: Dresses!

My September One Monthly Goal (thanks Heidi @Red Letter Quilts!) was to sew two doll dresses for my niece's baby doll. They are not examples of high-quality workmanship--apparel sewing is still not my thing!--but I think they turned out cute.

It was fun to pick the fabrics to use. I use a tutorial for a doll peasant dress from Ruth Plus Two, and it worked really well. I skipped putting elastic in the sleeves--too difficult! I'll be mailing these to my niece on Monday and I hope she likes them! 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Applique entry

I never thought I'd have an applique quilt to enter in the Blogger's Quilt Festival (or any quilt show!). Applique is not usually my thing. However, this spring, I designed the "Home Is Where You Make It" quilt using Paintbrush Studio's Leather collection as inspiration for the Row by Row Experience. Now I'm entering it in the Applique category of the Blogger's Quilt Festival.
This quilt measures approximately 48" x 65".
I designed this quilt, Linda Smoker created the full-size templates for me, and Diane Oakes quilted it (with 9 different colors of thread!). 

The theme for this year's Row by Row Experience was "Home Sweet Home" and I took this theme a little outside the box--after all, home is wherever you are. While I am not a snowbird, and likely won't ever be--I like winter too much!--this quilt is a nod to the snowbirds of our country. 
Row 1: At home in the neighborhood (complete with camper)
Row 2: Snow begins to fall--time to leave town!
Row 3: On the road. And on, and on, and on. 
Row 4: Setting up "home" near the beach
Row 5: Relaxing on the beach. 

Beyond the fabric colors, I tied the different rows together with small details--the birdhouse and bird, the quilt on the clothesline, the flowers...
See more photos of this quilt here.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Scrappy Quilt entry

My Blogger's Quilt Festival entries this fall were easy to choose.

This is my current favorite quilt! 
It began with 12-1/2" squares of made fabric that I stitched as part of the Rainbow Scrap challenge. I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do with these scrappy, colorful blocks until I saw this quilt by Rachel from In Color Order. I knew I could use that design idea idea for a huge, scrappy, rainbow star quilt. So I did! 
This scrappy star quilt measures approximately 48" square.

I used four different quilting motifs in the star (one for each set of two-color diamonds) and then quilted straight lines in the black background. Of course the binding had to be scrappy! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

OMG: Venturing into 3D sewing?!

I don't do 3-D sewing. Or at least I don't usually like to--especially clothing. About 6 years ago, I made a tinkerbell costume for my niece. It turned out all right, but I swore off sewing clothes at that point.

I have three boys of my own, and a total of seven nephews and only three nieces. So there aren't many dolls or much girly-ness in my house. My youngest niece got her first doll for Christmas, and this summer my sister-in-law asked me if I could fix the dress the doll came with, as it was falling apart. The dress, shown below, wasn't really fixable. The fabric was pretty much shredding. 

So I've decided to pull out some of my "girly" fabric and sew two dresses for my niece's doll. Very simple dresses. Not like the fairy costume! :) 
Sewing two dresses is my September One Monthly Goal

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August OMG complete!

Since I didn't finish this in July, I was bound (pun intended) and determined to finish it up for my August One Monthly Goal over at Red Letter Quilts! And I did, with a couple days to spare. I do love how the quilting on the black background came out, as well as the pop of the colored binding. 

Here's a close-up of the center, where you can (kind of) see my quilting motifs. Each diamond (purple/yellow, orange/dark green, etc.) had a different motif, several taken from Angela Walter's excellent Free Motion Quilting book. I used gray thread as a neutral that wouldn't take away from any of the color. 

The four side background pieces have quilting that echoes the star edge, with lines 1/2" apart. 

I debated for the corners. Did I want to continue the echo quilting, and essentially quilt right angles in each corner, or did I want the lines to radiate out from the star point? I went for radiating and I do like it. Incidentally, I did mark these lines but didn't mark the side background lines. 

I chose a gray/black polka dot for the backing. It's hard to see the quilting really well in the photo, but you can see the star shape! Considering how scrappy this quilt was, a colorful scrappy binding seemed like the only choice. :) 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

August OMG Goal

Well, I didn't finish my July One Monthly Goal over at Red Letter Quilts, which was to machine quilt this star quilt.

I got about halfway done and then decided it wasn't worth giving up sleep to finish! Here's a peek at what it looks like so far--I have all of the stars done and one section of black finished (look doesn't show up really well in this photo!). I chose four different free motion designs for the star points, just for practice, and then I'm doing straight lines for the black sections. The pieced parts are so busy that the quilting isn't really evident, and that's fine, but I do like the straight lines on the black background sections! 

My August OMG is to finish this quilt--finish the machine quilting and then bind it. I'm planning to do a colorful scrappy binding. Here's hoping I have better luck this month! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

My Frequency Quilt

Back in the spring, I was lucky enough to have a design featured in Modern Patchwork magazine. I called the quilt "Frequency," inspired by the spacing of the color strips. 

 I'll be honest, I really like this quilt. It's simple in both design and construction, and the fabric really makes the quilt. I used the Color Weave collection from Contempo Studio (part of Benartex). The fabrics have a subtle weave on them, creating texture. The line consists of nine colors in light, medium and dark versions, plus white, black, and two grays. (I also like how Modern Patchwork photographed it (above) and how they photographed it in the opposite direction from how I photographed it (below).)

I will admit that for how simple this quilt is, I did my best to screw it up several times. I was chain piecing to speed the process along because I was working under a deadline and kept making dumb mistakes, sewing the wrong size pieces together. Ugh! Nothing like making something harder than it needs to be! 

I used straight line quilting, which I think worked really well for the design. (And conveniently, the easiest kind of machine quilting!)

There's an interview on Benartex's blog today with me about this quilt, which talks about the backing (shown above) and the inspiration behind the quilt (hint: it's based on the runner below, which I also designed). Check out the interview here

Find Modern Patchwork here.