Friday, February 28, 2014

Improv Quilt One

I have finished the first improv quilt and it was a good learning experience.  I started by creating fabric slabs using reds, blues, grays, and blacks.  I highlighted the slab and quilt top making here.

Next came the quilting.  As this was a learning quilt I decided to use spiral quilting for the first time.  Here are some pictures of the final quilt and some of my learnings about spiral quilting (and a question).

Tip 1 - Make sure you take the quilting slow.  Each time I got comfortable spiraling, my quilting speed grew (using a walking foot on a stitch length of 4 on my Bernina) and I could tell that the layers were not being feed as easily. This resulted in a pucker on the back (much unpicking was done) and some pulling of the fabric on the front.

Tip 2 - Make sure that your backing is well positioned.  Well, this tip really is just for me and is universal to the type of quilting you are doing.  My backing was not much larger than my top, but I thought I had everything aligned correctly.  About halfway through quilting I noticed that my quilt back was actually misaligned and did not cover about 1.5" of the quilt top.  That is why if you compare the quilt top pics to the finished quilt you will notice a missing border where I had to chop the quilt.  I was kicking myself for that mistake.

Now for my question - in the center area of the spiral quilting (about a foot in diameter) there is extra fabric making that poof out from the surface of the quilt.  It looks like when areas have less quilting than surrounding areas so they poof a little.  My quilting lines are spaced pretty equally so I am not sure why this happened.  I washed the quilt and poofiness lessened but it is still there.  Has this happened to anyone else? Does anyone know why this happened and how it can be avoided?

To finish this quilt was my February goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes (I was link #125 in the initial February linkup).

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Works in Progress - Week of Feb 24-28th

I have a whole bunch of different quilts, patterns, and other fun stuff in the works that I would love to give you a sneak peek of...

1.  Tic Tac Hashtag - a new pattern.  Here is a picture of my finished quilt top for Tic Tac Hashtag in the baby size.  I really like the simplicity of this pattern and am trying to figure out a backing and quilting plan for it, any suggestions? (I think that this quilt would be great in school or sports team colors).

3.  Foothills Piecemakers Quilt Guild Challenge Quilt - In my quilt guild we have a challenge to make a word mini quilt (no side larger than 30").  The quilt must have letters and words on it (applique, text prints, painted, etc).  I can't show you the whole quilt until the reveal at the quilt guild meeting next Thursday, but I promise that next Friday I will share the whole mini quilt and the story behind it.

4.  Out To Sea - The latest pattern and quilt I have started is called Out To Sea in a queen size for my son's bed.  I was originally going to make a lap size version, but as soon as my son saw it he asked if it could be his.  I ordered some more fabric and have been making tons of HST ever since, pictured below are about 1/3 of the amount I have to make.  This quilt finishing at about 90" x 90" will be my largest quilt yet.

So there are just a few things that I am working on right now...thanks for stopping by!

I'm Linking up to WIP at Freshly PiecedBlossom Heart QuiltsQuilt Story Fabric Tuesday, and Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Candy Circle Quilt at the Moda Bake Shop

I am very excited to have my first Moda Bake Shop tutorial posted today!!!  Please hop over and check Candy Circle out.  Thank you to all who are visiting from the Bake Shop :)

The quilt is called the Candy Circle quilt and it is a baby sized quilt using some cute Moda candy packs from the  Mirabelle line from Fig Tree & Co.  I love all of Fig Tree's fabric lines so I was thrilled to be able to use their new line in a quilt.  With just four mini charm packs (or just one charm pack), a focal print fabric, and some background fabric, you can have a cute baby quilt ready to gift.

I really tried to quilt this quilt in an  interesting and different pattern.   I quilted the focal fabric areas in a straight line lattice, quilted the background areas using a small pebble design, and quilted the patchwork squares with straight line quilting.

In my submission of the pattern to the Moda Bake Shop, sent pictures of the pattern sewn using Avalon also by Fig Tree & Co. 

The quilt pattern is very versatile and can be made with a number of collections for different looks and is a great size to be a table topper or a wall hanging as well as a baby quilt.

Here is a holiday version of the quilt.

Thank you so much for stopping by!!

I am also linking up for the first time to I Quilt Thursdays @ Pretty Bobbins

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Show Your Stash - Sunday February 16th

Welcome to Sunday Stash!

I have recently picked up 12 yards of Kona White ($3.20 a yard with a 60% off coupon at JoAnn's!).  I tend to use a lot of white and have been running a little low.

I also bought a fat quarter bundle of April Showers by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.  I actually have been very good this year in regards to fabric purchases.  I am not on a fast, but I am trying to only buy fabric that I have a plan for.  I knew at the start of the year that this bundle would be my exception and that I had to have it without any plan on what to do with it.  I love all of Bonnie and Camille's fabric lines, but I think that this might be my favorite yet.  I love the diagonal stripes and the dark blues.

Happy Stashing!  I'm linking up to Sunday Stash over at Molli Sparkles.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Grow Your Blog Hop Winner

2 Bags Full

It is time to announce the winner of the Grow Your Blog hop that started back on January 25th.  As a reminder, the giveaway was for a bundle of my three (3) most popular digital pdf quilt patterns:  On a "Jelly" Roll, Charming, and The Quilt in the Hat. 

And has selected number 37:

Which was PT in SC:

The winner is actually my wonderful quilty friend and pattern reviewer Paige.  Paige is a wonderful quilter who has had quilts entered into many national competitions and is also a wonderful teacher.  As my pattern reviewer, Paige already has all of my patterns so I am going to come up with something else as a special prize for her.

Congrats to Paige and thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway (and double thank you to everyone who decided to start or continue following my blog).

Friday, February 7, 2014

Shoo Fly Pie Finished

I have a new finish to show you today, the Shoo Fly Pie Quilt.  This quilt is a fun take on a very classic shoo fly block, updated with modern fabrics and a variation on the block design.  My cute lab Katie decided to model the quilt for me :)

This quilt will be a baby shower gift for my wonderful boss in 2 weeks (yeah I finished early!).  She is expecting a little boy named James and the Maritime Modern fabrics from Riley Blake will go very well with her nursery.

The blocks on this quilt are 15" square (finished) so with only 9 blocks I had a really nice sized baby quilt.  This easier quilt finish was a nice break after the more complicated Vintage Stars quilt.

I used a fun wave quilting pattern which I posted a little tutorial on earlier this week here.

I am putting the finishing touches on the pattern for the quilt and will have it out to my pattern testers and reviewers hopefully before the end of the weekend.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Wave Quilting Tutorial and February ALYOF

Today I would like to share a little tutorial about the quilting I have done on the Shoo Fly Pie quilt.  Because the fabrics I used in the quilt were nautical, with boats and waves, I decided to try to do some simple wave quilting and it was so fast, easy, and fun I wanted to share it with you today.

I am guessing that I am not the first to quilt this pattern, but I have not seen anywhere so I thought that I would share some instructions and tips.

The quilting is done in rows, from left to right.  This means that when you start each line you are going to have the entire width of the quilt between the needle and the machine so if your machine has a smaller throat size I would limit using this quilting pattern to smaller quilts.

It also is the easiest to quilt on quilts having the rows already marked with block or piece seams so that you do not have to mark the quilt top.  I practiced some on a practice quilt sandwich and I found that it was most comfortable for me to quilt the waves about 2-4 inches high.

To quilt simply follow the drawing above with curve ending with a little hook.  When I needed to stop to reposition the quilt I found that for me the best place to stop was the tip of hook part of the wave.

For this quilt which was 45" x 45", I finished the quilting in less than 25 minutes (and it would have been quicker if my bobbin had not run out halfway through the last row :)

Here are pictures of quilt top and quilt back (I tried to boost the contrast a little to try to show the quilting a little more).

I hope that this little tutorial has inspired you to try out this pattern, let me know if you have any questions.  I'm off to bind the quilt now :)

Also, I figured I would use this post for my February "A Lovely Year of Finishes" party link up.  My goal is to have my improve quilt finished by the end of the month.  Currently, the quilt top is finished and the quilt is basted.  I am going to try out some spiral quilting on this one.

I'm Linking up to WIP at Freshly PiecedBlossom Heart QuiltsQuilt Story Fabric TuesdayA Lovely Year of Finishes, and Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Hourglass Baby Quilt Gift

In my efforts to capture and record my quilt finishes, today I am presenting a baby quilt I made back in early 2013, before I started blogging.  My very good friend and co-worker had his fourth child (and first boy).  To celebrate, I made the new baby a quilt and I made each of his sisters a baby doll quilt for their American Girl dolls.

The co-worker and his wife finished the nursery in soft blues and browns and they tended to like more classic quilt patterns.  I used the creams, blues, and browns from a couple of charm packs from Lilly and Will by Bunny Hill I had. 

Because the fabrics tended to have very similar coloration and saturation, I wanted a pattern that would separate the prints and not have the prints next to each other.  I chose a simple hourglass block and added a simple border to give the quilt blocks a little breathing room.  I quilted the quilt in a simple meandering pattern.

For doll quilts #1 and #2, two of the girls now share a room so I wanted to make some coordinating doll quilts.  Their room is pink with black accents so I made some scrappy pink strips and alternated them with some Kona white.  It is hard to see from the pictures below but I quilted the white stripes in a paisley pattern and the left the pink stripes unquilted.

For doll quilt #3 I used some left over half-blocks from a quilt I had made using the Vintage Modern collection by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.  I combined the half blocks to make a fun and interesting little quilt block.

I delivered all of the quilty goodness along with a lasagna dinner and the whole family was happy.

Thanks for stopping by!