Saturday, May 31, 2014

WIP - MQG Challenge Quilt - Update #2

For the Modern Quilt Guild Challenge, I have been working steadily on my challenge quilt.  I showed you the completed quilt top in this post and now I have been working on quilting the 70" square quilt.

I am now over 10 hours into the quilting (I like quilting but I must admit that I am about done with this one). In the dark gray sections I used a dense back and forth quilting pattern with the lines being about 1/4 inch apart.  I knew that it was going to take a while but I did not think that it would be this long (I am glad that I abandoned the matchstick quilting idea).  To give you an idea on size, the outer most border alone is over a yard x WOF total area to quilt.

I am now in the middle of quilting the patterned areas with a small meandering pattern.  I wanted something that would contrast with the more geometric areas in gray and meandering seemed to fit the bill.

Here is a view of the quilt back showing some of the quilting.

My hope is to have this quilt finished up by this upcoming Friday.  I can see the end of the quilt and I am excited to finish up :)

I hope that you are having a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Blind Stitch / Ladder Stitch Tutorial

A hand stitch called a ladder stitch (also called a blind stitch) is used to sew an opening you left in a sewn object to turn it right side out (like pillows, pincushions, stuffed animals...).  The stitch is almost invisible and forms a ladder like structure as you sew, hence the name.  I learned the stitch from reading blogs and tons of practice so this tutorial incorporates my learnings and tricks to try to make the blind/ladder stitch as easy, invisible, and pain free as possible.

Start with your sewn object stuffed and ready for the opening to be sewn shut.  In this demonstration, the object is a cathedral window pincushion stuffed with polyester stuffing.

1.  Begin by marking (using a removable marking device), the stitching line to follow, starting from the sides of the opening and working towards the middle.  Alternatively, you may iron the opening to make a crease to show where to sew, but I find making a sharp crease difficult (and find that it disappears half way through sewing) so I like to mark with the purple markers that disappear after a short time.

2.  Thread the needle with the thread, form a knot at the end of the thread, and insert the needle into the side of the opening right where the stitching as ended.  (For thread, I recommend a stronger thread such as a polyester thread or a cotton covered polyester core thread as they have a lower tendency to break than all cotton.)

3.  Next (and this next step is the key to an invisible stitch), insert the needle into the opposite fabric directly across from where it came out of the first fabric.  To achieve this, I pull the thread across the seam perpendicular to the marked lines and insert my needle right where the thread crosses over the marked line. Take a horizontal stitch along the marked line (my stitches are about an 1/8" of an inch) from one side of the opening towards the middle.

Here is the step again...

4.  Repeat steps 3 and 4 about 4-8 times, then holding the fabrics together to close the partially stitched seam, pull the thread to tighten the partial seam.  The more "stuffed" the item is, the more often you should tighten these partial seams as trying to tighten the thread across the entire seam at once may cause the thread to break (ask me how I know).

5.  When you have done the blind/ladder stitch all of the way to the other side of the opening, make 2-3 knots to secure the thread, then insert the needle though the pincushion right next to the knit, and tug on the thread a little to bury the knot. 

6.  Trim the tail of the thread off (and remove the removable markings) and now you have a beautiful, almost invisible hand sewn seam!

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial!  As this is my first technique tutorial, please contact me via e-mail with any questions, comments, or suggestions to improve it


I'm linking up to  Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsFabric Tuesday @ Quilt StoryLet's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh QuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, and Sugar Bee Crafts.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

WIP - MQG Michael Miller Challenge

One of the great benefits of being in the Modern Quilt Guild is the opportunity to participate in some fun challenges.  In this challenge, we each received 6 fat eighths of Michael Millers Petal Pinwheels fabrics (one was actually from other line which I forget the name of).  I knew that I wanted to make something bigger than the fat eighths would allow for so I ordered a selection of the Petal Pinwheels prints in fat quarters and half yards from Etsy.

I went around and around designing different options, at one point design a paper pieced lap size quilt having over 2,000 pieces.  Needless to say, that design was scrapped.  

I settled on a modern interpretation of a court house block.  I used the petal pinwheels to create scrappy layers, made the layers having different thicknesses, and made the block really big (the quilt is about 70 inches square) and here is my finished quilt top:

I like how the dark gray borders add a bold geometric component to the quilt.  My plan for the quilting is to maybe matchstick (or something similar) in the dark gray and some other (not yet selected) quilting in the petal pinwheels fabrics.  A quick trip to my LQS and I now have an Aurifil thread to match the Kona Coal.

Also as a little reminder, voting is now open over at the Blogger's Quilt Festival so hop on over to vote.  I have quilts in the ROYGBIV and mini sections.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Winner

Thank you all so much for the super response to this year's Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! There were a total of 743 entries for the Tula Pink Fabric Bundle Blender Bundle (18 Fat Quarters from the Tula Pink Acacia, Salt Water, Birds and Bees collections) from Vintage Modern Fabrics.

Without further ado, has selected comment #437.
Which was Cindy Dahlgren!

Congrats Cindy, I have just sent you an e-mail.  Please send me your mailing address and your fabric will be shipped to you directly from Vintage Modern Fabrics.

Thank you so much to everyone who decided to follow my blog.  I hope to bring you fun and useful content and most importantly get to know you all!!


Friday, May 16, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring 2014 - Improv Quilt Two

It's that time of the year...twice a year during quilt market, Amy over at Amy Creative Side hosts a Blogger's Quilt Festival.  We are allowed to link up two quilts to the various categories and have the opportunity to visit and be inspired by other blogger's wonderful quilts.

The second quilt I am going to link up is my Improv Quilt two which I made using improv piecing using a bunch of different solid blue Kona scraps left over from my son's quilt.  I quilted the mini using matchstick quilting in a light grey Aurifil thread and faced it instead of binding it.  The quilt finished at about 13" x 18".  My original post of the quilt is here and I am linking this quilt up to the Mini Quilt Category.

My first quilt I am linking is my Kona 2013 Quilt in the ROYGBIV Quilt Category.

Thank you so much for stopping by!!

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring 2014 - Kona 2013 Quilt

It's that time of the year...twice a year during quilt market, Amy over at Amy Creative Side hosts a Blogger's Quilt Festival.  We are allowed to link up two quilts to the various categories and have the opportunity to visit and be inspired by other blogger's wonderful quilts.

The first quilt I am going to link up is my Kona 2013 Quilt which I made using a charm pack of the new summer 2013 Kona colors for the Wake Up to Kona blog hop.  I had bought the charm pack and used a little of each color to make a 2013 color card to supplement to my older 2012 Kona color card.  I used the remainder of the charm squares to create  a mini-quilt using a simple hourglass block (blocks are 3.5" finished).  

Combining all of the colors including a burnt orange with a bright pink with a sea blue were definitely outside my comfort zone.  I quilted the quilt with vertical lines a little less than 1/4" apart using a light gray Aurifil 50wt thread.  I love the look this dense quilting gave to the quilt and I finished the quilt with a binding of Kona coal.

 My original post was here and I am entering this quilt in the ROYGBIV quilt category.

My second quilt I am linking is my Improv Two Quilt in the Mini Quilt Category.

Thank you so much for stopping by!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Welcome to the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

This is my second time participating in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day.  I love Sew Mama Sew (I recently became a Sew Mama Sew Contributor) and I enjoy spending a few (many, many) hours entering giveaways and finding new wonderful blogs each SMS Giveaway Day.   
A lovely women and fellow South Carolinian named Michelle who has an etsy shop called Vintage Modern Fabrics is helping to sponsor this giveaway.  

Up for grabs is a Tula Pink Fabric Bundle Blender Bundle which includes 

18 Fat Quarters from the Tula Pink Acacia, Salt Water, Birds and Bees collections 

shipped anywhere in the US.  That is four and a half yards of Tula Pink goodness!  (Just looking at the picture is making me drool, I am going to have to pick one up for myself).

For those who are new here, here is a little about myself (for those that are returning, thank you!).

My name is Cheryl and I am a chemical engineer/patent agent by day, a quilter at night, a mom to a 7 year old son and 4 year old daughter, and a wife. I love designing quilt patterns, writing quilt instructions, and doing quilty math combining my quilting skills with my engineering and technical writing backgrounds.

I sell my patterns and sewing accessories on etsy (as Meadow Mist Designs) and patterns on craftsy (craftsy also has a couple of free patterns).

Over the last few months I have had the privilege of becoming a Moda Bake Shop Chef, becoming a Sew Mama Sew Contributor, launching a few new patterns, and stretching myself as a quilter to learn new things.  It is going to be an exciting rest of 2014 so I hope that you will decide to join me in my quilty adventures.  Here are a few of my recent finishes...

Now on to enter the giveaway!! 

Once again, this giveaway is open to only the US and is for a Tula Pink Fabric Bundle Blender Bundle which includes 18 Fat Quarters from the Acacia, Salt Water, Birds and Bees collections.  This giveaway starts today (Monday May 12th) and will run until Friday May 16th at 8 p.m. EST. (The fabric will shipped directly to you from Vintage Modern Fabrics)

To enter:

1. Leave a comment, any comment. If you need a suggestion on what to write you can tell me whether you tend to make quilts from a purchased or free pattern or design your own.

2. My followers, old and new, get an additional entry. Please leave a second comment letting me know how you subscribe (I have buttons on the upper left side of the blog for following by e-mail, bloglovin, and feedly).

3.  Go favorite the sponsoring shop Vintage Modern Fabrics shop on etsy and leave a comment telling me you did so.

Note: If you are a no-reply blogger then please include your e-mail address. If I can not reach you, you can not win.

Thank you so much and I hope that you will decide to follow my blog and join me on my quilting, sewing, and pattern writing adventures!

Have a wonderful quilty week, Cheryl

PS - On normal posts, I try to respond to each and every comment and visit the blogs of those who comment, but on giveaway posts I unable to due to the high number of comments.

** Giveaway Now Closed - thanks for entering **

Friday, May 9, 2014

Scrappy Tiles - Finished

For the majority of my patterns, I start with the design and then figure out the fabrics that would look best with it.  Less often, I start with the fabrics and come up with a design to highlight the fabrics.  It is interesting to start from the two points because the design processes are very different.

Scrappy Tiles came about because I have had a layer cake of Fly a Kite by October Afternoon for Riley Blake sitting in the stash for too long (about 2 years).  Riley Blake layer cakes (or whatever Riley Blake calls them) contain 28  pieces (10" x 10") versus the Moda layer cakes which have 42.   While I loved the line, it always seemed that what had designed needed more than 1 Riley Blake layer cake so back into the fabric cabinet it went time and time again.

One day I took the layer cake out and designed a pattern just for it.  The pattern looks like an randomly pieced tile pattern but is actually a single 12" x 12" block in a 3x4 block arrangement resulting in a toddler sized quilt (36" x 48") using essentially the whole layer cake and no background fabric (yes, no background fabric, a bit different for me).  Scrappy Tiles was born.

I have started drafting a pattern for quilt but it is number 3 on the list so it might be a while before it is ready. If you are interested in testing the pattern, just let me know :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes (Late) - May Goal

May seems to be flying by... so much so that between some trips, my son's birthday party, some secret sewing, and everything else (like my kitchen that just can't seem to stay clean for more an hour at a time), I totally forgot to write my ALYoF goal for May.  Well, even though I missed the link up I thought that I would still list my goal here.  I am picking a fun and (hopefully) simple sewing goal for May.

My goal is to make a Geranium dress out of this fabric for my daughter.  I bought the fabric as a possible quilt backing a couple of years ago and when my daughter saw it she told me she had to have a dress made out of it.  I have made two Geranium dresses so far so, with this one I am going to add the flutter sleeves and make a 5T instead of a 3T/4T.

Whish me luck :)  What are you working on this month?

I'm linking (in spirit) up to A Lovely Year of Finishes.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Contemporary Cloth gift certificate winner and Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day preview

First up, I have to announce the winner of the Contemporary Cloth gift certificate. selected...

Which was

Sandra @SewofCourse

Congrats Sandra!  You should receive an e-mail from Contemporary Cloth (or myself) with the gift certificate in the next few hours.

Next up, Sew Mama Sew is having their bi-annual Giveaway Day this Monday, May 12th and I am very excited to be participating once again.  This time, the giveaway is going to be sponsored by a wonderful Etsy shop owned by Michelle called Vintage Modern Fabrics.  So take a look around her shop and be sure to stop by again on the 12th.  

Hint:  The giveaway is going to be a wonderful bundle  from a fabric designer that starts with Tula and ends with Pink!!!