Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival :: Room Temp {Small Quilt Category}

If we're lucky, every once in a while we find ourselves working on a project that's so darn enjoyable, you know, every step of the way, that we think to ourselves, "this is why I sew." Room Temp did that to me. It's my own version of Krista/Poppyprint's Improv Under the Influence quilt, begun with Krista herself at a recent class here in Seattle. I've worked steadily on it this past week, hoping I could finish it in time to enter it in the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy/Amy's Creative Side. Well I made it, and am happily entering it in the Small Quilts category.


This quilt's process was unique in that I was using Krista's technique, with a relatively good idea of what my finished quilt would look like, yet most of the sewing and all of the cutting was improv, so there was definitely room for flexibility and personalization.


When it came time to quilt, I did some improv straight line, basically stitching wherever I felt like in the moment. Echo-quilting here, a spiral there, boy this is a fun way to quilt! I used three thread colors, all Aurifil 50wt - #2805 (Light Turquoise), variegated #4658 (Limoni Di Monterosso), #2975 (Brass). As usual, the threads chosen just added to the overall enjoyment of the process. I especially enjoyed sneaking a little turquoise into the gold sections, some limoni into the turquoise, and just two sections of brass for extra interest.


Some of my favorite parts of this quilt are the little "mismatched" bits placed in the contrasting colorways, and spots like the one below where I quilted something unique in one little section.


A faced binding seemed a perfect fit for this quilt. In the past, I've always used a miter when I've wanted to face a quilt, but this time I tried the quilt facing tutorial by Terry Aske Art Quilt Studio. Honestly, it seemed a tad less stressful that a miter, and allowed me to keep the quilt corners squared up nicely.


With solids not too warm nor too cool, I found Room Temp a very comfortable place to be.




Quilt stats:
Finished size29"x31"
Fabric: Kona Cotton Solids - Turquoise, Mediterranean, Lagoon, Bahama Blue, Aqua, Curry, Grellow, Corn Yellow, Sunflower, & Banana
Thread: Aurifil 50wt - #2805 (Light Turquoise), #4658 (Limoni Di Monterosso), 
#2975 (Brass)
Quilted by: myself, using a walking foot 
Helpful tutorials: "
Chess on the Steps" by Krista Hennebury,
available to members on The Modern Quilt Guild website
Category: Small Quilts

My previous entries in the Blogger's Quilt Festival:
Keychain, 5/19/15
Red Hots, 10/27/14
Unlocked, 5/16/14
HST Love, 5/17/13
Hopscotch, 5/19/12
Mango Revisited, 10/28/11
Supernova, 5/13/11

spring 2015 BQF Button

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival :: Keychain {Scrappy Quilts Category}

Meet "Keychain," my entry into the Scrappy Quilts category of the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy/Amy's Creative Side. Even though scrappy quilts are often a riot of color, Keychain is indeed a scrappy quilt and the fun twist is that they weren't even my scraps!! A while back I admired the Oakshott Italy that Cindy/Live a Colorful Life was using, and was thrilled when she offered to send me her scraps. I opted for a controlled scrappy look for my small quilt, and used every last inch of what she sent.



My inspiration came from a chair at my local coffee shop. I often take random photos like this, but on this occasion, I actually went home and tried sewing it up and eventually created a tutorial for the "Greek Key" block.

 

The scraps I had to work with consisted of 7 colors and I used 6 to make the larger improv blocks, incorporating Essex linen in natural as a background. It was after I'd sewn those 6 blocks together than I came up with the idea for the small unraveling 'key' in the bottom corner. Though kind of random, I thought it added some unexpected fun.



For the quilting, I used Aurifil 50wt #5021, which was a lovely match for the Essex natural, yet subtle enough not to be distracting on the colored spirals. I did very little marking, so lines are a little wobbly here and there - just the look I was after as I stitched a wonky, uneven square spiral around the quilt.



To keep the focus on the spirals, I used more Essex for the binding, while using the last little piece of the reddish Oakshott Italy to make a short bit of matched binding, one of my favorite little details.


This quilt just begged to be washed up when done, and boy did that Oakshott and Essex soften and crinkle up nicely together. All in all, this was an enjoyable exercise for me - a bit of a stretch, but with satisfying results.


 Quilt stats:
Finished size:  23" x 27"
Pattern: my original design
Fabric: Oakshott Italy, Essex linen in natural
Thread: Aurifil 50wt #5021 (light grey)
Quilted by: myself, using a walking foot 
Helpful tutorials: Greek Key BlockStraight Matched Binding
Category: Scrappy Quilts

My previous entries in the Blogger's Quilt Festival:
Red Hots, 10/27/14
Unlocked, 5/16/14
Crazy Rainbow, 10/25/13
Absolutely Mod Pop, 5/19/13
HST Love, 5/17/13
Hopscotch, 5/19/12
Mango Revisited, 10/28/11
Supernova, 5/13/11

spring 2015 BQF Button