Wednesday, March 30, 2016

2016 Finish-A-Long :: Link Q1 Finishes

grab button for A Quilter's Table
<div class="a-quilters-table-button" style="width: 250px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> <img src="" alt="A Quilter's Table" width="250" height="250" /> </a> </div>

How can it already be the end of Q1 of the 2016 FAL?! Remember, the 2016 FAL is now global - a community of bloggers across the world are jointly hosting the FAL, and you can link your Q1 finishes with any of us and they'll appear on each blog!
First, a huge thank you to our fantastic sponsors:
Keeping with tradition, while we're all linking up our finishes, it's also "tutorial week"! Here's the schedule so you can visit them all:
Let's review just a few guidelines and then start linking up! 
  • Add one link for each of your Q1 finishes. If you want to link a round up post of all your finishes, use that link to enter one of your finishes and then link the rest of your finishes separately. So one link per finish, each an entry into the randomly chosen prize draws. If you link up your finishes early and then have a last minute one, just add it later. They don't all have to be done at the same time.
  • Please make sure that the photo or blog post you link up contains a link or reference back to your original Q1 list so that we can verify your entry.
  • Be active in the FAL community by checking out the links of others and commenting. We all need encouragement so let's celebrate each other's accomplishments. Follow the 2016 Finish-A-Long Facebook page or @finishalong on Instagram, and tag any photos #2016fal. Feel free to grab the 2016 FAL button at the top of this post if you like.
  • Just so you know, the FAL hosts will also be linking their finishes to share in the community, but will not be eligible for any of the prizes.
The Q1 Finishes linky will stay open through April 7. Prizes will be awarded as soon as all the entries and verified and will be posted on each host blog. Also, start making your Q2 FAL lists any time, as the Q2 list link opens on April 8!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Circles and Curves

While creating this month's Bee Sewcial blocks, I told you I tried my hand at my first six-minute circle. Ignore the cross in the block below, as that really has no part in this discussion, but you can see my perfectly imperfect circle. I took the advice of my bee-mates and went sans the freezer paper suggested in the tutorial, and it all worked out just fine. yay. If you haven't tried the technique, take six minutes (ok, maybe 15) and give it a try!

So then Stephanie/Spontaneous Threads goes and shares her own tutorial for sewing curves, and I asked if I could show a bit about it here, as it's too good to miss, and a companion of sorts to the above circle. When it boils right down to it, both technique are quite similar.

See those beautiful improvisational curves?

photo by Stephanie Ruyle; used by permission

Check out Stephanie's tutorial to learn all.

photo by Stephanie Ruyle; used by permission

It's always good to have techniques like these in your quilting 'toolbox', right? I've come to realize, no matter how long I've been quilting, there's still more to learn!

Monday, March 28, 2016

So Wrong It's Gotta Be Right

I got kind of a late start on the latest Mighty Lucky Quilting Club challenge but since I'm making each month's project just 17" square, it went together pretty quickly. It was all about One Wrong Color, presented by Rossie Hutchinson/Rossie Crafts [rossiecrafts]. The challenge was definitely more about curating a fabric pull rather than the end project.

I started with some greens and neutrals from stash, and after debuting several choices, settled on a dark purple print as my 'one wrong color.' Honestly everything I tried with my original pull seemed workable, so I finally showed hubby several choices and asked which he thought looked the most challenging as a workable palette.

I was surprised how well I was able to incorporate more purple-coordinates into the mix. Then, following Rossie's lead, I added what I felt was an accent - the coral. It actually pulls out a color in the purple floral, which isn't really obvious in my photos. I know I had my Instagram mates wondering what my 'wrong' color was. Most of them loved the purple with the green, so I kind of felt I failed the wrong color challenge, but in my studio it all made sense to me. {grin}

Rossie suggested the Coin Columns as a pattern suggestion, and since it was really all about the fabric, I figured the Coins quilt would be a fine choice.

I tweaked mine by both slicing some of the columns into narrower widths, and also by rotating the whole piece by 30-degrees. Honestly, for me, those two elements switched things from being kind of ho-hum to pretty interesting. 

After mulling over quilting options, I settled on a curved crosshatch, inspired by Petit Design Co. Not only was it fun to do, but I love the look it gave my little tilted quilt. Using Aurifil 50wt #2021 (natural white) kept things subtle yet cohesive, and I do love how it shows up so well on the darker fabrics.

Oh yeah.

For binding, I repeated the use of Crosshatch Lime by Angela Walters, which was also an original key player and kept the patchwork as the main focus.

So I'm feeling this challenge was successful, quite possibly more in my own processing then you can tell by the finished piece. And that's ok. So here's my first three finishes in the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club. Here's links to Pantone Meets Bias Tape and Scrap Leather in case you missed them.

Friday, March 25, 2016


If I've told you once, I've told you a dozen times. Facing a new Bee Sewcial prompt strikes an equal amount of excitement and trepidation and March was no different. Hillary/Entropy Always Wins chose the theme of "Layers" and provided a "Foreground/Background" Pinterest board as inspiration.

She also requested the most stunningly beautiful Kona solids, giving us a photo promt as well - Background: (Turquoise/Blues) Cyan, Breakers, Capri, Robin Egg or similar with or without traces of black and Foreground: (Oranges/Greys/White) School Bus, Carrot, Flame, Ash, Medium Grey or similar and traces of Papaya, White. It was these colors that really called me to face my uncertainly and get going on my blocks.

Both of my blocks contain elements found in Hillary's pin board, the first inspired by a Kazimir Malevich piece. The block finished at 14" x 15.5", and I felt pretty successful in creating layers, as if the oranges and white were a suspension bridge of sorts floating above the blues.

It was a mixed-media work by Rudolf Bauer using connected shapes that gave me elements for my second block, which is 9" x 16." This block doesn't seem quite as cohesive as the first, in my mind, but I still really like it. One important success here is I finally attempted a "six-minute circle!" The first (the large one below) took me close to 15 minutes, but the smaller one actually did take six minutes max. Way cool. Here's a link to a video tutorial, though just a note that Hillary told me she didn't use the freezer paper when she made them, so I tried it without and it worked just fine. If you haven't tried it yet, you really should, and add the technique to your arsenal.

So yay. Another month conquered!

You can see more blocks at #beesewcial, and feel free to sew along with #inspiredbybeesewcial.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Through the Viewfinder

You guys! I went overboard this time and have quite a collection of splendid quilt photoshoots to share today. There's so much to love here. Take a look!

Soy Amado No. 83 by Alison/Little Island Quilting [littleislandquilting]

Dream On by Erin/two more seconds [twomoreseconds]

Chevron and On by Megan/Canoe Ridge Creations [canoeridgecreations]

Goodbye my Love! by Cynthia/Ahhh...Quilting [ahhhquilting]

Blithe Quilt by Christina/Sometimes Crafter [sometimescraftr]

by Shawna [fromshawna]

XOXO by Lisa/[sewwhatyoulove]            

My Photoshoots pin board is getting fuller by the day!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday at the Table

Something unrelated to sewing has been going on behind the scenes the last several weeks, and now that I've survived to tell about it, I thought I would. The short version: our family went on Whole30. Not really a weight-loss program, it's more "a short-term nutritional reset." (And if you're already bored, I get it. Back to quilty posts tomorrow, ok?) But I'm psyched enough to risk sharing here just a bit. Besides losing 10# (big yay), personally I just plain feel better and have a whole lot less unhealthy cravings. 30 days and we're all in a much better place.

  • I didn't miss bread or pasta as much as I though I would. Like at all. 
  • I'm not craving sweets. This from someone who previously had a piece of dark chocolate after dinner pretty much every night. 
  • What I expected to miss the most, I did - my morning latte. In fact if I felt anything negative at all, it was a bit of a caffeine-deficiency, because I really don't care for coffee without a hit of dairy. But I survived!
  • I've become a strong proponent of the Mason Jar Salad. Oh yeah! I actually looked forward to one every day for lunch, and didn't even feel deprived. Plus they're fun to make and I have noticed some jealousy from my coworkers.
  • I've rediscovered some joy in cooking, which is a good thing!

  • Whole30 website and book - Both are comprehensive resources.
  • Pinterest - SO much there.
  • The Tasty Remedy - Not really a Whole30 site, but my friend Suzie has alot of recipes that either worked or were easily adaptable.

Going Forward:
So I'm in the reintroduction phase now, where food items I'd eliminated come back one at a time. Then we'll enjoy Easter with the family, then back on program. Don't worry, I'm stepping down from my soapbox now, but this has been such a good thing for our family that I wanted to give it a shout-out. Over and out!