Friday, February 28, 2014

City Sampler Quilt Along :: Finally Unlocked

The most logical place for a photoshoot of a finished City Sampler quilt is of course the city.
But as lovely a day as it was at Kerry Park on Seattle's Queen Anne Hill, it was also very windy. The quilt, unfortunately held upside down in the chaos, wrapped itself around us.
 We tried another tactic with some success . . .
 But seriously, it was WINDY!
Down the road a bit, we found a quaint little garden, and had better luck.
Nine months I've traveled to get to this day. Stitching page by page through Tula Pink's book, 3 blocks a week with the City Sampler Quilt Along. Rewarded big time by being selected by Tula herself as 2nd place winner in the quilt along contest, I really wanted to do this one justice.
I thumbed through my book again, and chose Block No. 16 to recreate for a backing, with some Parisville Eye Drops as the focus fabric. Quilting one huge spiral seemed a perfect way to tie the blocks together, and I chose one of the threads I won in the contest - straight out of Aurifil's Tula Pink Premium Collection, #2843 (palm leaf). A very pale green, it blended perfectly throughout the quilt. {I referenced the immensely helpful tutorial by The Quilting Edge for the spiral quilting.}
Have you noticed yet that I did a faced binding? Weeks ago I decided this would be a great finish, and I just love the clean look it gives to this quilt! {See OPQuilt's easy-to-follow tutorial.}
So I guess this is the last chapter for my City Sampler, "Unlocked". I knew at the beginning it would be an ambitious undertaking. Yet I can honestly say it was a thrilling adventure, and I'm pleased as can be with my finished sampler. The End.

This quilt is on my Finish-A-Long 2014 Q1 list. Linking up with Fabric Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February Bee & Charity Blocks

Time to report in on this month's bee blocks! The first set I tackled were Crosspatch (aka Roman Cross) Blocks for Kelli/Kelli W of That Stash Bee. The block is from Vintage Quilt Revival by Katie Clark BlakesleyLee HeinrichFaith Jones, and though I was intimidated at first, once I got sewing, they went together easily. What made them unique was the combo of regular and paper piecing.
Crosspatch Blocks Crosspatch Blocks

Carla/lollyquiltz of Mid-Century Modern Bee asked for the same block and palette she did last time around, while adding in some white. She's going to have a really nice-sized Church Dash quilt when she's done! There's something about this that I just love, and I think it's one of my favorite traditional-done-modern blocks!

As host of FAITH Circle this month, I already shared my block request - Vice-Versa blocks designed by Gen-X Quilter. But I thought you might enjoy seeing what my bee-mates are up to! (That's my sample block in the first square.) Looking good, huh?
1. Vice Versa BOM January blocks, 2. vice versa block, 3. Faith Circle, February, 4. Faith Circle, February, 5. Feb 2014 blocks done, 6. Do. Good Stitches Faith February 2014, 7. February Vice Versa blocks ~ Faith Circle, 8. Faith Circle, February

And these last blocks are a bonus - Urban Chicken blocks for a SMQG charity quilt. The original block is by Michelle Freedman/Design Camp, and I was helped along by the photos posted by Wombat Quilts.
Urban Chicken blocks for SMQG charity quilt

So that's it for February - and of course my list is already growing for March!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday at the Table

It had been a while since we'd gone on a foodie adventure, and yesterday seemed like the perfect day to rectify that. Hubby and I asked mom to join us, and we started off with brunch at skillet diner
I'll confess right off that I had one dish on my mind when I suggested skillet, and that would be their poutine. Early last year I had shared about missing our chance to try their poutine, and I had been soundly reprimanded by many of you. So finally, today we tried it, and it was delish! But then so was everything we tried. Good choice for brunch, Deb.

After all that, we needed to walk a bit, so we did that, stopping in at Savour, a shop I'd discovered in my Food Lovers' Guide to Seattle. {Yes! I have one!} It was a delightful specialty food shop which also had an extensive cheese case and delicious-sounding lunch menu. Definitely a fun foodie find.

From there, we headed to hot cakes! We'd been wanting to stop by ever since meeting owner Autumn Martin at Tom Douglas' Cookbook Social last December. 
Still full from brunch, we grabbed a few cookies-to-go and a couple, you know, hot cakes! {For the record, they were mighty fine when we baked them up last night. Good thing the recipe is in Autumn's book, Malts & Milkshakes!}

OK, so we had one more stop planned, and that was to Lighthouse Roasters, where hubby knew one of his favorite coffee roasters would have what he needed to get him through the week.
So that sums up our little adventure! Just like after a good meal, a fun foodie adventure leaves me satiated.

Monday, February 24, 2014


My most recent quilt finish will be donated to an organization that provides transitional housing in my community. When first considering what to make for them, I happened upon the Double Plus Quilt pattern from Quilts by Emily, and honestly it was a perfect choice.
I hadn't made a quilt strictly by a pattern for a while, so it was actually quite refreshing. With nice big 15" blocks, this one went together effortlessly. The backgrounds are Alexander Henry's Heath in Metal and Northcott Colorworks in Pearl, two long-time favorites. All the plusses were made with stash fabrics first inspired by the brown and blue plaid below. As I added more fabrics, the green snuck in, and all together, the palette has a very soothing feel to me. Continuing with the easy-going flow, I quilted horizontally using one of my machine's specialty stitches, a wide and wavy zig-zag and my much-favored Aurifil 50wt #2600 (light gray).
Backing is a Juggling Summer print by Zen Chic in pale gray, and the binding a square white dot on gray by sherbet pips by Annela Hoey. Finishing at 60x75", this one was indeed a pleasure to make, and I'd highly recommend the pattern.
Now I'm just hoping it'll give someone else as much pleasure as it's given me.

Linking up at Fabric Tuesday and Finish it Up Friday.


When I made my Plural patchwork pillows recently, all I knew was that I liked the pattern and was having fun with fabric.
Apparently I was on trend as well, confirmed today on Sewing Trends with Rachael at Sew, Mama, Sew! Rachael/imagine gnats's monthly look at trends is always a fun one - check out what else she's seeing in the world of sewing. And I'm curious . . . intentional or not, what are you working on that's trendy?

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Reappearance

Last fall I participated in the Get Ready to Play series at I'm Feelin' Crafty, and I figured it was finally time to bring Chinese Checkers home to the blog.
If you missed the intro post and all the quilty details, click the links to check those out. Meanwhile, here's the tutorial. (pdf here)

Supplies needed for quilt top:
1 1/2 yards background fabric
1/3 each of 4 focus fabrics

Cut all fabrics in 4" strips across width of fabric.

Using a 60-degree triangle ruler, begin at one end of each strip and cut triangles with the 4" mark along bottom of strip, and top of ruler even with the top edge.

Continue cutting triangles across each strip, rotating the ruler with each new cut. (I got 14 triangles out of each strip.)

Continue until you have cut all the triangles you will need:
203 background triangles
18 triangles of one color (the teal in my case)
15 triangles of each of 3 colors

Lay out all your triangles to make the Chinese Checkers pattern. The side edges will look jagged at this point and will be trimmed off after quilting.

The piecing for triangles is done in diagonal rows, not horizontal.

 And here is the finished quilt top!

Next up is the infamous "Quilt and finish as desired." Your quilt top is now ready to be basted, quilted, sides trimmed (with your ruler 1/4" from edge of accent triangles), and bound, finishing at 36x45".
Baby-sized maybe, but this is the quilt I reach for every morning as I turn on my computer and sip my coffee. Hope you enjoy it too.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Random Indeed

Well it seems like I don't have alot to show for myself this week. But I did manage to finish up the Double Plus quilt top, made backings for both it and "Unlocked", aaaand I got them both basted. So next up is plenty of quilting!

Did you see the top ten finalists in the Riley Blake Designs challenge? Go see! And the new challenge has also been announced using  Petal Pinwheels from Michael Miller Fabrics. All the details are here!

I happened by my Quilting with A Quilter's Table flickr group yesterday and saw this Mango block by Nicci Pannell/AuntNino. She made it for her guild's (Bakersfield Modern Quilt Guild) latest charity quilt! What a fun surprise!
Mango Block from A Quilter's Table

And you know what else? These little cross-stitch blocks from Pile O'Fabric have me so intrigued! Since cross-stitch was the first needlework I ever did, I have a soft spot for it and this is the quilty equivalent. Alyssa provides 10(!) block sizes in her tutorial, there's a flickr group, as well as the Ig hashtag.
Cross Stitch Block Along
Very fun, right?! Below is the mini quilt that started Alyssa off with quilted cross-stitch blocks. I may just have to give them a try!
Mini Quilt for my Swap Partner Salty Oat

Linking up with Really Random Thursday.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Block No. 16

Despite the baggy and unintentionally rotated photo op, I have a quilt back. And that would be for my City Sampler quilt. Oh yeah!
I'm still {quite} a bit apprehensive about quilting this one, but I'm getting closer to just having to face it. Recreating City Sampler block No. 16 for a backing was a pleasant distraction. It started out with one of the few larger pieces of Tula Pink fabric I had in my stash - Pomegranate Parisville Eye Drops. Then I added my first piece of Modern Solids by Alissa Haight Carlton in Raspberry (dare I say, I'm impressed?), Kona Eggplant, and lastly, Egg Dots in Eggplant from Blank Quilting.
I really like when I can echo at least a component of a quilt front on the back. So progress has been made!

Linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


After making our guild's January BOM into a nice 20" pillow, I confess I kept it right by me in the studio so I could glance at it every time I was in there.
I guess the fact is: I like it alot. I warned you I might make another, and I did. I used some of the same gray/brown and low-volume prints, with green as the accent color this time and just a few bits of aqua. Again, a simple wavy stitch of quilting down each row using Aurifil #2021 (Natural White), a flap-closure back of Kaufman's Essex in Natural and binding with BasicGrey's Grunge White
One of these days, I'll put them away to bring out again at Christmas. They are, after all, Christmas Snowflake blocks, using the delightful tutorial by Rachel/Wooden Spoon. Soon they'll go safely in the Christmas box. But not today. 

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday and Finish it up Friday.

Friday, February 14, 2014

This Bit and That

There's a couple of quilts I really want to show off today! First up is "January Jewels" by Rachel/Snippets of Sweetness (a.k.a. daughter dear). Rachel whipped this darling baby quilt up at our recent retreat, and I just love its "controlled scrappiness." Also our retreat site was a great photoshoot opp, which Rachel took full advantage of! {lots more photos on her blog post!} Love taking quilts out in the wild when we can!

Toni/Hoosier Toni finished up her "Diamond Ripples" quilt, with blocks made by our now-closed Modern Blocks Bee. As Toni mentions in her post, I really underestimated the power of this block! Here's my donation to the quilt - from Modern Blocks: 99 Quilt Blocks from Your Favorite Designers - the book we sewed from for a year.
Diamond Ripples-November
And here's Toni's amazing quilt! Just look at that quilting - and that faced binding - totally makes this quilt!

Speaking of bees, the Mid-Century Modern Bee has created a group blog! This is a first for me, so I'm quite intrigued. Are you a part of any group blogs? I'd like to hear about it! Oh yeah - we even have our own logo!
Mid-Century Modern Bee

After telling you about Fissures winning at the AQS show last week, Christa/Christa Quilts! wrote a thoughtful post about the show, full of photos of modern quilts. I was especially pleased to see Common Affection as it was hung with other Modern Challenge quilts! From here, she travels to Lancaster, PA, where I'm hopeful my cousins can stop in and see her!
Modern Quilt Challenge

One of the things I love about the online quilting community is the support for each other. Without naming names, I treasure the moments where I encouraged others by being a first follower, a first commenter, a first purchase from a new etsy shop. I like supporting dreams where I can, and currently, we all have the chance to help Rachael of imagine gnats achieve her goal of launching a line of printed patterns. 
Click here to read all about Rachael's indiegogo campaign and how to help. It's a good thing!

I thought you might enjoy this somewhat chaotic photo from our guild meeting this week - those of us who finished projects for the Riley Blake Basics Challenge. Fun though, yes?

And lastly, in the spirit of the day, I wanted to share Jessica/Quilty Habit's improv heart mini quilt! She used this tutorial by Kitchen Table Quilting with great success. I think it's really fun.

That's it for today! Have a good one!

Linking up with Really Random Thursday on Friday.