Monday, October 31, 2016

Decisions, Decisions

Sometimes I know months ahead what my next quilt plan for Faith Circle will be. Then again, like this month, I may change my mind again and again. I finally settled on a quarter log cabin block, reminiscent of a favorite quilt from Heather Jones.

We'll be using my Improv Quarter Log Cabin Block tutorial as a reference, though our palette will be totally different.

Blocks will be sewn in orange, shades of blue, and off-white, while not going quite so creamy as the bottom chip below.

Rather than a solid off-white such as Kona snow, I used two of Carolyn Friedlander's low-volume prints, and there's the catch. To create a sense of unity between our blocks, I'm asking that if my bee-mates have and want to use one of these two low-volume fabrics, great. If not, I'd prefer use of an off-white solid.

The blocks will be trimmed to 12 1/2", and quilt layout is to-be-determined. Faith circle gals, see our Flickr group for specifics. I'm looking forward to seeing our final quilt of the year come together!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Army of Self Love :: Improv Hourglass

For Bee Sewcial this month, Kari/[quiltsforthemaking] chose a theme uplifting the beauty of diversity, specifically of women. The simple hourglass block was selected to represent and embrace the many shapes, proportions and colors all women come in. Of course, our blocks were to be created improvisationally, which I found a bit tricky but fun to explore.

Click here to see the photo Kari provided as inspiration - an hourglass quilt by Eleanor McCainwith with alot of variation in shapes and sizes. After working on my own blocks, I thought it might be worth sharing some process photos. 

Truth be told, I worked from the scrap basket for all of the blocks, and found that odd-shaped fabric pieces weren't a detriment in the least. So start as you would with more traditional hourglass blocks, with two fabrics right-sides together. I used my hera marker to mark a diagonal line. Note that it isn't necessary to mark exactly through the corners, 

Stitch 1/4" on either side of the marked line, then cut the two halves apart and press.

Place the two pressed pieces right-sides together, with colors opposite. Mark a new hera line, stitch on either side, cut apart, and press. Note that with the pieces below, I didn't match the seams, but left them separated slightly.

With these being improv, matching or not matching the seams adds to the irregular appeal of the blocks. After piecing, the blocks are really ragged-looking.

It's all in the trimming, which I did haphazardly on these sample blocks. Obviously you could square them up more. Or not. And notice, left to right, the different look depending on how closely you 'matched' the seams (separated, matched, overlapping).

So this just may be a technique I'll explore more. Whatcha think?

Linking up with Tips and Tutorials Tuesday.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Off the Cuff

It was weeks ago when I agreed to make a quilted wall hanging for a friend's auction, so it was silly to wait till the week it was needed to get started. But that's what went down, basically because I couldn't decide what to do!

Rummaging through my solids scrap bin for bee blocks the other day, I unearthed some leftover Improv Under the Influence strips from my class with Krista Hennebury last year. [Here's my original project.]  I found a yard of Essex Linen in Graphite in my stash, and the ingredients were sorted out.

As you can see in the top photo, my design wasn't earth-shattering, but I figured I could spice things up a notch with some improv quilting, echoing the shapes in the strips. Most of the quilting was done in Aurifil 50wt #5004 (Grey Smoke), but I did a ghost strip in #2140 (mustard), then did the same quilting in the colored strips themselves. This was fun quilting! 

In the areas without a colored strip or ghost quilting, I stuck with straight-line, in 3/8" increments. Sadly, the ghost strip isn't that noticeable in the finished quilt - a good reason to try some thicker thread for accent quilting like this. Note to self!

Of course there was one strip that called out for some matched-binding, and why not?

Finishing at 34 x 42", I'm not quite sure this little quilt has a style that will most appeal to the auction crowd, but I managed to create it from stash and had fun making it up as I went, which was a good deal for me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hourglass Diversion

The other day when I needed another diversion from the larger quilts in my queue, I turned to Stacey/SLOstudio's Hourglass Block tutorial, which had just inspired my latest newsletter round-up. Things happen like that.

Something small was what was on my agenda - a chance to play with a simple block and seasonal color.... and of course some fun quilting.

Mom had commented early on that she loved what I was working on, so 'it' became a table topper for her. (about 20" square)

Lucky for me, her yard was full of beautiful fall foliage, so why not snap a few photos right there?

Stay tuned - there are more hourglass blocks to come, but next up are improv!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Taking the Inspiration Somewhere

After coming up with my own design during the "Every Day Inspiration" workshop with Michelle/Factotum of Arts a week ago, I found it had really captured my interest, and small as it was (10 1/2" x 14"), it was pretty quick and easy to make the one block into a mini quilt.

The quilting was the most enjoyable bit! The 'X' area got matchstick quilting in Aurifil 50wt #2140 (mustard); the rest of the quilt was straight-line quilted at 3/8" intervals with #2600 (light gray).

I couldn't resist taking a photo of the finished quilt with a local road sign, as Michelle has a fondness for them, and they were a source of inspiration for us attending the workshop with her.

Once again, a simple little project was the perfect kind of "let's just make this to make" fun, which totally refueled me. Plus it may just have inspired another quilt plan, and of course time will tell if that becomes a reality. Meanwhile, this little one now hangs by my computer, a reminder to keep exploring....

Friday, October 21, 2016

2016 Finish-A-Long :: Q3 Winners

2016 button 500 best

It's time to reveal the winners for the Third Quarter of the Finish-A-Long. It's been so cool to see all of the beautiful finishes! Rhonda/Rhonda's Ramblings is emailing all the winners and needs to hear back from them by Saturday, October 29 so she can arrange to get the prizes distributed. If she doesn't hear back by that date, she will pick an alternate. So if you see your name below, be sure to be in touch with her!

So here we go with the randomly chosen Q3 FAL winners:

Fluffy Sheep th_Shopbutton Fluffy sheep

The winner of the €25 (25 Euro) gift certificate from Fluffy Sheep Quilting goes to Izzy who blogs at Dizzy Quilts and made this beauty:

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Clover & Violet Logo Buttons

The winner of 3 patterns from Clover & Violet is Mel who blogs at Cloth & Paper Studio and made this heavy-duty pouch for her husband's work equipment:

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The winner of the Oakshott Fabric £75 Gift Certificate goes to Georgi who blogs at The Shy One Sews and made this amazing two-color quilt:

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tartankiwi kiwi logo

The winner of 3 patterns from Tartankiwi goes to Ella who blogs at Throw a Wrench in the Works and made this beautiful Summer Soltice quilt:

summer solstice

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The winner of the choice of 3 patterns from Happy Quilting is Angela who blogs at Better'n Dog Biscuits and made this bright scrappy quilt:

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Green Fairy Quilts shopGFQbutton

A $25 gift certificate from Green Fairy Quilts goes to Cathy who blogs at Sane, Crazy and Crumby Quilts and made this lovely log cabin quilt:

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A copy of the full Aurora BOM Pattern from Blossom Heart Quilts goes to Sharla who blogs at Thistle Thicket Studio and finished these fun bags for her grandsons:

Thistle Thicket Studio, zipper totes, tote, paw patrol, batman, finish-a-long

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MAP10 Banners

A $40 gift certificate from Mad about Patchwork goes to Deanna (@sewasigo on IG) who made this beauty titled Flaunt Mini:


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Christa Quilts logo300 Christa quilts

The winner of Christa's curated Kona Solids Jelly Roll from Christa Quilts goes to Ann (@blueizca on IG), who finished this beautiful quilt:


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Make Modern Logo

A 6-month subscription to Make Modern goes to Emily who blogs at The Darling Dogwood and finished this great quilt-a-long quilt:

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The first winner of 3 patterns from Porch Swing Quilts is Sarah who blogs at Sarah Goer Quilts who finished this 12 year old (!) WIP for her brother:

The second winner of 3 patterns from Porch Swing Quilts is Genevieve (@theorlaproject on IG) who made this clever memory game:


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SunnyDay Supply Square

A $30 gift certificate from Sunny Day Supply goes to Kristy (@kqdesign on IG) who made this great quilt:


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The winner of a copy of Windy City Bags from Sew Sweetness is Sally who blogs at Quimble and made a beautiful quilt inspired by a lake full of geese:


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sew-sisters-badge [88980]

A $25 gift certificate to Sew Sisters Quilt Shop goes to Emilee (@amelialoveskat on IG) who finished this stunner:


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A $50 gift certificate from Mariner's Compass Quilt Shop goes to SarahZ who blogs at Cedar Fork Stitches and made this section of a collaborative project that will eventually be auctioned off:

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on the windy

The winner of a pattern pack from On the Windy Side goes to Kathryn (@kathrynjonesquilts on IG) who finished this colorful quilt:


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A $50 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop goes to Dara (@sunchaser2626 on IG) who who made this great pillow:


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The winner of 2 pin bowls from Laurel Bee Designs is Jane who blogs at Two Wednesdays and finished knitting this top:

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imagine gnats button

The winner of the $40 gift certificate to Imagine Gnats is Carmen who made this pretty skirt:


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Sew Me A Song Logo

The winner of the $20 gift certificate from Sew Me a Song is Becky (@beckyallen5 on IG) who made this sweet quilt:


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knotted thread 125

The winner of the $30 gift certificate to Knotted Thread is Rebecca (@cleaverr at IG) who finished this graphically stunning quilt [yeah, a personal favorite made from my X Marks the Improv block tutorial]:

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Simply solida SS_logo_RGB_high

The winner of the £40 (40 Pound) gift certificate from Simply Solids is Lisa (@shiraz_and_sewing on IG) who made this scrappy quilt:


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Quilt Ranch logo

A $25 gift certificate from The Quilt Ranch goes to Ioleen who blogs at Back Home Quilter and made this festive Christmas Table Topper:


Congratulations to all the winners and THANK YOU to our sponsors!!