Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Elephant Fam

I think I've developed a bit of an obsession with these little elephants.  Miss C was quite sad when she found out my first one wasn't destined for her, so of course I had to make one for her.  The pink one is hers, and she is thrilled with it.  It even came to the zoo with us yesterday.  I again used the elephant pin cushion pattern from Heather Bailey.  I enlarged the pattern to 140% to make the two larger ones.  The large blue one was my first official order.  It will be in the mail soon.  The little green guy with brown ears is headed to a friend.  I'm officially sick of the pattern now.  No more elephants, although they are so dang cute.

Amy suggested I add in a picture to give a bit of perspective on the size of these guys.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Free Motion Quilting Ideas

Last week at the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild we brainstormed free motion quilting (FMQ) ideas.  I just have to say first off that I love my quilt group.  I haven't missed a meeting since we first got together more than a year ago.  It's a great group of women who have fabulous ideas and talent.  I'm always inspired when I go.  If you are a modern quilter in the SLC area, you need to come to our group.  Members honestly plan their vacations around the group to make sure they can come.  I look forward to it every month.  Now, moving onto the topic of the post.

In our group we've had many discussions about FMQ and how to break out of the stippling rut.  We all seem to have our favorite basic pattern.  I tend to feel safest doing a loopy pattern.  I'm always afraid of doing much more because I'm worried I'll ruin my quilt. Earlier this month at our Saturday sew-in we had Andrea show some of her favorite techniques.  Then at last week's meeting other members had the chance to doodle their favorite designs.

Leigh from Leedle Deedle Quilts just started up a flickr group called Modern Free Motion Quilting: A Reference.  This group is only for close-up pictures of FMQ done on home machines rather than long-arm.  It's meant to be exactly what it's called--a reference or a catalog of FMQ ideas.  I'm excited to see what pops up in that group.

Here are some of the ideas people came up with. Poor lighting and the reflection from the white board made picture taking a bit difficult, but you get the idea.

Erin from Two More Seconds:

Konda from Moose on the Porch Quilts showed how to do wood grain:

Leigh from Leedle Deedle Quilts:

This one is made by quilting a straight line with a free motion foot, stopping and quilting the inner circle, returning to the same position, then continuing on the same straight line and quilting the second circle.

Rachel from Creative Quilt Girl showed her fabulous puzzle design as well as a flower design:

The puzzle is done on a grid with the free motion foot, alternating the puzzle connections.  This is easiest when you're able to use quilt seams as a guide.

Kayli from Quilt Finishing is a long arm quilter and had lots of ideas as well:

Now go check out the Modern Free Motion Quilting: A Reference, join the group and stick a picture or two in there if you have some.  I'm vowing to be a bit more adventurous in my FMQ from now on.  I really want to start trying some new designs.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Central Park Baby Quilt

My cute neighbor (the one who thinks I'm a tad bit crazy for photographing blankets in my backyard) had her overdue baby yesterday.  I decided very last minute to make a quilt for them.  Because I had only a short amount of time to put it together I came up with this very simple pattern.  I pulled out the remainder of my Central Park fabric and made this quilt in just a few days.  I really wanted to do the squares on point, but I didn't have enough fabric and wanted to just use what I had.

 I used up all my leftover charms for the front and had some of the purple cobblestone fabric for the binding.  I love the rounded corners.  This was my first time trying it, and I think I will always do that for baby quilts.  I love how it softens the overall look.

I had a few fat quarters that I used for the back which I did set on point.  The final size is 44"x46".  The sashing is Kona Snow.

Not too many pictures this time.  It's snowing around here, and I don't think I'll get another good weather day before I give it to her.  I hope she likes it.   I've decided I love making baby quilts.  I get to make and design a fun, pretty quilt, but they are nice and small with minimal time commitment.  I do have a few more babies coming up (not mine) who need quilts.  I have some fun ideas for those.

Edit: I got my idea for the rounded corners from this post from That girl...That quilt.  She also shows how to cut a bias binding.  I do mine a bit different, but it's all the same in the end.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Stargate--Finished!!

Don't forget to check out my guest post over at Lily's Quilts about the creation of this quilt.

I call it the Stargate quilt because the center Dresden made me think of that movie, even though I haven't seen in years.

I made the pieced Dresden following along with Lynne's Quilt Along over at Lily's Quilts.  The HST design is inspired from this quilt by Red Pepper Quilts.

The New Wave pattern from Oh Fransson inspired the quilt back.

I machine quilted it using my standard loopy quilting style, except the Dresden center which is quilted with pebble quilting.  The fabrics are a scrappy assortment, all from my stash.  The grey is Kona Coal, and the white is Kona White.  The binding is from the Sherbet Pips line.  The finished size is approximately 60"x70".

The color inspiration for this quilt came from this photo from Design Seeds.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Guest posting over at Lily's Quilts

Over the weekend I finished my Stargate Quilt.  I am really excited how it all came together.  Head on over to Lily's Quilts where I'm guest posting today to see it all finished.  I'll post more detail pictures tomorrow, but here's a peak because pictureless posts are just a tad boring.

Monday, April 18, 2011

George the Elephant and Stylish Bloggers

Meet George the Elephant, my newest creation.  Sometimes it's just fun to sew a little project, just because.  I used some of the new Denyse Schmidt fabric to make this little guy.  The pattern is from Heather Bailey.

Also, I was awarded the Stylish Blogger award from Flo over at Butterfly Quilting.  Thanks so much!!  She has been following my blog for a while, and I really appreciate the nomination. 

Here's how it works:
  1. Thank and link back to the person who gave the award.
  2. Then award some of my favorite bloggers, having given them some notice to see if they are willing to accept.
  3. And finally share 7 things about myself.
I nominate these great ladies:
  • Edeenut Creates:  She is an old college roommate and so talented.  She is always makes great projects that look so professional.  
  • Fake It While You Make It:  Carolyn has been sewing dresses recently that make me what to actually try sewing one myself...maybe. 
  • Leedle Deedle Quilts: Leigh just started up her quilting blog.  She is a fabulous quilter and has been at it for years.
  • The Sometimes Quilter: Winnie also just started up her quilting blog.  She has a huge love of Heather Ross, and it shows.  She has a new little baby to help model her quilts and does some fabulous work.
Seven things about myself:
  • I am addicted to the mini Cadbury eggs.  This is a really bad time of year for me and my waist.
  • My favorite shoes are my Croc flip-flops.  Not exactly stylish, but so comfortable.
  • I attended the University of Utah for graduate school.  The university had a full month off in February for the 2002 Winter Olympics, so the hubs and I decided it would be a great time to get married.  Unfortunately, we didn't attend any of the Olympic events.
  • I hate wearing socks.  I will wear sandals as long as it's not snowing and/or at least 40 degrees.
  • I have a beautiful FQ stack of Bliss fabric that I won in a giveaway months ago from Adrianne over at Little Bluebell.  I'm still afraid to cut into it.  It's just too pretty.  I've moved it so I see it all the time hoping for inspiration and motivation to actually cut it up.
  • I love the color orange (though this has only been the case for about year).  
  • I know I've mentioned this before, but I also love Diet Coke.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Slash and Sew Random Quilt Back

I came up with this process of creating a random quilt back when I was trying to use only scraps on the back of my World of Goo quilt.  I simply sewed strips of larger scraps together.  Then I would cut the quilt back in two pieces, rotate the pieces and sew them back together, sometimes adding more pieced scrap strips in between.  I took pictures after several steps in my process of creating my quilt back for A Day at the Aquarium to show how it changes.

I started out with four colors pieced the width of fabric.

I sliced it into two pieces, rotated one piece, and placed another strip in between.  I continue to even out the edges of the quilt as I go.

I did this same step, again adding another strip in between.

I added one more vertical strip then started the process horizontally.  I cut the quilt into about 5 pieces horizontally and flipped them around before sewing everything back together.

I continue cutting, rotating and adding new pieced strips until I'm happy with the result.  It's a simple way to get a fun, random quilt back without too much thinking or work.  It's also a great way to use up all those scraps because you can piece you strips any width, you can use the smaller scraps as well.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Giveaway on leedle deedle quilts

Leigh over at leedle deedle quilts is a friend from my Modern Quilt Guild.  She is having a super fun giveaway with some Heather Ross fabric over on her blog.  Go check it out!

Source: leedle deedle quilts

Two Good Things

Last night two good quilty things happened.

I basted the Stargate quilt, although I think I'll keep the final layout a secret until I've finished quilting it.

A second good thing is that I was named as a runner up in the Win It To Be In It competition at Fat Quarterly.  Scroll down to the bottom of their winners post and you'll see my name and pillow at the end of the post!  It made my night.  I entered almost three months ago and completely forgot about it so it was a nice surprise.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Project Modern Challenge 2 Quilt--A Day at the Aquarium

The winners for the second Project Modern Challenge have been posted so I thought it would be a good day to finally share my submission.  I titled it A Day at the Aquarium.  I've included the submission paragraph below.

There is something wonderful about that moment when a quilt comes alive for me.  It usually happens during the piecing process as it takes shape.  Sometimes it doesn’t happen until after it’s bound and washed.  Sometimes, unfortunately, it never happens at all.  This particular quilt came alive for me as I started cutting and arranging the blocks.  I had a completely different quilt in mind when I ordered a pile of blue solid fabric for this challenge.  That quilt didn’t work out like it did in my head, but then I came across a great tutorial from Bumble Beans Inc. that was perfectly suited for my original intention of creating a quilt that mimicked water.  I originally planned to create something that reminded me of the ocean, but as I cut my blocks for this quilt, I realized how boxy the quilt was becoming.  I was initially disappointed, but as I stood there staring at the quilt blocks on my design wall, I realized it reminded me of something much more personal and important to me than the ocean.  It reminded me of the visits I’ve made to the aquarium with my children.  In fact it made me think of one specific tank.  My oldest, who is three, is particularly taken with the tank where Nemo lives at our aquarium.  We always have to stop at this large tank and find Nemo and his daddy.  She is thrilled when she finds him.  It’s a very important part of the visit.  As I continued putting this quilt together, it made me smile, remembering crazy memories of taking my three-year-old and my one-year-old twins to the aquarium multiple times in the past year.  I added a small orange square among all this blue to remind me to treasure the simple things in life that make my children so happy. 

This quilt was created using the WaveRunner tutorial from Bumble Beans Inc. The finished quilt measures 50x60.  It was pieced with approximately 20 different blue and blue-green fabrics and machine quilted with five different shades of blue thread. 

A few more pictures after it's all washed and crinkly.

I pieced my back using scraps and the same technique as my World of Goo quilt back.  I'll post more pictures later this week to show the transformation as I cut, rotate and sew everything back together.