Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sewtopia Projects: Baby Quilts

I pulled out two partially finished baby quilts that have been sitting in boxes for too long. I took them to Sewtopia with the intent to piece the tops and clear out a couple WIPs. There was no final destination for these, and now that they are finished, they are sitting in a pile. They aren't the most impressive quilts I've ever made, but there is something very enjoyable about finishing WIPs that have been sitting around.

I made this hexagon baby quilt from my sample pieces I used when teaching hexagons at Sewing Summit a couple of years ago. They have been sitting in a box since that time. I've almost thrown them away or destashed them several times. After much debate I finally decided to piece them into a small quilt. I cut additional white hexagons and added the border to increase the size.

The backing is pieced rows of the remaining fabrics. 

 I piece my hexagon quilts slightly different from the way I've seen it taught elsewhere. I have tutorials sharing my process: Hexagons Part 1, Hexagons Part 2

I quilted it with an all-over loopy design. I quilted it a bit heavy in order to tack down all the seams. The finished size is about 38" x 40".

This pinwheel quilt is the second half of my Vintage Star baby quilt.  Because I wanted each triangle of the previous quilt different, I was left with 16 remaining triangles to use in a new project. This quilt design was the result of a mistake. I intended to make a second vintage star quilt, but sewed all my color triangles to white fabric without thinking of the actual design. Rather than unpicking, I decided to go with a pinwheel. I actually love that they are different now. Wouldn't they be perfect for a set of twins? Identical fabric, with a different arrangement works perfectly.

I also quilted this project with an all-over loopy design, but on a far larger scale. Because this quilt has fewer seams, I simply needed to keep the quilt together. I prefer less quilting on baby quilts. They seem too stiff with dense quilting.

The colors for the quilt were chosen from this flannel I used for the backing. It's been put away for a while and needed to be used.

The finished size is 38" x 38".

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sewtopia Projects: Bags

Sewtopia was a month ago, and I'm finally getting around to posting about my projects I worked on and completed while there. I particularly enjoyed Sewtopia because there was very little structure. I was able to have huge blocks of time to just sew--something I get so rarely. I was thrilled with how much I got done. I finished piecing three quilt tops and completed four bags. I've already shared my Metro Twist quilt. Today I'm sharing pictures of my completed bags.

My Sewtopia accomplishments:

First off I made a clutch purse. I made one at Sewing Summit a few years ago, but wanted to try it again. I used an 3" x 8" frame and followed the pattern by Diane from Random or die. Although I knew I could probably wing this one and figure out the sizing, I opted for a pattern. It's really nice having someone else take the guess work out of a project like this. I love how it turned out. I used Velveteen from Anna Maria Horner. It makes is so classy. I'll be making more.

I used grey Essex linen for the lining. 

And then there were yet more Sew Together Bags. Several months back I wasn't in the mood for sewing and instead took that time to cut out nine Sew Together Bags. It was a perfect project to take to the retreat! I had all the pieces prepped and ready to go. All the pieces, even the zippers, were together and ready in a Ziploc bag together. I grabbed three and completed each of them. It took all the stress out of holiday teacher gifts this year.

My son's teacher loves pink. I hope this isn't too pink! This fabric is very bright.

Teacher gifts--checked off the list!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Woven quilt from Scraps Inc.

Do you ever have a design that forms in your head over years and finally comes out even better than you'd hoped. That is the case with this quilt:

Photo Credit: Lucky Spool Media, Photographer Lauren Hunt

I had the chance to contribute this pattern to the newly-released Scraps Inc., published by Lucky Spool Media. This is a really great book! (I promise I'm not just saying that!) I was thrilled to be included in this project with so many amazing quilters. The great part about compilation books is the variety of designs. Everyone contributed such great projects. There are several I want to make.

Photo Credit: Lucky Spool Media

This quilt was so much fun to create. I sketched out this design a few years ago and hadn't found the right opportunity to make it. It works perfectly for scraps or that stack of fat quarters you don't know what to do with. Several years ago I made a table runner with the same concept of this quilt. I've always wanted to turn this design into a full quilt.

Photo Credit: Lucky Spool Media

The quilting was done by my wonderfully-talented friend, Barbie Mills at The Quilting Mill. Barbie does beautiful long-arm work, and I am thrilled with the results on this project.

Photo Credit: Lucky Spool Media, Photographer Lauren Hunt

Photo Credit: Lucky Spool Media

I love this one a lot, although I'm debating on starting a new version--maybe mixing up the design a bit or using only solids. I love the strip blocks. They are perfect for scraps. 

This book is out just in time for the holidays and would be a perfect gift for your favorite quilter. Until December 1 you can purchase the book at 30% off the original retail price. Use the coupon code "SCRAP30" at checkout for the discount

Check out other page shots from Scraps Inc. over on the Lucky Spool website.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Metro Twist Quilt

I finished!

I have been working on this project for a while. It wasn't one I felt the need to rush through. I had all the curved pieces sewn and trimmed when I headed to Sewtopia two weeks ago. I just needed to piece it all together. I was able to finish the quilt top while at the retreat and get it basted. I chose to bring it home to quilt rather than attempting it there. We didn't have enough table space to deal with a quilt this size. I prefer to quilt on my kitchen table giving myself the whole table to hold the weight of the quilt. So during the week following Sewtopia I slowly worked on quilting this guy. I was able to get it bound this past weekend and can't wait to show it off tonight at MQG!

I used the Quick Curves Ruler and Metro Twist pattern (both from Sew Kind of Wonderful). The original pattern is for a quilt 40" x 55", but mine kept growing until I ran out of fabric. The final size of my quilt is 60" x 77" which is great for a throw.

I used a FQ bundle of Field Day from Alison Glass. I have come to adore Alison's fabric because of the richness and saturation of her colors. I am not a purple person, but I couldn't help but use her large scale purple print from this line for the back. I had excess from the backing and chose to cut that up for one additional row. The purple row doesn't excessively stand out. I love how it's difference is relatively subtle. The background is made up of a mix of low volume prints from my stash. I chose only very simple ones as I didn't want them to compete too much with the Field Day fabric. I love the end result. I feel it provides texture without distraction.

The backing print is pretty amazing. This print is the reason I bought this line in the first place. Because my quilt kept growing my backing was too short. Luckily a friend at Sewtopia had a bolt of yarn-dyed Essex in black on hand and I was able to lengthen it without too much trouble.

The quilting was a challenge. I wanted to do something custom, but considering I do this on my standard machine, I struggled a bit. I am starting to get frustrated with my quilting ability because I want to do more yet feel very constrained by using a domestic machine. I need to start renting time on a longarm and give it a try.

I matched my seam for the backing. I glue basted the sections to match everything up before stitching. It's a fantastic method. I'm a convert!

Have a great Thursday!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Handmade Christmas Blog Hop

I have a confession. I'm addicted to washi tape. Do I ever use it? Rarely. Do I have a ton of it? Absolutely! Plus, I'm so tempted every time I see a cute roll or two. I just can't pass it by. It's as bad as fabric!

I was contacted by F&W Media to participate in a fun little Handmade Christmas blog hop featuring projects from several holiday books they have out right now: Washi Tape Christmas, Crochet your Christmas, Handmade Scandinavian Christmas, and Kids Make Christmas. I chose to review Washi Tape Christmas by Kami Bigler and received a free e-copy to browse.

Source: F&W Media
This book has some fun ideas that got me a bit out of my washi tape comfort zone. My typical use for washi tape is slapping it around the edge of something such as when mailing an envelope or decorating a simple take-out box as below.

I pulled out my holiday tape that has been sitting in my box for nearly a year and made a few cards! again, really simple, but a fun way to use my overabundance of tape. I'm not generally a card maker.

I also pulled out some non-traditional colors like the black with red to mix it up a bit. I love how quickly these little cards came together. 

Finally, I made one decorative washi ball. These are fragile and easily smashed, but my youngest daughter loves this. I see more of these in the future. To make this project easier with kids, scrapbook paper could be used rather than adding the washi tape as embellishment. Either way would be so cute. My finished project was a bit on the larger side. I will use shorter strips next time.

Washi Tape Christmas has some very fun ideas to use that stash of tape! Check out the other cute ideas from all four books on the blog hop this month! Head over to F&W's blog for the full list. Thanks for stopping by today!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Washi Tape Christmas for this review.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Bloggers' Quilt Festival--Autumn Improv

Today I'm entering my Autumn Improv Quilt in the Original Designs category of the Blogger's Quilt Festival. I've supported the quilt festival for several years because I feel it's a great way to see some amazing projects others have created that I otherwise might not get a chance to see.

Yesterday I posted a tutorial on this quilt for the Oakshott Cottons blog hop. Today I'm sharing a bit more detail about the actual quilt itself.

I love fall. It's my favorite season. The colors are amazing and the weather is perfect. I've wanted to make a new fall quilt for a while. The Oakshott Cottons worked perfectly for this design.

The finished size is about 55" x 68". There is at least one leave in every color from the Oakshott Autumn bundle. I used about 20 different low volume prints. Everything is randomly improv pieced. It's quilted in a simple loopy design.

I intend to eventually add hand stitched quilting detail to each leaf. I started on this orange leaf, and as you can see, the perle cotton I used is a little too similar in color. I'll use more contrast on the coming leaves.

I do love how it is looking on the back. I chose a very simple backing so the leaf outlines will stand out.