Sunday, August 7, 2016

August OMG Goal

Well, I didn't finish my July One Monthly Goal over at Red Letter Quilts, which was to machine quilt this star quilt.

I got about halfway done and then decided it wasn't worth giving up sleep to finish! Here's a peek at what it looks like so far--I have all of the stars done and one section of black finished (look doesn't show up really well in this photo!). I chose four different free motion designs for the star points, just for practice, and then I'm doing straight lines for the black sections. The pieced parts are so busy that the quilting isn't really evident, and that's fine, but I do like the straight lines on the black background sections! 

My August OMG is to finish this quilt--finish the machine quilting and then bind it. I'm planning to do a colorful scrappy binding. Here's hoping I have better luck this month! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

My Frequency Quilt

Back in the spring, I was lucky enough to have a design featured in Modern Patchwork magazine. I called the quilt "Frequency," inspired by the spacing of the color strips. 

 I'll be honest, I really like this quilt. It's simple in both design and construction, and the fabric really makes the quilt. I used the Color Weave collection from Contempo Studio (part of Benartex). The fabrics have a subtle weave on them, creating texture. The line consists of nine colors in light, medium and dark versions, plus white, black, and two grays. (I also like how Modern Patchwork photographed it (above) and how they photographed it in the opposite direction from how I photographed it (below).)

I will admit that for how simple this quilt is, I did my best to screw it up several times. I was chain piecing to speed the process along because I was working under a deadline and kept making dumb mistakes, sewing the wrong size pieces together. Ugh! Nothing like making something harder than it needs to be! 

I used straight line quilting, which I think worked really well for the design. (And conveniently, the easiest kind of machine quilting!)

There's an interview on Benartex's blog today with me about this quilt, which talks about the backing (shown above) and the inspiration behind the quilt (hint: it's based on the runner below, which I also designed). Check out the interview here

Find Modern Patchwork here.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Block Happy! Summer edition

Scattered in amongst bigger projects I work on are the blocks I make for two groups--our Great Lakes Modern Quilt Guild online challenges, and my do.Good Stitches Believe circle. Here are the last few months' worth of each. 

I showed these already--economy blocks I made for our March GLMQG meeting. 

But, I didn't show this. Here's how many blocks we had in the raffle--73! Aren't they fun?! And guess who won them?!?! 
Yep, me! 
Now I just have to decide what to do with them. There are a lot, but they are only 5" finished. So I either need to make more or decide on a layout that incorporates additional fabric pieces into it. Any ideas? I can't wait to play with these!

Our May GLMQG block: A Star block with a made fabric center. I was the speaker at our March meeting and gave a demonstration on made fabric--both how to make it, and then how to use it. I was surprised by how many made fabric projects I actually have! 

 My do.Good Stitches April blocks: 

And May:

And June: 

I just got my sewing machine back from a tune-up while I was on vacation--time to get July's blocks completed before the end of the month! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Preschool quilting projects

My posts the last few months have been very One Monthly Goal focused. I've been sewing beyond those goals; much of it just hasn't made it into posts! Time to change that. 

In April, right about the time that I was assembling the Row by Row quilt, another project needed time-sensitive finishing. I had volunteered to create a quilt for my middle son's preschool using fabric handprints traced by the kids and the seniors at the church where preschool is held. Hooray for fusible web! Preschool parent volunteers cut out the majority of the hands (thank goodness!); my mom and I finished the rest. 

The quilt was fairly simple to assemble--after I'd laid out the hand prints into rows (each set of two are the tracings of a preschooler's hand and his/her senior partner)--I just added sashing and an outer border. I'd considered using more colors and/or a patterned print, and/or adding appliqued words to the border, but ultimately decided the hand prints were busy enough and nothing else was needed. 
I finished the quilt top in time for it to be displayed the last day of preschool--it'll be quilted and bound by fall to hang in the room when preschool starts again. (Though my son will be in kindergarten--two in school and one to go!)

The second, connected project was a gift for our wonderful preschool teacher. She taught each of my two older boys for two years. This was her last year, and while I would have loved to make her a duplicate of the above quilt, it just wasn't going to happen. Instead, I created a wall hanging, re-using some of the hand shapes from the kids in the full quilt. The Bible verse hand embroidered on the front is "Children are a gift from the Lord." -Psalms 127:3.  My friend Stephanie offered to do the hand embroidery for me--I was so grateful, as I'm not good at that, and she did a wonderful job! I quilted it myself.

Another guild friend, Pam, offered to machine embroider the label for the back. (Thank you again, Pam!) I thought this verse was so appropriate for a preschool, but it was too long for the front of the wall hanging. The label was a perfect spot for it. 

It's always gratifying to use my sewing talents to create gifts for special people! 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

OMG: Time for some machine quilting!

I was searching my computer this morning for a photo of the quilt top that I'm planning to quilt in July as my One Monthly Goal. And I couldn't find it. Which made me realize that I hadn't shared it yet here on the blog!

Love the stained glass effect from the light shining through.

This quilt is another made from my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks. In addition to the 25-patches, I sewed a 12-1/2" square of made fabric in each month's color. My plans for these squares changed several times until I saw this quilt by Rachel from In Color Order

My version uses black as the background--there was enough going on in the star that I didn't need more color! Once I finished the made fabric squares, this quilt went together really quickly. Using sixteen 12" square blocks will do that for you! 

So my July goal is to quilt this quilt! I'm thinking straight lines. Thanks as always to Heidi at Red Letter Quilts for hosting this monthly kick-in-the-butt!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

OMG Complete for June!

Ready for a potent punch of color? 

I completed my June One Monthly Goal--machine quilting and binding my tulip wallhanging made from Paintbrush Studio's Painter's Palette Solids.

I quilted it with lots of freehand straight lines--my go-to for machine quilting on my own machine. I like how it turned out! I used six different colors of thread, a first for me. I do love quilting small projects--easy to handle and they go fairly quickly! 

The "texture" shot:

I love the back as well because of the different colored threads! 

Thanks as always to Heidi at Red Letter Quilts for organizing OMG--it keeps me moving forward on projects that I'm having trouble finishing! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

OMG June Goal: Quilt my spring tulip wall hanging!

I have lost a quilt top in my studio. And my studio is actually fairly neat at the moment...
For the last couple of months, it's been my plan to quilt this top as my One Monthly Goal project over at Red Letter Quilts. I look for it during the first week of each month and then give up and pick a different goal. You can't quilt what you can't find...
So I switched gears for my June goal but will keep looking for the mystery top. 

A year ago spring, I designed this "Tulip Time" wall hanging using the Graphix 3 collection from Paintbrush Studio. The tutorial was featured on their blog, Inspired by Fabric. 
(You can find it here.)

I love the geometric prints and the spring-y array of colors. In fact, this wall hanging is currently adorning my front door. 

This spring, I stitched an updated version using the Painter's Palette Solids collection from Paintbrush Studio. I got this far and for whatever reason, I ran out of steam to finish it. 
Don't you love these colors?!

So, my June OMG is to finish this wall hanging--add a border, machine quilt it, and bind it. In a busy month (why did I volunteer to organize VBS?), this seems like an attainable goal, and it's certainly a UFO I'd like to get crossed off my list!