Monday, November 16, 2015

Block Happy again!

Every few months I do a post of all the blocks I've made recently--either for my do.Good Stitches group (Believe), the GLMQG online activity, or for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, which I started strong on and have been woefully behind ever since...
I just checked and my last block update was in April (!), so this will be long! :)

First, do.Good Stitches blocks:

April blocks:

May blocks: (aren't these fun?!) The ended up raw edge appliqued onto a dark background. 

June blocks:

July block:

August blocks:

September blocks:

October blocks: (I loved making these--this is a quilt as you go block--improvisationally pieced). GLMQG might be seeing this block concept again soon for an upcoming challenge--they're super fun!)

November blocks: 

If you want to see some of these blocks made into quilts,
visit our Believe group's Flickr page.

Great Lakes Modern Quilt Guild Online Activity Blocks:

LOVE this patched liberated Churn Dash block! This was our challenge block in May. After making this, one block, I really want to try an entire quilt, either with this block or a similar content. Find out more about the block tutorial/quilt, made by Sarah at Sew Joy Creationshere.

Our September block was this "Hexing Around" block was designed by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced. You can find the tutorial here. I liked this block because it is a hexagon without all the Y-seams and piecing drama of your typical hexagons.

BTW, here is my new resource, both for personal inspiration and for the GLMQG online activities.
Check out all these block tutorials!

Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks:
I was on top of this year-long challenge in January and February. March and April, I was a bit behind on, but I caught up (see below). I have May (green), half done, and haven't touched it since. Yes, I realize I'm making it more difficult for myself by doing six blocks in each color scheme, but as long as you have the scraps might as well use as many up as possible, right? Plus, think of all the scrap quilts I'll have at the end of the year (if I get back on track!). Each month, I am trying to make two 25-patch star blocks, two Log Cabin blocks one rectangular "slab", and one improv piecing block. 



A look at my January-April Log Cabin blocks all combined together--can't wait to see this with eight more color combos!

And the January-April star blocks together:

In September I ordered Jackie Kunkel's book, Splash of Color. I love the quilts in this book and the cheeriness they exude! I am definitely going to use her quilts as inspiration for assembling some of my RSC blocks into quilts when I get to that point. Love the idea of surrounding these blocks with dynamic black and white prints! 
Love the pin, bookmark and postcard that came with the book!
Thanks Jackie!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

ALYOF November goal: It's stocking time!

I am the unofficial stocking maker for both my family and my husband's family. And there was another baby this year, which means it's time for another stocking! 

I made these stockings four years ago for my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Then in 2013, I made a stocking for their son (which I can't find a photo of?!). They had a second little boy this August and he needs a stocking to hang by the chimney this year.

Normally I make stockings in December, but this year I'm trying something different. :) 
So my November goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes is to pieced and quilt the stocking front and back. (I have a friend who embroiders the names, so I'm only committing to finishing the stocking up to the point of adding the name because I'm not sure when I'll get the name from her.) But if I have the stocking ready to be assembled by the end of November, I'll be in great shape for Christmas! 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

ALYOF: The purple "N" pillow

I tried to make this month's ALYOF goal a lot harder than it needed to be. My plan was to make a pillow for a good friend with Northwestern's "N" on it (we both went to school there). I intended to piece the pillow front, figuring that with a few well-placed HSTs, I'd be set.

Not so much.
Even though I looked at that logo for 4 years of college and umpteen times (especially every Saturday in fall, when I put my shirt on for the football game!) in the 15 years since, apparently I'd never examined it with a quilter's eye.
Not so easy to piece.
So I took the easy route--applique!
And finished the pillow (which has been on my mental to-do list since August) in about two hours, mainly because of all of the straight line quilting.
(badly lit phone photo because my good camera and
my computer were not on speaking terms tonight!)

Hoping I can find a few other fellow Northwestern alums who would like one, as this pillow was fun to make!
Linking up with ALYOF at Sew BitterSweet Designs.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival Entry: Ocean Waves

My second entry for the Fall 2015 Blogger's Quilt Festival is another quilt I designed myself, 
Ocean Waves. 

I pieced this quilt entirely with turquoises from my stash. (Yep, clearly I like turquoise!). In direct contrast to that, I had to buy 6 different grays to round out my gray stash for those 4 blocks. I have plenty of gray, too, but gray is such a tricky color! 

After I designed this quilt, I submitted it to Modern Patchwork magazine. It was accepted (yay!) and then I asked my friend Diane Oakes to quilt it. She did, in record time, and I sent it off to the magazine. 

Quilting close-up:

You can really see the quilting motif on the back, too:

More recently, this quilt also hung in the modern row of our guild's show,
Quilts Kalamazoo. 

Quilt stats: 

Size: 56" x 66"
Designed and pieced by: me
Quilted by: Diane Oakes

See more about my two quilts featured in Modern Patchwork here.

Blogger's Quilt Festival Entry: My Gwen Marston quilt

I was recently a part of our guild's bi-annual quilt show, Quilts Kalamazoo. I had four quilts hanging in the show, including this one, which I called "Look through My Window." It's the quilt I started in a a Gwen Marston liberated medallion workshop in April 2014. This is currently my favorite quilt that I've made, and I'm entering this quilt in the Fall 2015 Blogger's Quilt Festival.

Here it is hanging at the show:

And here's a closer look. I'm embarrassed to admit there isn't a picture of me standing with any of my quilts in the show. I'm blaming that on the fact that I was in charge of taking photos of all 250+ quilts in the show for a commemorative CD, and by the time I finished that, I was DONE taking pictures. 

Flashback pic: Here is my medallion in progress (with Gwen!)--I came to the workshop with the center done out of made fabric and the first brown windowpane border. I added the next four borders during the workshop.

A close-up of the center, quilted.

A close-up of the rest of the quilting. 

Quilt Stats:
Size: 46" square
Designed, pieced and machine quilted by: Me!

As I said above, this is my current favorite quilt. I love the techniques used to make it (thanks, Gwen!), I love the color palette, and I'm proud of the quilting I did on it. Now that the quilt show is over, the next step is to hang it on the wall in our family room. Can't wait!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October ALYOF: A Pillow Birthday Gift

I have two (secret) quilted birthday gifts on my to-do list and I'm making one of them my October goal for  A Lovely Year of Finishes, the super-effective monthly motivator hosted by Sew BitterSweet Designs and Fiber of All Sorts.

Right now the project consists of yardage of these two fabrics:

And an idea in my head. 
Here's to transforming that idea into reality! 

And, since the only photo in this post is fairly boring, let me up the cuteness factor with a picture of my newest sewing assistant:

Pretty sure I'm going to think he's a little less cute when he trips over that ruler and breaks it in half...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September ALYOF Goal: A whole lotta quilting!

I finished my September goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes, hosted by Sew BitterSweet Designs and Fiber of All Sorts--quilting my liberated medallion quilt started at Gwen Marston's workshop last year--with 3 hours to spare. 
So pretty much right on schedule for me! 

I had almost as much fun quilting this as piecing it. I did a different motif in each border/section of the quilt, and because I was working in borders, it all seemed manageable (well, that and the quilt's smallish size--48" square!). Much of my motif inspiration came from  my go-to free motion quilting resource: Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters. Love that book! 

Here's the center:

And a few of the borders:

And the outer border:

And a look at the texture of the quilt:

This quilt (and three others) are hanging in the Quilts Kalamazoo show in nine days. Which means I'll be carving out some time the next few days to bind this quilt and add hanging sleeves to all four quilts. It's totally acceptable to attach hanging sleeves with safety pins, rather than stitching, right?!