Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sewing with Jacquie!

A couple weeks ago, Jacquie Gering came to Kalamazoo. In addition to speaking at our guild meeting, she offered two workshops. I took them both! Seeing so many of her quilts up close and personal was inspiring--it was hard to decide what to make during each workshop!

The first day was Slice and Insert Improvisation. 
I chose to use the plus motif for mine. I had fun making these blocks--it was fun to vary the size of the blocks and the plus signs, and play with all these gorgeous indigo prints. 

I'd been saving this bundle of Stardust prints from Contempo for something special. This workshop seemed like the perfect thing. I love these blues!

I auditioned a few different solids for the background. My first try was the red-orange. My 7-year-old, who was with me (and complaining about how long it was taking me to choose one fabric!), was pushing the magenta you see below. Hence the magenta photo bomb. 

I also considered a neutral background: 

I ultimately chose this burnt orange color. I wanted to do something bolder than the neutrals, but not super bright. 

Can't wait to keep working on this quilt!

The second workshop day was Stitch and Flip Improvisation. I chose a dark purple for the background and grabbed blacks, whites, and grays for the corners. Jacquie demonstrated so many different ways to lay these blocks out. I really liked how four wonky corners together looked, so that's the layout I started working on. 
Here's how the black/white blocks looked: 

I liked it, but wanted a pop of color. I added in a few bits of lime, orange and turquoise just for fun.It'll be fun to sew these blocks together! 

Me with Jacquie--she's a great teacher and a lot of fun! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

OMG: October Goal

 My October goal for the One Monthly Goal challenge over at Red Letter Quilts was an easy choice!

I recently got my preschool handprint quilt back from my friend Diane Oakes, who quilted it. So my goal is to bind it! I have plenty of solid scraps left from making the handprints, so I'll be doing a scrappy binding.

I gave Diane free rein to quilt this--I love both the yellow thread color and the three different designs she used. Plus, she loosely quilted the edges of each hand print for a little added security. 

Can't wait to get this quilt done and hang it up at preschool!

Friday, September 30, 2016

September OMG: Dresses!

My September One Monthly Goal (thanks Heidi @Red Letter Quilts!) was to sew two doll dresses for my niece's baby doll. They are not examples of high-quality workmanship--apparel sewing is still not my thing!--but I think they turned out cute.

It was fun to pick the fabrics to use. I use a tutorial for a doll peasant dress from Ruth Plus Two, and it worked really well. I skipped putting elastic in the sleeves--too difficult! I'll be mailing these to my niece on Monday and I hope she likes them! 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Applique entry

I never thought I'd have an applique quilt to enter in the Blogger's Quilt Festival (or any quilt show!). Applique is not usually my thing. However, this spring, I designed the "Home Is Where You Make It" quilt using Paintbrush Studio's Leather collection as inspiration for the Row by Row Experience. Now I'm entering it in the Applique category of the Blogger's Quilt Festival.
This quilt measures approximately 48" x 65".
I designed this quilt, Linda Smoker created the full-size templates for me, and Diane Oakes quilted it (with 9 different colors of thread!). 

The theme for this year's Row by Row Experience was "Home Sweet Home" and I took this theme a little outside the box--after all, home is wherever you are. While I am not a snowbird, and likely won't ever be--I like winter too much!--this quilt is a nod to the snowbirds of our country. 
Row 1: At home in the neighborhood (complete with camper)
Row 2: Snow begins to fall--time to leave town!
Row 3: On the road. And on, and on, and on. 
Row 4: Setting up "home" near the beach
Row 5: Relaxing on the beach. 

Beyond the fabric colors, I tied the different rows together with small details--the birdhouse and bird, the quilt on the clothesline, the flowers...
See more photos of this quilt here.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Scrappy Quilt entry

My Blogger's Quilt Festival entries this fall were easy to choose.

This is my current favorite quilt! 
It began with 12-1/2" squares of made fabric that I stitched as part of the Rainbow Scrap challenge. I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do with these scrappy, colorful blocks until I saw this quilt by Rachel from In Color Order. I knew I could use that design idea idea for a huge, scrappy, rainbow star quilt. So I did! 
This scrappy star quilt measures approximately 48" square.

I used four different quilting motifs in the star (one for each set of two-color diamonds) and then quilted straight lines in the black background. Of course the binding had to be scrappy! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

OMG: Venturing into 3D sewing?!

I don't do 3-D sewing. Or at least I don't usually like to--especially clothing. About 6 years ago, I made a tinkerbell costume for my niece. It turned out all right, but I swore off sewing clothes at that point.

I have three boys of my own, and a total of seven nephews and only three nieces. So there aren't many dolls or much girly-ness in my house. My youngest niece got her first doll for Christmas, and this summer my sister-in-law asked me if I could fix the dress the doll came with, as it was falling apart. The dress, shown below, wasn't really fixable. The fabric was pretty much shredding. 

So I've decided to pull out some of my "girly" fabric and sew two dresses for my niece's doll. Very simple dresses. Not like the fairy costume! :) 
Sewing two dresses is my September One Monthly Goal

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August OMG complete!

Since I didn't finish this in July, I was bound (pun intended) and determined to finish it up for my August One Monthly Goal over at Red Letter Quilts! And I did, with a couple days to spare. I do love how the quilting on the black background came out, as well as the pop of the colored binding. 

Here's a close-up of the center, where you can (kind of) see my quilting motifs. Each diamond (purple/yellow, orange/dark green, etc.) had a different motif, several taken from Angela Walter's excellent Free Motion Quilting book. I used gray thread as a neutral that wouldn't take away from any of the color. 

The four side background pieces have quilting that echoes the star edge, with lines 1/2" apart. 

I debated for the corners. Did I want to continue the echo quilting, and essentially quilt right angles in each corner, or did I want the lines to radiate out from the star point? I went for radiating and I do like it. Incidentally, I did mark these lines but didn't mark the side background lines. 

I chose a gray/black polka dot for the backing. It's hard to see the quilting really well in the photo, but you can see the star shape! Considering how scrappy this quilt was, a colorful scrappy binding seemed like the only choice. :)