Friday, April 7, 2017

OMG April: Exploding Stars!

My OMG goal for April is simple--to finish my exploding stars quilt top! 
This one has been on my design wall for a few weeks, and I can't wait to finish it! (And to free up my design wall!)

Friday, March 31, 2017

OMG March: Quilted Froggy!

I finished my One Monthly Goal for March--to machine quilt by scrappy Mr. Froggy! 

I did large pebbles in the blue to create a water look (using blue thread). 

And just stitched lines in the frog (in green, of course!). 

For the outer border, I resorted to my favorite quilting motif, which I learned from Angela Walters' Free Motion Quilting book. It's fun to do and I love how it looks! 

It feels so good to get these goals crossed off my list; especially the machine quilting goals, because like all of us, I have way too many quilt tops waiting to be quilted! 

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts and pondering my April goal...

Monday, March 13, 2017

Block Happy! Winter Edition

It's been a long time since I've shared do.Good Stitches blocks that I've made! I'd like to make a couple of these quilts myself...

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016 

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

Friday, March 10, 2017

The quilt that wouldn't take "no" for an answer

Have you ever seen a quilt design that grabbed you and you just had to make it? As in, right then? 

On Wednesday, while browsing online, I stumbled across this Exploding Star quilt by Sarah from Confessions of a Fabric Addict. (BTW, if you're not familiar with Sarah, check out her blog! Each spring she puts on the Hands 2 Help Charity Quilt Challenge, encouraging quilters to make and donate a quilt. It's a great event!)
Sarah's Exploding Stars quilt. Find the tutorial here.

I couldn't get this quilt design out of my head. I needed to make it. I browsed through my Painter's Palette Solids stash and picked out colors. So much fun to pick out all these happy, saturated brights. My only constraints were I needed to find four colors with enough fabric to cut the large stars. I had 2-1/2 yards of a light gray hanging around, so I was set for background. 

I had Thursday night all to myself, so I got started, letting this quilt leapfrog all the other things I should have been doing (dishes, work, sleeping...). 

I made one star block completely, and then worked on the remaining three assembly-line style, which went faster. I don't love trimming HSTs, but I do love how that pile of bright scraps looks!

I started sewing at 9:15 and finished the last star block at 12:30. I would have loved to do more, but it was time for bed. I can't wait to finish it! 

Thanks, Sarah, for such a wonderful design! 

Monday, March 6, 2017

OMG March: Mr. Froggy

I've got my March goal for One Monthly Goal over at Elm Street Quilts! And totally by coincidence, it's green! 

Three years ago, on a family trip to Disney World, I took a photo of a tile floor in a bathroom, thinking it would make a great quilt. 

Three years later, the idea became a quilt top, in large part thanks to my mom. She's a quilter as well, and always happy to pitch in with some sewing help. I sent her the directions for making the quilt, as well as a bag of green, blue and white scraps. 

Here's what she returned to me: 
(Thanks Mom!)

My March goal is to machine quilt Mr. Froggy. After spending a long weekend staring at Jacquie Gering's walking foot machine quilting, I'm eager to try out some of her designs!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

QuiltCon Recap - Part 2

My second demo at QuiltCon was Making Wonky Mini Four-Patches. 
I used these cute precut 2-1/2" squares--Paintbrush Studio calls them Paint Chips--to make two different styles of wonky four-patches. 

Here's a pic from the first demo (I had another super helpful "Vanna" holding my quilts). 

A look at the quilt--Four-Patch Parade. I made teeny wonky four-patches (1-1/4" finished) and inserted them into gray and white strips. 

Love the quilting--done by Diane Oakes--she even included little machine quilted four-patches for fun!

Larger wonky four-patches, made by combining four 2-1/2" squares and then cutting them wonkily. A simple but fun mini quilt. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

QuiltCon Recap - part 1

The Hashtag quilt wasn't the only design I had at the show. I was asked to do two demos, so I created samples using the Painter's Palette Solids.

My first demo was Mod Illusions: The 3Ds of Quilts Made with Solids. The quilts you see below demonstrate the principles I talked about. 

Here's me, mid-demo. The Modern Quilt Guild provided me with a "Vanna" to hold up quilts while I talked. (thanks, Chelsea!)

Here's what the demo crowd looked like:

 And just to keep things real, here's a selfie from earlier that morning. I am a water girl, not a coffee drinker. But after a late arrival in Savannah the night before, I decided to sugar up with a chai tea latte. I noticed the lovely stain on my shirt after I got to the convention center. Yikes! Thankfully our hotel was right next door, so I could pop back and change before the demo! 

Here's the "In & Out Log Cabin" quilt, which shows how you can create the illusion of peaks and valleys with value changes. My friend Diane Oakes quilted it. 

A close-up of the quilting, which I love! 

My "Woven Hashtag" variation--a larger version of the block from the Hashtag quilt, but each strip uses four different values to create a gradated illusion. (Diane quilted this one as well.)

"Mod Tumber" - This might be my favorite. Short tangent here. When I first started quilting (17 years ago!), I fell in love with the tumbling block concept. Some wise soul suggested that not be my first quilt. The tumbling block ended up so far on the back burner that I didn't make it until this one. I love the 3-D effect here! And sidenote--if you're considering a tumbling block quilt, definitely use triangles for the black parts in my quilt rather than sewing Y seams! Much easier!

I sewed this quilt the day before I left for QuiltCon, so I quilted it myself. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Everyone's a Star Quilt Along - Week 5

I'm over @Sewinlovewithfabric today showing how to assemble the Everyone's a Star Quilt Along using Contempo's Zentastic fabrics. 

I assembled this by adding sewing the sashing strips and squares to each block, rather than assembling sashing rows separately from block rows. 
(Check out the blog post to see a visual.)

p.s. Notice those lovely brown leaves in the background? That was yesterday. Today there's snow on the ground. Happy spring?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

OMG February: Complete! (plus a quilt at QuiltCon)

Besides the lovely OMG challenge, which keeps me committed to completing some part of at least one project per month, I had extra incentive this month! My goal was to bind a quilt that I'd recently finished, and I needed to do so because it would be hanging in a booth at QuiltCon! Here is the finished quilt, with completed binding. 


A little background on the quilt: 
I wanted to design a quilt using hashtags because of how much IG has become a part of the quilting world. After settling on the actual hashtag look, I played around with the two different background colors, which I think really enhance the design. 

The key to making the design work was to have four different shades of each color for the hashtags. Easier said than done. I had six or seven to choose from for each hashtag (red, yellow, green and blue), and even after I'd selected the top four and stitched a sample block, I realized that I'd have to go back to the drawing board on a few. (Incidentally, these mistakes worked out well, because I also gave a demo at QuiltCon about creating quilts with the illusion of 3D and how shading played into that, so I had examples of what not to do!)
My initial attempts;
the only block that didn't have at least one color swapped out after making these was the red.

Once I settled on the colors and completed the top, it was beautifully quilted by my friend Diane Oakes. I love the combination of the patterns she used in it, even down to the detail of the loop-de-loops along the outer edge!

The quilting from the back:

A side view so we can all enjoy the texture provided by the quilting a little more:

Here is the quilt in the Paintbrush Studio booth. The quilt uses their soft and silky smooth Painter's Palette Solids, which I love working with (168 colors!). The pattern for the Hashtag quilt was given away as a prize to attendees; it will be available on Paintbrush Studio's blog soon and I'll share the link here. 

Me with the quilt: 

I didn't submit anything to QuiltCon this year, but after walking the show, I am going to next year! For now, however, having a quilt hanging in a booth at the show was pretty cool! 

And, just for fun, when I originally designed the quilt, I also created a version in a different colorway. Here it is: 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Everyone's a Star Quilt Along - Week 4

I'm part of the Everyone's a Star Quilt Along @Sewinlovewithfabric. The Quilt Along is in its 4th week--next week it'll be time to assemble the quilt! I'm making the quilt using the Zentastic fabric collection.

Here's my digital rendering for the entire quilt. I used the same white background print and black and gray coordinates in each block, and then chose one bright print as an accent. 
Scrappy, but organized. 

These are my Star #3 blocks--four different colors. 
You can find the tutorial for these blocks here.

I made the blocks just like the tutorial, except when I was cutting the 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" black pieces, I cut half of them from a 4-1/2" wide strip (so I cut 2-1/2" segments) and half from a 2-1/2" strip (where I cut 4-1/2" segments). This allowed me to keep the directional black print all going in the same direction. 

One more week and this quilt top is finished! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Introducing Diamond Drama!

I've spent much of January and February playing with Paintbrush Studio's Painter's Palette Solids. These fabrics are soft and silky, and with 168 colors, there are plenty to choose from! 

I didn't realize until I started doing this how much I enjoyed designing with solids. You'll see over the next few weeks just how much! 

I'm on my way to QuiltCon right now (yippee!), where I'll be giving a few demonstrations using these lovely solids. After I'm done, I'll post about the sample quilts I've made here and tell you more about them, but for now, I'm sharing my newest quilt design.

Introducing....Diamond Drama!

I'm the first to admit that this quilt is quite simple, construction-wise. The key is color choice and placement. I picked four colors to work with--teal, orange, purple and lime, and selected four different shades of each color. Then I paired these brights with white, black, and a variety of grays. The result? Dimension and depth! (Which just might be the theme of one of my demos...)

Of course, fabulous quilting is key as well. Fellow guild member Brianne Moores did a fantastic job quilting it--I'm in love with her stitching!

I will soon be offering this quilt as a pattern for sale (the pattern also includes two additional size options). Stay tuned!