Friday, November 11, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Off the Grid: A Wedding Quilt

Off the Grid (2011)
Off the Grid (2011)

T's sister Kari got married over Labor Day weekend.  Due to scheduling issues, we were not able to be there for the wedding, but flew out for a few days last week.

I brought Kari and Heath's wedding quilt with me on the plane and finished the last bit of the binding as we touched down in Montana!

I wanted to make a quilt large enough for them to share while watching TV on the couch--it ended up finishing at about 70" square.  This is the largest quilt I've made to date.  I wasn't quilt sure how I would get it through my little machine, but it worked!

I used a layer cake of Curio by BasicGrey for Moda, Kona Coal, and the binding is Cross Town in Mist from Hometown by Sweetwater for Moda.  Fabric from Pink Castle Fabrics.

I started out using KarrieLynne's "Boxed In Quilt" pattern, featured in the Moda Bake Shop here

I added sashing between the larger squares, and also made a couple of the squares out of the same fabric as the background fabric.  Once I pieced the squares, however, the top didn't feel finished yet.  Perhaps it was the way KarrieLynne's quilt was staged on an angle, but I kept seeing the design set on point instead of squared up.  I also remembered seeing this one by Ashley at Film in the Fridge:

In order to set it on point, I knew I needed a lot more background fabric.  I added a whole lot of Kona coal on two sides and ended up with this:

To give me an idea of what it would look like on point before I started cutting, I folded the corners under until it approximated the effect I was looking for.

From there, I used chalk, a tape measure and my ruler to mark off the portions I needed to cut off.  (Not gonna lie--this part made me nervous!) I then reattached the cut-off sections elsewhere to reach the final layout.  I quilted it in straight lines in a grid pattern outlining the squares, continuing the same lines onto the gray. I think it looks like the patterned squares "fell out" of the quilted areas on the solid gray.

Off the Grid (2011)

Off the Grid (2011)

On the back I stacked the squares cut from the middles of the large squares on the front.

Off the Grid (2011) back

Off the Grid (2011)

Congratulations Kari and Heath!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Solids Swap -- finished!

For the Love of Solids Swap: It's in the mail and on it's way to you, partner.  I hope you enjoy it, because I sure had a lot of fun sewing for you! Big thanks to Elizabeth of Don't Call Me Betsy and Megan of Canoe Ridge Creations for organizing. They did a fabulous job!

This was my first swap and I had a lot of fun, especially seeing all of the different ideas everyone came up with.  Check out the flickr pool here.  I chose to sew a mini quilt, which turned out a bit larger than I had planned.  Hopefully that's OK with my partner.  I forgot to take final measurements but I think it's about 30"x32".  I used various Kona Solids, some Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen, and a bit of Essex Linen, all from my friend Brenda's shop.

I brought it with me out to Montana this last week to get some glamour shots. Thanks for the photos, T!  Love that late afternoon summer sun.

Here's the front:
For the Love of Solids -- Completed!

A close up of the piecing and quilting:
For the Love of Solids -- Completed!

 And the back:
For the Love of Solids -- Completed!

I'm waiting to show the small item I made until my partner has received it; don't want to give everything away! This was a lot of fun and I hope my partner enjoys the items as much as I enjoyed making them.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Kona Challenge Winners!

I'm a member of the newly formed Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild. Back at our March meeting, each member received a charm pack of Robert Kaufman Kona Solids, in one of four colorways: classic, bright, dusty, or pastel. We then agreed on the following parameters for the challenge:

-Use at least 30 of the charms in the package (there were 41-46 in the packs, depending on the colorway)
-At least half of the charm must be used
-Overall circumference must equal at least 120"
-May use up to (3) additional Kona solids
-Entries must be bound, backed, and quilted (no quilt tops).
-If not all your own work (i.e. quilted by someone else), provide credit.

Submissions were due at our June meeting, where we were able to view and photograph all of the quilts. Then, prior to July's meeting, two winners were selected: a guild choice, chosen through the anonymous votes of our guild members; and a judges' choice, selected by Jill and Marny at Modern Quilt Relish. Jill and Marny were sent photos of all of the quilts, including full and close-up views, but did not know the names or identities of who completed them.

And now, our winners:

(l top and bottom): Judges' Choice winner Natalie and (r top and bottom): Guild Choice winner Jenna!

There were a lot of great entries.  Here are the others:

1. Emily 2. Ginia 3. LeeAnn 4. Kathy 5. Angie 6. Lucinda 7. Lisa 8. Debbie 9. Carol 10. Brenda 11. Ann

Unfortunately for me, my sewing machine decided to stop working the week before our quilts were due.  The good news is that it turned out to be an easy fix without a huge expense.  The bad news is that I was unable to finish my entry.  I am still planning to finish it--stay tuned for photos.

Be sure to check out the Flickr pool to see all of the other Kona solids challenge quilts from guilds everywhere.

Thanks to Jill and Marny of Modern Quilt Relish for judging; Brenda, our president, for organizing; Emily, for help with prize procurement; Debbie, for soliciting our fabulous guest judges; and of course, all of the guild members who entered. It was so much fun to see what everyone came up with!

Have a great weekend!


Friday, July 8, 2011

A few Summer Quilt Alongs

There are a number of fun quilt-alongs happening in blogland lately, it has been hard to choose which ones to join! Or rather, how to limit myself to a reasonable number without going crazy. I've finally decided on two of them, and as for the rest, I'm enjoying reading about how the others are progressing. Here are a few to check out:

Summer Sampler Quilt Along
Farmer's Wife Quilt Along
Rockin' Robin Quilt Along
Warm Cool Quilt Along

Recently Completed but still worth a look--(instructions are posted on all of these sites, so you can still complete them on your own)
Bottled Rainbows Ticker Tape quilt-along
Supernova Quilt Along

So I have decided on two quilt along projects for the summer (for now...:). First, the Kaleidoscope Quilt Along with Don't Call Me Betsy, and, as a bit of a more long-term project, the Double Wedding Ring Quilt Along with The Plaid Scottie. My machine was in the shop for a few days, and then we were out of town last weekend, so I got a little behind on sewing. I'm trying to get caught up this week. For the DWR, I finished getting my arcs printed and cut out, and am now trying to decide on fabric. I'm considering using some of the new Joel Dewberry Heirloom line when it comes out, but I also have my eye on some Hope Valley my friend Brenda has in stock in her shop...

I'm a little further along with the Kaleidoscope QAL. I have the main fabric cut out with the kaleidoscopes sewn to the triangles. Next I need to cut out my background fabric and start piecing. I spent some time this morning working on possible layouts:

Option A: squares
KQAL layout option A: squares

Option B: stars
KQAL layout option B: stars

Option C: kaleidoscopes
KQAL layout option C: kaleidoscopes

Option D: scrappy
KQAL layout option D: scrappy

What do you think?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fabric treats from purl

My parents were in New York a couple of weeks ago. I asked my mom to drop by Purl Soho and pick out of few fat quarters for me...this is what arrived today!

Fabric Stash

Fabric Stash
Some great black and white basics...

Fabric Stash
Cheery yellows...

Fabric Stash
and some GORGEOUS Japanese imports by Nani Iro. The red one is a linen blend while the others are double cotton gauze--so soft!

Clearly there's a lot more here than a few fat quarters!!! And I'm so happy with what my parents picked out! I did not give them any parameters or specific requests, but these are all lovely. A perfect mix of some much-needed basics and blenders, plus some great prints I am honestly going to have a hard time cutting into. Fortunately there is no rush, they will go on my shelf while I come up with ideas for them...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Loulouthi love from Pink Castle Fabrics

A few lovelies I picked up from Brenda at Pink Castle Fabrics...

Loulouthi and Essex Linen
These are just eight of the prints from Anna Maria Horner's new line, Loulouthi, along with some Essex Linen. I believe there are a total of 30 in all. They are even more beautiful in person!

Kona Solids Strips--Classic
I also picked up some Kona Solids. I am really enjoying working on my challenge quilt for the Kona Solids challenge our guild is doing, and I think I'm going to start working with solids more in the future.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

entering the blogosphere, finding my voice and embracing imperfection

maybe it's not a quilting day today...
Maybe it's not a quilting day today...

As a writer and an artist, this whole blog thing shouldn't really be such a big deal, right?  These things should come naturally: eloquent composition simply spilling from the keyboard while beautiful images magically send themselves through my camera's lens, ready for download, without the need for editing or cropping.  And with so many people writing blogs these days, it seems easy enough, right?  I have more than a few favorites I follow regularly*.  In reading these, as well as the dozens more I stumble upon each day, a basic common"structure" begins to emerge: A subject, story, or something to teach;  a pertinent photo (in focus, well-lit, and carefully composed).  Then, blogrolls, badges, and slideshows.  Contests and giveaways, the random number generator, dozens of followers and comments galore!?! Wait! How do I make sure I choose the right words, find the right photos???

I'm getting ahead of myself.  No one's reading yet.  No one knows I'm writing this.  It's just me here.

And so to follow on a conversation I had recently with another newer-ish blogger, don't think too much. Don't worry about creating the "perfect" post.  For an audience of one (me), my reasons for blogging are pretty simple: to share projects I'm working on, a place to record thoughts, collect quotes, poetry, inspiration; to share with friends and family; to network with others with similar interests.  This blog is by me, for me.  If company comes, all the better!


*shhh! Don't tell anyone I only recently discovered how to use google reader... ;) I highly recommend it.