Monday, January 1, 2018

Looking Back at 2017 and Ahead to 2018

I just looked at my first post of 2017, the one in which I wrote about what I planned to make during 2017.  It's a good thing there aren't performance evaluations with hobbies or I would be fired as I accomplished almost none of my plans.  I finished the first project (Flutter), then got side-tracked for sure.



My goals for 2018 are very similar to last year.  I have a quilt to bind and Wildflowers to finish up.  I want to make a Christmas quilt, probably the Fig Tree pattern All Wrapped Up or maybe Daybreak by Jaybird Quilts.  I'd like to make a Christmas pillow or two as gifts.  A lace clutch is still on my list and we could use some new placemats and a new set of pillow shams.  And I need a handwork project to work on during the Winter Olympics.  Then there is the quilt on the cover of the Feb. 2018 edition of American Patchwork & Quilting...I might start with the stars.  And let's be real, new patterns and fabrics will catch my eye!  I gathered some ideas onto a Pinterest board

What are you quilting plans for 2018?

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Friday, December 29, 2017

Celebration - A Finished 60 Degree Triangle Quilt

I squeezed in what is sure to be my last quilt finish for the year - my 60 degree triangle quilt made from stash and light-weight denim.  The original pattern is called The Ladies' Stitching Club (free pattern on the Moda website). 


This pattern was on my to-make list for about three years, ever since I saw it on Hyacinth Quilt Designs, and I'm glad I finally got to it.  I used Cindy's modified instructions to make more efficient use of my denim yardage.  I finished the binding last night and took the photos this morning.   That's Mr. Main Street (aka the quilt hanger)  along with our Corgi, Dillie, standing in the foyer with sun coming through the dining room windows.  Final size of my version is 64" by 59".


Karen Thompson of Greenbrier Designs did the quilting using a panto pattern  that is roughly triangular.  I used solid gray Kona for the binding and a large text print for the backing, navy text on a white background. I've loving text prints for backings right now, and I think this one is by Art Gallery Fabrics, but am not sure as I no longer have a selvage.  The text is very large and caused my garment construction training to kick in; as a result, I tried to match the print in the two lengths I needed for the back and was somewhat successful.   


The words on the backing inspired my choice of name for this quilt:  Celebration

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Monday, December 18, 2017

Gift Ideas for Quilters

I celebrated my birthday three weeks ago and Mr. Main Street gave me a few quilting related birthday gifts.  He did not exactly choose these items himself but he is very directable, especially if I send him a wish list from amazon.com.  It you need a gift for a quilting friend for relative, I don't think you could go wrong with one of these items.

Charm School by Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique includes directions for 18 quilts made from charm squares.  Most use two or three packs of charm squares, so this book along with a few charm packs or a layer cake or jolly bar would make a great gift.  The designs are quite original and varied, and most are beginning quilter friendly while all the designs can be made by someone with one or two quilts under her belt. 


Patches of Blue by Edyta Sitar is a tribute to the two-color quilt, featuring 17 designs all done in blue and white or cream.  Of course, you could substitute another color like red or green for blue to make them your own.  I've already put two designs on my to-be-made list, the sawtooth star quilt hanging on the cupboard door on the book cover and a super simple but striking pattern called Sleigh Trails.  The photography in the book is super, most of it done around Edyta's home.  There are also a number of antique quilts shown as inspiration.  

And here's something different, a set of mini clothes pins made by Moda. They are called For Good Measure. The ones I got each have a different letter of the alphabet and I plan to use them to keep blocks organized for sewing into the quilt top.  They don't appear to be available on Amazon any longer but some similar ones are here.  They are very cute and I think they might also work for hanging mini quilts from a curtain wire (the kind Ikea sells). 


Do you have all your Christmas shopping finished?  I have most of it done but need to pick up three items this week.  At least I know what I'm looking for so it should not be too difficult. 

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmas and Birthday Gifts For the Quilter

I had a wonderful four-day break from work for Thanksgiving and spent some of it at my keyboard doing my Christmas shopping.  My in-box was stuffed with special discounts and sales from every website and retailer I've visited, Black Friday this and Cyber Monday that, including some of my favorite quilting supply websites.  I gave in to temptation at The Fat Quarter Shop and bought a little birthday present for myself.  I'm sharing in case it provides some inspiration for what to get the quilter in your life.

First, and barely visible in the photo below, text print quilt backing for a future quilt.  These wide backing fabrics are convenient, especially for larger quilts and when you don't have yardage to piece together for the back.  This piece is from Moda and I like the quality and silky feel.  Then a bundle of 20 fat quarters of solid fabric in a rainbow spectrum.  I'm not sure what I'm going to make with this but I've been obsessed with rainbow quilts lately and even have a Pinterest board devoted to them. 




I also got two patterns, SkyDust because it looks like it would make a good and fast baby quilt, and Hopscotch because this was the quilt that most interested me when I saw photos from the most recent Quilt Market.  Lastly, I bought the Clammy ruler to use to make the Glam Clam quilt.  The shop sent me a little bundle of fat quarters of Fig Tree fabrics in red and cream and some decorative ribbon as a free gift with my purchase.  I know I can find a use for both. 

I'll be back with Part 2 shortly, showing what other people got me for my birthday.  It was yesterday, a big, fat, round number, and my inner thirty-two year old is in shock at the thought.

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Getting the Christmas Spirit With American Patchwork & Quilting

Someone posted a picture online of the cover of the latest edition of American Patchwork & Quilting; I couldn't stop thinking about the cover quilt and had to find a copy of the magazine.  I found it at my LQS but Barnes & Noble likely carries it too.


The cover quilt is called Snowfall and was designed by Wendy Sheppard.  I bet I have enough Christmas prints in my stash to make it.  The curved seams don't deter me but I'd like to find acrylic templates to use for the cutting.  Please leave a comment if you are aware of any good sources.  The pattern pieces are included in the magazine but I think it would be easier and more accurate to use acrylic templates. 

There are a couple of other projects in this December 2017 edition of the magazine that I like.  Arctic Circles, designed by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, is a variation on the kaleidoscope block.  Nine individual blocks come together to form a large 36" block and four of these larger blocks go together to make a 96" square quilt. Yes, giant!


There is a 10-page write-up on Meg Hawkey and Crabapple Hill Studio designs.  She has a signature soft look that combines piecing and embroidery, often embellished with beads and other materials.  Some great designs are showcased in the article and then comes Holiday Wishes, a 30" square table topper design.  I love it but am not sure my embroidery skills are up to the demands of the center square.  The magazine does include detailed directions for using crayons to add color to embroidery designs.


I'm sure I can't finish any of these projects in time for this Christmas, but as Christmas comes every year, there is always 2018.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Millefiori Quilts 3

Willyne Hammerstein has a new book out, Millefiori Quilts 3.  I bought it at my LQS as soon as it come out because I've been thinking it is time for me to start another hand project.  There's lots of great eye candy and more than a little inspiration!  Willyne makes all her quilts by hand, not the English paper piecing method, but with the instructions in the book, you can use either method.  (But machine sewing is probably not an option with these tiny pieces.) 


There are 18 new designs in the book.  Here are a few of my favorites.  Please excuse the poor photography; it is difficult to hold the camera with one hand while you hold the book open with the other hand. 

This is the cover quilt, Moncarapacho.  Really fantastic, and an unusual combination of colors.  I'm deterred by the fact that the center of each motif is a 10-pointed star.  Think of all those points coming together and the bulk of the seam allowances!


Nocturne uses a similar color scheme and also has a pieced border.  It looks a little easier too, with just six points coming together in the center. 


Le Grand Desert is her take on the dresden plate block, with the addition of smaller six-pointed stars.  And all fussy cut from one fabric.  It's like a mash-up of dresden plate and one block wonder and looks so impressive.


Belle Fleur, again an unusual color combination but so effective.  I've seen this block before, called Antique Rose Star (in fact, I have a whole Pinterest board on it, here), and it is very adaptable to different fabric types, from the 19th century reproductions shown here to modern prints and everything in between.


So now I'm looking for some color inspiration in the form of a possible border fabric, then I'll decide exactly which direction to take.  But another epp project is definitely in my future.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Wildflowers Progress

I'm making good progress on my Wildflowers quilt.  The blocks go together pretty easily.  As long as I have the pieces cut and ready by my sewing machine, I can work on it for a few minutes each evening after work and have 10 blocks made by the end of the week.  I think I need about 60 blocks for the size quilt I want to end up with - a wall hanging.


The directions in the book instruct you to completely piece each hexagonal block and applique the center circle then sew the blocks together.  I think it will be easier to make half-blocks, arrange them as shown above, then sew together in vertical strips. 


So I keep each block in two pieces, like this. I'll add the centers at the end.  I'm going to use the two yellow floral prints from this collection for the centers of the flowers.


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