Thursday, October 31, 2013


Don'tcha love when you get good mail you didn't even expect? I sure do! And this week, look what came in the mail!
Yup, that's the pretty pink ribbon that hung on Modern Affection when it won "Creative Use of Neutral Fabrics Award." Now as the quilt travels with the AQS Modern Quilt Challenge exhibit , at least I have the ribbon to give me a smile!

Heather/Winding Bobbins and I have been chatting about how we're each going to quilt our current projects, kind of considering some geometric quilting neither of us have tried before. Heather send over this helpful video to consider, just fyi.

And while we're watching videos, you need to see this one about the up and coming Cotton+Steel - exciting stuff!

Pia wrote me from Norway this week to let me know that her quilting group, Quiltesiden, was getting together to make Triple-Zip Pouches. Pia was kind enough to let me join the facebook group so I could see all the pouches they posted. Confession: I'm still really fond of that little pouch!

Final little tidbit for today - the announcement of sew mama sew's Handmade Holidays. We're bound to get some good ideas for our holiday sewing. Yikes, is it really time to think about that?!

Linking up with Really Random Thursday.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

City Sampler Quilt Along :: Blocks 67, 68, & 69

I mentioned last week that life was somewhat chaotic at our house lately, with workmen there all day ripping and pounding and such. When it came time to empty the studio, hubby set me up with a little sewing corner in the family room, so 'life' could go on as normal. So yay. Here's the expected 3 City Sampler blocks for this week. And fun ones they were - one of my favorite sets so far.

#67 turned out a bit different. I'm a pretty strict "scant" quarter-incher, and I think it affected this block so that the upper half was quite a bit shorter than the bottom. Quick use of the seam ripper to remove the left-most column took care of that. And though I love the raindrop fabric, I didn't have what this block needed and was happy to change things up with an Acacia raccoon.

Block #68 may look a little ho-hum in the photo, but in person, it is quite striking. That purple border fabric - also Acacia - is just really lovely.

For the last block of the week, I didn't have the ships pictured, but thank goodness I had a charm of space dust. I love it in this block.

And folks have been asking about my block grid, so here it is, all updated. There's a couple of blocks I'm not really liking, but I'll wait till I'm all done to see if I want to redo anything.
Meanwhile, I'm thankful for home improvements, messy and confining as they may be, and always, just a little space to sew.

Linking up with Sew Sweetness.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Showing and Telling Once Again

A bee finish is so fun to see, whether it's mine or not. Neither of the bee quilts I'm sharing today are mine, so of course I've also enjoyed seeing where my little contribution fit into each, as well as my bee-mates' visions of their quilts come to life!

First up is a finish by Carla/Grace and Favour with blocks made by the Mid Century Modern Bee. We were given our choice of making 6", 9", and 12" blocks in whatever pattern we chose. See those 3 pinwheels hanging over the fence? That was my block. 

A fun twist was Carla's use of the signature blocks we sent her in the front of the quilt! Look in the bottom right corner, and you'll see 4 of them lined up. Isn't that a fun idea? There's so much to love about this "Mid Century Modern Sampler".

Next is a quilt I actually told you about a little while ago, but I didn't have a photo to share. But now I do, so here's Valerie/Between Quilts' lovely quilt made with the help of That Stash Bee. Take a moment to read Valerie's post. This quilt has quite a story, made for a grieving family, and as you can see, it is just full of encouraging words and colorful stars. I made the little star to the right of the 'e' on the front . . .
and the wonky star under the 'o' on the back. This really turned out to be one cheery quilt, didn't it?

And this last quilt for today isn't a bee quilt, but it is one shared in my Falling for Modern Maples flickr group, which has really turned out to be alot of fun. 76 members strong, there is such an awesome variety of maple leaves swirling around! This particular quilt, "Pumpkin Spice Latte" is by Jessica/Quilty Habit, and I am so fond of it! Jessica chose some really special fabrics for her maples in such a wonderful mix of fall colors, and the addition of those geometric elements makes this quilt really striking.
And this, my friends, is the back! It's truly a double-sided quilt and do you see the wind swirling diagonally through the center? Jessica's post also has plenty more photos that show off this delightful quilt.

I hope you've enjoyed these quilts as much as I have. Nothing like some beautiful finishes to motivate us to get working on our own!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Subject and Composition

Looking back, I totally missed both the assignment and the link up for the September Quilt Photography workshop at Plum and June. But since I enjoyed August's session so much, I thought I'd at least focus on the topic momentarily.

We were given a list of words and phrases, and while keeping in mind the elements of subject and composition, were to share photos illustrating our interpretation of them. Each photo was to tell its story without needing any written explanation. So without further ado . . .

A Typical Day

Makes Me Smile





Color Palette Inspiration

Quilt Design Inspiration



My Style

Previous assignments:

Plum and June

Saturday, October 26, 2013

City Sampler Quilt Along :: Blocks 64, 65, & 66

Barely squeezing this week's blocks in, but here they are!
 The first one very nearly matched the book . . .
 the next two were similar in feel but used {mostly} different fabrics.
So now we're two-thirds done!

Linking up with Sew Sweetness.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival :: Crazy Rainbow {ROYGBIV Quilt}

It's my pleasure to introduce you to Crazy Rainbow, my entry in the ROYGBIV Quilts category of the Blogger's Quilt Festival. It was made expressly for my secret partner in the Mini Quilt Swap, and will be on its way to her in the next few days. 
I'd been itching to made a churn dash quilt ever since seeing HoosierToni's double. And then I decided why not make a triple? Which was just perfect for the rainbow I had in mind for my swap partner. And the crazy idea to crazy-piece? I have no idea where that came, except quite possibly my overflowing scrap basket! It was time-consuming to say the least, and after the first red-orange-yellow block, I really wasn't sure if I should continue. But encouraged along by my Instagram buddies, I forged ahead and am super happy I did.
Though the quilt front had many fans, there were also a few who felt it needed more contrast. I love the hazy look of it but with a nod to the others I pieced another triple for the backing, only this time in solids.

The back set on an angle, the mini is quilted with a wonky spiral using King Tut "Jacob's Coat". Rather than traditional binding, I used Elizabeth/OccasionalPiece-Quilt!'s tutotial for a faced binding.

I'm pretty sure this was a first for me, and it went together really well. I love the clean look of the borderless finished front.
When doing a swap project such as this, I often use it as an opportunity to try something new or come up with my own interpretation of a design. So creating Crazy Rainbow was a gratifying journey of discovery, one I'm happy to have traveled on.

Quilt stats:
Finished size: 23" square
Pattern: churn dash, beginning with this tutorial
Fabric: front is entirely pieced with scraps; 
backing in Kona Cotton Solids in Tomato, Orange, Canary, Grass Green, Peacock, 
Marine, & Dark Violet;
Faced binding: Timeless Treasures Rain Basic in Black
Quilted by: myself, using a walking foot 
 Category: ROYGBIV Quilts

My previous entries in the Blogger's Quilt Festival:
HST Love, 5/17/13
Hopscotch, 5/19/12
Mango Revisited, 10/28/11
Supernova, 5/13/11

Blogger's Quilt Festival -

Also linking up with Finish It Up FridayFabric Tuesday, & Little Quilt Monday. This project was on my Q4 FAL list!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The R-Word

Oh my gosh I can't tell you how I appreciated the discussion on ripples last week. If you commented early on, do check back - the comments have kept on coming, and I find them helpful, and I think you will too. There's a couple of other resources I'll leave with you in regards to machine quilting - this post by Canoe Ridge Creations, specifically on straight-line, and a weekly Thursday discussion and link up at Pretty Bobbins up on a variety of related topics.
i quilt blog button

If you are an Aurifil/Kona Cotton user, here's a handy conversion chart. I really needed this a few weeks ago, so I'm glad to have it now as a future resource.
And for you #konacotton and #aurifil lovers download  a color conversion chart! @robertkaufman @aurifil

Here's some great paper-piecing tips over on Wombat Quilts. There's a Monday linky there, and even though paper-piecing isn't my favorite technique, I do do it on occasion (the accuracy is amazing!), so I'm always open to improving my skills there.

Katie/SwimBikeQuilt had an awesome idea, and that's a linky party for quilt backs. I'm always in a quandary what to do on the backs of my quilts, so this has been fun to see.
I enjoyed the post where Leanne/shecanquilt shared many of her quilt backs, and it inspired me to make a mosaic of some of mine. If I piece a back, it often reflects the front design or uses up fabric that I used on the front. Of course, some are more interesting than others, but it's a good exercise none the less.
1. Mango block mini, 2. Fissues - a slice and insert quilt, 3. "Crossex", 4. HST quilt washed & crinkly, 5. Modern Crosses, 6. Improv Quilt back, 7. G.O. Modern back, 8. "Pinky-Swoon" back, 9. back of hst zig-zag quilt, 10. Back of Scrappy Super Swoon, 11. Completed Swoon Quilt back, 12. Back of Shades of Grey quilt, 13. Storytime Squares back, 14. FTLOSS large project back, 15. Kaleidoscope back, 16. Back of Dream Big, 17. back of Mini-Swoon II, 18. Back of Mini Swoon, 19. Comic Strip quilt back, 20. Supernova pieced back, 21. Back of "Geese in the Park"

Hope you have a good day, random or otherwise!

Linking up with Really Random Thursday

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

W.i.P. Wednesday

Life at our house is turning topsy-turvy this week in the form of emptying out rooms, the word "demolition" added to our vocabulary, and the anticipation of new flooring. W.i.P. Wednesday seemed a good way to keep track of what I'm up to project-wise, just in case the chance to sew vaporizes for a bit.

Current projects
City Sampler Quilt Along - so far so good at keeping up with the 3 blocks a week and hoping that can continue.

Mini Quilt Swap project - this is what I've been working on the last several days. Fabric is cut for a pieced backing, and a new-to-me technique is niggling in my mind to finish it up. At this point, the mini quilt top has been a very colorful journey, not without some self-doubt. But I'm pretty excited about it now and anxious to get quilting on it. Oh and my scrap basket has taken a serious hit, which is a good thing!
ROYGBIV mini quilt top, triple churn-dash, 23"

Riley Blake challenge - I have a tentative plan using my Mango block and have just begun cutting and piecing.

Upcoming projects - I have fabric and pattern all set for several of these - just need to put in the time.
* pillows for mom
* more City Sampler blocks
'For Pleat's Sake' Tote
* Binary quilt challenge for SMQG
Polaroid Quilt
* pillow for grandgirl
* another scrappy quilt
* URHere round 2
* a Nora Clutch

Linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mango in Multiples

When I shared the Mango block last week, in no way did I expect to see it in use by others immediately, but I did! First there was Jeannie who whipped up her own version in no time at all!
Wallhanging finished.
Not far behind was Anneliese with a mini Mango of her own.

And what random timing - but Tina/seaside stitches posted the original Mango on Instagram, where it was hanging at the Stitching Stars Quilt Show presented by the Ninigret Quilters in Westerly, Rhode Island. How fun is that?

It got me thinking that maybe I should get to work on another Mango of my own . . .

Friday, October 18, 2013

City Sampler Quilt Along :: Blocks 61, 62, & 63

What simple-to-construct blocks this week. Usually I'm hopping back and forth between my machine and the ironing board, but I was able to finger-press seams and stitch the blocks up in one sitting.

#62 is my favorite for the week. In person, the fabric colors mesh really nicely and I love that top print.

I like the mix of blue and gray in #63. And even though I didn't have the same print, I think the finished 'look' is quite similar.

So there we go with this week's little City Sampler diversion!

Linking up with Sew Sweetness.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What IS it?

Dear friends, there's a little "issue" I need your help with.

I assume you remember "Fissures"? Well I love this quilt and I am proud of it, yes I am.
But there's a little issue about the quilting. Not all of it, mind you. But now and then I got ripples, and I don't exactly know why.
I tried switching directions when I stitched, and I tried stitching from the same direction. It didn't seem to matter. The photo above shows the worst section, but even there you can see some areas where there's no ripples. Marci/Marci Girl Designs and I have been discussing this issue, sending quilts back and forth in emails comparing them - quilts from a variety of quilters. And we are wondering:
  • is it the direction of stitching?
  • is it related to the needle or thread, fabric or batting?
  • is it because I spray baste?
  • is it due to my quilting speed? (fast)
  • is it my walking foot?
  • is it compounded by the size of the quilt?
The Mini Mango I just quilted did not ripple one iota. On it, I used both my walking and free-motion feet.

And it didn't happen at all on Chinese Checkers, where I did totally free-motion.

So will you share your expertise? Marci and I - and I assume others - would really love to hear what you have to say. . .

Linking up with Really Random Thursday.