Tuesday, July 18, 2017

12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop continues

Today is day 5 of the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop.  I don't know about you but I'm seeing lots of great ideas for new holiday projects, not that I need my quilty To Do list to get any longer.
Confessions Of A Fabric Addict
Today's participants are:
Thank you so much to everyone that commented on my Jingle Wishes quilt yesterday.  I'm working my way through replying to all of you and if you don't receive a reply from me in the next few days it is because you are a No Reply Blogger and I can't reply to you.  I've come across at least 6 in just the comments left yesterday before noon.  You really might want to fix that problem so that bloggers can get in touch with you, especially if your name is picked as a winner for a giveaway. 
The tutorial will be posted in a couple of days so be sure to check back in for that.  I'm just putting the finishing touches to the instructions. Gather your charms so you are already to get started.
Next project up will be a baby quilt for a little guy due to arrive later next month.  I'll be using a jelly roll and a layer cake of Riley Blake's Colorfully Creative.

As soon as that is done I'll be getting to work on the mini quilt for the Instagram Falloween Mini Swap.  I know exactly what I want to make.  Though I haven't decided what fabric to use for the background this is the fabric pull for the main part of the design.
I can't wait to have the time to start it.  I can promise that you'll love what I have planned.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Jingle Wishes - my 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop quilt

Welcome to my stop on the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop hosted by Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict.
Confessions Of A Fabric Addict
This is the 2nd year for this holiday themed blog hop and it just might become an annual event if the enthusiastic response is any indication.  :) 

Last summer for this blog hop I designed and created my Merry Jingle quilt (which happens to be in the process of being remade with non-holiday fabrics for my first pattern release for retail sale.)
 It was made using the charms I collected after hosting a Kate Spain Christmas Charm Swap in the fall of 2015.
That swap consisted of her lines Joy, Solstice, 12 Days of Christmas, Flurry, In From the Cold and Jingle.  For this year's hop I wanted to use the same fabrics since I still had so many charms leftover and I also wanted to make a second Christmas themed quilt for my home.  This design is my newest result.  May I present:
Jingle Wishes
 This is a simple charm and half charm quilt with skinny sashing strips between the blocks.
I admit that my main motivation for this design was to use up as many of the Christmas charms as I possibly could.  My only constraint was the amount of fabric that I had for the skinny sashing pieces. This quilt finished at 57" x 55" and used a total of 120 charms for the top.
The panto I chose was Christmas Doodle and the lighthearted motifs suited this cuddle quilt perfectly.  For the top I used Glide thread in Chartreuse which stood out a little while still being very subtle over all the various fabrics. The designs included ornaments.
Sweet candy canes.
And whimsical Christmas trees.
This picture taken in the morning light shows the lovely texture that the panto gave to this quilt without overpowering the fabrics.  I love it!
For the binding, since I had just enough of the same yardage left from the Merry Jingle quilt binding, I used it for this quilt too. It works for me as it includes all three of the main holiday colors of Red, White and Green and ties everything together well.
In keeping with the "use up what I already have" mentality I used a yard of one more Kate Spain Christmas print I had in my stash with even more charms from the charm swap, 64 to be exact.
I'm a big fan of pieced backs because they add so much more interest plus using up bit of this and that is always a good thing so that there's room to buy new fabrics.

The panto design again just shows as great texture across the back. Signature thread in Lime was used on the back.
I'm thrilled with how this design experiment turned out and if you might want to create your own version check back in a few days for the free tutorial.
 I can't thank Sarah enough for hosting this blog hop again.  It gave me the excuse chance to make another beautiful Christmas quilt to adorn my home this coming holiday season.
 Please visit the other ladies who are sharing their projects today.

The entire blog hop schedule is:

Friday, July 14th

Saturday, July 15th
Sunday, July 16th
Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting

Monday, July 17th
Crayon Box Quilt Studio

Tuesday, July 18th
Wednesday, July 19th
Thursday, July 20th
Friday, July 21st
Saturday, July 22nd

 And to just add to the excitement and fun here is more great news from Sarah!

And as if great holiday ideas and a tutorial weren't enough, this year we've got something extra special!  The lovely folks over at Free Spirit Fabrics have donated not just one item for a giveaway, but THIRTEEN!  And it's pretty drool-worthy stuff, too - it's Tula Pink's new holiday line, Holiday Homies!!!
I have six design rolls, six layer cakes, and one fat quarter bundle to give away - and here's how we're going to do it!  Visit each stop on the hop, including this blog, and leave a comment on each post for the day.  At the end of the hop, I'll do a giveaway for each day by putting everyone's name in the hat who commented that day (from all that day's hop-blogs), and drawing a winner for that day.  That will be twelve winners - the design rolls and layer cakes.  Then I'll put all the names from all the days in a hat and draw out a grand prize winner for the fat quarter bundle!  Only one prize per person, though - let's spread it around a bit!  So carve out a bit of time to visit all the blogs and comment - it makes the time spent on each post worth it when you see what people think about your work!

So it's worth your while to visit each blog hop participant and leave her a comment.  Not only will it make her day but it will give you another chance to win some of this yummy fabric.

Thank you for visiting today.  I hope you enjoy my quilt and will come back to see what else is going on in my studio.  Lots of fun projects are in the works and I can't wait to share them.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A new finish - 100 Good Wishes Quilt for Isabella

I believe I made someone cry yesterday.  But they were happy tears so it's ok. 
This afternoon Kim received the bigger 100 Good Wishes Quilt for Isabella. 

As with the pieces for the small cuddle size quilt I received from Kim to remake, the same person who attempted to make this quilt made a mess of these pieces too. Thankfully it wasn't a huge chore to undo what she did and start over again. 

Just like the original plan for the smaller quilt this quilt too was to have a black tone on tone Chinese calligraphy fabric for the sashing. I believed that it would have made the entire quilt feel very dark so Kim was happy to let me recommend something else.  I chose Moda Marbles in Vanilla.   Here is an in process photo. 
The finished quilt top came together easily enough. Since I had to recut the blocks to get them square and straight the max size I was able to cut them to was 4 1/4" (3 3/4" finished). To keep the scale appropriate I used 1 3/4" sashing (1 1/4"finished).  The border was cut at 4".  
I found the perfect backing fabric that Kim just loved (you'll see it below). When planning to quilt it I had a couple of specific pantos in mind but when I auditioned them, both were too busy for the scale and simplicity of this one.  Luckily I had one more that turned out to be perfect. It is Seaside and it provided just the right feel on this quilt.
So without further ado, this is the completed quilt.
Once the binding was complete we had nothing but rain here for many days so I had to wait to get pictures of it.  As soon as the sun came out I hurried to take the shots but the shadows from the house didn't help to show the true colors.
I always like to get some fun "wind blown" pictures but the wind wasn't cooperating much that day.  This was the best I could do.
That perfect backing I mentioned?  This is it (though it's tough to see from this angle).  Kim finds great peace at the beach so I found a print in soft calming tones with a scene of sand dunes, boats on the water and beach chairs.  I love it and Kim does too.
Here you can see better the print on the backing along with the two embroidered blocks I received that I decided to use as the quilt label.
This picture taken inside better shows the lovely texture of the quilting.
The Seaside panto definitely gives a feeling of waves over this beachy scene.
It was a pleasure to finally make this quilt for Kim and Isabella and I know that it will be treasured for years to come.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sneak peak

I have a new toy. But....I'm only going to show you this much of her at the moment. A proper introduction will be made soon.
She's actually been here for a little while but her new space wasn't ready. You see...her frame is longer than Penelope's and it wouldn't fit in my studio so she needed a new room of her own.

On the day of delivery the only thing visible that gave a hint of the future space was the 2 partial walls of 2 x 4 studs. Hubs has spent countless hours running the electrical, putting up the walls and installing the trim.  He actually rewired most of the basement so that this room would be on it's own separate circuit and so the three way switches would work correctly when entering from the connecting areas. He recently finished all the construction so all that was left was painting and moving in.  This is one wall that backs to the stairs.
He decided to not put up the wide bead board (much easier and prettier than drywall) on the 2 outside walls since the required studs would have made the already snug space that much tighter.  I'll hang pretty quilts over those areas later.
On the other side of this wall is his model train area.
The painting is done and I've moved all the longarm related items from the upstairs studio to here.  We still need to re-level the frame (it got moved around a bit during construction) and then I can take some pictures of the final room result and introduce my new baby. 

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Swap banners

One of the things you make, swap and collect when you are a Girl Scout is S.W.A.P.S which stands for Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere.  It's a long standing Girl Scout tradition and pretty much always swapped at encampments, jamborees, summer day and sleep over camp and our council's annual cookie camp. In addition they are always given out by hosting troops at our service unit's annual World Thinking Day event in February.
After 2 years of these events Sunshine and her fellow troop mates have amassed a significant quantity of swaps and with this year's World Thinking Day approaching I decided to make each of the 12 girls in my troop a swap banner to have a place to display them.

With a coupon in hand I was able to purchase the yardage of green felt needed relatively inexpensively for this project. I cut the rectangles in 18" x 36" pieces and proceeded in completing them with some quick finish techniques.

First up was the sleeve for the dowel rod.  I folded over and pinned the correct width....
 ....and then some simple straight line stitching to secure it was all that was needed.
 One hanging sleeve completed.  Then there were 11 more to do.
 Next up was trimming the bottom into a banner shape.  I decided on the angle and length that looked good to me with my trusty ruler and....
 .....made the first cut.  A little mark on the other side to get it to meet up with the first side and another cut was done.
 Viola!  A basic banner.  Now it just needed a few more touches to be complete.
I decided that after all the stitching down work it took to make the troop t-shirts and since these wouldn't be worn and therefore wouldn't be getting the same abuse I wasn't going to spend the time to sew down the letters.  Just fusing them to the fleece was all that I planned to do.  I purchased iron on fabric transfer paper and printed the letters out.  Then it was just a matter of cutting them out and ironing them in place.
The addition of a dowel, a couple of round dowel ends and a string to hang it with and this project was complete.

Sunshine and I then had some fun pinning all the swaps she has collected so far onto it.  It hangs in her room were she loves to look at it and remember the fun times she had at the various events where she received them.  
We know more S.W.A.P.S. are in her future.  In fact she's already picked out the idea for the swap she will make to take to camps this summer.  She has a lot of years of Girl Scouting ahead of her and I'm sure there will be another banner needed eventually.  But for now she's happy to work on filling this one up.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Cuddle size 100 Good Wishes Quilt for Isabella

I've had this post in draft for way too long but our Girl Scout cookie season, which is thankfully almost over, has kept me super busy and away from all things quilty. Not it's time to get back to normal life.

Kim found me through Facebook when my friend Lisa posted pictures of the 100 Good Wishes Quilt that I made for her daughter Alex and asked me if I could make a quilt for her too. Actually she wanted 2 quilts, a smaller cuddle size quilt and a bigger one too.

This is the cuddle size quilt all completed.
But the story isn't that simple.  While talking to Kim to learn what her vision was for the quilts I learned that someone else actually started making the quilts for her many years ago.  Kim tried to describe what was already done but I just couldn't visualize it so I had her just send me everything so that I can assess the situation better and formulate a plan and a budget for her.

This is what I found when I opened the box.
A load "Agggg" coming from me doesn't fully describe this "quilt" top.  The person who did this cut pieces approximately 2" x 3" from each of the fabrics, obviously not using a ruler to do so, pinned them onto the black background fabric not in straight lines, and then zig zag stitched some of them in place.  Who knows why she didn't finish this but I'm really glad she didn't.  Unfortunately it took Kim a really long time to get everything back from that person and she's just held onto it for years, hoping one day to find someone who could really create the quilts she envisioned.

After unsewing all the pieces that were sewn down I proceeded to recut them using the proper tools.  I cut them as big as I could which turned out to be 1 3/4" x 2 3/4".   I sorted the pieced by color so that I could get a good sense of how to balance them throughout the entire quilt.
Included in the box was also a black tone on tone dragonfly fabric that Kim had used when she sent out squares and wishes to other waiting adoptive parents and there was just barely enough to use for the sashing so that's what I went with.  Here's the quilt in process with the vertical sashing between the pieces and those rows completed.
Once the horizontal sashing rows were added this was the finished top. Can you see the dragonflies on the black fabric?
Kim had included in the box also a package of batting and a piece of pink minky fabric for the backing so it was quick work to spray baste the quilt sandwich together.
After auditioning a bunch of different quilting design ideas that were all either too big a motif or too detailed for the small quilt I tested some basic straight line quilting and immediately knew that it was the right choice.  The simplicity of that suited the tiny piecing well and didn't overpower.
I've heard tons of issues quilters have had using minky on the back, mostly when quilting with it on a frame, but since I was quilting this on my domestic machine Lucy, I had no issues at all.  A couple of embroidered pieces were also included in Kim's box so I centered the one with the name on the back as it would have been too large for the overall feel of the front.  This quilt finished at 29" x 43".
It took a few days of nasty overcast weather before I got a decent window to get outside for the glamor shots and then it was shipped off to Kim who was thrilled with the result.  As expected, she cried, to finally have a quilt that she's dreamed about for the last 10 years.
It has meant a lot to me to be able to turn Kim's dream into a reality.  100 Good Wishes Quilts are more than just fabric and thread.  They encompass so many hopes and dreams of the adoptive parents and kids who they are made for and truly wrap a child in the love and good wishes of all those who's fabrics are included.

The bigger version quilt for Kim is in the works.  I was making good progress on it until CA day = cookie arrival but since that season is almost over, I can finally get back to finishing it and getting it on it's way to it's new home.  Stay tuned for that reveal soon.