Tuesday, June 13, 2017

That Quirky Scrap Quilt - The Low-Volume-and-Pink Version

Last month I started another Quirky Scrap Quilt (link to tutorial here). I had been thinking about making another one, and when the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild contacted me and asked if their guild could use my tutorial for a scrap busting challenge (of course!), it was just what I needed to get me off my bum and sewing.

The Plan:  I thought it would be fun to do a low-volume version with darker fabric running on the diagonal through the 4-patches. After I got cutting it turned into low-volume oranges and pinks, but I think it will be ok. I also got a bit overzealous while cutting and now it is going to be twin sized instead of throw sized.

I started pinning the squares into groups of 20 after losing track (multiple times!) of how many I had cut. Now, I am caught up with the quilt along with my fabric cut and 4-patch units sewn! Yea!

Check out the #quirkyscrapquiltalong on Instagram to see what other people are making. There are so many fun color ways. And feel free to post your pictures and stash bust along with us.

Friday, April 7, 2017

United We Stand

At the beginning of the year 1A, a radio show, challenged listeners to use the 45 words in the 1st Amendment to make something artistic during the first 45 days of our 45th president's term. (Lots of 45's there.) This is what I made. I thought (for 2 seconds!) about foundation paper piecing all of the letters, but decided that printing the words on fabric was a more time effective idea. (Here's the tutorial I used.)

Adding background fabric to the text bubbles.

I chose different colors and shapes of text boxes and background fabrics to represent all of the different people in the US. We are all different, but that is OK. In fact, it is what makes America great! The 1st Amendment outlines some of the limits of government and protects all of us. All. Of. Us. 

That is why I think of this quilt it as my "United We Stand" quilt. Even with all the political discord, I hope we can all stand behind protecting 1st Amendment rights.

I continued the "we are all different" theme into the quilting. There is chunky hand quilting and machine quilting in circles, triangles, and rectangles.

After a lot of thought, I decided not to quilt the speech bubbles. If the quilt is handled to much (like when I was hand quilting) the fabric poofs, but it ironed down flat again. Since I am planning on using it as a wall hanging, I think it will be alright.

I really enjoyed making this quilt. It gave me time to think about all of the good that comes of having freedom of religion, speech and the press. Let's stand united in embracing our 1st Amendment rights and defending others' rights with the same passion. (Even if you do think they are dumb.) Eroding anyone's rights just erodes our own.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Hello, Patchwork Posse Friends!

This month I am a guest designer for the Patchwork Posse. It is an online quilt group with a great online forum, monthly guest designers and quilt alongs. Tons of fun! As part of being a guest designer, I designed a child sized quilt that I call "The One Yard Wonder". One yard of fabric with lots of cute variations. Only members can download the pattern (click here to learn more about membership perks), but anyone is able to listen to the podcast, where Becky and I chat about quilting. I like talking about quilting. :) I also wax eloquent on various quilting subjects in a written interview.

I have rounded up some pictures and links of things that Becky and I talked about in our chat for easy access for everyone stopping over from the Patchwork Posse. 

We talked extensively about my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt. For a whole post with tons of pictures, including the back of the quilt, visit this post. We also talked about my new English paper piecing project, but I haven't posted anything about that since last December. I will post more pictures here soon. I have come a long way! I have been posting pictures on Instagram, however, if you want to check them out. I'm @sewnbyleila.

We also discussed my most recent finish: Go Big or Go Home. Lots of fun improvisational quilting. For more info and pictures, visit this post.


Over the years I have been blogging, I have written a few tutorials that I thought you might be interested in. Clockwise from the upper left hand corner: The Easy-Peasy two fabric blanket is the post that gets the most traffic on my blog. So simple, so cute! Emily's Pinwheel Star tutorial gives instructions for a 12" star block with a pinwheel inside. I love using flanges in my quilts and show how to make a flanged binding in this post. That Quirky Scrap Quilt is one of my favorite quilts ever. Bright and fun, the quilt is a great way to use up all those scraps.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Got Solids? A Solid Improv. Quilt Finish

Another finish! I really, really like this quilt. It started with a bundle of solid fabric I was given for a guild challenge. I added tons of other solids and it turned into this. 

I wanted it to be twin sized, so I added a gray border to get it up to size. By the end, I was running out of solids (and steam!) and a border seemed like the way to go. One of my big problems was squaring it up. Because of the improvisational piecing none of the sides or corners were square. I tried my, but I still don't think it is completely even.

I decided to mimic the improvisational squares and rectangles in the quilting. It is free motion quilted (vs with a walking foot) so the corners were easier to turn (because there was no turning) but it sometimes maked for some less than square lines and corners.

I decided to use a scrappy binding. It was a great way to use up some solid strips I had hanging around and fits in with the overall feel of the quilt. The binding is stitched down by machine and I decided to add to the "industrial" feel by accentuating the stitching instead of trying to hide it. I used a wide zig-zag with contrasting orange thread. It is super sturdy and pretty darn cute, in my opinion.

This quilt was going to be donated to the International Institute of St. Louis, but as they won't need it for awhile, I am going to donate it to a local women's shelter and the institute will get my next quilt. Its a super cute, super crazy quilt with lots of Denyse Schmidt fabric and color. Stay tuned and have a great weekend!

Monday, January 23, 2017

HST Baby Quilt Finish

Well, this has been finished for awhile and is actually the first baby quilt that I have ever gifted before the baby was born. Crazy, I know.

Yellow, aqua and gray was the color theme of the nursery and I decided to use solids so it would match everything and be able to graduate easily to an older child's room. It is backed with aqua flannel with some on-point straight line quilting. I don't know how people do dense straight line quilting. I was going crazy with this much. That being said, I have a quilt ready to be quilted that I am going to straight line quilt. (Bangs head against wall.)

Before deciding on solids, I had pulled out a pile of yellow and aqua prints and just had to make something out of them.

I made a small quilt with no batting to be used as a "car seat" blanket. Or a doll blanket? I don't know. I just wanted to make something out of that stack and it ended up kind of small. Small (about 28" square) but cute.

I have more finishes waiting in the wings and hope to post again soon!

Friday, November 25, 2016

HST Baby Blanket

It is official. My neighbor now knows I am a crazy quilt lady. He was outside mowing when I was taking this picture. He was bound to figure it out sooner or later. :)

This half square triangle beauty is for my brother and sister-in-law who are having their first baby next month. She is using yellow, gray and aqua in the nursery and wanted something with a modern and/or jungle and/or woodland feel. I stuck with modern so that it would be able to go with anything and grow with their baby.

If I had it to do over, I would limit the number of different grays and their overall percentage. It turned out much darker than I was envisioning. It is going to have an aqua flannel backing and I am trying to decide whether to bind it in yellow, dark gray, or aqua. I am leaning towards the aqua right now, but I will see how it looks after I quilt it up.

I am thinking straight line quilting on either side of the seams. I hate straight line quilting. I mean, I love how it looks, but I get bored/burnt out after about one pass. Maybe every few passes I can get up, stretch and get some pie...that might keep me going. :)

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Story of My Epic Hand Pieced Quilt

I think this queen sized hand pieced quilt is my longest WIP ever. It was over six years in the making. Let me walk you though the process.

I took a picture of the first five flowers I stitched together back in February 2010.  I was sooo  proud of them.  I felt like I had made soooo many!  How naive I was. There are 132 flower blocks in the finished quilt so I had a bit more to go.  :)
In the fall of 2010, I had finished about a quarter of the quilt.  That cute 3 year old is in third grade this year!

I kept chugging along.  Sometimes months would go by without any work on it and sometimes I would make flowers obsessively.  My favorite time (only time, really) to do handwork is after the kids go to bed.  I love to just sit down and watch some Hulu or Netflix and do English paper piecing.  If I worked fast I could get one flower done an evening.  Let's not even start to think about how much TV watching this quilt represents, ok?  ;)

Early on I found an online offer for twenty-five 1930's reproduction fat quarters for $25!  Sweet!  In retrospect I should have gotten two packets - there is a lot of fabric in this quilt!  The spacers are Kona Unbleached PFD.  It is more cream than Kona white and more white than Kona Snow - the perfect white in my opinion.  The flower centers are Kona Corn and the hexagons are 1 inch a side.

I love the texture on the back!

I got the idea for using three white spacers between the blocks instead of surrounding the blocks in white from the Paper Pieces picture page.  I was afraid if I surrounded each flower in white that I would get bored and give up.  I like how the spacers still give the flowers breathing room, but how I didn't have to stitch as many white hexagons.  Plus it makes it a bit different from other Grandmother's Flower Garden quilts.

I give my husband a bad time about always having to build stuff so sturdily, but I am just as crazy about my sewing.  After making a couple flowers I had my own system for joining the hexagons together which included laying the tail of the thread under subsequent stitches to hold it in place, reinforcing the corners with extra stitches, averaging 18 whip stitches per inch and knotting off the thread at the end twice - once at the end of the stitching and then again back 1/4 inch.  That thread isn't going anywhere.  ;)

Then the quilt sat for years while I debated how to quilt it and how to deal with the edges. Did I want to applique on a bit of a border or just trim the edges straight?  Binding around each pointy hexagon was not an option, in my opinion.

Finally I decided that I just needed to finish it! I decided to trim the edges straight on the top and bottom and follow the curve on the sides.

I machine quilted swirls in the yellow middles, loops in the petals and leaf shapes in the white spacers. Love. I decided to machine bind it in a beautiful cornflower blue that coordinates with the floral backing fabric. I love that color!

However, there was an 'incident' while trimming the edges of the quilt which resulted in this patch. (I didn't cry - but I had to take some deep breaths and put it away for awhile before finishing it.) Thankfully, the patch is very sturdy and not noticeable from a distance. It gives the quilt some "vintage character".  (That's my story and I am sticking to it.)

The quilt is approx. 92" x 82". It is made from 132 hand pieced flowers and over 700 white spacers.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Quilt Raffle to Benefit the World Food Programme

The Quilt Raffle has ended! 339 tickets were purchased and we raised $1.695! 
Thank you so much! 

I have been very concerned about all of the things happening in the world. (The US presidential election is not the only disaster. ;) ) With war, famine, natural disaster and political unrest there are problems enough to spare. I feel rather guilty that my biggest 'problems' are getting the leaves raked, the perpetual dirtiness of the kitchen, kids whining about chores and homework and struggling not to eat all the food in my house and thus add to my waistline. Yup, one of my problems is having too much high calorie food in the house. Ironic, because getting enough food is a daily struggle for so many people.

Today I would like to raise money to benefit the World  Food Programme. The WFP is a branch of the United Nations and is one of the nonprofits that has been delivering food to people in the besieged cities of Syria. It has also provided a large amount of aid to Haiti. In fact, the World Food Programme is at work the world over. Not just in the places that make the news, but helping to support orphanages in Africa, building roads so that farmers can get their crops to market and teaching improved farming practices. Take a look at their website. It is equal parts heartwarming and heartrending. 

We have been giving monthly to the WFP for about 2 years (and so can you!), but I wanted to do a little bit more - and with your help it could be much, much more! I recently finished my English paper pieced Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt and I would like to raffle it off with all proceeds to go to the World Food Programme. Tickets are $5 apiece.

The quilt is approx. 92" x 82". It is made from 132 hand pieced flowers and over 700 white spacers.

I machine quilted swirls in the yellow middles, loops in the petals and leaf shapes in the white spacers. It is machine bound in a beautiful cornflower blue that coordinates with the floral backing fabric.

I have to admit that there was an 'incident' while trimming the edges of the quilt which resulted in this patch. (I didn't cry - but I had to take some deep breaths and put it away for awhile before finishing it.) The patch is very sturdy and not noticeable from a distance. It gives the quilt some "vintage character".  (That's my story and I am sticking to it.)

All of the fabrics are 1930's reproductions and the quilt has been machine washed and dried to check for any bleeding or shrinkage issues. It is ready to be used and loved in your home. If 1930's fabrics aren't your cup of tea, it would make a great Christmas, birthday or anniversary present. Give it to your in-laws and you could get the best-daughter-in-law-ever award!

Tickets are $5.00 apiece. If you want to buy more than one ticket enter any multiple of 5. For example if you wished to buy 3 tickets you would enter $15 when checking out.

The last day to purchase tickets is November 11th and a winner will be randomly drawn on November 12th.

Feel free to share a link to this post on Facebook or other social media! Together we can do so much good. Thank you!