Monday, March 2, 2015

My QST Rainbow Quilt

I have a few things that I would really like to do, two of which are to have something published in a magazine (money and glory!) and have a quilt in a quilt show (but once that happens I will probably want to win a prize or something).  I recently had a quilt accepted for publication and it should be coming out soon (!!!) and decided that I wanted to make another "magazine quilt" and this quarter square triangle rainbow quilt was going to be it.

It all started with a stack of Micheal Miller Cotton Couture  that I got on sale at Pink Castle Fabric.  I had recently seen this quilt and knew that I also wanted to make a quilt with solid fabric with a rainbow gradation.  I decided to make it with quarter square triangles (QST) instead of half square triangles (HST).

I knew it was going to be totally cool and had visions of the magazine wanting to make kits for it or something, but then I got lazy while chain piecing the QSTs.  I thought, "No big deal if the seams aren't totally perfect.  I'm going to trim them down to size anyway."  What I had forgotten is that trimming works when you are working with HSTs, but QSTs have two diagonal seams and it is almost impossible to line up the seams at all four points if your piecing is sloppy.  Really, if I had want to submit something to a magazine I shouldn't have be sloppy at all, but I was.  So....some of the points are 1/4" off (or more!  ouch!)

And that is really embarrassing to admit but at the same time it was really freeing to realize that I wasn't going to try to make something perfect to submit.  It made the trimming easier (I had frozen when I realized that trimming wasn't going to make the QSTs perfect) and now I am less stressed about doing cool quilting.  It is rather nice to not have to be perfect, but embarrassing to admit that I am not perfect.  Not that anyone (including myself) thought I was.

I already have the backing - some cool coral floral flannel (say that 5 times fast!).   I am excited to finish it up.  I love how the colors play together.

Waiting on the banister to be quilted.
8 inch blocks
56" x 72"

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I Love My Quilty Friends!

The best part of belonging to a local quilt guild is having great "real life" "geographically compatible" friends who like quilting as much as me.  Last week we had a sewing day (so much fun!) and when I was almost finished with this pillow cover I discovered that I hadn't cut all of the gray text pieces.  !!!!  Worse, I didn't have any of the gray fabric left.  I tried to source it online and in the LQS where I bought it two years ago, but no luck.

But you know what?  Minutes after posting this picture on Facebook asking if anyone had any light gray text from Sunkissed by Sweetwater I had responses (yea and nay) coming in.  It is great to have people who don't think you are crazy for knowing the name and designer of a fabric line and it is super great to know someone who would drive out of her way to give you that 8" square of fabric you need.  Thanks Tricia!

I really can't explain why it meant so much to me or how I felt to have all these women respond to my post willing to help.  I cherish my interactions with them and the friendships we have built over the last four years.

So, if there is a guild near you check it out.  Volunteer to help so you can get to know people.  It is worth the time and the energy.  Quilty friends are great friends to have.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Echino Top Finished!

Well, I sewed the 10 extra blocks onto the main quilt this morning.  It went really fast.  Yea!  Unfortunately I used more white Eiffel Tower fabric in the new blocks than I used in the old ones so the left side of the quilt is kind of heavy on white.  But it is probably one of those things that no one else would notice unless you pointed it out.  Which I guess I just did.

I bet no one would notice my daughter's head peeking out over the top of the quilt unless I mentioned it either.  I need to make her do more push ups so she will be able to hold quilts all the way up over her head for loooong periods of time.  You have to have good upper body muscle tone to be in a quilter's family.  :)  Seriously though, I usually take the quilt pictures around here, but I held up a quilt for someone awhile ago and my arms got tired fast.  So I have a bit of empathy.

I think I am going to skip the batting and use fleece to back this.  Has anyone done that?  Good results?  Things to look out for?

Linking up to WIP Wednesday.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Extra Echino Blocks Made

Today I finished trimming the 10 blocks that I will add to my brother's quilt to bring it from child to man sized.  It didn't take as long as I thought and was rather fun.   It didn't make as large of a dent the box of neutral colored scraps as I had hoped.  I need to sew more and use up all that fabric.  :)

My overlapping hexagon quilt has languished recently.  I was trying to figure out why I hadn't worked on it in awhile and I determined that it was because I work on it while I watch TV in the evenings.  My daughter and I finished watching the Wolfblood series and have moved on to watching To The Beautiful You, a Korean show about a girl who dresses up like a boy so she can go to an all boys school and be close to this high jumper she is obsessed with.  It is full of all the silliness you would expect, but the problem is that it is in Korean with English subtitles.  I don't mind that, but it makes it nearly impossible to work on English paper piecing when you can't look down for a few seconds at a time without missing what they are saying.  We are almost done with the series (everyone found out she was a girl last night!)  so hopefully I will get back to my English paper piecing.

So, any show recommendations - in English?  Bonus points if it only has 25 minute episodes so I can send my teen off to bed early.  :)

Linking to Scraptasitc Tuesday.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Echino Car and Neutral Quilt: Finished-ish

So a few weeks ago I had a really bad day.  Everything seemed completely pointless.  I knew I was just being crazy, but I also knew that I needed something to distract me from how totally blah life was until I snapped out of it.  So I turned on BBC's The Lord of the Rings (LOVE IT!) and started to sew.

I had been crushing on this quilt for a couple of weeks and decided it would fit the bill.  It would be low stress sewing (no matching points or exact cutting) and I could use up the small cuts of Echio fabric that I had been collecting.  I thought it would be fun to make a car inspired quilt for my mechanic brother, but knew it would take a ton of (expensive) Echino to make a full quilt.  With this quilt I could use what I had and fill in the rest with neutrals.  Lots of the neutrals were scraps from my neutral prisms quilt.  Sweet!

I pieced bits of the Echino canvas for the centers and just started adding fabric around them.  I finished up 20 blocks that day.  The only problem is that it is a little on the small side for a grown man.  (48 x 60)  But to make go from 4 x 5 layout to 5 x 6 I need to make 10 more blocks and that feels like a lot.

We'll see what I end up doing.  Maybe improv borders would be faster?  I know I need to finish it, but the I-must-make-that-quilt! itch is gone and I have other projects on my mind. is to hard when you have so much fabric.  :)

Have a great weekend!  I am linking up with Finish It Up Friday.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Best 100 Day Project Ever!

Last Wednesday was the kids' 100th day of school.  The younger kids had fun activities all day centered around counting to 100 and as part of the 100th Day festivities our 7 year old had to bring a project made with 100 of something.

This year we made a fun and fast garland with 100 paper circles.  (Not a ticker tape quilt like last time!)  All the kids wanted to make one and they were able to punch out the circles by themselves and count them out into 10 sets of 10.  I bought the 2" EK Tools Circle Punch.  It was easy for the kids to use and when we used it upside down, they could see if the hole was completely covered by paper.  After the punching, the sewing started.

I love the idea of teaching my kids to sew, but when it comes down to it I am just not patient enough.  This was the perfect project for them to sew all by themselves.  The garland is so forgiving.  You just have to sew kind of in the middle of each circle of paper and just keep feeding them in.  It was good practice for getting the feel of how the pedal works and how the sewing machine feeds the paper/fabric through.The 7 and 10 year old sewed their circles together independently and I controled the foot pedal for the 5 year old.  She was too short to reach and didn't want to sew standing.

The kids have hung their garlands in their rooms and they look so fun and festive.  I love projects that they can successfully complete themselves.  It's a win-win.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February Blocks for the At the Fair Block of the Month

Well, it is snowing here in Iowa and I have to say everything is much prettier covered in snow.  Before it started snowing yesterday, I went out and took these pictures of the February blocks for the At the Fair Mystery Block of the Month.  I had a lot of fun making them.  They came together fast and stress free, which was what I needed after dealing with the flu and a broken sewing machine earlier in the week.

 This is the block from Debuque County.  It is called State House.  Wouldn't it look great repeated for a whole quilt?  It measures 12 1/2".

This 8 1/2" block is one of my favorites ever.  It is so simple, yet it is still interesting and has great movement.  It was submitted by Clinton County and is called Balkan Puzzle.

I was able to track down the names for both of the block designs in Barbra Brackman's Block Base program.

You can find more information on the At the Fair Block of the Month Program here.  You can sign up at anytime and receive all of the earlier block patterns.  Sign up here.

You can see some of the January blocks people have made here on Flickr.  They are Amazing!

A bit of business:  gfpaloney, please contact me.  I need a new email address for you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Making Progress

Well, I have been making some progress with my scrap hexagon quilt.  While looking for something else in my sewing room I found the purple and orange block.  It is a leftover from my Flower Garden quilt and fits right in.  If I remember correctly I have a few more extras.  Maybe it is time to do some cleaning....

Linking to Fabric Tuesday and WIP Wednesday.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Best Foundation Paper Piecing Class EVER is on Sale!

Carol Doak's Mastering Foundation Paper Piecing

I've got the foundations printed and fabric picked for on of February's At the Fair Mystery Quilt Blocks.  It is going to be Amazing!  Seriously, it is one of my favorites in the quilt.  It looks so complicated but comes together really simply with foundation paper piecing.  A few years ago I was terrified of foundation paper piecing.  Then I tried it and it wasn't bad at all - totally doable!

But my comfort and skill grew by leaps and bounds when I took  Carol Doak's Mastering Foundation Paper Piecing at Craftsy.  Carol is the Queen of Foundation Paper Piecing and goes over every step in detail.  And her tips for making sure all of the seams and points line up is simple yet brilliant.  She is a great teacher and I cannot recommend her class enough.

I am sure you have heard that Craftsy is having a sale this weekend on tons of their classes.  If you want to learn how to or feel more comfortable foundation paper piecing Carol Doak's Mastering Foundation Paper Piecing is the class to take.  It is worth every penny (especially at $15 off regular price!).  The sale goes through Sunday.

Have a great weekend!

**affiliate links in post**

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Scrap Hexagons

I finished going through all of my small scraps (less than a fat 1/8 of a yard) and cut them all up into hexagons.  It is kind of fun to see what fabric I use the most of.  I have tons of red, pink, yellow, aqua, green and black/gray but I was surprised how little blue and orange I had.

I decided to try something different with this English piecing project.  I am making overlapping large hexagons.  The overlap will keep things interesting and will help to use up odd numbers of hexagons.  I am really liking it so far.  I don't know if there is such a thing as improvisational English paper piecing, but I think it will be a lot of fun to make up the design as I go along.  I am aiming for a lap sized quilt.

I set aside all of the strips that were too small to cut hexagons out of.  They range from 1-2.5" and are 4-42" long.  They would be perfect for a string quilt, but I don't think I am going to get to that any time soon.  So, if you would like them, leave a comment and I will send them to you.  (First come, first serve.)

Linking up to Scraptastic Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday and WIP Wednesday.