Monday, June 30, 2014

Michael Miller Fabric Challenge

It sure seemed like I would never complete my first Modern Quilt Guild fabric challenge! The fabric has been staring me down for weeks, my mind has been frantically trying to come up with something...anything...I was feeling completely design challenged!  It helped that there were others in the same boat as me, thankfully the deadline was extended!

This is the fabric we needed to incorporate in our quilted project.  Michael Millers' Petal Pinwheels.  I don't use a lot of prints, so it certainly was a challenge for me!  

What did I decide to do?!  Make a pillow.  Yep!  I went there!  I have been wanting to enlarge the paper pieced hedgehog for some time now, and then wondered what would it look like with some prints.  There it is, two birds one stone!

First step, enlarge the pattern.  The original hedgehog was 2 1/2" x 3 1/2".  My 'bigger is better' hedgehog finished at 6" x 8".  

I added extra paper on the outside of the pattern and extended the lines allowing for a 16" x 16" finished pillow cover.  I could have added a border around the little guy after he was finished, but I really wanted the angles of the paper piecing.  After cutting the pattern apart I remembered to add slightly over 1/4" for the seam allowance.  One problem I had on previous hedgehogs was remembering to do that!  

This is the beginning stages.  I must say, it was a little difficult working with such a big piece.  I made a few mistakes along the way too!  If you have ever paper pieced you know how difficult it is ripping out those teeny tiny stitches!  I swore several times.  My husband told me to put it away.  But I was determined to make it to the end!

And I did!  Here is a look at the back.  I love seeing pretty little seams!  It's like a special reward!

How's this for carnage?!  I also love riping the paper off the back after I finish!  Actually, I was so excited about finishing that I tore the paper off before I put the pieces together. Live and learn has become my mantra on so many projects!

Which brings me to quilting this crazy little guy!  I started with 1/4" lines and ended with 3/4" on the top half.  Under his little stubby feet I went wild and pretended I was making the ground.  Something different.  I even embroidered his little eye too!  Can't have another blind hedgehog!   


And there you have it.  Finished, stuffed and brow wiped!  I kind of feel like I 'copped out' on this project.  I didn't use very much of the fabric.  My saving grace...we could use as much or as little as we wanted and it had to be quilted!  I'm happy with 'Michael the Magnificent Hedgehog'!  


Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I have a big reveal!  My wonderful customer Kathleen, was kind enough to send pictures of her new queen quilt and pillow covers.  It isn't often that I actually get to see what these wild and crazy quilts look like in someones this was a treat for me!

First, I show a few pictures of the pillow covers.  I must say, it is scary and difficult to make something custom.  As for the pillow covers, well I relied on measurements that Kathleen provided me.  Adding extra for seam allowances and shrinkage, I was sweating bullets hoping they would be the right size!  And they were!  You never know how much they will shrink, if any.

This was the littlest one.  12" x 24"
#1~26.5" x 26.5" Square

#2~26.5" x 26.5" Square
Largest at 18" x 52.5"
Just in case, I didn't put any of the fabric away.  It certainly was possible that they wouldn't fit.  And I wanted to be prepared.  You know...just in case!

After receiving a lovely message and pictures...I sighed a huge breath of relief...blushed a little from the sweet compliments and began to relax and plan my next project!

And here is the Reveal!!!  Thank you for putting up with my endless posts about this quilt project!  It seemed to go on forever didn't it?  

For me, this is the payoff.  Seeing it displayed and having a very happy customer!  I'm sure Kathleen will have many, many years of enjoyment and warmth from her very own, one-of-a-kind art piece!

Linking To:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Here I Go Again!

Back at it!  Improv/Abstract mode in full swing again!  After finishing the biggest quilt I have ever made and taking a well deserved brain break from it...I'm 'back in the saddle' so to speak!

Here is the post where I revealed the finished quilt:  Well Worth It!  It was massive and very rewarding!  The finished quilt was delivered to my customer who loved it!  Whew!  It's always a relief to hear that!  You just never know!

The next phase was pillows.  She asked, I said yes...thinking two regular sized pillow covers.  Turns out it four and 3 different sizes!  Luckily I'm up for the challenge!

This is the first one and the smallest of the four measuring 12" x 24".  All the pillows will end up with a classic envelope closure.

I wanted to make each pillow like the quilt, but different so they stand out a little bit.  This one is much darker.  I used a little white, but mostly colors.  Measuring at a whopping 18" x 52.5" it is the biggest pillow I have ever made!  I guess this quilting project has become the 'bigger is better' project!

Right now I am working on the last two.  In the end they will be 26.5" x 26.5" square.  

It was really hard to get back in the improv mode after the quilt.  I was fighting it, trying to get my head in the game.  

It helped to take a break.  I finally got to hand dye more fabric!  My stash has been slowly dwindling!  Here is a sneak peak at a few pieces me and my daughter dyed:

We played with the Shibori method on these pieces.  Kind of a loose version I would say!  It's amazing what a little twine, twisting and folding can create!  


Monday, June 9, 2014

Zipper Fail

As promised, I will share my zipper fail!  And zipper triumph!  I have done zippers in pouches before and they worked just fine.  But this trio gave me issues.  I don't know why...they just did.  

I went to bed thinking about them.  I woke up thinking about them.  It's just a little zipper and it got the best of me!  However, I decided I wasn't going to let it beat me!

This picture is awful..sorry... an iPad takes bad pictures...IMO!  See how the corners are wonky?  Awful.  My intentions was to make a few with some hand dyed fabric scraps. 

Now, first thing the next morning, I set about to fix these little gems.  I ended up cutting the bottom off to make the smaller and ripped out the seams.  Either it would work or it wouldn't, but I had to give it one more try.  

And it paid off!  Not only did I fix two of the three, but I made three more!  I was on a roll and thought I had better keep going with it!

I love this stack!  I love zippers (let's not go that far)!  and I love those little end tabs! It gives little zipper creations such a nice finish!

Lovely Coral 

 Pretty Blue 

 Dramatic Purple 

Radiant Orchid

I love this one!  My daughter block printed this fabric using a hand carved linoleum block.  The color is amazing and the! 

Dark version of block printing.

What did I learn.  Don't give up!  Try, try again!  I don't do them often so I think I get rusty.Forget the little tricks.  

I'm sure it will happen again.  Time will go by and I will decide I should attempt it again. This time I will have this post to remind me that I can do it!  


Monday, June 2, 2014

Catch Up!

Happy Monday Morning!  I know its early, but so far this week is starting off pretty great! How optimistic is that?!

I realize I have some catch up to do.  A few projects to share.  An update.  Maybe a little rambling on.  I'm not sure where time goes.  I know there are plenty hours in the day, days in the weeks and weeks in the month...but really?  It seems like there isn't enough!  (that was my ramble)

So, let me up date you!  My last post was about this big queen quilt:  Well Worth It.  After stressing out on so many levels about this, my customer received it.  Turns out she loves it!  Whew...load off my mind!  She and I discussed pillow covers for the next phase.  I thought she was talking two.  Turns out its four!  Two square and one rectangle.  And one that is, dare I say HUGE again?!  I guess you would call it a body pillow that is used as a bolster.  I'll be back in improv/abstract mode before too long!

Here is my Vice Versa BOM blocks from last month.  Another few days and there should be another pattern...whatever will it be?!

I love the border on this one!

It wasn't until this very second...seriously....that I see I messed this one up!  It looks different from the first one!  It appears I didn't place the corner pieces correctly!  ARGH!  I think maybe I will be doing this one over again!

They look good together even with the mistake!  I'm still scratching my head over this!

Just a pretty little stack of zipper coin purses!  I am loving this color combination!  I have a story behind these!  However, it will have to wait for the next post!!