Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Wayward Transparency :: QAL

Every once in a while we see a quilt we just have to make.  That was the case with Wayward Transparency, a quilt designed by Yvonne @Quilting JetGirl.  When Yvonne announced she was going to have a quilt along with this pattern, I knew I wanted to participate...hopefully!  And that 'hopefully' turned in to I'm 'doin' it'!  And it's a free pattern! 


  

I've admired and been inspired by Yvonne for a long, long time.  So, joining the QAL that was all about 'transparency' was an exciting and anxious prospect! Exciting because I love the transparent aspect of quilts, anxious because I had to pick the right colors to make it work.


After scouring the fabric shops, I finally came up with my colors.  It wasn't easy my any means!  I picked, ordered and waited patiently.

I ended up picking Kona Blue Bell, Kona Deep Blue and Kona Hyacinth.  


Cutting and organizing is essential in most any projects.  I have to say I had fun with this part!  Who doesn't love to organize, right?!

This quilt was a breeze to piece.  The hardest part was picking the colors!  Oh, and then you had to decide on on-point or traditional settings.  The instructions were clear and easy to follow.  

I don't think it's a secret to anyone that I prefer rectangle quilts to square, unless they are mini quilts.  During the piecing, I kept thinking about what I could do to keep the integrity of the quilt, yet change the shape.  I thought and thought and then, thought some more!  By the time the quilt was pieced I pretty much had a plan!

46" x 73"
There are more times than not that I get a quilt pattern and then modify it.  Not that there is anything wrong with the original at all.  I just like to put my stamp on it even if it's just a little bit. 

I pulled a section from Yvonne's design (the top and bottom triangles), and made my modification.  I believe it stays true to the design and doesn't change the original concept.  I'm pretty happy with it!!  I mean...it's a rectangle!

***The pictures are a combination of before and after washing.  Winter sucks for photos!  You take what you can get sometimes!

  

You know when I said picking fabric was the hardest part...oops...I forgot the quilting part!  Letting a top sit for a while is always a good thing.  Eventually an idea comes to you for the quilting.  


Let's talk quilting!  I thought long and hard about this!  I decided 1/2" concentric squares in the center.  I also had to think thread.  I decided I would go with Aurifil Dove Grey (2600).  Simple.  Except I used a 28wt in the top and a 50 wt in the bobbin.  The 28wt is heavier and kind of gives a more defined stitch line.  Because it's thicker, I use the 50wt in the bobbin for ease of quilting.  


After the center was finished, I continued the lines outward.  Except this time I went with a 1" width.  This is just the way I work.  I start a section and figure out the next move after each brainstorm.  Much like chess!


I think the texture with all the different angles of quilting work well with the design.  They also scratch my 'geometric straight line itch'!


I'd like to think I 'enhanced' the design to fit me, and I hope that Yvonne is okay with that!  I loved making this quilt and feel that I have come away from it with more of an understanding of what transparency means.


The back give you a better idea of how it was quilted.  Symmetrical.  Geometric.  Quilting.  



Right now there is a link up showing a huge variety of Wayward Transparency quilts.  If you want inspiration or color ideas, check out this link:  Wayward Transparency Link Up.  

LINKING:
TGIFF

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Final Minimal Mini's

The truth is, I couldn't stop at two Minimal Mini's inspired by Curated Quilts!  I was feeling the inspiration, feeling the vibe and just plain and simply...was having way too much fun!

My first two mini's:  Tendrils and The Square should have been enough, yet I couldn't end there.  I had these ideas.  This was the chance to finally get them out and into fabric form.  

The open entry deadline ended a couple days ago.  I'm going to include the link to the entries so you can take a look at the playing field.  There are some pretty amazing mini's and I don't envy whoever has to pick the few for the magazine!  This link will take you to the link and post with the rules, Minimal Mini Quilt Link.


'Split'
14" x 14"
The simplicity of a triangle.  I simply framed the triangle with Kona Shadow and then with the bright pink.  When it came time to slice and dice, I won't lie...I was a little freaked about it.  Considering this was an idea I had, I wasn't sure it would come together. 


There were a couple head scratching moments, like making sure the top part of the pink frame was lined up when sewing the two sides together.  Other than that it was straight forward!


This time I wanted to keep it pretty simple with the quilting.  I used Aurifil Blossom Pink (2530) in the pink frame and continued the lines across the bottom.  

  

For me, this is pretty sparse on the quilting scale! That being said, I love it.  I like the simplicity of the design both in the quilting and the triangle.  Simple is good!


And the final mini would be this one:

'Configuration'
11" x 11"
I really had fun with this one!  I kept thinking of other ideas and what I really want to do or should or could have done.  At some point you have to stay with the plan and focus!


I stuck with a square, triangle and rectangle for my shapes.  The blue, green and pink frames are 1/4" wide.  Wide enough to see the color, but not glaring!  


While I really like this design, I wanted to use a circle for one of the shapes.  At the time I didn't want to take the time...to make a darn circle!  Call me lazy!  I was more focused on getting it finished!  


So, when it came time to quilt this little jewel, it occurred to me that this was the perfect importunity to add that circle idea.  Enter concentric circles!  I no longer felt like a lazy slacker!


I'm not sure how many Minimal Mini quilts will be selected for the next issue of Curated Quilts, and I wouldn't want to be the one who has to pick...and there are so many creative entries...and I'm crossing my fingers!  A girl can hope!


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

QuiltCon + Me!

I can honestly say I never know if a quilt is good enough for a quilt show and worth entering.  I've only ever gone to one quilt show, so my experience is pretty slim.  This year I thought I would take the plunge and see what happens.  I enter the world of QuiltCon 2018.  

I decided to enter four quilts.  What are the odds that one would get in?  With the amount of talent and quilts that are submitted, I didn't have a lot of hope.  But I was determined to try and try I did!

Much to my surprise and amazement two of the four were accepted!  Seriously!  Once I got over the shock, I soon became elated!

Would you like to know which ones made it and which ones didn't?  


Super Star Thistle
It's kind of ironic that the reason I was for sure going to enter was because of my 'Super Star Thistle' quilt.  This one did not make the cut!  It was rejected but only by the jury...I still like it very much!


Confetti
'Confetti' was my second reject!  Kind of sad, but that's okay!  I always look at this quilt with ideas for the next one.  

The ones accepted actually surprised me.  Both of these were ones I debated about entering and lo and behold, they made it in the show!  


Revitalized
My Pantone color of the year 2017 'Revitalized' made it in!  I really was surprised and delighted!

And my last entry + acceptance:


Phantom Triangles
This one was one of my favorite finishes!  I had a blast quilting all the pebbles, not so much all the thread color changes, but I enjoyed the process.

We all know juried shows are totally subjective.  What one loves here, one might not there.  I learned that I can do this, that I can take chances and not totally fall apart in panic!  I may just try again in the near future as I'm sure it gets easier the more you try!



Both quilts are labeled, have a beautiful hanging sleeve and are on their way to California!

I wish I was heading to L.A. with my quilts!  Next year Nashville 2019...I'll be there!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

A Mini Made in Heaven

Screech!!  Not so fast!  Wouldn't it be wonderful if all our quilts were perfect when finished, or right from the start we were madly in love with them?  If our ideas could magically work the first time every time or translate from what we see in our head to fabric with ease?

Then again, if it was that easy, we wouldn't push our limits?  Or try new things?  Or be in love with quilting.  Something too easy would be boring!
12 1/2" x 11 1/2"
When I started this mini, I was in deep with playing with curves.  My 'Tendrils' Minimal Mini put me in an experimenting mode and I was in full swing.  By the end of piecing this...I was not in love.  I didn't much like it and I didn't really want to finish it...at all!

At this point I should have taken my own advice.  Advice I have dished out on many occasions, but seemed to have forgotten with this one.  Keep going!  Finish your project because you never know how it will turn out.  And it's only fabric!  This is especially true for me and improv.  



I'm not sure what motivated me to pick this particular color palette, other than I was experimenting.  By the time I had most of it together I could feel a Mid Century Modern color vibe brewing.


I shared my progress on Instagram and to my surprise I received positive feedback.  The most important advice was to step back, create distance and come back to it the next day.  Which I did.  And lo and behold, I didn't hate it as much as I did the day before!



I had a new vision of it and for it, which made me want to jump in and finish it.  I strategically added what I call my 'Faux Trapunto' to some of the 'flames'.  There reason I call it faux, is because I glue extra batting where I want it to go instead of sewing around the area and cutting away the excess.  

In order to get the shape and have it positioned where I wanted it, I used a glue stick to adhere the batting to the area after I cut the shape out.  If that makes sense.  It works for me regardless if it's a best practice or the right way.



By the time I quilted around the trapunto shapes and could see the texture I was looking for, I started falling in love.  Slowly it came to life with the quilting and texture. 

 

I quilted the heck out of it!  I didn't add the faux treatment to all the flames, just random ones.  

And I figured it was a good quilt to use a faced or knife edge binding to finish it off.  This is only the second time I've done this binding and wonder why I don't do it more often!  The tutorial is available here: @ Bloomin' Workshop Blog  

There are so many times when I am not feeling a project.  Maybe it's the colors, the fabric or the design.  I want to give up and move on, but I don't (usually).  Do you have those moments?  What do you do when faced with that situation? 



To start the New Year out on a happy note, I ended up sending this as a Secret Surprise gift to the person who encouraged me not to give up on it!  I hope she likes it!

On an entirely different subject.  If you are a no-reply blogger and send and email to me or anyone, we cannot reply to you.  I have tried to send templates of 'Star Thistle' to a no-reply blogger, it took me several times before I realized it.  If you are reading this...please get in touch with me from a different email address!  I want to send you the templates!


LINKING:
TGIFF

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

First Finish of 2018?

I'm not sure about that!  Technically, I finished it the last week of December, but didn't take photos until New Years Day.  Not that it matters much, we'll call it the first finish and leave it at that!


X-SQUARED
60 1/2" x 75 1/2"
It's hard to believe I started this in September!  Time goes so fast the older you get it isn't funny!  



After I finished piecing this top, I wrote a tutorial for the block in two sizes (16" & 10"), which is free on Craftsy.  You can find it here: X-SQUARED.  



This quilt is made using the 16" block.  It's a really fun and easy block that goes together pretty quick.  I used a lot of different prints that makes for a great scrappy quilt!  Apparently I had much more fabric than I thought.  When you can get three quilts from one stack...that must mean something!


10" X-SQUARED
HST Bonus Triangles





















The block has bonus Half Square Triangles, so I sewed them up into a sweet little baby quilt.  And of course I had to test out the 10" block for a small quilt using a different layout and adding a border.



Part of the reason it took me so long to finish was the quilting.  What to do, what to do!  The other reason was it was so big and I didn't feel like wrestling with it!  

There comes a time when you can't ignore the elephant in the room.  And so I began the wrestling match.  In the end I pinned this baby down and won the hard fought match to take the title and get a finish!



The quilting is geometric lines using Aurifil Peony (#2440).  Think coral or dark peach.  In a sick sort of way I wanted to add more quilting because of my love of dense quilting, but it was just not in the cards for this one.  The back is Kona Salmon and compliments all the colors on the front.



A neat little package or a big fluffy pile!  The washing machine and drier are always the final magical touch!



What is the biggest block you have made?  I've never made anything bigger than a 16"!  Which makes me want to go bigger and bigger!



LINKING:

Monday, January 1, 2018

Best of 2017 :: Happy New Year!

I couldn't very well let the year end without sharing my Best of 2017, now could I?!  Thanks to Cheryl @Meadowmistdesigns, who is hosting the Best of 2017 Blog Linky Party, I've decided to compile my list and join the fun.  

The idea is to pick five top blog posts of the year by views, comments or our personal favorites.  I'm going with a combination or all of the above.    



This is the perfect time of year to look back and reminisce, reflect and evaluate what 2017 meant to us.  I'm not sad that this year has come to an end.  It's been a hard year, yet a good year.  A mixed bag of life, which is pretty normal I'd say!

It's also a time to celebrate!  Enough gloom...bring on the happy!

I've always had trouble keeping my zippers in place and decided to experiment with glue basting them.  Turns out it works and for someone (me) who needs all the help they can get with zippers, this is the perfect solution!  This tutorial also received the most views on my blog!


Another tutorial!  I designed this block mostly with a color palette in mind, but also wanting to make it BIG!  The block is available as a free download on Craftsy (X-Squared) and comes in two sizes: 16" and 10".  This is a beginner friendly block and can easily be made with scraps!  We like that!


3.  'Revitalized' :: Pantone 2017 Quilt Challenge
I'm picking this quilt as one of my personal favorites for a couple reasons.  First, it combined improv and precision work.  It is a color that I normally do not gravitate towards...green!  And lastly my favorite because it's my first quilt accepted into QuiltCon!  More on that later...



What can I say about this one?!  It's wild, wacky and slightly out there!  Plus, there is that rainbow connection...cue Kermit singing.  


5.  'Create' :: Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine 
This one also because it's a rainbow, but mostly because it was in a magazine!  I was very honored and excited to share my 'faux trapunto' technique!  Hopefully it inspired people to 'create' something all their own!


And that is that!  A wrap up of my year!  I couldn't have done it without the support of our amazing quilting community.  The encouragement, support and inspiration is endless...and of course what would a blog be without you?!  I have appreciated every single comment, every single interaction and hope that I have given something back to you in return.  Happy New year to you all!  Cheers!  

For those who are on Instagram, I'm sure you've seen many, many #2017bestnine  mosaics.  They are your nine most viewed posts from your Instagram feed.  I had to see what mine would be and must say, it was a surprise even to me!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!