Friday, January 26, 2018

One Quilted :: One To Go

I thought I would get a little more creative with quilting my Regatta Quilt.  I wanted to, but common sense and laziness won out!  There are some quilts that require a bit more finesse and detail, and there are quilts that need simplicity and a quick fix.

Straight line quilting is something I can do.  Fancy free motion quilting on a big quilt, not so much!  

Regatta 'Sunrise' Quilt
55" x 70 1/2"
There is also a time when we just want to finish a quilt either because we are excited about it or we are tired of it!  In this case it was because I was excited to get this one finished.  It turns out I love this color combination and I couldn't wait to have it done.  The best way for that to happen...simple quilting!

The neutral stripes and the long solid stripes received a line down the center.  How much more simple could it be?!  I then decided to add more lines in the short solid stripes for more definition or pizazz!  I like how it ended up.  

Gotta love this pile!  I want to fall into it and melt from the warmth the colors are radiating!

Because I choose to go simple with the quilting, I decided I'd piece together a binding that matches the like color sections.  It was really fun to add this detail and made all the difference to the vibe of the quilt.

I didn't just end with the 'extras' on the binding!  I decided to go forth and piece the back.  I'm determined this will be the year I work through my stash with a vengeance!  Making pieced backings is one way to do that quickly! 

This quilt uses jelly roll strips and if you are like me, you have jelly rolls that are laying around and you haven't a clue what to do with them.  I don't think you would be disappointed if you were to use those strips in this all!  The best part, it's an easy make and the pattern is FREE!

The Regatta quilt was designed by Daniela @Block M Quilts.  You can find the PDF at the bottom of the page here:  Regatta Quilt.

Do you make cobbled together backings for your quilts?  Do you have a method when you are planning it?

I haven't quilted the 'bonus' quilt I made from the left over Regatta pieces...but it's pinned and ready!  Stay tuned on that front!


Monday, January 22, 2018

Wisp :: Curves + Improv

One of the best things about quilting is being inspired.  Whether by someone else, a color or feeling.  This quilt was inspired while working on another project.  I could hardly wait to finish the first one so I could try and put my ideas in to fabric.

41" x 41"
First comes the idea, second comes color and third comes a whole lot of head scratching!  I started with a few curvy wisps, and soon had a panel.  Yet, I couldn't stop there and I couldn't know then how any of it would turn out in the end. 

I continued cutting and piecing and piecing and cutting until I ended up with two large panels.  Soon came a couple more smaller panels still with not an inkling of the 'big picture' plan.  It is the way I work.  Planning, with no planning!

There are ideas that hit me out of the blue, like a bolt of lightening.  It takes hold and I can't shake it off.  It leads to some interesting problems at times, but I almost always have to figure it out and try to make it work.

Make an improv circle.  Sounds like fun!  And for the most part it was!  I was not going to be defeated by this even though there was a slight puckering of the center, I knew it would be fine in the end...especially if I quilted the hell out of it!!  I finished the circle by using the Six Minute Circle method. 

Initially, the vibe of the panels reminded me of an 'Under tow', especially after the addition of the center.  Yet the more I looked at it the more it had a light airy feel, more like wisps.  And so it was forever thought of as 'Wisp'!


Eventually there comes the part where it all has to go together.  I fiddled, turned and twisted and finally found the layout that I could live with.  I don't know if this is the ideal way to settle on a layout, as it can be very frustrating!  Yet, I continue to play this way.  Figuring out the puzzle is all part of the challenge for me.   

There are more times than not where I am unsure how to quilt a quilt.  And then there are times when you know exactly what you are going to do, like the design is telling you what needs to be done.  I wish that happened all the time!

It was predestined that organic wavy lines would be the quilting design.  How could I argue?!  I used Aurifil Natural White 50wt (2021) for the entire process.  Just as I had hoped, the quilting took care of the center bulge!  Whew! 

The center when finished quilting took on a 'knot hole' look and I was good with that!  There was a little free motion quilting in the center, but the majority of quilting was done with my walking foot.  

With the binding added, washing and drying was going to be the final step.  It had to be washed if only to camouflage the center and let the crinkle of the dryer make it look like it was meant to be from the beginning!

Oh is the cheese cake shot!  Up close and personal!  

Sometimes I feel like I play too much or I get stuck on a color combination for too many quilts in a row!  The playing part is a must in anyones world, right?!  The old adage 'all work and no play' is very much a real thing.  As for the color combinations...well, it could be the peachy/pinky combination that became a trio of quilts, or this combination where I have another top finished and ready to quilt...sorry guys!  I'd like to say it was the last one, but with my scraps over flowing there may be another on the horizon!  The scraps are out already...

Do you stick to one quilt, one color combination?  I may have to try doing that!


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Laid Back Regatta Quilt Sew Along

It's always nice having a project that is laid back straight forward.  And one that uses fabrics from your stash!  

The Regatta quilt was designed by Daniela @Block M Quilts.  The pattern is free...yep!  Free!  You can find the PDF at the bottom of the page here:  Regatta Quilt.  This is a Jelly Roll friendly quilt which makes it a win (jelly roll), win (great design) and win (stash buster) in my book!

I have a stack of jelly roll strips that have been tucked away for years.  I'd like to say they have been waiting for the right project, but the truth is they were tucked in a tote and out of sight and forgotten for the most part.  This was the kick in the butt I needed to use them.

Most of the credit goes to Rosanne @Home Sewn By Us who brought up the idea of a relaxed quilt along.  The quilt design is pretty amazing and I'm sure you will want to make one once you see it.  Really, you will!

The colors are saturated and warm, perfect for this time of the year!  I haven't quilted it yet, but I have ideas and hope to have it on the table (dining table) in the next week or so. 

The majority of the yellow, orange and pink strips were all jelly roll pre-cuts.  I had to fill in with strips cut from yardage because each row takes two strips.  

The white strips were cut from yardage.  Actually, there is a combination of Kona White and Bella Porcelain.  I first cut the Bella and soon discovered I wasn't going to have enough.  It was improvise time.

I ended up using Bella Porcelain on the top and bottom, and white in the center.  It's hard to see in this picture and depending on the lighting it is very subtle. 

Before sewing the strips together, I grabbed the masking tape and wrote row numbers on each strip.  I did not want to get them out of order!  

Straight forward, pedal to the medal sewing of the strips!  Simple.  There is a method to the cutting, which after I read it over a couple times I finally got it.  

After trimming the quilt sections and sewing them all together it was sandwich time!  Not the lunch kind, the pinning time!  Quilting will happen soon!

There are some good chunks of stripes left over once the sections are trimmed.  It's suggested you can use them on the back of your quilt if you want.  When I started this quilt I really wanted to change it up, but decided I really liked it as is and tamped down the urge.  Instead I decided to use those 'chunks' and make another quilt.

If you look at the first picture you can see there are some good size pieces left over.  


I had a lot of ideas going into it!  In the end I sliced the extra pieces into 2 1/2" strips and made this!  I first made blocks of 36 patches and came up with this arrangement.  There wasn't quite enough squares left over from the Regatta quilt, so I did make more.  I believe it was 3-4 extra blocks.

A little ombre action and my 'changing it up' itch scratched!  I also think this would be a good quilt to try FMQ stippling again.  It's been years since I've done that.

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'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.  


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.

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:

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 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' 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!  

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!