Friday, February 26, 2021

Time Warp!

Where did time go?!  I cannot believe it's the end of February already and I also cannot believe I spent 8 days with zero, zilch, zippo sewing!  And then let's not forget there was the virtual QuiltCon Together show going on as well!

Many of you know that we quarantine for two weeks in order to spend time with my daughter's God-Children.  There are three of them including the mom ranging in age from 7-1 1/2 years old.  We take Covid very seriously and both our families take extra precautions so that we can all have visits.  

We usually spend three or four days together and then they go back home.  However this time we had the added bonus of snow!  Snow and ice to be exact!  Now, Mid-Tennessee doesn't often see snow except maybe a dusting once in a while.  This time was a bit different and frankly, a very nice surprise!  


It was a beautiful scene!  I love watching the snow falling and how quiet it becomes outside.  Inside was a different story!!  With the roads too treacherous to drive, our 3 day visit turned into 8 days!  The good part was there was snow for the children to play in!  They loved it of course, and it helped getting them outside to play.  

I think we all had a blast and we sure love having the children here!  We are always thankful for our visits.  However...when you aren't use to it...it can be exhausting!  We look forward to the next visit of course, this time without snow!

All that being said, I didn't have one second of sewing in 8 days!  Truthfully the first several were a welcomed change.  But I was going through withdrawals by day 4!  Luckily those days were spent tooling around QuiltCon Together!

I was luckily enough to have two quilts in the show.  QuiltCon is the only show I enter quilts in mostly because don't know any others to enter! 

VITALITY

BEHIND THE SCENES

I understand why a virtual quilt show had to happen and not that I would have been able to go the the show had it been in Atlanta like it originally should have been, but it was nice to see the quilts.  I didn't sign up for classes or lectures...I just looked at all the quilts!  They were great eye candy, but it was a little bit of a let down.  There is nothing like seeing people, their quilts and all the detail in person.  Next year...I hope!

Now that I was finally able to get back to sewing I got to start a project that I've been thinking about for a while now.  Neon pink, Cotton + Steel and Kona Ash!  Couldn't be a better combination in my book!


And of course circles AKA Drunkard Path blocks!  I don't have a lot of the old Cotton + Steel fabric with neon pink left, but it was time to use it.  It just was.  The neon Pink is a Michael Miller fabric that is no longer available.  I bought several yards when I saw it on sale and then realized it was not going to be around for long.  


I drew up a couple blocks in EQ8, printed the templates and began cutting.  By the way, there are a couple prints in the mix that aren't Cotton + Steel, but have neon pink in them!


The blocks are suppose to be 5" finished and an 8" circle.  I always have issues with the edges of the blocks lining up.  I do the crease in the center, often glue my blocks, but they don't always end up perfect.  


I think in the end it might because I don't manipulate (pull!) the fabric enough.  Truth is, in the end it doesn't matter because I'll trim all the blocks to whatever size they need to be.  


Many of my designs aren't set in stone so I'm able to go with the flow.  I make it up as I go!  Which seems to be my way!

Hopefully I can make progress today and soon enough have a finished quilt top to share!!

LINKING:

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Purple Majesty :: Graphic Log Cabin Quilt

I'm in love with this design!  From the design to colors to quilting, it hits all the high notes for me.  I've been itching to use purple in a quilt for quite awhile and it feels good to finally get that off my plate!

PURPLE MAJESTY
46 1/2" X 61"

It took two weeks to receive the background fabric after I ordered it.  Far too long when you just want to finish a quilt!  

I ended up washing the fabric three times until it was free of dye on my color catchers.  I had an issue years ago with purple fabric bleeding and I didn't want it to happen again.  Once the quilt was completely finished I washed it again and the color catcher was free of purple, so it worked!


Once the background fabric was washed and pressed it took very little time to assemble the quilt top.  I wanted a quick finish when I first started this quilt and then had to sit on my hands for two weeks!


I used matching thread to quilt lines in four (4) of the blocks.  Each one was identical, so at least I didn't have to come up with a new idea each time!  For the last two (2) I quilted 1/2" diagonal lines to break it up a bit and give a little unexpected twist.


For a better visual of the different thread color and quilting design the back always reveals the truth!


All in all I couldn't be more pleased with this quilt or the design.  Plus, I've knocked purple off my list!  Not that my list ever gets smaller...it just changes on occasion!

It was a fun quilt to make and I will make it again.  Perhaps using different shades of gray!

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Illuminate :: Pantone Color(s) of the Year

Often I put off quilting a quilt for multiple reasons.  It's big and daunting, I haven't a clue how to quilt it or I just plain and simply don't feel like it!  When your only option is to quilt on your domestic machine it can be overwhelming.  Then there are those times when you know exactly what you want to do.

This quilt falls somewhere in between.  I knew I need a quilting redemption quilt and this was the piece I thought might be the one.  Geometric line quilting was the first and only idea I had.  

ILLUMINATE
17" x 17"

It's playtime!  With a quilt this small I can play with lines without having a bulky quilt to shove, push and pull through my machine.  Always a welcome change and one that I tend to enjoy a lot!


I started with the dark grey using a dark grey thread.  Simple 1/4" lines that are either straight or angled to different points.  Geometric wizardry!


I found the perfect thread that matched the Kona Bright Idea fabric.  It's a Coats & Clark thread that is nearly neon, but worked very well.  

When I'm doing this kind of quilting I focus on one section at a time.  I'll take a look at the section draw some lines with my hera marker and duplicate the design to each mirrored section.  If that makes sense!!  Sometimes I might delete a line, add more or angle a line to different points.  There can be a lot of 'dot-to-dot' with a geometric quilting design. 


Working from the center to the outside helps with this kind of design.  I can use the ideas from the center and apply them to the outside creating a more cohesive design.  


The back...the truth teller!  The best part of sharing the back is you get to see all the quilting without having to look past the actual design on the front.  


And the cherry on top is the matched binding!   It isn't much, but I think the perfect touch to bring the quilt to life.  Matched bindings are a labor of love!  They aren't always easy and take much longer than you think they will.  I'll admit that I had to use my seam ripper a few times until I was happy with the results!  

With this finish I got my quilting redemption!  

LINKING:

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Pantone Color of the Year

This year Pantone came out with their color of the year as they always do, and surprised us all when it was really two colors of the year!  These colors that sparked my imagination and it didn't take long for an idea to form.

PANTONE COLOR OF THE YEAR
ILLUMINATE & ULTIMATE GRAY

After catching Debbie Jeske's post on Instagram @aquilterstable where she researched which manufactures colors matched her Pantone color cards, I was 100% committed!  Debbie came up with Kona Bright Idea and Cotton Couture Pewter for the closest matches.  Kona Overcast was a close second for the gray.


Knowing the colors that matched was all it took for me.  Especially since I had two of colors in my stash.  I added Kona Dove into the mix to round out the design.  

I designed a paper pieced block the end of 2018 that I love and decided it was worth revisiting for the Pantone challenge.  I've made two quilts with this block, each time the block was a different size and arranged differently.  By flipping, rotating and fabric colors the possibilities are endless!

This time I'm using 4.25" blocks.  Weird size, right?!  I went with a size where I could print two blocks on a page...save paper, save ink...I'm being cheap!!


The first thing I did was write the block placement number on each paper, along with an arrow so I knew which way it went.  Then I highlighted the yellow and wrote where the dark grey was to go.  It helps so much to do this!  Although I will say I flubbed up a time or two!


Next I figured out the size of fabric I'd need for each section.  It takes time but in the end I think it makes the paper piecing process easier and dare I say quicker?!


The points are near perfect!  I love having the 1/4" inch ruler for trimming seams.  I also have a 1/8" ruler which I did use for the skinny point sections.  The bulk is obscene!  Especially when it's time to sew the blocks together.


 The hardest part is matching the sections!  


I paper pieced the center section first only because it's the focal point.  I'm going to have to be careful when it comes to matching those seams!


And...then it's done!  I'm going to admit that matching the dark grey seams was tough.  I had to try a couple times and even then it wasn't perfect.  I also totally messed up when I laid out the blocks!  So much for taking the time to write numbers on each block!

After I had the rows sewn together my son, very gently and cautiously, asked if I meant to have certain sections like 'that'!  ARGH!!  No I did not!!  I had to rip out some seams, anyone who paper pieces knows how much fun that is, and basically reconfigure it.


With that behind me I ended up with something that I love!!  Maybe what I love is how one seemingly simple block can be used to make so many different blocks.  Or maybe it's the colors?  Whatever it is I'm deep into the quilting phase right now and can't wait to redeem myself with this quilting after the last quilt!

Are you going to make something using the 2021 Pantone Color of the Year colors?