Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Mini Quilt :: Curated Quilts Mini Challenge

I will not lie...I have a hard time follow the rules!  It isn't always a bad thing especially when it comes to quilting.  But when you are hoping to play along with a challenge and you do all the work only to discover (DUH!) you didn't read the very clear rules, it kind of aggravates me!  This is the second time I've made a mini quilt for the Curated Quilts challenge and the second time I flubbed it up!

All that being said, I'm kind of glad I broke the rules because I love this mini!

12 1/4" x 12 1/4"
When I saw the color inspiration for this challenge, I couldn't wait to dive in!  I think it's a gorgeous combination and love the sophistication of the color palette.  So excited I didn't read the rules!  

The colors are cream, yellow, mustard, navy, moss and gray.  I may make another mini if I can find the time.  Check out the link:  Curated Quilts for the details.  The deadline is June 14th, so I do have time.


I designed this block in EQ7 and used it in a previous project (Cipher).  I reduced the size considerably and quickly did a mock up using the specific challenge colors.  The block is paper pieced and after my last couple projects of improv, it was a nice change switching to something much more structured.

The block is 2" square and once the pieces are sewn together will become a whopping 1 1/2" finished.  Wanting to give myself every advantage of matching up the sections, paper piecing was the best option for me.

The plan begins to take shape!  After I printed my templates I thought I could make it easier on myself by coloring in each section so I could grab and go!  Let's just say that idea didn't work!  I took my time to ensure I wouldn't have a big confusing mess when it was time to put it together!  I'm happy to say I didn't!

With the blocks trimmed and laid out, I set it aside until the next day.  The next morning I noticed the middle sections had popped up a bit (like a bun in the oven), and it gave me an idea...just how successful it will be was yet to be determined!

The idea was to add two extra layers of batting in the centers, hoping it would add some amazing texture.  It sort of worked, but not as much as I was hoping it would.  Some is better than none!  I used a glue stick to keep the batting squares in place.

There's always a little thrill that runs through me when I look at the back of a top, especially with paper piecing.  I think one day I'll flip the script and use the back as the front!


It must be time to quilt!  My favorite part...not!  I wish I had a broader imagination and the skills to do something amazing!  Instead...I'll go with what I know and what I can do!

Simple!  It works for me!  

I had a bunch of thread burying to do when the quilting was finished, but I have to say I enjoy it!

Rules aside, I really like how this turned out.  Classy, sophisticated and a mini!  I would like to believe that I'm not the only one who jumps in to a challenge only to discover I didn't follow the rules, so please...tell me...I'm not the only one!

There seems to be a blogger issue throughout our blog world!  Some people are not receiving notifications when visitors leave comments on their blogs.  I discovered today that I am among them.  We are all hoping the issue gets fixed...and fast!  In the mean time, I apologize if I haven't responded to your comment on previous posts.  Computer woes are not fun!  Please be patient!


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Bits-n-Pieces :: Improv Scraps

I have to say...there are never any scraps that are too small to use in my book!  And, I really have a hard time setting aside scraps from an original project.  Most of the time I share the projects from the scraps before I show the original project!  Maybe that's a little abnormal, or maybe that's me! 

All these original bits and pieces are from a project that I can share with you on June 4th.  I really, really hope you get a chance to see that one!  For all of you who swear you can't do improv...I swear you can!  I'm really excited about it and I think you will be too!  

After my secret project was finished, I was left with so many amazing bits and pieces!  It's not that I don't have plenty of other things to work on, but when confronted with scraps that are pure gold...a girl has to do what a girl has to do!  

As you can see, I was working with a rainbow theme for the secret project.  What ever was in the cards was going to be an explosion of color!

There were different shapes and sizes. Long skinny pieces and some larger chunks.  I was very confident that I could puzzle together each scrap and make something that was interesting.

I'm very comfortable working on projects without detailed plans.  I love the challenge and enjoy the process of figuring it out as I go.

My plan was to make a table runner.  I like making runners for a number of reasons.  One of which is they are relatively small and pretty quick to put together and quilt.  And if you only have a limited amount of scraps, you can easily stretch them throughout by adding background.

It's a good idea to have plenty of background fabric on hand when using scraps, especially if you need to make a little (scraps) go a long way.  In the case of this runner, I had a chunk of Moda Charcoal that I wanted to use and had to be very careful not to waste any of it.  Thankfully I had just, just enough to make a decent sized table runner!

I started with this panel of funky scrap shapes by adding strips of the background fabric in between each shape.  The results stretched the panel and evenly dispersed the color spots.

I tried to keep the larger scrap pieces as large as I could.  I didn't see any reason to trim them any more than I needed to.


The skinny uneven strips were trimmed down and separated with grey to extend the length.  For some reason I felt the need to keep these two sections true to a rainbow spectrum.  All the other panels I didn't worry too much about color placement.

I felt it needed a little more length before I called it done.  With a small chunk of background left at this point, I divided it in half and added a skinny strip to finish.

As you can see I have it basted and ready to quilt.  There isn't a design plan as of yet, but we all know I really like lines...I've never been adventurous!

It turned out rather crazy, don't you think?!   Gotta love those scraps!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Modern With A Twist :: Flying Geese

I was asked if I'd like to participate in the Benartex online magazine "Modern By The Yard' in a feature called 'Modern With A Twist'.  What does that mean?!  

Three designers are asked to put a modern take on a traditional block and feature it using one of their current fabric lines.  I was up for the challenge and knew it would be a lot of fun!

Our mission:  Modernize Flying Geese.    

My all time favorite block has to be Flying Geese!  Besides being a good all around perfect block, it has unlimited possibilities!  From size, shape, traditional or improv, there’s always something new to explore and design!

I decided to keep my block simple, yet impactful!  There is plenty of negative space, open space with the background, and depending on how you place your blocks the design changes giving you many different options.

I choose Gloaming by Shelley Cavanna mostly because of the colors.  The turquoise, lime and mulberry are a beautiful combination!  The geometric, tone on tone and floral prints seemed like the perfect choice for a perfect block…Flying Geese


I played with this block for hours!  Layouts, fabrics, more layouts!  It certainly has potential to make a few pretty cool quilts!

I don't know about you, but this layout has a 'wave illusion' to it!  I guess it could be just me, but I think not!  I'm so glad I went with these colors!  I love the combination and feel they were perfect for this block!

Of course, what would a block with potential be without sharing some variations?!  EQ8 makes it so easy to switch fabrics!


This is the same layout, but I used 'Cherry Twist' from Benartex.  I was feeling the red, black, grey and white!

These two are symmetrical, but both look so different.  

What would an idea of mine be without testing it using solids?  The blocks are randomly placed with some flipped.  A variation of the block.

This is a more scrappy version using Denyse Schmidt 'Washington Depot'.  It could be a lot of fabrics from one collection or better yet, a lot of different scraps from your very own stash!

I will be making this block into a will happen...after I get some other projects off my plate!  

You may be wondering how this block is a 'modern' version of Flying Geese.  What I will say is this...because the Flying Geese block is typically a rectangle and one actual 'goose', I opted to add many geese to create one square block.  Hopefully the layout of the block is a modern interpretation!

Click here to check out Issue #8 Free E-Zine:  Modern by the Yard


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Blogger Bundle + Needle & Foot Fabrics = {Giveaway}

You guys!  This is so exciting!  I created a bundle of fabric...and it's all about prints!  When I was asked if I would curate a bundle for Bernie's Etsy Store Needle & Foot, I didn't hesitate and said yes!  I couldn't resist the opportunity...and hoped I'd be able to put together something wonderful!


I'm excited to share my bundle with everyone and hope you love it as much as I do!  I wanted to pick fabrics that were Spring inspired, geometric and really just a lot of fun!  Like a great big fiesta!  A celebration of frivolity! 

May Blogger Bundle
Available Here!

Picking a cohesive bundle of fabric is much like picking flowers to plant!  So many options!  It can be overwhelming!  But, I'm here to help you out!  This bundle will be available in Fat Quarter and Half yard bundles at Needle & Foot on Etsy.  And if you buy today or tomorrow, you can get 20% off!  Great deal, right?!  Click here:  May Blogger Bundle to purchase and get 20% off!

When I say Rainbow Vines, you know I couldn't resist!  The colors scream Spring!  I didn't want to go 'crazy' with colors, so I choose yellow and periwinkle to lighten the mood, yet went with black to ground it!  I know, I sound like I know what I'm talking about!  In reality I went with my gut!

I had big plans to make a finished something for this post!  A last minute vacation and a whole lot of procrastinating didn't help me at all!  I finally made myself focus long enough to make the blocks for my 'soon to be finished' project for this fabric!

I've been longing to do some paper piecing!  The block is by Flying Parrot Quilts and is free when you sign up for her newsletter.    


So far I have four blocks of each color.  Each block will be 4" finished.  I'm not sure how I'll arrange them, but I do know I'm going to make more!  Perhaps a nice crisp table runner?!

Thank you so much Bernie for trusting me with curating a bundle!  I may be a bit biased, but I love this bundle!  Please hop over to Bernie's Blog and read more about this bundle:  Needle & Foot Blog!   


How would you like to win this stack of pretty fabrics?  Bernie has generously offered this six piece bundle from Needle & Foot Fine Fabrics to one lucky winner!  

To enter this giveaway, click here: Needle & Foot on Etsy , and tell me your favorite fabric!

I'll pick a winner using the Random Generator on Sunday May 20th.  Open to US residents only.  Be sure you leave your email in your comment if you are a no reply blogger!

Good Luck!!  

This giveaway has ended!  Contgrats to Kathy E!


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tedium Begins!

I always get excited when I start a new quilt!  Especially one that has been dancing around in my head for a long time.  Sometimes the hardest part is actually starting!

Knowing full well this quilt will most likely be frustrating and tedious...I'm going to attempt it and hope that the effort and hard work will be worth it!

What is this, you ask?!  A finely tuned array of red, orange and yellow sunset inspired strips!  What will it become?!  Hopefully a small quilt when it's all said and done!
A while back I blogged about this Mini Quilt:  RAW II.  I was experimenting with texture by using the small raw edge woven blocks and it soon led to the 'louver' texture of the gradient strips.  I pretty much fell in love with the texture, the illusion it creates from different angles and in truth...the process.  I knew at that time that I wanted to take it to another level and make a larger quilt.  Just to see if it can be done.  Test my limits. 

It involves a lot of cutting of 3/4" strips!  I raided my stash and came up with 35 different colors.  The number of strips per color vary depending on the cut of fabric.  If the fabric is from selvage to selvage, I cut two strips.  Fat quarters get four strips and of course, there are some random three strip sets.


Before I can even think about cutting, I had to starch the fabric.  You can imagine how time consuming that was!  But it is well worth it in the end.  Each strip next had to be folded in half.  My fingers were sufficiently 'steamed' many times trying to fold the strips from skinny to even skinnier after the fold treatment!  I had to keep reminding myself that this is going to be worth it!

I'm hoping that today I can cut the background strips using Kona Ice Frappe.  These strips won't be as small as the sunset strips and they won't need to be folded.  I'm confident that it will be a much easier process!

Having just finished a complicated color placement quilt:  Bows & Flows, where I labeled each color as to avoid confusion, I thought this newest composition would need its own labeling system.  A chart it is!  My plan is to cut out the numbers and staple each one to the ends of each strip.  That way...fingers crossed...I won't get the colors out of order!

Great plan or so I thought about labeling!  I ended up writing the number on each strip and using the paper labels stapled on to the dark fabric.  Both ideas will work!

Rumor has it the next week will be full of rain each and every day.  Seems like the perfect time to hunker down in my sewing room!

To be continued...


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Printology :: Plus A Giveaway!

I was asked if I would like to join the fun in showcasing a new fabric line from Benartex called Printology.  The fabric is the newest collection from Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr (Modern Quilt Studio) and was inspired by their recent trip to Japan.  The Sew In Love blog has a wonderful interview with both of them where they talk about their inspiration and thoughts about this collection.

The collection offers a fun and modern mix with loads of color!  When I first saw the collection I felt it had a funky retro vibe to it.  Which drew me in and got my wheels spinning!  

37" x 48"
Which brings us to the quilt I made using the Printology Collection:  'Reviving Retro'.  Retro basically means 'style, fashion or design' from the recent past.  The fabric and a classic Grecian block bring both worlds together, yet still has a modern vibe.

These are 22 different prints in the collection, I only used 13 along with white and grey solids!  The prints in row two, Blocks, is where I got the retro vibe from.  They would make the perfect center squares for the block.


I like how the graphic Sketch Gray frames the centers.  I added 2" sashing and a 3" border in Gridwork Red.  It adds a big pop of color without over powering the other prints.

I quilting the center blocks using different widths of straight lines in grey (surprise!), depending on which way the lines are going in the 'Block' print.  Again, straight lines in the sashing and border using red thread.

I used more Gridwork Red for the binding and really like the look of the white corner squares framed by the skinny binding.  The fabric feels amazing, by the way!  The 'proof in the pudding' as they say, has to be the ease in which the needle glide through the fabric while had stitching the binding to the back.  Like butter!

It makes for a pretty package don't you think?!  Which brings me to the giveaway!  Who would like to receive a pretty fat quarter package all their own?!  

Benartex is generously donation a bundle of 8-10 prints from the Printology collection to one lucky person!


To enter, leave a comment on my blog...any comment is fine, but if you'd like to tell me your favorite classic block...that would be good too!

Using the Random Number Generator, I'll pick a winner on Sunday May 13th and notify the lucky person via email.  So be sure you include your email in your comment if you are a no reply blogger!

For more inspiration using Printology,  check out Heather at Quilt-achusettes and Alison at Little Bunny Quilts!