Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Introducing the Hourglass quilt!

I received an email this morning that made my day (and no, it wasn't the one announcing that my kids had a snow day!). 
The subject line said "Cover Girl" and this was the image in the email:

Yep! That's my quilt, Hourglass, on the cover of the January/February 2018 issue of Modern Patchwork. I'm thrilled! 

A little background...I submit design ideas to magazines fairly sporadically. Every once in a while I make time, do a big push, and submit several designs at once. I had just such a productivity spurt in mid August. I submitted multiple designs (to a few different magazines) and had FOUR accepted. I was thrilled, but I was also committing to making four quilts in a pretty short period of time. 

Hourglass was the first. This is the largest quilt I've made in a while, and also the largest I've made for a magazine. I actually didn't intend for this quilt to be so big. I had the hourglass shape in mind and began designing with 2-1/2" wide strips. By the time I finished the design, it was 80" x 92"!

The quilt is made using five different colors of the Painter's Palette Solids from Paintbrush Studio Fabrics--three shades of teal, an orange, and black. 

It consists of forty 2-1/2" wide strips sewn together, each 80" across. So a lot of fairly boring strip sewing that took a long time. 
Did I mention that I had about 10 days to piece this?! My parents came to visit during this timeframe and my mom helped cut and press strips as I sewed, which was a huge help!
I took this photo at the end of September, before I mailed the quilt to Modern Patchwork.
This is not a great photo--I need to get my (tall) husband to hold it up for a nice flat shot. But you can see the entire design here. It's all about color placement. The medium teal diamonds pop from the darker background.

And I took this photo today, during our snowstorm.

Another snow shot:

You can see the texture here. My friend Diane Oakes quilted this using straight horizontal lines. We decided to use different thread colors--a gray/blue on the two darker teals, black on black, orange on orange and light teal on light teal. The stitch lines really blend into the fabric and allow the design to pop.

I'm looking forward to having the actual magazine in my hand soon! If you want a copy, it'll be on newsstands December 26th. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

December OMG: A baby quilt!

My December One Monthly Goal over at Elm Street Quilts is to make a quilt from start to finish. Luckily it's a baby quilt! 
One of our friends had a baby in September--a little girl. My plans are a bit vague at the moment--I'm pretty sure I want to make a quilt with heart blocks, and I know it needs to have some pink in it. 

I'm thinking of doing something like this Simple Heart Quilt from Cluck Cluck Sew.

And I'm thinking of using these charm squares from Amy Gibson's Meriwether collection from Windham. 

Or maybe scrappy pinks....

We'll see! 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

OMG: November Complete

I finished my November One Monthly Goal early! My goal was to sew a drawstring bag for my niece for Christmas. I used charm squares from Allison Harris' Hello Jane collection (though I chose a different palette than in my original photo!) and a coordinating solid. 

Here's the bag gathered: 

And flat: 

And, a little public service announcement...the drawstring bag was to hold 26 Alpha-Bots, which my youngest also received during our Thanksgiving/Christmas weekend. If you have a 3, 4, 5 year old who you need to buy a present for, buy these! They're a plastic alphabet collection, and they "transform" into robots. All three of my kids (8, 6, and 3) love playing with them. And it looks like I'll be making another drawstring bag to hold our Alpha-Bots. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

November OMG: Patchwork Drawstring Bag

Christmas is coming soon--we all know that--but it's coming even sooner for me! We are celebrating Christmas with my husband's family over the long Thanksgiving weekend this year. Which means that more than half my Christmas shopping needs to be done in less than two weeks! 

My sister-in-law asked me to make a drawstring bag for my niece. I'm going to use these fun 5" squares from Allison Harris' Hello Jane collection. My November One Monthly Goal is to finish the bag. I think the rest of my gifts will be purchased this year...at least the ones for early Christmas! :) 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

OMG quilt finished!

My October OMG was to machine quilt and bind my Angled Stripes quilt, made using Painter's Palette Solids. 

I actually finished this quilt on October 10th--I just didn't blog about it until now! I used three separate quilting designs--one in the gray/white columns, one in the aqua/green columns, and one in the orange/purple columns. The widest columns were the most challenging--I had picked my quilting motif and considered doing multiple vertical rows of it to fill the space, but ultimately decided to just increase the motif size. It was hard to quilt big! 

Here's a close-up of the different quilting motifs I used:

Happy to have this one done! 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

OMG: Quilt it!

This quilt, which I'm so far calling "Angled Stripes," has been in my head for a while, and I finally turned it into fabric. My OMG for October is to machine quilt it. I'm excited to see how it turns out!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

OMG: Quilted Wonky Spirals Quilt

Not only did I achieve my One Monthly Goal of making eight more wonky spiral blocks, using Painter's Palette Solids, but I also assembled them and quilted the quilt! I got on a roll and didn't want to stop. (Thanks, Elm Street Quilts, for hosting OMG and keeping us accountable!)

Here are the twelve blocks: 
These blocks are fun to make--no measuring, no points to match, just pure improv. And I sew on two different colored pieces at a time, which minimizes the possibility for error in the color placement. 

And the quilted top. I quilted each block individually, using a wonky square spiral design. I used my walking foot. Lots of stopping and turning, but I'm really happy with how it turned out! I timed it and quilting each block took about 15 minutes. 

A close-up of the quilting: 

I'm hoping to ultimately teach this pattern as a class at a local quilt shop.  

Thursday, September 7, 2017

September OMG

A few months ago, inspired by this image I found online, I started making some wonky blocks. 

My palette is gray paired with brights--all solids--trying to use up many of my Painter's Palette Solids scraps! I have four done so far. They're actually just wonky Log Cabin blocks with careful color placement. I love this kind of piecing! 

My OMG goal for September at Elm Street Quilts is to make eight more of these blocks so that I'm ready to assemble the quilt top with a total of twelve blocks. I'm not sure if I'll try to assemble them like the image I found, or if I'll just stick with straight rows. Maybe that'll be November's goal! :) 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Twisted Squares in Modern Patchwork

I'm excited to share that I have a quilt featured in the September/October issue of Modern Patchwork magazine! The quilt is called Twisted Squares, and I used the Zentastic fabric collection from Contempo Studio to make it. 

I'd been playing around with this block for a while--12" blocks in four rows of three blocks, just one large block, and then ultimately this four-block version. I really like the design created in the center where the four blocks come together. The blocks measure 24" square. 

I had fun picking the fabrics for this quilt--the Zentastic line has a lot of single-color prints with simple designs--circles, asterisks, wavy lines--so I had plenty of colors to choose from! 

This issue's cover; my quilt mostly coordinates, colorwise! 

Here's the spread with the photo inside. 

I love the texture Diane created with the quilting. She had previously quilted a quilt of mine with the illusion of overlapping pieces, like this one, and I asked her to use the same treatment--to give each color/position its own stitch pattern to help along that overlapping feeling. She did a great job! I especially love the lines in the block centers. 

Find the September/October issue of Modern Patchwork here.
See more of what's in the issue here.
See the Zentastic fabric collection here.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August OMG: Chicago in fabric

My August OMG was to (start and) finish a Chicago-themed applique wall quilt (Chicago CityStamp by Zebra Patterns). I bought the pattern for it at Quilt Festival in the spring and just needed to get started. 
I had a lot of fun choosing the fabrics for it--all from my stash. And not as much fun cutting out all the intricate applique pieces! :) 

I really love how it turned out. Here's a close-up of the details:

I changed a couple things from the pattern--I only used one tail on the kite (instead of three), I skipped the transparent organza for wind swirls (I feel like there is enough going on without adding it), and I found an easier way to do the postage stamp edge border. The pattern suggested fusing interfacing to the back of the white fabric so the black background didn't show through. I didn't want to bother with that, so I cut reverse applique pieces out of the black and just fused it onto the white border. Much easier! 

This is a birthday gift for a Chicago friend of mine--planning to pop it in the mail tomorrow! 

Monday, August 7, 2017

August is here! OMG

The photo for my goal for August is not terrible exciting...not even a scrap of fabric! (which means I have a lot of work to do...)

I bought this pattern at Quilt Festival in Chicago in April with plans to make it for a college friend who lives in and loves Chicago. And guess what...her birthday is August 31st! 

So my One Monthly Goal for August is to (start) and finish this fun wall hanging. I just stocked up on fusible web, so I'm ready to go.
Can't wait to get started! 

Monday, July 31, 2017

OMG: Chorus Line Quilt Top!

My July One Monthly Goal, which was to finish my Chorus Line quilt top, almost didn't have a happy ending. I re-figured the quilt assembly (the original called for a separate "frame" around each row of blocks, but since my frames were all the same color, I didn't want double frames). I assembled the quilt center. And then I went to cut the borders. 

And ran into that oh-so-common tale of woe that all quilters know--not enough fabric! I'd purchased the black/gray/white stripe on a slight whim, hoping it would work for this quilt but not knowing. I just bought a yard or so, not thinking about it being directional. Oops! I didn't have enough to cut directional borders. 

I found 2 remaining yards of the fabric on Fabric.com and ordered it on July 25th. I left town on July 26th with my quilt looking like this: 

I came home today, July 31st, with a few hours to spare and a box of fabric on my front step. Borders added! Quilt top finished! Happy ending!
And the quilt is upside down in this photo. But it's done, so I can't be picky! :)
Thanks to Patty at Elm Street Quilts for hosting OMG!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Christmas in July Placemat Tutorial

Good morning! 

The sun is shining, today's forecast is 85 degrees, and I'm in a Christmas mood! I'm part of Benartex's Christmas in July blog hop today, and I'm sharing a placemat tutorial I made using Cherry Guidry's Mulberry Lane collection. 

These fabrics are adorable! I've always appreciated the addition of aqua into the more traditional red and green colorway because it creates such a fresh look. Here's a look at my completed placemat: 

 In these prints, I especially love all the different vehicles. I had fun quilting this as well--smaller projects are so much easier to maneuver! I followed the circles on the print below, filling in the white space with pebbles. 

Isn't this a fun stripe? 

My original plan was to make a tree using flying geese units. But it was just too straight and not quite right for the style of these fabrics. Paper piecing allowed me to create a wonky tree instead, and I'm really happy with how it turned out!

Head over to Benartex's blog to check out my tutorial. 
Leave a comment below telling me your favorite holiday decoration for a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Mulberry Lane fabrics. This giveaway is open through Sunday, July 30th at 11:59 pm EDT. 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Follow along with Benartex's Christmas in July Blog Hop!
Wednesday: Mulberry Lane Placemats by Lisa Ruble
Thursday: Nordic Holiday Star Quilt by Debby Kratovil
Friday: A Moose for Christmas Pillow by Cynthia Brunz
Saturday: Winter Story Wall Hanging by Benartex blog design team

Friday, July 7, 2017

OMG: Assemble the quilt!

Last month, my goal was to assemble my star blocks of the A Chorus Line quilt, from a class I took with Debbie Caffrey at Quilt Festival. Now I'm ready to assemble the quilt top! 

When I started this quilt, I was drawn to the striped fabric and bought it in hopes of using it as the outer border. I honestly didn't know if it would work or not, but after auditioning it here, I'm excited to use it! I'll use black solid for the sashing around each row, and then the black/gray/white stripe for the border. So my July goal for One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts is to assemble the quilt top. 

Can't wait to get started!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

OMG: Rows complete!

I'm happy to report that I completed my June One Monthly Goal! And I did it the non procrastinator's way--chipping away a few seams at a time, rather than one marathon sewing session on the last day of the month! 

I'm extra proud of this because June was a busy month--I was in charge of Vacation Bible School at my church, we had a garage sale, and we had Little League games almost every night of the first three weeks. Plus school ending...I'm tired just thinking about it all! 

If you're stopping by for the first time, the pattern is A Chorus Line by Debbie Caffrey. I started it in a class at Quilt Festival in Chicago with my mom.

 There are three rows with gray backgrounds and two rows with white backgrounds. Sometimes I feel like the difference is obvious; at other times it seems incredibly subtle. 

Next up will be working on the layout of this quilt, and seeing if the border fabrics I have will work or not. My mom recently picked hers up from the machine quilter (I need to get a photo to share!), so I'm happy that mine isn't too far behind. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

OMG: June - Finish 5 Rows

I'm setting a lofty (for me) goal for June through One Monthly Goal over at Elm Street Quilts. I've become a bit obsessed with finishing my A Chorus Line quilt top--my mom is already having hers quilted, and as I add more pieces to my design wall, I'm eager to see it finished! I keep setting aside things I *should* be doing so I can work on it. I've decided to fix that problem--my June goal is to finish piecing all five rows--so now I can add this to my *should* list! 

Here's where I am right now: 

I need to finish the gray star points for the teal blocks, and then the white star points for all the blocks. Then, assembly! 
After I get to that point, I can decide what to do for the row borders and the outer border. But for now, assembling the five rows is my goal. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

OMG: Quilt Top Finished!

My One Monthly Goal for May was to finish my Fly Away quilt from the Heather Jones workshop in March. 

I pinned the borders onto this quilt (that's all I had left to do for my goal) a week ago, and then this quilt sat on the floor while I dabbled in other things, like sewing pieces for this quilt

Amazing how sewing blocks segments is more fun than adding borders. And amazing that it took me 31 days to add the borders! :) That's why I love One Monthly Goal--without it, the pinned quilt would still be sitting on the floor of my studio! 

I'm looking forward to quilting this Jacquie Gering style! But for now, I'm just happy to have the quilt top finished. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

May OMG: Adding borders!

My OMG for May is simple--add the outer saffron solid border to this quilt, from Heather Jones' Fly Away workshop. Quick and easy to do, yet I haven't gotten it done in the last 3 weeks. So now I have a deadline! 

(And...if you read my April OMG post, unlike that quilt, I KNOW I have enough fabric for the border here, so there shouldn't be any surprises!)

Thanks, Patty from Elm Street Quilts, for hosting OMG to keep us motivated!

Friday, May 5, 2017

A Chorus Line class at Quilt Market

Last year for my mom's birthday, I "gave" her a quilting class that we'd take together. We both quilt a fair amount, but since she lives in Wisconsin and I live in Michigan, we don't sew together very often. We chose Debbie Caffrey's "A Chorus Line" quilt class at Spring Quilt Festival in Chicago. We had a fun day--taking the class, walking the show (during the lunch break!) and grabbing a quick dinner afterwards before heading back to our respective homes. 

Here we are with Debbie, our sample blocks, and Debbie's class sample in the background:

Chain pieced triangles. Debbie had plenty of cutting and piecing tips and shortcuts to share with us. 

My blocks at the end of the day. I tend to sew pretty quickly, to maximize my kid-free sewing time! :) 

Mom's first few blocks. She's using the cool blues, greens and teals from Benartex's Dreamscape collection. Great texture in these prints!

When at Quilt Festival, you have to take a photo in front of the sign! 

We finished the day at Roti, a quick and delicious Middle Eastern restaurant.

 I struggled a lot to choose a color palette and fabrics for this quilt. I really wanted to work out of my stash, but just couldn't find inspiration. I ended up at my local quilt shop and walked away with these fabrics:

I fell in love with the stripe and planned to use the brights to contrast with it. I still wasn't totally satisfied, and at the last minute, I grabbed a stack of low volume prints with white backgrounds. That proved to be key to my design. Mom and I took a quick trip to Material Matters, a fun quilt shop in Thiensville, WI, and I found some gray prints. Instead of using white and light gray in the blocks, I chose to use white and light gray prints. That subtle change made all the difference in my mind, and I went to the class excited about my fabric choices. 

Here's where I am right now. I have all twenty-five of my blocks done. Time to sew the flying geese and square-in-a-square units to create the outer star points. 
I can't wait to keep working on this! I'm most interested to see if the stripe will actually work when this is all assembled, or if it will be too busy. If it's too busy, I'll find something else to use it for!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Heather Jones' Fly Away Class

Heather Jones lectured at our latest Great Lakes Modern Quilt Guild meeting (a cold, rainy Saturday...perfect to be inside talking about, viewing, and sewing quilts!). 

In the afternoon, we participated in her Fly Away workshop--a graphic quilt made of large-pieced blocks. 

I went out of my comfort zone, color-wise, for this quilt. I had yardage from Contempo Studio's Sevilla collection in gold, black, cream, and gray. I purchased a coordinating gold solid to go with these fun geometric prints. 

During the afternoon workshop, I got all of my half-square triangles stitched and laid out the quilt center on the floor: 

Right now, I have that entire center assembled. All that's left is to add the outer gold border. (It's hard to judge size from this photo--the finished quilt is 72" square!)
 I'm looking forward to quilting this using some of Jacquie Gering's walking foot machine quilting techniques. 

We also held a pincushion swap with the Oahu Modern Quilt Guild, and this was our meeting to drop off our pincushions. But--lucky us--the Oahu Guild's box had arrived that week, so we received our pincushions from Hawaii!

Here's the pincushion I made: 

Our pile of pincushions, ready to fly to Hawaii:

The pincushions we received from the Oahu guild:

Here's the pincushion I received, all made out of selvedges. Isn't it fun?