Friday, October 13, 2017

It's A Finally Finish for the Cotton + Steel Coin Quilt

I was so happy we were blessed with beautiful sunshine this morning after the rainy and cloudy days we've been having for the past three days.  I was getting worried since today's post is what I consider to be a tad late and all because I couldn't take photos of my finished Cotton+Steel Coin Quilt  until this morning. I should have taken photos on Sunday or Monday when the quilt was bound and there was beautiful sunny days to be had but no, I thought I would take them on Wednesday which is the day I usually start writing my post.  Unfortunately, I didn't check the week's weather forecast which predicted that the rain we needed for the past few months is finally coming big time.
I really wanted to have a nice photo of this finally finished quilt which turned out to be one of my favorite quilts I made this year to showcase the lovely quilting which was done by Nancy of Grace and Peace Quilting who fortunately already took photos of my quilt after she had machine quilted it in a beautiful Baptist Swirl pattern (you can see the photos here).  I posted about the making of this quilt (here) and (over here).
Between the time Nancy posted photos of the quilt and when I received it back on the last day in September, I couldn't decide on what color binding I wanted to use; it was between the dark teal grid or a fuchsia/pink print and I spent several days waffling between the two colors, one day it was definitely going to be fuchsia and the next day it was no, the teal grid would be a better choice.
I think part of my indecision was because of the pretty mint backing and trying to decide which color would look nice against it and finally realizing that it should not play a part in the decision making. And once I finally decide on the teal grid, it turned out I didn't have enough and I had to find it online and order it.  This is an old Cotton+Steel print and I'm glad and lucky it is still around.
Now that the Cotton+Steel Coin Quilt is finally finished and a quilt to be displayed rather than to be used, I have hung it over the bannister over the staircase which is one of the few places in my house where a larger size quilt can be displayed and enjoyed. I knew once I saw another quilt Nancy had quilted with the Baptist Swirl pattern, which is one of my favorite quilting patterns, I wanted it for one of my quilts and fortunately the Cotton + Steel Coin Quilt was waiting to be finished.  I had no qualms about sending this top off to another state and it was done within several weeks even with Nancy having to order the mint thread.  For a quilt which started as something I wasn't too thrilled about making, it now just makes my heart sing.

Linking up with:
My Quilt Infatuation: Needle and Thread Thursday
Crazy Mom Quilts: Finish It Up Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict:  Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?
Busy Hands Quilts:  Finish Or Not Friday

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Smitten: Oh What A Feeling!

The Smitten Top is now finished and this makes me want to do a happy dance on the ceiling or I would do it on the streets but I'm pretty sure my neighbors would call the police. I started Smitten during the last week in January which was a project my dear quilt friend, Carol, was working on and thought I would join her in this unofficial QAL, as a show of support and I sort of owe it to her since I involved her in a not-so-fun Block of a Month Quilt several years earlier which neither one of us ever finished.
The Smitten pattern was designed by Lucy Carson Kingwell, who is the daughter of Jen Kingwell and I can say the apple did not fall far from the tree when it comes to quilt designs which are made up of a gazillion patches. I've already made two Jen Kingwell patterns (Gypsy Wife and Flutterby) so I knew what I was getting myself into and I think I now deserve to go easy for the rest of the year.  
I've posted ten times on the progress of making of the Smitten blocks, what TV shows I was watching and if I were still friends with Carol.  All of the blocks were finally finished in mid-August and after a short hiatus, I started assembling the top on September 25th which I am amazed that I finished this in around a week. I was so not looking forward to sewing these blocks together, it wasn't hard just a little cumbersome at times.  The last block was sewn while watching the final episode of Season 4 of Blue Blood and I've alluded in my earlier posts that Smitten and watching Tom Selleck seem to go together for me.

 This is the ugly side of paper piecing and it took me at least five hours to remove all of the paper pieces and threads.  This definitely was my least favorite part of the Smitten project.  My dear friend, Dee, offered to remove them if I would help her paint one of her walls in her sewing room which was tempting but she lives over three hundred miles away.
The Smitten quilt measures 48" x 61" and is destined to be a wallhanging. After all of the handpiecing which went into this project, there is no way this quilt will ever lay around my house.  I've been looking at the other finished Smitten quilts on Pinterest and it seems that here and there hand-quilting with embroidery thread is the way to sew.  I plan to baste this the top this weekend so I'll be ready to do some hand-quilting; I still have several seasons left of Blue Blood to watch and there's new Fall TV shows.
Now that I am finished with this unofficial QAL, I am ready to join Myra of Busy Hands Quilts, Splash of Color QAL (you can read about it here) which started on September 20th.  This week, participants are posting their pattern choice as well as their fabric selection.  I'm excited to join this QAL because I'll be making a pattern of my own choice, Wonky Tessellating Pinwheels which I've never made before, the blocks can be die-cut while watching TV and all of my fabric is from my stash, a definite plus for my Minus 100 Yard Challenge.  Be sure to check the Splash of Color QAL and join the group if you can.  I am looking forward to doing a relaxing project.

In September, I was the lucky recipient of two giveaways of patterns and fabrics; one from Sarah Zimmerman of Cedarfork Blogspot (on the left side) and the other one on the right is from participating in the Bloggers Quilt Festival Fall 2017 which was hosted by Amy's Creative Side and the prize, a 24 fat quarter bundle of Riley Blake Garnet and three patterns, is from Nancy Zieman/Wisconsin Quilt Expo which I received today.
Fortunately the fabric winnings do not count towards my Minus 100 Yard Challenge.  I finally can post an up-to-date total which shows I'm heading towards my goal with some completed projects, and fabric donations and gifts given.

Minus 100 Yard Challenge
Previous Total:         59.5 yards             YTD Total:  84.625 yards

My YTD Total could have been a little higher since I purchased some fabric I needed from my Kaffe Fassett Workshop I'm attending this week but I'm heeding to some of the comments left on my previous post that required fabric needed for a workshop or class should not count.  It never hurts to follow good advice.

Linking up with:

Quilting is More Fun than Housework: Oh Scrap
My Quilt Infatuation: Needle and Thread Thursday
Crazy Mom Quilts: Finish It Up Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict:  Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?
Busy Hands Quilts:  Finish Or Not Friday

Sunday, October 1, 2017

DrEAMi! Monthly Link Up/Jinx, A Patchwork Blankie

I wasn't planning on writing a separate post for Sandra/MMM! Quilt's September's DrEAMi! Link Up.  I thought it was going to be quick and simple, just link up to my recent post which included the Halloween coverlet I made for my granddaughter Micah (you can read about it here).  But soon after I posted this past Friday and about ready to mail the quilt in a USPS Priority Mail Box, Medium Size, I noticed how much room was still left in the box and thought I should just make another coverlet which I told my Hubby doesn't take much time at all and we can mail the box on Saturday.  It is now Sunday evening, and the above coverlet was finished several hours, just in time before the sun went down.  Sorry for the dusky photo but I needed something to show for this post.

My bright idea was jinxed as soon as I said this would take no time to make it.
  • First of all, I was just starting to sew the six baby quilts for the Blanket Ministry and since I still had time left to finish them, I put the project aside and pulled out the six fat quarters of gray and citron yellow prints I had just found and put aside for a future quilt for Micah.  I have a favorite pattern I like to use to make baby quilts with six fat quarters, (you can read about it here) and wouldn't you know it, I cut one of the fat quarters wrong and had to come up with a new pattern.  This meant I had to find another fabric with citron yellow and not just yellow and also some other gray prints. By the time I found the additional fabrics and came up with a different pattern, I could have completed the top or maybe two of them.
  • Of course, there were the inevitable re-sewing some of the patches because I'm still having problems with the 1/4" seam when I sew on Hazel, my new sewing machine, and the one row which was sewn upside down.
  • I was planning on backing the top with a piece of IKEA gray-striped fleece which I assumed would work but I read the Care Label which stated, Wash in Warm Water, Do Not Tumble Dry or Iron which, to me, meant that it should not be near a heat source and seeing that this was for Micah it would be too risky to use. Too bad I didn't read this before the fleece was already laid and clamped down on the basting table.  Fortunately I have a stash of Gray Minky Dot to replace it.
  • There was a slight problem where the seam line of the binding matched perfectly with the corner of the quilt and even though I adjusted it, it still happened and I just didn't want to have to rip out and resew the binding--it worked out fine, just annoying.
The one good thing that came out of all the reflecting I did during this jinx-filled sewing experience was that I called these Coverlets because I did not put batting in between the top and the Minky which to me still makes a nice, snuggly covering.  I'm now going to be calling them Patchwork Blankies when I'm making them for babies/young children.  I already call them Patchwork Throws when I've made them bigger for adults.
And the lesson learned from my bright idea of wanting to fill up the box in order to get my moneys worth--next time find a smaller box.  The Blankies, once wrapped in plastic, will be mailed tomorrow. There's still room left for the Binky which Micah left behind and not much else.

In order for your project to be considered a DrEAMi!, it's supposed to be something you see on Pinterest, a blog, publication, etc. and you drop whatever you're doing in order to make it.  I've included in my guidelines, and I just made this comment to another Blogger, anything for my Granddaughter takes precedent over other projects, so making a Patchwork Blankie for her comes first, regardless if a box is involved. 

BTW, it's good that I did write a post today being that one year ago today I started my blog and wrote just this one paragraph with no photographs:

"Thanks to the encouragement of Susan Snooks, PatchworknPlay, I finally decided to start a blog so I can share my latest patchwork and quilting creations and the explanation that is sometimes needed.  This blogspot is still under construction but I'm seeing this as a way to keep track of my activity so bear with me my two followers."

After writing a few more paragraphs, including photos and having a few more followers, I'm happy to say my first year of blogging has been a wonderful experience. I do love being a part of Blogland.  I am thankful for the many friends I have made and for the new blogs, linky parties and inspiration I have found.  I appreciate everyone who read and/or follow my blog and appreciate all of the nice comments that have been made.  I am looking forward to sharing my quilts, thoughts, ideas and maybe some of my craziness  and to continue being inspired by my fellow bloggers.

Thanks again!

Linking up with:  mmm! Quilts

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Hot Flash, The Quilt is Finally Finished

After over a week of 90 degrees weather, it seems rather timely and appropriate that I finally finished my Hot Flash quilt during this heat wave.  I purchased the Hot Flash fabric by Luella Doss and Andrea Schuster around 2012 and but didn't make a quilt top until several years later.  I've been meaning to finish it for the past several years but it still didn't make it on my 2017 Project List.   Since I was sending some other quilts to Jan, my Long Arm Quilter, I decided to add the Hot Flash Quilt top to get it finished once and for all.
I didn't use a pattern for this quilt; I just let the fabric dictate the design and it helps that I have a penchant for making big block quilts whenever I'm working with wonderful big prints.  Only two rows of this quilt were pieced and the rest of the rows were made with just solid pieces of the two large focus prints. Because of the simple design, the quilt looks like it is a panel or cheater cloth and since I backed it with another print from the collection, it hard to tell which is the front and which is the back so I guess you can say I made a reversible quilt.   I mentioned in my last post that I normally don't back my quilts with fabric from the same line but for this quilt I did--I definitely bought this fabric when it was on sale.  
This is the second of the five quilts which were sent out to be quilted. Jan did a wonderful job with the big organic scroll machine quilting and she used a variegated thread which picked up the different colors in this quilt.
I thought I provide some quilt stats so you can see how simple it was to make this quilt.  All of my measurements are divisible by four which helps to make it an easy design.  It's also a quick quilt to finish, either you do it yourself with straight or organic wavy lines  or send it to your long arm quilter.  I spent more time thinking (also known for me as wasting time) if I was going to quilt it myself but again I am glad I decided to send it to Jan.  

Size:  56" x 72"
Side Borders (A):  8"(finished)
Black & White Sashing (B):  4" x 40" (finished) (there are six rows)
Top & Bottom Rows (C): 8" x 40" (finished)
Rectangles, 2nd & 4th Rows (D): 4" x 8" (finished) each row has 10 patches
Center Row (E): 16" x 40" (finished)

Since the in-law arrangements are almost done at my son's house, I will be leaving this quilt there since my sweet granddaughter, Micah Rose, just loves looking at prints, especially ones with black and white.  I'm thinking her eyes are going to be extra stimulated with the Hot Flash Quilt.
And speaking of Micah Rose, when she was visiting several weeks ago, I started working on her first Halloween Quilt.  I happened to be digging around my studio and found a bundle of Halloween prints by KP Kids/Kari Pearson which I know I purchased over ten years ago.  I just love these prints of bright colors which to me don't seem to be as popular today as they were when I first started quilting.  Since the bundle included a panel which featured Kitty Cats in costumes, I thought this would make a cute quilt for Micah, after all there are four cats in their house, but I wanted to make sure her Mom liked the fabric.  She did.
Again, I made a quilt which looks like cheater cloth but only the left side is a panel, the right side is made with twenty-one, 2-1/2" x 20-1/2" cut strips and the black border is 3-1/2" cut strips (the only print which is not a KP Kids print.
Also, I shouldn't call this a quilt but a coverlet since I decided to only backed it with a piece of purple Minky which I had in my stash.  I wanted to put batting in the middle to make it a quilt but if I had, then I wouldn't have been able to use the Minky.  And the purple Minky looked so pretty against the quilt top.  I'll be mailing this quilt to Micah so she has the whole month of October to enjoy it.

So happy to say that I finished two projects which were unplanned but nevertheless is a finish.  With the end of the year fast approaching, I really need to get some more projects on my list finished.  As for my Minus 100 Yard Challenge, it was looking good but since I'll be taking a workshop with one of my first Quilt Idols, Kaffe Fassett in early October, I had to purchase some new fabrics to prepare for his class.  We need twenty half yard cuts and then some for this class. And that doesn't include the border fabric since he wants to help us decide what the border print should be, therefore, won't be purchased until after the class.  Once the new fabric arrives and other things are added and subtracted, I'll be ready to post an updated tally.  I'm still hoping I'm going to meet my challenge.  And if I don't, I'll just have to say it was Kaffe Fassett's fault which wouldn't be the first time I said this.

Linking up with:

My Quilt Infatuation: Needle and Thread Thursday
Crazy Mom Quilts: Finish It Up Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict:  Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?
Busy Hands Quilts:  Finish Or Not Friday

Friday, September 22, 2017

Mostly Manor Sweet Sixteenpatch Quilt

It's the first day of Fall and we're experiencing 90 degrees weather for the next few days, so it'll still feel like Summer which I can't decide if that's a good thing. At least, my Mostly Manor Sweet Sixteenpatch Quilt has some pretty Fall colors to set the mood for the cooler days ahead.  I made this quilt top well over a year ago and it was on my 2017 Project List to finally finished it.  I decided this past August that I had too many other projects I needed to get done and that this quilt, plus four other tops, will be sent to my Longarm Quilter, Jan.
When I first received my Mostly Manor (designed by Victoria Findley Wolfe) Layer Cake of 10" squares, I noticed that the orange floral print reminded me of a Kaffe Fassett print and thought these squares would look nice with the Kaffe Fassett shot cottons and the Pepper Cory solids I had in my stash. And the perfect and easy pattern for using prints and solids would be a sixteen patch, a really big sixteen patch that I could use my die-cutter. 
I paired up a solid with one of the prints and some of them complemented the prints so nicely while some of the pairings were in contrast with each other.  Since I needed eight 4.5" squares for each sixteen patch, I was limited to using layer cake squares which had duplicates and thankfully there were enough for me to make the sixteen blocks.

Here are the Sweet Sixteen Stats:

Quilt Size:                  64" Square
Number of Blocks:     Sixteen
Quick Block Size:      16" Finished Squares comprising of sixteen 4.5" cut patches
If I were to have quilted my Sweet Sixteenpatch quilt, I would have done my usual straight line quilting but thought this quilt would look nice with some swirly quilting to break up the straight lines of the blocks.  I glad I decided to send it to Jan because  I loved how she quilted it with a flowery scroll using a variegated thread.  Whenever I purchased a fat quarter bundle or another precut, I always make sure I order yardage for binding at the same time (big lesson learned when I didn't do this), so the quit is bound with the wonderful red and pink diagonal stripe from the Mostly Manor fabric line.

Since the shape of the quilt was determined by how many blocks I could make with the layer cake and unless the quilt is for a baby or for a wallhanging, I do not like making square quilts.  I was resigned to thinking that this quilt would make a nice picnic quilt but am having second thoughts now on whether I should keep this quilt in the car.  The shot cotton really makes this quilt so nice and soft and I'm sure it'll get even softer once it is washed. I usually don't mention the backings on my quilt because not very often I use the same fabric line as the quilt top unless it happens to be on sale, otherwise I just use something from the backing stash of great sale fabric.  With this in mind, I used a traditional gold print, that's been sitting around for a long time, thinking this quilt was going to be laying on the ground.  It looks fine but like I say what goes on behind my quilts is only for my eyes. I'm just not creative when it comes to backing.

Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side is once again hosting the Fall Edition of the Bloggers Quilt Festival and this is a wonderful opportunity to view and be inspired by the many quilts which have already been linked.  This is the first time I'm participating and you are allowed to enter two quilts.  I've already entered my Flutterby quilt which was finished earlier this year (you can read about it here) and I will now be entering my Sweet Sixteenpatch quilt.  I'm thinking viewers of my two quilts will see that I do like making quilts if I can use my die-cutter.  Be sure to visit Amy's blog, by clicking on this link, and plan on visiting for awhile because I am sure you will be inspired and will meet new bloggers.  The Bloggers Quilt Festival is running from September 18th through the 25th and you will want to make several visits because there is so much to see and read.

Linking up with:
Amy's Creative Side Bloggers Quilt Festival 2017 Fall Edition
My Quilt Infatuation: Needle and Thread Thursday
Crazy Mom Quilts: Finish It Up Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict:  Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?
Busy Hands Quilts:  Finish Or Not Friday

Monday, September 18, 2017

Bloggers Quilt Festival 2017 Fall Edition

This week starts the Fall 2017 edition of the Bloggers Quilt Festival (you can read all the details here).  I am participating in the Bloggers Quilt Festival for the first time.  For the past few years, I only was an observer but now that I have been blogging since October 2016, I am excited to finally be able to officially participate.  Since Spring of 2009, Amy of Amy's Creative Side has hosted a linky party for quilters to post two of their finished quilts.  It's a great way to discover and follow new quilting blogs and also participants are eligible to win some pretty great prizes from the wonderful sponsors Amy always round up for the Bloggers Quilt Festival. 
I decided I would post my Flutterby quilt which was completed earlier this year.  It is a Jen Kingwell pattern which I modified the size of the blocks so I could use my die cutter since there were over a thousand pieces, some were half rectangle triangles, in this quilt. You can read more about this quilt from my earlier post here and it is my most popular post.  What I like about this quilt is the mix of bright color and low volume prints which seems to be my fabric choices for 2017. Also unusual about this quilt is that I forced myself not to use any of my much loved Cotton + Steel prints. I quilted it myself with narrow straight line quilting which I love and besides wavy organic lines, is the only style of machine quilting I do.

This definitely was the year of making scrappy quilts and I do like a pattern which helps me reduce the never-ending stash of fabric I seem to accumulate.  Apparently, I still need to find some more patterns.

If your visiting my blog for the first time from the Quilt Festival, welcome and thank you.  I am looking forward to visiting the other bloggers who are participating in the Bloggers Quilt Festival and I know I will find new blogs to follow.

Linking up with Amy's Creative Side Bloggers Quilt Festival 2017 Fall Edition

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Hometown Girl Jelly Roll Charm Chase Quilt

This week I am excited to show you my Hometown Girl Jelly Roll Charm Chase Quilt. For the past two weeks I've been working on two Jelly Roll Charm Chase Quilts (I posted the Autumn Woods quilt last week, you can read the post here ).
The Hometown Girl fabric line was designed by  Pat Sloan for Moda and was available in two lines; regular prints and batik which I chose for this quilt.
Back in May, Moda announced that September 16th will be National Sew A Jelly Roll Day, (you can read about it here) when quilters will be encouraged to finally break out the Jelly Rolls they've been saving (I think the word "hoarding" is a more appropriate word) and making something for them, for their family or friends or for charity (there are several quilt drives for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma which you can check out on the Internet).  Moda has done a pretty good job of promoting this event with their designers posting patterns or giveaways on their blogs.  Even though I have a die-cutter and can cut my own 2.5" strips, there are times I can't resist buying a jelly roll especially when they are on sale. The Jelly Roll Charm Chase pattern is the one I designed using a Jelly Roll and a Charm Pack of the same fabric line and it was chosen to be a Moda Bake Shop pattern back in June (you can find the pattern here) and (read about my experience here).
It's just purely coincidental that I've now made two Jelly Roll Charm Chase Quilts with fabric lines that had "Hometown" in the name but this is the first time I've made one in batiks and I think this might be my favorite version so far.  The nice thing about working with batiks is that there's no wrong side, and I've learned, there is selvedge even though it doesn't look like it.  I had to do some research online to verify this because I was tempted not to trim the strips.
And yes, I am in love with the wavy organic lines machine quilting I did for this quilt.  I've been seeing other quilters use three different thread colors lately but being that I have trouble picking just one color, I decided to use a variegated teal thread and am very happy how it accentuated the fluid lines of the quilting.  I think this is one of the reasons why I love this quilt so much. Before quilting, this quilt measured 58"x72" but because of the intense quilting the length shrunk 2"--wow, wasn't expecting that.
As mentioned before, I've already made four of the Jelly Roll Charm Chase Quilts and thought I post a photo of them so you can see how this pattern works with other types of fabric design.  This pattern can be easily adapted to using your own 2.5" and 4.5" squares cut from your fabric stash and I'm thinking I would like to make one with the many Asian prints I have in my stash.  There are so many possibilities with my stash and it could be just something I can do when I want to make an easy quilt which is pretty often. Of course when I do make this pattern from my stash, I will have to change the name to Strippy Square Race since no Jelly Roll or Charm Squares would be involved.
I went into writing this post thinking I only had a few Jelly Rolls but now realized that I had seven of Moda's and three from other fabric lines--ten in all and now I'm thinking Moda probably had me in mind for this day.  Just a little disclaimer here, I had taken a photo in my basement studio of all of the Jelly Rolls in my stash and I thought the photo would be better if it appeared to have been taken outside, so PicMonkey photo editing once again came to the rescue. (Hmmm, I could put them on the bison from my Yellowstone photo again). I know of one quilter/friend (her name rhymes with Bee) who has more than me and between the two of us we should be participating in a Jelly Roll Month.  The one problem I have with Jelly Rolls is untying the pretty ribbon and using them.  I know from my own sons and from watching the Big Bang Theory, that action figures increase in value only if the packaging stays intact but I don't think it's for investment purposes, (although that's what I going to tell my Hubby now), that I'm saving my Jelly Rolls.  I know when I see the right pattern, I'll use one and there's been several patterns I've seen lately that is calling for one of these Jelly Rolls to come out and play.
My post is ahead of National Sew A Jelly Roll Day and was done in the anticipation of the arrival of my Granddaughter Micah Rose who is staying with me this week and won't be leaving until Saturday.  I knew there would be no participating in this event on the scheduled day because there's a priority who comes with a big smile and thinks Jelly Rolls are toys.

I hope everyone will have time to sew a Jelly Roll, either this Saturday or any other day.  I know there are many of us who have heavy hearts and minds during these past weeks with all of the hurricanes, the worries for our families/friends and the damages it's causing or caused.  I am working on sending a fabric package to the West Houston Quilt Guild who are in need of supplies (you can read The Constant Quilter's (Wendy Caton Reed) post here) and I know there will be other organizations/groups I will be sending one to also. Because of this, I won't be posting an update of my Minus 100 Yards Challenge this time because I pretty sure I'm going to be meeting my goal now.

Linking up with:
My Quilt Infatuation: Needle and Thread Thursday
Crazy Mom Quilts: Finish It Up Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict:  Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?