Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bear Paw in the Honey

It's finished!! I can't believe it! I am so happy with this quilt! I have actually blogged about this a few times here,  here,  here and here. It has been a super long process, but so totally worth it.

Just the quick back story; I asked my Mom to go to the LQS for me to get this pattern and fabric from a get-together called the Strippers Club.  Every couple of months they provide a pattern and some instruction on how to follow it.  Then you get the fabric and away you go.  I couldn't attend, but Mom was willing to go for me, thank goodness! It has actually been a year in the works.  I started it back in May of 2013, so it was time to be done.

I have blogged so much about it that I am going to focus on the quilting part of it. I was really stumped for a long time about how to quilt it. It's quite large compared to what I usually do (twin size) and I love it so much I didn't want to mess it up.

The blocks were so large, though, that I didn't have any patterns that would work. After much contemplation, and some misplacement of possible templates, I finally came up with a pattern based on a border pattern that I have.

It was nice because it has points on it like the claws on a bears paw, but it also has curves to fill the open spaces. It's a nice balance, and bonus: I already had a pattern for the border. Yeah!

Once I had the quilting finished I was really ready to be done and dreaded the idea of trying to hand-bind, so I 'cheated' and used the machine. I am feeling okay with that. It turned out nice and I am pretty confident my daughter won't mind I did that.

The backing is a solid piece from the honey, honey line that I found on special on-line.  I guess that's one benefit of procrastinating.

I tested it out on my son's bed, but it's actually intended for my daughter.  She should be graduating to a big girl bed in the next few months, and now at least the bed is ready for that to happen (even if I'm not).

I am so glad I was able to share this finish! Hopefully now I can move a few smaller projects thru before I start another large one. Deep breaths! I am linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish Friday. Can't wait to see what everyone's working on. Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 26, 2014

So Excited for Stars

I have been kicking around an idea of doing a star quilt with a jelly roll of vintage modern fabric I have.  I am finally at a place where I can concentrate and get it put together. So, I split up the fabrics into a pile that will be set in white and a pile that will be set in gray.

Then, I picked out my least favorite strip, which was super hard because I love all of them, and I started figuring out the measurements for the pattern I wanted. I had one major restriction; I am working with a jelly roll so my triangles must be a certain size.

After a little tweaking and re-measuring, I was able to figure out the numbers I need to get it done.  I still need to decide if I should put sashing on these blocks or leave them as-is, but that's not a super big deal yet. I am just happy to get the block pattern figured out and look forward to begin work with the rest of the fabrics.

For now, I am going to try and get the Farmers Churn Dash Quilt quilted and wrapped up. Then I can return to this and decide what to do. Ahhh, feels so good to see an idea begin to be realized.

I'm partying over at Freshly Pieced today for WIP Wednesday.  Come on over and join us.  See what everyone's been working on.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Projects on the Cusp

I have three projects that are so close to being done I can almost taste it... or at least I can almost see it!  I am so excited to be getting things to the final stages.  It feels like it's been forever since I've been able to do that.

So, I've been jumping back and forth between the three of them as I have had materials and time available. The first still has the farthest to go. It's my ZigZag Quilt I am making with a charm pack of Marmalade by Bonnie and Camille.

It's been a lot of fun! I don't usually do scrap-style quilts, so this was different from my usual projects. When laying the HST's out, I felt like the yellow's and grey's didn't really fit, so I decided to make a corner for the border instead.  I like how it turned out, but I am now debating if I should trim the opposite corner to make it more a part of the quilt or if I should leave the border even all around and keep it part of the border. I don't know if that makes any sense, but feel free to tell me if you think I should trim it down or leave it! I would LOVE some insight from my fellow quilters!

The next project is the Farmers Quilt I've been working on. It has a fun churn dash pattern (I was told is also know as the barn door block, which is totally appropriate based on the fabric) that alternates with barns that I fussy-cut out of the fabric.  I love fussy-cutting.  I don't know why, but I love to see the picture in the fabric. So pretty! So this "bad boy" is ready to quilt and is next up once I get 'the big one' done!

Which brings me to the last project I've been working on. I have blogged about this project before as I've been working on it since last March. I fell in love with the Honey, Honey fabrics that came out last year and found out my fave LQS was putting together a class and fabric bundle with it. I couldn't resist! I was able to crank out the blocks pretty quickly and even got it pinned and ready for quilting, which I blogged about here, but then was held up on the quilting part. I couldn't figure out what to do, and was a little afraid of messing it up because it's so large and I'm still working on my home machine (I'm not so sold on using that over a longarm for quilting larger projects).
I finally settled on a pattern though, and was able to get it completed pretty quickly. Since this picture was taken, I have completed the quilting and I am now working on the binding. I might actually have a finish soon enough. Yeah!

Whew, okay so I've been keeping myself busy.  Can't wait to see what others have been working on at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday and Needle and Thread Thursday with Kelly. Thanks for stopping by! Would love some feedback; feel free to leave a comment!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lovin' the ZigZag

I've seen a lot of zigzag quilts on various blogs and they always look so fresh, fun, and happy. So, it's been a pattern that I've been wanting to try; I guess it was on my quilting bucket list.

My Mom found a charm pack of Marmalade by Bonnie and Camille that I absolutely adore! I thought it would be perfect for trying out this technique.

I thought about going smaller with my HST's, but decided that I wanted the ease of working with the squares that come in the charm pack rather than cutting smaller. I'm glad I did. I think it came out just right for what I was trying to do.

I still need to add borders. I had some yellow and gray fabrics that just didn't fit with the rest of the zigzags. I want to make the quilt top a little bigger so I am going to use the leftover triangles to create some corner framing and then finish it off with some more white.

I am excited to see this one done! I also finished the Churn Dash quilt top and just found a super cute farm pattern for the backing so hopefully I'll have that one finished soon. I had almost finished an alphabet quilt, but I felt like it needed a border so I'm on the hunt for the perfect border right now. Hopefully I'll find it soon and I can get that one wrapped up as well.

I've been having so much fun catching up on all these projects! Can't wait to get back to work! I'm linking up with My Quilt Infatuation for the NTT party. Stop on by and check out what everyone's been working on!

Monday, May 12, 2014

BlockBuster #2 Block

I was so excited about this new Block of the Month that I joined at the LQS...and then we went out of town and I missed the second meeting.  RRRR! But that's okay because they had some extra's waiting for people like at the store when I got back. Sooo...

I went to the shop this week and picked up my kit and pattern. I could hardly wait to see the fabrics and the pattern and start plotting out a flower pattern with it all.  I was peaking into the bag at each red light on the way home, and there was a lot of red lights.  By the time I was home I was drawing out a couple of patterns, but it didn't take long to come up with THE ONE!

What do you think?  Can you see the flower?

I was kind of thinking Bird of Paradise Flower. When I first started sewing I forgot that I needed to keep it on-point and started putting it together in a squared pattern.  A little picking, though, and I got it back on track.

I am SOO loving these colors and fabrics! I'm not such a fan of orange, but this one reminds me of sherbert. So sweet, so yummy! I worried these oranges would be the most difficult to match with my yellow and green I've decided to put into each block to help tie them together, but I am super happy with how it turned out.

So now I have a few more weeks before another one comes out.  So loooong! At least this time I know I will be able to be there.

FYI-It's a little challenging to take pictures of on-point blocks; please excuse the pictures. I know they aren't the best, but I know the end product will be. Can't wait!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Baby B's Quilt

Last week we were able to go visit my sweet, sweet niece and nephew (and of course their fantastic parents!).  All of the cousins get along so well, and it is so much fun to watch!

While I was there, I took advantage of the opportunity to take some new shots of her baby quilt that I made so many years ago.

It was one of my early quilts that I didn't use a pattern for.  I found the pink glittery dragonfly fabric at the LQS and matched some purple batiks with it.  I wanted to showcase the dragonfly fabric, so I simply framed blocks with different purples and jazzed it up with the different colored borders.

I love how the green in the border and the binding really pop! It was a perfect addition. I love that fabric in general; it's one of those you always wish you had more of.

I decided to try my own quilting pattern as well, and created inter-connected dragonflies with the stitching.  The thread, which I can't remember details about, has a slight sheen to it, which adds a little more glitter to an already shiny quilt top.

The back is all dragonflies, of course. Such fun fabric! This quilt also dates back to when I used to use the embroidery function on my sewing machine to make labels. I have since stopped doing that because it seems to be tiring my machine out. I think I really like how I labeled my SIL's T-Shirt Quilt; quick and easy and get's the information across that you need. I also have been using pens and just writing on a tag.

Such a sweet quilt for such a sweet girl, and still matches her room perfectly! I hope she enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it.

I couldn't resist sharing these two pictures. The one on the left with the beautiful roses behind and the picture on the right with the sun filtering through. I really want to learn more about photography!

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts are Finished Friday.  Here's hoping to more finishes in the next few weeks. Have a great Mother's Day weekend!

Friday, May 2, 2014

My First...

I love finishing 'My First...' no matter what it is.  The first time I finish a new workout, the first time I try cooking a new dish, and of course, the first time I try a new technique or design with my quilting. Today's 'First' is my SIL's T-shirt Quilt. It's a technique that I've been very curious about and have wanted to try, but just haven't gotten around to (or really have many tee's to try it with).  It's opened all new doors for me as I think about my children's fave t-shirts that they've grown out of.  Like family photo's, it's crushing to leave them in a box in the closet rarely seeing the light of day. Now, these tee's can breath new life and continue to provide warmth, both physically and emotionally. Okay, now I'm just getting sappy, so here's the fantastic quilt.

I looked on-line for layout ideas and found myself continually returning to a more abstract, modern layout. I decided cut them based on the size of the print on the tee and then fit them together like a jigsaw. Overall, this approach worked pretty well.

I was unaware of just how much interfacing goes into this and ended up making several trips to the store for more.  I think next time I'm better off buying a whole bolt. Eventually it will be used, right?

I struggled a little bit with how to quilt it. My original plan was to do a basic meander across the whole thing with an invisible thread. However, on my sample the invisible wasn't so invisible on the white parts of the tee's and it kept getting caught up on my machine so I was unimpressed. Onto the next idea of using white, but I didn't care much for that because it showed too much on the t-shirt prints. Finally, I settled on a modern bubble pattern in the sashing to frame the tee's. It went with the bubbly backing and I found a thread that matched perfectly.

When attaching the binding, I added a tag for the date and who made it. I tried making my own tags, but I think the blue is too light and difficult to see. I'm going to try making some more because this was way easier than making a whole label and it accomplishes the goal of naming and dating my projects.

Are there things I'd do differently? Sure, aren't there always. But, I am so very happy with how this turned out. It's soft, warm, not too big but still a good size, and it really showcases all of her hard work in running over the years.

Finally, I made a bag for it using the sashing and backing fabrics. It's actually a pillowcase pattern (if she wanted to have a pillow with it) because I love how simple that pattern is and nice it looks when finished.

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finished Friday. And now, it's off to enjoy more of our whirlwind trip to visit family. Having a blast, although I haven't been able to hunt down any quilt shops yet. All in good time.