Friday, April 20, 2018

CityScapes Baby Quilt

I finally finished up this cute little baby quilt from my CityScapes pattern so I could take it to work for a shop sample.  The main fabrics are "So Darling" from Lewis & Irene and are just adorable with little deer, rabbits, and bluebirds!  The mint ticking stripe is also from that collection, and I added the solid blue, pink polka dots, and yellow sashing with green cornerstones.

I took a chance and used up the last of my pink thread - two slightly different shades of Aurifil 50 weight.  I used the lighter pink on the back and the darker on the top  I had about half a bobbin of thread left by the end, but I made it!

I quilted hearts and loops - always a fine choice for a baby quilt!

This sweet little quilt measures 38 x 38, but my pattern gives you all the information you need to make up to a king size quilt.

So cute!

Always fun to have a finish - can you believe my sewing room is actually looking pretty respectable these days?  I've got most of my piles of pending projects whittled down.  A few more to go and I will be able to start something just for fun again!

Linking up with:   Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Fridays 

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Monday, April 16, 2018

Scrappy Baskets - Finished top!

I was having such a fun time with picking out the remaining fabrics for my Scrappy All Seasons Basket quilt that I went ahead and actually got the top finished this weekend.  All of these fabrics were provided by Island Batik as part of the Island Batik Ambassador program.

Isn't it fun and colorful?  Keeping with my theme of using up what I already have, I pieced the back out of some more chunks and strips from my Island Batik stash:
I am quite the hoarder and had a hard time of letting go of some of these fabrics!  The strip on the far left was a piece from my very first Ambassador box four years ago.  Anything more than 1/4 of a yard is always hard for me to give up - I know I can use it for something beside "just" a backing.  Can you picture me hovering over my overflowing box of fabric, petting the pretty fabrics and murmuring "my precious"? 

The next step will be going through my stash of Aurifil thread to choose something for quilting.  I'm thinking I will actually use several different threads and custom quilt this one!  I just got a new toy to play with and I think I will try some ruler quilting on this one using my new foot.

Are you a fabric hoarder, too?  I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Scrappy Baskets part 2

Yep, still having fun with the scrappy baskets.  I finished the pink one on Thursday and the purple one on Friday.  I'm having such fun putting these wonderful scraps together!  These were all provided by Island Batik in different Ambassador boxes I have received.  I love scrappy, and am not shy about combining fabrics from different lines - it makes the quilt so fun and unique!

I do believe the pink is from the Cherry Berry line.  Fun!
This pretty purple was a 10 inch square, I don't know what the line was.  It has trees on it, though!  Here is how I cut the pieces from the square, I even had a bit left over.
I like being able to cut a single triangle by using my Easy Angle ruler. 

Now I've started auditioning fabrics for the borders.

I think the green and blue with the lemons will be the first border.  That came from the Sour Apple line.  Then I will choose a blue for the final border, and another of these blues will be the binding.  Or maybe the seashell print.  We'll see!  What do you think of the aqua blue corner stones?  Too bright, or just right?  The jury is still out on that one.  That fabric is one of the blenders - the color is called Pool.  I am getting down to the last scraps on this, it has been included in several quilts and is definitely one of my favorite colors ever!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

When you plan your quilt, but another idea captures your mind!

That's the funny thing about doing a challenge quilt.  At least for me!  I can have an idea all planned out, walk into my sewing room, pick up some fabric and end up going in a whole different direction!  At least I can use my original idea for another time! 

This months Island Batik Ambassador challenge is one that really speaks to me as I love vintage quilt design!  I am a good hand quilter, so often find myself being asked to hand quilt grandma's quilt top and I really enjoy working with the traditional blocks and fabrics.  One of the fun things about working with batiks is that they instantly give a traditional quilt block a look that is more modern.

I had my whole quilt planned out, but for some reason when I walked into my sewing room yesterday, I spied a stack of fun colors of my Island Batik Scraps and thought that it would be really fun to make a new version of one of my older patterns.  I love my All Seasons Basket pattern in florals, but I think it's going to be super pretty using my batik fabric!

Since I'm working with scraps (which is one of my favorite inspirations behind vintage quilts), each basket will be a different color.  Not sure what I'll use for the sashing or borders at this point, but sometimes it's fun just to play with what you already have and see what happens! 

I'm loving the yellow basket!  The background is a lovely pale yellow basic called Oatmeal - I barely had enough for my background pieces, but I think it's just perfect for my baskets.  If I hadn't had enough, I would have gone scrappy with the backgrounds as well.  That's what the quilt-makers in the past did - use up what they had, even if they had to piece smaller bits together to make it work.  I love seeing details like that in traditional quilts.  Not to say that all quilters did this, there are many lovely vintage quilts that you know the fabrics were carefully chosen and purchased for that purpose. 

Are you inspired by vintage quilts?  What's your favorite vintage block or pattern?  I'd love to know!

Have a joyful day!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Crazy Jane - Row I finished!

I am definitely slowing down on my progress, but trying to stay determined to keep working on the Crazy Jane blocks.  Row J had a lot of tough blocks, but it is now finished and added to the rest of the center blocks!

Row J has a ton of applique.  Oh Jane, why did you love making those melons so much?  I think I will take a day and just prep all of them at once, then I can grab a bag and sit down for a bit of applique in the evenings.

When I'm not working on this, that is:

Yes, I've managed to find another person with a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt that needs to be finished!  This one is in reproduction fabrics.  It's queen size and they want each hexagon to be quilted all the way around.  Yikes, I think it's going to take longer than I thought it would.  Last night I found that my thimble had a hole in it and snapped the eye off a needle!  Had to go through my drawers to find a better thimble to use.  I think this is the third one I've worn through now.   

I also have some shirts to finish putting together - I have to put the sleeves on, hem the bottoms and bind the neckline.  They are cute, so I will definitely try to remember to take a picture.

I was trying to take some new quilt pictures yesterday afternoon, but my handsome helper showed up and distracted me - 

He looks really nice on that bright quilt!

Guess I'd better get busy, plenty to keep me busy for a day or two.  Have a happy day!

Saturday, April 07, 2018

March Projects Recap

Wow, it really seemed like March went by quickly.  Did it seem like that for you as well?  It was fun to look back on my blog posts for the month and see that I got quite a few projects finished!

 I started off small with my mini for the Small, Smaller, Smallest blog hop.
Fabric provided by Island Batik
Then I went a little bigger and finished up another Island Batik challenge, which was from the fall - Lover's Kiss using Pumpkin Patch fabrics:
Fabric provided by Island Batik

Then I made a small quilt for a Project Quilting Challenge - A Stitch in Time:

I finally got my String Quilt that I made back in January quilted.  I'm challenging myself to create no UFOs in 2018!  Finish what I start is the name of the game!

I used up some of my selvages:

And finished up a Snowman Quilt:

I made a journal for the final Project Quilting Challenge:

And block number three for Christmas All Year:

Last, but not least I finished up my Island Batik Ambassador challenge - a conversion quilt:

Fabric provided by Island Batik
So, I guess it's not a wonder that I am a little tired out!  That's a lot of quilting for one month.  I haven't had time to do much quilting so far this week, but I did take a fun class with Lawry Thorn yesterday.  I'll be showing more of this when I get further along, but here are the blocks:

So much fun working with these colors!

Have a happy weekend - hope you get to do some quilting!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Try a Technique - Conversion quilt

One of the best things about being an Island Batik Ambassador is the monthly challenges!  (and Island Batik also provides the fabric for said challenges)  The challenge for March was to try a technique that we've never done.  Many of us had a tough time with this challenge!  The great thing was in discussing and coming up with ideas a whole new world of ideas opened up for me.

I went through my Pinterest Board of Quilts I Want to Make, but didn't really find any interesting techniques that I hadn't done before, so I started working on a new board:  Quilting Techniques to Try
I really loved the idea of making a rainbow quilt, but the fabrics I have to use didn't really support that very well, so I kept looking through my boards and found that I have pinned quite a few conversion quilts.  Well, that looked like fun, so I decided to give it a try!  I found some simple directions online and got started.

I picked out four half yard pieces from my blenders bundle - (three were from the most recent ones I received, and the teal was from an earlier box)
I decided to cut the largest possible squares from my fabrics and decided on where to place them.
After doing the vertical cuts and shuffling the pieces I had this...really loved how it was looking!

Then I made my horizontal cuts and this is what it looked like.

At this point I wasn't really delighted with it, so started playing with border ideas.  (And forgot to take pictures!)  I think that I should have placed the darker fabrics across from each other diagonally so that the lighter ones weren't right next to each other.  I decided to frame the center with a contrasting flange and use the four prints for in the border to bring out the colors more. 

I had the perfect pink in one of the StashBuilder rolls.  Those things are so handy to have on hand for when you need just a bit of a color!  The way I did the border was also a new technique for me.  I usually either make a pieced border or a simple plain border.  I ended up offsetting the seams on the border in order to make the most of the strips I had cut - but that adds a little more interest to the quilt, I think!

Now I was almost ready for quilting.  I pieced a back out of some odds and ends of other Island Batik fabrics I had left from previous projects.  For the batting I used a piece of cotton I had in my stash that was just the right size (yay for using up some stuff!)  I was debating on what color of thread since I have a blend of light and dark fabrics, so I went with a thread in a medium gray tone.  This is a color that was provided in my Ambassador box from Aurifil Thread.  The color is Earl Gray (6732) and it was perfect for this project!
I mostly use 50 wt thread for piecing and quilting because I love that it is strong, yet fine and really blends in without showing too much, even on contrasting fabrics. 

Isn't it nice?  I quilted paisleys in the center, then did hook and swirl in the border.  I just love the fact that you mostly see the texture and not the thread!

After the quilting was finished my final challenge was the binding.  I didn't want to use one of the fabric in the quilt top because it would match one of the corners of the border and I knew that would look a little strange.  I thought I would use pink, but I didn't have enough of any of my pink fabrics to make the binding.  I ended up cutting some strips from the rapidly dwindling leftovers from the top, and used a third technique I have never done and strategically pieced the binding so that the seams met the border seams!  Tricky!

I made four strips of my binding fabric, but did not sew them together.  As I sewed the binding to the quilt, I joined the binding pieces with a straight seam where the seams in the border were.  This would have been a little easier if I had sewn the binding to the top of the quilt, but I like to machine stitch the final fold of the binding to the top so I can do my No Hand Stitching binding technique!  So I had to do some careful judging of where to cut and sew, but it came out pretty well!

Now I will show you the finished quilt - it ended up being almost 36 inches square and used up most of four 1/2 yard pieces of fabric:  

I wasn't the only Island Batik Ambassador who made a convergence quilt!  You can see Nancy's version at Masterpiece Quilting.  We even did our borders the same way, but we used very different fabrics.  

This was a fun project, and I can see how making these Convergence quilts can be addicting.  Now I am going to add a hanging sleeve to my quilt so I can hang it up.  Hope you enjoy your weekend - and wishing you a Happy Easter!