Saturday, August 29, 2015

Robyn's Valentine - An Art Quilt Project

Back in April, I made a blog post about My Psychedelic Valentine which was a Valentine themed table runner I made for a challenge in my Modern Quilting Group.

I know it's pretty far from February now but I wanted to show you my friend Robyn's Valentine challenge project.  I loved it so much that she gave it to me for my birthday present - which was in March.

Robyn is an art quilter.  She has been quilting for years and I think she has tried just about every kind of quilting there is so it stands to reason that she would eventually find her way to art quilting.  I think she's found her niche.

She made this Valentine mostly with selvedge edges plus a few scraps and some red rick rack.  I love the way she basically made a color wheel with all the colors and then used the red in the middle.  I think this is so creative and cool. 

I'm going to try to talk her into entering it in our local quilt show in the spring.
Robyn blogs HERE at Quilting in the Robyn's nest.  She is remodeling her house right now and she is doing weekly updates which are awesome.  If you love looking at reno's as they go along, you will love reading her blog.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

My First Quilt - A UFO Quilty Finish

About 4 years ago or so, I decided to take up quilting.  I had been reading quilting blogs and seeing all the beautiful modern quilts out there and it got me all excited.

So, I went out to my local fabric store and bought one charm pack which are 42  5" squares.  Forty two, I thought.  That will make a whole quilt.  Bless my heart.
Sorry for the picture quality.  They all have too much light.
Once I layed out the squares, I realized I needed more just to make it baby quilt size.  So, I cut out some solid whites and added those. 

Anyway, this quilt sat in the UFO pile for some time.  I didn't really like the fabric I had chosen and I didn't have anyone to give it to so I didn't see a reason to finish it.  Plus it was pretty wonky.  Seams that REALLY didn't match.  Borders that were just WRONG.  It was a hot mess.

But a couple months ago, I got it back out (in my effort to finish some of my UFO's this summer) and I quilted it and bound it.

It's still a hot mess but it's a finished hot mess.  I think that I will keep it so that I can see where I started and see my progress as I go along.  I still need to work on my binding but I'm getting pretty good at piecing and my quilting is improving.
And surprisingly, even then, I prefered a pieced back.
And always remember your label.

Statistics on this quilt:
Fabric - Moda but I don't remember the line, white fabric is also Moda.  The polka dotted fabric that I used on the back and for the wonky border was a fabric in the line.  My binding fabric, the green and white stripe, is from Scrumptious by Bonnie and Camille.
Size - Approximately 40 inches by 40 inches.

**Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation and Crazy Mom Quilts Friday Finish

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

WIP Wednesday

I've been wanting to do the Take Wing Butterfly Pattern since the first moment I saw it.  It's a beautiful paper piecing pattern by Lillyella Stitchery.  I first saw it on Instagram and immediately fell in love.

The pattern is for a mini quilt that will measure about 24" by 15".  It is an intermediate pattern.  She has since created an easier pattern for beginners that makes a very similar butterfly.

So far I have finished the upper right wing and I'm working on the upper left wing.  I've been using all Alison Glass fabrics that I've had hoarded away for some time.  The background fabric is Essex Dyed linen in Natural.

I love intricate paper pieced patterns and I'm hoping to make more of these butterflies, possibly in single colors.

***Linking up to Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Building a house, Selling a house, Moving to an apartment.......

oh yeah, and a wedding.  It's been a busy summer.  This is my catch up post.  There are lots of pictures.

We are building a house - our dream house.  This was all my husband's idea.  I just wanted to remodel the kitchen.  But, I was seduced by the idea of the house we've always wanted and a larger sewing room.  But what comes with building a house?  Lots and lots of stress.  My sweetie was eager to build a new house but not to do all the "work".  Finding a designer, a builder, picking all the stuff that goes in a house, etc.  So, I get to do all of that fun stuff.  All of this was made harder by the fact that we had a very rainy spring and the builder couldn't start on time. 

I'm not great at keeping up with taking pictures at every step and also, who wants to see the roughed in plumbing.  So I'm just going to hit the highlights.

Our lot.  It's a beautiful corner lot in a  neighborhood that we've wanted to live in for about 15 years.  All the houses are charming Victorians, Craftsman Bungalows, Southern style - timeless houses.  

Our lot once they finally were able to start clearing.
Inner "bones".  It's not actually a 2 story.  The stairs lead up to the attic for storage.  We've tried to plan this house for our elderly years.  Or in my case, possibly the near future.  We've tried to make it easy for wheelchairs, walkers, etc.

Now it's starting to look like a house!

 Just this past week, they got most of the exterior painting done and even started on the shingles.  This room in front with the 3 windows is my sewing room.

The lot has been cleaned up since this picture but I put it in mostly so you could see the house color.  It's Sherwin Williams Peppercorn with Extra White trim.  

So, along with building a house comes selling a house.  We got our house all spiffied up and put it on the market.  It's 12 years old.  We got an offer within 2 days.  The catch was the buyer needed us to move out quickly and wanted to close on the house in about 2 weeks.
Out we went looking for an apartment.  We found one and put down a deposit.  We started packing and even started moving things we couldn't take to the apartment to a storage room and my in laws house.  Then of course, the buyers backed out.  We were more than a bit pissed.

So, what do you do?  Do you loose your apartment deposit and stay in your house?  What if you get another offer tomorrow?  You don't know when the house will sell, it could be 2 days or 2 months. And it's really hard to rent an apartment for less than 6 months.  They look at you like your nuts if you say that you just need a place to stay for a couple months.  Sigh.  So, to decrease the stress on myself (because of my health issues) we decided to go ahead and move into the apartment and pray it sold quickly.  This time to someone who actually wanted to buy it and wasn't nuts.

I've got to say, our apartment is really cute.  If I was single and apartment living, I'd love to live here.
The first thing I did was set up my sewing area.  It's in the spot where the dining table should be but I confiscated it because it had all the lights.
It's not as spacious as it looks.

 My pared down stash. 

My desk/ computer.   

Ok and now for the wedding!  My mother who is 80 married her boyfriend who is 88 on June 27th.  They had both been widowed for about a year but I guess at this age, you have to move fast.
I have sort of a weird relationship with my family.  My parents were miserably unhappy and honestly, all I want for my mom is for her to be happy for the rest of her life.  Here we are, me and my mom, before her wedding.  We were helping her get ready.  We all wore blue as you can see.  I don't have any pictures of the service because I was the Matron of Honor and no one has sent me any.  But it was such a sweet ceremony.  They had it at their church with their minister who was a really sweet young man.  He altered the vows to fit them and they brought tears to everyone's eyes.  Especially the groom who had to take a minute before he could repeat his.  I think it was the sweetest wedding I've ever been to.

 Here is my sister with my mom before the wedding.  My new stepsister was also a bridesmaid but I don't have a picture of her.  My nephew, my sister's oldest son who my mother adores and is closest to, walked her down the aisle.
 My new stepsister made about 6 cakes for the wedding.  I think she had every flavor.  I volunteered to make a plain white cake with buttercream icing and ta da - here it is.  The roses on top is a cake topper.  I really stink at decorating cakes but I can make a tasty one.  I love to bake but I have trouble standing long enough to do all the sifting, egg separating and all that jazz.
 And here is the bride - Katie and the groom - Woody as they are cutting the cake.   It was so cute.
This is after they fed each other cake and wiped their faces.  I didn't want to put the smeared cake pics up.  Don't they look sweet too?  He is constantly telling her how pretty she is and how much he loves her.  He holds her hand and they giggle together and kiss.  My son thinks it's so gross :)

Well, that's been my summer so far.  At least the big stuff.  There was so much more I could add but let's get back to quilting and sewing stuff.  I actually got lots of things finished that I need to get posted.  So stayed tuned for many awesome things!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August Goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes

Hello friends in the blogging world!  I seem to have been missing for the past 3 months.  I'll be telling you why in a future blog post but for today I wanted to post my August goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes.  

I haven't participated in ALYOF for several months - I'm so behind on everything.  But I'm determined to do better and to catch myself up.

This month I have started working on a Christmas quilt for my husband.  It will be wall hanging size and will hang in his office at work.  He loves to decorate his office for the holidays and he's been waiting patiently for this quilt for about 2 years now.  It's a Peanuts quilt and it represents the Peanuts Christmas Special - A Charlie Brown Christmas.

I can't remember where I got this panel of squares but I've had it for some time and worked on it on and off.  For the longest time, I couldn't figure out what to do with it.  So I cut out each rectangle and then framed each one with red and green fabric.  It sat on my design wall for some time after that.

I got it back out this past weekend and decided to do strips with the fabrics I had already cut up and just frame each one with white then sew the strip to a panel.  I've gotten about half of the top done.  So my goal this month is to finish the quilt top.  I would also like to get it basted and maybe start quilting it but I'm going to stick with just finishing the top for my goal.
If I make my goal too lofty, I won't finish for sure :)
This is the part I have finished:
*Linking to SewBitterSweetDesigns for ALOF

Friday, May 1, 2015

My Modern Voice - A Quilty Finish

I have a quilt that I finished back in February that I haven't shared here on my blog yet. 
I call it "My Modern Voice".

This quilt is my own original pattern and design although I took my inspiration from a quilt in Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen.  My inspiration quilt is called Fiesta and it is on page 122 of the book.  It is a square quilt with an orange square border on the outside, red square border in the middle and purple square border on the inside.  Then inside of the purple, is a patchwork square of print fabrics.  My inspiration was the patchwork and the use of solid colors.

I love patchwork and I think it connects me to traditional quilts but by the same means, I love solid color and the use of negative space which I feel connects me to the new modern quilting movement.  I consider myself a modern traditionalist because I love making traditional quilt blocks but I like doing it in a modern way and arranging my quilts using an alternative grid and using modern fabric.

So, My Modern Voice was my quilt that represents me and my current quilting viewpoint.  I sketched it out sometime last year and started it with the intention of having it finished to apply at Quiltcon.  But even though we sometimes have good intentions, we don't always meet our deadlines.  I did however, finish it in time for our local quilt show in March.

One of our modern quilting group members who is also a member of our local guild, was in charge of arranging the quilt displays.  We had about 12 or so quilts that we marked "modern" and she hung them all together.  We were all so grateful to Mrs. Sheryl for doing this for us.  I think it made our modern quilts stand out more and hopefully started a voice growing in our community about modern quilting.  

My Modern Voice
50 inches by 50 inches
All solids are Kona cottons
I used a jelly roll of Mediterranean Dreams from Quilting Treasures which I cut into 2.5 inch squares.
I used some of the jelly roll strips to make the scrappy binding. 
The back of the quilt is made from more patchwork, more solids and also some of the yardage from the Mediterranean Dreams line.
I quilted it using the Serpentine stitch on my machine to mimic how the inspiration quilt was quiltied.  I used navy 50 wt. Aurifil thread for the quilting.

Quilt back.  Notice the label - I'm really a stickler for labels now.

Quilt binding.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Quilt Show Challenge Blocks

This is a bit of a late post because I completed these blocks back in January, I think.  But since I'm behind in my blogging anyway, to heck with it.  I can post anything I want.  HA

My local traditional quilt guild has a quilt show every March.  We have the opportunity to purchase kits of fabric (usually 2 fabrics) for $2.00 and then we are to make a quilt block to be entered into the quilt block challenge.

This year I purchased 2 kits.  The background fabric was black and the other fabric was a multicolored.  You can add any other fabrics to the block that you want and you can make your block anything you want.  It can be any technique.

I chose paper piecing for both my blocks.  My son had gotten me the book A Flock of Feathered Stars by Carolyn Cullinan McCormick for Christmas and I used a pattern from there for one block.  I love this book and I intend to make every block in it.  I was thinking maybe in red and white.

My other block is a flying geese block and I made my own pattern because I couldn't find a paper pieced one that was the right size.  But that's ok because it turned out pretty good.

The ribbons are judged but I don't really understand their judging process.  Every single block gets a ribbon.  What is the point of that?  Who are you competing against?  No one?  Then at the next guild meeting, they divide the blocks into sacks and draw names to see who gets a stack of the blocks.  You have to participate in making the blocks to be entered in the drawing.  

Anywho, I also made a small quilt for our small quilt auction which raises money for the guild to use for speakers and workshops and such.  Of course, I paper pieced it :)
I used a pattern by Quiet Play which I purchased from Craftsy.  I don't have a finished picture on my computer but I'm sure there is one somewhere.  So I'll just show you what I have.
I can't find what I did with the dimensions but I think it's about 12 inches x 20 inches.  I quilted it with what I call fractured glass straight line quilting.  Just random lines across, diagonal, all over.  The back was the black Architextures print from Carolyn Freidlander and I just bound it with the same white Kona I used for the front.  It turned out super cute - in my opinion.
My friend Robyn bought it at the auction before anyone else got a chance.  Thanks Robyn!