Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tula Tuesday Blocks 3 and 5

Hi everyone!  This is going to be a quick post because it's late and I need to go to bed - us old people have to go to bed early. ;)
 Today is Tula Tuesday and I completed two more blocks to add to my collection of one - yay for me!  Honestly, I did not realize how hard and time consuming each individual block would be.  There are so many pieces.  I'm just not use to blocks that challenge me this much.  It's a good thing to be challenged though -right?
 This is block 5.  It really is yellow like in this picture.  For some reason, the other pictures make it look more of a cream.  I LOVE this orange butterfly print.  This block was actually fairly easy.

 Block number three.  I'm keeping track of the numbers by pinning a small piece of paper to the backs of each block so if you see part of a pin, that's what it's for.
 I love the colors in this block.  I fussy cut this flower from a scrap of Michael Miller's Pretty Bird fabric.

I've been wanting to buy and make the Gypsy Wife quilt.  Some of the blogs I read are even participating in a quilt along.  The way they have it broken down for the quilt a long makes it seem not so hard but since I've started the Tula blocks, I don't know if I'm ready for Gypsy Wife yet.  Maybe if I can finish the Tula quilt this year, I can do the Gypsy Wife next year,  It's something to shoot for.

Thanks for reading!
**Linking up to Tula Tuesday at Diary of a Mad Fabriholic**

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Friday Finish - Bird Mini Quilt

One month last fall, I can't remember which one, Karen K. Stone (author and quilter) came to our local quilt guild for a speaking engagement and also to teach a workshop. 

Her quilts are fabulous and all original.  I really enjoyed her talk and looking at the quilts she had to show us.  She does a lot of paper piecing, uses embellishments and does a lot of thread painting which I am in awe of.  She hand dies much of the fabric she uses and it was just beautiful.

Her book is wonderful.  The pictures are so great that I think it would make a wonderful coffee table book even if you aren't a quilter.  I love looking at the patterns and pictures.  I couldn't wait to snap up one after her speech was done.  

The workshop day was less impressive.  I'm just biting my tongue to keep myself from typing out all the things I'd like to say but I don't want my blog to come across as mean or snarky - unless I'm trying to be snarky which I'm not.
The online quilting community seems to always be so positive.  I rarely read a negative review about anything be it teachers or notions, books or patterns.  And lets face it, not everything is great.  Not every class you take is going to meet your expectations.  I also try to keep in mind that just because I didn't get what I expected from the class, doesn't mean everyone else was unhappy.

So that's all I'm going to say about that.  Here's my quilty finish that was started in Ms. Stone's workshop.  The pattern is her original pattern.  The outside sawtooth parts are paper pieced and the inside square with the birdie is fussy cut.  Her quilt, that used this pattern, had flowers that had been thread painted in the centers.  It was so lovely.

I ended up making just one block using the workshop material.  I decided to turn it into a mini quilt to hang in my sewing room.  I love the fabric that I used in the quilt - it makes me happy.  

I used it as sort of a practice block for quilting.  I did echo quilting in the center square.  

And free motion quilting on the rest.  I think it was my first free motion quilting project other than the sample sandwiches that I had been practicing with for some time. It's very densely quilted.  I think I was trying to get as much practice in as possible.  lol
 Here is the back.  You can see the echo quilting really well here.  This little quilt has lived in my sewing room for quite some time now because someone had never put the binding on.  Finally, someone - me - did.
 The little mini only measures 11.5 x 11.5 inches.
    The backing fabric is Wordplay from Benartex.  A lot of the fabrics used in the sawtooth paper piecing are from Michael Miller (Mirror Ball dots and the orange swirl), there are some Marblehead fabrics by Ro Gregg and the rest is just random from my stash.  The birdie fabric in the center is a clearance piece of fabric that I found at Hancock's.  I only bought 1 yard of it but I love it and now I'm afraid to use it.  The binding is from the Architextures line by Robert Kaufman.

This was a UFO that I was able to scratch off my 2014 list.  
I hope you liked my little quilt and thanks so much for visiting me at my blog.  Please leave a comment so I know you were here - even if it's just to say hi!
**linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts**

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tula Tuesday - My First Block

Last year in the blogosphere, many quilters were doing the Tula Pink's City Sampler 100 Modern Quilt Block.
 I wasn't able to participate although I wanted to. so. bad.

Well, this year I'm finally able to fit some blocks in - or at least I'm going to do them anyway whether I have time or not.  Sam, over at Diary of a Mad Fabriholic is having a Tula Tuesday Linky Party for all those people who weren't able to participate last year but who still want to make the blocks.  So, I'm going to try to get my blocks done each week by Tuesday.  I don't know how many blocks - maybe just one but hey, at least that's something.

This week I made my first block.  Yes, just one.  Her blocks look easy at first glance but each one contains about a hundred tiny pieces if you make them using her cutting measurements.  Yesterday, I spent some time going through and marking some of the ones that I could take shortcuts on, figuring out the math and making notes.  Plus, I pulled the fabric for 3 blocks but then only had time to make one.
 This is block 4.  I'm not going in order because I want to try to follow the color schemes she uses in each block and I'll have to add some solid colors to my stash before I can do that.
 These fabrics are all Tula fabrics and the solids are Kona Cotton.  I'm not only going to use Tula fabric though, I want to mix it up a bit.

This is the quilt I'd like to end up making.  It's queen size and I've never made one that big before.  I already know that I'm not going to be able to quilt something this big on my current machines, so I may have to send it out.  Hmm.
I love the rainbow pattern and the scrappy fabrics used.  This quilt is going on my bed - my husband has been asking why I haven't made one for our bed yet, so here you go. 

*Linking up to Tula Tuesday at Diary of a Mad Fabriholic**

Friday, April 4, 2014

April Goal and a Friday Finish

Ok.  First things first.
My goal for March for A Lovely Year of Finishes was to complete the Giant Starburst Quilt which I did.
So, now moving on down my to-do list, my April goal is to make a new phone pouch for my husband which he has wanted for some time (and I'm tired of listening to him complain).
I can't find a picture of the one he has now but it's similar to the one I made my FIL for Christmas which is this one:
 This was made from a lightweight cotton that looks like denim and I used a heavy interfacing to make it stiff.
 The belt loop is added on the back and he just slides his belt through it and that's it.  No clip, no worrying about it falling into the toilet, no carrying it in a pocket where it is uncomfortable.  My FIL uses his everyday.
Phone fits right inside and it kind of blends with his jeans that he always wears.

My hubby uses his everyday to and has since I made it about 2 or so years ago.  It is showing it's age.  I have this leftover UT Texas fabric that I'm going to try to use as lining or something.  We'll see how it turns out.
And now for my Friday Finish!
I made a new pillow cover for my front porch pillow.  The old one had faded really bad and was so sad that I was tired of looking at it.
So I bought this new fabric which is resistant from fading for up to 500 hours of sunlight.  Great!  
Anyway I love the colors in it, aquas, greens, and blues.  I made this cover a bit too big for the pillow because the last cover was really tight and was impossible to get off and on. 
But, as you can see from the picture of the back, it's maybe a bit too large.

 The back is just a white cotton duck I already had.
 My front porch.  The pillow looks great but everything else needs a makeover and it needs plants.  I'll have to see what I can do.  My son likes to spray paint, maybe he'd paint my table for me - a happy yellow?
 Welcome back to Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts.
*Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts and Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation and Fiber of All Sorts for A Lovely Year of Finishes*

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Cutting, Cutting, Cutting

Today is WIP Wednesday, and for the last 2 days I've been cutting my fabric for a project that the new members group is doing in our guild.  The group is called the Hive and they meet for lunch and to work on projects after our guild meetings.

This is a new project and it's a paper piecing project - YAY!  It's called Completely Dotty and you can find the pattern here.  Our guild meeting isn't until a week from Thursday but I wanted to make sure I was ready.   I normally don't like saving everything until the last minute.  Also, this week I made a list of the things I'd like to get done this week and I'm trying to stick to it.  Otherwise, I seem to just wonder around working on project after project and never finishing anything.
Our cutting task was to cut around 250 of each light and dark colored fabric.  So far I have 100 light colored and about 55 dark colored.  I'm not going to make the entire quilt.  I thought I'd try for a mini quilt with just four blocks.  At next weeks meeting, we pay for our pattern so we can get started on our blocks.
My fabrics are all random ones that I pulled and some are from my scrap bin.  So, no actual color pattern, just scrappy.

What is your work in progress this muggy, rainy Wednesday?

Thanks for stopping by my blog!
 **Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, Show and Tell at Fresh Squeezed Fabric.**

Monday, March 31, 2014

Burying Knots While Quilting

Since I first started quilting, I have been terrified of having to bury knots in my quilts.  That's what I love about straight line quilting.  You just take a couple of extra stitches on each side and done.

If you're starting and stopping in the middle of a quilt to change thread or something - Ack! - you'd have to tie it off and bury the knot.  The horror of horrors!

One of the quilting bloggers that I follow was just talking about this very topic recently - but for the life of me, I can't figure out which blogger it was nor can I find the blog post.  But she directed everyone to the great tutorial written by Amanda Jean over at Crazy Mom Quilts called "how to bury knots when machine quilting".  If anyone reading this knows which blogger I'm talking about, please share in the comments section or send me an email so I can give her proper credit.

So, while I was quilting my Giant Starburst Quilt, I knew I would need to bury some knots since I was using 5 colors of thread.  I scooted on over to Amanda Jean's tutorial and worked through it step by step.  I highly recommend this tutorial.  It is well written and easy to understand. 
 Bring your bobbin thread up to the top before you start quilting.
 Tie a knot in the two pieces of thread.   Thread a needle with the threads.  I used easy threading needles.  I've also heard them called cheater needles.  I bought them at Hancock's on sale but I don't remember the price.
Make a stitch about an inch or so away from the knot - make it a long stitch.
 Pull the thread through.  You will feel or see the knot "pop" under the fabric.
 Cut the threads off and you're done.  You've buried a knot.  

Now I have nothing to fear.  Hahahaha
If I can do this, anyone can.  Don't be afraid, just try.   It's good to learn new skills!

**Linking up to Anything Goes Monday at Stitch by Stitch**

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes March Goal - Giant Starburst Quilt

My March goal for "A Lovely Year of Finishes" was to complete my Giant Starburst quilt.  I started March with the quilt top and back completed so it needed to be sandwiched, basted, quilted and bound.  I also needed to complete it because I had committed it for our local quilt show and it needed to be turned in on March 18th.

I am happy to report that I completed my March goal!  YAY!  It was also turned into the quilt show on time even if I only slept for 3 hours the night before.  :)

You can read about the beginning of the quilt here.  I found this pattern at CanoeRidgeCreations.com.  It was a giant starburst quilt a long.  She also has the pattern in a reverse giant starburst which is so cool as well and you can buy the pattern for the mini in her shop.  Click here to go to the instructions for the Giant Starburst.

I'm going to be honest.  I had trouble with this quilt from the very first second.  I purchased the amount of fabric that was required but for 2 of the colors,  I didn't have enough.  I purchased Kona cotton and it is not 45 inches wide.  It's about 42 inches wide - that is not counting the selvedge.  I don't use selvedge when I cut my fabrics.  I'm not sure if the pattern writter used the selvedge or if she just had wider fabric.  I ended up having to go buy more fabric.  
After that, it just continued to go downhill.  Lots of seams ripped out, points that got cut off or didn't meet.  Maybe it was just because I was on a deadline and wanted it to turn out well.  I was so glad when it was done.

I am kind of proud of my quilting.  This is the first time that I used different quilting designs in different parts of the quilt.  It's also the first time that I used different colors of thread.
 I used white thread in the white fabric areas, green in the green, purple in the purple, you get the idea.  I'm really proud of my echo quilting that I did here in the triangles.  This is the largest quilt I've worked with and it was hard turning it back and forth but I love the way it looks.  I really like this quilting style and I want to practice it a lot more.
 I'm not sure what to call the way I quilted the colored parts of the star.  Maybe long zig zags?  You can tell I have a long ways to go on my FMQ but I do think I'm getting better.
The white fabric is actually a text fabric.  It's a very subtle text.  I didn't want a dense text because I felt like it would change the color - some dense texts can read gray to me.  
I used a loopy meander on the white star areas.  The hardest part to do was the center square of the star.  It was hard to get through my machine and took forever.  I don't know what the deal was with that.
 This is one of the white corner squares.  I like to think of this quilting as creepy ghost fingers.
Here is my quilt back.  Once I finished quilting, I figured out that you couldn't really see all the different types of quilting that I had done.  You couldn't even see the different colors of thread and all because my back was so busy.  I'm going to have to consider that more in the future.  If I want my quilting to show on the back, I need to use a simpler back or even a solid color.

The quilt back is made up of leftover fabric from the front that was cut off when I made my HST's.  The floral fabric is the last I have of that - it is from Michael Miller's Pretty Bird line.  The yellow and white floral is from Riley Blake and the black and white dotted fabric is from Alexander Henry and is called "the dotted line".
 In this picture you can see the blue thread in the quilting on the Pretty Bird fabric.
This quilt label is the best one that I've done so far.  I loved how it turned out.  I got the tutorial from Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation.  Click HERE to go to her tutorial.  I love the idea of zig zagging it and then quilting over it.  I just hope that really is a permanent marker.
 I used my Grape Jelly Pearl Bracelets for the binding.  It used up all I had :(  But that's ok - that's what shopping is for, right?
My binding is a hot mess.  I put it on at 12 midnight on the night before the quilt show.  I knew I wasn't going to win any prizes with this quilt anyway (the competition was pretty stiff and I'm a newbie quilter) and at that point of the night, I just needed to get it done.  I do plan to remove the binding and redo it.  I love that fabric too much to leave it messed up.
 But it looks pretty doesn't it?
I love this text print.
My quilt stats are as follows:
Giant Starburst Quilt
pattern by Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations Blog
Finished size  60 x 60

Fabrics used in the quilt:
Solids are Kona cotton in turquoise, corn yellow, chartreuse, and mulberry.
Text fabric is Poppy Patio by Jill Finley for Henry Glass Studios
Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet in grape jelly for binding
Backing fabrics are listed above.

Pieced and quilted by Tricia Harvey on my domestic machine.  March 2014
Thread used was:
White Aurifil 50 wt. color 2024
Colored thread was all Mettler metrosene 100% polyester
yellow - color 0500
blue - 0890
green - 0952
purple - 0459

I learned a few new things while making this quilt as I seem to do with every quilt so I guess that makes up for the frustration I had during the process.

Thanks for reading!
**Linking up to NTT at My Quilt Infatuation and A Lovely Year of Finishes at Fiber Art of All Sorts**
**Linking up to Anything Goes Monday at Stitch by Stitch**