Friday, April 3, 2015

Psychedelic Valentine - A Quilty Finish

My local Modern quilting group had a challenge for Valentine's.  I announced the challenge in November to give everyone plenty of time to have their projects completed by the February meeting, so of course, mine was not finished.  I think it still needed binding.

We could do anything we wanted for the challenge, it just needed to have a Valentine theme.  I chose to do a table runner because I love table runners and you can never have too many.  Right?  (haha)
I also chose to do paper piecing because I love it so and it's my "go to" technique.  I used Mini Love Quilt pattern from Sew Mama Sew which I've used before.  Instead of arranging the letters in a square, I just went straight down with them.  I made 2 rows and to finish the rows off, I paper pieced little hearts.  The heart pattern is from the book 365 Foundation Quilt Blocks by Linda Causee that I've mentioned before.  I added the black text fabric around the hearts until I had them the size that I wanted.
I used a charm pack of Moda Kiss Kiss for the letters.  For the parts of the letters that were to long for 5 inch charm pack blocks, I used solid Kona Cotton.  I didn't keep track of all the colors of Kona I used but as you can tell, it was shades of aqua, pink, and red.
The black and white chevron stripe fabric that I used as sashing between the rows is why I call this piece "Psychedelic Valentine".  The motion of the fabric hurts my eyes and it felt very psychedelic to me.  I think it is a fabric from one of the Moda Halloween lines.
 I quilted it on my new Juki TL2010Q.  I FMQ'd loopy lines in the letters with red thread - 50 wt. Auriful.
The psychedelic black sashing fabric has long squiggles quilted on them from top to bottom.  I used black thread, also 50 wt. Aurifil, to quilt it and you can't see it at all from the front.  Only from the back.  I didn't quilt anything in the black spaces or in the heart blocks.  I just felt like this was enough.

Speaking of the back, here it is!  I used my remaining charm squares to make the back of the runner and I used a large piece of this pink Dear John fabric that I've been hoarding.  You can see all the quilting so much better from the back.
 I used charm square scraps for my label and zig zagged it down with the black thread.  I love making labels this way.  It is from a tutorial by Kelly from My Quilt Infatuation.  I never forget my labels now.  They are just a part of the back of every quilt.
My binding is a red fabric with aqua dots that is a part of the Kiss Kiss line.
My Psychedelic Valentine measures 18 inches by 32 inches.

I hope you enjoyed my Valentine project and reading my blog.  Please come back to visit anytime!

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

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

ALYOF Goal for April

Well, I didn't get my goal finished for February because of Quiltcon and all and then I missed March completely.
So, now here I am for April and I'm going to do it this time too!
 (**Crummy pics)
Ok, so my goal for April is to finish my first baby quilt that I wanted to finish in February.  I did get the quilting finished so all I need to do is trim it and bind it.  I don't know what I'll do with it when finished but I'll think of something.
I was actually thinking I might keep it so that I can see how far I've come from the very beginning.  I made this quilt before I knew what kind of quilter I was, what kind of fabric I liked, what kind of quilts I wanted to make.

So for April, I'm going to get this quilt finished 100%.

**Linking up with Fiber of All Sorts for ALYOF goal for April.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Back from Hiatus and Quiltcon 2015

Hello blog readers out in blogland.  I have been on an unintentional hiatus since February.  

In February, I attended Quiltcon 2015 and there was much preparation that went into getting ready to go and getting everything to fit into my suitcases.  Then once I came home, I was exhausted.  And since then, I've been having a lovely flare (sarcasm) with my Lupus and Fibromyalgia.  Also, somewhere in there, I switched meds again for my Lupus.  I'm now on an immunosuppresive which basically just knocks out your immune system that way your body can't fight itself.  The theory being that the Lupus can no longer damage your body.  So yay!  Of course, you could get the flu and it could kill you so there you go.

Anyhoo, lets talk about something more fun.  I'm going to share some of the things that I liked best about Quiltcon but I won't be showing a lot of quilt pictures.
I've seen lots of pics on the internet of the quilts at Quiltcon and different things but I have not seen any of the Riley Blake booth.  This dress was made out of paper butterflies.  I asked before I took the picture.

Last year the Modern Quilt Guild did a Michael Miller Couture Cotton challenge with all pastel fabrics.  I didn't participate because I couldn't imagine a quilt with all pastels that wasn't a baby quilt.  They had a few of the winners in a display at Quiltcon and I have to say, my mind is changed.  You can make a pastel quilt that is not for a baby but you have to be very mindful of what you are doing.

 The name of this quilt was "Pastels Aren't My Favorite" by Janet McWorkman from Anchorage Alaska - an individual member.  It was my favorite of the pastels though I took several pictures of others.  Some would have looked like baby blankets if they had been larger so I think you have to be very careful when working with only pastels.
This is the Gypsy Wife quilt.  I have the pattern for this quilt and it's something that I've been wanting to make for some time.  The fabrics used in the pattern are so busy that it makes the quilt look more complicated than it is.  When I saw this version, I was so excited because it makes the quilt seem doable.  This was made by Catherine Mosely from Australia - an individual member.  

These lovely handmade ribbons were made by Elizabeth Hartman and are the ribbons that are placed on the winning quilts.  Our local guild spends so much money each year on these big fancy, really expensive ribbons for our local quilt show but I found the smaller handmade ribbons to mean so much more.  I would be ten times more excited to win a handmade ribbon from Quiltcon than to win a fancy purchased ribbon from my local guild.

 This was my all time favorite quilt at the show.  It didn't win any ribbons but it was still my favorite.

And now my thoughts and feelings on Quiltcon 2015.  
It was a wonderful show.  The classes I took were a lot of fun and I got to meet some of my favorite quilting bloggers (Elizabeth Dackson from Don't Call Me Betsy - squeeeee).  I did schedule time to look at the quilts and to shop the vendors but some of the vendors were always so busy that I didn't get to look in their booths.  The vendors were definitely more modern than the ones at the Houston Quilt Festival.  I enjoyed meeting them and I now have some new favorite online stores.  The atmosphere at Quiltcon was so inspiring and just overall happy.  Everyone I met was so encouraging and helpful.  I had 2 lectures with Angela Walters and I think I may be in love.

There is definitely a difference in the atmosphere of a modern quilt show compared to my very traditional local show or even the Houston show.  Modern quilters seem to respect each others aesthetic and skill level more than traditional quilters.
I would definitely go again and I hope I can in the future.

Here is what I didn't like about it. 
For some reason, Quiltcon only used about 1/3 the space in the Austin Convention Center.  If they had used more of the space, they could have had accepted more quilts into the show, had more vendors and more classes.  It was confusing to me.  Maybe they already had it planned and didn't realize how quickly classes would fill or how many quilts would be entered?

And here is my BIG complaint:
I found it more than a little ODD that the quilts that were entered in the juried section of the show were mostly quilts that had either been published as patterns, or in books or were in books that were about to be released by StashBooks or C&T publishing which was a large sponsor of the show.  In fact, the soon to be released books were released the weekend of Quiltcon so that the authors could be there for signings.   There were multiple quilts from each book that were in the show.  For example, the new book Modern Rainbow by Rebecca Bryan - which I purchased there and it has some great quilts in it.  Lots of them were at Quiltcon. 
Maybe it was just a coincidence and those were really the best quilts entered?
Is that possible?  Really?
Out of all the thousands of quilts entered by regular people who don't have book deals, these quilts were still the best?
Some modern quilters have years and years of experience having started first in traditional quilting or another area.
Maybe I'm just paranoid but I buy a lot of quilting books and I look at them.  And I got to look at the quilts in person at Quiltcon many of which won ribbons.  They are all beautiful quilts and I loved looking at them.
Did anyone else notice this?  Some of the quilt bloggers had 3-4 quilts in the show all from 1 book.  Why is it that those were the ones that caught the judges eye?  Is it because they were all familiar to the judges having seen them so many times in books and internet patterns?

I'll stop ranting now.  I just noticed this right away and it really bothered me.  It made me feel that no matter what I create, I won't get juried into Quiltcon unless I get a book deal from C & T publishing.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

February's ALYOF Goal

My finish goal for February for A Lovely Year of Finishes is one of the many UFO's that I have on my ever growing list of UFO's.  I know my pictures are lacking but it was a very dark day when I took them and is very dark today as well.
 This was one of my first quilting projects.  Being the young naive quilter that I was, I thought that a charm pack which had 42 whole squares in it! was enough to make a whole quilt.  Well, it is, sort of.  If you add in some solid squares, you have enough to make a baby quilt.  So, once I figured out my mistake, that's what I did.  Of course, I don't have a baby nor do I know anyone who has a baby but hopefully I can donate it to my guild's charity.

I made this quilt before I had taken any kind of classes or anything.  I don't think most of the fabric is cut all that straight and I tried to make a border of the blue and white fabric but it just looks like I messed up my cornerstones.  I wasn't trying to make cornerstones and actually didn't know what they were at the time.
It is pieced, back made, sandwiched and halfway quilted.  My goal for February is to finish the quilting and bind it.  I'm going to give it a good pressing and just start the quilting where I left off. It is straight line quilting on either sides of the stitch lines.  Pretty simple.

Quiltcon is happening this month in only about 2 weeks or so. I'm looking forward to that as it will be my first and probably only Quiltcon since they are moving it to the west and east coasts after this year.  Also, because of costs, I think I'm going to lay off traveling for big ol' quilt shows for awhile.
I'm looking forward to meeting some of my favorite bloggers, Elizabeth Dackson - I got into her FMQ class!, Penny Layman - learn how to make paper piecing patterns!, lots of great lectures and I'm going to the Moda party!  Really looking forward to that.

This month is definitely busier than February's usually are and there is no slowing down in sight.

**Linking up to Fiber of All Sorts for ALYOF February goal.
**Linking up to My Quilt Infatuation with Kelly.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Small FInishes for January

Like most quilters, I seem to always be working on a million projects at one time!  And also like most quilters, I also have a life and other responsibilities that prevent me from sewing 24/7.

I mentioned in a previous post that we are building a new house (my husband's idea) and it is taking up lots of my time.  There are phone calls to make, emails to send, websites to look at, choices to make.  It's exhausting.  And we haven't even broken ground yet.  Great huh?  Once things get moving, I do plan to post about it, if for no other reason than to keep a record of it. 

But I did get some sewing time in January and was able to complete a few small finishes.

My son got me the book A Flock of Feathered Stars by Carolyn McCormick for Christmas and I used one of the patterns to make a challenge block for my local guild's quilt show that is coming up in March.  I committed to 2 blocks.  We purchase the fabric kits from the guild for $2 and we have to use the black fabric for the background and the multi colored fabric somewhere in the block.  Here's number one!
 And for number 2, I made the December block from Aurifil's 2014 BOM.  I made my own pattern to paper piece my geese and the block looks a bit wonky to me but it came out the right measurement.
I'm also working on a small quilt for donation at the quilt show's silent auction.  Here's a sneak peak!
(Pattern designed by Kristy of Quiet Play)

Also in the works is a Valentine's challenge mini quilt for my modern quilting group but as it's a secret, I'll have to wait until after our next meeting to show it.

And lastly, one more sneak peak.  I took a quilting color class at my local quilt show which was awesome!  We used Prismacolor pencils to color our picture, sandwiched it and now I need to quilt it.  I think I'll also do some thread painting - or at least try.  We'll see how it comes out.
February starts tomorrow.  Fingers crossed I can get more accomplished.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

ALYOF - Goal Accomplished!

It's January 31st!  Where has January gone?

My goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes for January was to get the quilting on my "My Modern Voice" quilt finished.  Mission accomplished!  
I still need to trim it and bind it and of course put the sleeve on it so that I can have it ready for our local quilt show in March.  But I'm glad the quilting is done.  If you look really close, you can probably still see some marking lines that I haven't removed yet.
I used the serpentine stitch on my Brother sewing machine and basically made lots of straight lines.  I used tape and also Frixion pens to mark my lines and they came out pretty good.  They are not all the same distance apart.  I varied the distance to keep it interesting.
The quilt looks puckered in this picture but it isn't.  I think it just needed ironing.  Sorry for the crummy pics this time.

And here is the back of the quilt.  

Linking up with Shanna from Fiber of All Sorts.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Lovely Year of Finishes - January Goal

Last fall I started a quilt that I designed based on a quilt that inspired me in the book "Quilting Modern" by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen.  You can see the blog post and design here.

I don't remember when I finish the quilt top but it was sometime in October.  I've been quilting it with a serpentine stitch on my Brother machine.  But I've been doing it slowly as in only working on it in spurts.  I had hoped to get it finished in time to enter it in Quiltcon's juried show but didn't finish it in time.  I did enter 2 quilts in Quiltcon but they were both rejected as were all my friends quilts who entered.  I know that's been a big deal on instagram and facebook so I'm not going to talk about it here.  Quiltcon and the MQG is still growing and changing and I think it's going to take them some time to catch up with their audience.

So anyway, my goal for January's A Lovely Year of Finishes is to finish quilting this quilt which I'm going to call "My Modern Voice".  This is one of my many UFO's in my big ol' box.

Hopefully, I can also finish the binding in January but I'm not going to make that part of my goal because I don't want to jinx myself with too many goals :)