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!

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.