Friday, May 30, 2014

2013 Saturday Sampler Finished Quilt Top

One of our local quilt shops does a free (sort of) block of the month program.  One Saturday out of every month, a bunch (over 100) of local quilters fill the classroom of the shop for Saturday Sampler.  The owner shows us some of her new merchandise, talks about upcoming classes and shows samples made for those classes, we have Show and Tell and then we all go shopping.  
There is always some kind of "sale" that is just for the Saturday Sampler crowd such as an extra percentage off clearance, a percentage off books or precuts, etc.  You get the idea.  It's a fun hour or so that everyone enjoys.  You pay $5 at the January meeting to join in on the BOM - the fabric is included in that cost.  So, technically, by the end of the year you will have (12) 12 inch quilt blocks that only cost $5.

The blocks are usually very traditional blocks as is the fabric chosen.  Sometimes I like the fabric and sometimes I don't.  When I don't, I change out what I don't like with something from my stash.
For the 2013 quilt, the fabrics were batiks and I used the muslin background fabric that was provided.

I finally finished up my quilt top from the 2013 Saturday Sampler blocks in April but I'm just now getting around to showing it.  I haven't quilted it yet so it is still in my UFO pile but I decided to give it to my FIL for Christmas and I'll need to get it quilted soon so that I'm not waiting until the last minute.

Inspired by the book - Vintage Quilt Revival, I wanted to arrange my blocks in an unusual way that would show them off but still be modern.  The arrangement that I had in my head didn't really work.  I think I just had trouble converting it from my head to my quilt.
(it was too tall to hang on my fence and my tall quilt holders weren't home)

The gray fabric surrounding the blocks is Kona Graphite.  I think it looks really masculine and I hope he likes it.  It measures 60 x 72 approximately.  I used white 50 wt. Aurifil thread to piece it.  I have a dark gray Aurifil #1246 that I was planning to use to quilt it because it blends well with the gray fabric.  There is so much negative space that's all gray and it kind of scares me to quilt it.  I'm not sure how I'm going to do it yet.  I think this will be the perfect snuggle size for him when he sits in his recliner and reads or watches TV and it was made with love - and fabric :)

And here are the four Saturday Sampler blocks that I have made so far this year.  I have the May block but I haven't made it yet.  I've been too busy working on my butterflies.
This year we were able to pick a category of fabric for our blocks - modern, batiks, or traditional/civil war.  I chose modern.  Also, for my background I am using Allison Glass' text in black.  I'm trying really hard to use the fabrics given to me but sometimes I just have to swap some out.  I think my idea of modern and the shop owners idea of modern are different.

That's all for now!  Have a great weekend!
**Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Butterfly Pattern - Paper Piecing - How to Separate Pattern Sections

Wow!  I can't believe that I've gotten so many nice posts about my butterflies.  Thank you all so much for your nice comments.  You've really made my day.

Several people have asked where I got the pattern.  It came from a book called 365 Foundation Quilt Blocks by Linda Causee.  I can't remember if I bought this book used from Half Price Books or if I got it new from Amazon.
 You can see that I have lots of pages marked with sticky notes.  How long will it take me to get through those plus all the other things on my to do list?  Lol

This author has lots of books out on paper piecing or foundation piecing (same thing).  Some of the patterns in the book above are really easy and some are harder - like the butterfly.  Well, not harder really, just more time consuming.

Here is my butterfly:
As you can see, all the parts are shown together.  It has 5 sections and you have to make a copy of the pattern you want and then cut each section apart.  Then I taped the sections to a piece of computer paper.
And then I drew the 1/4 inch seam allowances around each piece.  I have to draw my seam allowances or I will forget about them or mess them up in some way.

Once you have that done, you can make copies in any size you want.
It's not any harder to do the small patterns than it is to do the big ones.  It just uses little bitty pieces of fabric.  I save all my scraps from the larger butterflies to use on the smaller ones.  Some of the pieces are tiny but I wanted a detailed butterfly.  There are patterns out there with less detailed ones.

I've taken several paper piecing classes so that I could learn different ways of paper piecing.  I want to be able to do the easiest one - :)
I think my way is the easiest that I've seen so far although I didn't make it up or anything.  I learned in a class at a local quilt shop and she used a Carol Doak pattern of a heart to teach the class.  Our teacher was great and gave us lots of tips.  Ironically, she was not a quilter.  She just loved paper piecing and used her blocks in other ways.  She had a tiny pin on the day of the class - it was about 1.5 inches square of the American flag.  It was incredible how tiny it was.

Would anyone be interested in a paper piecing tutorial?  I think I'll try to get one going this week.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday SewJo - My Big WIP

Hi all!

I mentioned in my last post, 3 WEEKS ago, that I'm doing the Modern Quilt Guild fabric challenge.  I have been diligently working on my project for all of those weeks plus and even though I can see the fruits of my labor it still feels like I'm spinning my wheels.

I'm doing a paper piecing project that involves butterflies.  Butterflies with lots of pieces.  97 to be exact - per butterfly.  Each butterfly has 5 sections.

Anywho, here are some peaks at my finished works and my in progress ones too.  I'm hoping to get some work done this weekend but I don't seem to be able to accurately guess how much sewing time I'm going to have. LOL
I've been working on this project so much that I don't know if I'll finish my goal this month for ALYOF.  Ugg!

**Personal note - My rheumatologist increased the dosage for my chemotherapy drug that I'm taking for my Lupus and it has made me completely exhausted.  I mean sleep all day exhausted, have trouble staying awake on the 7 minute drive to my house after taking my son to school, exhausted.  Hence, my lack of blogging.  I have tons of stuff to share including a couple of tutorials but I just need the time - while I'm awake - to write it all down.  Good news though, I managed to stay awake most of this past week and went to the pool to exercise 3 times - YAY!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone!  And if you are in the military (or married to someone who is) or are a veteran, thank you so much for your service.  That includes military spouses and families who are also serving right along with their soldiers.

**Linking up to SewJo at My Go-Go Life!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May's Goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes - Dotty Circles

It's that time again.  Time to declare my monthly goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes challenge.  
As I mentioned in this post,  I decided to join the newcomers group in my quilt guild as they were doing a project called Completely Dotty which makes a paper pieced quilt.  I love paper piecing and the project teaches a new skill for me which is sewing circles.  I was excited to join the group and meet some of the ladies.  I've been in guild for a year and so far I've only gotten to know about 3 people and 1 of those I knew before I joined the guild.
So, we have our patterns now and each circle is broken down into 4 parts.  To make one circle, you would need to paper piece 4 parts of a circle.   We are suppose to paper piece all of our 1/4 circles that we will need to make our project before the June meeting.  I've decided to make placemats instead of a quilt.  Placemats are something that I can always use and I would love to have some really cute ones that I made myself.

 (This is a picture I found on Pinterest of the Dotty Placemats.  I'm giving credit to Sheri Mayo who I believe is the picture taker but I'm not sure.  Sorry!!)

My May goal is to make enough 1/4 circles to be able to make 6-8 placemats.  That means I need 24-32 quarter paper pieced circles by the end of the month.  I think I need to trim them and sew them into circles too so they are ready to go by the June meeting  but I'm not for sure about that.
So far I have 5.  Wish me luck!
And now for one more thing I'd like to share.  As a member of the Modern Quilt Guild (new member - see my sidebar button - yay!!), I was allowed to participate in the new fabric challenge that just started.  It is a Michael Miller fabric challenge.  We can make anything we'd like but we have to use at least some of the fabric sent to us and it has to be quilted.  We can also use any of our own Michael Miller fabrics or any solid prints.

I've decided to make a wall hanging.  I'm pretty excited about it and if I can pull it off, it will be spectacular!  Here are the fabrics we were sent to work with:
 I love them all.  They remind me of spring, except the gray one which reminds me of atoms.
Here are some of my solids that I've pulled to go with them.  I've also ordered a few to match.  Most of the solids will be Kona solids but some are Moda Bella that I've had for a while.  I'll post updates once I really get going on it.  I sooo excited!!
**Linking up with Fiber of all Sorts and Sew Many Ways**