Thursday, 20 February 2014

Tea Time in Bali #6-Ethel's Brown Sugar

Ethel's Tea Time in Bali uses the Brown Sugar balipop.  Aren't the colors wonderful?

and an unquilted photo

I knew as soon as I saw this top that I was going to use Glide Aquamarine thread on it, then the next question was what to quilt.

I took inspiration from the florals in the fabrics of the quilt and in the borders...and quilted a variety of freehand flowers

 I love the borders on this quilt.  When I see the triple border, I often ask if Kim at Along Came Quilting helped with the border selection...the answer is usually yes :)  Kim does such a great job of pulling fabrics, and she loves borders.  Three borders is a lot of work, but it looks so great.

Monday, 17 February 2014

the Forever Quilt

It's finally finished!

And it took forever, so that's one of the reasons that this quilt is named "the Forever Quilt".  I pieced in May/June, started the quilting in October, continued in November...and the pulled it off the frame, and just got it finished now in February.

This quilt is from a Craftsy class, Machine Quilting with Templates, taught by Kim Brunner.  I highly recommend this class, and any class you can get from Kim Brunner.  She's a fantastic teacher.  The quilt pattern is from alyciaquilts, she does marvelous work with Quilts of Valor.
You may remember this quilt from a few earlier blogposts...first seen here and then more on my design choices.

So, after being disappointed in November with how adding the bubbles background competed with the 1/4" lines of the stars, I pondered for a while, and decided I wasn't picking anything out, as this is a "learning" quilt.  I knew the issue was scale, so I went back and basically meandered/scribbled near the star lines to fix that. 
Hooray, it worked.  the stars are defined again!

And so I continued, this time doing a tight meander near the stars before adding bubbles.

And then, because it's a learning quilt, I wanted to learn/improve different background fills, so I had fun in the different areas (and once again wished I had made a slightly different design choice, by bubbling in a smaller area, but that's just another lesson learned)

McTavishing... I added a row of tiny bubbles around the star rays in all of these background areas, again to make sure that those 1/4" lines were defined.



 Mussels--from Renae Haddadin--it was nice to have her new book to remind me of the designs learned in a class from Renae in 2011.

and E's and 3's

 And in the right lighting, even the border work shows!  (lesson:  to much work for a busy border print)

 I've always been thrilled with the diamonds in the green  border.
 The quilting shrunk the quilt by 2" in width and 2" in length.  So it is now 56"x78".  Quilters Dream wool batt.  SoFine thread, 15 bobbins.
And in the end, I am THRILLED with how it turned out.  
And I've even got the quilting showing on the back now too...I'm not sure why I picked this backing, well, I do know why...because of color, but I usually choose a much plainer backing and the quilting would have showed so much more...

I call this my forever quilt, because it took me 'forever' and because it's going to live with someone who has been a friend forever....and then I read of a show quilt, where the maker spent just about as much time just on the binding as I spent on the quilting of this quilt...I'm pretty sure I don't have the patience for show quilting, LOL.

And speaking of binding, and in keeping with the learning theme of this quilt,  I used a 'new to me' binding technique, the blog I saw it on called it "Susie's Magic Binding"
I usually use Ricky Tim's piped binding, or a traditional double-fold binding that is handsewn to the back.  Susie's Magic Binding, like the Ricky Tim's method, allows for the binding to be sewn entirely by machine, but uses less fabric than the Ricky Tims and the method is faster.  I'll have to use this method a few more times before I can say for sure which I like best,  but I certainly liked this.  Binding was probably the fastest part about this quilt :)  A few hours, from start to finish.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Catching Up on my Block(s) of the Month--Month 2 and 3

Month 2 of Tula Pink's 100 Modern Quilt Blocks from Along Came Quilting.

You can see the first month here.

The first 9 blocks of month 2, lovely fabrics, not quite as many pieces as month one...

This bottom center block reminds me of mountains.  Love it.

And the book to the 10th block this month...
 A large squirrel!  Yikes.  But, luckily, ACQ had kitted this with a lovely floral, phew.

And, according to the plan of getting each months blocks finished within the month, I got month 2's blocks done before Month 3 arrived---

maybe I was just a few days delayed in picking up my mail, but in my defense it was really really cold out
 These blocks went together quickly, not too many pieces in any one of them.  Love the 3D box....but wait, did you spot them....

Not one but two, yes TWO blocks with peacocks in them.  Try as I might I just couldn't fussy cut them out of this block above...

and I actually rather like the peacocks in this block, as they are very subtle and create a great pattern.  Love the colors in this block. 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Why to Measure and Pin Borders

Carole at My Carolina Home as done a wonderful photo tutorial on Understanding Why to Measure and Pin your Borders which is a great reference for anyone who sometimes thinks they might cut corners (but as Carole shows you actually grow your corners this way) and just sew and whack the borders on your quilt.  This makes for very friendly borders :)  It's always nice to know the reason why you do something a certain way, rather than just 'that's the way it's done'.

I've also linked this post into my Borders reference page, so it will be easily found if you want to reference it in the future.

And, because every post needs at least one picture...

I've finished the quilting on my 'forever' quilt (because it feels like that's about how long it took to quilt it...started the quilting in October, and loaded it back on last week, finished it today).

Here's a 'still in progress' shot as I was adding the background fills last week,

I'll post more photos once I've got it trimmed and bound...this quilt has been a learning quilt all along, as it was based on a Craftsy templates class by Kim Brunner, and I've also used it to practice some new-to-me fills.  AND, I'm going to use a new to me binding method too.  But I digress, more on that in a future post.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


Chopsticks--by Colleen.  This is the quilt she made for the FQ challenge for our guild.  She received 6 FQ (the rules say 4, but you can put more in if you want) in her dental bag, and added 6 more FQ of the same fabrics and the black solid.

The pattern is a Jaybird Quilts pattern, and originally has 12" triangles, but Colleen reduced hers to about 2/3.  Anything smaller and the small black lines get too small.  Colleen wound up with a lovely lap sized quilt to gift to Joanne.

 Angela Walters does a lot of the quilting for Julie Herman's patterns, and I took some inspiration from the class I took from Angela at MQX West for the quilting of this quilt. 
 The patterned triangles got different swirly patterns.
 The fun part was when we did the exchange, Joanne matched her new quilt..she was wearing this shade of blue and black. Both she and the quilt looked lovely.
 and I just loved how the black triangles turned out
 A cozy black minkee on the back shows the quilting beautifully.
 So Fine Charcoal thread for everything but the yellow fabric, a SoFine Straw for that one.  Hobbs 80/20 batting.

Now the black looks blacker LOL.

I'm going to borrow this pattern, someday.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Puddles--My FQ Challenge Quilt

I got a few inquiries from my readers (and it's nice to know someone reads this) after my post on the Addison's Star I had made for our guild fat quarter challenge, as to what I had received in exchange.  (the short story is you put 4 FQ in a dental bag with your name, pull out another bag with a friends FQ's and you have to create a finished project for that person)

I put in a floral fabric and 3 solids...and this is what I got back in exchange.

 Lori drew my fabrics, and she made this wallhanging called Puddles.  My fabrics were the floral border, the light blue, dark charcoal/black and the rust. 
 It's hard to see in the photos, but Lori quilted around the details in the border fabric, adding nice texture relief to them.  That's something I find hard to do, so I'm glad she did it for me.  She also added a flange, again, a quilt feature that can be a little trickier to deal with on the longarm, so another nice touch.
 And she quilted some flowers...look at the great backing that goes with the flowers

 Thank you Lori.  I knew EXACTLY where it would go when I saw it...

Doesn't it look perfect with my Innova longarm?  The hanging I had there before was too small for the space, this is perfect.

I'm playing again this was a tough decision at the fabric store. I had 4 lovely shot cottons in my hands, but then Colleen pointed out the Downton Abbey fabrics, and I'd been wanting to do something with some of this is what came home with me...and into my dental bag for swapping
My favourite is the fabric on the right.  

And I got some beautiful fabrics to play with too, but I cannot show them yet, you'll have to wait until next January.