Wednesday, 25 February 2015


I almost forgot to blog about this quilt, because I finished it last summer, and didn't gift it until last month.  My guild does a Fat Quarter exchange challenge.  We each put 4 (or more) FQ into a bag, with our names, and then draw someone elses bag of FQ's and have to make a finished project.

These are the fabrics that I drew
Pretty, right?  And fun, because I had never worked with reproduction fabrics before.  I knew right away what pattern I wanted to use--one of Wayne Kollinger's Tuxedo Park patterns, called Patricia.

It was perfect, because the owner of these fabrics, and now this quilt, is Patrica!   And, while she had given me these reproduction fabrics, everything I've ever seen her make in the past few years is much more modern and funky, and that's how I think of the Patricia Ribbons pattern--a funky looking double wedding ring.

The next step was to figure out if I had enough fabric for the rings (just), and to decide what to use for background.  I was surprised and thrilled to find out that a  solid background would be appropriate for use with these fabrics, because that also fit with my vision of a more modern looking quilt.

Before quilting....

I did modify the pattern a little, as I wanted a different size than the pattern showed.  I was very pleased with how it turned out.  I had thought the pattern would give me lots of fun shapes for quilting in the background, but when I started drawing, I found that the shapes weren't consistent (different inside the corner rings than the side rings), so I decided to make them consistent by quilting in the remainder of the tessellations.

 and then I played with a few different fills

 I also considered continuing the tessellations into the border, and drew it out a few times, but decided I wanted to keep them all within the rings. 

 Double batting to show the relief really well.

I had a lot of fun with this project.

Next years exchange is different, we are just to make a completed project and bring it for an exchange.  It is supposed to be something new or a challenge...I have an idea already. 


I finished up this table runner in December too.  This was a kit that I was gifted in an exchange in my guild.  I put off completing it for a while, as I wasn't too sure about the applique...look at all the fine cutting in the word family.  Scissors aren't really my friends.  Maybe it's a left handed thing--being that most scissors are for right handed use.

And then I saw a Brother ScanNCut at the Heritage Park quilt show last May.  It was being demoed and sold in the booth across the way from the Chinook Fabrics booth where I was helping to demo Innova longarm machines.    Very cool, scan in your image, scan in your fabric, feed in the fabric, and out comes the cut images.  WANT!  Except, I don't applique.   

Luckily, I know someone who has one that was willing to let me play for an afternoon, and I cut the applique for this table runner and for another quilt.

  I had a lot of fun with the fill around the family and leaves--changing it up when ever I wanted to do so.

 I'm sure glad my friend was willing to share, because I never would have gotten the edges so smooth with scissors.  I had actually considered doing the runner without the applique.

 and just some spirals in the blocks....

I'm not sure what the blogger platform was doing with my photos--first they all came in sideways, and now this one is upside down!  oh well. 

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Through the Woods--piecing as you quilt

I made these 3 table runners for Christmas gifts, from a single jelly roll, plus backing.  The jelly roll was Moda's Through the Woods, which I found to be nicely seasonal, without being overly Christmas-y, so the runners could be used until spring if the owners so desire.

I held out 9 strips for binding, used 21 strips to make the runners on the left and the right, and used another 11 strips to make the runner in the center.  I had originally thought I'd have to make the center one a little shorter, but there was one extra strip in my jelly roll!  So I have 1/2 strips left from that whole jelly roll.  No waste!

Some of my friends have been making "quilt as you go" projects, where the seams form the quilting as well, and the project is done very easily and quickly.  I liked the idea, but, of course, it was really just a vehicle for the decorative quilting that I love to do, so I renamed it "piece as you quilt".    Terri Watson has a really good tutorial for what she calls "One Fell Swoop" and that was where I first got the idea that you could piece on the longarm...of course, it has taken me a couple of years to follow through on that.

I did have someone ask how I did it, and I took lots of photos, so because Andrea asked, you all get to see how I did it.  What I did differently than I think others might do on their longarm, is that I started at the bottom, rather than the top, it just seemed that it would be easier to me.

you cannot see it in the photo below, but I stitched down the loose edge on the bottom piece before quilting it, so it was secured and couldn't shift

  I took photos as I worked my way up the quilt to the middle, so I'd have visual guides of what to quilt as I moved away from the middle again.  I had sorted my fabrics by color and print, and wanted to unify them by using the same quilting in the same positions.

 These two runners are identical except for the binding... I pieced this as one jelly roll across, and then cut them apart to the width I wanted before binding.  Each fabric is different, 21 different fabrics.
 And this is the 3rd one.  For this top I cut each jelly roll strip in 1/2 before I started, so this one has the same fabrics radiating out from the center, 11 different fabrics.
 On the back you can see all the 'seam lines' where I stitched the pieces together, and then the fun texture lines too.

This was a fun way to stitch up some Christmas presents. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

A Variety of Quilts

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, that placing more than one quilt on a backing can save on backing fabric and on quilting fees, as you don't need to leave the extra fabric for loading between each quilt, and the loading time is reduced. 

Colleen took this to heart and brought me 4 small quilts on one 108" long backing.

This first quilt was a row robin from Collen's guild, from years ago.  

I had wondered what to do in the borders around the green bits...I wanted to highlight them as I really like that detail, and my friend Nancy at Crazy Creek Creations, suggested the leaves.   I angled the piano keys to match the angles in the green details in the border as well.
 SID (stitch in the ditch) around and on the adorable applique, and then a variety of fills behind to make the applique pop. 

I like the wise looking owl.

Next up are these two Broken Dishes quilts, of which one is the reverse of the other.  Both get made at the same time.  Colleen wanted these quilted the same, and chose a simple cross-hatch.  She and 3 of her friends made these together, kits bought at Paducah.   I think it's good to have partners in your insanity.

 The cutting board gives you a good idea of scale...these pieces aren't big at all.

 I wanted the quilting to show, and to add some texture and dimension, so after some careful thought I used wool batting.  Careful thought, because I thought, as reproduction fabrics that the batting should be something that might have been used in those times, and so the first thought was cotton, but then I realized (with a doh/headslap) moment that wool would be used in antique quilts too.

 You can very easily see in the photo below the benefits of putting two quilts on the same backing...there's only about 1/2" between the quilts, which saves about 6-8" of backing fabric.

And the 4th quilt is another well aged quilt...Colleen's guild did a fabric swap, so each of the triangles is a unique fabric.  She said this one started out really big, all laid out on the floor,  but wound up very small, by the time all the seam allowances were taken.  
 The border fabric has some floral/leafy patterning to it, so I chose a leafy border.  And I wanted the quilting in the interior to highlight the diamond shape, differentiate between lights and darks,  but to also be very simple.   So, SID and straight line quilting achieved that. 
 What a great variety of fabrics. 

No trouble finding 5 photos today.  Thanks for looking.  I had fun with your quilts Colleen.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Blogging Again, Finally!

My goal on Tuesday was to write and post on my blog....and here it is, almost dinner time Thursday, such is my life.

This is a quilt of Ethel's that was quilted in December--or was it November?  Either way, she made this jelly roll quilt for a friend of hers.  It turned out lovely, and Ethel says her friend really appreciates the quilt, which is all we quilters really want, isn't it?

One of the on-line quilting groups to which I belong asks for a 5 picture minimum when showing quilt photos, so I made sure I found 5 photos to share...funny how the brain works.

 Hearts and flowers in the quilting.
 Ethel chose a cozy fireside fleece for the backing, and as well as being cozy and soft, it shows the quilting beautifully.
 Gorgeous batik fabrics!
Thanks for letting me play with your quilt Ethel!