Monday, May 22, 2017

Pop Star Quilt

Pop Star is a quilt I made last Fall when I won {rarely happens!} a fat quarter bundle of Garden Dreamer fabric by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery. I'd had the pattern from My Quilt Infatuation for some time, just waiting for the right fabric to come along.

The star blocks are big and really show off the pretty floral prints in the line...

I really wanted to quilt straight lines on the outer pieces of the star block, so I waited several months until I was able to get Bernina's new ruler foot {#72}. It was a good place to practice my straight lines using the ruler and although I have some wiggles, I'm pretty happy with the way the quilting turned out.

I could give you all kinds of tips on ruler quilting on a domestic machine, but my friend Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs already did a great post with tips. I purchased all the supplies she recommended and followed the guidelines she gave in this post: Five Tips for Successful Domestic Ruler Quilting.

The backing is a simple floral I found at my LQS on a Christmas sale and the binding is a navy Art Gallery stripe I had purchased earlier.

It's a quick and easy pattern! I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

RIN Quilt Along!

Today is the day we're kicking off our Rin Quilt Along! Hopefully you have your pattern and maybe selected some fabric. You want to be sure you have enough contrast between your appliqué fabric and the background fabric. Once you've taken the time to appliqué, you'll want to your design to really stand out.

Wednesdays will be our official RIN days and every Wednesday, Cheryl and I will be sharing a tip or our own progress on the quilt. Please share your progress on social media using the hashtag #RinAlong.

There are prizes for completing just one appliqué block (no need to have it quilted). To be eligible, simply email Cheryl or I a picture of your block by July 2nd. We'll be sharing all of them on both blogs for the parade on July 5th.

Winners will be randomly selected for one of four prizes!

Carolyn Friedlander is giving a fabric bundle to one winner (US only)

Aurifil Thread - Aurifil is giving away an 80 weight 10 spool thread set in Carolyn Friedlander colors. (US and International, no PO Boxes).

Cheryl is giving away 3 patterns of the winner's choice from her Etsy Shop. (US and International).

Yvonne from Quilting Jet Girl has joined in the Quilt Along and is generously giving away 2 pdf patterns from her Etsy Shop to one winner.

I will be giving away a signed copy of my book Simply Modern Christmas (US only).

If you've been on the fence, those are some pretty great prizes!

I first saw the Rin quilt on Instagram when Alex started hers. I'm happy to say that she shared some pictures with me, just in case you need a bit of inspiration! Thanks Alex!

Cheryl will be back next Wednesday with some tips on getting started - and folding :)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Spin Cycle Quilt

I'm excited that several of you are joining in the Rin Sew Along! I'll be back next week to announce the prizes for that!

I've just finished quilting a couple of WIPs that have been sitting since last year. The first one I started last October, so it feels good to have it done!

The pattern is Spin Cycle by Cluck Cluck Sew. I made a block for my friend, Jean, several years ago and have been wanting to make one for myself since.

I started with several pieces of "Playground" by Amy Simbaldi and then added some coordinating fabrics from my stash.

The background in the center of each block is a light gray from Architectures by Carolyn Friedlander. It's the tiny crosshatch that I find really useful - so glad they're continuing to print that one.

It's quilted in an overall swirl design...

For the backing and binding I went with Amy's new collections "Charleston" and "Les Petits". That check is just the perfect scale for a binding and printed on the bias. 

I have a fun weekend planned. Greenville MQG is bringing in Michelle Wilke for a workshop on Saturday and our city's annual Art Fair is also this weekend. Our pedestrian bridge is all decked out already!

Hope you have a great weekend and Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Announcing a Rin QAL!

I'm back today with some exciting news! (Be sure to read to the bottom for a discount) Cheryl Brickey from Meadow Mist Designs and I discovered a few months ago that we both wanted to make a Rin Quilt in 2017. And of course, we decided it would be fun to do together, but then, even more fun if some of you would join in!

Here's why I think you should join us:

  • Number One, it's a super cool, modern appliqué pattern by the amazing Carolyn Friedlander.
  • By quilting along with the rest of us, you'll be so motivated, I know you'll finish at least one block.
  • Even if you've never appliquéd before, it's a great pattern to start with and we'll be giving you tips and answering questions along the way. (This is Cheryl's first hand appliqué project!)
  • It's almost Summer and a great time to have a portable project.
Have I convinced you?
How about the fact that this one is slow, casual and low stress QAL. 
Okay, even better - there are prizes that we'll be announcing soon!

To be eligible for a prize, all you have to complete is one appliqué block. It doesn't even need to be quilted.

Our start official date is May 17th and we'll end on July 5th with a parade and prizes.

You have about 2 weeks to gather your supplies. Carolyn is offering a discount on the pattern for the QAL. Use the code RinQAL to get 20% off the Rin PDF pattern in Carolyn's Shop.

Please share your progress on social media using the hashtag #RinAlong

Hope you'll join us!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Colorway Quilt

Colorway is a Thimbleblossoms pattern and I thought it would make a good stash buster quilt!

I started out with a palette of black, gray and pink. After making a few blocks, I had to add some aqua. I think my blood must run aqua :)

For the backing, I had this great Tula Pink print and I love how the design mimics the pattern.

I quilted all of the "spokes" with a back and forth figure-eight pattern, but struggled with a quilting design for the background. Several attempts resulted in major seam ripper use and I ended up going with the basic stippling. It really turned out great. I find with a pattern where you're trying to get the background seams to "disappear", any type of custom motif just seems to emphasize the seams. Lesson learned!

It was a fun one to make and made a bit of a dent in the stash!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Swoon 16

At this point, I don't think I need to tell any of you about the Swoon pattern. It's been going strong for years! I've made two in the past, but was kind of excited when Camille released the version with a smaller 16" block. I really like this size better than the larger one.

One of my goals this year is to use more solids. I thought this would be the perfect pattern since it's on the traditional side, and using solids only would make it a bit more modern.

I tried, I really did, but couldn't go all solid. Instead I chose a solid and simple geometric print for each of the blocks. I couldn't be more pleased with the result.

I loved searching for two fabrics from my stash to make the blocks and couldn't wait to see how each would turn out. This made the block piecing go really quick!

I decided on simple, modern straight line quilting, spacing the lines 3/4" apart.

The quilt finishes at 74" square and it may be one of my favorites...

With the front being fairly simple, I decided to put a fun print on the back with a solid binding.

This is Sarah Watts' print from her Sleep Tight collection for Cotton and Steel. Very cute, isn't it?

Wondering if this will be my last Swoon quilt???

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

WIPs and Things

It's been a couple weeks since I've visited this space. I have nothing finished to share, so I thought I'd show you what I have been working on and a few things that I've found interesting!

I'm going on a retreat in a few weeks with the Greenville Modern Quilt Guild. I'm feeling super ambitious, and have cut out 3 projects to take along. These are all pulled from my stash and I'm hoping to come home with some starts for some pretty quilts.

First up is Canvas Lines. This is a new pattern by Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs. I'm making it in aqua, navy, gray and red. I think it will have a real Summery feel.

 Since it's just been released, Cheryl has Canvas Lines on sale until March 28th.

This may be the year of the Plus Quilt for me! I have an overflowing bin of low volume fabrics, so I decided to use them with saturated print fabrics and gray for these simple blocks. They're 10" finished and I've got 30 blocks cut out.

More Pluses! These are tiny ones that finish at 3". I've had this pattern for years and I'm finally getting to make it. It's called Squared Plus by Sandra of Make It Blossom.

Three quilts, cut and packed. It should keep me busy for 3 days :)

I've been slowly paper piecing this quilt: Tangelo by Carolyn Friedlander. I'm using Flower Shop from Cotton and Steel along with a Moda black Crossweave. Really enjoying the slow process.

And a few other things...

I recently watched the documentary "The True Cost" about fast fashion, the people who make our clothes and the impact it's having on the world. As sewers, would it help to be making more of our own clothes? And teaching our kids to do the same? If you've seen the movie, I'd love to hear your reactions. It's available on Netflix.

The movie also touches on the production of cotton and the amount of pesticides and chemicals used in the production. The availability of organic cotton is certainly a step in the right direction and companies like Cloud 9 are providing us with some beautiful options, even with recent alternate substrates. You can find some good information on their FAQ page.

Do you listen to podcasts? If not, they're great way to have some company and learn while sewing. These 3 are my favorite sewing related podcasts:

Abby from While She Naps

Stephanie from Modern Sewciety

Sandi from The Crafty Planner

And finally, have you ever wondered about thread weight? It always seems odd to me that the higher the number the thinner the thread. Well, I learned from a link in Abby Glassenberg's newsletter that thread weight is measured by length. Thread is labeled 40 weight when 40 kilometers weighs a kilogram. 30 weight thread is heavier thread because only 30 kilometers weighs a kilogram. There's a great explanation here. I feel better now that it makes sense to me!