Monday, September 18, 2017

One for Quilts of Valor

In my quest to make good use of my stash, I made a quilt for Quilts of Valor. If you're not familiar with the organization - quilts are gifted to our Veterans. Obviously a small token of thanks from the quilting community.

The pattern is Lucky Stars by Terri Atkinson. I've made this one before and it's such an easy one to put together with stunning results.

We photographed the quilt on a beautiful Sunday morning at Greenville's minor league baseball team's stadium, Fluor Field.

Couldn't resist giving the Shoeless Joe Jackson statue a bit of a quilt drape...

The quilt is quilted with simple straight lines spaced at 1" intervals.

The backing came from my local quilt shop - on the sale rack! - and looks perfect with the diagonal stripe binding.

I'll deliver it on Thursday to our local Quilts of Valor group, so they can spread the love and admiration!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Slow Sewing

How about a WIP post today?

I've been working on some slow projects, and totally enjoying the pace.

Let's start with an English Paper Piecing project. I've tried English Paper Piecing in the past, but projects never stuck and I quickly lost interest. For some reason, I'm loving this one ~ the block, the planning, and the sewing.

The pattern is a free one, called Ice Cream Soda from Jodi at Tales of Cloth who I started following on Instagram. She sells kits with all the paper pieces, but since she lives in Australia, I decided to buy them from Paper Pieces here in the US.

It'll take some time, but I'm enjoying choosing the fabrics for each block.

This was a total spur of the moment decision! Brigitte from Zen Chic and Bernina are doing a Quilt Along for a Triangle Quilt. It's a triangle block of the month and I chose black and white, gray, bright blue, turquoise and coral fabrics from my stash to make the first block. A new block will be posted each month (the September one is up). I think I'll add some solid fabrics to keep it from getting too busy and figure it out as I go :)

I'm also working on the Magnolia Mystery from my friend Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs. It's been a really long time since I made a quilt with only 4 fabrics and it took me longer to pick out he fabrics than do the first 2 steps! Luckily I know the designer and was able to get some expert advice!

Do you remember the Rin QAL? My blocks are set together and the backgrounds are machine quilted. I even added the binding, but feel the appliqué needs some quilting.

I'm thinking of adding a bit of hand quilting to each block...

but have been procrastinating because I can't decide what hand quilting design to add.

Suggestions welcome! I'd love to get this one done!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Quilts for Kids!

My sewing projects have been all over the place recently!

I've joined in on the Magnolia Mystery Quilt with my friend Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs. I'm excited to try something a bit different from my norm and am enjoying the slow, monthly, one step at a time progress!

I belong to the Greenville Modern Quilt Guild and our philanthropy project for the past year has been making kids quilts. My goal this year has been to donate one small quilt a month, either one that I have on hand or a newly-made one using my stash.

I have two of those to share today...

Last month I donated this small quilt. I was made using the Improv Stripes tutorial from Debbie at A Quilter's Table. These blocks were fun, quick and easy!

Being me, I had to bring some order to the improv and cut my blocks up into strips to create my final quilt design. It's quilted with organic lines.

For the second quilt, I wanted to use up this letter fabric and I had a big enough piece for a backing. 

I made Cluck Cluck Sew Allison's quilt "Strip and Flip". It was another quick and easy little quilt and turned out so colorful!

Always feel good to send these off as comfort quilts for a child in need.

My book sale is continuing for one more week. I have a few left...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hexie Framed Quilt

Hexie Framed is a great pattern from Emily Dennis of Quilty Love...

It started with a bin of Heather Bailey fabrics that have been collecting (how does that happen?). Some of the pieces were rather small and perfect candidates for this quilt.

So I cut up just about everything I had in the bin and this is the result. A nice tribute to years of Heather Bailey fabric collections...

 I used Serpentine quilting and a stripe binding from Heather's collection "Nicey Jane". The back is a pretty aqua piece I scored on sale (not a HB).

For some reason I haven't been able to get a great picture of the quilt. It's much prettier in person (but aren't they all?)

Super happy that I can enjoy all these beautiful prints in one quilt!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Quarter Log Cabin Quilt

First, I'd like to thank you all for your comments on my post "how I'm reducing my fabric stash". I enjoyed getting your input and if you asked a question, I posted my reply in the post comments section.

As I mentioned, I made a Quarter Log Cabin quilt to use (and enjoy in a quilt) much of my Bonnie and Camille stash. This quilt is a quickie! And I couldn't be happier with it!

See below for the measurements of my block if you'd like them.

I love that I was able to incorporate a piece from every line from Ruby to Handmade...

I kept the quilting simple and did overall loops on the entire quilt...

 For a backing, I was able to piece some of the large-sized aqua fabrics from my stash and make an all-aqua back.

My blocks finished at 6" and I set them on point with 1" finished sashing. Here's a cutting diagram for the block - easy to pin or save. The block is constructed just like a normal Log Cabin except that you're adding strips to just 2 sides. You could easily make 12" blocks with borders around a center square, then cut it in quarters. I didn't do that because I had smaller scraps and didn't want any identical blocks.

Monday, July 17, 2017

How and Why I'm Reducing My Fabric Stash

I've been reading about Minimalism recently. Have you seen the documentary on Netflix?

Minimalism is defined by The Minimalists as a "tool to rid yourself of life's excess in favor of focusing on what's important - so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom."

It's not about living with nothing, it's about living with the things that bring you joy.

I spent the first half of this year "minimizing" my wardrobe. It created a closet full of clothing items that I'm happy to wear any day. My closet is less crowed and and choosing is super simple.

I started thinking about my fabric stash. It, too, was feeling crowded with pieces of fabric I felt so-so about. Don't get me wrong, I love my fabric and it brings me much creative happiness. But too much was feeling stifling.

That's the "why".

Here's the "how"...

I started by going through every piece of fabric I own and pulling out pieces I really didn't like, styles I seldom used and colors I rarely used. Those were sold on an Instagram Destash Sale or donated to my guild members for charity projects.

Next, I've made some scrap quilts. (This is how I do scrappy :) Coordinating pieces often by the same designer in collections I've stashed over the years. Below is a Quarter Log cabin block that I'm currently working on using Bonnie and Camille collections. It's a great block for destashing because it uses a lot of fabrics, both dark and light...

Here's another quilt in progress. I started with the leaf print by Leah Duncan and added coordinating prints from my stash...

My third current WIP is a collection of Heather Bailey fabrics, most of which have been used in earlier quilts. The quilt pattern is Hexie Framed and will use up just about every bit of my HB fabric.

Another scrappy quilt...
This is a small quilt made of sixty degree triangles that will be donated to my guild's charity project for kids.

And finally, I went through all of my multicolor print fabrics, many of which are left over from other projects and made Drawstring Bags using the pattern by Jenni Baker. I spent a few days and made about a dozen and have given all but these two away. Eventually they'll find good homes!

Don't think for one moment that I'm not buying any more fabric! I am trying to buy more methodically and thoughtfully. Realizing that just because a fabric print is beautiful, I don't have to have it. And it's not easy :) The nice thing is that today I can find almost anything I need and even have it delivered to my doorstep in a couple of days!

How about you? Do you love to have a huge stash or feel a bit overwhelmed by it?

I've been working on this for a few months, and although I haven't kept track yard by yard, I can definitely see a difference in my space. And that makes me happy!


Monday, July 10, 2017

Tangelo Quilt

I'm happy to have my Tangelo quilt finished! The pattern is from Carolyn Friedlander and is completely paper pieced. I had been putting off making this quilt because of all the paper piecing, but it turned out really fun to make and less time consuming than I anticipated.

I started with Flower Shop, a line from Cotton and Steel and added some additional C+S basics. The background is Moda Crossweave in black. I love the look of the Crossweave, but my sewing room and clothes were covered in black threads the entire time I was working on the quit.

For the quilting I used a simple back and forth design in the background and added straight lines with my free motion ruler foot in the triangles.

The backing is a favorite print from C+S and the binding is a solid aqua. I had trouble choosing a binding and am not totally thrilled with this one. It looks a little soft in color for the quilt. I've never taken off a binding and replaced it, but I'm considering it. Although I'm still not sure what might work better.

FYI - I use a paper piecing method that utilizes freezer paper for the foundation and doesn't require sewing your fabric to the paper. It's a great method especially when it comes time to remove the paper. There are tutorials online if you're interested.