h1

40.0 Guild Challenge Quilt from Coloring book inspiration

June 19, 2016

Oy!

I took a few months off quilting to reset. Something about taking all my closet out, moving my ironing board and design wall, only having limited time to do outside tasks before blazing hot temps take hold – where we are now! – and family emergencies during another month, offset me from quilting until getting this challenge quilt ready for the June local guild meeting.

I’ve been a guild member since 2009, and this is the first “guild challenge quilt” I have participated in that we have had of this kind.

Ok, so we were given a challenge fabric and told, keep it small (about 2 feet), add one off white solid, add one other solid, and the rest is up to us.

challengefabric.jpg

So I purchased some variations of solid fabrics.

challenge quilt fabrics

I had a thought about recreating either a fabric design, or a notebook cover, or a coloring book I picked up a while ago.

coloring book inspiration

Between this and a frequently added Pintrest board of gradient colors, I decided to try to recreate the front design.

coloring book inspiration colored diagram

I drew a quick sketch, then one morning, I sat down with some rulers and circles, and drew out and then colored a design based off this colored pencil design. And proceeded to color it in.

colored sketch gradient challenge quilt

I drew the design actually on the heat and bond paper that gave me a “real life” feel of the size of each piece I was adding to the quilt design.

This design turned out very “arty” for my taste. I think I teased a portion of this somewhere else.

close up at drawing

I used the gradients of having several different colors of teal as the focus, and the little accent pieces of yellow, orange and pink to pop in and out of the piece.

Setting up the quilting part, I started looking at videos and how best to approach this. I was essentially setting up a large applique quilt, but have decided in many recent times that I feel like I have very little patience for handwork. I needed to do this quilt raw edge.

I remembered a video Leah Day did of a piecing applique quilt from several years ago.

If you don’t swing back to her video, I used the ideas of a few major concepts that later helped me with my quilt.

  1. Leah showed the upward direction on the back of her pieces so she could piece her quilt correctly again. This helped me get the right orientation.
  2. Leah had an outline behind her fabric she was pasting her quilt onto.
  3. Leah had flipped her design right to left to get the correct orientation on the front. This was something I should have remembered on my own, but actually did not.
  4. Leah suggested cutting and placing strips down on the quilt, line at a time. Which was a slow way, but it got me organizing my quilt in such a way, I didn’t get any part mixed up with any other part.

Ok so I flipped the design around and put the new flipped design on another piece of heat n bond paper. I also eliminated the very “darkest” teal. In matching it up in a line with the other pieces, it had the wrong tone. It was darker, but it had a little bit more brown or grey tinted into the fabric color that didn’t “pop” with the rest of the quilt color.

flipped over outline of piece on heat bond paper

Actually eliminating the one fabric made it easier. I had done a proof of concept piece, and as much as I liked the tweezers and setting the pieces down, I actually liked having slightly larger pieces in my finished piece. It makes it more likely to be done when this is all said and done if the pieces are a little larger.

proof of concept piece

The darkest teal in this piece above, I took out.

my key after ripping off fabric 5

Then I had one more challenge that I myself had created for myself. My original design was on heat N bond, which would mean that if I added pieces to my finished quilt and ironed them down, that I would heat n bond my “design” to the table.

Luckily, I had all the small quilts I have been free motion quilting during the month of March. I took a quilt sandwich of similar size, placed that on the table, and then took a piece of freezer paper, traced the outlines onto the freezer paper from my heat n bond design, then heated up the freezer paper “pattern” onto the back of the quilt sandwich as a barrier for the table.

I had traced the outlines of my design several times before really getting started on the fabric part of my quilt.

When everything was ready, I took some close up pictures of my design for reference.

close up of outline piece on heat bond

And once I had the whole quilt photographed, I carefully cut up the patterns out of the heat n bond paper, one strip at a time.

cut up heat bond pieces

It was so nice using solid fabrics for this quilt, I didn’t have to worry about right side and wrong side. I applied each piece of my template to a piece of numbered fabric. I tried to consider the raw edge quality of the quilt, and attempted to make the main line go along the grain of the fabric if possible.

heat bond pieces reassembled back

After applying the pattern to the fabric, I carefully cut the fabric around each piece, giving a little bit of a seam allowance to each side evenly. I was going to have to slightly overlap the pieces with the neighboring pieces. If each of these pieces didn’t match up with my original designed sizes, that was ok, as long as the overlaps made sense with the rest of the quilt.

heat bond pieces layout front

And here was another section cut out and then flipped over.

heat bond pieces long section

heat bond sections pieces long section front

And a different section that was meant to be “interrupted by another piece”. –  Shown from the back.

heat bond sections two sections assembled back

As I completed each section (slowly), I carried them over from my working space to my ironing board.

layout of several sections on ironing board

After cutting out to size all the sections of this quilt, I picked a section to start with, and using the (faint) outline on the freezer paper as a guideline for placement, got my section organized the way I wanted it. Then hit it with a hot iron.

gradient challenge first piece

The adding of each section became more and more fun. As long as I was paying attention to what goes under what piece, this quilt seemed to work out well. You may be able to see the faint outline under the off-white fabric.

I ended up using tweezers to help me place the “right” fabrics on front or on the back. For me, my general guideline was to have the lighter fabrics on the bottom, except in cases where that was an “alternating design”. I also tried to keep yellow on the bottom in places I would also be able to chose that too.

assembling the pieces raw edge and pattern

I originally had a different blue piece for the top corner that matches the “eye” I have on the right side. After doing all these pieces and strips on these smaller sections of lighter blues, I decided I wanted to add a little bit of color to the background. Adding even more of the quilt pieces to the quilt below.

assembling the pieces, more sections on fabric

In addition, I had a bright patterned yellow fabric that I tried to put into the quilt that would fit in the section next to the blue as part of a “sun” piece. Boy was it bright and distracting. I laid the cutout piece next to that section of the quilt, and it was too distracting. It felt like a “sun” part, but it just wasn’t working.

I did find a very light yellow and forgetting to flip the diagram over, I ended up placing the very very light back of that piece on the bottom right corner opposite my blue piece. It’s there, but hard to even notice, it’s so light.

And then I put the “front side” of the really light yellow to make sure I got a feeling of “offwhite” for the challenge portion of the quilt. It was a very lightly mottled tone-on-tone that fully reads as solid.

finished piece all heat and bond only

This is actually where I am with this quilt right now. It needs sewn down currently.

I did get it spray basted to a piece of batting and backing is the blue fabric in the “eye of the bird”. It reminds me of a bird with arms and a ball in his hand that trumpets out the front.

Sorta kinda but not really.

As I sew these pieces down, I will also quilt through the quilt sandwich at the same time. This will save me a step.

I was able to show off what I have finished to the guild on Tuesday, which was the “soft” due date for the quilt. We had quite a few people bring their challenge quilts to the guild meeting. Mine was not finished, but I was able to hold it up for all to see what I was working on, and to my knowledge, none of the pieces fell off in transport to or from the meeting.

This is going into our quilt show held on July 8th & 9th. Assuming I can actually sew it down & bind it in time. I may even use the challenge fabric in the binding!

Save

h1

39.9 The end of March-A-Long for another year

April 3, 2016

March A Long Sewing

Frequent/expectant blog readers may have noticed a lack of posting anything last week. This was against my initial intentions, putting off the post too long last weekend made the post unable to happen as I was whisked away from the land of internets for a good day and a half last weekend. Seriously, there are still places in the US that are internet unfriendly.

Anyway, I think the gentle rip from my original plans was enough last weekend to knock the wind out of my (quilting) sails.

Any event, I am here now, a week later, discussing the end of March, the end of March-A-Long, the end of 15 minutes sewing every day.

Thanks go out to all who started and didn’t stop, all who marched loudly the whole month long, all who marched silently, all who wrote hashtags, all who did not, all who posted on social media – this blog, the FB page, twitter, instagram etc.

Thanks go out to all who took just a little more moments to think about quilting on a more daily basis than what they were doing before.

Thanks for encouraging each other, thanks for encouraging me, thanks for going along with this silly experiment in daily self-discipline!

As I state in the audio file, I really liked having a different focus for the month than normal that was broad enough to encompass a lot of different types of tasks. By saying I was doing more free motion quilting, I was doing more basting, more image pinning, more video watching, more drawing lines on pictures, more drawing lines on fabric, more changing of my needle, more thread changes, more foot changes than I had done in the last 11 months!

Way to go everyone!

By the way, I recorded this on April 1st outside, many bird noises and then a train noise that I completely didn’t notice too much when recording.

20160320_114608

 

h1

39.8 March-A-Long end of week 3 – March 20 2016

March 20, 2016

Okay quilters, I hope you enjoyed #internationalquiltingday yesterday (that’s National Quilting day that is inclusive to all nations). Every year, the 3rd week of March on the Saturday there is more attention on this lovely quilting hobby of ours!

This ends our 3rd (out of 5) week of sewing for 15 minutes a day for the month of march. Getting used to sewing and thinking about sewing every day, even a little bit.

This week, we hear from a few people who have tagged their posts with #marchalong or #15minutesofsewing or something similar.

As always, if I forgot to add you, let me know, you could email me or post here or just tag your regular sewing with these hashtags and I’ll try to find them.

I’ve been busy with spray basting, unsewing, resewing, binding attachment, and quilting with heavy thread.

Before the black setting triangles were not added.

2016-03-20-04.48.54.jpg.jpeg

And I hadn’t added the binding on this small quilt.

2016-03-20-04.50.48.jpg.jpeg

And this little thing hadn’t been quilted or trimmed down.

2016-03-20-05.09.49.jpg.jpeg

Close up of the quilting

20160317_164014.jpg

And what a cool birthday present!? Great for a very active quilter!

20160317_145951.jpg

h1

39.7 March-A-Long 2016 end of second week

March 13, 2016

20160309_183917.jpgSo, it’s the end of week 2 and I personally have been successful at sewing / quilting for at least 15 minutes a day each day this week except for one when I was a little sick.

I have been quilting on a small quilt project, preparing the next quilt, taking apart even another quilt, and getting a lot of projects lined up with batting and/or backing.

20160313_134943.jpg

You all seem to have been busy as well!

Good job guys sewing for 15 minutes a day in March. If you haven’t done so, you can start NOW. Keep on keeping on!

 

h1

39.6 March-A-Long 2016 first week

March 6, 2016

2016-03-01-17.54.47.jpg.jpegI am testing out my Instagram skills this month to try to stay “on top of” pictures for the daily tasks of March-A-Long. March-A-Long is a commitment to sew/quilt/plan for 15 minutes daily during the month of March. As you can see above, this is the pieces of the new block of the month from Ula Lenz Stained Glass Ray of Hope quilt.

A lot of my personal time has been spent on Craftsy. Relearning Free Motion Quilting techniques & designs. I echo quilted the insides of this quilt, but not yet the outsides. Background fabric is too different, so I am going to decide what color works today for this small top.

2016-03-05-17.55.22.jpg.jpeg

If you’ve participated in sewing for 15 minutes a day in March, let me know! Glad to know I’m in such great company already!

Have a great week, and keep on getting those stitches in! Keep experimenting!

h1

39.5 Quilt Pile Up Post 2

March 1, 2016

I am writing up blog posts about my Quilty Goals in March. The first one is here.

I am working through specific goals for March to motivate me for the March-A-Long a 15 minute per day sewing promise to quilt daily.

On my goals, I have decided to focus (though you can’t hold me to this) on free motion quilting.

I have here some of the smaller quilts without backing that need to be matched up with scrap batting and backing before quilting.

small tops to back and quilt

So the quilts specifically, some of these have more deep stories, a few do not.

The first you may recognize from the post from yesterday. There are 2 quilts that are essentially just panels of some quilty rainbow pastel fabric. I have had all but the one edging (sticking up) done for months. I ran out of the same fabric, so finally decided to put a different white on white and call it good. These quilts are (will be) similar, but not identical twins.

pastel rainbow quilt no backing

The others have some significance (more) to me. This crazy looking quilt was inspired by my guild. We had nametags one day for a meeting where we were going to learn paper piecing (for people who didn’t already know). I had two blocks completed with wild colors and they kept staring at me undone. I decided to take the blocks, photocopy the back, that still had the paper piecing on them, and make a few more wild blocks for a mini quilt.

small bright scrappy nametag.jpg

The next quilt is a winding ways swap quilt. I went to my first or second retreat with the ladies who used to be known as so many swaps, and one lady was bringing her accuquilt with her, in addition to dies for the winding ways quilt block. We were instructed to bring batiks, and then we had cut them all the same with the accuquilt, and one day after supper, we swapped around the tables in a circle the same # of blocks as we donated.

I actually swapped 9 blocks, but I got tired of the quilt while piecing it this summer, so I decided to stop at 4. I don’t know right now if I kept the extra 5 blocks or not.

winding ways scrappy swap quilt.jpg

The next quilt is a leftover block from my Teal Cathedral Windows style quilt. A retreat 2 years ago I was considering doing red and teal prairie points around the edge to learn prairie points, but I got slightly mixed up along the way. I just like this little block how it is, I think I will quilt it and bind again in a red. Or maybe do striped binding.small cathedral teal.jpg

And lastly, I have the practice block from the disappearing shoo fly block.This mini quilt is 4 shoo fly blocks cut up down the middle horizontally and vertically, all with the same color of center block, twisted and then sewn back together. I picked “controlled scrappy” out of the colors I had already made (about 65 blocks).

small lightning block topWhat are your March-A-Long goals? Tell me in the comments here or on the March-A-Long page. This may be the end of the “premade blog posts for the week.” I think some of that depends on how interesting this week actually becomes!

Keep Marching A Long and keep experimenting!

Save

h1

39.4 Quilt Top Pile Up Post 1

February 29, 2016

The first half of 2015 was dedicated to the Regional Quilt Festival in KC. Getting specific tops done and then working on the binding and sleeves for those quilts in that show.

The second half of 2015 was dedicated to making scrappy quilts, working on new scrappy quilts inspired by items seen on Pinterest or other places.

Near the beginning of last year, before the show, I was focused on prepping lots of mini quilts for quilting on my small quilt machine to help me feel more comfortable at free motion quilting.

And then, the quilts all landed in a pile in the corner and were forgotten.

This March, I am going to start off with reviving as many of these tops as I can, in preparation for some free motion quilting on larger items.

Some I purchased, some are leftover blocks, or other creative mistakes or other things.

Here’s what I posted earlier this month in my March Goals post.

small tops to back and quilt

Larger Quilt tops to Back and Quilt

small basted quilts to quilt

I am wanting to organize my own Pinterest page with my updated pictures of my quilt tops, so you will be seeing some more individual pictures on flickr this week (lord willing)

This doesn’t include other tops like Gemini Sky, Hexadaisy Rings, Weave, the DNA quilt or the 1/3 quilted Samurai Sudoku quilt, not to mention several others that I may also have in a pile that I haven’t reached yet.

While each top has its own story, there is just too much on some of these quilts for their own separate blog post. And truly, some quilts have less of a story than others.

So this will discuss some of my quilt tops in a group. This post may not be in the order I actually work on the quilt tops, as I am writing these posts prior to the work during March (see March-A-Long for details if necessary), in preparation for what I am going to (hopefully) work on this month.

Today I am going to talk about the quilts farthest along – the basted/almost basted ones that I have 8 pictures above in the last group.

I have made several quilts and had either left over blocks, unused blocks, or just pieces that I wanted to keep as a small momento or to give away that remind me of other quilts.

These quilts are the following quilts:

The practice corners for my Dancing Ribbons Quilt.

blue four corner diamond

The red and white checkers from my Fans and Bows Quilt.

red and white checkered

Some of the leftover pieces from my Exothermic Wonders Quilt.

Orange and Black diamond

The practice green-on-green blocks that went with one of the first Twilter swaps (when we were part of Quiltcast Supergroup before we were Twilters). I had multicolored blocks I swapped instead, this quilt I purposefully cut into three sections so I could see how three quilts next to each other would look, I plan to quilt and bind each piece separately. This is also a “monochromatic” study of yellow greens and blue greens together in the same quilt. The strip on the right is meant for FMQ practice before quilting the part I want to keep.

tilted green

And the four quilts that mean a little less meaning to me. I have fond memories of a few of these, but they are not tied to any other quilt out there.

The green and black ombre quilt. I made this one with a piece of ombre fabric I purchased at fabric recycles. I cut diamonds and organized the quilt top and I didn’t have a great plan for it yet. Decided to baste as it is with black batting and green backing.

black and green ombre diamond

A winding ways applique I purchased at Fabric Recycles

fabric recycles winding ways practice

A four part baby quilt that someone made of just squares on point. I plan to do heavy FMQ on this one at this time.

fabric recycles baby quilt square practice

And finally the pastel panel that I cut up and sashed. This fabric was gifted to me as a member of our guild by a lady from our guild who designs several quilts and works for quilt market on various projects. I think the story is she had leftover fabric and we could do what we wanted with it, hoping that we would make things for the guild auction for the big quilt show last year.

small pastel rainbow circles

Wow this is a lot of small quilts! May take me all of March just for these! I have a feeling once i get going on one, the rest will be easier to start.

Don’t forget about intending to quilt in the month of March! See my last March-A-Long post for details.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 816 other followers