Saturday, July 1, 2017

July do.Good Stitches blocks

I'm back on as quilter for the July block for the Emerge Circle of do.Good Stitches. Hip hip hooray! This month, we're gonna do something a little scary -- curves! Don't worry, it'll be okay. I promise.
We're going to be using the super fun Mod Melons pattern by Suzy Quilts (free pattern available here), but we're not making melons -- just fun quarter circles in this happy modern rainbow color palette inspired by Melody Miller's Fruit Gum print.
I'm asking my beemates to make four quarter circles, two using the combination of Templates 1 and 2 (so you get a melon with two rinds, top pic below) and two using just Template 3 (so you get a melon with one rind, bottom pic below). If you have the Fruit Gum print (teal background version only, please) and want to incorporate it, go for it. Otherwise, please pull from a coordinating selection of solids and/or small-print, tonal patterns (like the Carolyn Friedlander crosshatch and Cotton + Steel sprinkle prints I used) that read as mostly solid. For the background, please use a pure white solid (I used Moda Bella 98/Bleached White; Kona White or whites from other lines are also fine).
If you're nervous about curves, Suzy's video is really helpful. I followed her no-pin method and was happy with the quick, easy results. Finally, don't bother to trim your final blocks. I'll trim them all here when they arrive. Have fun!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Couch time

Back on Father's Day, I broke my ankle in a silly accident involving a slackline at our climbing gym. It was not fun. Thankfully, I avoided surgery and a hard cast, but I do get to sport this fashionable boot for six weeks, which means most of my sewing time has been relegated to the couch.
Thankfully, I like to hand sew. This week, I've been bouncing back and forth between my Texas embroidery project (pattern by Nydia Kehnle) and the Hesperides pillow I'm making as a sample for the needle-turn applique class I'm teaching at my LQS in a few weeks (pattern by Carolyn Friedlander).
While I'm definitely missing my machine (and the many, many projects I have lined up for it), I'll admit that the extra relaxation time on the couch has been nice. Ask me how I feel in a few weeks. ;)
I did squeeze in one little bitty (seriously, it's tiny) machine project, though it was related to the hand sewing. I finally put together one of the necklace pincushions from Carolyn Friedlander's Crew pattern. I got tired of sticking my needles in the arm of the couch (really never a good idea, let's be honest), and this little guy went together pretty fast. But let me tell you, 1/4" boxed corners are no fun. Smaller does not always equal easier. (For reference, those scissors -- my favorite Havel's embroidery scissors -- are about 3.5" long.)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ombré Popsicle Quilt: A finish!

This summer, I'm really trying to finish up some quilt tops that have been lingering for far too long, so expect to see several in the coming weeks, but for today, I wrapped up my Ombré Popsicle quilt! (Apparently, I'm on a bit of an ombré kick lately.)
As you may remember, I made this quilt top back in April as part of Simple Simon and Company's Modern Quilt Along. I was in charge of "solids" month, so I used the opportunity to try out a pattern I'd had in my head for a long time.
I chose an ombré of 12 spring-y solids for the popsicles (plus white for the background), which came together so quickly (I'm itching to try out a similar, less foodie design in another range of solids), but then the top lingered for a bit as other projects came up. Still, my goal was to finish the quilt for a family event my husband was attending last weekend, so I got back to it.
For the backing, I opted for a scrappy look using prints from my stash in coordinating colors. I have to admit, I pretty smitten with it. It's as happy as the front. Just look at those bicycles!
After debating scrappy and brightly colored binding options, I decided to go with this tan Add It Up print (the color is Rainy Day) from Cotton + Steel. It had enough color to create a border without screaming at you and worked really well with both the front and the back.
I kept the quilting simple, going with a diagonal crosshatch spaced about 3" apart. I used white Aurifil thread. The quilt finished at 50" x 62".
Matt's cousin (a young teen) loved it, so mark it as another quilting success.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Alternative ombrés

When I shared my new Ombré Star Table Runner tutorial a few days ago, I mentioned just a few of the ways you could easily change up the color scheme for any occasion. Today, I thought I'd show a few examples. First, let's think back to the original:
But perhaps you need something for spring or Easter:
Or how about fall?
Perhaps an everyday runner in an ombré of hues of your favorite color:
And, of course, there's always a happy rainbow:
What colors would you pick?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ombré Star Table Runner tutorial

Today, I'm over on the Havel's Sewing blog to share a new tutorial with you! Fourth of July is just around the corner, and my table was in need of some jazzing up. Just a few hours later, the Ombré Star Table Runner was born!
Click on over for all of the details on mine and how to make your own. Hope you like it!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

June do.Good Stitches blocks

For the June block for the Emerge Circle of do.Good Stitches, Allison took pity on our busy summer schedules and asked for a super simple block. So simple, in fact, that I managed to finish it on June 1, the very first day of the month. That never happens!
All she wanted was an off-center plus block made of 5" squares, with the plus in black and dark gray prints and the background in low-volume prints, plus a strip of four more low-volume squares. Done and done!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

QuiltCon 2017

Yes, yes, yes, QuiltCon was back in February, but I was sad that I'd never written a post about my lovely experience, and I wanted to make sure it got documented one way or another. This year's QuiltCon was in Savannah, which made for an exciting destination on top of the quilting fun. I spent my first afternoon wandering around downtown, taking in the beautiful architecture and enjoying some delicious sweet tea.
Fun hoop wall in the hallway outside one of the local fabric stores
Our hotel was on the opposite side of the channel from downtown, so we had to take a ferry back and forth. But just look at that view. The weather was absolutely gorgeous while we were there.
That night, I started off easy with an embroidery workshop with Alison Glass. She's just as lovely and laid back as you'd imagine, and it was a relaxing evening of hand sewing (and learning). We worked on a fun needlebook design, which I desperately need to get back to.
The next day started the first of two full days of classes with Carolyn Friedlander (I know, I'm a super fan). The first day was on precision paper piecing, basically an advanced paper piecing class that focused on how to fussy cut fabrics, make the most of really small pieces, and work with directional prints.
My finished blocks (another project I'd really like to get back to)
Carolyn's fun sample
The second day was a machine quilting class. I love Carolyn's style of quilting and was really jazzed to get some of her insight into how she plans out her quilting, as well as the nitty gritty of actually doing it. It had been quite a while since I'd done free-motion quilting, and I needed a kick in the butt (and a boost of confidence) to give it another shot. This class was just the ticket.
When I wasn't in class, I spent most of my time perusing the trade floor and quilt show. There were so many beautiful quilts on display this year, but I'll try to focus in on some of my favorites.
"Bling" by Katherine Jones (@twocatsquilts), the "best in show" winner, was insanely awesome. The pictures simply don't do it justice.
 It was fun to see the STLMQG's charity quilt hanging, too. Our guild put a lot of work into this baby.
 "Out of the Fog" by Rebecca Cronk (@rebeccacronk71)
 "Reflective Windows" by Rebecca Severt (@creativeblockquilts)
 (all labels clockwise from top left)
Bazaar Quilt by Tara Faughnan (@tarafaughnan)
Scattered by Jess Frost (@elvengardenquilts)
Window No. 1 by Melanie Tuazon (@melintheattic)
Drawn by Angela Walters (@angelafmq)
(Seriously, the quilting on those bottom two was so amazing in person.)
 Autumn is Wistful by Chawne Kimber (@cauchycomplete)
Warp and Weft by Cheryl Brickey (@meadowmistdesigns)
Octagon Shimmer Studio Stash by Jennifer Sampou (@jennifersampou)
Infused Plaid by Cassandra Beaver (@cassandra.beaver)
Cursive by Paige Alexander (@quiltedblooms)
Crossways by Karin Jordan (@karinjordanstudio)
For the Watchers and Dreamers by Kristin Shields (@kristinshields)
Inside Out by Sue Bleiweiss (@suebleiweiss)
 Land and Sea by Andrea Tsang Jackson (@3rdstoryworkshop) (really loved this one; her fabric choices were so money and better appreciated in person)
Pete and Repeat by Amy Struckmeyer (@formwork)
Still With Her by Liz Harvatine (@ladyharvatine)
Prism Waves I by Stefanie Satterwhite (@satterwhitequilts)
Made in GDR 26 by Emily Doane (@missemilytaylor)
Go North by Maritza Soto (@sotosewn)
Modern Stripes by Felicity Ronaghan (@felicityquilts)
Westshire by Julia Williams (@alchemytea)
I even gotten to spend a little time on my last morning doing some embroidery in the Cotton + Steel booth with Alexia Abegg herself. Yes, I'd say it was a lovely few days. Nashville 2019, I'm comin' at ya.