Thursday, September 18, 2014

Braid Quilt Update

The Friendship Braid quilt is all pieced and ready to deliver to the longarm quilter.  I love how this quilt has turned out and can't wait to share it with you after it's quilted!  It's such a happy, colorful quilt.  I put a narrow blue border around the outside edge, mainly to stabilize all those bias edges, but like the look as well.  It frames the braids nicely.
 My client selected this bright golden yellow polka dot fabric for the back.
Then, as an afterthought, she asked me if I could do two quilted pillow shams to go with her new bed quilt.  Lucky, because I had just enough leftover pieces to do just that!

I quilted these myself, with four rows of zig zag stitching down the center of each braid, then stitched some straight rows in the blue background fabric.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Braid Quilt Progress

Two braids done - Eight more to go... 

The scrappy colors in this quilt are so fun and cheery!  I'm glad I took the extra time to cut each piece precisely first, because my strips are coming out nice and straight with no trimming needed.  Instead of placing each strip going the same direction, as in a traditional friendship braid layout, I think I'll reverse every other strip like this.  I like the look of the extended zig zag, especially in a quilt as large as this queen-sized one will be.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tasting Table Tuesday, Friendship Braid

I have a new project on my Tasting Table today.  A customer has asked me to make a Queen-Sized Friendship Braid quilt.  As you can see, I've been busy cutting, and cutting, and cutting some more...
Many of the fabrics were supplied by my customer, and I've supplemented them with many from my own stash as well.  There are 720 pieces in all - 360 lefts and 360 rights.  That's a lot of cutting!
I prefer to cut all my pieces to the exact size needed, including nipping off the little dog ear points, as opposed to trimming the strips down after each braided row is sewn.
That keeps my work more precise and hopefully my braids will be straight, not wonky.  It's my first Friendship Braid quilt, so we'll see how my theory works once I start sewing.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Fabric Stretching

No, I'm not literally "stretching" cotton quilting fabric, but I am certainly stretching the number of projects I can get out of it!  I finally broke down and bought the "Color Collection" fabrics that I've been dreaming about for weeks.  I didn't have a plan yet, but had several ideas rolling around for things I could do with this group.  So I bought a quarter yard of each of the thirty fabrics.

The ideas followed quickly thereafter, but which to make first?  So I cut for them all!  First, I cut a 2 1/2" strip from each piece, so right off the bat I have a jelly roll!  Not sure what I'm going to do with them yet, but I'm sure I'll come up with something...

Next, I cut everything I needed to make the quilt shown in this EQ7 drawing in the background of this picture (and made all the half-square triangles it requires).

The next quilt on the list was a pinwheel quilt from a pattern by Karen Montgomery called Milky Way, using her new Creative Grids ruler.  I know I should have finished my first quilt, but I'm easily distracted... :)
 I made it smaller than the pattern called for, to accomodate the 30 fabrics I had to work with.  I chose to use two fabrics in each pinwheel.  I like the effect it gives.  The background fabric is an ecru-colored fabric  by Timeless Treasures.  I just love the movement the subtle swirls and spirals give to the quilt!

(This quilt will be living at Needles Quilt Shop for a while, as a shop sample.)

And wait - there's more!  I still had fabric left, so I cut the smaller pieces into more 2 1/2" strips and 1 1/2" strips of various lengths.  These will go into the little baskets of strips I use for my mosaic quilts and log cabin blocks.

That still left me with a good-sized rectangle of each fabric, probably about 6" x 8", that will get added to my scrap bin.  I'm sure I'll find a use for them too!
Did I mention that I LOVE COLOR!


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tasting Table Tuesday - Cancer Quilts

Our local quilt guild is having their bi-annual Quilt Show next month, and one of the quilt categories this year is "Colors of Cancer".  These are little quilts, no bigger than 9"x12", and they will be offered for sale during the show, with the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.  Here are the two quilts that I am donating.  Pink for Breast Cancer, and Blue for Colon Cancer.

These are made up of 1" squares (no duplicates, except the white around the edges), and I quilted it with a 1/2" grid, going both directions.  These little quilts are so fun and quick to make!

This is a great opportunity to make a donation to cancer research, either by making a quilt to sell, or purchasing one of them at the exhibit.  If you want to check out the show, here are the details...  Mark your calendars!

Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild Exhibit 2014

The MLQG Exhibit 2014 will be on display at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center in Wellsboro, PA -- September 6-28, 2014 (open 2:00-5:00PM daily, free admission).
Gala opening reception, Friday September 5, 2014 7:00-9:00PM.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Back to Reality

No sewing these days, because we just returned from our first-ever beach vacation!  We did a family vacation this year, and with two 3-year-old grandchildren, the beach was an ideal destination.  We rented this lovely home in Ocean Isle Beach, NC.  It was perfect!

I took lots of pictures, of course, but with all the blowing sand and salt air, the lens on my camera has frozen up and stuck shut.  Fortunately I was able to view my pictures and download them onto my computer, but I can't take any more.  Guess I'll just have to start shopping for a new one.  :)

I've been using a Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H55 Pocket Camera, and have been very happy with it, but I'd like to step up to a DSLR if I can find one that's not overly expensive, so if anyone has any suggestions of what to shop for, I'd love to hear about it!  What camera do you use?

Since I don't have any sewing projects to share with you today, here are some of my favorite vacation pictures instead.


Now I need to spend some time at my sewing machine this week and get some work done!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tasting Table Tuesday - Urban Runner

Have you tried the Quick Curve Ruler yet?  I've been following Sew Kind of Wonderful for quite some time now and I just love the quilts that Jenny Pedigo makes with this ruler.  (Her style of quilting is pretty amazing also!!!)  My daughter-in-law gave me an Etsy gift card for my birthday this year, so I used it to buy this ruler.  It's been on my wish list for ages.

The ruler comes with the Urban Runner Pattern included, so I decided that was a good place to start.  It's a small enough project to give the ruler a try and see how it goes.  I love how this turned out!  I used some Kona solids that were in my stash, and I have a grey & white tiny daisy print to use for the binding.
The piecing went pretty well.  A couple of my seams don't quite match perfectly, but close enough...  I used basting spray to baste this table runner, since it's not too big. 
I tried some new quilting designs this time, a little more on the modern side - still fairly simple, but more than just my typical straight lines.  I used my walking foot to echo the curves on the green and blue, using a variegated green thread.  I believe it's called Fantastico by Superior.  It was a free sample I got at MQX and it was just right for this project.

Then I used gray Sew Fine and free-motion quilted a ribbon candy design in the center of each chain, did straight horizontal lines around the outside, and curved cross-hatching down the very center of the runner.  I used a curved ruler for the cross-hatching.

It was dusk when I took these pictures, so they're not the best, but here's a shot of the back, just to give you a better idea of the quilting.
Binding is next...  then it's off to live at my local quilt shop for a while.  Tracy just started carrying these rulers, so she's going to borrow it to use as a sample for a little while.
If you want to learn more about this ruler and how to use it, there are three great videos on the Sew Kind of Wonderful website that teach you everything you need to know.  Check it out!