Monday, May 28, 2018

Artisan Batiks & Grunge

I bought an Artisan Batik Charm Roll a couple of months ago, and found them to be a perfect match for a charm square pack of Grunge fabrics that I already had.  So, with no particular plan in mind, I sewed them all into blocks.

I have 4 of each of the 22 you see here, for a total of 88 blocks.  I have been playing with several layout options on EQ, but haven't made a final decision yet.

      • One large quilt, or two smaller ones...
      • With or without alternate blocks...
      • With or without sashing...
      • Straight set or on-point with setting triangles...
Hmmm...  decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Urban Oasis Companion Quilt

Wow, it's been a busy month since I last posted about my Urban Oasis quilt.  I have since completed two T-Shirt quilts for a client, but can't share them yet because they are a surprise gift for the recipient.  Don't want to spoil the surprise!

Then I put some leftover pieces from my One-Block Wonder quilt, Urban Oasis to good use.  I had just enough scraps left over to make seven additional hexagon blocks, and once I made them, I realized how perfectly they went with this hand-dyed background fabric.

I picked up a bundle of these hand dyed fabrics in various colors at MQX in Manchester NH a few years ago, and had been saving them for just the right project.  This was the one!

I see a dark, stormy sky in this quilt, so I named it "Midnight Storm at the Oasis", since it was made as a companion quilt to the original One-Block Wonder quilt called "Urban Oasis".  It is a small wall quilt and I chose to use a facing instead of a binding.

I mulled over several different quilting options (at least a dozen!) before I settled on this one.  And I'm so glad I did!  I love how the variegated King Tut thread (from Superior Threads) gives the illusion of rain over the entire quilt.  The lines are about 1/4" apart, and I stitched it on my Juki TL2010Q using a walking foot.

I am in love with the texture on this quilt!  This is the first time I've used King Tut thread, and I love the short color transition, compared to other variegated threads.  It changes color about every 1 1/2 inches or so.

So that's the end of my Oasis story.  I'm already moving forward on to more colorful quilts so stay tuned!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Urban Oasis - OBW is Done!

It's finally finished!

I started this One-Block-Wonder nine months ago, but other projects kept taking priority, so it kept getting set aside.  (Click here to see my previous posts about this quilt.)

The quilting took a LONG time, but I am so happy with how it turned out.  I quilted the center spiral on my Juki TL-2010 using the walking foot and Glide thread in white.

Then I switched over to my APQS George sit-down longarm machine and quilted continuous curves in the remaining hexagons and straight-line piano keys in the border, using So Fine #50 thread in gray - all ruler work, so it took many many hours.  Now I wish I had kept track of my time...

After auditioning about a dozen different binding fabric options, I finally decided on this aqua ombre.  I love how it repeats the light aqua colors in the center of the quilt and adds an extra little zing.

I used Quilter's Dream Green batting in this quilt for the first time.  I LOVE LOVE this batting!  It quilts like butter, lays flat and smooth, has just the right amount of loft, and does not crease or shrink.

I've always used cotton batting, but disliked the crease left when the quilt had been folded for any length of time.  Bye Bye fold-lines!  I think this will become my new go-to batting in the future.

Of course, there will still be occasions to use cotton, but it's nice to have a choice, based on the project.  OH!  And the other great thing about this batting is that it's made from recycled plastic bottles!  I know, plastic doesn't sound appealing, but it really feels wonderful!  Trust me!

 Instead of using a piece of the original Skyline fabric on the back or a border, as many quilters do, I decided to print an image of the fabric panel on my quilt label instead.

I named this quilt Urban Oasis because the original busy city skyline fabric magically morphs into a tranquil gazing pool in the finished quilt.  It still amazes me that the entire center section of the quilt is created from just one fabric.  It's a "Wonder"alright!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

OBW - progress update

It's taking me some time, but I'm slowly getting there.  The quilting on my One Block Wonder is progressing nicely, and I'm really happy with how this is looking.

Here's a shot of a small portion of the front...

and here's the back.

For batting in this quilt, I'm using Quilters Dream Green for the first time.  So far, I'm really impressed!  It feels wonderful and quilts great!  I'm a cotton lover, and typically use Quilters Dream Cotton in all my quilts, but since I quilt on a sit-down machine, I wrestle the quilt around ALOT and the cotton tends to shed on the quilt top, leaving fuzzies all over.  That's not really a problem, because I can clean them up with a lint-roller, but this Green batting doesn't seem to shed at all.  I really think I'm going to like this stuff!  And the fact that it's made from recycled plastic bottles is wonderful too - less trash in our landfills and oceans!  Win Win!

If you'd like to learn more about Quilters Dream Batting, click here.

Now I have to set this quilt aside for a bit while we go visit our grandson and soak up some southern sunshine for a week.  I'll post lots of pictures when it's done, probably mid-April, so be sure to check back.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

One Block Wonder - update

I pin-basted this last night so I can finally start quilting this baby!  I finished piecing this one months ago, but set it aside until I finished some other quilts on my list, so it's been patiently waiting for some attention.  I have a plan, and am so excited to work on this one!

Click here to read more about this quilt.

I found this backing fabric at Back Yard Quilter in Addison NY.  They have a great selection of Wide-Back fabrics.  This teal colored one is a perfect match to my border fabric!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Finished Quilt

This week I finished the Hexagon Quilt.  This is for my Daughter-in-law, and she picked out the fabric and pattern.  For details about both, click here for my previous post.

I quilted it with straight lines, roughly 1/2" apart, using my walking foot on my Juki domestic machine, using SoFine #50 thread in white.  The batting is Quilters Dream Orient.

I love the texture the closely spaced lines create, and just have to touch it every time I walk past.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Batik Love

As I look back on my previous blog posts, I noticed how many of my recent projects have involved batik fabrics.

The more I use them, the more I love them.

Some of the reasons are practical - because of the higher thread-count base fabric, they are crisp and flat and stable, so they finger-press very nicely.  I can get nice accurate results in my finished quilts.

The other reasons are more aesthetic.  The colors are just glorious, and the shading and prints are beautiful.  I feel like an artist when I'm creating with batiks and the batiks are my paints.

But it's more than that...

While I was pressing the fabrics for this latest set of batik placemats to list on Etsy, it hit me...

It's the smell!

Have you ever noticed the odor of hot pressed batiks?  When heated with an iron, the residual wax left in the fabric from the manufacturing process smells exactly like a new box of


It takes me back to my childhood and the thrill of opening a brand-new box of crayons.
One of my favorite things...