Friday, September 28, 2018

Rainbow Corona - Starstruck Challenge for Island Batik

Yes, it's time for another Island Batik challenge!  One of the perks of being an Ambassador is getting to make a project each month with the wonderful fabrics they provide. I really do love the challenge of coming up with a project for the them we are challenged with.  I feel like it stretches my creativity immensely.

This months challenge was to create any size quilt with a star on it.  I love stars, so it wasn't too hard to come up with an idea, but it was a little difficult to squeeze in the time to work on my project.  But I did manage to set aside last weekend and come up with a nice quilt.

I broke out the Paisley dot stack, and paired it with a half yard of my current favorite color - Blueberry!
I went with the top one for my background and the bottom one for the binding.
I picked out pairs of fabric and a bit of yellow for my stars.  Can you tell how small these pieces are?  I decided to make this project a mini quilt.  I decided to give the Aurifil 80 wt thread a try for machine piecing, it worked great for quilting my last mini, so I thought it might be a winner for the piecing as well.

Each of these little units only measures 1 1/2 inches after trimming the dog ears.  So cute!

I had originally planned to add a dark border, but when I tried this fabric, I loved the way the colors echo the stars!  I think this is TieDye in the Paisley Dot line.  I managed to get enough out of a 10 inch square for the borders, and have a bit left over.

One of the best things about mini quilts is....it doesn't take much time to quilt them!  I did a little stitch in the ditch in the stars, loops in the background, then swirls in the border.  I used both 80 wt and 50 wt threads from Aurifil for the quilting, and a scrap of Hobbs wool for the batting. 

Close up of the back.  Aurifil 80 wt worked perfectly in the bobbin. 

I love it with this cute bowl I found in a shop at the mall earlier this month.
I really am happy with that pop of yellow, and I'm glad I only used it for the inner part of the blocks. 

Rainbow Corona measures 11 inches square.  Now to put a hanging sleeve on it and figure out where I want to hang it! 

Have you ever made a mini?  I really enjoy making and collecting them. Right now I am putting sleeves on all of my mini quilts so I can hang them properly instead of sticking pins in the corners.  I'll have to post a picture when I get that project finished. 

Have a terrific Saturday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Final Block for the Christmas All Year Block of the Month

Can you believe that three months from today is Christmas?  I sure can't, but I'm excited to have 9 blocks finished for a Christmas quilt that I will actually be able to finish before Christmas!  Yahoo!

Today's block - ready or not:  Corn and Beans



This block features lots of half square triangles, and the piecing order is a little unusual due to those large half square triangles in the center and corners.  The easiest way to make this block is to make it in quarters, two with red triangles and two with background triangles, then sew them together to finish the block.

First of all you'll need to download the pattern so you'll have measurements for all the cutting:


Next, get all your triangles cut out.  They filled up my design board!
I found it easier to make one quarter at a time so the triangles wouldn't get mixed up.  First sew three dark green and background triangles together.  Make sure to trim up those dog ears that hang off the sides as you go!  As far as pressing the seams, you may want to press them open.  I decided to press them toward the darker side on the first ones, then toward the added triangles as I went.

Sew a light green triangle to two of the dark green triangles.  Then sew a red triangle to the background triangles so that one unit has both and each of the others has just one.
Sew the three triangle sections together to make a long diamond shaped piece with green on one side and red on the other.  


Then sew the light green and red large triangles to each side to complete one quarter of your block.


Make one more quarter like this, and one quarter using your large background triangles instead of red.  Each quarter should measure 6 1/2 inches.  Make sure you trim off those dog ears for a nice clean block.
Sew the four quarters together to get your finished block.  Take care to match up the points and it will look great!

Now, for a caution!  Don't get mixed up like I did - I added the light green and red triangles to the wrong side of three of my quarters.  I spent a good amount of time ripping out all of my work to make it right!  Make sure you pay attention as you go!

Hope you enjoy making this last block.  Next month I'll show you how to set the blocks in sashing and add a border to make a nice quilt top - and then we can work on getting them quilted! 

Thanks for sewing along with me!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I can't believe it's that time of year again, the Blogger's Quilt Festival!  It seems to always sneak up on me, maybe because of my local quilt guild show. Thanks for joining me - I've got a fun quilt to share this year.  I'm going to show you the quilt that I just entered at my local show.  I don't really have a name for this quilt.  I've just been calling it my Retro Wild quilt because the fabrics look retro to me and they are definitely wild.
This is what happens when you take a crazy wild bunch of fabric that you purchased at a super cheap red tag clearance sale and make it into a sample quilt because you are teaching a class and need something to show your students as examples of the techniques!  They all loved the colors and blocks so much, that I decided to go ahead and make the whole quilt.   I wasn't sure about using that crazy wriggly stripe in the sashing, but it worked.  And another stripe in the border just to finish it off.

I've had the top pieced for several years, and even had the backing picked out.  I got it basted earlier this year, but it just ended up sitting and waiting for it's turn to be finished.  I decided to enter it in my guild show so that I would finally quilt it, but when I got sick with that nasty bug in August I forgot about it again.  Then, I got my registration card for the quilt show two weeks ago and realized that I needed to quilt this NOW.
First I did a stitch in the ditch around all the blocks and sashing, then I just got started quilting.  I picked out a range of Aurifil thread in colors to match, and quilted each block whatever design came to mind at the time.
I spotted an OOPS after I got started, but decided to leave it in.  Can you spot it?

I got the quilt finished in time to hang in the show, so I was really happy.  Next year I am only entering quilts that are 100% finished!

Love the polka dot back!  It was fun to try a bunch of different free motion designs.  I have two more tops made from the same pattern (Quilter's Primer).  One I plan to hand quilt.  The last one I will probably machine quilt, but I will have to think about how I want to quilt it. Maybe I can get that one done for next year!

Thanks for taking a look at my quilt - I didn't win a blue ribbon, but I am still super happy with how it came out.

Make sure you go visit Amy's Creative Side to see lots of fun quilts!  Enter a quilt of your own, too - the more the merrier!  Plus that, she's got lots of prizes and you could win one - that's always fun!

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Crossing the Finish Line!

I am very happy to report a couple of finishes!  I got my queen size quilt finished and ready for the quilt show.  I don't have the room right now to get a good picture of it, so I'll share that later, when I can get a picture of it hanging at the quilt show.  I am hoping for a ribbon on it, but we will see.  I am very happy with the quilting and it's good to have this one done! 

The second finish is a big one for me - it's the most complicated pattern I've written, and I am very happy with the results. 

This is Fancy Feathers.  I've made this quilt several times in a different color scheme for a customer who gave them as retirement gifts and submitted it to Island batik last year as a possible pattern and display for their catalog.  I was very happy to have it accepted, and even got to visit it in their booth at quilt market in Portland!

  Making the sample quilt was definitely the easy part.  The next step was to get it written up as a pattern.  That has taken me longer than I thought it would, but I am very happy with the results!

My pattern can be purchased wholesale through Island Batik, or directly through me.  It can also be purchased as a pdf download in my Etsy shop, or through Craftsy.  If making a feathered star quilt is on your bucket list, this is a great way to do it.  No inset pieces to deal with for my version, instead my instructions use an easy partial seam technique.  You will be amazed at how well it works!

Now, it's time to jet into the busy weekend - tomorrow we set up for our annual guild quilt show.  Saturday I work at the shop booth all day, then Sunday I do a demo on miniature quilts.  I have a feeling that I'll need a day or two to recover from all this fun!  I'll try to take lots of pictures, and who knows, I might even go live on my facebook page to show you some of the excitement :)


Monday, September 10, 2018

Monday Motivation - Integrity

I was reading today that who we are in our everyday lives will be who we are when pressure is put to bear on us.  Our character is not going to change when our circumstances change and if we want to build a certain characteristic in our lives it has to be a daily choice, not just something we think about and wish for.

It was difficult to find a quote to express this thought, and when I saw this one, I thought it was just perfect! 

I hope that through this blog I express myself as I really am.  I hope that you see me not as a person who feels like she knows it all, but as a person who loves what she does and wants to share what she has learned with others. 

I don't want to be braggy.  I want to share my successes and joys because I want all of you to know that YOU can do this!  It makes me feel great to encourage you to work and practice and succeed.  I love it when you can get those points to match up when you want them to.  Or when you get brave and try a different color scheme.  And most of all when you just connect with my random thoughts and are encouraged by my words, and take time to encourage me as well!  Blessings to you all!

Congrats to Melody, Lisa, and Linda for winning one of the sets of 5 inch squares I gave away for the Great Outdoors Blog Hop!  You will love these beautiful Island Batik fabrics!

 This week I am working away finishing up that quilt for the guild show.  I think I have the blocks mostly finished and spent my evening last night burying threads!  I also have most of the sashing and border quilted and hope to get those finished up today.  Then I just need to bind it and add a hanging sleeve.  I have a couple of smaller quilts that need sleeves as well, so I think I am in good shape to get these projects delivered on Friday morning. 

Then the fun and work of setting up the show, as well as a booth for Threads That Bind will begin!  For the shop, we decided to focus on brand new items and samples, so we are all busy as beavers getting those done as well.  I have a couple of samples that are in progress for that.  So another busy week, as usual!  I had better get to it!

Friday, September 07, 2018

Quilt Guild Night!

Last night was our first meeting of the year - our new president had to deal with quite the glitch.  We meet in a local church, and are usually able to hold our meetings in their fellowship room.  Well, last night night someone goofed and we had to meet in the sanctuary!  We weren't able to use our sound system so everyone had to talk good and loud, so it was difficult for our new president.  I made it through Quilt Block of the Month, and had a good response, so I hope lots of people will do the blocks!

I'm still working on getting my quilt finished - only one week till the show!
I am close to halfway done with the blocks, so hope to get those all done by the end of the weekend.  I've had this basted for a while, so I really am glad to be getting it done finally.  I'm getting excited about the quit show next weekend.  It will be a lot of work, but always is so much fun.

Linking up with Myra for Finished or Not Friday!  Come join in and show us what you are working on this week!

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Beginnings and Endings...

This must be the season for blog hops!  As the Island Batik Great Outdoors blog hop ends, the My Happy Place Row Along begins - so the fun continues with more blog posts, more giveaways, and free row patterns.

First of all, The Great Outdoors Blog Hop from Island Batik.  Here is the list of participants one more time - some of the giveaways are already over, but some are still ongoing, so make sure to enter where you can!  Ask for your favorite fabrics at your local quilt shop, too!

Monday, August 6 - All A Flutter - Yellow Cat Quilt Designs, Creative Blonde
Tuesday, August 7 - Birds N’ Bees - Ark Angel Creations, Patterns By Jen
Wednesday, August 8 - Canterbury Manor - Sally Manke, Powered By Quilting
Thursday, August 9 - Eclectic Garden - Desert Bloom Quilting, Sew Karen-ly Created
Friday, August 10 - Vintage Morris - MooseStash Quilting, Devoted Quilter

Monday, August 13 - Safari - Sew Incredibly Crazy, SweetGrass Designs
Tuesday, August 14 - Spring Blossoms - Mary Mack Made Mine, If These Threads Could Talk
Wednesday, August 15 - Victoria and Albert - Bejeweled Quilts, Clever Chameleon
Thursday, August 16 - Wild Things - Freemotion By The River, Kauffman Designs
Friday, August 17 - Petting Zoo - Den Syende Himmel, Sarah Goer Quilts

Monday, August 20 - Ocean Odyssey - Gateway Quilts, The Quilt Rambler
Tuesday, August 21 - British Rose - Busy Hands Quilts, Mania for Quilts
Wednesday, August 22 - Dear William - The Inquiring Quilter, MMM Quilts, Living Water Quilter
Thursday, August 23 - Dragonfly Dreams - Inchworm Fabrics, BeaQuilter
Friday, August 24 - Fur-ocious Friends - Quilting Affection Designs, Dizzy Quilter
Monday, August 27 - Globetrotter - Pamela Quilts, Curliecue Creations
Tuesday, August 28 - Jungle Cruise - Vicki's Crafts and Quilting, Little Bunny Quilts
Wednesday, August 29 - Lavendula - Carole Lyles Shaw, Masterpiece Quilting
Thursday, August 30 - London Calling - Quilt in a Not-Shell, Lizard Creek Quilting
Friday, August 31 - Spirit Rhythm - Steph Jacobson, Whispers of Yore
Monday, September 3 - Sweet Tweets - Kathleen McMusing, Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Tuesday, September 4 - Whatnot - heARTS Creations, Slice of Pi Quilts

And now for the My Happy Place Row Along!

This Row Along is on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next several weeks. There are lots of wonderful prizes, and each blogger has designed a row pattern for you to download for free! Some are for a limited time, so make sure to download them right away.
My day isn't till October 4, but I'll make sure to remind you on the Tuesdays and Thursdays to check out the links - you might find some new blogging friends to add to your reading list.


Tuesday September 4, 2018

Thursday September 6, 2018

Tuesday September 11, 2018

Thursday September 13, 2018

Tuesday September 18, 2018

Thursday September 20, 2018

Tuesday September 25, 2018

Thursday September 27, 2018

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Show and Tell Day




Now I am off to do some quilting, hope you get to quilt today!

Monday, September 03, 2018

Monday Motivation - Perfection

Ah yes, the continual struggle for perfection!  I know that in my quilting it is often something that I think can be achieved.  Accurate cutting, accurate sewing, careful choice of color and pattern, and just maybe I can reach perfection...or maybe not!
There is an old "tradition" among quilters that those wonderful Amish quilters would purposely add a mistake in their quilts (a humility block), because only God can be perfect.  Of course, what does that say if you need to add a mistake on purpose?  No one is really sure where this notion originally came from, but it appears to have begun sometime around 1948.
Isn't it funny how a small mistake, like turning a unit in a block the wrong direction, can go unnoticed until late in the process?  I was working on quilting this top, laid it out to see how I liked what I had done, and what do I see?  A blue and white four patch turned cattywampus!  I've looked at it, thought about it, and pretty much decided that I am just going to leave it that way.  Call it an original quirk, a humility block, or just a plain old mistake.  It's a fun way to get people to stop and look a little longer at the quilt!  Here's a block that turned out just fine:

This quilt was made using my Quilter's Primer pattern.  I've taught this as a beginner class several times, and this is the version I made for my very first class.  The fabrics are so fun and vibrant, but I wasn't sure whether it would come out ugly or fabulous when I started.  I actually ended up loving the results, especially that crazy sashing fabric.  It will be displayed at my quilt guild's show in two weeks, and I need to get the quilting done, so am working at that this week, along with several other projects.  At least there are no wedding dresses at the moment to interfere with my quilting!

We are winding down the Great Outdoors blog hop, but it's not too late to enter my giveaway!  Here are today's posts:

Monday, September 3 - Sweet Tweets - Kathleen McMusing, Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Happy Monday!  Don't worry too much about being perfect, just enjoy the process!