Friday, August 30, 2013

Finish it Up Friday: Kawaii Christmas Countdown Pillow and Super Cape

After doing the enromous Crackle top, I knew I needed to tackle some smaller items to give myself a little break.  I've had this Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery sampler done for quite a while, so it was time to make it into something!  A while ago, I bought this pink Minny Muu wreath fabric on super sale at and it's perfect for the Japanese feel of the sampler.  I know a lot of people who would not object to adding some "pink" to their Christmas.

This time, I decided to get a little fancy and do a zipper back.  I followed this tutorial and it worked well.  The only thing I don't understand with installing a zipper is: what are you supposed to do with the zipper pull when you are sewing it all in?  I end up lifting up the needle and pulling it down or up which results in some uneven stitching.  If you have any ideas, please comment.

I also made Gregory a super hero cape.  I used the pattern from Thread Riding Hood, found here.  Charlotte has worn this more than Gregory - which means I need to make her one too.  I just need to find my stash of wool felt - my fabric supplies have become very unorganized.

I drew my own lightening bolt because the clipart found online just wasn't right.  This is a borrowed motif from Super Grover - a favorite in our house.

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Le Challenge for the Heroes Challenge.   Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

City Sampler Blocks 31-42

I've been catching up on my city sampler blocks.  Some of these pictures make these blocks look really wonky - I promise they are not that bad in real life.  Enjoy:









42 (my favorite of the bunch)
I don't love a lot of the above blocks but it all seems to work when they come together:   

Almost halfway there!  I am starting to get a little nervous about what in the world I should choose for sashing - I feel like that choice will either make or break this quilt.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Crackle Top Completed

Thanks for all of the love on the Super Kids quilts my friends.  I really appreciate it.
It was a little torturous, but I finally finished this CRAZY BIG "Crackle" top.  I cut the fabrics in March but didn't begin sewing them until May.  I had a lot of other projects demand a higher priority and the pieces from this project have been haunting me as I sewed other things.
There are 132 blocks in this top.  The worst was when I was putting together the last row and I realized that I was four blocks short.  Or maybe the worst was when, after assembling the whole top- borders and everything, and I realized that an end row needed to be flipped. But then again, I wasn't that thrilled to see how teenage-ish this thing looks.  It didn't seem so "young" until I actually started assembling the rows.  I actually feel pretty silly that it's actually king size (100x110)- I know I had planned for queen size but I guess I goofed. 

Seeing it held up at a distance, like the picture above actually makes me feel better about the whole thing. I really tried to choose light and dark fabrics instead of predomininantly "medium" value that so many of my fabrics are.  I think I achieved the contrast and look I was aiming for.

I will definitely be long-arming this as soon as I can save some pennies and schedule the time!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Super Girls Quilt

It's so fun to have children of both genders - one of the reasons being that it's a lot of fun to sew for each of them.  It would've been so hard to decide between the boy or girl Super Kid fabrics - so I am glad I had the opportunity to do both!
The "boy version" of this quilt was completed first because I was a little more scared of making mistakes with my precious girly Remix fabrics that I have stashed for ages.  I did make a few math errors intially and changed some design ideas with the boy version - it took me about 3 weeks to complete the top.  But once I had it all planned and the math was correct - the girl version took less than a week - in reality, this is a very easy quilt to make!

The quilt measures about 71 x 88 - a nice twin-sized quilt. 

These pictures show the quilting design I chose for the quilt very well: it's a computerized pantograph called "Shazam."  I liked the idea of using the "Boom!" "Pow!" type of  "speech bubble" look that you would see in older comics.  There is no way I could've done this design free-motion.  I haven't learned that much control on the longarm yet.


The only design difference between the girl and boy quilts is that I added a heart on top of the shield to emulate the design of a Super Girl on the fabric.

I used several different Kona Cottons within the quilt (Bright Pink, School Bus, Wisteria, Red, Sour Apple, Pacific, Lagoon, and Citrus).  I usually don't use solids in my quilts but I think it was a good choice for this quilt.

Once again, a very "old" purchase at Marden's came in handy to back this quilt: five yards of Michael Miller Candy Dots.  I don't know what I was thinking when I just randomly bought so much of that crazy-bright fabric but it obviously came in handy!

Thanks for reading!  Don't forget to check out Ann Kelle's post on this quilt, which also has a link to a full tutorial for this quilt, here.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's SUPER KIDS!

I am so excited to share a project that I have been working on for the past several weeks: a pair of Super Kids quilts that I designed for Kelle's (of Ann Kelle designs) blog.  Kelle suggested that we feature the quilts separately and I thought it was a great idea.  Today I am going to share the "boy version" and tomorrow I will share the "girl version."  Kelle is sharing my projects on her blog, complete with a full tutorial, here
The fact that I am a huge fan of Ann Kelle fabrics should come as no surprise if you've read my blog for any amount of time.  She had me at the whales.  I know it's uncool, in some circles, to be so "fan-girl" but I can't help myself - her designs are so cheerful and fun.  It's a dream come true to have had this opportunity to make these quilts!
I had the perfect setting to photograph the boy quilt at a local comic store called Command D's in Dracut, MA.  The owner painted huge murals of a few super heroes around the parking lot of his store and he didn't mind me taking a few pictures there. 


The quilt is composed of three different 14.5" (unfinished) blocks meant to showcase the Super Kids, cartoon-ish vibe of the fabrics. 
One block design borrows a motif from the fabrics, the shields:

I have to admit that I dreaded doing the sashing between the blocks.  I consulted a Fons and Porter video on "row alignment" and the whole thing couldn't have gone better!  If you're curious, you can find the video here (it's free).   

Previous purchases at Marden's, buried and nearly forgotten in my stash, certainly came in handy to back the quilts.  The boy quilt is sporting a red geometric print by Jennifer Paganelli:

Tomorrow we will reveal the girl quilt and I will share more details about the design and quilting process. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Lowell Quilt Festival: Appleton Mills Boston Modern Quilt Guild Exhibit 2013

Right after manning the Thursday afternoon shift of the BMQG Lowell Quilt Festival exhibit, I wrote a blog post and accidently published it on the BMQG blog.  I was so embarrassed and only had time to delete it, email an apology to guild leaders, and now I am finally getting around to writing a similar post on the correct blog! 
I volunteered to take the Thursday shift from 2-6 and I have to say I was amazed at what a strong turnout our show had.  Last year, I did shifts on Friday and Saturday mornings and I don't remember there being as many patrons coming to the show.

Being a volunteer at the show is fun because I had kid-free time to chat with other quilters while doing quite a bit of seam-ripping on a WIP (a post for another day I suppose). 

These first two pictures give you an idea of what a gorgeous space we have to show our work.  Appleton Mills is an apartment building designed primarily for artists- it really is a jewel of Lowell (truthfully, not one of my favorite cities after doing almost 2 years of social work there before I had my first child). 

Show committee members did an excellent job in showcasing a few of the Quilts for Boston quilts.  Many people made comments on this display: asking more questions, informing me they had contributed blocks to the cause, and some expressed gratitude for the project.

I think my most favorite part of our guild participating in LQF is knowing the makers of every project at the show.  I love to see everyone's hard work all together. 

Here's Stephanie's Converging Corners quilt:

Grethcen's Heart Quilt:  (Pattern by V and Co.)







Tina (I think this might have been my favorite- wow, the patience of doing machine pieced hexagons!):


These next two quilts are not only stunning, but quite LARGE!  I am glad to be in such good company- as I often get teased for creating very big quilts.


Julie (Orange Peel pattern from Denyse Scmidt's newest book):

I submitted two quilts, Dots and Ties (Dotty for Dresden pattern by Sarah Fielke):

and my most recent creation, Under the Sea:

I didn't take pictures of everyone's quilts but a lot of people participated and it looked fantastic.

It is awesome to see how far our guild has come in such a short time.  I will admit that I sometimes feel nostalgic for the early days when our guild was a little smaller and my introversion wasn't as much of an issue for the large-group setting we know consistently maintain.  But truthfully, there really is nothing wrong with the positive growth our group is experiencing and it's awesome to welcome so many people to our organization who are all so talented and contribute so much to our community.  The Quilts for Boston project is a great example of the good that comes with such growth.  I know this all sounds a little corny but oh well!

Thanks for reading!  I am excited to reveal my SuperKids projects this coming week, so "stay tuned."