Friday, January 24, 2014

City Sampler Quilt Top Completed

My City Sampler quilt top is complete. Getting a picture of this 90" square quilt isn't the easiest thing but I think I managed to do okay.  I sashed my 100 City Sampler blocks in a no-name linen-like fabric I found at the Fabric Place Basement.  Deciding on the best fabric to sash these blocks was a real challenge: I didn't want to choose anything that would overcome or blend into any of the blocks and I was pretty determined to not redo any of the blocks. I am happy with my choice of this tan textured fabric that shouldn't give me any trouble when the quilt is washed, it is 100% cotton.

Sewing all of the blocks into the sashing was definitely tedious but I think I did well at lining it all up pretty neatly thanks to the tips contained in this video on row alignment from Fons and Porter.  I chose the gridlock pattern in the book because it does a great job of showing off the blocks- it's simple with no distractions.

When I layed out the blocks, I decided to not worry too much about orienting all of the awesome motifs to create a "top" to the quilt.  I love being able to put a quilt on my bed and not worrying that it is "upside down" or whatever.  I paid close attention to dispersing the colors as well as the shapes to achieve balance.

Here's a mosaic of some more of my favorite blocks.  I had a lot of fun mixing up Salt Water and Prince Charming with my stash.

This was the hardest one:

This was the easiest:

Here's my most favorite:

Here's an indoor shot of the top:

I usually don't do scrappy pieced backs but this quilt simply called for it.  It's fun to see the Tula motifs on the larger scale.  I also snuck in a scrappy slab made from scraps- I wish I had the time/patience to make the whole quilt back like that, but that's a project for another day.

Linking up with Sew Sweetness (check out the other City Sampler tops - they're all gorgeous!) and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday:

Sew Sweetness

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Free Stuff, a Fabric Fast, and Longarming

I am taking a break from the endless packing to say hello.  I thought it would be fun to share some recent giveaway winnings I have received.  From a Sew Mama Sew Giveaway at Gemini Stitches, I received these lovely texty fat quarters all the way from Australia:

On Sew Mama Sew, I won these three sewing books.  I don't think I am going to take up needle felting anytime soon- but those Wool Buddies are quite cute.  The other books are really lovely and I am psyched to add them to my collection:

I finally redeemed a Living Social deal at the Fabric Corner.  They hardly had anything new, so I chose four yards of Kona Pacific for the background for a Feathers quilt.  It was a really hard choice and I am not sure if I am thrilled with what I decided, but I want to continue exploring my interest in using saturated colors instead of neutrals as background/sashing in my quilts.  For my other two choices I couldn't resist the Ann Kelle elephants and a very small cut of a black and white Andover print.

Speaking of fabric, packing all of my fabric recently has been a wake-up call for my need to start a fabric fast (maybe not a diet so much because I really don't need any. more.)  I have tried this before and failed miserably.  Any tips?  I am considering making myself not buy any until the 2014 Christmas holidays- possibly letting myself purchase a modest amount when the new stuff I am craving now will be on super sale.  I am also considering not allowing myself any reward unless I finish 20 (or so) quilt tops..... so that I have something to focus on and work on using what I already have.

Last Friday my mom and I spent the day together at Laurena's longarm studio.  It was my mom's first time quilting on a longarm and she did a great job but it definitely tired her out.  I have only used a laser-led pantograph once and I hated it- it's so tedious!  She plans to use the Statler next time.

I used the Statler, choosing a pattern called "Dewdrops" for my queen sized New Wave quilt.  It was a fun day!  I am told that Colorado Springs does not have decent longarm rental options and it truly has had me worried.  Renting a longarm has been an awesome experience for me: I've been able to create large quilts and I really, really enjoy running the machines- both doing free motion longarming and operating the Statler.

I have a feeling that this year will entail doing a lot of piecing tops and not a lot of finishing things.  It will take me a while to figure out a good longarm rental option and it will be good to not spend the money for a while anyhow.

Thanks for reading!  I will be back on Friday with an exciting finish.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WIP Wednesday: New Wave Quilt Top

I am back from Colorado after an exhausting but successful house hunting trip.  We found a home and the most exciting news in relation to sewing is that I will have my own sewing room!  Right now, I have a little desk adjacent to the kitchen and there is fabric throughout the apartment so I am pretty psyched to keep everything in one place.  We have about 3 weeks to get out there, so the next month or so is going to be kind of crazy.  Sewing and blogging will definitely be a bit sporadic.

I have four free hours of longarm rental time at Laurena's- and there is no way I am moving without using it! That is why I decided to churn out this New Wave quilt top right now.  It is made out of stash fabrics - primarily the Amy Butler collection Lark.  Once everything was cut and a layout was decided upon, this took me five days to sew together - three of which were when my husband was home.  I was surprised, but I really think this is actually a quick quilt pattern.

I thought by using non-Lark/AB fabrics for the sashing strips, the quilt would have a mixed collection feel but I really think it's biggest weakness is that its look is too uniform- i.e. the fabrics I chose match too well.  But I am hoping that I will like it better once I quilt it this Friday.

And just for fun, here's a picture of the other New Wave quilt I made almost 3 years ago as a present for a guild member:

Friday, January 03, 2014

Finish it up Friday: City Sampler 94-100

Thanks to a Nor'Easter named "Hercules"- our family has been home for the past few days, unwilling to go anywhere in the snow.  Our house is becoming quite clean and I am making quick progress on this WIP:

Nick and I are heading to Colorado on Sunday for a kid-less, week long house hunt.  My initial reaction to these plans was, "Wow, I am going to read a book on a plane without interruption."  I have mentioned that I have been nervous for this move but I think I can finally say that some serious excitement is settling in.  

So for my last pre-trip post, I decided to wrap up the individual posts of each block for the City Sampler QAL.  This QAL has been great for me- I don't think I would've pushed through to the end if I hadn't had some deadlines and external motivation to complete it.








Here are all of them in a nice, hefty stack:

Here's two shots of all of them on my design wall:

Now that I finally figured out how to make a mosaic, here's one of my most favorite blocks:

I can't wait to see this one done!  And I am pretty happy with the unique color scheme- although I don't think it's all that unique for me because when given the chance, I always seem to go for some combination of blue, red, and yellow.

Although it isn't technically finished, I think finishing the 100 blocks qualifies me to link up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday.  Thanks for reading!