Saturday, May 26, 2018

Finish it up Friday: Scraps Only

 I started a scraps-only leaders/enders project in the fall of 2017.  I simply paired 2.5" squares with 2.5"x 4.5" rectangles.  I cut my scraps into these sizes as I went along making different projects and  sometimes I simply dedicated some sewing time simply to rifle through my scraps and cut them to size.  This quilt contains a lot of scraps from my craft fair projects, gifted quilts, my recent patchwork swoon finish, and many others.  I love how many "memories" it contains.  The finished quilt measures about 90" square.

I took photos of this finish at a cabin in Fairplay, CO- it's always good to use a unique photo setting if it's available.  We had a mini-family reunion with Nick's side of the family- we really had a great time even if I did miss my sewing machine while I was away. 

My kids are drawn to newly finished quilts and I love it!

It's not easy to see, but I quilted this on my longarm with simple loops.

A scrappy quilt is always a great opportunity to use up that hard-to-use yardage one might find in their stash.  The butterfly print was a 5 yard purchase I made very early in my beginner quilting days.  If I found something I liked, I bought an excessive amount of it - most of it in the rainbow variety. 

I bound this quilt in a colorful ric-rac chevron print I've had for ages. 

This quilt is definitely a keeper and I've already started a leaders/enders scrap quilt that's fun and going much fast than this one.  Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday. 

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Peachy Keen Patchwork Swoon

About a year ago, there was an informal quilt-a-long on instagram for the Patchwork Swoon quilt pattern.  I jumped in with an unusual color scheme: cream, black, and peachy pink.  The quilt top came together really fast and I really enjoyed the process.

As usual, I had plans to make the quilt bigger than the pattern specifications.  I decided it would be cool to put smaller swoon blocks surrounding the large swoon motif.  I did the math and cut everything.  I soon discovered that my math was wrong and I stuffed it all into my closet and didn't touch it for nearly a full year!

Lately, I am really trying to finish projects, so I finally unearthed this project.  My husband, who incidentally is much better at math than I am, helped me salvage my pink/orange 5" squares and I put a striking border around the quilt top:

I have to admit that I really love how it came out!  It's so pretty- and so "me."  You might have noticed I love to have the color black in my quilts.  I just think it adds nearly effortless contrast to every project.  I love it!

I decided to challenge myself and really quilt the quilt a ton- it was a great opportunity to practice my free motion quilting skills and I also embarked on "ruler work" (using a ruler to help guide the longarm to make designs).  I felt like it was a safe project to practice on because the fabrics are so busy- no big blunders would be very noticeable.  The quilting did take quite a long time and now I have a much better understanding as to why custom longarm quilting can be pretty pricey. 

About three years ago, I bought nearly a full bolt of this Juliana Horner fabric at Joanns for just over $20.  It provided the perfect backing and binding for this quilt and I am happy I finally put it to use. 

This quilt is a keeper....  I could definitely see myself revisiting this pattern again.  Wouldn't it be fun if I made one for each of my children with their favorite colors?  They all like this quilt and it would just be so cool if I made blue (Gregory), purple (Charlotte), and orange (Owen) versions.....

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Hi Quilt

When I have the opportunity to attend a quilt retreat, I have a specific approach to how I want to use my time.  Going away for the weekend is a significant financial and time investment and I want to use the opportunity wisely.  (Let me clarify that the retreats I have attended have been very affordable and well worth the $ spent!)  I feel really gratified if I can start and finish a big project during that time.  In years passed, I have completed the Kittens Quilt and the Typewriter Swoon.  In the weeks leading up to the 2018 FRMQG retreat, I decided I wanted to make a quilt for my nephew, Rivers.  I have made him baby and toddler bed quilts, and his mom had been offering to pay me to make him a twin sized quilt.  She really loves what I make and I know I am appreciated.  I didn't feel comfortable having her pay me to make him a quilt (we're family after all!) and I decided to just go for it, hopefully in time to gift it for his upcoming eighth birthday.    

So I chose the fabrics from my stash (lots of Sarah Jane motifs including paper hats, rockets, and bikes) and a pattern from the book By the Bundle by Emma Jean Jansen.  This pattern is called the "Hi Quilt"- so cute and easy!  I had to buy gray sashing fabric and I pre-cut all of the pieces before I left for the retreat.

Once I arrived to the retreat on Friday afternoon, I bound a charity quilt and then I got working on the Hi blocks.  I get so intent when I sew and I really wanted all of my blocks done fast....  But I didn't finish all 99 of them until dinner time on Saturday.  It took me a lot longer than I had anticipated and I'll admit that it was a monotonous process!  The same thing over and over again for sure.  Finishing all of the blocks at the retreat was all that I could do for the quilt at the retreat, there was no place to lay them out to sew them into rows.  I assembled the blocks into a top at home and had the quilt on the longarm pretty quickly.  (I should add that I ended up making 5-6 more blocks mainly because of a minor mistake I made in calculating how many blocks I really needed). 

A friend gifted me some quality polyester batting at a recent guild meeting, so I put that to use with this quilt.  I quilted a somewhat dense boxy meander over the whole quilt- I really like that pattern lately- it's easy and forgiving.

A friend let me play with her decorative stitches and I finally labeled a quilt!  I haven't done this in years.  I backed this quilt in this white/blue dot, I've had it for way too long, and even though it doesn't match the front super well, I used it anyway to avoid buying more fabric. 

This Friday, we're meeting up with my nephew's family at the Denver aquarium.  I plan to gift it to him then, as his birthday is on Sunday.  I am excited! I am pretty sure River's mom will be more excited than him though ;)

Linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.