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.