snug

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Over the Rainbow, Baby! Class Sample

   
          While I wait to see how my little modern mini quilt fared (link here) in the Quilt Expo challenge (to be announced on May 30),  I thought I would share a recent finish.   As I had shouted from the rooftops last year, I had an offset rainbow throw size quilt published in McCall's Quick Quilts in February 2016.  My blog post about that quilt is here, and a picture of the larger quilt is in my blog heading!  I recently completed a baby size version of that quilt, and will be teaching a class this summer at the Aurora Sewing Center.   It was great fun to put this together using 5" squares!
          To simplify the quilt making, I quilted it using my walking foot with a serpentine stitch, and I think the quilting nicely complements the pieced pattern. 
          Here is a close up of the quilting. You can still see my markings in this photograph.  Luckily, the marks disappear nicely when washed!

          For anyone in the Buffalo, New York, area - the class schedule can be found in the class booklet on the Aurora Sewing Center web site - here.  The three day sessions will be in East Aurora on Friday afternoons (2-5) on 6/30, 7/7 and 7/14; and in Williamsville on Wednesday evenings  (6-9) on 8/2, 8/9 and 8/16.   My goal is to have a finished quilt at the end of those sessions!   Please consider taking this class - it should be lots of fun! 
          I finished the quilt with the adorable Windham Fabric Newspaper wide quilt backing.   I have used most of my stash of this up!  I rarely regret buying too little fabric (usually I get way too much!)  - but, in this case, I do! 


          Have a wonderful, safe and thankful Memorial Day Weekend.  

Take care,
Gretchen 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Modern Mini Quilt Challenge 2017 - Stepping Stones

    I just submitted this mini quilt to the Quilt Expo Modern Mini Quilt Challenge 2017.  (link here)  After finishing the Eye Candy Quilt, I wanted to play with bright colors against black, and decided to see how the smallest little pieces would look on a black background.  The piece is 20 x 20 inches, and is made of Kona solids and Kona black.  The little strips of colored scraps are only 1/4 inch wide.  I love how they popped in this simple grid design.  I used a matte black thread to do some dense pebble quilting inside the boxes and on the outer border.  I left an inch frame around the boxes and the grid unquilted. I am very happy with how this turned out!
     I will post the process and details later, but in the meantime, enjoy your weekend!

Take care,
Gretchen
  

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Eye Candy Giveaway Winner!

      Thanks for your lovely comments.   I used a random number generator to pick and the winner of the copy of Vol. 15 is karenbbsnow!  I hope you enjoy it!
     I am finishing up my entry for the Quilt Expo Mini Modern Quilt Challenge.  Stay tuned!

Take care,
Gretchen

Friday, May 12, 2017

Dave's T-shirt Quilt

    I was able to get this quilt finally finished!  This is my son's t-shirt quilt, full of memories, laughs and warmth! 
     This is the fourth t-shirt project I have done.   The first was for my daughter, and it used shirts cut in all different sizes.  I had machine pieced the shirts, but ended up tying the quilt.  My Bernina could not easily handle the bulk to quilt.

        My second project was for my sister.  By then I had purchased an acrylic 12 1/2 inch square ruler, which made the cutting of the prepared t-shirts much easier. I tied hers, as well. 
     I was asked to make a memorial banner from t-shirts for a dear friend.  By then, I had invested in a Tiara II, and used that to FMQ stipple the pieces, which worked well. 
        For this latest quilt, I had learned from my earlier efforts.  I washed and dried all of the shirts, some of which showed lots of wear!  I cut off the arms, collars and backs, and kept only the pieces that had the desired images.    I then ironed on the lightweight fusible interfacing and then used the ruler to cut the square.  There was some waste, but not enough to be concerned about.   
I can' t recall the exact name of the interfacing, but here is a close up!  

        Some of the shirts from his childhood were smaller than 12 1/2 inches square and I had ironed on the interfacing and cut them some time ago.   I decided to just make them the right size, and I found fabrics to make borders, and then cut the squares.  
A  souvenir of a fun Pirate's  weekend with his Aunt Juli! 
Adding a strip of black Kona to make the square.
This brings back memories.  I have stepped on many a Lego in my bare feet when the kids were young!  
                        I found some old fabric in my stash which went well with Lego man!  

     The original plan had been 30 squares.   I had more shirts than I could use, and so exchanged pictures with my son to make sure that the shirts that made it into the quilt were ones he wanted! We ended up using 36 shirts, making a quilt that is 6 feet square!   For purposes of those photos, I had just set out the options, without regard to light or dark backgrounds.


 I used my walking foot to sew the squares together.  The interfacing is a bit slippery, and the walking foot gave the steadiness that was needed to  keep the seams from pulling. 
    
 I had our Scotland trip on my mind when I purchased the flannel backing.  I pieced two strips together carefully. 

Even on my much roomier Tiara II table, this was a bulky quilt, but the large stippling went well.  I used white Aurifil in the bobbin, and a bright variegated Aurifil on the top.   I watched episodes of "Call the Midwife" while I was quilting - so many babies!!!
      A word to the wise  - don't try to stitch too close to the pins!  I sewed this pin very firmly into place, requiring a little bit of surgery! 

This shows the final layout alternating darks and lights. 
This was a big quilt for my trusty quilt holder.  On the way to the deck, we flushed two adult eagles from our trees.  What a sight that was!  

I am pleased that it is not obvious where the back was attached!  

          There is still time to comment on last week's Eye Candy blog, and be eligible for a giveaway for a copy of the latest Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Magazine. 

         I am planning to enter Modern Mini Quilt Challenge, and will be working on my entry this week. 
  
          Here is a peek at the scraps I will be working with!  Stay tuned!  

          To all the mothers, grandmothers, god mothers and all those who mother others - Happy Mother's Day!    Thanks for visiting my blog!  
Take care,
Gretchen 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Eye Candy Quilt and a giveaway!

      Since the magazine is out today, I can finally reveal the quilt I made from a block I designed for the current Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks (Vol 15)(link here)  As you can read below, this was a quilt made in a very short period of time - but it turned out to be such a vibrant, happy quilt.   
     I started on a block for submission to the magazine right after Christmas.   I had an idea of small solid brights surrounded by yellow and white. I fussed with the four-patch colors to get the mix just right, making more bright little four-patches than I used.  




     I encased the little four patches in yellow and white, and put those blocks together to create the final 12 inch (finished size) block.  I called it Candy Box, since the little bright pieces (eye candy! )were boxed in.
The finished block.
     I submitted the block itself in mid-January, and put the little patches aside.  I had plenty of other projects to keep me busy!  This was my first time submitting a block, and I wasn't expecting much.    On April 15, I received a package of several copies of the soon to be published magazine! Surprise!


     This little beauty showed up last week - I love it!  My little block is on the bottom row!
        It dawned on me that I should have made a quilt with my block to post in conjunction with the publication.  I had less than two weeks to put together a quilt!  Luckily, I had a few four patches, some leftover strips, lots of bright Kona scraps and lots of yellow and white fabric!   I was on a roll.   No fussing here - I was cutting and sewing together little patches at random!  I used a different (brighter) yellow for the quilt than I used in my block, only because that's what I had on hand. 
The scraps
I strip pieced two colors, then cut those into blocks

So many little squares!   

I used copious quantities of yellow and white! 



       I  initially made 20 finished squares, thinking that a 48 x 60 inch quilt would be nice.   Going fast has its perils -  my seam ripper is never far from me when I sew! 
oops  
       I laid out the 20 blocks on my "design floor" both in a rectangle (4 blocks by 5 blocks) and also on point.
     I wasn't sure what to do for setting squares for the "on point" layout (and didn't have time to mull it over) but the rectangle quilt ( which would have finished at 48" x 60") wasn't large enough for a lap /nap quilt for me.  I decided to quickly make up another ten blocks, to make the quilt 60" x 72". couch!)
I couldn't resist a picture of my bright spring table runner with the bright quilt squares!  
     Since this was speed sewing for me, I didn't fuss over the color combos.  I did make sure that I didn't have the exact same color blocks next to each other, and I was very careful about the 1/4 inch seams, since the corners of the yellow and white are pretty obvious.  I love how the quilt top looks. Eye candy to me!  
     Once I finished the top, I had only a few days left to complete the quilting and binding.  No time for complicated quilting patterns or too much thinking!   I wanted something happy and decided to do a large loop all over the quilt.  I used white Aurifil on the top and in the bobbin and was able to quilt it in two days on my Tiara II.  
     I had a piece of  wide backing (Windham Fabrics Spackle) that fit and decided to bind in red because I had plenty of red fabric.   I like to finish the binding by hand, and use Clover clips to hold it all together.
      Here is a close-up of the big loopy quilting before washing.   I'll be doing this again!
     It was too windy for my usual full size picture by the lake, so my trusty quilt holder had to go to the front of the house.
     I have been experimenting with some more "artsy" photos of my quilts, which are useful when my trusty quilt holder is not available!


     I did wash and dry the quilt - especially since I had laid it on the concrete deck and on the beach! I used three sheets of Color Grabber to make sure the colors didn't run into the white!  (I had NOT prewashed much of the fabric)   This works so well.  I use it with every quilt! 
     The colors did not run, and the quilt turned out nice and crinkly!  I use Warm and White batting to keep the white crisp looking.   I am also very proud of how well the seams matched in this.  Usually that is NOT the case!   I think this block would look great with other colors! 
          I hope you enjoyed seeing this quilt as much as I enjoyed making it.  I will give away a copy of the magazine by Mother's Day.  Please leave a comment and I will pick a winner!
          I didn't make it into the official blog tour, but you can find that link here.

          Thanks for visiting!

Take care,
Gretchen