Saturday, January 24, 2015

Scrappy Stars Quilt Top

I had a mini sewing retreat at the boyfriend's house today. I had kitted up a couple of scrappy quilt tops ahead of time and managed to get one done (after a brief outing to Hancocks for a fat quarter, somehow I cut 32 of one size of squares rather than the 36 I needed!)


This Scrappy Stars top finished at 50" x 65" and is made completely from stash and scraps.  I am trying to focus on making quilts in this size to go toward my Covered in Love project to bring quilts to families losing a loved one in the hospital where I work.  I tried to go for a different palette, more browns and toned down colors that would appeal to "older" folks ;) The colors kind of remind me of Sweetwater's Authentic line, which I loved.


Linking to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework and Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Friday Finish: Wanderlust

I can't tell you how happy I am to finally be sharing pictures of this quilt! I had to keep it under wraps during the process so that Boyfriend would have at least a little bit of surprise when he got it.


He has now been initiated into the world of a quilter's significant other... standing on a stool in the yard for quilt photos. Even though only his knuckles are showing I insisted he put on pants for the photo shoot. When he balked I told him about the annual Quilter's Shirtless Man and Spicy Burrito Calendar. Then he put on pants.  Maybe next year :)


The first time Boyfriend saw my quilts he picked out the Anacortes mariners compass as his favorite and has wanted on like it.  This time I made the center medallion from four different paper-peced compass patterns I found on Wombat Quilts.


The cardinal directions were raw edge appliqued onto the quilt sandwich with a machine blanket stitch. Isn't that constellations fabric wonderful? I quilting around the perimeter of a few of the circles in matching thread the make the quilting on that border blend in.


All of the brown sashing is 1" wide and got stitch in the ditch.  The batik strips on the top and bottom got strippled with a variegated purple/blue/teal thread. The batik panels were added after I finished the center and spent a couple weeks stuck on what to do next. Finally I got the idea to just pull out all the batik scraps that went well and strip piece them together.


For backing I chose a soft cuddly fleece that really shows off all the different quilting.  Boyfriend is thrilled with his quilt; I am relieved that I nailed his very precise color preferences! 


Happy to have this "Christmas" quilt finally done and delivered :)  I'm linking to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Strings (again)

Not much to say here, I am still sewing strings.  Today I started applying the black strings to the foundation pieced blocks I talked about before.


Wilson is enjoy the heat from my ironing mat.  It's a good day to be sewing!


Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Design Floor Monday

Yup, more strings! I am foundation piecing on top of newspaper this time. The big advantage to newspaper is that it is thin and much larger than phone book pages, for example.


I read somewhere on the internet that it works well and doesn't leave any black smudges on the fabric. So far so good!


These blocks will be black on one side and white/low volume on the other with a red stripe down the middle.


I almost have all the blocks done with the white and red strings. 8 more, then I'll start applying the black strings.

Happy Monday! I hope many of you are off work for the holiday. I am linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times and Oh Scrap at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Proof That I Will Make a Quilt About Anything

This is proof that I will make a quilt about anything. That's what I told my boyfriend; the quilt is for his brother :)


Back around Thanksgiving I dragged my boyfriend along on a shopping trip to Hancocks Fabrics. He went straight for the discount table and started browsing while I did my shopping. Later he brought me this Bob Marley novelty fabric and asked if I could make a quilt around it for his brother.  After all, it has Bob Marley and pot leaves, which his brother loves, and it was 80% off, which Boyfriend loves.  One might wonder why Hancocks ever stocked a bolt of Bob Marley/pot leaf novelty fabric, as that is not exactly in most of their customers' wheelhouse. But I digress.


Boyfriend bought what was left on the bolt of the Bob Marley fabric and picked half a yard each of coordinating prints himself.  I have to admit, his color matching is much better than mine. He also picked out the skull and crossbones fleece for the backing.


I worked out a design for the top to use almost every inch of our fabric. Boyfriend suggested the big wonky star in the middle.  I got the top assembled in about 5 hours, and basted and quilted the whole thing the next day. I used a loose allover stipple to get the job done quick. The quilt finished at 60"x84". It turned out lovely soft and fluffy, Boyfriend is delighted, and by extension, so am I.

Which maybe answers the question of why Hancocks would stock Bob Marley fabric. Because quilters don't make quilts for us, we make them for other people :)

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Quilting and Feline Disapproval

Today and yesterday were spent nose-to-the-grindstone trying to finish Boyfriend's quilt.  Piecing and basting were finished last night, then there was some applique (ick!) and lots of quilting.


Boyfriend is a pretty tough customer. He likes medallion style quilts best. He like a very narrow range of dark colors and natural tones with pops of orange. He despises white as a background color. And he requested that his quilt be especially "fluffy".


Oi vey. I did my best, and I hope he likes it!  One good thing, he specifically mentioned that he likes stipple FMQ and less dense quilting patterns. Don't have to tell me twice :)


This is what Wilson does when he's fed up with me sitting at the machine and ignoring him.  Right after giving me the Kitty-Snub-of-Complete-Indifference he climbs into my lap and wants to be held like a baby.


Elvis isn't thrilled about the noise of the machine but mostly he's just glad to be inside and warm.  Hope your week is productive and fun!

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

String Braid (Scrappy String Quilt #2)

My string braid quilt is done! I talked about this quilt and shared a tutorial for making the blocks back in this post.  I have been working on string quilts ever since I sorted my strings back in November. This first finish was the brown and blue traditional quilt, and this is the second.


This quilt finished at 56"x70".  I still have a stack of these spring colored 60 degree triangles left, so there will be another similar quilt to come. The satisfaction of reducing a pile of string scraps into useful quilts is right up there for my favorite part of quilting.



I quilted it with a stipple using a variety of thread colors that match the colors in the top. Not only did the quilt use up scraps, it used up several partial spools of thread, too!


For the backing I used a bright pink polka dot I've had for years.


The bright happy quilt is a perfect antidote for the weather we've been having. Don't let the bright sunshine fool you, it was below freezing when I took these pictures and the wind was literally whipping the quilt around.  As you can see by our dwindling wood stack we've been making lots of fires to cope!


Elvis says "Stay Warm Folks!"

Linking to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.