Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Retreat 2015

Last weekend I attended the annual Boston MQG retreat up in Kennebunkport, ME. This was my fourth time attending retreat and I can honestly say I always have an amazing time with the wonderful ladies of our guild. I think we have a pretty awesome guild with a wide range of skills and aesthetics, which is always so inspiring.

My first order of business was finishing up my Prism Dust quilt top. I arrived with 33 out of the 36 blocks made. I finished the three blocks and got to work on piecing the top together. Because these blocks were paper pieced, I kept the paper on, but it becomes very heavy as you're piecing along. The benefit of keeping the paper on while piecing everything together is that you have less distortion because of all the bias and accuracy is improved.

Piecing the top took a lot more time than I thought it would. All together, I've definitely spent over 100 hours piecing this top, which I began last summer. Given my schedule, I've spent a few hours here and there on this quilt when I had the time.

My other finish for the weekend was this zippered pouch for our zipit challenge. ZipIt kindly provided a 14" navy zipper for us all to make a zippered pouch. I've wanted to use these cotton and steel arrows for the bottom of a bag for some time. I thought this was the perfect opportunity. I freehanded a flying goose pattern on some paper to paper piece for the top part and offset it. I was really happy with the result and blown away that I actually won the challenge. I can honestly say I wasn't expecting to win because there were so many awesome pouches. We have some seriously talented quilters in our guild, so I was honored to win.

I did work on a few other projects here and there that I didn't finish. One was a leaders and enders project with equilateral triangles. One was a quilt that I can't speak of. Not because it's secret, but because the pattern was such a PITA and poorly written that I had to put it aside I was so frustrated. I think I'm going to figure out how to paper piece the pattern instead. I don't have pictures of those yet, but stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Prism Dust - January BOM

The Boston Moder Quilt Guild is launching a Block of the Month this year. I volunteered to do the January block. Well, after a bad stomach bug that set me back over a week, 90"+ of snow and all that comes with life, I have posted the January block only a few days late.

You can download this block for free on Craftsy: http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/home-decor/prism-dust/131313

This is a pretty easy paper pieced block, with only four pieces to each section. The hardest part is matching the seams when piecing them together, which us quilters are used to for most other blocks out there.

I actually started making a quilt with this block a number of months ago and decided to post this pattern after enjoying the process of how this quilt is coming together. It's going to be a rainbow, with red in the upper right corner, radiating down to purple in the bottom left corner. The corners will be black and will radiate to a very light gray in the center.

Here's a preview of how it's coming along. I'm up to the green now, and it's getting to be too big for my design wall. I'm hoping I'll finish this quilt top sometime this year. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

New Patterns Available

Happy New Year to everyone!!! For those interested, I've made two patterns available in my Craftsy shop.

The first is my Dream Diamond quilt that first appeared in American Quilter earlier last year. You can find the pattern for this quilt here.

The second is a free pattern for the quilt block I used to make this baby quilt. Yup, this one is free! The pattern for this one can be found here.

Both of them are paper pieced patterns. If you're new to paper piecing and want a free tutorial, check out the pattern and tutorial section of my blog for a free how-to and some of my favorite resources. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Baby Geese Quilt

I feel like the past month and a half has been uber productive for me, for no other reason other than I finished not only a divided basket, but this baby quilt. 

Yes, this is my Michael Miller challenge quilt, which doubles as a baby quilt for my cousin's new son. When I got the fabrics earlier this year, I thought they'd make for a fun baby quilt. I was right. 

I had to rush to finish this one though. I had the binding half hand sewn to the the back, when I got a text from my cousin on November 26th - his son was born a couple of weeks early. So I got to work that day, finishing sewing the binding and washing the quilt so that I could gift them this new quilt on Thanksgiving the next morning. 

I just did some simple straight line quilting, which always seems to take longer than planned. Why do I always pick things that take a lot of time? Who knows? But I love the effect. As I was part way through quilting, I was worried that they quilt would be too stiff with all of the quilting, but fortunately it wasn't. The backing is something I picked up at Marden's during retreat a few years ago. I forget what it is. I quilted this with 50wt Aurifil on my Bernina this time around. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Nautical Divided Basket

I've managed to sneak in a little sewing here and there lately, more so the past few weeks than I have in a little while. (That's still not saying much though.) In this little bit of time, I made a divided basket for my parents with a little nautical theme to go with their beach house. I actually gifted this to them a couple of weeks ago, but am just now getting around to writing this up here.

(I'm keeping things honest here - that's my messy sewing room in the back. Yup, things are an absolute mess.)

I really like this pattern, by Noodlehead, and will possibly make a few more in the future. It's easy to put together and makes a great gift. This being my second basket, it went together even easier than the first one, which I gave away in the Boston MQG Sewing Room Swap earlier this year.

Okay... off to go study for finals next week. Wish me luck!