Monday, December 4, 2017

Migration

I started this quilt at the BMQG retreat earlier this year and just finished it. It's the third quilt in my flying geese series and I think it's a really fun mini quilt. My flying geese series is all about taking the flying goose block and modifying it slightly and then arranging the blocks in a unique design. I had been trying to use the word "way" in each title, but "Migration" just seemed fitting for this, so I went with it.
This is a fairly small quilt, but boy is it mighty. Between the stark contrast between the colors, the bold shape and the quilting, this quilt was both fun and frustrating to make. The piecing was a breeze, but when it came time to quilt it, I had a bright idea to matchstick quilt this on my domestic. Let's just say with all of the pulling, tugging and shifting of the top, I had to do some serious blocking to get this to lay flat once finished. But I did and it's done.
Maybe matchstick quilting is the wrong term here. I actually quilted about 4-5 lines within a 1/4" segment, so this thing is covered in thread. I'm still not sure what I was thinking. All I know is that this will likely become like a similar story, where I pebble quilted an entire quilt using metallic thread. I've never done that again and I likely won't do this again on my domestic.

The Deets:
30" wide x 33" long
Fabric: Michael Miller Cotton Couture for the solids and assorted white print scraps
Thread: So Fine! #50 408
Batting: Quilter's Dream Cotton Select

Thursday, November 30, 2017

This Way Up

I've been doing a whole lot of running and working lately, which means I haven't had as much time for quilting as I'd like. But with the weather getting colder and with less daylight to be had, I've been able to sneak in more quilting time this fall. With that, I was able to complete a few quilts recently, including my "This Way Up" quilt.
This is the fourth quilt I've completed in my flying geese series. I really love this quilt and had a ton of fun making it. From picking the colors in the ombre effect within the arrow to the grays and even the thread, which is a light Aurifil gray (2600). I always go with a lighter color thread if I'm using it across many types of fabric of varying value. When you get down to the black and charcoal gray it almost looks like sashiko on a smaller scale as a result.
I paper pieced each block, which really isn't a surprise to anyone at this point. I quilted it on my domestic this time around with stitches a half an inch apart except within the one large teal triangle. That one has one quarter inch stitching to make it stand out a little.

The quilt finishes at 45" long and 41" high. It was made using Kona solids and pieced/quilted with Aurifil 2600 thread in a 50wt. The batting is Quilter's Dream Orient, which gives the quilt a really nice drape. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Seaweed Is Always Greener...

...in somebody else's lake. This quilt was so incredibly fun to make. Maybe it was the fun, asymmetric design that I'm not used to. Maybe it was the beautiful shot cottons I used to make this quilt. Or maybe it's just fun to quilt. I'm going with all of the above! Introducing "The Seaweed Is Always Greener" quilt.

I had a ton of fun making this quilt. I've always struggled with the mustard color seen in this quilt, so it's always a personal challenge to use it. I love the look of it in a lot of quilts, but I'm just not as into earth tones as I am jewel tones. At the same time, I am always in love with the quilts I make that use colors out of my comfort zone.

And like most of my quilts, this one was paper pieced. I designed it when playing with a parallelogram design and just adding in random lines. Sometimes freeform designing yields some of the best results, as is the case with this quilt. Because I used shot cottons, I made sure to really starch them first before piecing with them, as it's not good to use any form of liquid with the paper template.

As for the quilting, I matchstick quilted this using my HandiQuilter longarm. I used channel locks and took my time carefully avoiding quilting anything in the mustard yellow. I did that so the fabric would pop. I only used one layer of batting, but the 3-D effect still comes through loud and strong. I love the look of matchstick quilting. It sure uses up a ton of thread, but it's so worth it. In the end, I'm so in love with this quilt.

This quilt measures 33.5" x 44" and is available as a pattern in my Craftsy shop. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Nesting - What's Old is New Again

Wow, I'm not sure I ever thought I'd finish this quilt. I made the top what seems like ages ago, but was really about 5-6 years ago. I used some very precious Tula Pink Nest fabric (3 charm squares) to make the top, which is a modified version of a Weeks Ringle/Bill Kerr pattern that I thought would be good to showcase the charm packs and the fabric without having to cut into them. 

I ended up just quilting straight lines across the quilt about 1/2" to 3/4" apart. I didn't measure how far apart the lines were; I just went for it. I think the reason it took me so long to quilt and finish this quilt is that I had intentions of custom machine quilting it, but I could never get inspired by a particular design(s) to dive in. So it sat unfinished. Until I decided to just put the quilt on my longarm and go for it. 

My plan is to use this quilt as a beach blanket. Some of you might be gasping right now at the fact that I'm planning on using such rare, precious Tula Pink fabric on the beach, but I decided I'm going to use and love this quilt. I put a dark print from the collection on the back that I got on clearance for about $3 a yard when the line was out at the time. 

The quilt is slightly smaller than a twin size, but it's perfect for lying out at the beach and reading a good book. I bound the quilt in the same Nest fabric as the back since I had so much yardage of it. One of the reasons I'm excited to use this quilt is that it really shows how my style has changed through the years. I love that about myself. If I was still making the same type of quilts as I was five years ago, I'm not sure I'd be quilting. I love evolving my style and trying new things. That's the joy of quilting to me. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Alternate Way

Those of you that follow me on Instagram (@AQuiltingJewel) might have seen the flying geese blocks and quilts I've been working on lately. When I'm making these quilts, I tend to make extra blocks in case I want to alter my design. I find that having extra blocks comes in handy often. In this case I had 10 extra flying geese blocks, so I started playing around with them.


Using a design wall, I moved around the blocks until I realized what would happen if I organized the blocks around a square made of the same color as the goose. Wow, what a fun design. I knew I had to turn this into a little mini quilt right away. This mini isn't big - only about 15" square or so, but I just love the look.


One of the trends I noticed at QuiltCon was the increased use of faced bindings. I've been wanting to try a faced binding for a while and decided that I would go for it here. And what do you know, I was able to do it pretty easily after checking out a number of tutorials online. I can definitely say that you will see more faced bindings from me in the future for sure.

The best part of this quilt - every single piece is from my stash. From the solids and prints on the front (Cotton Couture and some Violet Craft prints) to the backing (an old Art Gallery print), binding, batting and thread (Aurifil 2024 50wt)... I didn't have to go out and purchase anything. Score! Or is it a bad thing that I've got so much fabric in my stash that I can just whip up a ton of quilts without going shopping? Nah!