Monday, October 31, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival

I'm entering my Moonlit Sky quilt into the Blogger Quilt Festival this time around.
This quilt took me more than two years to finish making, not exactly unheard of in my quilting time warp.
It all started when I was taking a class at the Lowell Quilt Festival back in 2009.  I had the Jacobian Arbor prints from Timeless Treasure that I had been hording for a while. (I didn't end up using the print at the bottom of the above photo.)  I added some tone on tome fabrics to the mix and I had my fabrics set for the class with the queen of paper piecing, Carol Doak.
I made this block in the class and loved the block and fabrics that I made.
I continued to add to the top and loved it more and more.  Those of you who spend a lot of time on a quilt know how sometimes you lose interest in it the more time you spend on it.  Not this one.  I loved it more and more.

Then I did what I do best, change the pattern.  The quilt in the pattern called for solid square corners to the border.  I couldn't have just a small square, so I made a mini mariners compass square that finished at 6.5" square.
I debated on if I wanted to extend the inner border or not.  You guys confirmed my thought, extend it!

Then, this quilt sat for a while.  I loved it too much to quilt it myself.  I know my machine quilting limits, so I sent it to Judi from Green Fairy Quilts to make a masterpiece of it.
This is what I got back.  A true masterpiece.  I said I wanted swirls and stars and I got something amazing.
Then, because I couldn't just leave it alone, I added, oh, about 4,800 Swarovski crystals.  No big deal.

After that it was binding and shipping it off to the Lowell Quilt Festival where it won first place in the Wall Quilt category.  I never expected it to win anything, but it did! 

PS. I love your comments and try to respond to each individually, but due to the recent snowstorm, I am without power and thus email (I can access blogger at work but not email).  Please know that I appreciate all of your comments and will reply when I am able to. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

FQS Designer Mystery BOM - Block 12

WHOO HOOO!!!! Did you here that from wherever you are? You must have because of how excited I am to finish these blocks.

The 12th and final block in the FQS Designer Mystery BOM (2010) is finished!  Now this one actually looks like an ornament, not a Chinese lantern.

Now to work on the sashing and pieced border...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

FQS Designer Mystery BOM - Block 11

And block 11 is finished.  Just one more to go after this.
I love the uneven bow in this block.  I think it adds character.  I wouldn't really associate a basket with Christmas, more Easter, but it's still cute. 

One more to go (oh, wait, i already said that...)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

FQS Designer Mystery BOM - Block 10

I finally got back to working on the FQS Designer Mystery BOM after a few weeks off and finished block 10.
I love this block.  I think the elves ice skating are so cute here, and the bow is adorable.

Now to finish block 11 and 12...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Leaders and Enders

A few weeks ago I cut 4 charm packs using my Accuquilt Go using a tumbler die.  Ever since, the pile of tumblers has been sitting next to my sewing machine and I've been using them as a leader and ender project. 

Right now these have just been assembled into pairs and I have them sitting up on my design wall for now.  There will be 12 or 13 rows total with 12 blocks across.  My guess is that I'll go with a 12x12 design since I like symmetry. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

How to Paper Piece - Part 3

I know, it's been a while between my How to Paper Piece posts.  Here I talk about the tools you'll need to paper piece and here I talk about some good books and patterns.

First you want to set your stitch length to 1.5.  You want to reduce the stitch length and increase the number of stitches per inch.  Why?  This perforates the paper a lot to make it easier to tear away after you're done.  It also creates more stitches so that a shorter length comes undone when moving and tearing the paper that you'll see we'll have to do.  I would also recommend using a 90/14 needle as it will punch a bigger hole in the paper, also making removal easier.

Step 1 - Place your piece for the #1, RIGHT SIDE UP on the BACK OF THE PAPER PATTERN.  Your piece should overlap all sides by at least 1/4".  I will double check this by holding the fabric in place and lifting up the paper and looking through the paper to the fabric to ensure all sides are covered.  Once in place, pin your #1 to the paper with the pin PARALLEL to the line connecting #1 and #1.

Step 2 - Place a piece of cardboard or thin plastic on the line connecting #1 and #2.

Step 3 - Fold the paper back on to the cardboard/plastic. Folding the paper down has two benefits, it extends the line to show you where to sew beyond the actual line and it weakens the paper to also make it easier to tear off after the block is finished.

Step 4 - Place your Add-a-Quarter ruler against the cardboard and folded paper and cut.  You just created your 1/4" seam!

Step 5 - Place piece #2 on top of piece #1 RIGHT SIDE DOWN.  (All pieces will be placed right side down from now on.)  Place it on the 1/4" steam that you created in the previous step.  Place a pin parallel to the line that you will sew.

Step 6 - Sew on the line between #1 and #2.  Begin sewing a little more than 1/4" from the start of the line and finish a little more than 1/4" after the line. (see below)

Step 7 - Iron your piece open.  The paper piecing will determine where you iron towards.  If you know that you will be ironing towards a lighter fabric, place that lighter fabric just slightly beyond the darker one before sewing so that it doesn't show through when you iron it open.

Step 8 - Continue repeating steps 2-7 for each piece until you finish your block!

Note: This block is from the Carol Doak Yahoo Group's Simply Radiant Star BOM. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bid on My Quilt & Support the Fight Against Cancer

I am auctioning off this quilt as part of my company's charitable campaign this quarter to fight cancer.  The bidding starts at just $25, although I'm hoping that it sells for much more than that.  To bid on this quilt visit the website here.

Quilt Details:
Size: 18" square
Fabric: Kona White and Grey (I'm not sure which one since I don't have a color chart) and Free Spirit's Jay McCarroll's Habitat line.
Machine appliqued and quilted by me.  The binding has been attached my machine in the front and hand sewn in the back.

I made this quilt with the intention of auctioning it off for this purpose.  The template I used from Sue Pelland Designs supports Leukemia awareness, something near and dear to my heart as my DH lost his step-father to the disease 8 years ago. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quilt Top Complete

This weekend I finished a very large quilt top, a large queen.
The bottom (left) is made using a layer cake.  I used Frolic by Sandy Gervais.  I'm sending this one off to my quilter since I don't feel like dealing with a quilt this large.
Photographing this quilt involved moving furniture at my aunt's house to have enough space.  It's that big!