Friday, March 30, 2012

Another Finish - Frolic Quilt

Well, last night I put the final stitch in the 400" of binding on my Frolic quilt. 

At 96" x 98", this is the largest quilt I've made to date. 
I showed some photos that Natalia fro Piece N Quilt took when she quilted this one.  There was no way I was quilting this one on my machine.

 I bound the quilt in the same blue as the cornerstones in the sashing. 

And here's the back.  If you've followed me for a while, you know that I like simple backs, preferably all the same fabric if possible.
I'm happy to have another finish for the year.  This makes 3 so far! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Another Mini Quilt Quilted

2012 seems to be the year of the mini quilt for me so far.  I have several in various stages, most recently this Hawaiian inspired applique mini quilt.
I bought the laser-cut applique piece at MQX East last year and prepped this top when I was sewing machine-less.  This weekend I finally got it quilted.  I wanted to quilt it with an echo quilting, but knew that would be difficult given all of the curves.  I decided to quilt it with an uneven, wonky echo quilting instead to have the same look but with a twist.
Now to decide what to bind this in.  I'm still in the middle of binding my giant Frolic quilt.  I have about 300 more inches to go, so the binding on this one might have to wait a few weeks. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Back in the Game

I finally managed to put everything away after retreat this weekend.  My house might not be the most organized, but I hate it when my quilting room isn't organized. 

The thing that took the most time... putting away all of this fabric that I got at Marden's on my way home from retreat.

Marden's sells salvage fabrics.  The fabrics are quilt store quality fabrics (well, the one's that I got, some might be more Joann's quality) and have no issues.  No fabric is more than $4.99, which is awesome for quilt store, designer fabrics.  In addition, they are very generous when they cut their fabrics.  I measured, and all of my 2 yard cuts were at least 2.25 yards with most being 2.5 yards. My 3 yard cuts were all at least 3.5 yards with most being 3.75 yards.  I calculated it out that with what I paid and the fabric that I purchased, it worked out to $3.80 a yard!  And that's for quilt store quality fabrics.  I'm talking Westminster, Free Spirit, Henry Glass, Studio E, etc.

After putting all of my fabric away, this is what my fabric shelf looks like!
My fabric is organized by color, by fabric line and by fabric type.  I have one section for my solids, one for my batiks, and the rest for designer cottons.  I have two spaces for books and two spaces for my fat quarters. 

I organize fabric that's more than a yard in length two ways.
For fabric that is just going in my stash, I wrap it around a 9" ruler and then fold it in half.  I them place it into a cubbie by color.  This is my green/teal cubbie.
If I have more than two 1+ yard pieces of fabric from the same fabric line, I wrap them around a mini bolt to keep the line together.  I used to use pieces of cardboard before I got the plastic mini bolts for Christmas last year. 

Phew, now that I'm all organized I can get back to being creative.  I finished the quilt top for the Paper Pieced Pattern-A-Day Garden Party Blog Hop that I'm participating in next month.  (phew, that's a mouth full)  I get to share that with you on April 26th.  I can tell you that I've been inspired by the early spring we've been having here in Massachusetts and the flowers popping up are my inspiration.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Eva Package Quilt Finished

Last week I picked up my Eva Package Quilt that I had 4/5 of the way machine quilted.  I decided that it was high time I finished quilting it and marked complete.
I finally finished the quilting one evening last week and prepped the binding the following night.  I wrapped it around an empty spool of thread that I had just emptied while finishing the quilting to bring with me to retreat. 

While at retreat, I machine stitched the binding to the top and after dinner and a couple of margaritas the first night, I decided it would probably be best if I didn't try to stitch a straight line or use my rotary cutter.  I ended up hand sewing about 3 feet of binding that night while chatting with everyone.  The rest of the binding was finished last night.
I brought the quilt to the park this morning on my way to work and took a few pictures of the finished quilt.  I love how it came out and can't believe I waited this long to finish it.
I love the way the early morning sunrise hits the quilt in this photo and just makes the quilt glow. 
Here's the back.  Normally I like my backs to be all one fabric, but I wanted to use what fabric I had on hand, so I added the pink stripe to the purple for this back.  I love simple backings.  I added a label on the bottom right corner. 
Here's a closeup of the back and binding.  My quilting is FAR from perfect, but that doesn't keep me from enjoying the quilt. I got the inspiration for this quilting design from Judi at Green Fairy Quilts here.
And here's the front with the binding.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Christmas BOM Finally Finished

Yup, it's official.  I'm finally finished the FQS Designer Mystery BOM from 2010.  I finished it at retreat last weekend. This made my third finished quilt top for retreat.  Granted I just needed to finish the border, which took a LOT longer than anticipated.

I struggled with the border for a while.  I have no idea why, but I had issues aligning the stars so that they lined  up.  I cut fabric the wrong length.  I had a hole burned in my fabric, so I had to piece on part of the border that didn't need to be pieced originally.  Needless to say, I loathed this quilt come the end. Especially when I laid it down and realized it didn't lay flat in one area (see that pucker in the border on the right). Seriously?  I haven't had this many issues with a quilt in probably 5-7 years, when I was still just a novice quilter.
Needless to say, I'm thrilled that this top is done, but I think I'll be putting it away for a while until I grow to love it again and want to quilt the top.

I do want to note that the issues I had were not with the pattern itself.  The FQS did a good job with the pattern, I just had so many issues with the border.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Twister Quilt

Back in January Aimee was supposed to give a demo of the twister ruler but we had one of our few light snowstorms of the season and the meeting was canceled since we have folks traveling from all over the eastern part of Mass.  To make up for it, Aimee gave the demo at retreat.
Rebecca is showing Aimee's sampler quilt that she brought.
Here's the quilt that I made using the ruler.  While Aimee showed us using the ruler for a layer cake, I made this using two charm packs. 

The fabric is Momo's It's a Hoot by Moda with some Kona white added for the border. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tumbler Quilt Finished

I started making a tumbler quilt using Kate Spain's Fandango fabric a while ago as a leader and ender project.  I started by sewing tumblers in groups of twos randomly, but with purpose.  I never pieced the same color or pattern together.  The pieces were cut with my Go! cutter out of two charm packs of Kate Spain's Fandango.  Well, I finished the quilt at retreat this weekend and I can officially have my design wall back at my house. 
Here's the quilt up on the design wall at retreat. I have been working on this one for quite some time, at least six months, so it's good to see it completed.  I'll probably finish it with some straight line quilting. It's not very big, so it shouldn't take me that long. 
Here's a close up of the quilt.

This was quilt top number one that I finished at retreat!  Yay!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Back from Retreat

I'm back from the annual BMQG Retreat up in Kennebunk Maine. I had a great time and got a TON of stuff done.  I'll share some of the projects I worked on or finished (that I can talk about) this week.

On the way up we stopped at three quilt stores and did a little shopping.  I was very reserved on my purchases and only bought a few things.  (My purchase on the way back and Mardens, a discount fabric store, is another story.)
Here we are in our work room.  There were 14 of us and we each had our own table for our machine.  There were lots of lights for us to use and a cutting station.  There were two ironing boards and irons, and we set up a few additional ironing stations for everyone to use.  We also had three design walls where were often occupied with many great quilts in progress.
Lots of folks brought food.  Emily brought homemade fig newtons, I brought raspberry goat cheese brownies, chips, fruit, cookies, crackers, etc. also made an appearance. 
Aimee gave a demo on how to use the twister ruler to make pinwheel quilts.
After, KK and I walked a nearby beach that I vacationed at for 15 years growing up.  It was windy but beautiful out.  I actually turned the AC on in my car for the first time this year.  I don't think I've ever had the AC on in the middle of March up here in New England.  Crazy!

All in all, I had a great time.  It was great spending time with the members of the guild and getting to know them more. I got a lot accomplished quilting wise too, an added bonus.

Friday, March 16, 2012


So I was so proud of myself, completing block 9 of the Carol Doak Radiant Star BOM, but when I went to photograph it with the rest of the blocks, it was 1/2" too big!  Ahh
It's a cute block too!
I always measure to make sure the block is the right size before I start sewing, but for some reason, this time around I must have measured wrong.  :(  Welp, this block might become a pillow.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Around The World

Although I've been traveling a bit lately, this post is about quilting.  The BMQG is doing an around the world swap right now.  We start with a center block and pass the piece around, adding a 4-6" border each round.
Here's the block that I started with. 
Here's what I came up with.  I first through about going with a flying geese border but I wanted to stick with the straight lines of the first block. 

The border I added is 4.5" wide on each side.  There's a white 1" strip in the inside and what will finish as a 1" strip on the outside of the solid stripes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tile Quilt Block 3 Finished

While traveling last week I managed to finish the third tile quilt that I started during my work trip to Vegas a few weeks ago.
These blocks take a LONG time to finish.  They will be cut down to finish at 10" when all said and done, but with 20+ pieces that need to be needle turned, they sure can take a while.  Basically, it took me four 4-hour flights to almost finish it and another hour or so at home.  I find needle turn applique on a plane to be more difficult than at home because of the vibration of the plane, so it certainly took longer than if I were at home.
Here are the first three blocks. 1/3 of the way done!  At this pace, maybe I'll finish in a few years! ::wink wink::

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mother Daughter Trip

Last week my mom and I took a mother/daughter trip to St. Thomas.  I had some vacation time to kill or lose by the end of this month, so we took a nice, relaxing vacation for four nights.

We lounged on our balcony (above) reading and enjoying the view (below).
We lounged on the beach and by the pool.
And we had a great time.

Now it's back to work, just in time to head out to retreat this weekend!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

First Finish of 2012

Well, I finally have my first finish for 2012.  With my machine gone for 3 full weeks, I had time to prep a bunch of stuff to finish, and I actually finished something within a week of getting my machine back.  Whoo hoo.
This wall hanging finishes 15" square.
I used a wool batting to make the hexis pop with some echo quilting around them.
Here you can see the echo quilting.
Here's the back.  I love how it looks.  I put a label on the bottom right and I have triangles in the top to help hang the quilt.  I love this technique to hang a wall hanging.
Overall, I LOVE how this came out.  Even though the fabric isn't my style, I love this quilt.  It will be heading down to my in-laws in a few weeks when my husband goes down to visit his mom.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Guess What I Finished?

That's right, I finally finished the ten stars that are going to be a part of the border for my 12 Days of Christmas, FQS BOM quilt.
The tricky part about these blocks was matching the point where the white points met near the center of the star.  Because the white pieces were at different angles, I couldn't just line them up and sew 1/4" seam.  I had to slightly overlap one over the other.  Let's just say I became friendly with my seam ripper while piecing these.  After I pieced the entire block, I realized that it actually looked cool when some of the blue points were cut off because it gave the block a more random look, which is the look that I think the block is going for, so I actually did it on purpose on some of the blocks.  It's so counter-intuitive to cut off points that I tried to make perfect, but I like the effect.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Another Simply Radiant Block

While I had no machine, I prepped a couple of the Simply Radiant BOM blocks from the Carol Doak Yahoo Group.  Here's this completed block.  I just love how these blocks are turning out.

And here are the eight that I've completed.  Just four more to go.
This block is in the upper right corner.  I said it before, and I'll say it again, I love these!