Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - A Year in Review

I'd say 2013 was a great year overall and looking back at 2013 from a quilting perspective, I'd say it was pretty awesome.

I ended up finishing up 14 quilts.

I also made another dozen smaller (or not so small sine there was a Weekender thrown in there) projects.

This year I was fortunate to attend QuiltCon.

I also had quilts featured in Fat Quarterly, McCall's Quilting and American Quilter!

Overall, I'd say it was a great year and I can't wait to see what 2014 holds in store. Here's wishing everyone a Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Simply Solids Bee Block

Earlier this week I showed the quilt top I made from the blocks I received in the Simply Solid's Bee (on Flickr). I was a bit late on this November block, but last weekend I made this fun and easy block.

The pattern called for sewing the blocks together in tubes and ripping out a seam in different ways. I wasn't crazy about the planned-looking pattern that occurred after I did that, so I ripped a couple of blocks out and rearranged them. There's still a little bit of a planned look to the block, but I think it looks much better and a little less random. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Simply Solid Quilt

What seems like ages ago, it was my month in the Simply Solids Bee (on Flickr) earlier this spring. I asked my fellow bee members to make improv blocks using mostly whites and creams with a few hints of a specific fusha, lime and navy fabric.

I made this test block to show everyone what I was thinking.

Blocks started to pour in and I was faced with turning all of these blocks into a cohesive quilt. For a while I wasn't sure where to start. Some of the blocks had teeny tiny pieces while others had larger pieces of negative space. After a while, the blocks sat in a pile... out of sight, out of mind.

But last weekend I finally had some time to sew for the first time in months. One of my first orders of business was to finally tackle this quilt. After hearing Victoria Findlay Wolfe talk about taking some bee blocks she received and cutting them up to use in quilts, I thought about dissecting some of these blocks with tiny pieces and inserting those pieces into some of the blocks with more negative space.

The result, I have to say, is pretty awesome! I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I quickly went online to order a backing print that I had in mind and have been thinking of how I want to quilt this one up. I have a few ideas, but until my longarm is fixed, I'm stuck contemplating the best way of quilting it.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Giveaway Winner

I hope everyone had fun this week with the Sew Mama Sew giveaways! It's always fun reading what everyone writes. Many of you seemed to like the Swoon quilt pattern the best. I have to agree with many of you, it's a great pattern!

I used the Random Number generator to pick a winner for the giveaway and it selected:

My favorite pattern is the Swedish Bloom block. Thank you for the giveaway!

Congratulations Katie! Look for an email from me and I'll get your gift out to you ASAP. 

And because I can't have a post without a picture, I thought I'd post a picture of a penguin pillow I made last year. The pattern for the block is available for free in my Craftsy shop if you want to make a great last minute Christmas present. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Giveaway Day

Welcome to my blog! For those of your just stopping by, here are a few quilts I made this year. 

For Sew Mama Sew's giveaway day, I'm offering a few things up to a lucky winner!

First up is an Amy Butler Weekender pattern. When we were doing the Weekender sew-along, I accidentally bought a pattern when I already had one. You could benefit from my oops! 

Second, the winner will receive a PDF of one of my quilt patterns of their choosing. 
Finally, the winner will also receive a copy of McCall's quilting, where my Framed Up quilt is featured. 


And I'll also throw in a few surprise items for the winner, like some thread or zippers, or maybe even some fabric!

You have four (4) chances to win. I will announce the winner on Friday, December 13th. International entrants are welcome. If you're a no-reply blogger, please leave your email address so that I have a way of reaching you. 

1. Leave a comment on this blog telling me what your favorite quilt pattern is. (one entry).

2. Follow my blog (via Bloglovin, Google Friend Connect, email, RSS, etc.) and let me know in a comment. If you're already a follower, leave me a comment letting me know (one entry).

3. Follow me on Instagram (@aquiltingjewel) and leave me a comment letting me know. If you already follow me on Instagram, leave a comment letting me know (one entry). 

4. Like me on Facebook and leave me a comment letting me know. If you have already liked me on Facebook, let me know in a comment (one entry).

American Quilter - Dream Diamonds

I'm excited to share a quilt with you that I finished earlier this year and is currently featured in the latest issue of American Quilter Magazine.

I designed this paper pieced quilt last year and finished piecing the top earlier this year.

This quilt was also quilted by the talented Angela Walters. She did an amazing job with the quilting.

If you're new to paper piecing, this is a very simple pattern to try. The 12" blocks are made of up four sections, each with only five pieces each. You also don't need to line up any points when assembling each block, although you do need to line up a few when sewing multiple blocks together.

I try and challenge myself at times, trying to go out of my comfort zone when it comes to colors at times. While I love purple and blue, orange is my least favorite color, so this quilt was a personal challenge to use more orange.

I took these pictures at my parent's house, right as they were moving out and into their new home, so this magazine and these photos will always be a reminder of the eight years they spent there.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Framed Up - McCall's Quilting January/February 2014

Last night I arrived home and found a quilt on my doorstep. Not just any quilt, it was my Framed Up quilt that I had finished in January and sent off to McCall's Quilting this summer to be featured in their January/February 2014 issue. That's right, I have a quilt in McCall's Quilting Magazine!
I originally designed and made this quilt last year, sending it off to the talented Angela Walters to machine quilt it for me. I knew I wanted to try and get this pattern published, so I held off sharing it on my blog. Problem is, I wasn't really sure about how to go about submitting it. Luckily, QuiltCon was right around the corner and there was a session on submitting to magazines!

I sent of my submission to McCall's shortly after returning from QuiltCon. Why McCall's, well it was the first magazine I subscribed to 11 or 12 years ago when I first started quilting. But I also submitted quilts to other magazines over the next few months. Some were accepted and others weren't. Why am I telling you this? To encourage everyone that's thinking about submitting a quilt to a show or magazine to do it if you really want. Not every quilt is meant for every show or magazine. But when it's the right fit, it's an awesome feeling.

Regular readers of my blog know that I love paper piecing, so of course this quilt is paper pieced. I would consider this an intermediate paper pieced pattern for those that know how to paper piece. There are a number of points that you need to line up when piecing blocks together, but that's pretty much the most difficult part.

I gave Angela pretty much free reign when quilting this quilt. I don't know about you, but I think she did a really great job.

The folks at McCall's agreed and included another page, in addition to the pattern, talking all about the quilting.

In addition, Quilters Newsletter posted a recent video on Modern Quilting, which featured Framed Up as one of the examples. Check out the video below. They begin talking about Framed Up at the 4:30 mark.

This issue of McCall's Quilting hits newsstands next week, but if you have a subscription, it should be in your mailbox any day if you haven't already received it. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Enchanted Evergreens Quilt

I'm excited to introduce you to Enchanted Evergreens, a quilt I designed for the Christmas issue of Fat Quarterly.

I was inspired by the Christmas movies of the 60's with the random Christmas trees randomly placed around the set to create a Christmas forest.

I had some major help making this quilt. Karen, my aunt, lovingly pieced the top for me while I finished up a few other projects at the same time.

The blocks go together pretty easily, making this quilt the perfect project for the beginner/intermediate quilter to throw together before Christmas. All you need is a ruler with a 60* line, or a 60* ruler such as the Hex N More ruler to make those triangles.

I quilted this quilt on my longarm in rows of random loops, which look like Christmas ornaments to me.

If you're interested, head on over to Fat Quarterly and get yourself the latest issue. Having personally looked through the issue, I can say that there are a number of other great patterns.

Enchanted Evergreens
75.5" x 91"
Fabric: Aspen Frost by BasicGrey
Thread: So Fine #50! Barely Mint
Batting: Quilters Dream Cotton

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fat Quarterly Sneak Peek

Tomorrow the Christmas issue of Fat Quarterly comes out featuring my Enchanted Evergreens quilt.

Here's a sneak peak of the quilt (top right). Come back tomorrow to see the quilt and learn more about the inspiration behind it. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blogger Quilt Festival - Baby Quilt

While at SewDown Philadelphia, a bunch of us were looking for something to do during the free sew time. I had come directly from a work trip in Milan, Italy, so I didn't have much room to pack extra fabric/projects. Fortunately, we all received charm packs of Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids in our swag bags. A bunch of people decided to do a challenge to make a quilt using the charm pack - and thus the SewDown ThrowDown was born.
While I think everyone else added additional fabric, I set out to just use the fabrics provided in the charm pack - my own personal challenge within the challenge. I knew my suitcase was nearing the max weight, so adding more fabric might have put me over the limit (I ended up three pounds over and had to do some serious moving of stuff anyway).

I decided to make half square triangles, separating the colors by warm and cool colors. Overall, I think trying to separate the colors that way was okay, but because the charm pack was full of colors that could have gone one way or another - yellow or green, or purple or pink - that the separation of colors wasn't quite what I was hoping for.  That being said, I'm still really pleased with how this quilt turned out.

I backed it using an Art Gallery print that I've had in my stash for a couple of years now. As you can see above, I quilted this quilt, echoing either side of the diagonal lines of the HSTs.

I bound the quilt using Kona Iron.

Quilt Stats:
32" x 28"
Fabric: Michael Miller Cotton Couture Solids, Kona Iron, Art Gallery (I forget the line)
Batting: Warm and Natural
Thread: Aurifil #50 2600


Blogger Quilt Festival - Wall Hanging

Sticks and Stones is a wall hanging that I made for the Boston MQG's mini quilt challenge. For the past two years we've participated in the Lowell Quilt Festival with our own exhibit. Part of this exhibit has contained a mini quilt challenge. This was my quilt for it. You can see the rest of the quilts here. 

This quilt was inspired by Jackie Gering's Craftsy class. I've enjoyed making more improvisational quilts these days, although I'll never shy away from designing my own paper pieced patterns.

The gray background fabric made this quilt difficult to photograph though. 

This block was made as four different blocks. I started with a bunch of strips of fabrics based on the inspirational color palette.

I quilted this, offsetting a handful of straight lines, horizontal and vertical. Once I had a handful of straight lines, I quilted out from the intersection.

Here you can really see what I did for the quilting. I think it gave the quilt a really cool effect.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Roots of Modern Quilting Exhibit

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the curator of the New England Quilt Museum, Pam Weeks. They were finalizing an upcoming exhibit on The Roots of Modern Quilting and thought my Mod Hex 2 quilt would be the perfect addition to the exhibit.

Feeling completely humbled and honored, I of course agreed to let them use my quilt in the exhibit.

The opening reception was this past Saturday. The museum was lucky to have both Victoria Findlay Wolfe and Jacquie Gering attend the opening reception.

Here's my quilt hanging right next to Angela Walters' quilt.

Here's Victoria with her third double wedding ring quilt in a series of 12.

Jacquie Gering's quilt is on the left and Thomas Knauer's is on the right.  (I totally forgot to grab a photo of Jacquie.)

And this is a Denyse Schmidt quilt. The lighting of this quilt really made it shine.

I think the most humbling thing about being in this exhibit is the fact that my little ol' quilt is on display among some of the most wonderful names in quilting today - Denyse Schmidt, Jacquie Gering, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Thomas Knauer, Heather Jones, Molly Upton, Angela Walters, Radka Donnell and Lucy Mingo. And then there's little ol' me.

Thank you Pam Weeks for including me in this wonderful exhibit. I am truly honored.