Friday, June 21, 2013

A Finish LONG in the Making

Well, I finally did it. I finished one of my oldest UFO's!
I started this quilt more than eight years ago. I took an introductory class on paper piecing and made one of the blocks in this quilt. The colors of the block were inspired by the border fabric.
In the class, we made just one block, but I fell in love with paper piecing and just had to make another eight blocks to make this quilt.
What got me motivated to finish this quilt? My new longarm! This quilt top had been sitting in the closet of my studio for years. When I got the longarm, I wanted to try some quilting on an actual quilt, not just some scrap fabric. This quilt seemed like the perfect one.
For starters, it was my first paper pieced quilt, which I've grown to love the technique. My technique wasn't the best and I can point out MANY flaws, so it felt like a good quilt to practice on. Second, while I will always like this quilt, it's not totally my style any more. I can't remember the last time I put a border on a quilt. The fabrics are more traditional than I like now too.
The only fabric I can identify now is the binding, which I just added this week - a BasicGrey Origins fabric left over from my storm at sea quilt I made recently.
I am VERY happy to have this quilt finally f

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Modern Mini Challenge

Have you see the Modern Mini Challenge contest hosted by Ellison Lane?

For this contest, I'm entering my latest paper pieced design, my Pinwheel Party quilt.

I designed this quilt and finally made it for round three of the Modern She Made swap. You can read more about this quilt here and here.

This is actually a pretty easy paper pieced block, as you can see from above that creates a really fun secondary design when pieced together.

I created a pattern for this quilt and included templates for a 6" and 12" finished block.
You can find my pattern and others here:

Quilt Stats:
Pinwheel Party by Jen Sorenson of A Quilting Jewel
Finished Size: 18" x 18"
Fabric: Kona Cotton, Oval Elements, Quilters Linen, Curious Nature
Batting: Warm and Natural
Thread: Aurifil 50wt 2610

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sewing Curves

I first took a class on sewing curves about 8-9 years ago. I've made a couple of things with curves, but I never really thought much about them before. It's not like I stayed away from them on purpose, I just never really thought about it. Recently, as I was thinking up my next class to teach at Quilter's Way, I thought sewing curves would be a fun class.

I decided to use the popular drunkard's path block to make a fun quilt. I pulled a bunch of fabrics in a rainbow assortment with the help from my sister and got to work. I used an AccuQuilt die to cut all of my drunkard's path pieces, saving a lot of time.

I played with a few layouts and decided on a floral-type arrangement.

Right now I have two blocks complete, all of the drunkard's path sections sewn together and am in the process of cutting all of the square and sashing component of these blocks. These flower blocks measure around 26" square, so this will be a pretty good size lap quilt when it's done since there will be nine blocks total.

Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, June 10, 2013

SewDown Philly

It's official, I'm registered for the Philly SewDown! 

After having a fantastic time at QuiltCon, I knew I wanted to attend one of the SewDowns. First up is the Philly SewDown, which just happens to be the closest one to my house. 

I'm excited to spend four days down in Philly, sewing away with some wonderful quilters. I loved QuiltCon, but was so anxious to quilt after spending so much time looking at the wonderful quilts and hearing all of the lectures. 

So who's joining me at SewDown Philly? (Is it me, or does anyone else want to break out into a Boyz II Men song every time they hear "SewDown Philly" - must be the fact that I just saw them in concert last week.)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

WIP Wednesday: A Whole Bunch of Stuff

I've been all over the place the past few weeks in terms of quilting. I've been working on a little of this and a little of that.

Remember this pile of fabrics?

Well I'm in the middle of turning it into a quilt. I just finished making all of the cross blocks and am testing out a bunch of different layouts.

I've been very busy making binding. On the right is the binding I picked for my 8-year-old quilt that I'm determined to finish. On the left is a whole lot of binding for some Quilts for Boston quilts. To give you an idea of how much binding that is, the binding on the right is 250" long and is for a quilt that finishes at 52" square. Hopefully this binding will help finish several Quilts for Boston quilts.

Up next, I have several more quilts to quilt for Quilts for Boston. I think this one will be going on my longarm next.  (Someone else pieced the top, I'm just going to quilt it.)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes - June Goal

I've been good so far, finishing my goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes every month except one this year. I feel like I set realistic expectations for myself, which is helpful. I find it can be frustrating to always set goals that aren't achievable and constantly miss. Realistic goals are important. That being said, it's always good to push yourself too.

It's a terrible picture, I know, but this is the quilt I'm hoping to finish this month. Would you believe this quilt top is at least eight years old? Probably seeing as though it isn't really my style any more. I actually can't remember the last time I put a boarder on a quilt. (I just checked, and it was at least 15-20 quilts ago, however long ago that was.)

I threw this quilt up on my longarm last week and finished the quilting. It was my first real quilt on my new longarm, and I learned a lot. I learned that it's pretty difficult to do stitch in the ditch and echo quilting your first time around. I might need to get a few rulers and practice some ruler work. 

I learned that my construction skills are much improved from eight years ago. You can sort of see it in this picture, but somehow, in several areas, you can really see the thread where I stitched the blocks together. I have no idea why I didn't fix that before, but it drove me crazy as I was quilting it. This was one of the reasons I picked this quilt to throw on the long arm. It was my very first paper pieced quilt, so why not make it my first real custom longarmed quilt. 

Right now I just need to create the binding, machine sew it to the top, and hand stitch it down. I think that's pretty achievable considering we're entering the summer here in New England and historically, I tend to sew less during that time. Hey, us New Englanders try to take advantage of the good weather, because you never know how long it will last.