Monday, December 15, 2014

Baby Geese Quilt

I feel like the past month and a half has been uber productive for me, for no other reason other than I finished not only a divided basket, but this baby quilt. 

Yes, this is my Michael Miller challenge quilt, which doubles as a baby quilt for my cousin's new son. When I got the fabrics earlier this year, I thought they'd make for a fun baby quilt. I was right. 

I had to rush to finish this one though. I had the binding half hand sewn to the the back, when I got a text from my cousin on November 26th - his son was born a couple of weeks early. So I got to work that day, finishing sewing the binding and washing the quilt so that I could gift them this new quilt on Thanksgiving the next morning. 

I just did some simple straight line quilting, which always seems to take longer than planned. Why do I always pick things that take a lot of time? Who knows? But I love the effect. As I was part way through quilting, I was worried that they quilt would be too stiff with all of the quilting, but fortunately it wasn't. The backing is something I picked up at Marden's during retreat a few years ago. I forget what it is. I quilted this with 50wt Aurifil on my Bernina this time around. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Nautical Divided Basket

I've managed to sneak in a little sewing here and there lately, more so the past few weeks than I have in a little while. (That's still not saying much though.) In this little bit of time, I made a divided basket for my parents with a little nautical theme to go with their beach house. I actually gifted this to them a couple of weeks ago, but am just now getting around to writing this up here.

(I'm keeping things honest here - that's my messy sewing room in the back. Yup, things are an absolute mess.)

I really like this pattern, by Noodlehead, and will possibly make a few more in the future. It's easy to put together and makes a great gift. This being my second basket, it went together even easier than the first one, which I gave away in the Boston MQG Sewing Room Swap earlier this year.

Okay... off to go study for finals next week. Wish me luck! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Quilter Takes Disney

If you follow me on Instagram (@AQuiltingJewel), you know that I went to Disney World a couple of weeks ago with some friends. The Food and Wine festival is going on at Epcot right now, so we decided to relive our youth, act like kids again and visit Disney. While we were there, the Magic Kingdom hosted the Not So Scary Halloween Party. We weren't really sure what to do for costumes, so I ended up making us custom Mickey and Minnie shirts.

I found a Mickey silhouette online and a Minnie bow, printed it out and copied it onto some Wonder Under. I ironed on the heads and bows and stitched around the outside of each piece. All in all, it probably took me two hours total to make all four shirts. That's something I can work with!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Baby Quilt - Finally a Finish!

Holy Cow! Has it really been more than three months since my last blog post? I guess that's what happens when you mix work, grad school and summer together. I admit, I haven't had the time to do much sewing, but I did manage to get this quilt finished back in June to give to my wonderful cousin before she had her adorable son.
I got a lot of the piecing done at retreat back in March and slowly finished piecing the quilt together and quilted it, echoing around the tumbler blocks in the months after.
I cut the tumbler pieces out using four charm packs and my tumbler die for my AccuQuilt using some Pure charm packs I had lying around.

It was a big accomplishment to get this one done in time for the baby shower. The final stitch went into the binding the morning of! My other cousin is having a baby in December, so I guess I should get moving on that one. Actually, I might turn my Michael Miller challenge quilt into that baby quilt since I'm still working on that. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

AMB Blog Tour Winner

I loved hearing all about where all of the commenters were from and what they enjoyed doing in their own home state. It gave me lots of ideas of places to visit and things to do in a number of places I wouldn't have thought of.

Using the random number generator, the winner of the fat quarter bundle is:

Bethany! Congratulations Bethany, you should have an email from me.

Thanks to everyone for commenting! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

AMB Blog Tour - Massachusetts

Welcome to Day 3 of the American Made Brand Blog Tour. Today I'd like to share with you the license plate I designed to represent the great state of Massachusetts. While I'll always consider New Hampshire my second home, since I lived there for 15 years, I will always love Massachusetts - the state where I was born and call home again. Keep reading for a great giveaway!

I thought it would be fitting to make a license plate with the ubiquitous hat worn by the Pilgrims since Massachusetts is where the Pilgrims landed. I also wanted to design something that people might be able to use, not just for a license plate quilt. This hat block would be perfect for a small throw pillow to decorate the house during Thanksgiving.

This block is paper pieced and finishes at 12" x 6". Because the block is 12" long, I recommend printing this block on legal size paper. To download the pattern for free, visit my Craftsy shop here.

If you've never been to Massachusetts, I highly recommend a visit. There's so much to see. In Boston you have a number of great sites like the Freedom Trail, Fenway Park, The Boston Public Garden, The Museum of Fine Arts, The Children's Museum, The Museum of Science, Faneuil Hall, The North End, and so much more. The restaurants are amazing. Outside of Boston you have beautiful beaches (yes, like on Cape Cod and The Islands). Drive west of the city and you can visit Lowell, the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. For us quilters, there's the New England Quilt Museum, the Boot Cotton Mills and the American Textile Museum. You've also got beautiful lakes and mountains all over the place. The Appalachian trail does go through Massachusetts after all. And we can't forget about the Berkshires in Western Mass. Are you a basketball fan? You're in luck - the Basketball Hall of Fame is in Springfield Massachusetts. Oh, and while you're out here, you can always visit some of the other awesome states in New England.

Now for the giveaway... Clothworks is giving away a fat quarter bundle of its American Made Brand fabrics. These fabrics are 100% Made in the USA. The colors are wonderful and rich.

I want to make this giveaway easy, so just tell me what state you're from and one thing you like to do there to be entered. That's it! If you are a no-reply blogger, please make sure I have a way of contacting you. If I can't email you, I'll pick another winner.

Only US residents or those with a US mailing address are eligible for this giveaway. I'll draw a winner next Tuesday, May 27th.

***The giveaway is now closed***

Friday, May 16, 2014

Blogger Quilt Festival - Twirling Trellis

I've designed a lot of my own quilts over the past few years, so picking one for the Original Design category was a tough one. In the end, I decide to pick one that felt most spring like and was very happy - my Twirling Trellis quilt.

I designed this quilt at the beginning of 2013, but I didn't get a chance to show anyone this completed quilt until a couple of months ago because it was off getting the royal treatment by Modern Quilts Unlimited. 

I think one of the things that I love about this quilt is that I didn't extend the pink pinwheels into the outer white sections. I think it gives the quilt a nice balance and centers it. Like so many of my quilts, it's paper pieced. 
This was the very first quilt I tried to do ruler work on my longarm. It was a bit tricky at first, but I got the hang of it. 

I used Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids for this quilt and quilted it using So Fine #50 thread. I pieced the quilt using Aurifil #50 in white. The batting is Quilters Dream Cotton. 

If you want a copy of the pattern, you can purchase a copy of the magazine online, as I don't think it's on newsstands anymore. And look, there's my quilt on the cover! How exciting!!!

Blogger Quilt Festival - Confetti

Wow, it was hard to pick just two quilts to showcase in the Blogger Quilt Festival. To start, I decide to showcase my Confetti quilt.

This quilt was actually made as part of a Bee - the Simply Solids Bee to be exact. I set out a bunch of neutral fabrics with a couple of brights - a navy, lime and dark pink.

I absolutely fell in love with the top when I finished it, but I think the quilting is one of the main reasons I decided to use this quilt in the festival. It took a TON of ruler work on my longarm, and I'm pretty sure my hand was deformed for over a week after the fact, but it was so worth it. I randomly drew a section using my ruler, outlined it a 1/4" and then filled it in with 1/4" lines parallel to one of the lines in the shape.

The hardest part of this quilt was assembling the top. When blocks came in, they were all improv blocks, but some had more white space than others. Some had a bunch of smaller pieces while others had some large ones. I couldn't figure out how to make them work, until several people suggested that I cut up some of the bee blocks to make it work. Gasp! How could I cut up something someone had worked so hard on?

But then Victoria Findlay Wolfe came to visit the Boston MQG and she said that she cut up bee blocks to make one of her quilts. If Victoria could do it, so could I.

This quilt finishes at 51" x 50" and was made with a bunch of assorted solids. I quilted it using So Fine #50 - Pearl. I used two layers of Quilters Dream Orient.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WIP: A Baby Quilt

Wow, it's been a long time since I've sewing. This has been our busy season with work. Throw on a couple of grad school finals and sewing has been practically non-existant. Fortunately, I managed to squeeze in a little sewing time here and there over the past month to throw together this simple baby quilt for my cousin who's expecting her first baby late this summer.
Finished tumble baby quilt top. Now back to finals.

This was the second tumbler quilt that I made. Both went together very easy. I used my Accuquilt Go! to cut the fabric. I used four charm packs for this quilt that I had lying around for a while now. I'm determined to use some of the fabric I have in my stash, so I'm hoping to use fabric I have on hand for the backing and the binding.

My goal is to have this quilted and bound within the next month. I think it's do-able, but you never know. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

American Made Blog Tour - Preview

You may have heard about the American Made Brand Blog Tour kicking off next week. The folks at Clothworks invited me to represent the fine state of Massachusetts, the state where I was born and currently reside (I admit, New Hampshire has a soft spot in my heart, having lived there for 15 years).

As part of the tour, one lucky blog winner will receive a fat quarter bundle of some beautiful american made solids.
So come back next Wednesday, May 21st and check out the license plate block that I designed for Massachusetts and a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of 100% American Made fabric. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Shootin' The Breeze Pattern

After receiving a couple of requests, I have created a pattern for my 'Shootin' The Breeze' quilt. This was the quilt I designed for the Riley Blake Challenge put on by the MQG. It's a fairly easy paper pieced quilt that goes together rather quick.

For a limited time only, I'm offering the Shootin' The Breeze pattern at 25% off, so hop on over to Craftsy now to get your pattern. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Purple & Green Baby Quilt

One of my dear friends is having a baby next month, so of course I just HAD to make her a baby quilt. She's having a baby girl and is decorating using purples and greens. Don't you love when someone tells you what colors they're using? It makes it easy to pick out fabrics, although sometimes I enjoy coming up with my own fabric combinations.

Her baby shower was this past weekend, so I was able to give her this baby quilt in person. I was so happy that it was still well received and everyone, including mom and dad, loved the quilt.

I had a fat quarter bundle already with a bunch of greens, purples and blues, so I went with it. I cut 3 1/2" strips and cut a bunch of triangles using my Hex N More ruler. I did add a couple of additional fabrics, because I can't just leave something as is!

I pieced the top while at retreat and machine quilted it there on my domestic. I haven't quilted on my domestic in a little while, but it was fun. Heck, quilting anything is fun.

I backed it in a fun print I got at Marden's last year at retreat. I think it's a Michael Miller fabric. I bound it in a purple print I got at Marden's this year. I totally forgot to bring a binding fabric with me to retreat, so I'm glad I bought something that magically worked.

I can't wait to meet the baby, and I hope this quilt is loved. I stressed to the mom that when I give a quilt, it's meant to be loved and used. I even gave her a card that said to use the quilt and wash it as needed. I'd love to make another quilt for the baby because it was loved so much! That's the best feeling in the world for a quilter, wouldn't you agree? 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WIP - Another Baby Quilt

I love having a leader and ender project going at any given time. In fact, I usually have a regular project and a paper pieced one going at any given time so that I can pick the project to work on whether I'm working on a regular quilt project or a paper pieced on. At retreat, I started a new leader and ender project - a baby quilt for a family member having a baby boy this summer.

I cut up four Sweetwater Pure charm packs using my Accuquilt Go! tumbler cutter. While at retreat, I sewed them into pairs. As I've begun working on other projects, I've been sewing these together, first in pairs and then sewing those pairs together.

This one should go together pretty quick, pending I actually have time to quilt and don't have machine issues again. I'm really trying to be random here and not spend too much time figuring out where fabrics go.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

I'm Back

After a stressful week of finals for school, I packed up and trekked north for our annual retreat in Kennebunk, ME.

We set up in a large gym and spent the long weekend sewing, talking, drinking and eating. I'll let you figure out what we did more of. ::wink wink:: There were 38 of us from the Boston and Seacoast MQG's all itching to sew and talk to people that like to sew. I'll share some of what I worked on later this week. Check out the Boston MQG blog for a great recap of our retreat.

After retreat, I scooted home and quickly packed for a little spring break vacation with one of my friends. I had a week off of school, so I took advantage of it and made a beeline out of New England for warmer weather in the Dominican Republic. After this winter, I needed some warmth and humidity.

Now that I'm fully rested, it's back to work and school. I'm also excited to say that I now have a fully functional domestic and longarm sewing machine, so I can finally do some sewing at home.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Getting Ready to Retreat!

Our annual BMQG retreat is upon us and I've been very busy getting ready for it. With my longarm out for service for 14 LONG weeks and my domestic in for regular maintenance and to repair the broken handle and thread holder for the past four weeks, I've been spending most of my time cutting. Throw in the craziness of working full time and going to grad school full time, and I'm going through some serious sewing withdrawal. Four days of sewing sounds like pure bliss right now.

One of my big projects will be to make a quilt using this bundle of fabrics. I'm using a dozen different Liberty of London prints with a coordinating Textured Solids fabric from Andover and a neutral chambray from Robert Kauffman for the background. Let's just say this quilt will be full of different textures. If all goes according to plan, I hope to enter this quilt at QuiltCon and possibly a few other shows with modern quilting categories.

I'm also hoping to work on a bunch of WIPs including my Meadow quilt, which I started at the Philly SewDown. I have four of the 20 blocks complete. Below are the first three blocks. I finished cutting the remaining 16 blocks last week, so I might be able to finish this one, depending on how much time I spend sewing vs. talking.

I'll bring a few other WIP's with me to work on, but I don't know if I'll get to them or not. Maybe I'll get to my quilted tote, also a WIP from SewDown.

And if that's not enough, I brought a few smaller projects to make some zippered pouches and such for some upcoming birthdays and baby showers. Let's just say I'm going to be busy. But that means I'll actually have something to show since I've been so quiet lately.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Twirling Trellis

I'm finally sharing a few pictures of my Twirling Trellis quilt, featured in the current issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited.

This is one of my favorite quilts ever. It was so fun to design, piece and quilt. I think the thing that I enjoy most about this quilt is that I didn't expand the pinwheel's into the outside white sections. It just adds another layer of interest.

Like so many of my quilts, this one is foundation pieced. This one is the perfect size for a wall hanging or a table topper.
This was the first quilt that I tried ruler work on my longarm. I stitched in the ditch around the yellow and pink, and did some ruler work in the lime green.

This quilt was made entirely of Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids. I find that the Michael Miller solids have such a nice, soft hand feel. They're one of my favorite solids to work with. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Riley Blake Challenge Quilt

Like most people that I talked to, I struggled to find inspiration for this challenge. The fabrics were difficult for me, but I dug deep into my sketches of quilt ideas and pulled out a quilt design that I thought would work well. I have to say, I'm pleased with the results. Sometimes it takes a challenge to get you to push your boundaries. 

I'm calling this quilt, "Shootin' the Breeze" because the pinwheels look like they're spinning in the wind. 

I designed this paper pieced pattern a while ago and pulled it out for this challenge. I struggled with how to quilt it. Originally I wanted to quilt each pinwheel individually, either with custom quilting or with a spiral around each to emphasize the movement. My swirls aren't the greatest, so after I unpicked my first attempt, I went back and did some wavy lines to make it look like the wind was blowing. 

This quilt finishes at 35" square and will make a nice wall hanging or table topper. I used So Fine! thread for the quilting and Quilter's Dream Cotton for the batting. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Twirling Trellis - Modern Quilts Unlimited

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you may have already seen my Twirling Trellis quilt, which is on the cover of Modern Quilts Unlimited! This magazine is hitting mailboxes right now and can be found at Barns & Noble, Joann's and local quilt stores.

I'm super excited to share this particular quilt with you. This one might be one of my favorite quilts right now and can't wait to get it back. I was in such a time crunch to finish this by the deadline that I didn't get any pictures of the finished quilt.

Oh, and I have another quilt in the running to be on the cover of Quilty. You can vote for my quilt - Cover 1- here: