Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Alternate Way

Those of you that follow me on Instagram (@AQuiltingJewel) might have seen the flying geese blocks and quilts I've been working on lately. When I'm making these quilts, I tend to make extra blocks in case I want to alter my design. I find that having extra blocks comes in handy often. In this case I had 10 extra flying geese blocks, so I started playing around with them.

Using a design wall, I moved around the blocks until I realized what would happen if I organized the blocks around a square made of the same color as the goose. Wow, what a fun design. I knew I had to turn this into a little mini quilt right away. This mini isn't big - only about 15" square or so, but I just love the look.

One of the trends I noticed at QuiltCon was the increased use of faced bindings. I've been wanting to try a faced binding for a while and decided that I would go for it here. And what do you know, I was able to do it pretty easily after checking out a number of tutorials online. I can definitely say that you will see more faced bindings from me in the future for sure.

The best part of this quilt - every single piece is from my stash. From the solids and prints on the front (Cotton Couture and some Violet Craft prints) to the backing (an old Art Gallery print), binding, batting and thread (Aurifil 2024 50wt)... I didn't have to go out and purchase anything. Score! Or is it a bad thing that I've got so much fabric in my stash that I can just whip up a ton of quilts without going shopping? Nah!

Monday, April 10, 2017


Every year for the Boston MQG Quilt Show, we have a mini quilt challenge. This year, the theme was Improv. We had to make a mini quilt that was no more than 36" x 36" using an improv technique. That's it! It's amazing how when given so much free reign, that it becomes difficult to get your mojo and make something. In fact, I was stumped (despite being the president and issuing the challenge...)

I decided I just needed to dive in. I've toyed with the idea of an improv curved quilt, so I pulled a bundle of fabric and some coordinating solids and just started cutting and sewing. I had no idea where I was going with this when I started, but I ended up really enjoying the end result. The colors and process are definitely out of my comfort zone, but that's what I love about a challenge. It pushes me as a designer. 

I thought the quilt top looked like a tree stump (hence the name of the quilt), so I quilted concentric circles to enhance the design. I love the effect it gives the quilt. I quilted this using Aurifil 50wt (and pieced with it) in an all over moss green color to match the background. I love using a thin thread to really blend in with the fabric, regardless of the color.

The end result is a fun mini quilt that I really like. Now to think of a new challenge for myself!

Fabric: Alison Glass Handmade and Cotton Couture Solids
Thread: Aurifil 50wt
Batting: Quilters Dream Poly (from my QuiltCon goodie bag!)
Finished Size: 25" x 30"
Started and finished in March 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

All Seeing Eye

Oh man, am I in love with this quilt! How in love? Well, let's just say that I'm actually in love with all THREE of these quilts. Yup, I made three versions of this quilt. I started by making the quilt you see below, All Seeing Eye. Then I decided to use this pattern for my Modern Quilt Guild Mini Swap quilt. Except I couldn't just make that quilt and give it away. I've learned with swaps, if you really love a quilt, make a second one for yourself. So that's what I did and how I ended up making three versions of this quilt.

This is the quilt that started it all. These colors are so not what I usually gravitate to, but I love this quilt. It's so fun, vibrant and striking. The cream diamonds are actual a double knit that I bought at QuiltCon in 2016. The olive and reds are Michael Miller Cotton Couture and the Navy is a linen fabric. I love the effect using different textured fabrics has. It's so striking in person.

Here's a closeup with some details of the quilting. I actually quilted this (all three of them) on my domestic using a bunch of different Aurifil 50wt threads.

This version is the one that will go to my swap partner. She loves Alison Glass fabrics, so I went with these fabrics. The white center was fussy cut to showcase the suns and the bird.

Here's a closeup of the quilting. This was also quilted using some Aurifil 50 wt threads. I love how different quilting effects give the quilt a completely different look.

And if that wasn't enough, here's the third quilt that I made. I just made double the number of quilt blocks that I made for the mini quilt for the swap. I just swapped out the background for this jewel solid. I had a ton of fun quilting this one. As you can see, the background was a total change and I love the look.
Look at that texture! (The color is off here because I adjusted it to showcase the quilting. I just had to show it to you!!!)

All of these quilts measure 20" x 21.5". It's the perfect size for a wall hanging.

I did create a pattern for this quilt. It comes together so quilt even though it's paper pieced, has one Y-Seam and uses a few templates. But don't be intimidated, it's very easy.

You can get the pattern on Craftsy here. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Through The Looking Glass - A Complete Kaleidoscope BOM

Wow, I can't believe I managed to finish my Kaleidoscope BOM within a month of finishing the blocks. Those that know me know that I'm great at finishing quilt tops, but finishing them is another story. But I'm SO happy with how this quilt came out.

It took me a little while to settle on a layout. One tip that I tell people when trying to decide on layouts of quilts is to pull out your camera phone and put it on the black and white setting. Look at your quilt through your camera with that setting and see if you have a clustering of darks, mediums or lights in one area. Move blocks around until you find the right balance. You'll probably have to play around with color placement as well. Just remember - you can continue to make changes, OR you can sew the quilt together, quilt it and enjoy your quilt.

Anyone that knows me or has followed my quilting journey also knows how much I love some good custom quilting. But because the fabrics were busy and this quilt already had so much going on (and admittedly, I really just wanted it finished), I quilted this with straight lines about 1/2" apart.

I admit, I really want to try to make a quilt or two just using one block, repeated to see the secondary designs created as a result.

All of these blocks are still available on Craftsy as individual blocks. BUT, I also created a pattern with all of the blocks in one place for ease of download and use. Click here to check it all out.

For those that followed along with the entire BOM, thank you for joining me. I'd love to see your finished quilts. And if you're just joining now, welcome! There's never a bad time to start a quilt. Enjoy!