Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Labor of Love - DWR Challenge Complete!

 I am so thankful for the wonderful week I was able to share with family and friends. Having a few days off for Thanksgiving and just getting to rest/quilt was such a treat. This much needed break afforded me the time to finish up the Double Wedding Ring challenge for the NYC Mod Quilt Guild.

So here's what happened:

After ordering the EZ Quilting DWR acrylic ruler, I sketched out several different patterns that I wanted to make on graph paper. I was able to roughly figure out how many A and B pieces were needed to make this project happen. Who knew you would need that many pieces for just 4 (not so little) rings?
I started by cutting up the scraps from my last major
project: the Rainbow Ribbon quilt.
I love my Kona collection of colors.
(I wish I could afford to buy the bolt for each color they make.
I would then need a bigger house to hold 220+ bolts!)
A lot of little pieces to cut.
(The original designer of this pattern had A LOT of patience!)
Since I wanted to make a ticker-tape-style design,
I cut freezer paper as a place holder for the rings on the background fabric.
All of the cut pieces stayed on the "designing/dining room table"
for a while before I settled on the quilt top.
I loved how this template is just made for a rainbow design.
The six A pieces formed lovely arcs of joyful color.
Hindsight being what it is, I realized too late that
the freezer paper would be too small
because the templates of are for sewn arcs. 
This part was not as easy as it might look.
If they are not lined up just right, the circles will not close.
(It took 2 days of not sewing a thing to get all four rings to work!)
Three glue sticks later...
...I didn't trust taking it to the machine so I taped them, too.
(Hindsight again says why didn't you just use
double-sided fusible before you
cut the pieces so you could just iron them?)
I sewed around the edges of each ring
so they would say in place for layering the quilt.   
Once they were sewn, the fun part was
taking off the tape to see how many arc were left to sew.
(Almost as rewarding as popping bubble wrap.)
The top is finally finished!
It's sandwich time!
(Also known as time to mop the floor first
before you do anything else.)
I like when I can start to
see the finish line. 
I spray basted and pinned
this beast.
I don't do both steps often
so when I do you know it's love.
(Or the fear of puckering...)
Round and round I went, stopping only to sleep and eat.
I finished the binding last night and
went to the park to get the best light today.
When Two Become One
This quilt really challenged my patience at times but I loved seeing the final photos today. When you can see all of your hard work come together into something fun, the struggles along the way seem so minor. It's much like a marriage in many ways because the imperfections are not really important when you can step back and see the love you share. Marriage is a labor of love because you have to figure out how to make it through the tough times to really make it work.

So I call this quilt When Two Become One because that's what I feel a marriage represents. When two souls that are quite different (slightly off centered at times) join together, they form a beautiful union.

Quilt Info:

Name: When Two Become One
Completed: 11/29/2013
Size: 60 inches by 76 inches
Materials: Kona solids
Cotton scraps (rainbow polka dots and black and white checkered prints)
Three shades of gray background fabric
Warm and Natural cotton batting
Rainbow hearts cotton backing
Gutermann Thread (Colors 5709, 102, 6206, and 116)
Glue Stick (acid-free)
Quilter's tape
EZ Quilting Double Wedding Ring Acrylic Templates

Thanks for reading my post. Hope it inspires you to get creative and make your own Double Wedding Ring quilt.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Resistance is Futile!

I tried to resist a love affair with Pinterest but have failed miserably. It's official: I like pinning things. I am a Pinterest Mistress.

Our network was down at work today so I had a lot of free time on my hands. I decided to give Pinterest another try and learn more about pinning things. I think I was making it harder to navigate that it actually is so I gave up on it a long time ago.

Today, started the long process of cataloging all of my bookmarks saved on this computer's browser. My sewing/quilt folder is so large that I've forgotten ones that were saved a long time ago. Seeing the image and sorting them into simple collections makes things quite easy. I just started a few boards and am sure that I'll need new categories for things as I go.

Here's what I have so far:

Are you on Pinterest? Any pointers for getting my bookmarks on here faster?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

So Thankful!

I am working my fingers to the bone to get caught up from my vacation and to be able to have time away next week for Thanksgiving. I am pretty tired but excited about getting some time to sew again soon.

I did sneak some time over the weekend to visit my family in Miami to celebrate my niece's Sweet Sixteen. I can't even tell you where the time has gone but it was a delight to see the young lady that she is becoming.

My sister, the party planner extraordinaire, was able to put this "Hollywood Movie Star" themed night together with style. I know who I want to plan my next gathering.
Can you believe this cake?
It was tasty, too!

A huge space for the many friends and family that came to show
their love to my niece.
There were 16 tables!

I am so thankful for many blessings in my life including my love, my furbaby, my family, my friends and my home. (I am even thankful for my job that keeps me really busy and away from quilting days at a time.)

This weekend, I will finish up the Double Wedding Ring quilt that was started several months ago. I'll post those pics when I'm all done. What are you working on?

Wishing you a fun Friday!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Quilt Retreat

This past weekend was filled with great company and quilting. I attended the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild's first retreat weekend. The Quilt Place Retreat Center provided a cozy and beautiful space to get together and be creative.

Of course, I couldn't decide what to pack so I brought everything that fit into a jumbo-sized suitcase. I did get a lot done while I was there. Here are some photos:
Our Workspace all weekend!
My Cozy Bedroom!
Since we had an odd number, I was lucky enough to get my own room.
How sweet is that?
I loved this green and pink log cabin quilt.

Our view of the water for breakfast each day.

The front of the Retreat Center B and B.

The Dock View overlooking the Indian River

So many pretty views!
Pool and Hot Tub available!
Saturday Morning Workshop: We learned about mediums on fabric that can act just like watercolors when a wet brush is used.
My first use of Inktense Pencils. (Thanks Katherine for a wonderful workshop!)
I want a set for Christmas!
Played "strip" poker! I had a lucky night.
Great gift bag with fabric and other swag from "The Quilt Place".
 Our stay included exclusive shopping time at The Quilt Place with a discount on our purchase. Check out these great fabrics I picked up:

Check out these quilts hanging in The Quilt Place! I left there so inspired.

More projects I finished:
Quilt top for someone special this Christmas!
(I won't say who in case they are reading this.)

Front of Mug Rug for OMQG Holiday Party!
(My first mug rug actually.)
I just love the little blue bird in the bottom corner of this scrap fabric I used.
She was a fun surprise. 

Back of Mug Rug
Front of Pot Holder

Back of pot holder...mmmm coffee!
 Borrowed Michelle's book of mini projects to make this tea bag holder:

A little Christmas stocking gift for someone special.

Completed 3 Christmas BOM for the next guild meeting.

I finished the quilt top for my godson's Christmas gift. These are just some of the Halloween blocks from my guildmates and I really love it! The back will be pieced with the rest of the blocks and other random scraps of Halloween-themed fabrics I have.

(Sorry for the blurry mess. I will post better pics when I have it all quilted.)

I could write a mini book about my time away and still not cover all of the great fun we had. I am forever grateful for the company of these talented, wonderful women. My cheeks still hurt from laughing so much.

Packing up to leave there was a sadness, much like I imagine leaving the last day of summer camp. It was hard to say goodbye to my friends and go back to work today.

I can't wait for our next adventure.