Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2013...Just made it!


After a crazy week of sewing in between working and very little sleep, I finally finished my entry for the ROYGBIV quilt. I am so happy to share it with you!

Back in August the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild hosted two days of workshops with Jacquie Gering. Although I could not make the first day's session, I was so excited to attend her Stitch and Flip class that Saturday. I brought my favorite Kona solids (mostly scraps but a few FQs) and a gun-metal gray background color to create my project. Since I love a good rainbow, I knew I was going to incorporate as many colors as I could in this piece.

I started with 3.5 inch squares and 6.5 x 3.5 inch rectangles in my gray background color. I added a colored scrap in the corner and just started sewing. I didn't have an exact design in mind yet so I just carried on until I ran out of cut gray blocks.
 After sewing and trimming each block, I went to the design wall to see what I had so far. As I tried to connect the colors, they started to naturally form this organic line that slanted down at a fun angle. I then came up with the idea of this ribbon of colors that will swirl across the quilt.

Jacquie was such a great teacher and shared so many of her tips that day. She mentioned that she had never seen squares and rectangles together in a class and was looking forward to the end result. She even spent some time in the back helping me connect this swirl by reminding me that triangles are needed a the end to bring a line around to the next row. 
Before we left, she signed books and took photos with us. It was such a fun day!

The class ended way too quickly but I left so inspired to create this piece when I came home. I placed my pieces on my "design dining room table" since I don't have an available wall at home. I had lots of gaps here and there that needed to be filled. I also had to decide where a row would end and which colors would connect. I set out the next day to make triangle corners to bring the lines together.
This design became the final draft and I set to work piecing this top.
I took one row at a time and worked from top to bottom. 

 I spent some time working to make sure the rows were in the correct placement so I didn't lose the design or have to pick out any stitches! I was relieved when the blocks were done and I reached this point.
 Sewing the rows together was pretty easy after that! I place pins in every other row to press them in opposite directions. This made for perfectly nested seams that were a breeze to sew together.
 After weeks of searching for the right fabric to make the back panel, I was lucky enough to find what I was looking for last weekend. "Rose Windows" by Samarra Khaja (Timeless Treasures) looks like tiny pieces of a stained-glass window. It has 18 different colors and was exactly what this quilted needed on the back to emphasize the design on the front. I added a matching gray border around this gorgeous fabric to make it the same size as the front.

Now, the hard part was basting and quilting this huge thing. I spent a long time lining up the front panel with the center of the back square. I spray basted and also use safety pins so it would not move too much. I used thin masking tape to start a diagonal line in the middle and rolled it up from both ends.
I don't know that I will attempt more quilting on the diagonal any time soon. I have to find a much larger machine that will allow my "rolled burrito" to easily move about the throat space. (The Baby Lock Melody sewing machine looks like it would work better than what I currently own!)

After two days of coaxing this beast through my machine, I really loved how the quilting turned out and set to work last night to finish the binding. The rainbow strips I cut a few days ago did not really match this final project so I decided that a simple black binding would frame this quilt much better.
So here you have my final design:

I call it Rainbow Ribbon because it reminds me of a gymnasts twirling ribbons from the floor exercises. This is a gift for someone very special!

Blogger's Quilt Festival Category: ROYGBIV Quilt

Quilt measurements: 64 x 46

Quilt materials: Kona solids in various colors and gray, "Rose Windows" by Samarra Khaja (Timeless Treasures) for backing fabric, cotton batting, Gutermann thread (Color 116)

Thank you for reading this post. I hope it inspires you to be creative!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cutting it close...-Day 29

I am quickly running out of time. I am working hard to get my affairs in order to take a vacation as well as trying to meet some deadlines for quilts that need completion.

I spent some time quilting today and am almost done with a large project. I just need to make and attach the binding by Thurs.

I'm so in love with this fabric I almost hated to cut it up but it's going to become a sweet border for this colorful quilt I'm finishing.
Bright Stripes 
Remix by Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman

Fingers crossed I make it!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Just another manic Monday - Day 28

So many things to do, so little time. I've been working and quilting my fingers to the bone. I'm tired but quite energized by this quilt so I'm so close to finishing.

I did take the plunge last week and made a huge purchase that came in the mail today.
It's arrival (and the huge sale that allowed me to buy it at a fraction of it's original price) could not be more perfect. I've worked hard all year and think I deserve a fun reward.

I have 6 days left until my vacation and I can't wait to play!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sleepless Sunday - Day 27

Today I worked on piecing the backing and basting together my quilt for the Blogger's Quilt Festival. I had planned to finish it today and post the link soon after I was done. It took a lot longer to get things moving today since I was running on four hours of sleep. (Dealing with a 14 year old dog who is not sleeping well through the night. She's still my lovey bear but this morning was pretty rough.)

Evie on her birthday quilt
Halloween Doggie Treats
Evie loves 'em!

It's going to take a while to get this done but I will have it posted by the deadline this week. I'm off to get a little bit of it done now before I pass out from exhaustion.

This time next weekend, I will officially be on vacation and able to create and quilt without a care in the world. I can't wait.

Hope you had a restful weekend.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Stashbusting Saturday - Day 26

Today, I woke up with the urge to see what others are working on and go shopping! I went to the local Stashbusters meeting to see some projects and came away with a few cool tips.

Here are some of the quilts shown:

It's always fun to see new patterns and ways to use up all of the fabric we quilters tend to collect.

Then I went next door and found what I've needed for the last 2 months. I can't wait to finish this quilt now that I have the perfect backing fabric. (You'll have to wait for the big reveal coming soon.)

I also finished my friends' wedding gift and whipped on that binding like I was a pro! Check this out:

This chevron fabric made such a fun arrow when it was folded over. I really love the end result. I was able to do the continuous binding on my first try and my corners were so sharp, you could cut yourself.

18 Done and 2 to Go!

I finally glued down my last remaining Skillbuilder BOM.

I will sew them down tomorrow with clear thread and add them to my collection. I can't wait to put them all together.

What did you work on today?

Friday, October 25, 2013

My First - Day 25

My first quilt is still one of my favorites. I think it was filled with practical tips and ways to create quilts. She also has a fun sense of humor along the way.

This gift from my mother-in-law was the best thing when I was first learned to quilt. I talked about making one for my friend's baby and she brought me her book the very next day. I started reading and learning the jargon. I then started inhaling other quilt books from the library. A few years after realizing I loved quilting, I starting building my own collection of books. Many in my collection deal with pattern making and modern quilting. It's so vital that one starts with the basics of quilting to move forward. This book covers all that a newbie truly needs.

What was your first quilting book?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Gift of Time - Day 24

Today, I was able to spend a little time with family and not worry about work. My friend covered for a little bit and I could walk away for a while.

I was also given more time to complete the next Skillbuilder BOM that are missing. (It was supposed to be released today but was postponed until next week.) I have just a few left to finish and am happy about the chance to get more done this weekend.

Here's the next one I've finished:

A Rainbow in Phoenix

I had a few minutes to start gluing the foundations for the last two blocks. Both are applique blocks so I have some work ahead of me this weekend.
Rainbow Liberty Floral?
Yes, I think I will.

I love getting extra time to be with family and quilt. This week is ending nicely.
Hope you had a great day!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fabric Junkie - Day 22

Okay, you got me. I'm addicted to buying fabric. I try to only buy fabric when I am working on a project or making a gift for someone. There are other times that I buy fabric just because I can't help it. The sale was too good to pass up or the design was so just lovely I had to have it. I try rationalize the purchase afterwards by saying I will use it to make something. I think I just need to own up to the fact that I just wanted it.

Here are some recent additions to my stash:

What will the become? Who knows!
(I'll keep you posted along the way.)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Manic Monday - Day 21

Today was insane! I am still working and took a break so I can get a post done before the end of the night. (OCD about Blogtoberfest, remember?)

Right now I feel like:

In a few weeks, I feel like this:

My mantra during these stressful times: Vacation is coming! Vacation is coming! Vacation is coming! Vacation is coming!

Hope you had a better day.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Counting down... - Day 20

In 14 more days, I will officially be on vacation! I'm so excited that I can just burst.

I know this might sound odd but I'm using a big part of my vacation to work at home on projects that I never have time to complete. This is work that I actually want to do because I am getting rid of some furniture, sorting out my sewing room, and making a waist level cutting station and a proper design wall. No more bending over on this low table for hours of cutting need to make some quilts. I've been using the dining room table as a "design wall" for more years than I can stand at this point. It's something I've dreamed of doing for many years but now am taking the plunge.

Sunday's Sew Time

It took a lot longer that I thought it would but I finished my quilting on the table runner I mentioned in yesterday's post. I really love how it turned out and might just make another one for myself to keep.

(Echo quilting on this beast.)
Now, on to binding it!

Continuous Binding - My Nemesis

I spent some time today working on binding. I still haven't mastered the art of continuous binding so I wanted to practice before finishing up some bigger projects on the horizon. I made some little Halloween pot holders that would be the perfect size to work on this skill that seems to elude me. (I recently lost one of my favorite pot holders to a stove incident. I can laugh about it now but it really hurt.)

The rat's nest I kept getting when the fabric
got stuck in the feed dogs.

I kept getting it twisted up once I sewed it down.

After sewing and unpicking the same seam 3 times, I finally turned to Youtube for some sanity and found the most wonderful video. I've bookmarked this gem for future reference. The directions here were so amazing and simple. (I was almost to the desperate stage of just chucking the pot holders and ordering one of those fancy binding tools I've seen online for ten bucks.)

 I ended up with two pot holders and a few hours of frustrating attempts to make the binding line up on the diagonal and lay flat the right way so I can sew it down. I do feel that I am getting the hang of it and am not so scared to do it again next weekend.

 Hope your weekend was super fun and productive. Wishing you a great week ahead!