Monthly Archives: February 2017

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Another month, another finished quilt top.

I started the month with five finished quilt blocks from 18 months ago, originally intended for a mini quilt like my Cotton + Steel Mini Swap quilt. I decided I was less excited about a mini quilt and opted for creating fifteen more blocks to go with my original five. (This is where I mention that I realized this morning after finishing all fifteen blocks that I sewed them the wrong direction. In the end I decided the wild prints made my mistake not so noticeable. And done is better than perfect. Moving on.) With straight set blocks, this would bring my project to about 32" x 40". I cut all fifteen blocks, got organized on my trusty fast food tray, and set to chain piecing (and Netflix).

Like the first five blocks, my remaining fifteen blocks were made in sets of five. This photo shows five blocks in each row, created from five 10" squares. Each fabric is in each position once in the row. Since I was working in more blue and green with my additional blocks, I shuffled these all around for my final layout.

With a trip to QuiltCon, supervising some remodel work, and four other quilt finishes this month I had to settle for a finished top for my #8 UFO and One Monthly Goal project for February. Here's the finished quilt top.

I'm linking up to the February OMG Finish post.

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I couldn't resist the appeal of the mini swap with The Modern Quilt Guild in which we would exchange our mini quilts at QuiltCon. I was assigned Ginger as my secret partner and found inspiration in her Pinterest account. Specifically, I was drawn to the colors in this pin and loved the color wash design and spiral quilting in this one. I'm not sure how I came up with the idea to make improv tumbler blocks. It mostly started as an exercise in figuring out if I could achieve it.

I started by cutting three tumblers from each fabric as I worked through scraps and stash choosing fabrics. I aimed for about 3" tall using my cutting matt as a guide, but all of my cutting was done with a rotary cutter and no ruler. I wanted a variety of tumbler shapes, but aimed for generally 1 1/2 - 2" wide on the narrower edge and 3 - 3 1/2" wide on the wider edge. Once I'd cut a bunch of tumblers, I started fiddling with layout on my design wall and ended up with this plan.

The easiest part of the piecing was connecting the tumblers in each row. The first row I pieced (the bottom row) came out to be pretty curved (which I adjusted a bit by picking out one seam), so from then on I worked to compensate for that a bit as I pieced. It's fun to watch the project shrink up as the piecing happens.

Once my rows were complete, I decided to use smooth curves to connect the rows.

So what's a girl to do when she's up against a deadline and also needs to pack for QuiltCon? Well, naturally, she should decide to use thirteen thread colors and dozens of starts and stops to quilt her mini! Right? That's totally a sound decision, eh?

I pulled all my Auriful (50 wt.) that was even close to a color used in the quilt. From left to right they are #2735 Medium Blue, #5018 Grass Green, #1125 Medium Teal, #2783 Medium Delft Blue, #1231 Spring Green, #2135 Yellow, #3920 Golden Glow - Variegated, #1114 Grass Green, #2810 Turquoise, #4093 Jade, #2582 Dark Violet, #1100 Red Plum, and #2588 Light Magenta. Plus I attached the binding with #2605 Grey. If I stashed different weights of thread, I totally would have thrown them in too!

Then I stitched overlapping spirals that were approximately 3" in diameter. I mostly aimed to match the thread color to the area of the fabric that I was quilting on, but of course there were some great spots where strong contrast occurred as well. Here's where I started.

And some finished views.

I went to Savannah with zero threads tied and buried and my binding was only attached to the front of my quilt. I worked on burying threads on Thursday and Friday while watching demos and sitting near outlets to charge my phone. I got to give a handful of one-on-one demos myself on how to bury threads. ;-) Friday evening after dinner, I finished the final stitching on the binding. Once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator? I like that my late night hotel photo shows the texture of the quilting so well.

And of course, I took the quilt out for a mini photo shoot before delivering it to Ginger.

 

Here are Susan, myself and Ginger. We were connected in a little loop for the swap. Susan made for me, I made for Ginger, and Ginger made for Susan. We're each holding the quilt we received. I love the beautiful mini I received from Susan. It has some lovely embroidery detail that you can't see in the picture. And I adore the striped binding!

Thanks for visiting! I'm officially on an IG swap break for the time being... but boy are they fun!

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After a break from Instagram quilt swaps, I caved for two swaps, the Hazel Mania Swap and the MQG swap. I've admired Hazel for quite a while and this was just the excuse for me to finally make one. The secret partner assigned to me is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She tends to favor cool colors and greys/whites/creams or low volume as neutrals. Her mosaic mentioned that she loved the idea of a nurse's cap on the Hazel. I decided that I would make a nurse and a patient for the mini quilt and opted for a nurse's cap as well as bandaids on the "kid" Hazel to personalize it.

There are so many pieces in a Hazel block. It's very important to keep things properly labeled as you go. I opted to use my Alphabitties to keep track of all my pieces. The blocks went together pretty quickly. I admire Elizabeth Hartman's creative piecing to build the block, but with both Hazel and her Preppy the Whale pattern, I've found that reading the directions carefully is key.

Once I made both Hazel blocks, I had to decide how I would appliqué the cap and bandaids to the mini. I like a finished edge. I sketched the cap until I found a shape and size that I liked, then cut it out of two pieces of fabric, pieced them together, clipped the curves and corners and turned it right side out. The cross on the nurse's hat was raw edge appliquéd. Once the hat was made, I machine appliquéd by stitching along the edge of the cap.

For the bandaids, I once again sketched the shape and cutout my fabric, but for these I just pressed under about 1/4" around the finished edged. Then I seam ripped the seams on Hazel and inserted the bandaid into the pieced seam to really give it the look of being wrapped around Hazel. After closing the seam with the bandaid inserted, I added a small piece of batting in the bandaid for a puffy center before machine piecing the edges of the bandaid. This detail is my favorite part of the mini quilt.

I finished the quilt with organic woodgrain free motion quilting. I've used a variation of this motif before on a larger scale and really love the look of it. I find it has a forgiving ease to the design unlike some other more detailed, dense or precise motifs.

The mini has been received by Jessica. I had such a great time creating for her!

 

Here's the adorable Hazel mini that I received from Stephanie in the swap. I love the colorful print fabric, the fun glasses and the funky quilting. Such a fun addition to my sewing room wall.

Thank you for visiting!