Monday, January 15, 2018

Hippo Blue Quilt

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It's a wrap!

Hippo Blue quilt on the grass

Or should I say, it's a quilt? Either way, the top using techniques from my January Book of the Month selection, Improv Patchwork, now consists of three layers, held together by stitches - the definition of a quilt!

Introducing Hippo Blue, because it's blue and there's hippos. How creative is that?

Hippo Blue quilt side view

I'm happy with how this ultimately turned out, though I do wish I would have incorporated the orange sooner. But it all worked out, especially with the Tangled Triangles pantograph adding the perfect touch!

Hippo Blue quilt closeup

Looks like freehand random triangles, but no, it's a pantograph, with repeating rows of four nesting triangles.

Though those triangles weren't freehand, the quilt blocks were. All the strips for making the blocks were freehand cut - no ruler at all! I tend to cut fairly straight, and any wavy lines ended up disappearing when stitching. And there was no lining up of seams or squares in those blocks, which is easier to see in this pic. Stress free assembly!

Hippo Blue quilting closeup

Just so you know, I don't have a computer driven stitching system on my machine. Following the pattern with a laser light (no ruler here!) makes for a few wobbly lines. But I did my best to be smooth, and to make great points, for which I have a quilting video showing how to do this - Quilting Square Corners.

And the back? It's that cute hippo fabric I found in my stash, after I put the top together. It was that piece that was the inspiration for adding orange to the front.

Hippo Blue quilt backside

To get this to the proper size, any and all extra pieces were sewn together - no leftovers here!

Hippo Blue quilt backside closeup

Now we just need to contact mom to let her know it's ready, and her son can play away!

Hippo Blue quilt rolled

Happy Quilting!

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Linking up with:
Moving It Forward
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Friday, January 12, 2018

Improv Patchwork Update

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More blocks have magically appeared, with guidance from the Improv Patchwork book, and now I have a top!

Improv Patchwork quilt top after orange

Though I have a confession to make - there were minor adjustments to the top after all blocks were sewn together. Keep reading for the full story!

After the first round of sewing, the top actually looked like this:

Improv Patchwork quilt top before orange

Boring, if I do say so myself. Since it's intention is as baby quilt for one of hubby's coworkers, I figured it's fine.

Then I went hunting for a backing fabric, and found this:

hippo backing fabric for baby quilt

approximately a yard, plus pieces, in my stash. And a perfect fit for this top!

Notice the use of the blue and teal in here, plus orange and yellow. Duh!!! Wish I'd seen this first for color guidance on the top.

closeup hippo backing fabric

That's what this top is missing - should have thrown some orange in there while making the blocks. Let's take that idea for a test drive - but is it too late?

Improv Patchwork quilt top orange placement test

After playing around with a few orange squares on the top, I waffled on replacing four squares.

I really wasn't overly wild about ripping into a finished top, but, if you're like me, knowing there needs to be a bit of pop added in, one compromises. So instead of being unhappy, banishing the top to the UFO pile, or ripping the whole thing apart, I bit the bullet to replace just those four squares.

one square removed from a block

orange inserted into a quilt block

Those four were all I was willing to replace, taking maybe an hour, but at least I'm happier with the top now. It's certainly not a prize winner, but it looks better with that bit of orange.

So, now on to making the backing big enough with bits and pieces of leftovers, then I can get this quilted, and out the door. I should be showing it off next week - see you then!

Happy Quilting!

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Midweek Makers 106

Welcome to Midweek Makers - time to share your projects!

Hey - did anyone notice I changed my header picture? What do you think? Each year I change it to showcase my favorite quilts from the previous year - always fun to see them again!

And that's about all I've gotten done blog-wise. I can also honestly say I didn't do any sewing over the holidays, and pattern writing for Winter Feed took priority last week. (By the way, today is the last day to receive 25% off the Winter Feed pattern at Etsy - use coupon code 'WINTERFEED25' at checkout.)

So, yesterday, I finally got my rear in gear and started in on a quilt from Improv Patchwork, my Book of the Month selection, with this small bit of progress to show.

blocks from the Improv Patchwork book

A whole whopping 3 blocks! That's really not that bad for an hour's work, after stitching alternating strips of these yummy fabrics, 

to make two different strip sets,

then making blocks from one of those strip sets. And that's as far as I got. I still have a long way to go, but that's for another day.

Continuing with the theme of alternating fabrics, these pretty little Dresden's from Nanette at Chopin - A Passionate Quilter caught my eye last week.


Believe it or not, these are just 3 1/2" in size - too cute!!

From all the entries last week, it looks like everyone had lots of time to sew over the holidays - so let's see what you're working on! 
  • Please link directly to your specific post, not your main blog page.
  • Visit and leave a comment to two links: the one before and the one after your own. Everyone loves visitors, comments, and encouragement!
  • Bring a friend! Invite your fellow bloggers to the party by spreading the word! 
  • Please link to on your post. 
Enjoy the party!!

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Winter Feed Pattern Release!

It's here! Winter has arrived, and so have the cardinals who are happy to have a snack and respite from the snow.

Winter Feed quilted wall hanging

And I'm happy to see them! All of the red and green quilt pieces are tucked away for another year, and now it's time to settle into the winter theme. Which means I get to look at these wonderful red cardinals against a blanket of freshly fallen snow - without having to go outside! What more could one ask for to brighten a winter day?

This cheerful quilt is quite easy to make, especially using the magic technique I discovered in making the bird feeders.

marking for roof placement

In fact, the bird feeder blocks were so much fun, I'd love to make another quilt with them - I just need to work out a design.

And of course, once the bird feeders are made, the rest of the quilt goes together easily. The applique birds are a snap to assemble (only four pieces), and with minor adjustments to wing placement, they take on different personalities. 

Winter Feed cardinal in the snow

Check out the original Winter Feed post describing the birds in more detail. Hmm, they may deserve names!

Interested in making your own Winter Feed wall hanging to cheer up your winter? Then hop over to Craftsy, Etsy, or Payhip, the three best places to find quilt patterns!

And for the next three days, January 8 -10, 2018, receive 25% off the Winter Feed pattern on Etsy. Be sure to use coupon code "WINTERFEED25" at checkout - Enjoy!

Happy Winter Everyone!

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Blog List - Edition 2

Seeking quilty inspiration to start the New Year? Then check out The Blog List - Edition 2.

Once again, I tried to categorize them, just to make it easier. Do let me know if a blog is out of place!
Remember, this is a truly random list, with blogs submitted from readers and from me. 

Blog List - Edition 2

General Quilting

Elm Street Quilts                           Patty
Quilty Folk                                      Audrey
The Inbox Jaunt                             Lori Kennedy
Peggy Cooper Quilts                     Peggy Cooper
From My Carolina Home            Carole
Smiles from Kate                           Kate

Applique and Embroidery

Needle and Thread                        Mary Corbet


Whole Circle Studio                     Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill
Crazy Mom Quilts                        Amanda Jean

My Favs

Clever Chameleon                         Dione Gardner-Stephan
Home Sewn by Us                         Roseanne
Tish in Wonderland                      Tish
A Quilting Life                                Sherri
Anja Quilts                                      Anja
Vicki's Crafts and Quilting          Vicki
Canuck Quilter                               Joanne

Enjoy checking out these blogs - still more to come!

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Midweek Makers 105

Happy New Year, Midweek Makers!

Not only does the start of a new year bring the usual resolutions, but a sense of rebirth, a chance to start again, to embrace change. 2018 is a new year, full of hope and promise - we have the power to make it so. 

And with that as our guide for the upcoming year, we're leaving 2017 behind, and looking forward. That's why there's no progress report, or features today. Instead, let's have a fresh look at what you're working on, or an exciting project you want to tackle in the new year. 
Just keep these few reminders in mind for linking up:

  • Please link directly to your specific post, not your main blog page.
  • Visit and leave a comment to two links: the one before and the one after your own. Everyone loves visitors, comments, and encouragement!
  • Bring a friend! Invite your fellow bloggers to the party by spreading the word! 
  • Please link to on your post. 

Let's make this a year to remember!

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Monday, January 1, 2018

January 2018 Book of the Month

This post contains affiliate links for which I receive a small compensation for any purchase made through these links - thank you for your support!

Wow! Another year, and another Book of the Month to explore! This month, the honor goes to Improv Patchwork by Maria Shell.

Improv Patchwork quilt book by Maria Shell

Yep, this one is a bit out of my comfort zone, but I'm willing to check it out.

Why? Well, a couple months ago, I went with a group of friends to view the quilts of a local artist. I would say her style was more free form, with added bits of buttons or lace. Some pieces I liked very much, while others I passed by. 

We analyzed her style, fabrics, technique, and overall composition. When discussing one piece, my friend commented to me that I needed to let go and be a bit free-er in my compositions. Difficult for the highly sensitive, low self-monitoring introvert that I am. (Go ahead, search those terms and see if you identify.) It's a tough request!

So, with that in mind and wanting to try something new, I'll test out this 'improv' technique present by Maria - join me for an interesting journey!

Happy Quilting!

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