Friday, February 28, 2014

Another Beauty!

Random Acts of Blue is now complete!
And it turned out gorgeous!  Oops, guess I'm keeping this one too!

The making of this quilt top was totally random, just so I could use up strip pieces.  It was a huge exercise of free form piecing, and you can read all about it here.  What can I say, I do love a challenge!

Thank goodness the quilting wasn't as demanding as the piecing!  Before I started any dense quilting, all the blocks were SID around the outside.
Then a pebble and S curve fill was quilted in all the white background.
I really wanted to practice motifs from Judi Madsen's book, Quilting Wide Open Spaces, but just couldn't put butterflies on a quilt intended for a baby boy!  Not until I got done quilting that I decided to keep it.  Guess I could have done butterflies after all!

For each block center, I use a different design based on a seed motif.  Here are some that I came up with, to guide me when quilting.  Not all of them got used.
And finally, to finish off the blocks, double outlines around the pieced edges gave them some stitching but not so much that they got lost. 
Here are the rest of the blocks
If you look closely at these pictures, you'll notice the binding is not white all around. 
Instead, it changes, depending on if there is a block at the edge.  To see how I did this, check out my next post Pieced Binding and a Different Corner.  Enjoy!

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Solar Flare

Another finish this week, Solar Flare.
 This another from Ricky Tims' Convergence Quilts, my Book of the Month for November.
The first quilt I did was Pink Lattice,
and I had so much fun with that one that I made a second!

The fabric for Solar Flare had red, yellow and blue in it, and this was the perfect project for this piece. 
I paired it with one red square and one blue, which gave the exploding look coming from the lower right.

At one point I wanted more yellow, and found a fabric that also had some red in it--perfect! 
Cutting 1" strips, I inserted those in between each strip, both vertically and horizontally.  Gave the quilt a bit of a 'looking through a lens' look.

This one has an all over design called Blast Off, of a rocket ship, star, and moon.  That way, I can give it to a child.  

And here's the back
If you haven't tried one of these convergence quilts, you should!  They are super fun!

Happy Quilting!


Friday, February 21, 2014

January Quilts Done

My creations from the January Book of the Month,  Bargello Quilts with a Twist by Maggie Ball, are finished!  
This one is Blue Bayou

and this one is Blue Blockus.
 Since both of these are such busy quilts, they are quilted with all over pantograph designs.

Blue Bayou has a pattern called Sparkler
and here's the back for a better look.

I rather like this design; simple and makes a nice fill.

And for Blue Blockus, the pantograph is Passion Fruit, one of my favorites!

Love the swirls with the stars!
Now I just need those distracting Olympics to end so that I can focus on my quilting!

Happy Quilting!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Olympic Distractions

Has everyone enjoyed watching the Olympics?  I have, but find myself focusing on the pieces of the beautiful patchwork banners everywhere!
Aren't these just gorgeous??

Whenever the camera comes upon one of these pieced beauties, I'm focused on it instead of the action!
For example, this ice skating shot.
This couple gave a great performance, but look at that background!  Love the different 'fabrics' and how the diamonds break up at the edge.  So pretty!

Here's a big display in orange
Awesome 'fabrics'!
And this beautiful purple board at the hockey rink.  Go USA!
I also love seeing it in the clothing.  Teams that need numbered jerseys have the patchwork on their bibs
and some even have patchwork in their clothing.
Just design with no color was enough to distract me, like the 'kiss and cry' area for the skaters
Isn't that a pretty background?  Oh, and congratulations to this gentleman that won the mens skate--most fitting.

After seeing so many awesome images of the patchwork, I'm feeling inspired to make my own.  But then again, it's also fun to make quilts in my head!  Or I could just order a T-shirt
but not sure how it would get here from Russia!
What about you, feel inspired?
To read more about the creation of these banners, and their relation to Russia, check out

 Happy Quilting!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Random Acts of Blue

Ah, success!  Introducing Random Acts of Blue.
I've been hard at work creating and sewing, with this top being an incredible challenge.  It started with leftover cut strip pieces (from the last two quilts here), which I pieced around a square of plain pale blue.  It's the one in the center.  I liked that, but wanted more of the strip pieces to show. 

So I made some more, using bigger strip pieces.  When I had six blocks, I put them up on the design wall, in a random fashion.  And I liked that too.

But to keep the randomness, some different shapes where needed to fill the odd areas.  Made some rectangles, and the top started taking shape.

Did I consider how I was going to sew this all together?  Nope.

What was I thinking???

This quilt top was not assembled in the usual fashion--make the blocks, sew them in a row, sew the rows together.  No, this was, sew some white here, sew some white there, cut here, sew there.  Lots of partial seams!
In this picture, I've got strips still attached because they'll be used somewhere further down the top.  The whole thing was pieced by adding a block at a time.

Here's some closeups of some of the more messy piecing!
Wish this was a bit cleaner, but I'm not willing to rip it out!

This one is a bit better, but still messy.
I'm happy with how it turned out, and hey, I met my objective of using up the strip units.  After two tops, this is all that's left
I'll post about the other top at a later time.  It turned out really nice, and I want to write up a pattern for it.

Until then, Happy Quilting!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Creating with Leftovers

I'm spending the day being creative with leftovers.  Sorry, it's not about food!  It's those leftover strip pieces from last months' Book of the Month.
Being a frugal person, I can't just let these go to waste!  I love the challenge of figuring out what to do with bits and pieces--remember Ripple Effect and Spin Off?

No different here!  So, I've dreamed up a top, and a modern one at that, created with leftovers.  And since I used up a couple of the fabrics--YEAH!--I'll rip some seams from a couple strip sets to get what I need.

Be sure to check back on my creation!

Happy Quilting!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Back from AQS Phoenix

I'm home from Phoenix, and ready to get back to a normal routine!  While seeing new places is fun, it's also exhausting.  Many times I've come home needing a vacation from my vacation!  But this one included quilting--what could be better?

This was my first attendance at an AQS show.  Phoenix was a bit smaller than Road2CA, but the convention center was new, and had lots of space and great lighting for all the beautiful quilts.  It was also nice to see local vendors, and not a lot of repeats from Road.

The classes were in a separate building, which cut down on some of the crowding.  All three of my classes with Judi Madsen were on HandiQuilter machines, typically two to a head.  We worked on quilting designs from her new book, Quilting Wide Open Spaces.
Here are my classroom pieces.

From Fantabulous Fillers
where I learned to put the extra small curl in the circles.  Sometimes I just have to be shown!

From the Simple Math Awesome Border class
Looks complicated but is really easy to do.  Full directions on stitching this are in her book.

And from Quilting Templates Intensified, these little pretties.
I forgot to outline around the butterfly, so his antennae got lost in the background fill!  But he's still pretty!
And here we are after Friday's class,
Judi Madsen and Me
with her beautiful quilts in the background!  

If you haven't looked at her book, do check it out.  Along with quilt patterns, all of the how-to's of these designs are there, which includes a CD for the butterfly and dragonfly templates.

Now I'm off to make up one of her quilt patterns!

Happy Quilting!



Sunday, February 2, 2014

February Book of the Month and a Winner!

It's February, and time for another Book of the Month!
This month I'll work from Judi Madsen's new book,
Quilting Wide Open Spaces.
If you've followed me for a while, you'll know I am a big fan of Judi's work.  Both she and Angela have had a huge influence on my longarm work.  I'm attending the AQS show in Phoenix next week, and very excited to have three classes with Judi!  So, whether I will follow one of her patterns or follow the quilting as my monthly project, I don't know yet.  I'll decide after class! 

And a big thank you to everyone for all of the wonderful comments regarding the quilt tops using the Bargello with a Twist book.  There were many great suggestions, which, if I'd had more time, would have played with.  But I will keep them in mind for other quilts.  It was definitely a fun technique, as the instructions were very clear.  So many possibilities with just one block!

Now for the winner of the Connecting Threads Essential cotton thread, as determined by the random number generator
Commentor #9, which is Ann Dunn,

Ann Dunn January 29, 2014 at 10:04 PM
I'm liking the addition of the makes the quilt pattern pop. Only two days pressure.

I certainly got a good laugh out of the 'no pressure'!
Ann, I'll be contacting you to get you the thread.  Congratulations!

Happy Quilting!