Monday, February 23, 2015

Chocolate Covered Cherries

Who doesn't love Chocolate Covered Cherries?

I do!  And I love this quilt! Isn't the color scheme just beautiful?  Composed of brown, beige, red, and pink, a truly yummy combination. And I'm so happy to use up some of the brown in my stash, because even though it's a needed stash color, it tends to sit and collect dust.

Following free form cutting techniques, this quilt was really quick and easy to put together, even though there were curved seams.  I followed the instructions for Lattice in Sujata Shah's book, Cultural Fusion 
(affiliate link) enjoying her process very much.  Free form cutting and fabric shuffling really make the quilts sing.  The instructions are very clear and easy to follow, with helpful hints along the way.  I'd call it stress free block construction!
I had so much fun making these blocks, that I whipped out 60 after deciding I liked the first 28.  And by trimming the blocks bigger than the suggested size (I have a real problem with waste!), the quilt measures approximately 59" x 89".

Here are more closeups of the blocks and quilting, which had to be cherries!

The back is pieced--gasp!--since I normally don't do pieced backs. 

But for this, I wanted to use up the fabric scraps and a piece in my stash.  Just making room for more fabric!
Doesn't this make you want to eat some Chocolate Covered Cherries???

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Spinning Seams

Still moving right along with all of my projects, though slowly because hand stitching binding is taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R! But I did get some time to sew today, completing Step 2 of the Irish Chain Twist Quilt-along, hosted by Happy Quilting Melissa.

This step was to trim the blocks to size, making the trims wonky.  I have to admit that wonky is not quite my thing, so I cut them all even and the same. Boring, yes, but that's me!

And look at the huge pile of trimmings in the corner!
What a shame to cut off soo much.  Took a great amount of will power to toss it too.  Oh, well, I'll let this one go.

Melissa likes to press her seams open, and again, that's not me.  I pressed to one side, so that the pairs nested, then sewed the joining seam.  Trimming a few stitches allowed the seams to spin, creating a nice flat center!  
Want to see how?  

Unsew the few stitches in the seams that are stitched across by the long joining seam.

Tease the seams apart, and press the bottom seam to the left, and the top to the right, such that all seams press in the same direction.

And there you have it!  A nice flat center!  Try it on your next block!

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Chasing Squirrels

Okay, so either I've had too many chocolate covered cherries, too much caffeine, or I'm developing adult onset ADD, but lately I feel like a dog that sees a squirrel!  I want it!!!
My sister called today, and asked what project I was working on.  I laughed, not sure how to answer that question, given what was in the room. In front of me was the start of another Metro Rings medallion,
and as I swiveled around in my chair, my eyes fell upon the cut up pieces for the happyquiltingmelissa quilt-along,
and this, Chocolate Covered Cherries from Cultural Fusion Quilts  (affiliate link) ready for quilting
and across the room, these circles from a guild class, with fabrics chosen, needing a design,
and the packaged pile of fabric for a project with my Modern group,
and another package of fabric for Park Bench
and in the corner, my landscape that still needs painting.

I'm sure I missed something, somewhere. So, which one am I working on? Uh, all of them.  And what's scary is I keep seeing fabric that inspires more quilts, or blocks from quilt-alongs that others are doing that look incredibly fun.  

Then again, maybe not, because really, I've got to stop chasing squirrels!

Happy Quilting!!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Sweetheart Sisters

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!  And I'm showing off my latest finishes, The Sweetheart Sisters!
If you follow my Instagram feed, you'll see one of these was quilted about 3 weeks ago with a heart panto, 
and yesterday, I got the other one finished with custom quilting, just in time for Valentine's Day.
These quilts all started due to a class from a fellow guild member, on using             charm packs and jelly rolls. Fortunately for me, I had an older 40 piece               charm pack laying around,
and a bunch of matching fabric that I cut into 2 1/2" strips. Who says I can't make my own jelly roll?

So off to class I went, and assembled the blocks, log cabin style.  The suggested layout for the blocks kept the longest strip always at the same spot/orientation, so that there was no worrying about matching seams.  Such a low stress quilt top!!

Being that I am always in need of baby quilts for gifts, I determined I could get two from this charm pack, with a couple squares left.  No biggie, since those were the solids--I'll use them in another project.  Hmm, where did I put those?

Anyway, this one I'm calling Big Sister because it's 4x5 blocks.
Quilting used a fleshy-pink cotton thread because that's the color that I had that matched.  I'm a big Glide fan, but the pink I had was, well, pink.  And I found an adorable heart pantograph, called Heart Fancy.
Isn't that sweet?  Here's the back for more.  BTW, the back on this one is pink, but it had hearts in it.  Hard trade off!
The other quilt is fittingly called Little Sister, as it's 4x4 blocks, with a border to help it keep up with big sister.
Not wanting to quilt the same panto, I opted for custom quilting on this one.  I had drawn a bunch of different ideas, but didn't use any of them once the quilt was on the frame.  I just went with hearts, either in the centers of the strips, or in the corners, alternating each one.  
After the first two blocks, I wasn't sure I was going to like it because it seemed repetitious, but once a row was done, it became unified.
Don't you love the hearts in the border?  So cute!

The back on this one is the fleshy-pink color, but no hearts. At least the quilting shows off nicely!
Here's a closer look.
So pull out your charm packs and jelly rolls, assemble the easy blocks, and have fun quilting!

Wishing you lots of quilty Valentine love!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Diamonds and Daisies

With all of my distractions the last week from new projects, I almost forgot to post another finish.  Introducing Diamonds and Daisies, a diamond class sample project now complete!
This quilt was started back in October, and written up a tutorial on sewing the diamonds.

The daisies are made of six hearts, drawn in EQ7, in three sizes, with edges overlapping. 
Each heart has 1/4" of fusible on the outer edge, and a layer of batting was placed between the whole flower and the background.  This was for two reasons:  it gave the flowers extra poof and dimension, and it helped block the show through of the backing. The hearts were fused down, overlapping just one edge slightly, and forming that pretty hexagon in the center.  

Then all edges were satin stitched, using a stabilizer on the back.  The background was not cut away.

Pink free hand flowers with leaves was quilted on the background, and the flowers were given a white swirl heart on each petal.  Leaves and stems were given green highlights. The pink flannel with hearts backing shows off the all over quilting beautifully.

The quilt just left the house this morning, on to it's new owner in Connecticut.  Hope she loves it!

Happy Quilting!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Irish Chain Twist Quiltalong

Call me crazy, cause I don't already have enough projects going, but I'm jumping into Melissa's Irish Chain Twist Quilt-along at!

Not sure exactly what's motivating me, maybe it's the chance to use up my stash, making friends with the other quilters, or the chance to win prizes!  Who knows--but it's sure looks like fun!  And it will be my first quilt-along participation--pretty exciting, for me at least!

Each week she's posting a new step in making this quilt, and so far, we've chosen fabric and cut it.  I'm making a baby size (that way my house doesn't become overrun by quilts!), completely from my stash.  No purchasing here!

My background is another black on white print. Maybe I'm subconsciously working in a B/W series, but I really think it's because I'm tired of solid white backgrounds, and I had lots of yardage of this print!  Other additions are lime green for the squares, teal for the X's, and hot pink for the petals.
Everything is all cut.  Just awaiting the next step!  Won't you join us???

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Modern Grace

Today's quilty goodness is Modern Grace,
my November Book of the Month selection from Supersize 'Em by Debby Kratovil. (affiliate link)

Though this quilt was super easy to put together, the quilting design did not come as quickly.  The top hung on one of the longarm poles for a long time as I pondered how to quilt it. The biggest obtacle was what to quilt in the B/W print area, and what color thread to use?

Well, after quilting the Jeweled Flower Garden runner with it's B/W background, I decided it was time to load this one up and just go for it.

Ultimately, I used the same color thread throughout, a medium lilac color, with a lighter shade on the back. Free hand flowers on a wave adorn the borders, 
while a flower surrounded by stippling resides in each corner.
Super hard to see on the front because the thread blends in with that B/W print.  More stippling with an occasional flower is in the larger print areas, plus more of the piped binding on the edge.  Adds a great finish to this quilt!

And the B/W stripe is SID on the long sides only, nothing in between the black and white.  All the flowers are outlined in the center.
The back shows off the quilting, 

though it's hard to see in this complete shot.
So happy to have another quilt done, freeing up space on my longarm!

This quilt definitely has great impact because of the size block--super easy technique for a quick quilt. Hope you give it a try!

Happy Quilting!