Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WIP plus Tips and Tricks

I've had two days of steady progress on my second Metro Rings medallion top, 
my own variation of the Metro Rings pattern and the Judy Niemeyer Bali Wedding Star, that I did last year for my nephew's wedding. 

I think Judy's star pattern may be paper pieced, but mine is figured out by marking lines on the cut pieces and sewing in the proper pieces.  Here, I've got pieces with the right angles ready to go.
Here, I'm sewing a star piece, matching up the fold with the marked line.
And here, re-trimming the curve, before cutting off the excess background fabric.
When sewing the blocks together, a lot of seams needed matching.  I used my technique of sewing just a few stitches at those seams, 
to check for alignment before sewing the entire seam.
This certainly eliminates a lot of ripping!

But if there is ripping, use that handy seam ripper!  Just make sure the red ball is in the seam with the right side of the fabrics facing up.
This prevents tears in the fabric, 
but sometimes it does happen.  So don't cry, it's repairable!

There are three options:  
1. replace the entire fabric piece, especially if it's a big tear.
2. tease the fibers close together and apply a small amount of fusible interfacing over the hole
or 3. do the same as #2 except fuse another small piece of fabric over the hole.

Just some more tricks to add to the tool box!

Happy Quilting!

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 
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!
Linking up Fabric Frenzy Friday at Fort Worth Fabrics Studios 

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 quilt-along,
and this, Chocolate Covered Cherries from Cultural Fusion Quilts 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.  And to top it off, I got an email from, describing their new free downloadable pdf eguides.  They have one on making donuts--just what I need--sugar! But hey, I like donuts, and make my own baked ones with a special pan. 
These are vanilla with lemon frosting--yum!  Wonder what other flavors I can make?  Think I'll check out that eguide.

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 for that class, which got rave reviews. Click here to read about the class, see the students projects, and the start of Diamonds and Daisies. I've also got a tutorial on sewing the diamonds, which can be found here.

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!