Thursday, August 27, 2015

Jeweled Flower Garden Baby Quilt

Last week, I taught fellow guild members a Jeweled Flower Garden quilt, using the HexnMore ruler (affiliate link) by Jaybird Quilts. I turned my demo into a sweet baby quilt!

I was in a straight line quilting mood the day I quilted this, and I think it works perfectly.

Instead of the traditional 1/4" outline from the edge, I bumped it up to 1/2", plus stitch-in-the-ditch at all the seams. Wanting some yellow in the center, I ultimately decided to let the quilting do that for me. With a bit of yellow thread, I made daisy shapes in the centers, decreasing the size for three layers of petals.

This gives the centers the little touch of yellow that I was looking for without overwhelming the quilt.

At the edges, there's simple parallel lines, with leaves in the hexagons. I do wish I had put veins in those leaves for a bit more definition, but I don't think the baby will notice!

This is the second time I've made this pattern, the table runner being the first.

There may be a third sometime, as I have more jewels cut that I didn't use, and would love to go through the stash to find some coordinating colors with the purple. Then it would be a wildflower quilt! Of course, this idea is probably far down on my to-do list. But one can keep dreaming, right?

Have these two inspired you to make your flower garden? Definitely an easy quilt to put together with the HexnMore ruler! (affiliate link)

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hex and More!

It's been days since my last post, but at least the absence has involved quilting. Last week, I taught fellow guild members how to make a Jeweled Flower Garden quilt using the HexnMore Ruler(affiliate link)

The two yellow center flowers were an experiment. I thought it would look nice to have a little pop in the flower centers. But I realized that there was such high contrast with both the bright green and the yellow, that those dots of color would detract from the flowers. So, back to the green bin to find a muted green, and scrap the yellow center idea. 

Now the plan is to use the two yellow centered flowers as trivets, or maybe placemats, and continue on with the plain flowers. No idea how big this will be - could be a really large quilt or two small ones. And I may applique yellow centers in. Haven't made up my mind yet! We'll see.

But I do have some hints to share in putting one of these quilts together. First, get the HexnMore Ruler(affiliate link)

It makes the cutting so easy! Not to say it can't be done with other rulers, but the marks on the HexnMore (affiliate link) really justify the expense.

Second, sew the triangle flower/background pieces into units of three for easier handling when it comes time to sew them in rows.

And third, press the seams according to the following picture:

At 1, press towards the flower. At 2, away from the flower. This allows the petal seams to nest when attaching the next petal triangle. At 3, press the seam open before stitching the seam at 4. This avoids a bulky mess in the center. Then assemble these units into rows, then stitch together the rows. Easy, right? Well, it really is! Guess I should be working on mine.

But, as usual life gets in the way. My father-in-law had successful surgery last week to remove his cancerous pancreas (plus some other parts). We've been running to the hospital daily to check on him, and so far, so good. Hoping he'll be discharged Sunday or Monday.

In between hospital visits, I've spent time learning Word, Inkscape, and Photoshop on a deeper level while writing up a pattern for another table runner. This time I've really gone pro on how this pattern is written. If all goes well, I should have it out in the next couple weeks. Hope you'll notice the change!

Have a great day quilting!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Park Bench, Sorta

Funny how things appear to be on track, and then get derailed. Such is the case with my Park Bench, Sorta. 

Started in a Quilt Club I belong to, we were supposed to use the Park Bench pattern as a color wheel study, making each block different colors. Well, that wasn't going to work for me, not that I have anything against using the color wheel. It's that I don't care for quilts without a unifying color scheme. Granted, the blocks are variations on a basic unit, and the background remains the same, but to come up with fifteen different color combinations was not where I wanted this quilt to go. It evoked the same feelings I have when faced with cutout sugar cookies to decorate. I'm creative for a few of them, then the creativity fades to just slapping the icing on to get them done.

So, now you know why this is Park Bench, Sorta, because it's like those sugar cookies - the creativity was lost after three blocks. I started with the intent to use coral throughout,

and by the third one, I was bored with that. So, I thought, alright, I'll try using other colors. Hence a try with yellow, which did not get sewn into a complete block. Uninspired, the idea of completing the whole quilt was further derailed. 

What to do now? Me being me, I wasn't going to let the pieces go to waste. Piecing them together made a whole new, more interesting quilt. Check out my post Park Bench Sort Of to see how I put it together. 

Done! It's a quilt top! Time to move on. And so it sat, derailed once again due to the t-shirt quilts, banished to the UFO pile. But now, the t-shirt quilts are done (she loves them, by the way!), so it's time to delve into that UFO pile and finish things up.

Deciding to just have fun quilting this, with inspiration from Judy Woodworth's Freemotion Quilting book (affiliate link), it quickly got on the frame.

Nesting swirls make up the background.

And a variety of fills went in other areas.

The three main blocks got coordinating heart motifs that I drew to fit the jewel shape.

And now it's a finish, after a long weekend trying to get the binding done. Maybe the name means I just had to sit on it, and let life unfold for a while.

My mom really likes it, so maybe I'll hang it in her room for a while. But it may end up as a baby gift - grey flannel with pink birds are on the back.

Really, I can't keep them all!

Have a great day quilting!

Friday, August 7, 2015

T-shirt Quilts Galore!

The five T-shirt quilts are done and delivered!

Commissioned by a close friend of mine whose husband passed away six years ago, these quilts are made from all of the t-shirts he collected from swimming events. 

With t-shirt blocks of varying sizes, I was able to let the creativity flow and design five quilts that are similar, yet different. All quilts are approximately 52" x 80", a perfect lap size. 

The following pictures are of each quilt, plus the backside. The backs are different blue fabrics, with the black stripe representing the stripe on the bottom of a pool, and the blue and yellow are lane lines used at UCSD, where he used to practice. Just continuing his swimming theme!

Quilt 1

Quilt 2

Quilt 3

Quilt 4

 Quilt 5

Quilting is a freehand water design, with Glide silver thread on top and bottom.

If you're interested in making a t-shirt quilt, see my post Making a T-shirt Quilt to get you started. For more inspiration, check out the book T-shirt Quilts Made Easy(affiliate link)

I do hope his family smiles each time they look at these quilts, remembering a wonderful man who loved to swim.
Rest in peace, Ben.

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 2015 Book of the Month

Time for another Book of the Month!

This month, I'll be searching Judy Woodworth's Freemotion Quilting Handbook (affiliate link) for inspiration to finish some quilts. There are lots of ideas in this book, plus it's geared towards those with longarms. (Sorry domestic machine divas!) 

So let's get these quilts finished!

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Plain Jane

Is Plain Jane from Smash Your Precut Stash (affiliate link) adorable or what?

Just loving the pink plaid with Kona Baby Pink and Kona Tarragon. 

Wait! OMG! I've used solids! Don't worry - I'm not tossing my print stash. Sometimes solids are just what a design needs. And this one is a perfect use for them. For a bit more on how this was put together, see yesterday's post, Plain Jane Updates.

Here's the quilt laid flat (the grass makes the edges ripple).

 And here are the gorgeous quilting pictures, in pink,

and in green.

And certainly can't forget that pretty pink plaid.

As for my quilting choice, I had wanted to do a freehand design, but any that I auditioned just didn't look right. Opting for a simple feather and swirl pantograph provides the consistency that I was looking for. And the beautiful stitches made by my Innova machine with Glide Cotton Candy pink thread - gorgeous! How I love that machine!

I hope you get a chance to check out the Smash Your Precut Stash book (affiliate link). There are a couple others I'd love to make, but I really need to finish up some others first (t-shirt quilts, cough, cough!). Have a great weekend quilting!