Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Hold It Together

Happy National Paperclip Day!


Hold It Together paperclip wall hanging


Yes, today, May 29, celebrates the humble paperclip, that indispensable office supply! 

Silly, I know, but I was truly inspired to make these fun, colorful paperclips. And you can take this wall hanging as seriously as you want!!

Maybe you see the humor in the statement, or maybe it really represents our busy lives - either way, Hold It Together is entertaining! If you totally relate, there's a pattern so you make your own, available at Etsy.


Hold It Together wall hanging



Made with applique paperclips and lettering, the arrangement can be however you want. I chose to link the paperclips around in a circle, but they could be formed into a chain, or even a heap - the possibilities are endless!

And now for some closeups. Yes, I went hog wild on the quilting - it was so liberating to just doodle all sorts of designs.


Hold It Together closeup 4

More closeups to show cause the areas are so different!



Hold It Together closeup 2



Hold It Together closeup 1


Here's a super close-up shot.


Hold It Together closeup 3

BTW, I used a 14 stitches per inch setting, and probably could have gone smaller. For reference, all of my other quilts use 10 stitches per inch.

The border has simple piano keys, whose lines are duplicated on each side. This allows for all of the attention to be on the pretty quilting in the center.


Hold It Together border quilting

And don't you just love how black attracts all sorts of fuzz? 

So if your feeling the love for all that paperclips represent, head on over to Etsy to get started on your own!

Happy National Paperclip Day!



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Monday, May 28, 2018

5th Grade Quilt Revealed!

Here it is - a smaller version of the 5th Grade Quilt from the Precut Primer (affiliate link), my May Book of the Month choice.


5th Grade Quilt, small version, from a Precut Primer





5th Grade Quilt from a Precut Primer

My version features hand picked/hand cut 2 1/2" strips, and a very soft, buttery yellow background.


hand picked fabric to cut into strips



The initial 10 blocks were cut for chain piecing,


fabric organized for chain piecing


and assembled in around 3 hours. 


5th Grade quilt blocks from the Precut Primer


With the addition of big yellow background squares, I had a 44" x 44" quilt top in no time!


5th Grade Quilt, small version, from Precut Primer

And the quilting - gorgeous! Using rulers and my freehand skills, the quilting design complements the geometric lines of the piecing beautifully.


quilting on the 5th Grade quilt

A few more closeups.


star in a block




side setting triangle quilting




5th Grade quilting

I must admit I feel I didn't do the Precut Primer book (affiliate link) justice this month -




there are other 'grades' I'd like to be in. So look for this book to be featured again later in the year - when school will be back in session!!

Happy Quilting!





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Friday, May 25, 2018

Hunter's Star Revealed!

Welcome! My day has finally arrived in the Wish Upon a Star Blog Hop hosted by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt. Everyone has been incredibly patient waiting for the big reveal of my Hunter's Star - and here it is:


Hunter's Star by QuiltFabrication

Pretty gorgeous, if I do say so myself! I just love the blue and white contrast, and the layout of a center star with others forming an on-point square - all quite striking!

Ready for closeups? 


Hunter's Star Feather/Teardrop Motif Quilting

A very easy feather/teardrop design fits in each triangular shape, with SID around the stars. Here's the design drawn out on vinyl.


Hunter's Star Feather/Teardrop Motif on vinyl

It's a very simple freehand motif to stitch out, and perfect for this funny shaped space in the Hunter's Star. And it can be done with either a domestic or longarm machine. Watch how to stitch it out in the Hunter's Star Feather/Teardrop Motif video:



 
Make sure to add the little scoops to the feathers to bring them to life!


Hunter's Star Feather/Teardrop Motif

The border quilting is simple piano keys, with a repeated and mirrored feather motif in the corner.


Hunter's Star corner motif

Hard to see, isn't it? No fear - it shows up better on the backside.


Hunter's Star corner motif on the backside

The piano keys are also easier to see on the back.


Hunter's Star quilt backside

                                       

Maybe you'll want to make your own Hunter's Star - here's more posts about this creation.
Hunter's Star 
Starting a Hunter's Star Quilt 
Hunter's Star Progress Report 
Wish Upon a Star Hop Starts Today 

And hubby quickly claimed this quilt to hang in his home office - good choice hubby!

Enjoy the rest of the hop!




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My Favorite Patterns

Friday, May 18, 2018

Precut Primer Quilt Update

With all of the quilts I'm making for blog hops, the Book of the Month quilt has been pushed aside. Well, no longer!

From the Precut Primer book (affiliate link), I've chosen to make a smaller, baby size version of the 5th Grade Quilt.


5th Grade Quilt from Precut Primer


It's so cute how this book is organized, starting with a 1st Grade quilt, and working up to a 12th Grade quilt - graduation in a sense!


Precut Primer


It's also fitting that the lower grade quilts are the easier ones with simple blocks, working to those in the upper grades with more detailed block structures. It's a fabulous way for a quilter to increase their skills - all in one book!

Now why did I choose 5th grade? Was it because of Mrs Sutton, who took me under her wing since falling behind at the one-room schoolhouse two years prior? Well, that's part of it. 

It's also because the quilt pattern looks fun and easily adaptable to a smaller size. So 5th Grade it is!

Now just because I don't have a jelly roll for this doesn't mean I can't strip my own fabric. Wanting to work with my hoarded stash of dots and stripes, I've put this collection together, along with a soft, buttery yellow background.


fabric choices for the 5th Grade quilt

Not sure about that one pale blue stripe in the upper left corner - looks a bit boring compared to the others. I'll see how the others go, holding that one out till last.

See you later - I'm off to cut and sew!
Happy Quilting!



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Monday, May 14, 2018

Pretty Posies, an X Block Quilt

Introducing Pretty Posies, my second X-Block quilt. The first, Diamond Ribs, was for the X Block Blog Hop.


Pretty Posies in the wild

Aren't those flowers bright and beautiful?


yellow posie


Inspired by the fun border fabric, I pulled bright prints to make the pretty posies.


pink posie

Then pulled all the flowers together by giving them matching centers, which are squares appliqued on.


posie centers and backing
















Here's a full on picture.


Pretty Posies



This quilt was based on the Bright Eyes pattern, which has one more row of flowers. Being that my border fabric was limited, I opted for a 3 x 3 layout. And a small flower print completes the back!

For this quilt, I have two quilting videos to share: 

one for the leaf stipple in the green background area, 


                                                            Leaf Stipple

and one for quilting the X-Block flowers, which can easily be done with a walking foot.


                                                  Posie Flower Quilting

Both of these designs require no marking, though they could be added to the flowers to more easily divide the area. 

Feel free to use these ideas to quilt your next flower quilt, or check out my YouTube channel for other ideas!

Happy Quilting!




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Friday, May 11, 2018

Konnichiwa!

Hello, and good afternoon!


pseudo kimono

Though I normally try to keep this blog quilting related, today I'll take you on a tour of Japan, our travel destination last week.

I had always wanted to visit Japan, and with hubby finding a great round trip airfare out of LAX, we decided to go. Though it was Golden Week, when everyone there is on vacation, we had a great time. And, yes, we would go back! 

So, the picture above is the closest we got to dressing in kimono, though one can rent kimono for around $35/day, like these tourists did.


tourists in kimono

Of course, these aren't the expensive embroidered kimono that geiko and maiko wear, but they're pretty just the same. These ladies were in Gion, the geisha district of Kyoto and home to a geisha school, where it's very popular to wear kimono.

To get to Kyoto, we used the Japan Rail pass - their rail system is the world's envy. With that pass, we easily visited several cities to see the sights. On the western side of Kyoto, there's beautiful scenery such as the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest,

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

lovely Japanese maples in a nearby World Heritage Garden,

Japanese Maples

and the Katsura River. 

Katsura River Kyoto Japan

Back in town, we visited Nijo Castle, with it's ornate gate,

Nijo Castle gate

and after all that sight-seeing, we collapsed in our hotel-apartment. Check out this multi-function toilet/bidet/sink. Seems that all bases are covered, though this one didn't have a music function. Those were in the train stations!

toilet in Japan

One day, we took a side trip to Osaka, taking advantage of the Free Walking Tour. Our guide pointed out Ichiran, supposedly a good place for ramen. We went back later for lunch, where we sat at a 'partitioned' counter, with no view, and only hand views of the server. Felt a bit impersonal and lonely, eating with little walls between us, our neighbors, and the staff. Strange, but the ramen was good! 

Ichiran ramen

Heading back to Tokyo, we stopped at Lake Ashi, with Mt Fuji in the background. The pirate ship goes around the lake, but we didn't partake, as I was a bit green from the winding bus ride down to the lake.

Lake Ashi and Mt Fuji

Once in Tokyo, we drove Mari-Car go-karts around the city,

Mari Car go karts

which I found to be stressful, as it was scary to make it through the intersections on the lights. You have to have an International driver's license for this, and I probably should have gotten a ticket for running a red light. Going 35 mph 1 foot above the ground in busy Tokyo didn't give me much of a tour of the city!

But we walked around later, visiting the lake at Ueno Park,

Ueno Park Tokyo

the outside of Tokyo Station,


Tokyo station

and eating sushi. My favorite was kinmedai or red snapper.


kinmedai sushi

The last day, we got out of town to a beautiful mountain town called Nikko. There's the famous Shinkyo Bridge,


Shinkyo Bridge

temples and shrines in the park, azaleas that grow like weeds,


azalea bush


and beautiful paths.


rock path

A perfect ending to a quick tour of Japan! So why would I go back? Because the people were very polite, places and people were clean and orderly, and even though we spoke no Japanese, we were able to communicate. And can't beat that train system!

Though my internal clock is still somewhere over the Pacific, I hope to be back to normal soon. Just need to get rid of a nasty chest cold first. Then let the quilting resume!

Have a great weekend!




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