Happy, happy new year.
2014 marks my 10 year quilting anniversary, and I can’t believe how much I’ve learned in the past decade. My head is swimming with project ideas for 2014. I have a goal this year to finish at least one WIP/UFO a month and to start and finish one project that has been planned and living only in my mind (with the fabric already purchased). I drafted a list of projects, and I am anxious to get started. If only I could clone myself for ’round the clock sewing sessions.
However, before I can crack open my projects boxes, I have the exciting opportunity to teach my 10-year-old niece how to sew a pillowcase. She received her first sewing machine for Christmas, and is staying with us for a couple of days. The snow today means that we’ll be “shopping” from my stash tomorrow. It’s a good lesson in using what you have, which is a serious goal for me this year. As much as I enjoy collecting fabric, it’s past time to cut it up and sew it back together again.
Happy new year, and happy sewing.
While I was at Nikki’s house earlier this week we (by we, I mean she) cut out the pieces for Toni’s Japanese X blocks for the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild Scrappy Bee. Toni provided the fabric, and we swapped some between the two of us and added a bit of purple from Nikki’s stash.
Toni slightly changed the finished size of a tutorial from Badskirt, and I really dig how they turned out. I’m going to save this pattern for future projects, and I’m anxious to see how Toni’s quilt comes together.
I haven’t worked with linen, so the best way to start is to join a bee, right? I joined the Lovely Linen Bee and we agreed that the seven us would make two blocks for each beemate in the block of her choice, and we would all have 14 blocks at the end of the bee. It’s a mix of virtual and local gals in the bee and I’m excited to meet new people, learn new block patterns and work with linen.
Linda sent her linen from California and requested blocks based on the pattern Lap of Luxe by John Q. Adams of Quilt Dad, posted on the Art Gallery Fabrics site.
I went over to Nikki’s house and we did our blocks together. Essentially we made a handful of half square triangles. Thankfully Nikki did the cutting, my least favorite part. The blocks were assembled quickly, and with four together they make a nifty star.
I really dig scraps. Scrappy quilts make me happy…making use of something that might have been headed for a landfill or destined to be forgotten in the back of a sewing studio is a great feeling. Today I finished a few pieces for a boutique our guild is sponsoring for a retirement home. Guild members stock the boutique to give the residents an opportunity to shop for the holidays without having to leave their home. I used donated orphan blocks and scraps to make a few coasters, pot holders and gift tags/ornaments. I hope their eventual owners enjoy using them as much as I enjoyed making them.
In preparation for Christmas quilting, I ordered the Poinsettia Fantasia pantograph from MeadlowLyon Designs to use with my longarm. Judy was kind enough to enlarge the design for me so the flowers are bigger. As I was very excited to test the design, I made a quick table runner using a solid black center and a holly berry border. Then, I used the panto as the bones of my first thread painting piece. After two passes with the panto design (twisting a red cotton 40 wt. thread and a green thread of the same weight) I moved to the front of the machine, where the real fun begins. Using the red thread alone for the petals and berries, and a darker green thread for the leaves, I added details and echoed the whole design. I’m not sure which side I like better, but either way, working on this has really gotten me into the holiday spirit. It still needs binding, but that’s my least favorite part so it’ll have to wait a few days.
I took two classes at the Sewing Expo in Overland Park last week and couldn’t wait to try out the techniques Dusty Ferrell of Country Stitchin taught us. The first class was an edge-to-edge, with more backtracking that I’ve previously used. The second class was feathers, and in both classes Dusty gave us a great balance of discussion and time on the longarm.
Immediately after the first class I came home to practice the vine pattern on a luscious Ana Marie Horner voille panel. After Saturday’s feathers class I used the both the vines and feathers techniques on a customer quilt for Agnes H. Marking the spine for feathers using Dusty’s flourish ruler made a significant difference for the feathers in the quilt border. Great class, useful tools, sketching and practice, practice, practice make for fun, funky feathers.
Pieced by Agnes H.
This customer quilt was pieced by Agnes H. and kept on a bed as a coverlet for a number of years. I was honored to be able to quilt it for her as I really like helping others finish their quilts. Like many quilters, I’ve had the experience of working hard on a quilt top, only to leave it folded up on a shelf for a few months, or unfortunately, a few years. Finally finishing that long set aside quilt is a rewarding feeling.
I quilted feathers in the border, flowers (or clouds, as my husband insists) in the light blue solid areas, and corner-to-corner curves in the squares. Thanks to the longarm group at Quilted Memories in Overland Park for their ideas and input.
For her month in the KC Scrappy Bee, Marilyn chose to have us make snowball blocks. I really like the fabric, Comma, designed by Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic. Happy, happy block.
Up first for the new round of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild Scrappy Bee is Tammie, who requested Polaroid blocks. Tammie asked for two blocks, but they are so quick and easy, four seemed in order. I had a grand time digging through scraps, searching for the perfect little pieces to fussy cut. It was a walk down memory lane, finding just the right pieces. The turtle fabric was from the very first quilt I ever made for a friend who loves sea turtles. The monkey was from a zoo print I used in a memory quilt for my nephew after he spent part of a summer vacation in the Midwest. The rabbit is from a work in progress for my Mom. The cat, which is my favorite, is from a quilt my mom and I made for my dear Aunt Emma, who passed earlier this year. It warms my heart to know these little scraps will carry the love from making the four original quilts into the quilt Tammie is making.
I had a blast with this customer quilt. Janie M. pieced the top using Stephanie Brandenburg fabrics, and it was a joy to quilt. The bright colors, framed with black, make a striking statement. We decided upon a bright green thread that glows neon under a black light for an added bit of fun. I quilted it using a combination of leaves, double loops and free motion sunflowers. I echoed some of the flowers, and added detail to the center of the two sunflower blocks.
Side of the quilt while on the on the longarm.
Detail of the finished quilt.
Detail of the quilt back.
Sunflower framed by double loops.