Friday, February 16, 2018

Tula Nova

It seems like this is a timely post, given the news about Free Spirit closing down. Tula and all the other amazing designers will hopefully pop up with other fabric houses, and will continue to give us amazing, unique, and timely designs.

My friend GB  had two hand pieced tops. She loves using Kaffe, Tula, and such.  Look how well these prints play with Grunge dot!

The background was quilted with a swirl based feather, and I added in pebbles (on the larger size).
I wanted to give the background some texture without being too dense.

Ruler work was the primary method used for the Center.  It has been hand pieced and lots of fussy cutting had been done.
Faces always give me jitters.  I don't like to stitch through them.  I just don't.  No idea why I'm like this.  A few lines this way and that solved the problem on this piece.

I really like how the movement of the background design plays on the straight lines of the center.

The fussy cutting was wonderful. GB's piecing is so good, it's always a pleasure to quilt for her.



A stellar selection of prints and colors.

The stripes were fun in this design, and the faces of Elisabeth certainly add to the overall appeal of this pattern.


Gotta love a good back, and I like to show both sides.


It's a fun mix of straight lines, feathers, swirls and circles.  All mixed up to add texture to a wonderful quilt top.
I hope quilters don't hang on to these wonderful fabrics due to the recent news.  Use them up, make fabulous quilts that get gifted and used.  That's what these fabrics were produced for.  Don't let them languish in your bins and drawers.  You bought the fabric because you loved it, so use your top shelf prints and enjoy the end result!

Keep stitching,
Sharon

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Civil War Eagle Sampler

I had the pleasure of quilting this fantastic Barbara Brackman Civil War Sampler pattern stitched up by SL of Seattle, WA. The workmanship on this top is outstanding, and the applique stitches are so tiny that I could barely see them. In fact, I had to look at the back to see how the stitching was done on the eagle in the center.

The corner blocks are very large, so I brought down the size by stitching straight lines in the corners.  That gave me a reasonable space for wreath motifs.


Here is the back of the same corner.  Oh how the sun gave me some great photos on this day.


Samplers give the opportunity for block by block quilting motifs, and I took advantage of that on this top.

The fabrics and block designs on this top are quite lovely.


another shot of the back.  This floral was so pretty.  A great choice for the back.



Some ruler work, free motion feathers, I got to mix it up on this one!

Here is a full shot of the quilt.  I love the punch of chrome yellow  in the different blocks.  It really bounces off the navy prints.


And the touches of red make this shine.  Such great prints and fabrics were used.

Lots of techniques were also used on this piece. 
I don't know if this pattern is available, you would have to check with Barbara Brackman.  Link at top of this  post.
What I used - Wool batting,  Sew Fine by Superior Thread.  Straight rulers, circle templates  and free hand feathers.  Border was quilted 'piano key' style, using Lisa Calle's Pro Line ruler.

I have a weekend of sewing coming up, I can't wait!  I hope you get to stitch this weekend.

Sharon

Monday, January 29, 2018

Baby BowTies

This has got to be one of the cutest baby quilts I've seen.  Bow Ties; such a classic pattern! This one has been updated with an extra block added to the sashing. Sorry, I don't have the pattern designer name. This was a customer quilt sent to me from RH on the east coast.

I adore her color choices. These greys just allow the colors to pop and really show off the pattern.

Simple blocks with great fabric = a great quilt.


There are a ton of patterns out on the market. We need to support our designers, (i'm a budding pattern designer) but don't overlook a good solid classic block pattern.  A little twist here and there and you can make your own great designs.


And quilt backs! Oh how I love quilt backs that show up the secondary designs placed on the quilt by the quilter. As a longarm quilter, I believe my job is to make the piecer's work shine. I'm not to overshadow it. But the backs belong to the quilter!

Call me a show off, but I do love a good back!


Keep stitching, and I'll keep quilting!
Sharon


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Gertrude Made Zig Zags

It's been a mixed bag of quilt styles in my studio this month. I've been quilting on a huge Civil War sampler, bright modern bow ties, and a TulaNova hand pieced fussy cut hexi EPP quilt.  Waiting in line is a homespun appliqued sampler, a Kaffe hand pieced Hexi, a Sue Spargo wool piece and several other pieced tops. 

 Here is Nifty's fabulous zigzag/offset flying geese quilt.

After stitching the straight lines, I emailed Nifty and said "I really like this" Then I did a row of feathers and emailed her again, saying "I love this!"


  What a fantastic mix of color/print/texture.  The bark cloth from Gertrude Made really adds a lot to this piece.  I guess I missed a photo of the borders, a fabulous rose printed bark cloth.

Nifty also  pieced her backing and matched up the print so you can't see the join.


What's to not love about this piece, except that I have to return it to her.  Sometimes that's the hardest part of my job!

Keep stitching
Sharon

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Back in the Studio

Triplets.  My g.f. loves to make Bonnie Hunter's Blooming Pineapple block and then use the bonus 1/2 square triangles for baby quilts.  Orange and white..

Blues and whites........
Red and whites..........
Three in a row, all edge to edge quilted using a different motif on each one.  Ribbons for the orange, spirals for the blue version and bumped hearts for the red one.

Flannel making makes for cozy quilts.


For something totally different, here is my latest 'one block' applique, all quilted and bound.  Hand work in the evenings is so relaxing, especially after a day of machine quilting for others.  It's simple, it's colorful and I enjoy the process.

Keep stitching what you love.
Sharon

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Churn Dash with Stripes

As if I didn't have enough projects on my cutting mat, but for some reason I just could not turn down the opportunity to participate in Barbs Churn Dash big swap of 2018!  It's closed now, but you can follow the link for a fantastic tutorial on making a Churn Dash block.

I chose to join the Civil War theme and have chosen this paisley feather striped fabric.  Although the stripe is subtle(look closely), it's striped, and that means I need to pay attention.
And since I had to pay attention, I thought I'd draw your attention to working with stripes and 1/2 square triangles.

The details.  The 1/2 square block needs to finish at 2" so I started with 3" blocks.  Yes, I know there are other methods, but for a swap, I didn't want to be the one who gets her blocks back because I didn't pay close attention to the finished size.  So I CHOSE to trim down for precise measurements.

Using striped fabrics means you have to pay attention to the direction if you want all your blocks to run in the same direction when you are piecing the block.  Notice that the stripe is running in the same direction but the marked line is placed in opposite directions.


Here you can see my stacks of finished 1/2 sq triangles and the orientation of the stripes.

First draw a line corner to corner and use that as your guide.  Stitch a 1/4" from the line on either side.
Cut on the line.
and when you press open each piece, you will have striped running in opposite directions.  This is what you want!
Now it's time to trim down to 2 1/2" squares and any ruler with a 45 degree line will work for this task.  Line up your seam to the 45 ruler line, and make sure you have a tiny bit of overhang on all 4 sides of the 2 1/2" lines. Trim on the right side, flip the block around and trim on the left side. 
Now orient your block so the seam is running from bottom right to top left and again, use the 45 degree line on the ruler to ensure a square block.  Notice you have trimming to do on the right, and under the ruler, you can see the trimming you have on the opposite side.  It's all "just a smidge" but it's the smidge that makes for precise blocks.


Now you will have pairs with the stripes going in opposite directions.


Now you have the four corner blocks for the Churn Dash and all the striped are running in the same direction. 

If you were to sew your 1/2 square triangles all the same, below is what you will have to work with.  Notice the stripes are running up and down on the top left and bottom right, and the other two blocks are striped side to side.  Not a great design decision, especially when this can be avoided with a little pre planning in the piecing stage.


And here are 2 of my 66 blocks that are required for this swap.

This will be my focus until I get my blocks all done. I don't want to be the one asking for an extension on the shipping deadline. More sewing time and less computer time!
I hope this helps you in your quilting journey, next month or next year.

Keep stitching,
Sharon