Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Vitamin C Zig Zags

This was such a fun and fabulous quilt to quilt.  I connected with this quilter through Lori at Humble Quilts.  It's great to have my quilting showcased on other blogs, and it resulted in me getting to work on this beauty. 

Thread, something so simple, something that turns a sheet of pieced fabric into a quilt.  Oh how I love to see the transformation.

She loved the feathers I did on Lori's quilt so I figured when I got her top, feathers were on her mind.

And with all this open space with solid orange, what long arm quilter could resist filling it all up with feathers!

She pieced the back so there were places with a lighter print fabric to show the quilting.

I loved how the zig zag shows up on this light fabric.  The colors and fabrics were the star of this quilt, so I kept the quilting on the 1/2 square triangles simple.  Curves and loops were used on the pieced sections.

Oh, how I love how this one turned out.  Using the piecer's talents to be my guide, it doesn't get better than this. 

OK, I know, enough photos of the back.  But I really do love how the quilting showed up on the section of light fabric.

In case you are wondering, this quilt was approx. 100" x 110".  Yes, it is big!

I used Hobbs 80/20 and So Fine thread.  I debated moving away from the orange/red thread when doing the 1/2 square tri's, but since it was a riot of color, nothing would blend into everything, and I was very pleased with how the same thread worked on this whole quilt.

Click on the photos for close ups of her color/fabric choices. It is always a delight for me to get up close and personal with other peoples color/print choices. It expands my view;  gives me more confidence when doing my own work.

It was a pleasure to quilt this piece. It was so bright and cheerful to walk into my studio and see this.
How could you not smile when seeing this quilt. I hope your quilts make you smile!
Keep stitching,

Monday, November 20, 2017

Alicia's Stars - Tutorial

This quilt was a group project that was completed and gifted in the summer, but I thought I'd give a step by step on lining up columns of blocks with a full column of sashing.  You can see the block process HERE.  I might have also shown this quilt before, but this post is all about lining up the blocks.

First was the decision to use white strips between the blocks. This was based on a few things. These blocks were all made by different people and we didn't have a large enough pool of blocks for a lap quilt. Second, it gives the blocks some breathing room, and third, these blocks are a bear to get nested together along all those points. The last reason was that I was quilting it and since it was a comfort quilt, I wanted space to put some nice feathers for our friend.

Look closely, and you will see a little blue tick mark on the edge of this seam.  Since my blocks finished at 6" and I have 10 blocks in each column, my white strip needs to be cut 60 1/2" to account for the 1/4" seam allowance on the top and bottom block.  Now it's time to start marking my white strip.  

Here is a better shot.  The marks will be in the seam allowance, but I used a wash out blue marker.  Use a ruler to mark both sides of the white strip as that will keep things lined up properly.  Your first tick mark will be 6 1/4" from the top of the strip and then mark at every 6"  Your last tick mark should be 6 1/4" from the bottom of your white strip.

If you click on the photos, it will be easier to see, but in this photo.  Now you can pin your white strip to your strip of blocks, matching up the seams to your tick marks.  You can see how the blue tick marks are lined up with the seam where the blocks are joined together.

Once you sew the white strip in between columns of blocks, you will see how your blocks line up across the solid sashing.

This doesn't take much time at all, and the end results are definitely worth the effort.  Now your columns are nicely lined up. If you have any quilting motifs that require ruler work/line work, everything will line up.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted open spaces for some feather quilting, so that wasn't my concern, but I have had customer quilts that were challenging, bases on blocks not lining up straight across.

By using this method,  ALL the columns of stars will line up and this makes for a very nice finish.

Here is a shot of the solid columns.  I stitched a 1/4" from the seam on each side to frame the feathers, and used a continuous curve motif throughout the star blocks.

Keeping a straight visual line across the solid section to your pieced blocks is achieved using this simple method.  I wish I could remember where I heard/read/saw this being done.  I would definitely give credit back to them.  Since I can't, I shall defer to all the quilters before me, who have generously shared their lessons and knowledge. 

 By using this method it also helps keep your quilt top flat and squared up.

If you have a quilt in your future that requires this tip, give it a try. It works on any size quilt, even those mini's need to line up.

I'm wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving week/weekend. I hope you find time to pause and give thanks for the blessings in your life, big or small. Don't compare to others, just look at what you have and what you are thankful for. I have all that I need and then some, life is good and I count my blessings every day!

Keep stitching

Sunday, November 12, 2017

'Tis the Season

All my customer Christmas quilts are done. Well, a trip to the post office on Tuesday and it will be official! So today I started this! The process, the smell, the memories, oh the calories!.

If you want this recipe, go to this past post of mine here.
You won't regret making a batch, (or 3) of these delicious melt in your mouth shortbread cookies.

The rain held out yesterday, giving everyone a chance to stay dry during our local Remembrance Day service here in Blaine, WA.

 And in closing, here is a photo my sister uploaded to her FB account yesterday.  My dad is on the right.  1952, on furlough in Montreal, PQ  He's turning 83 next week, and going strong. 

 Hope you enjoy your week, and get some stitching time in.  I'm packing hand work projects for a plane ride.  Going to visit Pearl Harbor and learn some more history about this country.

Keep stitching,

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Elephants and Zig Zags

When making a quilt as a gift, I do not let the recipient pick out a pattern, only a color.  A grand niece will be arriving at Christmas and the Mom expressed elephants, grey and mint.  OK I can work with elephants and grey.  Mint, not so much.

 Found this funky, bohemian elephant print along with grunge grey dots and started pulling from the stash.

Using free hand cut triangles that Sujata Shah, from The Root Connection demonstrated at our workshop a week prior, I tested out the method.  Fun, fast, and graphic. 

 This is a great way to feature a big print and try a new method of cutting/piecing without a huge commitment.

When I used the printed fabric with a plum solid, I really loved the results.  I know I will use this cutting method again as I have a very fun Hallow'een fabric that is begging to be used, but also needs to be the star of the quilt.

 Simple, wavy back and forth lines of quilting keep the fabrics and piecing from being overshadowed.
Not all fabrics were solids, here I used a small tone on tone dot.

Since this print is not something that I would work with, I managed to use up every last bit of it, and the effort to use it was worth it.  The back is pretty good too.

It's quilted, bound, and labeled.  Now we just need the new addition to arrive in our family.  This one will make 3 girls and 1 boy in the last 18 months.

What new technique or idea have you tried lately?
Keep stitching,