Graduation confetti

Monday, May 31, 2010

This is my 2nd attempt at this quilt from Ashley's tutorial.  My first was for my niece, Kaitlin, for her 14th birthday and it was a huge hit!  This one is for my niece, Christine, for her high-school graduation present.  Kaitlin lives in Virginia and Christine in Kansas ... so I figured it would be OK to make them the same quilt pattern ... this is such a fun quilt and I believe perfect for a teenage girl (particularly two who live far away and you don't know their favorite colors and all).

The weather didn't cooperate this weekend for the photo shoot, but here's some I snuck in between rain showers: 

I busted the scrap bin wide open with this effort.

I am finding that I really like the result of a tighter meandering quilt ... since I don't pre-wash, the tighter quilting coupled with a hot wash and dry really creates the krinkly feel that I like so much and just can't seem to achieve with the broader spaced quilting.  Maybe someday when I have a machine with a walking foot my tune may change ;-).

What's a photo shoot at the cabin without a little view thrown in?  That's Hood Canal, the only Fjord in the lower 48 states.

I'm not thrilled with how the back came out.  I tried to reverse out the pattern from the front and similar to my lattice quilt.  In the end, the strips were too narrow and the space to vast and it looks like someone drew on the quilt with pens ... oh well, lesson learned.  It didn't ruin it, but it also didn't add anything.

The quilt by the numbers ... it started as 64" x 48" and ended at 61" x 46".  The front is comprised of everything, I used Paula Prass Red Cobblestone for the binding, and the back is a combination of Kona Ice Frappe and (because I only ordered 2 yds of the Kona) a little Country Classics Spray green from JoAnns.

I love the craziness of the front of this quilt ... it always makes me smile.  Thanks Ashley ... for bringing a fresh view to the string quilt via Kaleidoscope.

I have visions of this sitting at the end of the bed in Christine's dorm next year ... I hope she gets the same vision.

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend.

All the best

A little cabin living ...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's Memorial Day weekend here in the US ... a weekend where we remember those who've given their lives for our country ... as the daughter and sister of veterans who've fought respectively in Vietnam and Iraq & Afghanistan, this weekend I remember both those that have lost their lives as well as their families who have also born an enormous cost ...

Memorial Day also signals the beginning of summer ... well, it probably does if you live anywhere else in the US, here in the Pacific Northwest we will be lucky to get up to 60F this weekend.  But we're "braving it out at the cabin this weekend" ... so a little cabin living for you ...

The transition from winter (down duvet) to summer (quilt) bedding ... she's ready, he's not quite.

Hermit crabs found in our oyster shucking efforts.

We got our the new solar sails up ... far more economical than a good patio umbrella ... and really cool looking too ... a fabulous product from "down under".


And setting a little time aside to quilt the Graduation Confetti quilt (seeing the graduation was 2 weeks ago ... I'm a little behind).

I hope your having an equally fun and productive weekend!!!

All the best

Spring 2010 Blogger's Quilt Festival

Sunday, May 23, 2010

How fun is this ?!?!?  Amy's Creative Side is having a Blogger's Quilt Festival!  I'm looking forward to spending my evening sifting through the 472 submitted quilts (thus far).  I also wanted to add mine! 

My entry is "United Scraps".   This was the first quilt I ever designed!  And it has had a large influence on a number quilts that I have made since (both with the pervasive used of negative space as well as unifiying scraps by colors).  I was REALLY proud of this quilt and how far I had come in (at that time 8 short months). 

This quilt led to my blog ... once I had completed it, I finally felt I was ready to participate in the blogging community.

In a number of ways ... it has been an inspiration to me and it is still my FAVORITE quilt of the 42 I have made!

So ... I hope you'll head off to the Quilt Festival and check out what a talented community of quilters there is out there ...

All the best

It's been a year ...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Since I made my first quilt!!!

It was made for John's newly adopted grandson.  The Plainspoken patter, inspired by this beaultiful quilt from Amy ala mode.

I have learned TONS about quilting in the past year -- both personally and from others:
  • From others:
    • If your toe doesn't get caught in the pucker on the back ... leave it
    • Bindings are meant to be mitered at the corners (still haven't managed to try one of those yet)
    • Washing and ironing all fabric is not required
    • Walking feet are required for straight line quilting
    • A quilt doesn't have to be finished in a week
  • Personally:
    • Color combinations can work in quilts that would never work in other places
    • Solids can make fabulous quilts too
    • Making product for an Etsy shop is just not my thing
    • Perfection may be a goal, but it's not required
    • I do have a creative side
    • I have had the opportunity to give over 35 friends and family members gifts that have come from my heart and my own creativity ... and that's something to feel REALLY good about!
I can also say that the Flickr/Blog quilting community has been FABULOUS!  I have enjoyed learning from the more seasoned, evolving with my peers and actually providing some inspiration to some new comers!

Oh ... and here's a peek at another one I have in the works ...

It's a high-school graduation present ... from this tutorial.  I had forgotten how much work is involved in a string quilt ... gorgeous ... but definitely time consuming!    But this is practice as I have joined my first quilting bee ... Fresh Modern Bee 2.  The first block I must make is from the same tutorial!  Isn't that a brilliant idea ... get a bunch of people to make all the blocks for you ... oh ... I am so going to like this quilting bee thing!

Here's to the next year of quilting ... hoping my skills continue to evolve at the same pace!

All the best

Rookie Mistake ...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Oh ... that's right ... I am a rookie ...

One of the  challenges in teaching yourself how to quilt via looking at photos on Flickr is that you don't learn the tricks that make quilting a little easier ... you don't know what you don't know ...

For example ... chain stitching is a new one that I have recently learned.  Earlier this week I posted a photo of the start of my queen size quilt.  For that 25-square block, I laid out all the pieces to make sure I had variety and no 2 patterns too close to each other.  Then I sewed two blocks together, got up and ironed and picked up the next block, then sewed the next block to the row, got up and ironed ... well ... you get the picture.

Last night ... I had the brilliant idea that I could chain stitch a series of 2-square combos (what I termed a diad), ensuring that I had different pattern pieces in each of those diads, I could later lay the diads out into a larger block & play pattern police. 

For those of you who have been doing this for awhile ... your response is "Duh!!!".

Patting myself on the back for my new-found brilliance, I sewed up a storm ... then worked my way over for an ironing marathon (and a big smile from John as he got to turn down the volume on the TV since the machine wouldn't be operating for a few minutes).  This is when I discovered the rookie mistake ... direction matters ...

As I ironed, I placed each diad in a neat little stack ... until I got to my fourth diad.  And I couldn't stack it ... no matter which way I turned it, it was the wrong direction !!!  (see top right diad in the photo).

Out of the 20 diads I stitched ... I did 17 of them WRONG ...  who would have thought ?!?!?

Now in a perfect world, I would tear out the 3 and switch directions ... well, in the real world I live in, I already have a block of 25 squares completed in the "right" direction. 

So ... I will be spending some quality time the seam ripper today.

When I grow up ...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I want to be a queen size quilt ...

This quilt is for the guest room at the cabin.  I've not made anything but lap quilts since I started ... and the thought of piecing and quilting a queen size quilt is a little intimidating ... so intimidating, that it's taken me about 9 months to get this far.  I purchased the bulk of these fabrics as fat quarters last summer, shortly after I began quilting.  I cut out the 220 squares of print and solids in the fall, and I'm now finally starting to make progress on the piecing ...

I'm a bit nervous about the size, particularly as I sew on a portable Pfaff ... but maybe this is my excuse for buying that new machine ;-).

New news ... I've joined my first quilting bee ... "Fresh Modern Bee 2" ... and I'm VERY excited!  It will stretch me as a quilter and I am confident I will learn great stuff from my "beeing" partners!  Hopefully I'll figure out how to get the Bee button on my blog at some point (techno savvy is not my middle name ;-)

And I had an awesome compliment last night ... my blog, has actually been an inspiration to another, new quilter!  I remember perusing the blogs last summer and being inspired ... for me it was Amy Ala Mode ... how about you ... who was your first inspiration?

Hope you had a productive week!

All the best

Another scrappy stripe quilt

Monday, May 10, 2010

So I have been busy ... just not as vocal ;-).

This is the last of my "thank you" quilts ... and it goes to my former boss at the company I left last year ... she was fantastically supportive over the past year as I "found myself".  She has also recently resigned and is taking some time off, so this is for her early morning cup of tea on the balcony as the sun rises.

I first made this quilt for me ... and while I don't carry it around with me, I have to admit, I don't go to sleep at night without it around my shoulders!  I just LOVE the scraps and stripes against the white! 

The back is a simple stripe of green prints.

And I found a cute little polka-dot fabric at JoAnns' for the binding ... oh, and now you can see my machine sewn binding ... I keep promising myself I will try hand sewing one ... but it's always on the "next" quilt ;-). 

Quilted with a meandering pattern ... I really went for a tight quilting, which maximizes the krinkly effect, particularly with the white sateen fabric.

And ... for the first time, I'm sewing them faster than I'm delivering them ... these two are waiting to be presented to their new owners ...

Thanks for all your advice on balancing quilting with so many other demands!  I have decided to get the new machine ... though I am going to wait for a few months until our budget gets back in order ... can't wait!

Hope you have all had equally productive weeks!

All the best
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