Tuesday, January 29, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Back to Piecing

So now that I've all but finished the Madrona Road (come now, we all let quilts sit without binding, I've even got one on my couch right now, in use, that is only minimally quilted more than the basting) I'm back to piecing.

I know I've shown the early pictures of this project before. But now all the triangles are in square blocks, and I've cut the border. All that's left to cut are the white corner pieces. Baby quilts are fun for experimenting with new patterns. I can easily see making this pattern again in larger scale.

There was a lot of squaring up before doing the final layout. But I did chain piece the triangles into squares which was awesomely fast - all 36 squares made in under half an hour. 

Then there was laying out the 36 blocks with what will be the border fabric. Sea waves surrounded by octopi. And the corners will have the white squares since the octopus print is directional, and I have it all facing inward towards the center. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Finished all the pebbles

There is no question that the pebbling on the Madrona Road quilt was by far the most dense quilting I've ever done. 11 strips, each 2 inches wide and 54 inches long. I can't imagine pebbling a whole top for anything this big - 54"x71". The minky back also looks interesting with the stripes of the quilting.

This means I'll take the free motion foot off my machine and switching back to piecing. It's a pain to go back and forth since it requires using a screw driver, and since I knew I'd finish this soon enough, I didn't want to go back and forth repeatedly. So now all that's left for this is binding and burying the threads.

Featured over on A Quilt Story

Today I'm featured on A Quilt Story with my asterisk quilt. She pulled pictures from my various posts along with the finished ones that I took outside against the snow.

Quilt Story

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tutorial - Strip Piecing into Diamonds

I've gotten a lot of positive feedback between the blog and Instagram on the baby quilt that I'm making. Secret for the strips - I have an AccuQuilt Go Cutter so making many strips at a time is easy for me, and they're all completely straight. When it comes to quilting tutorials, I'm very much a visual learner, so this is many, many pictures.

Supplies: 1.5" strips (I used 6 sets for this), 1/4" foot, rotary cutter and cutting mat, quilter's ruler with 45 degree markings.

Start with three strips - these are each 1.5" wide.  For this your 1/4" foot is your best friend, you want equal seams for this so that everything will match up nicely after cutting.

Iron the seam under the dar side. I iron from the top - with this method, the seam won't show through the white. 

Then add the second strip to the other side of the white.

Same deal with the ironing here, have the seam hide under the darker fabric.

 Here you can see the 45 degree marking lined up along the side edge of the strip.

This is a more wide view of the same set up. The 45 degree marking is along the side of the strip. At this point. Slice off that end to start making the right triangles. 

Flip the ruler to the other end, to the other 45 degree marking to line of on the other side of the strips. The already cut edge and the edge of the ruler should form a 90 degree corner. Keep doing this down the length of the strip. I was getting 12-13 triangles per strip depending on how close to the edge I started.

And here we have 60 (of 72) triangles arranged into blocks then rows. These haven't been stitched up yet, but that's coming shortly. I just thought I would give the step by step instructions for anyone else who wanted to try this. It's very easy, but it's a visually striking pattern. I used almsot exactly half a yard of the blue swirls fabric which is the Alexander Henry Pirate Island Salty Sea. I'll be putting Ed Emberley's Happy Drawing Too Octopus in Deep Blue around it as a border with white corner stones.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pebbles, pebbles, pebbles.

After the Boston MQG meeting on Saturday, I was inspired to get to quilting on the Madrona Road quilt. I had been thinking about pebbles in the white strips before the meeting, and the free motion practice time solidified that decision.

The thread is a very, very pale grey which gives the texture whithout drawing attention to the stitching itself. I haven't decided if I'm going to do any quilting over the tumblers, right now I'm thinking that I won't. The top is way more than secure with the quilting in the white areas. Each full 54" strip takes about 20-25 minutes to quilt. I do half at a time, starting in the center and working my way out. It's using less bobbin than I was expecting - I can do 2.5 strips with one. I wound 7 in preparation so that I wouldn't have to wind any while in the middle of the project.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Boston Modern Quilt Guild Meeting

Today I went up to Billerica (for those not from the Boston area, that's pronounced Bill-ricka, ignore the E hanging out in there) for the Boston MQG meeting. It was 30 women who all love quilting as much as I do. I brought my Madrona Road New Wave quilt with me for show and tell. After everyone had a chance to show what they'd either finished or were working on, we got instructions about free motion quilting. As I've discussed on here, I'm branching out and getting more adventurous with my quilting.

After the instruction time, there was open sewing. I specifically brought a practice sandwich with me for this. And I'm definitely more confident with my free motion work. All those hours spent doodling when I was younger have paid off. The best friend to the free motion quilter is doodling to learn the best flow of the shape.

Pardon this photo, it was taken on a whim, and I didn't even stand up from my chair to take it, but it gives you an idea as to what I was playing with. What this doesn't show is the section of pebbles that I also did.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Baby Quilt Beginnings

I'll be making two baby quilts in the next couple of weeks for twins who are due in mid-February. I've got both designed, and have started on the baby boy quilt. Thank you Pinterest for the inspiration picture that led to this quilt. It's strip pieced, then triangles cut from the strips - very quick work, especially since I have a Go Cutter and can get five perfect 1.5" strips at a time. That's about 1/4 of the top, maybe a little less, I haven't decided what the final size will be yet.

This is a picture of the plan for the girl's quilt. It's a lot of HSTs and full square. The shaded areas will be the pink circles, and the vertical stripes will be narrower than what appears, but it was easier on the graph paper to make them a full square wide. Inspiration for this came from another blogger and seeing her quilt via FreshlyPieced's WIP Wednesday Link-Up. 

This morning I made what might end up being my bee block for September, but I can also see myself making this whole top before I head to Rhode Island in March for Navy Training. It's simple, but with adding a different color star in each big block, I think it'll be nice looking top with visual interest. I'll be making a similar block for someone else this month, so I may update my request when it's my month. 

And lastly, I got more comic book boards today, and have finished making mini bolts of my stash - this does not include any of the fat quarters that I have which are on the bottom shelf and out of view. I have 154 mini bolts on my shelves right now. I definitely lack purples, but other than that, I'm pretty well stocked for colors. I could definitely have more solids, and that might happen once I move and have my fully dedicated quilting room. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mini Bolts and Fabric Organizing

Thanks to Pinterest, I decided to make mini bolts out of my fabric to organize all of it. It had been on a set of shelves in piles, organized mostly by when I bought it, and not much else.

I underestimated. I got 100 comic book boards (originally I was going to use foam core, but then another quilter pointed out that it's 1/4 thick on it's own, and if the shelves are full, that's annoying). It turns out I have close to 150 different pieces of fabric, and that's not even including fat quarters since they can't go on the mini bolts. The most common length cut is a half yard.

The shot on the left is the growing pile next to me on the couch while folding the fabric onto the bolts. The shot on the right is the fabric currently on the mini bolts, and it will be joined by a few more solids, and a good number of pinks, oranges, citron/lime greens, and browns. This doesn't include any of the Minky since at 60" wide and being heavy weight, it can't go on the card stock and will continue to just be folded.

What I've been Working On

I decided that I wanted to make a duffle bag. I'd seen a bunch of these on Flickr, especially right around Quilt Market time when everyone in the blog world was traveling and using the travel handmade hashtag.

The day after Christmas, I finally bought the Studio Cherie pattern from her Etsy shop for the boutique duffle. I've been working on it a little each day, since I decided to quilt both sides of half the Chevrons on my fabric with zig-zag for extra strength, it took awhile. As of today, I have everything except the end pocket completed and ready for assembly.

The only picture I've taken in-process thus far is of quilting the end panel piece which is now cut in half to actually become the ends.

The duffle will finish to 20"x12"x12".  A decent size weekend or gym bag. The lining and what is on the Jute Straps is bright blue and you'll all see it once I finish the bag since I expect that to happen late today or tomorrow, and there will certainly be a post about the finished bag.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

More Bee Blocks - Post #50

I started this blog back in August to keep track of my quilting, and to make it easy for family and friends to see what I'm up to. This is now post number 50 after four and a half months, so I'd say I'm keeping everyone well informed.

Here are the next two bee blocks I've made for other members in my hive of the 4x5 Modern Quilting Bee through flickr. I haven't put the borders on either of these blocks yet, but the substantive parts (the paper piecing with 14 sections plus the center strip) are fully done.

Red and Aqua for Stephanie; Orange and Turquoise for Maria

Now that I've made this block 4 times, my wasted fabric is next to none. I figured out that I can cut 
2 1/4" strips for making the pointy parts and 7" wide white strips which then become the outer pieces and white strips between. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

First Bee Block Done

My first bee block for the 4x5 Winter Modern Quilting Bee is done. Sara requested rainbow with a black background.

I will be making the next three over the course of the next couple of weeks. I've already gotten feedback from my hive that they all like the block - a good thing when I'm making so many of them.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Madrona Road New Wave Quilt

Back in September, right after I started blogging about my quilting, and more importantly following other bloggers, I ended Diary of a Quilter's give away. It was only the third giveaway I'd entered, and I won a fat quarter bundle of Madrona Road.

I'd been eyeing the New Wave pattern every since I saw it, but didn't feel like I had the right fabric for it. Then boom, it calls for 12 fat quarters, and I won 12 fat quarters. It's a pattern that allows for large prints to be showcased and the fabrics that I won are large prints. It all fell into place. So now I have completed top. I think for the actual quilting, I will pebble in the white space - that'll be a good number of bobbins, but it's a pattern I want to try, and this will keep it contained.

I cut the tumblers and white strips back in November, but they'd just been sitting in a stack, so between last night when I called it quits to studying, and this morning, all the pieces came together. Apologies for the poor lighting, it's cloudy, and I don't feel like putting shoes on to go outside to take pictures. Over the next week, I'll iron it and probably sandwich, we'll see when the quilting actually happens.

Friday, January 4, 2013

I'm back!

I've joined two bees in the last few weeks. One is a full year bee, and when that gets going, I'll post pictures of the blocks I'm working on. The other is a 4x5 modern quilting bee organized by Don't Call be Betsy. Both have been organized through flickr.

This evening I made my sample block of the paper pieced design that I'll be doing. It's a starburst. This one is a little messy, but I'll clean it up as I make more and more of this block. The way the 4x5 bee works is each quilter chooses a color scheme, and then each of the other quilters makes their chosen block in that color scheme for that person.

I haven't picked the paper off the back of this yet, and I'll trim the seams down further that are under the white strips since it's pretty easy to see the orange through the white. My chosen colors are orange, lime, and peacock blue - as you can see, I didn't work any blue into this, but that's because I was working from scraps and just wanted to get the block made so that I can show it to the hive of which I am a member. Everyone in my hive is doing paper pieced blocks. I'm always drawn to how crisp the lines are for paper piecing, and this one is no exception. 

Also in other news, the move to DC is getting more planned. I received all the information regarding my housing stipend from the Navy, and I've chosen an apartment that's walking distance to the hospital and will have a DEDICATED SEWING ROOM!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's right. I will be going from 284sq ft with a lofted bed to accomodate my sewing to a 2 bedroom, 1000sq ft apartment where I will have a whole room for my sewing. My coffee table won't be my cutting/drafting table anymore. Hooray!