Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Festival of Scrappiness

It's finally time for the Festival of Scrappiness hosted by Rachel over at Stitched in Color.  On January 2nd this year, Rachel started the Scrap Attack and issued the challenge to all who were interested to make scrap quilts and projects.  Now it's time for everyone to show off their creations, and there's even prizes! 

Happy Scraps
63 x 82 inches

Here is my entry in the the festival.  "Happy Scraps" is all crumb blocks, which I learned about from Bonnie Hunter over at Quiltville.  I made the very first blocks about 5 or 6 years ago.  We were in the middle of selling the house and moving and I had to put all my sewing projects away to show the house.  I kept out a small bin of scraps and my machine while everything else went into storage for the duration.  When we actually sold the house and drove out of town, heading for the Pacific Northwest, this also came along in the car with me.  I've worked on these blocks off and on ever since, and yesterday this got put into a box and sent to my long-arm quilter for her to work her magic on it.  Yay!  

This actually ended up much bigger than I had originally envisioned.  You can see my "quilt holder" up above is struggling to hold it all up!  I was thinking just a lap quilt, but now it's big enough to snuggle into, or even to use on the bed.  I'm still a little unsure of how all this large-ness actually occurred.  

I got somewhat of a wild hair and decided to piece the back.  I started with this panel that I love and then decided to make it a log cabin block.  The world's largest log cabin block?  Probably not, but it sure felt like it!  I was trying to use up some fabrics that have been in the stash for too many years awhile.  Now that it's done, I'm not so sure I like it.  I'm hoping that the quilting will help.

Here are some random blocks, letting you see some of the fun fabrics I used.

I've made lots of other crumb blocks since I started, and even finished a few charity quilts with them.  But these are some of my favorite blocks, with fabrics that have meaning to me.  Lots of baby quilts, pillowcases and scraps of other quilts that I've made are in these.

I also used some random orphans and rejected bits.  That just adds to the fun!  Anything really does go in these crumb blocks.

Recently my quilt guild hosted a "crumb workshop" for the members.  Many of the members had never heard of crumb blocks and wanted to know how to make them.  They were fascinated by my quilt top.  It was a lot of fun.  We made enough blocks for about 9 charity lap quilts, and still have so many blocks in process that we'll be having another workshop to finish them.  Everyone that came had fun, and I think many of them are "hooked" now.

If you haven't tried crumb blocks yet, I suggest that you give it a try.  It's fun, and I call it therapy sewing.  There are no mistakes and it's stress free.  Plus, you get rid of some of the scraps and end up with something useful using something that might otherwise have been tossed out.

And now, please go visit the Festival of Scrappiness and see what all the other quilters have been up to.  There are some wonderful quilts to be seen!  And thanks for the kick in the pants to get this finished, Rachel!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Finish and An Award

At long last, my Liberated Amish Challenge quilt is totally done!

You can read more about this challenge by scrolling waaaay down to the list of labels on the left-side of my blog and clicking on the tag "Liberated Amish Challenge".  There's a few posts - apparently I've been pretty wordy about this project!

53 inches by 65 inches
It took me some months to get around to getting the binding done.  I couldn't find any of the fabrics I used on the front, so ended up using the batik backing fabric I trimmed off the quilt.

Here is the back, with the pieced label I did.  I will be adding another label with more information on it.

A close up of the piecing, with the free-pieced Unruly letters from Lazy Gal Tonya.

Here's a photo of my free-pieced word on the front, all quilted.

And here's a shot of the quilting on one of the blocks.  This photo has the truest colors.

And a photo of the quilting that Shari did in the alternate blocks.  She knows I love Celtic knotwork.  I left this picture high contrast so the quilting would show up well.

I'm so happy that this quilt is finished and ready for use!  

The talented Kelly over at Pinkadot Quilts has nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award.  Thank you so much, Kelly!  I'm honored.  Go check out her blog.  She is making a small quilt every week for her personal journal quilt, and she's making some beauties!

The Liebster Blog Award rules:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award.

2. Link back to their blog.

3. Copy and paste the Liebster award to your profile.

4. Pick 5 blogs that you feel deserve to be in the spotlight (they must have @200 followers or under).

5. Blog about it and leave a comment for your nominations to let them know that you have chosen their blog.

Here are my blog nominations for Liebster Awards:

1.  Joe Tulips at Joe Tulips Quilts blog.  She has made the BEST zombie quilt ever, she makes funny, fabulous cards (both paper and fabric), she geocaches, and she makes great quilts too!  She always has something fun to see on her blog.  Oh, and she's pretty obsessed with the Scrappy Trips pattern, and it's my fault.

2.  Michelle at Nostalgic Cafe.  Michelle is a funny lady - she'll make you smile.  Right now she's having some snake-y issues.  She also has some intriguing recipes on her blog.  Oh yeah, she makes bright, happy, fun quilts too!

3.  Kate at Kate Kwiltz blog.  Kate is another ADD quilter like I am, but you wouldn't know it.  She's in the process of making 5 baby quilts and 2 wedding quilts that are due this spring.  She's making great progress.  She makes great modern quilts with a real grounding in tradition.  

4.  Maureen at Pursuit of Quilts.  Maureen does more traditional quilts with great style.  Right now she has two posts up that are full of eye candy from two big quilt shows that she has visited.

5. Sharon at Grass Roots Quilting.  Sharon is making the Beyond The Cherry Tree quilt and is making great progress as well as other quilting projects.  She does long-arm quilting with the most wonderful feathers.  She is a funny, generous quilter.  I took the Gwen Marston class last year with her, and it was great fun.  I'm happy to call her "friend".

Go take a look at their blogs.  I think you'll enjoy them as much as I do.

One last thing:  Michelle at Nostalgic Cafe blogged today about the new Dark Shadows movie starring Johnny Depp and directed by Tim Burton.  I deeply loved D.S. when it was on TV.  I think my sister and I watched every episode!  I went to IMDb (Internet Movie Database) here and watched the trailer for this movie.  It looks like it will be hilarious and great fun.  I mean, how could you go wrong with Johnny Depp??  I can't wait until May 11th when the movie is released!

Happy quilting!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

This and That

Last week was the biggest thing in this area for quilting and sewing - Sew Expo.  I went with my friend C. on the first day.  We didn't do any of the classes or see anything other than some of the vendors.  I really didn't "need" anything, and she was just looking for a baby quilt pattern.  So we just kind of wandered around seeing all the sights.

At the Just Imagination booth, filled with wonderful, luscious hand-dyed fabrics, there was a small quilt top on display that C. really liked.  It was made with only 2 fabrics, but because of the nature of the hand-dyed fabric, it had lots of variations and interest.  It was done in intense blues and rusts. We got to talking to Judy Robertson, who makes all those wonderful hand-dyed fabrics, and found out what pattern she had used to make the sample.

Then we wandered over to a booth selling quilt books and got the last copy of the book (40 Fabulous Quick-Cut Quilts by Evelyn Sloppy) that the pattern for that quilt was in!  

I brought it home to make a sample block of the pattern.  I didn't get any of the hand-dyed fabrics ($26/yard!), so I used some batiks.  I just picked some with strong contrast.  And green and purple are always good together to me.  It was a very simple block to make, and there were great directions in the book.  It's all done with 2 1/2 inch strips.  By the way, I recommend this book!  Lots of great patterns in here, and they're all pretty simple and straightforward to make.

It looks like this will be the quilt my guild will be making for the raffle quilt to raise money for the local arts group/gallery.  I don't know what colors we'll be using, but I'll show you when I know!

I also found some things that I couldn't live without!  I got some zippers (2 for $1), a texture stamp, a stamp pad cleaner, foil, some metallic paints, a new seam ripper (wore out the other one making the Halloween Trips) and a cute pattern for a chicken or pig or bunny stuffy.  I think they'll make cute pincushions.  Maybe a little voodoo doll-ish to stick pins in them, but still cute.

Here is the final layout of the Halloween Trip blocks.  DH and The Kid did the final arrangement for me.  They wanted those bands of color to kind of match up.  I like it, so I left it.  I have 3 rows sewn together and the last two will get done tonight. And I even have an idea for the border now.  Just have to pull fabrics for it!  I'm relieved excited that this one is almost together.  I'm ready to do something else now.  Short-attention-span quilting!

Last, but not least, here are the fabrics I received from Nifty over at Nifty Quilts.  We did a little vintage fabric swap.  Go visit her blog and see all the great fabrics she's got to work with now!  These fill out my selection nicely.  I was short on the grey/pink combo, and I'm always in love with dots.  Dots on dots are even better!

Happy quilting!