Friday, October 24, 2014

Mod 9-Patch - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Welcome to my blog, if you've come over here from the Blogger's Quilt Festival!  And welcome back to my regular readers.  I'm so happy you're here!

First of all, I'd like to send a huge THANKS! to Amy for all her hard work in getting this on-line Quilt Festival underway, with great sponsors and awesome prizes too.  The Festival is my favorite on-line event of the year.  Where else can you see hundreds of quilts all while in your jammies with your fave beverage?  It's available any time you want to visit, all without miles of walking and no crowded parking lots - just lots of quilts!  And I get to meet new-to-me quilters and make new friends.  I love it!

Here is my first entry in the BQF this time:

Mod 9-Patch: Comma Musings
65 x 77 inches
Entered in the Modern category

This was my first real foray into making a Modern quilt.  I found the Comma by Zen Chic line of charm squares and fell in love with them.  I adore fabrics that have text on them!  It took me awhile to decide what the best pattern would be to use these particular charms.  And then I remembered seeing the Modernized Disappearing Nine Patch tutorial over on Kristy Daum's St. Louis Folk Victorian blog. Her tute was so easy to understand and follow.  I'm just thrilled at how great this came out!

I had fun playing with the blocks for the Modernized Disappearing Nine-Patch.  I was looking for a way to stretch the two packs of charm squares to get a bigger quilt, and this design fit the bill.  There's lots of open space in the blocks.  I used a kind-of-silvery grey solid for background - I didn't want to overwhelm the prints.  I'm really happy with the grey.  Most of the 9-patches use only 4 squares of the print fabric, which worked out great with the packs of charm squares.  I actually had enough charms to do 2 or 3 blocks that used 5 of the charms, just for a little extra variety.  That's one of the fun parts of the MD9P pattern - there's room for some improvisation of your own in the individual block design.

My long-armer Shari and I worked out the best quilting design for this quilt.  I actually found this pattern on Pinterest, and sent Shari the link to the photo.  Shari then free-hand quilted the pattern.  My usual choice is a curvy quilting pattern over a geometric pieced pattern, but I think this design fits this quilt well.  I think the quilting and the fabric work really well together to give a "modern" vibe to the quilt.

I put that ubiquitous IKEA "number" fabric on the back.  Again, text on fabric!  It makes my heart happy.

I did a piped binding (edited to add: technically a flange, as it has no filling) on this quilt, because I thought it needed that little pop of color out on the edge.  This is the first quilt I've ever tried this on and was a little worried about how easy the technique would be.  It was so easy!  I even got all 4 corners perfect, which never happens for me.  I'm ready to do this type of binding again, because it was so quick and easy.

You may have noticed what appears to be a ribbon on the quilt in the top photo. Here is a close-up of that Participation Ribbon from the quilt show.  Every quilt entered received a ribbon, all of them made by Judy, our featured quilter.  Isn't it sweet?  Even though I didn't win any awards, this quilt is a winner in my book.  It came out exactly like I wanted it to!

Buttoned Up - The Blogger's Quilt Festival

Welcome to my little blog, if you've come over from the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  And welcome back, if you are one of my regular visitors.  I'm glad you stopped by!

First, a big Thank You to Amy for hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  It's my favorite on-line event of the year!

Here is my second entry in the BQF this autumn:

Buttoned Up
52 x 68 inches
Entered in the Small Quilt category

This quilt was a long-term project - that was never meant to be long-term!  I started this quilt about 20 years ago (to the best of my poor memory).  I intended this to be a cuddle quilt for the love seat in the family room, which was upholstered in pillow ticking.  Well, when we moved 7 years ago, I had to pack up my entire quilt studio.  I put all my projects in under-the-bed plastic bins.  Long story short, I actually lost this quilt! 

somehow, all those buttons remind me of polka dots!
The top was all put together, the inner border was sewn on, and then I put this aside for some reason.  I had put this in a tote bag before I put it in the plastic bin for moving, along with the chambray fabric for the border.  Well, when I unpacked my quilt studio, I just kept everything in the bins because I have no room to get everything out.  You need to realize that I have 10 bins full of unfinished projects. *blush*  Well, I never saw this again, because it was hiding in that tote bag.

Eventually (last year, actually) I thought "Gee, don't I have some chambray fabric somewhere?"  I had a thought of what to use it for.  So, I dug through all those plastic bins and ran across the tote bag.  When I looked in there I said "Aha! There's that chambray fabric!"  And pulled it out.  Only to discover the quilt top!  I had completely forgotten about it.  (See?  There's that poor memory again.)  Now, I can't remember why I was looking for that chambray fabric!

So I got the borders on, and sent it to my long-armer Shari to get it quilted up for me.  And I've been sewing all those buttons on for months.  I sprained my wrist in mid-July this year, and that really put me behind.  It was too painful to sew for very long at a time.  But I really wanted this done in time for my guild's quilt show in early October.

It's finally finished!  I got it done in time to go in the quilt show.  I actually sewed on the very last button the night before I had to turn in the quilt.  Nothing like the last minute, eh?  I no longer have the love seat that it was supposed to go on, but now the quilt is done and will be the cuddle quilt in the family room.

I used a pattern in a book I have called "Better Homes and Gardens: Quilts To Make For Kids" (published in 1991).  I used actual pillow ticking for the "woven" blocks in the top.  I used some bright jewel tone fabrics that were so popular in the '90's for the inner border.  And I bought buttons to match those colors to put on the top.  One problem though - I never counted how many buttons I would need to do every intersection on the top!  So, I have been buying more buttons at various stores.  Did you know that button colors change over the years?  I cannot find that particular fuchsia (a vivid purplish-red color, like the flowers) color of buttons anymore!  Dark pink, yes, but not fuchsia.  Just thought you might like to know that. *grin*

Anyway, I managed to find a little more of those bright jewel tone fabrics still hiding in my stash.  So I used them for part of the binding, and I even had enough to put some on the back of the quilt!  I used embroidery floss for putting on the buttons, matching the color of the floss to the button color.  I sewed though the quilt a couple of times, then tied the floss off, leaving short tails of the floss.

I was asked at the quilt show if I got dizzy putting this quilt together, because of all the stripes.  I really didn't have a problem with it.  The digital camera doesn't like focusing on the stripes - they seem to vibrate in the photos - but they're not as bad when you're up close to them. 

To my surprise, this quilt won 3rd place for People's Choice at the quilt show!  I love this quilt, and I'm so glad to finally have it finished!

Enjoy the BQF!  And I hope you'll come back to visit my blog again!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Now, back to my regularly scheduled life . . . .

At least I hope so!  Now that the Quilt Show is over and done - only one last recap meeting tomorrow! - maybe things can get back to normal.   The show was fun, but it was also a lot of hard work, and it seemed to take up my whole year.  We had a LOT of committee meetings, not to mention spending 5 days out at the fairgrounds where the show was held this year.  2 days of set up, 2 days of show, 1 day of take down.  I'm actually still tired.  The building we were in seemed bigger than a football field and I can't tell you how many trips up and down the length of it I had to walk.

The quilt show went really well, I think.  All of the visitors seemed very pleased with the show, and most of the vendors too.  I thought the quilts all looked great!  We had over 300 quilts, which is darned good for a guild of about 60.  I had 10 quilts on display, including some newly finished ones, which  I will be sharing with you over the next few posts.

Let's start with this one.  I know I've shown it in various stages of production over the last few months, but here it is all finished and in the quilt show!

Ochre :: Strata
31 inches by 32 1/2 inches

(No, I didn't win an award on this quilt.  The ribbon on the right side was a Participation Ribbon that every quilt in the show received.)  That bottom edge is not wonky, it is curved on purpose.  It ended up kind of uneven after piecing, and I decided I liked it that way and trimmed it in a curve.  Which fits with the rest of the quilt because I don't think there's really a straight edge anywhere on this quilt!  This was my "artsy" quilt this year.  *grin*  All free-pieced and kind of my own personal challenge.  You can read more about it here.

not true colors in this photo

Here is a detail shot to show you some of the hand-painted fabrics (by Barb Sherrill) that I used.   They look "shiny" (they're metallic and really are shiny) and are in the approximate middle of each strata in this photo.  There's some painted fabrics scattered throughout the quilt.

true colors in this photo

Here is another detail shot.  I had my quilter Shari quilt this for me on her long-arm, and she followed my request for the not-straight lines.  I love it!  I could have done it, except for the time crunch I was in.  Thanks, Shari!

We had some visitors to the back yard last month.  Mama Deer had two babies this year.  The babies are getting so big it's hard to tell them from Mama.

The doe

the smaller baby
The 2 small deer discovered my small oak tree and thought they had hit the "salad bar" jackpot.  They ate all the leaves from the lower half of the tree!  Yum!

all 3 deer

My injury is finally getting healed!  I'm walking without crutches or a cane now - whoo hoo!.  I'm only wearing the brace when I go out, just for some security until my ankle feels a little more stable.  I'm still nervous on uneven surfaces, but getting better.  And I can climb steps just fine now.  (down is a little harder, but getting better)  I still get occasional twinges in both my ankle and my wrist, but I think I'm just about healed now.  I can't believe how long it's taken me to heal - it's been 3 months!

I'll be back with more finished quilt photos soon.  I hope you get some time to stitch this weekend!