Tuesday, July 25, 2017

AHIQ Linkup Plus More!

Last year about this time, Debbie of A Quilter's Table blog hosted a quilt-along, mostly on Instagram, doing the Crosscut Quilt.  I had just gotten the prompt for my local guild's yearly challenge, which was "Get Creative With Black".  There were no rules for this challenge other than a minimum size of 24" x 24".  So, I decided that it would be fun to play along, using black fabrics for the background.  Maybe not the most creative way to use black, but I thought the quilt looked like it would fit the criteria.

I promptly ordered a good selection of what I'm calling "low volume black".  In other words, black with a subtle design on it.  And I thought it might be fun to use some of those fabrics I've hand-dyed and hand-marbled, so I used those for the inserts.  I love they way they look with the black fabrics!

Crosscut beginning

I decided to make my quilt a little bigger than what Debbie was doing with the Quilt-Along and what the Challenge size minimum was, just in case the quilt shrunk up too much with quilting to end up at 24" x 24".  This was my start.  Each black square is cut at 9 1/2 inches and the X's (inserts) are cut at 1 inch.  Then the *magic* happens!  *grin*  And that's the fun part.  You'll have to go look at the tutorial on A Quilter's Table if you want to know how to make your own.   It's an easy introduction to Improv quilting.  And a lot of fun too!

The Value of X
24 " x 30"

I got the top made in pretty short order, and then put it aside because 1. I had a year to finish and 2. I couldn't decide how I wanted to quilt it.  So, along comes June this year (my deadline was early July) and it was still sitting there waiting to get quilted.  Yikes! Time to make a decision!  I hemmed and hawed for a little bit, then finally realized that, since I've always admired the quilts I've seen on blogs, IG & Pinterest that have quilted spirals, I really wanted to do a spiral on this quilt.  I thought the spiral would be a good contrast with the geometricality (yes, that is a word now - I just made it up, maybe) of the piecing.  I was a little intimidated, but went for it anyway.  

I had kind of a rough start, perhaps because I started in such a small circle.  I traced around a spool of thread.  It was hard to see the line with the walking foot because it was such a tight fit with such a small circle.  But once I got a few rounds done, it was much easier.  It was actually kind of fun!  And I love the way it came out!

You can see the quilting really well on the back of the piece.  I used up some older stash fabric on the back, including one my mom gave me years ago.

Can you see the two skulls by the arrows?
Can you find the other skulls in this photo?

When I was quilting, I decided to add a few accent lines of a blue/purple thread.  They don't really show much, but I found out that this particular fabric not only has some dots in metallic but some of those dots are actually little skulls!   What a fun discovery!  I have a small quiltlet I made with the leftovers that still needs to be quilted, so you'll see that later.

I had so much fun with this pattern that I made placemats for myself which you can see here.  And now I want to do this pattern again, maybe on a slightly larger scale.

I'm linking up with Ad Hoc Improv Quilting linkup today.  Go check out all the other bloggers giving Improv a go.  There's some good stuff to see!

my 1st Raspberry Kiss block
4 1/4 inches
The Tacoma Modern Quilt Guild was having a "white elephant" exchange at the meeting last week.  I remembered from last year that these are actually pretty awesome handmade items, so I knew I had to rise to the challenge.  The theme this year was "Make It Modern".

I've been wanting to make some Raspberry Kiss blocks that I saw on Pinterest, so I thought now was as good a time as any.  

I changed my mind about what project these blocks were going into many times during the process.  But then it jelled and became a pouch!

Inside of the pouch

Blogger won't let me place this photo where I want it, so you get to see this first!

the "cool" side

the "warm" side

I love this so much!  But now it lives with Roxanne.  I'm planning on doing something more with the Raspberry Kiss block for myself!

Here is the "white elephant" that I came home from the meeting with....a beautiful pillow made by Leigh Ann.  I love it and it has pride of place on my living room couch.  It looks so summery and it makes me smile.  I love these colors!

Here is my newest addition to my collection of sewing machines.  A 1950 Singer 221 Featherweight! (the same age as I am!)  I received this wonderful gift from my friend Judy.  She taught me how to oil and grease her up and now she's ready for me to play with.  I've been wanting a Featherweight for a while now because I've heard (and seen) what a wonderful straight stitch they make.  I'm so excited to own this!  Now I have to go shopping for some fun (and some not-so-fun-but-necessary) accessories for her.

Happy quilting!