Saturday, October 25, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Big Pink Star

Giant Pink Star quilt

This is my entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival Home Machine Quilted Category!

Quilting detail

I made this quilt for a client in celebration of beating breast cancer.  She requested a big pink star and some small pink ribbons and let me have creative license over the rest.

Quilted feather filling a triangle space.

I was drawn to encircling the star, and then added the big feathers--each feather is 18" inches long!

Large double quilted feathers.

The star is quilted with big peacock style and the surrounding feathers are big billowy type.

Quilted peacock feather detail.

I added a circle around each ribbon and filled it with pebbles so the ribbon would pop out.

Quilted pink ribbon 1.

Quilted pink ribbon 2.
Back of pink ribbons.

 For the rest of the quilt I quilted a dense loop-di-loop.  It was very time consuming! But I love the glowing effect it gave the quilt and how it gives the quilts a dusty pink feel.

All over quilted loops!

Back of quilt.

Quilt Stats:
Size: 83" x 88"
Quilted by me on a Janome 6300
Thread: Aurifil Blossom Pink (#2530)
Fabric: Kona Oyster, various pinks from and Sketch Widescreen on the back.

This quilt just glows with all that beautiful Aurifil thread!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Flying North mini quilt

21" x 22" mini quilt

I made this mini quilt for a swap with Afton from Quilting Mod (go check out the quilt she made me!).  I met her through her blog first, and soon after met her at a New Mexico Quilter's Association meeting, and then the Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild.  So she's my first real life quilt-blogger friend!

Compass detail, I used Green Fairy's tutorial to make it.

We decided to swap quilts back in May, I think...and then kept pushing it back until finally we swapped them at the beginning of this month.  I'm glad we were equally busy and every delay was mutually agreed on!  We didn't discuss likes/dislikes at all, but agreed the quilts should be between 12"and 24".

Two layers of batting under those geese!

I really wanted to create something original, with lots of negative space for fun quilting.  And geese have been calling to me lately, so they had to be included.  I finally settled on this photo as inspiration.  Basically I just liked the shape of the steps leading up to the round, open sky.

Quilting detail on front.

I used Aurifil #2605 for most of the quilting.  For the compass and around the geese I used #2600.  I used #2024 for around the compass.  My sewing machine (a Janome 6300) big-puffy heart loves Aurifil!

Compass quilting detail.

I used Kona Oyster for the front and Kona Charcoal for the back. The fabric in the geese range from Cotton and Steel to Tula Pink and from Carolyn Friedlander to batiks.  The binding is Foliage in Teal from Carolyn Freidlander's Botanics line.

Binding and quilting detail.


I used Quilter's Dream wool batting (which I got for a good deal from Massdrop!) and added a second layer of batting to the geese using a trapunto method.

Quilting detail on back.

Thankfully Afton loves this quilt as much as I do! It's always good to know your quilts are going to a good, loving home!  :-)

Label from TagsToGo on etsy.

Linking this up for:

Blogger's Quilt Festival -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Laura's Traveling Quilt

This is the third quilt I've had the joy of working on in this Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts group.  This one is Laura's from Little and Lots, and when I got it it looked like this:

Jessica from Quilty Habit worked on it before sending it to me.

The very first thing I decided to do was add another line from the full quote:

“Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.”

2.5" tall "Life is not a series of gig lamps"

I used the free color word patterns (rearranged a bit) from the Quilt Talk blog tour.  I really enjoyed making these words!  Then I decided to add a series of little stars to use as spaces between the words.

Those stars are a good stand in for gig lamps, right?

The next thing I decided to make was a New York Beauty block--I was pretty much looking for an excuse to use the pattern I'd just purchased from Better Off Thread.

New York Beauty block in progress.

It was a really fun block to make for this quilt because it is not the first color palette or color use I'd pick.  But I loved the idea of the geese to be a golden halo around the bright colors in the center.

And then as I was starting to piece all the blocks together I realized there was a space that an Anna Maria Horner feather would fit perfectly, so I made one of those too:

AMH Feather using colors from the rest of the quilt.

I pieced together almost all the blocks and will send this on to Ashley at Wasn't Quilt in a Day to add some more and finish the quilt top before sending it back to Laura!

'Luminous' is unattached, but everything else to pieced together. 

Here's a close up of the finished blocks I made:

Next time I make a New York Beauty it will be for me :-)

I made another wonky cross following Jessica's lead.

The next traveling quilt I get from this group will by MINE!  So excited to get it back!  I have so loved working on all these quilts and getting to know the other ladies better!  I can't wait to see all the quilts finished.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Raven Feathers mini quilt

Raven Feathers mini quilt, 15.5" square.

This is another (long overdue) pay it forward gift, this time for my brother!  And thankfully it is the last pay it forward gift on my list!  I really liked the idea of a pay it forward--so last year I signed up for two.  I signed up expecting to get some surprise item from two different people, while agreeing to "pay it forward" to a total of 6 people that signed up for mine. 

Quilting and feather detail.

I never recieved anything from the PIFs I signed up for.  But I kept the PIF going anyway.  

I had this fun idea to make a feather using black-on-black prints, so it would have some texture, but still look like a raven or crow feather.  I was only able to find 3 black-on-black fabrics at my LQS, so I decided black with grey prints would be okay.

I used the Forest quilt along feathers pattern by Shape Moth.  The green fabric is a crossweave scrap I got in a scrap pack, and the black border is Kona black.  Sorry I don't remember what the backing is!

I used Aurifil #1147 for the green swirls and Superior Thread So Fine in black for the border feathers.  

Have you ever signed up for a pay it forward?  Did you get something out of it, and did you remember to send something to the people that signed up for yours?

Label from TagsToGo on etsy.

Monday, September 29, 2014

New Mexico State Fair Results

I meant to post these results last week after picking up my quilts from the fair.  But the night before my 2.5 year old fell off a chair and busted out a tooth. 

The good news is the adult tooth was undamaged and should grow in normally in 2.5-5 years.  Also, she's recovered really well and is undaunted by the new gap in her mouth.

So, well here I am, a week behind, but oh well.  I entered 4 quilts to the New Mexico state fair this year and here they are with the judges sheets and my comments.

My first TARDIS quilt won first in it's category!  Hurray!

TARDIS quilt hanging next to the second and third place quilts in the category.

Judge's Comment Sheet--Best feature reads: Elegant design and choice of fabric, great background quilting.  Needs improvement reads: Quilting stitching could be smoother, starts and stops on back need attention.

I'm really glad the TARDIS quilt placed so well despite the areas it needs improvement.  I didn't make the quilt for shows, so I took a few shortcuts--like the starts and stops on the straight lines and the machine binding.  Regardless, I had two people ask if it was for sale during it's visit at the fair.

My Fuck Cancer quilt got second place in it's category, which I was very surprised at!  I thought they'd just hide it away due to the profanity.  But actually it generated a lot of discussion about free speech and art.  I was called by the assistant superintendent of the fair about it, she told me they wanted to display it since it was a ribbon winner, but her boss didn't think it was appropriate for a family event, and could they cover part of the word.  I said sure, but was a little disappointed to see the entire word covered.

The censored version of my Fuck Cancer quilt.

Judge's Comment Sheet--Best feature reads: bold message, exquisite quilting.  Improvements: none.

So here's what I don't get--I used the same binding method for all four of the quilts I entered, but only on two of them did she mention it needed improvement (I think maybe I just did a better job on the smaller ones?).  I also find it interesting that she said my quilting was exquisite, which I am honored by, but I feel like it could have been better, especially on the back.

My Orange Peel Snowflake quilt got third place in it's category, which I was also surprised at!  The applique is so simple, and honestly I just tried to get through it as quickly as possible.

Orange Peel Snowflake

Judge's Comment Sheet--Best feature reads: Elegant design and choice of fabrics. Great background quilting.  Needs improvement reads: quilting stitches could be smoother, starts and stops on the back need attention.

With the type of applique I did I frequently have issues with it catching on my FMQ foot, and then the quilting stitches go all crazy for a beat, so I wasn't surprised at the needs improvement note.  Also, for the applique I just back stitched at the beginning and end of each petal, which was really noticeable on the back--but I didn't (still don't) care because this quilt is for me and will hang on my sewing room wall and no one else will ever see (or care about) the back again.

So all those quilts had minor issues which I knew about in advance, and the notes about them didn't bother me.  But my Starry Night quilt didn't place at all, so it was folded up in a cabinet:

Sad quilt is sad.  Funny side story--I had to ask some police officers chatting in front of it to move so I could get a photo of it.  They said it didn't place because no body likes the police, and if I'd put a firetruck on it I would have won.  I laughed because my dad is a firefighter (retired this year after a 30+ year career!).

These are the winners for the category:

Pretty sure the one on the right got first.  Womp womp.

Judge's Comment Sheet--Best feature reads: fabulous original design, overall quilting design well executed.  Needs improvement reads: quilting stitch need attention to binding detail.

Okay, first--overall appearance only got a "good" followed by a note saying "fabulous design"?  I can assure you when I dropped off my quilt it was very neat and clean, so I don't know what they're talking about there!  And why did this quilt backing only get a "good" when the F.C. backing got an excellent??  I don't get that at all.  My applique only got a "good"--it was one thing on a mountain of a quilt!  One really detailed TARDIS that was hand stitched down.  Many grumblings.

I'm just a bit put out about the issues they found with my quilt and how they graded it.  I suppose the winning quilts may have been more technically "excellent" but I think I should get more credit for a novel design and dense overall quilting.

Oh well, overall I'm happy with how well my quilts did.  And the fact remains that I made the Starry Night quilt for my friend Andrea, and she loves it.

All those notes in mind, I am planning to enter quilts again in future shows.