Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Quilted Hippocamp mini quilt

Quilted hippocamp, measures 9" x 14" (ish).

Last week I made a quilted Phoenix mini quilt for a friend and it was so fun doing research, practicing drawing, quilting and gifting I immediately knew I'd be making a whole series of mythological creatures.  During the making of the phoenix my friend Sara @bluequailstudio asked to swap for it, but since it was already destined for someone else I offered to make her a creature of her choosing (she said "surprise me!" which I think I did successfully ;-).

I wanted to make a mermaid, but knew I'd want to keep it.  Then I came across hippocamps, and they're such strange, lesser known beasts from Greek mythology I just had to do it--she'd never suspect! I spent a lot of time drawing them, horse-creatures are tricky!  Here are my sketches:

Hippocamp sketches: bottom right is the first one, with the second and third just above it.

I easily spent twice as much (if not 3-4 times as much) time working out how to draw the hippocamp vs the phoenix!  It is much more detailed, and horse faces and legs are so awkward compared to wings (totally making a pegasus at some point though).

Final hippo camp drawing, and traced version on fabric (backed with freezer paper) using a water soluble fine tipped marker.

I really wanted to make this beast with a variegated purple-blue-teal thread, but alas Aurifil does not make such a color!  I emailed them my request though and they said it would be considered with their color card additions next year (woo!).  Until then I decided to use a base of Medium Lavender (#2540):

Quilted hippocamp: first round using Aurifil medium Lavender. 

And then several layers of Marrakesh (#3817) to add more colors and make the lines more bold so the hippocamp would pop against the background:

Quilted hippocamp: head quilting detail using Aurifil Marrakesh.

The echo quilting is Aurifil Turquoise Foam (#4654).

Quilted hippocamp: tail quilting detail.

 I used one layer of Quilter's Dream wool and one layer of cotton select for stability and texture.  The binding is Tula Pink pixel-dot, isn't it perfect?!

Quilted hippocampus

My husband said this was his new favorite quilt of mine, which is high praise!  But I know it's in a good, loving home now!  Plus Sara is a local friend, so I can visit it from time to time!

See the rest of my (still growing) quilted mythological creature series here!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Quilted Phoenix mini quilt

Quilted Phoenix, measures 8" x 13.5"

Last week an idea came to me to quilt a little phoenix using Aurifil variegated threads Tramonto a Zoagli (#4657) for the phoenix and Limoni di Monterosso (#4658) for the echo quilting.  I used one layer of Quilter's Dream wool and one layer of cotton select for stability and texture.  Here's how it came together:

Final phoenix drawing and how I drew it on my fabric before quilting.

Quilted phoenix!

After I added the echo quilting.  Now I felt like all the yellow areas of the phoenix disappeared.

I ended up going back over the phoenix using the Tramonto a Zoagli thread three more times to make the outline and colors stand out better.  I really like the effect of layers of colors:

Quilted phoenix mini quilt.

This little quilt was made for an old friend that is going through a lot of changes.  I know the phoenix is an important image to her and kept thinking of mini quilts to make for her.  This idea really inspired me though.

Quilted phoenix detail.

Quilted phoenix tail detail.

I'm thinking this has started a whole quilted mythological creature series and am already planning my next animal to recreate with thread!

Quilted phoenix back.

See the rest of my (still growing) quilted mythological creature series here!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Blue Hexie mini quilt

Back in November I made this mini quilt for a secret friend swap at Quilt Bliss.  I forgot to post about it until now!

Blue Hexie mini quilt, measures about 18" x 20" (I think?)

I knew my secret friend liked blues and teals, and finally I decided to use up some of the 1" hexies I've been making from my scrap bins (I've been making them for about a year now, and have around 1600!).  I hand sewed them together and then sewed them to the background fabric (linen) with my machine.  The hexies have an extra layer of batting to give them a little more depth.

Blue hexies mini quilt.

I quilted the all over free motion quilting swirly vines with Aurifil variegated teal #4662 (Creme de Menthe).

Blue hexie quilting and hexie detail.

After secretly delivering this mini quilt to my swap partner's space she hung it up above her machine with washi tape for the rest of the weekend, and many other quilters oohed and aaahed over it.

Blue Hexies mini quilt back.

I also gave her one of the quilted paisley mini mini quilts I was making at the time and some other goodies!

So what did I get from my secret friend (a different woman)?  Some chocolates, a little sewing kit and a little wood sign.  It was a big disappointment--the swap was for something handmade, a treat, and a notion (and no, the wood sign was not handmade).  My secret partner didn't make me anything!  I was so frustrated by the end of the weekend when I realized there was no grand finale.  This swap was my last attempt at trusting swaps, ya know?  And it was a total flop, so that's when I swore of anonymous group swaps!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Quilting Commission

This is my first commission of the year!  Here is Jennifer's 103" x 78" quilt top:

Quilt top ready to be basted.

This is also the first time I've had a reason to use the curtain rod hanging above my design wall, quite pleased with it for hanging large quilts while I brainstorm.

Pin basted and ready to start quilting!

Here it is after 6.5 hours of quilting (stitched in the ditch around all the diamonds, some straight lines in the center star and a bunch of FMQ):

I'm quilting it with matching Aurifil threads, so it is hard to photograph!  

Here's a peek at the back, you can see the quilting and texture a little better:

Quilt back detail.

Okay, now back to quilting!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Red Herring baby quilt

Today I'm excited to share another Quilting Jetgirl quilt pattern that I tested:

Red Herring baby quilt, measures 31.5" x 35"

First, what is a red herring?  When I first saw Yvonne's Red Herring quilt I thought it was a fun design, I'd never heard the term "red herring" before.  So here's the definition, for those like me: 
  1. 1.
    a dried smoked herring, which is turned red by the smoke.
  2. 2.
    something that is or is intended to be misleading or distracting.

So obviously we didn't make a dried fish quilt, right?  Here's another look, without the added distraction of the quilting:

Red Herring baby quilt

Oh!  Clever, isn't it?  The pattern is on sale for $6 for two weeks (until February 5th), which you can find in Yvonne's Craftsy and Etsy stores. 

Red Herring baby quilt: quilting detail.
Here's a look at how I made mine with a variety of low volume background fabrics (instead of just one fabric, there more details included in the pattern):

Red Herring baby quilt: Low volume fabrics cut following the directions.

Red Herring baby quilt: Ready to start piecing the arrows!

I laid out the whole quilt at this point to make sure there was an even distribution of each of the low volume fabrics.

Red Herring baby quilt: row layout.

From here the quilt top came together really quickly!

Red Herring baby quilt: quilt top finished!  Measures 32" x 36"

Next I pinned a small piece of batting behind the red herring arrow and then stitched in the ditch, then trimmed the extra batting--this is my favorite method of adding trapunto.  

Red Herring baby quilt: adding trapunto to the red arrow.

It gives the red arrow a little more loftiness, especially since I left it unquilted.

Red Herring baby quilt: trapunto using two layers of Warm and Natural batting.

I spent a week trying to come up with the perfect way to quilt this quilt.  During that week Yvonne and I were discussing what to call this type of quilting, and all the thinking and talking about it made me want to just do. 

Red Herring baby quilt: after the first bobbin

 We finally settled on Flow Quilting, which works so well with this quilt!  I added extra swirls to give the quilting movement in the same direction as the arrows. 

Red Herring baby quilt: after the second bobbin.

I used Aurifil #2320 (light beige) for all of the quilting

Red Herring baby quilt: after the third bobbin.

I really enjoy this style of quilting, it is so much fun, and turns out so interesting!

Red Herring baby quilt: out in the sunlight.

Red Herring baby quilt: back.

This quilt came together so quickly, and so smoothly!  I think this pattern is very well written, and would be appropriate for a beginner.  As an advanced quilter I found the pattern thorough yet simple, easy to read and really enjoyable to put together. 

Red Herring baby quilt: red arrow.

Red Herring baby quilt: back of red arrow.

So what are you waiting for!  Go get this pattern while it's on sale for only $6 (sale ends February 5th)!

Red Herring Pattern Cover

So, how many snails did you find?  I'll give you 3 hints, there are 3 snails, they are really sneaky, and they can be found on every up-close photo of a single arrow, like this one:

Red Herring baby quilt: quilting detail