Sunday, February 19, 2017

Four Greater Than One: QuiltCon 2017 Charity Quilt

It took 6 months for our charity quilt to go from raw materials to finished quilt (see my previous post here), but I am so excited to finally be able to share the finished quilt:

Four Greater Than One: QuiltCon charity quilt 2017, measures 88.5" x 65.75"

Yvonne at Quilting JetgirlAfton at Quilting ModSara at Blue Quail Studios and I formed the Blue Moon Quilters to make this charity quilt as an independent MQG group.  Yvonne designed the quilt, we split up the piecing between the 4 of us, and I quilted and finished it. So my blog post will focus on the quilting!  Check out the other's blog posts for more pictures and information.

Four Greater Than One: quilt label (for show purposes). 

Before I started the quilting I talked with the others to brainstorm how to quilt it because I was drawing a blank and I wanted the quilting to be inclusive of their ideas.  We ended up with agreeing on straight line quilting (SLQ) in the grey and gold, and more organic/curving/flowing lines in the teal and blue.  Here's a look at the quilt about 2/3 through the SLQ:

Four Greater Than One: straight line quilting on the center areas.

I broke up the large blue spaces by adding rings that connect the storm at sea blocks--those were Yvonne's idea, and my older brother suggested continuing them across the top and bottom of the quilt (I made that part of the ring go "behind" the gold and grey blocks).  I love how the quilted rings are actual curves that connect the blocks that only have the illusion of curves.  Hopefully you can see the rings a little more from the back:

Four Greater Than One: Quilt back.

There are 4 rings, and each one has a different quilting filler: the center is all pebbles (including 4 small snails!), the second is McTavishing, the third is Flow Quilting (which is the idea of quilting in a "mental state of moderate enjoyable challenge, of being in the zone, but not frustrated with the challenge. A state of smooth progress" but more loosely meaning a variety of designs flowing from one to another without much structure or plan) and the very outer edges of the quilt are filled with tight loops.

Four Greater Than One: center and quilting detail.

I'm sorry to say I didn't document the quilting process anywhere except on Instagram, so if you're interested in seeing lots of progress photos of the quilting, go check out my feed: quiltsNfeathers .  

Four Greater Than One: Quilting detail--a small snail crawling up the right side of the blue square.

I spent at least 37.5 hours on quilting--which includes marking the straight lines.  The quilting was done over a 3 week period on my Janome 6300 (a domestic machine with a 9" throat), and I used 24 very full bobbins of Aurifil 50wt thread.  All of the threads for piecing and quilting were donated by Aurifil for this charity quilt!  Yvonne estimated we used about 2.5 miles of thread, so many, many thanks to Aurifil for sponsoring it!  The thread colors are Dark Deft Blue, Turquoise, Mustard and Aluminium.  I really put these threads through their paces and didn't have any thread issues.  I also love how the 50wt disappears when doing in-the-ditch work

Four Greater Than One: quilting detail.

Michael Miller Fabrics generously supplied 17 yards(!) of Cotton Couture solids for this quilt.  We wanted to use Cotton Couture for their soft feel and how nicely it drapes.  They were a joy to work with from cutting to piecing, basting to quilting.  The colors we chose are Royal, Gold, Lagoon and Fog. 

Four Greater Than One: Flow quilting detail.

My favorite designs to use in flow quilting are dense feathers, pebbles (with variations), arches, spirals, paisleys, orange peels (which require marking and planning ahead, but are worth it!), wishbones, and quilted paisleys (top left and bottom center of the photo above).  I also quilted in two large nautilus shells:

Four Greater Than One: quilting detail.

The flow quilting was probably my favorite part of the quilting, although it was hugely time and thread consuming!  I spent 12.5 hours on just the flow quilting ring, but I like that when I get bored of quilting one design I can just switch to another.

Four Greater Than One: flow quilting detail.

The Warm Company graciously sponsored the batting for this quilt.  They sent us their new Warm 100 batting to use.  I pin basted and quilted it SO much, and was really happy with how the batting behaved and held up to all the handling.  I was surprised how little the quilt shrank despite all my quilting--the quilt top was 88.5" x 68.5" and the finished quilt is 88.5" x 65.75" (how did it not shrink any in height?!).  Unfortunately I can't tell you how much it shrank in the wash yet (we'll wash it before it is donated to the charity we pick out), but I'll update when I can!

Four Greater Than One: quilt back quilting detail.

I really put everything I had into quilting this quilt, and feel confident that I was able to #QuiltTheLifeIntoIt!  Here is the quilt top before quilting (and before the 2" border, but the only before photo I have):

Four Greater Than One: Before quilting.

And here it is afterwards:

Four Greater Than One: After quilting

I would guess the total hours of work put into this quilt are well over 100.  I am SO excited to show it to the other ladies in my group while at QuiltCon next week-- they haven't even seen it finished since I put it in the mail right after finishing it.  If you get to see it at QuiltCon, don't forget to look for the 4 small snails in the pebble-ring, and share a picture of it on Instagram and tag it with #FourGreaterThanOne!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Quilted Campohhip (reverse Hippocamp) mini quilt

Quilted Campohhip, measures 10" x 9"

My newest addition to my Quilted Mythological Creature Series is this grumpy looking fish-horse!  It was inspired in part by the recipient's love of strange things and seeing various weird reversed mythological creatures (you can see an awesome collection here, including a reverse hippocamp!)

I sketched a horse rear-end and tried a couple of different fish heads.  I ended up with a bluegill fish, which ended up having a serious case of resting bitch face!  It was so fitting for this ugly creature!  I enlarged my sketch and then traced it onto some white fabric:

Campohhip: drawing, ready to quilt!

Since this was a birthday gift for Sara who also has the hippocamp quilt I made, I tried to use the same Aurifil thread colors and layering so they would look like sibling quilts.

Campohhip: outlined with Aurifil 2540, Medium Lavender.

Again I used Aurifil Marrakesh (3817) to add color and definition to this weird creature:

Campohhip: quilted scales detail.

I used two layers of batting (cotton and wool) for stability and texture.  The echo quilting is all Aurifil Creme de Menthe (4662).

Campohhip: quilted tail detail.

While making it I kept thinking of the scene in the beginning of Lilo and Stitch where they think Stitch in an abomination and decided to include this quote from the movie:

Campohhip: quote reads "As for that abomination, it is the flawed product of a deranged mind."

Here's a look at the back of the quilt:

Campohhip: quilt back.

Here are the Campohhip and the Hippocamp quilts side by side:

Check out more from my Quilted Mythological Creature Series!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Round Elements Curvy Clutch

Round Elements Curvy Clutches.

A few months ago Afton at QuiltingMod issued a fabric challenge using Round Elements by Art Gallery Fabrics.  Admittedly I'm not that excited by the fabrics, but told her to keep me as a backup should anyone need to drop out.  Sure enough I was needed, and I decided to make some Curvy Clutches (free pattern!) as future teacher gifts.  

Curvy Clutch #1.

I paired up two fabrics with various trims and zippers from my stash, and picked a coordinating Round Elements fabric for the lining (forgot to get a picture of the interiors!  Darn).

Curvy Clutch #2

I took all the fabrics and materials with me on my sewing-beach vacation in August.  It's a great travel project!  Plus then I was able to do a beach photoshoot with them.

Curvy Clutch #3
For the record, you can make a curvy clutch out of a Fat Eighth of fabric!  It was tight, but my FE were just big enough, hurray!  Many thanks to Afton for supplying the fabrics for this challenge!

Curvy Clutch #4

Next I will get some Starbucks gift cards and other little goodies to put in the bags.  What are you favorite things to give or receive as a teacher??

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Les Fleurs Makers Totes

Two small Makers Totes using the new Rifle Paper Co Les Fleurs fabrics!

A couple of months ago my friend Sara (she just started a blog, go check it out!) and I decided to make Makers Totes (pattern by Noodlehead) for ourselves and the other members of our Blue Moon Quilters group.

Makers Tote: zipper side!

I made mine (the patchwork one) and one for Afton back in July, but had to keep them a secret until we were able to gift them.  Later I helped Sara make one for Yvonne (you'll have to see pictures of it on Sara's IG or blog!).  Sara generously provided all of the brand new Rifle Paper Co fabric line Les Fleurs, which have the prettiest selvages!  I included them everywhere I could on both bags!

Makers Tote: zipper pull and borders are Rifle Paper Co selvages!
Makers Tote: selvage-edged pocket and FMQ goat detail.

For the interior fabrics I used Sarah Watt's new fabric: From Porto, With Love (also provided by Sara!).  All of the fabrics and colors coordinated so nicely!  

Makers Tote: slip pockets!

Makers Tote: pleated pockets--and selvage alert on the left!

I free motion quilted both bags with 2 layers of batting, but ended up adding a layer of medium weight interfacing so the bag would have more shape and stability (ideally I would have used Annie's Soft and Stable, but I didn't have enough!).

Makers Tote: Les Fleurs City Maps fabric with FMQ outlining of all the fabric details and loop filler using a matching Aurifil thread.

Makers Tote: FMQ vine-y swirls using a grey-variegated Aurifil thread.

This bag has so many places to show off these pretty fabrics!  I intentionally cut out my favorite parts of the fabric for most of both bags.  Even the gussets:

Makers Tote: gussets!  And selvage alert on the right.

Makers Tote: gussets (and binding!).

I was delighted to find that my Sew Together bag (a gift from Amanda at What the Bobbin!) fits perfectly in the bottom of the small Makers Tote.  

Makers Tote: perfect fit for the Sew Together bag (which I use for hand sewing, especially hexies!).

Whew, keeping them a secret for almost two months was hard!  

Monday, September 12, 2016

Ballena Muerta mini quilt

Ballena Muerta (Spanish for Dead Whale), measures about 14" x 10"

This quilt started as one of those ideas that grips you and doesn't let go until you've turned it into reality.  It started while I was working on the Fractal Friendship Star quilt.  That quilt has the most basic of quilting--only in the ditch, so basically unnoticeable.  It worked really well for that quilt, but my swap with Yvonne was for straight line quilting, which is definitely a different aesthetic than stitch in the ditch!  So I thought, okay I'll make her a second quilt and go crazy with straight line quilting!  Then I broke more rules by doing the straight lines around intricate free motion quilting, haha.  I'm a quilting rebel!

Ballena Muerta: I made a composite bowhead whale skeleton from 3 different pictures I found online. I probably spent an hour in front of a sunny window trying to get all the details traced onto that Kona Pepper.  Cue the bright light induced headache.

I originally planned to make her a mermaid (I'm dying to make a mermaid!) but realized instead I should make her a creature she would like (and I'm not sure how she feels about mermaids, though I doubt it is negatively).  Then I remembered her saying how much she loved whales!  But I wanted it to be a part of my Quilted Mythological Creature Series, so set out to find some good whale myths to inspire the quilt.  Somehow I came across the Japanese myth of the Bake-kujira (meaning whale ghost/creature) and it struck a chord, partly because we came across a whale bone sculpture while in Oregon together last month and I liked that tie-in.

Ballena Muerta: outline and skeleton quilted.  And yes, that small floating bone is the whale's pelvis!  I was debating about including the baleen at this point since it's made out of keratin and not bone.

I picked Kona Pepper so the whale would be a really dark blue (and let it be known that Kona Pepper IS a dark blue, not a dark grey!), with the intention of filling the background with ocean-y colored threads:

Ballena Muerta: adding organic straight lines using with my FMQ foot and Aurifil variegated 4662.

I ended up going back and adding even more straight lines, but with medium and bright blue Aurifil threads:

Ballena Muerta: straight line quilting detail

I knew I wanted to decorate the rest of the whale with tiny flow quilting designs (including some quilted paisleys!), which ended up giving the whale a very Dia de los Muertos feel, especially on the back of the quilt:

Ballena Muerta: quilt back.  And how fitting is that dandelion in this photo??  I love it.

On the front of the quilt I used Aurifil Dark Navy so it would almost blend with the Kona Pepper--I wanted the quilting to add texture and a slight blue shine to the designs, but not really distract from the bones:

Ballena Muerta: quilting detail.  Check out those tiny hand/flipper bones!
Ballena Muerta: quilting detail.

I had fun going through my Aurifil thread collection and picking threads for this quilt!  I wanted most of the quilt to read as watery and the whale to be at least reminiscent of an actual bowhead whale in coloring.

Ballena Muerta: Aurifil threads used!  Top left were used for the whale and bottom left for the background and whale outlines.  I used the really dark grey in areas that I wanted the quilting to disappear, and black was used in the bobbin.

I was delighted to be able to gift it to Yvonne in person during a recent visit (how lucky am I that she comes to Albuquerque several times a year?!) and she's already hung it in her sewing room!

Ballena Muerta: back quilting detail.

Ballena Muerta: back tail quilting detail.