Thursday, May 29, 2014

Busy as a Bee

I've caught a cold from my kids (I'm actually more surprised when I don't catch their illnesses, they are little typhoid marys!), but wanted to stop by because today is the last day of voting over at The Bloggers Quilt Festival!  If you haven't voted yet, please do!  I have two quilts entered (the TARDIS is the Home Machine Quilted category and Pandorica Opens in the Art Quilt category).  My TARDIS quilt also made it into the Viewer's Choice nominations (an honor to be voted in out of the 650 entries!).

Last weekend I went to a quilt show with my mom, pretty much with the intention of test driving some long arm machines (a distant dream).  I had my mom take some photos!

Trying out a Gammil

An A1.

I tried out a Gammil and a Handi Quilter too.  I'm not at all in the market for one yet, but wanted to know if they handled and performed like I imagined.  It was fun!

These little bees have been buzzing around this week--destined for a wall hanging.  Find the pattern here.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Super Tote #5

You can see my previous Super Totes herehere, here and here.

Super Tote #5 was made as a gift for Stephanie at Quarter Incher, part of the Birthday Bash swap.  She mentioned liking bright fabrics with neutrals and novelty prints.  I had fun putting this bag together, even though I second guessed the fabric choices a lot--all those brights together is so not my style!  But I had fun using so many fun fabrics together, especially for someone I know will appreciate them.

The back blue-green-yellow panel is quilted with one layer of batting--but I wish I had use either two layers of batting or added some interfacing because it was more floppy than I like.  

I lined all of the pockets, which I think adds a nice amount of stability and stiffness. 

I love that thinky owl!  All owls think a lot.
 I did two elastic-gathered pockets from the pattern (I love them for diapers and wipe case!) and two slip pockets on the other side so they do fill up the bottom of the bag.  I had to include a zipper pocket of course!  Moms always need on of those!

That snail with the house and the satellite dish is my favorite!  Label is from TagsToGo on etsy.  
 More pockets:

Linking up with Sewjo Saturday!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

More Feathers

For the last week I've been working on these black feathers (pattern by Shape Moth, found here).  

The blue feather I made last month for a block in the NMQA's president quilt.

We did a four day trip over the weekend to The Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.  I've been feeling so worn down and tired with my sewing, I expected to come back feeling reenergized to sew and create again.  Four days without my sewing machine!  Four days without a computer or phone to distract me!

But when I got back I had a ton of catching up to with blog comments from the giveaway (over 600 individual entries!  blew me away!  lots of no-reply bloggers didn't leave an email address, including one of the winners) and blog comments for the Blogger's Quilt Festival posts.  And then there were all the things in my reader!  I was just overwhelmed again.

Working on the small feather.

I finally got to start sewing again yesterday morning.  But when I finished the block I didn't feel energized or excited.  And then I got a message from a friend confirming an impromptu trip to visit--her and her 18 month old daughter will be here this afternoon for two nights.  Mostly likely staying in my sewing there went the whisper of motivation/sewjo I had left.

I used a scrap of my first shot cotton for the background, it's lovely, but I wish there was a little more contrast with the feathers!

Maybe it will return for the long weekend!  There is a quilt show starting tomorrow I'm hoping to go to, maybe it will inspire me!  Ten days left in the month and I am feeling soooo behind.  How about you?  What have you been working on?  Or what re-energizes your sewing spirit?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival: The TARDIS

Spring '14 Blogger's Quilt Festival -

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

First, let me preface this with saying the front is a cheater panel (which means the tardis and stars are printed on the fabric--I didn't piece those together) I bought from Spoonflower in early 2013.  It is no longer available, and I have since designed and pieced my own TARDIS, which you can see here.  

I quilted it ornately, and added a lot of special Dr. Who details to the windows and door panels:

A weeping angel--white on white to imply a reflection, rather than it being inside looking out.

A scary weeping angel, words in the top corners say "Don't blink"

 I used some software online to create the following words in Gallifreyan, printed them out, traced them onto water soluble stabilizer and then quilted it with my FMQ foot:

"Bigger on the inside" 

 If you want to see the process posts for all of the quilting, you can browse them here.

"Wibbly wobbly timey wimey"

"Are you my mummy?"

"Bad Wolf"

"Renee Hoffman twenty thirteen"

For quilting on the TARDIS I used Aurifil #2740--a beautiful royal blue.  The black thread I used on the border and words is Superior So Fine #411.  The white thread on the angels is a guttermann I had leftover from another project, and the yellow quilting in the light is Aurifil #1135.  On the back I used Aurifil #2605 (medium grey).  

 The quilting shows up really well on the back too:

Quilt Stats:
Size 39" x 67"
Quilted by me, Renee Hoffman on my Janome 6300.
Category: Home Machine Quilted
Fabrics: Front is a discontinued panel from Spoonflower, backing is navy and globe print from Joann's, binding is Kona Charcoal.

Now go check out the rest of the entries at the Blogger's Quilt Festival, and starting on May 24th vote for you favorite from each category!

Blogger's Quilt Festival: The Pandorica Opens

This is my entry for the Art Quilt category for the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

This quilt is based off of the Van Gogh painting in the Doctor Who episode, "The Pandorica Opens".  In that episode, the Van Gogh character foresees and paints the TARDIS exploding.  The painting has quite a fan club among Whovians now, but as far as my many searches could find, this is the first quilt made of it.

You can read all about the process I went through to make it here.

Techniques I used include paper piecing (the TARDIS), fused applique, raw edge applique, free motion quilting, and thread painting.

Quilt stats:
Size: 20" x 25" 
Designed and quilted by me, Renee Hoffman
Category: Art Quilt
Fabrics:  Mostly scraps, the only notable fabric is Comma by Brigitte Heitland for Moda.
Thread: Aurifil #2740, 2692, 2000, 2150,1135.  The white is the only non-Aurifil I used.

Now go check out the rest of the entries at the Blogger's Quilt Festival, and starting on May 24th vote for you favorite from each category!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Giveaway Day! **CLOSED**

**This giveaway is now closed!!**

My 2014 Quilts!

Today I'm celebrating three things: it is my 3 year blogaversary, my 200th post and it's the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day week!  So, I have 3 prizes and will choose 3 winners!

Prize #1 is a half yard bundle of fabric (Alexander Henry, Violet Craft, Timeless Treasures, Michael Miller and Jenean Morrison) and a spool of brown Connecting Threads thread:

Prize #2 is a 12" rotating Olfa cutting mat, a blue Frixon pen and 25 bobbin keepers:

The bobbin keepers are tiny plastic rings that go around your bobbins to keep them from turning into a big mess--here's a photo of mine in action:

Prize #3 is a large quilted zip pouch, quilted by me and filled with surprise goodies:

Side A

It measures about 11" wide and 10" tall, it has one layer of batting, so it's lightly padded.  I suppose it could fit some sort of tablet or e-reader?  

Side B

Giveaway rules:
- Giveaway ends on Monday, May 19th at 6pm (MST). 

- Winners will be chosen randomly and notified by email.

If you are a no-reply commenter PLEASE include your email address in your comment!!  If I can't contact you, I will select another winner!
- If the winner does not reply to me within 48 hours I will select another winner.
- Open to international entries--I will pick up to one international winner.
To Enter: Tell me in a comment what country you are in AND which prize is your first and second choice.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Patchwork Death Star mini quilt

About a month ago I saw this pattern on quirky granola girl's blog and knew I needed to make it for my husband as a May the 4th ( with you...get it?  It's Star Wars day!) gift.  

 #patchworkdeathstar for those on IG (I'm @quiltsnfeathers).

Plus I've been quilting for about 5 years now and still have not made him a quilt!  I've hemmed a lot of pants, taken in shirts, patched holes...  And made a quilt for our bed (and have another one planned for later this year as a collaborative project with him).  But making a quilt just for him is something that's been on my list for a while.   

Quilting detail.

Just as I was starting to cut and baste fabrics to the paper pieces (it is an English paper piecing pattern--my first ever!), I got a package from my friend Ashley-which included some new grey fabrics and scraps from the quilt she was making for her husband.  That awesome piece in the Superlaser Focus Lens (haha yeah I had to go look up the name for that circular section) is from her!  It was perfect timing, and definitely the best fabric for that piece!  Thank you, Ashley!

Have I ever mentioned that my husband has a masters in applied math and works as an analyst?  Fabric with mathy-geekery just had to be in this quilt!

My friend Jessica at Quilty Habit made her husband a quilt this year too (it must be a good year for husbands, haha) and has a list of tips on making a surprise quilt for someone you live with.  I found it very encouraging, and I'm happy to say that although I have a talkative 4 year old that doesn't forget anything, and I spent a whole month making this during weekday nap times, it was a complete surprise to my husband!  I was super sneaky, keeping all the pattern pieces and fabric in boring bins, throwing out trash right away, and I didn't take any process posts because he would probably have seen them on my phone or camera over the course of a month!  And then this pillow patchworkdeathstar showed up in my FB feed twice last week and I had to hide it so my husband wouldn't see someone's elses either!

I spent a lot of time looking at pictures of death stars trying to get the shading and the quilting right.

Black on black for subtle texture.

I quilted it with Aurifil #2605 on the death star and black (#2692) on the border.  I used #2740 in the bobbin to match the back.  The binding and hanging corners are Kona Charcoal and the backing is from Joann's.

Finished size is 11.5" x 11.5". 

A few notes on the pattern:
--This was my first english paper piecing and I found the directions fairly easy to follow.
--I used my machine to sew the pieces together using a narrow zig zag stitch.  I wanted to save time and knew the stitches wouldn't take away from the industrial look of the death star.
--The background (black) piece from the pattern did not fit my death star pieces.  If you make the pattern I suggest lining up your death star halves on your background paper pieces and tracing the actual size/shape of your death star, cutting the new line and then carry on with cutting fabric and basting (that's what I had to do).

I presented it to my husband first thing this morning and he was delighted!  I think he's planning to hang it up in his office.  :-)

P.S. My next post is my 200th!  And it will be my 3rd blogaversary!  And it will be part of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!  So it's gonna be big, and hopefully awesome!