Friday, February 27, 2015

New York Beauty Mini Quilt

New York Beauty mini quilt, measures about 34"x 18 (I forgot to write down the final measurement!)?

I'm so happy I get to finally share this quilt with you guys!  I made it for a swap with Jess from Elven Garden.  Last year's group swaps were so hit and miss for me and generally just stressful.  But I still wanted to cover the walls in my sewing room with mini quilts from other quilters!  So I decided instead of crossing my fingers that I got a good partner I should just approach the people I actually would love to have mini quilts from about doing a swap.

Quilting detail--threads are Aurifil #4241 (very dark grey) and #2605 (grey), fabric is Kona Black.

I've been a dedicated follower of Jess since the beginning of her Full Moon Lagoon quilt--I was immediately drawn to her gorgeous FMQ and finding her blog came at a time when I was looking for fellow domestic machine quilters to be inspired and supported by.  I love her detailed and intense quilting and use of color.

Quilting detail--bottom thread color is Aurifil #2600 (dove), middle thread is #2605 (grey) and top thread is # 4241 (very dark grey).

So I emailed her back in November, thinking maybe we could squeeze in making the minis before Quiltcon and get to swap them in person!  We both have a busy quilting schedule that is punctuated by kid wrangling, so I knew it was kind of crazy to get it done in time.  But it was worth a I kind of wanted to avoid the shipping cost and time lag to Tasmania. ;-)

I'm not sure how I was able to put this quilt together with all the craziness before QuiltCon, but I did!  I tried to pick a pattern that would leave enough space for lots of FMQ since that is the biggest thing Jess and I admire and enjoy about each other's work.

New York Beauty quilt back, Kona Basil (I think).

We briefly discussed colors--her favorite being green, but my stash was seriously lacking in that department, so I went for her second favorite of teal--my stash of teal is robust and diverse!  I knew she loved low volume quilts, but when I tried to pair my teal fabric pull with LV I just wasn't feeling it.  I don't know how black got involved, but it was all over once I saw them together.

New York Beauty mini quilt center detail.

I used Better Off Thread's New York Beauty pattern, enlarged 175% at the copy store (inspired by this gorgeous version made by Party of Eight).  They had to use their big machine to get the copies the right size, but the extra wait and expense was worth it.  Although to be honest I had no concept of how big the quilt was going to end up!  I used every Tula Pink teal fabric I had and then filled in the gaps with other fabrics.  I used all Aurifil threads, basically because my machine adores them, they quilt so smoothly and they have a wonderful sheen.

It was such a delight to get to present this quilt to Jess in person!   It was clear from her response that she loved it, which is always the best when you give someone a quilt.  I had such a wonderful time chatting and looking at the quilt show with her!  I do hope we can meet up again someday, visiting Tasmania has definitely been added to my bucket list!  ;-)

Label from TagsToGo on etsy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts

This past weekend I went to Austin, TX for QuiltCon and had such a good time--especially meeting my fellow sisterhood quilters and so many others!  I will share some pictures and experiences soon.  Today I'm here to share some progress I've made on the Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts from last year.  I finally finished the quilt back and will hopefully get it basted today:

Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts backing (quilt top underneath).

I'm sewing together large pieces of batting left over from my last two quilts (aka Frankenbatting)

I would love to enter it in a local show, the Fiber Arts Fiesta, but the deadline to enter is March 2nd!  I am really cutting it close (again, haha).  If I don't get it done in time I have another quilt I'll enter instead.

Also since getting home I've been working on the mod corsage block from the Anna Maria Horner class I took at QuiltCon: 

Mod Corsage block progress.  

I took the class with Jess and Ashley  (and Denyse Schmidt for those keeping track, though to be honest I didn't interact with her at all), who graciously let me "borrow" from the lovely fabrics they'd brought.  But I felt so awful after the lunch break that I left early.  Since getting home I have had renewed interest in the block and have added a few more flowers (the hexie flowers).  I feel like this is a progressive project I will work on whenever I feel inspired and because it has no size goal or deadline that it can easily be set aside and picked up again as my mood dictates.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Museum Medallion

After 4+ months of work, 82 hours of hands-on quilt making (and only 16 hours of that was spent quilting it) I am finally done with my (commissioned) Museum Medallion quilt!!!

Finished Museum Medallion quilt.

It was commissioned for a wedding gift, and I worked with the bride and groom on picking a quilt pattern, colors and fabrics.  It is far from my normal quilting palette, but it turned out so gorgeous.  I hope they love it.

Museum Medallion center.

I had never heard of or seen this pattern before, so the whole experience was very new to me of ordering an international pattern (I bought it from Alewives Fabrics in the states), translating a hand piecing pattern to machine piecing, and the many, many places I had to fudge what to do as the pattern is very slim on instructions, measurements, and general helpfulness.   This pattern is not for the faint of heart!

Museum Medallion detail.  The flying geese aren't in the pattern (it calls for a second row of diamonds).

The pattern is lacking (including all online content I could find), at best, and I would only recommend it for people who like a challenge and are already experienced with y-seams, curved piecing, fixing templates, fixing wobbly borders, precise piecing and pressing, and extensive quilt math (despite the pattern you will still need to figure the right size of blocks for each border, as she doesnt' include that, and you will inevitably need a different size than is given anyway).  See why the piecing alone took 63 hours?!  Never.again.  But for those not deterred, stick around because I am giving away my copy of the pattern and the templates I used in an upcoming blog post!

Drunkard's Path circles and lemoyne star corner stone.

But despite all the setbacks and frustrations due to the pattern, it turned out fabulous, and beautifully flat (but only after hours spent making sure it would be!).  Some of my favorite details are the ones I added--the cornerstones, the quilting, the flying geese.

Large border detail--French Wallpaper in Spruce, by Amy Butler.  Love the quilting on it!

The quilt top finished at 95.5" square.  After quilting it was 93.25", and after the first wash it shrank down to 86.75" square.  I'm always surprised by the amazing shrinkage a quilt goes through in the quilting and first wash, but do plan ahead for it!

Museum Medallion back, which is mostly Arabesque Buds in Ivory by Pat Bravo.

I had planned a simple back using some wide backing, but really wasn't drawn to any of the options I looked at (would have loved a solid--does anyone know where to buy quality wide backing solids?!), but then I got the idea to incorporate a double wedding ring (I used this free pattern), and decided to just piece the whole thing.  You may notice the double wedding ring type quilting in the Arabesque Buds border on the front of the quilt too--I promised to incorporate it in the quilt.

Back detail.  I love how the circular quilting from the front medallion is linked with both of these.  Totally happened by accident, I actually intended for the rings to be further down on the quilt.

I pieced and quilted it using only Aurifil in #2000 and #2310.  I used nearly 2 large spools for quilting, and another large spool just on piecing!  My sewing machine adores Aurifil, and by that I mean it very rarely has any issues with it, even during my crazy free motion quilting!  

Drunkard's Path circle quilting (before the wash, as I neglected to get a photo of them after the wash).

Back detail of the Drunkard's Path circles.  They remind me of portholes.

Quilt back, quilting detail.

Quilting texture.  On the last wide border I followed the design on the fabric (French Wallpaper in Spruce, by Amy Butler).

I laid the quilt over my bed to see how it would fall:

Museum Medallion laying on a queen sized bed.

Since it is a square quilt the drop at the foot of the bed is pretty small.  Hopefully it keeps their feet warm, haha.

Side view of the Museum Medallion laying on a queen sized bed.

I delivered it on Saturday to the parents of the groom (they were the ones that commissioned it) and their reactions were so touching!  Lots of words of praise and adoration, some tears, and the best: "holy shit!"  Haha, still makes me happy.  Can't wait for them to gift it and hear how the newlyweds like it!

Quilt labels.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Miscellaneous Updates

It has been awfully quiet around here, but only because I have been so busy working on my quilting projects!  I finished the back of the Museum Medallion quilt and basted it:

Basting the Museum Medallion required moving dining room and living room rugs and furniture.  The quilt top finished at 96" square, I think.

I spent a week quilting it, then finished it and delivered it over the weekend.

Quilting the Museum Medallion on my Janome.

I took lots of photos of the finished quilt and will hopefully be able to write up a blog post for it before leaving for QuiltCon on Thursday!  In preparation for QuiltCon I made a quilt starter for the second round of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts since I will be meeting most of the other members (Jess, Laura, Ashley, Michelle and Liz) and trading off there:

I used Kona Bison and various purples (including Kona purple, berry and lavender) following Angela Walter's Impracticality tutorial

I love how it turned out and can't wait to see what the other ladies in the group do with it!

Quilt starter back, measures 21" square.

I also wanted to let you all know that my QuiltCon reject quilts will be displayed at the Massdrop vendor booth (#816)!  Super excited these quilts will get to be seen at QuiltCon after all!!

Crystal City and Flying North quilts shown at the Massdrop booth at QuiltCon.

So if you will be at QuiltCon and would like to see a couple of my quilts in person you can!  Note: they will only be at the booth Thursday afternoon through Sunday morning!