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

Friday, January 8, 2016

Purple Paisley Portholes mini quilt

Purple Paisley Portholes mini quilt, measures 16" x 22.5"

Back in May of last year Judy at Quilt Paradigm and I agreed to swap mini quilts around the end of the year.  Well, it's pretty close to the end of 2015, and we were both on the same schedule (the quilts were even delivered on the same day!), so that's close enough.  You can go see the amazing quilt Judy made for me over on her blog!

Purple Paisley Portholes: quilted paisley #1

My only plans for Judy's quilt was for there to be lots of free motion quilting (she's pretty awesome with free motion quilting!) and purple (her favorite color).

Purple Paisley Portholes: quilted paisley #2

But after months of trying to come up with some awesome design I had nothing.  So before heading to Quilt Bliss in November I decided whatever I made in the circles class would be purple and then I'd turn it into something for Judy.

Purple Paisley Portholes: quilted paisley #3

Still, it was over a month before I finally took the circles (made using 4 different methods) and turned them into a quilt top.  I just wasn't feeling inspired by the circles (and hadn't come up with anything better), when finally I decided to just put a paisley in the center of each and then doodle quilt on the rest of the quilt!

Purple Paisley Portholes: quilted paisley #4

I used various purple fabrics from my stash on a natural linen fabric (which is not the best for detailed FMQ, btw).  I used two layers of batting--Warm and Natural and Quilter's Dream wool.

Purple Paisley Portholes: mini quilt back

 I used Aurifil medium lavender (#2540) and medium purple (#2545) to add lots of interest to this otherwise simple (okay, boring) quilt!  And I matched the thread color in the bobbin so the back would be just as pretty as the front.

Purple Paisley Portholes: back double orange peel quilting detail

Are you wondering if there is a snail in this quilt?  Why, yes, yes there is.  If you need a hint, check out the photo of paisley #1.