Sunday, February 28, 2016

QuiltCon Swagbag Giveaway! **CLOSED**

I have finally unpacked from QuiltCon and realized that I have way more stuff than I want and/or need.  I love getting the swag bags, but I do not want need duplicates of the stuff I got last year, so I'm giving away to a lucky blog reader!

QuiltCon swag bag giveaway!

Alright, so what is all that stuff?

  • 2016 QuiltCon tote bag 
  • Modern Quilts datekeeper
  • Brother sewing machine keychain--which is actually a 8GB USB memory stick!
  • Soak samples
  • Schmetz needle luggage tag
  • 50% coupon to a Angela Walters Craftsy class
  • MQG bottle/can koozie
  • Cotton + Steel temporary tattoos
  • 2 spools of Coats + Clark thread
  • 1 spool of 12wt Silky thread
  • 5 charm square sample packs (3 Windham, 1 Cotton Couture, 1 Colorworks)
  • 1 fabric roll sample from Pineapple fabrics
  • MQG dot-grid paper book
  • Various other little handouts
  • Surprise goodies added once a winner is picked!  
QuiltCon swag bag giveaway!

To Enter: CLOSED

First entry: Leave a comment telling me what you did INSTEAD of going to QuiltCon this year?

Second entry: In a second comment tell me how you follow me (email, feedly, bloglovin', IG, FB, etc).

Giveaway Rules:

PLEASE make sure you are not a no-reply blogger (if you're not sure, google it)--if you are, you need to leave your email address!  If you do not, I will not have a way to contact you and will pick a different winner.

Open to US shipping only (sorry international readers!  Heavy stuff this time), giveaway closes Thursday evening 3/3/16, winner chosen randomly, winner contacted by email--if winner does not reply within 48 a new winner will be chosen.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I won Best Machine Quilting (frameless) at QuiltCon 2016!!!

My "I can't believe this!" face.  Photo by Yvonne Fuchs.

Man, you guys, I don't even know where to start!  I never, ever imagined that I would win such a prestigious award for my work on this quilt!  I was notified about two weeks before QuiltCon that the quilt had won something, and was asked to be at the award ceremony.  I skipped the first hour of my Thursday class to be there, but it was so worth it!

I took so many photos with this quilt!  Photo by Yvonne Fuchs.

Because this is a group quilt (logo design by Bob Lowe, pieced by Lois Warwick, applique by Sally Williams and Laurie Moody) I assumed we had won something in the group category.  But as they called out the winners for the group quilts I didn't know what to do with myself--what else could it possibly have won?!

Hugging Jacquie Gering on stage!  Photo by Yvonne Fuchs.

The Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild banner won the Best Machine Quilting (frameless/stationary needle) award!  HOLY MOLY.

Craig S. Meyer | Senior Vice President of Marketing for Baby Lock  (the award sponsor) and Jacquie Gering photo op!  Photo by Yvonne Fuchs. 

ABQMQG banner hanging at QuiltCon 2016 with the Best Machine Quilting (frameless) ribbon and sign.  Photo by Yvonne Fuchs.

The backstory on the banner is that I volunteered to quilt it (on my Janome 6300, which has a 9 throat space) about a year ago.  It looked like a fun project to work on, was a good way for me to contribute to the guild on my own time, and fit into my spring sewing schedule.  All of the quilting was my idea, though the variegated thread for the balloons was my husband's idea (and clearly a stroke of genius).  The air current quilting came together after much discussion and help from Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl.

These photos really illustrate just how much the quilting added to the banner: 

ABQMQG banner pre-quilting.

ABQMQG (Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild) quilted banner after 30 hours of quilting, measures about 86"x42".

Did you see that?  Thirty hours of quilting!  And another 15 hours for basting, thread burying, trimming, binding, washing, blocking, hanging sleeve, and show-prep!  I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to lay out your quilt and go over it checking for loose threads, animal hair, dirt, lint, etc before you bag and box it to send to a show!  I've sent this banner to 2 shows now and have spent at least an hour per show cleaning it up so it is in tip-top shape.  If your quilt gets into a show, spend an the extra time to make sure it is in the best condition possible!

ABQMQG banner back--where the quilting really shows up!

Over the past year and a half I've really struggled to figure out where I fit in the Modern Quilt Guild.  Honestly, I've felt like I don't really belong--my quilting always seemed closer to "art" quilts than to "modern" quilts.  I was so thrilled this quilt got into QuiltCon (the only one of the 6 I entered, btw), and am still amazed and honored that the quilting won the top award for quilting on a domestic machine.  I feel like the MQG is starting to recognize FMQ as a really meaningful way to enhance a quilt in a modern way.  Not to mention the amount of thought, time, practice and work that goes into FMQ!  And the Best Machine Quilting on a frame award was also FMQ! 

Hanging out with Joshua of Molli Sparkles with his No Value Does Not Equal Free quilt that won Best Machine Quilting on a frame.

Huge thanks to Baby Lock for sponsoring the award, to the judges for picking a quilt that I poured myself into, and to Yvonne for taking and sharing so many wonderful photos!  And many, many thanks to all of the people that have supported and encouraged me!

See the original blog post for the ABQMQG banner here.  You can also see the work in progress posts here and here.

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!