Monday, July 25, 2016

Sunburst Quilt

A few months ago my father in law had a heart attack, and the doctors realized he needed a triple bipass.  He was in the hospital for at least 3 weeks, and while I realized the best thing I could do was to support my husband in however he could help his father, I felt helpless.  A few days before his surgery I thought of making him a quilt!  That is the best way I could show that I cared and supported him!  I quickly chose this Sunburst quilt pattern from the 2016 QuiltCon magazine because I knew it would be quick to piece, a nice lap size, and it was designed by Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl.  

2016 QuiltCon Magazine Cover - Featuring Sunburst by Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
QuiltCon 2016 magazine, includes the pattern for the cover quilt, Sunburst!

Some quick back and forth emails with Yvonne helped me pick fabrics that would transition nicely, but required an extra 1/4y of the Lizzy House whales.  Thankfully, my friend Afton from Quilting Mod came to the rescue and let me use the FQ she had stashed away!  I'm so thankful to have some local quilting friends that let me raid their stash on occasion!  And then if that wasn't already enough help, she and Sara (@bluequailstudio) came over to help me speed-piece the quilt top:

Sara (sewing) and Afton (ironing) helping make the blocks for the Sunburst quilt.

This is how far we got in the piecing within about 4 hours, including kid-wrangling and a lunch break:

One day of progress on Sunburst!

I can't thank those ladies enough for all their help!  I finished piecing the rest of the quilt top, basted it and quilted it over the next three days.  It was pretty crazy.  Here is the finished quilt:

Sunburst quilt, measured 59"x79" pre-wash.

The background is Kona navy and I used Quilter's Dream green batting for the first time.  I used all near-matching Aurifil threads, so mostly the texture would be noticed.  I love using Aurifil in my machine because I get consistently good results with it (not to mention how pretty the thread is!), and for this rushed quilt I didn't want any surprises.

Sunburst quilting detail.

Sunburst quilting texture.

I decided to piece the back, despite my time constraints, so I could use up some of the scraps from the top and the last of the Kona Cornflower I had:

Sunburst quilt back, using scraps and Kona cornflower.

Sunburst back quilting detail.  I have a tutorial for those peacock feathers under the Tutorials tab at the top of the page!

I'm so glad I was able to make this quilt and gift it to my father in law so quickly.  His surgery and recovery went really well and he's almost back to his previous physical abilities!  And I highly recommend this quilt pattern if you're looking for something quick, easy, and eye catching!

Saturday, July 23, 2016


The first thing I wanted to make when my sewjo returned were some pillows.  Mostly I just needed to use up some scraps and long orphaned blocks to help clear out my mental space!  I used scraps from the Beacon Quilt I made earlier this year to make these 18" pillow shams:

18" pillow covers, with in-seam zippers. 

I really wanted to play with the quilting on these since they're so small (compared to the queen sized quilt!).  It was a good way to warm up my mental muscles for quilting too.  The fabrics are all Kona (pesto, silver and turquoise) and I used matching Aurifil threads (#2892, 4093, and 2600).  I love having so many colors of Aurifil I can match to my fabrics without worry!

Pillow quilting details.

Pillow center quilting detail--some point-to-point quilting.

I gifted the pillows to my sister and her husband as a housewarming gift, they moved yesterday!

Coordinating backing fabric from my stash!  Great way to use up a half yard, haha.

The other pillow I finally made was from this orphaned bear paw block from the Bear Claw quilt I made 5 years ago!

Bear claw quilt block (also quilted 5 years ago).

Had I bothered to look at the quilt photos before making the pillow I would have added a brown border so the bear claw points wouldn't get lost in the curve of the pillow.  Oh well!   It's just a little decorative pillow for my brother (the owner of the quilt too), cuz you know how much retired Marines love their decorative pillows.

Pillow back.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

2016 Mid-Year Review

2016 Mid Year Review

It's time for an update on my 2016 Quilty Resolutions!

  1. "Do not give from the depths of your own well; give only from its overflow."  
  • I think I've been doing better at this this year.
2.  NO new swaps.  
  • I am not good at this.  But this year I am being VERY selective in which swaps and groups I participate with and making sure the other people are full of integrity.  I think I've only swapped 4 mini quilts and given away one.

All the quilts from my Mythological Creature Series (so far)--all made for swaps or gift.

3. Get a Longarm machine!  
  • Honestly not sure about this one anymore...although I'm likely to change my mind while quilting my next large quilt, haha.  The idea was certainly on hold during my 2 month sewing slump.  I will say that doing at a business is no longer a goal, if I get a long arm it will be for me to use as I see fit for my hobby.  Business may still come later, I do want to keep that option open for the future.
4. No challenge quilts unless the challenge fulfills a quilt idea I already have and want to explore.
  • So far so good!  I have yet to find any challenges worth entering.
5. Submit quilts to at least 3 shows other than the State Fair (ie QuiltCon, MQX, APS, HMQS, etc).
  • So far this year I've had quilts shown at MQX New England and the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, have had two quilts juried into an AQS show (Grand Rapids and Chattanooga!), and entered another quilt to MQX Midwest.  
6. Donate another quilt!  I love that this has been a tradition for me since 2012.
  • No update on this, yet.
7. Make the grey and teal bed quilt!  
  • Finally started on this!!  
Grey and Teal New York Beauty medallion center

8. Continue to cultivate genuine friendships with people within the quilty community, both in person (I'll be at QuiltCon West!) and online.
  • Feeling pretty good about this so far!
9. Write and release the paper piecing pattern for the Pythagorean Spiral quilt:
  • Ummm no update on this :-/  Totally intimidated with it.

Pythagorean Spiral Quilt

10.  Listen to and follow my inner Quilty Spirit more and stay away from the trends and hype that are not in line with my interests.
  • My Quilty Spirit and I have much better communication and understanding this year.  I mean, apparently it went on vacation without me, but other than that we're good.
So I'm doing pretty good on my list so far!  Did you have a quilty resolution for this year?  How is it going so far?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Grey & Teal Medallion Beginnings

Oh hello!  I have finally come out of my two month long sewing slump and am returning to the world of Sewing, Blogging and Instagram (@quiltsNfeathers) finally!  Whew I think that is my longest period of not having any motivation to sew.  Thankfully I didn't have any pressing deadlines and was able to mostly just ride it out and focus on other parts of life.  

My first big project is finally starting on my Grey and Teal quilt!  

My grey and teal stash!

I think what really got me excited to work on this was finally deciding on the New York Beauty block as the center of the medallion.  Since this is a bed quilt to replace the first bed quilt I made (which we still have on our bed), I'm trying to include my husband in as many decisions as possible.  He liked the NY beauty block, and when I asked if the quilt was going to have too much grey and teal he said no.  Whew, I can keep him!

First half of the grey and teal New York Beauty block.

All the paper piecing is done!

One set of curves finished.  That solid is Cloud 9 Cirrus solids in Shadow.

Completed grey and teal New York Beauty block, measures about 22" square (but will be trimmed smaller).

I will be working on it on and off between other projects, which will give me time to ponder on what I want the next border to be!