Monday, March 28, 2016

Island Sunrise: Paintbrush Studio New Block blog hop!

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Welcome to my stop on the 2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block blog hop!  For those visiting for the first time, I'm Renee and I quilt on a 6300 Janome (a domestic machine with a 9" throat).  Here are all the quilts I made since the last New Block blog hop:

My completed quilts since September 2015!  You can get links to each of these from the My Quilts tab at the top of the page.

This year the inspiration for our 12" quilt blocks is Ocean Sunrise.  Here's my block:

Island Sunrise 12" -paper pieced quilt block.

 I decided to design my block from this photo, taken by my older brother in December, 2015:

Photo credit: Chris Rice-McClure (sunrise from the Kwajalein atoll in the Marshall Islands).

My brother is working a job on the Kwajalein atoll in the Marshall Islands and shares many gorgeous photos.  I chose to use one of his photos as inspiration for my blocks as a way to commemorate his time there.


**If you make one and share it on IG, tag it with #IslandSunriseQuiltBlock **

If you're new to paper piecing, here are the tutorials I liked best when I was getting started:


Here is my tester block turned mini quilt, I had fun quilting lots of details with Aurifil thread colors:

Island Sunrise mini quilt, about 12" square.

This post would not be complete without the full disclosure that the block was actually based off this sketch by my friend Sara (@bluequailstudio).  She made it after I sent her my inspiration photo and complained of feeling uninspired:

Island Sunrise quilt block inspiration sketch by Sara @bluequailstudio

I instantly loved it with the flying geese!  So, many big thanks to Sara (go check out her IG, she makes fun projects!) for her help in designing this quilt block.  Here's my mini and the final block side by side

Island Sunrise mini quilt and quilt block.

This blog hop was sponsored by Paintbrush Studio and they provided 6 FQ of fabric to make a 12" quilt block to be donated to charity quilts made by the blog hop hosts.  I had so much leftover I made a few bonus blocks:

I used my leftovers to play with improv-curve piecing and more sunrise ideas.  Though to be honest that lower left block has the wrong pink, oops.

To read more about the Paintbrush Studio New Block blog hop and fabric giveaway, visit Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl !  You can also go check out all the other new Paintbrush Studio blocks on the blog hop today:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

[Let Love Be Your] Beacon Quilt Pattern Blog Hop!

Today I am so excited to share with you my latest finish!  I tested the Beacon quilt pattern by Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl:

Beacon quilt (queen sized), finished at 84.5" x 86.5"

I chose to test the queen size so I could gift it to my sister and her husband for their wedding gift.  I let them choose the colors, and they settled on their wedding colors (green and silver, with turquoise accents) which ended up being Kona Pesto, Silver and Turquoise.  I named the quilt Let Love Be Your Beacon because I think in a successful and happy marriage love and communication are the most important factors.  

The Beacon point, quilted with a dot-to-dot pattern.

I also let them pick the backing fabric, they chose this Michael Miller wide backing called Miriam:

Quilt back!

About the pattern
This pattern is not my usual style with so much negative space!  It is much more "modern" than my usual style as well, but I really enjoyed piecing the angle and beacon blocks.  I spent about 10 hours piecing the quilt top.  The pattern is listed as an intermediate level, but I think even a confident and detail oriented beginner would be successful at piecing this quilt.  Honestly the hardest part was quilting all of that negative space on the queen size!

Beacon Quilt: quilting detail.

I used Aurifil #5004 (grey smoke) for all of the quilting on the green (and in the bobbin)--I chose to do rows of watery swirls with a simple up-and-back filler between.  Both designs are challenging on a domestic machine!  You'll also notice that the swirls appear to go behind the angle blocks, I really wanted the angle blocks to float on top of the background quilting.   And I added 3 "ghost" angle blocks by tracing one of the pieced blocks and then making a cardstock template.

Beacon quilt: back quilting detail.

In total I spent 43 hours working on this quilt, but 4 of those hours were spent ripping out mistakes and quite a bit of quilting (I can be quite critical of my quilting and really wanted the quilting to look consistent across this large quilt!).  I spent about 16 hours just on the quilting.

Beacon Quilt: Queen sized quilt--I wanted to show how the design lays on a Queen sized bed.

The quilt top measured just under 96" x 96", and after quilting and the first wash it shrank to 86.5" wide x 84.5" long (and I used Quilter's Dream orient batting).

Beacon Quilt top before.

Beacon quilt after quilting and first wash.

If you like this pattern it is on sale for only $7 through April 3rd!  You can purchase it through Yvonne's Etsy shop or Craftsy store!

Check out the rest of the stops on the blog hop: 

March 21: Beacon Pattern Release with Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl 
March 22: Baby Size Version of Beacon with Audrey of Hot Pink Quilts 
March 23: Lap Size Version of Beacon with Judy of Quilt Paradigm
March 24: Queen Size Version of Beacon with Renee of Quilts of a Feather
March 25: More Beacon Awesomeness at Quilting Jetgirl and Sew Mama Sew!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

How Quilting Changes a Quilt

This quilt top (measured 103"x78") was sent to me by Jennifer for some special quilting:

Quilt top before quilting.

Quilting after 14.5 hours of quilting!

I used Quilter's Dream cotton select batting and Aurifil threads in (near) matching colors--White (#2024), Burgundy (#1103), Dark Navy (#2784) and Grey (#2605).  I used Aurifil Grey Smoke (#5004) in the bobbin and really like how the quilting looks on the back:

Commission quilt back.

You can see the work in progress photos of this quilt here.

Jennifer was so pleased with the quilting, and we were lucky enough to meet in person at QuiltCon this year!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Quilted Sphinx mini quilt

Quilted Sphinx, measures about 14"x11"

This is the third in my Quilted Mythological Creature Series, and was made specifically for Laura@LittleandLots for a private swap.  I asked her if she had a favorite mythological creature and she said the anything half-human.  I'd been planning a Sphinx for a while, so it was the one I picked!  But it turned out to be really challenging to draw, and after more than a week of trying I gave up and just traced the head and body outline from a photo I found online:

Sphinx drawing: body and head traced from a photo, wings and eye drawn freehand. 

Even though I drew my own wings on it, I used the original photo's wings as a gauge for size.  But they were so awkwardly small for such a large beast I drew a larger version:

Large wings for Laura's Sphinx!

Then I traced the Sphinx and her big wings onto some fabric (I back the fabric with freezer paper for stability while tracing):

Traced Sphinx on fabric using a fine tip water erasable marker.

I used two layer of batting, wool on top of cotton, for stability and texture:

Two layers of batting!  So puffy!

Here is the progression of quilting:

Quilted Sphinx: Body outline.

Quilted Sphinx: wing outline.

Quilted Sphinx: dense echo quilting.

After quilting the echo lines I went in and added several more layers of thread to the wings (6 layers) and body (4 layers).  I used Aurifil Toast (6010) and Chocolate (2360) for the body, Marrakesh (3817) for the wings and Light Beige (2310) for the echo quilting.  

Once I was done with the quilting, it was time for a bath (and then blocked overnight):

Quilted Sphinx: soaking out the marks!

It is backed some Cotton Couture grey fabric and bound with some fun shot-cotton stripes I knew Laura would appreciate:

Quilted Sphinx: quilt back.


This quilt was a really fun challange, I am so glad Laura loves it!

Quilted Sphinx: Head and wing detail

Quilted Sphinx: wing detail.