Projects from 2014

As part of my effort to develop galleries for this site, here is a review of my projects from the first half of 2014.

The design and tutorial for this zippered pouch came from Noodlehead.

zippered pouch

I made a series of these little zippered pouches, and they have been useful.

These next two bags were made from a book entitled Ruby Star Wrapping.  You can read my review of the book here, if you want.

I continued my interest in improvisational piecing in 2014, making this confetti block…

improv quilt block

Confetti Block, 2014

…and this entry for the Quilt Alliance annual contest:

modern art quilt

Whirlwind, my 2014 Quilt Alliance challenge quilt

I made this quilt for the Pantone Challenge.  It looks better in person than in this picture, and now is used to decorate one of the rooms at our local free clinic:

Applique quilt

Radiating Orchid, my mini-quilt for the Radiant Orchid Challenge

As always, I made a number of donation quilts for Ronald McDonald House.  I used them to try out a variety of techniques and other experiments:

I made this baby quilt because I loved the fabrics:

baby quilt

Baby Dots–Front

baby quilt

Baby Dots–back.  I may like it even more than the front!

And I participated in several swaps, including one involving these blocks.  Don’t even think about the 88 little pieces in the block on the left!!!

I’ve reached my (self-imposed) length limit for a post, so the rest of the 2014 review will be coming up next week!  Please come back 😉

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Quilt of 5496 Pieces!

A friend who loves TINY things recently finished this postage stamp quilt of 5496 one-inch squares!!!  She will donate it to be raffled as a fundraiser at the retirement home where she works.

postage stamp quilt

Postage stamp quilt–all 1″ squares!  Made by Jerri Szlizewski

Jerri says this is “the ultimate I-Spy quilt”.  She has found many, many, little novelty prints to put in the little blocks.  She even has Elvis, though I didn’t get him in this close-up.

postage stamp quilt

A close-up showing a few of the little designs in the quilt

Here are just a few of the projects from the design walls at a recent quilt retreat at a “secret” hideaway:

slabs, quilt slabs

One retreater came up with this design to use slabs we had swapped previously

One person made several dozen of the cute half-circle napkins that fold into a Christmas tree.  She made a lot of place mats, too, but I didn’t get a picture of those.

quilt retreat

Christmas Tree Napkins

Retreat16

Working on a quilt from Scrap Quilt Sensation, by Katharine Guerrier

Here are a few more works in progress from various people:Retreat15Retreat18Retreat-4And finally, here are some of the quilts we made for Ronald McDonald House:

2015 Finishes: Part I

 

Ronald McDonald House is the chosen recipient of donation quilts from one of my groups, and EACH of us made 12 quilts for that cause this year.  I finished the last 2 this month (yes, a LITTLE behind!).

These are a good illustration of why a dark border is a good idea to make a quilt feel “finished”.  I’ll try to remember that next year!

And here are the other 10 donation quilt finishes for the year.  I love how different they are! I got to try lots of new things 🙂

More finishes coming soon!

What is a Liebster award?

liebsteraward-roses-tag_sewing1Turns out the Liebster award is a tag game for helping readers discover new and under-read blogs.  Wanda over at Wanda’s Life Sampler tagged me.  So thanks to Wanda, and I’ll be passing it on to some other bloggers. You can check them out at the end of this post.

Here are my answers to Wanda’s questions, but I changed some of them! The next folks in the chain might change them, too…

1. What one thing do you believe with your whole being?

It’s important to learn something new every day.  It may be positive or negative, but all knowledge is useful eventually.

Storm at Sea

I learned to make a sample block before cutting out the whole quilt!

2. What have you made lately?

I’m glad you asked that question!  This month’s finish is the top for a “Black and White and Red All Over” quilt for which I’ve been collecting fabrics for some time.

Lemon Pepper quilt pattern

This was made from a pattern called “Lemon Pepper”, but of course mine is more red pepper!

I also sent 5 donation quilts to the Cincinnati Ronald McDonald House.  Three were finished this month, 2 previously.  Here are some of them:

3. Are you a cat person or a dog person? Or neither?

Presently neither.  Though I do miss having a cat right in the middle of every project and cat hair everywhere 😉cat

4. Where do you hope to be in 10 years’ time?

Retired from my “day job” and in my quilt studio full time!

5. Favorite dessert?

German Chocolate Cake!!!!

6. What is one thing you wish you were better at?

Always saying the right thing.

7. Describe your Dream Vacation?

The next one!  But I did recently have a great trip with my husband to Clingman’s Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

View from Clingman's Dome

View from Clingman’s Dome

8. Why do you blog?

To promote modern quilting, and North Carolina quilters in particular.  If you’re a North Carolina quilter and I haven’t featured your work yet, please contact me!

9. Your best sewing/quilting advice?

Do what you enjoy.  I used to make all my own clothes, but then I figured out it’s a lot easier to get a quilt to fit a bed than to get a garment to fit my frame!

10. What else is new?

Here’s a picture of Pat with her FINISHED table runner, started in a class I taught recently!

Improv table runner

Pat finished her runner in time to give it as a gift

And here are some bloggers I’m passing the “Liebster Award” on to.  I think you might enjoy them!

My Imperfect Life

The Accidental Hayseed

KnitNKwilt

6 August Projects!

As always, I’m taking part in Aunt Marti’s UFO challenge. The August UFO was actually finished back in February as a donation quilt:

Donation quilt

February donation quilt. This started out entirely different, but I failed to take Before and After pictures.

That gave me all of August to work on quilting another UFO, my Swim quilt. It’s completely quilted, but I’m still thinking about whether to add more fish, some beads, or more quilting before I bind it.

improvised quilt

“Swim” is about 50′ x 50″.  I quilted wavy horizontal lines all over it.

I’m caught up on making quilt tops for donation. My goal is a quilt a month, and I made 3 tops in August. They still need to be quilted, but I’ll have a one-woman quilting party and get it done.  They are 40″ x 40″, so not difficult to do on a home machine.

Finally, I made several new blocks for My Modern Sampler. You can read about the one below here, and I’ll be blogging about the others in the coming weeks.

modern scrap block

The Modern Scrap Block will finish 12 inches square

And a good thing August was so productive, because every weekend in September is scheduled! Yikes!

Retreat!

There was a BIG finish at our last retreat:

traditional quilt

Quilt of 3392 Pieces!!!

Here is Jerri’s quilt of 3392 pieces, made from a pattern in one of Bonnie Hunter’s books. Jerri made this for a Little Sisters of the Poor fundraiser, and it certainly should raise a lot of funds!  It is beautiful.  And she had the sense not to count the number of pieces until she was FINISHED with the project!  Even so, it took almost a year to complete.  I am VERY impressed that there is not even ONE block is turned wrong!.

This is a HUGE quilt!

This is a HUGE quilt!

And here is the latest stack of donation quilts from our group.Donation quilts

So far everyone is keeping up with the commitment to make a donation quilt each month, and one over-achiever is several months ahead of the rest of us!!!  As you probably can see in the photo, another over-achiever quilts hers by hand!  I am always amazed by my very accomplished friends!

modern quilt

As soon as Jerri finished the BIG quilt, she started this beauty!

Our latest block swab is monochromatic slabs.  Each of us chose a color we wanted, and as soon as we swapped one group member turned her blocks into a donation quilt.  Talk about quick work!

slabs

Donation quilt from green slabs

When I got the slabs, I immediately started cutting them up and adding accent strips of blue.  So far I really like the result.  More on this later.

Slabs, accent strips

Slabs with accent strips.

So, what’s new with you?

 

 

One Big Improvement

Here’s the donation quilt that resulted from following one of Sherri Lynn Wood’s “scores” as it originally turned out. I didn’t much like it. As several friends pointed out, there wasn’t anywhere for the eye to rest!

improvised quilt

This came from following one of Sherri Lynn Wood’s “scores”

I got some great suggestions from readers and other friends.  I considered them all and finally used EQ7 (the Electric Quilt design program) to draft a layout.  I removed the borders and cut the center into 9 equal blocks, each 10″ square.  I loved Wanda’s idea to make the blocks different sizes with frames, but I was afraid the design already suffered from too much “creativity” so I didn’t do it.

improvised quilt blocks

10″ x 10″ blocks cut from the quilt center

Checking my stash, I came up with these options for sashing. I guess if I’d wanted a “really” modern quilt I’d have chosen the gray 😉

improvisational quilt block

Sashing options for the revised quilt

I chose the marine blue because it calmed things down without making them dull. I’m pleased with the result.

improvised quilt

The “New! Improved!” quilt top

Thanks to everyone who provided input about what to do with this!

What To Do x 2?

Here are two projects I need to “fix”, and I’m open to suggestions.

improvised quilt

“Swim” is about 50′ x 50″

This first one, shown above, is an improvisation I did about 2 years ago.  I haven’t finished it because the lines between the layers are more distinct than I intended.  I joined the layers with curved seams cut freehand, and I changed the fabrics I used in each layer gradually, but the layers still aren’t blended as well as I’d like.

My “UFO finish” for June is to do SOMETHING with this top. (Mother used to say, “Do something, even if it’s wrong!” when we got stuck on a task.)

My current thought is to cut some freehand diamonds and applique them intermittently along the seams I want to blend.  Any other ideas?

And here’s the second one that needs “fixing”:

improvised quilt

This is to be the June donation quilt, 40″ x 40″

This is my second attempt to follow a Sherri Lynn Wood “score”.  I followed her instructions more closely than last time, and I like it a lot less!

I chose a focus fabric from my novelties because this is a quilt for a child. I followed Sherri Lynn’s directions to make some “rules” and cut up 3 fabrics for the quilt, etc, etc. When I finished, I thought it needed something to “pull it together”, so I added a border of the focus fabric.

BUT, my friend who coordinates our donation quilts looked worried when she saw it. (PLEASE don’t tell me you think that’s a donation quilt?)

So help me out here! What should I do with this?

1. Leave it as it is and quilt it, already!

2. Cut it into blocks to be joined by solid color sashing to calm things down.

Option 1

Option 2

3. Dye it black and use it to back something else (kidding!)

4. Another idea?

Option 2

Option X

Hope you have a good week 🙂

From Orphans to Donation

One of my UFO (UnFinished Object) goals for the year is to do something with some of my orphan blocks. (Those are miscellaneous blocks left from various projects; you can read about them here).  I’ve already turned a bunch of them into quilts, but I hauled them out again last month to give it another shot.

orphan blocks

These star blocks are orphans left over from several projects, so they are different sizes

These are left from various projects, but I just love star blocks so they probably won’t be the last of the breed 🙂  And you can probably see that one of them even has a piece turned wrong, which I did NOT see until just now 😀

After fooling around with various options for them, I selected 5 and made this quilt:

orphan blocks

Donation quilt made from orphan star blocks

It actually worked out just fine to simply add a partial border to the smallest one.  And the purple fabric is left from yet another project, so win-win!

What do you do with your orphan blocks?

8 Projects for April and May!

In keeping with the plan to finish a UFO a month during 2015, here is the April finish.  Since this fabric has been waiting for about 5 years, I’m calling this a significant finish!

donation quilt

Flower Fairies, A Donation Quilt

The second April finish is not only finished but delivered to the Quilt Alliance for their 2015 challenge. This one is called Cat Circus. The Laurel Burch fabrics reminded me of how just one cat can be a complete circus (polite word for disaster) in just a matter of minutes in any room in the house. I love cats, so that’s OK by me.

Quilt Alliance

Cat Circus, my 2015 Quilt Alliance challenge quilt

And here is the May finish, along with two other donation quilts I made in April and May. This means 6 so far this year–I’m caught up through June!  I’ll have more information on some of these in a later post.  They are an improvisational quilt, an orphan block quilt, and a quilt using Cuddle charms and cat fabric.

I made two more blocks for My Modern Sampler this month.  You can read about the improvisational one here, and I will blog about the Humbug Star at a later date.  For now, here’s a preview:

Finally, I bound the Charley Harper quilt that came back from the quilter a while ago.  These organic cottons from Birch are stiffer and less silky than my usual quilting cottons, so I washed the quilt when it was finished.  That helped some with the stiffness and also made the quilting stand out more.

Charley Harper

Turning Twenty Again pattern in Charley Harper fabrics

On to the June projects–I’ll have much more news coming up!