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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Projects 2013–Part I

For some time I’ve been meaning to add to my blog with a gallery of projects for each of the past several years.  I’ve been held up in part by the variable quality of my photography over the years, but I’ve decided to just start anyway.  Here are some projects from 2013.

I entered several national contests in 2013, the year I also started this blog.  Here is the quilt I made for the Quilt Alliance TWENTY challenge and chose as the header for my blog:

Rising star art quilt

Rising Star, made for the Quilt Alliance TWENTY contest in 2013

I made this quilt for the Michael Miller challenge in 2013:

Michael Miller Challenge 2013

Packet of Posey Seeds

And I made this little quilt for the Pantone Challenge:

Applique quilt

Radiating Orchid mini-quilt for the Radiant Orchid Challenge

I attended some wonderful classes with Laura Wasilowski in 2013, and made this little art quilt:

applique art quilt

Leaf, made in class with Laura Wasilowski

I did some “crafty” things in 2013, including chambray shirts decorated with orphan blocks and matching T shirts for a special baby and his special Dad:

Here are a set of placemats and two table runners from 2013:quilted placemats

leaf runner

table runner

Table runner made from a strip of leftovers

Also in 2013, I made an apron for a special friend and a caddy for carrying my iron to classes and retreats:

2013 was also a good year to make pillows for friends and to use up orphan blocks:

Well!  That’s it for special projects from 2013.  The actual quilts from 2013 are up next–more to come!

Cover for The Quilter’s Planner

I was pretty excited to get the newly-developed Quilter’s Planner (more info HERE if you’re interested) for Christmas.  I decided it needed a fancy cover to protect all my

The Quilter's Planner 2016

The Quilter’s Planner

plans!  A quick Google search for “planner cover tutorial” found one HERE by Jodi Bonjour on her blog Sew Fearless.

Now, Jodi’s tutorial is for a planner of a DIFFERENT SIZE, You can follow her general directions, but here are my modifications to make it the right size for the Quilter’s Planner. As is often the case, it took 2 tries to get this right, so I’ve also made a few notes about what worked for me.

First, about cutting:  I cut the pieces for the cover, lining, fusible fleece, and Peltex (stiffener) 20-1/2″ x 11″.  The sleeves were cut 5-1/2″ x 11″.  Here are pictures of the interior of the planner cover, showing what the sleeves are:

cover for the quilter's planner 2016

Interior of the planner cover, showing the sleeves and the closing tab

cover for quilter's planner 2016

Interior with the planner in place, cover inserted in the sleeves

I pretty much followed Jodi’s instructions, BUT here are a few hints:

  • I spray basted the backing to the Peltex–that stuff is slippery.
  • It may be a good idea to cut these pieces 1″ larger than needed and trim to size after quilting the cover.  As always, things shift a little during quilting.
  • Jodi used a big snap to close her cover, but I used hook-and-loop tape.  It’s more adjustable, and who knows what all I may jam in with the book?  (Plus, I couldn’t find my snap setter 🙂
  • Jodi’s directions just say to attach the tab closure.  For the record, you do that by lining up the unfinished end of the tab with the unfinished edge of the planner cover, centering it along one side.
  • I cut my binding 2-1/4″ wide, attached it to the inside with a 1/4″ seam, and turned it to the outside.  This made the seam attaching it to the outside almost 1/2″, which made the planner cover fit tightly into the pockets.  It worked out fine, but check your seams so you don’t find the pockets have gotten a little too small!

I quilted my cover, which holds all the layers together really well.  I’m not sure what would happen if you didn’t do that.  Here’s a picture of the quilting:

cover for quilter's planner 2016

Quilting on the exterior of the cover

And here is my planner cover, ready to start 2016!

cover for quilter's planner 2016

The finished planner cover

What are your plans for the new year?

Final Finishes!

I got these two quilts back from the quilter last week, so I put the binding on and have my final 2 finishes for the year!

modern quilt

This binding was made from the remaining black and white chevron fabric

I finally finished the eternal paper piecing for this quilt and I’m having fun arranging the blocks.

modern quilt

The pattern is Lombard Street, by Sassafras Lane Designs

Here are a few of the other projects I’ve done this year.  You can click on any of them for more detail.

And finally, here are a couple of things I had published in Modern Quilts Unlimited:

Can’t wait to start next year’s projects!  Woo!

Winner! Online Quilt Retreat

I won a year-long online quilt retreat!  What the heck is that?

Lora Douglas of Dragonfly Quiltworks

Lora Douglas of Dragonfly Quiltworks

Here’s Lora Douglas, one of the teachers from the retreat, to explain.

This year-long on-line, quilt retreat is sponsored by “Adventure Art Retreats”, which was started by Ilysa Ginsburg and Kira Slye. They launched “Polymer Clay Adventure” as an online experience in 2015 and got about 1000 subscribers! They’re adding a quilt adventure for 2016.

There are 12 projects, one each month of the retreat. There will be classes for quilts, placemats, totes, hexies, fabric dyeing, laminating fabric and polymer clay buttons

Roxie bags made by Lara for her Quilt Adventure class

Roxie bags made by Lora for her Quilt Adventure class

.I designed the Roxie Bag as one of the monthly projects for the retreat, and I’ll be teaching it by online video. When I couldn’t find a pattern using flex frame hardware that was easy to make and looked great, I designed my own. It is perfect as a cross-body bag for carrying a cell phone and other small items.

“Quilted Adventure” is the online equivalent of a traditional quilt retreat where you meet other quilters while learning new things.  “Retreaters” can take a new class each month; participate in live-stream events with our host, Vanessa Vargas Wilson of The Crafty Gemini; receive monthly clues for a mystery quilt; and take part in swaps. There will be a newsletter to keep participants informed of upcoming events. The instructors will be available to answer questions throughout the retreat. It’s going to be fun!

Another Roxie bag--how many samples did she make???

Another Roxie bag–how many samples did she make???

I’m gathering my supplies, and I’m sure you’ll be seeing some of my projects here as I participate in the retreat.  For now, If you want to know more about Lora or the Quilt Adventure online retreat, here’s the link for her site. There’s a button there to click for finding out more about the retreat.  (Or, if you just want to buy a Roxie bag after seeing it here, her site has a link to her Etsy shop as well. I won’t tell if you want to buy it instead of making it yourself 😉

Kaleidoscope Design and More

The November UFO project was to design a quilt to use these beautiful Jane Sassaman fabrics. Here’s my “final” decision on the layout. (“Final” in quotes because It isn’t over til it’s over).

My notebook wasn't big enough for the whole layout, but you get the idea!

My notebook wasn’t big enough for the whole layout, but you get the idea!

You can see paper mock-ups of my blocks showing the fabric HERE, but here are a couple of examples.  Of course, the one with 4 wedges would have 6 if this were the real blocks instead of a paper mock-up.

I think I have enough fabric to make 4 central patches with 6 wedges each, though I’ll check before I cut (one of my husband’s favorites is, “measure twice, cut once”). Then I’ll fit in as many of the 4-patch kaleidoscopes as seems reasonable while leaving adequate negative space.

The Back-up Plan (must have one!) is all 4-patch kaleidoscopes if it turns out I don’t have enough fabric for both the 6-wedge and the 4-patch designs.  That would be fine, too, though I like the variety of sizes in the design I’ve chosen.  (Will I like it as much when I’m trying to sash those varied shapes and sizes?)

I’m thinking I’ll use soft green fabric for the background; this seems to want to be a green quilt with pink and blue accents.  The background probably will be a solid fabric, since these blocks have a lot going on.

I’ve made two more projects this month, but they aren’t quilts.  One is a crib sheet from this fun arrow fabric by Maureen Cracknell.  The other is a changing pad cover in this “Indian Summer” fabric by Sarah Watson.

There are several places on the internet to get free patterns for crib sheets and changing pad covers, and they were easy to make.

And now, ON TO THE CHRISTMAS SEWING!!!

QuiltCon Fashionistas!

I go to a fair number of quilt shows, and most of them are attended by women (and a few men) in casual but unspectacular fashions.  At QuiltCon, however, I saw so many women dressed in fancy outfits.  Here are just a few:

Fashion at QuiltCon

Miriam, from the Modern Quilt Guild of Asheville

Miriam and her sister, who collaborate on most of their projects, had a great quilt in the show.  (Her sister wasn’t this much of a fashion statement though–sorry Emily!)

Since QuiltCon was in Austin, lots of people brought out their boots.  I love the look of boots with dresses:

QuiltCon Fashionista

Linda, an independent member of the MQG (Modern Quilt Guild)

Many of the women had dresses in prints that looked like modern quilts, including this one:

Fashion at QuiltCon

Emily of the Ann Arbor MQG

And a number of women had dresses and skirts they had made themselves.  This woman had a dress to match her hair!

QuiltCon Fashionista

Julia of the Houston MQG

Check out how she even matched the pattern where she put in the zipper!  If you’ve ever sewn garments, you know that’s an accomplishment.  And the pockets were made from a cute safety pin print.

My friend and I loved this blouse, worn by Kelly of the Ventura MQG:

And finally, here is a different type of fashion statement–I’m riding a giant sewing machine! Why do you suppose my friend wouldn’t let me take a picture of HER riding it???Riding Sewing Machine at QuiltCon

Pictures of my favorite quilts next week!

5 Favorites of 2014

1. Favorite quilt show I attended: Vermont Quilt Festival.  You can see some quilts from it here and here.  And here again is a detail of one of my favorites:

big stitch quilting

Detail of Fill the Void by Cinzia Allocca, at Vermont Quilt Festival 2014

2. Favorite thing about blogging: Meeting new friends, both in person and online.  Read about a couple of them here and here, if you like.
3. Favorite modern quilt trend: some textures and low-volume prints (those that show more background, having the prints smaller and farther apart)  to get us away from all solids, all the time.  Some of my favorites include these from Carolyn Friedlander:

and these from Alison Glass:Alison

4. Favorite new (to me) quilt tool: Frixion pen.  It comes in lots of colors and erases when you iron over the markings.  Only drawback I’ve found is that you can’t see the mark on dark fabric.  For that I still love my chaco liner with yellow chalk.  Show below:  chaco liners on left, frixion pens on right.

5.  Favorite lesson learned:  I’d rather see my designs in print than at quilt shows.  Yes, I entered several shows and contests, and I won something.  But my favorite quilt of the year (from those I made) was the one that was published in Modern Quilts Unlimited.  So here is a picture of it again.Zippy Star 2

And what were your favorites of the year?

The year so far…

Oops!  It’s the end of June already, so half way through 2014!  Therefore, here are pictures of a few of the things I’ve done so far:

scrap quilt

Quilt Alliance Challenge 2014

Dotty-Stripes-Detail

Detail of a quilt I submitted to an IQF contest

Next is the June “finish”.  I’ve been sending a finish every month to Aunt Marti at 52quilts because I need the motivation of her challenge to get some of my UFOs (Unfinished Objects) cleaned up!  As you can see, this is pieced but not quilted; Aunt Marti let’s YOU decide what qualifies as “finished”!  And after 2 years staring at these HSTs (half square triangles), I think putting them together into a top for a donation quilt qualifies as “finished”!  So if you need motivation to finish some of your UFOs, click the link above and head over to her blog 🙂

pieced quilt top

Donation quilt top is the finish for June!

improvisationally pieced quilt

In Fairyland, entered in the Vermont Quilt Festival

improv pieced quilt

Improv 9 Patch for Ronald McDonald House

As always, 20% of the projects took 80% of the time!  So it’s good to have the little pouches and swap blocks to be done relatively quickly!  What have you been up to?

Personal labels 3 ways

quilt back and binding

The first quilt to have my new label on the back!

I’ve been thinking for some time that I’d like a “standard” Zippy Quilts label to sew into the binding of my quilts in addition to the usual label I put on with the name of the quilt and the date.  I’ve seen several such labels and think they look cool.  They make me think the creator takes herself and her work seriously enough to have a professional label.

I collected a bunch of ideas for making labels on my Pinterest page, here, if you want to look.  Pinterest is great for gathering idea from around the web and organizing them all in one place.  I also got some of those ideas by doing a search within Pinterest for “fabric labels”, which lead me to things other people had discovered.

It boiled down to just a few good options in 3 categories:

1.  Print your own labels, sort of like I do my labels with the quilt name/date/etc.  This would be fairly economical despite the cost of printable fabric, because the labels are small.  However, the washability of some of the printable fabrics was in question, and there would be the need to finish the edges in some way to avoid fraying.  Nevertheless, there’s a very nice tutorial on how to do it here, on the Emmaline blog.

2.  Get commercially-made labels, either woven or printed, from specialty companies that make them.  There are lots of companies that offer lots of different labels, from laundry tags like you sew into your kids’ clothes before they go to camp to really professional woven labels.  The cost varies a lot, too.  The main drawback was that, for the better looking ones, you have to order an awful lot.  What if I had 1000 labels I didn’t much care for?

3.  Design your own at Spoonflower and have them printed up on fabric for you to cut apart into labels.  There’s a tutorial on how to do it here, on a nice blog called “While They Snooze”.  This is what I ultimately decided to do.  They’ll print either a sample or a fat quarter (FQ) for you, so I ordered FQs of 2 different layouts to see if I liked them.

Spoonflower labels

Spoonflower labels–first layout

I cut them apart with pinking shears to avoid a hard edge and sewed a little hem around each one to prevent fraying.  I think another time I’d make them a little smaller, but this is a good start.  The Spoonflower site is easy enough to use that I never even had to contact them for help.

Spoonflower label

The second layout

My second layout left space below my name on each label so that I could cut out the label, hem the sides only, and then fold it in half, inserting the remaining raw edges in the binding.  This avoids the need to sew it down separately on 4 sides.  I may like this better, but I haven’t had time to try them much yet.  The first one is going on my Quilt Alliance donation quilt, which I’m still binding.  I think I’ll go back and put them on all this year’s projects.

If you get some labels made for your projects, write and let me know what you did and how it worked out.

Spoonflower label

Label on Quilt Alliance quilt back