Monday, April 25, 2011

Circle of Geese Quilt

This is the last of the nearly finished quilts that's been sitting in my WIP bin for months on end. The Circle of Geese quilt was made in collaboration with some wonderful women in an online quilting bee that I was part of last year.

I sent each bee member a selection of fabric scraps in a single color as well as a large cut of my background fabric, which is Moda's Basic Grey - Grunge in Hot Chocolate. I asked everyone to make a Circle of Geese block in the pattern and size of their choosing. There are a few patterns for this type of block - this is probably the most popular one, but my favorite pattern was created by Lynne.

The blocks I got back are gorgeous. Circle of Geese blocks aren't easy and the ladies did an amazing job. I love this quilt - it is nearly exactly how I had envisioned it. I had grandiose ideas of making a quilt comprised of circles into the shape of a circle like this, but when push came to shove, I didn't have it in me. So I ended up with a (nearly) square quilt, but it doesn't make me love it any less. My plan was always to have this quilt be a picnic quilt - something to keep in the back of my car for all of the impromptu picnics I have with my kids. To that end, I added a loop on the back of the quilt so that it rolls up for easy transport.

The back is a single print - yardage of some Alexander Henry that I had on hand and had been wanting to use up. Binding is pink Crosshatch from the Farmdale line. I stippled the quilt in grey - I was worried that the thread would be too light against the main color of the quilt, but it ended up being nearly invisible. Finished size is 60"x63".

I'm glad to finally have an empty WIP bin. While I'd like to believe this means that I'm about to take a breather from quilting, I already have two new projects that I'm itching to start.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Selvage Quilt - Finally Finished

It's done!! The Selvage Quilt is done!!

I don't even know where to begin. I am so glad to have this one done - it really was a labor of love. I wish that the photos did it justice, but there are so many tiny details in each piece of selvage that so much gets lost in a picture. I love looking at each individual square, each tiny scrap of fabric, and each memory that goes with that fabric.

The quilt was made using string squares 8" squares, 80 in all, that are sashed in Kona Navy. On average, each square has about 14 selvages, which means that I used upwards of 1,100 strips of selvage. The flannel backing is All Star Blue Dots by Riley Blake. Binding is Alexander Henry's Raindrop Stripe (thank you Amber, for that awesome call).

This was sent to the long-arm quilter - there was no way that I was going to risk unsightly puckers on this quilt. The quilting is slightly more dense than I though it would end up, but I do like the way the pattern plays off of the diamond pattern of the string blocks.

(The color is way off here, but you can see the quilting design easily.)

This quilt was initially intended to be a lap quilt, but I was talked into making it a twin size - the finished size is 68"x85". Because I will still probably use it to cuddle on the couch with my sweetie and because I like some serious heft in my blankets, I had the quilter use two layers of batting when she quilted it. This quilt is seriously heavy - maybe a bit more so than I had intended. That said, it's going to be awesome come next winter.

A huge thank you to everyone who traded or donated selvages for this project - I couldn't have done it without you. Thank yous also to everyone who supported me as I obsessed, complained, and sewed (a lot!) through this project.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Goodbye, Old Friend

I never knew how attached I was until it was gone. It's always the way, isn't it? It's been in my life for more than a decade; certainly long before I was a sewer. At first it was just a teeny tiny part of my life, but as I became a sewer and then a quilter, we spent so much more time together.

I admit I didn't take care of it like I should have. I dropped it. A lot. I rarely cleaned it. And it really has started to show it's age. It's plastic casing is cracked and broken. Its lovely nonstick coating had worn off (how does that even happen??). It is time. Oh, cheapie Black and Decker iron, it is time to say goodbye.

I never really paid much attention to my old iron, but now that it's gone, I miss the way it fit in my hand - it was so familiar. And while my new iron, a similarly cheapie Sunbeam is so lovely (it doesn't drip, isn't cracked, and has no hard water buildup), I do find that I miss my old one. Just a little.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I will not be afraid to cut into my Flutterby Ladybugs.
I will not be afraid to cut into my Flea Market Fancy.
I will not be afraid to cut into my Mendocino.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Citrus Quilt

It's springtime and everywhere I look I see lovely shades of citrus. Lemon yellow shows up in the lantana that greets me outside of my family room window and in the center of the strawberry blossoms in my garden.

My California poppies are the colors of Mandarins.

And the radishes that have just started to germinate in their peat pots are the color of Key Limes.

How could I not be inspired by these amazing colors? The result is this - The Citrus Quilt.

I used 8" blocks that were improv pieced in square and rectangle configurations. Most blocks had what would become the white sashing as the outer edge of the block, but a small handful of blocks featured no white or white sashing on only two or three sides.

The starting point for the quilt was a striped Art Gallery Fabrics print, which I knew I wanted to use to do this with. I don't think I'll ever tire of this application.

The back is primarily Kona Cheddar with some scraps added for visual interest. It's been free motion quilted and is crinkly and lovely from the dryer.

The finished quilt measures 38"x45" (yikes - that's 2"-3" of shrinkage with fabrics and batting that wasn't prewashed!). Binding is handstitched using two patterns that were featured in the quilt. You can find it in the shop.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I was Featured!

I'm a bit late in sharing this with you, but my Confetti Quilt was featured on Modern Day Quilts last week! Thanks so much, Heather!

To Benefit Japan

A huge thank you to those who bid on the quilt to aid in the disaster relief for Japan. The highest bid was Tai Chi Mamma, who bid $175. Her donation to Mercy Corps has been made and I'll be delivering her quilt tomorrow.

You might remember that I had mentioned that I'd be taking part in yet another fundraiser to help with disaster relief. Unfortunately, there were some problems with the raffle that I was to donate another quilt to. Modern Relief is currently trying to regroup and I'll update you as I know more.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011