Monday, October 20, 2014

Choose Your Own Block-Along, 10/20/14

It's been a simply GHASTLIE week!

This is a 24" block.
The next four blocks are each 18".
The rest are 12" blocks.
Everything but the thirty 6" blocks.
See what I mean? GHASTLIE!

Check out the progress of Rene' and Michelle.

What have you been up to this week?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Choose Your Own Block-Along, 10/13/14

My block-along took a bit of  a "ghastlie" detour this week when I had the brainiac idea to start the Modern Building Blocks quilt by Moda with a Halloween theme.

The following blocks will really give you no idea of scale because they all appear to be the same size, but maybe you can find them in the pattern above.

This one is 18". (Hint: It is the green and white block above, left side, right above the midpoint.)
 The next two are each a whopping 36"! (This one is the large one near the bottom on the right.)
(This is near the center of the quilt, the two-tone aqua with the red and white triangles.)
This is 30".(This is in the upper right-hand corner.)
Maybe I'll be back to 6" squares next week. At this rate, I could have probably finished all the blocks in the City Sampler!

What have you been up to this week? Don't forget to check out Rene's progress this week!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Choose Your Own Block-Along, 10/6/14

Welcome to this week's edition of Choose Your Own Block-Along. I am having such a good time making the blocks from Tula Pink's City Sampler that I made four instead of two this week.

No. 11
No. 12
No. 13

I wish I would have cut the longer pieces where the green "wheels" were more dense
No. 14
Definitely my favorite this week
All four blocks playing together.
My "plan" is definitely coming together, all the way from very low-volume blocks to the ones with more color and less white.

Check out Rene' and Michelle to see their progress.

If you are playing along, link up here. It's been fun to see what everyone is working on--and the progress being made!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Miss Kate

I tend to save "precious" fabric rather than cut into it. No longer. Why? Because when you cut into it and sew it back together, it can become even more precious.

Last year, this "Ruby" quilt went to a sweet little girl named Ruby.
The new quilt started with one block from my Charm Parade pattern.
Soon there were more.
Instead of procrastinating with the basting phase, as is often the case with me, I cut out some "Ruby" flannel for the back (so soft) and got started. . . And fell in love with crosshatch quilting.

I made the binding.
And for the first time, I finished the binding by machine rather than by hand. It's not perfect by a long shot and I'll keep practicing, but I'm pretty pleased with my first attempt. (Thanks to Crazy Mom Quilts and her great tutorials and hints.)
I saved a selvage for the label.
And took a few more pictures. How could I resist? I love this quilt!
Soon it will be on its way to a cute and spunky little girl named Kate.The thing is, I knew as soon as I started working on this quilt that it would be going to this particular Kate, so I thought about her the whole time I was sewing. One of my favorite parts of sewing--when it's destined for someone in particular. And bonus--she and Ruby are friends, 4th generation friends. Isn't that amazing?

Pattern (my design): Charm Parade
Size: 30" x 40"
Made and machine quilted by me (in a record amount of time, I might add)

Are you ready to turn some of your precious fabric into something special?

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and TGIFF. Have a lovely weekend.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Choose Your Own Block-Along, 9/29/14

Welcome to this week's edition of the Choose Your Own Block-Along, and thanks to those of you who are linking your progress!

This week I made blocks 9 and 10 in the Tula Pink's City Sampler book.

I think it takes longer to choose the fabrics than it does to sew the blocks!
Block 9
Block 10
I have now made one block for each of the ten color/value categories I set up. I'll be sure to post a picture of them next week, along with the new blocks.
Be sure to see what blocks Rene' and Michelle have made in the past week.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friendship X and + Block Exchange: The Big Reveal

This all started back in October of last year. Has it really been nearly a whole year? Carla (Lollyquiltz) and Susan (Patchwork and Play) came up with a plan for a block swap that sounded like too much fun.

It involved choosing a partner and between the two of you, choosing a palette of colors to work with and then swapping  x and + blocks--we used the tutorial by Badskirt Amy.  I barely had finished reading the guidelines when I quickly sent an email to Carla (Grace and Favour) and she agreed to partner up with me. Together we chose this palette:

Every month we each made a set of blocks for ourselves and an identical set for our swap partner. We decided on a total of 64 blocks. This was my first set--four for me, and an identical set for Carla.

It was so much fun to choose the fabrics for the blocks each month, and to open that package from Carla to see what fabric choices she had made.

At some point she showed a peek at the fabric she was going to use for the backing. It was a simple texty print with all the months of the year--perfect. I ordered the same thing! ("8 days a week" by Ampersand Design Studio for Windham Fabrics, in case you are curious).

Last weekend I worked on the machine quilting, something I am not proficient at, and at this point, straight line quilting is the only thing in my arsenal. I was so anxious to get it completed by today's deadline so there was no way I was going to attempt to try something else.

By mid week I was ready to finish the binding, a step of the process that I really enjoy.
So are you ready for the unveiling?I'm so happy with this quilt. Working in tandem with a friend whose work I admire so much has been a wonderful connection and we are already talking about another project. I alternated the blocks in each row, so each of my blocks is sharing a seam with one made by Carla. That thought makes me happy.

Here is the back, which I just love.
When I was getting ready to piece the backing, I decided that I needed to match up the words and make is seem, well, seamless. It's right about in the center of this portion of the quilt back, a vertical seam. Can't see it?  Even close up, I have a hard time finding it myself.
Thankfully, it actually has started to feel like fall here in central California. We even had quite a breeze when I took these pictures.
The final closing shot.
Carla, thank you so much for saying yes to that email last year. This will always be a very special quilt.

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and TGIFF.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop/Choose Your Own BlockAlong

Today is my turn on the Around the World Blog Hop. I was asked by Elizabeth from Pieceful Life, and I hope you will check out her blog because she does beautiful work. She loves to add a touch of hand quilting to a lot of her quilts, and also has a really cool trick for turning squares on point--be sure to check it out. Also, she lives in Oklahoma City, which is a fun connection. I never lived in Oklahoma City, but I did spend seven years while growing up living in Enid, and I have really great memories of Oklahoma.

So on with the questions.

What am I working on? 
 I'm not quite sure where to even start to answer this question. I have a tendency to be easily distracted and begin new projects at the drop of a hat. The good news: I am rarely bored. The bad news: Things tend to be left unfinished as I begin a new project. I aspire to be one of those people who starts a project and then works on it to completion, but I'm pretty sure that isn't going to happen. So...I am currently working at completing a project with a deadline of this coming Friday, the blocks I did with my partner Carla for the Friendship X and + block exchange. Shockingly, I am quite confident that I will be done in time! So come back on Friday for the full reveal, along with links to the rest of the quilters participating in this block exchange.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I don't think I am particularly unique in what I choose to work on. I have been a quilter for over twenty years and have been a fabric "collector" for that long, so I have a lot of fabric to work with. I enjoy a large variety of projects, although in the last few years I have found myself drawn particularly to solids, especially when paired with black to make the colors pop.

Why do I write/create what I do?

For nearly as long as I can remember, I have created. My grandmothers were quilters and quilting is part of my Mennonite Brethren heritage so I feel a connection to quilting that I haven't felt with other creative outlets I have explored.  While I often say that I write, but don't consider myself to be a writer, blogging has opened up a world of inspiration and friendship. When I get discouraged about the actual writing, I remind myself that my blog is a way to document my creative life for my grandchildren. Even though they have spent time in my sewing room, and have even done some sewing themselves, this is another way to give them some insight into their grandmother, someone who loves them beyond measure. 

 Quilter in training...
How does my writing/creating process work?
For the last few years, I have gotten inspiration from some interesting and unexpected places--floors in fast food restaurant bathrooms, upholstery, a logo on a church website, a thank-you note from my mother--inspiration is everywhere! I take lots of pictures, then get out my graph paper and see if there are parts of the design that work either as a whole quilt, a set of blocks or even just a color scheme.

I have asked Anne from Springleaf Studios and Mary from Mary on Lake Pulaski to play along next week. They are both members of the Mid Century Modern Bee. Mary and I meet in Minnesota each summer to attend a small quilting retreat and is a dear friend. Anne will be my roommate at QuiltCon and I'm really looking forward to finally meeting her in person.

I have also asked Rachel from Life of Riley. When I saw that she was making a quilt that documents the temperature where she lives, each day for an entire year, I was inspired to make a temperature quilt as well. Colors are assigned to temperatures in five-degree increments. It is hot here in Central California and I was afraid that my quilt would look rather boring, since our temperature doesn't vary like it does in the Midwest. So I decided to choose another city--one of the front of the quilt and one for the back of the quilt. My husband's brother lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, and boy do they have a variation in temperatures! I keep track of the highs and lows from each day in a little notebook, and I'm calling it The Tale of Two Cities. I started in May, and I'm a little behind (go figure...), but you can see Rachel's progress here.
Be sure to check out their posts next week--you will be glad you did! And I hope you come back on Friday to see the completed Friendship X and + quilt. 

Also, today is the weekly "Choose Your Own BlockAlong" link-up. This week I completed Blocks 7 and 8 from Tula Pink's City Sampler book.
 Blocks 7 and 8
The idea I initially visualized seems to be coming together as planned.
 Blocks 1-4
Blocks 5-8
If you are playing along, I hope you will link up so we can see your progress. Also be sure to see what Rene' and Michelle have been up to this week.

Thanks for stopping by!