Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday Finish: Let It Snow

During the last several months, I have been working on a very achievable challenge of sewing with the fabrics I have on hand rather than purchasing more. So when I saw the pattern, Happy Christmas, I decided to pull out all my fabric with snowflakes, or those that looked like snow falling. These fabrics had made it through many extensive fabric destashes, so I told myself there must be a good reason why they were still hanging around.
I cut and sewed, and trimmed endless half square triangles. I put the blocks on the design wall.

And then had a big moment of disappointment. It just didn't look as pretty as I had envisioned in my head. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I loved the fabrics individually, but together they just didn't "wow" me. Hmmm...
At first I thought it might be that some of the low volume backgrounds were too gold or too brown. And one of the green fabrics in the tree had too much blue in it. What was the problem? I pulled all those fabrics off the design wall, and put the question out to Instagram--keep them in  or make them go away?

Interestingly, it was nearly unanimous that the fabrics I pulled out should be added back in--it gave more texture and interest. So back they went.

The next change I made was to eliminate the lowest two rows of the tree, which made the quilt smaller, a size I was much happier with. It was feeling more festive. But I still wasn't in love with it. One of my good friends said it didn't look like a "Cindy quilt." I knew what she meant by that--I would have liked it better in all solids. Ha! 

And then our "bonus" granddaughter, Stacie, texted and said she loved it! I knew then and there that the quilt had a home.

My very favorite part is the blue star--you will never see that knit-look fabric in any destash ever, as I will be using every.single.piece.
Darby did her usual fabulous job of quilting--a snowflake pattern that is just perfect. I changed the name from Happy Christmas to Let it Snow.

When it was completed, Mark and I took it on a little photo op excursion.

It was high noon, so we had to deal with less-than-ideal light--too bright.  But you take what you can get. First up was city hall.
 I liked the water fountain in the background kind of blurring the wreath.

Next we went to a favorite shopping center, Fig Garden Village.
 Have you seen the latest trend in trees hung upside down?
We had just read an article in the local newspaper so of course Mark wanted a picture of the quilt upside down.
It was such fun to gift the quilt to Stacie. These are typical "Stacie" photo poses:

A 9-year-old boy jumping in the way.
A 6-year-old boy making snow angels on the quilt.
Finally, the best picture of a happy girl.
Which made this quilter very happy. 

I'm linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF and Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Utility-Style: Quilts for Everyday Living--Workday Blues

Welcome to my stop on the book tour for Sharon Holland's new book, Utility-Style: Quilts for Everyday Living, published by Landauer.
I have collected several of my father's shirts and one from our son. I was never sure quite what to do with them, but knew one day just the right project would come up.

When Sharon asked me to be part of the blog tour and I paged through the book, I knew I had found the perfect project, the Comfort quilt. The premise of her book is to make quilts to be used, a part of your everyday life.
The shirts from my father were ones he used for everyday. He definitely favored the color blue, so I decided to name the quilt Workday Blues.

The pattern calls for 8" squares and I was able to cut enough for a quilt that is 48" by 56", a nice size to cuddle with. I felt there was enough going on with the stripes, so I didn't add the little corner triangles, as shown in Sharon's quilt.
In keeping with the idea of using fabric I already had, I remembered some favorites by Amy Butler and Lotta Jansdotter.
For the binding, I used a wonderful check from the Vintage Picnic line by Bonnie and Camille. At this point it is quilted by stitching in the ditch (the batting I used said quilting could be 10" apart) but although it is already bound, sometime I want to go back and add some hand quilting.

There was enough fabric from those five shirts to also make a coordinating pillow. It includes a pocket in the center square and part of the front placket.
Instead of my usual zipper closure on the back, I used the placket from another shirt.
This is a wonderful book for both the beginner and experienced quilter. There is basic information on sewing supplies, color theory and patchwork basics, along with "utility style tips" for each of the featured quilts. There are so many projects in the book I want to make--it's a book I will return to again and again.

Stop by Sharon's post to read more of her thoughts on the book. There is also a free quilt pattern (Roman Stripes) to accompany the book, and an erratum notice. She has a link to signed copies of her book in her online shop--a great gift idea for you and your quilting friends.

If you haven't been following along, you will want to check out the other stops on the tour.

Monday 12/4  Heidi Staples - Fabric Mutt
Tuesday 12/5  Amy Friend - During Quiet Time
Wednesday 12/6  Maureen Cracknell - Maureen Cracknell Handmade
Thursday 12/7  Amber Johnson - Gigi's Thimble
Friday 12/8  Karen O'Connor - Lady K Quilts Designs
Saturday 12/9  Kori Turner-Goodhart - Olive Grace Studios
Sunday 12/10  Silvia Sutters - A Stranger View
Monday 12/11  Sarah Maxwell - Designs by Sarah J
Tuesday 12/12  Jessica Swift - Jessica Swift
Wednesday 12/13  Lisa Ruble - Love to Color My World
Thursday 12/14  Cindy Wiens - Live a Colorfullife: You are HERE!
Friday 12/15  Eleri Kerian - Sew and Tell Project
Saturday 12/16  Anjeanette Klinder - Anjeanette K
Sunday 12/17  Stephanie Kendron - Modern Sewciety
Monday 12/18  Christopher Thompson - The Tattooed Quilter
Tuesday 12/19  Susan Playsted - Hopewood Home

Sharon also gave me the opportunity to give away a copy of the book (open to US residents only). Leave a comment and let me know if you have ever used clothing in a quilting project.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Finish It Friday: Bella Skill Builder Quilt

Earlier in the year, thanks to Fat Quarter Shop, I participated in the Bella Skill Builder quilt-along (all the instructions are on the blog, so you can begin any time). It was designed by Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life, and we used Bella solids by Moda. You know how much I love my solids! Each month, we made a new block and learned a new technique.

I started out with this combination of fabrics.
I made the first set of blocks in two shades of peach.
Month 1--kaleidoscope
I soon realized it needed another color to add a little punch, and turquoise seemed to do the trick.
Month 2--orange peel

The ruler used for the pineapple block was great and I'm glad to have it in my ruler collection because I will definitely make use of it again.

Month 3--Pineapple

Month 4--Flying Geese

Although I have quilted for over 20 years, some of the rulers and techniques were new to me. For example, I had never used Triangles on a Roll. I'm glad I've tried it, although it's probably not something I would use again.

Month 5--Half Square Triangles

The log cabin trim tool is another new one to me. I have always cut my strips to length so I'm not sure that I would use the trim tool but I enjoyed trying it out.

Month 6--Courthouse Steps

Month 7--Half Square Triangles and Quarter Square Triangles

Month 8--Starbursts

Month 9--Lazy Angle
I worked a few months ahead, and quickly put the quilt top together and sent it to Darby for quilting. A couple of days ago, Mark helped me with some fun photographs. It's so handy to be married to someone who is over 6 feet tall. :)

Happy fall, y'all.

I'm linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF, and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.