Monday, February 23, 2015

Celtic Basketweave

 One of my favorite quilting magazines is Machine Quilting Unlimited!  Every month it is full of wonderful quilting ideas.  The articles are always informative and educational.  

This issue had a great article by Kay Bell on how to accomplish a Celtic basketweave quilting pattern.  I was so taken by the pictured quilt I immediately pulled out my graph paper and started playing!  I had told myself I would work on a UFO before I started another project....this one just had to happen!

I had the pattern drawn out on my graph paper, but I needed to be able to mark it on my fabric.  My light box is too small (I was thinking I should have scavenged onto an Xray view box at work after we converted to digital films).  Then is struck me!  Sitting in my living room was this gigantic light box.  Move a few things, put an Ott Light underneath, voila!  instant light box!

Here is my finished sample.  The top and backing were from my stash, as well as the battings.  I used a layer of Quilters Dream Cotton and a layer of Quilters Dream Wool.  I had never done a double batting before; I am impressed with the look.  Definitely going to do this in the future with my wall quilts.  The binding will have to wait a bit.  Yes, now I have another UFO!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Finishing UFOs

I have been trying to declutter my sewing studio.  When I was still working, I would buy things, with the idea that when I retire, I will have less income.  So I am trying to get things arranged so that I can easily find them.  I am going through my stash, trying to get it better arranged so that I can find fabric that I need!
In the process, I found a couple of projects that just needed a little bit of work to go into the finished pile.  This little quilt started in a Nancy Prince thread painting class that I took at Indiana Heritage Quilt Show several years ago.  It was a very fun class.  Nancy is not only a great teacher, but one of her quilts won Best of Show at the 2014 International Quilt Festival at Houston!  All this one needed was to be bound.  I used a single thickness binding.

After learning the thread painting technique, I was looking for another project.  My nephew Logan is an artist, and had drawn this dogwood branch.  I took it and recreated it in thread.  It was needing to be quilted and bound.

There are still a number of UFOs in that pile...a quilter's work is never done!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Urban Birthday

While waiting for custom templates to come from Paper Pieces, I have been trying to finish up some UFOs.  Yes, I do have quite a stack of quilt tops that need to be finished.  Don't even ask about the kits, patterns, etc. that are waiting for me to get to them!
The current done project took birth last March as we were coming home from quilt retreat.  We stopped in at Peace and Applique in Rochester to do some looking and shopping!  
I saw this quilt hanging in the back room!  It was made with Kaffe Fassett fabrics and Peppered Cottons by Pepper Cory.  The pattern is Urban Birthday by Sew Kind of Wonderful.   It uses their Quick Curve Ruler, which I just happened to own!

I bought my Peppered Cotton, and collected fat quarters of Kaffe Fassett so I could get a nice variety.  I worked on it at retreat with the Material Girls that July.  
As I was putting it together, I thought they looked like wine glasses, so I decided to make a smaller one, and have it framed.

This is how the shop quilted their sample.  And how I quilted the wine glasses.  But I wanted something different for my quilt.

I decided on using feathers around the oval and pearls.  And decided to leave the center oval unquilted.  I did echo quilting to the wine glasses.  However, I just found out today that Sew Kind of Wonderful has a long arm ruler that would have made this so much easier!  Live and learn!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

2014 Mystery Quilt: Grand Illusion

This is the second time that I have participated in Bonnie Hunter's year end mystery quilt.  I will be putting the binding on 2013's Celtic Solstice after I finish this post.
This year's quilt was inspired when Bonnie was at a retreat at Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel.  Bonnie loves scrappy quilts.  I am learning to appreciate scrappy.  I am more of a controlled scrappy kinda quilter!
Bonnie gave us the colors to use so we could gather our "scraps" before the first clue was given on Black Friday. Yellows, pinks, greens, turquoise, blacks, and neutrals.
So we all worked diligently, keeping up with the weekly clues, until the final review. 

Can I say, I wasn't in love.  Way too busy.  So I changed the central block a wee bit, which required redoing 100 of the smaller units.
This was the original block.  I thought it was too busy. 

So I changed the pink, neutral, and block zigzag blocks into chevrons.  I like the look of the star!  And it looked good in EQ7.

Then I put it together.  It just looked like a huge mess to me.  Yeah, I probably should have left Bonnie's main block as she had it designed.  I loved the outer border.  I didn't like the green, neutral, and black checkerboard sashing.  So I took out my trusty seam ripper and took it apart!

I took my pieces to a guild sew-in and asked for opinions.  After playing with all sorts of arrangements, changing the center block, and auditioning various sashing and cornerstone colors, this was the final result.

And this is the final product!  It will finish 96" square.  I already have some ideas on how to quilt it.  But, it is going into the queue for the present time, as there is another project that needs attention!

Lesson learned: next year I will just wait until all the clues are given before I start the mystery quilt!