Monday, January 24, 2022

Round Robin #2 - Diamonds

Welcome to round 2 of the Stay at Home Round Robin!  This week it's my turn to pick what we add, and I chose Diamonds!


Normally, I start with a picture of my completed round but today I want to walk you through my thought/design process for this round.  After I finished the curves, I thought about what to do for diamonds.  While playing around, I realized that what I really wanted to do was turn what I had so far on point.

Would that really count as a diamond, though?  I searched pinterest for "diamond quilts" and a lot of what I saw did indeed have square-in-a-square blocks on point.  It also seems that geometrically speaking, squares are widely considered to meet the definition of a diamond.  So I was leaning toward doing what I wanted and setting my block on point for the diamond round. Then, while putting fabric for this project back in its bin, I noticed one of the fabrics in the Fancy Feathers line essentially had a diamond pattern.  


Quick mathematical calculations confirmed that there was enough to use this diamond-patterned fabric as the setting triangles to put what I had on point.  Bingo!  So, whether you consider what I had so far as now a diamond or the diamonds in the fabric, here is my diamond round.  And it all goes to show you that the point of this is to have fun and it's OK to be creative and perhaps push what a round could include a little.


If you are sewing along, link up your diamond round or whatever progress you have so far.  And be sure to check out the other hosts and see what they did with diamonds!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Island Batik Ambassador 2022 and Unboxing #1

I am beyond excited to share that I was selected as an Island Batik Ambassador for 2022.  This will be my fourth year with Island Batik and I absolutely love the experience.  Island Batik and all their industry partners are so generous, the ambassadors themselves are amazingly supportive and creative, and the monthly challenges have  You all know I love the beautiful batik fabric!  And that's why the best day of the year is the day the ambassador boxes arrive!  This is when I get all the goodies to use for the first six months of the year.  

Want to see what I was sent?  Here is my unboxing video, with special appearance by Fire Monkey.

And here's a photo breakdown of what was sent:

First, I was sent a bundle of Precious Pinks.  This is 20 fat quarters of 20 different shades of pink, all of which are Foundations Basics, so they are always available.  These fabrics will be featured in my January project.

Next, I was sent the Citified Collection, designed by Kathy Engle for Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting.  All the new collections will be showcased in the February blog hop, so you'll get to see what I did what Citified.  I was also sent coordinating yardage, two yards each of Thistle and Merlot.

Next was a mystery package, my assigned collection for the May blog hop.  But I can't show it to you yet!  There were 12 half yard cuts from Foundations, the fabrics available all the time, that support Citified and the mystery collection. These include solids (top:dark gray, pink, orange, & lime green), blenders (middle: large netting Sand, bubbles Sahara, marble Charcoal, & large netting Ivy) and basics (bottom: daiquiri, turtle, garnet, & mustard).

Then there was a strip pack of the Contempo collection, designed by Kathy Engle for Kate Colleran Designs.  Coordinating yardage included 2 yards each of Banana and Grass.  Contempo is an absolutely gorgeous rainbow, and I've already cut into it for the Exploding Heart quilt along with Laura of Slice of Pi Quilts (also a former Island Batik ambassador). 

There were also two packages of Stash Builder rolls.  These are super versitile, the rolls are 5" by width of fabric, so they can be subcut into a variety of sizes, including charm squares, 2 1/2" strips, or whatever sizes you might need.  


And what's a quilt without a great background?  I got 4 yards each of solid black, gray, and white. Plus 6 yards of the neutral called Muslin. 

And then there an amazing FOUR battings from Hobbs: 80/20 bleached, 80/20 natural, 100% wool batting, and poly-down polyester batting.  If that wasn't enough, there was a package of their fusible batting strips!

And Aurifil sent me 3 spools of 40 weight thread, all in my favorite color of purple.


Isn't it all amazing!  Thanks to Island Batik, Hobbs, and Aurifil!  Due to all the shipping and supply issues, I'll be receiving a second box sometime in January or February and I will be sure to share pictures when it arrives.  In the meantime, if you need me, I'll be sewing with these goodies!

Monday, January 17, 2022

Round Robin Round #1 - Curves

 Welcome to the first round of the Stay at Home Round Robin.  I'm so excited that so many people are sewing along!  Some of the centers I've seen are amazing, and I can't wait to see what they grow into!  This week it is Anja at Anja Quilts who decides what we add, and she picked Curves.

Now, my regular readers will know that I hate curved piecing.  I typically avoid it.  I thought about a couple different options for this round.  I kept coming back to using orange peels.  Then I got an orange peel accuquilt die for Christmas (thanks Mom!) and my plan was sealed.  Appliqueing curves is much more in my comfort zone, and while I'm fine with venturing outside my comfort zone from time to time, I chose not to for this.  I used a satin stitch around the orange peel shapes.

Anja has the link up for this week.  Next week it's my turn!  Be sure to come back to see what I chose.  In the meantime, check out all the hosts to see what they did with Curves.  Seeing how each person uses the theme differently is the biggest part of the fun!

Monday, January 10, 2022

Stay at Home Round Robin 2022 - Centers

Welcome to the 2022 Stay-at-Home Round Robin!  SAHRR for short.  Gail at Quilting Gail came up with this idea: instead of a traditional round robin where you pass materials from quilter to quilter, you make your own quilt in a similar vein.  Gail rounded up some blogger friends, including me, to pre-determine each round, which we'll be revealing every Monday.  We'll also show you our quilts each week so you can see how we interpreted that week's theme.  

If you want to play along, the first step is to determine your center block.  I have had a plan for a few weeks of using my Studio 180 Design wing clipper tool and their Geese on the Edge technique for my center.  I used that technique in this quilt last fall.  Those blocks were 5" finished, so my plan was to make four of them for a 10" center.  But when I started actually sewing, I decided at the last minute to just do one round of "logs" for 3" blocks, which when I sewed them together gave me a 6" center.  If I had planned on this particular design from the beginning, I would have constructed it differently, but oh well.  I am using fabrics from Island Batik's Fancy Feathers collection and my background fabric is Island Batik blender Cat Scratch in S'more. 

Four 3" blocks
If you decide to sew along, link up with Gail for this week's round, your center.  Each week, a different host will have the link-up party, but we'll all link to that person so you can find it easily.  This is a fun way to make your quilt your way, but with some direction.  It's also fun to see how each person interprets each round, so there is a lot of room for creativity!

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

New Year, New Quilt Alongs!

With the beginning of a new comes lots of new quilt alongs!  While I am trying to limit new projects, I do find that I get energized from new projects, so I have a few quilt alongs that I will be joining at the start of this year. 

The first is the Stay At Home Round Robin, or SAHRR.  This is the creation of Gail from Quilting Gail.  It's based on a traditional Round Robin quilt, where you would make a center and then pass your quilt on to another quilter who adds a row, and so on, but instead *you* make all the rows.  Gail has assembled a small group of bloggers, including me, to pick out a theme for each row.  We start on Monday, January 10th and there will be weekly link-ups if you want to join in.  Gail covers more details here.


Next, I'll be sewing along with Laura of Slice of Pi Quilts for her Exploding Heart quilt along.  I've loved this pattern since she first revealed it.  She did a quilt along last year and I was tempted to join in but I had too much on my plate at the time.  She's doing round 2 this year and I just bought my copy of the pattern.  She starts on January 6th; you can get details and sign up for the weekly emails here.   

Last year, I started Boho Heart, a Jen Kingwell pattern, in a quilt along with Anne of Said With Love.  I did not finish it but I've been slowly plugging away at the 108 (!) blocks.  Anne is doing round 2 starting on February 2nd, so I'll pick it up again in earnest.  Details are here if you are interested.  I'd be working on finishing this one even if there weren't a quilt along, so it's a bonus to have the encouragement of other quilters working on the same pattern.

There are lots of other projects starting at the beginning of the year, too, but I'm stopping here. Too many to keep up with get overwhelming, but I am excited about all three of these. 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Purple Wildflowers

After two somewhat gloomy posts for the end of 2021, I figured I should start 2022 with a beautiful finished quilt.  This is Purple Wildflowers.  The pattern is from Accuquilt, called Wildflower (I added the "s" to make it plural) and this is my second time making this pattern, my first version was for an Island Batik challenge in 2020.  


This uses Accuquilt's Hattie's Choice die (a block on board) and adds a flying geese unit to it.  I really love the look of the block, both in its original form and made into a flower.  

I've made end-of-the-year quilts for Fire Monkey's classroom teachers the past two years.  I plan to do that again, but I also really wanted to recognize the specials teachers as well.  In previous years, there were five specials at his school: music, art, P.E., library, and dance.  All five teachers have been at the school since he started in Kindergarten, so that means they've had him through the entire pandemic and distance learning.  These past few years have been especially challenging for teachers and I just want to show my appreciation in some way.  Fire Monkey started asking for favorite colors the first week of school; I knew I would have to start in August if I wanted to get them all made by June!

This is for Coach M, the P.E. teacher, whose favorite color is purple.  I used various purple Island Batik scraps.  The quilting is wavy lines with purple Auriful thread.  Since purple is also my favorite color, I really enjoyed making this one.  You can't go wrong with Purple Wildflowers!

with a statue at a local park

Friday, December 31, 2021

Goodbye 2021, Hello 2022

I like to end my year by looking at the goals I set for the previous year with Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl, and setting goals for the year ahead.  As 2020 came to a close, we all hoped that 2021 would bring more light, more hope, less Covid.  That...didn't really happen.  I've had a hard time this year.  It's been hard to kind of stay afloat.  I have not blogged as much, I've been absolutely terrible about responding to comments (something I normally love and stay on top of) and I barely read any other blogs for the second half of the year.  I'm ok, I'm doing what I need to do to stay mentally healthy and I'm getting by, but I'm not thriving.  And truth be told, I don't know when that will change.  So while I still want to set goals, I'm choosing "be gentle" as my theme.


First, a review of my goals for 2021.  Coming off of 2020, I didn't have any big, grand plans.  Which, it turns out, was smart.

2021 Goals -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Goal: continue to make donation quilts.
I specifically didn't set a number for 2021.  I did make several quilts to donate to the local children's hospital, though I don't have a formal count of how many.  I also made 10 place mats for my guild's donation project; those went to Friendship Trays. 

Goal: Charlotte Modern Quilt Guild
I was vice-president of my guild this year, which meant I was in charge of programs.  Quite honestly, if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't have agreed when I was asked.  In a year when I was overwhelmed, having something extra that I was responsible for didn't help.  But I made it through the year, I left the first half of the programs planned and organized for whoever comes after me, and I've gotten positive feedback from several members of the guild on the programs we held virtually. 

Goal: Online Quilting Community
I specifically set my goal as "I participating without stressing myself out."  I guess I did?  I kinda left the online community for much of the second half of the year, but I figure that could count toward not stressing myself out.  I did several blog hops and quilt alongs in the first half of the year. 

Goal: EQ8
I did use EQ for several quits I made and I am slowly (very slowly) getting more comfortable using the program and can somewhat fiddle around and do what I want to be able to do. 

Goal: Use what I have
I bought very little fabric, so I'm counting this as successful.

2022 Goals --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You know what, as I read through last year's goals and take stock, I'm going to just set the one goal of Be Gentle.  I'd like to be a little more involved in the online quilting community than I have been these past several months, but I know that if I need to continue to be spotty, I will be welcomed back by quilting friends as I am able.  I plan to continue with my local guild but I am not on the board for 2022.  I will continue to work in EQ and hope to stretch my skills a little.  And I strive to use fabric and supplies that I have. As goals, that will do.

Thank you for bearing with me.  May 2022 treat you well.