Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Butterflies in the Sky

Last year was my first year doing the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I chose a butterfly block that All I adapted slightly from the Summer 2014 issue of Quilter's World magazine.  Each butterfly is 12 1/2" high and 17" long unfinished.  Over the course of 2016, I made 16 butterflies.  The 9 brightest went into a quilt for my friend's daughter June.
Baby June's quilt
Six more scrappy butterflies went into this project.  I used some blue solid that I had from before I pledge my complete solid allegiance to Kona. The blue seemed like sky, hence the name "butterflies in the sky," which had the added effect of me singing the Reading Rainbow theme song whenever I worked on it.

I used my wavy line stitch in horizontal rows to make it look like the butterflies are in flight.

This will go to my local Project Linus chapter.  One of the organizations they donate to is Butterfly House, a child advocacy center in a nearby county. They especially like blankets with butterflies, so I suspect this will go there.

I took these photos last weekend and it was really windy. When my son saw the quilt blowing, he grabbed the corner to make it stay still.
I bet you didn't know Superman is also a fire fighter!
I have one butterfly left and it was the first one I made.  It will become a mini for my wall of mini quilts in my office.  It's the one with Darth Vader in it, which makes me incredible happy.

Finishing Butterflies in the Sky was goal # 17 on my list of Q1 goals in the globally hosted finish along.

Bee blocks for January

I am in 2 online bees for 2017.  This is my second year in Stash Bee and I am Hive Mama this year for hive 6.  I am also in Bee Inspired, an international bee that grew out of some of us from the 2016 New Quilt Blogger's Blog Hop.

In Stash Bee, January is my month as Queen and I asked for tree blocks for a magical forest.  I did not ask for a specific tree so that I would get a more varied forest.  I made several sample blocks.

Sharon is Queen in Bee Inspired and she asked for a paper pieced Split Hatchet block.  I had to rip more times than I like to admit to finish this block, but I did get it done in one evening.

I can't wait to see what my February Queens have in store for me!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Meadow Mystery: Caught Up & Ready for the Reveal

I'm participating in the Meadow Mystery Quilt Along designed and hosted by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs.  Going into January 1st, I had completed up to the September clue.  I completed the October clue on January 2nd, and at that point I set my One Monthly Goal for January to be getting caught up with all the clues, including the January clue.

November Clue
And I made it!  I now have 25 blocks, ready for the reveal of the layout that comes later this week. (Only one block of each type is pictured.)
December Clue

January Clue
I do have a problem.  I will need to remake my block 6s, which was September's clue.  Because I am using batiks and they have more color variation in them than I realized, those blocks do not have enough contrast.  I'm going to wait until the layout reveal to decide how to make them.  I'm hoping I can make something work--I chose to use up fabrics I had, so I didn't have a lot of extra, so I'm almost out of a few of the fabrics (or fabric groups, since 2 "fabrics" are scrappy).
The blocks that need to be remade.  See my problem?
I don't have a design wall or a big space to lay out blocks.  I did play a little with the finished blocks, using the most popular layouts from the facebook group, but I could only fit the center medallion.

I can't wait to see what the final design is!  I've had a good time seeing everyone's versions of the same quilt.

I was goal setter #37 in Elm Street Quilts monthly motivational link-up OMG.

Elm Street Quilts

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hazel, Hazelnut, & Nutella

When I made the Hazel & the Hedgehogs wall hanging, I made 4 Hazels but I only used 3 of them.  That left Blue Hazel.
I was going to add her into our pillow menagerie, but I decided that she would be happier with some friends first.  So I made a Yellow Hazel and Red Hazel to keep her company.  I picked the colors based on the marbled fabrics I had left and what coordinating solids I had on hand.

I used a pillow form that measures 26" x 16" that came from IKEA. Husband has named these Hazel, Hazelnut, and Nutella.  Hazel is the yellow with glasses, Hazelnut is blue, and Nutella is Red. 

The background is Kona Butter and the eyes and noses are Kona Black.  The hedgehog colors are Kona Lake, Malibu, Sunny, Lemon, Carnation, and Red.

This was goal #9 on my Q1 list of goals for the globally hosted Finish Along.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hazel & the Hedgehogs

Introducing...Hazel & the Hedgehogs!

I've been wanting to make my own version of Hazel Hedgehog for a while now.  I was particularly inspired by this version by Bendigo Lioness. I found it doing a google image search for "Hazel the Hedgehog Quilts."  I even stole the name she used!  I loved the bright print she used for Hazel's spikes.  I thought about it, and I remembered some marbled fabrics I bought at a quilt show right after I moved to Charlotte.  My packet had 10 different marbled fabrics that were 9" x 10".  Lucky for me, that meant I could make a single Hazel from each!
Hazel in progress
I love how the marbled fabrics work as the spikes.  I also like that I am now using this "special" fabric for a project.  I'm trying to move away from things being to special to use, and this is a great example.  These fabrics make me much happier as a finished project that I can look at!

I used the glasses for one Hazel because they are just too cute not to use!  As I mentioned, I had the name of the project before I started.  At first I thought Hazel & the Hedgehogs were a girl group from the 1960s, but I have decided that they are actually a Punk Band.  Because clearly Hedgehog Punk should be A Thing.
back view
Their status as a punk band is important when it comes to the back.  Since this will be a wall hanging, I was just looking to use something up, so I started ironing a green floral that I have no use for.  But then I realized that a punk band probably wouldn't use a grandma floral and I remembered a really bright, wild print that I bought at a quilt shop in MI when I was in grad school.  I have no idea why I even liked it, I find it rather too much now, but it seemed much more appropriate for a punk band.

Blue Hazel
I initially made 4 Hazels, but I ended up deciding to have the Hazels run vertically and 4 made it too long.  Which leaves me with Blue Hazel.  Blue Hazel will go into a pillow; I already made her some friends and I hope to have it done soon.  Since the wall hanging will go to my office for my wall of minis, the pillow will stay at my house and join our pillow menagerie so that I can have Hazel at home and at work.  Win!

Kona Butter is the background, Kona Black are the eyes & noses, and the colors in the Hazels are Kona Ballerina, Honeysuckle, Jade Green, Sage, Lavender, and Bright Periwinkle.  I tried an experiment and used 2 layers of batting.  I quilted around the edge of each Hazel and in between all the spikes and I was hoping the extra batting layer would help that stand out.  I don't think it did, though I haven't washed it yet--I'm worried how the marbled fabrics will hold up in the wash. 

I love it!  I can't wait to hang it up!  Rock on, Hazel!

Hazel & the Hedgehogs was on my list of Q1 goals in the globally hosted Finish Along.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Q1 Goals

I love the motivational link-up party that is the Finish Along.  I first discovered it in 2015 so this will be my third year participating.  Like last year, this year it has a number of hosts from around the world.

I break my goals into 3 categories: general quilts, mini quilts and pillows, and quilts for Project Linus.

General Projects and Gifts
1. Noodle's growth chart
When my brother & his family were visiting in December, I showed them Munchkin's growth chart and asked if they wanted one for my niece, Noodle.  The answer was an enthusiastic yes!  I gave my sister-in-law my stack of I Spy 2 1/2 strips as well as some yardage that I could cut a strip from and let her pick out what she wanted, and she picked solids from my Kona color card.

2. Rainbow name tag
I've been wanting to make a sewing-themed name tag for myself or a while. I mostly want it for my Project Linus meetings, because frankly it drives me nuts that we don't wear name tags, but I also see wearing to shows and other potential quit-related events. I have a pile of scraps set aside for this project.

3. Rainbow
A couple of years ago, I bought a Kona New Bright Palette Jelly Roll when it was the daily deal at Missouri Star Quilt Company.  The showed a picture of a rainbow quilt that was a class/project on Creative Bug.  I pieced the top over my winter break.

4. Doll Quilts
My niece has doll bunk beds that used to be mine.  But they don't have quilts!  So I need to fix that!  I plan to use I Spy scraps to make 2 doll quilts for the bunk beds.

5. Meadow Mystery
I've been doing the Meadow Mystery quilt hosted by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs.  The final layout instructions come out in early February.
Meadow Mystery November Clue

Mini Quilts & Pillows
Pillow Menagerie
I am slowly making us a menagerie of animal throw pillows four our couch, as I got rid of the big cushions that came with the couch because they were so big it was annoying.  The following are pillows I have patterns and fabric for, and I've spent time getting the pattern pieces enlarged and color coded.
6. Koala--pattern is from the zoo animals collection by Kristy @ Quiet Play
7. Giraffe--pattern is from the zoo animals collection by Kristy @ Quiet Play
8. Kangaroo--pattern by Juliet from The Tartan Kiwi
9. Hazel Hedgehog--I have an extra Hazel block from a mini I pieced over winter break and will turn it into a pillow.  (the block is Blue Hazel)

10. Hazel and the Hedgehogs
I've been wanting to do a Hazel the Hedgehog quilt for a while now.  I finally got it pieced and quilted over winter break; I just need to bind and label it.

11. batik hexies
This might be the project that never ends! My hand sewing batik hexie project is progressing slowly. I am currently sewing the back to the front. I'm sort of making up the finishing process as I go along, as I haven't found a tutorial for finishing hexies that completely works for me.

12. Mr. Bunny
I saw this quilt by Laurel @ Quilts by Laurel and I really wanted to make my own version to hang on our front door at Easter time.  She enlarged Elizabeth Hartman's Bunny block by 400%.  I think I will do mine by 300%; I've started working out the math so I don't make the same mistake as with my Piggie Pillow and have problems with seam allowances.

13. Blue Butterfly mini
I have one block from the Rainbow Scrap Challenge butterflies that did not make it into a quilt top.  This will become a mini for the wall of minis in my office.

Project Linus

14. Dinosaur Roar
This has been on my list since my first FAL goal-setting!  I finally got out this awesome dinosaur fabric and filled in the gap at one corner.  It is layered and ready for quilting; it will get some applique after I've done the grid quilt quilting.

15. Arrow
This was my first leader & ender project.  I've had the arrow pieced for a while, but I finally got it on a background.  This is layered and ready for quilting.

16. Braided Irish Chain with I Spy Scraps
Another leader & ender project that is layered and ready to be quilted.

17. Butterflies in the Sky
I made butterflies blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2016.  The bright butterflies are already in a quilt; the lighter ones are now in a top that is ready to be quilted.

18. Wizards & Stars
This one is cut and now in a "kit" that I can take to a Project Linus meeting and work on piecing.

19. Western/Cowboy Quilt
Another one that is cut and put together in a kit for Project Linus sewing.

20. Monopoly
And the third quilt-in-a-kit I have ready to go, this one with some Monopoly fabric my mom gave me a couple years ago.

I am well aware that I will not finish all of these.  But I never know what I am going to be in the mood to work on.  Here's hoping for a productive Q1!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Home Sweet Home

My first finish of 2017!

I do not generally participate in the Row by Row experience, but I am on the email mailing lists for the quilt shops in my metro area so I see their rows each summer.  The 2016 theme was "Home Sweet Home." One of my local shops designed a row that highlighted North Carolina and included the state outline with a heart cutout in our area, plus the state bird (cardinal) and state flower (dogwood).

Row from Sew Much Fun, Lowell, NC
I really liked the North Carolina symbols and of course dogwoods are my favorite!  (You can read why I have dogwood in the name of my blog here.)   So I made a trip to Sew Much Fun in Lowell, NC just to get the kit for their block.  The kit included the applique pieces with fusible web attached and already cut--saving the time of cutting out the applique shapes made it totally worth buying the kit!  Otherwise, there's a decent chance I would never have finished the project!

Since mine was going to be a stand-alone wall hanging instead of a row in a bigger quilt, I didn't make the log cabin blocks.  I cut out a background and layered it with batting and backing, then quilted a 2" diagonal grid.  (I thought I took a picture of this part, but I can't find it.)  Then I laid out the applique shapes and used a satin stitch to secure them, so that acted as additional quilting.  Here is my finished mini quilt:

It finished at 9 1/2" x 26".  I believe this is my 4th quilt that featurs dogwoods in some way.  It's a kit so I'm not sure of the fabrics, but Sew Much Fun sells mostly Moda so I suspect most are Bella Solids.  The dogwoods have a tiny pattern and might be grunge or something similar. The binding is Kona Pepper, leftover from Here, Fishy Fishy.

Close-up of North Carolina Applique
This was goal # 13 on my list of 2016 Q4 goals for the globally hosted Finish Along.  That linkup is still open so I'm linking up, even though I technically finished this in 2017.

2016 FAL

Monday, January 2, 2017

January OMG

I'm participating in the Meadow Mystery Quilt Along designed and hosted by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs, but the last clue I completed was September.  Today, I finished October.  That means I'm still 2 months behind, and the January clue comes out later this week.
October Clue
I want to get caught up, so I'm making it my One Monthly Goal for January.  I'm linking up with OMG at Elm Street Quilts.  My goal is finish the clues for November, December, and January.

Elm Street Quilts