Thursday, May 30, 2019

Hidden Stars

I've been following Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting since discovering her through the new quilt blogger's blog hop a few years back.  Maybe a year ago, Sherry put out a request to her readers for pattern testers.  That's something I was interested in, so I volunteered.  The first pattern I tested was Hidden Stars and I just needed to make one block.  Which, of course, left me with an orphan block.  Then Sherry announced she was doing a Sew Along with her Hidden Stars pattern in early 2019.  Perfect!  I ended up falling behind the SAL but I did finally finish.

I used scrappy blues and Kona Stone for the background.  There are A and B blocks so I did lighter blues in block A and darker blues in block B.   Some of the blues came from the big stash of fabric I was given by the mom of one of my college friends as she de-stashed her craft supplies, and the binding fabric also came from that de-stash.  I really like the scrappy look of this version.

This is the crib size, the smallest included in the pattern.  This will go to my local Project Linus chapter.  Hidden Stars was on my list of projects needed for my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Quilting Gail and was #20 on my list of Q2 finish along goals.


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Guitars for a baby boy

I have two coworkers (married to each other) who told us last fall that they were expecting their first child in May.  Well, like many quilters,  as soon as I hear, "I'm pregnant!" I think, "I get to make a quilt!" I knew immediately what pattern I wanted to use.  Dad is a classical guitarist and there is a fabulous guitar pattern in the book Fat Quarter Baby by It's Sew Emma.  All the patterns in the book are baby names; this one is Kevin.

Baby Dante was born two weeks ago and I was able to visit yesterday to take him his quilt--and some dinner for mom & dad.  Dad the guitarist wasn't there but Mom's face lit up when she realized it was guitars, though she did warn me that Dad may use it more than Dante!

I put the fabrics together; this was not a bundle.  I used circles/dots as the unifying element.  This blue print was a fat quarter and I didn't get the selvage edge, so I have no idea what it was. 

The white with multi colored dots is from the line Confetti by Me & My Sister designs.  I originally bought a lime green dot print from the same line, but I had a lot of trouble when it came time to pick a background fabric.  So I switched the lime for a Kaffe Fassett spot print I had in my stash. The dots in the Kaffe print are a really good mach for Kona Honey Dew, which I used for the background.  The fret boards are a gray polka dot I already had-not sure what it was but I'm pretty sure it's by Moda.

The original pattern has a border of a different fabric.  I bought a yellow music print to use but once I had the guitars pieced, I didn't like the music with it.  So I added more Honey Dew instead and put the music notes on the back.

It wasn't quite big enough so I added a scrap of dog fabric as Dante joins two fur-babies in the household, and a scrap of train fabric because, frankly, it was the right size and what kid doesn't like trains?

Dante's gender reveal: at our annual work holiday party in December, we were all lined up to take a mandatory group photo.  A staff member took the picture so he put the camera on a timer so he could run into the photo.  As he was getting in place, mom-to-be called out, "Everyone say 'it's a boy!'"  The picture captured everyone's reactions.  It is the most genuinely gleeful staff photo I've ever seen.

I'm hoping this will be well loved for years to come!  Maybe Dante will be able to wrestle it away from his Dad!  This quilt was on my list of projects needed for my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Quilting Gail and was #4 on my list of Q2 finish along goals.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

May Bee Blocks

Diana of Red Delicious Life is the May queen in Stash Bee.  Diana asked for Stacked Squares blocks in shades of green and gray.  This was a super simple block that was quick to make.

The original block came from Moda Bake Shop but Diana is inspired by this version made by Kelly of My Quilt Infatuation.  Isn't this gorgeous?!  I can't wait to see Diana's version!

I think the math to put this together would drive me insane!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Make it Modern with Island Batik

I have a confession.  I don't consider myself a modern quilter.

Well, I guess that depends on your definition.  I live in the modern world, I use modern techniques, I like some aspects of a modern aesthetic. But the "Make it Modern" theme for May's Island Batik challenge had me worried if I could do something modern enough.  I had a plan for a courthouse steps variation that would work.  But I wasn't excited about it.  It would check the box but didn't feel like me, and that's not the point.  So I kept thinking about something modern that felt like me.  I was taking a walk by a river on a gorgeous day and there were all these turtles sunning themselves.  And it clicked.  Improv Turtles!!!!!!

I used the Turtle Block pattern by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts. The pattern is for two sizes, 4" x 10" and 8" x 20".  I made the smaller size.  I absolutely adore Lorna's patterns!

I decided to improv piece the shell part of the turtle and trim to size, then make the turtle block as directed.  I used the green/turquoise scraps from the Flea Market collection by Island Batik as well as any greens from my Island Batik stash builder rows.

For the turtle bodies, I used the lighter colors from Flea Market as well as some yellow from the stash builder rolls.  The background is a black batik solid.  The bright batiks pop so well against the black! These are essentially the same fabrics I used in the April challenge with a totally different look!
All Aboard the Accuquilt Express!

I really wanted to take the turtles out for a fun photo op.  Our Easter tradition is to go to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC (about 90 miles away).  So I finished up the binding in the car on the way to the zoo and set out to find the turtles.  This turtle statue meant I could put the quilt on a turtle without getting kicked out of the zoo!

One of my favorite non-animal parts of a zoo is a little garden with rocks painted to look like different animals.  There was a turtle-rock hanging out by the pond!

There are two huge Galapagos Tortoises at our zoo.  I was able to get one of them along a stretch of fence with no other visitors around.

There are also several much smaller radial tortoises.  These were harder to capture with pictures, but I did get two of them.

notice the feet of my short helper
The fabrics were provided to me by Island Batik and the batting was provided by Hobbs.  May's challenge is co-sponsored by Hobbs.  Since I had such a dark background, I used Hobbs black batting.  This was my first time using dark batting and I loved it!  No white puffs on my dark fabric!! And it quilted beautifully.
Hobbs black batting
The official challenge was, "Must incorporate one of the characteristics of modern quits as defined by the Modern Quilt Guild: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, alternative grid work."

 So let's break it down:
  • improvisational piecing
  • negative space 
  • solid color
  • bold colors/high contrast
  • asymmetrical (not on the list, but I feel like that's also a calling card of modern quilts)
So I guess I am a modern quilter!  Or I can at least veer into that territory occasionally.  I loved working making the turtles and even enjoyed the improv piecing for the shells.  I'm so glad I waited until I had a project that feels both modern and me!

This quilt was #5 on my list of Q2 finish along goals. It measures 40" x 44" and I'm calling it Modern Turtle Race. 

Edited to add: I'm choosing this as my Favorite Finish for the month of May and will be linking up with Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs for her linky party. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019


I like to have a hand stitching project on hand (pun intended!) when I travel.  I really enjoy embroidery and it makes a great traveling project.  This dandelion was my project for a few trips and I am thrilled to finally have it done!

Several years ago, my mother-in-law was traveling to Europe and asked me what I wanted her to bring me.  I told her I wanted quilting magazines.  Probably not the answer she expected but she delivered.  She brought me this German quilting magazine, Patchwork Professional, February 2014 issue. 

Now, I took German in high school but have lost most of it.  But I didn't need to be able to read it to enjoy the pictures!  This project really caught my eye:

They painted the stem and leaves and dandelion was machine embroidery.  I knew I didn't want to do either of those things, but the picture was fantastic inspiration.  I created my own dandelion using this one as a guide.

I love the shadow in this picture.
I stitched it using DMC Pearl Cotton #8 in White, Sunshine, Lime, Brown, and Dark Brown.  I haven't found a good place locally for hand embroidery supplies.  I bought the Pearl Cotton at the Earth Guild in Asheville.  The background fabric is Kona Niagara and the binding is Kona Leprechaun.  The backing is a fabric that my sister-in-law gave me a few years ago; the selvage is missing so I don't know what it is.  It has these floral spheres that I just love.

I've had the embroidery done for a while but wasn't sure how to quilt it.  I don't really do free motion so swirls around the floating seeds were not an option. I finally decided on straight lines.  I was worried that the quilting would catch on the embroidery stitches but it didn't! 

This quilt was on my list of projects needed for my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Quilting Gail and was #10 on my list of Q2 finish along goals.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

OMG: Postage Plus

I love novelty fabrics and I Spy quilts, so it's no surprise that I have a lot of novelty scraps.  I'm always looking for good projects for those scraps and bonus if they can also be used as leaders and enders.  Last fall I worked on turning my 2 1/2" squares into the blocks needed for Postage Plus from the book Modern Plus Sign Quilts by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs and Paige of Quilted Blooms.

Isn't it fun to see what you can see??

I finally got out those blocks and completed the top.  I'd love to have this one done, so I'm setting finishing it as my One Monthly Goal (OMG) with Patty of Elm Street Quilts.  

May OMG link-up is open!!