Sunday, May 31, 2020

Sunset Radiance

I've seen the quilts from the annual quilt along hosted by Sandra of mmm! Quilts for the last several years, but never joined in.  This year, though, the design really spoke to me.  And when I learned it could be made with a jelly roll, I knew the stars had aligned.  I had a strip pack of Island Batik's Sunset Blooms that was essentially burning a hole in my pocket, if fabric can do that.

The hardest part of the Centered pattern for me was figuring out the placement of my fabrics.  I used Sandra's coloring chart to figure out placement of the three color families in Sunset Blooms (teals, purples, and yellows) but didn't choose specific fabrics until I cut each block group.  The Quilt Along was perfectly paced and I really like the size of the finished quilt--I like my throw quilts smaller than many, so the 40" square seems really versatile for me--could still be a baby or kid quilt, but can also go over the legs when sitting on the couch or in bed. 

I absolutely love the finished quilt!  If I were starting over, I might keep each corner with exactly the same fabrics instead of the mirrored blocks that I ended up with--I know you can tell it's a little on the scrappy side in the corners where the fabric colors are the same but the prints are different, and I'm not sure I like that as much as I would a consistent corner.  But the limitations of working with a precut is I only had so much of each print. And who knows, maybe if I had done each corner the same I would be wishing I had symmetry!

Bottom Left
Bottom Right
I named this Sunset Radiance, to honor both the name of the fabric line and how the pattern radiates out from the center.  I wanted the quilting to also radiate out from the center.  My original plan was straight lines radiating from the center, much like Sandra did on her original, but I couldn't figure out a way to make it work that I could do and achieve the look I wanted.  So I did a large spiral that starts in the center instead--always one of my favorite quilting motifs, and it's fairly fast to do.  It also gave me the look I wanted of the quilting radiating outward from the center.

I set finishing the top for Sunset Radiance as my One Monthly Goal with Patty at Elm Street Quilts, with the understanding that I was really hoping to complete it.  And I did!  This is my 18th completed project in 2020.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Beep Beep Vroom Vroom

In January I joined the Charlotte chapter of the Modern Quilter's Guild.  Their charity project for 2020 is quilts for the kids who get meals from Friendship Trays. Friendship Trays delivers food to elderly or infirm individuals who can't obtain or prepare their own meals (similar to meals on wheels but without an age limit).  Friendship Trays includes delivery to families and it is estimated that at any given time, about 150 children ages 2-5 in the Charlotte metro are among the recipients.

Of course kids' quilts are my favorite thing to make!  I have lots of I Spy squares and for this one, I went with a theme.  I picked out 48 I Spy squares with any kid of car/truck/vehicle on them and sewed them together randomly as a leader and ender project.

With trucks, styled by Fire Monkey
I really wanted a center with some truck noises.  I used my Accuquilt alphabet die for the letters.  Beep Beep is in Kona Storm and Vroom Vroom is in Kona Lagoon. The background and binding are Kona Tan. 

The back is a fun Hot Wheels print that my mom gave me years ago.  It's perfect for this quilt! This is finish 17 for the year as I attempt to complete 52 projects in 2020. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Ultimate I Spy: It's Cool to be Square blog hop

When Carol from Just Let Me Quilt put out the call for her It's Cool to Be Square blog hop, I had a couple possible projects in mind.  What I really wanted to use was a quilt that's been a UFO for at least 3 years and it seemed unlikely that I could finish it in time, but I always had it in mind as my goal, my stretch, to finish it.  After all, it has 306 squares--that must qualify, right?!

So what is this monstrosity that you are looking at?  I'm calling it the Ultimate I Spy Quilt.  See, I've had a thing for I Spy quilts for many years now, since before my son was born.  I've made many, including a twin size each for my son (predates blog), my niece, and my mom

Our bed was the only bed in the house that didn't have a quilt I made on it.  Part of that is I hate making large quilts, but more of it was that I never knew exactly what I wanted to make.  When I was working on my niece's I Spy (back in 2016!) I realized that I love I Spy quilts so much, that was what I really wanted.  I asked Husband and he agreed.

I've done many I Spy swaps over the years and almost all of them swapped 5" squares, so that's what I have the most of.  I did the math and I would need 306 squares for my queen-sized I Spy adventure.  I kept track of objects in a spreadsheet to avoid duplicates as much as possible. Many have personal significance: there are at least two fabrics I bought in Alaska on our honeymoon, there are some in-jokes and favorite things and fabrics that represent people in our lives, including a firetruck for the Fire Monkey, of course!

Because it's so large (99" x 95") it was difficult to get a good picture.  But doesn't it look great on the bed!  I just love looking at it!!

The sashing is Kona Steel. I bought it when I first started working on this and when I got to the end, I didn't have enough for the binding. I'm trying not to buy fabric and I was worried about dye lot variation, so I knew I'd need something else for the biding.  I really liked the dark blue cross-hatch wide back fabric I bought for the back, and when I laid it out I had enough to bind from the backing fabric.  I had never done that before.  I found this tutorial helpful. I didn't love the technique and wouldn't do it again on a quilt this large, though maybe on a smaller quilt I would have an easier time making it look neat.

I found Waldo!
This was on my list for earning my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Gail of Quilting Gail. I will also link up with Tish of Tish's Adventures in Wonderland for her next UFO Busting linkup.  In my quest to finish 52 projects this   year, this is finish #16.

Be sure to check out all the It's Cool to be Square projects this week!  And if you're like me, you're singing the hit by Huey Lewis & The News as you hop: It's Hip to Be Square!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Creating a Quilted Legacy

Today I'm honored to be participating in a blog hop to honor quilter Paula Budinger, who passed away earlier this year.  Paula blogged at Paula B Quilts and donated many of her quilts to organizations such as Project Linus and Jack's Basket.  This would have been her birthday week, so a group of quilters got together to each finish a quilt in Paula's honor to be donated to the charity of the maker's choice as a way to celebrate Paula's generosity.

The pattern is Andrew from the book Fat Quarter Baby by It's Sew Emma. (All the quilts in the book have baby names.) It's a great, fun pattern and it goes together quickly.  I used a selection of blue fabrics from Island Batik.  The background fabric is also Island Batik and I love the swirls; it adds to the ocean feel.

I quilted it with wavy lines to look like ocean waves.  For the back, I used a 1-yard flannel cut that I found and had forgotten about.  It's boats on an ocean with sea monsters, so I thought it appropriate. Unfortunately, it runs sideways as compared to the top so the ocean wave quilting isn't lined up with the ocean on the back, but I decided that it didn't matter.

This quilt will go to the Charlotte Modern Quilter's Guild 2020 charity project: quilts for the kids who get meals from Friendship Trays. Friendship Trays delivers food to elderly or infirm individuals who can't obtain or prepare their own meals (similar to meals on wheels but without an age limit).  Friendship Trays includes delivery to families and it is estimate that at any given time, about 150 children ages 2-5 in the Charlotte metro are among the recipients. I hope Paula would approve.

Paula Budinger
Did I mention this blog hop has prizes?!  You get one entry per comment on each participating blog honoring Paula. The more blogs you visit, the more chances to win!  Here are the prizes:
And here's the full schedule of the blog hop:

Wednesday, May 6
Karen @ KaHolly
Kate @ Smiles From Kate
Thanks for visiting today!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Ultimate Home Decor Blog Hop (plus giveaways!)

I'm so excited that it's finally my day to show you what I made with my surprise Winter collection.  Keep in mind, my ambassador box arrived in December, before Christmas.  And when I realized that the Winter collections were for a home-decor themed hop AND saw what collection I had, I knew pretty much right then what I would make.  A Christmas tree skirt!

My surprise collection was Glacier View, a lovely collection of blues with a winter theme designed by Kathy Engle.  The designs include penguins, moose, snowflakes, trees, and other nature-inspired designs.  I love that it's winter-y without being red and green.  There are so many possibilities of what I could do for winter decor!

Glacier View
Of course since I was thinking about all this at Christmas time, it meant my tree was up, which meant my tree skirt was out.  Except it wasn't a tree skirt, as one of my friends pointed out years ago, it was a tree coaster--no opening.  I've been wanting to make myself a real tree skirt for years, and it was all starting to come together.  On Black Friday I bought the Daily Deal from Missouri Star Quilt Company that was a new template for a quilt-as-you-go hexagon.  They did a You Tube tutorial on this template and one of the samples was a tree skirt.  And then less than a month later, I get the perfect fabric!  Meant to be!

Aren't those penguins the cutest??
My husband gave me EQ8 for my birthday (also last December).  I'm still learning how to use it, but I was able to play around and get a hexagonal top that I could fill in with fabric swatches.  This gave me a basic layout of the hexagons on the front. Glacier View has 21 prints and I used them all.

Since this is quilt-as-you-go, the back also shows on the front as the skinny sashing around each hexagon.  I was careful in my planning as to how the backing fabrics would look on the front, but not on the back.  So imagine my surprise when I finished it and realized that the back looked like a snowflake!  I love this almost as much as the front!  I knew the finished tree skirt would be reversible due to the nature of quilt-as-you-go but this was even better than I expected!

I used scraps of Hobbs batting leftover from other projects.  Don't tell the quilt police, but I used a combination of Heirloom 80/20 and Heirloom 80/20 bleached batting.  This was great for using up leftover batting bits. 

Items used in this project were provided to me by Island Batik, Hobbs, Aurifil, and Schmetz.

Before stitching, I started with a brand new Schmetz Microtex needle, Chrome.  These babies are sharp!  For piecing the hexies, I matched my thread to the backing fabric that folded over and shows on the front.  I used 1128, 2770, and 2785, all in 50 weight.  Then to join them, I needed a thread that worked with ALL the background fabrics, since the stitching would be zigzag and the fabrics touched, so the stitching would both show and be against multiple fabrics at the same time.  I landed on 2735 as the best color compromise.  Both the 2735 and the 2770 came from the Como Color Builder that Aurifil sent.

I'm really quite pleased with the finished tree skirt!  And I love that the quilt-as-you-go nature of this project meant that when I finished the piecing, I had a finished tree skirt!

You'll have to forgive the lack of Christmas tree in the photo shoot!  I had planned to try to find a store that has a tree set up year round but, well, stores are closed, and so is access to the local parks.  I have one evergreen tree in my yard and it's small.  So I switched to the Japanese maple in front of the house for a pop of color.  Even though this is a Christmas decor object, I took these photos on Easter Sunday!  Here's a peek at the bunny on my door :)

Now for a giveaway!  I have a fabulous winter-themed Glacier View set of fabrics: 3 fat quarters and 3 strips about 13" x WOF.  Leave me a comment to enter, and visit me on facebook for another entry.  Contest runs through the blog hop which ends May 26th.  You can comment about anything, but if you need a prompt tell me about a home decor or other non-quilt project you've made.
Prize package!  WOF strips on the left, fat quarters on the right
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And Island Batik is giving away a precut bundle of gorgeous Cascadia fabric designed by Claudia Pfeil this week! That's a pack of 10" squares AND a strip pack of 2 1/2" strips.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please visit my fellow Island Batik Ambassador Megan Best of Best Quilter to see the gorgeous wall hanging and table runner set she made with Glacier View.  And be sure to check out all the Ambassadors this month for some beautiful fabrics and amazing home decor projects!  And Island Batik posts a new precut giveaway every Friday during the hop!

May 4
Janet Yamamoto ~ Whispers of Yore
Carol Moellers ~ Carol Moellers Designs
May 5
Carolina Asmussen ~ Carolina Asmussen
Suzy Webster ~ Websterquilt
May 6
Megan Best ~ Best Quilter
Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood
May 7
Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs
Denise Looney ~ For the Love of Geese
May 11
Pamela Boatright ~ Pamela Quilts
Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde
May 12
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Sandra Walker ~ mmm! quilts
May 13
Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail
Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack’s Blog
May 14
Vasudha Govindan ~ Storied Quilts
Carla Henton ~ Create in the Sticks
May 18
Joanne Hart ~ Unicorn Harts
Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations
May 19
Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for Quilts
Sally Manke ~ Sally Manke
May 20
Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter
Jennifer Strauser ~ Dizzy Quilter
May 21
Sharon Riley ~ Sew Riley Designs
Alison Vermilya ~ Little Bunny Quilts
May 25
Gail Renna ~ Quilt Haven Threads


Saturday, May 2, 2020

Centered--first blocks

I've decided to follow along with Sandra of MMM Quilts on the quilt along for her quilt Centered.  I liked the design when I first saw it, and when I realized you could use a jelly roll, I was sold.  I have a strip set of Sunset Blooms by Island Batik from my most recent Ambassador box and it's been burning a hole in my pocket, so to speak.  Here are the first half of my blocks, in the arrangement they will be in the completed quilt:

The color representation in this photo isn't the greatest but it gives you an idea of the range of colors.  I'm loving this so much!  I've seen Sandra's QALs in the past but have never played along.  This was the year, and the fabric!

Center of Centered
The color representation is more accurate in this photo of the center blocks.  Sandra is doing a clue a week, released on Fridays.  These 8 blocks sewed up fairly quickly once I figured out how I wanted my fabric placement, so there is still time if you want to join in the fun.

These will not be placed together like this.
I'm using Centered as my OMG, or One Monthly Goal, in the linky party hosted by Patty of Elm Street Quilts.  I'll consider my goal met if the top is completed but truth be told, I'd really like to finish this in May.