Saturday, February 27, 2021

QuiltCon Together: General Recap

A week ago, I was halfway into a delightful 5 days of QuiltCon Together.  Originally, QuiltCon 2021 was supposed to be in Atlanta.  Atlanta is about 4 hours from me, so I planned to attend.  When 2020 hit in all its glory, the Modern Quilt Guild announced pretty early that they were pivoting to a virtual event for 2021.  

While it was of course disappointing to not get to see & meet my online quilting friends in person, there were a lot of advantages to the virtual format.  Not having to travel, no paying for a hotel, eating in my kitchen, no lines for the bathroom, all my tools and fabric with me--these are just some of the advantages.  I took 4 days off work so I had a total of 6 consecutive days with QuiltCon as my main focus.

I registered for three classes and four lectures.  The classes were pre-recorded with the ability to submit questions to the instructor and I chose to add live sessions with the instructors too.  I added it up and my classes had a total of 303 minutes of instruction time.  That's over 5 hours!  And that doesn't even count the live Q&A with instructors.  I plan to do an individual post about each class as I finish class samples, so I may be stretching out QuiltCon as blog subject matter for most of March!

The lectures were also pre-recorded though they were shown at set times, followed by a live Q&A with the presenter.  The nice thing about this was that you could ask a question via chat during the presentation and the presenter could respond via chat.  It also meant technical difficulties were minimized.  These were the lectures I took:

The What Ifs...Working in a Series with Timna Tarr
Understanding the Rainbow: Applying Color Theory with Lee Chappell Monroe
Quilt Photography Overview with Julie Schoening
Walk and so Much More with Your Walking Foot with Jacquie Gering

I also attended both the announcement of the winners the night before the event started and the closing ceremonies.  I wanted to get every moment of QuiltCon that I could!  There was even a virtual vendor hall.  They did an amazing job of capturing the quilts in the show and for some of them, you could hear an audio clip of the maker talking about their quilt.

The Modern Quilt Guild got a lot of feedback on the positives of a virtual event--did I mention they had attendees from 39 countries??--and in the closing remarks said that they heard loud and clear that a virtual component is in demand.  I'm really curious how they will incorporate possible virtual events once the live event becomes the main focus again.  

I hope you didn't mind this wordy post with no pictures!  I look forward to sharing the details of my classes/workshops and what I made with the new techniques I learned.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Round Robin Round #6 -- Log Cabins

Welcome to round six of the Stay At Home Round Robin!  This week it was up to Susan from Quilt Fabrication to tell us what to add and she picked log cabins.

You may notice that I don't have a photo here to show you my log cabin round.  That's because I tried two different ways of incorporating log cabins into my top and I didn't really like either of them.  So after trying to make it work and deciding it didn't, I chose to skip this round.  I checked with the other hosts to be sure that skipping was ok, and we agreed that these quilts are very much individual and that's part of what we are loving about this process, therefore it was ok to skip if that's what the maker determined the quilt needed.  So, if you are not feeling a round or you are concerned about size, it is ok to skip, combine, or otherwise make it your own!

Here's a reminder of where I left off after last week's prompt of stars.  Next week is our last row, so whatever Gail chose to finish us off is what will show up in those empty corners.  If you are sewing along, be sure to link up with Susan at Quilt Fabrication.

Here are all the stops of the Stay at Home Round Robin so far.  Join us next week to see the final row!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

first blocks of Boho Heart

I have been working on my blocks for Boho Heart, a pattern by Jen Kingwell & Andrea Bair.  I've been wanting to make this quilt since last summer and I was lucky enough to find a quilt along starting February 1st hosted by Anne of Said With Love.  Anne has divided the blocks into ten groupings/weeks with two built-in catch-up weeks.  I started on the second week, so I actually made those blocks first.

These blocks all use HSTs and I was luck that they are all 2" finished HSTs because I have the accuquilt die for that.  Not having to trim the dog ears helps tremendously!  I am going full scrappy with these, using whatever calls to me in the moment from my Island Batik fabrics and scraps. 

I also made most of the blocks for week one.  I am missing Gardenvale, and I need to make two of them.  They will have to wait until after QuiltCon, as that will be my focus for the next five days.  I accidentally double cut the squares for some of the 4-patches so there are eight of those and I only need five.  I can figure out later if I want to use them all or if some will be extras.  


The neighbor's cat, Boba, crashed my photo shoot!

I set my One Monthly Goal as finishing at least twelve blocks for Boho Heart.  If you count all the 4-patches, I've made twenty-two, or nineteen if you subtract the extras.  Since February is a short month, I'm not sure that I'll be able to make more blocks before the end of the month, so I'm calling my OMG a success and will link up with Patty of Elm Street Quilts once the linky is open.  

Monday, February 15, 2021

Round Robin #5 -- Stars

Welcome to the 5th round of the Stay at Home Round Robin!  This week it was Wendy from Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life's turn to pick, and she picked stars.  Well, she actually picked wonky stars, but I am not a wonky gal.  I planned non-wonky stars pretty much from the start, though I did mention that to Wendy at some point.  She assured me that non-wonky stars are perfectly fine, so choose the type of star that works for you!

I went with classic saw tooth stars.  I still had some of the fabulous tree print from Glacier View after using most of it on the back of my Whimsical Woods placemats and I thought the trees would be an excellent focal print for the center of my stars.  I did not have enough of any one print for the points or backgrounds so they are intentionally scrappy.  You can see that I did not fill in the corners, those will be a future round. 


If you are sewing along, be sure to link up with Wendy.  Here is the complete schedule for the Round Robin.  Have more questions?  Gail has lots of answers that you can find here

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Lavender Waves - Create for a Cause with Island Batik

Welcome to my stop on Island Batik's Create for a Cause blog hop!  This hop highlights Island Batik's newest collections that are available in stores now.  I was sent the absolutely beautiful Lavender Fields collection, a gorgeous array of purples and pale blues.  


Lavender Fields was designed by Kathy Engle and is a signature collection for Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis. 

The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik, Accuquilt, Aurifil, Schmetz, and Hobbs.  

photo by K. Mellnik

I've had bargello on my quilty bucket list and I decided that Lavender Fields would be perfect for a bargello.  I've mentioned that I'm learning to use EQ8 and that I've been doing the lessons Tech Know Quilters with Kari Schell of On Point Quilter.  One of the monthly themes was bargello quilts and I used the lessons to create what I am calling Lavender Waves.  I am happy with how it turned out and definitely think I'll make more bargello style quilts in the future!

photo by Kate Mellnik

It's been cold for North Carolina here but I had a date to meet my friend Kate to go walking and take quilt pictures last Friday.  It ended up being a little rainy so we stayed local instead of going to a state park, but there were some lovely spots on the greenway.  Kate has photographed several of my Island Batik projects and her photos are always amazing!

photo by K. Mellnik

I used my Accuquilt and the 2 1/2" strip die to cut strips from 19 of the 20 fabrics.  I originally had all 20 in the bargello itself but decided that one was a little too dark and stood out too much, so I swapped it for a repeat of a lovely dark purple with poppies. I used that 20th fabric as the binding, so all 20 are in the quilt and visible. This measures 47" x 49".

Before I started piecing my strip sets I put a brand new Schmetz chrome needle in my machine.  I did my piecing with Aurifil 6732 Earl Gray and the quilting with Aurifil 5003 Wine.  For the quilting, I wanted to mimic the motion of the quilt so I did straight lines that swept up and down on each fabric, hoping to convey the Lavender Waves feeling I named the quilt for.  The batting is Hobbs Heirloom 100% cotton.

photo by K. Mellnik

The theme for this hop is Create for a Cause, so we are charged to create a quilt to donate to the organization of our choice.  This will go to one of the organizations in North Carolina that supports survivors of human trafficking.  I hope it brings hope and comfort to someone.

Bonus Donations

I've had this quilt done for a few weeks, and last Thursday I was starting to think about my quilt guild's current charity project.  This year we are making placemats to donate to Friendship Trays (a Meals on Wheels organization) so recipients will get something pretty along with their meal.  I remembered that I had some of my strip set left over, so I got it out to see if it could become a bonus donation.  I guessed that I could get 3 placemats out of strip set, so that became my Sunday sewing project.  I figured out the best way to separate the strips into smaller groups and added Island Batik's gray solid.  It was fun to play around with the leftovers! It's a modern guild so two of these are intentionally off-center and I used a different quilting design for each.



And now for a giveaway!  I've put together a small prize package with 2 fat quarters from an older Island Batik collection called Petal Party (the rest of the collection will be in my April project), a package of Schmetz chrome needs, a Schmetz pocket guide, a Schmetz luggage tag for when traveling is ok again, and a magnetic wand for pins.  Island Batik has a giveaway each week during the blog hop, you can enter this week's contest for a precut of Mystery, which will be featured this Thursday on the hop.

prize package

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit Jennifer from The Inquiring Quilter and check out what she made with Lavender Fields.  And you can find the full blog hop schedule here

photo by K. Mellnik



Monday, February 8, 2021

Round Robin Round #4 -- Checkerboard

Here we are at the mid-point of the Stay At Home Round Robin.  Roseanne and Sue of Home Sewn By Us got to pick this round and they chose Checkerboard.  


This was probably the most straight-forward round for me.  The only decision I needed to make was whether to use a three-row checkerboard or a two-row checkerboard.  I did the math based on what I had before this round and a two-row checkerboard plus a 1" border after would give me a piece 32" square, setting me up really well for numerical flexibility in the next round, so two-row checkerboard it was!

I'm using Island Batik's Glacier View collection and since I've made two projects from these fabrics already, I'm dealing with leftovers at this point.  I wanted the checkerboard to be consistent and not scrappy so I used Sprinkles (white) and Navy, both Island Batik Foundations.  Then the blue border after this round is Blueberry, the same blue as the polar bear's background in the center.

If you are sewing along, be sure to link up with Roseanne and Sue at Home Sewn By Us.  Here is the complete schedule for the Round Robin.  Have more questions?  Gail has lots of answers that you can find here

Friday, February 5, 2021

OMG: A Start to Boho Heart

Last August, a neighboring quilt guild had a (virtual) session with Jen Kingwell and they generously allowed guests to join them for a $10 donation to their local food bank.  Well, win/win!  I have never done any of her patterns before and while I've seen some beautiful Gypsy Wife quilts, that pattern had never spoken to me.  But during part of her presentation, there was a new quilt behind her, Boho Heart, just released. (Pattern was co-written with Andrea Bair)  I could not get this quilt out of my head!  I thought about it for three days, then bought the pattern!


From what I had heard from those who had done Kingwell's Gypsy Wife, the best way to do her patterns is in a Quilt Along.  And lucky for me, Said With Love is hosting one!  She's got a weekly schedule that is a little ambitious for me, and February is a busy month with lots to work on.  So I'm setting my One Monthly Goal with Patty of Elm Street Quilts as finishing a minimum of 12 blocks for Boho Heart.  The blocks are in a wide range of sizes and I'm setting no size expectation, just 12 blocks. I'll be using Island Batik scraps for this; I think the bright, saturated colors will be perfect.  I can't wait to get started! 

Monday, February 1, 2021

Round Robin #3--Flying Geese

Welcome to the third border in our Stay At Home Round Robin!  This week it is Anja's turn to choose and she picked flying geese.  You will find the linky party this week at Anja Quilts.  

Flying Geese was one round where I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  In last December Island Batik Ambassador project, Gail used a Migrating Geese technique that I really liked the look of.  Deb Tucker's Studio 180 design has a Technique Sheet with the details of this technique in various sizes.  I was lucky enough to have time to wait, so I ordered the sheet.  It has the measurements for 7 different sizes. I used the smallest size for mine, with geese finishing at just 1" tall.  I added a 1" border after the geese to give it some definition from the next round.  I'm finding that I like these small borders for the visual break they give.

I used two different fabrics for my geese but they have the same basic color, so it looks like they are the same.  If I had to do it over again I'd make the geese more scrappy but I'm not unhappy with it, so it's staying as is.  I didn't like the look of the geese going into the corners so I kept the cornerstones solid/blank.  I tried making more plus signs for these cornerstones but that looked terrible, so I didn't add them in.  I'm not sure I like them blank, either, so something may get added into those corners before I call the project done.  We shall see.  

I'm so excited to see so many people playing along!  I haven't gotten to visit everyone who linked up last week but I promise, I'm still coming!  In the mean time, have fun with your flying geese!  Here's the schedule for what is still to come:

Have more questions?  Gail has lots of answers that you can find here