Friday, April 30, 2021

Car trash bag

Over the years, I've made several car trash bags.  I use the pattern in the book One Yard Wonders by Patricia Hoskins & Rebecca Yaker, though I leave off the pocket and I line mine with PUL.  Both my car and Husband's car have one, though his is pretty stained and gross.  Making a replacement for his car has been on my perpetual to-do list for a while, and with travel by car an actual possibility now, I finally committed to getting it done.  

I gave him his choice of several novelty fabrics I had in my stash and he picked the sushi fabric.  I used some solid green for the binding at the top, and the ends connect with snaps.  It's not a fancy finish, but it's practical and it's nice to have a fresh, clean one for any upcoming trips.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Blooming Petals, an Island Batik Challenge

I am so, so excited about the finish I have to show off today!  April's challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors is "It's All Up To You" which makes it Ambassador's Choice.  As soon as I saw that, I knew what I wanted to make.  In my second-ever Ambassador's box back in July 2019, I was sent a fat quarter bundle of Petal Pushers by Kathy Engle. Petal Pushers has beautiful, rich pinks, purples, greens, and turquoise.  I've been saving it for something special, preferably for me to keep, for almost 2 years! 

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

Then last year I found the perfect pattern, Florabelle Blooms by Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting. Cathy of Crazy by Design made Floabelle Blooms in colors really similar to those in Petal Pushers.  I knew the moment I saw it, Florabelle Blooms was the perfect pattern for Petal Pushers!  April's challenge gave me the perfect excuse to make it.  And I've been wanting a generously-sized throw to put over myself when watching tv on the couch, so this is now my couch cuddling quilt!

On the back of my couch

Melissa's tutorial is really easy to follow.  I did substitute the Accuquilt Go! for the HSTs instead of using the trim-down method because it's so much faster.  I used the Accuquilt for most of the cutting, actually, as most of the pieces could be cut with my 8" cube.  I chose to make only 16 blocks instead of the original 20 for a quilt that finishes at 66" square.  I picked 16 of the 20 fabrics from Petal Pushers and used the neutral Sprinkles for the background.  I love Sprinkles, it's a fun dotted print.  There is a yellow in Petal Pushers but it felt flat compared to the other vibrant shades, so I used a blender in bright yellow for the squares in the sashing.  The binding is a basic called Grape.


Aurifil sent me color 2000/Light Sand in both 50wt and 40wt.  I used the 50wt for the piecing and the 40wt for quilting organic wavy lines.  I don't like my quilts densely quilted, so I used the 2" grid from the piecing as my registration lines for the quilting.  And I used Schmetz needles for the whole process; I never use any other needle.

Petal Pushers has some fun designs, like these strawberries

I absolutely love my new couch cuddle quilt!  Although Fire Monkey insists that it's for all of us, but it's big enough to cover 2 or 3 of us, so sharing isn't a problem.

on the couch, with bonus other Island Batik quilts behind us

I named it Blooming Petals, to incorporate part of the original pattern name and the fabric line.  And I do feel like it looks like flowers and petals blooming!

Thursday, April 22, 2021

In Which Emily Answers Some Questions

You've probably seen the Outstanding Blogger Award going around.  The idea is that it's given to quilt bloggers by quilt bloggers as a way to celebrate each other.  It's also a way to learn about each other, as each person bestowing the award asks a group of questions of their honorees.  I'm very delayed in responding to nominations by both Vicki of Vicki's Crafts and Quilting and Susan of QuiltFabrication. I'm honored to know that these fabulous bloggers have chosen me, and I'm sorry it has taken me so long to put together a post. 

First, Susan's questions:

What was your first quilt and do you still have it?
I do!  It's a pattern called "Chimney Sweep" from the book Marsha McCloskey's Quick Classic Quilts.  It's twin bed sized (I was a sophomore in college at the time, so it fit my dorm bed) and it's hand quilted--and I have not hand quilted a bed-sized quilt since!  The stitches are coming out because I didn't learn knotting my threads properly. 

What's the biggest quilt you ever made?

While I'm great at keeping records of the quilts I've made, I'm terrible at keeping size statistics so I don't actually know.  I don't enjoy making large quilts. It may well be the Ultimate I Spy Quilt that is on our queen bed.

Ultimate I Spy

Describe your dream sewing space.
I would love a large, open, dedicated space with lots of natural light.  I'd love to be able to have a large ironing/pressing station that could stay up all the time, and a design wall would be heavenly.  And of course lots of shelves and storage, maybe a quilt ladder to display some of my favorites.  I sew in our guest room and it's not a lot of space, I have to put everything away each night.

Dresden's Butterfly Garden, photo by K. Mellnik

What's your favorite color to work with and why?
My favorite color is purple and I love to work with it, but I'm realizing lately that I'm also really drawn to blues and greens, I think because they go really well with so many other colors. 


Lavender Waves

When you're not quilting, what occupies your time?
I feel like the answer is chores, chores, and more chores!  Seriously, though, I spend my time with my Husband and our 7-year-old son, Fire Monkey.  We like cooking, hiking, camping, and board games.  My mom moved to the area in November so we get to spend time with her now, and
I have a full-time job as a librarian at a community college. And you can probably guess that I like to read.


Now Vicki's Questions:

Do you like having a deadline or do you work better when you are not under pressure?
I think the honest answer here is that I do better with deadlines.  I wish that weren't true, but self-awareness is good!  That said, I get stressed if I have too many deadlines near each other and I feel less creative in those situations, so the trick is to have a balance of deadlines and time when I can work on whatever I want. 

Tropical Stars

Are you one who likes taking classes or do you enjoy figuring out how to do it on your own?
A little of both, I guess.  I do like classes, but I've struggled to take them because of my work schedule, and then when I got a better work schedule, I had a 15-month-old, so that's always been tricky.  I do think that the pandemic has moved a lot of teachers to an online format and I appreciate the opportunities for learning that way.  And I do a lot of learning via youtube! Quilt Alongs are also great for learning new things.

Rin was a quilt along in 2018

What is your favorite snack?
Hmmm, this changes from time to time.  I love Cheese-Its, and I have a sweet tooth for sure.

Cross-Stitched owl from middle school

 What is your first memory of learning how to sew?
If I take this literally as "sewing," then in my 7th grade home ec class.  My mom always said she was allergic to thread, so she didn't sew.  My dad could sew on buttons and that's about it.  I didn't particularly like sewing in home ec, though I also learned counted cross-stitch and I did like that.  I learned quilting in college; one of the extra-curriculars was a craft center and I took quilting at a time when I really needed a hobby and it stuck.  My first teacher was named Elaine Hartley.  I have extremely fond memories of walking across campus to go sew in the 2nd floor sewing room of an old use-to-be-a-house craft center.  

quilted, beaded heart by my first quilting teacher

Have you ever taught someone how to quilt?
My son sews with me sometimes and we have made some quilts together, so yes!  

Fire Monkey with one of his creations

What was your least favorite quilt you ever made?
I'm not sure about least favorite in terms of finished project, but my least favorite process was a quilt called Savanna that I signed up for as a class at a local shop because the blurb promised that if you were scared of sewing curves, this was the class for you.  Well, the class did not help me conquer my fear and that thing sat unfinished for 5 1/2 years until I finally forced myself to finish it.  



Thanks for sticking around and reading more about me!  I've been super behind on blogs, both mine and others, so I do not have a good sense of who has already been nominated as an Outstanding Blogger.  I know all my blogging friends are Outstanding, but let's face it, it's not practical to nominate 40 or more bloggers.  Here are a few that I don't think I've seen do an Outstanding Blogger post:

Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts
Gail of Quilting Gail
Carole of From My Carolina Home
Cathy of Crazy by Design

If you desire to participate, here are your questions:

  • Do you still have your first quilt?
  • What is something on your Quilty Bucket List?
  • Is there a color or fabric style that you really dislike working with?
  • Do you have a favorite traditional quilt block?
  • What one non-quilting thing about you that your readers might not know?

Friday, April 16, 2021

QuiltCon Class: Trapunto

I'm overdue on sharing so many things!  I did not mean to take a 2 1/2 week leave of absence from the blog!  I'll work on churning out some catch-up posts.  First on the list is my overdue report/review/recap of one of my QuiltCon classes, Trapunto with Tia Curtis.  Of my three instructors, Tia was the only one I was not familiar with before signing up for her class.  Trapunto is something I've heard of and seen but never tried.  To me, learning something completely new is the whole point of something like QuiltCon, so the trapunto class was at the top of my list.


I liked all three of my classes but this was probably my favorite.  First of all, Tia is a lot of fun.  She's funny!  This was a mini class, so slightly less recorded content (it was still 55 minutes of instruction) and only one live Q&A if you bought the enhanced class (which I did).  Tia taught 3 different trapunto and stuffing techniques plus one "cheater" method that is created only with quilting. 


Tia offered a kit for purchase directly from her, which was totally optional.  It was reasonably priced and included the materials she likes for these techniques, so I bought the kit.  Notice that the colors match the Pantone colors of the year: so 2021!

trying to show the height of the trapunto sections

When it came time to quilt the piece, because trapunto relies on pretty dense quilting to stick out, I was pretty nervous becuase I do not do free motion quilting.  I asked in the class chat and at the live session and Tia gave me some ideas for what I could do with a walking foot.  I tried it on my sample and got a lot of puckers.  Since this is just a sample piece, I decided I could switch quilting styles half way through to see the different looks.  So I free motioned the second half and actually liked it much better!  No puckers! I don't know if that means it's time for me to, yet again, give FMQ a try.  (I've tried and given up many, many times previously.)

after first step of quilting, going round and round and round and round

I'm excited to try some trapunto in a future project.  I don't have any specific projects in mind yet but I have a few ideas floating around in my head.

I mentioned that I've been absent from posting for 2 1/2 weeks; it seems my last post was the finished quilt for the Stay At Home Round Robin, or SAHRR.  Our hostess, Gail from Quilting Gail, has posted a parade of all the SAHRR finishes, go check it out!  I love seeing so many different interpretations of each round!