Tag Archives: academic quilter

Choices, Choices – 2018 Quilt Along Decisions

It is my hope to be a bit more mindful this year.  Maybe sew with more intention or planning.  Time is precious and I want to use it wisely.  To this end, I have been looking at the myriad of quilt alongs and block of the month programs popping up in our community.  Just search on 2018 QAL and you will get approximately 16 million hits.  (Truth – when I did the search, I got 16,200,000 results. Of course many are duplicates or things that don’t totally match my search criteria, but still – you get the idea.) But after checking out many of the opportunities I have decided on two.

My criteria were to have one scrappy project to use up some stash and for any program to be a monthly one.  I did the Sewcial Bee Sampler this year which was great, but a block a week sets a different pace. I want to make a monthly plan this time around.

Classic Stitches Row Quilt, February 2016

First on the list is this. Mari of Academic Quilter has hosted a quilt along/block of the month for the past three years.  I joined in with her first one which was a row quilt. (Above is the finished quilt from the Classic Stitches QAL.) She coordinates her QAL’s with Angela at So Scrappy and uses the monthly colors for the annual Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I didn’t participate in the last two QAL’s because the blocks were more challenging than I was comfortable with.  But this year, Mari assured me the blocks were based on squares and not very fussy. (I am not a fussy quilter who likes to deal with 9 billion tiny pieces.)  This will be a block of the month and begins in January. I am happy to, once again, follow along with Angela’s RSC 18 plan and use my scraps. I sort of missed that interaction last year and my scrap bins hardly close so I clearly need to use them.  I know Mari well and she writes an excellent tutorial. Probably due to her long time teaching career, she is able to clearly explain the process and when I had questions she responded quickly. Per a recent post on her blog, Mari plans to announce the details for the 2018 QAL tomorrow, Saturday, December 30th.

Aurifil 2014 BOM; Quilt Top

Next on my agenda is the Aurifil Design Team’s annual QAL.  Each year Aurifil sponsors a fun QAL with a team of creative quilt designers.  Wonderful boxes of Aurifil thread are given as prizes each month.  Maybe this year is the year I win one?!?  The last time I followed along with an Aurifil QAL was in 2014.  I made the colorful quilt shown above using (mostly) Malka Dubrowsky’s fabrics.  It is one of my favorites because of the bold color scheme.

Hosted by Pat Sloan, this year’s event will be themed “The Places We Go” and blocks will be inspired by places the quilt design team has been.  I am curious to see how the blocks created by this team relate to the theme.  So many talented quilters are on the team this year.  Take a look:

2018 Aurifil Design Team

Jan – Katja Marek from Katja’s Quilt Shoppe
Feb – Scott Hansen from Blue Nickel Studios
Mar – Jo Avery from My Bear Paw
Apr – Yvonne Fuchs from Quilting Jetgirl
May – Minki Kim from Minki Kim
June – Kerry Goulder from Kid Giddy
July – Sherri McConnel from A Quilting Life
Aug – Rebecca Bryan from Bryan House Quilts 
Sept – Sharon Holland from Sharon Holland Designs
Oct – Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill from Whole Circle Studio
Nov – Sue O’very from Sue O’very Designs
Dec – Amy Sinibaldi from Nana Company

The designers are using black and white with a splash of color.  I am not sure if I will follow along or if I will change the pallet.  I do plan to use my scraps though so my colors will likely be based on which of my scrap bins are overflowing the most! I will need to make a decision soon though so I can get started in January.

These two monthly events should be easily integrated into my ongoing sewing.  I find interesting how after looking through the numerous events that are starting up, I ended up choosing two that I have already done.  Is it because I was successful and enjoyed them that I choose to do them again?  Or because I am timid and not wanting to venture out and try something different? Either way, I am looking forward to these. If you are planning to follow either of these QAL’s, let me know.  I would love to sew along with you!!

I am off to the sewing room.  Last night was a migraine night so I am running at half speed today.  But I have a bit of quilting left to do on a baby quilt and really hope to finish it before we turn to 2018.  Maybe I will have another post this year sharing this finish.  Wish me luck!!

 

 

Row Quilt Top Finished

I am so excited to show you the top and backing for my Classic Stitches Row Quilt.  It was (just over) a year in the making and it looks great. Thank you again to Mari over at Academic Quilter for hosting this BOM throughout 2015 and posting 11 awesome tutorials.

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I sashed it with 1″ (finished) strips of a plain cream fabric that I had in my stash. I had planned to do a colorful border after the sashing but it is already 60″ x 70″ and since I plan to quilt it at home, I decided that was big enough. (It was quite windy when I took these photos so they aren’t the best.)

For the backing, I found a cute blue floral print on a clearance table for a great price. I held my blue ‘Broken Dishes’ row back (to control the length of the quilt overall) and pieced it into the backing.

I am very happy with the way the back looks. I definitely learned my lesson with this Broken Dishes row. It was the first row in the project and I mixed too many scraps within each block. I didn’t realize that mixing the prints and values this way would cause the block to lose the pattern. I feel like it doesn’t even look like the traditional Broken Dishes pattern, but rather like a Pinwheel block instead. This was a good lesson to learn and I didn’t mix the scraps as much in the later rows.

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Overall, I call this project a success and will be basting and quilting it soon.  I have just about finished quilting the brightly colored baby quilt (made from those blocks I found at the thrift store). But once that is done, I will move on to finishing up this row quilt.

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This project is my second quilt made while following along Angela’s Rainbow Scrap Challenge. You can see the first one here. My RSC challenges for 2016 will be two projects that have a modern slant. For one, I be using a pattern called Pretty Gemstones, designed by Cynthia Brunz and published in the latest McCall’s Quilting magazine. I just bought the background fabric so I canstart piecing it soon.

Pretty Gemstones

Isn’t this a pretty quilt? I look forward to working on it. I have a second project in mind using improv fabric made from my scraps. There are all sorts of ways to do this and I haven’t quite decided what to do. At this point, I am making the fabric slabs and will wait to see what sort of quilt evolves from them.  The color for January is Icy Blue and I have some perfect scraps for it!

Wishing you all a great weekend! We have enjoyed  (lots of) rain and snow all week long in much of California. Some flooding is occurring in Southern California but up in the northern end of the state, we are all fine – just really appreciating the rain.

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict this week. Both links are available at the top of the page, under “Link Ups”.

Orange Opulence

Another row is complete. Thanks to Mari at Academic Quilter, I now have nine rows done for my Classic Stitches BOM quilt. This is, as you probably know since I have explained it many a time, my project for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge that Angela sponsors each year at So Scrappy. It is pretty nice having all of this spelled out for me each month. Angela dictates the color and Mari gives me a block. No decision making on my part except for what scraps to use and what size to make the blocks. Easy peasy.

Orange has never been my favorite color. However, with a bit of on-line research using a very intellectual website, Signology.org, I found out that I do (should?) have a significant connection to the color orange.  It seems that, according to the Thai solar calendar, Thursday is associated with the color orange. Accordingly, people born on Thursdays may adopt orange as their primary color (whatever that means – does one have to wear only orange, live in an orange house, eat lots of citrus?) Guess what day I was born on all those many years ago? Yep, Thursday. It concerns me since this isn’t a color I associate myself with, nor am I a particularly huge fan of it. This whole Thursday thing has been a problem from the beginning…. remember the poem, Monday’s child is fair of face, Tuesday’s child is full of grace?  Well, Thursday’s child has “far to go”. That’s not fair.  Talk about creating issues for a kid right from the get-go.  Yikes. The color orange and all of those obstacles in life that cause me to have “far to go”.  Like Charlie Brown, I’m doomed.

Enough negativity.  I love this row of bright orange blocks. See what you think.

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It really is a pretty row. These blocks were such a breeze to make. Until yesterday that is.  For whatever reason, I had sewn one of the flying geese blocks in upside down. I ripped it out and then repeated the error. More ripping and more sewing…  I don’t know what the deal was. Finally worked it out and the row is finished. Here it is with it’s other mates.

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At this point, most of the rows consist of 6″ blocks. The light blue and the gray rows are 7 1/2″ blocks. I am thinking of doing a small row next month, maybe a row of 5″ blocks? Just for variation. Of course if Mari springs some sort of complicated monster of a block on me next month, that may change.  🙂

For now, I am pleased with the quilt. It is going to be a fun one, once it is all stitched together. I am going to sash the rows because my blocks are not entirely precise and won’t line up well if I sew them row on row.  Not to mention the difference in size with the light blue and the gray rows.  Of course, that begs the question, what do I sash them with??? The background color on each row is made of scraps of cream and/or off-white fabric. I had a load of it and wanted to use it up.  What if I find some sort of miniscule polka dot? Could I sash with something like that?

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In closing, and because you are probably dying to know this, it rained a little bit yesterday. Every single person in Northern California could be seen dancing a happy dance. It was heavenly. Hope all of you have a wonderful weekend!

Linking to Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts and Angela at So Scrappy.

August, really?

August is here. That’s crazy. Summer is buzzing by and we are trying to cram as much as possible into these last few weeks.

With the new month, I am looking at what I want to create and complete for August. The list is long, maybe too long?

The main goal is to finish the vintage nine patch quilt. I have the quilt top and backing ready to go. I ordered batting on-line because I don’t feel like the 75 miles (round trip) to Jo-Anns. I won’t buy batting at the local store, it’s too expensive. Anyway, it should be here this week and then I can get the quilt pin basted and start quilting it. That is the goal I am submitting for August for ALYOF.

I also have a project that came my way via the New Quilt Bloggers Bloghop. Fabri-Quilt has sponsored an activity for the group. We are each to work with a set of solids and create a block that is of our own design.

IMG_20150803_3649These are the fat eighths that I received this week. I have been cutting and sewing mock ups and so far don’t have exactly what I want. It needs to be original. What exactly does that mean? I can’t really think of a block that hasn’t been used in some way by someone else. Truly, there are only so many ways I can visualize HST’s, squares, triangles and rectangles. So, I am trying to take a regular block and put my own spin on it. That is about as original as my brain gets.  At any rate, this is certainly forcing me to work beyond my comfort zone. In addition to making the block, we will all be writing tutorials for the blocks. That part will be fun and I am really curious to see everyone’s block tutorials. Could be a fun project to make a selection of the blocks and come up with a sampler quilt or wall hanging. Stay tuned for more on this.

IMG_20150803_3646Next on the list, as always, is my RSC15 row quilt.  Last month I veered from the Classic Stitches block but this month I plan to go back to Mari’s monthly block. She wrote up an easy block for this month and the color is indigo, black or gray. I need to look at the quilt so far and choose either indigo or gray, either of which I have plenty of scraps to choose from.

Lastly, if I get around to it, I am going to start making two twin quilts for the beds up at Downieville.  Ray saw me looking at comforters on-line and raised those eyebrows of his – like, really? You are always looking for a reason to sew and you want to buy two comforters?  I shook my head and came back to reality. I painted the room a pale sage green. There are cute curtains (that I thrifted) with a floral pattern of green and violet on a tan background. (Sorry, I don’t have a picture for some reason.) I was at the store last week and they had  a deal where if you bought the end of the bolt, it was 40% off. The tan bolt (I think it was a Bella Solid) was perfect so I bought the remaining six yards. Then I bought a piece of violet and a print.

IMG_20150804_3653It is a good starting point. I don’t know exactly the design yet, but I do know I want it to be big, oversized blocks. I started a board on Pinterest for inspiration. I think with big chunky blocks, both quilts will come together reasonably fast. My hope for this month is to settle on a design and get the pieces cut.

The bedroom will look much better with normal bedding. Right now there is a hodge-podge of linens that I had stashed away. Not exactly pretty. I really love this little hummingbird print. It is called “Windsor Woods”.

IMG_20150804_3654Somewhere in all of this, I need to start working on Etsy items. The holiday season will be here soon. I hope to have plenty of items posted by fall. Last year I was new to the game (actually, I still am!)  I didn’t have enough items listed and sold out quickly. Hope to boost the quantity this year.

Lots of the list. I better get to work!

Linking to Sew Cute Tuesday, Freemotion by the River and Let’s Bee Social. Links to all of these sites are available at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

 

 

 

 

The Plan for May

OK, May is going to be busy. We have my daughter’s 14th birthday (yikes!). I have a family trip planned that lasts nearly one week and we have my daughter-in-law’s graduation from medical school (double yikes!!)  Lots of activity going on so I am trying to be reasonable.

My main goal for the month  (which will by my ALYOF goal for May) has to be the completion of my Allison Glass Mini Quilt. The swap has to be mailed out in the first part of June so this needs to be at the top of the list. It shouldn’t be a problem as the top of the mini is done. I need to make the back and quilt it up. I want to make the quilting shine and as I still consider myself a newbie, I need to spend some time with this. I also want to make an “extra” giftie to include with the mini using some of the Allison Glass scrap.  Here is what I have left to make the backing with as well as an extra. I should have plenty of fabric.

IMG_20150504_3260 Second to the Allison Glass Mini is a custom order I am doing for a friend. She frequently has her granddaughters for the night and they sleep in bunkbeds. She asked me to make two hanging bags so they can have books and stuffies up on the bunk with them. The bags will hang from the rails of the beds. These are already cut and 1/2 way done so I shouldn’t have any trouble finishing them up. Hoping to do that this week. I am using a polka dot twill by Riley Blake and lining the bags with the lovely “Wander Woods” print from Wee Wander.

Third on the list is to make this month’s row for my Classic Stitches Row Quilt that I am doing with Mari over at Academic Quilter as my RSC15 project.  Tomorrow she will post the block that is to be made for this month. Luckily May’s color is green – I love green and have a bundle of scraps for it.

That is it for goals. Anything that is accomplished beyond that is a bonus.

This weekend was our local quilt show. It was great fun and so inspiring. I want to share the quilt that won Best of Show. This local artist, Sandra Bruce, is amazing. I posted about a class that I took with her last spring to learn her process called “Material Matrix”. It is a great process that takes a photo and divides it into patchwork squares by overlaying a grid on it. Sandra is an excellent teacher and a brilliant artist. Her portrait of Clair is approximately 4′ x 5′. Really striking, it is a perfect portrait of this sweet girl. When I was oohing and ahhing over the portrait, Sandra pointed out Clair to me. I asked her to pose for a picture and, while she probably thinks I am some sort of stalker, she did it for me.

IMG_20150503_3257Below is a closer look at the quilt. Sandra’s ability to create the human expression with bits of fabric never ceases to amaze me. If I remember correctly, she used 2 1/2″ squares to create this. Click on the link above if you want to check out her gallery. She does travel and teach so you never know, maybe she’ll be in your area some time. If she is, it’s totally worth your time to work with her for a day or two!

IMG_20150503_3258Finally, have you seen the list for some of the instructors at 2016 Quilt Con??? This was in today’s issue of the Modern Quilt Guild  Newsletter. Absolutely. Amazing. I am so excited and am considering whether this might be my first time attending. It is in Southern CA in February of 2016 so it would be fairly easy for me to attend.

quilt con teachers

Big question is, how would a person even choose which one(s) to take a class with??? Most of my quilty heros are in this line up. It’s too good to be true!!  Are you going?  C’mon, you have a nearly a year to figure it out!

Linking to Sew Cute Tuesday, FreeMotion by the River and ALYOF at Sew Bittersweet Designs.

 

 

 

Not a lot of sewing going on

I haven’t spent a whole lot of time at the sewing machine this week. Lots of regular life going on and my neck was being sort of cranky. But that’s ok. I did get a few odds and ends done.

For RSC15 I am working on the March blocks from the Classic Stitches BOM over at Academic Quilter. I only finished five of the ten blocks but they are really fun.

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For the kitchen in our Downieville house we decided to put in pleated shades. In keeping with the vintage look of the kitchen, I ordered a Waverly plaid that was printed in yellow, blue and green to make valances. We have green and yellow on the walls and I just put a 1950’s formica table in the eating area. It is gray with turquoise trim and the chairs have turquoise vinyl on the seats. I love pulling all of the colors together with these valances. I made a valance for each of the four kitchen windows. Hopefully we will be up there working on the house over spring break so I can hang these soon.

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I’ve also worked a bit on the quilting for the neutrals quilt. I have a newfound appreciation with my Hera marker (which is made by Clover). I bought this (inexpensive) little tool months ago and each time I use it, I am so impressed by it. If you don’t have one, this tool is used to mark lines for quilting. No worry about removing ink or chalk after you sew. It is so cool. I have been marking the lines on the neutrals quilt with it.

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The lines aren’t always easy to see. But the indentation left by the Hera marker is enough to guide me along. I don’t mark more than two lines at a time because the indentation doesn’t last very long. If you mark a line and don’t like what it looks like, a simple spritz of water (lightly sprayed) will remove the mark, as will smoothing the fabric with your hands. I don’t know that I would rely on this for intricate marking, but for straight lines it works great. If you want a quick tutorial on using a Hera marker here is a brief video – though it is so simple, not much instruction is needed.

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I am quilting down the center of each three inch square and when I finish this direction, I will quilt down the center, going the other way.

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For the heart I used lines that were much closer together. I didn’t mark these, just used the edge of the walking foot to judge the distance. It seems to solidify the heart, almost removing the lines of the patchwork. Looking good so far. Should make my (ALYOF) goal of completing this quit in March. Yahoo!

I was lucky enough to have one of my sisters here for a couple of days to visit this week. What a treat. Even better, her son was also here briefly. My nephew and his wife live in Japan which means I don’t see him very often. We used to live next door to each other when the kids were growing up and I miss having them around all the time. Family visits are the best. That’s the update for the past week or so. Hope everyone is doing well and spending some time with at the sewing machine and some time hanging with family. Best of both worlds!

Linking to Freemotion by the River and Let’s Bee Social. As always, links to these sites are available at the top of the page, under Link Ups. This post is also linked to Stephanie and Michelle at Late Night Quilter for Tips and Tutorials Tuesday.