Archive for the ‘Quilting Projects’ Category

Challenge = Conquered

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Oops, my bad…did you feel the earth’s spin brake to an almost screeching halt today? That’s because I finished my challenge quilt and turned it in – A WHOLE DAY EARLY! I must be coming down with something…

One of our local museums is celebrating its 100 year anniversary and they decided to have a quilt challenge as part of their hoopla. We were given a fat quarter that had to be used in a recognizable size, the quilt had to be 30″X30″ and it had to showcase the flora and fauna of New Hampshire and the Lakes region. The quilts will be judged and the top three winners will receive a cash award, artwork by a local artist and a pewter piece.

Here is a photo of the label with the provided fabric used as the frame.

Since it’s a printed fabric I decided to further challenge myself and not use any batiks for my additional fabrics and only use stuff from my stash. For me, batiks readily lend themselves to landscape quilts. I don’t get to do challenges like this too often so might as well go for the brass ring! I did pretty good. I did end up using a hand-dyed piece for the grass because that was the only thing that was the right color. But, shhh, don’t tell anyone. It wasn’t a requirement, only my self-imposed rule and I don’t mind.

The vision in my head was a stylized version of the view in my front yard of several birch trees. Trouble was, no fabric in my stash read “birch bark.” Then I got the idea of using ACTUAL birch bark. The birch trees occasionally shed their bark and I pick up the prettier pieces and save them for….something – I don’t know, they’re just pretty. Anyway, some testing with fused bark turned out pretty good and off I went.

There are hidden tree trunks in the woods, 3D leaves, a camouflaged moose and a couple of other hidden surprises. Here is the final result.

And a close-up of one of the leaf sections.

My only regret is that the smaller birch trees looked a little more like birch trees and a little less like palm trees. I also regret doing the final trimming at O-dark-thirty. If I had been just a smidge more awake I would have thought to double check my mitred border to make sure the miters came out exactly in the corners. Next time, more caffeine!

If you are local to the lakes region, you can check out all the quilts entered at The Libby Museum in Wolfeboro NH. They will be on display the entire month of August.  Here is a link to their website for hours or further info. http://wolfeboronh.us/Pages/WolfeboroNH_Museum/index

Misty Fuse To The Rescue

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

So, I’m working on a challenge project for the 100 year anniversary for a local museum (The Libby Museum). It has to be a certain measurement and include a piece of fabric that was provided. The quilt must also pay homage to the local flora and fauna since that’s a big part of the museum’s focus. I wanted to do something with birch trees but was having no luck with any of the fabrics in my stash for the birch bark. The deadline is looming and the thought of driving around looking for that elusive birch bark fabric sounded about as much fun as waiting for the dentist. I was staring at the trees outside hoping that some other idea would come to mind…that darn birch bark…if only I had the perfect fabric because my quilt idea was awesome…what to do…that @*#$(%* birch bark…totally messed up my whole idea…wait a minute…could I use ACTUAL birch bark instead of fabric? I had several pieces of bark that I’ve picked up when the trees shed them. Could I somehow sew that into the quilt? Misty Fuse to the rescue – birch bark can be fused! Now we’re back on track. Woo Hoo!

Here’s a shot of the test piece that I fused. There is a cash prize for the challenge so you’ll just have to wait to see the final results…and I must finish it (minor detail). Don’t want to be giving too much info to my competition. Wonder if I can Misty Fuse some rocks in there too…

Quilter’s Getaway

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

I spent some time the last two weekends with the retreaters at Quilter’s Getaway Weekend held in Waterville Valley, NH. They hold retreats each spring and fall. Usually there are different attendees at each retreat, except for the organizers Carrie and Kathleen. At last weeks retreat Kathleen purchased my pattern Fish Frenzy. This week she had all the blocks done and hanging on the design wall. I just love her color choices – very evocative of sand and surf. Great job Kathleen, can’t wait to see it all completed.

The last few miles of the drive to the retreat follows along the Mad River. Normally at this time of year the river is raging with spring runoff. I stopped to take a picture. Where I was standing I should have been very wet and not able to see the rocks. It’s going to be a very dry summer…

Ugly Fabric Challenge – Reveal

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

A while back I told you of the ugly fabric challenge that my quild did. I already showed you what I received that was made from my ugly fabric. The person I was making something for, Wendy, and I have been taking turns missing meetings until today. I will finally get to show her what I made from her ugly fabric. Hopefully she won’t see this post before our meeting!

Just to give you a reminder, here is the fabric that Wendy chose as her ugly. I debated what to do with it at first because it looked totally different in different light. At times it looked red/white/blue and other lighting purple/teal. Quite by chance on the day we exchanged uglies, Wendy had given me some beads and yarns that she didn’t want anymore. They were all turquoise and teal. That settled it – I was going purple and teal. Here is what I made…

…a cute tote. I fussy cut some of the repeating elements in her fabric to make some flowers. I added a large chunk of the fabric as the bottom. I even incorporated some of the beads and yarns that she gave me. Here is a close-up of the flowers.

The tote is all lined and stands up nicely on it’s own. It has a velcro closure, long shoulder strap, 3D leaves and box bottom. I’m happy with the way it turned out. Hope Wendy likes it too!

Kickin’ Stash

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Today is National Quilting Day. What better way to celebrate than to tell you about a new pattern that just hit the shelves and share the details of a great deal! My friend Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs put the call out to friends and fans a few months ago asking to give the directions of her new project a try. This is the second time that I have been a part of one of Beth’s group projects and I’m sure it won’t be the last. This latest project is called Kickin’ Stash and boy does it ever. Here is the quilt that is on the pattern cover.

The purple block on the bottom row, right is one of the ones I made. Shocking, I know, that I did a purple block! Beth asked us to each make four blocks. You could either make them from the same fabrics or each a different color group. I chose to do four different color groups because it was too hard to choose just one. It’s like eating one potato chip – not possible. I did decide to make two blocks of each color group and keep one for myself. Beth will take all of the “extra” blocks that didn’t go into the sample and sort them to be returned to the participants. I can’t wait to get back the blocks made by the other ladies to see how they go with my set that I kept. Then I will decide if I want to make some more or make a baby quilt. Lord knows I have enough in my scrap bin to make enough blocks to cover the northern portion of New Hampshire, but we won’t discuss that now. Here is a look at a baby size that Beth made that has a less scrappy look.

These blocks go together really fast and simple. Beth has also kept to her mantra that “perfection is overrated” by only having one seam that needs to match (the center intersection). You could make this as a controlled color arrangement like the baby quilt or totally scrappy like the cover quilt. Both are equally beautiful. But don’t just take my word for it. Check out the other ladies that have blogged about the pattern during the kickoff:

Deb Donovan, Aspen Hill, www.aspenhill.wordpress.com

Kelli Fannon, That Looks Like It Needs Stitches, www.thatlookslikeitneedsstitches.blogspot.com

Anna Dzik, West Third Street Designs, www.westthirdstreetdesigns.blogspot.com

Marianne Nowacki, Hillside Quiltworks, www.hillsidequiltworks.com

Linda Pearl, The Patchwork Pearl, www.thepatchworkpearl.blogspot.com

Or you can check out Beth’s blog as well, Quilting Hottie Haven:

Beth Helfter, EvaPaige Quilt Designs, www.evapaigequiltdesigns.blogspot.com

So, that great deal that I mentioned earlier? Beth is offering a special price on the pattern during the kickoff – $7.50 instead of the regular $9.00 price. And you don’t even have to wait for it – you can download it right now. Go to http://patternspot.com/products/2070 and check out Kickin’ Stash. You could make a dent in your scrap bin by nightfall. How great is that? I would LOVE to see pictures of your Kickin’ Stash project.

HAPPY QUILTING DAY!!

Ugly Fabric Reveal

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

The other day I told you about my guild’s ugly fabric challenge. Yesterday was reveal day. Everyone did a fantastic job turning their sow’s ears into silk purses. Here is the fabric that I turned in. It’s not ugly just a really putrid shade of yellow. The photo makes it look rather pleasant. Trust me, it’s not!

Libby was the unfortunate soul who had to make an effort to turn it into something presentable. And boy did she ever! I’ll back up a little bit to the day we offered up our uglies. Libby shared a tote bag that she had made for her daughter. She told us that her daughter was an art major and Libby just couldn’t get over the fact that her daughter chose such horrible fabrics for the bag her Mom was going to make for her. Libby ended up only using some of the fabrics her daughter had selected. Then she received my ugly fabric. Wouldn’t ya know it – one of her daughter’s fabrics coordinated perfectly! Here’s what Libby crafted just for little ole me. Isn’t it awesome?

 

There are all sorts of little pockets on the inside, two zippered pockets on the outside and the whole thing has stiffener in it so it stands up nice and perky. There are even handles to carry it around once I fill it with my goodies. While I’m still not sure how I feel about coordinating so well with what Libby thought was so atrocious from her daughter, I could not be more pleased with my pressie. Thank you from the bottom of my new tool caddy Libby. Great job!

So, ya wondering what I did with my part of the challenge? Well, you’ll have to wait a little longer to find out. The recipient of my challenge was out of town. I don’t want to air her uglies on the internet until she’s had a chance to see it for herself. Stay tuned…

Ugly Fabric Challenge

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

My guild is in the midst of an ugly fabric challenge. Each person brought in 1/2 yard of an ugly or hard-to-work-with fabric. We traded uglies with each other and our challenge is to make something with the fabric that we were given and give that item to the original ugly owner (fabric that is, nothing personal!) So here is the ugly that I received…

I can’t really say that it’s “ugly”, probably falls more into the difficult to work with category. At times it seems to have a red-white-blue feel but then in other light it really has a purple and teal thing going on. It’s a very confused fabric. I must admit that paisley is really not my thing either. So, what to do with it?

After staring at it for quite awhile I finally decided what to do. The eventual owner has her home decorated with a patriotic flair but her clothing style has a definite tilt to purple. Which should I play up? Well, you’ll just have to wait. I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag just yet.

What does your guild do for fun and games?

Heroic Effort

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

For my first official blog post I have decided to share about my recent heroic effort. Can I make a baby quilt in less than 24 hours? Well yes, yes I can…sort of. My daughter’s teacher is having a baby girl. Around bedtime last Tuesday I was informed that a baby shower was going to be Thursday after school. I had meetings all day Wednesday – this was going to be interesting. In all fairness to my daughter we had been discussing the baby quilt since the beginning of the school year. We wanted to do a project that got all the kids involved but kept getting sidelined by the complications of what to have the kids do and figuring out when to get them to do it. The project just sat on the back burner simmering. What I did know was it was for a baby girl so a little pink was good but not to froo-froo. It had to have purple in it (their team color) and since it was her hiking teacher it had to have something “outdoorsy.” One of my daughter’s favorite books when she was a toddler was Pat The Bunny so we had bought a copy of that book and decided on a bunny block. I had made a bunny block and two tree blocks. That brings us current to Tuesday evening.

When I arrived home from my all day Wednesday meetings and finished making dinner it was time to get started. All the plans we had previously were out the window since we were out of time. I stared at the bunny and trees and tried to figure out how to make it into something worthy of giving. Stitched the blocks together and added some borders then it was off to bed. Awoke early Thursday morning and layered up the quilt. After I got everyone off to start their days it was time to get it quilted, bound and delivered to school in time for the baby shower. While it is far from my best effort and will not win any prizes I think it turned out ok – and with one hour to spare.

So, what did I learn from this project? I really need to work on procrastination. I will never ever again use minky on the back of a quilt – it really slowed me down during free-motion quilting and made my swirls have lots of very ugly stops and starts because it wouldn’t glide. And, most importantly, I am proud that my daughter did not have to give a picture of a partially finished quilt as a gift (as I have done in the past) and the mom-to-be still loved it.

Next time, I’m starting earlier…I promise…