Thursday, October 15, 2015

Quartermile - In the Wild

Ok, ok, not really in the wild... but you guys, I found a place called Quartermile! In Scotland nonetheless! 

Even the trash cans featured the name!

I've decided that it's fate that I retire to this gorgeous place in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Right?!?  Then my instagram / blog handle could be geographically accurate.

Here are some fun pictures from my recent trip to the United Kingdom.

In front of Buckingham Palace

In Bath ("I am for Baaaath" - Jane Austen's Persuasion)

Regents Park - London

Dover Castle

Also, I was so tempted to pick up a souvenir bag, but then I realized I could make myself one at home just the way I wanted it.  Does anyone else do this?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Herringbone Quilt: Case of the Never Ending 2" Strips

Every marriage has their quirks and mine is no different.  For the first year of marriage we tried sharing a single blanket for our bed.  Results: we would each steal the covers!  So to help keep each other happy, we determined that we each would have our own blanket. For the most part, it's a great system.  My husband tends to have a lighter blanket while mine is a bit bulkier. 

However, we still like the idea of being able to share a blanket.  Sharing is caring, right?   So, I jump over to my pinterest board and together we pick the herringbone quilt that I pinned by Bijou Lovely.

Laying out the blocks for a third, fourth or fifth time...

Quick timeline:
2013: Get great idea to cut down my scraps by cutting 2" x 11" strips from Bijou Lovely's Herringbone tutorial and subsequently Stitched in Color's block tutorial.  Plan to sew roughly 20 blocks and do some math.

2013-2014: Cut and gather 560 2" x 11" strips from my scraps. I also carefully curated scrap bundles from some of my fellow quilters.  You can keep your eye out on Instagram and blogland for when bloggers/quilters destash some of their scrap bundles.  I bought three bundles (each around $8) and got some quality fabrics and it added some variety to my quilt.  By the end of the year I managed to sew roughly 5 blocks!  Wahoo!

2015 - Present: I've sewn 20 blocks and laid them out on my design wall. Loving the process and how the fabrics are playing together.

Too skinny! (My math was off.  Ahem... did I mentioned that I was in advanced math classes in school?)

So then I had to cut 112 more 2" x 11" strips.... BUT it was worth it!!!

The final results coming soon!

Sailing Away - Sailboat Quilt Top

"Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me" - Styx

The past few summers I've had the privilege of volunteering for my church's annual camping trip where we take teenage girls out camping for five days.  It's a wonderful, rewarding and tiring experience.  Many people put their heart and sweat into this experience, including our two camp directors. Last year I made the red cross quilt for one of them and this year I decided to make a quilt for the other leader.

Our theme this year (because we have to have a fun theme!) was traveling and each group had their own mode of transportation.  The main leadership group was assigned boats and the color blue.

With inspiration from Cotton Way's Smooth Sailing pattern, I used a Mini Swoon to create a sailboat.  I kept the colors to red, aqua, and navy and am so pleased with the results.  Why don't I use this combination more often?

Now this happy little quilt just needs to be quilted... I'm leaning towards clamshell quilting.  What do you think?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Around the Wold Blog Up: Quarter Mile Quilts

Hello all! I've been tagged by Stephanie over at Quarter Incher to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop. 

Welcome to Quarter Mile Quilts where my mantra is: Enjoy and Inspire.  I aim to enjoy the quilting experience and if I can, inspire others to do the same.  I knew when I started this blog that I did not want to have any expectations of blog fame, or writing my own patterns; I simply wanted to enjoy the experience. (Other people enjoy the experience by writing patterns or becoming a blog/instagram/social media sensation and that's wonderful!)

So here I am in all of my red-headed glory.  Quarter Mile Quilts is a compilation of my love of running and quilting.  I ran the 400 meters, or what is also know as the quarter mile.  Someday I plan to figure out if/when I actually make a quarter of a mile of quilts in length.  I'm also a recovering "blue" color addict.  You can read more about me on my "About Me" tab. 

Like so many people, I suffer from Work in Progress Attention Deficit Disorder, or WIP ADD.  I have several projects ongoing simply because I love fabric and the patchwork process. 

Herringbone Quilt - AKA My Technicolor Quilt

Right now I'm working on a scrappy Herringbone quilt using Stitched in Color's tutorial.  I feel in love with this block when I first saw it on Bijou Lovely's blog a few years back.  I started cutting my scraps into 2" x 11" strips and slowly (over two years) I cut the 560 strips for the 20 blocks. The strips all of have meaning to me as they include pieces of my favorite fabric, past quilts, and even some of my lower quality fabrics that I bought when I first got into quilting (leave no fabric behind!). I have 10/20 blocks done and I am committed to finish the blocks before I let myself get carried away with another project.

Green HST Quilt

In between sewing blocks for the Herringbone quilt, I've been trimming my green half square triangles (HST).  Once the herringbone quilt top is done, I'll start placing them on my design board to simmer until I have the right layout.  I refer to my design wall process as simmering.  My quilt layouts are often like a fine marinara sauce, only getting better as it simmers.

Embracing 30 Quilt

Recently I turned 30 years old and while I'm generally good with turning 30, it's a milestone that I had trouble embracing.  So I copied Adrianne from @adrianneonthewindyside (instagram) who is doing her own 30 year quilt.  Check out her hashtag #year30quilt to see all of here beautiful blocks.

My blocks will all be 5" square, but otherwise I'm not trying to keep a consistent color palette or saying I can only use my scraps.  I'm going to make what I feel like making.  I plan to do a block a day so that I'll end up with roughly 300 blocks before I start putting a quilt top together.  I'll be posting the blocks in groups of four on my instagram account (@quartermilequilts) using the hashtag #embracing30quilt. 20/300+ done so far!

Norway QAL

I'm also signed up to participate in the Norway Quilt Along  (pattern from Thimble Blossoms) hosted my Sarah Schraw on instagram.  I have my fabric pulled, but I am waiting to start the quilt until after I finish my Herringbone quilt.  It's my incentive and so far it's working!

Well, that's me and my current projects.  A big thanks to Stephanie at Quarter Incher for tagging me.  I'd like to now tag Shannon of Little Luvins to participate next.  Go check her out!  She's one of the sweetest people I know and had the privilege of meeting and making friends with her at Sewing Summit in 2013.

Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Modern Miss: A Finished Quilt!

Do you ever worry so much about the quilting design that it freezes your creativity module?  Yep, this happened to me and truth be told, I'm not happy with the design I chose.  I think it's too much and does not compliment the quilt at all.  A lesson learned?  Yes.  Did I want to learn it on this quilt?  No.

Here's the pretty "before" picture:

Here's the quilting "after" picture:

At least it's still pretty, right?

I think a circular quilting design would have been better.  The angles were just "too much" for this quilt top.

The quilting design is called Square dance and I picked a gray "dolphin" color for the thread.

A big thanks to the husband for being my prop master.

Monday, January 5, 2015

For the Love of Jane: A Swap Follow-Up

In my spare time, I enjoy devouring reading a good book.  And so, it seems natural that I would combine my love of reading with my love of quilting.  When a Jane Austen themed swap was organized on Instagram I jumped at the chance.

I've participated in other swaps before, but I was still a bit nervous to join.  Quilting/craft swaps can be addicting and also full of some risk.  You're assigned a partner, usually it's a blind swap and you make a small craft (mini quilt, embroidery, zippered pouc) and send it to your partner along with some goodies.  Some people go all out with their packages, while others forget to participate all together.  Others are really thoughtful with the extras they send and others, well not so much.  If you're interested in learning more about swaps, Karri of Berries has written some fabulous blog posts on the subject.  Here's her website:

I was given some of the following information on my partner: loves modern quilting, but wanted something inspired by the garden, Emma is her favorite Jane Austen novel, and she provided a Jane Austen themed pinterest board for inspiration.
Here's what I made for my partner:

I embroidered my partner's favorite quote and surrounded it with some appliqued flowers.  I also made a small mini quilt featuring an arrow to allude to her favorite Jane Austen novel/movie Emma.  Extras included lip balm, a few fat quarters of fabric, lace trimmings, and two Christmas ornaments I made out of felt and linen. (The deadline for shipping was December 1st).  Only later did I realize that I did not include any food/candy goodies as I had intended to (bummer!).

And here's what I received:

A very lovely mini featuring silhouettes of Darcy and Elizabeth. It was a very nice package with a lot of goodies (both delicious and fun).  Jane Austen magnetic poetry!  My only small disappointment was that the package lacked a bit of thoughtfulness, although full of Jane Austen themed items, nothing regarding my favorite book, Emma or favorite quote.

All in all, I enjoyed the process and would highly recommend joining a swap in your future.  Be careful, they can be addicting!  I'm currently signed up for one swap, but am keeping my eyes open for others in the future.  You can find them on Instagram popping up every once in a while.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Floral Strings: A Finished Quilt

Whew... too many days away from the blog!  Here's a post I meant to write weeks ago about my floral strings quilt.

With quilting, we there are standard sizes of quilts that fit into different categories (i.e. twin, king, etc.).  Sometimes, however, we break those rules and often it yields interesting results.

My floral strings quilt is no exception.  I've decided that the size is odd since it's a bit "too long" for the overall width.  The description "elongated baby quilt" is freely used, although I'm sure it could pass for a bed runner.  Despite the odd shape, I'm quite proud of it.


I'm proud because I used items from my stash to make it and didn't buy anything new.  I didn't succumb to my artistic whim that was demanding a chartreuse binding when I didn't have any fabric in that color.  I didn't run out and buy extra yardage for the border, I just used some extra of the fabric to lengthen the border.  This project was started just before our last move as an effort to reduce the fabric stash.  (Truth is that it didn't work because I ended up packing the top instead!)  

All that being said, it's a pretty quilt!

Here's a picture taken during bright sunlight to show off the wonderful texture.

The local quilt shop quilted it using an off white thread in a daisy chain pattern.  Fabrics are from Joel Dewberry's Nottinghill Collection and others from my stash.