Tuesday, August 28, 2018

PHXMQG Charity Quilts Progress

This year I’ve volunteered to be the liaison with one of the organizations suggested by fellow PHXMQG (Phoenix Modern Quilt Guild) guild members: One*n*Ten. They serve LGBTQ youth in a variety of ways to “enhance their lives by providing empowering social and service programs that promote self‐expression, self‐acceptance, leadership development and healthy life choices.”  This includes providing assistance through their housing program. You can learn more about them at their website (link here: http://onenten.org/about-one-n-ten/). One*n*Ten has requested twin sized quilts that would go to LGBTQ youth in need.
As part of this need for twin sized quilts, I’ve been sharing some easy to do twin sized quilts throughout the year. (Thanks again for the idea Bonnie!) I’m hoping this will gently nudge a few of my fellow members to make a quilt on their own! In April's meeting, I shared a quilt made using Jeni Baker’s Scrappy Star tutorial (see link here: http://www.incolororder.com/2013/04/scrappy-star-quilt-tutorial.html). Once I got the fabric cut, it only took me a few hours to put together! I will be adding about 10” of the grey solid to the top and bottom to lengthen it to be a true twin sized quilt.

I am putting together twin sized quilts for one of our local charities (One*n*ten). I provided kits for the 14.5" log cabin blocks at the last several meetings. The center is a 2.5” solid.  Then I added 2.5" wide low volume white or off white fabrics with a variety of solids (pastels, jewel tones, whatever I have on hand). Below are pictures of in progress quilts. These are currently with guild members who are generously donating their quilting skills. Hope to have finished quilts next month!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Arkansas Travelers Quilt: A Finished Top

Today I'm sharing my Arkansas Travelers quilt.  I seriously LOVED how this one finished!

For the quilt I used Arkansas Travelers block tutorial from Lee Heinrich blog Freshly Pieced.  You can find the tutorial following the link (HERE).

It is a block that is constructed using a combination of traditional and foundation paper piecing techniques.  

I first featured the block as part of my PHXMQG 2015 block of the month. As part of my demonstration I created a few extra blocks in a different colorway.  I'm so grateful I did!

I have a small (or, ahem, rather large) tradition of making quilts for each of my nieces and nephews.  So far I've made 18 quilts! I love creating these baby quilts and the joy of having something tangible to show my love for them individually. 

 When I heard this little girl would be joining my extended family soon, I just knew this would be the best use of those extra blocks!  I fussy cut some dogs into the quilts from some OOP fabric I hoarded (designer Heather Ross). My sister in law loves dogs and I hope to help pass that love onto her daughter, my niece.

For the borders I grabbed a large floral print I picked up while vacationing in England.  Isn't it wonderful?  I wish I had bought at least two more yards!  Isn't that the way it always goes?

Julie Hirt quilted it for me using some lovely loops (see her website HERE).  I'll post a picture of the finished quilt, once I can find the photo!

And some extra pictures in case you were interested!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Where I've Been

So it's been quiet over here since about April of 2016... Then in June 2016 I had my first son who, had an undiagnosed birth defect called Congenic Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH).  He basically had a hole in his diaphragm which allowed his "guts" to enter into rib cage and impede his left lung.  We subsequently spent 6 weeks in the NICU, where he had surgery and was described as a phenomenon.  My husband and I take "phenomenon" and equate it as a miracle.  We were so blessed and fortunate.  After the NICU, we went through several months of recovery.  We were able to take him off supplemental oxygen which is great and have an NG tube removed.

Then in April 2017 I found out I was pregnant with baby no. 2.  We went through several additional scans and determined that baby girl did NOT have the same condition as her older brother.

Then in September 2017 we learned that our son had re-herniated and needed surgery.  After what felt like an eternity, he had surgery end of November 2017.

Then in December 2017 our healthy daughter was born (the kids officially being 17 months apart in age) and thus began the craziness of two kids under the age of two.

Long story short, it's been quite a crazy two years.

All of this meant that my quilting hobby slowed. Thankfully, I had a husband and support team who knew that quilting would help me cope.  I'll share some highlights over the next several weeks.

I'm now back at work and know that my quilting will continue to be slow. And I'm ok with that :)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Finish: Swoon Sailboat Quilt

Sailing Away! Swoon Sailboat Quilt is finished!


I love this quilt, especially the classic color combination of red, white and blue!  I was lucky enough to send this quilt to be quilted by Crinkle Love using the Baptist fan motif.  I love how the quilting makes it look like the waves of the ocean.  Doesn't it make you want to sail away?

See previous post here about the mini swoon block and it's transformation into the sailboat if you're curious.

Plus, if you're still curious... I had a few outtakes from the quilt photo shoot in our new backyard (that needs some lovin').  I have to say that one of my favorite hashtags is "#husbandsholdingquilts" Check it out on social media! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Good Morning Beautiful - Design Wall Notes

Good Morning Beautiful
Each Saturday and Sunday morning I wake up and watch the sunlight come across my design wall.  The colors take on inspiring shades and tones as the sun rises.  In a very real way, it relaxes me. 

It makes me want to say: "Good Morning, Beautiful." (and even start singing one of my favorite country songs of the same title)

Is this always the case?  The answer is no.  Sometimes the quilt layout gets frustrating because:
1. The vision isn't coming into reality
2. An unrealistic deadline
3. You're simply not "loving" it
4. You're missing your "sew-jo" (your sewing mo-jo)
5. Uggghhh... you're not even sure what's wrong...

But how do you get from "ewww" to "you had me at, hello?"

Purpose of a Design Wall
This is definitely where the design wall comes into play for me.  It allows you mix and try different layouts and combinations, and then stand back and evaluate.  The wall gives you the opportunity for a quilt to "simmer" much like a fine marinara sauce.  I find that one of my quilts can be up on the design wall for weeks as I "tweak" the layout. (Obsessive, much? Yes!)

For example, I played around with a set of Tula Pink EPP (English Paper Pieced) hexagons for a long time on my design wall before I finally settled on a design.


Here is a picture of me sharing my hand-quilting progress at a PHXMQG (Phoenix Modern Quilt Guild) meeting in March 2015.

Design Wall Inspiration
Do you want a new or improved design wall?

Mine is a tattered picnic table cover that is pinned to our bedroom wall.  I like that I can roll it up for easy transport to another room, or even a place across town.  It's a quick fix, perfect for an apartment dweller, but there are other options like these here:

For a quick, portable design wall try Nickel Quilt's Tutorial Here.
Avid / Ambitious Quilter?  Try this one from Cut to Pieces.
Want more ideas?  Check out this Pinterest board.

Thank you for indulging me as I pass along some of my notes regarding design walls.  There are plenty of resources available out there and I appreciate your thoughts and input!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hello March: Baby Boy Quilt Top

First of all, some news:

It's been rather slow over here on the blog for one rather big reason:

A baby boy will be joining our family end of June!

So in preparation for our little one's arrival I pulled out some fabric from my stash and picked out the Hello March pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew.

I love the cheery, bright colors!  The combination of the warm yellows and reds mixed with the cool blue remind me of summertime.

Hello March was the perfect pattern for a woman with "pregnancy brain."  The directions were straight forward and the quilt come together quickly.  Although, I did make a mistake still and had to re-do roughly 10 blocks... live and learn!

To make it look a bit scrappier, I went with 9 different prints rather than the 6 recommended for the crib size.  This provided me with some extra blocks for a future project.

The top finished at 42" x 56" which will be perfect for dragging all around the house by a little boy.

Now I need to piece a backing and then it's off to be quilted!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Noodlehead 241 Tote: A Finish

What can I say that hasn't been said before?  Look up "241 Tote review" online and you'll get hundreds of reviews of this excellent pattern.  There will also be some fun modifications to the pattern if you're curious.

Sneak peek of progress I sent to my sister

As always, Noodlehead patterns have easy to follow directions, complete with illustrations.  It's recommended for beginners to intermediate.  I suspect the intermediate is due to the curves, darts and the zippers (a modification to the pattern if you wish, instructions included with the pattern).  Also, I would readily recommend using a heavier interfacing if you're using quilting weight fabric.

For Christmas, we rotate names and this year I got my younger sister.  I had her select several fabrics from which I would create her something handmade.  Out of her picks, I went with the following three fabrics:

1. Robert Kaufman Yarn-dyed Essex Linen, Charcoal (sides and strap)
2. Michael Miller Cotton Couture, Ocean (side pockets and lining)
3. Robert Kaufman, Quilter's Linen, Delft (main panel)

Seriously, a great gift that my teenage sister loves!

I recently switched to a new computer (woohoo for me!) and so I'm working on finding the photos of the finish.  I'll post the results soon!