Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What's in a Name: Finished Quilt

Each year we rotate names for our Christmas gift exchange.  This last year I got my teenage brother who is a goofy, sweet ham. 

We love him dearly.

So what do you give a teenage boy?  I bet a quilt was at the top of your list, right? 

So all kidding aside, I really did want to make my brother a quilt and so I brainstormed a few ideas of what I could do.  In August I started pulling fabrics: navy blues, royal blues, and greys.  I continued to cultivate great "gender neutral" prints through out the process.

After struggling for a bit with the design, I decided I wanted to make a word quilt.  All of the words would be about my brother and inside jokes.  The entire quilt would be made out of words.  Awesome!  I grabbed From Blank Page's First Alphabet pattern (link to etsy store here) and brainstormed words.

Then in September I started to paper-piece all of the words...

Then around mid November, I panicked!  Only 7 words done! (I blame all of nicknames that start with "R").  - Admittedly, it was my first time doing foundation paper piecing and if you look closely, you can probably spot where I started and where I finished :) It took me a while to get a hang of the tiny pieces. -  With only 7 words done, I decided to scale back and do a combination of words and brick layout.

Words: Bubba, Brother, Ryno, Reynaldo, Ryguy, Hickman, Moatboat, Suppin It Up, and Ryan.

And here is the finished quilt, all hand-quilted:

Herringbone Quilt Finish!

and..... a finish!

The herringbone quilt is now finished.  See prior post here about the adventure of creating the top.

The quilt consists of scraps from my own stash as well as a few scrap packs from some fellow quilters that I snatched online. Score!

Seriously, one of my favorite recommendations for fabric stash building is to snag a quilter's scrap pack that pop up on instagram and flickr.  Be sure you like the person's taste (as indicated by their IG account).

Finished Dimensions:

Binding: Kona Curry

Backing: Happy Go Lucky, Moda, Bonnie & Camille (my favorite print!)

I'm very anxious to use this quilt!  I've even considered turning the air  conditioning so that I could snuggle it in the middle of the summer.

Happily this will get great use... in the mild Arizona winters.

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.