Monday, August 14, 2017

Block #1 - I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along

Several of the participants from the 2017 New Quilt Blogger's Hop from this year got together and have created a Christmas Mystery Quilt Along.  Block patterns are released every 2 weeks.  I've resisted a lot of quilt alongs this year, but I really wanted to do this one.  My deal with myself is to use all stash--no buying anything for this project.

Block #1 was designed by Vanda of Quilt In Piece.  It's a snowflake.  Vanda's original design has 8 points of each size, but one of the quilters in the Facebook group is a meteorologist and she pointed out snowflakes should only have 6 points.  I just liked the look of the 6-pointed snowflake better, and the idea of fewer prisms to applique had appeal!

The 2 different prisms within the snowflake are actually from the same fabric--it's an obmre fabric where the snowflakes get bigger as the colors change.  I've had it for years.  Instead of fusible web, I used the Crafted Applique method from the book by Lara Buccella.  I have figured out why this technique didn't work for me before: not enough time under the iron.  I fused for longer this time and had no trouble with shapes adhering during the stitching process. 

I am doing this as a quilt-as-you-go.  I'm using a Santa print for the back.  I have enough for 9 blocks, so if I end up making all 12 blocks, the back will have some variety.  I'm currently almost done with my first quilt with the quilt as you go method and I LOVE it.  It's exciting to know that when I'm done with all the blocks, I can just assemble and bind!

Block #2 comes out tomorrow.  I can't wait to see what it is!

Monday, August 7, 2017

August OMG

I have a batik hexie project that I feel like I have been working on forever.  The end is finally in sight, so I am using Elm Street Quilts' OMG to help push me to finish it.

Elm Street Quilts

Friday, August 4, 2017

Blue Elephants

Blue was July's color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and I'm a little behind.  I just finished my blue family of elephants for my Elephant Parade, pattern by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.

The blue gingham elephant is my favorite, though it looks gray in the picture.
I had already decided that I am only using bright colors, so instead of doing light neutrals, the August color, I will get a jump on turning each elephant family into a row.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Lots of Labels

My goal for July was to label 4 previously finished quilts--3 minis and a throw.  It wasn't an exciting goal, but it had to be done and I was putting it off.  OMG gave me the push to get them all labeled.

I print my labels onto printer-ready fabric that I buy for this purpose.  I typically wait to print until I have 3 or 4 to do so I don't waste any of the fabric.  I used this method from Quiltmaker and back my labels with scraps of muslin.

Linking up with Patty from Elm Street Quilts for OMG: One Monthly Goal.

Elm Street Quilts

Monday, July 24, 2017

July Bee blocks

I had a family vacation during part of July, so I wanted to get my Bee blocks done early.  I got one bee done before the vacation and one bee after--at least I wasn't still sewing on the last day of the month like June!

Queen Karen in Stash Bee asked for string blocks.  She wanted smaller blocks measuring 6 1/2" combined into larger blocks of 12 1/2" and put together so the strings made an X.  I made two:

I asked if there were any types of fabric to avoid and Karen said no.  I love that string blocks have a bit of everything in them.  I had such a good time making these that it inspired me to keep making string blocks!  The day after I made these for Karen, I did some quilt-as-you go blocks for me!  I don't have them assembled yet, but my string bin is as close to empty as it has ever been.

In Bee Inspired, Queen Jennifer designed an Irish Chain-inspired block that she calls Irish Eyes. She wanted this in shades of green.

 Her proposed layout looks really great and I can't wait to see her finished quilt!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Decorated Beach Bags

My extended family gathered in mid-July for vacation in the town where my grandparents vacationed the majority of their marriage, so it is a place with lots of family vacation history.  This was the first trip for the generation that includes my son, so I wanted to make something fun and easy for the kids.

I bought some pre-made canvas bags at A.C. Moore for $2.99 each, and I used some of my Accuquilt dies to personalize them.  Now, before I get accused of choosing sexist designs, I want to point out that I did ask for each kid if they wanted a train or a butterfly, those being the only fun Accuquilt dies I have.  I asked my son directly and he picked a train; I asked a parent for both my niece and my cousin's daughter and was told butterfly.  So while they did line up with stereotypical gender choices, it was (hopefully) a little more personalized than that.

I did names on the other side, also using an Accuquilt die.  This is where the name is a limiting factor; you can see that both my son and my niece have 6 letters in their name, but one fit okay in a line and the other...didn't.  Husband helped with the layout and we decided that an embroidered rainbow underneath would help it look a little less weird.  Niece LOVES rainbows, so that helps too.

I used scraps of Kona solids for the names.  The letters in Elliot are Prussian and Jade Green (he picked them), Verona's are Bordeaux and Bright Periwinkle, and Emma's are Niagara and Pool.  The train and butterflies were made with general scraps.

I found this to be a fun, easy project and I'm really happy with how they turned out.  I was worried about having to stitch through the bag opening, but it wasn't super difficult and I only caught the bag handle once!  The bags are a good size for the 3-year olds and they used them to carry sand toys to the beach.  It's probably a little big for the 19-month-old (cousin's daughter) but her parents carried it for her and she'll grow into it.  I think I will keep a few blank bags on hand to personalize for kids in my life, as long as they have short names!

Since this was a scrap project, I'm linking up with Oh Scrap! hosted by Cynthia of Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

Quilting is more fun than Housework

Saturday, July 22, 2017

June Bee Blocks

I was a little behind with my June bee blocks and didn't finish until the last day of the month! I've had this post written for almost 3 weeks; I just realized it never got posted.  Sorry for the delay.  Now it will look like i finished the June and July blocks at the same time!

In Stash Bee, Queen Paulette asked for the Big Nines block designed by Amanda Jean Nyberg.  She wanted red, black, and white.  I didn't have much black or red, so when I was in Virginia camping with my family, I went to my favorite quilt shop in Wytheville, VA to pick up a few things.  Yay for excuses to visit the quilt shop!

I got a little carried away and made 3 blocks.  This was a nice, easy block with big impact.  And the block feels huge to me!  I guess I don't work with blocks that are 16 1/2" unfinished very often.

In Bee Inspired, Karen was Queen.  She took us on a trip to Paris all month!  Karen picked this really fun poodle block by The Objects of Design.  She then broke the somewhat complicated block into small pieces all month and sprinkled the tutorial with tidbits from her trip to Paris a few years ago.  The poodle quilt will go in her Paris-themed guest room.

This is Annette!  Karen asked for right-facing poodles from Bee Inspired and mentioned that she would ask for left-facing poodles from Stash Bee later in the year.  I figured I'd crash her hive later in the year and just send them together now.  So I made Annette a left-facing brother, Louis.

Louis is named after a real poodle I used to know, probably the first dog I was ever around frequently.  When I was a young, we had friends who lived a block away and they had a black poodle named Louis.  I remember him as being big and sweet.

Karen has since decided that this poodle is beyond the time limit for Stash Bee, so she'll be picking something else for her turn later in the year.  But I'm still sending these sweet poodles on to her.  I really like how they turned out, but this is a particularly time-consuming block with a lot of pieces.  I'm not against making it again, but I would only want to do one or two poodles, not an entire quilt worth.  But that's what make Bees so great, you get to dabble and not commit!