Sunday, August 23, 2015

2015 Mad City Quilt Guild Mini Challenge Quilt - Complete!


I finished my little 12 x 12 mini challenge quilt!  Hooray!  I will celebrate any finishes, no matter how big or small!  Miraculously, I have this complete BEFORE the due date (by a solid 24 hours!). This will display in the Mad City Quilt Guild booth at Quilt Expo. In years past, I've stitched the binding down at Quilt Expo, in the booth.  =/  

This year's theme is "My Favorite Color" and we were to make a monochromatic block with white, black or grey as the contrasting colors.  This theme was interesting, because I like many colors!  Green is something I've always been drawn to and have made many quilts with green in them.  But when I organized my fabric this summer, I barely had any yardage of green!  I would also say I like royal blue, but again, I had very little yardage of it.  The pile of 'red' is quite high, but there are several bigger hunks that make the stack taller.  


(not pictured: all of the yellows and greys-- they are in a project tote)

What amazed me was the trend of fabrics that weren't a true blue or a true green.  More of "Blue-Green".  So that is how I decided on what color to use!

I've been wanting to make a 'Sparkler' style quilt for some time and this was a good chance to use that pattern and show off many different fabrics.

The quilting is 'matchstick' style and I did it on Heather's Bernina.  It was super nice to quilt with that machine!!  (but I'm not getting any ideas!)


Finn has really taken to sewing and was happy to help out with the machine portion of the binding.


 The color of these plants sort of matches my theme!


xoxo


Slow Sunday Stitching - Mini Style!

I've followed Kathy at Kathy's Quilts for quite a while now and she dedicates part of every Sunday to hand stitching and encourages everyone to slow down and relax with some hand work.  I work every Sunday at Urgent Care (doing X-Ray) and **sometimes** I'm able to sneak in some hand stitching.


Today I brought my mini challenge quilt that will be part of the Mad City Quilt Guild's booth at Quilt Expo.  [I canNOT wait for expo to start!!  I want to do some serious stash acquisition! =)  Seventeen more days before it starts!!!]

Hopefully I will have a photo of my mini to share by the end of the day.  It's due tomorrow, which is the start of the 2014-2015 year for my guild.  It's going to be a great one!!  Our scheduled speakers include Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts (LOVE her style!!), Laura Wasilowski, Lee Heinrich from Freshly Pieced, Chris Daly of Dye Candy and more!

xoxo

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lutherdale Gala Quilt

Big, big news!! A quilt I contributed to was auctioned off for big money last weekend!

Let me start at the very beginning...

For many years now (I can't quite recall how many...7?), I've attended a retreat at Lutherdale Camp in January.  It's been loads of fun and is something I look forward to immensely.  It really breaks up the long cold winters.

One of the biggest fundraisers for the camp is a quilt auction held in August.  Many, many people donate quilts (hundreds!!) to be auctioned off to benefit the camp.  During the spring, they have a 'Gala Event' to thank the donors for their support. It involves a luncheon, a speaker and instructions on a block to make and send in to be assembled into a 'Gala Quilt'.

In spring of 2014, I was invited to participate in assembling the the Gala Quilt.  It was loads of fun!  The block donated from the group was a simple half square triangle with a light/dark contrast.  We trimmed them down and assembled it into a stunning arrangement.  Each block reminded me of a Fresnell lens used in lighthouses.  I don't know the real name of the pattern.




Last December, as I was prepping for the annual retreat, my friend Janet (who has coordinated the Gala Quilt for many years) asked me for ideas on this year's quilt.  I brainstormed with her and another friend and came up with a pattern that I recently saw in a magazine.  It's a faux postage stamp called "Mosaic Flood".  We asked all of the January retreaters to bring strips to camp that measure 12" x 1 1/2".  We got tons!

Then, at the Gala Luncheon in April, I was tasked with speaking in front of the group (150+ people!!).   We brought the strips and asked each person to select a variety of colors and values and make a strip set of 12.  I was told that when I described the project, it sounded kind of "ho-hum", but then when I brought out a sample of the quilt that my friend was working on (specifically to show the group), people ooohed and ahhhed!  They said the back lighting made it glow!





We asked the group to sew their sets in the next few weeks and mail them back to camp.  Six of us gathered at the end of May and spent the weekend assembling the quilt.



This was a kind of crazy quilt to work on.  We didn't have a lot of variety with the sewing or cutting, so we entertained ourselves with conversation and stories.  The pattern is to cross cut the strip sets, sew the sub-units end to end into rows and then start sewing the rows into pairs, pairs into fours, etc, etc.  The seams are offset and don't match, so its very forgiving!  Hence the "faux" portion of the postage stamp style.

By Saturday night, we finished the top!  It's a MONSTER!! 101" X 103" And we all started to say, "I'm going to bid on this at the auction!"  The variety of fabrics and the tiny sized pieces were mesmerizing!

L to R: Me, Heather, Janine, Lynn, Chris, Janet


Casey from Lutherdale quilted it at The Quilting Connection and Heather did the binding.  I was able to help out a tiny bit with the binding. =)

And now for the big finale-- this has been a long story!  The auction was last weekend and Janine was in a bidding war and eventually lost to a person that bid $1200!!! AND there was a matching grant that brought in another $1200!!  TWENTY FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!  Woo-hoo!!!

I'm thrilled that we raised so much money for such a wonderful place! This journey has been fun, exciting, rewarding and...now we need to start over at square one and start thinking about a pattern for next year!  If you have an idea-- let me know! (seriously!)

xoxo

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Mini Challenge Quilt + Stash enhancement


I set a goal of completing my mini quilt for Mad City Quilt Guild's booth at Quilt Expo this week.  I didn't meet the goal, but I am almost there with a nearly completed top.  I've been sneaking in bits of cutting and sewing into every day and it's been fun!  These wonky stars are a little ticky-tacky.  Sew/press/trim/repeat.  I love how they look, but they require more effort than one would think!  This in progress step is a little bit ugly duckling--  it will be a swan with just a bit more sewing!!  My next goal for this is to make sure it is 100% complete by August 24th, so I can hand it in at our next meeting. (I've been notoriously late with my entry in past years!)

Also under my needle this week is a "leftover" project.  These are trimmings from Heather's Twirly Star quilt that she was going to toss out-- I intervened and said I would turn them into something.  The pieces weren't uniform, but I didn't feel like squaring up.  I just started sewing the triangles together into rectangles and then put the rectangles into rows.  No plan, just sew them together as leader enders.  It seems to be time to formulate a plan!  I think I'll make a strippy baby or lap quilt out of them.  This yellow/gold fabric from my stash seems to be a good complement for sashing.  I auditioned a red with gold metallics and a red/purple stripe.  Neither one worked. Hopefully the lack of squaring up won't cause too much of a problem when I sew the rows together!

Lastly, I received a lovely little package in the mail from Massdrop this week.  A Tula Pink fat quarter bundle!! I couldn't resist!

Linking up with Molli Sparkles, Sew Fresh Quilts and Patchwork Times.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Time to get sewing!

Now that I've got my sewing room put together (it still needs more work, but it is mostly functional), it is time to start creating!  I have a million projects that are in progress that I should work on-- instead, I'm dying to start something new.  I hope to make 2 baby quilts in the near future and have them planned out (sorta) in my head.  But first, it's time to make a mini-challenge quilt for the Mad City Quilt Guild's booth at Quilt Expo.

This year's theme is "My Favorite Color".  That's tough!!  I like many colors and had a hard time choosing.  When unpacking my sewing room, I re-folded all of my yardage.  Blue-Green fabric seemed to be a trend.  Not quite blue, not quite green: Blugreen. =)  So that's what I'll use.

The guidlines for the mini's are that they should be approximately 12" x 12" and use one colorway plus a neutral.  I joke all the time that lime green is a neutral and would like to make a mini like that--but I'll be conventional.  I've pulled these aquas and plan to make a 'Sparkler' mini with 2" cut squares.


Amanda Jean made a mini and it is my inspiration. I've had this quilt pinned for ages and hope to make a bigger version someday.

--Can't get the hyperlink to embed. :/


Sewing room progress:

Found my thread!!  It was in a box marked "closet".  I was able to hang this antique printer typesetting drawer and it holds my thread nicely.


My closet is still a disaster zone.



Hopefully the next post will have a completed Blugreen Mini to share.

Xoxo

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sewing room update

A week has passed and I'm getting closer to a functioning sewing room!

Yesterday my mom helped me install foam insulation for my design wall.  I'll be covering this in felt, but the insulation makes it easy to pin (if needed). Nearly the entire wall is covered!  I can't wait to use it!


I decided to combine functions in my antique dresser.  Fabric yardage will go in the drawers and I made an ironing board topper.  There are 6 layers of batting and then a covering of reflective fabric. Managing large hunks of fabric will be much easier!


Most of my fabric is organized (small miracle).  I started folding my fat quarters into a standard method last night.  It's amazing how much easier it is to view fabric when it is all the same.  When one cut is folded this way and another folded that way, I don't seem to consider them as something to use?  I seem to remember, "oh, I bought that at Expo last year" and not, "that's a good blue".   Going forward, I hope to re-fold all new fabric to match my stash right away when it enters the sewing room.  We'll see how that goes!


With just a little more work, I can start sewing soon.  One problem-- I haven't found my thread or other notions!!  They better turn up soon!

xoxo

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Busy, busy summer- without much sewing!

Summers are usually extra busy and don't leave much time for sewing.  This summer is no exception.  Except it is even busier than most years, because of a big vacation in Europe followed by moving homes!

I spent 2 fantastic weeks in France, England and Scotland.  Here are some of my favorite pics:
Selfie at the Louvre
 Liberty of London!!!!!!!
 The haberdashery section
I came home with 2 meter remnants. =)

Eilean Donnan Castle in Scotland

My travel project: Fingerless Gloves.  This pattern made me use my brain!

 The woolens in Scotland!!  Amazing!! I would have LOVED a bigger suitcase.

 Three Sisters Mountains in Scotland.  Breathtaking!

I got me a Deerstalker!!

And the bagpipers-- they were everywhere and I loved them to bits.

After getting home, I had 6 days to finish packing my home and move across town (with 4 of those 6 days at work!).

My new place is much, much larger than the old one and my new sewing room is going to be fantastic.  I've been there for 2 weeks and this weekend, things started to take shape.  Here are a few pics:

Looking in from the doorway

Standing near the closet

A cutting table I made from cubby organizers + a tabletop

Organizing my stash! 

Hopefully I will get to create soon.  I'm happy to fold fabric and organize things, but I can't wait to start a new quilt! =)

xoxo