Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rectangular Wonky Stars

This tiny block was an experiment with making a rectangular wonky star block.  Instead of beginning with squares, as in regular wonky stars, which are a super fun block to make, I began with itty bitty rectangles.  They work out just the same, except you have to be careful to which side of the rectangle you add the star points.  I put an adorable Japanese fabric fussy cut in the center of the rectangle.  The block finishes at 1 7/8 x 2 1/4 inches.
I set my miniature block into the front of a Perfect Zip Bag (pattern by Elizabeth Hartman) via reverse applique and added some hand stitched details.  The outside of the bag is black yarn dyed essex which has incredible texture and at the same time is super soft.  Thanks to Rachel for sending me some!  I hope I can find more somewhere soon.  Love this stuff.

 The lining of the bag is oval elements in a great dark purple and plum.

I enjoyed making my first block so much I made another.  This on is slightly bigger and pieced into the front of a cell phone case.  I think I prefer the reverse applique setting, but this one is sweet too.
 They make a cute pair; I think I'll keep them.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Yellow and Gray Pinwheel

I finished up the quilting on my yellow and gray pinwheel quilt just in time to take it my guild's picnic.  It looks right at home in Shea's living room.  Thanks to Lisa and Tracy for holding it up for me!  The quilt is 60 x 80.  It's such a simple pattern.  In my version, each rectangle finishes at 5 x 10 inches. The Omnigrip 6-Inch-by-24-Inch Non-Slip Quilter's Ruler is my go to tool and makes cutting these blocks a cinch.
I used three leftover blocks on the back along with all my solid gray scraps.  It is pretty scrappy, but it did feel really good not to buy any fabric for backing.
I wanted to further differentiate the gray and yellow pinwheel shapes, so I used a different design to quilt each: the chains squares and paisley from Angela's book.
I machine stitched the binding using this method I described a while back.  So quick!  I used all of my favorite gray dot for the binding and had to finish using Kona coal.
This quilt is a gift for a really terrific pediatric audiologist.  I can't wait to give it to her!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My Week

I unearthed this work in progressed and have now been quilting it, for a week.  Now that I've seen the beauty of dense quilting, I'm finding it hard to do anything else, and on a large lap quilt it takes time.  I think it will be worth it though.
I was somewhat disappointed with this quilt top, back in September 2011 because my inattention to value made the overall design less obvious.  The rectangles don't all form clear pinwheels.  I am attempting to remedy the problem by quilting the yellow and gray pinwheels with a different design.  I chose two designs from Angela's book: paisley and chain squares (although mine are rectangles).

Wrangling a big quilt through my little machine makes for some wobbly free motion quilting, but I think I'm going to love it, especially after it is washed.  And it's definitely better than leaving the top hanging in the closet any longer.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fabric from Afar

Two packages from overseas arrived at my house this week, and it made me think how cool it is to have access to unique fabrics from all over the globe.  I found both sources on etsy!  Look at these gorgeous hand printed lovelies from Maze and Vale in Australia.  The rainclouds just get me.  I love the feathers too.
I've had my eye on a number of fabrics from UniqueShiny based in Seoul. These great paper-like prints come as a panel on a single piece of linen/cotton blend.  The other panel is information about Hangul, the Korean alphabet, and traditional Korean houses. 
These are all going in my special fabrics bin for just the right project. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Giveaway Winner

The randomly selected winner of the giveaway of Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters, is #36, Caryn.
Blogger Caryn said...
I'm just getting ready to quilt my first one. It'll be straight line, but I love FMQ and can't wait to try it!
July 2, 2012 4:41 PM
Congrats.  You're going to get so much out of this book!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tallahassee Anna

It's no secret that my favorite way to piece is improv.  I love the freedom, the spontaneity, the creativity of it.  It's fun to see an idea evolve as I sew.  But sometimes I feel in need of the precision of paper piecing.  This is one of those weeks.
Jenny generously traded a huge bag of Anna Maria Horner Bohemian scraps with me.  I definitely got the better end of the trade, but she's big hearted like that.  You have to check out Jenny's amazing Bohemian quilt.  I wanted to use a small paper pieced block with this raging rock star line (I mean hot pink leopard print with paisley?!) for fun. I found this sweet block on quilter's cache.   Each block finishes at 6 inches. They are called Tallahassee blocks, and as I used to live there, they were an easy choice.
I've paired the wild prints with a demure Michael Miller Old Script in cream and brown.
I think I want to add another element in the quilt.  I'm not sure if it will be improv or more persnickety.  I guess I'll see how I'm feeling when I finish up these blocks.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Free-Motion Quilting, Book Giveaway

I'm so excited to finally have this book in my hands.  I've had it on pre-order since I learned Angela was writing it - a book on free motion quilting from the best known modern machine quilter around!  I've been lucky enough to hear Angela talk about machine quilting before, at guild, so knew her book would make it accessible and fun.
What I love the most about the book is the diagrams that take you step by step through creating a quilting design, along side a photo of that design used in a real quilt.  Angela shows you how to create everything from simple swirls to some of her signature designs like the plume feather.
She even shows you how to combine two or more designs.  How cool is this one?
Angela talks about how, specifically, to quilt elements of the modern quilt.  With all these new ideas, it's a good thing she also explains how to decide which design to choose for your quilt.  This book is a great resource for your quilting library.  I know I'm looking forward to trying some new things on my next quilt.  And can you believe she's already written a second book, due out in December?
Although I paid for my own copy (pre-ordered ages ago!), Angela was nice enough to send me a signed copy to give away to one of you!  US residents please leave a comment telling me your go-to quilting design (don't forget to leave your email address if you are no reply), and I will select a random winner Friday morning. Giveaway now closed.