Ocean Illusion Quilts

Here’s another couple of UFOs I’ve finished during this quarantine! These are two sister quilts that I pieced at the same time, but since one was for a gift, that one got finished and given while it’s sister quilt sat in my ‘to quilt’ and then my ‘to bind’ pile for far longer than it should have.

IMG_20190525_103429I found this pattern free online, and it was written in German (I think). However, I was able to use the measurements and images in the pattern to figure it out! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find the pattern since then.

EDIT: Someone very kindly found it! (Thanks Karen!) Here’s a link: Illusion Quilt (It used to be available for free on Bluprint/Craftsy, which is probably where I got it, but it isn’t available at this time.)

Luckily, I wrote the pattern in English as I was going along. If you’d like to make it, feel free to check out the pattern here. I haven’t been able to find the original pattern to credit the author of it- if anyone finds (or knows of) it, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due!

The top, although seemingly complicated, is actually just a bunch of strip sets cut in different widths and sewn together. The trickiest part, for me anyways, was making sure each strip stayed in the correct order.

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I chose to use a batik that had some movement in it but still had a cohesive “color” when viewed from a distance. I really loved the vibrancy of the blue/green waves- it was such fun to work with as I was assembling the tops! 

For quilting, I chose to use white on top and a gorgeous variegated blue/green/purple thread on the bottom, and all I did was stitch in the ditch so that it didn’t take away from the overall flow of the quilt tops.

Cavorting Colors

img_20190702_105243Cavorting Colors is an older UFO that I discovered around the same time as the Ambleside Picnic Quilt– although not as old. I bought 13 batik fat quarters a long time ago, with no real plan in mind, but I couldn’t pass up the fabric; especially the backing, which is probably one of my favorite batiks that I’ve ever seen.

I finally found the pattern in 75 Fun Fat-Quarter Quilts and saw this one. The quilt is pretty simple to construct- it’s two different blocks (alternating) made of half-square triangles. It was a fun, pretty quick quilt to make and I love how to colors just seem to be dancing around the quilt.

This quilt is intended to be a wedding gift- but I’m going to be honest, I’m not sure I can img_20190702_104517give it up! However, I am starting to run out of space (that’s a lie, but I tell myself that so it’s easier). But, also, I do actually enjoy gifting my quilts- as long as I know that I’m giving it to someone who can love and appreciate the time, effort, and emotion that went into making it. And since this particular couple is one who commissioned a  Christmas quilt from me several years ago, I know they’ll treasure this one too.

I wound up backing the quilt with my favorite batik of the collection; a multi-colored, butterfly-adorned batik. I had it quilted with flowers and swirls, and bound it with the orange batik from the collection. It’s a lighter batting in it, so it’ll be a perfect quilt for spring and summer nights when it gets a bit cooler.

Dream Big Panel

IMG_20181229_184223I bought this panel near the beginning of this year with the express purpose of using it to practice my free motion quilting on my new machine. But… it was daunting. And so it sat. And sat. Right before we moved, I got it out and basted it. And then it sat some more.

00000IMG_00000_BURST20181229185538135_COVERFinally, I pulled it out, because I wanted to complete my daughter’s baby quilt (which I did, post forthcoming) and figured if I was going to screw it up I’d rather screw it up on a $20 panel and not the quilt top I had spent 20+ hours making. So, after a couple of deep breaths, some frantic Pinterest searching for ideas, and I got started.

At first, each petal took me about 30-45 minutes to do. And the middle, with all that minuscule pebbling, took over an hour. But slowly, I improved. I decided to do a different design on each petal, which adds to the dynamic but also didn’t give me much practice time to perfect each design. As such, some designs are better than others, especially once you start reaching the outer petals. I tried so many new patterns; I even got comfortable using a ruler to make straight lines! (Two petals and all outer corners/background are ruler work.)

00000PORTRAIT_00000_BURST20181229185557785This project took months of on/off quilting work. Lori Kennedy has a bunch of ideas on Pinterest, and I used some quilting patterns I saw on Angela Walter’s Midnight Quilt Show, as well as some I saw used on projects throughout the time. And, although some of the quilting isn’t perfect, I learned a ton. And I’d like to think it isn’t half bad for a beginning “quilter”. (Do you like my dragonfly? I did practice that one.)

As I was doing this, I discovered a real joy in seeing how the quilting transforms a top. Since starting this, I’ve finished one big top (the Falling Leaves kit I posted earlier), one baby blanket, and a table topper for my husband for his table at work that he’s been asking for. And I’ve quilted each thing to death. I love it!

Hopefully this is the start of the next chapter in my quilting journey. I can’t wait to see what else I can pull off, just in time for the start of a whole new year! Happy New Years, everyone!

Caribbean Waves Quilt (Craftsy Kit)

A friend of mine from Virginia was getting married; and so of course I had to make her a IMG_2099quilt! I met her at work, my last year. (Of course). And over that year, we hung out several times a month outside of work; she quickly became my best friend. I was so sad that I was leaving Charlottesville after JUST finding her!

But after she got married she moved down to New Orleans, and I’m sorry love, but no matter how much I like you, I am NOT moving to where you walk outside and it isn’t air but humid soup you walk into.

I had gotten this kit for myself in purple (still isn’t finished, of course), and loved it so much I got it in the blue as well. I *almost* kept both of them.

This quilt is a pretty simple design, made out of just two IMG_2100blocks that alternate; but the result is a gorgeous effect that gives an insane amount of depth to the design.

The purple quilt makes me think of space, and I almost did quilting to reflect that in this quilt, but the blues put me in mind of the crystal clear waters of the caribbean. So I chose a swirl to try to mimic the waves, and I’m pretty pleased how that turned out.

IMG_2090The fabric line was a new one that I haven’t worked with before- Boundless Fabrics from Craftsy. I love how soft they are, but MAN do they put out some crazy lint! I had to clean my machine pretty much each bobbin change there was that much lint/fuzz. But the fabric was easy to work with and the colors were oh-so vibrant. I’d definitely buy them for another project in the future.

Since I had met this friend down in Virginia and her wedding was there, I knew on the way down there was a scenic overlook that I knew would be PERFECT place to take the photos of the quilt. And indeed; both quilt and backdrop are spectacular.


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This quilt was also one of the first times I put my tags into the binding, and I have to sayit was much faster and easier than hand sewing them on afterwards. And I think they turned out well! Maybe for future quilts I’ll have more professional looking labels made for the corners from Etsy.

 

Hopefully I get the purple version done soon so I can show you both versions completed! (Although the background for that one will not be nearly as gorgeous as this!)

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My “Special Snowflake” Quilt

I’m baaaack! It’s been a long time since I’ve made a post! Almost a year, in fact. Life was quite busy, what with moving from Virginia to Ohio and having a baby 6 months after that. Quilting took a back seat for awhile, due to my pregnancy making me super tired and taking a little bit  to set up my sewing room. But I finally got back at it… just in time for my daughter to be born. And Athena loves to be held and is a light sleeper, so quilting fell by the wayside a little bit after she was born. But I have a couple completed quilts to show over the next few weeks and hopefully will have more as time goes on!

And yes, I’m referring to my husband when I named this quilt “Special Snowflake.” He loves me anyway. Mostly because I made him this quilt!

This quilt was done using Rob Appell’s take on the 3 Dudes Quilt. It’s a really great tutorial, and he’s pretty precise on his directions. I like it because you only need one jelly roll of your choice and one 1.5” roll of your choice of solid color. I chose white because husband asked for a winter-esqe quilt, and I thought the white would stand out nicely against the blue. Plus it reminded me of snow with the blues representing ice.

While Rob makes the quilt look easy, it was definitely a learning experience for me (and not always a fun one!) When you put the blocks together, the seams meet up and get VERY bulky if you aren’t careful. As well, I had some blocks that weren’t quite the same size, and had to be stretched a bit.

I’ve never done a border like the one on this quilt (and no, I’m not talking about the solid border, but the pieced one.) I knew from previous quilts I had to be really careful about the strips stretching when I ironed them out, but they still weren’t even.

By the time the quilt was done, when I tried to lay it flat on the ground, the borders were so wavy they wouldn’t lay flat. I was a bit bummed but sent it off to the long armers anyway… and the quilting helped. It was near perfect when I got it back!

I’m really happy with how it turned out at the end, and got it done just in time to give to my husband for Christmas! He enjoys it, and uses it often (at least when I’m around!)

I’ll try to get the next post up in a week or so. See you then!

Elephant Baby Quilt

IMG_2011Another baby quilt; this time it’s for another little boy and my instructions were as follows: navy blue and lime green colors. The rest was up to me.

I had recently obtained a tumbler template from Missouri Star Quilt Company, and hadn’t had a chance to use it yet, so I decided this would be a perfect time to do so! Using some different shades of white/grey/off white fabric from my stash and some navy and lime green yardage, this came together quite nicely! (Especially since it was my first time using the template.)

Originally I had wanted to do triangles instead of the tumbler block, but I don’t have a triangle ruler and it was shaping up to be pretty confusing. (I’m sure, eventually, I will wind up doing a triangle quilt and I will find it much easier, but today is not that day!)

It turned out looking pretty modern – I have to say, when I heard the colors “navy blue” and “lime green” together, I was a bit nonplussed – I had never thought to put them together before.IMG_2013

But after this quilt… yeah, this is high on my color choice combos for boyo quilts from now on. It’s so striking, I absolutely love it! Not to mention the quilting, which is elephants marching from row to row. My LAQ even managed to get them marching around the corner instead of doing a simple edge-to-edge.

Fun story- I actually didn’t have this quilt finished in time for the baby shower, which actually turned out perfectly! When I went, the theme was green, blue, and elephants, so that decided me on the quilting pattern! (Oops!)

I’m just head-over-heels for this quilt! I think it turned out absolutely stunning!

It’s hard to believe we’re just a few weeks away from our move. I’m about two weeks behind right now on my 365 Challenge, but I’ve been feeling really under the weather lately, so hopefully when that clears up I can get caught up again!

365 Challenge – Weeks 13 & 14

Yay! After this we’re all caught up! Just in time for me to fall drastically behind again! (Really, though, I’m not planning on it. But it’ll happen at some point again this year, I’m sure.)

This post is a little late- life has been crazy and I’ve been absolutely exhausted after school each day, so not much gets done at home! But there’s only 4 weeks left of school so that will be a nice break soon.

As always, you can find directions for the daily blocks here.

Week 13
March 26 – April 1

This week was a bit interesting. Finishing off March and starting on April – officially a quarter of the way through the challenge! Hopefully I can keep up with all the moving and whatnot!

Week 14
April 2 – 8

This week we finished up the borders for the central medallion! And I put it all together; I really enjoy how it turned out. I actually picked the colors in the corner blocks to match one color each from the adjoining borders.

Because of that, though, my center medallion doesn’t quite match up with the directions for a couple of reasons. A) I did the grey differently in one of the borders to match the first flying geese border. B) Because I picked the colors each day, the arrangement of the borders and corner blocks is different than in the directions. Oh well.

Here’s a picture of the final center block all put together!

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365 Challenge – Weeks 10 through 12

So I’m behind on keeping the blog updated on the 365 Challenge. I’m actually up to date on the actual challenge, so I have all my blocks, I just fell behind on the photography part. Don’t even get me started on the Solstice Challenge- I’m ACTUALLY behind on that one. Only by two blocks, but still. Feels like a lot more.

The good news is that since this is my spring break week (yay!) I had time today to take pictures of all of my blocks and I’m going to post three weeks at a time. Since we’re on week 14 right now, that’ll catch us up in just two weeks or so. Maybe three, I don’t know, I’m not a math teacher.

My to-do list as far as quilting is SO long. I’ve got a baby quilt I’m finishing up and then a doggone (this is a pun, you just don’t know it yet) commission to work on!

And this on top of working and getting ready to move. We’re moving back to the Midwest in less than two months, which is crazy town! I can’t believe how fast time has flown by this year!

Anyways, to the whole point of this post- you get three weeks of blocks today! Although I’m super excited for this current week – we’re finishing up the center portion of the quilt! It’s really quite pretty! I may have to sneak it in with its own post so I can show everyone.

Week 10
March 5 – 11

My favorite this week was either the Art Square or the March Basket. The toughest was definitely Birds In The Air (first one) due to using the techniques used for the large black triangle. It was pretty tricky to get the hang of, but by the second block I had it down pretty well. The tiny HSTs of the March Basket (last one) were… actually kind of fun.

Week 11
March 12 – 18

I can get mitered corners pretty well, but when it comes to Y-seams, I cannot get it to come out flat! There’s always a little ripple! You’ll see what I mean in some of the blocks coming up this week and in later weeks.

However, I do really enjoy the mitered corners method. For some reason I can get those to lay PERFECTLY. God only knows why. That being said, my favorites this week were the Pinwheel Star and the Lattice Square (1 & 5 respectively).

Week 12
March 19 – 25

There were so many classic blocks that I got to try for the first time this week! Log cabin, pineapple block, snail trail… also, this week I happen to have no less than 5 favorites that  I can’t choose between. I guess my top two are Sarah’s Favorite and the Buttercup blocks (1 & 3 respectively). I absolutely love checkerboard patterns, and the flower is just darling.

The log cabins are a struggle for me, because for some reason I can’t get them straight. It could be my cutting or my piecing. I’m not sure and I can’t figure out why. This week also came with a bonus block, so there’s eight this week instead of 7!

Anyways, time to finish up that baby quilt.

Jeweled Mariposa Quilt

Story time! img_1676

One of the things I’ve really started to love doing is photographing my quilts in really pretty locations. And we have cherry trees right outside our apartment. This past week or so, due to the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having here, they have been in full, fantastic bloom. All week I’ve been telling my husband, “These would be so pretty to use as a backdrop to photograph quilts with!”

Luckily, I just recently got two back from the long arm quilter, and all I needed to do was bind them. But I was so tired Friday night that all I managed to do was cut the strips for binding and not much else.

Well, I woke up Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. and realized that at 9:45 there was supposed to be thunderstorms rolling through, and that they would probably strip the cherry trees of their gorgeous blossoms. So I spent the next two and a half hours binding the quilts, and got them done by 9:45 to take pictures of them out by the cherry trees! Unfortunately, it was pretty windy out, so sometimes we had to lay the quilts on the ground instead of holding them up. But I absolutely LOVE how the pictures turned out!

img_1684This quilt was a purchase during a stressful time. But the colors absolutely pulled at me. I love the jewel tones of purple, blue, and green. The main fabric (center panel) in the quilt is so gorgeous and soft I want to cuddle in this quilt and never get out again. I really enjoy the way the black background enhances the colors; really makes them “pop”.

Also, by the way, “Mariposa” means butterfly in Spanish.

This quilt was supposed to have black for the binding, but I had put the quilt top together up in Michigan over the holidays and accidentally left the binding strips up there. Luckily, I had bought enough backing to make binding strips from it, and I’m actually MUCH happier with it this way! It looks like another border; and I really think it works with the rest of the quilt.

I bought a TON of King Tut variegated thread to use for the quilting (which is, of course, butterflies), but because I didn’t know how much to buy I way overbought. Now I have 5.5 spools of unused King Tut variegated thread.

Oh well, guess I’ll have to make another jewel quilt! Darn.

Also, just LOOK at that backing fabric. Isn’t it GORGEOUS?!

See you soon!

Heartbeat

You’ve seen this one before. But now it’s done! Quilted, bound, and done! This one was so much fun- I designed it myself on my EQ7 software and then ordered the exact fabric line for it.

img_1492I call it heartbeat because the pulsing of the red and black reminds me of the pulsing of a heartbeat. Kinda lame name for such a cool looking quilt, but eeeeeh, what can you do? It really is what it reminds me of, and I just followed my heart on this.

For the quilt, I simply made a LOT of HSTs using a layer cake (and a couple extra prints since it was light on the reds) in the two-at-a-time method. I didn’t square them or trim them either. (I really, REALLY hate squaring up HSTs.)

I used the Weeds fabric line from Me and My Sister Designs. I love the little flowers and poppies in this fabric choice- and they fabric is  a wonderful quality- it really was a joy to work with!

I backed and bound heartbeat in bright red fabric and had it quilted using little curved rectangles and squares.


Heartbeat is up for sale and posted on my Etsy page.

Tomorrow is Friday! TGIF!

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