The A-maze-ing Labyrinth

Another wedding, another quilt! This wedding was for a friend of mine that I’ve known going on 10 years, and was the Man of Honor at my wedding. (My husband had a Best Maid, so it evened out.)

His (now wife) fiancee has also become a good friend, and I was SO over the moon to hear they were getting married. However, they didn’t give me very long, and because they were such good friends I knew this quilt had to be something beyond what I usually do, so that put me in a bit of a tight spot. Plus, their wedding colors are purple and orange, and I was having a difficult time visualizing a pattern off the top of my head.

I decided to try the Amazing Labyrinth pattern that you can find on Craftsy. It’s a different design than the usual Labyrinth quilts you see, and I knew for certain that this quilt couldn’t be a run-of-the-mill quilt. Plus, I had always wanted to try a 3D maze pattern. The pattern itself comes with two sizes; full/lap size, and king size. I definitely didn’t want the king size, so I chose the full/lap size and added two borders. I wound up with a quilt 98”x93”, which I think is perfect for a queen size bed.

The way I chose fabrics for this quilt was I picked three solids (Kona) in shades of purple, and one batik that had the pop of orange I wanted. Originally, my plan was to get the same batik for the backing, but they only had 2 yards left when I went back to buy more, and I needed at least 9 yards for the backing. I wound up finding a solid orange 108” backing fabric, and thought that would be perfect. I actually used it as the binding, too, which I’m not sure I loved but was what I had on hand. (I forgot to add in yardage for the binding… oops.)

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There were 36 blocks in this quilt, and when people tell you that “these quilts aren’t that difficult, you just need to stay organized”… they are absolutely correct. The pattern recommended doing the quilt a block at a time- from cutting to piecing. So I cut out what I needed for the block, put it together, did the same for the second, then sewed them together. I made each row and sewed each block together as I went, and I did the same for the rows.


Each block was made of so many tiny pieces! As I put each row on, I would lay the quilt out on the floor to see if I could see the pattern emerge. And I have to admit, I was worried. By the 4th row, all I could see were the individual seams and I had a hard time finding the maze. I was really worried that I was about to spend all this time on a quilt that was going to be an utter failure.


BUT. The quilting saved this quilt! The borders helped, as did the last row, but it wasn’t until I got photos back from my long arm quilter (Julia Quiltoff; look her up, she’s purest magic with a needle!) that I really could breathe a sigh of relief. The maze pattern echoes the pattern in the batik, and smoothes out the quilt so that you don’t see just the seams and individual pieces, but the whole pattern. I was SO excited when I got the sneak peek photos back.


After putting the binding on, I had my exchange student (who had to stand on a chair) and my husband hold up the quilt before I wrapped it for the wedding. Which was the next day. I think my exchange student has a knack for holding up quilts for photos; can I keep him forever?

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It was really well received, which was the best part of the whole thing. I’m thrilled that they love it, and I hope it will keep them warm and comfortable for many years of marriage to come.

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!

Reverse Applique

Whew! December has been a HUGELY busy month, meaning I have neglected my blog and haven’t written any blog posts in 3 weeks. I cannot believe it has been that long. Oops! Hopefully I can get back on track soon get back to a once-a-week post.  I’ve got something a little bit different today for my blog post; reverse applique.

I watch Jenny Doan of MSQC on youtube all the time, and recently I’ve started watching Rob Appel on Man Sewing. He does techniques that range from quilting to applique to making bags to a ton of other subjects. He did this tutorial on a technique called reverse applique that I enjoyed watching. Last week I was stuck at home watching my son while the poor kiddo was sick and so I had some time to attempt this new technique.

I picked a horse image- and I actually wound up Googling “tribal horse” images since you need an image that is kinda blocky for it. However, next time I might try to do some designing of my own.  What makes this technique different from regular applique is that normally you cut out the design THEN sew it on; this time, you sew on the design THEN cut it out. It’s… well, reversed. This was my final product:

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It was a fun project. I didn’t quilt around the main design since I had just wanted to focus on the main design which was the horse. There was a lot of cool points about this: you can use any colors you want, you could make it any size… the possibilites for this really are quite limitless. You could do names, team logos/mascots, sports… Lets just say I have a few ideas myself.

If you want a more detailed design and you’re not free-handing it, and instead have a pattern you’re going off of, you’ll want a lightbox. I put my pattern on the lightbox, the purple fabric on top, and then used my Frixxion pen to draw out the design. I then sewed directly on the line I drew and proceeded to cut out the middle of the design. (This is why I did tribal – it gives you more dark spaces to cut out!)img_1236

In order to cut out the design, I found that I felt better first inserting a pin, pulling the top layer of fabric up slightly (the purple) and then cutting just on top of where the pin was to create a hole to cut into where I didn’t have to worry about cutting the back fabric (the batik).

All told, this little one (I think it came out to something like 14” square) took me a grand total of about 3 hours, start to finish. It’ll go faster next time since I’ll have an idea of what I’m doing.

Could you imagine how COOL a bigger wallhanging of this would look? Or even, dare I suggest, a full-size quilt? (That’d be a treat!)

Next time I post we will be in 2017! How cool is that? I’m going to be starting a BOW quilt, so I will make weekly posts on that (it’s the Winter Solstice BOW with Pat Sloan- check out her blog).

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Happy New Year’s Eve!

A quilty gift!

My husband’s best friend from college got married over the fourth of July, so we decided that rather than buying her a blender, I’d make her a quilt instead. So, I searched Craftsy.com and Connecting Threads, and finally found this (kinda) little beauty over at CT. I’m a huge fan of CT because their prices are very reasonable and the quality of the fabric is pretty awesome for the price.

Anyways, it was a full-size quilt (mostly) and for some reason, I really struggled to get it together. Not for any skill related reason, but simply because when I sat down to quilt I just never wanted to quilt it. It was a mental block, I think, most likely because by this point Dan had left Charlottesville to head to Cleveland for his law internship, I was home alone with the kiddo, it was the last two weeks of school, and I was just tired all the time.

But, once I joined Dan up in Cleveland, and once school finished, I found that I once again had the energy to quilt, and the quilt came together quite quickly. Plus, once I got past my mental block, I absolutely fell in love with the quilt. I sent it out to be quilted and chose a simple swirl stitch, but the quilter was wonderful and put some little flowers in the center of the nine-patch blocks to match the flower theme of the quilt, which I absolutely adore!

Anyways, enough talking, here’s the rest of the pictures!

I’ve been practicing my photo skills, and as an added bonus the apartment we are sub-leasing for the summer has fantastic natural lighting. But yeah! I really enjoyed how these photos turned out. Hopefully you do to!