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!

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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Kaffe Fassett Quilt- Sunshine Daisies

img_1501Yellow quilts. Never thought I’d make one. But one thing I’ve always wanted to do was to make a quilt using the over saturated fabrics from Kaffe Fassett. Last February, I went to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show and there was a booth that sold pretty much exclusively K.Fassett fabrics. They also had a bunch of kits you could get that used his fabrics. I fell in love with one in particular, and when I had the choice of pinks/reds, green/blues, or yellows, I chose the yellows, weirdly enough.

And I am SO happy I did! I absolutely adore this quilt. The best part was that I found out that after quilt assembly, I had more than enough leftovers to make the baby size quilt too. (Which I did, and you can find here.)

img_1509For this quilt I did the same quilting pattern as the baby quilt- flowers. (I think they’re daisies? I don’t know, I’m a quilter, not a gardener!) Although this time I left the color choice up to my longarm quilter, and she sent me a special surprise- variegated thread! I’ve always wanted to use variegated thread in my quilts and this will be the first one! It’s a yellow/orange combo, and I am so over the moon happy!

The backing is a simple yellow that matched with the yellow in several blocks. THIS one I’m keeping for myself, since I talked myself into selling the baby quilt.

I love how happy, bright, and vibrant this quilt is. It’s perfect for those long days when you just want a bit of sunshine in your life! I’m calling it Sunshine Daisies. For pretty apparent reasons. Whelp, it’s almost Friday! Yay!

The 365 Challenge!

Okay. I know quilters are known for taking on too many projects at once, but I may have just crossed the line. “But Jess, you’re just so talented and wonderful and incredible, surely you could handle ANYTHING!”

No. Not this time. This time I think I really might have bitten off more than I can chew. Let me explain.

See, there’s this wonderful lady down in Australia, Kathryn Kerr. And she has something called the 365 Challenge. You can probably already guess the direction this is headed based off of that name. But yes. Every day, a new block is posted, and by the end of the year, you have 365 blocks you put together to make a wonderful quilt. The one above as the feature image is one that she did last year. I especially enjoy it because she also tells you a little bit about the history of the block and some of the alternate names. I’m learning as I quilt!

I decided to do this after seeing someone who made theirs last year in batiks. Except I’m going to do it using solids. All shades of every color, backed by either black or white (or maybe some other dark colors). Hopefully it will be a colorful quilt full of happiness!!

Here’s the trick- these blocks are SMALL. Some of the pieces she uses are 1” square. But she promises to not go below 1” in measurements! (Ha! I’m crying from terror.) At least at the end of this year I should be REALLY comfortable working on small pieces, huh? So far, every block I’ve completed has measured in at 3.5” unfinished.

I do have ONE confession- when I did the first 10 or so blocks I didn’t realize they needed to be a “dark” theme. So some of them are pretty bright. Oops. I’ll just mix them in and hope they don’t stand out.

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get to go to my very first quilt retreat, and I was able to get caught up on the January blocks. They go pretty quickly, since they’re so small, so even though I don’t have much time to work on them during the week, the 4-5 I miss during the week come together in just a couple of hours on Fridays. Honestly, the hardest part so far has been picking the fabric!

I think I might make this into a weekly post where I post the 7 blocks I did that week. Y’know. As a way to keep myself responsible. (It’s like a diet or exercise blog, except for sitting, eating junk food, and sewing! It’s basically the same thing.)

Annnnd, here are my first few blocks! (1-21) I have more done, but I’ll start posting them in batches of 7 every week on Sundays. When I post their picture, I’ll put the name of the block and give a link to the block instructions, just in case you want to do this with me! Please note, I am cropping the pictures so they do NOT include seam allowances. So if you make them your blocks (particularly the 4-patches) will look kinda weird since they will still include their seam allowances.

Now onto the quilt retreat. It was so. much. fun. And so much sewing! I started on a quilt for my husband, as well as working on these blocks. I figured he’d been more than patient, being married to a quilter for 2.5 years and not having his own quilt yet. So when I asked him, “If I ever WERE to make you a quilt- now, mind you, I’m NOT- what colors would you want it to be?” and “Would you- again, just hypothetical- prefer a more modern or traditional look?” He told me a modern winter theme. I’ll share that one when it’s done… hopefully soon. It was going to be for Christmas but… well… it’s frustrating. So for now I’m doing other projects and letting my mind rest and reset on that one.

Well, at the retreat I almost had TOO much sewing. I’m not used to sewing for two days straight, and I was there the LEAST amount of time! (I came a day late because of work and had to leave a little early unfortunately. I’ll just leave you with the only photo I took that weekend- the room where I worked! This was room 1 of 3 (although it was the biggest)! If you look closely to the table to the right, you can see the blue and white beginning of hubby’s quilt. A sneak peek, as you say.

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Anyways, I had a fantastic time, and if we weren’t moving to Cleveland in just 5 and a half short months, I would DEFINITELY be going again next year!!

Baby quilt from a panel!

So my wonderful brother- and sister-in-law were expecting their very first. Baby, that is. They already have three cats. Now, normally my wonderful step-mother-in-law (the same incredible woman who taught me to sew and started this whole addiction- I mean passion-) makes quilts for all the coming babes.

But because this was Dan’s brother, he asked me to make a quilt as well. Of course, he asked me this about 3/4 weeks before baby was due. And we didn’t know the gender.img_0844

So I went to my LQS for some inspiration (read: I was going to buy something or drop of a quilt and… well… we all know how those quick trips turn into something else…) and happened to see this adorable panel of little birds, bugs, and insects. It had some matching colorful fabric that I thought would be perfect for either a boy or a girl. Made the tree fabric into borders and BAM- had img_0830my little quilt. I backed it with another colorful fabric and had it quilted with little dragonflies in teal thread.

I absolutely, unabashedly, wholeheartedly LOVE this quilt. Love, love, LOVE this quilt. I was so tempted to keep it!  It turned out SO darling, and it was quite large! Hopefully that means it’ll last the little (who turned out to be a girl, btw) quite a long time!!

I might start updating a couple of times a week- once for the Winter Solstice, once for any completed projects I’ve finished, and once for the 365 Challenge.

 

Pinwheel Perfection!

Got another completed quilt to show you! It was a lot of fun to put together- it went quickly and easily, and I LOVE how it turned out!

I actually designed this quilt based off of a picture I saw on Pinterest, and used a fat quarter bundle from Connecting Threads that was on sale. I cut out four 8.5 inch squares from each fat quarter and used the four-at-a-time method to make HSTs for each one using white fabric.

And then I cheated.

I didn’t trim my HSTs before sewing the blocks. Somehow, my blocks still came out beautifully! My points were, well, on point. Either luck or skill was responsible for that, but we’re going to pretend it was all skill and no luck.  img_1253

Got it quilted with a swirling bubble pattern that I really enjoy. It’s backed and bound with a gorgeously lush purple that matches the sashing/borders in the quilt top. (It doesn’t look like it, but it does match!)

We’ve had some snow recently (Thanks, Helena!) so I coerced the hubs outside in the cold to hold it for me while I snapped a few pictures. I really enjoy this quilt, and it will be up for sale on my Etsy shop! Check it out here.

I’ve also started a weekly quilt along with Pat Sloan called The Winter Solstice Challenge. Each Wednesday, Pat posts the directions to a block and we make the block. I’m using up fabrics from 13 fat quarters I bought at my local quilt store. They’re themed with Asian motifs (think Koi/blossoms/cranes/etc) and in shades of green, pink, blue, and grey.

Here’s the first three blocks I’ve finished! I’ll keep updating each week. If you’re interested in joining, I’ll always link to her page so you can find the directions for the blocks. Happy sewing!