Friday, April 29, 2016

Finished - 2012 Block of the Month Quilt

Yes, you read that correctly...started in 2012, finished last month.  I loved making each block with Amy Gibson's help as part of the Craftsy 2012 Block of the Month.
 I made the quilt top and then it sat and sat in the quilting queue as there were other quilts that needed to be finished.  Earlier this year I looked at the queue and there was ONLY this quilt.  It was so much fun following along with Leah Day's Craftsy class where she recommends block by block quilting designs for this sampler.

Back in those early days of my quilting addiction, I hadn't built a fabric stash.  This quilt was pieced with scraps of fabrics that I picked up here and there.  My leaning towards cool colors was evident even then.

I hope you enjoy the pictures of early spring in New Hampshire.

The backing fabric was selected years ago and I'm quite pleased how it blends.

In summary, I love this quilt.  It represents my introduction into quilting and gave me confidence to take risks in my quilting journey.   But wait!  No quilt tops in the quilting queue is a problem!  I'd better get to work on some new projects!

Happy Friday to all!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Finished - Minecraft Quilt

As I described in this post, this fun Minecraft quilt has been donated to David's House, a home away from home for families of children being treated at the local children's hospital.
I have been working on improving my free motion quilting.  However, straight line quilting was the obvious choice for this quilt and it was not fun.  After hours of practicing to develop the smooth movements of FMQ'ing, sewing all these straight lines was a challenge and, frankly, a bit boring.  I am all the more impressed with those of you who so beautifully straight line quilt!  

Adding to my frustration was the use of a different batting than my normal cotton choice.  I had won a package of Dream Green batting that was the perfect size for this quilt.  A soft, environmentally friendly alternative batting seemed like a good idea.  I used my usual "belts and suspenders" basting method of spray and pins yet everything was still very slippery during the quilting.

Perhaps I should have anticipated this but more disappointing is that the green batting shows through on the lighter colors.

However, it was indeed very soft after washing.

Linking up with Amanda Jean's finish it up Friday party.

Monday, April 11, 2016

My First MQX Experience

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Machine Quilting Expo held annually right here in my home state of New Hampshire.  We (including my saintly husband) spent the first half day viewing the amazing quilt show.  I took a zillion pictures of the inspiring quilting.  Unfortunately I have not developed the habit of photographing the quilt description labels so with apologies to these makers, I am sharing just a few pictures without giving you deserved credit.
 The above quilt ("Controlled Chaos") was made by the New Hampshire Modern Quilt Guild (that I have recently joined!) and won first prize in the Quilts Among Friends.  Fantastic!

 The next day and a half was spent in three different half day quilting classes on the Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen, the quilting machine I have at home!  This was the first time I've spent so many hours practicing machine quilting. Typically I do a little warm up on a practice sandwich and then jump right into the project at hand. It was interesting to get various opinions from the teachers and fellow students about thread and needle preferences, quilting design selection, favorite marking tools and gadgets and so on.  And I learned so much!  

I admit running out to the vendors at break to purchase some different types of quilting threads to experiment with.  I can't wait to share my thread experimentation with you!

The only problem with all of this is that, believe it or not, I don't have any quilt tops in need of quilting!  I am completely caught up!  Yikes!  It's a good thing I have this lovely pile of fabric ready to cut into for my next room in the lake house!

Stay tuned for posts on two finished quilts!

P.S. In case you're wondering, my husband spent the day and a half I was in classes reading, watching movies and going to the gym.  What a trooper.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Splendid Sampler Update - Through Block 15

Participating in this mega-event, I have learned some new skills and brushed up on ones I haven't exercised in a while.  These are blocks #8 through 15.
Really, I did embroider all of this doily but the lightness of the variegated thread in spots makes it look like I left out sections.

Lots of little pieces in this block but I really enjoyed it.

Looking at all fifteen blocks together, I am questioning my plan NOT to have a color plan for this project.

I'm a big fan of randomness, but perhaps a little bit of a end goal in mind would be helpful.  Something to ponder when I am not taking classes and enjoying the show at MQX this week!!

Linking up with Lorna's Let's Bee Social party!

Monday, April 4, 2016

A Couple of Little Projects

I saw this tutorial by Fabric Mutt for a Pocket Picture Book and knew I had to make one.  Lucky me, I just so happen to know a one year old that gave me an excuse to do just that!
 I had fun digging through the stash for some colorful, story telling fabric.

 A fast and fun project!

You might remember the return of this pillow I had made for a fellow Bernese Mountain Dog lover.  Oops.

My fabric hoarding paid off as I was able to rebuild this pillow, almost as good as new!

There is one little spot of darning where I could not replace the fabric.  Let's say I left it behind as a memento of how much this pillow was "loved."

The surgical repair was a success!

AND I have not one but TWO finished quilts to share with you as soon as I can get some decent pictures (when it is not snowing!).

Have a great day!

Friday, March 18, 2016

A Streak of Good Quilty Luck

Oh my, where do I start?  Of course, with fabric acquisitions!! Actually it started with attending my first New Hampshire Modern Quilt Guild meeting.  Although it is a 1.5 hour drive from home to the meeting location, I intend to attend as many meetings as possible.  As with my experience in the Boston Modern Quilt Guild, I was so impressed with the energy in the room, the talent evidenced in the show and tell and the warm reception I received as a newbie.  It was wonderful to meet Chelsea of Patch the Giraffe (we've been following each others blog for some time).  I even won one of the door prizes, a lovely bundle of Paperie fat quarters, a collection I have been admiring.
Before I left for the meeting, I was rapidly flipping through my blogs (OK being honest here, sometimes there isn't time to read every word in every blog I follow) and I saw this post from Sew Mama Sew.  At the meeting, someone shared a beautiful patchy quilt and I thought "gee, she looks familiar."  

Yes, one and the same Michelle Cain of From Bolt and Beauty.  Here is her blog post about that lovely quilt.  The next day I got back into my little car and drove south again, this time to Massachusetts for a couple of appointments.  Between appointments I stopped in at Quilters Way in Acton and who do you think I ran into there?  Yes indeed, the lovely Michelle Cain.  We had a long chat and I am sure it is a great omen of many wonderful quilting discussions in the future!

I even managed to  buy some fabric!  The next room in the lake house decorating plan is the family room downstairs.  Hopefully a navy blue, aqua/teal, mustard color combination will add some life to this wonderful beige space!
And I won a fat quarter by finding the hidden fabric heart in one of the fabric bolts.  At this point I should have run out to purchase a lottery ticket!
Meanwhile I continue to make progress on quilting the 2012 Craftsy quilt.  I promise a full recap when completed.

Today was declared ice-out on our lake, the earliest in recorded history.  I am ready for spring.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Splendid Sampler Update and Quilting Surgery

Much to my surprise, I am keeping pace with the release of The Splendid Sampler blocks.  Here are blocks #1 through #7 using fabric from the scrap boxes.
This little block made with needle turn appliqué took the longest to complete but I am the  most pleased with.  Interesting.
I have serious doubt as to whether I will be able to maintain this pace for the next 93 blocks, but you know, I really am OK with that!

You might remember these Bernese Mountain Dog pillows I made for friends of ours.  Well, one of them came back to me this weekend...sort of.

It seems that Cody (the white dog) might have been jealous that he did not have a pillow with his image on it.

Actually Cody is the sweetest dog and just had some fun with the pillow.  I probably did not make the pillow sturdy enough!  I like a challenge though so I am onto making this an even patchier pillow!

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