Sunday, March 31, 2013

April Fresh Sewing Day

March was a great month for sewing (and for lots of things). I got closer to starting my temporary full time job (2 weeks to go!). We had a great color class with the Central Jersey MQG, and we took our trip to Maine to visit my sister-in-law's family. Oh, and the weather got a *little* warmer, though I can't say too much for northern Maine right now, haha :)

1. Facets of Emerald, 2. Modernista Homemade Spring 2013, 3. Spring Wrapped Wreath, 4. Susannah, 5. School Girl's Puzzle, 6. Tote bags
These were my finishes! I was honored to win 3rd place for Quilts with Facets of Emerald in the 2013 Pantone Emerald Challenge @ a.squared.w.  I also participated in the Modernista Homemade swap, Round 3, but I haven't received my package yet, due to being away. My finish is the second picture in the first row - I'll blog about it soon! The tote bags are my most recent finish - I'll be posting about those this week. Finally, I'm anticipating a few more WIPs to be done next month.

What are you looking forward to this April?

Linking up to:
Lily's Quilts

Thursday, March 28, 2013

This Week and Argyled QAL Update

A few updates, interspersed with my current WIPS:

FMQing the machine cover! Hope to finish the whole thing soon! I'll talk about my inspiration in another post.

  •  This week I had the opportunity to present my quilts to 4 first grade classes. They are going to be quilting when we get back from Spring Break, and they were SO excited! I had 45 minutes each time to show them many of my quilts and pictures. Maybe their words can explain their excitement better than mine:

1st grade boy: THAT IS SO COOL!!!
1st grade girl: I'm going to write all about this in my diary!

 Another shot.

And, all week, kids kept running up to me in the hallways to say, "I saw your quilts" or "Your quilts are so pretty!" Hopefully we'll have more talented quilters in our MQG in just a few years ;) But anyway, it's great to get kids excited about fabric and thread. Seriously. It just made me so happy :) One of the best parts - I inspired the art teacher to have them include labels on their quilts this year!

Tote bags in progress - more soon!

  • Finally, we are taking our first trip in 5 YEARS! We are going to visit family on both sides (up in Massachusetts and Maine) and we can't wait! I'll likely be posting a little, but I don't know if I'll have any blog reading time. That being said, I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter, and if you have time off, happy sewing! I have some things ready to sew and embroider in the car (see Facets of Emerald peeking out? She needs a sleeve) :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Class Recap: Color Theory for the Modern Quilter

Color Theory for the Modern Quilter

This past Saturday, our guild sat in on a class led by my good friend Jessica Levitt, who also happens to be our president. The above is one of the bundles I made, using the traditional color wheel. Hop over to the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild blog (which I manage) to read about our day and my reflections on color in modern quilting!

Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Triangles, triangles

So, today, I started to do this... lay them out in rows of warm and cool colors. These are AMH fabrics with random solids, and some coordinating Amy Butler and Joel Dewberry.

And then realized the first row I pieced looked liked this. A bit wonky.

This one was much better.

But then I finally found Adrianne's tutorial for sewing equilateral triangles in my pins (so much for Pinterest helping me stay organized!)

So I'm starting again. Or at least redoing that first row. Plus, after a color class with the CJMQG, led by Jessica, I'm starting to think about rows of analogous colors, and compliments... post to come soon!

I'm hoping this cover sews up fast, once I get going. I have a few little things to make this week, and a load of fabric coming in (hopefully the husband doesn't read this) :) What are you sewing this weekend?

Here's some strawberry gelato I had today with Kristina on a surprise dinner after our workshop!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Week 3: Argyled Quilt Along (Suggested Quilting)

 Welcome to Week 3 of the Argyled QAL with 1 Choice 4 Quilting! We're almost done! I've had such a blast designing and make this quilt, and it's so much fun to see your versions come to life in the Flickr group :)

March 20: Suggested Quilting
March 27: Post your photo of your finished quilt top to the The 1 Choice 4 Quilting Club Flickr Group by this day for a special PRIZE!

Today I'll show you how to add dimension by quilting in an Argyle pattern. It's easy (promise!) once you get the hang of it, and setup take very little time.

Suggested Quilting

You left off with a pretty quilt top... now it's time to get it out of potential UFO status.

1. Make your backing. Slice off selvages in your preferred method. Take a moment to observe some of the prettiest selvages ever (IMO).

If you bought the quilt kit, you should have 4.5 yards of Honey Honey of your choice. Just slice it in half and sew it together to make one long backing piece. I'd love to see pictures of the backs of your quilts (as well as the fronts) on the Flickr page!
2. Baste in your preferred method. I personally still like to use safety pins (it feels more secure to me), but sometimes I get out my spray.

3. Remember that cardboard piece from your layer cake (that you hopefully saved?) It is a little less than 10x10 inches – mark with a pencil (like above) and cut down to a 9.5 x 9.5 inch square.

4. Using pencil or a washable marker (mine is blue - a Mark-Be-Gone, and yes, it will wash out of white!), trace your diamond on to the top of your quilt. Here's what I did, but feel free to do any pattern you want!:

It's hard to describe this in words - basically, for the bottom and top parts of the quilt with just 2 rows of Honey Honey squares, I went across, places the template so that the side points hit the centers of two diamonds, and continued across. You can also see this in these pictures:

 For the middle strip with three rows of Honey Honey squares, I did the same thing, but traced an extra row of diamonds across the middle. If this doesn't make sense and you'd like to try it, leave a comment and I'll try to explain better!

For the strips in the middle, I cut a freehand diamond (2 sides are shorter than the other two) and traces across my quilt.

5. Now, start quilting! I chose four different colors of coordinating threads from Connecting Threads, and got to work. Instead of quilting one diamond at a time, I found it easiest to trace the lines as they connected, all the way across the quilt:

 The possibilities are endless to make this quilt your own.

6. Bind with 1/2 a yard (I used a 2.25" bias method), throw in the wash (if you prefer), sew on a label, and cuddle!

Now, go quilt and post your progress on Flickr! Don't forget to add your finished quilt top (aka, doesn't have to be quilted) there by next Wednesday, March 27, to be in the running for a great prize from 1 Choice 4 Quilting!

WIP Wednesday

Machine cover in the making :) Still playing. Inspired by Anna Maria Horner's Patchwork Prism pattern (link) from last year. Probably adding solids and prints from other designers. Thoughts?

Check back for the last Argyled QAL post tonight!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sisters' Ten BOM Progress and Bloglovin'

I've been making awesome progress on my Sister's Ten BOM blocks. They are so much fun to make, and I'm having a blast combining some of my favorite fabrics with Kona Medium Gray...

(February, March)
Pearl Bracelets... always. :)

Plus, my new quarter inch foot is seriously the best thing ever, and definitely makes my sewing MUCH more accurate. I don't think I've ever been this accurate with HSTs and seam matching. Score!


In terms of readers, I'm actually a strange one - I usually just click the updated blogs on my sidebar (they're the ones I read most often). So... I don't use a reader, although sometimes I will also go into my main Blogger page. Nevertheless, if you're going to follow me on Bloglovin', cool! Here's the link:

Linking up to: 
Plum and June

Friday, March 15, 2013

Project Color My Apartment: A fabric wrapped wreath and spring fever

Things are looking pretty springy around here... FINALLY! :D

My new favorite obsession - making wreaths! I stayed away from green for a reason. :) In sum, you can totally be springy without green! Plus, I included what looks like Easter eggs (purple/white "It's a Hoot"), raindrops, and butterflies... Color Me Retro and Honey Honey... so there you go!

I followed a combination of the tutorials from That's My Letter and In Color Order. I did cut the Styrofoam wreath in half as suggested in the first tutorial - so now I can make another :) I suggest doing this carefully and with a not-so-thick knife, like I did.

This was super easy. Basically, I just sewed a bunch of 2.5 inch scraps together, pressed the long strip in half, and wrapped it around the wreath form, using hot glue to hold it in place on the back. I adorned it with some of these cute Kate Spain flower stickers from Michaels (How many times have I mentioned how much I love Kate Spain's stuff? Here's another).

The wreath took less than an hour! That's my kind of project. Now go and make one (or five) and brighten up your space! They would go nicely in any room. I see many, many more in my future :)

More springy bursts of color:

Argyled curled up on our couch with beautiful pillows made by Jessica and Sandy of the CJMQG,

Flying Purple People Eater (back) on our bed (I flip it to get a fresh look!),

...and Easter eggs from the dollar store in a glass jar from Michael's... you can't get any cheaper and more festive than that!

I'm linking this to my series, Project Color My Apartment, under "seasonal." Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! I'm visiting a friend and getting some sewing/organizing done!

Linking to Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?, Crazy Mom Quilts, and Richard and Tanya Quilts: Link a Finish Friday.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Week 2: Argyled Quilt Along (Strips and Finish Your Quilt Top))

Welcome back to the Argyled QAL with 1 Choice 4 Quilting! You can still get quilt kits here from 1C4Q if you'd like to use Kate Spain's Honey Honey like I did! Don't forget to post your progress on the Flickr group. We have a bunch of people QALing and we'd love to see your work!

Here's our schedule for the month of March:

March 13: Cutting and piecing the strips, finishing the quilt top
March 20: Quilting
March 27: Post your photo to the The 1 Choice 4 Quilting Club Flickr Group
by this day for a special PRIZE! 
Okay, so today we're cutting and piecing the front strips, and finishing the quilt top!I mentioned in my finish post that I broke up the argyle pattern for a more modern and unique finish - plus, I chose two prints that would show up very nicely together.

Here's where we left off last week - you have a tentative "quilt top" that we're going to cut up. Don’t worry, you can do it! Again, please read through all directions before proceeding!

I know it looks strange, but we're going to fix that right now :)

1. Turn your quilt on its side, which is different from how we pieced last week- refer to the picture above for the correct way. Using your rotary cutter, carefully make two cuts as shown below:

These cuts are along the bias; using spray starch before you cut will help from the fabric getting warped. It works SO well (moistens the fabric so you can make the cut accurately), and it washes out when you wash the quilt. Best Press, which is what I use (I got it from Amazon) also smells good. :)

The diamonds will now be a little stretchy, and don’t worry, when we piece the whole thing together, we’ll use a lot of pins. So for now, take a deep breath and make those cuts. 

 Woohoo! You did it! Now, reward yourself with a cookie or possibly some fabric window-shopping/actual shopping. You have three separate pieces. Are you ready to add the insides?

2. Cut the following lengthwise from BOTH your Lace Blue and Apiary Orange 1/2 yards. Cut carefully because you will have just enough!

(2) 5" (wide) strips
(2) 4" (wide) strips
(After this step, you will have 8  strips overall!) (They are much longer than they look in the photo!)

3. Process for making the longer, thinner strips: Cut one of the 5” orange strips in half (they will be 2.5” wide each). Place ends right sides together, sew together using a quarter inch seam, and press open. Repeat for both blue 4” strips, and the other 5" orange strip.

Do not cut into the (2) 4” orange strips, or the (2) 5” blue strips. Just sew them together and press as described above. These pieces will “anchor” our quilt on the top and bottom.

4. Snip off the white triangles that stick out on the quilt top. You can see my quilt top and which triangles I needed to snip off ( just in half). If you are having trouble, just refer to the diagram below of what your final quilt top should look like.

See the diagram below also for putting together your quilt top (though feel free to alter it if you want!), and before you sew, read the tips below the picture:

(I'm not a perfectionist in Paint - hopefully you don't mind!)

  • Use lots of pins, especially for the middle parts along the bias cut! 
  • Press seams open.

*Tip for piecing with bias edges – don’t fight with your quilt or pull it. Feed it slowly through. You will probably get faster at this gentle piecing as you do each row. Take your time!

* Yes, when you are piecing the bordering fabrics on, you will be sewing off the tips of the diamonds. In the manner that we pieced, I found it impossible not to. I promise, in the long run, you will be the only one who notices it on the quilt, and it won’t matter once we start quilting!

And now you have a quilt top! Pretty easy and minimal cutting (but plenty of sewing!)

Tune in next week for a suggested quilting tutorials and some final tips! (P.S. Don't forget about the Flickr group!)


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