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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Handmade Halloween 2: Butterfly

Working at a preschool gives me the perspective of Halloween from 15 grinning faces (every day from the moment October 1 hits). Halloween naturally becomes THE topic of conversation at lunch. One girl was proud to tell me her costume for next year - I wish I had those kind of planning skills! Anyway, I found it fun to make them guess what I'm going to be for Halloween.



I wanted to make my costume from scratch, and I wanted it to be cheap but reusable. The link to this Buggy and Buddy butterfly wing tutorial popped up on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, and I knew I had found my costume. I didn't change the measurements at all from the kid size; I just extended the elastic. To decorate the felt background, I cut out pink, light purple, and white two at a time and appliqued them with my sewing machine (I skipped the glue step and used pins). The costume cost about $7, including the black elastic on sale! Plus, it only took a couple of hours to put together!


I fixed my hair in pigtails to mimic antennae since I didn't find it financially smart to buy a cheap pair from Target for another $3. I'm really happy with this costume because it's well-made, it will last for a long time for dress up (for my future kids), it's easy and fast to put on, and it garnered the awe of a couple hundred preschoolers. ;)


I posted a very quick scope on Periscope of me running around in my costume/explaining it (you can see it here on Katch). You can also read about my cupcake costume from last year (fabric scraps were essential!).

Happy Halloween!!



Thursday, October 29, 2015

"Home" at the International Quilt Festival

I'm so excited and honored to be included at International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX this week! My quilt, Home, is a homage to my marriage and the song "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zones. You can read much more about the meaning behind the quilt and quilting on my original post from last year.



I entered two quilts into the Modern Quilt Guild exhibit, and one was accepted out of over 130 entries (I remember doing a happy squeal/dance at Shoprite when I received the email). Ironically, this was not the quilt I thought would get in, if any. I submitted Pebble Cascade first and foremost, and entered Home only because I could enter two quilts. Imagine my pleasant surprise.


 

Many thanks to my friend Linda P. from the CJMQG for snapping these pictures at Quilt Festival!

Ironically, I submitted this quilt to QuiltCon last year (the largest modern quilt show in the world) and it did not get in. That just goes to show that there are SO many great modern quilts out there that do not get into QuiltCon, and that's quite alright. The competition is stiff but you never know when you'll have another chance (for example, this exhibit was FREE to enter, and there were many less entries than QuiltCon). I encourage you to enter other competitions too (my friend Renee enjoys entering state fairs and wins what seems like all the time [go Renee!!], and my friend Krishma was recently accepted into an exhibit at the Texas Quilt Museum). With a little luck, I made it into this one, and it's definitely my happiest moment as a quilter so far.

Also, I'm thrilled that "Home" has automatically been entered into the competition at QuiltCon Pasadena in February 2016. Unfortunately, I won't be there,  but I'm asking my quilty friends to snap a picture for me (please!). I placed it in the improv category, because there is not one stitch of applique on this particular quilt, much as it might seem!


I do think that the improv style and the like-solid fabrics fit with the motif the MQG was looking for, but I cannot accurately analyze why or why not something was actually put in the show. I am very grateful for this opportunity to be exhibited amongst hundreds of other quilts in one of the most prestigious quilt shows in the world.  If you'd like to see the Modern Quilt Guild Exhibit at Quilt Festival, my friend Christa Watson has pictures of all of them a little ways down in her Facebook photos.

If you are in Houston this week, I hope you enjoy the show for the rest of us at home! Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cyclone Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

This week, I'm finishing up the quilting on my 2014 Sisterhood Quilt. Some of it was time consuming, so it's been difficult to finish in a timely manner with other projects and lots of personal commitments on hand. However, I decided to quilt the top and bottom in my cyclone spiral technique,which is fast, fun, and exciting.


I shared this FMQ technique on Periscope on Monday (you can watch the video here on Katch without signing into anything; usually Periscope videos/"scopes" stay around for 24 hours only, but Katch allows you to save them). Even though the video was clear for us (my husband helped me film, and even shows his face for a minute!), it turns out the video was very blurry, and I'm not 100 percent sure why. Live streaming doesn't always work out with internet, I guess.

In case you couldn't see the video or get much from just my directions, I thought I'd share a short blog tutorial of how to go about quilting this motif!

 Cyclones to the right. The middle was quilted in wavy lines, mostly with a walking foot.

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 Cyclone Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

Notes:
  •  For this design, you will create a spiral that echoes both inside itself and outside.
  • There are endless possibilities with these spirals; they can be small or large, and the more echoes you add around them, the more the spiral itself stands out.
  • Drawing before quilting and/or practicing on a practice quilt sandwich is always a good idea before quilting a new technique! 
  • Make sure your stitch length is set to 0 for free motion, and that you use a free motion or darning foot. Some machines require that your feed dogs are down (I use a Janome Memory Craft 6300 and I do not put mine down). You can also use quilting gloves, an extension table, and Supreme Slider to make FMQ easier (though you absolutely can quilt without those tools).
1. Quilt a spiral and stop/hesitate at the center to make a point.


2. Echo the spiral back out from the middle. Quilt closely to the first spiral to ensure that there is a healthy amount of space open.


3. Echo the spiral again to the center, and then back out again to fill in more of the space.



4. You can echo into the spiral again, OR you can echo on the outside like below. I follow the curve and create little wavy spinoffs all the way around the circle. This creates a cyclone-like look. Have fun with it!



5. Come all the way around the spiral (to the top, where the star is). Quilt back down and start a new spiral below your first one. Follow steps 1-5 to create more. Fill in any small spaces with echoes.



Here's another look at some small cyclone-like spirals I quilted on Shirley's Stars, in memory of my grandmother:


Also: Postcards from Prague, my voile quilt:

 
I hope you have fun quilting cyclones and spirals! If you try it, tag me on Instagram (@quiltyhabit) or email me (quiltyhabit[at]gmail[dot]com) - I'd love to see!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Outlander Swap: JAMMF Mini Quilt and Cross-stitch

Within the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild, we have several Outlander fans. Nearly every time we have a sewcial (sewing day) or retreat, we discuss the books/show and/or watch the show while we sew. It only made sense that we start an Outlander swap! Jessica Levitt (@jtlevitt) organized the whole thing through email (let it be publicly known that I got her into the series in the first place!). We had 7 members total participating.


For those who are unfamiliar, Outlander is an 8 book (so far), soon-to-be 2 TV season story, written by Diana Gabaldon. It's mainly a love story spanning 250 years, and it takes place chiefly in Scotland and American in the pre-revolutionary and American Revolution period. And yes, if you love to read, consider this your wake up call to try this extremely detailed and unique historical fiction series!

At our Outlander party this weekend! From left to right, with our received items: Linda B., Kathleen, Neva, Jess L., Liz, Laura, me

Jess chose partners randomly, and it turned out that Liz Hawkins (@lizcr8s) and I got each other. Liz and I are very alike in our quilty tastes; we like scrappy and bold. Jess had provided a very detailed (and helpful) survey for us to fill out (including favorite characters and why, favorite quotes and symbols), but I was still stuck. Finally, Jess helped me form an idea for a fun, fangirl-y wall-hanging, which features the full name of the beloved Jamie, one of the main characters in the series.


I used Jess's raw edge applique technique, which involved printing the letters out, cutting them out individually, applying them to interfacing, and stitching them on with a small zig zag stitch. I'm really pleased with the method and would definitely do it again. The sharpness and accuracy of the letters is hard to beat. 



I had a lot of fun quilting the mini, too, as you can see. I chose FMQ techniques that would pop against the neutrals, and fabrics that were woodsy and Scotland related. And I'm happy to say that Liz loved it!


For the swap, we also had to make a small item, so I created an original cross-stitch design featuring Liz's favorite quote: "Dinna fash, Sassenach" (which is Jamie's way of telling his beloved Claire not to worry). Jess loves the quote too, so for our private Outlander swap, I made her an almost identical cross-stitch. I have dabbled in cross stitch and I really love the repetitive action. I was inspired by thistle cross-stitches on Pinterest to create my own. I see more cross stitches in my future.

(Kind of) funny story: I spilled a huge amount of coffee on BOTH of these yesterday morning as I was finishing them up. Some quick action hand soap/rinsing/soaking had them looking good as new. Thank goodness, because each one took at least 6 hours to complete!


AND LOOK WHAT LIZ MADE ME?!?! A Companion Carpet bag (by Mrs. H) featuring the Scottish thistle (an Alison Glass print) and the lovely Scot himself:


Text: "Some Like It Scot." (LOL) "Outlander."

This bag is going to be so handy! I absolutely love it! She lined it with my favorite purple Anna Maria Horner Loominous fabric...




...and included some awesome Outlander-y goodies AND a copy of her new book, Rewind!The POP figurines are already protecting my computer (by the way, the back fabric on the purse says: "Stay Calm and Dinna Fash, Sassenach"). Thank you, Liz!! I love it sooo much! I'll be sure to share what Jess made me soon (it's almost done!).

Even if you've never heard of Outlander or experienced it (yet!), hopefully you've enjoyed seeing my swappy makes. I've really had the MOST fun swapping in person with my guild and with other guilds. I'll likely only do swaps like these and private swaps with one or two people in the future - to limit how much I get involved and to get the most out of the ones I DO participate in!


Saturday, October 24, 2015

BQF: Tomorrow Night Mini Quilt

My second entry for this fall's Blogger's Quilt Festival is "Tomorrow Night," a mini quilt I lovingly made last year for my younger sister's birthday. It's based on the painting scene from the animated Disney movie Tangled (and yes, we are both adults, and we love it!). :) The movie tells the story of Rapunzel and how she gets out of her tower (it's quite different from the traditional story).


Rapunzel paints a picture of herself watching the lanterns glow on her birthday night. 




I chose to share this mini quilt again because my sister and I love it so much. With the addition of LOTS of free motion quilting, the scene really came to life. I had a blast deciding how to quilt the trees differently, how to applique and quilt Rapunzel's hair, how to make the lanterns glow, etc.


"Tomorrow night, the lights will appear, just like they do on my birthday each year." I quilted some of the song into the quilt, as you can see on my original blog post.


And here she (left) is when I gave it to her on her birthday:



And here it is hanging in her new dorm room a couple weeks ago:



I can't wait to make another mini for her this November, based on the movie Frozen!! Stay tuned!

Quilt Stats
Size: 20 x 27 (larger than I anticipated!)
Quilted: By me on my Janome Memory Craft 6300
Techniques: Applique, free motion quilting, improv curve piecing
Finished: November 2014, original post here.

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2015 
Please enjoy the Blogger's Quilt Festival, the largest and loveliest quilt show on the internet! I've entered this quilt into the Art Quilt Category because I used several different techniques and it's based on a piece of artwork!

See my first entry into this year's festival right here (ROYGBIV/rainbow category).
My past Blogger's Quilt Festival entries:
Fall 2014 (nominated for Viewer's Choice)
Spring 2012 (First Place in Baby Quilt Category)

Friday, October 23, 2015

BQF: Selvage Rainbow Bookcase

When I heard from Amy's Creative Side that the fall edition of the Blogger's Quilt Festival was just around the corner, I took one look at my Portfolio for 2015 and knew that I wanted to share my Selvage Rainbow Bookcase Quilt!

This quilt is near and dear to my heart for the following 6 reasons:


1. It's a quilt that's been on my "quilty bucket list" since I heard what a selvage is. And now it exists and it's all mine! :)

2. It's rainbow. I mean, yeah. I love rainbow like whoa.

3. I quilted 11 of my favorite books into the shelves. If you are curious about what they are and why I chose them, you can see more details in my original blog post about this quilt. So much love for these books.


4. This quilt is like an epic conglomeration of my two favorite hobbies - reading and sewing. It really just gives me pure joy to see it in my sewing room.

5. Last but certainly not least, it includes a couple hundred (I would hazard a guess) of selvages from the past 5 years. It's a tour through my favorite fabrics ever and many that I have long since used up.


6. The backing. Which days do I read (and sew)? Yup.


You can  see why I love this quilt so much, right? :)

Quilt Stats
Size:  54" x 72"
Quilted: By me on my Janome Memory Craft 6300
Techniques: Applique, free motion quilting, improv piecing
Finished: September 2015, original post here.

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2015 

Please enjoy the Blogger's Quilt Festival, the largest and loveliest quilt show on the internet! I've entered this quilt into the ROYGBIV Category (the overall vision/color gradation was my main focus throughout... see?).


My past Blogger's Quilt Festival entries:
Fall 2014 (nominated for Viewer's Choice)
Spring 2012 (First Place in Baby Quilt Category)

 

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