Sunday, February 25, 2018

Modern FMQ QAL: March (Month 3)

Are you quilting along with the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild? It's super easy and fun! Every month, I post several links to tutorials in this Google Doc for the Modern Free Motion Quilt Along. Each month has a theme, and you choose your current free motion quilting skill level to follow a tutorial or two.  

Our goal is to practice free motion throughout the year and come out on the other side with a small sampler quilt. At guild meetings, we're bringing our quilt sandwiches in to share, and you can share from afar (outside the guild) on Instagram with the hashtags #modernfmqqal and #cjmqg. Find out all the details on this page over on my guild's website. All fun, all FMQ, all year!
 

I really enjoyed quilting stars for March's theme. Every month I've been teaming up 2-3 designs to create a unique look for my quilt sandwich. Eventually, when I cut them up, the quilt will be even more varied (this is just one option for the quilt along).

Recently, I used the Icicle Lights motif by Leah Day on my word quilt, and it's a definite favorite (see top half of the above blue quilt sandwich). The options are endless (for example, I decided to keep the stars simple, like x's - less stitching involved - and I varied the lengths of the chains). I also enjoyed randomly creating starbursts with Christina Cameli's Allover Starburst tutorial. This is a new one for my quilting arsenal - I love the variation and wackiness. Very modern indeed.


The backing for this month's quilt sandwich is one of my all-time favorite Anna Maria Horner prints, which sadly I only have a small piece left of now. It reminds me of spring - which is coming! yay! - and I thought it looked magical quilted up with Aurifil 2600 (dove gray). The thread is light enough to imprint a pretty texture.

Are you quilting stars with us? I'll be revealing the next theme shortly, after our guild's March 14 meeting! Stay tuned to the Google Doc!

http://centraljerseymqg.blogspot.com/p/2017-guild-quilt-long.html



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Monday, February 19, 2018

An Easy Quilt Label Solution



Last year, when I was finishing and quilt-sleeving about 20 quilts for my solo exhibit, I also had to make sure everything was well-labeled. Generally, it's good practice to label the things you've made.  I think this is for two major reasons:

1. To document the time, place, and maker. As the Quilt Alliance says, "no more anonymous quilts!" In their labeling pledge from 2017, they asked quiltmakers to sign on to this agreement: "I pledge to label my quilts, both quilts that I make and quilts that I own. I understand that quilts are historical documents, containing important information about the life and times of the maker, their family and their world."

Personally, I don't make quilts specifically to become heirlooms, but they are extensions of myself. It's fun to look back at the time or place I made something, since we've moved a few times. What was my life like back then? How have I changed? Wow, that was the beginning of my free motion quilting journey, look how far I've come! Also, it's a very real reality that my quilts will outlive me lifespan-wise, so if they serve as historical documents for my family (or the wider world?), that's great (trained historian here - primary sources are boss).


2. To send someone a message, if you made something especially for them.


Labeling CAN be a pain - unless you really like hand sewing or you plan ahead. One of the best parts of preparing an exhibit was knowing that all my work was documented appropriately. But what about everything I made since? Did I follow through?

The answer is a resounding yes. No matter what, I ALWAYS label quilts that I give others (like my recent Disney mini quilt above, "Belle"). And since last year, this is my easy labeling solution before binding: take a 5" or 6" square of white or light gray, press it in half on the diagonal, pin it to the lower right hand side of the back of the quilt (just my preference), and sew the binding on right over it.

It's just like making pockets to hang a mini quilt like this tutorial by PatchworkPottery (bonus: if you're already making pockets, you have a ready-made label).


It doesn't bother me that I can lift the pocket up a little. You could include a little surprise/trinket in there if you were gifting a quilt. Or, you could hand sew it shut, if it really bothers you!


Anyway, it's super fast and easy. I just taught my preteen sewing student this method, and she's been using it on her work already. What's your preferred labeling solution? Please share with us!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

2018 BOM List

It's the 3rd year I've scoured the web for Block of the Month programs and Quilt-A-Longs, and there have never been so many! As of today, there are 68 on this list (10 more than when Wonky Press subscribers received this list in January, first dibs)! Settle down with a hot cup of coffee or tea (and maybe some chocolate) and peruse. There are so many wonderful programs to start the year off in a quilty way (thank you especially to Sarah Goer for all your help!). 


Back in 2013, I followed the Sister's Ten BOM with GenX Quilters and made two quilts - one for me and one for my sister. I learned so much! Full story here.
 

BOMs and QALs must follow these requirements to make the list:
1. They start(ed) in January or February 2018.

2. There is significant information about them available on the internet (note: some that are solely on Instagram are difficult to follow/track down, so I've only included a couple).

3. They connect with quilting in some way.


I organized the BOMs into four categories. All NEW programs added since the newsletter are marked with an asterisk*.

Finally, check out The Wonky Press Issue 7 for more info about what BOMs are, and The Wonky Press Issue 8 for my tips on joining a BOM. Enjoy - I hope you find the program that's right for you!




Free:

2018 Color Challenge - Jen of Patterns By Jen

2018 Make Nine (A Gentle Challenge for Makers) - Rochelle of Lucky Lucille

*A Novel Idea - A Bookcase Quilt Using Novelty Fabrics - Victoriana Quilt Designs

*Beginnings QAL (especially for beginner quilters!) - The Intrepid Thread

Boulder MQG BOM - Boulder Modern Quilt Guild

*Calendar Quilt - Mania for Quilts

Clementine Quilt Along (suggested donation $5 per block to St. Judes, with matching donations up to $20,000) - Fat Quarter Shop and Moda Fabrics

Colorful Butterflies - Claudia's Quilts

Designer of the Month - Pat Sloan and Aurifil Thread

*Free Motion Challenge QAL - Angela Walters

Giant Block Tutorial Series - Erica of Kitchen Table Quilting

In The Summer Time - Pat Sloan

It's A "Wild" Life: 2018 BOM (free initially) - Sew Incredibly Crazy and Friends


Patchwork Barn Quilt (free for Star Members) - Edyta Sitar for The Quilt Show

Plus Block QAL - Steph Jacobson @stephkucera

Modern Free Motion Quilting QAL (#modernfmqqal) - Jessica Skultety of Quilty Habit (oh, that's me!) for the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild

*Postcard from Sweden - Sandra Walker of Mmmquilts

She's Our Star: 2018 BOM (honoring Nancy Zieman) - Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC

Simple Sampler QAL - Nancy Scott of Masterpiece Quilting

Squared Away by Mari of The Academic Quilter and soscrappy


Star Spangled - Forth Worth Fabric Studio

Starry Bright Sky QAL (free if you finish each month's block) - Alida (TweLoQ) Designs

Sweetest Things Sampler QAL - Dawn of Honeybee Cloths and Michelle of CreativeBlonde

Temperature Quilt 2018 Quilt Along (#tempquilt18) - Chris Simon of Colorful Om

Three's Company BOM - Patchwork Posse

Tiptoe QAL - Porch Swing Quilts

Ultimate Sampler Quilt - 365 Challenge - Kathryn Kerr

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Patterns or Books with Concurrent Online Quilt-A-Longs:

2018 Block of the Month Sampler (purchase The Quilter's Planner) - Cheryl Brickey and Stephanie Palmer of The Quilter's Planner

Celestial Star Stitch-Along (EPP) (purchase Quilting on the Go: English Paper Piecing by Sharon Burgess) - Carolyn Pytlik and Red Thread Studio

City Tiles - Emily of Quilty Love

Classic Meets Modern QAL - Kelly Young of My Quilt Infatuation

Dresden Neighborhood - Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams

Elizabeth Hartman All The Animals Sew-Along (purchase one or more patterns) - Angie of Gnome Angel

Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt Sew-along (purchase The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt book by Laurie Aaron Hird) - Angie of Gnome Angel

Girl Next Door QAL - Charlotte Noll and Red Thread Studio

Heartland Heritage Sew Along - Heather of The Sewing Loft and Amy Ellis

Machine Quilting Party 2018 (purchase Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day) - author Leah Day

*Patches of Blue QAL (purchase Patches of Blue) - book author Edyta Sitar

Patchwork City Sewalong 2018 (#patchworkcitysewalong2018 - purchase Patchwork City by Elizabeth Hartman) - on Instagram with @bibliosewandso and @nicships

Rainy Days and Sun Days (purchase Distinctive Dresdens) - book author Katja Marek of Katja's Quilt Shoppe

Regatta Sew Along - Roseanne of Home Sewn By Us

Row Along (purchase Quilting Row By Row) - book authors Jeanette White and Erin Hamilton of The Piper's Girls

*Sewing a Village Sew-a-long (purchase Village pattern by Jumble, Ms. Rosie's Quilt Co.) - Stitch Supply Co.

*Sienna Burst QAL (purchase Sienna Burst pattern) - Meghan Buchanan of Then Came June

Snowflake Suite (4 patterns to choose from) - Jessie Zeigler of Threaded Quilting

Squiggles Quilt Along (purchase Piece and Quilt with Precuts) - author Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

*Wainwright QAL (purchase Wainwright pattern) - Carolyn Friedlander

Year of the Fat Quarter (various patterns and bundles available for purchase) - Fat Quarter Shop

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Patterns Available for Purchase:

Aunt Grace Baskets of Scraps - It's Sew Emma with Marcus Fabrics

Bristle Creek Farmhouse - Marcus Fabrics

Etoiles Rouges - Kathryn Kerry of Green Avenue Quilts

Golden Days - Jen Kingwell

Les Amis Quilt - 2018 Craftsy BOM - Shelley Cavanna and Craftsy

Monthly Sampler Mini - Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane

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Subscription Programs:

Aunt Grace Baskets of Scraps BOM - Judie Rothermel for Marcus Brothers Fabrics through Fat Quarter Shop

BOM 2018 (3 quilts to choose from) - Esther Aliu

Grasshopper Quilt BOM - Sarah Fielke

Hanami BOM - LoveBug Studios (started in Dec.)

*Inner Garden BOM - Anna Maria Horner

Mandolin Quilt Club (EPP) - Jodi of Tales of Cloth

Mighty Lucky Quilting Club - Lucky Spool Media

Murder Mystery Quilt by Whip Stitch

My Magical Garden - Sue Pelland Designs

Rainbow Triangles Mystery BOM - Rebecca Bryan of Bryan House Quilts

Simple Folk Quilt BOM - Sarah Fielke

Stellar Stars BOM - Blast Off Club - Cristy Fincher of Purple Daisies Quilting

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Note To Self #2: A Quilt Inspired by The Head and the Heart

I made another word quilt for a dear friend, who has been a close companion for about 7 years now. Julie and I meet up a few times a year and stay in near-constant contact through Facebook and Goodreads, where we obsess about Broadway and cheer each other on with our book reading goals, respectively. We've both made each other lots of things over the years, and this year, I thought she deserved a mini quilt with a quote that speaks to both of us.


The quote is from the song "Library Magic" by The Head and The Heart. Julie mentioned the song a while back - it was one I hadn't listened to before by a band I already liked. The phrase "there will always be better days" is repeated several times throughout the song, and it's a perfect reminder. I felt very calm and fulfilled while I quilted it (and listened to the song on repeat, of course).


As I talked about in this post, it always takes some consideration to decide which fonts to quilt in and which threads to use. If it's a dark background, I want the words to be as bright/light as possible; the surrounding quilting can vary, as long as the quilting closest to the words isn't also a light color.

I paired up a bunch of Aurifil threads to make my vision come to life (#2024 white - 28 weight for the words - and #2520 Violet, #1200 Blue Violet, #2735 Medium Blue, #2600 Dove Gray - 50 weight). The blue variegated thread (#4655 Storm At Sea) was the perfect choice for those little pebbles. I love using variegated thread on small details!


Instead of using all solids like in the first Note to Self quilt, I surrounded the words with some precious cuts of Mod Corsage fabric by Anna Maria Horner (which is now even more precious due to Free Spirit Fabrics shutting down - little did I know a couple weeks ago). I found a lovely piece of quilting cotton in my stash for the backing, which Julie said she loved. Good call on that one. :)


While I was taking pictures of the new quilt, I realized the original Note to Self mini quilt was hanging nearby. I had to get a picture, even though the light wasn't totally ideal. My approach to these mini quilts hasn't changed much over the past year, but I still feel like I want to explore this style even more.


What song lyrics would you put on a quilt? I have quite a few, so I think I'll just keep making quilts.

Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday, TGIFF, Crazy Mom Quilts.

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Quilting up a Cascade

During the cold spells and snow and ice storms, I've been huddled in my sewing room, preparing samples for my upcoming class at The Quilt and Sewing Fest of New Jersey, which is just a couple short months away (April 28 - and a Saturday!). The workshop is one-of-a-kind and is currently not being taught any other time in the future.


This is just a teaser of the several motifs we will learn and practice, while we investigate cascade quilting: modern approaches to traditional feather quilting. I've been using these motifs for years and experimenting with different ways to quilt them, on their own and surrounded by other quilting. Here, I've paired some Kona solids with contrasting Aurifil thread to showcase my hard work (thank you to Robert Kaufman and Aurifil!). Let that quilting show!

I'm also bringing several quilts (some not previously seen online) and there will be lots of time and space for detailed, guided practice. Confident beginner free motion quilters and up will be most comfortable.

Won't you join me for this special class? There are some spots available - click here to register and see the supply list. I'm so excited!

 

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