Thursday, April 7, 2011

Modern Solids Quilt Along: Block #1 & The Inspiration

Hi Everyone, well here it is the first block for the Modern Solids Quilt Along. At first I wasn’t sure how this was going to work out because I don’t normally work in all solids, in fact this will be my first all solid quilt top so this could be interesting. I love the color combo I was able to create and the construction of the first block works so well with it.

Now a little about my inspiration for this block. As I wrote in an earlier post I learned quilting initially when I went to an adult Girl Scout camp program for quilting. The second year I went there was a mix up and I was not able to going to the in town meeting so even thought I knew which book we were taking the quilt pattern from I had no idea which quilt was picked for the weekends project so I just picked one only to find out that it was the wrong one. The quilt book we used was Quilting Season by Debbie Caffrey but I can’t remember which quilt the group picked but the layout I picked is called Cinco de Mayo. Needless to say I never finished that particular quilt but I did later make a wall hanging from the same design for my daughter’s bedroom you can see below. She picked out the fabric herself. She liked the brilliant colors and I fussy cut the fish fabric to make it look more like a fancy fish bowl.

You can see the components I used for my block.

Well that was it, that’s is where I got the idea for my block. As I don’t have permission to publish any part of the book I made the decision to not post my step-by-step photos or any part of the book. If you are interested in checking out the book or any of Debbie Caffrey‘s other work please check out the her website.

My block is currently posted to the Flicker group for the Modern Solids QAL. So go check it out along with all the other fabulous blocks posted by the group members.

So until the next block, happy sewing.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Playing Catch-up: Quilt-along Project Review

Hi everyone looks like I let time get away from me again. I meant to have my update on my block-along blocks as I went along but I had other things, called life, change my direction. So here is my follow up post for Bloggers’ Block-a-palooza and the Cherry House Quilt-along.

First off I have to say I had a ball with these block a longs. It was so much fun waiting in anticipation for the next block/instructions to come out so that I could work on it. It was also fun to see everyone else’s interpretation through their choice of fabric and the little changes to design. It is always good getting feed back from others about how they saw my blocks or their reactions to how I saw their’s. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

I want to thank John from Quilt Dad for hosting and arranging the Bloggers’ Block-a-palooza and for all of the quilt artist who took the time to create the block designs used for this quilt along. I was able to learn a few things, perfect a few techniques and get to know a few others within the quilt world. So I am very grateful for this experience.

I also want to thank Cherri from Cherry House Quilts for hosting her quilt-along. The design was very interesting even if it appeared to be very simple. I understand that creating a quilt like that is not easy but her instructions were straight forward and easy to follow. So I am also very grateful for this quilt along experience.

Neither of my quilts are finished at this point, because of budgeting reasons, but I will surly post them up as soon as they are so stay tuned.

I have recently begun a new quilt-along with Ryan and Charley at Patchwork2 called Modern Solids Quilt Along. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to participate because I knew I didn’t have that many solids in my stash. As I’ve written in past posts I haven’t been quilting for a while so my stash is filled with fabric from the past and at that time I did not use a lot of solids. I am trying to use to use these quilt a longs not only to help me hone certain techniques but to help me dwindle down my stash before I allow myself to by any new fabric unless it is absolutely needed for a specific project.

I have to admit I am finding this modern quilt movement very interesting. I was not sure how I felt about it at first because I have never been a fan of solid fabrics, however I am finding that solid fabrics have improved since the last time I bought some, so we shall see what my quilt outcome will be. As I said above I am trying to work only with my current stash of fabric and luckily I was able to find a group of solid fabrics in my stash that work very well together in my eyes so we shall see how they work out in the end.

Now head over to the Patchwork2 Modern Solids Quilt Along Flicker group to see what everyone else is doing. See you there.

So until the next block, happy sewing!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Block #5 for Bloggers’ Block-a-palooza Quilt-along

Here is the next block for the Bloggers’ Block-a-palooza. Block #5 Geesey McNinePatch was created and presented by Kaye of Miss Print. I think this block has been MY most challenging block to day in this QAL. Kaye brought us a block filled with flying geese as well as another technique for creating them which I always welcome.

Let me first clarify why I felt so challenged by this block. Well it was the geese. Even though I have been doing geese in almost every block so far I have not had so many in one row till now. I have to say that I like Kaye’s technique for making them, I’m just not sure where I went wrong. In the end my geese did not fly straight so it left my block very crooked.

Rest assured though this block has not beaten me. I will be redoing this block when I have a chance to before the end of the QAL. I love a challenge and this definitely is one for me. I will get those geese to fly straight.

I have to just stop and say here that I really appreciate this and other quilt-alongs because they are giving me a real chance to grow as a sewist and quilter. Learning new techniques and block layouts is always fun. I think that is what has inspired me to make some of my own variations on these blocks. As you will see I didn’t do a regular nine patch in the center but ended up with what looks like a snow ball from a distance.

I’m not sure if I will be going back to the regular nine patch in my redo or not we shall see, it all depends on how I feel at that time.

Ok I present my finished block #5.

Note this picture was not taken at an angle. You can see how truly off my block is.

Now head over to the Flicker group to see what everyone else is doing. See you there.

So until the next block, happy sewing!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Cherry House Quilt QAL Week 2: Pieced Columns

So we have entered week 2 of the CHQ quilt-along and things are progressing nicely. I am happy with my results so far and also surprised how straight my columns came out. Yes this week we did our columns and I have to admit I had fun doing them. They didn’t take a lot of time piecing them together and I helps me to be more patient when doing my piece work.

We are always in a rush to complete everything but some things in life like quilting you should take time and pay attention to details. I found that if you want your columns to be straight you can’t just zoom through them. All it takes is one set to be off and then you whole column is off.

I’ve had fun so far doing this quilt I am very much considering doing another on a larger scale, we shall see. In the mean time here are my columns. Below you will se a close up and full length pictures of my columns.

It is not too late to join in on this QAL if you go to the Flicker group you can not only see the pictures of everyone’s progress but Cherri has also put up the links to her blog to find the information to join in.

So until next Tuesday, happy sewing!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Block #4 for Bloggers’ Block-a-palooza Quilt-along

Here is the next block for the Bloggers’ Block-a-palooza. Block #4 Gingham Pinwheel was created and presented by Cherri of Cherry House Quilts. I love this block because she took those geese and turned them into a pinwheel.

I must say I have been having a lot of fun with this quilt-along and by the end if I am not a wiz at creating a flying geese piece I will be very surprised. This block kept things very simple but very versatile. It lends it’s hand to personalization without losing the effect of the original block. That is how I came up with my version of it. With very subtle changes I was able to achieve a double pinwheel affect that I love.

I followed the easy instructions she posted but changed the color layout for one piece to give me the look I wanted.

Here are my flying geese for this block.

Here is where I varied slightly from Cherri’s design. I used a contrasting fabric for the rectangle that sets adjacent to the flying geese which gave me a double pinwheel.

Ok there we go here is my finished block #4.

Now head over to the Flicker group to see what everyone else is doing. See you there.

So until the next block, happy sewing!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Quilt-along Number 2 with Cherry House Quilts

Ok as I wrote in my clean up post I am working to join as many quilt-alongs this year as I can to help me dwindle down the size of my fabric stash. Well here is my second quilt-along.

Cherri from Cherry House Quilts has set up a quilt-along that starts at the beginning of February. She says the quilt in this quilt-along was inspired by a pair of socks so she decided that the name will be the Socken (German for socks) Quilt-along. If you would like to follow along you can find information here, a schedule and shopping list here and cutting instructions here. There is a Flicker group set up for all of us to upload photos of our progress. There is even a button you can put on your blog found here.

The quilt design is very modern looking and it calls for solid fabrics. However, as I am working solely with my current fabric stash so my fabrics will be a mix of solid and print fabrics.

Here is the list and photos of my fabric picks:

Background: Tan (solid)

Binding: Muted Yellow Roses

Color Strips: Yellow Paisley
Mustard Scroll
Yellow tone on tone dots
Brown Stripe

Backing: Tan Fan Motif

Ok according to the schedule next will be PIECED COLUMNS on 2/8/11 so keep watching to Cherry House Quilts for the next part of the quilt-along.

I just want to thank Cherri for setting up this quilt-along I think it will be great fun.

So until next time, happy sewing!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Big Clean Up 2011

As I have gotten back into my sewing and quilting I am finding that I am not alone when it comes to having a fabric stash that is a little out of hand. I have to admit the amount of fabric is less than what I have seen of others but it is the fact that a lot of the fabric I have had for many, many years and something needs to be done. Ok I have identified the problem now on to a solution.

One thing I have been doing is trying to tackle a new project at least every week. Well I have to tell you it was going well in the beginning and then it came to a stand still until….I found other bloggers who have/are putting together quilt-alongs or other tutorial sessions for sewing projects.

I thought about joining a quilting bee at first but I think that was just to much for me to tackle at this time. However when I found my first quilt-along, Bloggers’ Block-a-palozza at Quilt Dad I thought this could be just the thing for me. I am working only from my current fabric stash which is helping me use it and it is helping me to time manage my quilting/sewing. I have to admit that if I don’t finish a project right away I can get bored with it and then I start a new one. My shelf is littered with unfinished projects but no more. I promised myself that 2011 would be the year I cleaned out my stash.

This year I will try to join as many quilt-alongs and try different projects such as pillows, bags, book covers, etc. that by the end of 2011 my stash will be next to nothing. I know that sounds weird but I think I need to start focusing on buying when needed or buying when there is a definite project to be made. No more buying just because it is pretty or there is a major sale going on (my biggest weakness).

So here’s to 2011 the year of the Clean Up. I will keep you informed on my projects and my progress.

So until the next time, happy sewing.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mama Tiger Pillow

A few weeks ago my daughter, who doesn’t sew, came to me and asked if I could help her send a package to her husband who is deployed at the moment. She wanted to make sure that she sent him a package so that it would arrive to him for Valentine’s Day.

Well I thought ok maybe I can sew him something but I knew something like a quilt would not be done in time so I looked though my fabric and had these panels with animals on them I was going to use several years ago but never got around to it. The funny thing is that the panels had a tiger motif on two pieces of and pandas on another. You may be asking “Why is that so funny Marisa?” Well my daughter and son-in-law have nicknames for each other and they just so happened to Mama Tiger and Papa Panda, go figure.

My Daughter Staci and her husband David

I have been sitting on this fabric for a long time and didn’t think much about it until I began reorganizing my fabric stash and voila.

Ok here is the pillow I made for my son-in-law. I didn’t take step-by-step photos but here is the finished pillow from a few angles.


The front is from a panel piece which included a border along the edge which I used fro the sides as you can see in the next photo.

Front and Side


The back was from another tiger fabric I had and the colors worked so well together.

It was just filled with fiber fill so it will be easily washed when needed.

I think this pillow came out really well now I have to make a panda one for my daughter. I don’t have a panda panel like with the tiger so I’ll have to find a design that will show off the pandas in the fabric. I will most likely be fussy cutting.

So until the next pillow, happy sewing!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Block #3 for Bloggers’ Block-a-palooza Quilt-along

On to block #3 which comes from Amanda at Sasikirana Homemade. Block #3 Shoofly Geese is her variation on the traditional Shoofly quilt block. It looks very simple and a great addition to the Bloggers’ Block-a-palooza.

Here is a look at a traditional Shoo-Fly Block Pattern [1]

Amanda’s pattern cleverly adds the flying geese in it and all of a sudden the block has movement, you can almost visualize those geese flying to some unknown destination.

If you have been following the quilt-along then you will know from the tutorials so far that even though blocks #1 and #3 have flying geese the approach to making them were completely different. I really like that because it gives us all a chance to learn something new or practice a technique we have not mastered yet.

Thanks Amanda for your work, I’m sure we will have loads of fun with this block.

Next you will see photos of my fabric choices and my finished block #3. I have also included photos of the layout of two versions of my block 3 because I wasn’t sure which one I liked better. In the first one I have the flying geese pointing inward toward the center like Amanda’s block and in the second one I have the geese pointing outward. I like the one where the geese are pointing outward but I feel that I may be straying to far from the block that was created by Amanda because the look is a total change.

Fabric Set

Amanda’s Shoo-Fly Variation and My Variation

Ultimately I did finish block #3 with the geese point outward as you can see below. In the end the finished quilt will be mine so I guess putting my own spin on things is ok now and then.

Ok there we go you can see my finished block #3.

Now head over to the Flicker group to see what everyone else is doing. See you there.

So until the next block, happy sewing!

[1] Image for traditional Shoo-fly quilt block pattern found here.

Monday, January 31, 2011

My Block #2 for Bloggers’ Block-a-palooza Quilt-along

Ok here we go with block #2. Block #2 Word Search Block by Elizabeth at Oh Fransson. I must say this block was a challenge for me because as I said in my previous post I am working from my stash. I didn’t want to just used the same fabric over and over again so I tried to pick something different that would I thought coordinate with it. Well although I like the look of my first attempt the colors just did not work with the first block. So I have included the step by step photos of the first block, as I didn’t take step by step photos of the second attempt, but I will also show you the block I made with the coordinating colors. So here we go.

Fabric set

Fabric set after cutting

Nine patch sets

Finished first attempt

Finished final block

Ok there we go you can see my finished block #2.

Now head over to the Flicker group to see what everyone else is doing. See you there.

So until the next block, happy sewing!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Block #1 for Bloggers’ Block-a-palooza Quilt-along

Hi everyone this is an exciting time for me. I have had the pleasure of joining a quilt-along group. This group is called Bloggers’ Block-a-palooza: Waiting for Spring and was started by John at Quilt Dad blog and includes blocks from several very wonderful designers. I said that I was very excited about this because this is my opportunity to really get myself back into sewing/quilting.

This quilt-along is really giving me the opportunity to learn new things, gain time management of my projects, use my overwhelming amount of my fabric stash, meet new and wonderful people and become familiar with the current fabrics and designers out there.

Block-a-palooza began on January 24th with block #1 Flying Over Fields by Quilt Dad which can be found here. The first block and tutorial is very simple and great for any level sewer/quilter.

This is my first quilt-along and I am loving it and having a lot of fun. I love the anticipation of seeing what the next block will be. As I feel I need to get a handle on my fabric stash I decided that instead of using the proposed fabric collection I would use fabric I already had and it is working out great so far. Below are photos of my first block and the fabric I chose.

Fabric Set

Four Patch

Flying Geese

Finished Block #1

So if you haven’t already joined it is not to late to join in. Stop by the Flicker group and see what’s been uploaded so far.

So until the next block, happy sewing!