Summer Sampler 2017 WIP

I have become such a believer that when we say no to some opportunities in life be it a relationship, a job, an expensive purchase, or a major quilting project, we often create room for something that is a better fit for us. I have been SO tempted to participate in several quilt/sew-alongs this year, but over and over I have felt an inner twinge to not over-commit myself as I did last year. But when I saw the mock-up in May for the 2017 Summer Sampler hosted by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced, Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt, and Faith Jones of Fresh Lemons Quilts, I knew this was the project I wanted to focus much of my time and energy over the summer of 2017. These talented women are the authors of Vintage Quilt Revival: 22 Modern Designs from Classic Blocks, and it is my current favorite quilt book. I love the designs tips in the book, especially related to color choices which is still an area of quilting that I want to grow. I definitely will sew some of the blocks out of it since I am no longer terrified by paper piecing, especially since I have been using Lee’s mind-blowing paper-piecing tip. I shared more about this awesome tip in my June ’17 OMG post. I have found that my biggest challenge is sewing the block units together rather than the actual paper piecing, and once again Lee helped me out with the nested seams in her Princess Cut Star block. Below are the eight blocks I have made so far using all the colors in the 2017 Summer Sampler mock-up except I have substituted Kona Coal for the white background:

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We get a tutorial for a new block every Monday, and I am finding that I am really looking forward to Mondays these days! I have been known to wake up in the wee hours of Monday and have taken a peek at what block we will be sewing that week. What I really like about this project is the inherent flexibility. In the finished quilt, there will be nine large 12-inch blocks, and eight smaller 6-inch blocks along with filler sawtooth star blocks, flying geese, and a half-square triangle border (see mock-up below). The tutorials for each block include instructions for both the 12-inch and the 6-inch blocks, so we can choose which blocks we want to feature more prominently. I have to tell you I think this is an excellent value for $25. I have chosen to feature my three favorite blocks in the large-block format. They are on the top row of my photo above. From left to right is the Princess Cut Star block by Lee Heinrich, the Turning Star block  by Lynne Goldsworthy of Lily’s Quilts, and finishing up the top row on the right is the Celestial Star block by Holly De Groot of Bijou Lovely.

IMG_3100I’m sure there will be a very detailed-oriented reader who will notice that the middle block of the smaller blocks I have sewn so far is different from the mock-up. It is the Marine Star block by Katie Blakesley. I follow Sofie Nix @augenbeere on Instagram who is using a gorgeous purple and blue palette for her 2017 Summer Sampler, and when she posted about it being much easier to make this block without the center square, I decided to also use her modification (Modified Marine Star block by @augenbeere). I will probably make this modified Marine Star block in the larger version for another project I plan to start later this year. (Update: Sofie let me know that Katie has also made a version of the Marine Star block that is featured on her SwimBikeQuilt blog.)

Linking up to Busy Hands Quilts: Finished or Not Friday,  and My Quilt Infatuation: Needle and Thread Thursday.

 

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2017 Qtr 3 Finish-A-Long Goals

I can’t believe we are half way through 2017! I have three projects that I hope to finish this next quarter. The one I am most excited about is an old UFO (unfinished object). It is a quilt top that was made by my mother in the 1990s using bow-tie blocks. I am going to finish this quilt for my sister that will be folded on the bench at the end of her bed. When I was in Michigan at the end of June, we laid the 48″ x 72″ quilt top on her bed and strategized together the best way to turn this flimsy into a larger lap quilt. We agreed that I will add an asymmetrical frame in grey grunge fabric with a 6-inch border along a short and long side and a 12-inch border along the other short and long side. There are four extra blocks that will be used on the back of the quilt. ThreadBear will do the quilting, and we’re thinking the binding will be a dark blue print that will tie in with the two dark blue fabrics that our mother used in this quilt top.

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My next proposed finish is one that I just started after getting back from my trip to Michigan where I made another visit to Pink Castle Fabrics. The owner of this awesome quilt store is Brenda Ratliff, and she had an extremely striking graphic quilt on the wall that she designed and made. The pattern is called Forest Daybreak, and it was published in the May/June 2017 Modern Patchwork magazine which I was able to buy at Pink Castle. I’ve started cutting a few fat quarters into 5 1/2″ strips and will also cut some yardage into the same width strips to allow for more variation in the length of my subcut pieces. This quilt pattern is designed to be made quickly, and I plan to have the quilt top made by the time I take Jacquie Gering’s Creative Quilting with a Walking Foot class in Albuquerque on July 22nd. She has asked participants to bring a finished unquilted quilt top that can be used to discuss how to quilt our quilts with designs using the walking foot. Finishing this quilt top is my July 2017 One Monthly Goal.

I am rolling over one of my 2017 Qtr 2 Goals which is to make two pillows for my office using hexies received from an Instagram rainbow hexie swap. The colorful hexies were waiting for me when I got back from my Michigan trip. I will be machine appliquing them to a grey background (such a shock, I know!).

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Linking up to 2017 Qtr 3 Finish-A-Long Goals and Elm Street Quilts: July 2017 One Monthly Goal.

 

 

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2017 Qtr 2 Finish-A-Long Finishes

In April I set four Quarter 2 Finish-A-Long goals and I’m so thrilled to have three of those projects completed. I’m wrapping up a visit to Michigan where I gave graduation quilts to my great-niece, Rachel, and great-nephew, Jimmy (who absolutely loved them). I wrote about these quilts in my Onward and Upward post, and they are two of my three finishes. Below is one more pic of Rachel’s Mazes quilt. It makes me happy to see all the beautiful Katarina Roccella Imprint fabrics in this quilt.

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My other Quarter two finish was my Quatrefoil Quilt.

Linking up to 2017 Quarter 2 Finish-A-Long Finishes.

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June 2017 OMG Finish

I’m happy to report that I did indeed meet my June ’17 One Monthly Goal and even got two bonus blocks done! I continue to love working on blocks for the Summer Sampler 2017, and my favorite so far is the Celestial Star by Holly DeGroot of Bijou Lovely.

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When working on the 12-inch Celestial Star block, I once again benefited from help and support offered from the online quilting community. I asked Holly a question on Instagram about joining the sections of her block together, and she suggested I use a basting stitch to make sure all the points were precisely matched, and then if I was happy with it, to sew over the basting stitch with a shorter stitch to facilitate ripping off the paper.

The two Summer Sampler 2017 bonus blocks I completed are the 6-inch Rosetta Star block by Lee@ Freshly Pieced which was a quick block with easy paper-pieced points and the Alchemy block by AnneMarie Chany@Gen X Quilters. This 6-inch block is made of up of 41 small fabric pieces, and I’m pretty happy that my seams and points matched up fairly well.

The other paper-piecing block I completed this month was the Hidden Gems block by Diane@From Blank Pages. It isn’t perfect but definitely usable, and I’m glad to have finally completed this Bee Hive commitment from last year.

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I like how my Chocolatier blocks look, but I’ve realized that having someone else make my fabric choices decreases the pleasure I have in working on this project. Had I chosen the fabric myself, I probably would have chosen a brighter color than the olive green. But I feel that participating in this Block of the Month is a nice way to support my local quilt store which is a priority to me. And my personal taste will be more reflected in the substituted charcoal background rather than the tan background ThreadBear chose to use. Below are the four Chocolatier blocks I completed which keeps me current with this BOM.

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Linking up with Elm Street Quilts: June ’17 OMG Finishes.

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Onward and Upward

I decided sometime in 2016 that I wanted to make graduation lap quilts for my great-nephew, Jimmy, and great-niece, Rachel, who are graduating from high school and turning 18 later this month. The name of this blog post is in honor of the title of the invitation for their graduation/18th birthday party that will be held on June 24th which I am thrilled that I will be able to attend.

Most of the quilts I make are more appropriate for females, so I started looking on Pinterest for quilts that a male would like. I ran across a blue ombre baby quilt and on a whim sent the pin to my friend, Sarah of Sarah Goer Quilts, who decided to use it for inspiration to write a quilt pattern for an Ombre Quilt in two sizes. I decided the lap-size Blue Ombre quilt would be perfect for Jimmy. My Quarter 2 Finish-A-Long GoalsOne Monthly Goal April 2017 , and Blue Ombre HST Quilt Top Finished posts provide information about the process from fabric choice to completed quilt top. It was quilted by ThreadBear using a jagged shards motif. I machine stitched the binding to the front last weekend (not without a very big problem–see my solution at the end of this post ), and I finished hand-stitching the binding (same as the backing fabric) a few days ago. Here are pics of the front and the back:

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I’ve had two fat quarter bundles of Katarina Roccella’s Imprint collection for over a year waiting to use it for a special person, and lovely Rachel definitely meets that criteria. Though I love traditional Half-Square Triangle (HST) configurations such as stars, hour glasses, and diamonds, I wanted this quilt to have a more spontaneous feel. Initially, I randomly picked the two-square combinations for the HSTs out of a bin but later made intentional choices to give the quilt a more balanced look. My A New Work in Progress and March ’17 OMG Finish posts talk about this project in more detail. Michael at ThreadBear and I discussed several different quilting motifs but eventually decided on a mazes motif that echoes some of the Mazes fabrics in the Imprint collection.

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The back of Rachel’s quilt is a Dogwood wide fabric I’ve also been saving for awhile. I  chose to feature the Bari J Stitched Road binding in granite by making it a little wider on the back than traditional binding.

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Many of my blog followers know that I’ve been sewing and quilting with an inexpensive Brother sewing machine I purchased from Amazon in 2014. Apparently I used that machine well beyond its limits. I had it in for servicing in May and was told it really couldn’t handle sewing through much thickness any more. When I started to machine sew the binding on Jimmy’s quilt and couldn’t even get 24 inches sewed, I decided it was time to buy the Juki sewing machine that I’ve been thinking about for awhile, so I drove to Albuquerque and came home the same day with my new baby. She’s absolutely amazing!

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Linking up to My Quilt Infatuation: Needle and Thread Thursday and Crazy Mom Quilts: Finish it up Friday. Also linking up to 2017 Quarter 2 Finish-A-Long Finishes.

 

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June ’17 OMG

I have decided that for my June ’17 One Monthly Goal that I am going to make a total of six blocks for three different projects. First, I plan to get caught up on my Block of the Month blocks for the Chocolatier BOM designed by Annemarie Chany of Gen X Quilters. This BOM is hosted by my local quilt store, ThreadBear, and we did not start it until March. It is a 12-month BOM, so unless we combine months later in the year, we won’t finish our Chocolatier blocks until February 2018 which works for me because I don’t even want to think about finishing this quilt until after Christmas. We are using Moda weave fabrics, and ThreadBear is accommodating my request for a charcoal background rather than the tan background everyone else is getting. Below is a mosaic of the blocks for Months 1 and 2. For Month 1, we sewed four of the Corner Stars on the left, and the turquoise/purple Eccentric Star and Arrowhead blocks were the second month’s assignment. Month 3 has two blocks that I’ve already cut but not sewn, and I haven’t picked up Month 4 yet, but I’m assuming it will also have two blocks. (If it has more, I am only committing to sewing two Month 4 blocks!)

Here is ThreadBear’s Chocolatier quilt:

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Chocolatier Quilt by ThreadBear 2017

Next I am planning to finish the Celestial Star block for the Summer Sampler 2017 hosted by Katie of Swim Bike Quilt, Lee of Freshly Pieced, and Faith of Fresh Lemons. I wrote a little bit about the fabric I am using in my May is for Makers 2017 post, and there is also a pic of the mockup of the Summer Sampler 2017. I feel a little like a cheater since I am using all the fabrics shown in the mockup except I swapped the white background for a charcoal background–seems to be a theme 🙂 But I absolutely love these colors. Katie, Lee, and Faith built on the Summer Sampler 2016 palette but then added in some fuchsia and light blue to add more depth, and I was totally sold. These talented women are the authors of the Vintage Quilt Revival book which I own, and I plan to use several of the gorgeous blocks in this book in another project later this year.

Below are my first two Summer Sampler 2017 blocks. Block 1 on the left is the Millcreek Star by Katie of Swim Bike Quilt. Block 2 is Tilted Star by Karen Lewis of Karen Lewis Textiles.

The tutorial for Block 3, Celestial Star by Holly DeGroot of Bijou Lovely, was sent to Summer Sampler 2017 subscribers on 5/29/17. This block is not for the paper-piecing faint of heart! I started sewing a few of the units and noticed one of my points was a little cut off. Then yesterday I read the paper-piecing tip tutorial for the Celestial Star by Lee of Freshly Pieced, and it was a game changer for me. I love the intricate angles that can be created through paper-piecing, but at the same time, they totally stress me out because it has been hit and miss whether or not the pieces I cut and paper piece will fully cover the designated area. Below are two Section B units for the Celestial Star block. In the bottom one, the point on the sage green section on the left is peaking out (but I will still be able to use it), and the top one, using Lee’s tutorial, is fully covered! Yay! For my June ’17 OMG, I plan to finish the Celestial Star. I may complete some of the June 2017 Summer Sampler blocks, but they will be bonus blocks and not part of my June ’17 OMG goal.

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I am planning to use Lee’s paper-piecing tip to finally sew the Hidden Gems block by Diane of From Blank Pages. Linda chose this block as part of our swarm in April 2016 for The Bee Hive by Blossom Heart Quilts. I had just been diagnosed with severe shoulder problems and was sleeping terribly due to shoulder pain, so when Linda chose this complicated paper-piecing block, I emailed her and asked her if I pulled the fabric, cut the templates, and sent them to her, would she sew it together for me, and she very generously agreed to do so. My shoulders are doing much better, and I’ve been in touch with Linda (sew4sanity on Instagram), and she has not yet sewn her quilt together and can still use another block, so I am going to do my best to make this Hidden Gems block and send it off to her. Rather than cutting template pieces which I really did not like doing (though it saves quite a bit of fabric), I cut rectangles that I will use to paper piece this block. Below are some of the rectangles with the appropriate templates placed on top of them:

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Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: June ’17 OMG Goal Setting.

 

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May 2017 OMG Finish

My May 2017 One Monthly Goal was to get the binding sewn on my Quatrefoil quilt. I chose a medium grey Modern Paper Background print by Zen Chic which brings out the grey print on many of the low volume sections of the Quatrefoil blocks. Please see my Feb ’17 OMG Finish post for more information about this quilt. I was able to get it done early in the month and a few days later snapped a couple pics during about a five second lull in the afternoon spring wind in Northern New Mexico. This is my second finish of my 2017 Finish-A-Long Goals.

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Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: May ’17 OMG Finishes and 2017 Quarter 2 Finish-A-Long Finishes.

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