Four Years of Quilting

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I took my first quilting class in October 2014, and I had no idea what a life-changer that class would be for me. Quilting has become my main de-stressor, and it has been so satisfying to make hand-crafted projects for my family and friends (and me too!) In May 2015 I decided that I wanted to blog about my quilting adventures, so I joined a New Quilt Blogger’s Facebook group and wrote my first post entitled The Beginning.

In September 2015 I wrote a Quilty Bucket List post about quilts that I wanted to make. Three years later there are some quilts on that list that I may make, but my quilting preferences and tastes have definitely changed in the last three years. One quilt that is on that list from three years ago is the Alison Glass Feathers quilt top which I finished last month and am waiting to get it back from my local quilt store, ThreadBear (see my Sept ‘18 OMG Finishes post for more info about this quilt top). But what has changed is that I actually bought a Feathers quilt kit from ThreadBear a couple years ago that had a variety of prints in it, and by the time I was ready to start making this quilt this summer, I wanted to use solids, not prints. I debated for awhile if I wanted to use Kona solids which are my go-to solids but decided on the Alison Glass Kaleidoscope fabrics which are absolutely beautiful though they definitely fray more than Kona solids.

The photo at the top of this post shows a project that is definitely reflective of my current quilting tastes and preference for solids. I am in the process of making two Teal/Turquoise Whirl pillow shams to go with the Wedding Whirl quilt that I made for my stepdaughter and her new wife.

Retrospective

Since this is my four year anniversary of quilting, I thought I’d recap some of my favorite quilts I’ve made in the last four years. Tap or hover (depending on your device) on the photos to see the name of the quilt. Posts about these quilts can be viewed through the search box or tags on the right side of my blog posts.

Squares & Rectangles

Like most quilters, I was most comfortable sewing squares and rectangles when I first started quilting, and I still like the look of simple patchwork especially with bright colors. Below is a mosaic of quilts that feature squares and rectangles.

Triangles

About a year into my quilting adventure, I felt ready to tackle triangles, and there’s been no looking back! I’ve definitely made over 1,000 half-square triangles (HSTs) and a fair amount of corner triangles. Below are some of my favorite quilts that have triangles as an integral part of the design:

Animals—Elizabeth Hartman Patterns

Not long after I had a little experience making triangles , I discovered Elizabeth Hartman’s patterns. She is a quilt designing genius. Three of the projects below are from her Fancy Forest pattern, and then there is the Dogs in Sweaters quilt that I named Slinky’s Friends that I made for my niece, Mary Frances, and it is one of my all-time favorites especially because of the awesome custom long-arm quilting that Michael at ThreadBear did on this quilt.

Here’s a pic of my niece’s dog, Slinky, just waking up snuggled under her (and his) Slinky’s Friends quilt.

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Paper Piecing

Who woulda guessed? I have become SUCH a fan of paper piecing. I first tried paper piecing in 2016, and initially it was frustrating to me at because of the mirror image nature of paper piecing. I started to really like paper piecing when I participated in a guild activity where we were challenged to make a project out of a quilted word. I found the free LOVE pattern below by Diane Bohn of From Blank Pages in February 2017, and something clicked when working on that project which I turned into the pillow below. My confidence in paper piecing has increased so much that I wrote the Five Tips to Decrease Paper-Piecing Stress post in June 2018.

Color Gradient Projects

My latest focus in quilting has been on quilting projects that have a color gradient element which is explained in detail in my 2018 Mid Year Review post where I wrote about my evolution with color design.

And One Very Special Quilt

Coming full circle from the start of my quilting journey is the quilt below that is a collaboration between my mother, my sister, and me (over a period of 20 plus years) which I blogged about in my Bow Tie Quilt Finished post. I love the pic on the right that has my sister’s dog, Zoey, and her grand-dog, Slinky on it.

What’s Next

Definitely more color gradient projects—the Dimension in Dusk Quilt is absolutely calling my name. The paper-pieced Prism Quilt is also on my 2019 to-do list. I hope to make the Harlequin quilt by Robin Pickens next year which is a half-rectangle quilt. My favorite version of this quilt is by Saija Kiiskinen. I would like to make one JUST LIKE HERS, but I think I will make it with the same fabric that I used to make my great-niece Rachel’s Mazes Quilt (the Imprint fabric collection by Katarina Roccella). I would also like to make a Temperature Quilt similar to this one by Needled Mom. I don’t know what else I will make next year, but I am sure it will be fun!!!

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2018 Qtr 4 Finish-A-Long Goals

Wow! I can’t believe we are already in the last quarter of 2018! As much as I’m not a fan of the decreasing daylight in the Western Hemisphere, I do like this time of year to start preparing for the holidays. Although I love seeing all the Halloween and Fall projects on Bloglovin’, Pinterest, and Instagram, my all-time favorite holiday is Christmas, and you will see at the end of this post three fairly simple Christmas projects that I am planning to complete this quarter. But first things first, my number one priority is to finish my Alison Glass Feathers Quilt that is at my local quilt store in the queue to be quilted. I’ve promised my niece, Kim, that she will receive it before the end of the year.

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The Feathers quilt is the only project that I am carrying over from my 2018 Qtr 3 FAL Goals. I still plan to accomplish the last three goals on that list but just not this coming quarter. Like so many other quilters, I could definitely use more hours in the day!

Next up is the project that I’m pretty darn certain will be finished this month which is my Floating Hexagons Quilt. The pattern is by Sarah Goer Quilts. Check out my Floating Hexagons Pattern Test post to learn more about this project. I am at the hand-stitching-down-the-binding stage which is a perfect activity to do while I watch MLB playoffs!

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My step-daughter and her new wife received their Wedding Whirl wedding present last week, and I am happy to report that they are thrilled with it, so much that they have put in on their bed even though at 60” X 80”, it really isn’t a bed-size quilt. However, with a nice duvet or plain comforter underneath it, it will work just fine. For Christmas, they have requested two coordinating pillow shams featuring a teal/turquoise whirl on each pillow which is my third goal for this quarter. In the cropped photo below, I will be replacing all the purple and orange half-square triangles with Kona medium grey squares/rectangles and will add a larger than necessary medium grey border. My plan is to make the two teal/turquoise whirls one on top of the other with an oversized border in between and then send them to Melissa at Sew Shabby Quilting to quilt with the same Splash of Love motif as she used with Wedding Whirl. I will then cut them into 20” x 26” rectangles and turn them into pillow shams using the same teal Longitude Batik print as is on the back of the Wedding Whirl quilt.

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Christmas Projects

I have made a start on two of the Christmas projects that I plan to finish this quarter. I like to decorate my quilting area with Christmas decorations since I spend so much of my time working on quilting projects. Below are 54 squares that I will use to make a simple patchwork 24.5” X 36.5” Christmas cutting mat cover.

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The 22 2.5” squares pictured below along with white-on-white snowflake background pieces (not pictured) are going to be used to make a Christmas Baubles Mini Quilt. I still need to cut out the pieced border.

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I will be making a Penguin Party pillow using Elizabeth Hartman’s pattern to add to my holiday decor using the plaid black and white fabric pictured below along with Kona black, white, medium grey, and a little scrap of gold or orange for the nose.

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Linking up to 2018 Qtr 4 Finish-A-Long Goals.

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Butterfly Quilt Finished!

I am so thrilled that I am able to post about one of my 2018 Qtr 3 Finish-A-Long Goals that I really thought was a long shot to include in my 2018 Qtr 3 FAL finishes. It is my Butterfly Quilt that I am making for my best friend’s birthday on October 16th. We really weren’t sure at first how we wanted it quilted, but I’m happy with the glass shards quilting motif that Michael at ThreadBear used that mimics some of the shard-like pieces in the feature butterfly. The quilt is 67” x 79” and has A LOT of negative space, some of which is offset by three coordinating Butterfly Pillows. (I will also be making a simple, colorful kitty quilt that will go at the end of the daybed and a sham that features a paper-pieced Tartankiwi butterfly that will be placed at the top of the daybed). ThreadBear finished the quilting on 10/5/18, and I spent Saturday and Sunday getting the binding done. The binding fabric is Moon Age Cerise by Libs Elliott which is also featured prominently in the large butterfly.

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In contrast to the judicious use of color on the front of the quilt is the riot of color on the quilt back. I chose Butterfly Dance in Navy fabric by Sally Kelly, and I just soaked up all those beautiful, colorful images of butterflies and dragonflies when I was hand-stitching down the binding on the back of the quilt.

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Linking up to Cooking Up Quilts: Main Crush Monday and 2018 Qtr 3 FAL Finishes.

 

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Bowtie Pasta Quilt Finished (2 months ago!)

I really thought I had blogged about finishing up this quilt since it was my first finish of my 2018 Qtr Finish-A-Long Goals , but apparently I didn’t since I could not even find a draft post! I had it long-arm quilted by ThreadBear and found a coordinating orange and yellow batik in my fabric stash to use for binding which I finished in early September. Below is a pic where my quilt holder who is 5’5” (and has a bad shoulder) is struggling behind it to hold this 56 X 70 quilt by herself, but I like how it shows the last of our sunflowers and cosmos.

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I need to find someone who can make me a tool for photographing quilts like Yvonne@Quilting Jetgirl’s Quilt Photography Tool. The downside is having to sew on hanging sleeves, but it might be worth it!

I had a friend who has a good camera who took close-up below of this quilt. If you look closely at the irregularly shaped bowties (which is one the most appealing features of this quilt to me), you can see the interesting variegated thread used for the quilting. I also love that Studio E Culture Shock Matchstick Texture in Red, Orange, and Pink fabric—so much that I recently had to get another half yard for my stash!

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Linking up to 2018 Qtr 3 FAL Finishes.

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Oct ‘18 OMG

Floating Hexagons Quilt

No shock to my regular blog readers, I have another two-parter monthly goal, but at least I haven’t blogged about either of these projects before! My first priority to get my Floating Hexagons Pattern Test Quilt bound. I was so honored to test this lap-size pattern for Sarah@Sarah Goer Quilts. This pattern is perfect for contrasting solids. I chose two of my favorite Kona solids, Cerise and Berry, for this quilt.

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The quilting was done by Melissa at Sew Shabby Quilting, and I just love how the diagonal plaid quilting motif looks. This is the second quilt that Melissa has quilted for me, and she does such a great job for a competitive price and fast turn-around.

I want to make this quilt again featuring some fussy-cut prints (maybe cats, Christmas prints, etc). Check out Sarah’s Petting Zoo version to see how great this pattern can look with colorful prints from a favorite fabric collection.

Christmas Baubles Quilt

Part two of my October One Monthly Goal is to make a Christmas mini quilt that I have wanted to make for awhile now. It is the Christmas Baubles Quilt by Jen Daly featured on Moda Bake Shop. I’m using the same Kate Spain Jingles prints along with the white on white snowflake background that Jen used. I haven’t decided yet if I am going to make a pieced border or not.

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Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: Oct ‘18 OMG.

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Wedding Whirl Finished!

Just nine days ago, I wrote a post about finishing my Wedding Whirl Quilt Top. And today I am writing about this quilt being totally finished and ready to be sent off to the newlyweds tomorrow (see my above post for a great photo of the cute couple). Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting did the long arm quilting, and I was totally amazed at her quick turn-around. I shipped the quilt top off of Sept 17th and received it back on Sept 28th. The quilting pattern is called Splash of Love, and I love the stylized hearts and waves in this motif. It just looks perfect!

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A friend of mine took the above photo which shows off the true colors of this quilt along with the quilting pattern, but it does not show the full 60” x 80” quilt with Kona Charcoal binding. However, it is better than any of my pics, so I’m using it!

Below is a close-up of the Kate Spain batik backing that shows some of the quilting:

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And I love this close-up that show the lovely texture of the Splash of Love quilting:

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Linking up to From Bolt to Beauty: Brag About Your Beauties. This project was also one of my 2018 Qtr 3 Finish-A-Long Goals. Linking up to 2018 Qtr 3 FAL Finishes.

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Sept ‘18 OMG Finishes

My September ‘18 One Monthly Goal was another two-fold goal. Part one was finishing my Alison Glass Feathers quilt top made with her gorgeous (though challenging to sew with due to heavy raveling) Kaleidoscope fabric, and I did get it done and dropped off to ThreadBear for longarm quilting a couple weeks ago:

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The second part of my Sept ‘18 OMG was to make three simple 16-inch paper-pieced pillows to go with the Butterfly Quilt that I am making for my best friend. I quilted these pillows using a wavy ribbon quilting pattern this past weekend and sewed on the envelope backings today:

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Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: Sept ‘18 OMG Finishes .

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