When I heard that a good friend’s daughter was getting married in June in California, I expressed my regrets that I would not be able to attend the wedding but offered to make a set of four placemats for the newlyweds and asked what colors they would like me to use. I was somewhat surprised with one of their color choices. The red, green, and purple jewel tones were in my stash, but their other choice was the color brown which perplexed me for awhile. I have finally decided that I will use an espresso brown for the binding and an attractive brown print for the placemat backings. I finished sewing the placemat tops this past weekend using fabrics that were predominately red, purple, a medium green, and a lime green and then added the neutral color of grey to balance the arrangement of colors.
I used Elizabeth Hartman’s Color Blocks Placemats pattern, and I would really like to make another set of these placemats using a different color palette for my dining room table. I am leaning toward using a serpentine decorative stitch to quilt these placemats with a bright canary yellow thread. I learned how to use this stitch at Jacquie Gering’s Walking Foot class last month in Albuquerque (see my July ’17 OMG Finish post for more information about this fabulous class). Below is my practice piece using this decorative stitch.
My August ’17 One Monthly Goal is to quilt and bind these placemats. Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: August ’17 OMG.
Posted in Quilting
My July ’17 One Monthly Goal was to make a quilt top to take to Jacquie Gering’s Creative Quilting with the Walking Foot class at Hip Stitch in Albuquerque on 7/22/17. I used Brenda Ratliff’s Forest Daybreak pattern, and overall I’m happy with how this flimsy turned out. However, I learned that improv piecing can look easy, but with the best improv-pieced quilts, there’s obviously a lot of thought into design and composition. If I make another quilt like this (perhaps one with narrower strips), I will probably sketch out the lengths of my subcut pieces as well as the angles. I also underestimated how much fabric I would need for this 60″ x 72″ quilt top, but luckily I had enough complimentary fabrics in my stash to make this good-sized flimsy.
Jacquie’s Walking Foot class is my favorite quilting class that I have ever taken. She is such a good teacher who uses a lot of humor including laughing at herself, and it is obvious that she feels comfortable in her own skin. Jacquie will be teaching at QuiltCon 2018, but after that, she informed us that she plans to start doing small quilting workshops at her studio in Kansas City starting next year. She says some of them will be long weekends, and some may be as long as five days. She had me at “and I’ll bring the people back to my house, and we’ll have some wine and cheese.” I have found that smaller, more intimate classes/workshops are better for me than the bigger conferences, and I really hope that I can learn more from Jacquie in the future.
At the end of our class, we all sat around and took turns presenting our quilt tops to the class after first giving a short intro about our project. Jacquie and the group gave me a lot of positive feedback about my quilt top and some good suggestions for quilting. I will probably do diagonal straight lines in sections replicating some of the different angles in the quilt. Maybe it will be my September OMG? I have something else I need to finish in August. So many projects, so little time!
I’m really looking forward to experimenting more with my walking foot. And if you don’t have a copy of Jacquie’s book, WALK: Master Machine Quilting with Your Walking Foot, I highly recommend you treat yourself to this book. Below is a photo of one of Jacquie’s samples with a very cool design that I never would have thought could be done with a walking foot:
Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: OMG July ’17 Finishes.
Posted in Quilting
I can’t believe we are almost seven months through 2017. It’s definitely not too early to start thinking about 2018. When Stephanie Palmer at Late Night Quilter first published her 2016 Quilter’s Planner, I switched over from the previous planner I’d been using, and I have to tell you the even better 2017 Quilter’s Planner is never far from my side. And the eBook that came with the planner with 12 Quilting Patterns by some amazing quilt designers has several quilts that are on my Quilty Bucket List. Since I’ve become such a paper-piecing fan of late, the first one I plan to make is the Snow Star by Lindsey Rhodes of LR Stitched.
Weekly Calendar Pages
I mostly use the weekly calendar pages but tend to write more quilt-related info in the Personal and Work sections. I use an online nutrition/exercise tracker that covers a lot of what I focus on personally, and as far as work, in order to have a good balance in my life, I really try to not think about it much during my personal time, even though I really like the work I do. So in those sections I often write down inspiring Instagram or blog posts that I may want to refer to later as well as inspiring Pinterests pins, noting the board where I saved the pin.
Project Planner Pages
I do love many of the extra features in the planner, especially the Project Planner pages. Below is a photo in Stephanie’s planner that is much prettier than my scribbly (but very useful) ones.
Other Useful Features
- Projects At-A-Glance Pages
- Important Dates & Deadlines Pages
- Bee Blocks & Swap Projects At-A-Glance
- Stickers for Birthdays, Anniversaries, Sew Days, Guild Meetings, Quilt Retreats, etc.
- Fabric Breakdown
- Cutting Estimator
- Piecing Methods (HSTs, Flying Geese)
- Cloud 9 Cirrus Solids Digital Swatches
- Multiple Idea Savers
Updates and New Features for 2018
- Shipping costs will be included in the pricing this year.
- The planner will include 4 pages of stickers!
- Quilt patterns will be in a separate magazine this year.
When Can We Order the Quilter’s Planner 2018?
Pre-orders for the 2018 Quilter’s Planner will begin on Friday July 28th. How awesome is the cover with Alison Glass fabric!
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:
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.
I’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.
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.
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!).
Linking up to 2017 Qtr 3 Finish-A-Long Goals and Elm Street Quilts: July 2017 One Monthly Goal.
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.
My other Quarter two finish was my Quatrefoil Quilt.
Linking up to 2017 Quarter 2 Finish-A-Long Finishes.
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.
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.
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.
Linking up with Elm Street Quilts: June ’17 OMG Finishes.