Thursday, June 14, 2018

Caramel Apples Quilt Blocks 3 and 4

I was packing my bag this morning for my Sew Social group and realized that I never posted about my progress on the Caramel Apples Quilt for the past two months. In month 3 we made this star block as our main block. I decided to simplify it a little bit and used the same fabric for on the outside, the same green for the entire star, and just made the center pinwheel in white. It's a lot simpler than the original block, but since I have so many busy blocks in this quilt it will be good to have a few simple ones where the eye can rest.

The first bonus block was this basket. I'm so excited to use some of the precious fabrics that I've been saving for a special project on this quilt. I've thought of tossing this piece of blue hydrangeas so many times, but couldn't part with the last of my Bluebird Park, and I had hydrangeas in my wedding bouquet so it's extra special.

The green blocks were the last bonus blocks of month 3. I actually had these strips already pieced and left over from another quilt so it's perfect that they've finally found a home. (I thought the blue and grey checks were from month 4, but they're actually one of the bonus blocks from month 2 so just ignore them.)

The first block for month 4 I got to use some more of my Tula Pink birds, and some pink hound tooth by Michael Miller that I've been hording stashing for years. This block is so bright, and I absolutely love it!

The bonus blocks were these adorable shoo fly blocks and these little arrows where I got to play with more of my pink houndstooth fabric. I swapped the color and white blocks in my shoo fly blocks because I was running really short on white fabric. I'm enjoying the challenges I've been encountering with using up my scraps in this quilt and getting to use up some of the scraps of old favorite that have been hiding out for way too long.

I planned to do a layout of the blocks at the end of month 3 since I'm a quarter of the way through, but since I failed to do that here's my quilt a third of the way finished.

This quilt is very scrappy and uses A LOT of colors (at least a lot for me.) I'm trying to keep things somewhat organized and balanced so I traced the pattern and created my own coloring page. This is a great way to keep track of the colors that I've used so far and get an idea of what colors to use next. I'm choosing the colors month by month, but it's really helping me to keep things organized when I can see how the blocks will play with each other.

Blogger Tricks

Monday, May 28, 2018

Watermelon Picnic

Our guild has an annual show the third weekend of May so April is usually focused heavily on finishing everything. For this reason the end of May always feels a bit like the start of a new school year. One of my favorite parts of the quilt show (besides all the beautiful quilts) is the rummage sale. I found a set of templates for doing a block that I'm calling a double drunkards path. The first workshop I ever took was for the drunkards path, and I've loved the block since that moment. (Remember the Penguins on Parade quilt?) 

The templates reminded me of watermelon slices, and I happened to have a watermelon table runner kit in my stash. I love those impulse purchases that leave you questioning what you were thinking after you get home. Thankfully it was perfect for trying out this new template.

I've been working on improving my FMQ skills so I decided to work on my stippling for this quilt. However it's still my quilt so there needs to be some whimsy which I accomplished with this little ant tucked in among the watermelon slices. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Caramel Apples Quilt Block 2

I love seeing how many varieties quilters can come up with for the same pattern. Some of the members of our guild are using more primitive/civil war style fabrics, there are a couple of really girly floral varieties, some modern variations, and even a Christmas version. I can't wait to watch these quilts evolve, and since we're all sharing them to the Facebook page it's easy to look back and see what everyone else is doing.

The first block for this month is a churn dash variation. I used my other Tula Pink focal fabric. Unfortunately my block wasn't perfectly square and without thinking I trimmed it to it's finished size. I don't have enough fabric to redo it, but the ladies in our group reminded me that the blocks have sashing so I'll be able to save it when it comes to assembling the quilt.

The bonus block is the bow tie and a row of HSTs. I was so excited when I had scraps of blue and grey fabrics with the same texture for my main and background fabrics. (It's hard to see, but the blue background fabric has the same pattern as the grey background.) I know that I want to include solids in my quilt and the HSTs felt like a good place for me to show some solid love.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Spring Shawl

We’re still a few weeks away from spring, but this yarn has me thinking thoughts of flowers, grass, and walks outside. I’ve made the hitchhiker shawl a couple of times, and decided to try another pattern in the series. Magrathea by Martina Behm is an asymmetrical shawl like Hitchhiker, but has a lacy edge. The pattern is pretty easy to follow, but I do have to keep the charts close at hand. 

I'm using some Alpaca Sox yarn I got on sale at my LYS. I've loved this yarn since it arrived at the shop, but couldn't justify getting it. When it was the last skein of this colorway in the sale bin I knew that I needed to give it a good home. I love how the lace gives it a delicate touch and yet there's still lots of straight knitting to show off this gorgeous colorway.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Caramel Apples Quilt Block 1

My LQS has a monthly sewing group, and challenges participants to work on a project together. Since my sewing machine repair business is based out of the shop it's really easy for me to participate. This year they chose to do the pattern "Caramel Apples" by Sue Carter of Turning Twenty. It's a bit of an odd choice since Stitch Studio focuses on being modern, but this pattern is so fun and full of potential that I think the participant in Sew Social will have a lot of fun. The pattern is written to use scraps so everyone's quilt will be unique.

I debated going with my usual solids, but I've decided to stretch myself and make a happy scrappy quilt that uses actual prints! Of course I'm the one making this quilt so there will still be plenty of solids and there's even been a batik or two that have snuck into my pile. This weekend I found two great fat quarters by Tula Pink that are going to be the focus of my quilt. I haven't done a lot of fussy cutting, but the bird in this block is so cute that there will be more fussy cutting in future blocks.

Although it's called a block of the month there are multiple blocks to make bonus blocks. This month our bonus block is the bear paw with additional strips. I told you some batiks snuck into my pile. I really love this large print floral that Kathy at Stitch Studio helped me pick out. It's definitely out of my comfort zone, but works perfectly with the colors of my quilt.

Friday, January 19, 2018

New Adventure

This post has been one I've been trying to write for the past several weeks. I'm not sure how many "new adventures" one person is allowed to have, but I've changed paths again. It seems that every time I change paths I come back to my blog. The blog may not last or might only be a post every month or two, but today I realized that I write my blog because I like writing. As much as I love having followers who have stuck with me through my long absences (thank you to all of you who are still here) and have even gained new followers (hi!) I write because I like it. Even when I'm not writing I find myself organizing my thoughts into paragraphs for writing so I need to start writing things down again. I also love my blog because it reminds me where I've been. It's easy to look back at adventures that didn't turn out how I planned and feel discouraged, but I read my old posts and remember the excitement I felt at the beginning and the joy I had during the journey.

So what's the newest adventure? I'm opening a sewing machine service and repair business! Two of my friends own Stitch Studio, my local quilt shop, and offered me the opportunity to start a business. The business is entirely mine, but they are offering me a space to work, advertising with their existing costumers, and mentors who recently started their own business. I also am returning to quilt designing. Designing patterns is something I've loved since I discovered quilting, but I've been so mentally exhausted with work that I haven't been able to create new patterns. The ideas have started flowing again and I expect there will be a lot of new quilts and patterns that I will be sharing. 

Since every post needs a picture I'm going to end this with a picture of Flamingo Love. This is a quilt I designed using the 2017 Kona Color of the Year for a competition at Stich Studio.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fresh Snow

This spring one of my friends opened a quilt shop. They specialize in fabrics for the modern quilter. I think I've stated before that I don't really like batiks. They are beautiful fabrics, but a bit too formal for my tastes. Did you know that they make batiks that can appeal to the modern quilter? I sure didn't. It's caused a bit of an identity crisis to find more and more fabrics labeled as batik that I love. Recently Kathy sent me pictures of some of the new fabrics they'd gotten in the shop and asked if I could design a pattern for them.

I found a block in one of my dictionaries that I liked and before I knew it I had a quilt. (I really wish I could remember what block I chose and how it evolved into this quilt, All that I know is that I had the idea of using a single block as the layout, and then certain parts looked boring so I added another block here and changed a piece there until I had a design that I loved.)

One of the hardest parts (at least for me) of designing a quilt is taking pictures of the quilt that make it stand out. After scouring the internet for potential locations I discovered one of our nursing homes has a beautiful lobby. After getting permission to take pictures there I took the quilt and got my cover shot! I have so many ideas of ways to use their lobby for future quilts.

If you're interested in the pattern or kit be sure to check out Stitch Studio
*The kit isn't in the etsy store, but if you send them an e-mail I know they'll be happy to send one out.