Monday, October 28, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2013 Entry

My entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2013 is my Toucan Baby Quilt in the Baby Quilt category.

Final Stats

Name: Toucan Baby Quilt
Dimensions: 40x50 inches
Category: Baby Quilt
Technique: Patchwork with fused, rough-edge, machine applique
Materials: Assorted quilting cottons for the patchwork, Kona Solids for the toucan, and flannel for the backing
Quilting: Machine quilting done on my little Euro-Pro
Story: I really wanted to share this quilt because it represents my first time doing large applique using a pattern I created myself. I am really proud of how the toucan turned out, but I definitely learned a few lessons.
My high school boyfriend (of two weeks, but my first kiss, so it kind of sticks in your mind), now just friend, announced via Facebook (as you do) that his wife was pregnant. I immediately sent him a message asking him for details about the future nursery theme as soon as they knew more. And then proceeded not to hear from him until after the baby was born. So after his son, Malcom, was born, I sent him another message basically asking for the same information. This time he told me they had done the nursery in yellow, green, and tan and that they were going with a jungle theme.
I'd already made an applique jungle quilt for another friend, so I wanted to do something slightly different for this one. I started with the patchwork background, because that seemed easiest. I was right, it came together super fast. Then I debated adding an elephant, but that seemed overdone (i.e. I'd done it once already). Finally I settled on a toucan and spent considerable time finding the perfect picture to base my pattern on. I needed something that was vaguely cartoonish, but still fairly realistic. I used Publisher to blow the image up to the size I wanted and printed it out.
I machine appliqued by sewing around the edges of the fused sections with a straight stitch and then stitch in the ditch quilted the whole thing. I outlined every single individual piece of the toucan as well as the squares.
My one regret is that I didn't wash the background patchwork before adding the toucan or alternatively, quilting more densely in the toucan, because after washing and shrinkage, the toucan puckers more than I would have liked everywhere where it is not fused.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Productivity is Good

I've been quite productive lately. Spending some time in my craft room every day has been amazing.

I have finished one of two Color Bee Shocked blocks for October. It turned out great, but man does it suck to trim 28 HST's to 2.5" square. Almost as much as pressing those suckers. Next up the same block in red. Tutorial for the block can be found here.

I also cut the rest of my Kona Sprout for my Giant Churn Dash blocks, and put three of them together.

I am using my Christmas blocks as the Leaders and Enders, so I have four of those completed as well, and one more in my machine as my Ender block.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Jacquie Gering and October Update

I wrote a guest post on the DC Modern Quilt Guild blog here. It's about the amazing trunk show by Jacquie Gering that I went to in Baltimore on Monday. It was hosted by the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild. In case you don't know who Jacquie Gering is, here is a link to her blog Tallgrass Prairie Studio. Go check it out, you won't be sorry. Here is another picture of the trunk show that I didn't post on the DCMQG blog.

This is the quilt the publishers didn't want to use in her book, because they didn't like the antennae on the TV's. No sense of humor, so sad. I love them.
I finished cutting fabric for my plus quilt! I started laying it out on the floor and just started sewing. Next thing I knew, I had sewn together 21 rows.
Here is just a small sampling of the many fabrics used in this quilt.
I ended up with tons of extra grey cut fabric which I will be using on the back. Each row is 19 "squares" long and as previously mentioned, the quilt will be 21 rows across. It will be a king sized quilt and will finish at about 95x105. I will be getting this quilted by a long-armer, just need to narrow down my choices. But that won't happen until after the wedding next June, because my FSIL and I had discussed using fabric for the guest book and incorporating those fabric squares into the back of the quilt.
Other projects that I am actively working on include the following:
The Christmas quilt: I have now run completely out of cut Kona Snow and need to start cutting some more.
A second low volume baby quilt: need to mark more of the fabrics so I can turn them into HSTs.
Japanese X and Plus blocks: finished cutting all the grey end squares and need to concentrate on the center pluses.
Color Bee Shocked blocks for October: I have cut the red fabrics for one and have picked out the pink fabrics for the other.
Scrappy Swoon Wedding Quilt: I have sorted out all of my purple, blue-green, and black fabrics ready to be cut. I have decided to make the pattern a bit larger and will be using 4.5 and 5" squares.
Memory Quilts: I made a second octagonal block section and a second Double Wedding Ring "melon"/"football"/whatever from the fabrics I used in the Plus Quilt.
Left: Toucan Quilt; Right: Plus Quilt
Top: Plus Quilt; Bottom: Toucan Quilt
This crafting every day thing is really working. I did actually get some cleaning in and have put away all of the fabrics that I had finished cutting. Not to mention all the cutting and sewing I've been doing recently.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Trying on a New Habit

I've heard differing accounts, but the one I ascribe to is that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. The habit I'm trying to get into is to do something in my craft room every day. Either sewing, cutting, or cleaning (that hasn't happened yet, just in case you were wondering).

I have now completed 5 of the 20 Giant Churn Dash blocks I need and have had to call a hiatus on that quilt until I get more Kona Sprout. It's on its way, so hopefully it won't be a long hiatus because I love these blocks. I have more blocks cut, but they all have colorful centers and I want to make sure that all the ones with green centers get done first so I don't realize afterwards that I don't like my choices.
I have also finished another Christmas block. And yesterday I spent at least an hour cutting fabrics for the Wedding Plus Quilt and for my Japanese X and Plus quilt. I also finished cutting the additional Christmas fabric prints and now just need to tackle the Kona Snow.
This is my stack of cut fabric for the King Sized Wedding Plus Quilt for my brother and future sister-in-law. And I still have more to go. Each one of those pluses is a different yellow, grey, or coral fabric. Crazy when you think about it, but great for building up my stash.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Block Progress

Two posts in one day... crazy. Then again, I'm trying this new things were I spend some time each day in my craft room, and it's been incredibly productive so far.

You saw the first four Giant Churn Dash blocks. I have all of the prints cut and all of the background fabric I had as well. Now I just need to start sewing the blocks together. Unfortunately, I'm going to need to order more background fabric, because I'm short several blocks.

The flash washed this picture out horribly. It's block 5 of 20. And the churn dash is a rather bright red and the background is Kona Sprout.

I have also been working on my Christmas quilt as the leader and ender blocks, but I'm running out of cut Kona Snow, so I'll have to cut some more soon.

I have more blocks complete, but this is what I've finished in the last few days. The blocks currently measure 9" and will be 8.5" finished. I also have a few with white borders and a print in the center, but I made those a while ago.

I also finally finished the block for the September Color Bee Shocked queen bee. It took a while, because I didn't want to touch anyone else's fabric while I was sick, and there were a lot of HSTs to square up. Especially since the red fabric didn't want to cooperate. But it's done and it looks good. Almost makes me want to try this slightly larger. I have this obsession currently with huge blocks.

October Goals

My "A Lovely Year of Finishes" goal for October is to make as many Giant Churn Dash blocks as I have background fabric for.

Here is what I have so far:
First block. Turned out great.
Love the crisp edges on this one.

Most green on green that I'm going to get out of this fabric line, first one with a seedhead center.

My favorite so far, despite the cutting mistake

I will be making 20 24" blocks. No sashing, with some seedhead centers. Background is Kona Sprout. Tutorial for the blocks can be found at Elvy Crafts. I have background fabric for about eight more blocks.

My other goals for the month are as follow:

1) Continue making Christmas quilt blocks as Leaders and Enders for the Churn Dash blocks
2) Make at least one house block and one additional skyline block for the Community Quilt and start putting the top together
3) Order more Kona Sprout and a fabric for the backing and binding
4) Keep working on the wedding quilt
5) Quilt the split rail baby quilt

Split Rail Quilt top complete