Monday, December 23, 2013

squares, Squares and more SQUARES!

i've been quilting for 25+ years now, and over those years my quilting style has changed. before I was mostly making matchy-matchy quilts, (with no borders!) in fairly traditional styles and colors. in the past few years, I've been drawn to white and black backgrounds, and very bright colors in unexpected combinations. old habits die hard, but my quilts have certainly changed recently.
one of the quilts that I really like was (is) Film at Five. I had been wanting to make this quilt for awhile, but with the busy gardening and growing season, that just wasn't happening.

this quilt has a bit of a funny story to it. we work so hard in the spring and summer planting, weeding, tending and harvesting our LARGE garden for our CSA that there is not much time or energy for me to sew. finally I began this quilt as a leaders/enders project, and got far enough that I was excited to push through and finish it. I had a nice amount (1000+) of 2" squares that I had begun collecting for a watercolor quilt about 15 years ago. I lost interest in that quilt, and had this bag of floral squares for a LONG time and never did anything with it. I had even taken the bag of squares to our quilt group yard sale, in the hopes of selling it. when it didn't sell, that's when I got the idea to make a Film at Five quilt with it. however, I thought it would be easier to do as a leader/ender project if I did a 16 patch instead of a 25 patch. it wasn't until I went to put the sashings together that I realized it HAD to be a 25 patch for the sashing math to work out properly... so I improvised. all the squares are florals, and in honor of our extensive gardening/farming, I put in a few squares of my favorite stone fabric. I LOVE how this quilt turned out!

my two (sweet) little girls, A and B do not have a full size quilt for their beds. they both have several smaller quilts, but not matching full sized quilts for the beds in the room that they share. I had promised them that when we put the gardens to bed this fall, we'd start on their quilts. A's quilt has yellow, green, pink and orange squares.

B's quilt has yellow, green, blue and purple squares. both quilts have the exact. same. yellow and green fabric, but it's amazing how different they look. now we know what they mean when they say pinks and oranges are "warm" and purple and blues are "cool"! we'll take these to our long arm friend right after Christmas.
all 3 of these quilts are very different than what I would have made 20 years ago, but I L.O.V.E. them all. thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

some exciting progress to share on mysterious quilts!

it's been a busy week- and I know we've ALL been busy. I'm enjoying working on Bonnie's mystery Celtic Solstice. clues #1 and 3 are done. clues #2 and 4 are ¾ done. not too bad, considering all that's been going on this week.

just a couple guesses as to the layout of some of the squares. I especially like the one in the upper left; I hope that's how it will be in the quilt. and also hoping for more blue and neutral. (a blue and yellow 4 patch would be ideal!)

here's my completed carpenter's star. I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

and here's my completed Mystery Medallion from 2013, sponsored by Judy (and Vicky) at patchwork times. she's doing another mystery, Tell It To the Stars for 2014. I have my fabrics pulled, and I'm looking forward to starting that one, too. it's not too late to join in...

thanks for looking! have a wonderful Christmas- it's extra special here at my house- all 6 of my children are home! it's the first Christmas that they've all been here in 5 years!

Monday, December 09, 2013

making progress on those mysteries!

the second clue for Bonnie Hunter's mystery came out on Friday. (you can also see the progress of all the other beautiful quilts here. ) I was away for part of the weekend, but I managed to cut out my pieces before it was time to leave, and took along my trusty featherweight. so Friday night in the hotel, it was just me, my machine and good ol' HGTV for company. I got a bit done, but was tired from driving. also, I had already finished last weeks' clue #1. however, since this is my first mystery with Bonnie, I didn't realize What.A.Big.Deal.the.Mr.Linky.Is.  I love the alternate colors that others are doing- especially the ones with black/grey and teal. I would have loved to do other colors, but my stash didn't really allow for that- I was able to pull all the colors for the Celtic Solstice from my stash.

I've also been working on a carpenter's star. this week 3 friends came over, and we all worked on making one of these- mine was the smallest, and the brightest, too! it's almost done now, but this is the most recent picture at the moment.  
 last winter we received this junk magazine from our electric company. I don't think I even read it, but the colors on the front immediately caught my eye- and it's been hanging on my bulletin board in the sewing room ever since. recently it dawned on me that it would be perfect to translate it into a carpenter's star with all solids, and a black background. (Kona cotton, of course!) I'm very happy with how it's turning out. (and my daughter A tells me that she likes it very much, and would like it for her own...)

the carpenter's star quilt is actually the 4th quilt I've done in black/solids. (you can see my calendar quilt here.) the others I've not blogged about, but should really try to get those pictures up soon!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

and the last clue is out- and just in time, too!

last January I (we) began a mystery quilt with Judy. it's been lots of fun, and the last clue just came out this morning! just a purple and teal border to add, and then it's done! with the exception of some funkiness in the center star (I keep debating if I should rip a few seams, and reverse the green and yellow star points- what do you think?) I love it! i'm happy with my color choices, and it's a different style than what I normally gravitate to. with the clues coming out only once a month, it's been very manageable... be sure to pop on over and see the other quilts!
here's a few more pictures of what I've been up to while holing up in the sewing room:

I've made 2 of these Film at Five quilts: one for A and one for B. this is A's. the quilts are similar in color, but A's has pink and orange, and B's has purple and blue.

here are some of my fabric choices for Tell it to the Stars. (another Judy and Vicki's mystery quilt). I auditioned several fabric stacks this week, but I think this is what I'll go with. shown are # 3- royal blue, #4- light, #5- medium, and #6- dark. #1, the background, I plan on getting white. and #2, which Judy tells us is a very dominant color, I'm going to go out on a limb and get yellow. since the quilt is named Tell it to the Stars, I'm going to guess there are some stars in it, and choose yellow. i'm excited about starting another mystery quilt with these gals!

last night the little girls and I made this quickie plus quilt for an unknown friend in need. it was super quick (I machine stitched the binding) and A and B had fun helping to lay out the pluses on the design wall.

hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, a huge turkey, and lots of leftovers! thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 11, 2013

a little piece of advice from me...

I pieced this little coffee themed quilt (I used a moda charm pack, "bistro")  for a special (secret) reason. I got the pattern off moda bake shop that you can find right here.

while I originally thought that I would like this pattern, it turns out I was wrong. also, if you decide to make this, make sure that after you print out the PDF, you go through the tutorial on the blog, and fix all the mistakes. the directions on the moda bake shop blog are correct, but the PDF has not been fixed yet. (i'm glad that I checked back before I started making this quilt!!)

I love this coffee line, bistro, and have hoarded collected several charm packs of it, just waiting to find that perfect pattern. if I were to make another quilt, I would use the line dance pattern, which you can find over here.

I made the line dance quilt this summer for our scraps to wraps quilting group at church. I used a charm pack of oink-a-doodle-moo, but do you think I can find a picture of  it? (no!)

anyway- have fun piecing!

some of my favorite things!

what could possibly be better: quilting, a mystery, and using fabrics from my stash? Bonnie Hunter is starting a new mystery quilt Celtic Solstice . I've never done one of her mystery quilts before, but if you do a quick google search of images, you can see some of the spectacular quilts that others have made. (like here and here )
I'll be making the 75" X 75" quilt (111" square is just a tad bit too big, don'tchathink?). I'm excited about this for a couple reasons. now that the gardens are mostly done, I've had a bit more time for quilting- which I really enjoy. also, I'll be using fabrics from my stash, and ALSO Bonnie's quilts have TONS of TINY pieces, and since that is something that I would normally steer away from, I 'm looking forward to doing something different than what I would normally choose.
the mystery doesn't start until Friday, November 29, so you still have time to pull your fabrics and get ready. who wants to join me?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Judy's Mystery Medallion: we're almost done!

I've been making up for lost time this month, quilting wise, after having spent most of the spring and summer in the gardens. with a small CSA for 30+ families, there is always something to weed, plant, harvest or cultivate. I love to grow and produce food for lots of local families, but I love to quilt, too!
this month I'm actually done on time! below are my 12 blocks that we pieced in October. you can see that I've ended up using 6 different whites; but I like the scrappy look, so it's ok.
and actually, I substituted another fabric in this block. I ran out of the the yellow "bubble" fabric, and my LQS was out, so I bought the coral colored "bubble" fabric. and I L.O.V.E. it! lucky me, it co-ordinates so nicely! I did get more of the yellow fabric off e-bay, so I do have a smidgen more, and will be able to use it for something, if it's called for in the final borders.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

some of us work better under pressure, i guess!

Judy over at Patchwork Times has been hosting a mystery quilt this year, a Mystery Medallion. Crazy lady that I am, I've been participating. What with the garden and all, I had fallen behind way back in July, and this week I've been working really, REALLY hard to catch up.

Finally- I'm caught up, and I'm even looking forward to working on October's clue. (I'm SO glad it's a star- I thought it might be another economy block!)

I have it on good authority that we'll be doing another mystery quilt next year, so make plans now to jump on in! it was lots of fun, and it's nice to do a quilt that is different from what you/I might normally do.

make sure to look at all the other Mystery Medallions linked up over at Judy's. it's a good lesson in how different fabric choices, both color AND value, can make the same quilt look very different.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Mystery Medallion- finally back on track!

i fell behind on Judy's Mystery Medallion during the busy spring planting season, but with the last couple rain storms we've had, i've managed to catch up again. hopefully i can get the 24 log cabin blocks pieced before the month is out!

i had alot of trouble with the economy blocks (the square in a square in the outermost border) for some reason they were just a tad bit too big, and i had to fiddle with them to make the borders fit. but it's all good now, and with the quilt at half its size, i'm anxious to see what it will look like as we continue to add borders.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Mystery Medallion- lovin' it so far!

i've been sewing right along with Judy's mystery medallion this year. it's been fun, and i'm liking how it's turning out.  one extra challenge i added to myself, was to use only my stash. aside from the purple print, i'm doing well so far. (ok, and a bit of the multi colored yellow, too).

thanks for looking- and be sure to check out the link for more colorful quilts in the mystery medallion!

Friday, February 01, 2013

i think i'm having WAY more fun than i should be allowed to have!

i think it was this summer that we got a new local quilt shop (LQS) in the next little town over. i wasn't able to shop there until fall and killing frost, and the gardens were nearly done.
but- it was worth the wait. what wonderful, colorful and modern fabrics! I've had fun occasionally heading over there- just to see what she has, and to see what fun, new fabrics have come in.

after Christmas i was there for something (can't even remember what) and with total impusivity, i bought a book Sunday Morning Quilts. Moving and organizing the sewing room was a project high on the list of  Things That Must Get Done Before It Drives Me Crazy, and after emptying, cleaning and painting the whole room, i was finally able to unpack the sewing room from the attic.
did i mention that it had been a full five years AND MORE since i had packed up my sewing room before we moved here?
i began sorting, storing, de-stashing, sharing and plain old throwing away: fabrics, books, notions, fabric, UFO's, fabric...
i have (had) a large bin of scraps and strips that I'd been faithfully saving for some day. of course, that day never seemed to come, and the pile was very unruly, and even discouraging in its unorganized mess.
when i saw this book, i was so happy to take it home-  i followed most of the suggestions, and sorted all my scraps into colorways. ( i even gave myself permission to throw away some outdated/poor quality fabrics!)
I've gotten several ideas and inspiration from some quilts in the book that I'd like to combine into a quilt of my own.
now, I've been working at piecing crumb blocks in very specific colorways, and it's fun! i can sit down in an evening and make almost a dozen 6½" blocks in almost no time at all.
of course, having a neat, tidy and organized sewing room is a great help in the inspiration department! I'll have to get pictures up of that soon.

quilting... yes, lots! blogging? not so much...

Judy of Patchwork Times is doing a mystery medallion quilt for this year. (instead of the UFOs) i have SO MUCH fabric, that even though i don't "need" another quilt, i decided to join along in the fun, adding the extra challenge to myself to only use stash fabric.

considering that fabric #2 is 4+ yards, i think that i did pretty well. i only purchased the yellow polka dot and a bit of that purple. (and the yellow was at the advice of my pastor's wife, so how could i say no?)

here is January's completed blocks. I'm excited to see what the quilt will look like when it's done. Judy's quilting style is much different than mine, so i know that I'll have a quilt that doesn't look like all my others... ( I'm hoping that I'm not the only one who ends up making quilts that all look similar...)

come back later this month to see clue #2.

and who knows- i might even do another post or two before then... there is so much to catch up on!


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