Friday, February 28, 2014

Favorite Color Friday

Maybe because it's still middle of winter, maybe because there's more snow in our forecast, I'm not sure but today it would have to be....
Kona cotton solid "Caribbean"
I discovered/found/fell-in-love-with this color while making a quilt called "Rumspringa" by the awesome Tonya Ricucci (and not just because she has a great name!). I love her free-style techniques and her love of Amish-style-quilts-made-modern. The pattern was featured in the October 2011 edition of the Quilt Life magazine - that's it on the cover.
My top is completed but that's about it. Not quilted yet and no pictures so you will just have to take my word for it and rely on the "real" Tonya's blog post about it on LazyGalQuilting. Fantastic quilt and really fun to make - freestyle! My friends thought I was nuts while I was working on this at retreat, but that's a pretty normal reaction to whatever I'm working on so I'm o.k. with it...;)

Working on Rumspringa was my first real concerted effort to use only solids. I find that I am drawn to a lot of modern and Amish-style quilts but I really love fabric and I'm apparently a print-a-holic. I find it very hard to have any restraint and minimalism is just not in my nature. So my challenge is to find a place somewhere in the middle.

My compulsions run deep...I went on to use a whole lot of prints and a teensy bit more of Caribbean Blue in this quilt and some of you have asked about this crazy color...
“Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2014 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.”
 and a little bit in this one...

Now I seem to notice it everywhere! Wait, I think I'm just dreaming about vacation....

 Happy stitching,


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Baby Love

Talk about timing! If I were to have another baby (don't worry honey, I am definitely NOT having another baby), the timing would be perfect for this quilt for Valentine's Day - and I didn't even plan it that way. It's called "XOBaby!" and it's making its appearance now in the March/April 2014 edition of McCall's Quilting.
"XOBaby!", McCall's Quilting, March/April 2014

I made a pink version and a blue version for the magazine and my good friend and long-arm quilter, Nikki Crisp did the lovely quilting on these. She did a great job, as always, and I really like the swirly pattern she chose.

"XOBaby!", McCall's Quilting, March/April 2014

Here's a close up of the blue version:
You need to see the blue version in the magazine though because there's a real cutie-patootie modeling with it in the picture. (Not one of my cuties - they are both too old!) McCall's also included a free sweet pillow version of the pattern - also available on line. Nice! I may have to make one of those too!

These blocks are quick and very versatile. I liked the fact that you make each X and O with four of the same components so you don't have to decide too early in your process which blocks will be which, know what I mean? Just make them all up, lay them out wherever you like the fabric, and then commit them to either the X or the O block.

I'm also a bit of a rick-rack junkie and have used it several times. It adds a playful element that I like, especially on quilts for kids. For this project, I used the 1 1/2" jumbo rick-rack on the borders. You could just stitch straight down the middle, and for a narrower rick-rack, I might do that. But for the jumbo, I like to stitch down both edges so that it will still lay flat after washing.

I found the rick-rack at a favorite LQS in Bellingham called Fabric-Etc., and they just got a bunch more in too! Oh, the possibilities!

Well, I hope you have someone sweet in your life to quilt for - today and every day.

Happy Valentine's Day stitching,


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Spiral quilting

Wow! I had so much fun trying this (new to me) technique for spiral quilting this past week. Amanda Jean Nyberg had a great tutorial on her blog Crazy Mom Quilts. I had a different quilting design in mind for this particular quilt but the more I thought about the spiral technique, the more I thought it would be a better design choice for my quilt - and I really wanted to try it!

I liked this technique for several reasons: 1. I could handle it on my home machine,  2. No marking necessary, and 3. Its modern, clean design worked well with my scrappy top. After finishing the quilting I would also add 4. It actually gets easier as the spiral grows and gets wider. Amanda Jean made it look pretty manageable so I took the plunge.

I pin-basted and marked the center circle and beginning of the spiral with a chalk pencil to get started. You can see in the close up shot, as I followed the spiral around, I just eyeballed the distance from my presser foot. I added approximately 1/4" so the space between the spiral lines ended up being about 3/4". It's not perfect, but I'm o.k. with how it turned out.

I'm so glad I tried this. I'm really pleased with the results and I will definitely use this again. Two thumbs up. Thanks Crazy Mom! The backing fabric on this is from Amy Butler called Midwest Modern.

Happy spiral stitching,