Sunday, July 29, 2018

Handmade Travel-Themed Album and Junk Journal

I haven't shared any finished quilts lately because I have been totally obsessed with making junk journals. Making these journals is a lot like making quilts -- only with paper and glue, rather than fabric and thread.

I'd never even heard of them a couple months ago. And since then I've made several: two bee and bee hive themed; two Alice in Wonderland themed; two vintage sewing themed; two mini junk journals (one bee themed and one butterfly themed) and one travel themed. Whew!

I'm sharing the travel album and journal in this blog post as part of a Frilly and Funkie "planes, trains, and automobiles" challenge mentioned in this blog post.

Here are photos of this fun project (which will be a birthday gift for a friend who will be traveling to Israel later this year). 


 This album / journal is made from 3-1/2 X 8 inch tags that I cut with my Brother Scan n Cut. The front cover is decorated with travel-related images.


Inside the front cover is a pocket where I've added some tags. But when this is put to use by the recipient, I expect that she will use this pocket to store ephemera from her trip. The tag sticker at the bottom is for her to perhaps add a description of her trip -- such as the dates of her trip and the main places she visited. On the right side is another chipboard tag that will be perfect for adding a favorite photo from the trip.


When the tag (page) is turned, there is a double pocket for more memorabilia from the trip. And on the right side, is a 10-page signature of tea-dyed papers, providing 40 pages for journaling about the trip. 


Behind the mini-journal, is a large tag with room for photos.


The large tag flips up to reveal more space for photos.


And one more flip-up to remind us that travel is a good thing.


I hope my friend likes her travel album/journal to memorialize her fun trip later this year.



Monday, July 2, 2018

Fifteenth Quilt Finish of 2018

Yes, that's 15 finished quilts so far this year! But, in this case the quilt top was already finished. 



In fact, I finished the top back in 2011. The design is called Antietam and the horrible battle of Antietam and is by Clothesline Quilts. I received the fabrics as part of a block of the month program, but didn't even start the quilt until I had received all of the monthly kits.

I attended Handi Quilter Academy at the beginning of June with the goal of learning how to do more than just edge-to-edge quilting. My last class was with Megan Best where she taught some basic custom quilting techniques with Pro-Stitcher. This was the perfect quilt to try out something new to me.

So instead of just doing an overall edge-to-edge quilting motif, I put a different motif in the large triangles that point down, and another motif in the sections that are oriented upward. Nothing fancy, but it was a first step.



It took about twice as long to quilt compared to just doing an overall edge-to-edge, and in reality, the scrappy quilt didn't really warrant doing something semi-custom since it really doesn't show up. However, that also means that my boo-boos also don't show up.


But like I always say, "finished is better than perfect".



My Seven Shades of Gray Quilt in Fons and Porter Quilting Quickly

One more quilt to share that was in a July/August issue of a quilting magazine -- Fons and Porter Quilting Quickly.


I designed this quilt back in May 2013 and blogged about it HERE. I had wanted to make a quilt that combined the ROYGBIV (red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violet) rainbow spectrum colors with a gray ombre progression. This was the result.


I never got around to quilting it, but always liked the design. Late last year, the acquisitions editor of one of the quilt magazine publishers reached out to me. She was looking for quilts made with precuts. I submitted this design because it uses only 2-1/2-inch strips to make the quilt. It was accepted, but I needed to make it again, using fabrics they supplied.

You'll notice that my original quilt used printed ROYGBIV fabrics, but the magazine version uses only solids.


The hardest part of my original quilt was finding the many shades of gray and the color scraps for the rainbow colors. By using solids, it was easy to use Kona cotton roll-ups (Kaufman's name for a roll of 2-1/2-inch strips). It requires one in rainbow colors, one with the shades of gray, and either black yardage or another roll-up.

I already had the perfect backing fabric in my stash, so I used it for the magazine version of the quilt:


I love the juxtaposition between the geometric quilt front and the curvy pattern of the backing. But now I need to once again find the perfect backing for my original quilt.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Two Quilts in One Issue -- McCall's Quilting July/August 2018

Who would have thought it possible? I have not one, but two quilts in the same issue of a quilting magazine. The current issue of McCall's Quilting -- July/August 2018 -- to be exact.

 

And here's the proof in the table of contents. My quilts are featured on pages 32 and 62!

The first quilt is called Parade of Stars. (I originally named it Stars, Stripes, and Geese, but that name didn't fly with the editors. Oh well.)


The request was for a quilt featuring stars and stripes, and there are 15 stars in this patriotic quilt. But, as you can see, two rows of small red flying geese replace two rows of stripes in my homage to the US flag. And a column of larger  blue flying geese represent the field of stars. In all that's 208 small flying geese and 114 blue flying geese. I chose to paper piece them as a connected row of units, rather than sew them individually and then sew the geese together. I think this also makes them more precise.


 I was excited to use Basic Grey's Grunge fabrics for this quilt. It's unusual for me to make a quilt that uses only four fabrics, but I didn't think this would work the same with scrappy fabrics, even if they were in similar colors.


This would be a great quilt of valor.

So, quilt number two is named Whirlygig (which I originally named Pinwheels All Around). In this case, I definitely like the name the editors came up with better than the name I had picked.

I originally designed this block for Quiltmaker Magazine's 100 Blocks Vol. 15. You can see my blog post about the block and see other quilt ideas using this block HERE.

I was especially thrilled to be able to use the handcrafted batik fabric line Chroma by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics. When I was originally asked to turn this block into a quilt (in fall of 2017), Chroma was just about ready to be released and there was quite a buzz about the fabric collection. I think it was the perfect choice for this quilt.


And, yes, there are a lot of pinwheels -- 70 black pinwheels and 20 blocks comprising 80 offset pinwheels.

In addition to these two quilts in the July/August issue McCall's quilting, I had a quilt in the July/August issue of Quiltmaker (blog post is HERE).  And I have a quilt that is in the July/August issue of Fons and Porter Quilting Quickly. It should be released any day now. So four quilts in three current issues of quilting magazines. Yes, I was busy during the winter months working on these quilts.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Triple Exposure -- July/August 2018 Quiltmaker Magazine


The first of four original quilts I designed and made this year for magazines is in the July/August 2018 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine.


This issue is now available online at The Quilting Company, and will be available in stores at the end of May.


The request that came from the magazine was to design a quilt that had some "hidden" surprises -- such as an alternate block that emerges where the blocks come together. In my case, I designed the quilt with three hidden surprises.

First, by using a white fabric with small black dots in the corners, in combination with a simple sashing and and black cornerstone, a shoo-fly block emerges where the blocks come together.


Second, by using three values of fabrics in each block and a somewhat busy quilting pattern, it almost seems to me that the pinwheels are spinning.

And, third, if you look closely, the center of each block also has a small pinwheel in the same black and white pin-dot fabric.


This was a fun project that is paper foundation pieced. When it is all said and done, each block has 57 pieces -- 14 paper-pieced pieces in each quadrant of the block, and a black square appliqued to the center of the block. It wasn't difficult, but it probably took longer than any other quilt I've made in recent years.

A tip is to avoid using a large-scale print in the blocks. Since the the pinwheel sections are broken up due to paper piecing, you need fabrics that don't emphasize the fact that they are made from smaller pieces sewn together to look like a triangle.


Enjoy!


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Better Late Than Never: Finish #14 in 2018

Not quite a baby quilt since the recipient, Temple, is nearly 2-1/2 years old.

 

He was so eager to be born that he arrived three months sooner than expected, weighing less than three pounds.


I've always thought this photo was so amazing since it shows his dad's wedding ring on his little wrist like a bracelet.

But here he is now: healthy and strong, and a typical two-year old.


I actually made a different quilt for him originally, but then realized the quilt needed to feature a train since his dad works for the railroad. I started with the train, and it kind of evolved from there. And this was the result:


And except for the lime green minkey on the back, all of the other fabrics came from my stash and scraps.



Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Poster Child for Make-do Scrappy Quilts

Finish #13 for 2018. And only seven years in the making.


In 2011 I did a block swap for Bonnie Hunter's (Quiltville) Chunky Churn Dash block. I blogged about it here on March 1, 2011. I decided to set it with alternate blocks inspired by a Kim Diehl quilt. I've had the top made (except for the outer piano-key border) since April 2011.

In fact, I had misplaced the top and found it a week or so ago while sorting through a pile in my sewing room.

I decided it needed something more than the two inner borders, and remembered that I had lots of 4 to 5-inch long strip sets from my checkerboard quilt (blogged about here). I only had to make six extra segments and I had enough for the complete outer border. How's that for making do and using up scraps.


Each of the alternate blocks is made from prints that don't appear anywhere else in the blocks. None of the fabrics in the piano keys appear in the center of the quilt (although they are repeated in the border). 


To add to the scrappiness, about 60% of the chunky churn dash blocks came from the block swap and use fabrics I don't have in my stash. 

I estimate that there are between 130 and 150 different fabrics in this quilt! I think that's a record, even for me.




Friday, April 13, 2018

Modern Baby Quilt -- Finish #12


Twelfth finish for the year! This one is another baby quilt for the daughter to be born to my niece and her husband later this year. I had a different quilt planned for her, but while I was working on this quilt I decided it was perfect for them. It just seemed to fit the mom-to-be.


The Kaffe Fassett fabric combined with the black and white prints is such a classic combination, and one I used for my Wizard's Chess quilt that was on the cover of the June/July issue of McCall's Quick Quilts. 

And, in keeping with my goal to use up stash, the border fabric for this quilt was left over from the backing used on my Which Way To Go? quilt that I designed and made for the September/October issue of Quiltmaker magazine. It was technically also a UFO (unfinished object) because I had done the house blocks in September 2016. I have 15 more house blocks that are done, so I'll likely make another quilt pretty much like this one for a friend. (I had originally been working on this one for her when I decided to earmark it for the upcoming baby instead.)

Here are a couple more pics of the quilt:






Friday, April 6, 2018

Finish Number 11 for 2018


Last week as I tried to organize my sewing room and fabric stash, I ran across a stack of Jovial Christmas fabric by Basic Grey for Moda. As I took stock of the fabric, I realized I had 15 yards of it! Yikes! I must have had something specific in mind for the fabric, but I don't have any idea what my plans were.

According to the Moda United Notions website, this fabric came out in June 2011, which means it's been waiting to be put into a quilt for nearly seven years!

Since I've never made a Christmas quilt, and I'm focused on using fabrics I already have, it was time to get busy. After looking at Christmas quilts on Pinterest, I found a free pattern called Pinwheels and Patchwork, by Andy Knowlton, at abrightcorner.com


In the original pattern, the pinwheel blocks finish at 12 inches, but I decided to make blocks that finish at eight inches instead. Since I have the AccuQuilt die for the triangle-in-a-square unit in the pinwheel block, I made it easy on myself and cut the fabrics with my AccuQuilt Go! Baby rather than buy a Tri-Recs ruler.

This quilt is truly "a quilt in a day". I got it all done (except for the outer borders and quilting) in one day.

I did buy some black Minky for the backing rather than piece the backing. I had plenty of Jovial yardage, but most of it was 1-yard cuts.

I made a small dent in my Jovial fabric, but still have enough fabric for a couple more wall quilts. I'll probably make this same pattern again for a gift, and then use whatever remains for a different Christmas quilt.

I quilted it using a digital design from Wasatch Quilting called Waves and Pearls. Since I loaded the quilt sideways on my frame, the waves quilted out vertically -- a look I quite like for this quilt.



Year-to-date finishes -- 11 quilts and one quilt top
  • UFOs: 1 
  • Flimsies into quilts: 3 
  • Other quilts (started and finished in 2018): 7 (includes three quilts for magazines not blogged about yet)
  • Finished quilt tops: 1





Thursday, April 5, 2018

Another Quick Stash Buster Quilt

Still on my mission to use my scraps and fabric stash.

I have a huge pile of Woolies Flannels by Maywood Studios and Wool and Needle Flannel by Moda. I've made three quilts using these thick and cushy flannels. As a result, I have plenty of scraps and even decent pieces of yardage left over from backing and borders.

While looking through a Keepsake Quilting catalog, I noticed a quilt designed by Villa Rosa Designs using Woolies Flannels. I decided to draft my own version of the quilt and hopefully make a dent in my flannel scraps. Here's the result:


It's a throw that's about 56 inches by 68 inches. I even had enough flannel in my stash to use for the backing. 

I love it when I'm able to make a quilt from start to finish without having to buy any additional fabric.


I still have a stack of these flannels, so I'll be on the search for another quick design that will be appropriate for these cozy fabrics.

I quilted it using a digital design from Wasatch Quilting called "Square Pegs in Round Holes".


So here's the update on 2018 projects:

Year-to-date finishes -- ten quilts and one quilt top
  • UFOs: 1 
  • Flimsies into quilts: 3 
  • Other quilts (started and finished in 2018): 6 (includes three quilts for magazines not blogged about yet)
I also completed a quilt top for a wedding quilt that I'm not showing yet and needs to be quilted. So I'll add another category to my finishes.
  • Finished quilt tops: 1

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