Thursday, July 17, 2014

2015 That Patchwork Place Calendar and a Giveaway!

I'm so happy to announce that one of my quilts is featured in the 2015 That Patchwork Place calendar. That's right -- my Bull's Eye quilt is the calendar girl for February! Doesn't "she" look great? Or should that be "he"? I think the quilt has a nice masculine feel and is great for those guy-quilts we need to make now and then.


You can see all of Martingale's 2015 calendars on their StitchThis! blog post. Shops are ordering the 2015 calendars now so be sure to pick one up at your local quilt shop!

What's more is that Martingale/That Patchwork Place has given me an extra copy of the calendar to give away to one of you visitors to my blog. All you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post before midnight on Wednesday, July 23. I'll randomly select the lucky winner on Thursday, July 24.

The version of Bull's Eye that Martingale selected for the calendar is the make-do, totally scrappy version of the quilt. I was definitely cleaning out the scraps for this one!
But I made two other variations of the quilt for my book Triple-Play Scrap Quilting: a planned scrappy version and a coordinated scrappy version.

The planned scrappy version used fabrics in red, black, gray, and white only. 
Bull's Eye is a great quilt to feature the colors of your favorite sports team. (Believe me when I tell you that I've already apologized to my family members, who are huge University of Michigan fans, for making this quilt in Ohio State colors!)

The coordinated scrappy version is probably my favorite variation -- and not only because it uses thick, cozy, warm flannel fabrics (Maywood Studios' Woollies flannels and Moda's Wool and Needle flannels). 
Note that I swapped the blocks' center four-patches with hour-glass blocks and used the same fabrics for the alternate triangle corners of the blocks. I love how the small hourglass is echoed where the blocks come together with a larger hourglass. This is definitely a cozy quilt!

So be sure to pick up your own 2015 That Patchwork Place calendar. I got a sneak peak at the collection of quilts in the calendar -- and they are all fabulous! You can see them too by clicking the calendar image below.

http://www.shopmartingale.com/that-patchwork-place-quilt-calendar-2015.html

Don't forget to leave a comment on this blog post because you just might be the lucky winner of the calendar I'm giving away. Remember that I'll need a way to let you know if you're the winner -- so if you have a "no reply" account, you'll need to include your e-mail address in your comment.

Friday, May 9, 2014

My First Quilt Show Award

I didn't expect it, but was so pleased to receive a third place ribbon for my Deseret beehive medallion quilt at HMQS (Home Machine Quilting Show). In fact, I wasn't planning on attending the award ceremonies. But  since I arrived at the show while they were going on, I decided to hang around until the two Handi Quilter-sponsored awards were given out.

The awards for the category my quilt was in came up in the meantime. Imagine my surprise -- no, make that SHOCK -- when I saw my quilt up on the projection screen. Yup, a third-place ribbon in the Utah's Own category. I didn't quilt it (only designed and pieced it), but I was glad that Jen Alexander, my quilter for this quilt, was in the audience so she could join me on stage.



A ribbon for both Jen and me.
Too bad there wasn't  a ribbon  for my mom who did the embroidery and binding!

My few moments of quilting fame for 2014.

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Stash Reduction

I've been using up my stash -- or rather, using up a little bit of my stash. I've also managed to add to it in a big way. Who would've known that when I don't have the energy to sew, I also don't feel like buying fabric. The opposite also happens. As soon as I start thinking about a new project, I want to see what fun fabric collections are new in stores or will soon be in stores.

So I recently splurged on ten Moda layer cake packs. After all, it was "buy nine and get one free". Who could resist? Certainly not me! I really like the flexibility of the 10-inch square. Cut it into strips, squares, or a combination. So it's ironic that two of the quilt tops I've been working on recently were each made from jelly rolls of 2-1/2-inch strips. Here's the first one -- quilt top is finished:

Fabric used: Hello Luscious by Basic Grey -- a jelly roll and some yardage (the light background and the aqua fabric for the triangles)
Design: Based on Thimble Blossom's Rise and Shine quilt (although I made it a bit smaller)

The EQ7 version
And here's the real version (in need of a good pressing!):



I originally intended to finish this and give it to my almost seven-month-old grand niece Pyper. That was until her mother told me they decided to decorate her nursery (in their new home, having just moved back to Utah from Del Rio, TX) in browns, reds and tans. So, now on to plan B. Maybe it will go to baby Rowan, born Dec. 26th instead?

The next top isn't done yet, but I've done all of the cutting so it will be a quick process to sew it up. (Several co-workers and I are escaping to my brother's ranch, where I have a cabin, and we're having a quilting weekend in mid-June. I'm thinking this is one of the projects I'll work on there -- that is, unless I finish it sooner.)

Fabric used: Hometown by Sweetwater -- a jelly roll and some yardage for backing, background, and borders
Design: Daisy Chains by Fig Tree Quilts

I took a class from Joanna Figueroa a couple years ago and this was the project. I couldn't get into the project at the time, but now I'm eager to finish it. Here's how I put it together in Electric Quilt. I only have the light-blue blocks completed, so not much to share in person yet. I'm thinking this will go to my grand nephew Malcolm. He just turned 6 months old. I figure I have until the first birthday to deliver the baby quilt. so I've got lots of time still. (I know that still leaves Thom and Jack, twin boys born last May 10 to my nephew and his wife. I likely won't have their quilts done by their first birthday -- although I did get them designed and have picked out the fabrics. Just a matter of time.)

The EQ7 version

So many quilts -- so little time.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Folk Art Mexican Rose

EDITED TO ADD: The three winners have been selected and have been notified. Thanks to all who stopped by and especially to those who commented!

I'd like to welcome you to Bountiful Heirlooms, my humble (and sometimes neglected) quilting and stitching blog (more quilting than stitching lately). Today's my day for the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 9 Blog Tour. And it's your chance to win one of three copies of this fabulous special issue -- one from Quiltmaker or one of two from me! You just need to make a comment before Sunday, May 4 at midnight mountain time.


I'm thrilled to be included among such talented designers. Plus, every interaction I have with the staff at Quiltmaker magazine is always a pleasure. Congratulations to Quiltmaker for another terrific issue!

So, let me start with my block.


This block was inspired by a hand-carved chest I bought in Guadalajara, Mexico. I chose warm colors that also reminded me of the summer I lived in Mexico.

But when I decided to make the block into a table runner, I selected fabrics from my stash -- scraps, actually, from a quilt that went into my book Triple-Play Scrap Quilting. (You can see that quilt in the header for my blog -- third quilt from the right.)

Here's the table runner (44 inches by 16 inches) as it appeared in the Quiltmaker gallery:


I made the table runner in about two hours. It took longer to quilt it than to sew the top -- but I'm sure you'll agree that in this case the quilting definitely makes the quilt!

Although I quilted the borders and sashing with straight lines, it's the fabulous free-motion quilting done by Vicki Hoth, education coordinator for Handi Quilter and my co-worker, that really makes this table runner shine!

Vicki quilted the table runner on an HQ24 Fusion longarm machine. It has enough throat space that the entire table runner fit and there was no need to even roll it. I quilted some plumb lines through the batting and backing, squared up the table runner with the plumb lines, and basted it down along all four edges. Then Vicki worked her magic!




Don't you love the trapunto-like dimension the quilting created? And we didn't even use a double batting -- only a single 80/20 white batting.

Time for some tips for how I did this block.

I typically use Kim Diehl's freezer-paper method for machine applique. But I was in a bit of a hurry and decided to use Mistyfuse. Mistyfuse is different from other fusibles in that it doesn't have backing paper. So, instead of tracing a pattern to the paper, adhering it to the fabric, and then cutting out the design, with Mistyfuse there's no paper to on which to trace your design first. You simply adhere the fusible to the fabric and then cut out the shapes.

I had ordered a custom die from AccuQuilt to further simplify cutting the pieces. It didn't cost much more than buying one of their standard dies, and it ensured accuracy with every piece I cut (not to mention being fast)!



After I received the die, I traced over the cutting lines with a Sharpie to make it easier to see where the fabric would be cut. Since the price was the same regardless of how many pieces were on the die, I added a couple extra circles in smaller sizes for future use.

Next step was to fuse the Mistyfuse to the back of each of the fabrics. Note that the photos of the fusing and cutting process show fabrics from my test block -- not the fabrics I used in my finished table runner blocks. I used the Goddess Sheets recommended by Mistyfuse for pressing.


Above are two of the pieces I used in my test block. Just need to add another Goddess Sheet on top and press away.

After all of the fabrics had Mistyfuse on the back, it was just a matter of layering the fabrics over the cutting lines on the die and running it through my AccuQuilt Go! Baby. I cut through two layers of fabric backed with the Mistyfuse at a time, although I probably could have layered more.



And here's the finished result -- perfectly cut pieces ready to fuse to the background.


I layered the pieces on the background fabric, carefully topped with a Goddess Sheet, and ironed them in place.


Then I used monofilament thread on top and a light neutral thread in the bobbin (probably should've used white -- duh!) and used a tiny blanket stitch to secure the fused pieces.


I was quite surprised that the fused fabric was able to take the quilting so well and create the fabulous trapunto look.


I can safely say that I'll be using Mistyfuse again in the future. Plus, I have a feeling there are other custom dies from AccuQuilt in my future as well!

Now, be sure to leave a comment by midnight on Sunday, May 4 for your opportunity to win a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 9. But if you're not one of the lucky winners, this fabulous issue is available to purchase on May 6.

And thanks for visiting!

 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Latest Finishes

Or near finishes. One top isn't quilted yet -- but I did complete the wedding quilt for Jackson and Brianna before(!) the wedding in 3-1/2 weeks. And, yes, this IS the first quilt I did on my HQ18 Avanté. Finishing quilts before the wedding or before the baby is born doesn't happen very often -- what with five babies born in the last 12 months to nieces and nephews.

 

Emily and Jaren's wedding quilt hopefully will be done before their first anniversary in July! I figure if brides have up to a year to send thank-you notes, I have up to a year to deliver the wedding quilt. I have picked out the fabric and the design, so it's practically done.

I must say that it feels so good to be back in my sewing room (if it were bigger I would call it a studio). After five months of having no energy due to thyroid issues (Hashimoto's thyroiditis, to be exact) and extremely low vitamin D levels, and 5 weeks of adjusting to thyroid medications following a thyroidectomy, it is wonderful to feel normal again. To have the energy to sew for a couple hours in the evenings after a full day of work. To spend all day on a Saturday working on quilts -- rotary cutting, sewing, pressing, etc. etc. etc.

A couple weekends ago this was where I focused my creative energy:


I was looking through an old issue of Quilt Sampler magazine and I saw this quilt. It mentioned a kit was available at Waterwheel House Quilt Shop. Would the kit still be available this long after the magazine came out? Hallelujah! I didn't have to go searching for the Kaffe Fassett striped fabrics -- but could simply buy a kit. It was a cinch to sew up. After all, what's easier than a log cabin block. And the courthouse steps variation is the easiest of them all.

This was going to be Emily and Jaren's quilt -- but I fell in love with it myself and can't bear to part with it.

I'm going to quilt this one myself as well. I was auditioning thread colors using the collection of thread in the Handi Quilter studio. I found a mossy green and a muted aqua that both work really well. Who would've thunk it? So I ordered a Kaffe shot solid fabric in a moss green for the backing. I'm thinking the moss green thread will be best, but we'll see how it works with the backing.

I learned in a lecture a few weeks ago by Suzanne Hyland about how to choose quilting designs for a quilt that if the quilt is busy like this one is, it's not worth the time and effort to do a lot of fancy, custom quilting because it will simply not show up. Plus, I intend this as a utility quilt to keep me cozy while watching TV, etc. in the winter. It WILL be used. So I'll be able to get away with a simple all-over design -- probably a meandering stipple in my case.

As I said before, it feels good to have quilting and creative energy again!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Get Ready for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 9

Not an April Fool's joke! I have another block in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. This time in volume 9.

http://www.quiltmaker.com/100blocks.html

I'll be participating in the blog tour. My assigned day is May 1.

http://www.quiltmaker.com/blogs/quiltypleasures/

Be sure to join in the blog tour the week of April 28 through May 2 because all of the bloggers -- including  me -- will be giving away a copy of the magazine.

 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Born on the Fourth of July Quilt

Proof positive that I'm quilting Jackson and Brianna's wedding quilt


I took the leap and loaded Jackson's quilt onto the studio frame and began quilting it with the HQ18 Avanté. Now I know that I'm showing that I'm a beginning machine quilter by quilting it with loops and stars, but it is an Americana quilt after all.


I'm using rulers to quilt piano keys in the striped borders. That actually takes longer than the free-motion loops and stars in the center. 

Hmmm, I wonder which of my many quilt tops  will have the honor of becoming the second quilt I machine quilt myself?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Latest Quilt Top Finish

Yes, very simple. Even somewhat modern. Not my typical quilt style. But it was fun to make.


The image above is from Electric Quilt, but the finished top looks just like this. I imported jpgs of the Zen Chic fabrics (from Comma line) into Electric Quilt. The blocks were simple to make -- but it was a pain to match up the points between the rows.

I think it will be a great boy's baby quilt.


 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Time for another wedding quilt

One of my nephews got engaged a few weeks ago, and he and his fiancee have set the date: May 24. So that leaves just under three months to finish a quilt for them.

Luckily I have had a quilt top intended for him for several years, so it just needs to be quilted. Since he was born on the fourth of July, their quilt has an Americana feel. I believe it was a design by either Liz Porter or Marianne Fons. (It's been so long that I don't remember.)


The backing is a cream and blue toile that has an Americana theme as well.

So now the question is: will I quilt it or hire out the quilting? After all, I have a Handi Quilter HQ18 Avante that was "loaned" to me as a result of my employment with HQ. After 2-1/2 more years of employment, it will be mine-all-mine!

But I've  been shy to actually do a real quilt on it -- although I've practiced on orphan blocks. I think I'm just too exposed to fabulous quilting and I know my skills aren't anywhere near what I see on a daily basis.

I'll  be a student in next week's intermediate retreat being offered by the HQ studio educators, so I'm hoping I'll gain the confidence to quilt this myself. Fingers are crossed!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Learning to Live Without a Thyroid

Who would have thought that something as small in one's body would disrupt my life for several months??

Last fall I noticed that my hair was thinning, I was cold all of the time, and I had zero energy. (Hence no blogging and no quilting or stitching!)

I was already on a low dose of thyroid medication but knew there was something more going on. So a trip to the endocrinologist, lab work, and an ultrasound of my thyroid uncovered couple things.

My blood work uncovered extremely low vitamin D levels -- 7.8 (where 30 is the minimum they should be). So I began high doses of vitamin D -- which after about 6 weeks finally gave me enough energy to get through the day.

And, yes, the ultra sound showed that I had an enlarged thyroid with nodules. Could this possibly be the cause of my chronic cough that has progressively gotten worse over the past 7 or 8 years? At first it looked like the cough was solved. But gradually over the month or so since the surgery, I've started coughing again.  Not as much, but it's still there. ARGH! Hope I didn't go through this for nothing.

The decision was made and a month ago the thyroid came out. Surgery was pretty uneventful. But side effects of general anesthesia kept me from working full time for a couple weeks.

Now I'm adjusting to living without a thyroid -- I think I'm on the right dose of meds except I still  want to go to bed a 8:30 or 9:00 PM.

I finally got into my sewing room last Saturday and sewed one block. Hopefully tomorrow I'll  be a bit more productive with my rotary cutter and sewing machine.

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