Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Quilt Modern - Day 3, Glacier Bay and my project!

 I'm excited to share my project for the Island Batik Ambassador Quilt Modern blog hop!  Every year that we have had a modern quilt challenge I have been stretched and learned so much.  Some of my modern quilt projects have ended up being my favorites, and this one is no exception!  The fabric and notions used to make this quilt were provided by Island Batik and their industry partners as part of their ambassador program.

My surprise package for this hop contained a collection that I love!  It's Glacier Bay, and is a beautiful collection of blues with lots of trees, bears, snowflakes and nature designs.  It was designed by Kathy Engle, and is one of my favorite ever collections for sure!  Like the rest of the winter collections you will be seeing this month, these are shipping out to local quilt shops now.

I felt like this collection really lent itself to an interesting modern quilt because it is monochromatic.  

My first idea for my quilt called for cutting the fabric into 1 1/2 inch strips, but I finally decided that cutting the fabric up so small would not show all the fun designs to their best advantage.  At that point I turned to the internet for some inspiration and after looking at several ideas I found this tutorial for a Square in a Square quilt that used 10 inch squares - perfect!  Plus, it worked out nicely for using all the directional prints in this collection as well!

Aren't these wonderfully wintery fabrics?  I put a brand new Schmetz Microtex size 10 needle in to do the piecing - along with a pale blue Aurifil thread (50 wt).  Those along with a brand new blade in my Rotary cutter made the work of cutting and piecing a breeze!  In no time at all I had the quilt top finished.  I really liked that the design of the quilt worked so well with the different fabrics.

Since the top was 51 by 60 I needed to piece the backing.  I used the yardage of the light print with polar bears and added a strip of the darker blue to make a wide enough piece for the backing.  I even managed to get the directional print right side up when I layered it with the top (I seem to end up with my backing going the opposite direction from the top more often than not!)  

For this quilt I used Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 batting.  It's a lovely soft batting with a nice hand and is so easy to work with.  I auditioned a couple of different Aurifil colors from my stash and ended up choosing the darker blue, which I really liked because you could see the quilting on the lighter fabrics.  I also switched to a size 12 Schmetz needle.

I quilted it using a spiral design, then used the dark blue with moons as the binding.  I tried something a little different - it was a tip that my fellow ambassador Gail shared with us.  She does not press her binding in half before attaching it to the quilt.  It sounded interesting so I decided to try it, and it worked out really well, I have to say!  You can check out her binding tutorial and give it a try yourself!  I did not have any glue, but next time I plan to give that a try as well.  You can see the rounded edge on the binding in the above picture before I pressed it away from the back and stitched it to the front.

Aren't all the blues lovely in this quilt?  I love them!  I was so glad to have a lovely day to take an outdoor picture or two as well!

The back really shows the quilting off!  Swirls are such a fun and easy quilting design - they make me think of wind and water.  Such a nice way to add texture to a quilt using all straight lines in the piecing.

It was so much fun choosing pairs of fabric to make the blocks out of!  Bears with trees was a natural choice, don't you think?
I'm very happy with my modern quilt!  To see another quilt made using this line, visit the blog of Jane Hauprich, Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting who is making a project with Glacier Bay as well!

Thank you to Island Batik, Hobbs Batting, Aurifil Thread and Schmetz needles for the supplies I used to make this lovely quilt, as well as the inspiration!

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Day 2 of the Quilt Modern Blog Hop

 Are you ready to see the great projects made for today on the Quilt Modern Blog Hop?  I am!

Joanne Hart, Unicornharts
Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights

This collection was designed by Ebony Love of Lovebug Studios.  Look for it in quilt stores now - I just love those rain drops!  Tomorrow is my day on the hop...can't wait to show you what I made!

Monday, May 03, 2021

Day one of the Quilt Modern Blog Hop!

 It is May, so that means it's time for another Island Batik Blog hop - Quilt Modern!  

For this hop we are showing you Modern projects using the Winter 2020 fabric - these fabrics are arriving in quilt shops, so you can look for them now and make your own projects.  Today's blog posts features Farm Fresh, designed by Kathy Engle.

Visit the following Island Batik Ambassadors to see their projects, you will love them!

Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts
Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese
Brianna Roberts, Sew Cute and Quirky

You also will want to make sure to enter the drawing for this week featuring Forecast, designed by Ebony Love of Lovebug Studios!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

See you tomorrow with more great projects!

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Quilting PHD in 2021 April progress (and March!)

 Ha - I just realized that I never posted my progress on my Quilting PHD in 2021 for March!  It's been a busy couple months, what can I say!  I'll start with March - I finished Perry's Horse quilt (my UFO), made  a sample for Threads That Bind (a new project) and made a queen size quilt for my Island Batik challenge.

In April I finished my Island Batik challenge, which also inspired a new sample for the quilt shop - American Muscle.  I also finished a UFO - the Super Saturday sample quilt and made a new quilt top as my OMG, the Stepping Stones in Flora quilt.  May is off to a good start with my Island Batik Challenge ready for the Wednesday post!  Can't wait to share that!

Making good progress through the UFO pile!  Hopefully keeping the new projects on a roll so I don't have any new ones by the end of the year!  I did get another set of hexi's done for my One Block Wonder.  I think I'll be ready to put that top together this summer.  I'm looking forward to that for sure!
Here's the current status of my PHD in 2021 report:

May looks to be a pretty quiet month, so hopefully lots of quilting time!  I hope to fit in a couple of extra projects that are basted and just need to be quilted. Like Gail says - One Stitch at a Time!  It will happen :)

Friday, April 30, 2021

OMG Finish April 2022 - Stepping Stones

 I didn't know if I could do it, but I sewed like a mad woman this week and I got it finished!  It was 3:30 this afternoon and I had finished piecing the final border strip.  Could I sew on all four borders?  Oh, and press the center?  I decided to go for it and see what would happen, and I did it!

Here is the center before I pressed it.  So stunning!

First border on - and everything measures perfectly!  Woohoo!  I'm starting to feel like I'm going to make it at this point...just keeping on sewing.

Border number two.  My favorite print in this kit, it's so fun!  At this point my quilt is 80 inches square and it's time to add the pieced border.

Again, a perfect fit, and my points look mostly good.  There are so many of them that I am not going to worry about one or two that are less than perfect!  That's the same tactic I took putting the blocks together for the top.  I just sewed the blocks together and let the points be whatever they were.  Most of them were quite nicely matched!

And last, but not least the final border is added!  I did it!

I didn't have room to lay out the whole quilt, but this is one fourth of it.  Final measurement is 92 1/2 inch inches square.  So colorful and pretty!  I am very pleased with the results!

I did have to rip a few of the triangles around the stars because the directional fabric was going the wrong way.  I blame the fact that I got too involved in a movie I was watching while sewing!  I'm glad I did because it would have been quite noticeable in the finished quilt.  I think I got one of the green triangles turned sideways, but it doesn't stick out much, so I left that one.  Just goes to show that you don't need to try to make a mistake in the quilt!

I'm glad I pushed to get this finished.  Of course that means I need to get it done before the end of the year because I can't make any new UFO's if I want to complete my Quilting PHD in 2021...guess I'd better start looking for some backing fabric!  At least for April I did finish my OMG, so I'm totally enjoying that feeling for right now and will worry about the quilting later.  And I can think about my OMG for May....

Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal - April Finish Link-up

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Tuesday to do list!

 I usually like to make a list for the week ahead on Monday, but yesterday just got away from me.  Last week was a super busy week, my Women's Ministry team was finally able to hold our annual retreat.  Instead of a 3 day event, we packed it all into one day and had a wonderful time!  

Of course, I brought some quilts to help decorate!  Now that the event is finished it's time to focus on seeing if I can get some projects finished this week.  I knocked some of the alteration list off my list yesterday and hope to finish those today.

Flying Geese Blocks in Progress
I also finished the 164 flying geese I needed to make for the 41 star blocks of my OMG for this month.  So I now have 81 blocks to sew together for the center of the top.  Will I get this done by Friday?  I'm not sure!  It took me a total of 7 hours to make all of the star blocks, so I added that to my tally for a total of 13 hours so far on this top.  I still have to sew the blocks, add 3 solid borders and one pieced border (more flying geese units to be made.)  I don't think the top will take quite as long as I thought it would, but there is still a ways to go before I finish.

I'd also like to get this Super Saturday Sampler quilted by Friday - this is the quilt I ended up doing as my UFO challenge for this month.  I did manage to get the top together, but it would be nice to get totally done with this and have a quilt finish for the month.  

And last, but definitely not least it's time to get ready for the May blog hop for Island Batik!  This is your chance to get a sneak peek at the new Winter lines that are headed for your local quilt shop now. I encourage you to follow along and if you see anything you like, be sure to request it from your local quilt shop.  In fact, if your local shop isn't carrying Island Batik, you should definitely let them know you would like them to start!  As a quilt shop employee, I can say that your input is definitely helpful when it comes to ordering fabric.  Your shop really wants to carry the fabrics that you are interested in purchasing for sure!!  My post will be up next week, and I think you will love the fabric I have to show you, but you'll have to wait a bit to see what I'm working on because I like for it to be a surprise :)

I hope you have a lovely week and that your to-do list gets done - happy sewing!!!

Friday, April 16, 2021

Happy Friday - Keeping track of Progress on a Large Quilt

 I hope you have had a good week - the weather has definitely turned for the better around here, and I think it's time to put aside my heavy jacket when I go for my morning walks!  I don't think I'll put it away for the season yet, but I am sure happy to have some warmer weather to go with the sunshine.

Units of quilt block ready to sew together
I spent the weekend working on my UFO for this month - the Super Saturday project taught by me and a friend at Threads That Bind several years ago.  I had 8 blocks finished, so just had to do this last block.  I figured out what was holding me up - I was out of the light gold fabric that I planned to use where the green is.  All I had to do was decide to use the green, and it was easy to finish up the last block!
Nine finished quilt blocks on design wall

The second hurdle was the fabric for the sashing.  I didn't have enough to do an outside border as well.  Keeping in mind that a) I want to finish this quilt and b) I have loads of fabric in my stash that I want to use up, I quickly decided to use what I had for the inside sashing and fine a similar brown for the outer border.  That wasn't so hard!

I love how the sashing defines these blocks and brings them together as a group!  Now, I just have to add the borders.  I had yards of this fabric, which is used in many of these blocks as well.  I'll also be using it on the back of the finished quilt when I get there!

So now, all I have to do is piece the backing and get it quilted - yay!  In the process I emptied out the project bin this project was in and worked on cutting out the pieces for my OMG project this month.  Last year I used my UFO challenge as my One Monthly Goal, so I was doubly sure to finish.  This year I am stretching myself most months and using the OMG to finish a different project.  This month I may have bitten off more than I can chew!

I decided to keep track of the hours spent on this top.  It took about 4 hours to cut all these fabrics into squares and triangles.  Hundreds of that gray fabric!  Well, that had to be fussy cut on the diagonal.  40 6 1/8 inch squares.  The right side of the fabric was pretty square, but the left side was so cattywampus.  I sprayed with best press, stretched and pressed it into a pretty good approximation of square.  I spent 2 hours yesterday sewing them into square in a square units with the directional background.  To make these come out right you need to cut half the triangles in one direction and the other half in the opposite.  Since I cut the squares from fabric folded right sides together, I just left them as is and it worked out perfectly.
I cut and sewed in sets of five to avoid wasting fabric.  I have five left to sew and then I can go on to the next step, which will be sew and flip green squares on the corner of these units.  I'm guessing this project will take about 25 hours to complete.  So far I am 6 hours in.  That means if I want to finish this by the end of the month, I should work for about an hour and a half every day on it.  That's a pretty good chunk of time, so I may not make it to my finish this month.  I guess we'll see!  I found that it took 15 minutes to make 5 square in a square units, including pressing and trimming, so it was easy to keep track of my progress this way, and I was able to fit short bursts of sewing in throughout the day to get nearly done with this step yesterday.

If you are having fitting time for sewing into your day, you might want to try this!  I think it's great for large repetitive projects, you can break it down and you don't have to feel like you are chained to your sewing machine doing the same thing over and over without making much progress.

I've started keeping better track of how long it takes me to do lots of different tasks, so I don't overwhelm myself.  Did you know it only takes about 15 minutes to fold and stack a load of laundry?  Once I figured that out I didn't dread it as much, so I figure the same trick will help with my sewing and quilting! 

Oh, and don't forget it's dress season!  Weddings are being planned for summer, so the dresses are starting to pile in.  I guess it's good that I love to spend time in my sewing room!  This method works well for this type of sewing as well.  When I have a short amount of time to spend sewing I work on a quicker project, and save the longer stretches of time for the more involved projects so I don't have to be interrupted.  Plus, I can make sure and schedule enough time for the urgent tasks if I know approximately how long I need to complete them. 

Now that I've written this post, I guess I need to put my words into action and go do some sewing :)