Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Winter Wonderland - November Island Batik Ambassador Challenge

I managed to finish this months challenge quilt, but it was indeed a challenge!  Not the fabrics, they were delightful!  Island Batik does not disappoint, this bundle was beautiful and so much fun to work with.  And the pattern, my own Jolie quilt, wasn't challenging.  It was the time factor that was my big challenge this month.  I am looking forward to a lighter schedule in December.  November was just a crazy month for me!

 Sorry for the crummy pictures, the lighting is mostly pretty bad this time of year.  It does show off the wonderful reindeer fabric I featured in the open blocks, though!
The block shows all the beautiful colors.  My favorite fabric was the gray/blue with snowflakes.  I love it!  The dark blue, red, and creamy background also have reindeers, but you can't tell when they are cut up - all you see is the beautiful color.  The polka dot fabric has a lot of variation of color in it - this quilt just uses a bit of it, but it is very pretty as well.
Aren't these graceful reindeer and snowflakes perfect for a winter quilt?  So pretty!  The touch of red in this quilt make it perfect for Christmas, but it will look wonderful hanging all winter long.  Look for the Frost and Merry and Bright collections in your local quilt shop!  If you like this pattern it is available as a digital download here.  (All my patterns will be half price in my Etsy shop for the month of December!)

Thanks for visting - I hope you enjoyed seeing what I created for this challenge.  Make sure you visit our other Island Batik Ambassador's and see what they have created:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

More UFO finishes for November!

I've been having such a blast quilting now that my machine is in tip-top shape again!  Well worth the $$ spent, now I don't have to fight the skipped stitches and breaking threads like I was before.  I hadn't realized how tense it was making me - just waiting for the next time it would break, especially because it was pretty predictable.  I just knew every time I would sew in that one direction that I would either get skipped stitches or my thread would break.  Quilting is so much more enjoyable without that anxiety.

I finished both of the Double Slice layer cake quilts last week.  The first one is super fun and bright:
This fabric is Tucker Prairie by One Canoe Two for Moda.  It's such a fun set of fabric, I really love the cheerful colors and variety of prints.  I backed it with a super beautiful print with roses in pinks, yellows, and orange.
I decided to try washing this to see how the pellon batting washes up.  I was totally thrilled with the results!
This photo is comparing an unwashed quilt (above) to the washed quilt.  The difference is pretty subtle in a photograph, but very obvious in person!  The quilt shrunk up a few inches, but it is fluffier, softer and has a wonderful cuddle factor.  It is ready to go to a new home - you can purchase it here.

The second and final one is this soft, feminine version:
You can read more about the process of making this top in a previous blog post.  The fabric in this quilt is Park Avenue by 3 Sisters Design, paired with fabrics by French General - I'm not sure of the line(s) involved - but they are beautiful.  Very feminine and soft!
I used several fabrics for the back, and used up that last stripe of the border print as well!  This quilt is super pretty on both sides - which I really like.
It measures 65 x 74 - a lovely generous lap size, or large enough to top a twin size bed.  It is available here.

I have a queen size quilt ready for quilting now - it's a fun mix of fabrics as well - I've been doing a lot of these scrappy quilts lately!  I have some really exciting projects in the works - one of which is a quilt block of the month.  If you're interested in designing your own blocks, you will like this!  I'm planning on having it available at Threads That Bind as well as here on my blog - this will be a great beginner series and will really open up your eyes to the variety of classic blocks and how you can create your own blocks using a few basic units.  I was really excited about it as I was designing because there are so many possibilities!  It's going to be a lot of fun - and I've had so many people asking when I am going to do another one at the shop, they will be very happy.

We are having a quiet Thanksgiving celebration here at home.  I hope you all have a wonderful day, spend some time with family and count your blessings!  Even in discouraging days, there are good things and if you focus on the good things, the bad ones won't feel so overwhelming.  Yes, I need to remember this as well every day!  Love and Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November UFO number one: Monkey Around In Jungle Fabric

I finally feel caught up enough to give myself permission to work on some of my own projects over the weekend - I kept walking by the quilts tops I had ready to quilt and sighing because I couldn't get to them last month!  I am challenging myself to get as many of these quilted as I can by the end of the year.  Somehow I keep trying to clean out my sewing room and it feels like quicksand, the more I thrash around trying to get free, the deeper in I get!

This is another version of my Monkey Around pattern.  I made the top as a shop sample and it never got quilted - then when it came home it got put in the finished top drawer and it took a while before it got chosen to be finished!  I believe the jungle print (as well as some of the others) is a Sandy Gervais fabric.  The green fabric has a subtle banana print - don't know how many times I've picked up this piece to use in something than put it back because I didn't want banana's in my quilt.

Part of challenging myself to get these tops all quilted up is also challenging myself to use up the odds and ends of thread that I have accumulated.  You know, those partially used spools that you don't know if you have enough to quilt a whole quilt with?  I wasn't sure if I had enough of either of these greens, so I used one on the top and one for the bobbin thread.  And you know what?  I had plenty to finish the quilt and still have thread on both spools!
I quilted this in a swirl pattern, the orange swirly design in the trees inspired my choice.  My goal for most of these quilts is just to get them finished, then put them up for sale in my Etsy shop.  I purchased a roll of 80% pellon batting and am really liking the feel of it.  It's a little loftier than Warm and Natural.  I haven't washed one up yet to see how I like it after washing it.  I'm a big fan of the way Warm and Natural crinkles up after washing!  I'll let you know when I do get a quilt washed with the Pellon, though.
 My photo prop, Mr Bear approves of this quilt!  He says it would be perfect for a little boy to snuggle with!
The backing is a reproduction print with toys.  Do you know how hard it is to find a fun back that doesn't have flowers?  I was so pleased to pull this one out of my stash!  It's now available for purchase:  Monkey Around in the Jungle.  It would make a great Christmas gift for a little boy, I think!  47 x 47 is a great toddler quit size.  Use the coupon code ILUVQUILTS to save 10% - or look for my storewide sale next week.  Time to get some quilts sold and off to new homes!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Spinning Spools Quilts aka Frankie and the Mini

We are had a wonderful time on vacation last week.  Visiting our kids is so enjoyable - we look forward to spending time catching up on each other's lives and just sharing some time together. Part of our time was spent in Washington with our daughter Tracy and her family.  We enjoyed several Monopoly games, as well as Scrabble, and we have had fun reading stories and spending time with our granddaughter as well.

While we were there, we actually got to sleep under a couple of the quilts I've made for her!  Both are  now in need of a bit of repair.  One I took home with me, and I'll show you later as I get it back into good shape.  The other one I was able to fix while I was there.  She calls this one Frankie because it has been patched in a rather haphazard way due to a tear in the back!  I left that as is, but needed to stitch some seams that have popped.

This is the quilt I made for her when she was 2 years old (in 1988), so it is now 28!  Technically it is actually not quilted, but tied.  Those bias seams don't always hold up well in a tied quilt, if the quilt gets pulled the thread will break.  All of the fabric is in good shape, though and there were only a few bad seams.

Still pretty after all these years!  The binding is pretty much shot, though.  I put an extra wide bias binding on this quilt - it finishes at an inch across!
Maybe I should just take the whole thing apart and put a new backing on it and machine quilt it this time.  I'll have to think about that.  Maybe next summer.
When I was making this quilt I read an article in a quilting magazine about a quilter who made a miniature version of each quilt she made.  After making this miniature quilt I decided I wasn't going to do that!  Those miniature blocks (2 inches square and hand quilted) took almost as long to make as the 6 inch blocks in the larger quilt!  I love it as a keepsake, though - It looks so cute in my sewing room.  I was a fairly new quilter when I made both of these quilts, so they hold some happy memories for me!

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

EQ25 - Using EQ to Create a Sign or Label

As we go through another month of celebrating Electric Quilt's 25th birthday, I though it would be fun to talk about another way you can use EQ7 besides designing quilts.  I enjoy creating printable projects like signs - here is one I did just for this post.
They are super easy to do!  I start out by choosing a horizontal block layout and make the center one block:
I set my size to 6 blocks by 8 blocks because I want my finished sign to be 8 inches by 10 and I'll add a border of 1 inch all around.
Moving to the borders tab, I make sure my borders are 1 inch and select blocks as the border style.  Then I select the appropriate number of blocks for the horizontal and vertical borders.
Next I go to Layer 1 and set blocks in my border.  I rotated every other block to make a more interesting layout on this version.  I colored my center the same color as the background of the block.  You can spend a lot of time choosing and coloring your blocks, but I just did a fast version today!
Moving on to Layer 2, add text.  After you select the set Applique Text button, use the shift key, and drag out a text box.  You can choose your font, and text size and layout.  These will all be consistent within the text box, buy you can create more than one text box if you want to have different sections of  text.  For instance, if I needed to credit the author of this saying I would add a small text box with the Author's name at the bottom of the saying. 

 Use the adjust tool to move your text box if needed, and change the color of the print with the select fabric tool.  Again, lots of opportunity for creativity!

When you are finished, use the export image button to save your project as a jpeg that you can print later.  

These make great quilt labels as well!  You can make them whatever size you like - I like a more horizontal layout for a quilt label.  I do them the same way, saving as a jpeg.

When I am ready to print, I use my photo program to print the size I want - I usually do four on a sheet of printable fabric at one time, depending on what labels I need.  This way I can make the most use of my fabric sheets and not waste them!  Cut out with a 1/4 inch seam allowance all the way around and hand applique to the back of your project. 

If you would like a pdf copy of my printable project, you can download it by clicking on the image below:

Free Download!
Make sure you check out QuiltShopGal to see more posts on Electic Quilt today!

Don't forget to enter at the Electric Quilt Blog for this month's prize - Timeless Treasures is this month's prize partner and they will be giving away a copy of EQ7 there.  Plus, use the #EQ25 on social media to be entered for additional prizes - only a couple more months to enter!