Monday, May 29, 2017

Quilter's Recipe Box - Five month review and giveaway!

I can't believe it's already been five months since I started this!  So far there are 20 blocks, four each month.  I wanted to give you a re-cap of all the months and inspire you to either keep going, or join in.  I am using Dotalicious by Island Batik for this series - they provided the fabric in my Fall/Winter Ambassador box last summer.

In January I started out showing you how to make some basic half square triangles.  The recipe card block was for a Friendship Star Block, and the alternate blocks were Shoo Fly Block, O Block and the Anvil Block.  Here is what they look like all set together:

In February I showed you how to make a split square unit and the block was Churn Dash.  The alternate blocks were Greek CrossRail Fence,  and Flitter.  This is what they look like together:

The March blocks all used a four patch block.  I started out with Jacob's Ladder, then added Thrifty, Value, and Chained Friendship Star.  Here they are:

As you can see, the blocks are definitely getting more complex as we go!  The more units you have in a block the more color you can add, which I love!

The featured unit for April was a nine patch.  The first block was a Double Nine Patch.  I made another Jacob's Ladder Variation, Nine Patch Chain, and a Button block.  Here they are all together:

This month I've been working on Quarter Square Triangle units, which add even more interest to a block!  The first block was Ohio Star.  After that came the Swamp Angel, Clown's Choice, and finally Twinkle Star.  Here are those four blocks together:

And if you put all 20 blocks together here is what it might look like:

Or you could add sashing strips:

Fun!  I can't wait to add the rest of the blocks!  Only 32 more to go...but at the rate of one a week, it's really a piece of cake.  Here is a recap of the block list, in order as I made them.  (I'll be adding all of this info to a tab at the top of the page for future reference:

Friendship Star Block
Shoo Fly Block
O Block
Anvil Block
Churn Dash
Greek Cross
Rail Fence
Jacob's Ladder
Chained Friendship Star
Double Nine Patch
Jacob's Ladder Variation
Nine Patch Chain
Button block
Ohio Star
Swamp Angel
Clown's Choice
Twinkle Star

And now for the giveaway!  I have some 10 inch squares (13 to be exact!) from the Island Batik Coastal Mist collection to send you, plus a stash builder roll.  The roll has four strips that are 5 inches wide - a couple of them are nice neutrals.  You can use them to make some of the quilt blocks I've shown, or use them any way you wish.  I can only send this prize if you live in the US, but I am also going to give away a digital copy of each of my new patterns for Island Batik!  Alouette and Make Lemonade will be sent to a prize winner as well, so if you are living outside of the US and win my drawing I will e-mail you those.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, and thanks for following along!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sitting and Stitching

Today's project is to finish hand stitching the hearts for that baby quilt made with vintage embroidery blocks!  I have set a goal to get the rest of the blocks ready today so I can put together the top for quilting.

I like to hand applique with Aurifil 50 weight.  It really disappears into the fabric!

I am using freezer paper to trace my templates on, pressing it to the back of the fabric, then pressing the seam allowance down around the edge of the paper.  I leave a couple inch gap, pull the paper out, then complete the applique leaving the back intact.  For these bigger shapes it's easy to do it this way.  For smaller shapes I would cut a slit in the back and get the paper out that way.

I'm impatient, so doing hand work can be a little trying - the results are slower in coming, but well worth while!  It's definitely good for me to slow down and work on a project like this now and then...hope you are having a wonderful  slowed down day!

I'm linking up with Kathy for Slow Stitching Sunday, come join us :)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Throwback Thursday - Flowers on Table, 1993

One of my favorite quilting activities is participating in challenges - this is one of first challenges that was put out by my quilt guild (Coos Sand 'N Sea Quilters)and was made in the summer of 1993.  We were given a fat quarter of the floral fabric and a fat quarter of the brown paisley.  We could add two more fabrics and make a quilt within a certain size requirement - I believe it was 100 inches perimeter.  This is what I cane up with and I gave it the highly creative title of Flowers on Table.

It's hard to make a quilt with only four fabrics, and to tell the truth I wasn't too inspired by that floral...I thought it quite dull and lacking in color.  By using the back of the brown paisley I was able to give myself a little more variety to work with so I could make my table a little more interesting.

The table was inspired by an antique we were given when we were just newlyweds working on a paper route in the early mornings.  One day a sweet old couple asked us if we wanted this darling table and it's been a part of our household ever since!  It used to have a glass top, but that disappeared somewhere in one of our moves.
Since I wasn't very experienced with hand applique at this point, I simplified the base of the table!

I drafted my own basket pattern and made the basket out of the purple fabric, then used the Borderie Perse technique and needle turn apppliqued the flowers to my quilt.  I decided to finish the quilt without a binding after adding the mitered border and machine quilted around my appliques and echoing the lines of the stripe.  This was probably my first effort at free motion quilting!

Here are the details from the back:
And here is another picture of it - I just realized it's a bit dusty and I should take it down and shake it off!

It's been hanging in a corner between two windows, and I'm glad to see that it hasn't faded significantly that I can tell.  It's a nice little piece of art for my room, and it reminds me of how much I have learned in the past 24 years.  I still enjoy working on challenges, though.  You can learn so much by challenging yourself to work out of your comfort zone and have some fun, too.

Are you challenging yourself to learn new skills or pushing yourself to explore different colors and fabrics?  I hope so, whether in a group, or just on your own - it's good to leave your comfort zone and do something different.  Who knows, you just might find a new niche for yourself!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Twinkle Star - Quilter's Recipe Box - Alternate for Quarter Square Triangle Unit

Welcome - today I am showing the last alternate block for Quarter Square Triangle Units.  This time I'll be using three colors in the quarter square triangles and adding four-patch units to the corners.  I call this block Twinkle Star:

For this block you will need a 2 x 17 inch strip of your background fabric, plus a 2 x 17 inch strip of another color.  Two 4 1/4 inch squares for your star points, one 4 1/4 square of your background and one 4 1/4 square that matches the center square, which will be one 3 1/2 inch piece.  All of the fabrics I am using from this are Island Batik.  The lovely colors are from the Dotalicious line - so pretty!  The background is an older cloud pattern, which I am loving with these dots.

Sew the two 2 x 17 inch strips together, cut in half and lay right sides together with opposite colors touching.  Cut 4 2 inch strips and sew together to make four 3 1/2 inch four patch units.  These will go in the corners of your blocks.

I made the quarter square triangles the same way I made the variable star block.  Layer the background square with one of the star squares and the center square with the other star square.  Cut in half diagonally and sew four half square triangle units.

  Layer two sets of the two different units and cut in half diagonally - sew together to make four matching units.

Then lay the out with your finished units like this:

And sew together.   I press the seams away from the triangles where possible and press the long seams toward the outside.  Here is the finished block;
I love playing with the blocks and trying to come up with an interesting layout.  This block will look great in an alternate layout with many other nine patch blocks.  Here it is with one of our five patch variations:

This quilt includes all five of the units we have covered in the last 5 months!  Make sure you come back next Monday - I'll have a fun giveaway for you and we'll be taking a look at all the blocks that have been made so far.  Thanks for following along!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Make Lemonade at Quilt Market

This quilt has a story, but then again - don't they all?  I originally submitted this design to Island Batik using a different line of fabric (Lotus Blooms, I believe), but was asked to re-submit using Sour Apple.  It was accepted, and I was surprised when I received the fabrics for the sample because I really loved the colors so much!  And coincidentally I was working on planning a church ladies retreat where the theme was making lemons out of lemonade - so, of course this quilt ended up being named Making Lemonade!

It's the one at the far right of the picture with a brown border.  This line has beautiful brights and is balanced with rich browns and olive greens, so you have a lot of options when using them.

I love the teal print with the kitchen utensils!  And more egg prints, that go wonderfully with that rooster print in the border.  And lemons on rusty brown and green.  After I finished the quilt I showed it to a friend who thought the yellow on white looked like eggs sunny side up, so I was temped to call the quilt Sunny Side Up, which would have worked as well.  But I was already committed to Making Lemonade, so there it is.
I used several colors of Aurifil thread (50 wt) for the quilting.  I really love the 50 wt because it blends in so well, bobbins last forever, and I rarely have breakage problems.  It really makes my free motion quilting much less stressful when I don't have to worry about that!

I enjoyed the quilting process, adding different designs to each shape in the quilt to accentuate the bright pops of color!

This pattern is also available through Island Batik, or you can buy it as a downloadable pdf in my Craftsy shop or from my Etsy Shop (I appreciate EU buyers to purchase from Etsy as they take care of the taxes for me!)

Here is my original idea for the quilt - just so you can see how the fabric can make a big difference:

I still like the colors in this one and would definitely make this quilt as well!

I really enjoyed seeing my quilts at Spring Quilt Market - I am excited that next year the spring market will be in Portland Oregon!  I definitely plan to attend, and hopefully will have a quilt or two representing me in the Island Batik booth again :)

Tomorrow I'll have another quilt block using quarter square triangles, so don't forget to check out the Quilter's Recipe Box post.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Quilt Market News!

Oh my goodness, this week has been crazy and I am not even going to Quilt Market!  Two of my quilts did get to make the trip and are hanging in the Island Batik booth though and since I have actual pictures of them there I am very excited to share them with you!  (I have been trying not to write with all exclamation points, but I will probably be using way too many in this post...I am excited after all.)  This is the first one - I am so delighted to see it featured in the display!  Photo is thanks to my fellow Island Batik Ambassador. Laura (Slice of Pi Quilts) who is at Quilt Market and posted them for us to see.

Alouette is the quilt with the little birds at the top of the picture!  I love, love, love this quilt and was so excited to share it.  I designed it from a photo prompt in the Quilt Design a Day facebook group and have wanted to sew it up ever since.  When I saw Island Batik's Country Dozen line I knew it was the perfect fit - the colors and prints were meant for this little quilt, and I'm glad they accepted my proposal and picked up my pattern.  And I'm really glad I took a little extra time for some fancy feather quilting on it - but I hope no one looks too close at the quilting - eep!  I'm getting better at them, but they are not perfect by any means!
This is my EQ7 illustration, but the colors are so much prettier in the real life quilt.  This pattern will be available to quilt shops through Island Batik, but I also have it for sale in my Etsy Shop and on Craftsy if you would like to have it right away.  (If you are in the EU please purchase through Etsy so they can handle the taxes for me)

Aren't the eggs fun?  The fabric in the dark blue triangles has roosters in it.  So fun!

Before adding feathers.  The bird came out really cute!  It took a lot of fussing with the shape before I was 100% happy, but I just love it!

Here is my original QDAD design.  I haven't been active there for a while, but want to get back to it. It's a great way to play with ideas without being committed to actually making them up into quilts!

I'll show my other quilt tomorrow so it gets it's own post.  So much fun!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Trusting my Eye

It seems like I don't have much trouble deciding when something looks good, but when I have a project that isn't quite right I have a hard time actually deciding that I need to change it.  This happened when I was working on my Circle Quilt.  I didn't really like one of the colors I had in it, but was dragging my feet on making a decision to change it out.  I finally put the picture up on Instagram and overwhelmingly got the feedback that, yes, I should change it out!

A post shared by Pamela Boatright 🌟PamelaQuilts (@pamelaquilts) on
I'm not too sure why it's so hard to act on changing something I don't like in a project - maybe it's the whole idea of getting out the seam ripper?

I have been working on a project with some vintage embroidery blocks and found that I did not like the way the bright red strips jumped out.

After thinking about it all weekend, and making  a bunch more blocks, I decided that I needed to change them.  And I am much happier with the way the blocks look now!  Luckily there were only about 7 strips to take out in all.
I really need to be more confident about making changes when I see that something isn't quite right, especially when it's at a stage where it's easy to make the change.  I could have saved myself a little time ripping out this afternoon, but it was totally worth it.

The next step on this project is to applique more heart blocks.  It's coming out really cute and I'm excited to finish the top so I can start quilting it!  I plan on some special quilting on this one, and look forward to spending the weekend working on it.  Hope you are enjoying your week as well!