Sunday, January 31, 2010

Love beads quilt finished

I finished quilting and binding the Love Beads top!  I really love how the quilting turned out.  I stippled all the teal areas, left the lines unquilted, and then spiral quilted the circles.  It was really fun and the back of the quilt looks awesome.
Love beads quilt completed

Here is a detail shot of the quilting on the front.

detail of quilting

And here is the back.  I really love this quilt. I hope my friend and her baby boy like it!

quilting on back

Another great thing about this quilt is that it means I get to check off another one of my goals for the year.  I had a goal to make a quilt with circles, so here it is.  Believe me, if I can do it, you can too!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

another charity quilt done!

I just finished this last night, and threw it in the laundry.  It's nice and soft and crinkled.
sweet kid quilt front

Here's a shot of the pieced backing.
sweet kid quilt back

And a close up detail.
sweet kid quilt back/front

I'm packing this up with the cat & mouse quilt and sending off to Quilts for Kids. That means that one of my goals for the year is complete!

I've been pretty busy lately--I am trying to find meeting space for the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild.  Lots of phone calls and messages with various people.  But I want to make sure I've explored the options!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January Hip 2 Bee Square

Corey sent these adorable embroidered squares for January.  She wanted them framed in the center with the lovely fabrics she provided.

January block for Hip 2 Bee Square

While not the usual fabrics I work with, I love the end result.  It is really adorable!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Love beads top finished

I realized on Friday that I had Martin Luther King Jr. day off.  Why I didn't plan ahead, I don't know.  Sometimes I get so into the groove of work that I forget about the rest of the world.  Anyway, I took advantage of my day off to do some sewing!  I put together the blocks and voila!

Love beads quilt

This is the "Love Beads" pattern from The Modern Quilt Workshop by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr.  I really like their idea of slicing off the halves of the circles on the sides.  They call it "engaging the edge" and my husband agreed that it makes the quilt more dynamic--like it's continuing off the "page".  This one is for a coworker who is having a little boy in February.  I wanted it to be somewhat neutral, as the first quilt I made for her little girl was super girly.

I also started quilting the other baby quilt here.  I got about 1/3 way in before my needle kept hitting the foot.  Argh!  See below--see where the needle gouged a hole in the plastic?

I've since realized that I should just get a new foot.  This one is made of plastic, so it wobbles a bit, and then the needle hits the plastic and frustration ensues.  I just ordered a new one.  Take note if you are thinking of purchasing a darning foot: the more metal, the better.  It will wobble less and probably just plain last longer.  Now I have three quilts (love beads, this one, and this one) that are basted, waiting to be quilted.  I'm just waiting for the foot to get here.  Of course it'll get here on Friday, right before I leave for a family trip to Texas.

So I guess I'll have to get started on another quilt while I'm waiting for the foot to finish quilting my tops!

Monday, January 11, 2010

First quilt of 2010 complete

As I mentioned in my goals, I would like to make and give away more quilts for charity this year. I didn't meet my goal last year so I figured a kick start would be helpful.  I requested a kit from Quilts for Kids and got a package very quickly! Everything was already cut up into strips and squares, so it was super easy. They provided all the fabric (I added the binding) and the quilter provides thread, batting, time, and love.

Quilts for Kids kit

I think I got the package on Wednesday and finished the top Friday night, quilted it Saturday and sewed the binding on Sunday.  It feels good to have one down!

Quilts for Kids finished front

Here is the back.
Quilts for Kids backing

It is really cute fabric--cats on the front and little mice in a maze on the back.
They ask that you send one of your own quilts to donate with the one you made from a kit.  So I will finish up the other one I've shown and send these both together.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

new charity quilt

As I mentioned in my goals for 2009 AND 2010, I want to actually make and give away charity quilts this year. So I got out all my children's fabrics and started cutting. I'm making a quilt like this one on the Moda BakeShop, but with no charm pack.

Baby quilt overhead

Baby quilt detail

Here's the finished top! While not an official goal, I'd like to use fabric I already have, especially scraps. This quilt is great for those small pieces that you may only have a 5"x 5" piece to use. I'll definitely post it once it has been quilted!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Circles aren't scary

As you can see from my goals, I have been intimidated by circles in the past. I started working on "Love Beads" from The Modern Quilt Workshop by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr. You can see an example of the pattern here.

Here is my first half-circle ever!
half circle

It actually turned out ok. I don't know what I was so afraid of. Some tips:
  • Take your time. This is not something to do if you need to get it done before dinner.
  • Pin everything a lot
  • Make sure that your cut pieces are accurate. If they aren't, it is going to be tough to get everything to match up.

I'll post more as I get the quilt put together.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Chicago area quilters?

With the success of the LA Modern Quilt Guild, I was wondering if there were people out there interested in starting such a group in Chicago. Please comment here or send me an email. Once I get enough folks interested I'll start figuring out days/times/locations.

EDITED TO ADD: Please leave me a way to contact you.  Sara and ModQuilter, you are "no reply" comment bloggers so I don't have any way to keep you updated.   If you use Blogger, to change this, go to Edit Profile, check mark in front of Show my Email, then SAVE. This will only show the word email on your profile page. This way if you leave a comment there is an email address that comes with the comment to my inbox. Alternately you can reply again and leave an email. I'd love to include you!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fabric Favorites 2009

true up favorite fabrics 2009 banner

Kim at TrueUp has posted a Favorite Fabrics question. She wants to know the favorites of 2009. She has a bunch of categories, but we only need to list 10. So here's my 10:

- Favorite Quilting Weight Cotton Collection

Image copyright Freespirit 2009

Deer Valley by Joel Dewberry. I can't really explain why--I love the colorways, love the mixture of organic and architectural elements. Very different from what is out there in general.

- Favorite Home Decor Weight Fabric or Collection
I'm voting for Alexander Henry Fashion for Home Birdsong.

- Favorite Under the Radar/Sleeper Collection
Pillow and Maxfield: Whimsy. I love this! I haven't really seen any buzz on it, or been able to find it many places, but it is gorgeous. I especially love that deep blue.

image copyright Pillow & Maxfield 2009

- Favorite Handprinted Fabric
Ok, I know everyone is going to say this, but Aunty Cookie is amazing. I love this one here, with the red cog/snowflake things. Awesome.

- Favorite New Designer
I also know everyone is going to say this, but Laura Gunn. Lantern Bloom is just gorgeous. I love how she has taken paintings and turned them to a design on fabric.

- Favorite Novelty Print
I really love this print from Cosmo Cricket's Snorkel collection. Just too cute! I didn't realize I love whales so much.

image copyright Cosmo Cricket 2009

- Favorite Print from Japan
I think this one with the whale from Lecien is adorable!

image copyright Lecien 2009

- Favorite Organic Print
Near Sea Naturals: Eyes of the World. I love the jewel tones. I feel like most organic cotton I see is pretty plain and there aren't a ton of deep, rich colors like this one.

image copyright NearSea Naturals 2009

- Favorite Juvenile Print: Boys
I love David Walker's "Oh Boy!" collection. So my favorite print within it would be this one. You can see more here.
image copyright David Walker 2009

- Favorite New Fabric You Worked With in 2009
I had never really worked with upholstery weight fabric before, so I really enjoyed that. It means that I don't really need interfacing for the purses/handbags I make.

I can't wait to see what others put as their favorites!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Goals 2010

After looking back at my goals for 2009, I think I'm ready to make some goals for 2010.

1. Complete 12 quilts.
I know, this is less than I made in 2009. This is because I want to focus on more large, complex quilts. Granted, I know at least two babies that need quilts made for them this year, but I'd like to focus on more "large"quilts. Also, I have two quilts tops that just need to be quilted, as well as two quilts that are already in progress.

2. Give away at least two quilts for charity.
Yes, this was a goal last year but hey, I didn't meet that goal, so I'd like to work towards it again.

3. Make a quilt with circles/curves.
Circles have always intimidated me, so I need to overcome that. And yes, this was on my list last year. I've already started to make "Love Beads" from the Modern Quilt Workshop. I'd also like to make a Drunkard's Path pattern. If you're not sure what a drunkard's path quilt looks like, type it into Google Images or Flickr and you'll see tons of examples

4. Use more solids in my quilts.
This is something I've started to do, but I'd like to do more of in the coming year.

5. No quilt pattern repeats!
I chose this again because I really have a ton of quilting books and patterns--enough to keep me busy for quite a awhile. I've also got all sorts of ideas for quilts without patterns. I really need to make quilts using those books and patterns or just go improv and make up something as I go.

6. Make a "stack the deck" quilt.
Along the lines of using my books, I have a book all about stack the deck quilts--these are similar to crazy nine patch quilts in that once you have all the pieces arranged, you cut things up and sew them back together again. More explanation to come when I get to those, but here is the gallery of the woman who makes these.

7. Make more improvised quilts.
My mom and I are registered for Gwen Marston's Beaver Island Quilt Retreat in September, so I need to have something to bring for show and tell!

What about you? What are your goals (in general or artistic) for this year?