Introducing Round Trip Quilts!

Sorry for teasing you guys with my sneak peak earlier this week but now I can finally share with you the new long-term project I’m taking part in!

A small group of us from the 2014 New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop got together and decided to start a round robin style quilting bee. Many of us (myself included!) are new to this format so it’s exciting to be taking on a new challenge.

Round Trip Quilts, logo

We decided to call our group Round Trip Quilts. It works by creating a starting block(s) and sending it to then next person on the mailing list.  Each person adds a little bit to the quilt and eventually the quilt top will return to it’s original owner completely finished.  Hence, the round trip part!

I debated for a while on what I wanted to do for my quilt start.  We’d talked about giving each quilt a theme and I just didn’t really have a theme that was speaking to me.  So I started looking through my Pinterest and was drawn to my color schemes folder and was just really loving the bright colors in this inspiration picture.

Color inspiration, Round Trip Quilts
I pulled some fabric and was completely smitten so I decided to run with it and make my theme a color scheme!  So as long as people stick to the color scheme, they are free to let their imagination run wild when adding to my quilt!  I did buy some yardage of a background solid (Timeless Treasures in Sky) that I’ll be sending along as well just to give the various additions some cohesiveness.
Fabric Pull, Round Trip Quilts
I really like geometric shapes and I figured those would give a ton of options for others to coordinate with.  So I put together a quick improv block.
Round Trip Quilts, improv block
But then I was browsing Pinterest some more and I came across this improv chevrons block and I loved it.  So I made one of those too!  (This block took way longer than I thought it would to put together but I love the finished result.)
Round Trip Quilts, improv block
But then I felt like the improv chevrons block didn’t include very much of my background solid so I made a dozen cross stitch blocks that my group members can fit somewhere in my quilt top.
Round Trip Quilts, cross stitch blocks
So I don’t really have a starting block to send off to the group.  I have a handful of starting pieces.  But I love how they look together and I can’t wait to see what everyone else decides to add!
Round Trip Quilts, blocks
We also decided to send along notebooks with our blocks.  These would allow us to share more details about the original inspiration for each quilt as well as giving a place for us each to write about what we were thinking as we make the additions to each quilt.  I found this cute notebook at Target that seemed perfect for this project!
Round Trip Quilts, Journal

Round Trip Quilts now has a Flickr group and you can follow us on Instagram using #RoundTripQuilts!

The full list of members is below:
Heather at QA Creations
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Kim at Ties That Bind Quilting
Liz at Green Cheese Quilting
Mary at See Mary Quilt
Christina at WIPs and Tuts
Jennifer at Never Just Jennifer
Chelsea Huckins at Patch the Giraffe

Check out what they’ve all put together!  These are going to be some awesome ladies to work with and I can’t wait!

Quick Sneak Peak

I’ll should be ready for a big reveal later this week but I wanted to show you guys a quick sneak peak for a long-term project that I’m really excited about and will be sharing here on the blog from now until next summer.

Color inspiration

I am in love with these bold, bright, beautiful colors!  Check out this fabric pull!

Fabric Pull

Hopefully in a few days I can have a complete post to share with you.  I’m such a tease!  :)

Colorful Fabrics for a New Project

Despite the fact that I’ve got a couple of WIPs that I really need to finish, I’ve recently gotten started on a new project.  I’m working on two different baby quilts now that are going to be a matching set.

On a recent trip to my LQS, I bought a variety of cotton solids in a rainbow of colors.  I mixed and matched between designers a bit so the set has Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons, Pepper Cory’s Peppered Cottons, and Andover’s Textured Cottons all included.

Textured Fabrics - 1

I tried to find fabrics that would pretty true to the “standard” colors of the rainbow.  I was basically envisioning opening an 8-count box of crayons and trying to match what the colorful crayons would look like.

Textured Fabrics - 2

Since I’m pairing these colorful solids with Kona white for the background, my LQS recommended that I pre-wash everything.  They said my colorful solids would shrink at a different rate than the background.  So I bought some pinking shears and embarked on my first pre-washing ever.  And I’m going to be honest, I’m not a fan of having to pre-wash.  Between trimming with the pinking shears and cutting off the frayed edges after washing, you lose a good bit of fabric.  And it takes a lot more work!

Textured Fabrics - 5

But I finally got everything pre-washed and re-ironed and could actually start cutting into it.  I cut out 120 squares (1/2 colored and 1/2 white) so that I can make 60 half square triangles and 60 hourglass blocks.

I know everyone seems to rave about shot cottons but so far I’m not a huge fan of working with these colorful fabrics.  I’ve had a lot more issues with fraying as I cut than I’ve ever had before with Kona solids.  I tried starching the fabrics and that didn’t seem to help either (if anything, it might have been worse after starching).  But I did successfully get everything cut!

Textured Fabrics - 3

And now I’ve been doing a ton of chain piecing and sewing everything together.  Luckily, both HST and hourglass blocks make for easy chain-piecing.  I love how all the colors look all stacked together!

Textured Fabrics - 4

I can’t wait to start getting everything laid out and see these quilts come together!

Finished Bungalow Quilt Top

Well this post is a long time coming.  Not because it took me long to sew together the quilt top (it actually went together pretty quickly).  But it was over a week after I finished the quilt before I could even take any photos!  A combination of rainy weather and a couple of late days at work where it was already dark when I got home and all of a sudden more than a week had passed.  So without further ado, here is my finished Bungalow quilt top!

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

This quilt was made using the Easy Bricks Quilt pattern from Moda Bake Shop and I really like how the pattern allowed the larger prints from Joel Dewberry’s Bungalow line to shine.

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

I haven’t worked a whole lot with precuts and I noticed when working with this layer cake that the 10″ by 10″ squares seemed to not be the right size.  I cut them in half (I measured 5 inches in from the left side) but when I paired them up with the 5″ precut white charm squares, many of the layer cake strips were too narrow.

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

Luckily this pattern was pretty forgiving and with a lot of glue basting to match seams and easing of the fabric, I was able to make my seams line up well enough.  But I was a little annoyed about the inaccuracy.  Has anyone else noticed this with precuts before?

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

I love the colors in this quilt.  There are some great jewel tones and really saturated prints!  I stressed a little bit trying to get the colors and prints balanced and I think I ended up doing pretty good!

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

I’ve bought some yardage from the line for the backing and am going to do a little piecing for it but hopefully I’ll be able to get this quilted up soon!

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

I can’t wait to finally have a quilt I get to keep!

Stash Bee 2014 – July Block

It was great to finally get to sit down at my sewing machine again last night.  And with the end of July just days away, my first order of business was to complete my block for the Stash Bee!

Our Queen Bee for this month is Yanick who blogs over at Sewn With Curves.  She wanted us to make concentric squares with rainbow colors.  It is sort of a wonky, rainbow log-cabin like block.  She gave us a lot of flexibility in terms of finished size, squares vs. rectangles, red center vs. purple center, etc.  Here is what I came up with:

Stash Bee, rainbow, concentric squares, wonky

I’ve not done a lot of wonky sewing so I had to resist the temptation to just make everything straight!  And I know the picture looks uneven but it is just from the wonky angles.  The block fits perfectly under my 12.5″ square ruler!

Yanick’s finished quilt is going to be so bright and colorful!

Another Form of Eye Candy

Long time, no sew over here!  It’s been close to 3 weeks since I even touched my sewing machine.  But I have been busy – I promise!  My husband and I went on a week and a half long trip to Europe with two other couples that we have been friends with since college.  And we culminated the trip with a 3-day electronic music festival in Brussels!  We got back about a week ago but I’m just now starting to get back in the swing of normal life (catching up after a vacation makes you feel like you need another vacation sometimes!).

I don’t normally share much of my non-sewing life on the blog but since I don’t have any sewing projects to share, I thought I’d share some photos from our trip!  I tried to post a photo collage a day to my personal Instagram (I have separate personal and quilting IG accounts) to keep my family up to date with our travels and I wanted to share them here with you!

We started our trip in Paris.  We had about 24 hours (split into 2 half days) to see Paris while we waited for the last couple to arrive.  Luckily, my husband was the only one in the group who’d never seen Paris so we tried to cover all the big tourist hot-spots for him!  First we went up to Sacre Cour for the beautiful views over the city and then we walked around the city and did a riverboat cruise to hit the other important sites.

Paris - 2

We also wanted to include something I hadn’t done the first time I went to Paris so we spent our second half-day going down into the Catacombs!  The science nerd in me was fascinated by all the bones but I’m sure some would find it pretty creepy.

Paris - 3

Then we took the train to Amsterdam in The Netherlands where we were spending 3 days and 4 nights.  The first day, we simply explored the city.  Between checking out the Van Gogh museum, going on a canal cruise, and just seeing the beautiful bridges and buildings, we had plenty to occupy our time.

Netherlands - 2

The next day, we rented bikes and took a 3-hour bike tour around the Dutch countryside.  It was absolutely beautiful!  I think this might have been my favorite thing we did all trip!

Netherlands - 3

Our last day in The Netherlands we spent doing a day trip.  We went to two nearby cities, Delft and Den Hague.  We took another canal tour in Delft and climbed to the top of the tower of the New Church in the central square where we had stunning views!

Netherlands - 4

In Den Hague, we checked out the Parliament and the Peace Palace but our main destination was the beach.  The ocean was so pretty but the water there is freezing!

Netherlands - 5

Then we caught the train to Brugge, Belgium.  We had about 24 hours in this little city where we saw the Madonna and Child statue by Michelangelo, climbed the bell tower, biked by some windmills, and went on a canal cruise.  Oh – and enjoyed Belgian waffles, beer, and chocolate of course!

Brussels - 1

My husband and I also celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary while we were in Brugge!  One of the chocolate shops we stopped in had the perfect chocolate for us!

Anniversary - 1

Then it was on to Brussels, Belgium for our music festival.  We planned this trip around the Tommorrowland electronic music (EDM) festival.  This is one of the biggest music festivals with ~200K people attending each of two weekends and the tickets literally sell out 1 second after they go on sale!

Tommorrowland - 1

Tomorrowland - 2

This was the first music festival I’ve ever been to and we had a blast!  There were 15 stages featuring hundreds of DJs over the 3-day weekend.  We even managed to position ourselves at the very front of the crowd at the main stage for one of our favorite DJs, Krewella!

Tomorrowland - 3

Tommorrowland - 4

All in all, we had an awesome time and really enjoyed the break as well as travelling with some of our good friends!

I’m hoping to spend some time on my machine tonight so we’ll hopefully back into my normal sewing and quilting posts soon!

Any other quilters out there like EDM?  I feel like those two hobbies don’t typically go together!  Or do you have any other hobbies that you’d guess are unusual for a quilter?

A Quilt for Me!

So far, every quilt that I have made has been a gift for someone else.  Don’t get me wrong, I love giving away these quilts and it makes me happy to see others enjoying them.  But I’d also love to have a piece of my hobby and hard work for myself.  So I decided it is time to make a quilt for me!

I was really drawn to Joel Dewberry’s Bungalow line and I bought a layer cake of it a while back but had never done anything with it.  There are a lot of big, bold prints in this line so I really didn’t want to cut it up too much as I didn’t want to lose the designs in small piecing.

I found this Easy Bricks Quilt pattern from Moda Bake Shop which really fit the bill and looked like it would go together quickly.  So I sliced the entire layer cake in half and got started.  I love how the stack of fabrics looked together!

Joel Dewberry, Bungalow, fabric

Then I proceeded to do lots of chain piecing and pressed open all of my seams (which honestly took a lot longer to do 84 times than I expected!)

Joel Dewberry, Bungalow, fabric, chain piecing

But I’ve already been able to get the entire quilt top laid out!  I’ve been making a few tweaks here and there since this late night photo to try to make sure the colors and patterns are balanced but I think it’s almost ready to start sewing up!

Joel Dewberry, Bungalow, fabric

Is there anyone else like me who has been negligent in actually making a quilt for themselves?