Stash Bee 2014 – April Blocks

I’m coming in just under the wire for the Stash Bee this month (although I did start these blocks in early April – they just got put on hold for a bit while I was making the Born to Quilt Mini for Quilt Market).

Kim T was our Queen Bee this month and she blogs over at Windsor and Main.  Go check her out!  For this month, she chose a flying geese block called Follow the Leader from the book Modern Blocks: 99 Quilt Blocks from Your Favorite Designers by Susanne Woods.

Now, I will admit, I didn’t quite follow her tutorial as written.  She went over a common method for making flying geese for anyone who hadn’t done so before.  But I have an Easy Star and Geese Ruler (which I love!) that lets you cut the pieces from strips of fabric and minimizes fabric waste.  My geese just seem to look prettier when I use this ruler too!

I made one set of geese first just to make sure my dimensions using the ruler were coming out the same as her tutorial.  Then I cut out all my pieces so I could chain-piece everything together.

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Look at all those colorful geese!

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I made two different blocks for Kim with very different color schemes.  She didn’t ask for any specific colors.  She just said she wanted a scrappy look overall.  So I though my two very different feeling blocks would help with that!

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These will go out in the mail today and I hope she likes them!

Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means I receive a percentage if you make a purchase using the link (so I can fund my fabric buying habits).  🙂  All opinions are my own though!

Born to Quilt – Finished Mini

I finished my Born to Quilt mini quilt for Windham Fabrics this weekend.  I loved getting to play with their new fabric line, “Born to Quilt”, and I was also stretched outside my comfort zone with both a new color palette and some new techniques!

But you guys haven’t even seen the finished top yet!  Last time I shared this project, I only had the center section with the fussy cut quilting phrases.

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I had a lot of fun making the corners and probably over stressed what square blocks to use in them.  I really wanted something that could include a fussy cut sewing machine from one of the other prints in the line.  At the suggestion of some of my readers, I decided to go more modern instead of the traditional route I’d been thinking and I really like how they turned out!

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After finishing the top, I felt like there was too much white space down the middle of the quilt.  So I decided to use some embroidery floss to add a bit of color and decorative stitching by hand around each fussy cut saying.  Then I got everything basted together and ready to quilt!

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And soon I had my first finished mini quilt!

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“Born to Quilt” Mini
Quilt Stats:
Size: 18″ x 18″
Pattern: None.  This quilt was my own design.
Type of Quilting: Straight Line on my home machine with some decorative hand stitching
Fabric Line(s) Used: “Born to Quilt” by Another Point of View for Windham Fabrics
Date Finished: April 2014

I primarily did stitch in the ditch quilting with a little bit of straight line quilting in the string pieced triangles.  And the bright green backing fabric they provided is a fun pop of color compared to the primarily black and white front.

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I love how the binding looks too!  The black and white stripe is a perfect binding print!  And I finished attaching the binding to the quilt back by hand too – a first for me!

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Here a detail shot of the hand stitched embroidery.  I matched the DMC Perle cotton to the text of each phrase.  I think it gives a nice extra touch of color and was something I’d never tried before.  I’ll be honest, I found sitting on my couch and hand stitching made for a very relaxing evening.  I’ll have to do it more often!

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For such a sewing themed quilt, I had to take a picture of it with my sewing machine.  Although it isn’t what I made, I think this fabric line would be great for use in a sewing machine cover.  So fun!

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I’m so excited that my mini quilt will be displayed in Windham Fabrics’ booth at Quilt Market this spring!  If anyone is attending Quilt Market, I’d love it if you could take a picture of the booth (and my quilt) for me!

Target is Now Selling Fabric!

I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing but Target stores are starting to carry fabric!  A company called Fabric Editions who focuses on pre-cuts has put together a line called Fabric Loft that will be sold in Target stores.  They’ve even created a variety of free projects to go with their fabric.  Target is already a dangerous store for me to enter because I always end up buying more than I plan.

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There are currently 4 different collections in Fabric Loft: Escape, Motley, Trapeze, and Vogue.  Each collection contains 100% cotton, canvas, and burlap pre-cuts.  You can see all of them here.  My Target had 1 yard cuts of canvas ($9.99), 1 yard cuts of cotton ($5.99 – solids, $6.99 – prints), fat quarters of cotton ($1.79), 1 yard cuts of burlap ($7.99) and burlap ribbon ($4.99).

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I don’t know much about burlap so I can’t comment on its quality but the 100% cotton felt pretty nice.  It was heavy enough that it won’t be see-through like some other inexpensive fabrics and it felt like it would hold up well.  It wasn’t quite as soft as quilt-shop quality fabrics but would probably work really well for certain projects.

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The canvas felt really sturdy.  I haven’t worked with canvas before but I do have a little bit of Koi canvas in my stash for a bag I’m planning to make and the Fabric Loft canvas is definitely heavier than the Koi canvas.  I really loved the colors in the canvas they had available.  Some of them were really vibrant!

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I resisted the urge to buy some (I already have plenty on my plate at the moment) but I don’t know how long I’ll be able to hold off on trying them out.  I think they’d be good options for things like pillows, bags, etc.

You can see all the Target stores that currently carry the fabric here and if there isn’t a store near you, you can request your area for expansion.  Has anyone else seen these or maybe even gotten the chance to try them out?  What do you think about them?

Progress on Born to Quilt

I was able to cut into my bundle of Born to Quilt fabrics this weekend and start working on my mini quilt for the Windham Fabrics booth at Quilt Market.

First I jumped right in to fussy cutting the fun text print.  I wish I’d taken a picture of just the fussy cut phrases but I was so excited about making my plan work that I jumped immediately into all the quilt math to figure out how much spacing I could put between each phrase to stay within my 18″ by 18″ size requirement.  I decided to have the phrases run in a diagonal stripe across the quilt and quickly had them sewn together and trimmed down to size.

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As I mentioned last post, I really wanted to use the striped print for my binding but when I actually did my calculations, I wasn’t sent enough of that print to bind the whole mini quilt.  I decided I’d intermix some of the black chalkboard fabric with the stripes to give me enough length.  I alternated sections and put together my binding so it will be ready to go.

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Now I just have to make the corner triangle to complete my 18″ by 18″ square.  Yay for lots of quilt math!  I’ve decided to make these corner triangle out of a square quilt block and two smaller triangles, like this:

Corner Triangle

The square blocks are going to have to finish at 5.5″ so they will be pretty small.  I think I’m just going to do some scrappy stripes using multiple prints from the collection for the side triangles.  So the full corner will look something like this:

Corner Triangle Plan

I don’t know what blocks I should use for the square though.  I’m thinking I’ll do a different block for each corner.  Any recommendations? What is your favorite block (that would hopefully translate well to such a small size)?

Born to Quilt

After working two really long days both yesterday and the day before and then coming home last night to find thousands of pieces of glass all over my garage (two beer growlers exploded while I was at work), finding this lovely little bundle on my doorstep was just what I needed!

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Windham Fabrics sent me a bundle of some of the prints from their new “Born to Quilt” line (available in May 2014).  I’m going to use this new line to make an 18″ square mini-quilt for Windham Fabrics.  And guess what?  They’ll be displaying it in their booth at the International Quilt Market in Pittsburgh, PA in May!  I’m really excited!

Born to Quilt is a chalkboard-style collection and it contains some really cute prints!  Check out this fabric!  I think this print is just begging for some fussy-cutting!

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The line is mostly black with white designs (like a chalkboard).  I really like the soft polka dots.

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Windham Fabrics also sent me this fun geometric green fabric (not from this collection) to use as the backing.  And I think the striped print will make a good binding.

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I’ll be honest – all of the ideas I had come up with for this quilt got shot down when I saw the fabrics I received.  I’m used to working with bright colors but I think designing around this bundle is really going to stretch me and make me think outside the box.

Time to start designing!

More Skill Builder Blocks

I got a little bit behind on my Skill Builder BOM blocks while I was busy with other projects but I finished up two more blocks in the last few days and got all caught back up.

First up is the Machine Stitches block.

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Man were there tons of tiny seams in this block!  Just check out what the back looks like (is it bad that I think it is almost as neat looking as the front?)!

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The second block is the Chevron Star and Churn Dash block.

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I think it is kind of fun that this super modern quilt is still incorporating a couple of very traditional blocks.

Here’s how the quilt is coming along so far:

Composite of Completed Blocks

Now I just need to get caught up on the quilting of my blocks (I’ll admit – I haven’t started that yet!)!

My Mini Shopping Spree

So I’m sure many of you have been seeing the various recap posts from Sew South that are floating around the blog-o-sphere right now.  The various posts have convinced me that I really need to try to go next year!  First, you get to meet lots of other awesome quilters who understand each other’s obsessions.  And secondly, you get to make (and bring back with you) lots of really cute stuff!

One of the things from these recap posts that really caught my eye were the really cute embroidery patterns that Alison Glass taught.  So when I saw on Twitter today that Alison has added the embroidery sampler to her shop, I knew I needed to try it out for myself!  Plus, she is offering 20% off all embroidery patterns in the shop this week with code EMB20 (and shopping sprees are better when things are on sale!).

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Sew Lux put together Perle thread samplers for Sew South too and they are now carrying them in their shop too so I picked that up as well!

Clover Sunshine Perle Sampler

And since I’ve never embroidered before, I knew I’d need some kind of frame/hoop to work on the project.  I’ve heard really good things about the 11″x11″ Q-Snap frames (mainly from people raving about them in Sew South recaps) so I decided to pick up one from Amazon and try it out myself.

And since I was on Amazon and wanted to take advantage of free shipping, I needed to add a couple more things to my cart.  Of course they ought to be quilting related so I picked up a couple of books I’ve had my eye on: Simply Modern Christmas and Vintage Quilt Revival.

           

I can’t wait for my loot to arrive!  🙂  Anyone else done some impromptu shopping lately?

Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means I receive a percentage if you make a purchase using the link (so I can fund my fabric buying habits).  🙂  All opinions are my own though!