Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Winner, Winner, Turkey Dinner

I'm just popping in for a quick post today to announce some prize winners! Winner of the Soak giveaway is...

Comment #51, Sylvia! Sylvia, I've emailed you :)

And for the FFMQAL, the "Most creative use of feathers" prize goes to Jake Logan's entry (#5). The three top voted entries are: the butterfly with a feather meander in the background (sorry, I don't have a name!), Secretly Stitching's practice feathers that she used as lining for some handbags, and Bea's beautiful baby quilt is the top voted entry! Ladies, I've emailed you all as well.

Now, I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!! I'm off to attempt a holiday meal at a relative's house while on a paleo/Whole 30 diet.

I don't think it will end well...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November blocks for do. Good stitches

Just popping in quickly to share some do. Good stitches blocks I made this weekend.

For this month, we were asked to make something with a solid gray background and masculine color/fabric choices. Pretty open ended! I grabbed some Essex yarn-dyed linen in steel and a woven cobalt blue fabric I bought several years ago, and pulled together this log cabin block.
Remember that little teaser I showed you of a red and gray log cabin from my book? Well, I think modernized log cabin blocks can be soo masculine. I love this style! The thin strips finish at 1/4", and the thicker ones at 1/2".

And secondly, I tried out a block from Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match (affiliate link, fyi - full disclosure at bottom of site). This quilt block book is on semi-permanent loan from my mom (uh, sorry mom, I'll get that back to you....someday....).

It isn't nearly as "me", but I enjoyed sewing it all the same. The dark blue is a Parson Gray print.

Wondering about do. Good stitches? It's a charity bee, headed up by the awesome Rachel at www.stitchedincolor. Check out more info here!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Michael Miller QuiltCon Challenge - Finally started!

I know I'm not the only one who was a bit stumped with the Michael Miller pastels for the QuiltCon Challenge. They really are lovely colors, but...I don't usually use pastels. Anyway, I finally got some inspiration last week. I pulled out only the cool colors - opal, breeze, spa, and spring. I cut some 3/4" strips...

and started piecing some little log cabins.

I'm using solid white as a foundation for the piecing to help prevent distortion while pressing, since the pieces are so tiny.

I must say, I'm loving this.

It's light and delicate looking, but still interesting with the subtle color shifts. I'm using the blue color (breeze) as my main fabric, and bringing in the green, teal, and purple colors randomly. Some blocks will be mainly blue, others will boast a larger selection of the supporting colors.

Sewing these blocks takes forever - but it's simple and soothing. It feels almost meditative.

Will I finish it in time for the challenge? Unfortunately, no. But I'm glad I waited for inspiration, instead of pushing myself to make a quilt I wasn't into just for the sake of hitting a deadline.

What about you - do you find repetitive, slow piecing relaxing or maddening? Do you love working with pastels, or hate it? And do you have an entry for the Michael Miller QuiltCon challenge you can show me?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Double Edged Arrow: A Free 13 Spools Pattern

I'm excited to share another free pattern with you all today:

I think this pattern works splendidly for a boy's quilt. It can be hard to find patterns that are great for men!

I used some of my favorite prints in these blocks: Carolyn Friedlander, Parson Gray, red - yup, pretty much a recipe for amazing in my book :)

Fabric Combos:
{Parson Gray, World Tour + Michael Miller fabrics, Mirror Ball Dots}
{Michael Miller Cotton Couture, Cranberry + Aneela Hooey, A Walk in the Woods}
{Carolyn Friedlander, Botanics + Carolyn Friedlander, Architextures}
{Carolyn Friedlander, Botanics + Robert Kaufman fabrics, Yarn-Dyed Essex Linen}
I hope you enjoy the pattern! Be sure to share anything you've made with it, I'd love to see.

Linking up to Finish it up Friday

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Work in Progress: Wholecloth Feather Quilt

I've been working away for a number of hours now on my wholecloth feathers quilt! I've tried not to mention it a whole ton because, you know, everytime I look at it, it's still a wholecloth feathers quilt. I didn't want to bore you with a million blog posts on a white quilt. But I realize that in doing so, I haven't ever shown you the approach I'm taking to tackle such a large quilt!

No time like the present though, right?

Ok, so last time we left off, I was working on the feathers. I'm happy to report that all of the feathers have now been quilted!

I ended up deciding to quilt feathers moving horizontally across the quilt, with denser feathers on the left side, fading into no feathers on the right side.

I started by laying out my quilt sandwich on my bed. Now, we only have a queen size bed, but this will be a king size quilt because we got rid of our bedframe ('s amazing and drastic over here!). I wanted the quilt to drape completely down to the floor, entirely covering the sides of both the extra-thick pillow-top mattress and the box spring.

I'm making it extra large so that even after it's washed and shrinks a bit, it will still be large enough.

Once it looked fairly centered in both directions, I used my washable blue pen to mark the edges of the bed. Every time I needed to do more marking, I could easily line it back up again.

Next, I had to decide exactly where I wanted the feathers to go and how I wanted them to "fade" out. I ended up mentally dividing the bedtop into three sections (not quite thirds, as the middle section is largest). On the left side of the quilt (where it hung off the bed), the feathers would be densest. In the left section, on the top of the bed, the feathers would still be fairly dense, but less so. In the middle section, the feathers would start thinning, and the right section would be left without feathers.

{These feathers are "backwards" from the description, because I took this photo while facing the foot of the bed. So the left side and right side are switched.}

Then I drew spines for the feathers, keeping these divisions in mind. I started by marking the middle feather. Then, I marked the offshoots. I quilted this entire feather. After finishing it, I marked another feather in the same manner alongside of it - so I did not mark the spines of all my feathers at once.

I ended up having just three feathers total, with lots of offshoots, on this quilt (just three was plenty, because of all the offshoots!).

And now, I'm starting to fill in the background with this lovely rectangular meander - although I'm thinking I'll need a lot of coffee to work through it all - there is a lot of negative space in this quilt!!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday

P.S. - This is what happens when you stand on your laundry basket on top of your bed to take photos: