Friday, May 27, 2016

One Finished, One In Process

So excited to share with you a finished quilt! Why does it seem like it has been forever since I finished a quilt? It really hasn't been that long. I think the problem might be that I might have a few too many things on the go. . . My MO is to start quilt, finish quilt (including quilting and binding), start new quilt. That MO has slipped over the past . . . hmmm. . . might be a little longer than I am willing to admit! There are currently four quilts in my house that are various stages of quilting. . . one ditched, the Rose Linen quilt. . . remember that one??? I have not touched it in over a year! :( The Kaffe Fasset floral collage that I showed yesterday AND Pixilated Stategy is still in the flimsy stage on the guest bed. . . And the quilt I am currently working on, Kat's quilt (picture at the end of this post!). That does not include Purple Haze and Breakaway. Both need additional quilting. People, this is why I typically work on one start to finish. Once I have moved on to the next, the previous is marked in my head as 'finished' . . . I can't go project to project. It's not how my brain works. I have accepted this. What to do? Well, I thought about restricting myself to starting nothing new until I have all of these things crossed off the list. . . probably not realistic. So here's what I have decided is my goal, I finish quilting two quilts and then I can start one project. I will finish Kat's quilt and then I will either quilt Pixilated Stategy or get back to that ditched quilt and get 'er done. When those two are finished, I can start something new. Let's see how this works ;)

Sorry, you are here to see a finished quilt, huh? Well here it is!

And the back :)

And rolled up. . . OK, there is an art to this rolling thing. . . and I have not figured it out!! LOL

Did you notice? I'm thinking if you have read my blog for long you thought, "Wait, the quilting. . . it's not the usual dense intricate quilting that she usually does." Yup. I quilted this quilt in about three, maybe four hours and I love how it looks! I did curvy lines across the seams both horizontal and vertical. Then I did two curvy lines between each of the curvy lines across the seams. I didn't worry much about how consistent I was in terms of the space between the lines. There is something to be said for a quick finish in terms of quilting. It's been awhile since I finished a quilt so fast!

As for thread color, I was going to go safe. Gray. And then I said to my husband, "I think I am going to quilt this with gray thread." The immediate scrunching of his face told me that he had other ideas. :) His response was "I think blue. Cobalt blue." Really? He has chosen thread colors several times. He's been spot on every time. And I had a spool of cobalt colored blue Isacord that worked perfectly! It worked so well I even used it for the binding :)

Remember I told you that I used Terial Magic instead of starch to treat the fabric prior to cutting? It worked fantastically to pretty much eliminate any fraying. Sewing the patches together was a breeze. Quilting was a bit of another story. . . The stiffness of the top made it a bear to move through the machine. Not impossible but the stiffness of the quilt definitely gave me a good upper body workout! It was not so bad that I would never use it again. I think there are definitely projects that I would use it again. Also, this quilt went back to soft as butter after it was washed.

On to the next! I am now quilting this beauty for Kat for her CiL project! It is almost all ditched and I will start the fun stuff today :)
Isn't this just awesome??
Keep an eye open for a post on the finish for this one next week? Yup, might be next week!

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday. I'll be spending some time checking out what everyone else has finished this week!

Until next time, keep on quilting!!
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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Crafted Applique: New Possibilites Winner!

And we have a winner! Drum roll please and Mr. Random, who is our winner?
 Who is # 59? AZWendyG!!

I'll be making contact with Wendy today and will get her hooked up with Lara :)

I also want to take a moment to thank everyone that left comments on the blog hop post and welcome to all of my new followers! It was very interesting reading about your experiences have been with applique. One thing was clear, everyone was interested in a raw edge technique that would result in no frayed edges. Lara's technique can definitely do that for you!! Make sure that you check out all of the stops on the hop, there are books being given away at each stop! All of the stops below still have giveaways open! Hurry, Yvonne's ends today!

Yvonne Fuchs
Cindy Pieters
Connie Campbell
Cynthia Brunz
Jenn Trott-Zisserson
Paulette Horn
Sandra Jansen
Christine Sherman
Darlene Simmons
Giveaway Winners Announced!        

Can't wait to get your own copy? Lara has them for sale on her site. You can buy it from AQS. You can buy it on Amazon and the books are back in stock there!

You definitely need to get this book! :) I did just a little bit of quilting on the Kaffe Fasset flower collage that I showed you. Check it out!
I did a little playing and then had to get back to reality for a bit ;) I have the plaid quilt that I finished last week finished! Post coming soon! And now I am quilting Kat's fabulous Bee quilt (more on that soon too!). And I'm still working on the post about quilting Purple Haze. I'll be back soon to share that as well!

Until next time, keep on quilting!!
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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Do You Hear The Buzz? "Crafted Applique New Possibilities" Blog Hop

What's that buzzing noise coming from QBL over the past 19 days? It originated from Lara over at Buzzin' Bumble and her new book "Crafted Applique: New Possibilities"! And it is loud and well deserved! Last fall, Lara told me she was writing a book about applique and asked me if I would be willing to be a part of the hop. Ummm. . . well, yeah but I'm not into applique. Love the look. Don't love the fray, hand sewing, attempting to get blanket stitches or satin stitches just so. . . not my jam. BUT, like I said, love the look and what can be achieved (or what others seem so very capable of achieving). What if this new technique Lara has could change all of that? I'm in, what do I have to lose?! :) Oh, and make sure you read to the end, Lara has generously offered to give a book to one of my readers! YAY! Deets for the giveaway are at the end of this post!

Turns out, not only did I not lose anything, I have gained SO much!! Lara sent me a copy of the book. I immediately ripped the package open and started reading. You guys! I could not put it down. If this works like Lara says, it will open up an entirely new world!! And open up a whole new world it did! As I read through the book, one thing was clear, I was making the Cecropia Utopia project. Hands down, no questions asked and don't try to talk me out of it! LOL I told Lara I had to make it. Lara did say you don't have to do that project, there are lots of pieces. It's not a quick make. . . I do not care! Must make! :)
Picture courtesy of Lara
I gathered up the required supplies and went to a print shop and had the pattern blown up 200% as indicated. I'm ready to go! Then I started picking out fabric. . . This was the hardest part by far!! Of course I went off the reservation when it came to colors ;) Then I decided I was going to use the scrap pack that I purchased from Cherrywood Hand Dyed fabrics. Took me forever to figure out what colors. But wait. . . am I making a pillow? Something else? And then something happened. Something awesome! I started looking for the perfect background fabric. And then things got out of hand. . . How out of hand? Take a look, for yourself and see just how out of hand and how this book obviously changed my view of applique.
Feast your eyes on Purple Haze!!
Purple Haze is 60" x 27" of applique, ombre and quilting eye candy :) I will do a separate post on the quilting. There was much learned in the process. I did some bobbin work on it and honestly, will likely add more but this post is not about that! This post is about how Lara's new technique truly rocked my world!! Lara describes the process in great detail and does an awesome comparison of products. As a matter of fact, I got so confident that I jumped right in - I did not do a 'test' anything. I figured Lara had done that for me so why not go for it? LOL That bee? Yup, taken from Lara's blog! How cool is that? I had done the moth, dragonfly and butterfly (both were created by printing out the quilting motifs from Judi Madsen's book Wide Open Spaces) and was feeling quite confident in my new found skill. That's about the time when Sandra (MMM Quilts) suggested a bee. . . you know silly, as a nod to Lara. I went looking at clip art and then went DUH! Why not use the bee from Lara's blog?? :D The flowers were cut from a fat quarter of Laura Gunn fabric. I cut every flower out of that piece - it is fabulous fabric and the flowers looked watercolor painted but when I added just a bit of black over some of the gray lines that were there - total fabulousness happened!!
I am now seriously addicted to applique!! The possibilities!
OK, let's talk turkey, people. I started with the moth. I told you I jumped right in! As I worked through the pieces, it became clear that there were some errors. I was able to work through the errors but I did let Lara know. She now has an errata page on her blog. If you decided to make one of the projects in the book, make sure you check out this page for any errors that might have gotten through the editing process.
See those 'white dots' in the black on the lower part of the wing? That's sparkle from the thread that I used to do the bobbin work :)

I did not let the errors stop me! I was able to cut one of the pieces that was left off the pattern from the diagram of the entire wing. Not a problem. As I worked through the pattern, one thing became clear, AQS Publishing missed the mark in two ways with this book. First, they got a little too zealous with the editing of this book. They took out instructions that were necessary and changes were made that introduced new errors (the fabric list for the moth is a prime example) into the mix. I know Lara feels badly about the errors and has taken steps to make sure that you have everything you need to complete the projects in the book. Again, check out the errata page she has on her site to see if the project you chose to make is on the page. The second thing, IMHO, is the decision they have made to no longer include CDs with files of motifs or patterns with their books. I have several of their books that include CDs. They are invaluable! Case in point, I used the butterfly and dragonfly motifs included on the CD for Judi's book to make the awesome applique butterfly and dragonfly. I also printed those motifs out at different sizes and used them to mark the quilting on this quilt. I personally don't see the CDs as a nice to have; I see them as essential companions to the books for which they were included.

How about some more pictures?? :) Blow them up, look at those edges! NO fraying. Makes me smile!

After I had all of the pieces attached to the background, I sandwiched the quilt and started quilting. How fun is that?? I chose to go around all of the applique with mono poly thread. Do you have to? No. Definitely not. BUT, I knew I was going to do bobbin work so I had to have some outlines on the back of the quilt. There was a method to my madness ;)

Want to know what I love most about this book? Once you read this fantastic technique, the only limitation is your imagination! Lara teaches you this simple easy way to achieve amazing results and provides awesome projects for you to do but the best part is that with all of her instruction, you can use this method to make your dream applique project! I don't know about you but I truly appreciate books in which my own imagination is inspired to new possibilities. This book provides this in spades! Need more proof of that? . . . check out what happened at my house yesterday. . . .
I "picked" some Kaffe  Fasset flowers from various KF prints and put them on a piece of batik. This is just the top. I haven't quilted it. . . yet ;)
I told you, I have totally been bitten by the applique bug! Lara, you are a genius!! Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your amazing blog hop!

Now, time for the giveaway deets!! 

Lara is giving away a copy of her book to one lucky reader of my blog, international entries are welcome! Already have this amazing book? Lara is so generous, if you have already bought the book and you win in this drawing, she will refund your money!! 

Leave me a comment about your experience with applique. Love it, hate it, love/hate it, intimidated by it? Share your thoughts! Please include your email address if you are unsure about whether or not you are a no-reply blogger. That's it, one comment, one chance per person.

Can't wait to get your own copy? Lara has them for sale on her site. You can buy it from AQS. You can buy it on Amazon although they are currently sold out.

Giveaway will be open until midnight on May 24th. I will announce the winner on May 25th! Easy peasy!

Also, go check out all of the wonderful posts that have gone live to date. You can find the schedule on Lara's blog. Oh, and did I mention ALL of the bloggers on this hop are giving away a copy of the book??? Start hopping!! :)

I'll be linking up with Finish it up Friday.

Now go forth and go APPLICRAZY!!!
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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Another Diversion, Another finish...

This was finished yesterday. . . but by the time it was, so was I! :)

I got sucked in by a FQ Bundle on sale at Craftsy. Seriously, $20 for 14 fat quarters of Jennifer Sampo's fabric?? I'm in. And when it arrived (several months ago but they still have it and it is still $20.07!!) I was amazed - people, their pictures do it NO justice whatsoever. None. This bundle has been nagging at me for months. Then I found the perfect tutorial. . . Ever wonder if there is the perfect pattern that will use up every square inch of a fat quarter? Yeah, me too but ladies and gentleman, I found it!! A simple patchwork quilt. When dealing with plaid (ahem, Alycia) and polka dots, what's better?? The simple directions and a link to how to cut the fat quarter can be found at Cluck Cluck Sew. Seriously, literally slivers left of those fat quarters!!

Wondering what it looks like? Here she is! LOVE how this quilt top turned out!
LOVE! Yup, added the border, read on! ;)
Isn't it awesome? Doesn't that thin black border just set it off?? I'm sending a huge thank you and a big MWAH to Sandra for that suggestion!

My initial layout was like this:
My inner control freak was freaking out! I sent this picture to Sandra and that's when the thin black inner border idea was provided. First though, I needed to do some rearranging ;) and came up with this:

Then I cut some black fabric I had laying around (we all have black fabric laying around right? . . .) and put it up on the wall:

It would be at this point that I fell in love with this top! :D happy camper dancing might have happened!

Wanna see some more pictures? Of course you do!! ;)
And the back!
LOVE this picture!!
And one more for good measure ;)
Umm, no, I kinda didn't have the extra time to be running off on another diversion but how could I resist?? ;)

A few notes, I had 14 not 13 FQs which is what the lap size called for. I decided I would cut up all 14 and add in some Essex Linen in Black and Nautical. Again, just laying around waiting to be used ;) A few of my FQs were short in terms of being able to get enough 2.5" strips. So I just cut the Essex strips wider to make up the difference so the blocks finished at 8.5." This quilt is 66" x 74" right now. Perfect size for a large lap. I'm not sure how much Essex is in there. . . Bonus - used all of the 'scrap' pieces from making Blaze and Breakaway! :) The black strips were cut at 2", finish at 1.5".

I also used a new product. We all know I love starch. LOTS of starch and I treat (read soak) all of my fabric before I do anything with it. That's my pre-wash cycle ;) haha Anyway, I stumbled on some videos about a product called Terial Magic. Ummm, people, if you are looking for a product that will make your fabric like card stock, this stuff is the shit! Cutting this fabric was a DREAM. NO fraying and most of these fabrics are wovens - we all know how badly wovens fray! No stretching! OK, that could be a bad thing if you are sewing curves. Search the name, there are videos and it can be purchased on Amazon. I'm not affiliated in any way but let's just say a gallon might have shown up on my doorstep the other day. . . I need to do some serious lab experiments with this stuff! Oh, and the smell is not that bad and I'm pretty sensitive to that stuff.

One more thing before I go. I am putting the finishing touches on my applique wall hanging. Yes, you read that right. Applique. Lara's new book Crafted Applique is out and selling like gangbusters! That second link is to Amazon. They are currently sold out but you can still order. Lara is selling books on her site or you can go to AQS and purchase the book there. OR, go to Lara's site, see all of the amazing bloggers that have already and will be posting about her new amazing way to do applique. Each blogger is giving away a book! My day is coming, May 19! Make sure you come back. You can enter the giveaway for the book and see the rest of this. . .
That's just a small section of what started out as a pillow. . . SO much fun!! Come back Thursday to see more and to enter the giveaway!! :)

Linking up with DWM and Finish it Up Friday.
Until Next time, keep on quilting!!
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Friday, May 6, 2016

Pixelated Strategy - Finished Flimsy

This flimsy has been finished for awhile. . . I have been enduring harassment by #1 fan to post about it. I promised a post this week so I figured I better get crack-a-lackin' and get this baby posted to make good on that promise ;)

This quilt top is a diversion. I was supposed to be working on . . . hmmm, now I forget! LOL The diversion is ALL Alycia's fault. She has a thing for plaid. She makes gorgeous quilts out of them and I cannot get enough of them! She can't either. . . she is up to 20 something now? Every time I went to her blog and saw another, I got the urge to make one. . . and one day that urge was just too strong and the perfect storm hit, I had the fabric, I had the inspiration, I was between projects and I just started cutting :)

This quilt is made with Pepper Cory's Peppered Cottons and  Brushstrokes. I've had the Peppered Cottons fat quarter bundle for ages. The Brushstrokes bundle fell into my Massdrop cart quite by accident. . . as bundles often do! Now, what to do with them? And then I saw this. . . oh yeah! The minute I saw it I knew I had my inspiration! Now to figure out block size to maximize the use of those beautiful FQs :) My head hurt for awhile due to that pesky quilt math but I went with 3 inch finished squares for a 12" finished block.

A couple in process photos:
First blocks. The purple/mustard color blocks were my test blocks. But they turned out so well I left them in :)
I used the Brushstrokes fabric for the stars and the Peppered Cotton for the background of the stars.
Do you ever change your pictures to black and white to see if you are on the right track for distribution? I typically do this a couple of times during the process.
I strip pieced the 16 patches, very quick! And I chain pieced everything :)

Final layout.
Final layout and all sewn together. . . to border or not to border?
Border. . . more border? At this point I decided I would likely put this quilt on the guest room bed. More border required :)
Alycia does this really cool thing where she puts blocks in a portion of the border of some of her quilts. Love that look! So I decided to give a whirl. The border fabric is Essex Linen, Nautical.
All sewn together! This quilt is TOO BIG for my design wall. Between that and not wanting to take the chance of stretching this top much, I did not take it outside to attempt pictures.

Yes, the pictures suck but I promise, when this quilt is quilted - it will be overly photographed :)
The flimsy is still on the bed. I have been diverted from my diversion. . . I quilted two quilts for Kat's CIL charity, working on a project for the blog hop for Lara's book "Crafted Applique" (click the link for the hop schedule, my day is May 19th!) and I have another top to quilt for CIL that I am seriously excited about! Busy, busy over here!

Linking up to Finish it up Friday! Check out the fab finishes of the many who link up!
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