Sunday, March 31, 2013

Finished Crawl then Sprint for Color

Crawl then Spring for Color's public debut-see the bling!?!
Crawl then Sprint for Color made her public debut this past Monday for our monthly SCVQA meeting show and tell.

Afterwards, we drape our quilts in the back few rows for members to see up close during the half-time break.  I headed back to take some close ups for the guild's website/newsletter and received several compliments and questions about my quilt.  A few women wanted to know about my thread selection, as they commented the quilt sparkled!  So I shared that I used Superior Threads Glitter thread in Crystal to create some "bling."  Several were surprised that I didn't have any tension issues, until I gave away my secret technique of using it in the bobbin thread and Aurofil thread in the top, and quilted the entire quilt from the back!  It was still a bit tricky loading up my bobbins as I could only get 1/4-2/3 full before the thread would ravel and not load smoothly.
Taking a leap of faith and quilting from the back
I found this great fabric for the quilt backing that had wavy lines, so all I had to do was guide my walking foot along the bolder lines, which were space every 1" or so.  Of course, I first tested this technique using a spare block to create a sample quilt sandwich.  After zooming back and forth without any tension woes...I gave it a whirl on the full sized quilt.  After the first wavy line, I checked the front to make sure there weren't any tucks or skipped stitches...and to my relief it was perfect!  So I continued and would check again every few rows at first and then stopped checking altogether.  Amazingly enough, my thread never once snapped or presented any tension issues.  The only issue I had during the quilting phase was 100% user error as I ignored the low bobbin warning and it ran out midway through the wavy line.  Since it was end to end quilting, I just had to tuck in that one thread...which was a sweet treat!
Corner with fun border and sparkly quilting

And I found that great black and white border print...which is a bit loud in larger quantities.  But as it was only in thin strips and binding---it was just perfect!  And after visiting 2 or 3 quilt shops, I found the outer border fabric which was not only the perfect shade of purple, but it also had wavy lines to tie in with the wavy theme!  Score!

This quilt will be shown at our upcoming SCVQA Quilt Show April 20th-21st.  I finished sewing on the quilt sleeve and just need to sew on an official label.  I will need to find a more permanent place to display her at home as this is a beauty!

Crawl then Sprint for Color hanging out on a beatiful breezy day

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Panda's Scrap Nap

"Hmmmm...this is pretty cozy and comfy"
It was so nice having most of the weekend free for a quilting marathon...complete with a mini quilt shop hop in search of border and backing fabrics for my Run for Color quilt.  While I was sewing pedal to the metal at my machine, I turned around to find Panda settling herself on top of my fabric scraps for a nap!

"Ahh...much better now.  Wake me when you are done."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lego Birthday Festivities

Doug is a major AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego) to the point that he has an entire room dedicated to his hobby (not a bad arrangement:  I have my quilt studio and he has his Lego room).  So with his upcoming birthday rapidly approaching, what Lego gear or kits could I possibly get him that couldn't already be found in his Lego room?!?
Lego themed fabrics from Spoonflower

Spoonflower to the rescue!  I found some awesome Lego-themed fabrics available to make him reversible bags to purchase even more Lego gear from the Lego store (who all rave about his other reversible bags). 

The fabric arrived 3 days before his birthday, so I had to do some stealthy sewing before he came home from work or woke up in the morning.  I would look up every time a car went by, or heard anything stir--and always ready to make a mad dash to tuck everything out of sight before he ruin his birthday surprise.  Fortunately, I didn't have to resort to any drastic measures, but it was close.  

And the birthday boy sure did love his Lego-filled, Lego-themed bags!  He can't wait to show them off at the Lego store!

Sides 1:  Minifig heads and bricks
Sides 2:  Minifigs and more bricks packed with fun Lego goodies

Monday, March 4, 2013

Crawl and then Run for Color

Sampling of Run for Color Blocks
Back in April 2012, I attended Karla Alexander's Gentle Curve Piecing workshop, where I started her "Run for Color" pattern.  I quickly learned that I chose one of the more intricately pieced designs.  Several of my fellow classmates chose patterns that involved 1 curved seam, whereas Run for Color involved 6 curved seams per block!  I left the workshop having only completed 6 blocks!  Whenever I would attend Sew Days or Small Quilt groups, I would pack up my Run for Color blocks and work on a batch or two...and steadily made progress towards achieving enough blocks in each of the 6 colorways:  yellow, green, teal, blue, dark blue and purple.  And then I took a bit of a hiatus from quilting...but brought them back out on Sunday for BAMQG's Sew Day...and worked towards completing the last 4 batches of colorful blocks--totaling 24 blocks in just one day (a personal record!)

This morning I woke up super early, anxious to start laying out the blocks on my design wall.  It was so much fun watching the design bloom...although I regret not taking a picture of just the yellow blocks up on the wall...oh well!  In less than 2 hours later, I had labelled all the blocks by row/order and assembled my rows!

Step 1 and 2:  Yellow and Green

Step 3:  Teal

Step 4, 5 and 5:  Blue, Navy and Purple

Assembled Rows (which are hanging vertically for ease)
While 100% of these fabrics came from my stash--I suspect I will need to visit one of my LQS for some border fabrics, as I don't have much purple yardage in my stash. I have yet to count just how many different fabrics are included in the quilt top.  There were at least 3 sets of blocks for each colorway, but some fabrics were repeated, and then all the black & white fabrics?!?  There were ~15 blocks that were not used in the top that I plan on using in a pieced backing.  And I have some thoughts of doing some wavy lines for the quilting to mimic the movement of the curved blocks.  Oh and in case you are wondering, there are 432 curved seams in the quilt top alone.

I am optimistic that I might have this assembled, quilted and bound in time for our upcoming Quilt Show in April?!?