Wednesday, August 21, 2013

All Stars

My first fussy cut star ready for applique
I've been very disciplined with wrapping up UFOs from 2012 and earlier.  And after finishing 3 UFOs in 3 weeks, I decided it was time to start a new project!  I purchased a fun new template to create 5-point applique stars.

I pulled out some fun fabrics that had symmetrical designs that could be fussy cut to create radiating stars.  Using hinged mirrors, I was able to get a preview, but the finished star was even more awesome!!!  Using a half yard of fabric, I was able to create 4 different sized stars, leaving swiss cheese behind!

Escargot quitling close up

Once the stars were appliqued on, I was ready for some FMQing.  I knew I wanted to try Leah Day's escargot motif, but I had hoped to create some shooting star effects.  But the swirls were very addicting and I just couldn't work out the shooting star effect.  But I still love the escargot look and it was great practice.

I also wanted to quilt some details in each of the stars using Superior Threads glitter thread.  I had some difficulties with tension as the thread kept snapping, which was super frustrating.  But despite the tension woes, I love the spark effect created.

Starry Close Ups

Here are some pics of the backing and close up of the quilting from the back.  These stars are lots of fun and I have a stack of fabrics that are all contenders for more starry quilts...stay tuned.  Until then, here are pics of the finished mini quilt...

And the big reveal...
All stars--Skippy freshly groomed!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Whimsical Whirligigs

January Happy Hour Goodies
Back in January, I visited my Happy Place (the Granary Quilt Shop) for Happy Hour, which included this fun jelly roll and the Pom Pom Parade pattern.  I picked up some fun black and white printed fabric for use in the background and I already had yardage of one of the fabrics included in the jelly roll.  I tried to tuck it away and be strong with my New Year's Resolution of focusing on tackling my UFOs.  But these fabrics just beckoned and in a moment of weakness, I simply pulled them out and started to sew strip sets and cut up 60-degree triangles!  

Everything was fine until I decided to deviate and add borders.  And then it became a UFO for several months until I could figure out the border situation, and another few months to figure out the quilting.

The finished quilt was well worth the wait as I worked out some of these design decisions.  I decided to go with some asymmetrical borders using the fun fabric, and balancing it out using a small swatch for binding in the opposite corner.

After cutting the triangles, I had almost 8-9" of scraps, which were sewn together for use in the quilt back!   And one leftover whirligig made for a great quilt label!

Quilting on the Reverse Side

For the quilting--I still had the muscle memory of quilting petals along an isometric grid.  And then I did some echo stitching in the black borders and hemmed and hawed about doing some free motion quilting in the printed border section.  

I finally gave in figuring it was a small section and I could always rip it out.  It turned out to be a great decision and proved to be lots of fun just doodling along the motif!  It also gave me the confidence to try FMQ on a larger project!
Close Up of my FMQ Doodling along the motif!
My quilting worlds collide:  FMQ and Walking Foot

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fluttering in the Wind-Butterfly One Block Wonder

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was so excited about my One Block Wonder quilt class that I worked on a second OBW quilt using a beautiful butterfly motif fabric.  I stacked, cut triangles and assembled half hexies for two different quilts as part of my homework in preparation for the second class where we laid out the quilt design.

It took a while to assemble all the rows and columns, and then to figure out borders.  I visited a local quilt shop in search of border fabrics.  The first time around, I found a beautiful cobalt blue for an inner border...but nothing for a larger spinning border.  On my second tour, I found the most amazing fabric, I have no idea how I missed it on my first pass by?!?  It contained all the colors and even the white dots on black seen on several of the butterfly wings.  Simply perfect!

I duplicated the same quilt motif from the Koi OBW...which I still love!  And because I had already developed the muscle memory, the quilting went super fast for this quilt--just a few sessions to cover each seam.


For the backing, I had quite a bit of yardage of this large flower fabric.  It was originally purchased from Joann's but is extremely soft and has a lovely drape.  My mother sent me a bunch of her fabrics and she too had quite a bit of yardage of the same fabric, plenty to create a full backing.

And for the final reveal of my Butterfly OBW...

Friday, August 2, 2013

Koi Fish One Block Wonder

Panda checking out the length of Koi fabric
I've always admired OBW quilts and longed to make one of my own.  After purchasing all the books, mirrors and even the fabric, I decided it was best to wait until I took a OBW class to learn how to properly layer and cut the fabrics to achieve the kaleidoscopic look.  And just under a year later from the class, I have finally finished my first OBW quilt!!

Even though the bulk of the quilt is just one fabric, there are lots of seams to sew, pin and press (I think I went through an entire bottle of Maryellen's Best Press on this quilt top!!)  Then I took some time to find the perfect borders and figure out the quilting design.  But they were all well worth the wait...
The perfect border fabric...amazing!!

I auditioned a giant stack of fabric from my stash in search of the perfect borders.  None seemed quite right for this quilt and I was about to give up and tuck the quilt away for a few more weeks.  But first one last search, and much to my delight, I found this great Kaffe Fassett polka dot ombre fabric that miraculously contained all the colors from the Koi fabric!  It was simply amazing and I went to work cutting it up and attaching my spinning borders.

I purchased the original length of OBW fabric at full price, but months later saw the same fabric on I got a bit more that I used with the quilt back flanked with some light blue circles/bubbles.  

As usual, I was unsure how to proceed with the quilting.  Using the isometric grid created by the equilateral triangles, I used my walking foot to stitch gentle curves along each triangle seam, creating flower petals.  And then I simply quilted the ombre borders as each color transitioned to better define the colorways.  This was fairly dense quilting for me and I was surprised at how many tv shows it took to complete the quilting!  But I love the finished design and texture achieved!  

Front:  Quilted flower petals using isometric grid
Back:  Interlocking Flower Petals
Koi Fish OBW Quilt
Tiny detail:  For the OBW quilt class, we were tasked with cutting up and assembling half hexies as homework between our first and second/final session.  I was so enthusiastic about this technique that I went home and finished my homework on the Koi fish quilt, and went on to layer, cut and assemble a set of half hexies for a second OBW quilt using a glowing butterfly fabric.  The quilt top is done, basted and cued up for stay tuned!