Saturday, May 16, 2015

From Hell to Breakfast: Blogger's Quilt Festival

Quilting has made me much more observant. I notice things now that I never used to. I notice how the windows in the Habitat ReStore near our house make the most fascinating, asymmetrical log cabin quilt blocks. I notice colors and shapes in the landscape....and I notice public places where I could take some great quilt photos! I spotted this old truck in a parking lot behind the Eagles Lodge where we basically live during the Fish Fry/Lenten season. I thought it would be a great place to get a good shot of this quilt. I was wrong.

It turned out to be a great place to get a photo of my husband! I've held up my fair share of quilts and I know how sore it makes my shoulders, so I try to be mindful of his arms when he holds for me. I had my shot ready when he had to take a break. I think I'll frame this one.

My own arms got pretty tired when I quilted this one. I started quilting a radiating square in the center of the focal point. I did it with my walking foot, so every time I got to a corner I had to shove the quilt around in my machine to turn it. It was a pain, but I am happy with the result.

I did have *some* fun with the quilting. There aren't a lot of perfectly straight lines in the piecing, so I tried to echo that idea when I quilted it. Every once in awhile I purposely put a giant wiggle in the lines. I tried to do it often enough so that everyone would know it was on purpose and that I hadn't just sneezed. The result is organic and interesting. I quilted this with Aurifil #2452 (dusty rose) on the top and Aurifil #5011 (rope beige) for the back.

The back is pieced with the scraps I had left from making the quilt top. Lately I have been thinking of more efficient ways to store my scraps and I've come to the realization that one of the best solutions is to use them. I am full of other profound insights, should anyone require them.

Here is my original post, back when From Hell to Breakfast was a quilt top entry to the Pantone Quilt Challenge.

Linking up to Amy's Creative Side.

Blogger's Quilt Festival: The Lovely Woods

Last year I was lucky enough to participate in the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. I had just barely started this blog and I learned so much from the other participants. I also got the chance to join my first bee. I started worrying about what block I would have others make for me months in advance. I had Gwen Marston's Minimal Quiltmaking book on my nightstand and was inspired by her beautiful tree on the cover. I referred my bee mates to the Free Pieced Tree Tutorial on Pinkadot Quilts. For some of my bee mates, this was their first attempt at improvisational quilting.

I received blocks of many different sizes, so my first challenge was to set them. I used graph paper to help me. I set my outer boundaries for the quilt to finish at 96" x 96" and roughly drew in outlines of where I wanted the trees, birds and sparkly stars to appear. As I constructed the quilt, I chose trees that were similar in size to my sketched boundaries and either trimmed or added more to arrive at the size I had made on my scaled piecing map. I made the background in slabs using my piecing map as a guide for dimensions. I marked off sections that I had completed with a highlighter as I went, or I would show a picture of my map. The good news is that it helped me end up with a queen size improv quilt that is square.


Here is the link to my original post on The Lovely Woods. I talk a little bit more about the story behind the quilt and the way I set it. Also, I had a lot of feedback about the little birds from this quilt. I didn't feel quite finished with them either, so I made another bird quilt, Red Letter Day and also wrote an Improv Bird Tutorial.

My bee mates:
Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs
Pam at Sewing Wilde
Lin at Lin's Quilts
Debbie at Quilting Makes My Heart Sing
Christina at Wips and Tuts
Kate at Thread Everywhere
Afton at Quilting Mod
Stephanie at Late Night Quilter

There is another round coming up for the New Quilt Bloggers. If you have been blogging for less than two years, please consider joining. The information I received was invaluable. I also will be lurking along this year because I feel like I still have so much more to learn! Signups start on May 18th.

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Linking up to Amy's Creative Side.