Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Who Doesn't Love Options?

My Jeweled Kaleidoscope quilt pattern is now in the hands of my pattern testers, and I'm really loving seeing so many takes on the same block! Be sure to check out what's happening on Instagram (#jeweledkaleidoscopequilt)... everyone has their own signature style and favorite fabrics. Oh, by the way... did I happen to mention that my pattern comes in two different sizes and an optional version?

The pattern is also available in a 18" mini size, which is perfect for pillows, wall hangings, etc. This pillow is for my living room and I love it! This is not only the mini version, but also the optional version without the circle appliques. (I realize that applique is perhaps not everyone's cup of tea)

I've been working a lot in EQ7 and playing around with different color variations, which is where I originally came up with this warm color version on a dark Essex linen background. I think it really takes on a totally different look, don't you?

So, from there, I thought it would be fun to see what the same mini looks like in cool colors... hmmm, I think I might be onto something here. The advantage of such a program, is that it's so much fun working with your stash fabrics without making a mess!

My Jeweled Kaleidoscope quilt is set to release October 12th, so stay tuned for more projects from my first quilt pattern!

Linking up this week to Let's Bee Social

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Finished Edge Foil Applique VIDEO!

Every quilter has their own list of favorite and least favorite techniques for finishing quilt blocks. I have always loved applique, but what I have not always loved is a zig-zag finish. Many of the quilting techniques that I've explored have been my attempt to have a clean, finished egde when I applique: thus the reason you see so much freezer paper and reverse applique projects at the top of my list.

Sometime ago, I had stumbled onto Anna Maria Horner's technique for finishing circles... can I just say brilliant?!? I used this method to finish the circles in my to-be-released Jeweled Kaleidoscope pattern (October 12th), and you may remember my Facing East quilt. While I was writing the instructions for my pattern, I decided that I wanted to do a video of this technique, firstly as a reference to go along with my pattern, and secondly because often seeing something demonstrated can make a world of difference on how much head scratching goes on while trying to figure it out.

So, what's your favorite applique method?

 Linking up with Let's Bee Social

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Jeweled Kaleidoscope Pattern Reveal!

Sometimes when you've been working on something so intensely with no end in sight, once the light at the end of the tunnel moment comes, it's hard to believe when you actually make it out on the other side at the finish line! I've teased, hinted, and showed little sneak peeks for so long, that I can tease and hint no more... now I can finally share my very first pattern - Jeweled Kaleidoscope!

I have to admit that it's been really hard to keep a project like this under wraps! Behind the scenes there is so much going on that can't be shared which gives the appearance of not much going on. Well, the cat's out of the bag and I'm now ready to talk about it... a lot!

The quilt is a combination of foundation paper piecing and applique, and was my first quilt that I sent out to be quilted. If sending your kids off to college is anywhere on the same level as sending off this quilt, then it appears that I really have some work ahead of me!?!

Iva did such an amazing job on the quilting and I couldn't be more pleased. We kicked around several design ideas before we decided on the final quilting... talk about her being patient with this picky customer!?! I really love how she highlighted the circle applique with some incredible ruler work.

The next step is the pattern testing phase and a planned official release in the next 3-4 weeks. I am looking for pattern testers, so if you're interested, then let me know (and if you've tested for anyone before). Now that the silence has been broken, and I can't wait to share more with you over the next weeks!

Linking up to Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Such A Tease

Did anyone ever tease you in school? We've all been teased, and when it happened it wasn't always fun... but sometimes the person that did the teasing might have done it because they actually liked you. Pause... hmmm, with that being said, what do you think about just a little teasing today? I'm certainly hoping that this is the kind of teasing that you like!

I am in the home stretch of completing my first pattern and hope to share it next week! (eekk!) On such an endeavor, there is always so much behind the scenes things that have to be done before hitting that official launch button. On one hand it's a great feeling of satisfaction to be so far, but what that actually means is that I have been on the computer a lot more than at the sewing machine these days. On the plus side, my EQ7 program and I have gotten to know each other quite well, but as with all relationships, there are some days that you like each other and some days that you don't.

This is my first quilt to be quilted by someone else. Just look at the amazing quilting that Iva at Schnigschag Quilts and More did on my quilt... absolutely stunning, don't you think? Another first is that this is the first backing that I have not pieced. Somehow when I thought about how I wanted to finish this quilt, there were no questions asked... this Tula Pink "Freefall" wideback fabric was the ONLY thing that in my mind was the perfect fit.

So, for the official status of things: Quilt is quilted? - check. First draft is finished? - check. Paper pieicng templates finished? - check? Binding and photos are planned for this week and I still am working on some shop issues... I can see the light at the end of the tunnel... can you?

Linking up to Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Woodland QAL - the FINISH!

How many quilters out there find themselves wowed and awed when admiring the work of a really, really, and I mean really good free motion quilter? After all the ohhhhing and awwwing, the progression of things seems to shift to start comparing it to your own work, often self confidence is too quickly washed down the drain.

I know that practice makes perfect, but I have come to the conclusion, that I really don't like freem motion quilting... that is to do it myself. My grand ideas to practice some free motion on a smaller quilt, quickly came to a halt when I finished the first row of leaves on my Woodland quilt. Quick, quick, I've got a pressing deadline on this one resulted in shifting to wavy line quilting, but I couldn't drop the idea of incorporating leaves in the overall quilting design. It hit me that on such a small quilt, it was still doable with a walking foot!?! Ok, so there would be a little bit of turning, but still doable.

I think what I am most proud of on this quilt finish is that it a.) it pushed me to incorporate some unfinished blocks for a finished project and b.) I used mostly scraps on the blocks, the background, and the binding... it's a great feeling to use what you have from those scrap bins!

Quilt: Wooland Friends
Blocks: Mini Woodland Bundle from Tartankiwi, Forest Floor from Lillyella's World, reverse applique leaves from Campbell Soup Diary
Started: August 2016
Fabrics: Basic Grey grunge and various stash scraps. Low volume background fabrics. 

Backing: Various scraps
Finished quilt size: ca. 48 x 60 in. (122 x 152 cm)

Do you end up comparing yourself to other quilters? Do you find it discourages you when you are not able to master a certain technique?

Linking up with Let's Bee Social, Sew Cute Tuesday. and Scraptastic Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hot Off The Press Finish!

Can you feel the steam radiating out of your computer screen? When I say that this quilt top is literally hot off the press, I really am not exaggerating! I had planned to have this top finished early in the week, but a weekend cold that just doesn't want to leave has been tagging along way longer than is should have!

I decided to add two more reverse applique leaf sets, which was a nice on-the-couch-with-a-cold project. It felt like it added more interest and a certain balance to the quilt. 

I really dug deep into my scrap bins on this quilt and essentially let my scraps dictate the layout of this quilt. It was a challenge working with so many different sizes and shapes, but also a welcome change that I didn't really have to worry about matching seams.

Now that the challenge of the random and unbalanced piecing is behind me, I'm ready for the next biggie...  I'm planning to do a little FMQ on this!?! I've really only done FMQ on smaller projects and haven't really tackled a quilt, but since this is a relatively small, I thought it would be the best project to get a little practice on.

So essentially I have until Sunday to have this quilted and bound because only finished projects qualify for the Woodland QAL. I generally don't like to take on quilting projects when there is a pressing deadline. Sometimes I find that if I work on a project where my brain is on another project, it robs me of the creative freedom and inspiration to make it exactly how I was inspired.

What about you... do you find that your creativity is surpressed by short deadline on a quilting project?

Linking up to Let's Bee Social

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Design Wall Shuffle

I'm busy checking things off my goals list, and while I really like to add things to that list, I think I like it even better to check things off. One major check mark this week was finishing my Jeweled Mystery quilt top... can you believe that I've finished a whole quilt top, sent it off to be quilted, and really have shared practically little to nothing here?!? All in time... all in time.

But my next deadline is lurking, and now I'm wanting to go a direction that I've never really been before with the blocks that I shared last week... and that is to finish a baby quilt with a lot of negative space. 

Negative Space... there's that scary word that makes me cringe all the way to my toes trying to come up with ideas to quilt this, but I really want these adorable blocks to be highlighted and the focal point. My plan is to incorporate various low volume scraps into the background as well as a creme Basic Grey grunge fabric.

So far I've combined the individual blocks into a larger color block by adding Basic Grey grunge in a complimenting color, and added a reverse applique climbing leaves block. For this, I essentially used multiple print outs from my "Mini Foliage" template, and simply finished every other leaf. I think that this might need a second set of leaves, and I am still playing around with the placement.

Here I switched the leaves to a vertical position instead of horizontal. I think one vertical and one horizontal set of leaves might be a nice balance.

Is"Negative Space" a scary word for you too, or do you thrive on counting the ways to fill it up?

Linking up to Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Pulling A 180

Sometimes you find necessary that you just have to make something right then and there because inspiration hits you like a ton of bricks. To hesitate, means that it's too late... somehow if you don't jump at just the right moment, then the window of opportunity is gone.

I've been working almost exclusively on my Jeweled Mystery quilt, and working so intensely on a project it's sometimes difficult to stay on task. I even have a deadline of when the quilt top needs to be sent out, but sometimes having a creative "breather" is the best thing to re-group before a final push.

You may remember these sweet paper pieced Forest Floor mushrooms that I pattern tested for Lillyella's World a while back. I really enjoyed making them, but once I had finished them, I wasn't quite sure how to put them to good use. 

... BUT when I saw the Woodland QAL contest that Tartankiwi is running on Instagram, it was a drop everything moment for me... I didn't want to miss my window, right? I started thinking that a marriage of the two paper pieced blocks were a match made in heaven.

Both pattern sets are extremely well done, and I thrive on a pattern where I really think about fabric placement. These Cori Dantini acorns are just perfect for this little furry friend, don't you think?

Hands down, the bunny block is my favorite. When I saw it, I knew that my bunny had to be done up in Kraft paper Basic Grey grunge. Solids really aren't my thing, but I think that grunge fabric just adds so much more depth to a project.

My husband jokes that this last block has to be my favorite... especially since he calls me his "little house mouse". Using various low volumes for this scurrying, tiny friend was my favorite part of this block.

I've played around with a few layouts with these blocks, but with an August 28th deadline for a finished project, I don't have much time.

Linking up this week to Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Secrets Come In Two's

When I said that I was doing a lot of secret sewing, I really wasn't kidding!?! My Jeweled Mystery quilt top is almost finished and will go out soon to be longarm quilted - my first quilt to be finished by someone else! If you don't know Iva's work, then you really need to check her out here... just amazing! 

Well, now that the cat's out of the bag that I'm working on writing quilt patterns, I can let you in on a few behind the scenes in the works. The second pattern that I am working on really is a little bit of everything - traditional piecing, paper piecing, applique, and curved piecing... is there anything that I left out?!?

... and what's a good quilt block without a little bit of mini cuteness in the mix? 1 1/2 inch HST cuteness to be exact.

It's been fun for me to explore a variety of time saving techniques to make things come together faster... like this great HST tutorial that I found on Pinterest... why re-invent the wheel, right?

Hmm... trimming HST's in not exactly my favorite part, but a necessary evil that now matter how hard you try, you just can't get around.

Aside from our move, our big guy starts school this Saturday, and we have been enjoying the relaxed, off-schedule summer days. Despite the slow pace of things, I'm sooo ready to make it back to my sewing room!

Linking up to Let's Bee Social.
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