Thursday, February 23, 2017

Testing, Testing...

Earlier this month I was lucky to be accepted as a pattern tester for Happy Sew Lucky for a paper-pieced pattern. She was looking for intermediate level paper-piecers, and I had the courage to jump in with both feet.

I received a pdf of a whopping 17 pages long pattern, and initially started to get second thoughts about this project. But, I decided to challenge myself and continue and do my best. I have not really had that much experience with foundation paper-piecing, but with working on The Splendid Sampler blocks the last year I have gained experience with it, and now paper-piecing is one of my favorites.

 Berene of Happy Sew Lucky chose to make the Breastplate as it is one of the symbols historically to symbolize courage. I chose almost the same colors as the originals, but I changed the dark grey from a solid to a print of tiny black flowers on a dark grey background. My background fabric is not as fancy as Berene's, my low-volume stash is is not that extensive.

The instructions in Berene's pattern are very well written, and they are not intimidating at all. Yes, there is a lot to do, and the start of the pattern with piecing of the text is tedious and fiddly to some extent, but it is absolutely workable if you just follow the pattern to the point.

This is a work-in-progress shot. Thankfully, when the text was done the rest of the pieces were bigger, and less time-consuming. The pattern is well written, and it is fairly easy to get the pieces to match. Berene's instructions on how to tackle Y-seams are excellent, and I will never fear them again!

Here is the final result, the Courage Tattoo designed by Happy Sew Lucky and pieced by me.

I am very pleased with the result! This is my biggest and most complicated paper-pieced project so far, and now I am eager to expand my skills!

A detail shot of  the breastplate with the heart.

 I am so happy I had the courage to volunteer testing this pattern, it has expanded my skills to a great extent, and now I am ready to work on even more detailed and complicated paper-pieced projects.

This was fun, and thanks to Berene of Happy Sew Lucky for an excellent pattern!

I will quilt this piece and hang it on my wall to remind me that I can do whatever I set my mind to, it is just a question of COURAGE!

Keep on quilting!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Pattern Testing

Earlier this month I was  lucky to be chosen to be a pattern tester for this quilt block. The designer is Krystal from @sewshaped on Instagram.

The block was fast and easy to make, and Krystal provided excellent instructions. The pattern will soon be available at her shop as the Square One Quilt.

The pattern is perfect for strips of leftover fabric. I whipped up three more blocks when I was at it, and you can see they work well together. I will probably make more blocks at least to make a baby quilt, maybe a lap one. I have more than enough fabric...

Keep on quilting!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Another Table Runner Made

There's quite a lot of specialty rulers available for quilters, and I wonder how many un-used ones are lying around. For my own sake I have had the Mini Quick Curve Ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful for a fairly long while, and it wasn't before it was demonstrated at my quilt guild that I "dared" to start using it myself.

I started with the pattern that was included with the ruler, just to get the hang of it. I used fabrics from Connecting Threads; Birchtree Lane in brown and green, and Heather's Garden as the background print.

My frozen deck is a good background for the table runner.

The cutting of the curves was absolutely no problem, but it was kind of intimidating to get all the points to match. Next time I use it I have to try to be more accurate in the cutting/assembling process.

Nevertheless, I don't think there's anybody but me that can see the small "beauty spots" in the runner.
The birch tree outside the fence is fitting very nicely with the fabric line.

The quilt that was shown at the quilt guild meeting was beautifully quilted on a long arm, but I wanted to quilt the runner myself on my domestic machine.

I have done spiral quilting once before, on this baby quilt , and I thought that would be perfect for the inner circles. The "leaves " in green and dark brown were free motion quilted. The background outside the leaves were quilted with dense stippling such that the leaves would "pop" out to a certain extent.

The fabric on the back of the runner is the least busy of the fabrics in the Birchtree Lane line, and this one shows off the quilting very well. The picture was taken before the binding was attached, but you can see the binding fabric on the outside of the runner.

I am very pleased with my quilting on this one, and it gives me more incentive to try out even more quilting designs in the future!

Keep on quilting!

Friday, February 3, 2017

More Folded Hexagon Coasters

In December 2015 I made my first set of  Folded Hexagon Coasters. These are being used daily and are very practical in size, and they look good, too!

There was a need for a new set, but this time in a different colorway. I used six fabrics from Birchtree Lane by Connecting Fabrics.

Blue/green is my all-time favorite color combination, and the browns were added to make the colors pop. The coasters are a perfect size for any cups and glasses, as my favorite mug shows.

I used another fabric from my stash on the backside. As these coasters are made from so many layers of fabric, there is no need for batting to protect any table surface against hot or cold fluids.

An icy picnic table may not be the right place to utilize the coasters, though. This is just to get perfect outdoor pictures.

Keep on quilting!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Scrappy Debbie Mumm Beauty

My previous charity quilt made last December, shown here , used a panel from Debbie Mumm. I had another one, this time showing portraits of nine cute teddy bears, and that one also had to be the focal point of a children's quilt.

I also had a lot of novelty prints that were perfect to surround the panel.

The panel was not completely square, so I added 3" cream colored strips around it and then squared it up so I could add the squares of the novelty prints around without any construction problems.

The quilt all spread out on my porch. It measures approximately 36" x 54", and is a good-sized children's quilt. All the fun novelty prints will make it a favorite to snug under for a child.

I added a black border, and quilted a free motion design of loops and stars that fitted the fabrics well. My go-to binding for the charity quilts, an orange and multi-colored striped fabric, completed the quilt.

The playground picture shows a glimpse of the Ikea raspberry backing that I often use for the charity quilts.

A close-up of the fabrics and quilting. This completes my charity quilt number 15 to the children's ward at my local hospital. My goal for 2017 is to make a total of 6 charity quilts, I have more than enough fabrics for that!

Keep on quilting!

Monday, January 23, 2017

First Finish in 2017

This table runner has the honor of being my first finish this year. It is made completely from my stash. The fall colors of the runner matches the bare branches of my berry bush.

It is a very strange winter, 5-6 days ago we had a huge snowfall and now (almost) all of it is rained away! The very mild climate is not how it is supposed to be at this time. The only advantage is that I can use my porch and yard as a photo studio.

The back of the runner is a graphic print from Ikea.

The table runner photographed against the last pile of snow.

This is my first finish of the 2017 Finish-A-Long.

Keep on quilting!

Monday, January 16, 2017

2016 Aurifil Quilt Top

This must be some kind of a record for me, it is only the middle of January and already I have completed the quilt top for the 2016 Aurifil Designer of the Month!

The completed top was taken out for a photo shoot in the snow. The light is a little bleak, though, but the blues and the pops of color in the sashing brightens up the scene. I chose to make all my blocks in blues and white, as what the 12 different designers did.

The blocks laid out before assembling.

Grey sashing and black cornerstones added in between the blocks before auditioning borders. I chose light grey solid as the main border color, with pops of bright colors as extension of the sashing. None of the borders are the same width. I borrowed this idea from @kupitis on Instagram, and I like the modern feeling it gives to the quilt.

A detail of the quilt top.

Another picture of the top taken outside in the snow.

I will now take a little break to think about how to quilt this beauty. In the mean time there are other projects to be worked on...

Keep on quilting!