MCM #93 – Gravity Quilt

Now that the latest version of Floating is finished, it’s time to move on to the next project on my To Do list. I was excited to see that my next project will be ‘Gravity’ by Jaybird Quilts.

You may remember that earlier this year I was asked to make ‘Cookie Cutter’ and a pillow using the Alphabet Soup pattern. I also used the Alphabet Soup pattern to make Jenny’s wall hanging.Β  I have to be honest, before I made those I wasn’t thrilled about Jaybird’s patterns. All those angular shapes! And having to purchase special rulers to make their patterns griped me. (Disclosure: I’ve since found that templates can be used, but no way I was doing that!)

But when I was at the AQS show in the spring, I bought the SideKick ruler. And you know what, it didn’t hurt much at all! πŸ™‚ I have also added the Hex n’ More ruler to my collection and I’m happy to have both of them. Now I can whip up those Jaybird patterns and I love making them.

In 2018, I’ll be teaching Gravity as a block of the month program at the local quilt shop. So it is time for me to get the quilt made so people can see what the finished quilt will look like.

Yesterday I started cutting pieces for three of the blocks. There are nine colorful blocks, with each block made in two different colors. Here are the pieces for Block 1:

Gravity Quilt Block 1I am cutting two of each colorway for each block. One block will be pieced so I can make the quilt. The second block will be used when I start teaching the BOM program. Look at this – I’m feeling so organized right now!

Precutting Gravity Quilt BlocksHere is Block 1 and Block 7 hanging on the design wall:

Gravity Block 1 and 7

Block 1 and Block 7

I had a good time playing in my sewing room yesterday.Β  These blocks go together faster than one would think. The most time consuming part of the process is pressing out the fabric I’m using, and then making decisions on which six colors to use in each block. Once that decision is made, cutting and assembly goes quickly.

I just have to share with you a shot of the wastebasket in my sewing room. Nothing is better than playing with fabric and nibbling on some chocolate – right??

Scraps and ChocolateToday it’s back to work with lots of customer quilts to work on. I’m up against a couple of deadlines, so I’m working hard to make the best use of my available time. Tuesday night starts a new Beginning Quilting class; I’m excited to introduce more people to this fun craft!

These wonderful things are what I’m crushing on this week – what about you? What has you excited to be in your sewing space on this Main Crush Monday? You can link any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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Look at this – Two in a Row!

Bet you didn’t expect to see another Friday Finish from me so soon, but surprise! – here it is!

Floating in Alison Glass

Isn’t it lovely? I’m soooo happy with this quilt. I love everything about it.

You guys know I was struggling to make a decision on how to quilt it. I’m always inspired by Angela Walters and thought I wanted to do something like she would do. But time constraints and a heavy workload meant I really needed to be a bit more concise.Β  After much sketching, deliberating, and waffling about I decided to keep the quilting simple and quilted straight lines about an inch apart. My longarming friend Liz encouraged me to do what felt right for me and her words were just what I needed to make a decision.

I’m glad I went with my gut. Straight line quilting gives a quilt such a modern feel, and when combined with these fabrics and this pattern it all works together fantastically (is that even a word??)

Floating Quilt in AG Fabrics

I have wanted to use metallic thread on one of my quilts for a while now, and I found the perfect Superior variegated metallic silver. Guess where? In my thread stash!! All of us have a thread stash, right? I think it’s a natural extension of my fabric stash….

All the colors in the quilt are in this thread. It’s as if it was made specifically for the AG version of Floating! I wish I could capture the way the thread shines.

Closeup of Quilting

There’s just the tiniest glint of sparkle when the quilt is moved. I was worried it might be too loud, but the look is very subtle.

Quilting with metallic thread on the longarm was a bit of a learning curve. The top tension needs to be lowered, and I had to stitch a lot slower than I’m used to. I’ve used metallic thread in my Sweet Sixteen and didn’t have nearly the tension issues as I did on my Fusion. I didn’t get a picture, but there were about 1-1/2 rows where the tension was so loopy on the back. Because of all the loops it was easy to unpick those rows and re-stitch them. It was a bit of a pain, but I would do it all again because I love the look.

In order to include as much AG fabric in the quilt as I could, I used the golden fabric from the Diving Board line for the back. It looks, and feels, so scrumptious. IΒ almost caved and bought a generic wide-back from the quilt shop, but common sense immediately prevailed. Alison deserves better than generic backing!! The binding is the same gray fabric as the background.

Binding

As you can see from the two pics below, fabric choice really dictates the look of Floating.

See how different?

It feels almost like bragging to say how much I like this pattern. But then again, it’s my pattern and no one should love it more than me, right? πŸ™‚ I am working on having printed copies in booklet form soon – I can’t wait!

I hope you have a great weekend. I’m linking up this week to Myra’s Finished or Not party, and Amana Jean’s Finish It Up Friday. Check out all the other great finishes!

 

 

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MCM #92 – Baby Quilts and Clearing the Clutter

I’ve beenΒ  in a ‘get it done, move it out’ kind of mood lately. This sounds bad, but I have so many projects started, and have so much fabric thrown all over the sewing room that I can’t stand it. Projects and stacks of fabric have started creeping into Anthony’s bedroom and are even making their way into my living room. It’s driving me crazy and it has to stop!

(Did that sound like the rant of a crazy woman?? Probably more like a very overwhelmed woman…)

I finally decided to take control of the situation, start finishing some things and move them out of my house.

I started with a stack of baby-size quilt tops that I promised our local Quilts for Kids group I would quilt. They’ve been piled in Anthony’s closet for a while now. Why? Who knows. They got put in there and I forgot about them until I needed room in the closet. It’s time to get them done and to the kids where they belong.

So I loaded them on the frame and quilted them up. It was a good opportunity to practice a few quilting motifs like loopy flowers and big swirls.

FMQ Swirls

Big swirls – love the texture!

FMQ Swirls quilting detail

Those swirls still need some work but they’re getting better.

Speaking of big swirls, do you follow @rubybluequilts on Instagram? If you like to see pics of beautiful free motion quilting you might want to check her out. She does all her quilting freehand and her work is amazing. She makes the prettiest swirls.

I’d love for you to follow me on Instagram too. I’m almost to 600 followers – when I get there I’m having a giveaway, you know, to move out more fabric!

For now, back to the baby quilts:

Baby Quilts

I finished this stack of quilts and they are ready for delivery. There’s another one that somehow didn’t make it into the picture.Β  Only one has binding, but there is a lady in the group who loves to bind quilts and so she gets to do them. I love that! Quilt them up and send them on their way!

I’m also delivering a stack of flannel I bought from JoAnn’s one Black Friday a couple years ago, and a bolt of Minky my friend Julie found for me. These fabrics will be perfect for the group to use on more quilts. So everyone wins! The kids get quilts, the group gets fabric, and I get a little less clutter.

I still have a few of these baby tops to quilt, but I feel good about the progress I’ve made. Hopefully, this mood I’m in continues for awhile and I’ll get more projects finished!

In other news, I was hoping to show you progress on my Alison quilt but there is none. None! Sigh. Life jumps in sometimes and redirects my plans and that is exactly what happened on Friday. But the good news is that it is loaded on the machine and I’m ready to start quilting. And, I have a quilting plan! πŸ™‚

Clearing out some of these projects and fabric is my crush for this week’s Main Crush Monday. What’s yours? I’d love to hear about what you’re working on and what has you excited to be in your sewing room this week – here’s how you can link up:

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It’s a Friday {Flimsy} Finish!

It’s been soooo long since I’ve had a Friday finish to share – I can’t even remember how long! So I decided to search my blog to find out exactly how long it has been. June 9th, people! Over 4 months since my last Friday finish. Hmm…. I gotta work on that….

(If you want to see what it was, hop on over to read all about it. I won’t blame you if you’ve forgotten what it was. πŸ˜‰ )

Anyway..

With only a couple of seams left to sew on the Alison Glass version of ‘Floating’ since I last posted, it seemed likely that I would have a finished flimsy soon.Β  And by golly, I got it done!

Floating patternI am smitten with this quilt, and it isn’t even quilted yet. I love the fabrics so much, I’ve been calling it the Alison quilt. When I said something about ‘Alison is done’ in the quilt shop the other day, one of the girls thought someone named Alison finished her quilt. Haha!

Floating PatternI hope to load this for quilting later today – I just have to get the backing put together. I still have no idea how I’m going to quilt it, but I know inspiration will hit. Hopefully sooner rather than later. πŸ™‚

But wait – there’s more!

I have a second finish to share with you today. I know! Hold on to your pants! I didn’t piece the quilt, but one of my customer’s did. She then graciously allowed me to quilt it. I like this quilt so much I don’t want to give it back.

Barn Quilt

When I started quilting I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I started with feathers in all the dark brown chevrons. I love feathers but am not 100% comfortable quilting them, so I want to push myself to do them when I can. I used a thread color that blended well so mistakes aren’t as easily seen. But the blending thread can be a bit of a curse too because it makes it so difficult to see the quilting.

Feathers FMQThey feathers show really well here – I took this picture outside with the sun shining from the side. Most of the feathers look really good, a few of them are wonky. But I’m getting more comfortable stitching this design and will keep on keeping on!

In the other areas I used a stipple and figure 8’s. I’m happy to say I had no tension issues. Which is a very good thing because I used a dark brown thread on the back and a cream colored thread on top.

I had originally planned on doing a more dense design in the barn panel squares. But the customer wanted a quilt that was soft and cuddly so I ditched my plan and did the stippling instead. It was a good decision.

FMQ Figure 8's feathers

For the borders, I used one of my favorite designs – piano keys. I just love the look of them!

piano key border fmq

This quilt was such a pleasure to work on. It was almost perfectly square and there were no waves, puffy blocks, or any other wonky issues. I had so much fun.

Here’s another pic – just because:

Barn Quilt

I’m excited with these two finishes. Maybe I’ve got some of my quilting mojo back! Oh, and I also finished the quilting on a baby quilt for our local Quilts for Kids group, but didn’t take a pic. So technically – THREE finishes for the week. Whew! I’m tired! πŸ™‚

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and have some finishes of your own in your very near future. I’m going to share my finishes on Finish it up Friday, and Myra’s Finished or Not Friday party. Hop on over to see all the amazing projects!

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MCM #91 – Playing Catch Up

Progress has been made in the sewing room, unfortunately I don’t have many new pics to show you. But I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to this past week.

I was able to finish quilting a couple of customer quilts. They have been delivered and the clients are happy with them. I always feel a little sliver of anxiousness when they see their finished quilts, until they tell me they are happy with the way they look. That anxiousness is a good thing, right?

The last quilt I worked on was made of embroidered blocks and the only request from the customer was to make it look good. Ouch! Having free rein over the quilt design sounds good, but can sometimes be pretty stressful. The middle block was full of embroidered flowers and leaves and measured 33″ wide by 45″ high. It was a BIG block!

I didn’t want to quilt over the embroidery, but had to do something to stabilize the block. I finally landed on a loopy meander design and it worked perfectly.

I forgot to take a picture of the finished block. I stitched the design around and among the leaves and flowers using a pale pink thread which blended beautifully. I was happy with the way it turned out and more importantly, so was the client. I’ve got to do a better job taking pictures of the finished quilts!

On my personal projects, I have two seams left to sew on my Alison Glass ‘Floating’ quilt and the top will be finished. Yay! (Read more about it here) I had hoped to get those seams done last week but went out of town for several days instead. Traveling really cuts into my quilting time! πŸ™‚

I’m looking forward to quilting Floating and will have to work it into my quilting schedule. Quilting time is booking up with Christmas orders, so I’ll have to be sure to save a time slot for myself!

Oh, I almost forgot – I ordered Teresa Silva’s Longarm Quilting Workbook and it was delivered last Wednesday. I was really excited to add this to my quilting library.

If you are new to free motion quilting you might like to have this book. Teresa shares a lot of quilting motifs, and information on longarm machines. Even though the book is written for longarmers, it can easily be used by anyone who quilts on a sit-down or domestic machine.

I have seen all the motifs before so there’s nothing new there. But what I really liked about this book is how Teresa breaks down a whole cloth quilt and walks us through creating our own. I’ve spent some time sketching and practicing. I can’t wait to take these practice sessions to the machine and work on a real quilt.

That’s it for me and my quilting adventures of last week. This week I have a class to teach, a guild meeting, two customer quilts I’d like to get done and of course, I’d like to finish the Floating flimsy. Our nephew is getting married, so there will be a fun wedding to attend. Sounds like a busy week!

Now let’s hear about your projects! You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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