Saturday, April 30, 2016

Rain Ripples - Modern Binding

I was at a trunk show by the lovely and amazing Karen McTavish a few months ago where she showed the progression of her quilts from traditional to modern.  Since I am new to the modern quilt movement, I found her comments about it quite interesting and informative.  One comment that piqued my curiosity and inspiration was that modern quilters were adding small pieces of color to their bindings.  I knew I had to try it.

So when my Rain Ripples project for Island Batik Ambassadors turned out modern, I knew it was time to try something different.  First, I cut two long white strips of binding and some small pieces to make a rainbow.  (Click here to see the first post)

I have very little fabric left, so some of the stripes were very skinny.  However, I felt that fit with the scale of the pieces in the quilt so it worked out okay.  I was also out of orange, so that color (alas, one of my favorites!) was left out.

In order to figure out where I needed to connect the white piece to the second piece of rainbow, I laid the binding out around the quilt and marked where I wanted the second rainbow to start.  I then cut the fabric off at this point and connected the two pieces of binding together.

Next of course was to iron the binding in half.  At least it was a small quilt!

Again I laid out the binding and took a look.  I realized that the red was towards the middle of the quilt on both sides.  Oops.  Since this quilt is a learning process I decided to leave the binding this way as a reminder to myself when I decide to try it again.

Another oops happened when I sewed together the ends of the binding.  The angle of the rainbow was not parallel at both ends.  OOPS.  Again, I left it as a reminder for next time.  I also wondered what it would really look like once it was only down to a quarter inch.  I knew the mistakes wouldn't show up as much as I thought they would.

Above you can see the quilt before turning the binding over.  Below you can see the quilt after turning the binding over.  I was right, once it's skinny it's not too noticeable that I made so many mistakes!  I also realized that I should've pressed all the rainbow seams OPEN instead of to one side.  This binding was truly a learning experience!

HOWEVER, I love the outcome.  The little splash of color in the binding is too fun.  I definitely have to try this again!  Please come join me in my Machine Applique Adventures Facebook Group to get in on all the fun.

I'm going to go sew....and enjoy my birthday since it is today!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

AQS Interview and Island Batiks Rain Ripples Part 1

Hah!  New skills!  I've learned how to put in video on the blog!  Hmm......ideas for later.  Here is my video with Bonnie Browning about my quilt from AQS Paducah last week!  

Since it's April, Island Batik's challenge for it's Ambassadors is April Showers.  We got a list of all sorts of different "spring" images to pick from to use in our quilts.  I was going to do a bug wearing rain boots.  I even made the drawings, but decided it wasn't quite what I wanted in the end.  The modern quilt movement bug has bitten me and I knew raindrops would make an interesting modern quilt.

So then I started thinking about raindrops and the shapes they make when they hit a puddle of water.  I decided to use a rainbow of colors because rain always make me hope for rainbows.  Two of the fabrics are from Island Batik's Fire Island line, two are from their basic batiks, and two are from their Florida Oranges line.  

I cut out a bunch of raindrops and laid them out in a rainbow.  Then the fun part: quilting it!  I decided to call the quilt Rain Ripples since that is what I'm trying to emulate.  

I was lucky enough to receive some wonderful variegated Fantastico thread from Superior Threads as part of being an Island Batik Ambassador.  One thing I absolutely love about Superior's variegated threads is how often they change color.  It's about every inch or two.  Many variegated threads only change every 8-12 inches.  This is one reason I find Superior's variegated threads to be well, Superior!  I also really like that the labels on the threads tell you which needle will work best.  What a fantastic idea that makes it easy for quilters to remember.

Here are the colors I used to quilt Rain Ripples:

Purple done!  I decided that instead of overlapping the ripples like would actually happen in real life, I would simply have the rings stop when they hit each other.  You can see this clearly in the picture below.

Once I'd started quilting the ripples in my beautiful varigated thread, I had to think about what I was going to do with the background.  Originally I was going to use a white thread, but changed my mind and decided on a light gray thread I also received as an Ambassador, Superior's Masterpiece Thread.  This thread is a 50 weight 3-ply cotton that is great for quilting and piecing.  I've never used it before and found it fantastic and easy to work with.  I also liked that the ripples have a sheen (polyester thread) and the background quilting won't (cotton thread).  It's a nice contrast.

Ready for background quilting.  One thing I'm enjoying about working on small projects for my blog is using all sorts of different combinations of batting to see what I like the best and might want to use in my competition pieces.  For this quilt I used two layers of Hobbs Wool batting.  It was REALLY fluffy, almost too much.  I love puff, but this quilt had so much that quilting those pebbles was a challenge because the fabric was so puffy it sometimes left puckers or tucks in the top if I wasn't spreading it apart really tightly with my hands while quilting.

Here's the quilting all finished except for the binding.  I have something special planned for that.  Come back Saturday to check it out!  And don't forget to join my Machine Applique Adventures Facebook group!

Happy Quilting!

Monday, April 25, 2016

AQS Paducah 2016

Last Sunday I got an email informing me that I'd won a ribbon at the American Quilter's Society Paducah show this year.  They don't tell you what you've won, just that you have.  There was a new feature this year, the live streamed the awards ceremony on YouTube.  So, Tuesday evening from the comfort of my own couch I was able find out that my quilt Harmony's Loop placed third in it's small wall quilt-home machine quilted category.  It was quite thrilling.

Winning an award in Paducah is something I've thought about and strived towards for many years.  It's a dream come true.  Some day, I'd love to win Best of Show (you have to keep dreaming big dreams after all), or one of the other larger awards, but what a moment this win was.

So thrilling in fact we bought tickets and my mom and I flew to St. Louis late Friday night after work, stayed overnight, rented a car and drove to Paducah for the day on Saturday.  We then returned to St. Louis and flew out VERY early Sunday morning.  It was a whirlwind, but way worth the trip!

One amazing thing AQS does for winners is interview in front of your quilt about your quilt.  I did this Saturday morning with Bonnie Browning.  It's not up yet on their YouTube channel, but Marilyn Badger's (she won Best of Show) is and it's amazing.  Click here to watch it.  I'll be sure to share the link when mine is available!

I was also able to have fabulous chats with lovely ladies from Hobbs batting, Superior Threads, and the always amazing Ricky Tims.

Mom and I shopped until we dropped (including the fabulous Hancock's of Paducah).  I bought lots of Island Batiks (of course) and some other fabric as well as some Superior Threads needles and Aurifil thread.

There were many amazing moments and I'll be sharing all the pictures I took over in my Machine Applique Adventures Facebook group because I took TONS.  Be sure to join us!

Here are a few of my favorites:

I love the symmetry of this quilt and the quilting is absolutely fabulous.  

Here you can see the quilting behind the applique and the symmetry at the edges.  Symmetry always makes my heart sing.

I've seen this quilt before in magazines, but the photo's didn't do it justice.  It is absolutely fabulous in person and so creative!  I love all the different quilting motifs and colors.

I love this close up of one of the flowers.  Of course, I love the flowers!

Another stunning flower.  I like how she quilted it to enhance the design.

Okay, yes, I know this picture is sideways, but I couldn't make it rotate. Someday I will figure out how to fix it, but since it's symmetrical (are you detecting a theme yet?), it looks excellent sideways too.  This is a wholecloth quilt.  All the stitching that is in color was done with turquoise thread.

As you can see, the threadwork is just spectacular!

Now that I'm home with a million ideas of what to start quilting next, I have to go to work tomorrow.  Back to reality I suppose, but with plenty of quilting after bedtime!

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Flower in a Pot Quilt Along - Pattern #6

I'm in Paducah today with my award winning quilt!  So exciting, but equally exciting is sharing the next pattern here with all of you!

The tulips are starting to bloom and they always make me smile.  Please make sure to join my Machine Applique Adventures Facebook group and share what you've done with my patterns and any other applique project too!

Here are the links you'll need for this block:

You should also check out my posts about how I made this block:

And be sure to join my Machine Applique Adventures Facebook group to share your progress on the blocks and any other applique too!

In case you missed it, here are the other blocks in this series:
Flower in a Pot Pattern #4
Flower in a Pot Pattern #3
Flower in a Pot Pattern #2
Flower in a Pot Pattern #1

Check out some of the blocks Sue recently did!  We'd all love to see what you're creating with my patterns!

Happy Quilting! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Flower in a Pot #6 - The Quilting

My quilt just took THIRD PLACE in PADUCAH!  Oh, my goodness, am I excited.  Check out Harmony's Loop here.  I'm going to see it on Saturday.  More about it after the show!

Meanwhile, I've been having fun quilting Flower in a Pot #6.  It was time to try out a new feather!  For this one I did a curlicue at the end of the feather and then traced it back to where it started.  It's kind of like a hook feather but at the tip of it you put in a curlicue instead.

Above are the tiny curls at the bottom of the vase.  And of course the picture is upside down.

I also decided to try something different around the edge of this quilt.  I used a design from Cristina Cameli.  It's called bear claw, I think.  I took her Wild Quilting class on Craftsy and it was excellent.  As with working on any new design I drew it a bunch of times first, and then went for it.  It got better as I went along.  Here are some close up views of it.

Here is the back before binding and rick rack trim.  I still need to quilt in some of the detail in the flower and pot, but it will get done....eventually!

The quilt with the rick track trim added and the edge cut for binding.

And the final quilt!  I love the orange-red rick rack.  I really think it adds something to the quilt.

I hope the tulips are blooming in Paducah on Saturday!  I'll tell you all about it when I get back!  Happy Quilting!  Don't forget to join my Machine Applique Adventures Facebook Group!  I'll be srue to post some wonderful pictures from the AQS show!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Olive Garden Plates Inspiration

I was at Olive Garden celebrating my niece's birthday a few months ago and of course was inspired by the plates on the wall.  Here are some of those gorgeous images.

I love the circular feathery border around the edge of this plate.

I think this is a nice abstract composition.

I love the outer border of this plate.

I love the floral motif around the edge.  And the solid bars cutting it into four pieces is different and interesting to me.

This border is amazing.  I am not sure I want to piece it though!

Symmetry.  It just makes me happy!

Where do you find your inspiration?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Flower in a Pot #6 - Part Two

I love tulips.  They should start blooming soon here in Minnesota.  I really like the leaf fabrics I chose for this block.  They complement each other, but I love the swirls in the bottom batik.

Here is layer one complete:

If you look at the different colors of blanket-stitching above you can see that the orange and yellow are very small in size and the two greens are stitched in a much larger size.

Here is layer two done.  All I got to add for layer two was a stem.

And here is the final block!  It makes me feel ready for spring.  I really like the batik print for this pot.  It's so colorful.

Check back on Wednesday to see how I quilted it and don't forget to join my Machine Applique Adventures Facebook Group!  I can't wait to see what you're up to.

Here's Margaret's Block number five that was shared on the Facebook Group.  I love her color choices!