Wednesday, September 10, 2014

RJR Solids Supreme Giveaway Winner!!

First of all let me say a huge heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who left such kind comments about my quilt, they made me so happy! I love quilting and sharing here and it's so wonderful to be part of such a kind and supportive community.

So Mr. Random Number Generator picked #54, pippirose who said 
"What a gorgeous quilt! The colours are so vivid and rich. Beautiful!"
I'll be passing your info along to the generous folks at RJR Fabrics who sponsored this giveaway. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

RJR Supreme Solids Blog Hop and Giveaway!

Happy Friday everyone! Last month I was contacted by RJR Fabrics and asked if I wanted to be a part of their Supreme Solids Blog Hop and it took me about 2 seconds to say YES. I love solids anyway and the projects I'd seen people doing with these had shown me a gorgeous range of colors that I was thrilled to play with.

As I thought about my design I kept coming back to an Autumn color palette - I'm so ready for cooler weather, changing leaves and pumpkins I can't even stand it! In addition to color I'm always drawn to large blocks that make a big impact design wise, which led to this jumbo sized flying geese quilt. I'm calling this one Flying South and I am delighted with how it turned out.

The colors were just as rich as I'd hoped and when they arrived I couldn't wait to cut into them. After combining all the color pairs to make the individual blocks I laid this out probably 5 or 6 different ways and finally settled on this after some *very* helpful suggestions from a friend. Aren't quilty friends the best?! I love the movement from the random chevrons and that the chevron pattern isn't obvious, but kind of comes as goes as you look at the arrangement.

I love how all the colors of play together and glow when you put them next to each other!
Because these are large blocks they sew up very quickly - I had all the cutting and piecing done in one morning. If you're busy, big blocks are your friend!
I used masking tape to mark straight vertical lines randomly spaced for quilting.

See the color on the very tip-top ends of those leaves? No? Look closer. It's there, I swear.

So this is the high tech way I plan out my blocks and quilts, starting with a graph composition book and a pen. I wanted these blocks to be FQ friendly so I made sure my layout would work even with FQ's that might be a bit wonky - I think this gives you the biggest flying geese block possible with a FQ. You'll need 2 FQ's to make 2 blocks. 

If you use half yards instead (like I did) you'll get 4 blocks from 2 half yards.

I like this tutorial for flying geese blocks - I used the traditional method for this block.

For this quilt I used 18 half yards, making 4 blocks of each colorway. 
My layout was 4 blocks x 9 blocks and the finished size was approximately 64"x72". 
I used flannel on the back and I had a piece in my stash that was about 4 2/3 yds that worked great.

You can check out all the gorgeous RJR Supreme Solids right here. You can find a good selection of RJR Supreme Solids at Pink Castle Fabrics. If you're interested in seeing the other amazing projects in this series you can find them all on the Blog Hop facebook page.

RJR Supreme Solids colors I used in Flying South:
130 Pumpkin
198 Cocoa
341 Stormy Night
199 Chocolate
285 Golden Topaz
131 Carrot
229 Mahana Beach
342 Peridot
282 Gale Force (also used for binding)
351 Pewter
267 Boxwood
219 Pinot Noir
201 Espresso
314 Oriole
92 Golden Rod
110 Red Wagon Red
318 Craft Paper
343 Martini Olive

RJR Fabrics has generously offered a Fat Quarter Bundle of ALL the fabrics I used to one reader (US and Canada only please)! Just leave a comment on this post - giveaway will be open until Midnight next Tuesday (9/9/14) and I'll post the winner Wednesday morning :-)

RJR Fabrics provided me with the fabrics for this project and giveaway but all designs and opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Finish It Up Friday :: Zipper Edition

Happy Friday everyone! I have some finishes to share this week that I'm just so happy with. First up, the Senna Tote by Vanessa at LBG Studio and Willow and Co. Pattern Collective. I took this class the Fabricate Atlanta, taught by the super talented Diana Taylor. Now I feel like I've made enough bags that I can figure out just about any bag pattern BUT I hadn't taken the time to try the zipper foot that came with my new Juki yet so I thought this class would be a great reason to break it out. And yes, the "new" part was really in March! So it was time.

 Diana made it completely easy, she's an amazing teacher who just has gift for understanding construction and communicating it to others. Plus taking a class with friends is just fun and you learn all kinds of little tips and tricks that you wouldn't just working on your own. So I love the bag, it's a great size and I think the pockets (one big inside that you can sub-divide how you like) and two outside are just right. I used canvas for the exterior, quilting cotton for the lining and I put SF101 on everything. The only change I'll make next time is to significantly lengthen the straps. 

Then since I was on a zipper foot high I made a couple Noodlehead Open Wide Pouches - again just a great free pattern. Anna knows how to write and photograph her steps so they seem completely easy. On the pink and yellow one I sandwiched some rick rack between the top and bottom pieces when I assembled them to add a little texture and contrast.

A little pop of color on the interior of each. I know I'm late to the party with these but I can see this pattern turning into my go-to birthday/holiday gift, they're just so quick and cute.

Finally no zipper but still an adorable and fast project - this is the large fabric bin from the Birch Fabrics website - it's a free tutorial! Score! This pattern has one piece you guys. One. Totally my speed. I will warn you that this size will hold a boatload of candy if you were thinking about using it for Halloween.

I'm trying to will Fall weather to hurry up and get here which is pretty laughable at this point in Georgia but still, I can dream. 

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Finish It Up Friday :: Really Late or Pleasantly Early?

Sooooo I may or may not have started this for last Halloween...but at this point I figure rather than saying how long it took me and how late it was, I'm just going to go with "YAY! Early finish for this year!" Way more positive, right?

St. Louis 16 patch with loads of Halloween goodness going on. I will admit though that the combinations of warm browns and stark black and whites  never completely came together for me. I loved all the components but I loved them a little less all together. Plus the cat print from Spooktacular turned out to just be too large a scale to work cut up at this size. I'm not the only one who spends the time working on finishing and simultaneously thinking about what you'd do differently the next time, right? And then bam, another quilt top has been born in my head, so don't be surprised if a new and improved Halloween quilt shows up here.

But back to this baby: I quilted across from side to side (you guys must know by now how I love my straight line quilting) and it pleased me. It just seemed really quilty and good.

Fun orange and white chevron flannel on the back that I found at JoAnn's. Again, backing *everything* with flannel from now on. I know it's the South and it's almost 100 degrees in the shade all summer but personally I'm dreaming of cooler weather. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sewing Lesson

So this happened last week. My child had been *begging* me for a sewing lesson, on a real sewing machine (we had a brief terrible experience with a toy machine, so she really knows the difference) and I finally felt like she was ready. So we set up her little table with the Janome Hello Kitty sewing machine and got to work.

We practiced on some scraps so she could get a feel for the foot pedal and I sat next to her and helped her guide the fabric (when she let me). She seemed like a natural but she does come from a family with many generations of sewing women. The most important thing to me was that she had fun and felt like it was her project, along with learning to sew safely and we met all those goals!

She picked out all the fabrics herself and I cut them into strips that were 6", 9" and 12" x WOF and then she laid them out and rearranged them to her heart's content. She sewed all the strips together with a 1/2" seam allowance. Then she went for an Anna Maria Horner flannel for the back and because she's my only child and I love her dearly I let her have it. I sandwiched it, she helped sew around the edges and then we turned it inside out. I topstitched around the edge and added quilting along the ditches so the batting doesn't shift and voila, her first quilt! It finished at 39"x46" - perfect size for her to snuggle under on the couch.

She was genuinely thrilled with herself and the quilt - which of course made my mama heart happy. She feels like she "made" it an she did and I love helping start her on her own maker's journey. It's going to be awesome to watch.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A catch up!

Well hello friends! July has been a *busy* month and I can't believe how quickly it flown by. I thought I'd take a quiet minute this morning and catch you up on what I've been doing. After I finished my mini quilt for the S&B swap (last post) I actually finished a ton of sewing! First up was this Massive Maples in different Denyse Schmidt prints. The top was done and sitting in that sad WIP pile so it just needed a back and quilting. Still one of my all-time favorites.

I'm still amazed at how much faster quilting is going on my Juki. It's actually making me dread the quilting part a lot less, which will hopefully cut down on my "finish procrastination"...that thing I do where I get a quilt top done (and sometimes even sandwiched) and then let it sit. And sit. And then sit some more. I'm not the only one with this shame am I?!

I made and finished this Scrappy Star quilt for a wedding gift. The wedding was July 5th and I'm hoping this will work for the happy couple as a summery picnic quilt. This was from Jeni's free tutorial and it sewed up super fast - I'm sure I'll be making more of these, especially when I need a good gift.

I used a lightweight denim for the back that I though went well with the color scheme. Truth is I'll probably be making another one of these for our family to use as a summer quilt too. The sign of a good gift is when you really want to keep it, right? ;-)

My last project was testing a new pattern for Caroline over at Nightingale Quilts and I'm keeping it under wraps until she's ready to release it - but I think it will be soon. And it is a STUNNER. Not bragging, just in love and so excited to show you the finished quilt! I even took it on vacation with us to get some good pictures and even though I felt a bit silly dragging a quilt around Yellowstone it was completely worth it. Stay tuned.

Up next I have another mini and a large gift quilt I'd like to get done in the next couple of weeks (wish me luck). We've also started sewing lessons for the junior quilter in the house which has been ridiculously fun. So how's your summer going?  Time for a little relaxing and play I hope!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap

July already?! It happens every summer and it still surprises me, how fast the time goes. If you're on IG there's no way to have missed this round of the S&B mini quilt swap - there have been so many amazing mini quilts being made that it's been an avalanche of inspiration. I tried out a few combinations for my partner and none felt quite right, then I decided and cut my fabric only to see that she'd posted the exact same mini that she'd made for herself. That day. Blerg! But I figured it showed I was on the right track as far as figuring out what she liked. 

Then I realized in looking through her IG feed again, that she is an amazing crocheter and I decided to use that as my inspiration. Using Katy's granny square tutorial and some Flea Market Fancy seemed like a natural fit after that. I even got out my precious original FMF. Then I decided that I liked these little blocks so much that I went ahead and cut almost all (gasp) my FMF to make myself a large version of this! Yup, this year is "use it or send it" year around here. Katy's method of strip piecing went so quickly that I was able to cut all my strips for about 96 (!) blocks in a couple hours. I've put them aside for now because there are a few more pressing projects on my list but how summery and fun is this? I'm so excited to come back to it.

I always feel like my criteria for a good swap item is whether I want to keep it and I SO want to keep this one! I hope my partner loves it as much as I do :-)

I did straight line quilting in the ditch and on each side of the ditch, you can really see it on the back. I had a hard time not washing this and getting it all crinkly but hopefully it's new owner will so I can see it in it's crinkly glory! It finished up at about 22" square and it's headed on a looong trip today.

I've been on a tear getting stuff done - due to a sick kid who laid on the couch and watch tv for a couple days and a quilt that I'm completely avoiding as it was about to eat my brain. Funny how avoidance can be such a great motivator, right? Anyway, I'm off to bind a quilt then cut out another one that I'm determined to finish so we can take on vacation and photograph. What, you don't plan your quilt photo ops to coincide with your vacation? ;-)