Mod Girls Quilt Top

I finished my quilt top for the quilt-along early last week with plenty of time to spare!

Mod Girls quilt topI really love how this turned out! It’s so colorful and summery.  I decided to go for the bigger size – 6 blocks across by 8 blocks down – since I had enough blocks. It measures 60″ by 80″ which should be a good size for our bed.

Mod Girls quilting along

I am planning to do free motion quilting on this one, so I am excited for the next step!

Ta Da!

It’s finished! Here is the first quilt I pieced and machine quilted myself!

zigzag on the bench

I used Nettie’s pattern, which I loved. I typically stay away from triangles for fear of matching up those points, but this was a fun quilt to make.

zig zag quilt finished!

I wanted to emphasize the zig zag motion of the quilt so I used Ashley’s quilting technique by following the zig and the zag with lines on each side. 

zig zag folded up

The zig zag quilting makes a nice effect on the back too.

zig zagged quilt backing

I was so anxious to show you pictures of it that I haven’t had time to wash it yet, but I will do that tonight.  I love it and I’m so happy it’s finished!

Weekend Projects

Our weather is supposed to be cloudy and stormy most of the weekend, so you know what that means? Sewing!

I am diligently working on finishing the quilting on my zig-zag quilt.

quilting the zigzagSo far, that is going very well. I am pleasantly surprised at how well my machine can handle quilting a larger quilt.

I also have to sew my strips into blocks for the quilt-along. I think I will have enough for about 46 blocks, which should make a good size quilt.

Mod Girls strips ready for piecingHaven’t started that yet, but I will get to it.

I also cut the pieces for a mini quilt I am making for the Spring Blooms Mini Quilt Swap. Check out the photo pool of other minis being exchanged. There’s a lot of gorgeous creativity going on out there! 

pieces for mini quiltI have been thinking about this project for about two weeks now, not sure what I wanted to make. For some reason, I hadn’t been struck with my usual light-bulb idea for this project.  Sure enough, late Friday night while playing with different combinations of fabrics in my stash, I came upon a pile of Pop Garden fabrics that I knew would be perfect for the look I’m going for.

I have a lot of work to do today, so I’m off to get busy. Hope you enjoy a fabulous weekend!

Mini Coin Quilts

I spent a couple hours on Saturday practicing my free motion quilting again. (I hope you’re not sick of me practicing this – I can be compulsive.)

FM practice on minis

This is how I spent my Sunday – enjoying the beautiful outdoors while finishing my latest round of mini quilts.

how I spent my Sunday

I cut these charm squares from the Daisy Chain fabric collection, and had a pile of scraps that I made into these mini quilts before I even started the real quilt.

Daisy Chain charm squares

Here are the finished minis:

mini coin quilt(front of the mini mini)

back of the mini coin quilt(back)

The one above is small enough to be used for a placemat or hot pad (measures 11″ x 13″), and the one below is big enough to be used for a table topper or a doll quilt (measures 23″ square).

my other mini coin quilt(front of my other mini coin quilt)

back of my other mini coin quilt(back of my other mini coin quilt)

I really love the colors of these fabrics because they remind me of sea glass, which I have only seen in magazines.

photo of sea glass in Coastal Living

Seashell hunting is fun whenever we visit the ocean, so it would be fun to hunt for sea glass too. Where do you even find sea glass? Anyway, I am quite happy with how these projects turned out, so now I’m feeling another sewing project addiction developing!

Mini Quilt Monday Contributions

I know, technically it’s not Monday anymore. But Monday was a holiday, so technically, today is my workday Monday. What better way to get back into the swing of things by sharing my new mini quilts.

I really love seeing all the mini quilt projects being created these days.  When I first learned how to quilt, I started with minis, which was quite fun.

Stars in the Snow mini-quilt(Stars in the Snow, made in 2000)

Here are my newest minis, which I finished over the weekend, and I love for the quilting practice and for using up scraps:

my three new mini quilts!The first mini is a string-pieced pattern, based on Rachel’s tutorial. I changed it slightly by using different widths of strips. I just love how this one turned out! I quilted about 1/4 inch from the seam of each string, and then a few random lines down the middle of a couple wider strips.

mini string pieced quilt(front)

back of string pieced mini quilt(back)

The second mini is a triangle-square block pattern, using scraps from my coin quilt. I love how this one turned out because I love these fabrics, especially with the clean, fresh white.

triangle square mini quilt(front)

back of triangle square mini(back)

The last mini is a disappearing nine-path using scraps from my Ava Rose quilt.

mini disappearing 9-patch(front)

back of disappearing 9-patch mini(a plain white backing to highlight my new free motion skills)

I am so happy with how each of these turned out, for different reasons. I either love the block, love the fabrics, or love the quilting. I have more ideas for future minis, so I’m off to play. Thanks for stopping by!

Value Project

Thank you so much everyone for your love and encouragement on my last post about my typography projects! You made my day!

Our most recent project for my design class was to create an accordion book of six stages of value, where you focus on shading, from black to gray to white.  The first step was to find a photo of an organic object that showed highlighting and shadowing.  I chose a photograph I took of a double hibiscus while on my trip in China.

double hibiscus

The second step was to draw the image using pencil, making sure to do a lot of shading where the shadows are.

step 2 drawing

The third step was to paint the image using gray scale, meaning black for the shadows, gray for the in-betweens, and white for the highlights. This was the first time I ever worked with gouache, which was tricky. It’s a watercolor paint, but has a thicker consistency and gives a more opaque coat.

step 3 gray scale tones

The fourth step was to paint the image using only black and white for the shading and highlighting, again with gouache.

step 4 black and white

The fifth step was to paint the image in reverse – white for the shading and black for the highlighting.

step 5 white on black

The sixth step was to do a gestural drawing, which is just a loose, free-flowing, quick sketch of what the object is doing or how it feels, not so much what it looks like. (another good exercise forcing me to think outside the box)

step six gestural drawing

The final step was to mount each piece onto black illustrator board, and assemble the boards into an accordion book.

finished accordion bookThis was a very challenging and time-consuming but fun project.  I am SO happy with the final results! I love how each stage of my project turned out.  I also love the accordion book format, which I will definitely do again. I learned how to really look at an object, how to use gouache, how to paint, and how to design with value, which can really change the finished piece, depending on the effect you are going for.

Next up, working with texture – we get to design a texture quilt using images of texture cut from magazine photos.  Fun!

Favorite Magazine

Do you have a favorite magazine?  Can you name just one?  It’s hard, I know.  If you’re a big magazine reader like me, you have a couple favorites.  Sure, that list of favorites may change over time, especially lately since more good magazines are discontinuing publication (such as Adorn, Blueprint, Cottage Living, Country Home, and Domino).   But try to narrow your favorite down to just one.

I am so excited about my latest favorite magazine that I wanted to share it with you.

My favorite - Sew Hip magazineSew Hip magazine, published in the U.K., began with it’s premier issue in December 2008.  It comes out monthly so I have been buying it at the bookstore but I decided I love it so much I ordered a subscription.  My March issue just came yesterday, so I need to find the February issue when it’s on the magazine shelves.

The December issue had some serious clout, with interviews with Amy Butler

Sew Hip-Dec 09-AB interview… and Alicia Paulson of Posey Gets Cozy.

Sew Hip-Dec08-AP interviewThere are also wonderful patterns, such as this charm quilt pattern that I’m going to make with my Darla fabrics.

Sew Hip-Dec08-Charm Quilt patternThey have regular columns each month, including Book Reviews, Pattern Reviews, Sewing News, Things We Love, and so  much more.

Sew Hip-Jan09

The January 09 issue had an interview with Betz White, who is originally from the town I live in so naturally I love to follow her success.

Sew Hip-Jan09-BW interview

Here is the February 09 cover – isn’t that pretty and inviting and inspiring?!

Sew Hip-Mar09 cover

This March 09 issue has SO many wonderful things in it – from an article reviewing several sewing reference books, to patterns for a skirt, an apron, an egg cozy, a yo-yo quilt, a child’s toy, craft activities for kids, an interview with the founders of Spoonflower, and an interview with Liesl Gibson, creator of Oliver + S.  All things that I love!

I really want to make that hexagon table runner featured on the cover.

Hexagon Table RunnerOh yeah, I love this drawstring bag project…

Sew Hip-Mar09-drawstring bag project

… and this adorable embroidery project, designed by Hilary Lang, which is perfect for someone I know who loves to take the rug from her apartment outside and beat it with her rug beater.

Sew Hip-Mar09-embroidery projectTo round off a perfect issue of my favorite magazine, look who is featured on the back page, which is always a preview of the next issue:

Sew Hip-Mar09-AMH interviewI want this magazine to succeed more than any I have ever read.  Pick up an issue next time you’re at the bookstore, or better yet, order your very own subscription!

By the way, I’m curious, what is your favorite magazine?

Sewing Saturday – Table Runners

I have some homework to do, but I have been looking forward to spending some time today sewing since I have these two projects almost finished.

The first sewing project I am working on is a table runner for Valentine’s Day.  I used Doris’ pattern from Threads of Conversation, but I had to change the measurements to accommodate the fabric quantities I had in my stash.

Valentines table runner

I am also working on  this red and yellow table runner using three Michael Miller fabrics and this cool disappearing 9-patch pattern from Spool Sewing.

red-yellow table runner

I recently discovered that my sewing machine has the ability to drop the feed dogs, which means I can do my own machine quilting.  Yes, after owning this machine for about ten years, I never knew!  I ordered a free motion/darning foot and a walking foot this week, since we seem to be losing all of our sewing machine shops around here.  So I’m off to machine quilt these two table runners.  How fun!

How are you spending your Saturday?

Sunday’s List

Today’s list includes finishing several projects:

Lots and lots of bulbs to plant. I got a pile of crocuses, hyacinth, anemones and more – all early bloomers. I love seeing the early bulbs coming in March, when there’s still snow around here, yet we are yearning to get out in the garden.

Lots of leaves to rake. We don’t have a lot of trees in our yard that drop too many leaves, but there’s a pretty big pile in the front to rake (and then jump in!).

A sewing project to finish. I can’t say much more about it just yet. But it’s pretty and exciting. I promise.

Finish making my contribution to the scrap challenge, sponsored by JCasa:Handmade. I have my project cut out, and just need a few minutes to assemble it. I’m excited for this one too!

A knitting project (or two) to work on when I have a few spare minutes. I doubt I will have time to finish either of these knitting projects (scarf and fingerless gloves), but it doesn’t hurt to add these to the list.

My to-do lists are usually overly ambitious, but I love having Sundays to work on all these home and craft projects. I have a busy day ahead so I better get going. Hope you have a great day!