Thursday, December 11, 2014

Celebrating Doing Good Stitches

I'm a bee addict. I admit it. But one of my first bees was the Harmony circle of do. good stitches. If you don't know what do. good. stitches. is, please go here and take a look at what this group creates. I remember when I finally got accepted and I was so nervous because I had only quilted one quilt on the machine in my entire life and they wanted me to be a quilter.... FML. Rachel believed in me and sent me on my way and boy have I learned since then.

I have had the opportunity to make quilts with this group since 2012 and am now the Queen of the circle, which I have a great time with. I saw a post by Debbie of A Quilter's Table and loved the idea of chronicling the work we have done over the years with this bee. It was such a good idea, I am going to steal it and chronicle mine as well!! Thanks Debbie!!

The first quilt I made back in 2012 was Converging Corners. A great block for a bee because of all the different scraps you get from a large set of people. This is still one of my favorites. :)

Harmony. do. good. stitches. Finished Quilt


The next one I made was Simply Woven. A quick and easy block that I wanted to make in gender neutral colors. This is when I learned to never request a bee block that needed the seams to match... everyone's 1/4 in is different and it makes it a pain in the butt to piece. :)

Harmony. do. good. stitches. Woven Quilt


Taking the lessons I learned from my previous quilt, I went wonky... then I never came back. This is my Wonky Churn Dash quilt. I have always loved the churn dash pattern and I think it is striking with solids and this wonky twist.

Harmony. do. Good. Stitches.


Keeping on the wonky theme, here is the first quilt I finished in 2014, Improv Triangles. I love this one, and inspiration was taken from Didn't Get the Memo by Alissa Carlton, in Los Angeles, CA.

February 2014 Harmony. Do. Good. Stitches Quilt Front
February 2014 Harmony. Do. Good. Stitches Quilt Back


And here is the last quilt that I finished in 2014 for do. good. stitches. As you can tell I fell onto the wonky train and have never come back. And probably won't :) This quilt is by far my favorite one I have completed for this bee. I call it Minimalist Stripes and I am so tempted to make another one of these because I love it SOOOO much!!!

August 2014 Harmony. do good stitches - Improv Stripes
August 2014 Harmony. do good stitches - Improv Stripes Back


As you can see I have grown a lot in my design, my color choices, and my quilting. I have to thank all the wonderful ladies I have worked with over the past 3 years and continue to work with today. They inspire me to keep creating and I couldn't be more appreciative.

There are so many stunning quilts that have been made this year and all for such a good cause. Jump over and take a look for yourself at the beautiful creations these wonderful groups have made. We would love for you to go here to cast a vote for your favorite as well!!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My Take on Commission Quilts

I very rarely do commission quilts. Most of the quilts I make are just quilts and then I give them to someone. I am now getting to the age of lots of babies in my life (not mine) that sometimes I make baby quilts, but I better really like you... The thing I am apprehensive about when it comes to commission quilts is that I quilt for fun and this hobby is my creative outlet. I do not want to be constrained and/or told what to do. If that's the case then I am just paid labor and we all know that no one will pay you enough for how much work truly goes into a quilt, so it is not even worth it.

I will do commission quilts every once and awhile if the party allows me creative control. I will ask for a color palette and then will specify two degrees of difficulty which will determine how intricate the design will be at two different price points. They give me those two choices and then I deliver them a quilt for said price by said date. I have found that if I do that then I still can create something I enjoy making and that is "me" and can also make sure that they get what they want within a set of expectations.

With all of that being said, a good friend of mine approached me about making his new niece a quilt and we decided on a color palette and price and he let me go. Men are so much easier in relinquishing design control than women. :) The below quilt is what I created and it was a custom design, my first one in my new EQ7 for Mac software!!

Her wanted her name on the quilt and I am not a fan of applique on baby quilts due to high use and washing, so I wanted to paper piece the name.

Two down, six to go. #sewingsunday


This took longer than normal but I think the durability of it is worth the time. I used the My ABC's Complete Set by Diane Bohn and LOVED the result. There are several heights to choose from and then of course you can always customize the size on the printer for whatever you need.

I wanted a scrappy, but modern look so I went with a stacked coins type piecing that I think looks great in this color way. I simply cut my strips, sewed them together in random rows, then sewed those rows together, and cut to the width I desired.

Strips all cut and ready to go for my newest quilt. First one I've ever designed in EQ7!
Three more to go! #vacationdayquilting
The most tedious part is done. Up next...sashing! #mplsmqg


I set the name into the quilt along the bottom part and decided to do it in a dark brown so it would show up clearly. Here is the finished top.

Top finished! Now the back. Can I get it sandwiched tonight? #sewingsunday #mplsmqg


I actually never got a picture of the quilt after it was completely bound, but here is one with the simple loop-de-loop quilting and before the binding has been sewn down.
Quilted and the binding sewn on! Now to hand sew the binding down. So proud of my progress today! #sewingsunday #mplsmqg


They loved it and it is being well used, just like a baby quilt should be. :) I hate it when people won't use the quilts you make them because they think they are too pretty. The whole point of a quilt is that it is useful. I guess at the end of the day the recipient can choose how they want to use us and that is up to them. That's another blog post for another time. But I do love to know and see that it is being loved like I intended. :)

And Uncle Jason was so sweet to get a picture of Brooklyn on her quilt over Thanksgiving. :) Baby cuteness alert!!

Brooklyn on Baby Quilt


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Ella's Pink and Grey Modern Baby Quilt

My former boss recently took a job out of state and he and his wife were expecting right around the time of the move. I wanted to make sure they had a homemade quilt to welcome their new one home with so I asked for the nursery colors and went about trying to think of what style I wanted to make it in.

About the same time, Megan from City Stitches asked me to test a new pattern for her and as soon as I saw it I knew it was the perfect quilt for Ella. :)

I used two Kona pinks for the contrasting starts and set them in a grey essex linen. I love the texture of the linen and the durability it will provide for a quilt that hopefully will be well used.

Untitled


The stars are paper pieced, and I just rotated the color placement to give more interest to the stars. I think these would be great in a myriad of colors as well.

At the beginning of the straight line journey. My bottle of wine and I will see you on the other side. #mplsmqg #citystitches


I quilted it in straight lines about a 1/2 in apart, but rather than just one set of straight lines, i altered the direction to help give some of that negative space some movement.

Radiance baby quilt is complete and ready to be bound. #mplsmqg #citystitches


We tried to get a good picture outside in the sun but as you can tell it was quite windy that day. :)

Untitled
Untitled


And finally, here is the back. It is a sweet flannel print I found at Joann's a couple of years ago that is just perfect for a little girls quilt.

Untitled


This is a great simple and modern quilt to make for a new edition. Megan also has a larger throw size as well but I could see this star being used in tons of different types of projects as well. It is not too complicated and it great for a beginner paper piecer. You can find the pattern to Radiance here at Craftsy!



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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial

I have had an adorable embroidered piece that I have been struggling to know what to do with for a couple of years now. A couple of weeks back I thought it would be great on a lunch box I was planning to make, so I went on search of a pattern or tutorial. I couldn't find one that matched the idea I had in my head so I decided to create one myself and document it along the way so that if you want to make one as well, you can! :)

Just posted a new tutorial on how to make an embroidered lunch box! http://www.sewquiltexplore.com/2014/10/embroidered-lunch-box-tutorial.html?m=1


Materials

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Materials


Front Panel:
(1) Finished size of 11.75in tall x 10.75in wide

**Note: If you want to do the embroidery straight onto the panel, another size, or wish to NOT do any embroidery, ensure the final front panel is 11.75in tall x 10.75in wide.

Back Panel:
(1) 11.75in tall x 10.75in wide

Lining:
(2) 11.75in tall x 10.75in wide

Batting/Insulation:
(2) 11.25in tall x 10.25in wide
(2) 10in x 1in

**Note: I prefer to use fusible batting as it makes it much easier to piece, but it is not required, any normal batting should work fine.

Handles: (2) 10in by 2.5in

Instructions

Step 1:
Fuse batting to back of front and back pieces, leaving ~ a 1/4in around the edge.

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Batting Iron


**Note: If you wish to do any quilting to the outside of the bag, this is where you would complete that step.

Step 2:
Sew the two lining pieces together, right sides together, around three sides, leaving one of the 10.75in sides open. Clip the corners.

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Lining Seam

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Lining Clip


Step 3:
Sew the two outer pieces together, right sides together, around three sides, leaving the top open. Clip the corners.

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Iron Batting

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Clip Corner


Step 4:
Iron fusible batting to middle of the back of a handle piece. Sew the long edges together and turn. Repeat for the other handle piece.

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Batting Handle


Step 5:
Press the handle pieces with the seam in the middle. Sew an 1/8in seam on each side on the handle.

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Handle Seams


Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial 1/8in Handles


Step 6:
On the outside piece, grab a corner and pinch the bottom and the side seam together until the seams align. Pin, then mark 1.75in up the seam. Draw a line across the corner at that point and sew on the line, ensuring you backstitch both and the beginning and the end of the seam. Trim 1/4in from the seam. Repeat for the other corner.

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Outer Box

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Outer Box Clip


Step 7:
Repeat Step 6 for the lining piece. Flip right sides out.

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Lining Box

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Lining Box


Step 8:
Place the lining piece in side the outer piece so that the right sides are together. Line up the seams and pin in place.

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Lining/Outer

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Edge Line Up


Step 9:
Pin the handles in place between the outer piece and the lining about 2.5in from the outside with the handle seam facing the inside of the bag.

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Handle Placement

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Handle in Between


Step 10:
Sew a 1/4in around the top of the bag, ensuring to backstitch at each handle and leaving a ~2in opening on the back side of the bag.

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial Top Seam


Step 11:
Turn the bag right side out and stuff the liner inside.

Step 12:
Pin the opening of the bag closed and sew an 1/8in seam around the top of the bag.

Embroidered Lunch Box Tutorial 1/8in seam


Step 13:
If desired, sew on snap , button, or velcro.

Just posted a new tutorial on how to make an embroidered lunch box! http://www.sewquiltexplore.com/2014/10/embroidered-lunch-box-tutorial.html?m=1
And there you have it! A lunch bag that can bring a personal touch along with your lunch. :)

Linking up to:



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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Minneapolis Modern Quilt Mystery Quilt Along

This year the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild decided to do a Mystery quilt rather than a block lotto. This ensured you could go at your own pace and that you weren't stuck with a small amount of blocks and trying to figure out what to do with them. :) The super talented Kristin from A Little Crispy has designed this years quilt. When I found that out I knew I wanted to make it because her quilt are absolutely stunning! Seriously, check out her patterns here.

If you want to follow along with us, feel free to get all the instructions at the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild Mystery Quilt Along site. Also, to see what everyone else is doing, visit our Flickr Group

Anyways, I have been pretty proud of myself, as I have not gotten too far behind the entire time of the Quilt Along. I have been completing the blocks along with my bee blocks so it has been pretty smooth sailing so far. Here are the blocks:

Month 1
Minneapolis MQG Mystery Quilt Along Step 1 January 2014


Month 2
Minneapolis MQG Mystery Quilt Along Month 2 Blocks


Month 3
Step three is complete! #mplsmqg  #mplsmqgmysteryquiltalong


Month 4
All caught up for May! #mplsmqg #mplsmqgmysteryquiltalong


Month 5
May step of the #mplsmqg #mplsmqgmysteryquiltalong done. I've gotten a lot done this morning. I'm going to keep going while I am on a roll!


Month 6
June Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild Mystery Quilt Blocks complete. Three more months and I'm caught up! #mplsmqg #mplsmqgmysteryquiltalong


Month 7
July Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild Mystery Quilt Along blocks complete. #mplsmqg #mplsmqgmysteryquiltalong
Month 8
August Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild Mystery Quilt Along blocks done. #mplsmqg #mplsmqgmysteryquiltalong


Month 9
September Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild Mystery Quilt Along blocks done. Now I am officially caught up. Whew. #mplsmqg #mplsmqgmysteryquiltalong


Month 10
TBD! Comes out tomorrow!


I am not sure what the finished quilt will look like so we will have to wait until next month and see!! This will be a priority quilt to get out and finish so I will definitely post pictures as soon as it is finished.

Have you ever done a mystery quilt along? Which ones have you done, and how did they turn out?
Colby
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