Friday, February 27, 2015

Great mail week

Hi!
I definitely needed a pick-me-up and confidence booster after the past few weeks of total family sickness mayhem at my house. Imagine my giggle fits at winning TWO Valentine's Day giveaways!

The first one is a bundle of tone-on-tone prints (my favorite type of prints) by Studio E, called Pirouette. Oh my, such beautiful swirls and leaves, and a fantastic color set! Just my style of elegance.

The second is a Valentine's Day-themed bundle of red, pink, purple and cream batiks from Island Batik. I'm starting to get addicted to batiks now!



I think this purple-pink daisy, and red, and the dark purple are my favorites of the bundle!
THANK YOU! Studio E and Island Batik !

Do you want to have a great mail week? Craftsy is having a weekend flash sale, and you can save up to 70% on fabric, supplies, quilting kits, yarn and crochet! If you click on my affiliate link below, it will take you right to the shopping page.

Craftsy Flash Sale

The sale goes through midnight, March 1st, 2015. It's always so much fun to see what different supplies Craftsy has at anytime.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Need borders

Here's my Moda Love made with Sunnyside charms! Love my Kate Spain charms!
#showmethemoda, #modalove


It is about 40" square right now.

Now I need to decide on a border!
I'm trying to decide between a 2" or 4" finished background purple border.
Then I want a Sunnyside print border.


I like them both, but the blue/purple print seems to go so much better with the purple theme. Problem is, I've got a scant 1/2 yard and that's it. I don't know if it would be enough, even if using corner squares from the silver or yellow print. ???????

Time to go to Quilt-Pro and calculate estimates!

On a side note, I'm all icked-out. Three kids with cold/flu and stubborn fevers for the last 12 days. I'm tired of tissue, snot, liquid Tylenol and Ibuprofen with syringes. Boys staying home from school, although they're back this week. The baby has been the last to get the bug, and he's so plugged up, he's refusing to nurse. Even after suctioning his nose! After he chugged some milk pumped into a bottle, he refused to drink anything going down for his nap. He might just be helping to wean himself more quickly than I planned, and that means "ouch" for me!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Class Review: Dot to Dot Quilting

Hi! I'm here to share more of two of my most recent finishes with you, and review a Craftsy class.

If you want to see more, Craftsy has provided me with sponsored links that take you right to the class, Dot-to-Dot Quilting
 
And Craftsy is having a big sale on classes for Valentine's Day, too!

The class I'm going to review is Angela Walters's "Dot to Dot Quilting".


First off, Angela is a great teacher. She's very personable, supportive, and loves her job. She truly cares about helping everyone learn how to quilt and have fun. She's great about answering every question and giving feedback on photos and progress that students post.

Second, I love the Craftsy platform. I love that I can watch my classes anytime, anywhere, however many times I want. There are lots of cool features, like Playback, last 30 seconds playback, taking your own notes and bookmarks. I love the ability to ask questions, post pictures, and the instructors answer.! Even fellow students can answer and comment! Class materials are easy to find, easy to view and print in PDF formats.

On to the class itself!
Angela teaches 3 different designs in this class: Starburst, Diamond, and Lattice.

(Some of the lessons.)

She breaks down each design into theory with diagrams, then shows us how to actually mark the dots and quilt a practice quilt.

(Lattice lesson breakdown)


(Starburst theory)


(Basic Diamond)

I'm going to walk you through how I used these basic designs and variations on my own quilts!

Here are lots of pictures of the back of my Hope Star quilt. This is the back of one of the smaller pinwheel stars. I love how the Diamond and half-Diamond designs seem to make the star swirl and turn. 
(Back and front of a pinwheel star--the blue and green one)


(Back, and front, below. Simple red pinwheel with a Diamond inside, then the pinwheel blades are echoed with parallel lines in the background white)
 

After each main design, there's an extra lesson with variations on the design. That also includes how to fit the designs into different shapes! Below, in the background, you'll see the triangles filled with "triangle" echoes...Angela explains that they're just half Diamonds! Inside the red pinwheel and the green diamonds around it, I quilted the complete Diamond design.



(Echoed Starbursts, fit into a corner star point. Almost looks like a butterfly, right? That's definitely a different kind of shape.)
(And the front)

Here's the center star medallion. I filled each background triangle with the half Diamonds, growing from the corners of the triangles. I marked my dots in red and silver on the white triangles, so I knew where to aim in the center of the triangles.

In the background white in the very center, I quilted loops that started small in the narrow corners, grew bigger as the triangle opened out to the 90 degrees, then grew smaller into the corners again. In this case, my "dots" were the corners of the patches themselves.


In the red center of the medallion, there is a loopy motif. I echoed once around it to fill the square. Then below, in each large square, and the center of the smaller star, I used the same loopy motif. I like to be consistent as much as possible.

Angela mentions that she likes to mix traditional-type motifs with her dot-to-dot designs. It all makes everything more interesting!

Another example of traditional motifs, is the continuous swirl in the white latticed sashing and the green outermost border.

(Front and back of that motif and the little star with the motif)



(More half-diamonds, echo lines, swirls)

Here below, in the Lonestar, you can see the Starburst in the background triangle, and a modified Starburst in the corner background square. I combined the Starburst variation, growing from the center corner outward, with a Diamond in the outer corner. I liked that better than splitting the corner with Starburst points. Do I get points for creativity?!!


(Angela's Starburst variation--see how the burst points "split" the corner of the square?)

Angela even talks about adapting her dot designs into border designs, including how to turn corners. You can use dots to make curved designs, too.
Here in the Lone Star blue border, you can see the Starburst border that Angela teaches. My border is narrow, so it only allows for one pass of Starbursts, not two layers that interlock. It still looks nice!


If you look closely at the background triangle, you can see my white dots to mark where I wanted my Starburst corners to land. Yes, I cheated and measured a bit to make them balanced across the triangle!
 
I finished the Lonestar diamonds with traditional curved wineglass stitching. I've seen that in Lonestars for a while, and really wanted to use it, but didn't know how to do it...especially how to make it continuous. It's the ultimate dot-to-dot quilting, since you use the corners of the diamonds as the dots that you connect together with the stitching.


Angela teaches Dot-to-Dot Quilting on a domestic machine. I love it, because that's what I use; I don't have a long arm. She does make comments about how to adapt her techniques back and forth from domestic to long arm, like using rulers or marking more dots.


So here's the finished Lonestar wall hanging. 20" square. I used King Tut by Superior in the variegated red/white/blue to emphasize my Patriotic Americana theme.


And my finished "Hope Star".
(Fabric: Pieces of Hope for Autism by Riley Blake, Kona Bleached White, backing: Keepsake Calico in a blue by Koann fabrics. Thread: Connecting Threads Essential Cotton, Masterpiece by Superior, and Coats & Clark in White.)

To sum up, this is one Craftsy class that has really influenced the development of my FreeMotion quilting, and improved it. Angela has given me a lot more creativity, courage to let go and try something new, and the courage to keep practicing. And she helped me be more confident and not be self-conscious about every little bobble, wobble, or missed point. Her favorite mantra in this class? "Close enough is good enough." At first glance of her finished quilts, no one notices anything inconsistent or wobbly...it's her practice and experience. However, she also embraces her wobbles and goes with the flow, as you can see when she's demonstrating the actual stitching. Her calmness and supportive nature help boost confidence.

Thanks, Angela, for a great class! I can't wait to take more classes from you!

If you want to take advantage of a great sale and try Dot-to-Dot Quilting for yourself, click here

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Woo! Finished top

Yay!

Of course I never get as much done as I think I can, but at least I had a finish tonight!

The baby's star sampler crib quilt top is finished!


I'm calling it Winter Stars, because he's a January baby, it uses almost all Fairy Frost, and it's silver and black. A chilly winter sky full of sparkling stars and snowflakes!  So I plan to use all sorts of snowflake and star motifs for the quilting.

Goodnight moon (and stars).

Saturday, January 31, 2015

ALYOF-January finish

Hello! Am I still here?

Yup! Slow and steady wins me a goal for the month.

I have 14 blocks finished for the baby's star sampler crib quilt. Now I just have to decide which ones to go in the final quilt. 


Um, not quite right.


Now I switched Crossed Diamonds for the Starshine. Still not quite.

I asked my husband when he came home from the fire station, and he really likes the Crossed Diamonds. It's different than the others, kinda catchy-looking, with a vintage vibe (vintage Maltese Cross!)



So now I have two extra blocks....Pat Sloan's Mystery BOM January block, and the Weathervane. My hubby thought the Weathervane looked too much like the other blocks with the sawtooth stars.

And you can see that I've already put sashing rows together, too, one night this past week. So now, I'm finally ready to assemble the quilt top.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Sampler progress

Here's my progress on the last few days, on the baby's star sampler.


Amish Star, and Weathervane star.

Oh wow. I just counted, and I've done 12 blocks! I still have one more that I've cut out, that I need to sew. Hmmmm. Now I have to decide which ones to include in the quilt, and what I will do with the extra.

I'm pretty excited, because I've done 12 blocks, which is my plan. And baby's first birthday is next week!

And I'm loving having a design wall, even though it's not really finished, nor hung on the wall yet. It's standing on its side, balanced on the back of the table, leaning against the wall it will hang on. I still need to cover the other board. And hubby and I need to go to the hardware store, to figure out what kind of hooks that we will hang them on.

The design wall is great, because I can put pieces up, instead of laying them on the table--clear up my work space a bit. Also, vertically seeing the blocks really helps with layout and visualization. Oh yeah, and my pictures are better, because there's no shadow that my phone casts on the block !

Monday, January 12, 2015

Block of the Month

I need another project like a hole in my head!

But since joining Pat Sloan's Facebook group, I've been watching everyone working on the first block for her 2015 Mystery Block of the Month called Vacation Time. And I really like the block!

This one is very similar to what I have in my head.

So I've been gathering my fabrics. I'm really trying hard to shop my stash for coordinating colors and correct amounts.

I really want to do another purple and aqua quilt.


I don't want the green to dominate. But Pat calls for 4 different greens. I'm just trying to pull green from the green/aqua batik. Maybe the dark greens make them dominate over the aqua?

Or this? And use a bit more purple and aqua (and my beloved Cuzco by Kate Spain).


So I feel like I've been wasting lots of time dithering about it this weekend.

So I quit to start the Amish Star for the baby's quilt.


And what else did I accomplish this week?


Folded Star



4 Corners of Happy by Blue Ribbon Designs from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Vol 10. I won a copy of the volume on the blog tour from Blue Ribbon, and she threw in a little kit to make her block! She used her Accuquilt to cut all the patches for it. I've never worked with die cut patches before, and it was pretty nice. She even pre-fused the appliqué pieces--it was a snap to put together, and blanket-stitch appliqué!