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A Quilting Adventure to Skopelos

Little did I know my quilting adventures would be taking me to a lovely Greek island!  I long ago had two friends from high school who used to go to the Greek islands for vacations – I was very envious when they would send postcards from Mykenos or Skopelos or some other exotic location while I hung out on the Jersey shore!

This adventure started with Katarina Rocella asking me if I wanted to have some fun with her new ArtGallery Fabrics line, Skopelos.   Well of course I said yes!   Then she e mailed me saying it was part of a blog hop.  Ummmmm, okay.  My blogging is sporadic at best, but I was game.  So here you have it, my adventure to Skopelos.

I knew right away what I wanted to make, so I asked for a couple of pieces from the line.  The wonderful folks at AGF sent me more than I could imagine, so my mind started to spin.  I would stick with my original plan, a quilt inspired from a wonderful book titled A Quilter’s Mixology by Angela Pingel.  You can find more info on the book here.   I’ve shown off some of the progress and pieces on Instagram already, but for the first time I give you the complete Skopelos adventure.

Let’s start with the obligatory group fence shot!  Yes, I wound up with four pieces.  It’s gorgeous fabric and as AGF says, you can feel the difference.


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The inspiration piece I imagined as my little house on a Greek island.  One of the central prints from the line has wonderful details of houses, fences, chairs, and trees.  I used my Accuquilt 7 inch drunkard’s path die to cut the fabric (note to self – pay attention to the direction when you load fabric – yes, one of my house’s is upside down!) and then started the piecing process.  I used a light grey solid from AGF as the background.  A big shout out to both Intrepid Threads and Hawthorne Threads for supplementing my solids on this adventure!  And I asked my long arm quilter Sue to work her magic on the piece.  The swirls and curves helped to embody the island in the sea them I was going for.


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The second piece was created with a very bohemian mindset – I wanted to continue playing with curves, so I cut into the fabric line and the coordinating solids and just started tossing pieces onto the design wall.  I am thrilled with it as the interplay between the Skopelos fabric and the solids worked (yes, even the bright pink!).  Though I know it will not work for everyone.  Aesthetics.  I get it.  And Sue did a great job quilting a circle/spiral starting from the center as well as some detail work in some of the areas.

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And I was determined to use most every scrap of the fabric, so I made this piece – it is inspired by a stacked diamond design I did last year for a bee – I made the diamonds larger and then offset it.  I only made half a star – I’ve been intrigued with that concept since I first saw it on Instagram.  I quilted this one using straight lines of different Aurifil thread  and did the binding with AGF Prisma elements.


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And last is my Tumbling to Skopelos.  I’ve had a Fat Cat ruler for over a year and never got around to experimenting with it, so I gave it a whirl.  I used the remaining pieces from the Paparounes and various solids.  I tried to follow the block shape in the quilting – there was a lot of turning and twisting in my Bernina, so a bit wonky in spots but overall I think it came out well.  And I love the backing fabric I found for this.  And of course it is demon dog approved so all is right with the world.

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Well, that’s it for my Skopelos adventure.  Thanks for coming over and checking things out.  A special thanks to Katarina and AGF for the opportunity to participate in the hop.

And don’t forget to check out all the other phenomenal makers for this hop.  The schedule and links are below.  Check out Katarina’s blog for an awesome giveaway!

1. LYNNE GOLDSWORTHY – April 20th
2. ALLEGORY LANHAM – April 21st
3. ERICA TOOLE – April 22nd
4. RACHAEL GANDER – April 23th
5. AMY FRIEND – April 24th
6. MARIJA VUJČIĆ – April 25th
7. DANA BOLYARD – April 26th
8. ERICA JACKMAN – April 27th
9. JESSICA ALEXANDRAKIS – April 28th
10. SVETLANA SOTAK – April 29th
11. KATHLEEN RIGGINS – April 30th
12. APRIL RHODES – May 1st
13. PAUL HALLINGER – May 2nd
14. SHARON MCCONNELL – May 3rd
15. CAROLINE HULSE – May 4th
16. JANE DAVIDSON – May 5th

 

 

Space Dust Quilt Along – Week 5 – Row 4

John is hosting the week 5 activities over at http://www.quiltdad.com/2014/08/space-dust-quilt-along-week-5_29.html.  For this week, we will be completing Row 4 of the Space Dust pattern and adding it to the collection!

I shamelessly borrowed John’s picture because I have Liberty of London Van envy.    The picture also shows his Row 4 added to the growing project.    John also posted a lot of pictures of the various projects over on Instagram – great collection showing the diversity of projects using Indelible and a host of other fabric lines.  Go over to his blog to check them out!

John's project coming along with Row 4 - and snazzy shoes too!
John’s project coming along with Row 4 – and snazzy shoes too!

John also announced the winner of the gift certificate from Quilters Square http://www.quilterssquareky.com/.  Congrats to Sharni (@lyrebird_lamb) is this week’s winner. Email or DM John with your details!

Ready for another giveaway? Remember, anyone who posts their progress through row 5 will be eligible for this week’s giveaway, and it’s a good one. One lucky winner will win a half-yard bundle of Pure Elements solids, courtesy of Quilter’s Square and Art Gallery Fabrics. Simply post your photo on Instagram or Facebook with hashtag #SDQAL.  If you post your photos elsewhere (like Flickr or your blog), remember to leave a comment on either one of our blogs telling us where we can find your pictures.

I get to announce the winner of the fabric bundle in next week’s post on Row 5.  Only a few more weeks remaining on this fantastic project.

And now I am off to buy some snazzy shoes…

If orange is the new black, earth is the new white for me…

As many of you know, there are a couple of fabric designers that I absolutely love.  I waited (somewhat impatiently!) for the release of Alison Glass’ Field Day.  And when it was release I purchased a fat quarter collection of the line.  Had no idea what I would do with it, but I bought it just to have!  If you want to see the entire line, head over here http://alisonglass.com/products/index.html

And then one day I was playing around in Electric Quilt 7 and came up with some ideas.  Which stuck in my head.  And when things stick in my head I wind up making them.  Sooner or late.

I had also decided that I wanted to start working in more muted shades – okay, I will just come out and say it, I needed to do something that was not using a grey or white or black background.  I’ve been working a lot lately with white or grey, and I needed a change.  I colored the blocks in EQ7 with a lovely brown.  Yes, brown.

And then I bought Kona Spice, Carrot, Sienna, and a couple others.  Taupe.  None really worked.  Then I found it.

Earth.

It is rich.  It is a perfect shade.  It blends.  It highlights.  It does all the things a background color should do!

And then I made some blocks.  The upper left and lower right are Andrea Bishop blocks from her EQ collection.  The other two are from EQ 7 – the upper right is called Argyle Socks.  The bottom left is actually a crazy quilt block from EQ7 that I recolored and then flipped and rotated until I got it into the layout I wanted – there are four blocks in the larger block.  All the blocks are 24 inches.  Well, except one which I mis-sized and have to add a small border to!  I am going to play around some more to see where this ultimately goes.

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This is the primary block for the lower left block.

Field Day Basic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the block in the upper left was supposed to have four borders of those super skinny geese, but they were way too tedious to make and I went in a different direction with it.  Here’s something I made and sent off to a new home with the skinny geese block.

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Welcome to May! What I have been up to lately…

I will hopefully get around to blogging about each of these if I have not already!  In the meantime, enjoy the show!

 

 

 

 

Making a Medallion

I confess that I have wanted to make the Marcelle Medallion out of the Liberty Love book for a while now.  I have seen many of them on Instagram and was really getting excited about attempting my own.  And then I thought, hey, why not just assemble your own.

So I broke out the trust Electric Quilt 7 handbook and figured out (finally after all these years!) to lay blocks into borders and had at it.  The design came out something like this:

Designed in Electric Quilt 7.
Designed in Electric Quilt 7.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And so my work began.  I am using Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics line from Robert Kauffman along with one of her pieces from Architextures.  Her fabric lines are fantastic.  Great color and designs.

The center medallion was relatively easy to get done.  Morning Star.

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Once the center was done, I started to work on the subsequent borders.  I had a couple of design struggles during the process, including how scrappy to go in a couple of sections.

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And yesterday I started to create the final border sections.  I was originally going to make a block called the Priscilla but it turned out to be a little off kilter and has y seams, so a lot of work.  I decided to go with a simple hummingbird block (no Y seams required though!).  I was going to alternate between the dark grey and light backgrounds, but have decided to go with the light background.  I’ve also decided to scrap it up again and mix in the variety of fabrics that were used in the Arkansas star block and the handkerchief edging.  I only have to make 32 of them!  I will update this post when I have the top all finished up!

And here it is the middle of May and I am just getting around to finishing up this post, though the piece has been done for weeks!  Ack!  So little time.  Not only was I happy with the top, I got all fancy with my Bernina stitches and came up with some great details for the quilting.

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After all the quilting, this was the final result (excuse the man toes, someone needs to wear shoes when he holds quilts for me).

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The boys and the bee

I wrote earlier about the start of the #NGAQB and you will see a couple of posts in the threads about the boys in this bee!  So far we have gotten through Mr, January, Sandy Greenberg, and Mr. February, Andrew Youngman.  Blocks have been made and mailed and we await final pieces from both of them!

And since Mr. March Andrew Joslyn was kind enough to have already decided his block choice, those have been posted along and they will be joining the others he will use to create his masterpiece!

Andrew requested the Inverted Star – the block is from Jessica Boschen on commonthreads.typepad.com.  It was quite fun to put together and luckily Jessica recommends taking a picture of your layout to refer to, because as you move things around you can forget where you meant to put something!

Here are the finished blocks:

This was the block requested by Andrew.  Inverted Star - Jessica Boschen at commonthreads.typepad.com
This was the block requested by Andrew. Inverted Star – Jessica Boschen at commonthreads.typepad.com

 

Kate Spain Sunnyside

I confess to a love of all things Moda (http://storefront.unitednotions.com/storefrontCommerce/).  I have for years – their fabrics and designs are spectacular. I have often found myself visiting the Moda Bake Shop (http://www.modabakeshop.com/).  The bake shop site has a wide variety of patterns, projects and ideas.

When I discovered that they had books available I was thrilled.  I purchased Fresh Fabric Treats (you can find out more about the book here http://www.stashbooksblog.com/products/fresh-fabric-treats/) last year and have made a couple of items from it.

One of my favorite patterns is Rachel Griffith’s Summer Sorbet Quilt.  You can find out more about Rachel here (http://www.psiquilt.com/).  Her quilt pattern uses two of my favorite things – charm packs and wonky stars!

I love charm packs because they are great way to get a selection of a particular fabric without getting fat quarters or yardage.  I love Moda’s solid charm packs as they give you a variety of pieces to use in your projects.  If you have not tried the joys of charm packs, you should!

And wonky stars are delightful!  They are easy to make and take some of the stress of getting everything ‘even’!  The points in the stars are not designed to be exactly even but instead wander a bit, giving the star a little more ‘natural’ look.  I love making them!

So for this project, I was now armed with an awesome pattern and some beautiful Kate Spain Sunnyside charm packs.  My cousin Candace had asked me to make a quilt for a very good friend of hers who was going through a rough patch health wise.  I was of course delighted that she asked me to do this for her and started to work on this quilt.

I did a slight reversal of the pattern – instead of all solids for the background and patterns for the points, I decided to use a light yellow for the stars and used the charm squares throughout the quilt to give it more of a patchwork punch.  In hindsight, the yellow I picked may have been a little too light because one of the stars gets a little lost in the fabric, but overall I was very please with the results.

I used Warm and Natural batting (my favorite) and quilted in the ditch with Aurifil 2110.  The backing fabric is a 108″ wide from Wilmington Prints.

I am just waiting for Candace to give me some input on a label for the back so that the gift can be a little more personalized.  I hope her friend enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Pin basting - a lot of work but so worth it.
Pin basting – a lot of work but so worth it.
A close up of the backup - Wilmington Prints 108" wide.
A close up of the backup – Wilmington Prints 108″ wide.

A study in permutations

I recently purchased Vintage Quilt Revival, an excellent quilt book that updates classic blocks.  This excellent book is by Katie Clark Blakesley (http://swimbikequilt.com/), Lee Heinrich (http://www.freshlypieced.com/) and Faith Jones (http://www.freshlemonsquilts.com/).  If you are thinking about using classic blocks in a new way, you should check this book out.

One of the blocks in the book is Wheel of Fortune.  I loved the secondary pattern that was created by the block and thought, hey, I should try this block!  While the book comes with a CD that provides the pdfs for the paper piecing of the various blocks, I was too lazy to walk upstairs to the ‘puter and decided to check Electric Quilt 7 on my laptop to see what it had to offer.  I found a block called Road to Fortune and printed that out.  I was thrilled with the block and posted it to Instragram.

Well, Lee was kind enough to note on my post that the proportions seemed different from the original Wheel of Fortune and a concept was born!  I decided that with the versatility of EQ7 I would explore various permutations of the block.

 

Here is the original block I made:

Road To Fortune - Electric Quilt 7
Road To Fortune – Electric Quilt 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here I am 12 blocks later:

All the current blocks.  I may make more, I may not!  I will update as we go.
All the current blocks. I may make more, I may not! I will update as we go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I finished up all the blocks, did a border, found a backing, basted the quilt and quilted this one up!  I did a variety of quilting in each of the individual blocks and stitched in the ditches.  overall very happy with the whole thing!  I really enjoyed this!  The pictures below are the finished front, back, and some detail of the quilted blocks.

Post quilting!  I really love this piece.
Post quilting! I really love this piece.
The back of the quilt.  Love this fabric!
The back of the quilt. Love this fabric!

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Wrapping Up 2013

Well, 2013 has been a very interesting year (yes, when someone uses ‘interesting’ that just means trouble).

Life in general has been good.  I continue to have issues with vertigo and with spine problems both of which can sometimes make my quilting adventures challenging.  But you muddle along!

I had an opportunity to buy a local quilt shop earlier this year, and am still a little bit disappointed with myself for not taking the risk.  I wasn’t quite positioned to retire from my day job, so I had to pass.

I also joined Instragram, which quite frankly has provided me with more quilting inspiration than I have had for years.  Watching all the new projects, concepts, and ideas that come from the variety of people I follow.  I have become virtual friends with a marvelous group of people from all over the world and I have to say thanks to them for all their support.  They are a great group of folks!

I bought a Juki, breaking decades of Bernina tradition.  I still have my Berninas (two of them!) and they are still my go to machine, but the Juki has a little more ‘industrial oomph’ to is so for some of my bag making projects where I am using rather thick upholstery or home dec fabrics.

And I started to blog!  Who knew!  I just started back in November, so I have not spent as much time as needed on it to get it to where I would like it to be.  Part of my 2014 plan!

Between quilts and embroidery projects, I have I think had a pretty productive year.  I developed some new techniques and found some new tools that have added to skill set.  I have enjoyed a return to foundation paper piecing (still not willing to explore English paper piecing, though I do have some papers for it!).  I bought Electric Quilt 7 – I have missed it so.  My computer that expired a couple years ago had my EQ6 on it and I’d never been able to reinstall EQ, so I bit the bullet and purchased EQ7.  Glad I did.

I am sure there is a lot more I could say about 2013, but all in all it was a great year with lots of great fun.  Thanks for sharing my 2013 adventures (at least the last part of the year!) and hope you enjoy 2014 with me.

And I hope to have at least one last finish in before the year ends!  Quillted, binding sewn on, just need to hand sew binding and I am done with my Giggles quilt!  Yeah.


My Giggles quilt - pattern from Jaybird Quilts www.jaybridquilts.com
My Giggles quilt – pattern from Jaybird Quilts www.jaybridquilts.com