Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Apple Core Quilt

You know those "Holy Grail" quilts that are on your bucket list?  Well, the apple core is one of those for me!

[starry eye emoji]


I had always been put off by having to sew so many curves.  I mean, lets get real, curves are AWESOME SAUCE, but who wants to spend your hours, days and your ENTIRE life pinning the tar out of little tiny pieces of fabric???


Not I!

So, imagine my delight when while scrolling through Instagram, I saw that Sew Kind of Wonderful had an alternate layout for the mini quick curve ruler that made the apple core design.


I don't know if your have drank the KoolAid that is the Quick Curve Ruler, but it is some AWESOME punch!  Trust me, buy it, you're welcome!

The quilting ancestors have interceded, yet again, and I knew that I had to make it :-)


Fortunately, I had a bundle of these beautiful mini florals that were begging to be cut into!

[Instagram is Satan!  One day, never mind how long ago, I saw the most darling little bundle of floral goodness just floating in my feed for sale at Kiwi Fabrics (on Etsy).  DARN! YOU! ALL! TO! HECK!! ...I had to partake.]



I also had a pile of gray Luxe (by Michael Miller) scraps to use for the solid!

[Just to be clear, I had EXACTLY enough gray to make this sweet quilt, seriously, exactly!....with enough for one spare block!]


Happy dance!!


With each block made, my heart got happier and happier πŸ˜πŸ€“

[Seriously, quilting Nirvana]


For the quilting, I went sweet and simple. 


An eternal loop in the gray. 


And a simple feather in the florals. 


The florals are Petite Garden by Sevenberry. 

Aren't they BEAUTIFUL???


For the binding I went with Riley Blakes silver stripe πŸ€“, of course!


I love it so much :)

(Can you see the snow flakes falling in the picture?)

Friday, February 24, 2017

RJR What Shade Are You?

Welcome to my stop on the RJR Fabric's What Shade Are You Blog Hop!!!

I am pleased as punch, pink and orange punch, to be participating in their blog hop!!
So, What Shade Are You?  

At different times in my life, I would answer that question differently, as I am sure you would too, although, pink would always be at least one of the shades in my answer. 

Yes, I totally would have driven this car in high school!.. and today.

Pink has always been one of my "signature colors."  ("Blush and bashful, one is much deeper than the other!")  ...well, maybe green was my actual first love, truth be told.  Now wait, or did I pick green because my best friend had already chosen blue and we couldn't have the same "favorite" color???  Oh no!  What if the foundation for all of my future color choices was based on my bff picking first and I had to take sloppy seconds??!

[I'm sorry. I digress.]

So, a while back RJR Fabrics contacted me about participating in their "What Shade Are You" Blog Hop.  HOW EXCITING!!   The cool kids want me to play with them!

RJR sent me the color card for their AMAZING Cotton Supreme colors. Talk about heaven on card stock!  Luscious!!

[Now, I do need to go back a little in time for this part of the story.  My quilts usually don't have such a long story, but making this quilt was a bit of an Odyssey :)]

A few years ago, I was asked to judge a local quilt show. The lady who was in charge of the show met us there and was binding a quilt while we judged the show, an AMAZING antique quilt. Let's just say I DIED over this quilt. I had never seen the pattern before and I swooned!  

(I tried to run off with the quilt while she wasn't looking, but this lady was too quick for me). 

Please excuse the horrible old phone picture.

She did let me take a picture of it instead. 

Orange gingham and a pale pink background. An obsession was born. Not only was I now obsessed with this quilt design, but my mind was blown by the color combination.  (Is there a "mind blown" emoji?).  Obsession at first sight!  Orange and pink, who knew??

[Fast forward a few months to Quilt Market spring 2016]

As I was wandering around quilt market, I stopped into the AWESOME AND AMAZING Sew Kind of Wonderful booth. (Love you gals!). I showed Jenny the pic of the antique quilt on my phone and asked if she knew what it was. She told me that it was a traditional drunkard's path and that I would have the best luck recreating the blocks with their awesome Mini Quick Curve Ruler.  (Their rulers ROCKS!)
Of course, I bought the ruler and skipped merrily on my way.  A little foreshadowing, I also bought a fat quarter bundle of the new Cotton + Steel Checkers...

Now to choose fabric. Enter RJR's invitation to participate in WSAY. Enter divine intervention. 

Anyone who has worked with solids knows that it is sometimes easier to choose solids using a print fabric for inspiration. Find a fabric you love for the backing first, and then select your solids to match. It's a little backwards from what we are used to, but it really, REALLY helps!   (You're welcome!  ...I actually got this BRILLIANT tip from Kira Carter, you can thank her over on ig @quiltedkira )

I needed some fabric inspiration, as fate would have it, I was scrolling through my ig feed and suddenly the heavens parted and angels began to sing(!) as I saw the most glorious BEAUTIFUL fabric in the WHOLE WORLD!   [I'm not. even. kidding.]

Lo and behold, right there in the middle of a fabric collage was the most perfect fabric ever designed in all of fabric-dom.  Right there in my ig feed was floral fabric nirvana!  Pink and orange fabric perfection.

You are probably wondering who the designer of this holy grail of fabric was?  Well, of course it was the Queen of Design, none other than Ms. Jennifer Paganelli, her Royalness, of the Most High.

Are you ready for the conflict?   The the most perfect fabric of all time was out of print!!  NOOOOoooooooo...  Several years out of print and nowhere to be found!

So what did I do?? (...after I cried face down on the floor for a day?)  I posted an ISO on IG and crossed my fingers.  Yet again, the quilting ancestors interceded and a few WONDERFUL and glorious IG bffs found me yardage of this out of print loveliness.  My life was now complete.

With my RJR Cotton Supreme color card in one hand and the floral in the other, I chose three of the most lovey shades of pink (ballerina, fairy princess, & orchid) and one outstanding shade of orange (carrot).  Cute names, right? ...RJR really should name two, Blush and Bashful! ;)

Now for the work to begin.

 It took a bit of finagling, and a few (hundred) test blocks, but I finally found the right proportions for my traditional drunkards path block.

I wanted the quilt to have movement, and that is why I chose three slightly different shades of pink for the quilt.

I am SO happy with the result.

As I am a longarm quilter, the quilting was the most fun part of the whole project.  In working with solids, the quilting really stands out and shows itself off to the world.

I thought long and hard about how I would quilt this traditional design.  I finally settled on stitch in the ditch, a crosshatch quilting for the orange, and an outline and swirl-pebble motif for the pink.  For the curves and straight lines I use Linda Hrcka’s Quilted Pineapple Curved Templates and the QP Edge.  They pretty much rock!

PS- I always use Superior Threads "So Fine" thread when I quilt.  It's the BOMB!

How would I bat the quilt?  I know most people don't give this aspect much thought, but I like to obsess over it.

I (almost) always start with Winline Textiles 100% natural cotton batting.  It's my favorite, hands down.  The next really important question is, "do I add a layer of Quilters Dream, Dream Wool on top of the cotton?"  The question was answered with an emphatic, "YES!"

Double batting adds to the quilts weight and warmth as well as making the quilting look AWESOME!!  I love how the wool gives the quilting the extra "wow" factor, something every longarm quilter is looking for.

(Yes, I did mark my crosshatch.  I used a water soluble marker.)

I was hoping to complete the quilting in a few days, and thankfully, I was able to do that.   (ALL of my boys went camping and left me alone to my own quilty devices! <insert evil laugh emoticon>)

Now for the binding.  Binding is quite a bit more important than some may think.  It frames the quilt...and I LOVE to hand bind! :)

Bias gingham is my first and forever choice for binding, as it should be.  Bias gingham binding is the most perfect choice (almost) always.  The end, and amen.  (Ok, ok, I do have a pretty serious relationship with a bolt of black and white stripe that ends up as binding for quite a few of my quilts :D ...but gingham is my first and forever love!)

If you have ever worked with pinks and orange, there are about a million shades and hues to choose from.  Matching them can be a real challenge.  "Is the pink too blue, is the orange too red or too yellow?"  Decisions, decisions!

THANK HEAVENS!!, the new Cotton + Steel woven checkers in lavender was the perfect match.

I do not understand WHY it is called "lavender" when it is clearly pink.  Flummoxing.

[*****SIDE BAR-  Color Police update!!!  So, at Epic Sew Day yesterday, we were all discussing the name of the gingham.  All agreed that it was anything but lavender...until, the genius, that is Emily Herrick, dug through a box of crayons to find the matching crayon.  Well, much to ALL of our surprise, the color that matched the pink gingham EXACTLY was named LAVENDER!!!   Apparently our collective color knowledge is shamefully unintelligent! ***]

Well, regardless of the name, the Cotton + Steel checkers was perfection in binding form.

Is there anything prettier than a pile of prepped binding on the floor next to your sewing machine?

Any hoots, the binding went on like a dream.  I (almost) always hand bind my quilts.  I love the look, but mostly love the time I get to spend with my quilt, hand stitching (and binge watching something on Netflix or Hulu.)

I am so happy with how this quilt turned out.  

Here's hoping that in 100 years, this quilt will inspire another lovely creation by some future quilter!

(There is always that one stupid corner where a seam ends up! Aye carumba!)

Name: Drunkard’s Sunrise
Finished quilt size: 56”x 72”

Thank you, RJR Fabrics, for inviting me to participate in such a fun adventure!  
Who knew the amazing places this journey would take me!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Fibs & Fables Clam Bake


This Clam Bake pattern (by the talented Emily Herrick) has been on my "to make" list from the very beginning of my quilting journey. 


I have always loved the classic design of the clam shells. 


Emily's method and shell size was exactly what I was looking for!


It was also perfect for highlighting the fabrics in Anna Maria Horner's Fibs and Fables fabric collection. 


Of course I had to throw in some Heavy Metal gold fabric (By JACK!E) to give the quilt the bling I love so much!


For the quilting, I went with several different quilting motifs. 


I find it challenging to fill spaces with the perfect quilting. 


I seek inspiration from all over quilting-dom πŸ€“


I am so happy with how this quilt turned out. 


Funny story. 


When my mom saw this quilt she told me it was a "work of art" and needed to be hung up. 

(Isn't she sweet? ...wait for it)


I told her that I had no wall space in my home. 


She immediately began to search my home for a wall. 


Suddenly she stopped and said, "I know the perfect spot!"


"Where?"  I said, assuming she had discovered some previously undiscovered wall. 


"In Grandmother's bedroom!" She replied. 


I then reminded her, "Grandmother's bedroom is in YOUR house!"


My mother smiled and said, "Well, yes..." πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


Sneaky broad!


My sweet angel mother did spring for the perfect backing for me. 😍😍😘😘

Helios in Incense

I LOVE it!!  Thanks, Mom!


Isn't quilting the best hobby EVER?!


(How about that Riley Blake gold stripe binding? 😍😍😎)