Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Low Volume Churndash Swap

My quilty friends and I seem to always have a swap of some sort going on.

Shortly after we finished our plus block swap, we started this low volume Churndash Swap. 


We each chose our own focal colors to go along with the low volume back ground. 


I chose to use orange and pink and I requested that the color be in background, instead of having the colors be in the churndash ;)

We each made four blocks for each swap participant.


These are Barbie's blocks. @thequiltingmill


Sonia @hobblecreekquilts and Kira @quiltedkira requested red 
and I made them identical blocks.


These aqua lovelies are Krystal's @thestitchstarter


Emily @simplegirlsimplelife requested black! 


Tiffany @tiffsewinsomethin chose a muted fall rainbow of colors with half of the colors in the back ground and half in the churndash.


Natalie  @smileynannn wanted winter colors, gray, blue and silver!  


Kairle @kairleoaks wanted sherbet colors.   As it turns out, I was the only one that thought my aqua and cornflower blue would make good sherbet colors ;) 


Denise @happyvalleyquilting also chose the lovely aqua. 

In deciding my layout, I didn't know what to do.

One day while scrolling through Instagram, I saw someone layout the churn dashes on point.  I fell in love!  They look like lanterns to me :)

I sketched out this very complex pattern ;)  AKA map!

I knew that I would need an additional 5 blocks to complete my quilt.

I also thought it would look cool if I made 9 patches for setting blocks.


I used low volume fabrics for the final setting blocks.  LOVE!!!


It was really hard to decide how to quilt this special quilt.


The borders ended up with straight lines, 3/4" apart.


I used a single layer of Winline Wool batting.  

I left the churndashes unquilted so they would poof up ;)

I am super happy with how the quilting turned out!


While quilting, I decided to add each of my friends names in the center of one of the blocks that they made for me.
I messed up nearly all of their names!! :(

Matalie, Bardie, Enily, & KryStal.

I decided to leave the mistakes to remind myself that I am truly not a perfectionist!


For the binding, I used the Cotton + Steele gray gingham, cut on the bias.



I am so happy with how beautifully this quilt turned out.

It is exactly how I envisioned it.


A word about swaps-
One of my favorite things about swaps is the type of quilt you end up with.

As quilters, we are usually very particular and specific about the things we like,
the fabrics we choose and the quilts we make.


When participating in a swap, you have to let go of that.  You have to put your requests out to the group and then be ready to LOVE each quilters interpretation of your instructions.


In the blocks that I received, some were exactly as I had instructed, some were not. 
 As it turns out, when I made my 5 additional blocks, 
I couldn't even follow my own instructions :(
...and guess what?  It didn't matter at all!


Swap quilts give you a special gift from each quilter in the group.  Each piece of fabric was chosen by my dear friends, just for me.

I love it so much!!


PS- This was the first quilt that I made with a single layer of wool batting.

I love how squishy and warm and soft it is.
It is a wonderful quilt to nap under!


I will always treasure the friendships this quilt represents!


I cant wait to start on my next swap quilt!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

ScrapTastic Solid Improv Quilt


For the past three years, I have wanted to make something with my solid scraps.
I have WAY more scraps than I thought!

(I held a giveaway on IG for the my leftover scraps from this project.  The leftover scraps weighed more than 10.5 pounds!!)


After much deliberation, and many many plans over turned, 
I decided to make an improv quilt out of my solid scraps.


I started out piecing and chopping and piecing and chopping some more.

(...all while my boys were playing Axis & Allies for hours and hours and hours!!!  If you aren't familiar with Axis & Allies, imagine Risk times 100)


It was really fun learning how to do improv curve piecing.


I tried to focus on more cheerful colors.

I wanted my quilt to be perky!!


It was very exciting to see my quilt grow and grow.

Do you like my creepy eye?

Just after the New Year, I was cleaning out my sewing room and found several orphan blocks made out of solids.  I got the idea that maybe other quilters might have some orphan blocks that they would like to donate to my quilt.


I posted an adoption request on Instagram and I wasn't disappointed!


Awesome quilters sent me blocks from all over the US and even Canada!!

For many of the blocks I received, I sewed them together and then chopped them up again :)


Last year I signed up for the Riley Blake MQG fabric challenge, using a fabric collection called Sashing Stash designed by Eleanor Dugan. I COMPLETELY forgot about the challenge and the fabric :(  I thought the fabric would be perfect to toss in improv quilt.  The black and white really lends stability to the quilt.


I brought all of my blocks up to my friends cabin to put together.  I used her ping pong table as my design wall.  It was GREAT! ..except, that there was one problem with the ping pong table...


The table was SUPER long and narrow!!!  ...and so my quilt ended up being 55"x 95".  I have to say that ALL of my friends laughed REALLY hard when they saw my LONG quilt! 


The beauty of Improv is that with a little surgery, I was able to make my quilt a more normal size, although Kairle is very sad that her ping pong table no longer has the perfect cover!

We also learned from Emily Herrick, that this size of quilt is often used by coroners to cover bodies in body bags as they are taken from their homes!  (true story, ask Emily)

(Now you know what the hashtag #cadaverpingpongtablecover means now, in case you were wondering :D)


Quilting and Batting-

I debated over how to quilt this for a long time.  Many of my friend thought I should do some fancy crazy custom quilting, but I knew that it would drive me UP! A! WALL!!!


I decided to do wavy quilting.  Peaceful and calm!

It was the perfect choice along with wool batting.

I love the poofy look and warmth of the wool.  Winline Wool is my new favorite batting!


For the binding I stuck with my old standard of bias black and white binding. 


Why mess with perfection?


Oh, my newest habit is to label my quilts as soon as the binding is sewn on, before I start hand sewing.  Thank you, Jen Van Orman, for your awesome label tutorial!!!

Once I was all finished, I dragged my boys (kicking and screaming)
 out to hold the quilt for the photo shoot.


We had a really fun time on a busy street corner during commute time.
(totally embarrassing for them)

First we took pictures at the San Andres Catholic Church near our home.


It is a beautiful old building.  

Note to self- don't wear a short skirt, on a windy day, to take pictures, 
squatting on a busy corner!

While we were there, a car honked at us.  It was my quilting BFF, Emily Carr.  At first she was wondering who the crazy people were with the quilt on the corner.  Once she saw it was us, she KNEW we were crazy for sure.


Our last stop on the photo shoot was the Peteeneet School Museum.  

My sweet boys held the quilt up like pros.
They are getting so much better at withstanding my torturous outings!

They only whined a little bit!