Monday, March 19, 2018

It's an Easter Picnic

We are having the longest winter known to mankind, or at least it feels that way to me.  When March rolls around I'm ready to be enjoying some sunshine and walking outside, even if I have to wear a jacket.  Well this March has been as cold as February and I'm still wearing my winter coat when I venture out.  Since Spring has not sprung at my house I decided to bring some spring to my sewing room.

First off, the search for spring fabric.

These fat quarters are leftovers from previous projects that I saved. I store leftovers by color.

Then I googled basket quilts, because I was feeling the need for an Easter basket quilt.  It 's hard to choose just one basket quilt pattern, there are a lot of great ones.  I thought Carrie Nelson's Picnic pattern would look great in my spring colors.

I even had this pattern on hand which made the whole process even easier.  Carrie's Picnic quilt finishes at 34" x 34", I decided I needed a bigger quilt so I made everything just a wee bit larger.

I made the basket blocks 2 inches bigger than the pattern.  And I made them one at a time, which isn't the most efficient way to piece but it was fun selecting two fabrics for each basket, then watching them grow one by one on my design wall.  

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 223
I've named it Easter Basket
The pattern is Picnic by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co
It finished at 48" x 48"
It has approximately 461 pieces.  

I enjoyed every minute spent piecing this quilt top, it was easy,  practically went together overnight, and the happy colors improved my mood, considerably.  And the best part, I have a cute little basket quilt to hang up each year around Easter, regardless of the weather.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Cake Mix Recipe Finish

Are you familiar with the Cake Mix Recipe papers sold by Moda?  All you need is a layer cake, some background fabric, and the Cake Mix papers and you can make a myriad of quilt tops.   I've admired several projects I've seen pieced using these papers and thought I would give them a try.

I think there are 8 different Cake Mix Recipe pads, I decided to go with Recipe 6.  For my fabric I selected a layer cake of Haiku by Moda.  I thought this family of fabric was very striking, a nice change of pace from my usual fabric choices, but had no idea what to make with it.

Each sheet of Cake Mix Recipe 6 yields the following units; eight 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" hsts, plus eight 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" rail fence units, one print 2 1/2" square and one background 2 1/2" square.

I used my own background fabric and cut my 10" squares to pair up with my layer cake.

The papers were a breeze to piece and produced units the exact size promised.  I pressed my seams open.  Whenever possible I make my block units larger then square them up to size, so I was worried about the accuracy of these pieces, but they were perfect.

Once I had all the units pieced it was time to decide what to make with them.  The Cake Mix provided 5 possible blocks using different combinations of the pieces and parts.  You can even come up with your own combinations.

I decided I liked Block 3 and Block 5 the best.  I thought they would work well for the Haiku fabric.

So I played around with a few options on my design wall then finally came up with this.

I think this was the fun part, deciding what was the best use of the pieces and what combos made the most pleasing design.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 222
I've named it Haiku
The fabric is Haiku by Moda - I used two layer cakes to finish this top 
The pattern is from Cake Recipe Mix 6
It finished at 60" x 60"
It has approximately 1,058 pieces

I could not be happier with this quilt top.  I love the fabric and think the pattern is a great fit for the feel of the fabric.  I'm not sure I would have ever made anything with this fabric had I not tried the Cake Mix.

I think these Cake Mix Recipe paper pads are very clever.  I have several layer cakes that I've purchased because I like the fabric, but not enough to invest in the cost of a fat quarter bundle, fabric that I wasn't really sure what to do with,  now I have unlimited options.  You can go with patterns that have been designed by Moda or come up with your own design like I did.  The Fat Quarter Shop even has a book with patterns for the Cake Mixes.  (click here)

I think these would be great to take on a retreat, one layer cake with your background fabric plus one cake pad and you could have a quilt in a weekend easy.

I also think they would be a fun guild challenge,  everyone bring a layer cake and cake mix pad, mix them up, then you have to make something with the pad and layer cake you were dealt.

Shop around for the Cake Mix pads, I saw prices online from $9 to $14.

In honor of my Haiku finish I wrote a Haiku!

Baking with Haiku
A recipe but no plan
Finish is well done

I'm already planning my next Cake Mix Recipe adventure.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Merrily Finish

Sometime last year I bought this Moda Kit, Merrily.

I don't buy kits very often, as a matter of fact, I can't remember the last time I bought a kit, but this one was a winner.  I made the quilt exactly like the pattern and had no issues with fabric shortages.  That's my biggest fear when buying a kit, making a mistake then not being able to recover because there's not enough fabric, or worse yet, the kit supplier not providing enough fabric.

This is a horrible picture of this quilt, if the sun every shines again I'll take another one, it's a very bright and cheery quilt, it looks a little dull in this picture.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 221
The pattern is Merrily, by Carrie Nelson for Moda.
The fabric is also Merrily,  by Gingiber for Moda.
It finished at  60" x 66"
It has approximately 372 pieces.

This is one of those patterns that looks like you worked real hard on it, but it only took me 3 afternoons start to finish.  If you have this kit be sure to check the Moda website for pattern updates before you start. (click here)

I bought this fabric for the backing, I think it's by Bunny Hill.

My goal is to piece 6 Christmas themed quilts for family members this year, this quilt is for my niece, I think she'll love it it, only 5 more to go!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Project X - Finish

One of my 2017 quilting goals was to piece a black and white quilt, which I never got around to, the year went by too fast and I never really did come up with a good plan or pattern.

Susan Ache posted this progress pic on Instagram, these were some alternate blocks for a quilt top she was working on.  I liked the blocks so much I thought they would make a nice looking quilt all on their own, finally, a girl with a plan.

I dug around in my stash and pulled 5 Bella Solids for my pop of color, and a nice assortment of blacks and backgrounds.

Scrappy backgrounds are not my first choice, but Susan's blocks had a scrappy background, and I liked her blocks, so I decided to go with a scrappy background too.  I like the look.

What I didn't like were all those colors, too busy for this quilter,  so I eliminated the pink and blue blocks, keeping the green, orange and yellow blocks.

Once all the X blocks were pieced I needed to create the perfect setting, here were my rules:

No like center squares side by side.

A colored center block could not stand alone, it must be connected diagonally to at least one block with the same center color.

No like backgrounds touching.

And here's what I came up with.

Yes, I know, a scary peek into my head.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 220 and Black and White Quilt Number 1
I've named it Project X
There is no pattern, I just made it up as I went along.
It finished at 54" x 54"
It has approximately 944 pieces.

Did you spot the 6 solid black X blocks?

Here's how I pieced the X blocks.

A - 5 1/2" square cut diagonally twice.
B - fat quarter strip cut 2" wide and into 4 pieces
C - 2" square

Once it was all pieced together I squared it up to 5 1/2 inches, lining up the 2 3/4" white lines on the ruler with the center square, for a perfect block.

Speaking of goals, a 2018 goal is to make 6 Christmas quilts for family members, next up, the first Christmas quilt of the year.

Monday, January 29, 2018

First Finish - 2018

My first finish for the year and it was a fun one.

The pattern is Lloyd and Lola by Elizabeth Hartman.  I made this quilt for my daughter, she rarely asks for a quilt but this caught her eye and I have to admit to being a llama lover myself.

The faces have a lot of pieces, around 50 each I think, and took some time, but I love their look and and think they really do look like lamas.

You may have noticed that the pattern has two full size llamas, my daughter requested a mama llama and a baby llama.  I thought cutting the fullsize pattern in half would result in a baby llama that was too small, so I went with 3/4 the original pattern.  2/3 might have been a little better but the math would have been a killer.  If you're ever playing around with patterns reducing or enlarging by 25, 50 or 75 percent is a breeze,  because you usually end up with pieces that have 1/8ths or 16ths, manageable and on rulers.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 219
The pattern is Lloyd and Lola by Elizabeth Hartman
The colored prints are Sundrops by Corey Yoder for Coriander Quilts for Moda
The llama prints are Merrily by Ginger for Moda
The background fabric is a Peppered Cotton, the color is fog
It finished at 56 1\2" by 70 1\2"
It has approximately 393 pieces.

I've pieced the backing but had to order binding fabric, so I"m allowing myself to start something new, even though technically that's not my new goal, to finish backing AND binding before starting something new.  I think my next project will actually be something from my 2018 goals list, I may finally get that black and white quilt off my to do list. 

I hope your year is off to a great start, I'm finally over the flu and a sinus infection and packed up the last of my Christmas decorations yesterday, Christmas was a long season at my house this year.  But now I"m feeling better and expect to spend some quality time in my sewing room the month of February.