Wednesday, January 28, 2015

APQ Quilt Along 2015

Does this quilt look familiar?

This was the project for the 2014 American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt Along.  It was a hugely popular quilt along, and every time I saw a finished quilt I said to myself, "I need to make that quilt".  I loved every one I spotted, each different, but each amazing.  Unfortunately I did not squeeze this project into my 2014 finished list, I have higher hopes for this year's quilt along.

Information and pattern instructions for the 2015 APQ Quilt Along will be arriving in your mailbox or at your newsstand very soon.

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

To add to the fun, this year you have 3 patterns to chose from, each designed by a different quilter but all using a the same theme, 4 patches.

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Top left is Buried Treasure by April Rosenthal, top right is Rainbow Rows by Lissa Alexander, and bottom left is Scraptacular by Edyta Sitar.

I'm hoping to make a version of all three, but first up for me is Rainbow Rows.

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Once I decided on my pattern I then needed to decide on my fabric.  

The lights were easy, I just pulled out my stack of low volume prints that I've accumulated.  The tougher decision was my contrasting fabric.  I debated three options;  a bright and colorful version, close to Lissa's quilt, 

a shades of grey version, 

or how about rows of gray and orange, a combination of my first two options?

This is what I went with.  I have all the pieces cut, now it's time for some piecing. 

If the magazine and my blog posts don't get you motivated, then check out all these other quilters who will also be providing inspiration for these projects.

April Rosenthal, Prairie Grass Patterns
Barb and Mary, Me and My Sister Designs
Bonnie Hunter, Quiltville’s Quips & Snips!
Camille Roskelley, Simplify 
Debbie Roberts, The Quilted Moose
Edyta Sitar, Laundry Basket Quilts
Jane Davidson, Quilt Jane
Jo Morton, Jo Morton Quilts
Kimberly Jolly, Jolly Jabber
Linda Collins, Quilts in the Barn
Lisa Bongean
Lissa Alexander, Moda Lissa
Shea Henderson, Empty Bobbin Sewing
Sherri McConnell, A Quilting Life
Vanessa Goertzen, Lella Boutique
American Patchwork & Quilting staff

Please join in, and if you don't have a blog I would be happy to share your progress, feel free to send me your pictures.

And finally, if you use Instagram follow along using #apqquiltalong.  

Winter is my best sewing season, if you've looking for a project to use up some of your stash and perk up your winter days I think your search is over!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cotton and Steel 1 - First Finish for 2015

I've finished my Cotton and Steel project.  I've named it Cotton and Steel 1 because I think it's the first of many projects I'll make using that fabric.

When I made the blocks I didn't really have a plan on how I would set the blocks, but I figured something would come to me once I got to that stage.

So the first thing I did was add another row of white fabric to each block.  I liked the look but didn't think it looked finished, so I added this,

an outer borer of half square triangle units.  Now I think it looks done.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 148
I sort of threw the pattern together and have named it Cotton and Steel 1
The fabric is by Cotton and Steel
It finished at 63" x 63"
It has approximately 1,525 pieces.

A few of you mentioned my half square triangle units.  I use the Easy Angle ruler to make my units and have for years.  I make mine bigger then square them up.

So I think I'm off to a good start.  It's been a busy month, but it feels good to have my first project of the year pieced. I hope you're off to a good start in your sewing room.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Snapshots Sew Along - Block 1 - Let Them Eat Cake

Great news, the first pattern for the Fat Quarter Shop's Snapshots Sew Along is available!  The wait is finally over.

The first block is named Let Them Eat Cake.

Here is my finished block.

The pattern uses a green print fabric for the cake stand but I substituted the pink fabric from an earlier Bonnie and Camille line for my cake stand, because if I really had a cake stand it would be pink.

I cut and pieced this block in an afternoon, the directions were easy to follow and the block easy to piece.

Kimberly at the Fat Quarter Shop has released a video tutorial for this block. Link to video, click here.

 The Let Them Eat Cake pattern is available here.  Link to pattern, click here.

The pattern is a free download, but the Fat Quarter Shop is asking for a donation of at least $5 for the pattern to St. Jude Children's Hospital.   Link to donation page, click here.

There are some other quilters who are sewing along, you can check out their progress below:

Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms
Bonnie Olaveson of Cotton Way
Pat Sloan of The Voice of Quilting
Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet
Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life
Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting
Pam Viera-McGinnis of Pam Kitty Morning
Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs
Stephanie Kendron of The Modern Sewciety
Natalia Bonner of Piece N Quilt
Greg Jones of Grey Dogwood Studios
Jessie Fincham of Messy Jesse

Be sure to post your finished block on your blog or twitter, instagram or facebook using #fqssnapshots.  I'll be looking for your block!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

And then there were 9

The blocks are done! I enjoyed mixing and matching the fabric for each block.  Picking the centers was probably the hardest part.

I plan to add some sashing and a border of some sorts, but so far I'm very happy with how this project is coming together.  I think it's an interesting quilt.   I've made prettier quilts, but given how unusual this fabric is, especially for me, I'm pleasantly surprised how much I like it.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

First Project of the Year

So after blogging about all the quilt patterns waiting for my attention in 2015, my first quilt of the year doesn't even have a pattern.  How did that happen?

Well I've been anxious to make a quilt using the Cotton and Steel fabric that was released last year.  As you may remember, it takes me awhile to warm up to fabric, usually it takes so long that it's no longer available by the time I decide I do in fact like it.  That was definitely the case with the Cotton and Steel fabric.  The colors were a little different for me, the scales of the prints were varied and even a little on the large side, some of the pieces had gold metallic prints and worst of all, there were animal prints!  I'm not one who enjoys hacking up animal prints, one eye here and one ear over there, peeking out at me in a quilt, it gives me the creeps.  And honestly, my least favorite of all animal prints is horses, I have no idea why, I love horses, the real ones, running across a field or down the stretch in the Kentucky Derby, horses across my quilts, nope, that just didn't suit, or so I thought.

So once I decided I did like the Cotton and Steel fabric, and had some delivered to my house, I knew I needed a pattern that would showcase the prints, individually.  I knew they would look OK mixed together, all scrappy, and I may still do that with some of my leftovers, but for this first Cotton and Steel quilt I wanted to be able to see the prints, horses, and eyes, and all.

I saw this quilt block in an antique quilt.  I sized the block to fit my preferences and the fabrics.  The center block finishes at 6 inches, each row finishes at 1 1/2 inches, giving me a block that finishes at 18 inches.  I plan to make 9 of them.  Amazingly I'm enjoying the horses and the eyes and even the metallic prints.

So 9 blocks, using 4 different fabrics for each block, will enable me to use 36 different prints from the Cotton and Steel line.  That's not even half the prints, but it's a good start.  Just like I think this project is a good start to my year.

I hope you're getting off to a good start in your sewing room too,

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 Goals

I made two resolutions for 2015,

this is the first one . . .

And I intend to remind myself to do just that.

The second resolution is to unsubscribe to one email solicitor every day. I go to bed thinking I'm caught up on reading email and then wake up to over 30 new emails the next morning.  I hear from some businesses every day, and I've had enough.  There are so many it's overwhelming.  That's why I've decided to unsubscribe to one a day, instead of spending an hour or two trying to get rid of all  of them all at once.  So far it's been painless.

On a quilting front, I don't have resolutions per se,  but I do have a few projects that I think would make me happy to work on.

I am participating in the FQS Snapshots Quilt Along.  It's a fund raiser for St Judes, uses adorable fabric, and has the cutest blocks I've ever seen.  It's a win, win, win.  I hope you'll join the fun.

I have a new space between the kitchen and living room where I'm now hanging quilts.  I could use some quilts for that space, something around a 52" x 52" size.

This quilt by Cindy Lammon finishes at 42" x 42" and is high on my list of projects to finish this year. The pattern is in the November/December 2014 McCall's Quilting magazine.  The majority of the fabric in my stash is fat quarters and this pattern needs some yardage, I'll need to do some shopping before I can start this one.

This year I'm going to piece a pattern designed by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.

I follow Edyta on Instagram, every day she posts a picture of one of her quilts, I love them all and am hoping this is the year I make one.

I think Brigitte Heitland's Zen Chic patterns X's and O's and Write on White are amazing.

I think Write on White would work with any style and color of fabric, X's and O's is made using Reel Time by Zen Chic for Moda and should be available in April, I'm not sure I can wait that long, I may go with something else.

There are several patterns in this book by Amber Johnson that I like.

And I saw this quilt hanging in a shop, no Y seams are used to piece these large wedge blocks.

The Flying Falcons quilt is by Violet Craft.  I have no idea what fabric I would use, something to think about for sure.

And I've fallen behind on my Thimble blossoms patterns.  I hope I get a few of these done before Camille cranks out a dozen more.

So that's whats floating around in my head for projects, but I'm very flexible and always open for a sew along or something new and different.

What are your plans for 2015, maybe I'll join you?