Friday, February 27, 2015

The Charley Harper Project

I'm back!  Although you didn't really know I was gone.  I popped out to California to visit my favorite daughter, and bad weather in the midwest forced me to extend my stay (that's the kind of bad luck that's really good luck).  Then I was home a day before popping down to Florida, where the natives were whining about the cold weather, but since it was 60 degrees warmer than where I live, I thought the weather was marvelous. And now I'm back home but barely back in my sewing room because while I enjoyed the change in temperature my sinuses did not. 

When I have been in my sewing room I've been playing around with some Charley Harper fabric.  I'm pretty much copying Cindy Lamman's pattern for this fabric.  She came up with the idea of framing the prints that puts the focus on the fun Charley Harper fabric while also creating what looks like a wall of hanging art.

Cutting the focus fabric to just the right size and selecting different fabric for my frames has been occupying what little time I've had to sew.  But it's been time that I've enjoyed.

I'm to the point now that I've decided I need more Charley Harper fabric.  I  just had a few pieces but like the look enough that I want to continue and make a size similar to Cindy's.

This is Cindy's finished Charley Harper quilt.

Cindy's blog is Hyacinth Quilt Designs, I'm always thrilled when a new post on her blog pops to the top of my Favorites List.  Her latest project is a free pattern she designed that's now on my To Do List, check it out if you happened to miss it.

Cindy talks about her Charley Harper project here.
And provides the pattern to make the blocks here.

Her pattern for the blocks would work for a any fabric that you have in your stash that you've been unable to cut because you wanted the fabric design to not get lost in a quilt pattern.  The focus of this quilt is definitely the fabric.

New topic old subject - are you still thinking about joining the Go Four It Quilt Along?  There are some amazing projects on instagram at #apqquiltalong, be sure to continue to check that hashtag.   I've not found much online yet, be sure to let me know if you have a finish, I'll link to your blog or post  your picture if you don't blog.  Most of the quilters are going with Rainbow Rows and there's a yellow and grey version that I love.  Buried Treasure seems to be the second most popular pattern being made by quilters who are using instagram.  I'm still undecided on my fabric for Scraptacular, maybe something new coming out this spring, I'll keep looking.

We're in for another round of snow this weekend, I've been to the store, am caught up the laundry and house work, and am feeling better, guess I'll stay in and sew!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bonus Finish

So far I've finished two of three Go Four It Quilt Along patterns in the April issue of American Patchwork and Quilting, I'm still thinking about my fabric options for the third pattern, Scraptacular.

To fill the time while I figure out my plan of attack, I played around with the bonus triangles from my Buried Treasure project, and came up with this, my first mini quilt.

Each block finishes at 4 inches.  I used Camille's  "Half Square Triangles in 25 Ways" Craftsy video for the block patterns.  (link here)

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 151
The quilt is named Scrumptious Shuffle
It finished at 23 1/2" x 23 1/2".
The majority of the fabric is from Scrumptious by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.
It has approximately 293 pieces.

More finished Go Four It quilts are showing up on instagram and around blogland, here's a great finish by Carrie Nelson if you're looking for inspiration.  I hope you're Going Four It!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

It's Snapshots Time!

I can't believe it's the 15th of the month already.  February is over half gone.  But besides meaning the month is going too fast, the 15th also means it's time for a new Fat Quarter Shop Snapshots pattern!  WOO HOO!!

This month's pattern, Block Two, is Sew On & Sew On, my latest favorite.

I used a different Daysail print than what is used in the pattern for my sewing machine.  I also swapped out the "buttons" fabric for an older Bonnie and Camille print, and of course my thread needed to be pink.  But other than that, it's exactly like the pattern.  LOL

Regardless of the fabric you use, your sewing machine will look great too, the pattern was very easy to follow.

Two blocks done, 10 more to go.

I am thrilled that the FQS has already surpassed it's initial goal of $10,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  What a great start.  Wouldn't it be something if we could double that initial amount.  As a reminder, the monthly patterns are a free download, a donation is up to you, the suggested donation is $5.  Here is a link to the pattern, donation page, and everything else you need to know.  (click here)  

There are some more quilters working on this project, be sure to check out how they decorated their sewing machines.

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

Thursday, February 12, 2015

APQ Quilt Along Finish

The second pattern I chose for the APQ Go Four It Quilt Along was Buried Treasure by April Rosenthal.

This is April's quilt.
Here are  my blocks set exactly like the pattern.

But you can turn a few blocks here and there and also get this pattern if you prefer.

I found working on this pattern pure joy.  I love the colors (Scrumptious by Bonnie and Camille for Moda) and learned from my last quilt that I prefer a plain white background. It was easy to piece, all the points and corners matched up perfectly, and it went together in no time.

I decided to stick with April's layout.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 150
The pattern is Buried Treasure by April Rosenthal and is in the April 2015 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.
The fabric is all Bonnie and Camille for Moda, mostly Scrumptious.
It finished at 64"x 64"
It has approximately 896 pieces.

My favorite daughter has dibs on both my APQ Go Four It Quilts, they are definitely her colors.  I also plan to make Edyta's pattern Scraptacular but am stumped on what fabric to use for the non 4 patch rows.  I'm going to wait and see what some of you come up with, hopefully that will help me get it right the first time.  Barb, from Me and My Sisters Designs, is making Scraptacular out of her latest line Bandana by Moda.  She is using a color palette that I love, and is working away on her 4 patches but has yet to reveal her solid row fabric, I'm eagerly watching.   If you spy a great Scraptacular be sure to let me know.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

APQ Quilt Along First Finish

So the first pattern I selected from the available three patterns for the APQ Go Four It Quilt Along was Rainbow Rows.  Here it is, designed and pieced by Lissa Alexander.

This quilt immediately appealed to me for two reasons, the scrappy background fabric and the prominent rows of diamonds.

I enjoyed going through my low volume stash and cutting all my strips.  I also enjoyed making all the 4 patches.  But as I mentioned in my last post, the low volume prints that I initially loved didn't appeal to me once the blocks were pieced and on my design wall.

I can't even put my finger on why that layout didn't appeal to me, other than maybe I'm more of a white background kind of gal than I thought.  I received some great feedback and suggestions on my blocks so I decided to keep working at it, and discovered that while the busy background bothered me when the blocks were set on point, that same background appealed to me when the blocks were not set on point.   I'm just crazy that way I guess.

So this is my version of Rainbow Rows and I'm happy with it.  It is the same block from Lissa's pattern, just set differently.  

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 149
The pattern is Rainbow Rows by Lissa Alexander from the April issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.
It finished at 46" x 56" - a nice lap size.
It has approximately 1,526 pieces.

From what I've heard most folks have located the magazine for the quilt along.  Be sure to send me a picture or link to your blog while you are working on your Go Four It project.  Nicole from Sister's Choice Quilts is joining the fun and making a few changes to Lisa's pattern also, check it out here.  #apqquiltalong on Instagram has some great pictures too, so check them out if you can.  My favorite finish so far is by Kimberly from the Fat Quarter Shop.

Stop back by tomorrow, Buried Treasure is pieced, 
and I got it right the first try!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

APQ Quilt Along Update

I've been working away on my quilt for the Go Four It Quilt Along that's in the April 2015 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.  For those of you still looking for the magazine, it officially went on sale February 3, I bet it will show up this week.  My grocery store gets new magazines on Tuesdays, I would check today!  If you're tired of looking for it, or live in one of the many areas enjoying an enthusiastic winter, the Fat Quarter Shop has the magazine for sale online.  (click here)

As I mentioned in my last blog post, out of the three 4 patch patterns available in the magazine, I decided to use the Rainbow Rows pattern by Lissa Alexander and go with the alternate color option project which is a wall hanging.  

And this is what I got.  I thought this looked a little on the busy side and also thought perhaps going with a lap size instead of a wall hanging size would improve things.

Which got me this.  I'm not saying I don't like this layout or my fabric choices, but I am saying it doesn't look like I thought it would.  So I've decided to think about these blocks and try a different pattern.

This is Buried Treasure by April Rosenthal.
Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

The magazine lists the skill level as intermediate, but I believe the blocks are very easy and think a confident beginner would have no trouble piecing this quilt.

Since I thought my first sew along effort was on the busy side, I decided to stick with just three colors for my Buried Treasure, just like the pattern, even though I was really tempted to add some yellow, grey and turquoise to my pink, orange and green.

 I think all these fabrics are by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.

I'm feeling better about this pattern, the blocks are going together perfectly and the colors are very cheery.  I think I just may be a white background kind of girl.  The pattern calls for cutting squares to piece the 4 patches but I made strip sets instead, my 4 patch blocks are more accurate whenever I go with strip sets.

One thing that helps me piece the Floating Star blocks is the Folded Corner Clipper template.

By lining up the bottom of the background fabric on the appropriate line, and the bottom and sides of the print square on the appropriate lines, I'm able to cut and piece very accurate blocks.  The Folded Corner Clipper is by Prairie Sky Quilting. (click here to purchase)

And see that little triangle bonus block that is cut?  I've been running those through my machine the same time I sew that block.  I also press them while I'm pressing the Floating Star blocks.

And now I have this.

Half square triangle units.  They're currently around 1 3/4" but I plan to trim them to 1 1/2".  And I already have a plan for them, remember the Shower Shuffle quilt I made using Camille's Craftsy shuffle block video?   I plan to make a mini shuffle quilt using these pieces.  (Lifetime Quilt Number 122 details here.)

I'm not the only person working on these projects, check out the links below for more inspiration.

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

There's also inspiration on instagram using #apqquiltalong.

If you're working on one of these patterns please send me a link to your blog or pictures via email, I love seeing all the different ideas for these patterns and you may be just the inspiration someone else needs to join the fun.