Alison Glass Feathers Quilt

This has been a long process for me! Since my rheumatoid arthritis really effects my hands, wrists and elbows, I had days that I couldn’t make any progress at all on this quilt. I was, however, determined to finish it by the deadline outlined in the Feathers QAL, hosted by Nydia at the ADD Crafter. The pattern is called Feathers by Alison Glass. The fabrics are gradation batiks from Sew Batik, with the sashing and background made with Kona White. I’ve never paper pieced a whole quilt, so it was quite a process! I love the final result!

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And So It Begins

After much fretting, wich I’m terribly good at, I finally decided that the penny gets lucky today! That is, I’m using the Lucky Penny bundle by Alison Glass, with Kona Bleached White for the background. I want my feathers to look crisp, so on a whim, I chose the Bleached White. We shall see! At least I was productive while fretting. My sewing room is clean, my machine is clean, oiled, and has a new needle, my cutting table is clean, and my rotary cutter has a fresh blade! Let the cutting begin!

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New Year Creativity

There’s something about the start of a new year that always brings me a sense of excitement! A fresh start, 365 days of possibilities, new adventures, unexplored ideas, and the list goes on! This is what I worked on and finished in the first two days of this year.

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This ruffled scarf was a lot of fun to knit, and I loved the yarn! It had a chenille edge, so it gave the finished scarf a little more weight. I bought the yarn at Michael’s, and I used a YouTube video tutorial for the kntting technique. I’ve been knitting for a few years, but not consistenly and nothing more than knitting and purling. One of my 2014 goals is to learn more about knitting, and do it more often. We have a great yarn shop in San Luis Obispo called Nordic Mart. The owner is part of our Central Coast Modern Quilting Friendship Group, and she is absolutely lovely! She has assured me that she can teach me how to knit like a pro!

I also got in a bit of sewing on New Year’s day. It was mug rug madness around here!

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Suzanne at Notes from the Patch, did a tutorial on how to use a Bernina circular attachment to make these cute mug rugs. I called her shop and ordered one. I immediately became obsessed with busting my stash and sewing up a bunch of these for gifts! If you don’t know what a mug rug is, it’s like having a personal little placemat for your cuppa whatever you’re drinking, with room for a cookie or two.

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I need to get a shower and head down to my sewing room. I’ll be cutting my fabrics for the Alison Glass Feathers Quilt Along. I have three fabric bundles pulled, and I still haven’t decided which one to use! I never make the same quilt twice, but I may have to break that pattern with this quilt along! I’ll get some pictures of the bundles and post them a bit later today.

Madrona Road Fabric Challenge

I’m in the midst of making blocks for a quilt I’m doing for the Madrona Road Challenge sponsored by The Modern Quilt Guild. Michael Miller provided fat 1/8th bundles to MQG members that wanted to participate. Participants can make anything they’d like to. The only restrictions are that we can’t add any patterned fabric outside of the Madrona Road fabric line. Any solid color can be added to the project. The Flickr group for the challenge has some awesome projects already posted! I’m working on a baby quilt. Of course, I bought some extra fabrics, so I may go a little bigger if I have time. The reveal for the Bakersfield Modern Quilt Guild will be at our February meeting on the 16th. It’ll be fun to see how other members used their bundles! Here are the blocks I’m making. The pattern is called Cartwheels and it’s by Freshly Pieced.

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Curve it Up QAL Block 2

In a previous post, I showed block #1 from the Curve it Up Quilt Along, using the Quick Curve Ruler by Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful. I am really enjoying getting the hang of using the ruler and sewing curved seams! I’m using a fabric bundle called Velocity, along with Kona Charcoal. Check out the Flickr group to see how different everyone’s blocks look, according to the fabrics they are using! I find it very inspiring!

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QuiltCon Entry Finished and Submitted!

Always Last Minute Lucy (as my friend, Jamie, nicknamed me), I finished my entry for QuiltCon and got it submitted about 30 minutes ago. Heck, I had 4 hours to spare, so I’m early! 😉 QuiltCon is the first convention for the Modern Quilt Guild, held in Austin, TX, in February of 2013. That’s right around the corner! EEE GADS! I’ll be going with some friends from the Bakersfield Modern Quilt Guild, and it’ll be fun to experience it firsthand! 

My entry is called, Is There a Court Jester in the House?. I love this Tula Pink pattern called Crown Jewels. I had a particular fabric line in mind for this quilt, but when I walked into Strawberry Patches, I spied the Penelope 4 line by Lakehouse, and it was an “aha moment” for me. These are not fabrics that I’d usually choose for a project, because I usually go bold. However, I thought they’d look great against a dark gray background! The gray is Moda Bella Graphite, purchased at Bolts to Binding and  Pink Chalk Fabrics. The hats remind me of court jester hats, so that’s how I came up with the name. I was going to do a lot of straight line quilting, but I just kept thinking that the quilting needed to be quirky and springy, as in springs. After drawing lots of designs on the steamy shower doors….I’d bet that lots of quilters do this…..I came up with the feathered springs. I used thread that blended into the background fabric so that you see lots of texture. The backing was another “first time” for me, in that I’ve never done back art on one of my quilts. I get all intimidated, and I’m not very patient. Once I’m ready to load a quilt, I want to get on with things! When I was talking about piecing an extra block into the backing, my friend, Pam, said, “Why don’t you make a huge crown?” I thought it was a brilliant idea, then immediately got frozen up with how to do it. That’s when I usually just go the easy route. I gave myself a rather brutal butt chewing, and proceeded to make myself a paper piecing pattern from freezer paper. It was a bugger to get the first piece started, as I didn’t want to use a lot of glue to hold the initial piece in place. That’s where the freezer paper came in handy! The wax on the paper held the pieces in place, as long as I didn’t move the thing around a lot. It took me all day at our BMQG sew-in to get the crown pieced, but it was so worth the effort!

Several things about making this quilt provided personal challenges for me. I’ve never custom quilted a quilt using a layer of Hobbs 80/20 and Hobbs Wool before. That may sound simple, but as a longarm quilter, it presents certain challenges. I’ve also never custom quilted a piece that had so much negative space. That can be daunting! As I’ve already talked about, making the backing was a new adventure for me. Then there was the turmoil of trying to decide on quilting designs. Usually, something “speaks” to me pretty quickly. This one did, but I kept thinking that I needed to do something else on it. I finally went with what my initial instincts were, and I love it! Finally, entering the quilt into QuiltCon was also quite daunting for me. I’ve only been involved in Modern Quilting for two years, and I’m still not sure I have the hang of it! As with everything, the meaning of “modern quilting” is evolving. Believe it or not, I’m easily intimidated….by a small, critical voice in my head. ALL THE DANGED TIME! I only fake confidence!

Last, but not least, I’ve really been struggling with pain lately. Monday and Tuesday were really bad, to the point that I couldn’t get comfortable, regardless of what I did. It probably had a lot to do with doing way too much over the Thanksgiving holiday, then tackling this project at the very last danged minute!  I had to get my IV meds on Wednesday, along with an extra steroid shot for the joint inflammation, which also happened to be the day of the week that I give myself a shot of Methotrexate. I think it was the combination of fatigue and all of the meds on the same day that made me sicker than a dog on Thursday. It resulted in a total meltdown on Thursday night, with me sitting here by myself, tears rolling down my face. Things don’t get to me very often, because I intentionally try to maintain a positive attitude. However, dealing with these diseases can really get me down sometimes. I couldn’t help but think about how much my life has changed in the past few years. My body has changed, and I think my personality has changed. I miss the way I used to be. Okay, ‘nuf of that. All of this is the final reason I was determined to finish this quilt! I was not going to let all of this keep me from completing something that was personally important to me! Now that my entry is complete, I feel like doing a victory lap or something! Of course, I can’t run, so I’ll do it in my own little head! 😉  So I say to all of the obstacles I’ve overcome with this project…BOOYA!!!! I am still the boss of me! Well, sometimes. WUHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! 

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Quilt Front

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Close up of the front

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This is the crown I pieced in the back. It’s about 20″ wide by 30″ high

Checking In

When I started this blog, I seriously intended to post on a regular basis and to carve out time to explore new, creative things. Great intentions, not enough time! Since I blog for the Bakersfield Modern Quilt Guild, it seems that I’m all blogged out at the end of the day! I do have a lot of things on my mind that I’d like to share and start writing about, so I’ll just have to put that on my calendar. If I make lists, I tend to get more done. Blogging for myself is going to go on that list! 

For today, I’m finishing up my entry for Quiltcon and hoping to have lunch with a friend. Then I’m taking the weekend off! I’ve had a terribly rough couple of weeks with my RA, so I need some down time to give my body a chance to rest. May you all have a wonderfully, blessed day!

Quick Curve Ruler QAL – Block One

I’ve tried to sew curves, and never quite get them right. No matter how hard I try, there’s always a lump, a bump, a crease, or a crinkle! Still, it’s something I’ve wanted to master, and along came the opportunity.

The thing that drew me to Jenny Pedigo’s blog, Sew Kind of Wonderful, was her longarm machine quilting. She does fantastic work, and I’ve been looking for new filler ideas. Those curved block quilts were appealing to me, and I’d looked at her Quick Curve Ruler more than a few times. However, I’d tried curved piecing, and it didn’t turn out so well. My friends, Nicci and Pam, were both joining Jenny’s “Curve it Up” with the QCR, QAL, (Quick Curve Ruler Quilt Along). I caved and ordered the ruler. Just so that I’d have reinforcements to keep me motivated in my frustration, I shared Jenny’s blog with my friend, Carie. As we both explored Sew Kind of Wonderful’s Flickr group, we got more and more excited about learning how to use the Quick Curve Ruler! More excited than either of us has been about anything in a long time! So, I pulled my fabrics and made my first block last night. I did mis-cut, twice, which is very normal for me. After I got the cutting right, the rest of it was a piece of cake! I watched Jenny’s YouTube videos on using her ruler and on curved piecing, and it helped me immensely! I’m tickled to pieces with my finished block, and I can’t wait to see the next block we’re going to do! I’m using Kona Charcoal for my background, and prints from the VeloCity line by Jessica Hogarth for P&B Textiles. 

If you want to jump in on the fun, it’s not too late! It’s easy to catch up, and Jenny is super quick on getting the ruler to you!