Small Finishes This Week

I made a list and am working on a lot of stuff right now, but it was nice to step back and see that I’ve also been finishing things! Finishing blocks in preparation for my quilt bee for the month that is.

Here is a second block I made as an example for my bee mates for The Bee Hive quilting bee. I picked the Ripples block.

Block Two

And this is the first block I made, but my “pop of color” didn’t work out very well. This is a before pic, I have since moved the matchstick print to the four outer corners.

Block One

I have other fabrics in the same colors to use, but I had these already cut up so I put them together. I’m happy to see these with what my bee mates send me!

I also finished the top for a mini quilt I’m making for the Allison Glass Quilt Swap, organized on instagram. I SO love this! My partner mentioned loving two of these prints, and similar colors, and of course making something for another person can sometimes be intimidating but I think this turned out well. This block is so great!

AG Mini Quilt top

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday. Next week I know I’ll have even more, deadlines you know!

Mercury Rainbow Mini Quilt

I made this mini quilt for the Rainbow Mini Swap on instagram. I started with a backing fabric designed by one of my partner’s favorite fabric designers, and I only just realized I didn’t take a picture of it! Here are the fabrics I used for the front though. I matched the lightest blue and the orange to the backing fabric and went from there.

fabric

This is a paper pieced pattern called Mercury, which is available for free on Craftsy.

half

Doesn’t the back look great!

back

Once the inside star was together I really loved it!

Center

The borders had a lot of pieces but also came together quickly. The borders are called Goosing Borders and this is also a free pattern you can get on Craftsy.

borders

Rainbow Mini Top

The finished the mini with a black, gray, and white fabric for the binding and I love it. This was quilted with white Aurifil thread and I did a stitch in the ditch around the triangles in the borders and in an octagon shape around the center star.

Rainbow Mini

Mercury Rainbow
18×18

The story has a sad ending though, because after I packed it up with a magazine, some extra fabric, and some French salted caramels, the only thing that arrived at my Rainbow Swap partners house was an envelope with a large cut in it. The post office here had nothing to say about it, and there was nothing they could do. I made the mistake of not insuring it, and the post office where my swap partner lives couldn’t tell anything either. It’s such a huge disappointment when something like that happens and I hope that someday it is found.

Vote for my quilt in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival Mini Quilt category! This is a twice a year online quilt festival, hosted by Amy at Amy’s Creative Side.

Volcano Pixel Quilt

A handful of years ago I happened to meet an amazing group of women online. I’ve always loved reading blogs and I found a couple that were written by military spouses, not the super popular ones, not the ones that ended up with thousands of comments, or book deals, but my new friends were smart and they were writing awesome things. But even better, for me, they were women I could relate to. Without getting into the whole military spouse of it all, the women I met through those blogs are still my friends, and I’ve even met a couple of them in person.

A few years ago this particular group of friends organized a secret Valentine swap, something fun and easy for us to do, and this year, once I got her name, I knew I had to make something awesome for my friend Charity. She graduated with her PhD this year, after working crazy hard to finish, while not being able to live with her active duty husband. I went in search of finding more details out about what she studies, how she fell in love with science, and I happened to find that it was a video about volcanos she watched at a young age that drew her to geology. I knew I had to incorporate that into whatever I made for her.

I’ve never made a pixel quilt and figured this was a great time to try. I found a volcano picture online, pixelated it, and set out to figure out how to make this come together. It took a lot longer than I thought it would, and I finally mailed the box containing a large mini quilt and a few treats from France in April. So a bit later than Valentine’s day for sure, but I know she loved it.

The quilt label I use has a few lines for me to add who I made something for and any other details. I included this quote on the back:

Give me silence, water, hope
Give me struggle, iron, volcanoes.

Pablo Neruda

Volcano Pixel Art Quilt

Volcano pixel art quilt
30 x 24

Vote for my quilt in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival Art Quilt category! This is a twice a year online quilt festival, hosted by Amy at Amy’s Creative Side.

Bee Hive Blocks I’ve Made

The Bee Hive quilting bee started this year and so far I’ve made two blocks and am working on another. There are two block designs published each month, one designed by Alyce Blyth of Blossom Heart Quilts and one designed by a guest designer. So far the queen bees in my group picked the same block! The tic tac toe block is super easy to make too so that was nice for me.

February Bee Hive

March Bee Hive

For March we are making the wanta fanta block. This one looks fairly easy as well and the queen bee picked black and grey fabric for her block. Here are the fabrics I’m going to be working with:

black and grey fabrics

 

I’m not sure which block I’m going to pick for my month, and I haven’t settled on colors either. Maybe I’ll go with scrappy and the mineral block. The mock up of what that final quilt would look like is great!

How To Design Fabric

Have you seen this awesome class on fabric design over on Creative Bug? Every part of the class has now been released so you can have a seat and watch some amazing teachers walk you through the fabric designing process. This is stuffed full of really great information, my favorite is episode 3, designing digital repeats.

Episode three is actually broken up into four parts – designing in photoshop, designing in illustrator, and creating repeats in each of the programs. I’m happy to see both of these programs in use because I have both and I’m trying to decide which to use for what purpose.

Technology has made so much available to us as creative people, as artists, and I am excited to see what I can come up with after watching the rest of the series! I’m really interested in working on my own designs and if you want to learn, check out the creativebug class now.

Bee Europa April Queen Selvedge Block

I decided it was time to get my selvedges used so I picked a selvedge block to have my bee mates in the Bee Europa group to make for me. I am super excited! When I had this idea, I made three blocks myself quickly. We won’t talk about the fact that for two of them I used foundation paper to piece the selvedges. Yeah, that will have to be ripped off at some point and I’ll have to figure out how to still use it. Or maybe I’ll have to start over with those ones, we’ll see. Anyway here is a block I made as an example. I’ve trimmed the edges so nothing is hanging over.

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I am sending a piece of backing fabric that is 8.5 x 11 inches in size. To make this block simply fold the fabric to get a crease from one corner to the opposite corner, like this:

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Pressing the fabric will be enough to give you a starting point. Take any selvedge that is long enough and line up on edge alone the crease. I used a few dabs of glue to keep it in place. Once that first center (or off-center as it is) selvedge is ready, it’s easy to build on the rest of them. And don’t worry about a perfect straight line from corner to corner, it’ll work out. You can see that the line doesn’t touch the corner in the second photo.

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The first selvedge is held with glue, and depending on the fabric you are using, lay the next one on top or tuck it under with a small seam allowance. I’ve used both a zig zag and a straight stitch to secure the selvedges in place.

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These are not sewn down, but I just wanted to show how to do the layout. I don’t want a quarter inch seam allowance as that would cover up the fabric info, which is an element to using the selvedges in a project. The first picture shows the art gallery fabric laying on top of the black and white, and then the next fabric laying on the art gallery.

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Here you can see that I tucked the grey fabric under the folded fabric. I did that because the words are printed so low on the selvedge that any fabric laying over it would cover the text. Any stitches used will also cover up the text, but less so.

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Here is an example of this block as I moved the other direction and covered up the black and white that is the starting selvedge.

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Here is this fabric lifted up to show the seam allowance.

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And that same fabric tucked under the fabric.

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Overall I think these are simple blocks to make. Here are the three that I made, this shows the look I am going for when these are finished!

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For my bee block, I am fine with a decorative stitch as long as it catches the fabric well. I’ve used a wider variety of decorative stitches when I make a pincushion with selvedges and I am unsure as to how well they would hold up in a quilt that could potentially be washed regularly, but I am not against something that you think looks good.

I am also fine with not using white or neutral thread, I used a bright turquoise in the block I shared here, any thread that goes with the fabrics is fine with me.

I prefer that a piece of selvedge that shows the text or the color circles to be shown.

Working with selvedges can feel a bit fussy because sometimes they aren’t totally straight, usually this happens with solids versus print fabrics. I tend to use smaller pieces of these in a corner instead of one of the center pieces as they are too wavy to control. The smaller piece can be straight.

The foundation fabric can be used as a guide to trim the block.

Charm Dash Blog Hop

Today I am sharing a baby quilt that I made using the Charm Dash quilt pattern, which is a new pattern from Ms. Midge! You can get the pattern at Craftsy and Etsy and right now it’s on sale!

This is a great quilt to use your charm packs, of which I have many to use. I’m sharing a lot of pictures so I hope you enjoy them! This is my stop on the Charm Dash Blog Hop.

quilt

I started the quilt quickly, deciding I want to use the Flora charm pack and make a baby quilt, this used nine blocks. I have a lot of baby quilts to make and this one is going to my son’s first preschool teacher. She had a little girl recently and I can’t wait until we can give this to her!

I decided to set the blocks apart and use a sashing instead of putting borders on it. I quilted the sashing in straight lines and love how it looks. This is definitely a favorite way to quilt, even if it takes a lot of thread and of course time.

Quilting

After that, I had to decide how to quilt the blocks. I used a turquoise thread and did some straight lines, and as much as I loved the design, it was too bright for me. After looking at it for several days, I tore the quilting out. Maybe I would have left this in if I used a neutral thread.

block quilting

Finally, I quilted the blocks with an all over stipple with white thread.

stippling

And yep, I used two fabrics for the binding. They are from the same line though, so they coordinate well.

full quilt

This quilt is beautiful. I love the quilting, the blocks came together really easy, the sashing was a great choice, and I just think it’s a great pattern. Definitely head over to Craftsy (I admit this is my favorite place to buy patterns since they hold your patterns for you in case you end up deleting them or forgetting where one was saved) and make a quick purchase. And I used one charm pack so this is also an inexpensive quilt to create as well. I used some of the charms and added to the backing.

bloghopbutton

Friday 13th March – Sarah Goer – Things I Make

Monday 16th March – Linden Vine – Vinelines Quilting

Wednesday 18th March – Crystal McGann – Raspberry Spool

Friday 20th March – Anita LaHay – Day Dreams Of Quilts 

Monday 23rd March – Progress Report – Ms Midge

Wednesday 25th March – Tsoniki Crazy Bull –  Me Being Crafty – you are here!

Friday 27th March – Tisha Nagel  –  Quilt Therapy

Monday 30th March – Progress Report – Ms Midge 

Wednesday 1st April – Kathy Gordon –  Kwilty Pleasures

Friday 3rd April – Angie Wilson –  Gnome Angel 

Monday 6th April –  Roslyn Russell – Sew Delicious

Wednesday 8th April – Abby Rudakov – Things For Boys

Thursday 9th April – Final Post and Linky open  – Ms Midge