Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cotton Candy Quilt Top Finished


I first wrote about this quilt top in November, but it got left forgotten in a pile after a vacation and two quilt commissions - but no more!  I finally got my butt in gear this last week and finished piecing all the block and sewing them into this top. 

This quilt was an experiment for me as it was originally a completely low volume quilt.  After having the blocks up on my design wall I decided I wanted a little more contrast in the quilt so I added in one fabric to each color group (i.e. instead of having only fabrics in a section there is now three - three yellow fabrics, three green fabrics, three pink fabrics etc.).   


The finished top measures about 60" square and I am debating on how I should quilt it - either an all over meaner or working inside the shapes to help make the pattern more pronounced.  After changing the top and looking back on the original I keep going back and forth as to which layout I like better. 

**Oh crap moment... While staring at the above picture, I just noticed that I sewed one of the rows on upside down and now I must go fix that issue**

More soon!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Quilt Shop Anniversary Haul

The blog has been pretty quiet lately but I have recently made quite the large stash purchase and am now able to continue working on a bunch of projects (and maybe a few new ones too).

For those of you who don't know, I work part time at a quilt shop.  Every year during the anniversary of the month of our hire we get to collect as much product as we want in the store and purchase it for 50% off.  Since I knew this date was coming I have been waiting to make any major fabric purchases which put many projects on hold. 

Well February was my Month to collect so here is my recent quilty haul.

  • Basting spray, thread, rotary blades and sewing needles are a must.
  • A few zippers to try my hand at making some simple pouches.
  • Clover Wonder Clips for binding.
  • A 6" ruler for squaring up smaller blocks.
  • A pattern for a girls dress as my Sister in law wants a skirt for herself and a matching dress for her daughter.  
  • Best Press - not my preferred starch as I find it to be expensive and as the cheap stuff just seems to work better but the bottle is amazing.  I had previously bought some and when it was close to empty just started filling it with water (the bottle finally stopped working and I bought a replacement empty bottle, but it just doesn't work as well as these bottles) - also I like best press diluted down so it will last a long time. 

Half yards of 16 solid fabrics (mostly Kona Cotton, but a few Moda)- because (1) you can never have enough solids, and (2) our shop doesn't have a ton to begin with (obviously no yellow) so these are almost every one that we had in stock. There was also a few purples a bunch more of the same shade of green but I went with colors I thought I would actually use. 


Last but certainly not least I got a rainbow of Kaffe Fabrics as well as some solids and blenders to go with them (mostly half yard cuts), the fabrics for a teal and yellow quilt, a few backings, bindings and the fabrics for the skirt and dress I mentioned earlier. 

I also picked up 5 battings, a couple of minky backs and some more fabrics for another project I am working on.  Luckily I asked for gift cards for Christmas so this entire purchase only cost me less than $75 out of pocket!  A pretty great deal if you ask me.

So excited!  Progress pictures soon!

    Wednesday, February 25, 2015

    Finished Commission Plus Quilt


    The commissioned plus quilt is finally finished.  This quilt is the third quilt I have made for this woman (first here and second here) and I have to say they are always a challenge, but fun to work on.  I enjoy mixing my style with customer requests (especially when the customer is willing to listen to you when you think something just won't work - as mine did).  For such a simple design, this quilt gave me a lot of trouble, mostly because my fabrics were just not playing well together (you can read about it here).



    This quilt is a mix of low volumes and solids.  The backgrounds include off-white, bright white, bluish white, grey, and sky blue.  The pluses are made from a solid black and a navy peppered cotton.  I also fussy cut some of the pieces to make sure you could really see the designs when you were looking at the background pieces.  These deer are one of my favorites. 


    For the back of the quilt I wanted to use the coordinating navy fat quarters that I had bought when I picking low volumes for the front.  Since I only had 4 fat quarters I picked up one of the navy I used on the front and made one giant plus sign.  I then used most of the extra low volume background pieces to outline the plus and tie the whole thing together. 


    I quilted the quilt in an all over meander with grey thread and bound it in the same navy that I used in both the front and back.  I was a little nervous using the shot cotton as a binding because I have had issues with them majorly shrinking in the past, but I have to say it washed up wonderfully.


    Thanks for stopping by!

    Sunday, February 15, 2015

    Paper Pieced Modern Giveaway Winner

    The winner of a copy of Paper Pieced Modern: 13 Stunning Quilts - Step-by-Step Visual Guide by Amy Garro is...


    Comment number 39 was Ann who said...


    Congratulations Ann I will be sending you an email shortly.

    For those of you who didn't win and would still like a copy of the book you can find it on Amazon or get a signed copy on Amy's Etsy site!  It is a wonderful book - check it out!

    Tuesday, February 10, 2015

    Finished Commission Plus Quilt Top


    A few weeks ago I posted about starting another commissioned quilt.  This time the quilt was to be a plus quilt inspired by this quilt by Red Red Perfectly Red.  Some of the other requests for the quilt included:
    1. Solid black, navy, grey and brown plus signs.
    2. Scandinavian prints.
    3. Low volume background fabrics, in a variety of neutrals (greys, tans, whites) with some navy prints and maybe some sky blue.
    4. Approximately 70" x 75"
    Let me tell you, for a simple quilt (in theory) this quilt gave me more trouble than I would like to admit.


    Above are the original fabrics I pulled for the background.  I wasn't going to use all of them, I just wanted a range to start from and go from there. I loved this pile of fabric it was like a neutral rainbow to me, but unfortunately sometimes fabric looks great stacked up but nothing like you are envisioning when it actually comes time to use them in a quilt.


    Cue sad music and dramatics to husband about ruining the quilt and having to start over.  Luckily being the good husband he is he said I would figure out how to make it work - although all I could think is I don't know where to begin to fix it.  I left it up on my design wall and stared at it until I decided what I didn't like.  I finally realized the tan and/or brown needed to go so I contacted my client and asked if she mind that I get rid of them (luckily she trusts me and said to go for it) so I got out my seam ripper and started taking apart blocks.


    Finally it was starting to look so much better so I took a quick picture of it up on my wall and sent it to my client (**fingers crossed**) praying she liked the direction I was now heading.  Thankfully she did and her only request was some sky blue.  At this point I was so happy that I didn't have to start over that I probably would have agreed to about anything - as long as I actually thought it would look good in the quilt. Cue seam ripper again - since the top section was mostly sewn together and I was now adding in sky blue.


    I have to say I am glad she suggested adding sky blue.  The quilt needed a little something extra and that blue was exactly it.  It flows with the quilt while giving it that little spark that it needed.

    This top has been basted twice - I may have basted it upside down so the backing was running one direction and the top the other (I told you this quilt has been giving me trouble...) and I am heading to the sewing room to start the quilting process! Wish me luck!

    Sunday, February 8, 2015

    Paper Pieced Modern Blog Hop!


    Today I am super excited to be sharing with you Little Itty Bitties a quilt from the Paper Pieced Modern: 13 Stunning Quilts - Step-by-Step Visual Guide by Amy Garro.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Amy she is the blogger behind 13 Spools, an incredibly talented quilter, a paper piecing genius, as well as a wife and mother to three young boys.

    When I first heard Amy was writing a book I was thrilled! Her designs tend towards masculine (which in my opinion, is an under-served market in the quilting world), but they aren’t the typical boring designs that I see so many people use for men. They are fresh, modern but can still be used for anyone – (fabric choice makes all the difference). Then, when she contacted me to be a part of the blog hop and receive a copy of the book, and give away a copy (edit: giveaway is now closed), I was stunned (and over the moon with excitement)!  Of course I said yes and then spent the next hour pouring over photos deciding which one was my favorite.  Note: I might have had like 13 favorites...

    Now onto the quilt!  Let me introduce you to Little Itty Bitties. A gorgeous 42" x 42" quilt that is as Amy put it "Not that difficult, just time consuming with all those seams!"


    Amy's thoughts on the quilt:

    "This is the first quilt I sewed for the book. After getting my book proposal completely accepted, I took about 2 weeks to finish up my magazine patterns I still had in the works - after all, I had no idea when, or even if, my book proposal would be accepted! Once those were done, I started this quilt with fabric on hand and from Crimson Tate, while I simultaneously started contacting fabric companies to help me out with supplies for the other quilts.

    This is definitely one of my favorite quilts in the book. The largest triangles are 6" x 3" and the smallest are a teeny tiny 1/2" x 1/4"! That's one of the perks of paper piecing - those tiny little pieces are easy to get perfect. You can put your little itty bitty scraps from your most precious projects into this quilt - you know, those ones you've been hanging onto for sentimental reasons, but are just too darn small to use easily!

    There's something a little retro to me about this quilt. I would love to see it in a little girl's nursery with an old-fashioned alarm clock & vintage record player!"

    I adore this quilt, and I think there is so much that can be done with this just by playing with the fabrics and placement.  For instance, instead of using a solid pink like the photo, I think it would be really fun to gradate the background fabrics and make almost an ombre effect, or even alternate sections of background colors.  


    If you would like to get your hands on a copy of the book you can preorder it now on Amazon or preorder a signed copy from Amy's Etsy Shop

    P.S. Don't you just adore those Library photos?  The setting for this quilt was just too perfect.

    Photo by C&T Publishing

    GIVEAWAY:  C&T Publishing are generously offering up a copy of the book for a giveaway! (Physical copy available for US winner, an e-copy for international winner). Edit: Giveaway will be open for one week and I will announce the winner next Sunday Feb 15! Good Luck!  

    Giveaway is now Closed.  Thanks to all who entered.  

    You have 2 possible entries into the giveaway (leave a separate comment for each entry).
    1. Leave me a comment telling me what colors or fabrics you would make this quilt in.
    2. Followers of 13 Spools get a second entry so head on over and follow and come back here telling me you did so! If you are already a follower just leave me a comment telling me so!

    If you want more chances to win be sure to stop on by the other blogs on the list below for another possible chance to win!

    Checkout more of the blog hop:
    Feb 5th - Lindsay @ Lindsay Sews
    Feb 6th - Charlotte @ Displacement Activity
    Feb 7th - Molli @ Molli Sparkles
    Feb 8th - Elise @ Lovelea Designs
    Feb 9th - Amy guest posting @ C&T Publishing
    Feb 10th - Darcie @ The Seam Allowance
    Feb 11th - Christa @ Christa Quilts
    Feb 12th - Amy guest posting @ Craft Buds
    Feb 13th - Amy @ 13 Spools
    Feb 14th - Chelsea @ Patch the Giraffe
    Feb 15th - Amy @ During Quiet Time
    Feb 16th - Wrap-up post back at 13 Spools

    Thursday, January 15, 2015

    Fabric Stash Additions

    I have been doing some fabric shopping recently for some pillowcases and another custom ordered quilt.
    Navy and White Low Volume Fabric



    This is a Moda fabric collection by Zen Chic called Figures.  I really like the white prints as the white has a hint of blue in it and the prints are navy.  I also love that little pop of yellow on the one print.



    I also picked up some low volume and neutrals for the custom quilt I am working on.  I will be making a plus quilt with a low volume background and these fabrics fit the bill. 


    And last but not least, I picked up these fabrics to make some flannel pillowcases.  I just love that right floral print - heck I love all of those fabrics and cannot wait to make these.  Pillowcases are so quick and fun, they will be a nice break from the custom quilt. 

    Progress shots coming soon!