Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Met my goal for today on the Guild Challenge Quilt

Today's goal was to get words on the quilt. I met that goal and even surpassed it. That makes me happy!

I put freezer paper on the back of some muslin, put a printout of words on the back of that, and borrowed Princess Sunshine's light box so I could trace
 the letters onto the muslin. 
Yes, I'm still in my robe, I was just so excited to get working on this that I started before 
I hopped into the shower.

I also put the name of the poem in the first border as well as the author's name :) It was a little bit harder to trace those letters as I couldn't see what I was doing. The letters were visible through the brown fabric, but I couldn't see the ink I was putting on the fabric.

Out came the bag of ACU fabrics. The Army Guy breaks down his old uniforms when they get too worn out and gives me bags of these fabric pieces ... and I work on finding creative ways to use them ... and this is a perfect quilt to use some.
I trimmed up some pant legs to the right size and then sewed them to the sides of the quilt. This is where I ended up not so happy. I miscut two of the sides and they are a smidge too short, causing the center of the quilt to bulge *sigh* As long as the borders need to come off, I think I'm going to ditch the black corner blocks, they just seem like black holes in the corners of the quilt (and they just beg for a special quilting treatment and I am not sure I want to go there).
Tomorrow's goal will be to fix the borders and then to applique the boots on the quilt.

I'm getting excited about the quilt! It is starting to come together as I saw it in my head. Now quilting designs are dancing in my imagination, lets hope they gel soon so I can apply them!

The poem, Daddy's Boots is by C.J. Heck and can be found HERE. The author has graciously given  permission to use the poem for this quilt.

Guild Challenge

My quilt guild has a challenge for us ... and I've had an idea rattling around in my head for months. I've been gathering photos for inspiration, found just the right words to add, looked for the embellishments ... and procrastinated.

The challenge pieces are due next Monday. So TODAY I started sewing ...

The challenge is to make a 35" square quilt with a minimum of 5 jewels on it. The theme is Shoes.

I wanted to do Combat Boots. So I have took a picture and analyzed it for shadows and made the picture big :) Then I used the techniques from Vicki Pignatelli's Quilting Curves book to draw up my pattern. I didn't dig out the book, so I had to work from memory and thus did some backtracking a time or two.
Here I have one boot sewn and then next one plotted out. I don't have all of the marking done on boot two, but you can get an idea of where I am going from the picture :)
The "fun" part of this quilt was the lacing system. I was unable to find the right stuff to make authentic looking quick lace and eyelets. I had a choice of shiny gold or shiny silver eyelets. I chose the silver ones as they were less obnoxious than the gold ones. 

The longest part of getting these boots done was preparing the pieces for the eyelets. Cutting the tiny little holes for the eyelets to go through with little scissors was time consuming (is there an easier way? If so, let me know in the comments!).
The second boot is in process. I use a lot of pins to hold those curves in place :) I don't want them to shift while I am sewing them!
Here are the finished boots - well, there are some more things that need doing, but the basic boots are now finished. I will work on getting them ready to applique on the quilt and they will get laces after the quilt is quilted (authentic laces right from the Army Guy's old boots!).

I'll try to remember to take more process photos as I work on other steps this week.

Monday, February 25, 2013

DWM - BOM with Jennings Copmmunity Church

This week on my Design Wall there are some more blocks from the Block of the Month I am doing with the Sewing/Quilting group in Jennings, MI.

Last month was the church and this month we worked on three houses and two stars.
The print in the center of the star with a green background fabric is my inspiration fabric. All of the other fabrics were pulled from that one. Thus, I let Princess Sunshine and The Boybarian choose fabrics for two of the houses (knowing they would all coordinate). That way my buildings didn't all end up looking alike :)

The Townhouse block showed rick-rack in one of the views, so I pulled some lace to make gingerbread instead (I liked the lace a smidge better).
For even more Design Wall Inspiration check out Patchwork Times (one of my all-time favorite quilting blogs!).

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Detour to a Finish

With various other things happening this week, I took the lonely block from the quilt I was planning to make for Project Quilting Challenge 4 and I made a 
throw pillow cover :)
 There was no way that I could get the larger project quilted in time ...

One of the things I did for this smaller project was to miter my corners. I wish I had done that on the larger project.

 I chose to quilt a modified McTavishing in the light areas of the quilt with some leaf shapes in the corners. They just seemed to be the right soft touch against
 the spiky points of the star :)
 When I finished quilting the top, I found that I had picked up a straggler - quilted right into the back is a leftover 4 patch from the Easy Street Mystery. I am SO glad that this is a pillow cover and this oops will not be a design feature seen by many people!
 I finished off the pillow by putting a buttoned back on so I can take the feather pillow form out and
wash the pillow cover.
I'm so excited that there is a finish for this challenge!!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A lot was accomplished!

Yesterday, I got a lot accomplished on my 
Project Quilting Challenge 4 quilt!
When I designed my challenge quilt I went to EQ - 
love it :) And I put my stars in a setting I thought I would like - though I think I will hang the quilt above my bed in a horizontal setting ...

Once I got the blocks on my design wall, I realized that three blocks were enough and I was happy to not include the sashing (more work and they didn't seem to add that much to the design).

So, the quilt top is complete -
 and I've even got some markings for quilting :)

Yes, the blue border is WAY too big, but I like that. When the border is too wide, it gives me a lot of room for squaring up after quilting and blocking and before the binding goes on.
I have pieced a back :) As you can see, I have to square it up before I start quilting!

How are your projects coming?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Good Start on PQ Challenge 4

I'm working on Challenge 4 of Season 4 of Project Quilting; Wish Upon A Star. I had two different ideas running around in my head, one more traditional and the other an art quilt. Since the art quilt was going to be more involved and I knew I had to run children here and there this week, had a dentist appointment and hope to go sew on my BOM with the Jennings Community Church sewing group on Friday, I decided to go the traditional route.

And after I got a good start, the snow picked up and cancelled the Drama activities for the children today, so I got to stay home and accomplish something on my project!

I started off making a bunch of four patches - I know, they aren't stars, but they are part of my design. I have a few more to make to use in the setting of my blocks.
Then I cut all the pieces for my triangle in a square units.
The triangle in square units are all sewn, but it is getting on to suppertime and the Boybarian thinks he wants to eat, so I just have a few trimmed up. Below is a mock-up of the block:
This small quilt is going to be scrappy as I think it will hang on the wall in the same room as The Stars Sing and that is a scrappy quilt!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

FINISHED! Challenge 3 - Trust

This piece is for Project Quilting Season 4, Challenge 3 - Annie's Vision. I started talking about my design process HERE and HERE. Today I completed the challenge by quilting and binding it.
This was a huge accomplishment as I came down with an intestinal issue this week and have not been firing on all gears.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Next Step in the Challenge Piece

I've chosen a saying (I don't have them floating in my head, ready to use) and I've written it on my background fabric. Then the lines needed thickening as just one pass for the letters was way too wimpy when I laid the flower applique on to check the positioning.

I'll be putting it all together over the next 30 hours (homeschool is taking a lot of time out of the next two days) and then deciding on how best to quilt it!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Working on Project Quilting Challenge 3

The challenge this week is make a quilt inspired by the artwork of Annie Young - check out her blog!

I love the rich colors and the flowers :) I'm also inspired by the fact that she has words ~ poems, verses, thoughts ... with her artwork. SO my inspiration is found in the colors, flowers and words :)

Since the colors are so rich, I opened up my Batik cabinet (well, it is a BIG shelf in the cabinet) and pulled batiks that made me happy. Then I thought about flowers and decided I was most inspired by the coneflower (echinacea) which I planted last year in the only spot prepped for flowers (no pics, sorry). She does use coneflower in several of her paintings, so they must be very inspiring ;) 

At first I was going to use Ricky Tims' Caveman Quilting techniques as they are freeform enough for my vision, but then decided to go the route of snippet style applique.

I put some fusible web on the backs of the fabrics I chose for the petals and cut them up into petal shapes. NOTE: when using this technique remember to remove the paper backing BEFORE cutting all those little pieces!!!! Removing the paper backing from lots of those thin strips was NOT fun!

Then I started layering the petals on parchment paper as I don't want to commit them to my background fabric quite yet. I want to make sure the words work first!
I continued to layer the petals as I made them way too thin and the big centers really dwarfed the wimpy petals!
While I love the fabric I chose for the centers of the flowers, they were way too chunky and (in real life, not camera life) looked like black holes on my flowers. I had to come up with another solution.
Princess Sunshine suggested a halo effect around the centers as you kind of see that in echinacea flowers and I think she is right, so I ironed them down in the center of my flowers :)

I did use another layer of parchment paper over the petals and centers before I ironed them, just in case I had a petal turned the wrong way (I didn't, thankfullly) to avoid getting fusible on my iron. This is just a great suggestion any time you use fusible web - put parchment paper (or equivalent) over your pieces :)
Now to work on a saying for this little quilt!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Design Wall Monday

nothing new on my design wall this week :(

I'm still waiting for this to tell me how it wants to be quilted:

I just didn't get much accomplished this week in the Sewing Dungeon.

We did get a science experiment done this past week - thankfully we had enough of the materials available to get it done :)
I don't enjoy having to go out to purchase obscure things for science experiments ... especially when the roads are a bit slick with snow/ice crud!

For some more design wall inspiration visit Patchwork Times!

Guest Post today :) with a FQ bundle give-away!

I'd like to share a guest post with you today. It is by Kim from Persimon Dreams,  the hostess of the FANTASTIC Project Quilting Challenge. She has a give away for a FQ bundle. ~JOY

Hello everyone!  This is Kim from Persimon Dreams, and I’m so happy to be here sharing some exciting Project QUILTING news with you.  We are currently in the midst of Season 4.  The first two challenges inspired over 100 quilts to be created – so amazing!  The third challenge went up on Sunday, February 3rd and I can’t wait to see what comes from it (still time for you to join in!)  

I personally love Project QUILTING because it has been extremely inspirational to me in my quilting journey.  I know I only have a week for the projects but it’s a great opportunity to give ideas in my mind a try – see what happens, try new techniques.  If it works…maybe I’ll do a bigger project that takes more time.  Project QUILTING has me creating pieces I never imagined before, it brought me out of the only making ‘what I think will sell’ and in turn, and the Project QUILTING community has been such an inspiration and support.

I have heard from many that they love watching along with Project QUILTING and the projects created from the challenges but they just can’t fit making a quilt in just one week.  That’s what my exciting news is all about today – a new *Bonus* Project QUILTING Challenge.  I’ve teamed up with a fabulous online fabric store – The Fat Quarter Shop to bring you all the ‘FatQuarter Shop Bundle Challenge – Tradition Times Three. Diane outlines what is required for this particular challenge.  You must go to the FatQuarter Shop to buy the fabric bundle  in order to complete the challenge BUT the twist is – you have until May 30th, 2013 to submit your challenge!  At that point, one of my girls will randomly draw a winner of $75 to use at the Fat Quarter Shop.  

I also wanted to share with you a few ways you can save on your fabric bundle.  First – head over to my blog and enter in the giveaway I posted today.
OR if you want to save 20% off your entire purchase of fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop check out this blog post to find the special code – good through February 10th.

Thanks for having me and I hope to see you all with a quilt in one or more Project QUILTING Challenges.  Have a great rest of your week!

~Kim Lapacek