Saturday, January 31, 2015

Stepping Stones Quilt

     I started this quilt back in September. The center is made from sixteen Ahhhh's from Hillbilly Quilt Shop.  Not only does she create individual Ahhhh's, but she creates secondary settings for an interesting appliqué,  quilt or table runner.  What appears to be a Hexie with internal images becomes an amazing item to EPP.  

     The basic Ahhhh in this is called "Stepping Stones," it's Ahhhh #13.  Here is what it looks like by itself. 

     Here is a layout of the kit that I bought from Hillbilly Quilt shop.  It came with all the little papers precut.  All I had to do was pick out the fabric.

     I chose to use Jason Yenter Shangri La.  Here is a photo of a Boarder fabric I used for a lot of the Hexies and diamonds!! 

     I fussy cut all the Hexies and a few diamonds.  Tonya's (Hillbilly) plan was for you to use 3 fabrics for the Hexies and 3 fabrics for the diamonds.  That way as you went sewed them together they would match at the center points like this. 

     After I started I did not have enough of the same objects in the white so I started to use different pieces of the fabric.  The whites have Fish and hearts that were hidden in the fabric.  The Blues are a mixture of flowers and butterflies. I was still able to make all the items come together in two's and there's as the design laid out.  There are a total of 16 Ahhhh's in the design that have 3 inch sides. 

     After I hand sewed all of the Ahhhh's together, I quilted a piece of yellow blender to a matching Yenter Legendary Basic fabric as the backing.  I did it in swirls.  The entire time my machine kept catching something on the back.  My only regret that I didn't hand quilt it.  But that was done and too late to go back.  I pinned the piece on and the long boring appliqué stitching started.  

     I bound the quilt with one of the Yenter fabrics I fussy cut and hand sewed the binding down. 

     I then decided to hand quilt the Ahhhh's down.  I decided to mark them at just over 1/4 inch from the outer seams.  The Frixion Highlighter worked really well for this.  I then Quilted it with Valdani 3 string floss.  I wrote a previous blog about this experience since it was my first time hand quilting.  

     After I finished doing the inside I decided to also quilt the outside and the boarder of the quilt.  I did the same 1/4 inch and marked this time with a pink Frixion pen.  I love how they iron off!!! (I buy the pens at Hillbilly Quilt Shop too!). I love that I decided to do these 2 extra touches because they became one of my  favorite things about the quilt! 

     This quilt is going to my cousin Samantha who is now a few months old in Seattle.  I hope she enjoys it!!! 

     I am now stitching another Ahhhh project!!  I think I have found my 2 favorite things quilting!! Ahhhh's and the creativity they allow!!! Thank you Tonya for the inventions!!! 


Friday, January 30, 2015

Hand quilting Challenge


   Tonya from Hillbilly Quilt Shop started a new Facebook group called "Quilt by Hand".  Her goal for this group is a platform for quilters old and new to learn and share the joy of quilting!!!  For the first month she started with a challenge. 

     Challenge one consisted of quilting 2 items, using 2 different marking tools and 2 different types of thread.  

     I have never quilted by hand.  I have been English paper piecing for about 2 years now.  So I thought that this would be a good challenge to start me in this adventure!  

     My first item is a large hot pad.  It is made of a string quilt square that I cut the wrong size.  I added a piece of yellow material to the outside and bound it in Aqua.  I chose both colors to match fabric in the original square.  

     To hand quilt it I decided to use a flower stencil I had.  I used a Frixion Pen to mark it.  I then used American Quilting Thread that I bought at Joann's to quilt it.  I bought this thread about a year ago by accident.  I later learned from people on another quilting page that is is a good quality lower cost thread.  It is wax coated to prevent knotting and to allow for smooth stitching.  This was a small project that came together pretty quickly. 

     My second project is a baby quilt that I have been working on for months.  It is a collection of Ahhhh's from Hillbilly quilt Shop.   I hand appliquéd the Ahhhh's to a background that I machine quilted.  I then used a Valdani 3 strand floss to quilt it.  For the marking I used a quilting ruler and marked the quilt with a Frixion Marker as the Ahhhh's were on dark material and the pen did not show up well.  The process of quilting this took a while,  I think mostly due to the thickness of the material and floss.  

     In reviewing the Frixion Pen Vs Highlighter.  On dark material the Frixion pen does not show up well.  On lighter colored material the pen shows up really well.   The highlighter I used was yellow.  It showed up really well on the dark blue, white and black.  It did not show up well on the yellow.  So I think the highlighters work well on darks or fabric that is not similar to its color.  Both the pen and the highlighter were easily removed by a hot iron.  

     Reviewing the threads.  The cheaper Joann's American Quilting Thread did really well.  It did not tangle and held up well.  The downside is that it was very thin.  I believe it would do well for suttle quilting that you really did not want noticed.  The Valdani 3 strand thread that I bought from Hillbilly Quilt Shop, was very noticeable and stood out.  I really liked that.  If I am going to spend that much time quilting something I want it noticed.  You did have to make a bigger knot in to to prevent it from coming threw the fabric.  It also popped a little easier then the quilting thread.  In the end though I like both and now know the different use of each thread. 

    I look forward to the next challenge and especially the challenge to try new things!!  Didn't have enough room for all the photos so they keep going...


January Finishes!!!


     I had a very busy January.  I work 2 nursing jobs and attempt to sew as much as possible.  My little hobby sometimes doesn't get as much attention as I would like.  But I finished my goals for January and started some new projects!! Here are my year of Lovely Finishes projects!!!

     Here is my first finished project Quilt Challenge!!  And one off my big list of goals! 

     Here is my second finish for Project Quilt! 

     Here is my first hand quilted item for the quilting by hand challenge.

     Here is my second hand quilted item for the quilting by hand challenge. 

     Her is the pinwheel table runner I finished!

     This is one of the 2 Ahhhh's I finished!

     Here is another!!

     Here is an extra project I finished.  A sunflower quilt!  

     And I started a new project for Pat Sloans Scrap Challenge. 


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunflower Batik Quilt


 Startling almost 2 years ago, ladies all over the US made sunflower squares of different sizes.  Each person made 36 of them. They were all mailed to Wisconsin if I remember!  Then separated and we each received 36 different blocks back in the mail.  

     The original plan of Shannon Linde who started this swap was to make one big quilt.  But that was too big for me.  So I decided I was going to make a few different quilts.  This is the first. 

     I took out the squares that were made totally of batik.  There were 8 total. Two, 12 1/2 inch blocks,  Two 9 1/2 inch blocks, two 8 1/2 inch blocks and one 6 1/2 inch block.  

I used a batik Jelly Roll to finish out the quilt top.  I framed all the smaller blocks out to make 3 equal rows.  Then I sewed a strip between all of the rows. 

    I framed the quilt out once.  I then decided to frame it out in one direction.  Letting it grow from one corner.  I added a few rows of strips til the quilt was 45x50.  I used the strips to bring out some of the bright colors in the sunflowers. 

     I backed it in another batik of green and yellow.  The colors of a fresh sunflower field.  

     I quilted it by doing a wave and reversing the Wave for the next row!

     I then used th scraps of my strips to make the binding to finish out the quilt.

     This quilt is going to my friend Emilio otherwise known as "Q".  Q is ex navy, married to a navy girl.  He is a hard working tech coworker of mine.  His wife is being transferred and this is his goodbye present!!  Good Luck Q in your endeavors!!!

Scrappy Umbrella Quilt


     Pat Sloan has a new challenge going on her blog.  She is going to put out a monthly challenge to help all of us use up our scraps.  This month the challenge is to make a quilt top up using 2 1/2 inch squares.  She didn't give you a pattern or a setting or to many rules.  Just a few suggestions. 

     One of those suggestions is to use 2 1/2 squares of a fabric with a small print on it.  That print is then used to go with your scrap squares. So for me,  I am making 16 patches.  8 of the print fabric and 8 of scrap squares. So I made lots of chains and came up with a 16 patch like this. 

     The print has small red and black umbrellas on it.  I decide to frame the 20 blocks I made with black solid fabric.  I used 1 1/2 inch sashing to equal a finished inch. I then sewed the quilt up to make it 4 wide by 5 down. 

     I then had to make the hardest decision on this quilt. I couldn't decide on which red fabric blend to use.  I am short in my stash of reds from another quilt I have been cutting for. So I decided that this swirl would work since it went with the other small print.  I cut this at 2 3/4 inches to make a 2 1/4 inch finished frame.

     I then framed the outside with a black fabric with White dots. I cut this at 4 inches as the final frame!! 

     As the binding I couldn't decide either.     I thought about going scrappy,  but ended up using red fabric with dots! 

     For the backing I used 2 pieces of polka dot out of my stash and leftovers from my sashing to make the back piece. 

     I quilted it by doing big circle swirls in all the 16 patches.  One of my other goals this year is to become proficient at new FMQ techniques.  I think I am doing well at this!!  Then I did simple waves in the red and black boarder. 

     For some reason the 16 patches did not end up square and my speedy self did not square them up before putting them together.  So I had to square up the outside frame to even up the quilt. Others might not notice,  but I do.  And yes I chose not to tear the quilt apart.  It bunched up in the back in an area and I did not find this til later.  I decided imperfect will be fine.  I hope....

     This quilt is for my friend Guinn.  She has been battling cancer.  I am sending it to her to wrap her in love and give her a smile!!!  I know she is going to survive this like she has every other battle in her life!!!  I hope she likes my imperfect quilt.   Here we are together with the quilt!!