Jul 20

Q3 Finish-Along: First Finish of the Quarter

Here’s my first finish for the quarter, my husband’s birthday gift. This is the only t-shirt quilt I will ever make so look well! I’ll let you feast on the pictures of the front and back before I start complaining.

And here’s the back. If you knew my husband, you’d know that after God and his family, his next two great loves are the University of Michigan and Coca Cola. 

How did I get myself into making a t-shirt quilt when it was never on my bucket list? Let’s just say, my husband asked. Sigh. And my suggestion to anyone making a t-shirt quilt is to stay away from 20 and 30 year-old t-shirts that have been worn and washed to death. The fabric has no integrity after all that!

In preparing for making this quilt, I rewatched The Ultimate T-Shirt Quilt (w/Winnie Fleming) from Craftsy (and yes, that is an affiliate link which will help to support this blog). I never seem to do anything the short easy way, so I didn’t want to make your basic squares and sashing t-shirt quilt. I really liked the look of Winnie’s quilts with the logos from the shirts cut to different sizes. My original plan had been to make some flying geese units and HST units to fill in the spaces, but once I realized how little time I really had to do this, I changed my mind and just used my fancy University of Michigan fabric. I did a lot of math to make sure these fit together and were big enough for a couch quilt for my husband. It was also a little tricky (involved more math) to make the 1997 Football National Championship shirt fit right into the center of the quilt. 

But the real fun started when I started to quilt it. In spite of being fused, those t-shirts stretched. I think it was the lack of fabric integrity left, or maybe I didn’t fuse them well enough or should have used a stiffer fusible. And I definitely should have stuck to straight line quilting. I’m sure the curves pulled at the shirts more than necessary. I also have a theory (which I’m never going to test because I’m never going to do this again) that since I was doing an overall pattern, I should have quilted with the t-shirt size down.The one t-shirt on the back didn’t stretch at all. I also noticed that bunching was worse the thicker the print on the shirt was.

Now that it’s washed it looks much better, of course. And my husband loves it. And that is all that matters. And it is finished just in time for his birthday.

What are you working on?

Quilt on!

Jul 10

Books on Monday – The Fussy Cut Sampler

I’m sorry I missed the fourth Monday of last month, but July is a new month so here we are – back to Books on Monday! Today we are looking at The Fussy Cut Sampler: 48 Quilt Blocks from Your Favorite Fabrics by Nichole Ramirez and Elisabeth Woo. The link below is an Amazon Affiliate link and will help support this blog. Thank you!

This is a beautiful book. It is sturdy and well designed with lovely illustrations and plenty of white space on the pages. I will admit, though, that when I was looking at it before I actually read a word, I wondered why I had spent money on this book. I knew I had been attracted by the fussy cutting concept because I have a project in mind that I plan to do lots of fussy cutting to accomplish, but just looking at the pictures of the blocks I wondered if I really needed a book like this. I mean, really, a whole book about fussy cutting?!

Then I started to read the words that went with the block designs and the beginning information, and I knew immediately that I did indeed need this book. I learned so much about the kinds of things to consider when fussy cutting and techniques and fabric terms!

And, yes, I really did mark every single block. I’m not sure at what point I realized that I was just wasting Post-It tabs because I liked everything. I should have used a highlighter to mark the information I wanted to remember. That is on the list for the next time through.

In case you are wondering what kind of information one finds in an excellent book on fussy cutting, here’s my annotated contents:

  • Introduction – Fussy Cutting Is Fun – This includes a definition of fussy cutting and some information about the authors and their approach.
  • The Anatomy of a Block – This tells a bit about fabric and block basics. Definitions show up at the bottom of the page in blue type.
  • Chapter 1 – Background Basics – The blocks in this section focus on backgrounds. Each block has an introduction with information on how the background fabric is used in that block. This is true throughout the book.
  • Chapter 2 – Stripes – This chapter focuses on how to use stripes in blocks. Several cool blocks using stripes. I tend to avoid using stripes in blocks. Maybe I won’t anymore.
  • Chapter 3 – Playing with Color and Value – Scale also slips in in this chapter.
  • Chapter 4 – Precision Fussy Cuts – This includes a section by Anita Grossman Solomon about how to mark your rulers for fussy cutting. This is more what I tend to think about when thinking fussy cutting.
  • Chapter 5 – Mastering Motifs – Some advanced work in using precision fussy cuts.
  • Chapter 6 – Mixing Motifs – Or maybe mixing motifs of different scale is more accurate.
  • Chapter 7 – Tossed Prints – (We learned what these are earlier in the book. Or at least I did. You’ll have to read it yourself if you don’t know!) This includes a section by Latifah Saafir about cutting a single motif from a tossed print.
  • Chapter 8 – Prints With Directionality – Having just worked with several of prints with directionality (after all, a t-shirt quilt is the ultimate directionality), I found this chapter very interesting.
  • Chapter 9 – Geometrics as Focal Fabrics – Another topic I’d never really considered as a separate topic.
  • Chapter 10 – Remixed Blocks – Taking all you’ve just learned and using it together.
  • Chapter 11 – Creating a Narrative in Your Blocks – Other things to consider to help your quilt tell a story.
  • Chapter 12 – Advanced Directionality – and how to use it. The last block, by the way, is a label!
  • Chapter 13 – Building Your Quilt – Two different setting ideas for the 48 blocks in this book.
  • Resources

Quilt on!

Jul 07

Shipshewana Quilt Festival 3 – More Appliqué Than You’ll Ever See Me Do

This time we will look at some gorgeous appliqué quilts. And, as the title says, you will never see me do this much appliqué in one quilt or over a lifetime, unless something drastically changes.

This first one is actually an in the hoop project from The Hoop Sisters. It is Sew and Seeds by Delphi Andrianson of Martin, MI. The original project was called Sewn and Seeds. And to be truthful, maybe someday I will try one of these Hoop Sisters projects with my embroidery machine.

This amazing appliqué quilt is Everywhere I Go by Ronda Stockton of Deer Park, TX. It was quilted by Cindy Gravely. The quilt was a wool appliqué block of the week by Lisa Bonjean of Primitive Gatherings.

This lovely quilt is Days of Wine and Roses, designed, made and quilted by Cathleen Miller of Albuquerque, NM. It is hand quilted and includes some trapunto and embroidery also. 

This is a Lori Smith design, Floral Delight, made and quilted by Pat Sims of Howe, IN. 

This is Homage to Sallie Ann by Gail H. Smith of Barrington, IL, quilted by Angela McCorkle. It is an adaptation of the 1850 Sallie Ann Nelson quilt. There are a couple closeups following because I just loved the way the appliqué and the quilting worked together.

I love the modern floral vibe in this one. It is My Fantasy Garden by Donna Mease of Derby, KS, quilted by Jan Hutchinson.

I feel like I have seen this quilt somewhere before, but I don’t know where. It is One Cake, Two Cake, Red Cake, Blue Cake by Linda Neal of McKinney, TX, quilted by Jackie Brown. It is such a happy quilt!
This one is Folk Art Album. It is hand appliquéd wool on flannel by Mary Lois Hill of Elizabethtown, KY. Nancy Gervais quilted it. I love the drama of black quilts (or borders) but sometimes they don’t show up well against black curtains at shows.

I am not usually attracted to 30s colors, but this fits the theme so well with the partial Dresdens and floral appliqué. I also fell in love with all the tiny tumblers. They are everywhere! All 3,500 of them. Hence the name, Tiny Tumbler Fun designed and made by Karen DeWitt of Park Forest, IL, quilted by Heather Broehm.

Okay, this does not exactly fit the title since I can almost see myself doing this much appliqué in a border, although I could draw the line at all those little grapes in the center. This one is Grape Arbor, made and quilted by Peggy Garwood of Fairfield Glade, TN. I love her color choices – and those pieced blocks!This one is My Little Brown Bird made by Claire Baker of Ridley Park, PA and quilted by Kathy Slater. This really does have more appliqué than I can ever picture myself doing! But it is gorgeous.
This one really caught my eye. It should probably have been included in the Winner’s Circle post since it did take first place in the Appliqué, Large category. This is Subtle Sixties, designed, made and quilted by Linda Roy of Knoxville, TN. It is so graceful. But more appliqué and embroidery than I can picture myself doing. 

Can you picture yourself doing any of these?

Quilt on!

Jul 06

Shipshewana Quilt Festival 2 – More Winners

Here are a few more quilts from the Winners’ Circle at the Shipshewana Quilt Festival. Not all of these won ribbons, but they were located in the car museum that also housed the Winner’s Circle.

There were two of these Gingerbread Village quilts. This one is by Patricia Welsh of Anderson, IN. It was quilted by Elaine Reed. The card said it was from an appliqué Block of the Month. I especially like the gingerbread wedding in the upper right corner!

This one is Best of Show. It is Garden Variety Sampler by Janet Stone of Overland Park, KS who also quilted it. It is an original design and part of her alphabet series. This is my favorite of all of her quilts I’ve ever seen.

This is Elegance by Elsie Campbell of Ponca City, OK and hand quilted by her. the card said it took 8 years to finish that hand quilting. It got a ribbon in the Mixed Media Large category, but no one could tell us how it was mixed media. Very stunning, though!

This is Leda by Deb Hyde of West Bloomfield, MI, and quilted by her. This quilt amazes me because it is all done in the Sunshine and Shadow motif – including Leda herself. So awesome!

Here is a La Passacaglia called Math Quiz by Karen Weaver of Cleveland, OH. She also quilted it. I have to admit that every time I see one of these, my heart breaks because I know how much was trimmed off to make it rectangular. 

This one is Singing the Blues by Doris Goins of Kendallville, IN. She quilted it also. I love all the blue colors. It collected a ribbon in the Pieced – Small category. 

And here is another by Elsie Campbell, this time machine quilted by Elsie herself. It is called Rainbow Star. I’m a fan!I will probably do one more post from this show within the next few days. Until then

Quilt on!

Jul 05

Fourth of July Sew-In Results

Most of the weekend I sort of avoided sewing. I know that part of the reason for that was the project I really needed to be working on – the t-shirt quilt. I had done one block already and all the t-shirts were fused and trimmed but… so not excited to do this. Yesterday, I bit the bullet, went into the sewing room and pretty much stayed there until the top was completed.

Just so you know, I had purchased fabric for borders, but this feels big enough as it is so this is the finished top. What does it say that I’m more excited about making the back for this project than I was for making the front?

But before I get to the back, I need to make my Saturday Sampler blocks.

What have you been doing?

Quilt on!

Jul 03

Q3 Finish-Along Goals (or suggestions)

Now that the second quarter is behind us, it is time for me to decide what it is I’m hoping to finish this quarter. I usually pick five things or so. This year I’ve finished two each quarter, which honestly feels like a lot. Here are my goals for this quarter:

  1. Finish my husband’s t-shirt quilt. It is actually a goal for this month since his birthday is the 21st, but, as he says, he won’t be using it in the middle of the summer.
  2. Finish my quilt from my Kimberly Einmo Lonestar class 2 years ago. I’m dying to work with those fabrics again.
  3. Finish my quilt from my Kimberly Einmo Spinning Stars class 2 years ago.
  4. Finish my Disappearing Pinwheels quilt.
  5. Finish the Christmas Jelly Roll Race quilt.

I’m linking up with the Finish-Along at She Can Quilt.

Quilt on!

Jun 30

Shipshewana Quilt Festival 1 – Fangirling

Last Friday, three friends and I went to the Shipshewana Quilt Festival. This was the second time that Carolyn and I have gone down for the day. Amy and Stephanie joined us this year and a good time was had by all. There will be a few posts on this trip over the next couple of days.

Today I am playing the fangirl. Before I get to that, however, allow me to mention one of the biggest highlights of this trip. I got to meet Kathy Mathews of  Quilting, Sewing, Creating fame. We’ve known each other online for several years now, but this was our first in person meeting. I had asked the Twitter Facebook group whether anyone would be at the Shipshewana Quilt Festival because I was going on Friday. Kathy had replied that she usually goes on Saturday, so I didn’t expect to see her there. Near the end of our quilt show time, just prior to food, I heard a voice call my name and looked up to see Kathy. It was just like running into a friend I haven’t seen in a long time and I can’t wait to see her again sometime. I was sooooo excited! Can you tell from the picture? (I’m the short one.)

Now on to some quilts. Since I’m calling this part fangirling, we will start with some quilts by one of my favorite quilters, Margaret Solomon Gunn. You remember that I reviewed her book earlier, right? And how much I adore her quilting? Well, she had entered three quilts in the show. The first was Twisted Sister, which took first place in the Machine Quilted category.

Yes, those are hexagons that she made by hand. I’m sorry the zebra print around the outside of the hexagon flowers doesn’t really show up well, but you’ll just have to go see this for yourself someday. I did take some close-ups of the amazing quilting.

This quilting is amazing. Want to see it a little closer? Note, the clusters in between those feathers are hexagons, not circles.

Now that you’ve seen the borders, here is a bit of a look at the area between the hexagons. And some of the outsides of the hexagons too. Here it is!

This next quilt is one that I saw at the AQS Grand Rapids show last August. It is Ode to Spring, also by Margaret Solomon Gunn. It took First Place in the Mixed Media Large Category. 

And here is a little closeup of the quilting. I’m sorry it is a bit blurry. 

And the final Margaret Solomon Gunn quilt is Illuminations which took first place in the Pieced, Large category. This is the quilt in front of which Kathy and I are standing. And a couple of closeups of the quilting:

I hope you’ve enjoyed these as much as I did.

One last fangirl quilt for this post, and then I’ll end this for now. I’m a fan of Claudia Pfeil’s quilts ever since the special exhibit of her quilts at the Grand Rapids AQS show a couple of years ago. She had one here this year. This is Fractal, an honorable mention in the Mixed Media Large category. They don’t show up well here, but there are 30,000 (yes, I said 30,000) Swarovski crystals along with all of the other embellishments. I have a feeling this quilt is very heavy. It is also very gorgeous.

I’ll post a few more quilts in a future post. In the meantime,

Quilt on!


Jun 30

The Craftsy Class Sale

The Craftsy Class Event is going on now, as long as you are reading this before July 4, 2017, 11:59 Mountain Time. And, yes, that says all the classes are under $20. (The fine print from Craftsy: *Not valid for classes from our special Startup Library series or classes from our partner, The Great Courses. Offer price is in US Dollars. Expires July 4, 2017 at 11:59PM Mountain Time.)

Just click here to shop the class event and help support this blog!

Learn something new and

Quilt on!

Jun 28

Finish Number Two for Quarter Two

I’m pretty sure that I could spend many minutes apologizing for my absence, but you aren’t here to read whiny stuff, so let’s get to the good stuff! I finished another quilt! Really. And it’s a wedding gift for a wedding that is not until July 15! I’m on top of it! I’ve handed it off to the bride’s parents to deliver so no one has to deal with it the day of the wedding. I think it is safe to post this because I don’t think that the bride pays any attention to my blog.

Yes, I’m pretty sure that this is my last finish for the quarter.

And which quilt was this? The 2014 Designer Mystery BOM! It’s not a bed sized quilt (well, maybe a twin), but the colors will look great on their couch I’m told. We have known the bride since she was five or six years old so she is almost family. Which makes her quilt eligible.

Amy and I originally decided to do this BOM together. (Hers isn’t done yet, but she’s been grandbaby watching.) I kept up with the blocks until about month 8 or 9. My original plan was to keep this one for myself, but I really can’t keep every quilt I make. I will run out of room very quickly. So.. a wedding gift it is!

I love the way this quilt looks. The setting by Edyta Sitar (who also designed the fabric) is stunning. All of the blocks were fun to work on since I like star blocks with lots of tiny pieces. Part of the setting process required a 13th block. I have never before made such large half square triangles or hourglass blocks either. There are several posts about this quilt if you’re interested in seeing more pictures of the quilt in progress. I’m just concentrating on the final project here.

I’m linking this to the 2017 Finish-Along.

Quilt on!


Jun 09

I’m Still Here

Okay, the third time should be the charm, right? I’ve already written this post twice and had it not post. I updated WordPress today and I’m wondering if that is the problem. We will see!

I am so sorry that I haven’t posted an update sooner. I’ve been doing a bit in the sewing room, but not as much as I would like. I have, however, been doing lots of reading, and I’ve enjoyed that.

I spent several hours fusing and trimming up some t-shirts to make a quilt for my husband. This is not a process I’m enjoying, so I don’t see myself making tons of t-shirt quilts.

I also finished the 2014 Designer Mystery BOM top, backing, and binding. Now I just need to make a decision about whether or not I’m doing the quilting. I need to decide soon because there is a plan for it. Here’s a very not professional picture of the top.

I also completed the blocks for this month in the Saturday Sampler Getting to Know Hue. I am not a big fan of yellowish greens, but I do like these blocks.

Loki still seems to be in love with Surrounded by Happy Scraps. It has become his upstairs bed. I still haven’t figured out exactly why he is so fond of this particular quilt, but he does seem to have adopted it.

And, if you want some more cute, here is an elephant Carolyn knitted. She knits the cutest animals and dolls.

What have you been up to?

Quilt on!

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