May 22

Books on Monday – New York Beauties & Flying Geese

Books on Monday kind of snuck up on me this month, probably because this is the earliest date that can be the fourth Monday of the month. Sigh. Anyway, today we are looking at New York Beauties & Flying Geese: 10 Dramatic Quilts, 27 Pillows, 31 Block Patterns by Carl Hentsch. Yes, the link below is an Amazon Affiliate link that helps to support this blog.

I am a sucker for New York Beauty quilts and flying geese, especially curved flying geese, so the title of this book grabbed me at once. The pictures on the cover sealed the deal. And then I discovered the very interesting format of the patterns in this book. Let me explain!

All of the patterns in this book are made with different combinations from a fixed set of block elements, varying combinations of solid arcs, arcs with rectangles, and arcs of flying geese, fans and circles. All of those elements are found in the back of the book, as are the diagrams of the 31 blocks that can be made from these elements. This means that if you make more than one of the quilts in this book, the second and third should feel familiar.

The book starts with a note by Tula Pink, followed by an Introduction by the author. Then comes a section on The Basics. This includes information on fabric selection, thread selection, making the blocks, cutting pieces for the blocks (the measurements for the different sizes of patches are on page 11, so you don’t get confused like I did when I was first reading some of the directions for making one of the quilts), making templates, foundation piecing, curved piecing and appliquéd center circles. There is also a section about finishing the pillows.

The next section is all the projects, those 10 quilts and 27 pillows. Once you have spent some time with the basics, the individual patterns make sense. Since fat quarters are suggested for some of the quilts, there are cutting diagrams to help you get the most out of your fat quarter in some of the cutting instructions.

The Block Index comes after the patterns, followed by the foundation pieced arc patterns and the circle, background and plain arc patterns. The final part of the book is About the Author.

I really like almost every single one of these patterns, even the pillow patterns although I don’t usually make pillows. (The throw pillows that came with our couch tend to spend most of their time out of the way on the floor.) What I like even more though, is that I can see using the block elements and the blocks to design my own quilts. There are not a lot of pattern books that inspire me like that, and I appreciate the inspiration.

In case you can’t tell, I’m a fan of this book and very glad that I bought it.

Quilt on!

May 21

Sunday Evening Catch Up

If you missed the Craftsy supplies sale because I failed to post about it, I am so very sorry. It’s been a weird week.

But over the last couple weeks, I have done some quilting, other than the Surrounded by Scraps finish. For example:

I did a little bit on La Passacaglia during the knitting group get together almost two weeks ago now.

And I got some quilty mail this week. I really want to make this quilt, not that I know what I’ll do with it once it’s made.

And I did some work on the borders for the 2014 Designer Mystery BOM. (In the picture I somehow thought these were much smaller pieces. 

I have high hopes that that 2014 Designer Mystery BOM will be a finished top by the end of the day tomorrow. I would like to have it completed and ready to gift by two weeks from today if possible.

What have you been up to?

Quilt on!

May 13

Surrounded by Happy Scraps Is a Finish!

I have my first finish for the second quarter in the 2017 Finish-Along! This is also the third finish for the year, and all finishes have been quilts that are couch sized or more! Whee!

Here is Surrounded by Happy Scraps as held up by my husband and son-in-law.

Just to recap so I can use this post later as the official post for the 2017 Finish-Along, I started this quilt earlier this year as part of a mystery quilt by Charlotte of Charlotte Hawkes Quilts: Making Scrappy Quilts with ATTITUDE. Her name for this one is Surrounded by Scraps. I chose all bright cheerful colors (or almost all) so I renamed mine Surrounded by Happy Scraps.

I love Charlotte’s scrappy designs. I missed her first scrappy mystery and last year’s scrappy mystery, but I did complete the 2015 mystery, Scraps in a Box. I finished it for the fourth quarter of the 2016 Finish-Along and blogged about it here. One of the things that I hadn’t liked about about working on that one was that until I got to the sashing stage, the quilt felt very dark and I didn’t enjoy working on it as much as I would have expected to. So this time I told myself I would go brighter. I also told myself that I would only use scraps or stuff I already had in the house, even for the background. So I loved working with this one all along the way.

First we put together some four-patch and nine-patch blocks.

Then we made these units:which were attached to become the units on the far right in this box.

Then we made these:

And made different units with the four and nine patches:And then on to these!Finally putting some blocks together – they are very large!

To see it all once assembled, I had to lay it out on a bed!

Charlotte’s layout called for a five inch border, but I really like this just as it is, so I skipped the border. This means it’s a little too small to be a good queen-sized quilt.

I sent it to Crystal to quilt on her longarm, giving her the choice of how to quilt it. This is what she chose:

When it came back, I opened it up to look at it and admire the quilting, and that is when the trouble started. Loki fell in love with the quilt.

Every time I looked, he was there.

I didn’t dare move the quilt.

Let me add that his mom is currently out of town, so we were happy to see him really enjoying something.Finally, yesterday when Loki and Grandpa were out for a walk, I managed to get the binding on the quilt. I figured that I needed to do it as quickly as possible, so I would do it all by machine. This is something new for me. I have not been very successful with machine binding in the past and since I like hand work, it didn’t bother me much but I really wanted to get this done, so I sewed the binding onto the back and then attached it to the front with a decorative stitch.

Here’s a corner: Here’s my worst corner.You can see that my stitches were not always uniform, but now that it’s washed, that’s a little less noticeable.

Of course, I made the mistake of putting the quilt on the floor while I waited for the load in the washing machine to get finished.

I’m not sure what it is about this particular quilt that has him so fascinated, but he does look quite comfortable on it!

Quilt on!

May 13

Craftsy Mother’s Day Weekend Sale

Craftsy has three offers for this Mother’s Day weekend.

  • Offer 1: Any class for $19.99 using code MYTREAT
  • Offer 2: 50% off 1 Boundless item using code JUST4MOM
  • Offer 3: 50% off 1 Cloudborn or Sprightly item using code JUST4MOM

All you need to do to take advantage of this sale and help support this blog is to click here.

This sale ends May 14, 20017 at 11:59 MT, so you don’t have much time.

Quilt on!

May 08

Books on Monday – Design Inspirations

Welcome back to Books on Monday. Today we are looking at Design Inspirations by Margaret Solomon Gunn.(Yes, in a few minutes I will go all fangirl, but first we’ll get the basics out of the way. And, yes, the link below is an Amazon Affiliate link which will help to support this blog.

If you are interested in learning about the design process of an award-winning quilter (or anyone who isn’t you), then this is the book for you. In this book, Margaret Solomon Gunn tells the reader about herself and her quilts and how she made them. The book includes patterns for three of her award-winning quilts including quilting suggestions. (Who does that?) It also includes a gallery of many of her quilts, and information about how she got started.

If you have been to a major show in the last few years, you have probably seen a quilt by Margaret Solomon Gunn. You’ve probably seen one with a ribbon on it. I know I’ve seen two of the three quilts that are patterned in this book in person (Zen Garden more than once). Her quilts are gorgeous and so is the quilting. I’ve been following her blog for quite some time and have seen enough of her quilting that when I saw a quilt at the Shipshewana show last June that was not made by her, I looked at the quilting and thought, “That looks like some of Margaret Solomon Gunn’s quilting.) When I looked closely at the identification card, sure enough she had quilted it.

Will I use this book to make a quilt just like Zen Garden? Nope. At least I think I can say that pretty definitely. Will I learn to quilt as beautifully and intricately as Margaret Solomon Gunn? No. But I appreciate the look at how it is done, and I may happily use elements from some of the quilts in future quilts of my own. (I admit to having my eye on the pointy flowers from Zen Garden.)

The patterns in the book are presented differently from patterns in books that are straight up project books. First, there is an introduction to the quilt, including the process she went through to design it and showing some alternate ideas she tried along the way. (For example, she admits to thinking that the tan background for Zen Garden is ugly and covering up as much as possible with appliqué.) She also includes how she decided on some of the quilting in this section. The section ends with a list of the awards which that quilt has one.

Next, she gives you the pattern for the quilt itself. The pattern looks a little different from other patterns and includes quite a bit of annotation about the best ways to do things. That is followed by a section on the quilting motifs she used and how to do them or something close to them. There are gorgeous close up shots of the quilting too. She does this for each of the three quilts. Forty pages of the book cover the pattern for Zen Garden, if you want an idea of how detailed this is.

Here’s what the table of contents looks like:

  • Introduction
  • Quilts of Margaret Solomon Gunn
  • Zen Garden
  • Autumn’s Splendor
  • Bouquet Royale
  • Preparing Turned Edge Appliqué
  • A Few Words from Margaret

I haven’t fangirled too much have I? Check out her blog too! She educates and shares there also.

Quilt on!

May 04

A Craftsy Class Sale

This weekend is the May Craftsy Class Sale! All classes are under $20! This sale continues from now until Sunday, May 7 at 11:59 PM Mountain Time. You can find this sale here. (Yes, that is a link that will help support this humble blog.)

Also new on Craftsy is the Spring Quilt-Along! This season’s kit includes everything you need to create your own Flower Basket quilt, plus exclusive video tips from the designer herself, Kate Colleran. Would you believe this stunning queen-size quilt is made up from only three blocks? Plus, Kate offers three ways to change up the block setting for your own custom spin. Share it today so folks can grab their kit in time to create alongside a community of other makers! Here’s where you can find it!

Quilt on!

May 01

A Finished Top!

Surrounded by Scraps (or in my case, Surrounded by Happy Scraps) is now a finished top and is off to the longarm quilter! Yay.

Last week I started assembling the rows. Here are the first two:

Today, I finally completed the top. I realized once I got the center together that I really liked mine without the borders. The original pattern has 5″ borders of the background fabric. That would make it plenty big for a queen, but I just wasn’t feeling it. (I will be honest; it didn’t help that with the borders it might be too long for my backing fabric. And I’m lazy.)

Here’s how far over the sides of my queen-sized bed it goes without the borders:

But, I do like it an awful lot without the borders so I decided to call it done.

Then I found this while I was pressing it. (I tried so hard to avoid two of the same fabric being next to each other!)

I delivered it to the quilt shop this evening so maybe by next Tuesday or Wednesday it will be back and I can bind it and call it done!

What have you been working on?

Quilt on!

Apr 25

Some Sewing and Quilting

I’m still working on getting the Surrounded by Scraps top together and have no new pictures, but that’s not the only progress I’ve been making here. La Passacaglia got a little bit of love today.

Some friends from church get together on Tuesdays to knit. Today I joined them and worked on La Passacaglia, because knitting is not going to happen! Seriously not going to happen.

First I picked the colors for the next round. Here were my options:

I ruled out the upper right pretty quickly, The one on the left was a nice look but a little too blendy for my taste. I chose the bottom right because it provided more contrast and was a more relaxing fabric.

Once I got that round sewed onto the star, it was time to choose the next round. Here are the choices for that round:

At first I thought the upper left was my choice. I still think it looks pretty nice. The upper right also looks fine, but I chose the more relaxing option on the bottom. I have that wreath made, but I haven’t yet attached it to the star section.

Last night I also sat down at my quilting frame and did a little handquilting while listening to The Voice. It felt good to do some of that again. It has been a while! Maybe now I will make some progress on that quilt.

What have you been working on this week?

Quilt on!

Apr 24

Books on Monday – The Splendid Sampler

Happy Books on Monday! Today we are looking at The Splendid Sampler: 100 Spectacular Blocks from a Community of Quilters by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. The links below are Amazon Affiliate links and will help support this blog if you use them. 

If you spend any time looking at quilting blogs on the internet, you’ve probably heard of The Splendid Sampler. It was a year long quilt-along conceived of and managed by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. 100 blocks designed by 83 quilters you know or whose blogs you follow, plus several bonus blocks, two per week over the course of a year. There were several different types of blocks so that participants could learn new skills or practice some they hadn’t used in a while. I’ve enjoyed seeing examples of how different quilters personalized the blocks or made them seasonal. I’ve also loved seeing the different finished quilts that people have made.

The six inch blocks were originally free on The Splendid Sampler website. The bonus blocks and projects are still there, but the original 100 blocks are in this book. Personally, I was thrilled when the book was announced back in November because I had quit downloading all the blocks for later because I was running out of hard drive space. Knowing this book was coming out allowed me to delete several items!

The book is arranged by type of block, not the original order they were released on the internet. The table of contents lists the type of block but there are no divider pages stating where each section starts. I found this a little confusing when just leafing through the book, but it wasn’t a deal breaker. I am not sure how I feel about not having the blocks in the same order they were presented, but that also wasn’t a deal breaker.

Each block is introduced by its designer with a brief paragraph. The instructions for each block make sense to me, although I confess that I have not tried any of them yet. (I’m trying to finish some more things before starting this project.) There is also a pattern sheet insert.

Here’s a look at the Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Patchwork Blocks
  • Appliqué Blocks
  • Foundation-Pieced Blocks
  • Embroidered Blocks
  • Quilting Basics – This includes some basic information and techniques for making the blocks. It does not tell you how to completely construct a quilt.
  • Quilt Gallery – Some examples of quilts made using some or all of the blocks.
  • Block Index
  • About the Authors

If you want to see pictures of the blocks or quilts made from them, The Splendid Sampler has a Facebook group. It is a pretty active group.

Quilt on!

Apr 21

Friday Funk

Who would have guessed that after several consecutive productive days, I would post on Monday and then immediately become worthless? Ugh! It feels like illness has dogged DH and I for months now! (Fact check: it has really only been one month.) I got the prizes mailed out and a few groceries and then became a lump of blob. I thought I just had a brand new cold. When the coughing became progressively became more violent, I finally caved and went to the doctor. Probably a sinus infection. Antibiotics and inhalers already have the coughing greatly improved, but the energy is probably far away still. Sigh.

So, currently there is not any progress on any front except the cough improvement. And my Disney Emojii Blitz score. I did get one side of the Surrounded by Scraps blocks attached, but I don’t have any pictures. Maybe later today I will feel like finishing those blocks up. Have I mentioned before that I am going to call mine Surrounded by Happy Scraps?

I hope you are all healthy!

Quilt on!

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