Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Philly MQG Modern Log Cabin Challenge

The Philly MQG had a modern log cabin challenge last year as one of our monthly activities.  I decided to use some improv and assymetry in my log cabin entry.  I took some scraps of green fabric that I had lying around and spiced them into some solid gray fabric.  I then cut strips of various widths from the solid gray fabric.  I also cut a few strips of a green Quilters Linen fabric to use in the quilt.  I started the log cabin with a piece of the green Quilters Linen fabric and then worked my way around and around, starting with the narrowest strips of gray and finishing with the widest.

I thought that the quilt had a bit of a swirling motion to it, so I used concentric circles emanating from the starting block for the quilting.  I had some of this amazing Kaffe Fassett Jupiter print in green, which I used for the binding.

It was pretty fun and quick to make and I think it turned out pretty well.  It's about 36" square.  I plan to use it for a wall hanging somewhere - maybe in my quilting room.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Gray, Yellow, and White Baby Quilt

Some very good friends of mine from college decided to have a baby a couple years ago.  When I heard the announcement of the pregnancy, I knew I had to make a quilt for the new baby!  I saw some posts on Pinterest of items that were gray, yellow, and white that they were considering for the baby's nursery, so I decided to use this color scheme in the quilt.  I know that these friends have a pretty modern aesthetic, so I wanted to do something fairly simple using mostly solids.  I was inspired by the half square triangle (HST) quilts made by Sew Katie Did and I decided I would use all solids in various grays, yellows, and whites to make a HST quilt.

I chose about 6 or 7 different Kona solids and then created HSTs in all the possible combinations.  I then randomly arranged the HST blocks to form this pattern.  I like how it doesn't look planned at all (because it isn't!)  I was short 1 HST block so I was thinking of maybe adding a cute print to break up the monotony of the triangles.  Luckily, at one of our Philly MQG sewing days, Bobbi offered a square of this awesome Ed Emberly elephant print from Cloud9 Fabrics.  It was perfect!  So I placed that one square of print fabric in the bottom right of the quilt.

I knew almost immediately how I wanted to quilt this.  I used just straight lines going in one direction, all spaced 1 inch apart.  I really like how it turned out.

For the back, I chose some more Cloud9 fabric (the gray, yellow, and white triangles) and I created large HSTs with solids that minim the front of the quilt.  It was great how well the Cloud9 fabric matched my quilt top!  I didn't even plan it that way.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Red and White Japan Quilt

Soon after the big earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, I decided to make a Japan-inspired quilt. I had been reading Dan Rouse's blog and was loving his incredible reverse-appliqué quilts (seriously, go check it out), so I decided to do reverse appliqué using red background fabric and an off-white fabric on the front. The idea was to sort of mimic the Japanese flag.  This quilt took me a long time to finish (about 2 years??), although it was sitting around waiting for a long time.  After doing the appliqué and then basting the quilt, I got hung up on how to quilt it.  My favorite suggestion from someone was to use free motion quilting in the Japan portion to make it look like topography.  However, I had tried free motion before and decided it didn't work on my machine because I constantly had tension issues.  I finally read more about FMQ and decided I needed to put my tension way up (to 9 or10) and try again.  I finally bit the bullet and decided to go for it.  It actually worked really well!  I had a lot of starts and stops and I wanted to do it "right," so I decided to bury all the threads by hand.  That took quite a bit of time but it was worth it.  You can't really see the topography lines on the front, but because I used red thread, they look great on the back.  Here are some overall photos (sorry for the poor photo quality - I'll need to work on getting better photos in the future!) and some detail shots. I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chad's 30th Birthday Quilt - Solids and Stripes

I showed you some "sneak peek" photos of this quilt while I was working on it (a LONG time ago), but it's now been finished for quite a while.  This quilt is made of all shot cottons by Kaffe Fassett.  I had some trouble with the quilting on this one.  I think the back was very slippery because of the shot cotton and I also think that the shot cottons don't stick as well to the batting.  As a result, I ended up with a few more puckers that I accidentally quilter over than I'm used to, but it wasn't horrible I guess.  On the other hand, now that it has been washed a couple times, the fabric is super soft!  I love the feel of it and definitely would like to make another quilt of all shot cottons in the near future (actually, I just did - more on that in a later post).

Here are photos of the finished quilt front and back.

Monday, January 6, 2014


Hi, everyone. I just wanted to let you know about an exciting activity I'll be participating in this year.  It is the No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee (#ngaqb).  I've never participated in a bee before and I also haven't ever known that many male quilters - I'm the only one in my guild.  A bunch of us male quilters met up on Instagram and we started talking about how fun it would be to have our own place to hang out and sew together.  Of course we're all scattered around the world, so we can't sew together for real, but we can meet up virtually on Facebook and we can sew for each other.  Molli Sparkles was the main instigator and I'm so glad he got everything set up.  I hope no one is offended by our choice of name. It was meant to be silly and kind of ironic (think 10 year old boys and their tree house fort, but with quilting, an activity that is often thought to be for "girls")!  Check the #ngaqb Blogroll at the top right of my blog for links to the various participants.  There are a couple gentlemen who have expressed interest in joining our crew but who are not participating in the bee this year.  Their blog addresses are included in the blog roll so you can experience their awesomeness.  You can track our progress on Instagram with the #ngaqb tag.

The bee got kicked off this month and we will each be making 2 blocks for one of the participants each month.  Here is the first block I made for January's block recipient.

And my month is February and one of the participants is way ahead and already sent out my blocks!  I asked for flying geese in negative space and here are the two blocks Paul sent me.  Aren't they awesome??

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Denyse Schmidt Challenge Wedding Quilt

Our guild was lucky enough to have Denyse Schmidt visit us and give a lecture in July 2012.  In preparation for her visit, we had a "Denyse Schmidt" challenge.  We were challenged to make something using Denyse's fabric, pattern, or style.  I chose to use Denyse fabrics and one of her patterns to make this queen sized quilt for a friend's wedding gift.  I never actually got a photo of the whole quilt because I had to give it away so quickly, but here is the photo of it hanging with the other challenge pieces.

Click the following link to read more about our Denyse Schmidt event: http://www.phillymodernquiltguild.com/2012/07/denyse-schmidt-event-june-2012.html