Sunday, December 21, 2014

Wedding Quilt For My Sister

My sister got married yesterday and I made her and her new husband a quilt as a wedding gift. Now that they've seen the quilt, I can finally post pictures online!

I started brainstorming ideas a few months ago. I was trying to get some inspiration and insight, so I texted my sister and asked her how long she and her fiancee will have been dating when they get married. She said 365 days. They were getting married on their one year dating anniversary! After that, the number 365 just stuck in my head and I wanted to find some way to portray that in a quilt. Lucky for me, I stumbled across the free quilt pattern "Bartow" (designed by Carolyn Friedlander) on the Robert Kaufman website. The pattern is basically a series of half-inch wide strips, so it was easy to make it as big as I needed to. I purchased a layer cake of Moda "Modern Neutrals" and got to work! The colors reminded me a lot of my sister's taste, but they were also colors I would pick myself, so that definitely helped me stay motivated. The final product is exactly how I pictured it in my head. The colors and the design and the quilting are all very modern and I feel like this quilt is the best representation (so far) of my quilting style. I took these pictures before I left New Jersey because I knew I would want to post pictures from Texas as soon as the quilt was gifted. I hope you like it as much as I do! :)

The last row had a gap at the end, so I knew I wanted to add some sort of heart to fill the blank space. I decided to embroider their initials (A+A for Allie and Abe) and the date. I used a thick stitch on my regular machine, and if you look closely, it is far from perfect, but it gets the job done. I added the heart after the quilt was already quilted, so you can see the applique outline on the back of the quilt. It actually looks kind of cool and worn-in, like the quilt has already been loved and used for a few years. :) 

I explored a new quilt shop and found a great fabric for backing. The green matches perfectly and the polka dots are a little bit smudged and imperfectly spaced. 

I went to Jo-Ann's and found a perfect binding that was gray with random small hearts. I am so happy with how this quilt turned out. :)

The professional photographer took a few photos of Allie and Abe wrapped up in the quilt on their wedding day, so as soon as I have access to those, I will post them too. This was a really fun one, but now my brain is already on to the next project! Stay tuned to see what else I have up my sleeve!

Monday, December 15, 2014

LOTS of Finished Projects to Show!

Another title for this post should be: "Quilting Photography Is Not A One Person Job".

I've been on a roll finishing quilts lately, but my husband hasn't been home during the day to help me take pictures! Today was a cloudy day, but I decided I couldn't wait any longer. If anyone has any recommendations for a good quilt frame or hanging method, please let me know. I'm sure my husband would appreciate it. ;)

Here is a jelly roll quilt that I recently had quilted. The pattern is from a book called "Modern Basics II" by Amy Ellis. The fabric is Modern Roses by Moda. I used a pretty teal batik from my stash for the binding. The quilt top was pretty before I had it quilted, but the quilting really made the colors and the design pop in a way that I wasn't expecting. This has quickly become a regular couch/lounging quilt in our house.

This next quilt is actually the second quilt top I ever finished, after my college t-shirt quilt. I had it quilted while I still lived in Texas, but it sat in a box until I recently found it again. All it needed was the binding! This pattern is from Little Louise Designs (she can be found on Etsy) and it's called Danish Delights. I still love this color combination, even three years after I picked it. I don't use a lot of orange in my quilts, so this one is unique in that sense. This is another "me" quilt that I'm keeping for myself. :)

My grandma's quilt guild has a limit of 75 members, so I'm currently on the waiting list to become a member. I've really enjoyed the two meetings I've been able to go to as a guest. Show and tell is such a fun way to get inspiration and (let's be honest) to get compliments on the projects that we've finished. ;) Last year, my grandma won the blocks of the month for three months in a row, so she had a lot of nine patch blocks and wasn't sure what to do with them. She decided to use a disappearing nine patch pattern and I helped her figure out a good layout and provided the backing. I pieced a few of the rows, but she finished it and then gave it to me as a gift! I think she's just happy that we recently moved into a house only 10 minutes away from her house. It's a win-win situation for me because I get to go sew with her and her friends at least twice a week!

We also did a paper pieced Christmas tree at last month's guild workshop. I gave the tree to my Mom when she came out for Thanksgiving, so she's going to add the button ornaments herself.

I was also able to finish the top for my Schnitzel & Boo Mini Swap quilt. Now I have to figure out how I want to quilt it (my least favorite part). I just hope the quilting doesn't distract from the striking design.

Another fun little project was this "Grumpy Cat" paper pieced pattern from Sew What Sherlock. I made this as a Christmas gift for someone special, so I hope she likes it. :) I think I'm going to make it into a small wall hanging (it's only 12" by 12", so it's a little small to be a pillow).

There's one more quilt that I finished today, but I want it to be a surprise for the recipient, so I have to use all of my willpower to resist posting pictures. It's BEAUTIFUL and modern and I can't wait for you to see it!

Well, I think I'm officially caught up on updating my recent finishes. As you can see, I've been very productive lately! I think it helps having a good long arm quilter nearby and also knowing that show and tell is coming up. Apparently that's all the motivation I need. :)

Let me know what you've been working on lately and if you've finished making all of your Christmas gifts! I can't wait to see what other people have been working on.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap Progress

I recently signed up for my very first online mini quilt swap. I was a little nervous about throwing my hat into the ring with such a talented group of quilters, but my excitement outweighed my nervousness and I signed up anyway! I had seen previous swaps on Instagram and loved the idea of showing sneak peeks of your progress as you worked on the quilt. We got our partner assignments about a week ago, and right away I went to work.

The quilter that I was assigned to is amazingly talented and has tried just about every technique you can think of. Of course, being me, I started to overthink everything. I wanted to create something that matched her tastes, but also included a little bit of my point of view (whatever that is). I scoured my quilting magazines and books and finally found a paper piecing pattern that looked like what I was picturing in my head. I pulled all of the fabrics from my stash and had JUST ENOUGH to make this pattern work. I'm really excited about where this one is heading and I can't wait for my partner to see it when it's finished.

Here's a picture of my progress as of tonight (hence, the slightly dim lighting... I was too excited to wait until tomorrow!). The deadline to mail the quilts is January 16, 2015.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Finished Green Value Quilt

My latest finish is this green baby quilt for a friend of mine. I saw pictures online of "value quilts" and I wanted to see if I could arrange darks and lights to get the same effect. I managed to pull all of these greens from my stash, so I didn't spend any extra money to make this quilt. I'm extremely pleased with how it turned out!

Here's a picture of my finished quilt:

Here's a picture of my inspiration from Sew Katie Did:

I used my leftovers to make an improv/scrappy backing. I also did some basic stitch in the ditch quilting because 1) I wanted to finish it quickly and didn't want to wait to get it back from a quilter, and 2) I loved the way the dark green rings stood out and I didn't want to do anything to distract from that.

I machine stitched the binding so it would be really durable and hold up to lots of washes (I'm told babies are messy).

This was a really fun project to work on. I got the idea in my head and I had the top finished two days later. When inspiration hits, it's best to take advantage of it! :) Let me know what you think in the comments. This quick little project has kick-started a "finishing spree", so hopefully I'll have more progress pictures to show you soon.

Welcome To My Blog!

Hello there! Thanks for stopping by to check out my new blog. I'm excited to carve out my little corner in the online quilting world. :)

The main reason I decided to make this blog is because I wanted a place where I could showcase my finished quilts and post progress pictures of the projects I'm currently working on. I love browsing through different quilting blogs and seeing what other people are creating. It's always a great way to kick-start my inspiration and motivation to start or finish a project. I'm also hoping this will help me improve my photography skills at the same time.

I hope you enjoy the content I post on here! Feel free to leave comments or questions. Let's see where this takes me. :)

- Jessie