Monday, February 24, 2014

HST confetti.

When your machine is in for service, you get around to trimming the 9865 half-square triangles you sewed at a retreat 11 MONTHS ago.   

Better late than never!   The trash certainly makes the project  look promising.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Olivia's baby quilt

I made this flying geese quilt improv-style for the MQG Riley Blake challenge.   

Olivia's mom is a colleague.  Olivia is obviously the Gisele Bundchen of baby quilt models.

The challenge fabric colors were not my scene, so I bleached the fabric.   The blues dimmed and suddenly it was all sherbet-y goodness.

The colors called to mind a print I've been hoarding, which I used as the backing.   I drew my solids from this inspiration.

I did a free motion leaf pattern all over, and bound with a grey-and-white stripe.

I didn't have high hopes for this challenge, but was in love by the time I finished.

Couldn't have gone to a cuter recipient!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Shira's tree of life

I made this tree of life quilt for my eldest niece's bat mitzvah, way back in June.   I clearly was inspired by some recent Sarah Fielke book purchases I'd made,  but was glad to be able to use many of my favorite, treasured scraps.  

That may have been the last of my Joel Dewberry upholstery wood grain!

My friend Linda helped me out with some insane free motion, as I was working around the clock and wasn't going to be able to finish.  It looked especially amazing on the linen sections.

I am now fully addicted to flying geese.

Shira reports it is in full rotation on her bed! 

My blog resolution this year: more photos, less words.   These photos are awful, so less fuzzy shots will be goal #2.

What can I say?   I'm usually just so thrilled to be done that I can't be bothered with the hassle of setting up for artful shots!

My favorite Momo dots on the binding and half an Ikea queen duvet on the back.

I think this will make the posts more frequent?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I really do feel a perverse sense of accomplishment and satisfaction at cleaning this much crap out of my machine, after a big project wraps.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Our guild was one of the many that participated in the MQG Madrona Road challenge.

Challenge participants were given a handful of pieces of the Violet Craft "Madrona Road" fabric line and asked to complete a project, preferably a quilt, using only additional solids.

I found this challenge difficult, primarily because some of the colors in the line aren't favorites of mine, particularly the mustardy yellow and tan.  In addition, I was sad we didn't receive any of the small-scale florals, which were my favorite from this collection.

I borrowed the concept for the quilt and the quilting from this insanely good quilt

I didn't want to buy additional fabric, so I plumbed the depths of my stash and wound up pulling a series of polyester and wool apparel suiting remnants, silk remnants, and other solids.  I prewashed to make sure I wouldn't have weird shrinkage.  The quilt is backed with the lowest thread-count sheet I could find at Target, and bound with a black-on-black dot I bought because I'd run out of stashed fabric. 

Clearly my quilting, done on my genius friend Linda's longarm, is not as precisely done as the inspiration, but I think it turned out pretty well.  The solid bars were supposed to have been inset with circles, but precise circles are HARD on the long arm, so mine are more freeform-y and blobular.   I am describing them to my friends as "mod marshmallows" in the hope their lumpiness will seem intentional.

Friday, February 15, 2013

One small thing off the list

I've been dreading piecing the back for my mom's enormous LeMoyne Star Quilt.

The reason:  the fabric is an exuberant, large-scale chintz, and I knew I wanted to do pattern matching at the seam.  Alice recommended the Oh Fransson glue-stick matching tutorial.  I bit the bullet and did the seam 2 nights ago.  Never have I been more satisfied by an hour spent on a single seam:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fielke flowers

'Fanciful Flowers' baby quilt
completed December 2012

My quilt friends have been raving for years about the Material Obsession books, specifically the work of co-author Sarah Fielke.

Sarah Fielke schoolhouse session
Sarah showing off samples from "Quilting From Little Things"
via Fat Quarterly

Laurie loved Sarah's Dotty for Dresden quilt so much, she made a beautifully faithful version that fills my heart with joy.  And red is my least-favorite color!   I mean, seriously:

Laurie's beautiful "Dotty for Dresden"
via Dresden Lane

And my friend Lia made this amazing eagle quilt, modeled on another Material Obsession quilt. Here it is on display at our Lowell Quilt Festival show this past August:

Lia's eagles

We were at Quilt Market last year, when Sarah had just released Quilting From Little Things, and were able to stand in line for autographed copies.  I didn't know her, but was just happy to get a nice book.

via Sarah Fielke
Cut to the next day, when I read the whole thing cover to cover on the plane home, and fell in quilt love.   (No joke:  some random middle aged dude leaned across the aisle mid-flight, gestured to the book, and said:  "Those blankets are really nice looking!")

Sarah Fielke quilt via blickfangquilts and knits
I have since plowed through all her other books, and am now moderately obsessed with Sarah's exuberant, more-is-more use of pattern.  She has a way of mixing a million discordant prints, and still winding up with a harmonious and calm finished product.

'Fanciful Flowers' quilt, from Material Obsession

When one of my work friends announced his wife's pregnancy,  I took this as an invitation to go Full Fielke.  I was quickly up to my elbows in my stash and scrap bin,  pulling hoarded pink Amy Butler prints, repro fat quarters, and every Flea Market fancy scrap I could lay hands on.

The baby quilt I made is based on the Fanciful Flowers quilt, from Material Obsession.

I only made a few changes from the pattern in the book.   I changed the layout from a 3x4 arrangement to a 3x3 arrangement, and left the seed pods off the blooms.

My corner repeats were done in soft greens instead of oranges.

I'd originally purchased a cream-on-pink dot to back the floral applique blocks, but didn't have enough to support the 18" x 18" scale of the blocks.  I grabbed a very pale peach Lizzy House pearl bracelet print at our Gather Here sew-in, and turned out to be even happier with it than the original selection.

The quilt was backed with another Amy Butler that I've always loved.  I quilted this on the long arm at my friend's Linda's house, using a big loopy daisy concept.   Linda lent her steady arms to helping me highlight the shape of flower buds, so they'd show on the back.

I LOVED making this and was really sad to see it go.  This is the first gift quilt I've ever really considered re-making, so that I can have one of my own.   Don't be surprised if you see this again.  Even if I don't re-make this one,  I suspect this is not the last of my Fielke quilts...