Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Constellations for my Valentine

I finished up this quilt just in time to gift it to Matt for Valentine's day! I've always been a fan of Lizzy House's designs, and I was especially excited for her Constellations line because it is her usual whimsical style with a definite "boy" feel to it.

Constellations for my Valentine

I knew that I wanted to make Matt a quilt from this fabric as soon as I saw it. To really make the fabrics sparkle, I pieced some small quarter-square triangles as the focal point. Then I offset the quarter-square triangles with some solid in a soft blue-grey (Moda Bella solid....I don't remember what color!). Next I added a thin frame in the Twinkle Twinkle print from the constellations line (black colorway), and offset the piecing a bit more with the same blue-grey solid.
(Reality check: I initially tried to skew the center piecing. Yikes! That did not go well!)

Constellations for my Valentine 

I used a bamboo blend batting for this quilt, and it is SO soft and nice to work with! It seems a tiny bit thinner than the cotton batting that I typically use, but it really gives the quilt a soft, cozy finish. (I would perhaps suggest basting a bit closer together with this batting though. I used the same batting for another quilt which included a piece of an old bedsheet for the backing, and I had a bit of shifting - not something I was expecting!)
When it came time to quilt this piece, I couldn't resist quilting dense (1/2" apart), straight lines. It took several hours, but I love the look. I think it works really well with the simple piecing and the more masculine colorway. For binding, I used some Kaffe Fassett Aboriginal Dots in charcoal. The darker binding finished the quilt off just right, I think!

Constellations for my Valentine 

On the back I used some Kona solid in iron and the Twinkle Twinkle print in black.
(Finished size is 60" x 80".)

Constellations for my Valentine

Matt seems quite pleased to have his own quilt (this is only the second quilt I've ever made just for him!), and I'm quite happy to keep this one around!
Now I'm off to finish up a bit of last minute packing. Tomorrow I'm traveling to Austin for QuiltCon! If you're attending, be sure to introduce yourself!

Constellations for my Valentine

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Frane Wedding Quilt!

I'm finally able to show off my sister's wedding quilt! I actually have a few projects that are safely with their new owners, and now ready to share. Unfortunately, I'm also consumed with getting ready for QuiltCon!
I started this quilt by designing the front. My sister designed her own invitations, and she had told me that she would like to carry the scallop design over to the quilt. Ultimately she gave me free reign (which I hope she isn't regretting!!). My initial idea was to keep it really simple with about 1/4 of the quilt being bright pink, the other 3/4 being dark blue, and joining the two colors with a scallop. Next I decided to throw in a bit of grey...I started with a solid, but ultimately decided to use a print from Bella. My next idea was to piece some wedding-ish words into the dark blue space. I carefully thought of 7 words, pieced them, and then couldn't find an arrangement that I was satisfied with! As you can see, I kept just one word on the front of the quilt.

Frane Wedding Quilt

My sister and I brainstormed a lot on how to incorporate the wedding guests' signatures into the quilt back. She liked the idea of the signatures being a part of the quilt, but not in a traditional signature quilt style. I ended up paper piecing blocks of letters, numbers and hearts (which would later spell out their last name and wedding date) using freezer paper as a foundation. I took the individually pieced blocks with to the wedding, where we asked the guests to sign them. Most of the guests also chose to include a short message, which made it even sweeter!
When I had all of the blocks back home, I started to think about how to arrange them. The back design came together really easily, and it seemed perfect to use the abandoned words from the quilt front on the back!

Frane Wedding Quilt

I really liked how the back turned out, but I was struggling with the quilt front. I couldn't decide if it was too simple? Was something a bit off? Eventually I decided that what it needed what a healthy dose of free motion quilting, so I (ehem, painstakingly) quilted free motion flowers on the whole quilt. (I found this design in Angela Walter's book - I highly recommend it!!)

Frane Wedding Quilt

I used a dark grey thread (Aurifil, # 2625 Pigeon) on top and a lighter grey (Aurifil, #2615 Pearl Grey) on the back, so as to keep the signatures and messages readable. I really love how the grey looked on the pink!
Here you can see the signatures on the quilt back, and a close up of the quilting:

Frane Wedding Quilt

The quilting design got easier as I went along, although I still need lots of practice!

Frane Wedding Quilt

In the end, I do love how the quilt turned out. I hope my sister and her husband love it, too, and use it often!

Quilt stats:
Size: Approximately 60" x 80"
Fabric: Michael Miller Cotton Couture Solids in Magenta, Indigo, Bright White, and Denim - These solids are SO soft! And the color range is great!
Thread: Aurifil!
Special tools used: Quick Curve Ruler for the scallops

Sunday, February 10, 2013

February Link Up Winner!

The random winner for the Febraury Link Up was participant #6:

 Michelle of Factortum of Arts

Thanks to everyone for linking up! I can't wait to see what we all get done this month!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

9-Patch Puzzle Tester Quilts!

I'm so excited to share what my pattern testers came up with for their 9-Patch Puzzle Quilts!

Cindy at Live a Colorful Life tested the the pattern using solid (unpieced) blocks. She was so sweet to squeeze in my pattern testing among all of her other sewing! Cindy used the Quilt Blocks fabric line by Moda, and I really the results! The fabric gives the illusion of being pieced and the large, unpieced blocks really showcase the prints!

Cindy's 9-Patch Puzzle Quilt!

Watch out for more pictures on Cindy's blog soon!

My friend Meaghan from Seattle also pattern tested for me. I'm totally in love with the quilt that she created! Meaghan has a great eye for color, so I guess I shouldn't have been so blown away by her quilt!

Meaghan's 9-Patch Puzzle Quilt!

I think my favorite aspect of Meaghan's quilt is the floral print that she included! Her colors and fabric choices are so great!
Here is a close up of the prints that she used:

Meaghan's 9-Patch Puzzle Quilt!

A huge thank you to Cindy and Meaghan, and the several friends who proofread for me!
If you make a quilt from this pattern, I would love to see it! You can always email me or add your photos to the flickr group.

You can purchase this pattern on Etsy or Craftsy!

And lastly, I hope you'll join in the February Challenge Link Up! Details are here!
Link ups will close at the end of the day on Feb 5th, and one participant will win a copy of this pattern  and set of 42-10" square solids (perfect to use for the pattern!).

Friday, February 1, 2013

February Challenge Link Up!

In an effort to challenge myself in my quilty life and connect with more quilting friends, I've decided to start a monthly personal challenge + linky party!

To join in, write a blog post (or include the info in a flickr photo description if you don't blog) about your own challenge for February (quilting/sewing/fabric/design related, please!) and include my blog button in your post. Next link up here! Stop back in the beginning of March to report on your February challenge and start something new for March!

I will visit each participant's blog/flickr, and I can't wait to learn more about all of you!

After you link up, take a few minutes to stop by other blogs to see what we are all up to!

My February challenge is to go outside of my comfort zone and meet more people at QuiltCon. I'm very much an introvert, but I will be so disappointed if I don't put myself out there!

Now it's your turn! What's your February challenge?

Grab my button and add it to your own February Challenge post!

The Girl Who Quilts

Link ups are open until midnight of February 5th.
(In the future, link ups will only stay open until the 3rd of the month).

Don't forget to stop back at the end of the month!

I will randomly choose 1 link up participant on February 6th. That person will receive a PDF copy of my 9-Patch Puzzle Quilt Pattern and a set of 42 - 10" squares in the solids that I used for the cover quilt!

Also, if you're looking for some great info on creating a blog button, check out Ellison Lane Quilts:
Creating a Blog Button
How to Make a Blog Button with an HTML Code Box