Friday, October 26, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival, Fall 2012

I'm excited to take part in the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side.  This is my first time participating!  The quilt I decided to share is my Dresden Wave throw quilt.  I made this quilt for the EZ Dresden Challenge hosted by the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild in September.
 I used Heirloom by Joel Dewberry in the Sapphire colorway.  This design starts with strips of various widths all sewn together, then cut into wedges and parallelograms using the EZ Dresden Ruler designed by Darlene Zimmerman.  It was a bit time consuming, but much easier than it looks!  I love that this technique creates curves with only straight seams.  It was really fun to do.  I have a tutorial posted here about how to create the blocks.

 For the back I used the ends that I had left over from my strip sets put together like alternating tumblers with white sashing between, as well as a little strip of color going across.

 I quilted it with an allover leaf pattern inspired by Angela Walters' book.

 This is my favorite quilt that I've made so far.  I love how it turned out.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt measures 52x70
Quilted by me on my Brother pq1500s mounted on a Grace frame
Category: Throw Quilt

Thanks for stopping by!  Go see what other amazing quilts have been made at The Blogger's Quilt Festival!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Finished Notting Hill Subway Quilt

So this is very exciting and a little disappointing at the same time.  Exciting because I got to be a part of this wonderful thing making a quilt for Joel Dewberry with his new line, Notting Hill, and disappointing because I have positively DISMAL pictures of it.
This has been a really fun quilt to work on, and went together really fast.  Not counting quilting time, the whole thing only took about 12 hours to piece and bind, even with all of those bias seams.  Once I got through the first one the rest were a breeze--just pin carefully and let the feed dogs do the work, then press carefully too.  The hardest thing was folding it straight so I could trim off the edges--the bias strips just kind of ran off of the sides, and everything had to be squared up.  I needed an extra hand to make sure it was straight before I cut off those edges.

 This is the back.  This kaleidoscope print is GORGEOUS (like I said, dismal pictures) so it was the perfect choice to use in a large piece.  I love how it turned out.  You really have to see that print in person, it is fabulous.
I quilted it with wavy lines, and it looks great.  I really like this quilting pattern--it is quick and easy to do, and I love the look of it as well, even though it's blurry from trying to have a steady hand when not using the flash.
Ugh.  Photography and I are not friends.

The bias plaid is perfect for bindings, it kind of makes me happy.  This is the best picture I have of the quilt.  The pretty fabric on top happens to  be the kaleidoscope print again.  Doesn't it look so pretty up close?

So why do I have such terrible pictures?  Weather.  I knew I would be finishing the quilt Monday night, and that I would be meeting Laurie Dewberry on Tuesday to deliver it to her.  I called a friend and arranged for her to come help me take good pictures Tuesday morning.  She's a much better photographer than I am, and I wanted to get some good straight-on shots rather than just lying on the grass like I normally do.  And then it started raining last night.  And it kept raining until about 10 minutes before I gave the quilt to Laurie.  We had to take pictures in my horribly lit basement, and they just didn't turn out well.  I'm grateful for the rain--Utah is the second driest state, and we've had a dry year, so we needed every drop, but I'm still sad I don't have better documentation of this quilt that is somewhat momentous for me.  My friend took a few pics with her camera too, but she's had a very busy day and hasn't had a chance to send them to me yet.  Hopefully they turned out better than the ones with my camera.  Crossing my fingers.

If any of you are at Quilt Market this weekend, PLEASE take some better pictures for me.  I'd really appreciate it.

This pattern is called Subway, and I'm told it will be available as a free download from Joel Dewberry's website some time soon.

Notting Hill is beautiful.  I have loved working with it, and I'm glad to have some nice scraps left over too!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Notting Hill Subway Quilt: Top Finished!

So yesterday was the perfect quilt photography day.  Did I take any photos?  No, I did not, because I wasn't ready to until after it was dark.  Oh well.  Today is so beautiful I just want to go outside, but not to take pictures.  It's a good walking day.

This top is officially done!  I was really nervous about all of the bias seams, but it worked out fine.  The fact that all of the seams are diagonal actually made the big seams joining the rows on straight grain, which made that part much easier than the alternative would have been, I think.  I like that all of the edges of the quilt are on straight grain as well.  
 Sorry for the wrinkles.  Ugh.  I only have so much time while my little guy is napping.  Can you say world's shortest napper?  And not because he is short, either.
 I love this quilt's zig-zaggy goodness, and the offset white strips.

And, just for fun, an angled shot.  Sorry again about the wrinkles.
I need to go finish doing some minor piecing for the back, and I'm crossing my fingers that I can get this quilted by tomorrow afternoon so I can take it for show and tell at the Salt Lake MQG meeting Thursday night.  Even if that doesn't happen, I'm still on schedule to get it done in time for Quilt Market!  (You can read about how this all came about in this post.)

 My cute babysitter, who was coming after school on Wednesdays and Thursdays, just made the NAL (National Academic League) team at her school.  I'm super excited for her, but I'm out of a babysitter for a while because she'll have practice instead.  That's okay though, I'm really glad she made the team.  She is really sharp and a hard worker.

Linking up today at WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Meet Pavarotti

While we were visiting my husband's grandmother in California in September, she said that I could have her old Singer Featherweight sewing machine.  

 Grandma had several jobs in the sewing industry and was a wonderful seamstress.  I'm really excited to get to have this wonderful little machine, and to have a little piece of family history.  I haven't used it yet--it's been so long since it has been used that I want to get it serviced first.  My little guy thinks it's pretty cool too.

I do have a slight problem with it so far--the case STINKS.  It smells like it was the source of the musty smell in Grandma's house, and I'm afraid that my house is going to start smelling that way.  Well, it's already starting to.  It's especially bad when the case is open.
Any ideas on how to get rid of the smell?  It's pretty terrible.

Do you name your sewing machines?  I do.  My Viking that I've had since high school is Olga, and my quilting machine, a Brother 1500, is Darryl (as in "This is my brother Darryl").  When I asked my husband what I should name this machine, he said, "It's a Singer?  Pavarotti."  It was perfect.

Welcome to The Quilting Mill family, Pavarotti.  I hope you like it here.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Just a Bit Biased

I've been working a lot (in what time I have with two little kids) on the Notting Hill Quilt for Joel Dewberry.  The pattern is called Subway, and will be available as a free download at some point from Joel Dewberry's website.  The tricky thing about this pattern is that, in order to keep the fabrics correctly oriented, everything is cut and sewn on the bias.  I think it is worth it because I really like how it is looking so far!  This is the top panel.  There will be two more panels that will essentially be the same, and two that will be somewhat different and use the other fabrics in this colorway.

 I was a little worried about how all of these bias edges would sew up, and especially didn't want them to get distorted during sewing or pressing. So far, so good!

I've been really careful while sewing these, focusing on not pulling the fabrics at all, and letting the feed dogs do the work.  It has worked really well, and I'm not scared of these bias edges any more.

Aren't these fabrics just lovely?  My two favorites are the Kaleidoscope print in the center below, and the Historic Tile in the center in the above photo.  I also really like the Tartan, which is a bias plaid, but looks straight because it is cut on the bias.  Ha.  Irony?
The Pristine Poppy print is my other favorite.  The poppies are very realistic, down to the leaf shape.  We have poppies in our yard and they are a favorite in our family.  I've had bits of the song "In Flanders Fields" running though my head as I've been sewing, but I can only remember bits because it has been a LONG time  since we sang it in my high school choir.  "In Flanders fields, the poppies grow...."  I need to look it up.

I'm really pleased with how this is coming together.  I have the rest of the pieces all cut, and most of them at least sewn to the white strips that separate each fabric.  Joel leaves for Quilt Market on October 25th, so I have to have it done and delivered by the 24th.  Sooner will be better, but this is going together quickly so I don't think that will be a problem.

Billie's Quilts

One of the very first quilts I did for a customer was for my friend Amber, who lives in Arizona.  A few weeks after I sent her quilt back to her, I got an email from a neighbor of hers named Billie asking if I could quilt two of her quilts.  Billie has two daughters that live here in northern Utah, and would be coming to visit and could drop them off.  I was happy to say yes!  Now they are finally finished!

Her first one is called "Welcome to My Garden."  With all of these cute pieced flowers, it required some custom quilting.

Billie specifically said that she didn't want her quilts densely quilted, and that she preferred looser quilting.  It's really hard to tell in this picture because of the white thread on white, but I did the background as a meander with leaves in it.  It turned out very pretty!

Here are a few of the flowers:

This one was fun to quilt!

Her next one was called Bon Ami and is a BIG quilt (queen size).  This is the biggest quilt I've done so far, and it was actually too big for my little frame by about 2 inches.  Doh!  I hadn't measured it myself to see how big it was, so it was actually a little larger than she had thought.  (Sorry for the creases, this was folded for three days before I got a chance to photograph it.)
Luckily, Renae Allen was nice enough to let me come use her Innova longarm that is on a bigger frame than what I have.  I seriously cannot thank this woman enough, she is one of the kindest people I have EVER met, and that is saying something.  

Isn't this quilt beautiful?  I love the fun piecing and the calming colors.  So pretty.  I especially like the fussy-cut details, like this bird in the center square. 

I quilted it with allover flowers, and I love how it turned out.  This is definitely a pattern I will do again.

A sweet fussy-cut butterfly.

I just love the texture that quilting adds.  I'm really happy with how this quilt turned out, and I hope that Billie loves it too!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pinching Myself

I'd like to start this post by thanking all of my followers.  I've been blogging here for six months now, and I still practically squeal with delight when I check Blogger and find that I have a new follower.  I appreciate every one of you!  There are so many talented people in blog land, you could keep yourself busy all day reading blogs, so I appreciate the time you take to peek at mine sometimes.  I still remember how it felt when I got my first follower that wasn't related to me or a close friend.  That was awesome.  I'm currently at 44.  Thanks so much to all of you!

Why am I talking about this now?  I've been thinking for a while that I wanted to thank all of you, but I also guess I'm just trying to point out the fact that not very many people know who I am. And why should they?

So how did I get so lucky to get my hands on this?
 Aren't they pretty? (Sorry for the washed-out, direct-sun photos.  I'm not a good photographer.)
Yep, this fabric doesn't even come out until late November.  Better detailed pictures of the fabrics will be coming in the next few days.  As you can tell, this is Joel Dewberry's new line, Notting Hill.  This colorway is called Ladbroke, I believe, or Poppy, depending on the site you're looking at.  Pretty reds, aquas, and golds with a touch of grey.  Do you see that bias plaid in there?!  The one just to the left of that one is my favorite, I think.  It's a really large-scale print called kaleidoscope.  Just lovely.

I found out a few months ago that the mother of one of my good friends from high school teaches Joel Dewberry's kids piano lessons.  Really?  Yes.  They live about half an hour away from me too.  I had kind of  been thinking, "The next time Joel Dewberry comes out with new fabric, I should offer to help them get ready for Quilt Market."  This thought had crossed my mind several times over the last few weeks.  Well, about a week ago I was up late looking online at fabric, trying in vain to find something my mother would like for a quilt for her bed, and stumbled across this line.  I guess I was just tired enough that I wasn't scared to actually type out an email, offering my help, and then to hit send.  Joel's wife Laurie called me the next day saying that they really did need someone to make a quilt, and asked if I could do it for them.  I pretty much couldn't believe it.  I picked up the fabric and pattern yesterday, and started cutting into it today.  This is so exciting for me!  It really is pretty awesome that I get to make something that will be seen by so many people, and maybe even photographed by people infinitely more well-known than myself.  

I'd better not mess this one up.

By the way, Joel and Laurie are so kind.  I'm excited to get to do this for them, not just because this is totally awesome, but also because they are such great people.  I'm really quite honored.

Now I've got to get this totally done by the 24th.  The pattern is fairly simple, but it is all bias edges so I'll need to be really careful.  No speed sewing on this one!  I'm really glad that I'm pretty much caught up on my current/pressing quilting projects, so I can work on this for the next couple of weeks.

So how did I get so lucky?  I think it mostly comes to being in the right place at the right time, and being just brave enough to put myself out there.  I really hope they are happy with my work.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Decisions, decisions

Do you remember this dress?

I made this for my daughter this summer, although now it has a tie that goes around the waist and ties in the back just above these cute ruffles.  This was the dress that inspired my tutorials on professional seam finishes.  The last time I shared this picture, I said something about "I can't wait to get pictures of my daughter twirling in it."  Well, I haven't taken any yet.  I may not get to.

She doesn't like the dress.

She says it's too long, which I can fix, and that it's the wrong color.  I can't do anything about that.

So I'm thinking about selling it.  Whenever I've thought in the past about making dresses to sell, I've thought, "There's no way I could sell them for enough to make it worth my time."  Well, here I've got a dress I've already made, and I have gotten quite a bit of satisfaction from it (it won Best of Show in my county fair and a blue ribbon at the Utah State Fair), but the ultimate satisfaction of seeing my daughter wearing it to church and me hearing compliments from my friends (I'm not gonna lie, I love recognition) just isn't going to happen, at least not yet.  There's always a chance she'll change her mind, even though it's been two months and she still doesn't like it.  So maybe I could list it on Etsy and see what happens.  I might cry if it sells, but I might cry if it doesn't.  I don't even know if I want to sell it.  The thought of some other little girl twirling in it kind of makes me happy too.

I'm just a little heartbroken.  At least she's honest with me.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I Won!

You know how you enter all these giveaways and never expect to actually win?  Well, I got an email yesterday saying that I'd won a Quick Curve Ruler!  I'm so excited!  I had just been thinking that very morning about someone I know who has one and asking her about possibly borrowing it.  Have you seen this amazing ruler?  It was created  by Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful.

She happens to be one of my two favorite longarm quilters. I aspire to have mad skills like hers.  Well, her patterns using this ruler are just amazing.  Something about her Urban Abacus just does it for me.  I am completely in love with the versatility of this ruler.  I've seen great designs by other people as well.  I'm excited to play with it and maybe come up with my own design!

Thank you so much Jenny!
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