Thursday, May 30, 2013

Gentle Art Schnibbles Complete!!

I wasn't planning to make this month's project for the Schnibbles Sew Along. I've spread myself pretty thin this month and couldn't motivate myself to get started on Gentle Art, the May Schnibbles.

It's pretty cute though...
Then, while digging around in my stash of retro fabrics, I found this pile of scraps--Bee's Knees by Glenna Hailey for Maywood Studio. This pile is left over from a roll of fat 16th's. 

Hmmm....this could make some pretty cute spools!
Originally, I picked up the fabric at Colorz for Quilts to make a Disappearing Nine Patch:
Disappearing Nine Patch 2009
I added some Darlene Zimmerman prints leftover from Clothesline Club projects. 
Fun spool blocks using Bee's Knees scraps.

My Bees Knees Gentle Art Schnibble! 
I only had enough border fabric left over from the Disappearing Nine Patch to do two sides of Gentle Art, so the other two borders are scrappy piano keys. I was afraid it would be weird, but I'm okay with it. 

Clamshell quilting in the background
This is what I have left of my pile of Bees Knees scraps after piecing the front and back of Gentle Art.
They are going into my strips and squares scrap boxes.
I used a lot of the scraps on the back so the three yellow fat quarters would fit the back. 
After consulting with my quilting buddies, I added the quilting in the spools. 

I'll show you how I put in the "piping" next week. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Slow Learner?

I've had an Electric Quilt program installed on my computers for years. I started with Electric Quilt 4. Every time there was an update, I upgraded and now have Electric Quilt 7 installed on my laptop. 

I've never designed my own pattern or blocks--not that I didn't try.
I could figure out enough to print instructions for a particular block already in the library or manage to muddle my way through a setting so I would know the dimensions of a pattern I wanted to re-size.

That's about it.
 I would start the lessons in the handbook, but would never make it past the first few. 
It wasn't because the lessons are difficult or hard to understand--I was just lazy!

 Every year I would tell myself that this would be the year I would really learn to use my Electric Quilt program. 

It's not like the Electric Quilt Company doesn't offer lots of free lessons or advice (see their Do You EQ? newsletter). They send out lessons, challenges, free patterns, fabric downloads, and all sorts of tips, but did I pay attention?


It took until May of this year, but I am finally applying myself and I plan to follow along on the EQ7 Summer Drawing Series (and Sew Along) on the EQ blog Behind the Mouse

The first lesson was Easy Draw:

This is the first block we learned to draw.
It's so much faster to do this when you use the right built-in tools.

My sewn block
So far, it's been really fun! 
There has been a mid-month lesson too, 
which is good if you are like me and don't retain information more than a few days (or hours!). 

My mid-month variation block--I really like this one!
There are a couple more variations (right side of photo) that I'm not sure I will sew up into blocks. 
I can't wait for lesson two: Patch Draw, Pieced Layer.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Number 10 Done!


Fittingly for today, my #10 is a QOV, but I wasn't sure I would get my Number 10 finished this month. 

Number Ten on my list is a Quilt of Valor top that I put together at quilt camp last year. I had used scraps of American Jane fabrics from a fat quarter bundle I found on sale a while back. I filled in with some solid Kona cottons that were part of a bonus bundle awarded for finishing a sector during the Minnesota Shop Hop a couple years ago.

 I used this pattern by Pieced Tree Confetti Cake--specifically designed for Layer Cakes--very easy and it shows off the fun prints. I added one more row so it would be a better size for a QOV.

Product Photo

The binding and backing were all ready to go, so last week when I had a little time, I loaded the top onto my  HQ16.

Saturday I found some time to quilt it using the "Cinnamon Roll's" pattern that Kim Diehl suggested in her last book.

It does kind of look like confetti. 

Cinnamon Rolls quilting.
A very quick freehand pattern and it took less than two hours to get the top quilted. 

The front of the quilt doesn't look so patriotic (even though most of it IS "American" Jane fabric!),
 but the back is blue with red binding and a QOV label.  
Now that it's done I can add a photo to the Country Threads Pinterest page! Yay!

I got this block done on Sunday--you can see it was a quick one!
Grandmother's Choice Block #39: Endless Stairs
Only 10 blocks to go!!
For links to lots of Patriotic quilts, check out this Blog Post from Quilt Inspriration

Saturday, May 25, 2013

This and That

Voting is now open for the Blogger's Quilt Festival. It's a little difficult to find all the places to vote since they are broken into different categories, but this is a link to the category I entered: Applique Quilts

Vote for your favorite--there are lots of pretty quilts!

I had a very busy week that included teaching at the Stitch Therapy meetings, a sew-in at the Breezy Point conservation center, and our new Lakes Area Long-arm Quilters meeting, among other things. Fortunately, the weather wasn't very nice, so I didn't feel one bit guilty about not being out in the garden doing some clean-up and planting.

Grandmother's Choice Block 38: Nonsense

Lots of group members have been busy on their Wish Quilts

 Silver thread for stars!

Some of the members chose to embroider around the heart instead of appliqueing one.
Smart--I'm all about shortcuts!!

Using some alternate designs--you can search the Red Brolly site and find lots of adorable drawings !

By the  way, don't miss the new designs Bronwyn has been posting for her Le Jardin Quilt--beautiful floral embroideries!!

Gosc Block Layout 1
Block One of Le Jardin Quilt
Girls Own Stitching Club Needlework Bag.
Naturally, if you make Le Jardin,
you will want to make this adorable bag to use for your workbasket!

Find the FREE pattern HERE

Sample stitch-outs to replace the sampler fabric

Carol only has one block to go for the center of the quilt.

Another alternate design

Elements from other blocks subbed into one of the circles.

Really cute substitution!

Love the glitz!

Cute little buttons in the sewing basket!

More fun substitutions! 

Love the French General fabric combined with batiks. 

Have a safe holiday weekend! 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Have you heard of the Blogger's Quilt Festival
I'm not sure how I missed out on this in the past, but I am entering my Courting Quilt in the Applique category. 

Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival -
Visit Amy's site HERE

The Courting Quilt

Appliqued and machine quilted by me! 

Of course, my favorite blocks are the bird blocks.
Robin's Nest

Red Winged Blackbirds
Swooping Bird
The Courting Quilt was finished in November of 2012 and measures 41"x 60". 
My inspiration to make this quilt was the beautiful book A Bountiful Life by Karen Mowery, published by Kansas City Star. I used only Jo Morton fabrics from my stash. Because I planned to hang the finished quilt, I chose not to do all the blocks and borders from the book.
I will always cherish this quilt because of the friendship I formed with Karen Mowery who passed away earlier this year. She was an inspiring and sweet lady and I am so thankful I was able to be her friend for a short while as I worked on this quilt. 

Be sure to check out the other entries and prepare to be inspired!!

Scrappy Happy!

Yay! Finally we have some Spring happening here! I went for a little walk early Tuesday afternoon and the lake was still full of ice--it kind of looked like a Slushy. By early evening, the ice was all gone thanks to the 90 degree temps that day.
A long time coming!

Are you excited about the news from Andover blog?  Will you be ordering some of the Downton Abbey fabrics to make your own drop-waist flapper dress to wear while watching the latest new episodes this fall?

I haven't been sucked into the Temecula Quilt baby Bow-Tie craze yet, but it was a lot of fun to see Bev's quilt featured in their blog HERE

Bev's Quilt--awesome!

I'm working on using up some of my scraps and will be posting photos soon. In the meantime, check out these scrappy quilts in progress from quilt camp last month! 
Carol's stunning Karen Stone blocks!
It was fun watching Jane's quilt grow
from this box of strips! 

Susie's paper pieced S'more's by Jo Morton

The Judy Rothermel sashing fabric looked so cool with the scrappy little blocks!

Barb was working on Kathie Holland's Charming Addition from the December 2012 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.
A simple block, but so fun in scraps!

More to come soon!!