Sunday, November 27, 2011

Girlfriends Quilt update

I finished the Girlfriends quilt and it's now ready for the silent auction at our upcoming band concert.
 I used the same red for the binding that was used in three of the picture mats.
 And I found some great plaid flannel for the back.  Perfect for these outdoorsy girls.  The birdwatching girl is actually wearing a plaid bikini!
 The stippling is a big curvy stipple and the frames are just quilted with straight lines 1/4 in in from the edges.
I took it into rehearsal on Thursday and the band members love it, so I think it'll be a hit and will hopefully get some high bids.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Girlfriends Quilt

I'm putting a quilt together for a silent auction for my upcoming band Christmas concert. It's on December 11, so there's not too many practices left and not too many days to get the quilt done.
DSC_0605 by sonjaartisania
DSC_0605, a photo by sonjaartisania on Flickr.
Last year I made a beef-cake pin-up Christmas tree skirt for the auction, so this year it's pin-up girls.
I bought some pin-up girls camping material a while ago that I thought was very funny. Unfortunately there are only 4 girls and they repeat quite often. I fussy cut out four of them and framed them in a beige fabric that matched the base colour of the girl fabric.
Then I put a red or green frame around that to set it off. Next I put a wide strip around the entire block to get it up to about 16 x 16 inch block.
Ice skating with no pants
Birdwatching in a bikini
Next I put a "boy scout" style frame around each girl like I did on the back of my Wonky Nine Patch Lattice quilt.
This was going to be another tree skirt, but after making 4 blocks, I saw that it needed to become an entire quilt.  I made two more blocks using combinations of the girls so they didn't look identical to the others.
I laid out the blocks and moved them around so that they didn't line up and were scattered around.  Then I filled in the empty spaces strip by strip and got the quilt all together.  I pretty much ran out of fabric so had to "Frankenpiece" the last empty space.
I made a run to the fabric store and got some more background fabric to give the quilt a little more length on the top and bottom.  I found the perfect back for the quilt - a great flannel plaid that matches the bird-watching girl's bikini.  It's perfect for the goofy out-doorsy feel of this quilt.

Now it's time to sandwich it, quilt it and bind it and it'll be ready to show off at the November VMQG meeting.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fabric Challenge

The VMQG sent away for free fabric for a quilt challenge and you wouldn't believe the fabric that arrived.  I think most people thought it was the ugliest fabric they had seen.  I'm hoping it's just the colour way that we received, but I've seen some other guild's material and even the lighter colour way isn't much better.  I think this collection doesn't hang together as a group.
I've been trying to do something nice with the fabric, but having no luck.  So then I decided to embrace the ugliness and pick and some solids that don't try to match the fabric.  I actually picked 4 fabrics going from yellow to olive.  I wanted to try a lattice style quilt so I made 80 blocks with a diagonal of the Habitat fabric.
The lattice layout just wasn't working at all.  I then tried a mix of lines and intersections then tried them all going in one direction.  That ended up looking a little like rain, so I put a blue puddle at the bottom and decided that the quilt layout looks a little like rain through the leaves onto a lake.
However, I'm just no that into this quilt, so I think this is where it's going to stay.  Just a top.
I wasn't happy with the last challenge quilt I did either.  It was the Kona solids one.  I love Kona colours and these ones were great, but I just somehow missed the boat with the grey background I selected.  I think white might have set off the dark colours better.  I also think I need to quilt it more heavily, so I may pull it out again and try some more quilting on it.
Paul's Kona Challenge quilt by myredbike

Paul's Kona Challenge quilt, a photo by myredbike on Flickr.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pot Holder Exchange

Some members of the VMQG are involved in a pot-holder exchange with the FVMQG (Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild (our sister group), so I've been working on mine over the weekend.  Of the whole list of likes and dislikes of my partner, I chose to work with "Modern", and her favourite colours, "Lime" and "Orange".
If you are the one who said her favourite colours are Lime and Orange, stop reading now and wait till your mail arrives in December.
 You'd think that I have lots of lime left over from my Crazy Nine Patch Lattice quilt and the big HST one, but nope, pretty much all used up.  Here's what I finally found.
What is lime green anyways?  I ended up with some scraps and pieces of green - lime, olive, chartreuse - all greens that are more on the yellow end of the colour wheel.  I found several scraps with a dull orange so made some "mod mosaic" blocks at 10x10 inch square.  The sashing is a very bright chartreuse that looks great.
I wanted something more traditional for the backs. I had bought a really cheap template for drunkard's path last month in Hamilton, so I tried it out and made the largest one available and it turned out fine, so I make a bunch more and put together a big orange circle for the backs.
With the left over green quarter circles from the backgrounds, I made smaller blocks and quickly made several coasters to loosen me up for the final go at the pot-holders.  For the coasters, I didn't want to bother with a binding, so I did the turn inside out technique and then top stitched around the edge and did a quick double arc of stitching around the pieces.
Back to the pot-holders, I put the pot-holder quilt sandwich together - back, batting, insul-bright, top - then did some straight line quilting on each quarter of the blocks.  It really shrunk with the quilting, so I squared it down to 9.5 inches, then sewed on the chartreuse binding.  For these thick potholders, I used 2.5 inch binding, and found that sewing it exactly 1/4 inch from the edge worked out perfect for wrapping it around to the back.  The other trick I tried is not to iron the binding in half first.  I just folded it over and kept all the raw edges together as I sewed it on.  That way when I folded it around to the back, the inside edge wrap-around could be slightly less than the outside edge.
I put a loop up on a corner and then hand sewed the binding down.  One last ironing and it's all ready to show off at the guild meeting, then into the mail.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Alannah and Aaron's Wedding Quilt

Alannah and Aaron's Wedding Quilt

On a quick local vacation at the end of summer, I found some a great bird fabric in Mount Vernon.  Then I got some coordinating fabric in Annacortes and lots of great coordinating fabrics in Coopville.

I fussy cut the birds, framed them in some muddied down solids, then improv pieced log cabin-ish strips around to get the blocks up to 12.5 inch squares.

The blocks were looking a little heavy, so I made more with less of the coordinating fabrics and more of the background.

I played around with the layout.  I didn't want the blocks to line up, so I sashed them on two sides.  The top or bottom got 3 inches of sashing, and the left or right got 4 inches of sashing.  The sashing was pieced with bits of the coordinating fabric to keep it from looking too empty.
I'm so happy with the way it ended up.
The back started with the strips of left over solids, then I scattered the left-over blocks, then I sewed together strips of the coordinating fabric and worked them between the solids.  The blocks weren't showing up so I framed them in what little solids I had left.

Here's some details.

I'm off to Hamilton for the wedding next weekend.  Alannah and Aaron should get years of use out of this quilt from "Uncle" Paul.

I also made a quilt for the bride's mother who fosters baby boys till their adoption.
 The back is Ikea fabric with a little applique for colour.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Small projects

Portrait challenge

The August challenge at the VMQG was to do a portrait.

I had started a face quilt years ago, so I pulled it out and added a back that has my hair style and it became my portrait.

Neither side really looks like me, so I really just used the challenge to finish a UFO.  Just have to bind it and it's done.

Circles - Beach Balls

I decided to tackle circles and first made a beach ball block that's now a beach quilt that's ready for quilting.

I pieced the triangles together to get stripey octagons and hexagons, then used my compass cutter thingy to cut them into circles.  I didn't use the centre of the block as the centre of the circle so that's why I think they look like balls.

I made the back look like a towel I had when I was in elementary school.  Yes, the wrinkles are built in.

Circles in Circles

Then I tried circles in circles.  I had seen several quilts so here's my inspirations:  (the Roundabout quilt)

Here's what I came up with.

 Hmmmm.  Same background colour, but off two different bolts.  Make sure you have enough on hand before starting a quilt!
 The back used the other half of the big blue circle.  Below is a close up of the random sort of straight line quilting I did on the yellow background.  I still have to do something in the blue circles then bind it all in orange.
Here's my tips for circles:
Cut the hole with a 1/2 inch smaller radius than the radius of the circle.  Set your seam guide (that thing that screws into the flat table of your sewing machine exactly 1/4 inch back from your needle and be consistent with your 1/4 inch seam.  Use your squirt bottle or lots of steam when you iron the seams and you should get it nice and flat.  I iron the seams open for an really flat look, so I do clip the seams every 1 1/4 inch.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bottled Rainbows

I organized a "Bottled Rainbows" challenge for the VMQG, so of course, I had to make a couple to show the technique.  Then I made a couple more.  Then more.
Bottled Rainbows blocks for June VMQG Challenge by myredbike

Here's my batch of blocks.  These are so fun to do and are great to get you playing with colours and focusing on the over-all shade of a piece of fabric rather than focusing on the pattern.
Here's it put together and being shown off at the VMQG meeting.
Paul's Bottled Rainbows quilt by myredbike

And here's the back.  I just used blocks of colour from the front to make a cool Mondrian style back.
Mondrian-inspired back of Paul's Bottled Rainbows quilt by myredbike

Thanks, myredbike for taking pictures of me with the weirdest mouth action.  What's up with that?