Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Dozen Quilters March Project - court House steps for Hollie

I finished my blocks for Hollie last night and they were pretty fun. Hollie gave us this photo as inspiration:


Maybe you won't agree but in my opinion this block is very similar to a log cabin block. Sure the center is slightly different and the color placement is different, but they both have a starting square, strips that get gradually longer as you go, and form a sort of stair step look where the different colors meet.  I adopted a no scrap left behind approach to these blocks so the second and third are pretty improvised...ok the first one is pretty improvised too! I thought it would be fun to break it up a bit!

A Dozen Quilters Court House Steps for Hollie

A Dozen Quilters Court House Steps for Hollie

A Dozen Quilters Court House Steps for Hollie

For the last block I was REALLY running out of scraps so I hodgepodged a couple of smaller blocks together to make a larger block. Hollie didn't give us a size requirement so I figured this block will 'go' with the overall quilt since she will have to make all the blocks fit together.

If you are interested in using your sewing/quilting skills to benefit the national and global community, check out A Dozen Quilters. Each month, a member of our group selects a project to share with the group. All of the members contribute as they are able. The variety of projects makes the work fun and interesting and it feels good to give back to others.

Happy Quilting

ps--I've got a secret! A quilting secret!

do. Good Stitches {A Charity Bee} - February Blocks

Our February project for do. Good Stitches {A Charity Bee}was designed by my friend Hollie. She was inspired by this quilt to make a village themed quilt. Many of the group members chose to paper piece but I stuck to applique since I had never paper pieced before (and of course I was running late on making them).

For my first block I used some scrap brown I had leftover from one of the wedding party quilts I made last year. I ironed on some lite heat and bond to the back side and drew a tree shape. I ironed the tree on to a 12.5" square of white fabric and then machine appliqued some hexagons on. I sewed down 5 sides of each hexagon using a zig-zag stitch in green thread, pulled the paper and my basting stitches out, and sewed the 6th side down. I then switched to a brown thread and my free motion foot to create bark detailing.

do. Good Stitches {A Charity Bee} - February Blocks

photo of my block taken by Hollie
Hollie was nice enough to take a picture of the back of my block and point out the bark details in a recent post about this quilt. I have to admit, I didn't really pay attention to how it looked on the back when I was making it but I really like the way it looks now that I see it!

For my second block I used some of the same brown as my tree to create flower bed boxes and some solid green scraps for the plant. I added some free motion wood grain detailing on each box and leaves for each plant. I finished the block off by adding flowers to two of the plants in pink and orange. I left two of the plants 'in bud' so to speak. Really, I just ran out of embroidery thread in suitable flower colors...

do. Good Stitches {A Charity Bee} - February Blocks

You should definitely go check out all of the blocks our circle made for this quilt! Hollie has separated them into groupings for the front and back of the quilt: Big City and Enchanted Forrest.

March is almost over and I still haven't made my blocks for Emily's yellow, sky, slate, and peony Circle quilt. More to come on those blocks hopefully later this week...

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

NOVA Modern Quilt Guild Preemie Quilt 3 and Wonky Cross Block Update

I finished up my third quilt top last night using the remaining six squares from my charm pack: all pinks and reds. I added six white squares to the mix and made pinwheels from them. I used strips of varying widths in white and two prints from my stash to border the six pinwheels.  If I could do it all over again I think I would have swapped the placement of the two prints but I still like the way it all came together and I still have a chance to balance it with a darker border.

NOVA MQG Preemie Quilt

NOVA MQG Preemie Quilt

NOVA MQG Preemie Quilt

I couldn't resist snapping a quick photo of some of the perle cotton I received earlier this week from Purl Soho. I am definitely going to go there someday and shop in person!

Perle from Purl Soho

I plan to use these on the Wonky Cross quilt I am making in honor of my friend who passed a few months ago. This photo is a little old--all the blocks have been pieced now and it's ready for basting--but it's laid out the way I sewed the blocks together so you can get a good idea of what it looks like now:

do. Good Stitches {A Charity Bee} - Hope January Quilt

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I don't think I say thanks enough....without you readers I am literally just talking to myself. Thirty readers and counting! When I get to 50 I have something special in store for you...

Happy Quilting!

A Dozen Quilters April Project Update

The ladies of A Dozen Quilters decided that they want to participate in both projects! Some of the ladies will be participating in one or the other depending on their schedules. I am really excited to have the help of these talented ladies!

If you are interested in the details or joining in either project, check out my recent post at A Dozen Quilters!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

NOVA Modern Quilt Guild Preemie Quilt 2

I finished the second quilt top for the NOVA Modern Quilt Guild preemie quilt challenge. I still have some pinks leftover so it looks like I am going to be able to make yet another quilt from the remaining squares. It's amazing how far you can stretch a charm pack!

For this quilt, I selected 3 yellow, 3 orange, and 3 pink charms. For each colorway I selected 1 light, 1 medium, and 1 dark charm. I bordered each charm in white first and then connected everything with a gray background.

NOVA MQG Preemie Quilt

NOVA MQG Preemie Quilt

Happy Quilting!

p.s - I am crossing my fingers that I will have news to share about this quilt!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Purple Stashing

I am planning to make a Wonky Star sampler quilt (see post below). Fortunately, I have plenty of purple solids still from when I bought the Flying People Eater bundle from the Fat Quarter Shop with a gift card from my Dad and step-mom for my birthday last year...

Unfortunately, I hardly have any purple prints in my stash and this pattern works best with variety. What's a girl to do??

I guess I will have to buy some more!

Purple is a funny color. I'm reading 'The Other Boleyn Girl' on audio book. Back then, purple symbolized wealth and could only be worn by people with fancy titles like 'Duchess'. We don't really think of it as a status color now but it is interesting, no? Marketers still use it when they want to convey luxury, extravagance, mystery, and magic. It happens to be one of my favorite colors, the favorite color of little girl I am making the quilt for, and a color that is growing in popularity in the quilt world.

Take Lizzy House's new line, 1001 Peeps for example. This line will be in stores in April and will be available in three colorways: orange, turquoise, and purple. I LOVE the purple prints in this line and I'm so excited they will be in stores just in time for this project! I will definitely be picking up some Peeps Jewels, Pearl Bracelet, and Scheherazade in this colorway.
Picture from Hawthornethreads.com 
Picture from Hawthornethreads.com
Picture from Hawthornethreads.com
Another line I am looking forward to (arriving any day now) is Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2 which will be available in bark, granite, and lilac. I loved the orange damask and orange and almond sparrow print in the first edition of Aviary. Both prints make an appearance in his new line but are featured in slightly different colorways. The print that appeals most to me for this project is Lodge Lattice in Lilac which is actually a new colorway of the same pattern from his Deer Valley line.
Picture from Hawthornethreads.com
I might have to pick up is by Nancy Mims and is called Queen Anne's Lace shown here in Orchid:
Picture from Hawthornethreads.com
I love the bright white flowers and the tone on tone background of this print.

In no particular order, here's a mosaic for some other great purple prints:
Fun Purple Prints for Wonky Star Blocks
(If you want the links just click the picture and they are in the photo description)
Have you seen any great purple prints lately?

Happy Quilting!

Testing the Waters for April's A Dozen Quilter's Project

I am having trouble deciding what I want to do for our A Dozen Quilters' project next month so I thought I would put it to vote among the ladies in the group. I am waiting to hear back from everyone and will share later what we decide to do.

I recently found out that my coworker's niece was diagnosed with Lymphoma. She's just a tiny little thing and it breaks my heart when babies are sick. Her parents are doing everything they can to raise money for her treatment and I thought it would be nice to donate a quilt for them to auction off. What I really want to do is make a little quilt for her to use while she is in the hospital or getting treatments. If we go with this project I would want to do something similar to this wonky star sampler quilt (explained by Rachel of Stitched in color and tutorial by Victoria of Silly BooDilly) but in purples instead of pinks because that's her favorite color:

do. Good Stiches - February Love Circle
blocks by do. Good Stitches {a Charity Bee} Love group

I would ask each of the participants to make at least 2 (more would be better since I am making 2 quilts from them)12.5" unfinished blocks to finish at 12" with any solid purple background and fun purple prints for the stars. It's ok if the prints have a tiny bit of other colors in them but the overall color should be predominately purple (see Jeni's In Color Order series on Recognizing a Fabric's Overall Color). Since this is a sampler quilt, they can vary the size, placement, and number of stars as much as they want. Some of the blocks will be made into a quilt for auction and some will be made into a quilt for her. Here's a quick inspiration mosaic I threw together to get an idea of the range of purples I'm looking for:

And because the palate happens to be very similar to the colors I used in my wedding in May 2010 I thought I would share some personal photo too:

The other project I am considering asking them to help out with is to make preemie quilts that will be donated to the INOVA Fairfax Childrens Hospital NICU. My guild, NOVA Modern Quilt Guild, is using RK sponsored Kona Solid charm packs to create modern mini quilts no smaller than 29"x29" and no larger than 45"x45" out of 100% cotton materials. In keeping with the challenge and to make this fun and different, I would ask the participants to use mostly solids to make their quilts. A few prints thrown in on the top is fine and it's fine to use a print for the binding or backing too but the majority of their top should be done in solids. I suggested they poke around on flickr for inspiration but here are a few of my favorites:

As you know from my post a few days ago, I have completed one quilt top already and am working on a second. I made half square triangles with all of the blue, green, purple, and gray charms and white charms. I arranged them randomly to disperse all of the colors evenly throughout and bordered them with white and green:

So the ladies get to choose between a couple of Wonky Star Sampler quilts in purples or preemie quilts in mostly solids. Check back to see what they decide! I will be doing both projects regardless so if there are any others who would like to participate just send me an email. I would really appreciate your help making both projects a success!

Happy Quilting!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NOVA Modern Quilt Guild Preemie Quilt 1

I just completed my first quilt top for the Robert Kaufman sponsored NOVA Modern Quilt Guild challenge. RK generously donated a charm pack to every Modern guild member for participating guilds. Our guild decided to use the charms to create preemie quilts which will be donated to the INOVA Fairfax Children's Hospital NICU. I love this challenge because it gives our guild the opportunity to give back to the community and lets me use Kona Solids. I love them so much I wrote a whole post on them awhile back!

I combined the 'cool' tones in the charm pack with some Kona white squares to make half square triangle which I arranged randomly. The HSTs are bordered in white, Kona Asparagus, and more white to get it to the right size. It's a very simple design but I think it really showcases how well these colors work together and how fun solids can be.

This project reminded me why I love chain piecing so much. I chained pieced practically everything! Here are some photos, start to finish:

The finished top is 34" x44". I am not sure what color I am going to use for the binding but I am thinking Kona Ash because it will match two of the HSTs in the top and also because I already have some in my stash. I plan to use the remaining charms (warm tones) for a second quilt top combined with more white a Kona Medium Gray. More pictures coming soon! 

Happy Quilting