Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Reverse Applique + FAL Goals

I'm pleased to say that I seem to be right on track with my progress from the last FAL quarter even though that means that I only got one quilt finished... but it was a biggie! The best part about this quarter is that I know that I will definitely have at least one sure finish... the quilting is finished, and binding is all that's left to do for my Home Sweet Home Applique Sampler. (pattern releases May 16th!)

I have two small spin off projects that I'm adding to the list, and reverse applique circles are my current flavor of the month, but I really like the way it highlights these applique blocks...

I usually don't like to give myself self imposed deadlines because I enjoy quilting more when I can work on what I'm in the mood for. On one hand my biggest deadline in May has been pushing me pretty hard, and I found that while quilting, there were a good number of times that I found it really unenjoyable... hey, isn't our hobby supposed to be enjoyable? On the other hand, it's nice for me to have the deadlines to push myself towards finishes... and that's a good feeling too! 

Even though I have more projects in the works than are on my list this quarter, I am keeping my FAL list relatively small this time. My Whirly Girl pattern has been bumped to the back burner twice -  the first time so there would be enough time for pattern testing Lovebirds' Garden, and then again when the momentum of finishing Home Sweet Home to introduce at Nadelwelt cut line. But after the dust settles, I'm pushing this one for a fall release!

Summer Smoothie has made it to my list again. This is pretty high up on the priority list too because I am queen bee coming up soon, and it's a good feeling to finish one bee quilt before starting another.

Lovebirds Remix quilt top is so close to being finished, but there are a few "I'm a perfectionist" things that are standing in the way. I keep trying to convince myself that I don't have to unpick the whole applique vine that is already stitched down. (but I'm not so sure that I won't just do it anyway)... we'll see.

That's it... doesn't seem like much, right? How are you coming along with your quarterly goals?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Felt Applique + Kraft Paper

Even though I'm usually quite the chatty gal when it comes to writing, today is about short and sweet... I really should be quilting right now to meet my Nadelwelt deadline, but not without stopping in and saying hello first.

... and like I shared last week, felt is the flavor of the month (at least for me it is), but this week it's about mixing mediums. I love combining fabric and paper, and kraft paper is usually my paper of choice - it's natural, it's simple, and it's not fussy. I love adding little decorative stitches to paper too, and this little awl has been a must in my sewing bag for quite some time now.

How about a closer look? Once I finished the applique and hand stitching, I sewed it onto the front of a simple journal... so fun, don't you think?

... and of course I just had to add a few Alison Glass sun print fabrics to give it that strong pop of color... I suppose once a color girl, always a color girl, right?

I've had several questions about how I made and finished this, and I had thought about putting together a little video series after the dust settles... how would you like to join me?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Felt Applique + Peanut Butter Sandwiches

When I was a little girl, I would take a peanut butter sandwich in my school lunch everyday... and I really mean EVERY day. No jelly, just peanut butter. I suppose this went on for years, and I have to admit that I smile inwardly when my littlest asks for a cream cheese sandwich, yup, you guessed it... EVERY day.

While I no longer eat peanut butter sandwiches on a daily basis, I do notice that I have a tendency that when I get in a phase, that I stick with for a while... just like my peanut butter sandwiches. I suppose that the need to get it fully out of my system sometimes doesn't just stop with the first project. And it would appear that felt applique is the current flavor of the month.

I had shared little sneak peeks of my washing symbols project last week, but now they are finished up and ready to go to Nadelwelt. I really wanted to focus on more detailed quilting, and love the way these turned out once they were framed... see, I don't always make just pillows ; )

But as you can imagine, one project snowballs into another, and then into the next... like a potato chip, I couldn't stop with just one, right?!? I shared this sneak peak on Instagram this week of yet another felt applique project that I am working on... quilted up and ready to be turned into? what else...

... another peanut butter sandwich. You can see it coming now, can't you?

Do you have a tendency to get stuck on one favorite technique, pattern, favorite fabric pull like a favorite sandwich?

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Back On Schedule... Almost

You have noticed that last week I was MIA... March has been just one big whirlwind in our family with two birthdays literally days apart, the release of my Lovbirds' Garden pattern, and Easter break sandwiched in between it all. Needless to say after all that I simply did not have the energy to write about it, but that's ok because all work and no play makes Jane a dull girl, right?

But now my focus has fully shifted towards the final push until Nadelwelt.... on my to-do list I "just" have to:
  • finish quilting & bind Home Sweet Home applique sampler
  • finish pattern/corrections for Home Sweet Home
  • have my patterns printed out
  • finish show presentations
  • and too many other things that should be on my list, but I just don't know what they are yet
that's not so much... well, at least that what I keep telling myself.

Before any kind of show, I like to do a little mock set-up just to make sure that I've thought the layout through, and figure what needs to be tweaked. I've been busy finishing up a few felt applique samples for one of my classes.

I'm over the moon thrilled that Alison Glass made up two template pages that I will be sharing with my class participants... these are exclusives from her Applique book, and what I used for this first pillow.

Remember those washing symbols that I was working on a while back?... well, they were perfect little free-motion quilting practice and are all framed up. More on those later...

Keep your fingers crossed for me... so much to do, so little time. What's keeping you busy these days?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Lovebirds' Garden PATTERN RELEASE!

After a year in the works, the time has finally come to share... "Lovebirds' Garden" and "Lovebirds' Garden - Just The Shapes" with you!

... and what better way to celebrate than with a 20% discount on my latest quilt patterns PLUS my entire Payhip shop!  Simply enter the code: Lovebird when you check out. Sale runs from March 15th through March 25nd, 2018!

My Lovebirds' Garden Medallion Quilt, is for the intermediate to advanced quilter who enjoys appliqué as well as traditional piecing techniques. This 82" x 82" medallion quilt is sure to be an eye catcher, or equally as stunning as a smaller wall hanging... 

Lovebirds" Garden – "Just The Shapes" is a spin-off from my original Lovebirds’ Garden medallion quilt pattern, and just as the name suggests – includes “just the (applique) shapes”. The templates are outline drawings that can easily be printed on A4/letter size paper and then be traced onto your own materials to make appliqué shapes. Templates can also be used for paper projects.

Really looking forward to seeing some of your Lovebirds' Garden projects!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

"Lovebirds' Garden - Just The Shapes"

One more day... just one more day, and then I will be sharing what I've been working on over the past year!?! As I printed out ALL 31 pages of my Lovebirds' Garden pattern (which releases tomorrow!)... I have to admit that it was a really satisfying feeling. Almost as big of a rush when you put that last stitch in your binding, and you turn it over to see your finished quilt for the first time.

Additionally, I am really excited that tomorrow I will also be releasing, "Lovebirds' Garden - Just The Shapes", the first of five "mini patterns" that I will be offering. These mini patterns are simply the set of applique shapes, because some quilters love the freedom of coming up with thier own project/layout. I realize that many quilters enjoy the satisfaction of smaller projects in between those really big quilts, and not only that, perhaps first time appliquers might be more willing to try a small project before moving onto a larger and more intensive one.

You may rememer the pillow that I had mad using just the shapes from my Lovebirds' Garden motifs, and it's been fun to play around with a few layout ideas. I could imagine this next one as a sweet wall hanging...

Of course, the shapes can be used to make more traditional applique blocks, like this crossing design. By adding sashing and borders, another min quilt is born...

Somehow I really like the idea of taking a simple block like a log cabin block, and hightlighting it with applique shapes...

Or even taking those log cabins to the next level, and turning it into a star mini quilt with applique accents....

What ever your cup of tea, these "Just The Shapes" projects leave a lots of room for the imagination.

Be sure to stop back by tomorrow for the offical release and other information about the Lovebirds' Garden and Just The Shapes!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Lovebirds' Garden FINISH!

Almost a year ago this month, I sat in a quaint little restaurant with my husband for a birthday breakfast, soaking in all the charm of the centuries old building. The fact that we often don't take the time to treat ourselves, made the day even more special. As I sat across from my husband, my gauze kept falling on the cross stitch piece that was behind him... which ended up being the inspiration for my latest quilt pattern Lovebirds' Garden, to be released next week, March 15th!

I could not have finished the quilt as quickly had it not been for a little help from Iva. She did the amazing quilting while I have been busy working on other upcoming patterns. She actually joined us this fall for our quilting retreat, and she found this perfect little spot on the grounds for a nice background... isn't it fun how the green in the quilt is picked up by the moss covered doors in the background?

It was at the retreat that we were able to coordinate quilting plans... I just love how she framed the center medallion, really making it the focal point of the quilt. I love the simple shadowing of the leaves and orange peel accents throughout.

Does this couch look familiar? Well, it should... somehow this blue keeps following me despite  not being a blue fan.

I have to admit that this had to be the hardest quilt photo shooting that I've done... remember all those weather shows that were talking about the "beast from the east" cold weather front that swept across Europe? Yep, that was our photo shooting day!?! My hands were so cold that I could barely hold the camera, and the wind gusts kept us from taking more shots. 

I'll be sharing more next week with the pattern release, so be sure to check back in... just in case you happened to miss the full story about the Lovebirds' Garden quilt?... then you can find it here.

Quilt: Pattern: Lovebirds' Garden Applique Medallion Quilt from Allison Richter for Campbell Soup Diary, releases March 15th 2018
Started: March 2017
Fabrics: Alison Glass, Basic Grey Grunge, Carolyn Friedlander, 1 Canoe 2. Various Low Volume backgrounds
Finished quilt size: ca. 82" x 82" in. (208 x 208 cm) 

Linking up for the 2018 Finish-A-Long!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Chuck Nohara Pillow Finish

If you're a quilter, I'm sure you can identify: that package of long awaited fabrics just arrived... you know, the ones you've been drooling over since Quilt Market, which at this point seems like an eternity ago. (and in the world of quilting, technically it was) You only have about thirty minutes to sew, but you're at a place with all of your other projects that take more than 30 minutes just to get started... what do you do?

Ok so, I suppose that it's obvious that I like to come up with creative ways, week to week to justify why I just "had" to start another project... but could you resist a new stack of Anna Maria Horner fabrics either? I didn't think so.To further justify things (at least in my head) working on just a "little pillow" means that I'm not going to be off track for long... maybe that's why I make so many of them!?!

I decided to enlarge one of the Chuck Nohara templates so I could make a 20" pillow. So far, I've only made 8" blocks, but things always come together a littler faster when you are working with larger shapes.

This was my first time installing a zipper closure... definitely more work, but I love the end result. I found this tutorial on Pinterest, and of course the Internet is peppered with all kinds of DIY zipper tutorials.

Perhaps you've noticed a new fabric in this project? When I was looking for a background fabric, I of course went to my standard chocolate brown Essex linen that I've used in so many of my other pillows, but it was just a little too intense in it's contrast. Then I remembered this fabulous wool that I purchased a long time ago for another project. I love the little flecks of color throughout, and I thought that if linen works with such a nice result, then why not wool?

painting by Gene Campbell

What about you, do you like to mix other fabric types into your quilting projects? any favorite experiences with wool?
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