Monday, February 28, 2011

EQ7 Block of the Month 2011

Electric Quilt is running a Block of the Month for 2011. They provide the EQ7 project file for the block and you can then play with fabrics, choose from your own stash, buy new, whatever, and physically make a block, send in a photo and be entered for a drawing. At the end of the year there will be a layout challenge as well. Well, this sounds up my alley! Not too much making, and lots of fun designing--in EQ7...yes I like to do the design part. Well, the January and February blocks have been published-- you can check it out. This block is called January Jumble. I've created two versions. When I saw the block initially I thought it would be fun to create dimension visually with the use of variegated colors and specific placement. The first uses batiks. This allows some variegation even within the same placement creating a more pleasing visual.

Then I found a fabric from Michael Miller by Paula Prass, 'Summer Soree - Best Friend Black' -  in my EQ stash that had this lovely print that fit just perfectly into the center block. Then fussy cut the grey portion and create a lace effect to the flying geese units. The fabric was released in 2009 but I found some online and just need to figure out if I want to completely make this up or not.
Now, take both blocks and set them in an alternating way and here's what you get. I'm calling it "Irish Violets and Lace". Do you see the illusion of a triple irish chain in the background? There are also stars that eminate in the lighter 'lacey' blocks. Fussy cutting the Best Friend fabric in the 2nd border also provides some additional interest. 

This is the small quilt with the original 6" blocks, but it is also beautiful at 9" and 12" blocks depending upon what size of quilt you'd like to make. Sometimes you need to add another column horizontally to get the size you desire. The 6" blocks makes for fairly small pieces to work with. When you enlarge the block the Best Friend fabric doesn't work the same, but there are still interesting affects created.

Today I sent in my February BOM which is called February Frolic.

Check out other Monday Design Walls indexed on Patchwork Times.

p.s. I am undecided about last week's finished top....should I expand it to a twin size and donate it? or truly keep it for a sample of my quilting. I'm not the keeping quilt kind of person (have made over 200 quilts?), but definitely need some samples to show my work. I have several table runners and wall hangings in my studio, and 2 or 3 quilts folded up for clients to check out. Here is my EQ7 draft if I were to expand it to a twin size. The busy green/white fabric is daisies-same as used in the cornerstones in the center. Needless to say it didn't get quilted --mostly due to my indecision on its purpose.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday

4th setting....but I didn't like it.
Today I get to show you a finished quilt top that I have been working on. I've included a photo pre-assembly where I changed it up one more time (I thought about this in last week's blog as I was looking at the various settings), but didn't like it so went back to my 3rd version of placement to put it together. I'm realizing that the busier the fabrics, the less attractive the block. I should have stuck with the original block fabric selections of very simple tone on tone fabrics and let the block design itself speak. The busier the fabrics, especially ones that are flowers already that I fussy cut (kind of ) to get them to work, are just too busy or disjointed to make them that attractive. Just My Opinion ;-)

I started sewing on it last night and finished it up today. Next to quilt and bind it. I barely had enough green to finish the top alone, so will be binding it with the daisies and coming up with something creative to use on the back from my stash.
I'm really looking forward to moving on to something else, this is not my style of quilt, but a UFO that just needed to get done!

Lots of shows coming up in the next couple of months, so I've been prepping them for registration and/or delivery.

The Starlight-Flutterbright will be at TRENDS, so if you're a shop owner and will be attending EESchenk's mini-market weekend, consider voting for this one (see yesterday's blog entry for photo), I think I'll also put it into the Krazy Horse Quilter's show in Pendleton, end of April show, too. If you carry the Freedom Fabric line - Flutterbright, would you be interested in this pattern and/or having me teach a class?

Working Title: "Final Rose"
The AQS Mystery quilt will be at the Tri-Cities Quilt show along with our WWVQG Raffle quilt--just on display. Maybe the WWVQG Raffle quilt can win a GROUP ribbon? If you're in the area, hope you'll come out and see all the beautiful quilts.

I was asked to write up the pattern for a quilt designed by Elaine Shaw of Highland Designs and Highland Quilts, "Extended Triple Irish Chain". It is featured in the current (Feb-Mar 2011) Country Register Washington edition. There are a couple of giveaways in the article (p.17), so check it out and enter if you're interested in a new twist on an old pattern. I got distracted....I'm telling you because the quilt, "Golden Irish Chain" will also be at the Tri-Cities show.

Jackie Robinson is the featured national quilter at the Tri-Cities show, but won't be attending, just some of her quilts will. They are putting on a display of 'WOW' quilts based on Jackie patterns...the quilt I designed and made with her fabrics is still in the Maywood Trunk show, and I've been told they will not have the trunk show on display. I have come up with another quilt using her fabrics using mostly leftovers from my original quilt, but not sure I'll have time to get it done. My working title is 'Final Rose', but nothing in it says that to me....I just have had fun using phrases from the Bachelor and Bachelorette to come up with titles for these 'roses' fabric quilts. At the bottom of it you can see an outer point in the border...I'm debating whether or not to make this a non-square quilt and have these points on one or more/all sides? wdyt?
Maywood Trunk Show on display at Fabric Depot, PDX. "Will You Accept This Rose?" -- resulting quilt from Jackie Robinson's block design contest 2010, Viewer's Choice Winner by Marlene Oddie

Sunday, February 20, 2011


It is done! Finally. This was a quilt designed on request by a local quilt shop. I actually really enjoyed the challenge. The Flutterbright fabric line from Freedom Fabric was the focus, we included other blending fabrics that coordinated well that Highland Quilts had in their shop. Several techniques are employed, including paper piecing (4 corners of the center medallion), strip piecing for individual blocks so as not to use up too much fabric and yet quickly piece them, panel pieces, and using long lengths of fabrics to efficient use and piece this quilt together. The pattern has cutting layouts to help you utilize the fabric effectively. Highland Quilts will be offering this as a class, if you're interested, please contact them to sign-up.

Here are front and back images.

Almost seems like crystals would be a nice embellishment in the right spots to help it be even brighter, but for now, this is how it will head to the March Trends event at EESchenk in Portland.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday's Design Wall

Back to this old project and all the blocks are now done! After a block pattern with a mistake (recovery w/small seams and some scraps), I've decided I do NOT like cutting diamonds from templates and how squigly ?? they can get! Very glad to have those diamond shaped flower blocks done. Now just trying to figure out final placement before piecing it together.

Last week's progress...didn't get a chance to post it. I skipped the September block because it had template cut diamond shapes.

All blocks done! Starting from the top left, they are placed in the order of the month they were presented starting with January. Number 13 is the bonus block on the bottom right corner. I've added a daisy fabric for corner stones and more of the same background fabric for sashing, I'll also use the dark green background in the setting triangles so that I have lots of 'negative' space for doing some creative quilting.

I'm not sure I like the setting of them, so let's experiment. Here are two options so far, and as I'm looking at these I'm thinking maybe the 4 diamond blocks that are surrounding the center ought to be switched with the corner blocks. Hmmm...I'll have to try that too. Hopefully next week I can post a finished quilt!

I moved all the diamond blocks to the center 5 positions.
Now I moved the multi-fabric flowered blocks to the center outside spots.
Other ideas? Please share them below!
Check out some more design walls online at Judy's Patchwork Times.

p.s. today is my 2nd Anniversary....thank you lover for enabling me to be more creative! I love you Duncan.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

WWVQG Raffle Quilt - Quilted!

On Friday I got the quilting wrapped up, but decided to leave it loosely on the quilting table, just in case I thought of something else or felt I needed to do something different. Good thing! I remembered I wanted to add a few windturbines on the hills. :-) So, tonight I was able to add those (see picture). Now to do the binding. I'm machine stitching it to the front ...each side with its own piece, will sew down mitered corners (assisted by the Jackie Robinson Binding Miter Tool), and let a guild member do the hand stitching to the back. We'll do a full reveal on Tuesday night at the guild meeting. If you're local, I hope you'll come out and see it. One friend who stopped by to see the progress suggested that this quilt needs to be auctioned at a winery wine & cheese event or even purchased by the Chamber of Commerce to be hung for permanent display in/around town. Wow....that was unexpected, but what a nice compliment and so nice to hear that it is considered to be of such meaning--part of the design's purpose so I'm glad it comes through in the actual quilt. Nine icons were chosen by guild members based on them identifying icons of the valley. Some of the icons everyone will recognize, at least one is quite new. I'll post a full photo and more detailed images after Tuesday's reveal.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Progress on the Raffle Quilt

This is an obvious item that should be in the quilt, so I'll post the picture of this one. Some of the icons might be a surprise! There will be more quilting in the background around this, but I've got the black stitching for the most part, done on the whole quilt. Now to finish the border along the bottom and move into the center! Feeling very accomplished with my progress today.

Helping the local guild

Last year I offered to design our raffle quilt. Many members participated by making log cabin blocks with a common center, and fabric color choices given (creams and medium greens--make it scrappy) along with a paper piecing set of directions. We got all but 2 blocks that we needed and set them together in a beautiful setting with W W in the center of the quilt to represent our valley's name--Walla Walla Valley. Guild members individually wrote down what icons they think of when they think of the valley. I wanted to use the June Jaeger concepts that were taught in our featured teacher class last year --silhouettes-- to incorporate these icons into the quilt. Late in the year, Eddie Walker, came forward willing to help with the quilt and I asked her to interpret the icons into the silhouettes. She beautifully designed them into a scene. A faux border was added one block into the quilt when it was assembled by Becki Lund. It is now on the quilting machine and I want to show detailed pictures as I go. Here is the start on the border.