See You In September Blog Hop

Have you enjoyed the Blog Hop?  The initial intent was to persuade Riley Blake Designs to keep gingham in their basics line and apparently the campaign worked because RBD said they will continue to manufacture the medium gingham.  Unfortunately the small and large checks will be discontinued but we have to celebrate the small victories!  Many, many thanks to Mdm. Samm at Sew We Quilt for organizing this hop and for Shari at Living With Purpose for scheduling it and keeping everyone on track.

Today’s Bloggers:
Life, quilts and a cat too
Meadowbrook
Apple Avenue Quilts
Just Keep Swimming
Patchwork Sampler-you are here!
Sew We Quilt

This is the last day of the hop and I’m really excited to share my projects.  For those of you who have never visited my blog, welcome.

Earlier in the year I became a little envious of all the beautiful quilting I saw at quilt shows and started thinking about upgrading my machine.  I quilt on a very basic mid-arm system; a Voyager machine on a Hinterberg frame.  There is no computer or stitch regulator so of course all of my limitations are the machine’s fault. Haha!!  Each show was a magnificent display of exquisite designs and perfect stitches. I dreamed of making quilts like that.  I signed up to take a class at a local longarm dealer so I could try out the HandiQuilter Avante.  After the initial session, I brought in a quilt top of my own and rented time on the machine and quilted this:

Amy-Butler_thumb.jpg

The pattern is Cloud Nine by Villa Rosa made with a set fat quarters from Amy Butler’s Midwest Modern line.  It was kind of nerve wracking to work on a different machine but when I finished I marveled at the beautiful EVEN stitches.

Amy Butler closeup quilting

I love this wavy striped fabric on the back!!

Amy Butler back

The second quilt started from a stack of fat quarters from Heather Bailey’s new line of fabric called Up Parasol.  Recently I’ve seen several quilts where four smaller blocks are set together to make one large block and variable stars are a favorite of mine so I came up with this quilt.  I love the soft colors and the mint sashing stars.

Up-Parasol-Stars-2.jpg

Even though I took several classes at the Machine Quilting Today show in August I wasn’t comfortable enough to try a new technique on this quilt so I fell back to my old favorite–allover swirls and curls.  This quilt has Pellon Legacy 80/20 batting and it really shows a lot of stitch definition.  I haven’t used this batting very much but it worked well in this quilt.

Up-Parasol-Stars-closeup-quilting_thumb.jpg

My last project is the one using Riley Blake Gingham.  I had some fat quarters of the small gingham so I combined them with coordinating solids and made a Carpenter’s Star quilt.

Carpenters-Star_thumb.jpg

This quilt presented my biggest quilting dilemma.  There are SO many beautiful Carpenter’s Star quilts on the internet.  I pored over Pinterest and Google images and could not believe some of the quilting.  I sketched out several possibilities as I contemplated various quilting designs.  Then I considered the number of hours it would take to stitch out some of those designs and reality struck.  It would take a LOT of time to custom quilt this.  Ultimately, time was just one of my deciding factors; others were end use and lack of quilting thread in all these colors!  This is a donation quilt so it was made to be used and loved.  Often with heavy, custom quilting, the quilt loses its soft, cozy feel.  All that thread creates a stiff quilt that is better for show than snuggling.  In the end, I simply meandered over the whole top.  It seems like such a cop-out but I’m happy with my decision.  The quilting adds some texture but doesn’t detract from the piecing.  It will hold up to a lot of washing and abuse so in the end it’s all good!

Carpenters-Star-closeup-qulting_thumb.jpg

I still haven’t decided whether or not I’ll upgrade my machine.  For right now, it works well for the types of quilts I make.  Most of them are for donation so “perfect” quilting isn’t as important as getting them finished and into the hands of people who can use them.  It sure is fun to dream about the possibilities though!

Now for the giveaway:

3500LC

I have a layer cake from the Modern Neutrals line by Amy Ellis for Moda that someone will win.  It contains 42 (10″) squares of fabric (some prints are duplicated).  Simply leave a comment for a chance to win.  Make sure you are not a no-reply blogger!  I will ship anywhere in the world, but if someone outside the US wins I will remove the cardboard backing from the layer cake so it can be folded into a flat rate envelope.  Drawing will be held the evening of Friday September 19.

Hope you’ve enjoyed your stop here and the See You In September Blog Hop as a whole.  Thanks again to Mdm. Samm and Shari for their encouragement.  If you missed a stop, here is the complete list of participants so you can catch up!

Wednesday, September 3
Sew Incredibly Crazy
Bumbleberry Cottage
Thimblemouse and Spouse
Mad Quilter’s Disease
In The Boon Docks
Thursday, September 4
Jane’s Quilting
Life in the Scrapatch
Sew Many Yarns
Gracie Oliver Arts
Everyone Deserves a Quilt
Friday, September 5
Stitchin’ By The Lake
Coeur d’Alene
Words & Stitches
TheSlowQuilter
Pig Tales and Quilts
All Thingz Sewn
Monday, September 8
Quilting Quietly
Creatin’ in the Sticks
Procrastination Queen
Lovelli Quilts
Cherry Blossoms
Tuesday, September 9
Just Let Me Quilt
Marjorie’s Busy Corner
The Quilting Queen Online Blog
Marla’s Crafts
K and S Sweets and Stitching
Wednesday, September 10
Secretly Stitching
Buzzing and Bumbling
Quilt n Queen
Quilted Delights
Grandmama’s Stories
Thursday, September 11
Susie’s World
Needled Mom
Cate’s Linens
How ART you?
I Like To QuiltBlog
Quiltscapes
Friday, September 12
Sunshine-quilting
Sew Peace to Peace
MoosestashQuilting
More Stars in Comanche
Living With Purpose
Monday, September 15
I Piece 2-Mary
Till We Quilt Again
Vroomans Quilts
Nini and the Sea
Seams To Be Sew
My Quilting Journey
Tuesday, September 16
Life, quilts and a cat too
Meadowbrook
Apple Avenue Quilts
Just Keep Swimming
Patchwork Sampler
Sew We Quilt

DWM: Sashed Four Patch

This UFO looks pretty sad!

sashed 4-patch

I was moving some boxes downstairs and came across a bin of tops to be quilted.  This one was on the top so I pulled it out, found a suitable backing fabric from stash and am ready to press it and load it on the frame.  It is a good size for a donation quilt so hopefully it will go to a good home!

Tomorrow is my day to post pictures of my See You In September Blog Hop projects so be sure to come back and take a look at the three fun quilts I made.  If you haven’t seen all of the inspiring posts from the hop, here’s a complete list of links.

Wednesday, September 3
Sew Incredibly Crazy
Bumbleberry Cottage
Thimblemouse and Spouse
Mad Quilter’s Disease
In The Boon Docks
Thursday, September 4
Jane’s Quilting
Life in the Scrapatch
Sew Many Yarns
Gracie Oliver Arts
Everyone Deserves a Quilt
Friday, September 5
Stitchin’ By The Lake
Coeur d’Alene
Words & Stitches
TheSlowQuilter
Pig Tales and Quilts
All Thingz Sewn
Monday, September 8
Quilting Quietly
Creatin’ in the Sticks
Procrastination Queen
Lovelli Quilts
Cherry Blossoms
Tuesday, September 9
Just Let Me Quilt
Marjorie’s Busy Corner
The Quilting Queen Online Blog
Marla’s Crafts
K and S Sweets and Stitching
Wednesday, September 10
Secretly Stitching
Buzzing and Bumbling
Quilt n Queen
Quilted Delights
Grandmama’s Stories
Thursday, September 11
Susie’s World
Needled Mom
Cate’s Linens
How ART you?
I Like To QuiltBlog
Quiltscapes
Friday, September 12
Sunshine-quilting
Sew Peace to Peace
MoosestashQuilting
More Stars in Comanche
Living With Purpose
Monday, September 15
I Piece 2-Mary
Till We Quilt Again
Vroomans Quilts
Nini and the Sea
Seams To Be Sew
My Quilting Journey
Tuesday, September 16
Life, quilts and a cat too
Meadowbrook
Apple Avenue Quilts
Just Keep Swimming
Patchwork Sampler—ME!!
Sew We Quilt

And if THAT’s not enough inspiration, be sure to check out the links at Patchwork Times to see other design wall projects.

Weekend Bike Trip: Elroy-Sparta Trail

Jim loves to bike so his idea of a great weekend is a long bike trip.  I can think of many ways I would rather spend a weekend but he has visited more quilt shops than I can name so it was his turn to pick the weekend fun!!  Since Jen is only an hour from the Elroy-Sparta Trail we decided to bike there then drive over to visit her in LaCrosse.  When our kids were in elementary school, they joined “Bike Club” in fifth and sixth grades.  Near the end of the school year they would take a weekend trip here and ride about 60 miles.  Jim always went as a chaperone so he has a nostalgic fondness of this trail.  It is recognized as being the first Rails to Trails path. 

E-S trail sign

It is relatively flat and goes through several little towns so it is easy to stop for food, drinks or even sightseeing and shopping.  It is a pretty ride.

S-E Trail

The best part is going through the tunnels.  There are three along the path and two are about a quarter-mile each but the third is three-quarters of a mile, so it’s a long walk in the dark with your bike!!

S-E Trail-Tunnel

Here is Jim waiting for me to catch up!

E-S tunnel-Jim

After finishing the ride we drove to La Crosse and took Jen and her new beau to dinner.  We then spent the night at her place and biked around La Crosse the next day.  Jen joined us for this ride and we took the path that goes from her apartment to where she works.

jen-agropur

There are many nice bike paths around La Crosse so this was probably the first of many trips we’ll make here! 

I didn’t spend all weekend riding though.  I managed to get in some sewing and here is a a little teaser for the project I was working on.

gingham teaser

Is that a bit of gingham in that block?  Why yes it is!  That must mean it is a project for the See You In September Blog Hop!!  You will have to come back September 16 to see the finished project.

Here are today’s featured bloggers.  Click the links to take a look at what they created this summer.

Just Let Me Quilt
Marjorie’s Busy Corner
The Quilting Queen Online Blog
Marla’s Crafts
K and S Sweets and Stitching

DWM: Stringing Along

Even though for the first time in 22 years we didn’t have to get kids ready to go back to school, this August and early September has been really hectic.  I just can’t believe how fast the summer went but here we are starting the second week of September and I’m trying to get back into a regular routine for sewing.

My strip basket was overflowing so I made several string blocks last week.  It was mindless sewing but I’m always amazed that a mess like this

string block-pretrim

doesn’t look half bad after it’s trimmed!

String Block

I made two sets of four blocks and will probably set them together like this:

Sting block-4

This week I hope to make eight more.  I need 48 blocks for a Heartstrings quilt so it will be a few weeks before it’s finished.  I’m not sure the strip basket looks any better.  If anything it looks like there is more in it since the fabric got fluffed up when I pawed through it.  Can anyone ever use up all their random strips of fabric??

The See You In September Blog Hop started last Wednesday and goes through the 16th (my day!).  There have been some really creative projects on all the blogs.  It’s been fun to look at all of them and see how the Riley Blake Gingham has been used.  Today’s bloggers are:

Quilting Quietly
Creatin’ in the Sticks
Procrastination Queen
Lovelli Quilts
Cherry Blossoms

Be sure to take a look at what they’ve created!

Also check out all the Design Wall projects at Patchwork Times.

Garden Trellis Finished

Still not much sewing going on around here but I did manage to finish the Garden Trellis quilt. 

April Showers

The pattern is from the book Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott and the fabric was a jelly roll from Bonnie and Camille’s April Showers line by Moda.  I quilted the center with all-over swirls and the border with continuous up and down lines. 

Things are settling down a little bit this week so I’m hoping to spend some serious time in the sewing room.  I have to go to work for a while this morning but this afternoon I plan to make some Heartstrings blocks with the overflowing tub of strings on my cutting table.

One Measly Block

As far as sewing, that is pretty much what I’ve accomplished the past month.  This is the block and it took over an hour to make it but still…

JM-BOM

The block is called Modern Star and Pinwheel and is a FREE pattern right now on Judy Martin’s website.  Check it out here.

My small quilting group is doing a 12” block challenge for next summer’s Backyard Quilt Show and this block may or may not be used in a quilt for that challenge. So far, I don’t have a plan but the quilt show will be in July so I have plenty of time to come up with something.

The See You In September Blog Hop will be starting soon so I’ve been hard at work on the three projects I’m making for that.  My day is September 16 and I’m really excited to show what I’ve been working on this summer behind the scenes.  Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll show a few sneak peeks of those quilts.  I’m going to have to kick it into high gear to finish all three by the deadline!  The key word is “deadline.”  Don’t all quilters work best under pressure?

DWM: April Showers

While digging through some fabric the other day I came across a jelly roll from the April Showers line by Bonne and Camille.

55080JR

I’m a big fan of their fabric so I opened up the jelly roll and immediately got the itch to make something with it.  A couple of years ago I made an easy jelly roll dorm quilt for my daughter using the pattern Garden Trellis from the book Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott . I thought that would be a nice pattern for this fabric so I started sewing.

This particular jelly roll didn’t have equal numbers of light and dark fabric and some fabrics could be used either as a light or a dark depending on the fabric it was paired with so I didn’t bother with sewing a light strip with a dark strip.  I just picked up two contrasting strips and sewed them together, then selected two more to make a set of four strips.  The way this quilt is constructed is not my favorite—the strips are sewn into a tube and then cut into squares so EVERY edge is bias.  The good thing with bias though, you can stretch it a bit so all the seams nestle together!!

Once the top was together I debated whether or not to add a border.  It looked nice without it but again, since the outside edges are bias, I went ahead and added one so it didn’t stretch out of shape.  The border really changed the look of the quilt.  Now it looks really old-fashioned.  I guess it’s the gingham.

April Showers

This close-up gives a little better picture of the fabrics and design.

April Showers-close up

Of course it will look better once it’s quilted so hopefully I can load it on the frame today and get started!

Be sure to check out other design wall projects with the links at Patchwork Times.

Note:  there was a little glitch with the blog when I was on vacation last week (well, to be honest, operator error) so posts weren’t uploaded.  There were a couple more baby quilts for the blitz and another post or two.  I’ll get that fixed so the Baby Quilt Blitz is complete.  The good news it the post from Day 5 is now recovered and the pattern is on the blog.  You can find it here.

DWM-Baby Quilt Blitz-Day 8

Wow!  The Baby Quilt Blitz started last Monday and we’re not finished yet.  Today’s quilt is a super simple design.  I’ve seen many variations and chevrons are everywhere but I still like the simplicity of it.

chevron-1

As it happened, the charm pack I used for this had two squares of every fabric except one so I was able to get four matching half square triangles from each fabric.  If you want to make a quilt just like this, get two charm packs so you will have twenty matching pairs of squares.  You can make the quilt larger or use the other charms for another quilt.

In addition to the 40 charm squares you will need 40 squares of background fabric (3/4 yard) and 1/2 yard of binding fabric.

Draw a line on the back of a background square.  Pair it with a charm square, right sides together and sew 1/4” seam on both sides of the drawn line.

HST-1.jpg

Cut on the drawn line, open and press the half square triangle toward the charm square.  Repeat to make 80 half square triangles.

HST

I think it’s easier to make chevron blocks rather than set the triangles into rows so make 20 blocks like this:

chevron

Now set the blocks into five rows of four blocks each like shown in the top picture.  Add borders if you like.  My quilt finished 36” x 45”.

Since the quilt is so simple, I like to add a little custom quilting.  I did pebbles in the background and my standard up and down lines in the chevrons.

chevron-2

My quilt had a mistake that was caused by my inattention to what I was doing.  I didn’t realize the error until I was laying out the triangles to make the chevrons.  Did you notice the mistake?

chevron-3

Not a huge error but more an aggravation because it could have easily been prevented. So here’s your tip of the day:  if you are using a striped fabric to make a design using half-square triangles as mirror images sew one set of squares like this with the stripe running horizontally–

stripe HST horiz

And the other with the stripes running vertically.

stripe HST vert

Just by making that simple change, all four of your stripes will be running the same way!  That means unlike me, you have to pay attention while you are sewing these!

Be sure to take a look at some of the other design wall projects using the links at Patchwork Times.  Also stop back here tomorrow for day 9 of Baby Quilt Blitz!!

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