Thursday, June 28, 2012

June UFO Challenge Project Finished

The June number for the UFO Challenge over on the Patchwork Times Blog was 12.  On my list, that was to quilt my Winding Ways quilt top, and I'm happy to say it's finished!

I made this quilt top a while back for my Blogger's Spotlight Feature for AccuQuilt to showcase the Winding Ways die.  It's going to hang in my blue/white spare bedroom.

I even got brave and tried some free motion feathers in the borders.  They're definitely wonky, but that's ok, I was going for wonky ~ I'm pretty happy with them for my first try :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, June 25, 2012

My Great Jelly Roll Race Experiment

Last Thursday the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild hosted a Sewing Day at Seminole Sampler Quilt Shop (Thanks Linda for letting us use your shop to sew, and thank you to the Seminole Staff who were so nice to us while we were there!)  I decided to make a Jelly Roll Quilt ~ Have you heard of the Jelly Roll Race Quilt Craze?  Well the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild and the DC Modern Guild are getting together on July 7th to have a Jelly Roll Quilt Race, but alas I will be out of town that day, so I used our Sewing Day to try one out for myself.  You can check out the BMQG Blog for more info on the Great Jelly Roll Quilt Race and see pictures of other examples of Jelly Roll Race Quilts too! 

Basically the quilt is made using one Jelly Roll (If you aren't familiar with fabric Jelly Rolls, they are rolls of approx. forty 2 1/2" strips of coordinating fabrics.)  I started with a package of Timeless Treasures "Green Tea" colorway Tonga Treats batiks that I purchased at Seminole Sampler.  First I randomly sewed them together end to end along the short ends of the strips to create one very long strip.  This can be done easily and pretty quickly by chain piecing them.  Just make sure that you are always stitching them right sides of the strips together so all the seams come out on the back side (and if your jelly roll strips have selvages on the ends you might want to cut them off before you begin).

The one long strip is quite long (about 1600"), so it forms quite a pile.  Cut off approx. 18 - 20" from one end of the long strip (this is what makes the seams stagger ~ thanks for that little tip Heather!).  Then fold the whole long strip in half, matching up the two short ends of the strip right sides together, and sew using a 1/4" seam allowance all along one long side.  As you approach the end of the long side seam, cut the fold with scissors and continue to stitch to the end (back stitch to lock your stitches in place at the ends).  Open them up and at this point you'll have two long strips side by side (roughly  800" long). 

Fold the strip set in half again (right sides together) and repeat the process of sewing down one long seam.  Each time you do this your long seam will get shorter, so it sews up pretty fast.  Again, when you approach the end, flatten and finger press the fold then cut it with scissors, and continue stitching to the end. 

To make this top, you just continue the same process.  The 2-strip set becomes a 4-strip set, then an 8-strip set, then 16-strip set, and finally finishes at 32-strips tall.  I'm told that in Jelly Roll Quilt Races, this quilt top can be pieced in 30 - 40 minutes.  I wasn't racing (and I'm not a particularly fast stitcher), but I got mine finished in about 2 hours, and was pretty happy with that.  These make nice size throw quilts and will make great gift quilts so I'll definitely make another one...or four...or five... ;)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Quilts in the Garden

I've only missed getting one of my monthly UFO Challenge projects finished so far this year, and that was the month of April.  Well now I've remedied that, and I'm happy to have my mini Jo Baskets quilt from one of my Jo Morton Clubs finished...even if it is a little late :)

I've never done any ruler work when machine quilting so I decided to play with some rulers when quilting this one.  I used these two HQ Handi Gadgets, the Versa Tool and the mini scallop ruler.  (They are thicker than regular rotary cutting rulers to work with the hopping foot of my HQ Sweet 16.)

I used the straight edge of the Mini Scallop ruler to do the stitch in the ditch work.  Once I got going I found it pretty easy to just hold the ruler in place and move the quilt along with the ruler, keeping the hopping foot along the straight edge of the ruler.  The Versa Tool has a straight edge too, but the Mini Scallop ruler has a little longer of a straight edge, without it being too long to handle. 

Both of these rulers have a stop on the end so that I don't run off the edge of the ruler, and the little line on the stop helps to line up the ruler with the seam line automatically allowing for the width of the hopping foot so that my stitching is right in the ditch.
Then after marking a center line with chalk, I used the concave curved edge of the Versa Tool to quilt  these little leafy shapes.  It moved along pretty quickly once I got the hang of placing the ruler about 1/4" away from the line to allow for the width of the hopping foot.  (I do recommend a little practice on a scrap piece before starting any machine quilting project.)

I do this shape a lot when machine quilting, but this tool allowed me to make them so symmetrical.

Then I played with the same kind of shape on the little baskets. 

It was a beautiful day out today so after I did some weeding I couldn't resist a little photo shoot in the garden ...

Don't you just love the look of quilts in the garden ~ this one just may have to hang here on the back gate on pretty days just to make me smile :) 

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Round Robin Reveal

We had our monthly Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild meeting on Sunday and had our big reveal for the Round Robins.  I've never participated in a Round Robin and I thoroughly enjoyed it!  This is the little quilt that came home with me. 

It started with this center block that I made.  I wanted the soft green and yellow colors because it's going to hang in my sewing room.  I included some of the left over fabrics from my center block, but I didn't really give any instructions or requests and told the other gals to add any fabrics that they wanted...I wanted to be surprised.   

Each round had different perimeters,  ie: the second one after our center block was to be a border with squares and rectangles, then the third one was to have curves or circles, then the next was to add the setting corners which turned everything on point.  I love how mine turned out, and I'm going to practice on my HQ Sweet 16 quilting something (maybe I'll go for broke and try some feathers) in those large setting triangles :)

Then we had the exchange of our next round of Bee Blocks.  These are mine still in my green/yellow/purple colors.  I have to lay these out with the other rounds that I have and see if I have enough for a quilt yet.  The one on the bottom right is the block I made this time, you can see the ones I made to exchange in This Post.

Then like a cherry on top, I won the door prize and came home with this coveted BMQG tote bag ~ we always have such a fun time at these guild meetings :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, June 11, 2012

It Doesn't Take Much To Make Me Smile

I was surprised to find that this little floater plant in my pond was blooming...I had no idea that it would bloom!

Just walking out and finding it shining up at me made me smile for the rest of the afternoon :) 

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Friday, June 1, 2012

More Charity Quilts Sent Out in the World!

..."I get by with a little help from my friends"... I've been humming that Beetles song lately.  I have to give credit where credit is due ~ the other day my buddy Cameron came over and helped me match up kiddie books to these donated baby quilts and helped me package them all up for their trip to the Appalachian Mountains.  (He even donated some of the books to our cause!)
He held a few of them up for you to see.  These pre-quilted panels were donated to me by my friend Sheri (yes, she's the friend that quilted my quilt from yesterday's post)

Then, since I was so crazy busy at the time, I passed them on to my friend Starlyn to add the bindings when she got the chance... 

Starlyn had a sewing day with our friend Mary and together they bound all of the little quilts!

...And now with a little quilt that I had here added in, we have a box of twelve more baby quilts and books going off to the Christian Appalachian Project for their Mountain Baby Blanket initiative. Cameron came over and spent another day with me, and he even helped me by carrying the box in to the UPS Store ~ I got help on these truly from beginning to end!

If you have some crib-twin size quilts (or just tops are ok), or childrens books that you'd like to donate to the cause, contact me and I can give you the details.  I'm pleased to say, thanks to the donations from friends and readers, we've now sent 63 quilts, plus books, and some blankets and pillowcases to the Christian Appalachian Project to be distributed to the young mothers there ~ I have some great friends :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn