Friday, February 26, 2016

Embroidered Pin Cushion

I recently purchased a couple of colors of Aurifloss for my shop, just to try it out. I needed a test project and chose one of the pin cushions from the book Patchwork Loves Embroidery.

Here is my pin cushion.

It is about 4" by 6" when finished. How did I like the Aurifloss? I loved it and ordered several more colors for the shop. Eventually I will get all of the colors but, like most people, I can't afford to get everything I want immediately.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Moda Love

I came across the Moda Love pattern a few months ago. My Moda sales rep. gave me a charm pack of the new Flow line which will be arriving in the next few weeks. I decided it was a good opportunity to make a Moda Love quilt.

I used a couple of Crossweave Wovens, also from Moda, for the background and the turquoise second border. I will also use the turquoise as binding.

The pattern is only for the center. It only uses 30 charms and makes a 32" by 32" finished size block. I wanted my quilt to be a bit larger so I added a 2.5" cut size border of the background fabric. Then a 2.5" cut size border of the turquoise. And finished it off with the rest of the squares from the charm pack and more of the background fabric. The finished size of my quilt will be about 48.5" by 48.5".

The pattern includes directions for three sizes. The largest uses a layer cake. The smallest uses a mini charm pack. I made the middle size which uses a charm pack.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Raggy Squares and AQC Update

I made up a cute sample for some kits we will carry for Raggy Baby Quilts. I'm calling it Raggy Squares.

Here it is before washing.

And here it is after washing and drying.

Super simple since I cut the squares using the Accuquilt die that cut the fringes. Took about 3 hours to cut and sew. The washed quilt measures 34" by 41" which is a good baby quilt size.

Alamosa Quilt Company Update:

My shop opened last Monday! We had a good first week and reached the milestone of emptying the first bolt.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Art Group :: Circles

Back in August of last year my art group did some paintings. I posted photos of the ones I did. The idea we had at the time was that we would each choose one of our paintings, enlarge a section of it and then make a quilt from the enlargement.

What we ended up doing was choosing one of our paintings, making copies of it and then each of us picked a different section of the same painting to enlarge.

The painting we chose was one of mine. It is the one in the upper left in the photo below, the one with all the circles.

And here is my progress on the section that I chose to enlarge from the original.

We each enlarged a 2" square section of the original to an 18" square. We were permitted to omit portions of our chosen section in order to create a pleasing composition. We were suppose to stick with the original color palate, but were given license to recolor pieces in order to balance the colors.

Mine is only fused at this point. It still needs to be quilted. At this point I have no idea when that will happen. My store, Alamosa Quilt Company, opened on Monday. I will be pretty busy with getting things going for the next few weeks. The little sewing time I have at the moment is taken up with store and class samples. I look forward to getting back to this one though!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Goose on the Loose Quilt Along

Before we start I want you to know that I will provide directions for what I do and give a couple of border options, but you are free to ignore my directions and put your blocks together any way you choose. Whatever you make is yours! You need to be happy with it. You are free to substitute different blocks for block patterns you don’t like. On that note, you don’t have to make a quilt with these blocks. You could make pillows or bags or placemats or something else out of the blocks.

I am going to make a twelve block quilt. Each block will finish at 12” square. The plan is for the finished quilt to measure 52” by 66” with sashing and borders. It will be a straight setting of 3 blocks by 4 blocks. If you would like a larger quilt then I suggest you make two of each block plus a third of your favorite one for a total of twenty-five blocks. With sashing and borders a twenty-five block version of this quilt should measure about 80” by 80”. It will be a straight setting of 5 blocks by 5 blocks.

Below is a photo of my block ideas pages for this project in my design notebook. I'm showing it to you so that you can know that I really do have a plan! 

I have drawn 14 blocks thus far. I know, I know ... I said I was going to make a 12 block quilt. I drew the first twelve blocks a few months ago. When I went to start this project a few weeks ago I realized that a couple of the blocks are very similar to each other. This bothered me so I drew a few more blocks. 

I am using all scraps for my blocks. I am sorting them into lights, mediums and darks and not worrying about color for this sorting process. If you would like to use a consistent background fabric throughout then I suggest you purchase at least 2 yards (maybe a bit more) for the 52” by 66” version, at least 3 yards (maybe a bit more) for the 80” by 80” version.

If you have a fabric for sashing and borders in your stash already then you may want to set it aside now so you don’t use it for another project. I do not have any sashing or border fabric yet for my quilt. I plan to wait until I have all the blocks made then audition various options. For the border there will be at least two options, one pieced and the other plain. For sashing I am planning to use a single fabric with cornerstones, but I may change my mind once I get the blocks made.

Block 1 – Wild and Goosey

This block is paper pieced and uses Bonnie Hunter’s free pattern that appeared in Quiltmaker Magazine in May/June 2013. You will need to download your own copy of the paper piecing pattern. Click here to get the pattern.

You can paper piece the block using any method. There are at least two I am aware of: (1) sew through the paper and (2) use freezer paper and don’t sew through the paper. I did a tutorial on the second method a few years ago. Click here to go to my tutorial.

I used the first method though for this project. I printed out the patterns onto Carol Doak’s foundation paper, cut out the patterns and sewed directly to the paper with a shortened stitch length. When it comes time to tear off the paper, gently run a pin along the seam lines to score the paper and it pulls off fairly easily.

Note: Knowledge of paper piecing is assumed. If you need assistance with the “sew through the paper” method I suggest Carol Doak’s tutorial. Click here to go to the tutorial.

You will need to print out four copies of the pattern for a total of 16 wild and goosey units. For 8 of these I followed the value suggestions printed on the patterns. For the other 8 I reversed the values, that is, I used med/dark fabric where it says to use light and I used light fabric where it says to use med/dark.

Pieces 1, 4, 7, 10, and 11 are made from cutting 2.5” squares in half along the diagonal. This will give you a generous overhang that can be cut down to 1/4” seam allowance after sewing each piece. Pieces 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, and 9 are made from cutting 2” squares in half along the diagonal. Pieces 12 and 13 are made from cutting 3” squares in half along the diagonal.

Thus you need:
(24) 2" squares of light scraps
(24) 2" squares of dark scraps
(40) 2.5" squares of medium scraps
(8) 3" squares of light/medium scraps
(8) 3" squares of medium/dark scraps

When you get your 16 units made, sew them together as shown in the photo below.

If you are quilting along I'd love to hear from you. Just leave a comment. As time allows, I will respond. If you are "no-reply" then I can't respond to you personally. I understand that some folks prefer to remain "no-reply" and that is totally fine. 

If you have any questions at any point, please leave those in the comments. Again, I will respond personally if I can; otherwise I will answer your question with another comment and you'll just need to check back for my response.

If you want to share photos of your blocks with me as you play along I'd love to share them. 

Finally, I have put a "Quilt Along" tab at the top of this blog. All the various posts will be organized there for future reference.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Another Nancy Tote

My goal was to get this made before my stores opens. It opens today and I finished this on Saturday.

This one is just like the other two I've made. Click here to see mine and click here to see the one I made for my mom.

I made this as a gift. I'm pretty sure the recipient doesn't read my blog, but just to be on the safe side I will not name names. This used the last of the bag inserts I purchased. I may need to get some more of them. I would love to make my own inserts, but I can't even purchase the materials to make one for less than these cost already made!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Postcard from Sweden

As promised, here is the completed top for my version of the Postcard from Sweden quilt.

I made the smaller version which finishes at 48" by 60". I followed the pattern as closely as I could since I will have kits available for this quilt in my brick and mortar shop, Alamosa Quilt Company. In fact, if you click on the link you will notice that I am using a photo of this quilt as the header photo on the website.

I took lots of photos since I was trying to get one I could use for the store website. Here is another one I like.

One last time, the free pattern for this quilt is available by clicking here. The original pattern uses 36 Kona solids. My version uses a combination of Moda fabrics: Bella Solids, Grunge and Crossweave Wovens.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Oh My, Stars! :: A Finish

I am thrilled to have this one finished. I sewed the binding on at my retreat last weekend.

The top has been finished since June 2012. Click here to see the post where I showed the completed top. I started this project in January 2012.

I asked my friend Peg to quilt it on her long arm. She did a beautiful job. Here is a close-up so you can see the quilting better.

This counts as my UFO finish for February.

For details on this quilt click here to go to the Thought & Found blog which hosted the quilt along.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Retreat Report

I had a wonderful time at my retreat over the weekend. It was a nice break. I'll be really busy this week preparing for my store opening on the 15th. 

The mystery blocks this time were "hugs and kisses" blocks. Here are the two I made.

And this is the completed top.

One of the ladies will finish it and turn it in for our oncology project.

I only worked on two of the five or six projects I took with me. My main project was my Postcard from Sweden quilt. I showed you the fabrics I was using previously. Click here to see them all.

There was quite a bit of snow up at the retreat center so I took my project outside after I had a few rows together for a photo.

I came home with half of the top together and all but one row of HST units made. I will finish it up this week and get a photo for you. This will hang in my shop as a store sample. I plan to make up kits for my version of this quilt. The original used all Kona solids. My version uses all Moda fabric, because this is mainly what my store has at the moment. The fabrics are a mix of Grunge, Crossweave Wovens and Bella Solids.

The original quilt is gorgeous, but I really like the movement the Grunge and Wovens add to the solids.

I'll show you the other project I worked on later this week.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Postcard From Sweden

Have you seen any of the Postcard From Sweden quilts? I saw my first one a few months ago and promptly downloaded the free pattern. Click here to see the original and get the free pattern.

Here are the fabrics I am using.

This is a mix of Bella Solids, Grunge and Crossweave - all from Moda. I plan to offer kits of these fabrics in my shop. I'm making the smaller size that requires 5" squares.

I'm off to my guild retreat this weekend and these fabrics have gone with me. This will probably be my last opportunity to go to my guild retreat for a while since I am now a business owner. I plan to enjoy my "last hoorah."

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Scrap Group Quilt Along

I've been thinking about this for a while and this month seems like a good time to start. My scrap group is starting a new project this month and you are invited to sew along with us. Our meeting day is the third Wednesday of each month. That will be February 17th this month. On that day I will post directions here for our project so you can sew along with us if you choose. 

The project will be a block of the month I'm calling "Goose on the Loose." Every block will use flying geese units and we will cover various ways of making flying geese. There will be twelve blocks, twelve inch finished size. The blocks will be sashed in some way and there will be at least two border options. The working finished size is 52" by 66", but this might change. I have been known to change alter my initial plan.

I have a drawing and I've made the first two blocks but I am working along with everyone so I don't have a finished quilt to show you. This is the first block.

And this is the second.

I am using all scraps but you could restrict your background to a single fabric.

The details:

On the third Wednesday of each month I will post directions for at least one block until we've made twelve blocks. Once the directions for all twelve blocks have been posted I will post sashing and border instructions. I expect this will take about a year since instructions will only be posted once a month.

You are encouraged to play along with us. If you just want to collect the patterns each month to save for later, that is fine too. Before the end of February I will add a tab for this so that you will be able to easily find the posts each month.

Start cutting your scraps! The first block requires 2", 2.5" and 3" squares. The second block requires 2.5", 4" and 4.5" squares. 

I usually cut my scraps into 2" squares, 2.5" squares, 3" squares, 4" squares, 5" squares and 6" squares. If necessary I cut larger squares down into smaller ones. For example, I don't usually cut 4.5" squares to stash. When I need 4.5" squares, I cut 5" squares down to 4.5". You need to decide what sizes work for you and start cutting. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Just Squares 2 and AQC Update

I've been able to do a bit of sewing lately. It isn't fancy, but it is a completed top.

If it looks familiar it's because this is the second one of these I've made. Click here to see the first one. I have enough squares already cut for a third one of these. 

The plan is to quilt it simply like the first one and turn it over to my guild's charity quilt chairperson.

Alamosa Quilt Company Update:

I have a logo!

The guy came Friday afternoon to install it on the front door. I tried to get a picture of it but it is really hard to photograph because of the position of the door and the windows. I need to find something dark to put behind it so that I can get a photo. I have an idea but it requires an assistant. However, it looks pretty much like the above.

We have all of the fabric entered into inventory in the computer. Whew! That was quite a job. We cut four fat quarters from each fabric which adds up to over 1000 fat quarters that had to be folded. Believe it or not, they are all neatly folded.

Here are some photos from around the shop.

The shop is not full by any means but the rest will come with time and as finances allow. Lots of fabric has been ordered but the ship dates are spread out from now through October. That's just the way the fabric business works.

Opening day has been set, February 15, 2016. The grand opening will begin February 29th, which will be a fun date to celebrate on in years to come.