Friday, January 29, 2016

Valentine's Mini Circle Quilt

Here is another Valentine's Day quilt! This was another fun and fast one to make! I am loving these smaller quilts! They come together so quickly it's hard to get distracted by other projects before I get them finished!

When I designed this one I was thinking that it's been a little while since I made a circle quilt. Too long, in fact! And in my quilt inspiration search I noticed that lots of Valentine's quilts have hearts set in a I decided to put them in circles. I added a couple of rings and the stars just to break it up a bit. My husband tried to talk me out of the stars...probably because I keep trying to put them in quilts...but I just love them so much! I can't help myself! I think they give this quilt a funky and fun little twist!

I always have such fun picking out the fabrics for quilts...especially when I can find what I have in mind! The black grid fabric is from an older line - Spin by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics - it is exactly what I wanted for the black so I was thrilled to find it on Etsy. I used almost all I bought and now I am thinking I should probably buy a bunch more and stash it! 

I wasn't sure exactly what fabrics I wanted to use for the hearts. I had originally mocked this up using dark, medium and light pinks. I bought a couple of different Valentine themed charm packs and some random pinks and reds and black/white prints so I would have lots of choices. In the end, First Crush by Sweetwater for Moda won out. I like pink better than red, but since I just made a Valentine's quilt using pink, I figured I'd mix it up and go with reds. Also, I really loved the text prints it the First Crush that clinched it. There were some really great grays in the line that I thought would be cute too, but no matter how I rearranged them, I couldn't make it work. So I went with all reds and whites instead. I am pretty happy with how it turned out! 

And...the quilting. I had different plans for this than how it turned out. I really wanted to put some kind of crazy grid or crosshatching in the back ground, but of course I wanted to do it using the automatic mode on the quilting machine (for precision and to save my back some's getting harder to quilt being this pregnant, so that automatic quilting mode is saving me!) But unfortunately, I don't know enough yet to make it work how I wanted. So instead I chose this pretty frilly pattern that fit nicely between the circles and then I just stitched around all the rest of the shapes. 

I used the same black grid fabric for the binding - I had some of the black and white text print from the First Crush line that I was planning on using, but it didn't match the other black in the quilt well enough, so I couldn't do it.

I took my cute little two-year-old with me out in the crazy, threatening to rain, windy weather this morning to snap a few pictures. She is such a good little side-kick - she brought her baby in her stroller and she helped me hold the quilt so it wouldn't blow away! Gotta train 'em young! ;) Now I'm going to find a nice little spot in my house to hang this little gem! Then I'm going to finish a few other little Valentine's decor projects I've got planned - you can see some of those on instagram if you like - you can find me here (@ahhhquilting)

And...once again, I have performed a miraculous feat and made a pattern for this little quilt. You can find it in my Craftsy shop or my Etsy shop! Happy Valentine's quilting and decorating! 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Valentine's Table Runner Quilt

Here's the quilt I've been working on this week. After months of not feeling like doing much of anything, I am now back to quilting with a vengeance! It feels good! Quilting is such a good distraction for the end of pregnancy! And boy am I gonna need a good distraction or two (or five) in the next few weeks!

I have never been much of a seasonal decorator so my house usually looks kinda bare. Lately though, I keep wanting to buy all this stuff to decorate for the different holidays! Let's blame it on my craft group. Yes, I have craft's a group of girls that get together once a month and make some kind of decorative craft. It costs 10 bucks and we take turns hosting and coming up with the craft and getting all the supplies for it. Super fun! Here is this months little gem:

Ok, so usually my finished product looks different than everyone was supposed to be a dark wood stained background with a plain glitter heart...but I couldn't stay to work on it this month-I accidentally booked a Drs. appointment at the same time-so I just brought it home to make it. And then I got a little crazy with the paint and the silhouette cutter...yeah...I can't help it. Anyway...back to the quilt. So while on this little decorating spree, I realized that I didn't have any Valentine's quilts! So last weekend I spent some time designing a few quilts. I came up with two that I really liked, so I decided to make them both (just got the fabric for the 2nd one yesterday)!

If you're thinking you have seen something similar to this quilt, you are right! It is close to this quilt I made a couple years ago:

This is still one of my favorite quilts, so I decided to make this new quilt similar, but a table runner with hearts and swirls instead of circles and rings, and I changed the star a bit too. I couldn't resist using the same black and white polka dot for the stars and binding...I love it so much! I am going to cry when I finally run out of that Alexander Henry June Dot! All of the fabrics for the hearts came from my stash or scrap bags...good reminder of why I keep those scrap bags!

This quilt is completely raw edge favorite! The quilt top took me just a few hours to make...pretty fast! The quilting on the other hand...well it took me 3 days! And I am talking quilting-all-day days. No, I have not gotten slower...but I did get a new quilting machine a couple months ago, and let's just say there is a learning curve! The thing quilts all by itself (which I totally love) but if you don't know exactly how to make it do what you want, then it definitely takes forever. So I just kept reminding myself that this was a "learning quilt." And I am happy to report that by the end, I finally figured out how I could have made it take a few hours instead of a few days! And even though it took me was a really fun quilt to work on. I had way too much fun picking patterns to put inside the hearts! Here are a few close ups:

And I also whipped up a quick pattern in case anyone else needs some quilty and fast (if you don't take forever to quilt it) Valentine's Day decor! It's in my craftsy shop or my etsy shop! Happy seasonal quilting!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Geometric Bliss Quilt

Here's another quilt finally! I know it has been a while...this poor, neglected blog! You may as well know that it's because I am pregnant (with girl #4), and I get weird when I'm pregnant. I go thru phases of fabric aversion, idea drought, quilt neglect and this apathy. Like I said, weird. I have somehow managed to still finish several quilts, but have had no desire to blog about them. So here we are...with about 7 weeks to go and I finally feel like getting caught up! On to the quilt!

I made this quilt for my friend Maren. I hardly need an excuse to make quilts for my friends so pretty much any occasion will do. This was for her 35th birthday. It was one of those last minute quilts that I planned and executed in a week or so...have I mentioned that I love deadlines? Yes! Deadlines make the world go round! 

The fabric for this one is mostly Geometric Bliss by Jeni Baker for Art Gallery - plus a couple of other fabrics I had that matched. I love the blue-greens and purples in this line- and they're such fun prints! I bought this with no specific purpose in mind, but decided it would be perfect once I decided on the design. 

The design came from an art piece I saw while walking through a model home last year. Model homes are full of quilty inspiration, so on this particular day I was snapping away at shower walls and ceilings...and when I saw this piece I knew it would become a quilt. Sadly I have no idea what the art piece is called or who the artist is- all I have is this quick snap shot:

This type of design is perfect for my favorite type of quilt lately: applique on a single piece of fabric. A design like this could probably be pieced...but the lazy girl in me just can't be bothered to figure out how. So this is all fusible web applique, finished with a blanket stitch in matching thread. I made the shape in Inkscape, traced onto fusible web, ironed to the fabric and cut it all out. Then I figured out all the spacing and marked it on the fabric with a water-soluble marking pen. 

I quilted it with a quick and swirly pantograph called Heraldry. Wish you could see it better!

I had originally bought a different backing for this quilt, but at the last minute decided to get this great black and white print from the Geometric Bliss line and I am so happy I did! I love it so much!

I bound it in the smaller black and white print from the line...
And then I thought it would be fun to make a label...

To make the label I used the same method as usual: made the design in Inkscape, printed it, traced it with a fine point sharpie marker onto fabric backed with fusible web, added fabric embellishments, etc. Sometimes I have a little too much fun with the labels. :) 

I rolled it up and tied it with a bow and gifted it to Maren...and I'm pretty sure she liked it. 

I'll be back real soon! Hopefully. :) 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Beach Huts Wall Hanging

Back in June my little sister Kaeli came to town for a visit. She's such a fun sidekick. And she's good at decorating too. Since I had just moved into a new house with no decor to speak of, that's what we decided to do...decorate the kids rooms and their bathroom. We planned projects galore. We shopped a LOT. I seriously think the cashiers at TJMaxx were like, "You're here again???" Anyway...we decided on a beach theme for the kids bathroom and we scored lots of great stuff. We found cute coral and white polka dot towels, darling coral and white geo rugs, and some great stuff for this random shelf on one side of the mirror:

Kaeli and I were so proud of this shelf. (The clock is from Hobby Lobby, glass jars from Michael's and the shells and sign from TJ). But after putting everything in its place, we still had one bare wall. So I looked around online a bunch for a cool beach themed sign -- I was actually thinking beach huts, but I couldn't find anything in the right colors. So, that's about the time when I remembered that I was a quilter, and I could just whip up a cute quilted wall hanging. I know, why didn't it occur to me sooner? So I pulled some fabric from the stash and whipped up this little wall hanging! 

I looked at a lot of beach hut themed fabric and art for ideas and then mocked these up in Inkscape. 

I decided on solids for the huts and random prints for the doors and embellishments. That made it fun to give the huts some texture with thread. I made all the huts first and then attached them to the quilted background. I used lots of zig-zag stitches rather than my usual blanket stitch because I wanted it to feel a tiny bit more shabby. Not sure that I accomplished that. 


This is the second background I made for the quilt. The first had a solid blue for the sky and the same for the sand, but once I quilted it, I was not in love with the quilting I had chosen. So, I scrapped the first one and tried again. The clouds were made from a pantograph, and the grid was drawn on first with a water soluble marker and then quilted using a ruler. Luckily the second attempt was better. 

For the second one, I also decided to add this little sand castle and shells. I kind of love it. I thought about adding a bucket and shovel too, but I didn't want to get too crazy :) I found a picture online that I liked, printed it the right size, and traced it onto the fabric with a water-soluble marker. Quilting it was interesting because those little shells are tiny and I had to go over almost everything twice so it would show up! 

Also added some seagulls. I think I did that lower one like 3 times and I kept messing it up, so finally I just left it. ;)

And here it is in it's place of honor in the girls bathroom! Kinda fun! And the girls like it. :) I may eventually get a cute hanger for it, but I think it's good for now.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Leopard Print Quilt

We left Las Vegas at the end of March. My initial plan was to stay until the end of the school year so my daughter didn't have to switch schools in the middle of the year, but it just didn't make sense financially. So we put our house on the market, packed up our stuff, and as soon as school let out for Spring Break, we left. Of course this messed up my time-table for making a quilt for my daughter's 1st grade teacher. I should have had 2 more months! Her teacher was fabulous --so sweet to the kids. She would hug them every morning in the line and called them "her little love bugs." I loved her. My daughter loved her. She had to have a quilt! So here it is:

Her teacher loves animal prints and the color pink. The original plan was to use lots of animal print fabrics in black and white and pink and put it into some sort of amazing design. So I bought a boat-load of different animal print fabrics. However, on my truncated time-table, I couldn't make them work. I just wasn't loving anything I came up with. This happens to me all the time, but usually I'm not on a crazy deadline so I just let it marinate until the right idea pops up. Unfortunately, I did not have that luxury this time. So I had to scrap it and come up with a new idea, that sadly, did not end up using any of the fabric I bought! But don't worry, those animal prints are now residing comfortably in my stash, waiting for their turn. :)

So somehow, after staring at a gazillion leopard print fabric swatches online, it finally occurred to me to just make a giant leopard print quilt. YES! My daughter had also told me she wanted hearts on it somewhere, so I made one of the spots look like a heart. And then I realized how much some of the spots look like hearts anyway, so I threw in a few more. And I didn't reinvent the wheel on this design...I just found a picture of a leopard print that I liked online, pasted the picture into Inkscape (of course) and used the paint bucket to fill in the shapes so I could edit them and move them around until I liked it.

This quilt is appliqued (using fusible web and a blanket stitch) on a big piece of white fabric- it's 58" x 72" finished. All the spots were cut out on a Silhouette Cameo - this made it so fast and much easier than my usual applique method of printing and tracing and ironing and cutting. And since I design it all on the computer first anyway, it is easy to set up the cuts. I am loving that little machine! The fabrics I ended up using were Crosshatch Sketch in charcoal and lipstick by Timeless Treasures. I almost used solids, but decided a little bit of texture couldn't hurt. 

I backed it in matching pink minky at the request of my daughter and quilted it using a great pantograph called Zebra Stripes. I was worried about mixing the leopard print quilt design with the zebra quilting, but I think it turned out ok. I love the way the quilting looks on the back!

I made a label for this one...nothing too great, but I did get to use some of those animal print fabrics after all! I asked my daughter what she wanted me to put on the label and she told me she thought it should say "you are a gem!" So that was added. I used the pink sketch fabric from the front for the binding. Then I took it downtown to the Smith Center with my cute friend Christine for a little photo shoot! The colored backdrop is a fantastic outdoor sculpture called "Pipe Dream". Love it! It looks so cool at night too! 

Oh, and last but not least, some BIG news...I have finally gotten myself an instagram account! I know, I am so slow on the technological trends! Anyway, feel free to follow along if you like (the name is ahhhquilting). Now you may be able to see some quilts in progress, fabric I'm loving---whatever! I am planning to post there in between posting finished quilts here-- and a bit more frequently than I post here ...which shouldn't be hard! Hope everyone is having a quilty summer! :-)