Monday, January 31, 2011

Guest Blogger on Quilty Pleasures

I'm a guest blogger on the Quiltmaker blog called Quilty Pleasures.
Please check out my interview with Rhapsody in Bloom designer Doug Leko.



Sunday, January 30, 2011

And.... a stash report.

I've watched so many others do their stash reports with great interest, but I've never really done one myself. Still, I really need to slim down my fabric habit. And what I learned during my years in the business realm is that what you measure gets acted upon. So if my goal is to use more fabric and to buy less, I'm more likely to act on that goal if I measure it and track it.
That being said, I'll just run a little experiament. This year I'm going to issue a monthly stash report.
These won't be the most riveting of posts. Feel free to skip them if you wish. Or you could cheer me on with lovely comments. Actually I like that idea best. Yes, please do. Leave me lots of lovely comments. And to make this post a little less boring I'll conclude it with a blast from the past photograph!

Used this Month: 12.75 yards
Used year to Date: 12.75 yards
Finished "Rhapsody in Bloom" by Antler Quilt Designs for Quiltmaker magazine
Finished two Valentines placemats
Added this Month: 6.75 yards
Added Year to Date: 6.75 yards
Net Used for 2011: -6 yards

Picture from the Vault:

Son, age 5 (in picture) at Sister's Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon (2008)



Friday, January 28, 2011

Rhapsody in Bloom (and a giveaway)

This creative pattern was designed for Quiltmaker magazine by a teenager, Doug Leko. I was quite fortunate to have had the opportunity to interview him. You can read that interview at the Quiltmaker Blog, Quilty Pleasures. I believe it will be published tomorrow, or the next day.
Many of the other members of the Scrap Squad finished their quilting completely and they look fabulous! I have the quilting still left to do.

We learned about our first pattern just after Christmas, when my spirits were high and my pocket book was low. Have you ever found your self in that position? More inspiration than financing! I dug deep into my stash and found enough scraps to make a twin size RIB. (that's Rhapsody in Bloom ~ love the acronyms)

I was initially worried I wouldn't have enough contrast, colors, fabrics... you name it, I fretted about it! When I completed my first block, it was SO SCRAPPY, it was hard to see the actual pattern.

But I had faith that with more than 20 blocks in the twin size, the repeat would show up. In the end I am incredibly happy with the final quilt! And my daughter is thrilled with a new quilt for her bed.

I used approximately 32 different fabrics. The largest cut of fabric was a fat quarter and my smallest cut was a 2 1/2 inch square. I didn't use a unifying fabric to tie the project together and give your eye a place to rest ~ with my fabrics, it's all go, go, go!

One of my favorite elements of quilting is seeing how many incredibly unique ways one pattern can look fabulous. As a part of the Scrap Squad I get to be a part of seeing that process first hand. I am so fortunate to work with such a talented group of women that all look at the same pattern I do and see something radically different. I am inspired and amazed when I see the many interpretations of the same pattern! You can browse all the photos at the Scrap Squad Photo Gallery. I think you'll be just as inspired as I am!

I hope you'll take the time to check out everyone's blogs:

Oh, and I almost forgot. The designer of the quilt, Doug Leko, is having a little giveaway on his blog ~ but it ends today, by the end of the day! So head over to his blog: Antler Quilt Designs Please tell him Dionne sent you!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Last Sneek Peek before the reveal...

On the 28th I'll be able to show off my quilt for Quiltmaker magazine. It's a delicious pattern designed by a teenage boy. Yes, you heard me right!

I have two teenage girls and I know how unique it is for a teenager, not only to be interested in quilting, but to then take the step further and design unique and wonderful patterns AND THEN take that talent and turn it into a fabulous little business.

I had the great opportunity to chat with this young man, and I'll be sharing that interview with you on the 29th. Come back soon!

Meanwhile, here is a little peek at the loveliness to come!



Sunday, January 23, 2011

Crazy Patch Snafu!

My Flannel crazy patch quilt has been my sew-between this month. I know that putting it on my UFO challenge meant that I should actually make it a primary project and not a secondary one, but my other commitments come first.

So there I had all my cut pieces laying nicely next to my Pfaff, ready to pick up and sew between my the pieces in my other quilt. But I get moving and grooving on my machine and my hands start grabbing fabric before my brain starts thinking and soon the pedal is to the metal, or in my case, the wood floor and I think to myself, it's not midnight yet. Let's burn through that crazy pile and finish up some more of good old #6.

Next morning I come down to see my progress only to discover I had grabbed the wrong pieces and sewn them together. 28 flannel pieces all sewn wrong!

So much for "blowing through the pile". I'm not looking forward to un-stitching that pile. Two steps forward, one step back.



Friday, January 21, 2011

Quiltmaker Sneak Peek

So I mentioned earlier that I'm working with Quiltmaker magazine on their Scrap Squad. Well they've given us our first assignment and it's a FUN one!

This first quilt assignment is for a pattern called Rhapsody in Bloom. I can't wait for you to see it! It's a quilt designed by a teenage boy. It’s a clever block that seems to form sashing when joined to other blocks.

I can't show you much of the pattern yet, but I'll show you the colors I worked with. I used all scraps from many, many other projects. When you see my quilt, you'll hear Calypso music playing in the background.
Next week I'll be able to share a bigger sneak peek and then on the 28th I'll post the entire quilt top, with links to the other Scrap Squad members, a link to Quilty Pleasures, and I'm hoping to share an interview with the pattern designer on the 29th.



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It wasn't in the Small Print...

Before I get a bee in my bonnet, let me just ask you a question. Have you ever bought a pattern, only to find you had to pay extra to get the border pattern?

I thought I would like to learn more about machine embroidery; something I have done very little of. I happily signed up for a 'Block of the Month' embroidery class at my local quilt shop.

It's called "Goose Tracks" by HoopSisters. The pattern and class was $150. The paperwork that you get before the class starts shows a few colorways and a line drawing of the pattern both with and without borders. The one with borders looked much better to me. It's a simple border that finishes off the wall hanging quite nicely. I figured I would put the extra effort in and finish the optional border.

The first day of class, I found out that if I want to do the border, I have to pay an additional $45! I don't mind telling you, I felt rather cheated. I mean really, I've participated in many BOMs over the years and I've NEVER had to pay more for an 'optional' border, especially after I already paid $150 for the pattern!

Yes, therein lies the difference. No where in all the paperwork does it actually SAY that I have to PAY MORE for the border. What it does reference is the "Optional Border".

I feel like I don't ever want to buy anything from the HoopSisters again. I think they were misleading, and they should have made it very clear from the onset that the border pattern is $45 extra -- even if not all of the pictures included the border. Am I over reacting here? What do you think?

Anyhow, I have learned a bit and have finished two blocks:



Monday, January 17, 2011

January Greenpiece

This month the centers uses the pieces we saved from last month. The rest is just a duplicate of what we did before.

Assemble on point.

For two more blocks!

And the alternate colorway:



Monday, January 3, 2011

#6 has a ways to go!

The first number of the 2011 UFO Challenge has been issued. The first project we will attempt is #6. In my list, #6 is a Crazy Flannel Quilt. I pulled out my project box to take a look at what state this project is in.

I started this project before I had children. My oldest is now thirteen. It's old. I took a look at the directions to figure out my next move.

These directions are quite funny. It was a class I had taken at a quilt shop called Country Sewing Center in Elk Grove, California. I live several states away now, and I don't know if that shop is still open. But if it is, and you live around there, check it out. It was a nice little shop. Just in case you didn't get a good look at the directions, take another quick look.

Do you see what is missing? No where in any of those sheets does it tell me what size the finished quilt is meant to be. It doesn't say what size the block should finish to, nor how many blocks are required. I figure since it's a crazy quilt, and there is only one block to make it all depends on what I decide. But still the directions are very vague, with statements like - "...and will be demonstrated if you don't understand."

I also found, and this is so amusing to me, I found mylar templates! I haven't used mylar templates in... well, I guess in about thirteen years! Thank goodness I have finished up all the cutting because I don't think I would want to deal with cutting from a template!

There were also twelve finished blocks that measure approximately 10 inches and haven't yet been squared up. My son asked me to include his robot dog in my picture of the blocks.

There are also enough pieces cut to make an additional 28 blocks. So I think I thats where I'll start, piecing 28 more blocks.



Sunday, January 2, 2011

Snowy Night is Finished

You know how snow falling can look like fluffy little balls? Well, that's what I pictured the border would look like when I bought this fabric. Sometimes things don't look in reality like they do in your head. The border fabric background is too dark and the fluffy balls of snow just look like polka dots (nothing wrong with that... usually) Yeah, the border still bothers me, but it's done.

Here is some detail of the quilting I did. I used a metallic silver to machine quilt snowflakes. I've never used metallic thread before so there was a learning curve!

I used my Accuquilt cutting system to cut all the pieces and the applique snowflakes and machine appliqued them on the quilt.

This picture shows some closer detail on the appliqued snowflakes.

I think I'll add more quilting, and perhaps outline the snowflakes in the metallic thread and then I'll be done. I'm pleased with the results, but I think it looked a lot better in my head. Seems to be a running theme with me!