Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Believe Circle July Blocks

The assigned block for July comes from a tutorial over at Fresh Lemon Quilts. Allison is our quilter for this month and she wanted us to make these blocks using turquoise/teal/aqua, orange, and white.

The center of the block is supposed to be a focus of sorts, incorporating all of the colors if possible. I only had two prints in my stash with more than one color and both of them happen to be stripes.

I'm always happy to revisit my paper piecing skills and enjoyed making these blocks.

I really like the secondary design that is going on with the oranges and can't wait to see how Allison decides to arrange them in her quilt.

These will be shipped off to their new home tomorrow.

Can't wait to see what is in store for August's blocks.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Quilt to Celebrate Independence

My first born and only daughter moved away from home recently. She is a sometimes quilter who has to run with those bursts of inspiration whenever they happen. Most of her quilting projects have been as gifts for others. After she graduated from college last December, she decided it was time to make a quilt for herself, one that she could take with her into the big wide world whenever that day came along.

When the days started counting down to her move, the anticipation and preparation of moving took over every other activity. She had designed the quilt. She had pieced the top. We had even worked together on selecting the backing fabrics. A few days before she moved, she asked, "Mom, will you finish this for me. I just didn't have time." Of course I'll finish it. It has been great separation therapy for me.

She decided to play with the contrast of warm and cool colors in her design and stash buster her way through most of my fabric, making half square triangles with a warm side and cool side. Then she played with it on the design wall until she settled on this asymmetrical square in a square design.

Her living room furniture is very plain and neutral so this quilt is going to bring a bright splash of color to the room.

The fun striped back is just another great way to make use of the fabric on hand. Because this quilt is so bright and colorful, the quilting is a simple straight line design.

This quilt even gets a special label. Happy birthday sweet daughter of mine. Love this quilt. Love your independence. Love your life. I'm calling this quilt "Celebrating Independence". Thank you for allowing me to create this one with you.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Believe Circle Quilt Finish

This Independence Day long weekend gave me some much needed sewing time.

The idea for this quilt started back in May when it was my turn to be the quilter for the do. Good Stitches Believe Circle. Here's where I first wrote about it. Eight other stitchers contributed two blocks each to this quilt. The block comes from Sew, Mama, Sew BOM2. Those were some good mail days as the blocks began to arrive.

Originally, I thought I would use white or cream thread for the entire quilt, but one of the stitchers sent a special surprise with their blocks.
And it was filled with these beauties:
Once the blocks were arranged, I decided that sticking with white or cream thread for all of the quilting was going to make it too pretty. I didn't want "pretty", I wanted "fun". These brightly colored Aurifil 50 weight threads were just the touch of "fun" this quilt needed.
I did stick with Aurifil 50 weight cream thread to anchor the quilt with three lines of quilting going diagonally through the colored blocks. Each one of the spirals that occupies the white space is stitched in a different color of thread.
To finish it off, it is bound with a black and bright geometric print.
To keep it symmetrical, there are sixteen blocks on the front in a four by four design. The two extra blocks make a great statement on the back so that this quilt can be enjoyed from either side.
Each of the spirals is free motion quilted, which showed me that I need many more hour of practice before my hand will be steady enough for a larger design. I used a blue water soluble pen to draw the spiral before quilting. I can freehand fairly well in small area, but these spirals are about fifteen inches wide. Those drawn lines helped keep the design relatively consistent.
The binding was machine stitched to the front and hand stitched to the back. I know a lot of quilters love the speed of a binding sewn completely by machine. However, I'm a sucker for the slow finish. The binding is the last hurrah of being able to handle a quilt while it's still in progress. I relish that time to quietly hand sew the binding. After I finished this one though, I started thinking about sending it out into the world, and that it had the potential to be handled roughly. So I went back and machine stitched in the ditch from the front to catch the back binding and secure it much better than any hand stitching ever could. It' now ready to be wadded and drug and sat on and snuggled and whatever its future owner deems worthy.

This quilt is being sent to My Very Own Blanket who will put it in the hands of a foster child in need.

This was such a fun quilt to make. I can't think of a better way to spend those few extra hours this holiday weekend gave me.
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