Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bright Blocks - A Finished Believe Circle Quilt

It seems like I have been spending lots of time catching up, and this quilt is no exception. The blocks for this quilt were made in January 2017 by the Believe Circle members of do. Good Stitches. They were easy, bright, fun blocks, which were a good way for us to start out the year.

Originally, I wanted to graffiti quilt this project from the back, but I chickened out. I will get brave enough to try that eventually. Instead, I quilted each block with its own design, with very few repeats. The center three squares on each block are consistently quilted with pebbles to bring some cohesion to this bright and crazy quilt.

I used thread from my stash to quilt these. Both the top and bottom threads are Sulky Blendables. The top thread was mostly red with some teal mixed in. The bottom thread was mostly blue with a little red mixed in. It felt good to see some thread stash getting used up. I had several favorite designs in the quilting. This sun was one of them.

This funky grid was a good one, too.

These flowers are a favorite to quilt. I used this design twice. The first time was on a busier block and it did not show up as good. I like it on the solid.

With 35 blocks in the quilt, the more I quilted, the more challenging it became to think of unique designs. The yellow block was supposed to look like fans so it was a happy moment when I realized they look a bit like citrus fruit on that bright yellow.

The mustache block was the very last block I quilted. I was out of any original thought so hey, why not quilt mustaches on the mustache fabric. This was a very fun ending to the quilting on this project.

The backing is a watery fabric from my stash. It was just the right size. There was a time that I would intentionally choose busy fabric for backings so that the quilting would not show. I'm glad I don't feel the need to do that anymore and I was wishing I had gone with a solid so all those fun designs would show up on the back, too. The green binding is another stash buster. This quilt finishes at 42 inches x 50 inches.

Usually, I completely forget about adding a label until the quilt is completely finished and I have to hand stitch it on. This time I remembered ahead of time. I fused the label to the quilt back before I layered it for quilting. The quilt stitches should hold it in place. These pictures were taken before washing so we will see how it holds up.

This quilt will be heading to My Very Own Blanket soon, where it will find its way into the hands of a foster child who needs a little extra something to brighten his/her day.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Finished Camera Quilt

Six months in the making, this quilt is finished and on its way to its new home.

Late last year, my sister-in-law asked if I would make a quilt for her daughter, my niece, for her birthday. I had been wanting to make a quilt for my niece for a long time and I knew I could get it finished in a six-month window. The only criteria given to me was that her favorite color is teal. I wrote about the start of this quilt here.

My niece is a professional photographer so it was easy to decide on the camera block. And what a great stash buster, too. As I always do, I started with a very narrow palette of teal and quickly realized that I needed to expand. This was both to add more interest to the quilt and also because there was only so much teal in my stash.

Each block finishes at 10" x 7.5". Without borders the top measures 60"x75". The circles that make the lens of each block are fused on with two-sided fusible interfacing and then stitched around with a tight zig zag stitch.

I knew I wanted borders. This quilt had to have borders because I wanted it to add a special message for my niece. It's really her message. It is how she thinks of each and every customer she deals with in her photography business. The lettering is from QuietPlay's Craftsy pattern Just My Type lowercase pattern.

You are raven. Her first name happens to be Raven. I hope she knows that the message she delivers in her business applies so accurately to her as well.

Deciding on the quilting design is always the most challenging part of a project for me. I thought about doing some sort of camera-centric design on each block, but in the end, decided to go for texture. The blocks really speak for themselves. Rather than free motion stitch wavy lines, I used a decorative scallop stitch on my sewing machine and quilted each line with my walking foot. I started with five or six lines of stitching on a row of blocks, but could see that it really needed more to have a defined texture. Each row of cameras has twelve rows of stitching. This sort of quilting is tough on the shoulders if too much is done in a sitting, so I set myself a goal of completing one row of cameras a day. Even then, I usually did six rows in the morning and six rows at night.

Swirls are quilted in the negative space in the border. I love swirls and it had been a while since I quilted any. Each of the four corners is quilted with one giant swirl.

Small meander quilting was done all around the letters to make them stand out a little more. The binding is a dark teal that is also used in a couple of camera blocks.

Rather than perpetuate the camera theme on the back, I looked for backing fabric that emphasized another of my niece's interests, Renaissance fairs. She loves a good costume and in addition to attending them regularly, she worked at one for several years. I sent her mom several suggestions for backing fabric and she liked this one right away. I was really nervous about the quilting being too busy for the backing, but since I went with a blue thread for the quilting, I think it avoids overwhelming the print of the fabric. This fabric is Magic - Castle Plans in Navy by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller.

The finished quilt is 70" x 85".

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