I am working with a small group of quilting friends on a series of group quilts. We’ll each take a turn using the others as quilting slaves. First up is Lisa! At QuiltCon she fell in love with the group quilt submitted by Krista Withers, ‘Define Circle for Me’. Lisa gave each of us three sets of fabric – two sets included Heather Ross fabrics – and instructions. We have to make three mono-chromatic blocks inspired by a circle. I’m actually ahead of schedule and have mine done and ready to hand over! Yay! From my least favorite to most, here they are….
Yellow Circle block for Lisa
Orange Circle block for Lisa
This packet included three Heather Ross charm squares. The one square of the gnome fabric had one gnome barely standing on the edge and another barely peeking in from the side! I wish I had taken a picture of it! I included as much of the gnomes as I could.
Lisa actually entrusted me with her revered fish fabrics! I feel so honored! I LOVE this block! I realize there is a large shadow in the corner of this photo! Oops!
I hope everyone else finishes up soon! I am excited to see how Lisa puts this quilt together. In the meantime …. I’m up next! I have my concept and I’ve started collecting fabric for it. I just have to write up guidelines and encourage everyone else to finish up Lisa’s blocks!
I am the lucky person that gets to be the chairperson for Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild’s swaps and challenges. We are getting ready for our next challenge that will be announced at the April meeting. I have been working with Michael Miller Fabrics for this one! It pays to talk to strangers at QuiltCon!
Last Friday my dog started barking – she only barks at cats and people near our front door! Lo and behold … the UPS man! Look at what he dropped at my front door!
Michael Miller Box!
Better yet, take a peek at what was inside!
Mirror Ball Dot!
I am so excited about this challenge! I am looking forward to seeing the results! Mirror Ball Dot and Cotton Couture, that’s about all I can say for now … more details to come in April!
I took one all-day workshop while I was at QuiltCon – ‘Get Your Curve On’ with Sherri Lynn Wood. In the morning, we started by randomly cutting wedges and piecing them together. The first 30 minutes of sewing was in silence – which was great because my friend, Lisa, couldn’t complain about me putting my trash in her little bin! The morning was a breeze!
Working on composition
After moving things around too many times, I ended up with this.
I think I probably like the first layout better, but I kind of lost track and just went with what I had. I got it all pieced the day after I got home. Yes, it’s all pieced, no applique. Lisa had the idea to use Mirror Ball Dot fabric for the background. I’ll admit, I stole the idea. I really liked the dark background of the floor, so I went with black. I finished quilting and binding and it has taken up residence in my foyer. For the binding, I used the silver Mirror Ball Dot and a piece of orange silk. So, here it is…Thanks, Sherri!
All Quilted and Hanging up!
With the owls, tree, and foliage complete it was time for a final look at the top. I guess those owls are going to fall off of the branches without any feet. I was kind of ready to work with something other than fabric, so off to see what I had in fabric paint. I pulled out my Lumiere paints and added the talons.
An Owl with Talons
I also thought their beaks didn’t show up in the photo very well, so I darkened them with fabric ink. It’s kind of scary taking ink and paint to an almost complete quilt top when you’re under a deadline!!
I felt like the quilt needed some kind of border, but I really wanted the piecing to continue through the border. The obvious solution was to use a sheer fabric, in this case chiffon. I went with that because it wasn’t quite as sheer as the organza. If I had to do it again, I’d use organza … I’d like it to be a little more sheer. Then I added a small inside border using a light gray print.
Completed Challenge 2 Quilt
All-in-all I’m pretty happy with the quilt and can hardly wait to have the time to quilt it! But now I’m working on the next challenge. It is a quilt with the theme “Opposites Attract”. I have a rough sketch and have started gathering fabric.
Once the background was completed, I added the owls and the trees. Then rearranged everything many times! Then I thought it needed a little foliage. I didn’t want to add much because I didn’t want to detract from the background or the owls. This is the start.
Plain Foliage – Yawn!
I little boring, I thought. So, I added angelina fibers to highlight the leaves. I pulled apart the fibers and piled them on top of the leaves. Then I added snippets of the red areas of the challenge fabric.
Angelina Piled Up
Covered it with the silicon pressing sheet and ironed it.
After that, I trimmed everything up. Angelina only adheres to itself, so I gently lifted the angelina and added little pieces of fusible web to adhere it to the fabric.
A few more details to go!
My goal was to get the owls completed before going on family vacation! With the owls completed and home from vacation, it was time to get started on the quilt top. I taped a piece of paper larger than I wanted the final top to the wall. Taped on my owl sketches, drew the lines for the changes in light, and drew the tree. Here is a picture, but I don’t know how well you can see the sketching.
Line Drawing of the Quilt
Next, I traced the large sections of the background where the light changes and cut them out. I knew would have to paper piece the background. I pulled a lot of blue to purple fabrics from my stash – many of them older than I care to admit! Divided them into two piles of light and dark. Then started randomly piecing them on the paper.
Paper Piecing the Background
Once I had all the background pieces done, I laid out the owls just to see how they looked. One thing I learned while sewing these very large, paper-backed sections together: I can sew standing up! That really made it a lot easier.
to be continued …
The design of the owls was completely dependent upon the challenge fabric. Off to the printer to copy the circles that I wanted to use onto paper. These are my original drawings for the owls.
Original Owl Designs
Although I love hand applique, there just wasn’t time for that! So, I went with my favorite fusible – Steam a Seam. After many years of reversing the design and tracing it on to the paper side of fusible, I wised up a while ago and now trace it directly to the fusible … that way I don’t have to reverse the pattern. Another bonus is that the design is on the fusible. So, once I have it ironed to the fabric I can peel off the paper and the image is left behind. No need to find the paper scissors! The only time I use the paper method is if I am using a dark fabric … then I need the paper so I can see the outline.
These owls are a little bland. So I cut out a bunch of 1/2″ circles from the challenge fabric to dress them up. I happened upon a Sizzix PaddlePunch years ago and bought it just in case I ever would need such a thing. It pretty much a handheld diecut. I position it over the circle I want to cut, take a hammer to it, and voila … a little circle. It works best if the paper is still on the fusible. I have managed to use this on three projects to date!
Sizzix Paddle Punch
Here are some of the tiny circles.
Here are the scraps!
Fabric Scraps – after using the paddle punch
And, finally, the owls all dressed up!
All Dressed Up
End the end, I thought the beaks didn’t photograph well. Since this contest is all about the photograph, I used ink to darken the beaks – but that didn’t happen until the quilt top was completed.
Coming up … designing the quilt top.
About a week or so before the voting for the first McCall’s Quilt Design Star challenge closed, I recieved a small package. In the package was a piece of fabric with a note saying it was just in case I made it to the second challenge. Obviously, the next challenge was going to be a fabric challenge.
Challenge 2 Fabric
It is a very busy fabric, but the circles are what stood out to me. I could see them being terrific owl eyes!
Once I found out that I was moving on to the second challenge, I got out my graph paper. This is my original sketch.
To be continued …..
I’ve been hearing about the re-release of the Mirror Ball Dot fabric line for the last couple of weeks. Today I found a blog post about it – here. I am reminded of the quilts that I made with the original line. So here’s the story …
My sister and my mom both bought kits (called Good Cents) with the entire original line of the Mirror Ball Dot fabric. I loved the fabric, but I’m just not a pattern kind of a girl. So, I told them that I’d like to have all of their scraps. The next time that I visited my mom, there on the dresser was a bag of scraps. To clarify, there on the dresser was a sandwich-sized bag of the shreds of fabric that they trimmed to straighten their cuts. Oh, my sister is SO funny! Hidden away in the sewing room was the real bag of scraps! Well, I couldn’t let my sister have the last laugh, so I made a quilt from her ‘scraps’.
This quilt is only 7″x10″. I guess I really did get the last laugh, because I gave my sister this quilt and borrowed it back later to put in a show. Somehow, I am still in possession of the quilt (until she sees this)! I made a king-size quilt for my bed, but I now realize that I don’t have a picture of it. I’ll have to take one and post that next.
There may be another Mirror Ball Dot quilt in my future ….
My entry for the McCall’s Design Star competition is due by mid-night tonight. I actually sent mine in last week – miracles never cease. It’s has been really nice to enjoy these last few days knowing that I didn’t have to stress over a deadline. I need work ahead more often!
This is the sample of the Amish Star Block that I made after I finished the top. I did this to show how the block translates to the final design.
Amish Star Block
In making this quilt, I discovered just how dense the Shades of Grey fabric is. I used one to make the circle in the background of the quilt. I made the bias strip and realized it would be very difficult to make it conform to the shape I needed. Starch to the rescue! I just lightly sprayed the strip with starch and pressed it directly on my full scale pattern to get it to conform to the arc. It worked very well! I used the same method to shape the applique in the center of the quilt – it is also fabric from the Shades of Grey line.
This is also the first time I used a Frixion pen on a quilt top. I used it to transfer my design on to the background. Then I was easily able to place the applique pieces on; sew them down; and iron to remove the marking. I think I’m sold. I definitely try it again.
Voting begins Tuesday, June 19th. I’ll add a button to vote once the quilts are available for voting. In the meantime, here’s my entry.
Design Star - Challenge 1: "Solar Flare"