Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015 Small Group Challenge: Rectangles

For 2015 our small group challenge required us to pick a color that we would use in the challenge each month; then at the end of the year I will put them together as a quilt top.

The color I picked was Jade. Kevin told me I couldn't pick pink because it wouldn't be a challenge.  I have to say, this will be difficult to work with and incorporate other colors!

This month's challenge was rectangles. I made a simple, modern block using improvised piecing. I didn't have a plan when I started.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Dancing Butterfly #3 and #4

Two more butterflies done (there are 12 total).  Sorry about the weirdly rotated pictures. There is no way to fix them in

Butterfly number 3 features Echo Shell and Zigzag Path. 

I really like both of these designs and I am getting a lot better at keeping consistent spacing. It is fun to see how much I've grown in my ability to quilt over the past few years.

 Butterfly #4 features sharp stippling and bamboo forest.  I found the sharp stippling to be really challenging. I'm not sure mine really looks like what the design was set up to be, which is more flame like.  I'm so used to either all curves, or sharp zig-zags, that trying to make curves with points was really though. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

2014 Color Challenge Quilts

In 2014 my small quilt group came up with a challenge. Each month, someone would bring a fabric or collection of fabrics to act as color inspiration. Then all the members of the group would create a 12" quilt showcasing those colors.  It was amazing to see what different people did each month.

Although I didn't intend to, my quilts seemed to have a few themes running through them. I grouped them by technique, but you'll notice a lot of circles and stripes too! Here are my twelve quilts from 2014. I may have shared some of these before, but never as a group.

Two quilts with stitch and slash.  I love the red one!

And then there were applique quilts. Here the dresden plate is my favorite, but I also love the raw edge arrows.

The next group is improvised piecing. I love all of these, but the gray with pink is my favorite of the 12.  It is a lot of fun to piece with no idea of where you are going!

 And then a few odd balls. Painting instead of piecing, quilt and piece at the same time, woven fabric, and then my very first try at a mosaic technique (the flowers are from where I spilled something when we met at Panera...)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

New for 2015: Dancing Butterfly

I finished the quilt that I showed in the Mosaic tutorial. I do need to post it soon (though, as infrequent as I post- is anyone reading?)

But first, Leah Day has struck again. In a great follow up to Building Blocks Quilt Along, she has released the dancing butterfly quilt. This pattern has amazing video support- you get a password when you get the pattern, and you can watch her every step of the way. I don't really plan to watch the videos, making it an expensive pattern- but I wouldn't even be quilting without Leah, so I think it is well worth it.
Even for a semi-experienced quilter, this is a great project. Especialy since I quilt such small scale most of the time, this is forcing me to work on my large scale quilting, something I'm not great at.
I picked fabrics from the $1.99 sale at so I didn't have much choice, and unfortunately my thread doesn't show up great on the busy fabrics, but I think that will just add texture and color to the quilt. The back is a really busy pattern, so the quilting won't show up much there at all.

So now, explanation of the pictures
The pattern is set up where you quilt two "design blocks"  and then use those patterns to quilt the butterfly square.

The first up: Paisley and Ocean Currents. You can't really see them in the design blocks- so I didn't do close ups. Paisley was a real challenge- filling space with a large design. And Ocean Currents I kept having thread issues, so it took me a long time to get through too.

And set two: Zippling and Feathers.
I didn't do close up of zippling, because it's just a stippling design, nothing exciting. The feathers I am mostly happy with. I used bounce back feathers, a method I've finally started to get better at.
The one thing with this quilt is that it is quilt-as-you-go so there is a binding that covers 1/4" of the edge. I was so nervous about having my feathers covered up, I did the border ones much too small. Since this is not a show quilt, I am not going to rip them out to fix them, but blah.