Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Black & White LUV

I know that I'm not alone in loving Black & White fabric.  I nearly had to beat off two potential thieves at the STLMQG Sew-In this past Saturday, because I was working on my newest project.

I have been wanting to make a Black & White quilt for years and have slowly been collecting interesting pieces here and there.  One never really knows how much Black & White fabric they need for a quilt, so I just continued to collect it...until I finally had all of this.

A few weeks ago, I finally made my mind up and decided to make Elizabeth Hartman's "Snapshots" quilt from her book The Practical Guide to Patchwork.

I started cutting strips of fabric, until I sort of said to myself that I had enough.  Let me tell didn't make a dent in the above stash.  I way OVER-estimated how much fabric I would need to buy.  I guess I'll be able to make multiple Black & White quilts :-)

During the STLMQG Sew-In, I began sewing the strips together into groupings and then subcut them accordingly.  By the end of the day, I was able to finally piecing 1 block together.

They have gone together very quickly and since then, I have pieced 20 blocks and run out of strips to sew together.  So I have a decision to make, is 20 enough??  I'll have to lay it out and see if I want to break out the rotary cutter and start cutting strips again.

In the meantime, here is what they look like:

Ladies (you know who you are) Hands off....hehehehe

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bee Blocks -September

All is well here in St. Louis, the weather has finally turned and the signs of Autumn are beginning to show.

I've been working on my Bee blocks for September, and I have several to share.


Simply Strings Bee:    Stephanie asked us to make this block using this tutorial.

do. Good Stitches {a Charity Bee}:   I'm part of the Trust circle which is making quilts for My Very Own Blanket.  We each made 2 Card Trick blocks using blue and green.  Tutorial here.

Finally, for the Lou Bee last month, I made these for Juli Ann.

As you can tell it's been a busy month; but I've enjoyed exploring these new block ideas.  Looking forward to seeing what in-store for October.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I have a confession...

I am not a very prolific quilter and that has recently started to bother me.

Here's a fine example:  I was walking through Target the other night and came across a beautiful Queen size quilt.  It was all white, and was filled with straightline stitching about an inch apart.  It was on clearance for a mere $35.  I absolutely hate the comforter that is on my bed (a desperation purchase from Kohl's about 3 years ago).  As I'm holding this quilt from Target, my heart is saying...You are a Quilter, make yourself a freakin' quilt.  Then my head starts saying (or was it my Sister)...Yeah; but can you make a Queen size for $35.  I put the Target quilt in my cart and hee-hawed over it the entire rest of the store, only to eventually purchase it.  Yet the quilt is still in it's bag with the receipt, as I still haven't made up my mind.

Here's an additional example:  I am the President of the STLMQG; yet I have rarely shown anything during Show & Tell.  Why you ask?  Because aside from the guild challenges, most everything I have made to date has been for a bee or swap that I seem to send away before I can even share it with the guild.  Plus, I have yet to make anything for myself, much less the family members I keep saying will get a quilt someday.  I see some of my fellow members who have a lot less time on their hands, whip out beautiful quilts in what seems like no time and I think to myself...what am I doing wrong.

Here's what happened...when I got involved in Modern Quilting about a year or so ago, I literally jumped into it with both feet. Participating in way too many swaps and bees on Flickr.  While I loved every minute of it, I've realized that it has left me with no time for myself. 

So, I've started cutting back.  I'm involved in alot fewer swaps and bees now.  Plus, I've actually started on some things that I have been putting off.

Here is a photo of my "in process" table.  There are alot of little projects sitting on it, including a block for do. Good Stitches, a block for Simply Strings and a bag of Tula Pink waiting to be turned into a block for Jamie, as part of our Lou Bee (bee).  Yet, you see that Innocent Crush fabric up top...that's a quilt that has been on my radar for a while.  And those Black and White strips...yep, there's another project for me. 

I am determined to finish one if not more things just for me before the year is out.  It might sound a little selfish; but sometimes I think it's okay to be a little selfish.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

STLMQG Habitat Challenge - Part 3

If you don't want to know what my STLMQG Habitat Challenge quilt looks like, do not read or scroll any further.  Spoiler Alert!!!

Normally I would not reveal my Challenge Quilt this early; but I'm so excited that it is done, and not because it was a headache; quite the contrary.  There is no way that I could wait an entire month to share this with all of you...besides you'll probably have forgotten about this post by then :-)

The STLMQG received our Habitat Challenge fabric in July and our finished quilt, measuring larger then 36 x 36 inches is due in October.  Normally about now, I would be pulling together an idea; but I was inspired and started early.  If you had been reading the other post I wrote about this quilt ( Part 1 ) and ( Part 2 ), you'll remember how I talked about some of the challenges I was facing. 

  • First that I chose pink as my background, a color that is usually not in my vocabulary; but seemed to work. 
  • Second, that once I began laying out the pieces, the quilt grew enormously larger then I was intending.

Here's what you need to know, the pink has grown on me and actually I love the color I choose for the back of my quilt, I believe it's called Pomegranate; but don't quote me on that. 

Additionally, the quilting design that I decided on (randomly placed lines in every direction) allowed me to push the boundaries of what I was comfortable doing on my machine.  Okay, it's nothing special; but I had never quilted something this large before.  How large might you ask, well I believe the finished size was 53 x 73.  Certainly, not monstrous, and it pales in comparison to quilts that some of my fellow STLMQG members make on a regular basis; but this quilt is my largest to date.  That is an accomplishment.

I did have to quickly learn how to wrestle the bulk of the quilt so it didn't smother me; which is interesting when one's sewing room is on the 2nd floor of a house without a direct A/C vent.  Thank goodness for fans :-) 

The moral of the story is, I now know that I don't have to limit myself to lap-size quilts.  Who knows I might try a Twin or Queen one of these days.

 The Front

The Back

The front of the quilt is all randomly-pieced around the black-framed squares.  I had an idea of the placement and just filled in the holes.  I've decided that I like improv quilts, I've been trying my hand at this style lately and really enjoy the process.  It was like putting a puzzle together; but without the box lid as a guide.

There are several things I learned along the way.  The biggest is that while I adore black as a color, it attracts every piece of lint within a mile radius.  Of course you probably knew this already, I did not.

Additionally, I tried my hand at zigzagging the binding on, I'm actually quite pleased with the outcome.

Finally, thanks to my Sister, who I was able to drag convince to help me this morning.  We headed to Jefferson Barracks park; which is filled with massive trees.  My quilt looks so tiny in comparision to them, doesn't it?

I can't decide if she is hiding, or if her arms collapsed
from holding the quilt up for too long.

So there you have it folks. The story of this quilt is now complete.  I survived the barrage of pink fabrics and came out on the other end better for it.