Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Modern Quilt Entry: Embers

17 05 2015

For the first time ever, I’m able to participate in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy’s Creative Side. It’s been a very good year for me to be finishing projects. For the Modern Quilt Category, I am submitting Embers: Embers - Front

75″ X 75″

I started piecing the blocks for this top just as Swoon fervor was quieting down, in August of 2013. I re-drafted the block, bringing the finished size to 16″, down from the 24″ called for by the pattern. I wanted more blocks, and more variety in fabric. I’d decided early on that the blocks would all have some combination of pink, yellow, and orange. I also knew that I’d use Kona Coal as my background fabric – it’s my go-to neutral, and I loved the way the colors glowed against it.

I pieced as I felt the urge, and had a completed quilt top by November of 2013.

The top languished from that point on. I’d been frustrated by attempts to do FMQ on my home machine, and didn’t feel any ambition to get past the mental block.

This year, however, I am following along with the 2015 Finish Along, and A Lovely Year of Finishes. Just the impetus I needed. In February, I made arrangements to use a friend’s mid-arm machine, and FINALLY quilted this up.

Embers - Detail

I decided to play with the quilting, and tried a meandering flame design.

Embers - Back

The backing ended up a touch more scrappy than I planned – I’d ordered the same print in two colors. Upon receiving the yardage, I discovered that the red was actually in two separate cuts. Rather than try to match the pattern, I decided to piece in a panel of orange fabric.

The backing didn’t quilt up nicely – I ended up with a sizable pucker that I didn’t find until I’d finished quilting. I used a black batting, and the batting was very heavily textured. The texture resulted in a lot of friction, and the batting clung to the backing, even on the frame.

So, the quilt isn’t perfect, but I’m very happy with it. I learned a lot about my batting choices, and about quilting on a mid-arm. I gained a lot of confidence, and feel like I might be ready to tackle more complicated quilting.

Burning the Candle…

20 11 2013

I stayed up last night, way too late…

I finished those Swoon blocks on Monday, and nothing would do until I finished the top! So, I stayed up until about 2:30 AM last night, and sewed, and sewed, and sewed.

Swoon Top
I’m calling this quilt ‘Embers’, when it’s done.

As you know, I reduced these blocks to 16″ finished. I then used 3″ sashing between them, bringing the finished size of the top to 79″ X 79″. Each fabric in pink, orange and yellow are unique. I don’t need to buy any of these three colors for a very, very long time. My background and sashing are done in Kona Charcoal.

I’m pondering quilting already, but I’m definitely planning on doing part of it in a fuschia-colored thread, because of the way it just glows against that deep gray.

I’m tickled by how different this top is from Sunsets and White Beaches. Even though they use the same colors (pink, yellow, and orange), and even a good number of the same fabrics – they’re such strong contrasts!

Sunsets and White Beaches
It’s about time I get to quilting, instead of piecing, don’t you think?

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Almost Done Swooning

19 11 2013

My son was out of school yesterday, thanks to a cold that left him snotty and sneezy, but my husband couldn’t be home with him. My mother-in-law recently had surgery, and needed to be run to several different appointments, as she’s unable to drive herself for the time being. So, I had to call into work, to be home with Snuffles.

Zeb was ridiculously cheerful, for the amount of snot he was producing. Really, he’s always happy when he gets to spend the day with Mommy. Still, he was pretty low key, which was nice. I managed to finish the last four blocks I need for my Swoon quilts. This was only because I’d been able to finish cutting fabric for these blocks on Sunday.

Swoon 13

Swoon 14

Swoon 15

Swoon 16

I debated finishing the top last night, because that probably would have only taken a few hours, but the truth was, I was sick of looking at my sewing machine by that point. This is now my goal for tonight, as long as Zeb is okay tonight.

Sewing Fiend

16 11 2013

I’ve done a lot of sewing lately, especially today. I woke up at four o’clock this morning, for some weird reason, and then decided that I wasn’t going to be able to sleep again. So, I started sewing.

However, before we get to today’s sewing… Last week Saturday was Stitch ‘N’ Bitch. I brought softies to show, but also finished a softie dress:

Softie Dress

I love the fabric that I used in the skirt!

I also got most of the way through a Swoon block, but finished it up at home. I realized today, that each one of these blocks is taking almost an entire bobbin of thread.

Swoon 10

Yes, I’m being picky when I cut the center square. As much as possible, I’m fussy cutting.

Today, I completed two more Swoon blocks:

Swoon 11

Swoon 12

This puts me at twelve Swoon blocks. I now only need four more to have enough for my top. I’m seriously considering pushing through and trying to finish the top this weekend. The only trouble is that these blocks take freaking forever. There’s a lot of subunits to put together before I even get to piecing the block itself.

Once I’d hit that point, I decided I needed a break from Swoon blocks. I also remembered that it’s the middle of November, and that I need to make my swap blocks for this month. I completed the Granny Bee blocks for this month:

Granny Block Bee 35
Granny Block Bee 36

Suzy requested her blocks to be any color, as long as they were a solid. Easy enough, because I still had solids leftover from the The Farmer’s Wife Sampler.

Granny Block Bee 37

Granny Block Bee 38

Jodie requested blocks in two small prints, with the fabrics to be in high contrast. I might yet remake the green and pink one. Converting the photo to gray scale tells me there’s a value difference, but it’s not what I’d call high contrast.

We’ll see how I feel after I’ve taken a nap. As I write this, it’s 8:23 PM, and I’ve been up for sixteen hours. I don’t mind, and could probably make it a little longer, but I’m definitely drowsy. In fact, that nap sounds amazing! Here’s to that nap, and to getting a quilt top done this weekend.

Finally Swooning

8 08 2013

A little less than a year ago, a pattern by Camille Roskelley took over quilt blogs everywhere, or so it seemed. Quilters everywhere took this pattern for a whirl, making it up in fabrics as diverse as the quilters themselves.

Having just recently finished the Sunsets and White Beaches quilt top, and still being in the piecing mood, I finally jumped on that train.

I’m always the last one to a party…

Swoon 01

Because I had so many 2.5″ squares leftover from Sunsets and White Beaches, and because I’m apparently not over pink, orange, and yellow together, I scaled the block down from 24″ finished to 18″. This is proving to be a good choice, as most of my fabrics tend to be small to medium in scale. I’m combining scraps leftover from Sunsets and White Beaches with Kona Charcoal, since I have something like eight yards of that on hand.

The block above is a little rough – I need to be careful on the next one about which directions I iron the seams. A little more care regarding that matter here would have resulted in a little more crispness in the points.

While I was working on this block, which felt like it took forever, my Sewline Mechanical pencil broke. It’s a total necessity in my toolkit, so I decided to order another one from Of course, while shopping, I looked at fabric.

I stumbled across this:

Afterglow Diamond Medallion in Cream

I ordered six yards for backing Sunsets and White Beaches.


I should probably feel bad, but look at it! This is the Afterglow Diamond Medallion Print in cream, for Dear Stella Designs. I love, love, love it! It’s a HUGE repeat, almost 10″ wide, but that’s why I’d be using it for backing.