Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival (and Quilt Retreat Invitation)

I was racking my brain (and sewing room) for something to enter in this fall's Bloggers' Quilt Festival.  My Lime String quilt isn't finished yet and I haven't had time to work on much else.  Then it occurred to me that I never did a real blog post on Travel Quilt #3, the one that is featured in my book.  So, here it is:
I started this quilt in July 2010, stitched the last diamonds by hand in February 2012, and had the entire thing finished in October 2012.  I took a few detail shots of my own, but then it went straight on to my publisher for photography for the book.  (And I wasn't supposed to blog about it til the book was released!) It ended up on the back cover, which I was really pleased about.  This is the third in my Travel Quilt series and the first time I actually wrote on the stars as I pieced them.  The full pattern and instructions, including step-by-step photography, is available in the book
Long arm quilted by the brilliant Shannon Couvillion in Georgia, this is a very personal quilt, a fabric scrap book of where I went and how I spent my  time. 
Of course this isn't the first time many of you are seeing this quilt.  I heavily blogged my progress as I carried my EPP sewing kit back and forth across the globe, completing a few stars at a time.  Here's a quick recap of my favorite in-progress photos:

Have you ever quilted on the beach?  Would you like to?
I'm organizing an English paper piecing retreat that will be held on the Greek island of Paros in June, 2014.  Come enjoy amazing food, perfect weather, relaxing atmosphere and good company as we stitch together in the middle of the Aegean.  Check out my "Greek Island Retreat" tab above, or just click here.  Registration is open through February 1st, but space is limited.  I'd love to have you join me and start a Travel Quilt of your own~

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Strings with Lime

I started a BIG quilt last month.  I've been posting bits and peeks of it on IG, but I think I'm ready for a real blog post.
I'm making a full sized string quilt in blues, turquoise and lime.  These are "my" colors.  So much that I just feel sucked into a very happy comfortable place whenever I work on this quilt. 
Strangely though, they were not "my" fabrics-- I am making this at the request of a blog reader (Hi, Lisa!!) for her daughter, and together we chose and purchased fabrics online (from Hawthorne Threads, amazing selection!!).  Lisa picked beautiful fabrics.  Amy Butler, Jennifer Paganelli, Lizzy House.  Gorgeous designer fabrics that I never would have even browsed because I have a working-class aversion to designer fabrics (and paying full price for them).  I don't know why I have this aversion-- I certainly end up spending the same amount of $ on lesser-known designer fabrics or down-right junk from the sale bins.  Maybe it comes from the days of thrift store shopping instead of getting my high school wardrobe at the mall?  Anyway, I was surprised at how much I ended up liking these fabrics, and grateful to Lisa for giving me an excuse to play with them. 
I'd say I'm more than half way done piecing the 48 blocks and I'd really like to have the top finished to show at the Bloggers' Quilt Festival at the end of the month.  Here's hoping the kids start going to bed on time..

Friday, October 11, 2013

Going to Market?

Me?  Sadly, no.  But this mini quilt from my book will be there, in the booth!
The patterns in the back of the book were all just done as samples (except for p. 109, Ayane's star.  There's a photo of the quilt on p. 48), so I quickly added borders and quilted it up in time for Market.
I took a few photos of the process, and while it's far from a full tutorial, I thought I'd post them to show how I did it..

* First I cut border strips 4" wide and lined one up with the lines on my cutting mat.  Then I carefully placed the freshly-pressed EPP patchwork on top, overlapping the bottom edge of the border. (When you press your EPP, remember to tuck in any seam tails).
* Next I took my ruler and lined up the top of the border strip with the 4" mark on the ruler.  I gently pulled the EPP down until the inner points of the edge were aligned with the ruler's 1/2" mark. (Look at the 9 at the center of the ruler).
* Then I carefully pinned the EPP part to the border strip.

* And machine topstitched it into place.  This is a view from the back so you can see that 1/2" of the border is underneath the innermost points of the EPP.  I do not cut away the excess at the top points.
For this piece, I cut my border strips extra long and mitered the corners.  I would have taken photos except I bribed George for quilting time by letting him play Bad Piggies on my phone and he was getting tired of pausing the game so I could take step-by-step shots.  I was too lazy (and in a hurry) to find the real camera, so this is as far as the tutorial goes.  Hope it makes sense.  If anyone has questions, just ask.

I am very happy that a little part of me will be at Market this month, and happy too that I have a small finish to link up this week at Crazymomquilts.  If you are lucky enough to be going to Houston, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!  And please post often to Instagram so I can follow along from home!

Travel Quilt #6 and some public crafting

I have been working steadily on Travel Quilt #6 since last fall and it is growing.  I got a chance to piece a few units while I was in Manha...