Friday, June 22, 2018

30 Pearls {Finished Quilt}

Happy birthday to me and hip hip hooray for another finish!

My modern-themed quilt for our June Island Batik Ambassador challenge is finished! You can see the first two posts on this quilt here and here.

I finished the binding and trimmed all of the lose threads last night and am going to hang it up in my sewing room later today!

As I explained in my original post, there are 30 "pearls" to celebrate my 30th birthday (today!), pearls are my birthstone, and pearl is a traditional 30th anniversary gift.

I quilted free motion pebbles in each pearl with white Aurifil. In the backgrounds I used five different shades -- hot pink, red, dark coral, orange, and purple -- to quilt the different filler motifs. I used 56 different filler motifs inspired by Leah Day's quilting gallery! It required quite a bit of starting and stopping, which I don't normally like to do when I quilt, but it was 100% worthwhile for this quilt to be exactly as I had envisioned.

The binding and hanging pocket are of a cream Island Batik print that is slightly darker than my pearls. I had originally pulled a purple fabric for the binding but I didn't have quite enough fabric for that. In the below picture, you can really make out some of the quilting with the orange thread!

For the whole quilt, I used white thread in the bobbin so that I didn't have to change both the top thread and the bobbin every time I needed to switch between colors (which was a lot!). The texture on the backing is just so fun! I managed to keep my pieced backing nearly perfectly square with the top, which is a miracle for me!

I will try to post some close up pictures of some of my favorite quilted sections on Instagram over the weekend. Using Leah Day's gallery as my inspiration was a great starting point however I had to think through how to quilt some of the designs in the arcs! Some were easier than others to "bend" into the arched spaces -- like the meandering type motifs and feather type motifs -- than others! There were a few that I decided would only work in the full squares rather than in the arches, which worked out well.

This project is a rarity in that I both designed and made it for me for fun. I enjoy and love just about all of the quilting that I do but I don't often make something "just for me" and it was a nice change of pace to be completely selfish with this project and be finicky about every detail without worrying about writing a pattern to go along with it.

As always, a big yippee hooray thank you to Island Batik for providing these fabrics for me each month to play with and to stretch my creativity! I love our modern challenge month as Amabassadors and this might be my favorite Ambassador project of all of the things I have made in the last 18 months!

Quilt Stats:
Name: 30 Pearls
Design: self designed, essentially randomly spaced drunkard's path blocks
Fabrics: Sunflower Serenade from Island Batik
Size: 42 inches square
Quilting: pearls: pebbles in white Aurifil;
     background: 56 different motifs inspired by Leah Day in pink, purple, red, orange, and dark coral Aurifil
Started: April 2018
Finished: June 2018

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Drift Away {In Scraps}

It's hard to deny -- I love scrap quilts! Over the last few years, I've made quite a few quilts that were made entirely (or nearly entirely) from fabric from my stash (like Pinwheel Plus, Sunset Gathering, Summer Solstice, Meadow, and my two Blue in Bloom quilts, to name a few!)

I'm now in a place where my fabric yardage and bundles are dwindling, and I have scads and scads of fabric that fall into the scraps-to-large-scraps category. Now that my Top Spin and On Ringo Lake quilts are finished, and my Double Delight and Donuts projects are ready to be put together into finished tops (with the help of a trip to the store!), it's time to embark on a new scrappy project.

Somewhat by serendipity, Melissa of Happy Quilting released her Drift Away pattern and I knew it was perfect for my green, teal, and blue fabrics that didn't get used in my Donuts quilt. Rather than use fat quarters, I used a variety of sizes of scraps, many of which were leftover chunks from backings, to cut the squares needed for this project. I also decided on using black for the background since I had a large chunk of it on hand.

In this picture, the smallest size squares are already sewn into pairs, but I can still pick out lots of recognizable fabrics from older projects! The plaid on the left was the backing for Racing Rails, the teal dot was the backing for Sunset Gathering, the olive and aqua leaf is from my Midnight mystery quilt, and the squiggle is from Beau's Ties.

One of the reasons I decided to go with black instead of a light solid is because the fabrics I used have both whites and off-whites in the prints.

I managed to get a significant part of the first corner together rather quickly! I didn't lay out the entire quilt at once so I just started randomly pulling the medium and large sized focus squares from their piles. I have two different fabrics for the large setting triangles, so I am alternating them.

So far I think my "place-the-squares-as-you-go" plan is going quite well. I only had to take out one or two seams where I sewed units upside down. Only a few rows to go until I'm halfway done with the quilt top! This quilt as designed ends up at 80" square -- I'm strongly considering adding a border on all four sides so that it would end up full/queen sized since I may give this as a gift. But those are things to decide another day!

Sharing at Needle and Thread Thursday!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Blocked Rainbow Quilt {Prize Winners}

It's time to share the prizes for the Blocked Rainbow QAL! Thank you again to our sponsors and to the participants!

Annette: Benartex Contempo Fabric Bundle

Susan: HBD Pattern Bundle

Gina: Quilting JetGirl Pattern Bundle

Ramona: Island Batik Bundle

Liz's top: HBD Pattern Bundle

A huge thank you to our grand prize sponsors!

Honey, Bunny, and Doll Designs
Quilting JetGirl (pattern bundle)
Benartex Fabrics (fabric bundle)
Island Batik Fabrics (fabric bundle)

Friday, June 15, 2018

30 Pearls {Quilt Top}

I'm excited to share my finished quilt top for our June Island Batik Ambassador project!

First and foremost, I love that my original vision worked out so well with these fabrics and was so simple to create! Even though I'm a nervous pinner for sewing curves, the blocks were quick and easy. 

The one change from my original design is that I pieced the top and bottom sashing (which makes the quilt square rather than rectangular) instead of it being single pieces. This was out of necessity (since I was working with fat eighths!) and I think it looks great.

Here's the top together:

And for comparison, here's the original design!

Since I didn't want to buy something as a separate backing for this quilt (since it's going to be a wall hanging), I pulled some of my 5" Island Batik stash builder strips, one of the fat eighths that I didn't use in the quilt top, and a larger piece of green yardage (some of which I had used in my Blocked Rainbow quilt).

The green piece of yardage wasn't quite big enough on its own for the backing, so I needed it to "grow" a little bit. I sewed the 5" strips end to end and then added four slice-and-insert strips to my green yardage, two going in each direction.

I like the added interest on the back, even if I'll be the only one that knows it's there! Now to work in earnest on quilting the top! I'm planning to use white thread in the "pearls" and colored thread in the background. I actually have about a dozen different pink, purple, red, and orange-hued spools of Aurifil that I've been auditioning! I've also been studying Leah Day's quilting gallery for quilting ideas.

Happy Friday and happy sewing! Sharing at Finished or not Friday and Linky Tuesday!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Summer on the Coast {Finished Quilt}

I'll fully admit that there were multiple times where I completely forgot that this quilt top was done and ready to quilt! I finished the top in July 2016 and this quilt was one I designed for a mystery quilt along I hosted. I actually bought the backing fabric for this quilt in July 2017 at the same time I bought the backing fabric for my Meadow quilt and my Green in Bloom quilt.

Here's the quilt top from when I finished it:

This design was inspired by combining a traditional Storm at Sea block with pinwheels. I sent the quilt and backing home with my mom the last time she came to visit with the instructions to "do with it as she pleased." The reason this top sat for so long unquilted and unfinished is that I didn't know how to quilt it so it was probably the right decision to make someone else decide how to quilt it!

Here's the preview pictures my mom posted on Instagram:

The finished quilt is lovely!

The quilting is all different sorts of echoing of the block shapes. The backing is an old Moda print from the Farmer's Market line. I love the diagonal vines -- it makes the binding look fantastic!

This will likely become my new "mobile quilt" -- the quilt that I keep in the car for picnics and other activities!

Quilt Stats:
Name: Summer on the Coast
Pattern: Summer on the Coast (designed by me!)
Fabrics: random stash fabrics (backing/binding is Moda)
Techniques: paper piecing
Quilting: rulerwork echo quilting by my mom
Size: 60 inches square
Started: March 2016
Finished: May 2018

Sharing at Let's Bee Social and Needle and Thread Thursday!