I Can’t Believe I’m Machine Quilting! That is the title of my quilting story. When Dorie Hruska of Forever Quilting first asked for people to help her promote her new book through a blog hop, I was a bit hesitant because I am not a fan of machine quilting and thought I would just be embarrassing myself. Well something clicked, and it’s like a light bulb went on in my brain on how to think about machine quilting. So here is my journey…
S.W.A.K. is the 4th quilt in the Piece and Quilt with Precuts book by Christa Watson. I am so happy to finally be able to share my finished quilt after all the sneak peeks on my Instagram!
This quilt uses Charm Packs for the half square triangles (HSTs). So keeping with the spirit of the precuts theme, I decided to use Airmail (quantity 2), Modern Background Ink (quantity 2), and Bella Solid White (less than 1) Charm Packs. Here is the first lesson: Not all Charm Packs are the same size! Seriously. You’d think they should all be 5″ square, but with the pinked edges the square is sometimes larger or smaller.
I used my Frixion pen to mark the diagonals on all the lines and centered the two pieces the best I could. However, it didn’t help with the finished size of the HST. The pattern calls for 4-5/8″ HSTs, but mine were so inconsistent due to the charm pack size that I made the decision to trim them to 4-1/2″. So I then started my long process of trimming all 168 HSTs.
I used my design wall to lay out the entire quilt before I made the blocks. I realized with the Red and Blue blocks I could make the fun Xs and Os in different colors.
Because I trimmed my HSTs, the final version of my quilt is slightly smaller than what is listed in the pattern, but it’s crucial to have consistently sized HST to have a square quilt! I tried spray basting this quilt for the first time! Christa gave a demo of spray basting in her Start Up Quilting Craftsy class, and I was definitely intrigued. I must say, I think I have fallen in LOVE with spray basting. It makes quilting so much easier without having to take out pins all the time. I followed the square spiral walking foot quilting instructions in the book, and I can only imagine how hard that would have been if there were pins!
So what are my overall thoughts about the pattern and the book? It’s a great book that goes from piecing instructions to how to quilt that specific design. Christa has great instructions and great tips throughout the book to help build your skills.
Last but not least, since I spent all weekend migrating my blog to be self hosted and now can have Rafflecopter giveaways… Here’s a giveaway for an E-copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts! The giveaway is open until the Midnight CDT on August 31. Good Luck!
I wish you a merry quilt-a-long, I wish you a merry quilt-a-long, I wish you a merry quilt-a-long, and a happy new year! I’m already caroling for this holiday season! Join me along with a dozen other bloggers in this fun quilt-a-long adventure this fall to get a Christmas Quilt done before Christmas!
So what exactly is a Quilt-A-Long?
A Quilt-A-Long (or QAL) is a quilt you make following a host who posts each step on a schedule. You share your progress and in this case you will get entered into some pretty awesome prizes! There are some QALs that are set to make a known quilt and others (like this one) that are a mystery, where you won’t know what the quilt looks like until the very end! There is no charge to enter the QAL and the patterns will be posted for free from each designer. Make one or all of the blocks!
Why would you want to join?
You love Christmas and want to make a Christmas quilt before the holiday gets here.
You love meeting new quilters/designers/bloggers!
You love to try new things. These blocks will be incorporating different techniques with support of the hosts and designers to help you along each step of the way. This quilt is for experienced and new beginners alike.
You love to win prizes. If you complete a block prior to the next block release, you’ll be entered to win a prize. There is also a grand prize for the finished quilt.
You don’t want to be left out! (We’re a fun bunch of ladies from around the globe.)
How can I participate?
There are several ways in which you can participate in all the fun!
If you are on Facebook: Join the “I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long” Facebook Group. Each Designer will be posting links to their tutorials there, and it will be used as a place to ask questions and post photos of your finished block for prizes.
If you are on Instagram: Use the hashtag #iwishyouamerryqal on your finished block to be entered to win.
Each Designer will have a Linky Party on their block tutorial post so you can link your progress to their blog to be entered to win.
How much fabric will I need to complete this quilt?
This is a tough question. Each block will be 12″ finished, and there will be 12 different blocks. I will be planning on using my scraps to make this quilt with a color palette of red, green, white, yellow, and blue from my stash. I figure I’ll need approximately a yard of each. I will need scraps of black, orange, and brown for embellishments. Plus, Laura from Slice of Pi Quilts says, “If you plan to put your blocks together to make a quilt top, then I suggest 1 yard for sashing and 1 yard for a border. To finish the quilt, you will need 4 yards for backing (or 2 yards of extra-wide backing), a twin size batting, and 1/2 yard for binding.”
What is the schedule?
The fun kicks off Tuesday, August 1st with block tutorials released every other Tuesday. There are 2 dates that will have 2 blocks releasing the same day. If you forget, don’t worry! I made a quick links page to each tutorial that will be updated with each new block release. I will also be posting here for each block release! The last block tutorial will be published December 5th to give you time to finish off the quilt before Christmas!
What are the prizes?
We’ve line up plenty of prizes, and the list isn’t finalized yet. It’s best to keep an eye on the Facebook group, as we will begin sharing the prizes there soon. Prizes include patterns, batting and other products from The Warm Co., thread from Aurifil, a gift certificate to The Fat Quarter Shop, signed quilt books, precuts, and much more. International participants are eligible to enter for all prizes.
I want in! What’s are my next steps?
Yippee! First, go ahead and join our Facebook page so you’ll know when the next block tutorials will be released. Second, gather your fabric you’ll want to use on your quilt. The QAL starts August 1, 2017 so you have about 2 weeks to get hyped! Finally, invite your friends to join in on the fun! Share the quilt-a-long graphic on Instagram and use #iwishyouamerryqal. Share this blog post or a post from the Facebook group on your own Facebook account and in your quilty groups. The more, the merrier!
Some of us will be sewing along and making every block, too. These quilt-a-long hosts will share tips and tricks for each block, plus you’ll get to see the same block in many different fabrics. Hosts will be there every step of the way to encourage you to finish the quilt.
Welcome to Week 3 of the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop! It’s been so great to learn about all these fabulous new bloggers in the past weeks. I’m a part of the Better Bloggers Hive with Beth from Cooking Up Quilts as our Hive mama. I’m excited it’s my turn to share a bit about myself!
My name is Sherry and I live in Minnesota (where just cotton batting is not warm enough)! I started quilting a little less than 2 years ago and have become completely obsessed. By obsessed, I mean I sew and quilt at nearly every free moment I have (I even DREAM about quilting and quilt designs). My blog name “Powered by Quilting” is in reference to it being my passion and what fuels my crafting journey (which is mostly Quilting). I still work a “normal” day job that involves at times some heavy work travel. So I started my blog to first update my friends and family with what I was working on and a place to keep myself accountable for what I set out to do with my busy schedule. I even bought a travel Janome to bring on work trips with me so I can sew at the hotel at night (serious signs of an addiction).
I am starting to design my own quilts, but with the little free time that I have it’s a slow process for me. I have a desire to make each of the quilts that I am designing which makes the pattern release process even slower. However, the end products are quilts that I absolutely ADORE, and I hope you do too.
Here are some of the quilts I’m most proud of:
Spinning Vectors –
This quilt is the very first pattern I designed. I was love the movement of the flying geese, and it’s very beginner friendly. The cascading of the ombre colors give it a happy rainbow effect too. The pattern is for sale on Craftsy and Etsy.
Unleash Your Inner Rockstar –
This mini quilt is one that I designed and created for the Modern Quilt Guild Fabric Challenge by Riley Blake. I love this because I think it shows my personality more than my quilting style for once. I love rock music and I love quilting so why wouldn’t a mashup work? After all, we are all Rockstars in our own right. You just need to own it.
Moroccan Getaway –
This quilt was a monster for me especially since I started it a few months into my quilting journey. I feel like I have some minor ADD because I couldn’t work on it more than a few blocks at a time. The end result was completely worth it, but I don’t know if I’ll every have the patience to make one of these again.
This was the first quilt I made with hand applique (or applique of any kind). It’s a deviation of my typical style, but it was just too cute to pass up. It also cemented my favorite type of applique – by hand and typically with a sew in interfacing to get the turned edge.
It is Day 2 of the Stitching Stars Blossom Blog hop, and I get to share with you my project inspired by “Blossom.” As much as I wanted to be inspired by Mayim Bialik from the Blossom TV show, I figured showing my blossoming quilting skills was a much better idea. I also gathered inspiration from Cherry Blossoms to have that floral spring touch as well. I started with wanting to create a foundation paper piecing pattern and I somehow thought a 5 petal cherry blossom inspired flower would be the best idea. It takes a smarter person than me to create a repetitive pattern on a 72 degree angle. It ended up being way too complex for me and nothing looked good.
So I decided to do an appliqued piece. I’ve done plenty of hand applique before so I sketched out an overall look of what I wanted the piece to look like. I thought a mug rug size would be great! I’m in a mug rug swap in May and was told they are typically 8″x8″ in size so that’s what I targeted.
I forgot to take a photo of the poorly drawn PowerPoint art I did to create a flower petal to confirm the shape that I wanted. But once I got the shape, I traced it to a piece of paper, and you can see the final design layout of what my Blossom project would be. You can also tell which flower I started on and which one I ended with. (Hint: I got sloppier as I went)
For the applique, I used sew-in lightweight interfacing to flip each piece and hand-appliqued them to the background. The stems were made using 1/4″ bias tape maker and hand-appliqued to the background as well. I decided to try my newly learned free motion quilting skills by quilting this piece with paisleys all over. This is the first piece I’ve ever completely free motion quilted, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. It’s definitely scary for me to sit down and free motion quilt a project because I’m terrified that my quilting will ruin the piece.
I think this turned out to be a super fun project. The overall size seems to be slightly large for a mug rug, but I don’t think there are any set rules for sizing. This is finish number 6 for the year, and the Completed Quilts page is updated!
The Stitching Stars Blog Hop group is made up of ladies who all went to Sew Pro Convention last September in Chicago. It’s been so helpful to have a network of great people to support each other as we all grow in our journeys. What’s even more awesome is this giveaway quilt that had blocks contributed by people participating the blog hop!
Special shout-outs to Lissa LaGreca of Lovingly Lissa for putting the blocks together into the quilt–she is also going to have the pattern for the quilt for free on her blog after the hop–and to Lisa Peterson of Lisa and Lorelai for quilting and binding this quilt!
How to enter the giveaway: You will need to go to a Rafflecopter giveaway and complete the entries to enter. The winner will be selected Sunday April 9.
I am also hosting a giveaway for everything shown below, open to the US only (sorry to my international friends).
How to enter to win:
Comment below with which 3 blocks I contributed to the giveaway quilt (hint, check my Instagram).
All followers of my blog will also get an additional entry to win!
Winner will be randomly selected Sunday, April 9, 2017.
Here’s the Blossom Blog Hop lineup for the week. Be sure to check all these fabulous ladies out with their Blossom projects!
For those of you who are new to my blog, I end each blog post with my accountability goals for the week. I usually have a recap of progress made within the past week, but I’ll continue the updates next week.
4/4-4/11 Weekly Goal: Available time for quilting:
Friday night and Saturday
Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
MQG Fabric Challenge
Goals for the Projects: Quilter’s Planner Block: Complete this week’s block MQG Fabric Challenge: Finish the design for the text and start applique
Hello from Shanghai! I’m traveling for my day job this week, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a Blog Hop with the fabulous group I attended Sew Pro with! And today’s the day! I’m so happy to introduce to you my very first pattern inspired by my Sew Pro attendance this past September. This pattern is called “Spinning Vectors” for the spinning nature of the flying geese and my STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) background.
The pattern was designed with 3 main colors for the different flying geese for a more traditional looking block.
The first sample that I created was using Ombre by V and Co. flying geese that were left over from my Moroccan Getaway quilt. The rainbow pattern of color is one I just adore in any quilt, so I decided to do that as the first sample. The edge to edge quilting was done by Rhonda Walker of Olie&Evie.
The second sample is more modern with a low volume mixture for the background color, but it stays with the main 3 color flying geese just alternating positions. This quilt was made for my sister in a citrus colorway for some fun splashes of color with a modern look. I quilted it with a simple crosshatch. I decided to do my samples in two very different styles with the pattern written traditionally to show different possible looks of the quilt.
Look for a tutorial on how to do Y-seams and partial seams within the next month to help the beginner quilters with the blocks.
I’m now live on Craftsy and Etsy to purchase the pattern as a PDF download. (hip hip hooray!!!)
In short, Sew Pro Convention has changed my life. I attended knowing hardly anything about the industry, only with the desire to be a part of it. Even though I am working on consistently blogging each week, I don’t consider myself a “blogger” just yet. My passion and motivation is to move towards pattern designing and my ultimate (long range) dream goal of fabric designing. Sew Pro really lit the fire under me to start now rather than wait until later to begin. I didn’t have a good answer when I asked myself, “What are you waiting for?” So I designed Spinning Vectors and had some really awesome ladies proof read and test the pattern for me!
I gave a recap about my Sew Pro experience a few weeks ago right after the convention (you can read about it here). But here’s my list of what I feel still resonates with me since then:
Quilting is a consistent asset in my life. There is so much more structure in my creative life and that’s largely due to the accountability I have with blogging my weekly goals. So thank you to all my readers for following and supporting me through this creative journey and doing your part in helping me stay accountable (even if you feel like you aren’t actively doing anything).
The one thing that sticks with me the most was something Tula Pink said in her keynote speech, about how not all your ideas are going to be great. You just need to trash the not so great ideas and put more ideas down on paper. I completely paraphrased but that was the gist of it. Sometimes it’s frustrating that ideas don’t just magically rain down on me, but realizing that everyone goes through that is so normalizing and almost comforting knowing it’s not just me.
Keeping in touch with other participants from Sew Pro and supporting each other is going to be critical in staying in touch with the community. I never considered myself much of an introvert, but too often I find myself that way with quilting.
Last but not least, I can do this! Just see my first pattern above!
In addition to reading about everyone’s projects inspired by Sew Pro, there is an associated giveaway with the blog hop! There are 3 bundles of fabric with patterns! Enter below.
Note – The giveaway will be live at 12am on 11/14 and end at 12am on 11/19. Rafflecopter giveaway (Click on the link to get to the giveaway)
For those of you that are new to my blog, I end each blog post with my accountability goals for the week. I will be giving my Sewing Expo recap next week as this week was a special blog hop post.
11/15-11/22 Weekly Goal: Available time for quilting:
All day Sunday and Monday Night.
Projects I want to work on:
Powered by Quilting Patterns
Modern Heritage BOM
Moroccan Getaway (It’ll be back from the longarm this week!!!)
Goals for the Projects: Powered by Quilting Patterns: Layout schedule for Pattern #102 and tentative launch time frame Modern Heritage BOM: Finish Month 4 Blocks Moroccan Getaway: Finish binding the quilt.
I almost forgot! My sister is going to be going to Saturday of Winter Quiltfest! I conned… I mean convinced her to attend! I’m slowly enticing her to become a quilter, hehe. But that still means if you are attending and would like to share a room with me and wouldn’t mind it being the two of us Friday/Saturday, let me know!