Thursday, December 14, 2017

Maja's Christmas Star

My dear friend Maja of Betyipiernaty created this beautiful Christmas Star foundation paper pieced pattern just in time for Christmas. It is a free pattern, so just go over to her blog to download it. She has made a few versions in beautiful color combinations, but in my case I chose a different one. The star stands out dramatically against the dark blue sky.

The star is approximately 12" in diameter once finished. I used the Set in Circle tutorial by Angela Pingel to put the star inside a square block. The star will be inserted in a bigger project, eventually.

The star looks a little bit like a Poinsettia in this picture. The pattern is accurate and easy to make, just a few y-seams when assembling. A truly beautiful pattern, Maja!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

HST Pouch

As a lot of quilters probably experiences, there are a lot of scraps in the cutting process that can be used for something if you save them. This is a pouch that proves that statement.

The HST panels were pieced and quilted a year or so ago. The HSTs were leftovers from making a tablerunner some time ago. In addition to the panels, I used chambray for the borders.

This is the other side of the pouch. I used a tutorial from Fabric Mutt to make it, modifying the design and measurements a little bit.

My berry bush in a winter state is a perfect stand for taking pictures in natural light. We just have a few hours of good light during the day, now. The lining adds to the cool color template of the scenery, remember it is freezing, but without snow!

Keep on quilting!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Pattern Testing for She's Sew Fancy

This fall I was able to test this Chimney Top Mountain quilt block for She's Sew Fancy. It is a block of 12"x18" that is perfect for a mini quilt or pillow. It is a beginner/intermediate level quilt block that requires basic foundation paper piecing skills.

As you can see, I chose to make a mini out of the pattern. I am very fond of blue and green in combination, so I made the main mountains in these colors. The mountains in the distance became silver grey.

The quilting blends in with the background. The limited color palette creates a modern quilt. A variegated golden thread together with a corn silk colors gives life to the sky. Big stitch hand quilting in variegated green adds the final touch to the mini.

The color of the sky was inspired by the tropical storm Ophelia that hit the British isles earlier this fall. Dust blown from the forest fires in Portugal and Spain in October caused the sky to turn orange. It was also possible to smell the smoke from the fires as far away as in Sweden. An amazing phenomenon, indeed!

Back to the quilt (literally speaking!). The quilting shows off very well on the back. Straight line quilting mimics the structure of the mountains. The bobbin thread is a steel grey color.

The mini quilt now hangs on the wall of my youngest son's apartment.

Keep on quilting!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

This Year's Last Charity Quilt

The quilt top for this charity quilt was completed earlier this month, but I didn't get the urge to quilt it before now It is a simple patchwork quilt made of 4.5" unfinished squares.

I did straight line quilting with my walking foot. The backing is an old duvet cover. The binding is a purple solid.

This is the last charity quilt I will be making in 2017. My goal for this year was 6 charity quilts, and I managed to reach the goal. All together I have made 20 quilts for the children's ward at my local hospital during the time I have been quilting. It gives me a great feeling that I have been able to give comfort to children in their time of illness and distress.

December will be dedicated to sewing and quilting for family and friends.

Keep on quilting!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

2017 Aurifil November Block

The November block is designed by Heather Givans of Crimson Tate, and is called Tall Trees. The trees are built of thirty tiny flying geese in different shades of green.

It is tricky to make the small flying geese with a finished size of 1" x 1/2". In the process of putting them together to form trees they turned out a little bit wonky, but that's OK.

Keep on quilting!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2017 Aurifil October Block

The October block is designed by Helen Stubbings and is a really beautiful block. The original is made in green tones, but I chose to do my block in another color scheme.

Everything in this block is hand stitched, both the embroidery in a variegated grey floss and the english paper pieced frame in colorful batiks. I love the background fabric for this piece, it gives another dimension to the block!

I had a great time making this block, it is so nice to do some slow stitching, it is really calming you down and relieving stress.

Keep on stitching!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Two by Four Charity Quilt

Film in the Fridge has a great tutorial on the 'Two by Four' quilt block that I used to make my latest charity quilt. Strip piecing makes it fast and easy to whip up a block. I used solid blue as the background color, and a print in different colors.

I made most of the blocks in a sew-along at my local quilt guild, and assembled the blocks into a quilt top at home.

There are 224 blue blocks in this quilt, and thereby 224 colored blocks, 448 all together. But with the ingenious piecing method the quilt top comes together super fast.

The blue quilt will be perfect for a young/adolescent boy in the children's ward at the hospital. There are kids up to 18 years in the ward, and it is great to have a big quilt in moderate colors that could fit both boys and girls.

This concludes my 19th charity quilt to the hospital and the fifth finished so far this year. I know I will manage to reach my goal of 6 by the end of the year.

Keep on quilting!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Testing Mod Journey

This fall I got the opportunity to test a new pattern for Sew Kind of Wonderful, the beautiful Mod Journey.

I chose to make my test version as a baby quilt in bright florals on a blue/grey background. The pattern uses the QCR Mini Ruler. I enjoy curved piecing, and the blocks came together pretty fast.

This is how the top looked after piecing. Lots of negative space. This demands creative quilting!

Earlier on I have mostly done straight line quilting, but also some simple free motion quilting. This time I felt I had to jump in with both feet and really challenge myself. Since the quilt is only 40" square, I felt I didn't bite over too much.

I am going to an "advanced" FMQ class this coming weekend, and I needed some real practice. The above picture shows the quilting in detail. I marked the main the center ring of the quilted flowers with a water soluble pen, but the rest of the quilting was done completely free handed. I used a steel grey quilting thread that blends in perfectly with the background.

The quilting is kind of wonky in places, but as a first attempt in "serious" FMQ I am very pleased with the result!

I had to take a 'stained glass' picture of the quilt in the late afternoon sun. For the backing I used Britten Nummer from Ikea. The quilting shows off very well on the backing fabric.

This quilt was a great experience both in piecing and quilting! I am so happy that I got the chance to test out a new pattern, and that I dared to challenge myself with extended FMQ.

I am ready for my quilting class now!

Keep on quilting!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

My First Zip-Up Tray Pouch

In August I won a giveaway by Sandy from the blog Upstairs Hobby Room. The prize was a kit and pattern for making the Zip-Up Tray Pouch by Aneela Hoey The kit contained two beautiful prints and a green solid, in addition to a separating zipper.

I had to go shopping for heavyweight fusible interfacing. It is essential for the pouch to be very stiff, so it is not possible to use regular interfacing or batting.

I chose to use the rose fabric for the exterior and the solid green for the interior. It is much easier to keep track of all the stuff you put inside if the interior fabric is not too busy, and the green is perfect as a contrast to the rose fabric. The pink binding (from my stash) completes the pouch very well.

Most of the construction of the pouch is pretty simple, the pattern is well written with lots of instructive diagrams. The last part of hand sewing the binding to the pouch was a bit tricky, but it turned out pretty good. I have bought extra interfacing for at least one more pouch, and I plan on making another one soon.

The zip-up tray pouch is very practical the way it pops up to become a tray when the zipper is opened. That gives a great working space for small hand sewing projects when on travel or at guild meetings, for instance. I know I will get lots of use of my new pouch!

Keep on quilting!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Christmas Came Early

It is only October, and here I am posting my finished Christmas quilt, what's going on? This quilt is made from the blocks designed by Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts. In January this year she started the sew along 'Have a Jolly Little Christmas' with 15 free blocks, the last one published in August. I made all 15 blocks and put them together to make a colorful quilt. All fabrics are from my stash.

The block setting made a long and skinny quilt, so I added a red and a blue border to get a better sized quilt.

I took the quilt out for a photo shoot on a beautiful fall day. My husband is the quilt holder.

The old barn is a beautiful backdrop for the pictures.

Beautiful fall colors in the surroundings.

I used my precious Britten Nummer from Ikea as the backing. For the quilting I had fun with FMQ, a stars and loops pattern on the main part with the white background, and experimenting with new designs (for me) on the red and blue border.

Here is a detailed picture of the quilting. I am trying to get more confident with free motion quilting, and I am going to take a class in "experienced" FMQ in a month's time. I feel I have to get some more practice before that time.

Here is the fabric I used for the binding. It gives the quilt a lovely 'icy' finish.

I have had this fabric in my stash for a long time, as you can see it is an old one from Ikea, designed by Kazuyo Nomura in 2009. 

Now I hope that we will keep this nice fall weather for some time, I don't need snow before December!

Keep on quilting!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Projects in the Fall

2017 has been a year of sampler quilts. My biggest project, The Splendid Sampler, was started early in 2016. One hundred blocks were designed for this sew along, from lots of great designers. The sew along was hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson.

I learned a lot in this sew along, and it was a wonderful skill builder. I had never paper pieced before, and now it is one of my favorite techniques! Most of the blocks were ordinary pieced ones, but we worked with foundation paper pieced, English paper pieced, appliqué, stitchery and embroidery. The picture above shows how a stack of one hundred 6 1/2" blocks look like.

This is how they look like all spread out. I used only fabrics from my stash, but in the end it didn't really put a dent in my fabric bins.

I will assemble the blocks with sashing in between, and probably put a border around to get a decent sized quilt. This will be a long term project.

The Sewcial Bee Sampler was started early 2017. The sew along was hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. These 25 blocks are 12 1/2" square, and there will be added sashing between them, too. I hope to get this project finished soon.

The third sew along I have been working on this year is the Have a Jolly Little Christmas by Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts . This is a colorful Christmas sampler, and with some borders it will be decent sized and finished.

As if the above projects are not enough, I also made this 2by4 quilt top from a tutorial by Film in the Fridge. There are 448 individual rectangles in this quilt, but there is a genius technique to make the blocks and you can actually make the whole quilt top in an evening!

This will eventually be my fifth charity quilt for the year.

Keep on quilting!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Another Charity Quilt

My local hospital is always in need of charity quilts for the children's ward. Before summer I made this quilts from leftover novelty prints and additional black solid squares. There is a lot to look at in the novelty prints, and the solid gives a nice rest for the eyes.

The fabrics in the quilt is kind of busy so I chose to quilt it with a simple crosshatch design in brick red with the walking foot. The quilt will be a good comfort for a sick child in a difficult time.

Now I have made 18 charity quilts for the hospital, and 4 this far in 2017. My goal of 6 by the end of the year is in reach!

Keep on quilting!