Sunday, April 30, 2017

Katrin's Round Robin Quilt

This year I joined my very first Round Robin, the Rakish Needle, hosted by Katrin in Germany. Six European ladies will contribute in making six very different quilts throughout the year. It was exciting and a little bit scary to commit to such a project, I didn't know what to expect, but Katrin is a good organizer and she is very helpful and keeping us in line. On her blog she has assembled a block parade  that shows the starter blocks for all the six participants in Rakish Needle Round Robin.

I was the lucky one to to receive Katrin's BIG starter block, the compass rose block measured approximately 31" x 32". She envisions "jewelled adventure galore on a low volume background. What unknown lands will we discover, what weird creatures and which magical myths?" That is a mouthful, but I already had plenty ideas before the block arrived.

She also included this fish block in the starter package, and I chose to include it in my round, because it fit so well with the rest of my blocks.

The first block I made was this cute, little crab. I was inspired from a picture I found, and the block is a combination of foundation paper piecing and ordinary piecing. The block is 5" finished, and it is the first time I have constructed a paper piecing block myself. The teal crab got accompanied by an orange/yellow one in my final work, just so it wouldn't be lonely.

I also discovered the Wee Animal Quilt made by . I fell in love with the simple shapes made with the Mini Quick Curve Ruler. It is obvious that the above creature is a lobster, right?! The claws that are tied down with a jeweled "ribbon" of Mostly Manor fabric by Victoria Findlay Wolfe makes this my favorite curved block.

Here are all the blocks I made for this round of the Rakish Needle. The curved piecing of the teal fish and purple sea lion was fun and fast.

The first test layout of the blocks. (Oops, the compass rose was turned the wrong way here, that was fixed later). Of course the blocks needed some adjustments to fit in, my own background fabric plus a few pieces of Katrin's provided fabrics were added.

Here's the right column with the sea lion and crabs.

And above the bottom row with my teal fish, red lobster and Katrin's lovely pieced fish.

This concludes my round in the Rakish Needle Round Robin. The piece has grown to be approximately 39" x 40". Katrin indicated that she wants to use the finished quilt on her bed, and big is beautiful!

I may have gone a little bit overboard with my addition to the quilt top, but I had so many ideas! I had to restrain myself not to make it bigger; I have to let the other participants be creative, too!

Finally, a picture of the quilt top in the morning sun on my deck. The piece will soon be on its way to Poland and Maja for the next installment. I hope Katrin will be pleased with it in the end!

Keep on sewing!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Green Charity Quilt

Back in March I won a giveaway from Kawaii Fabric on Instagram. There were three novelty fabrics that were perfect for a charity quilt for small children, all from Michael Miller Fabrics. One was a "fairy tale" print with Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and The Three Little Pigs. With fairly busy prints on the green fabrics, I added solid charcoal squares to "calm down" the design of the quilt.

I cut 5" squares and laid them out in a traditional patchwork design, 99 squares all together. The charcoal works well with the busy green prints.

The quilting is a simple crosshatch design done with the walking foot. The simplest is often the best, and I didn't want the quilting to attract the attention away from the detailed novelty fabrics. The backing fabric is the well known raspberry fabric from Ikea that I often use for charity quilts. (I have a lot of it in my stash).

This was a fast and fun quilt to make, it took me approximately 36 hours from I started cutting the squares until the last stitch on the binding was done. In that time period I also managed to get my 8 hours of sleep...

The quilting is done with a green thread that works well with both the front and back of the quilt. After a wash and dry cycle, the quilt is ready to be donated to the children's ward at my local hospital.

This concludes my charity quilt number 16 to the hospital, and the second so far this year. My goal of six charity quilts this year seems to be in reach...

Keep on quilting!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

More Pattern Testing

Back in February this year I started pattern testing for Berene of Happy Sew Lucky. This lady is productive, and already in April I have completed testing of my third pattern for her.

This is her third pattern of the Tattoo Series, the first one is LOVE (which I haven't tested,  yet). COURAGE is tested by me here .

I am definitely not an expert in foundation paper piecing, actually the first time I paper pieced a block was during the Splendid Sampler quilt along last year. Since then paper piecing has become one of my favorites.

Berene's patterns are easy to follow, the instructions are very clear, even Y-seams are no problem anymore.

I love this shot of my blue swallows on my deck with my purple  Little Birdy pincushion keeping it in place in the wind.

The latest pattern is FURY, and above are my fabric choices. I had the perfect orange and yellow fabric, Marblehead by Ro Gregg for Paintbrush studios, the two leftmost fabrics. There's a lot of life in this fabric, especially the orange one.

The first item I did was the text banner. Here is an in-progress shot of the heart with the banner. The heart fabric is also perfect, the golden lines and the darker red patches give a lot of life to the heart.

Here all the flame pieces are done and ready to be assembled. The ruler I received as a gift from Berene has come in very handy working with paper piecing.

The flames are slowly coming together. You can almost feel the heat!

...and the flames are done! There's so much life in this picture!

And here the quilt top is all assembled. The burning heart on the cold, almost snowy background.

This is how the backside looks before the paper is removed, lots of tiny pieces!

The FURY is burning in the sunlight!

Thanks to Berene of Happy Sew Lucky for letting me test her patterns, this is a real skill builder for me!

Keep on sewing and paper piecing!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

2017 Finish A Long - Goals for Second Quarter

Today is the last day to link up goals for 2017 FAL Q2. Last quarter I finished 2 projects on my list out of four, a 50% completion rate is not too bad! There are always popping up other projects that pushes their way through!

For this quarter I will continue trying to finish the last two projects on my list from Q1 and add a few more.

My first goal is continued from the first quarter, and is to assemble the 24 blocks of the Modern HST Sampler, add sashing and quilt it.

Last year I joined a Quilting Bee, and these are the resulting bee blocks I have for my quilt. I will make a few more Houndstooth Blocks to make a decent quilt size. The backing fabric is already chosen, and I look forward to finishing the quilt. This is my second goal.

My third goal is to assemble all the blocks I made for the Splendid Sampler into one (or two) quilts. The picture shows my first 65 blocks, more blocks have been made. 

The fourth and last goal on my Q2 list is this skinny/table runner. This is a project from the Moda All Stars All in a Row book, and the row is designed by Brenda Riddle. The row is actually too long to fit on my table, so I think it will end up as a skinny on the wall.

My proposed goals are linked up to one the official 2017 FAL host blogs here .

Keep on quilting!