Sew Many Colors Mini Quilt Finish

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

This past weekend, I had the great fortune to go on a mini 3-day vacation with my sister. We rented a condo at the Oregon coast and had a great time sewing all day on different projects.

I brought one project in particular to finish during our retreat called “Sew Many Colors” to celebrate Aurifil USA’s 10th anniversary and designed by Whole Circle Studio! I love Aurifil thread and use it for all my piecing so naturally I just had to make this quilt.

I decided to feature ocean/sea glass colors in this mini so I could have a virtual tropical vacation whenever I look at the quilt. I used Kona White as both my background and the backing for the quilt. I wanted the thread spool colors to really stand out.

For the thread spools, I used these Kona Cotton colors: Jamaica, Niagara, Astral, Malibu, Mediterranean, Ultra Marine, Grasshopper, Cabbage, Parrot, and Cyan. I used a Kona Cotton charm pack for all these colors except 1 that I pulled from my stash.

The binding is a scrappy mix using the leftovers from paper-piecing the spools. I had just enough to complete the binding – whew! I really love the dimensional effect that scrappy binding gives to this mini quilt.

Since I was at the beach, I decided to be adventurous with my free-motion quilting by stitching a sand dollar shape using Aurifil #4654. This is a lovely green and blue variegated thread in 50 weight. For the background quilting, I did all over free-motion swirls using Aurifil 2024 in 50 weight, and it blended perfectly with the Kona White.

Sew Many Colors Mini Quilt

Close-Up of Sand Dollar Free-Motion Quilting

Sew Many Colors Mini Quilt Thumbnail

I am entering this mini quilt into a contest where you can vote! Voting runs from April 1st – 15th, 2017 on the Aurifil blog. Hope you’ll stop by and check out all the beautiful quilts!

Happy quilting,

~Jennifer

 

Giraffe Abstractions Quilt!

Hi everyone,

In July at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt show, I had the opportunity to take the Giraffe Abstractions class by Violet Craft with my sister.

I finished about 1/2 of the quilt top during the week, working on it during the 2-day class and in the evenings at the hotel. I wanted to finish the quilt quickly since I had a visit to my sister’s house in August so I stitched like crazy during the rest of July and early August at home. I also wanted to take the finished giraffe on a little, unexpected journey! The piecing is all done with Aurifil #2000 and the quilting is done with Superior OMNI in light grey.

This beautiful quilt is entirely foundation paper-pieced. I used Violet’s recommended colors for the giraffe body. For the background, I used the modern Me + You Batiks. I love how it turned out!!

Here is my giraffe on her journey to celebrate the National Park Service 100th Anniversary at Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park!

Giraffe at Continental Divide, Yellowstone NP

Giraffe at Continental Divide, Yellowstone NP

Giraffe at Biscuit Basin, Yellowstone NP

Giraffe at Biscuit Basin, Yellowstone NP

Giraffe at Grand Teton NP

Giraffe at Grand Teton NP

I have a large stack of to-do quilting projects to tackle next, including an Instagram mini quilt swap and a Scrappy Skylines Quilt-Along. I may start the Elephant Abstractions quilt next, but who knows? 🙂

Happy quilting!

~Jennifer

Forest and Lake Art Quilt Flimsy Finished!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

For the past year, I’ve been steadily working on what I call an epic paper piecing project! It’s comprised of 2 art quilt-a-long projects designed by Janeen of Quilt Art Designs. The top section is the forest QAL and the bottom section is the lake QAL. Each section is broken down into 12-week chunks.

Here’s a look at the completed flimsy:

Forest and Lake QAL together!

Forest and Lake QAL together!

When I do foundation paper-piecing, I tend to keep the papers on for as long as possible for added stability. If the paper makes a seam too bulky, I will remove part of it. Otherwise, I wait until the project is completed, and then remove all the paper at once.

Here’s what the back of the quilt top looks like:

Paper backing on Forest and Lake QAL

Paper backing on Forest and Lake QAL

Now, that’s a bunch of paper to remove!! I did make one mistake on the forest portion so I had to make an adjustment not on the pattern, but I think it still turned out fine.

I’m not sure how to quilt this project. I’m going to take my take and do a bunch of custom quilting, I think. Once finished, I hope to display it in a couple of local quilt shows.

Enjoy!

~Jennifer

Brutus Quilt, First Finish of 2016

Happy New Year, everyone!

My quilty goal this year is to finish more projects before starting new ones! Sound familiar?

In a bittersweet first finish for the year, I completed the quilting and binding on my Brutus memory quilt this week.

I posted earlier that Janeen of Quilt Art Designs drafted this wonderful foundation paper-pieced pattern for me of my dog, Brutus, who passed away in September 2015 after fighting cancer.

The pattern is based off a photo that I took of Brutus with us on the Broken Top hike in central Oregon in August 2015.

Brutus hikes the Broken Top trail with the Three Sisters in the background

Brutus hikes the Broken Top trail with the Three Sisters in the background

I pieced the quilt using Aurifil 50 weight threads in light tan and black. The blue background is Moda Grunge, the solids are all Kona cotton, and the blacks and grays are from various fabric manufacturers pulled from my stash.

I did a free-motion swirly quilting all over his fur, switching from black thread to a variegated brown thread when needed. For the blue background, I did straight-line quilting using Rainbow thread by Superior. It has a subtle shimmer that you can see in person, but the pictures do not show it well.

For the binding, I went with a black and white print from Cotton & Steel. I like how it vaguely resembles an old film strip yet brings the focus to Brutus.

Brutus Memory Quilt 1

Brutus Memory Quilt 2

I love how this quilt turned out! I think it is my favorite quilt that I have made, and I plan to hang it in our house this weekend. I miss Brutus fiercely and still feel his sweet doggie presence.

Sincere thanks to Janeen for the pattern. Please check out her Craftsy store and her wonderful selection of foundation paper-piecing patterns!

Happy quilting,

~Jennifer

Fabric Postcard Tutorial

Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone!

Recently, I participated in an Instagram-based modern fabric postcard swap. Check out the great pictures under the hashtag #modernfabricpostcardswap!

Several people asked me how I made my cards so I thought a step-by-step tutorial would be helpful to post here on my blog with some pictures.

Fabric postcards are quick and easy to make and you can use leftover scraps from other projects. You can piece them traditionally, paper-piece them, or use applique. My one suggestion is to not embellish the cards with any 3-D type materials if your intent is to mail the card by itself. You don’t want the postal machines to get jammed up!

These cards are suitable to mail by themselves. You don’t need to put them in an envelope, and you only need 1 first-class stamp for domestic postage. If you are mailing them internationally, you’ll probably need a little more postage.

Here are the 3 postcards that I made for the swap:

Modern Fabric Postcards

Modern Fabric Postcards

Materials

  1. (1) 4″ x 6″ piece of white cardstock (or white fabric)
  2. (1) 4″ x 6″ piece of Heat n’ Bond lite (or any light weight, double-sided fusible)
  3. (1) 4″ x 6″ piece of Timtex interfacing (or any firm, one-sided fusible)
  4. (1) 4″ x 6″ fabric top (any technique)
Fabric Postcard Materials

Fabric Postcard Materials

How to Make the Fabric Postcard

Step 1: Piece the fabric top of your postcard using any technique – improvised piecing, paper-piecing, applique. No pattern needed just use your imagination! I often start with a focus fabric and then build from there.

Step 2:  Press your fabric top to the Timtex interfacing. I use a towel to protect my ironing board from any adhesive.

Iron fabric top to Timtex

Iron fabric top to Timtex

Step 3:  Quilt the fabric top to the interfacing to give it structure and stability. You can straight-line stitch or practice your free-motion quilting. It’s up to you!

Quilt the postcard top

Quilt the postcard top

Step 4: On the white cardstock or white fabric, write the word “POSTCARD” across the top portion on one side. Add a divider line and address lines. If you use white cardstock, then any archival thin-tipped marker works well. I use a Micron pen. If you use white fabric, practice on a scrap first because you may need a special fabric marker.

Step 5: Press the Heat n’ Bond lite (double-sided fusible) to the backside of the white cardstock or white fabric.

Iron double-sided fusible to backside of cardstock

Iron double-sided fusible to backside of cardstock

Step 6: Peel off the paper from the remaining side of the Heat n’ Bond lite.

Step 7: Stack the quilted postcard top onto the cardstock so that the remaining fusible side faces the back of the Timtex interfacing. You are essentially making a “postcard sandwich” much like layering a quilt. Press.

Center the postcard top to the bottom and then press.

Center the postcard top to the bottom and then press.

Step 8: Stitch around all outside edges of the postcard to seal it. You can use a zigzag stitch or a satin stitch. I like to use a zigzag and go around the whole card two times.

Zigzag stitch on all edges!

Zigzag stitch on all edges!

 

Step 9: On the backside, you can write your note and the lucky recipient’s address. Add a sticker-style stamp, and drop it in the post box!

Ready for your note, address, and stamp!

Ready for your note, address, and stamp!

I hope you found this tutorial helpful! Fabric postcards are fun and addictive to make, and you’ll be an expert in no time!

Happy stitching!

~Jennifer

MQG Riley Blake Fabric Challenge for 2015

Hi everyone!

I made an original design for my entry into the “Modern Quilt Guild 2015 Fabric Challenge with Riley Blake Designs” contest.

The rules for the challenge are:

  • Make something fantastic that is quilted.
  • Make something you have never done before.
  • Challenge yourself to learn something new.
  • Use only Riley Blake “the Cottage Garden” fabrics and coordinating Riley Blake basics and solids.

I used the fabric sampler pack that MQG members could sign up for and receive in the mail. I added just 2 fabrics – a Riley Blake shade (granite) and a Riley Blake solid (off-white).

I’m calling my entry “Sisters in Bloom” because the quilt features the Three Sisters mountains with a nod to all the beautiful, blooming flowers that you can see while strolling through the town of Sisters (particularly during the upcoming Outdoor Quilt Show in July!!). There is a fussy cut bird from the fabric perched on one of the flowers. Look on the right-hand side!

The flying geese are a paper-pieced, spontaneous creation that I made up as I went along!

I used red floss for a punch of color in the flowers, on the bird, and in the quilt name. The quilting is all free-motion on my domestic machine. If you look closely, the sun is radiating out from just behind the mountain on the far left-hand side of the quilt. I used a variegated thread in the bottom portion of the quilt to add color and movement to imitate a flowering alpine meadow.

Sisters in Bloom Quilt Entry for the MQG Challenge

Sisters in Bloom Quilt Entry for the MQG Challenge

Close-up of embroidery

Close-up of embroidery

Little bird close-up!

Little bird close-up!

Spontaneous, paper-pieced flying geese!

Spontaneous, paper-pieced flying geese!

If you are an MQG member, you can view other entries into this challenge via the online forums. Anyone can view entries in Instagram using the #mqgfabricchallenge hashtag.

I hope you enjoy my entry!

~Jennifer

Chair Re-upholstery Project Reveal!

Greetings!

Several months ago, my husband and I purchased two well-worn chairs from a thrift shop. The upholstery was old, tired, and stained and needed to be refreshed. The chair legs also had some condition issues but the overall bones of the chair looked good.

We removed all the old upholstery to use as a pattern and replaced the foam cushions. For the legs, we removed years worth of dirt and stripped off the old stain. This process was pretty time consuming and took about a month, just working on it in our spare time on the weekends.

Thrift Store Chairs (Before)

Thrift Store Chairs (Before)

Close-up of worn and dated upholstery

Close-up of worn and dated upholstery

I looked through many, many fabric swatches before we settled on a neutral brown home decor fabric with a darker brown swirling pattern called Rooftop Pecan by Jaclyn Smith. This color and pattern worked well with the colors in our house.

We re-stained the legs a rich mahogany color to match existing wood furniture and to pair with a small little antique bistro table that we purchased several weeks ago.

We also added some rubbed bronze upholstery tacks to the backs of the chair for a little extra charm. I really love how they look in person.

Here’s a look at the refreshed chairs (in bright sunshine so the colors are a little different in person):

Re-upholstered chairs, front and back

Re-upholstered chairs, front and back

Re-upholstered Chairs!

Re-upholstered Chairs!

Close-Up of Rubbed Bronze Tack Accents

Close-Up of Rubbed Bronze Tack Accents

My next step is to make some little lumbar cushions for those of us who are vertically challenged! I always like to be able to touch the floor with my feet. I’m going to use the reverse side of leftover scraps from re-upholstering the chairs.

One more look with the before and after pictures side-by-side:

Chair Transformation

Chair Transformation

For my next upholstery project, I’m going to redo the sewing chair that I got from my mom. It’s the chair that came with her original New Home sewing machine from the early 1970s, and the fabric is starting to tear in places. I hope to do that project sometime this winter.

Enjoy,

~Jennifer