An Anniversary Trip to Kauai!

Hello quilty friends!

My husband and I recently celebrated our 15th anniversary and decided to visit Kauai to celebrate. We went in December and brought out 10-year-old. It truly was a wonderful trip, and we had some really great family time together.

We took Captain Andy’s sunset dinner sail along the Napali coastline. The weather was perfect! Sunny, clear, rainbows! We saw early whales migrating to Hawaii for winter, spinner dolphins, a green sea turtle, and magnificent scenery!

We also enjoyed a very muddy ATV tour with Kipu Ranch Adventures. We went on a rainy day for maximum mud puddle splashing!

I’ve always wanted to hike the famous Kalalau Trail along the Napali coastline. The full trail is 11-miles one way and requires backpacking in for an overnight stay. We decided to do the more popular 4-mile round trip section, starting at Ke’e beach and turning around at Hanakapi’ai beach. Someday, I would love to do the whole trail!

Our son had the most fun just boogie boarding at the beach. The joy on his face will stay with me for a long time!

I also squeezed in a stop at a quilt store and purchased some beautiful fabric for myself, my sister, and my mom.

Kapaia Stitchery

Kapaia Stitchery

I really loved visiting Kauai. It is a beautiful island with a laid-back pace of life. I hope to visit again some day.

Double rainbow near Hanalei

Double rainbow near Hanalei

Mahalo!

~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

Dog Memory Quilt

In my last post, I talked about losing our best dog friend, Brutus. I reached out to the wonderful Janeen of Quilt Art Designs to design a foundation paper-pieced memory quilt of Brutus.

I’ve finished the quilt flimsy, and it looks just like him!!

Brutus Memory Quilt Flimsy

Brutus Memory Quilt Flimsy

At this time, I think I will leave the quilt without borders to keep the focus on Brutus. I’m going to quilt it next week at my sister’s house since she has a lovely new HQ Avante.

If you get a chance, pop on over to Janeen’s Craftsy store and check out her wonderful foundation paper-pieced patterns!

Remember to hug your furry friends today!

Happy Quilting,
Jennifer

Losing a Dog Friend

Hi quilty friends,

It’s been a rough month for my family since we lost our best buddy, Brutus, to cancer. We had 12 wonderful years with him, filled with many hiking and camping adventures. I miss him, and I feel the loss of his special spirit in the house every day. We do have a 7-month old puppy who is helping to keep our doggy adventures on-going.

Here’s a little collage of Brutus:

Brutus

Brutus

To remember him, I’m making a special quilt designed by Janeen of Quilt Art Designs. If you get a chance, pop on over to her Craftsy store and check out her wonderful foundation paper-pieced patterns! I’m also making her Forest and Lake QAL, which I hope to finish by year’s end.

I started selecting fabrics and making one of the eyes this week:

Detail of dog eye; foundation paper-pieced

Detail of dog eye; foundation paper-pieced

Here’s what that eye section looks like, side-by-side with the foundation:

Dog eye, foundation

Dog eye, foundation

This is going to be a fabulous art quilt, and I really want to finish it over the next month. I need to choose a nice background fabric and several mauve tones for the tongue. Otherwise, I’m pulling all the other fabrics from my stash since they are mostly blacks and tans.

Have you hugged your pet today?
~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

Pets on Quilts Contest

Hi everyone,

With summertime schedules, work, and mini quilt swaps on Instagram, I haven’t had a chance to update my blog for a while!

However, today I have a special treat for you! I’m participating in the Pets on Quilts contest sponsored by Lily Pad Quilting.

My entry features my little puppy, Pepper, sitting prettily on my Grand Illusion Mystery quilt. This quilt is designed by the fabulous Bonnie Hunter as her mystery quilt for last year. I’m entering the “Pup on Quilt” category.

In this photo, Pepper is about 10 weeks old. Don’t you just love her cute little ears?!

Pepper Sits on a Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt

Pepper Sits on a Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt

I made my Grand Illusion Mystery quilt using green scraps from my stash and Moda Grunges for the solids. It is a lap-sized quilt so perfectly sized for cuddling on the couch with a pup or cat!

You can check out all the other wonderful entries in the Pets on Quilts contest in the linky party here.

Enjoy and happy quilting!
~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