Thursday, February 25, 2016

Minimalist Improv: Mighty Lucky Challenge for February

For February, the Mighty Lucky Club "teacher" or "coach" was Season Evans and her challenge was all about minimalist improvisation.  I haven't done much in terms of minimalism and improv scares me a little bit so I knew this month's challenge was going to push me way out of my comfort zone.

I decided to use scraps only for this challenge so started digging into my black and white basket.  I chose this little bit of grey print as my focus fabric.

I then chose complimentary fabrics: a black and a grey solid and selected a number of contrasting fabrics in white and cream.

I must have moved things around a million times on my design wall, trying to find an arrangement I liked and which was minimal enough.  In the end, I went with this arrangement:

When I posted it on Instagram, I got a number of really good suggestions for the quilting, including wavy lines to mimic the print in  my grey focus fabric.  But when I stitched a few lines, it really didn't look good to me on this mini.  I use a straight-stitch machine so I don't have a fancy wavy stitch.  I had to basically move the mini from left to right while stitching and on a quilt this small, the irregularities of the waves really showed and it didn't look good at all.

So I decided to go with straight lines with the walking foot, but to keep going with the improv theme, I stitched them randomly all over the quilt.

For the binding, I went with more white with just a touch of black.

This little quilt finishes at 18".

I'm really having fun with these monthly challenges.  I'm super happy with both my mini quilts and look forward to the March email!

I will be linking up this finish with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and at Lisa's for TGIFF.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Scrappy Project #3 - A Strawberry Mini

I've been a little bit all over the place with my quilting lately.  I'm usually pretty good at starting and finishing projects one at a time, but these days, I'm like...  Squirrel!

I've got two pretty big quilts waiting for binding, I've got a mini waiting to be quilted, I've got another mini partly pieced, a wall quilt that's pieced and basted waiting for me to decide how to quilt it... Anyhow, all that to say, I've got a huge case of quilting attention deficit.

I was sitting in my kitchen one morning, quietly having my coffee and catching up on my blog reading when suddenly, I needed to make a mini wall quilt for my kitchen.  I grabbed my coffee and almost ran to my sewing room to look through my books and patterns.  When I saw the strawberry block in the Farm Girl Vintage book by Lori Holt, I knew it needed to become a mini for my kitchen.

I pulled my red, green and white scraps and started cutting.  And before long, I had all my pieces laid out and ready to sew together into a big block.

I then added a border to bring the block up to 20" square.

I quilted it with matching threads - paisleys in the red and back and forth straight lines in the green parts.  The green thread is variegated and I just love the look of those different shades of green.  In the background, I went with pebbling with white 50 wt thread.

For the binding, I used red and green scraps and, I guess I could brag and say I totally rocked the matching of the binding to the opposite colour - but it was complete coincidence!  Nevertheless, I was quite pleased with myself.

And here she is all done and ready to hang on my kitchen wall.

I'm so happy with this little strawberry that I'm now planning to make this pineapple.

I will be sharing this little finish over at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and at Sunlight in Winter Quilts for TGIFF.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Preppy the Whale Mini

I was supposed to be working on quilting a large quilt last weekend, but while scrolling through my iPad for inspiration, I remembered I purchased Elizabeth Hartman's Preppy the Whale pattern a little while ago and all of the sudden, I just had to make a mini quilt with these whales.

This mini would be so cool on the wall of the Island House with a couple of green whales!  I pulled out some Kona Ash for the background, Kona Pool and Kona Emerald for the two green whales, a white and black print from Connecting Threads for the other whales and got started cutting and piecing.

Before too long, I had all four whales pieced.

And then I noticed the two green whales weren't the right size - they were too long!  Both of them!  I had a choice: unpick the middle piece from both whales and fix the mistake or get a little creative and find a way to make it work.

I really don't like using my seam ripper so instead, I cut some more Ash and changed the layout a little bit.  I then added borders and had myself a finished quilt top.

I have to say I was quite pleased with my decision.  The whales look like they are swimming!

While I basted it, I tried to decide how to quilt my Preppy the Whale mini.  I went back and forth about which quilting designs to use... fancy FMQ... simple straight lines... a mix of both?  In the end, I went with wavy lines with the walking foot.  Sort of like waves!  Very quick but super effective with the design of the quilt me thinks!

I finished everything off with a Kona Candy Green binding and a cool text print for the backing.

And now this little quilt will be packed up and go over to the Island House in April, when we re-open the house for the summer.

Linking up at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and at Devoted Quilter for TGIFF.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Scrappy Project #2 - Heart Baby Quilt

Back in September, my step-daughter announced she was having a baby and then in December, we found out she is having a baby girl.

To say that I'm excited is the understatement of the century!  And I immediately started planning a baby girl quilt.  I wanted a scrappy pixelated heart with pink fabric and I went with a grey background.

I carefully chose the pink scraps because I didn't want anything too red.  I really like how those scraps look against the grey.

I quilted it with 50 wt grey Aurifil thread in a cross hatch pattern aiming for the corners of each square.  I really like the look of this and it was very easy to do.

I added one solid pink square in the bottom right corner and added pink to the binding in the opposite corner.

This little baby quilt finishes at about 32" square.  And I'm super pleased with this finish!

I will be linking up at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and at Devoted Quilter for TGIFF.  And this is project number 4 on my FAL list for Q1.