Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Quilting Improvisation

Most of my stitching time this past week has found me working on my minimalist improv quilt, the one inspired by the slice-and-insert Improv with Intent charity quilt block. In the process, I've had to improvise to deal with a couple of surprises.

First, I noticed that the quilting lines on one side of the quilt were slightly curved. It may be hard to see the curves in this picture, but trust me, they are there!

Straight line quilting

I kept quilting for a while thinking that maybe the curved lines were in my imagination. From some angles they looked straight, but from other angles I could see the slight bend in the lines. If you know me, you know that I like my straight lines to be straight! So I put the pins back in and spent a couple of hours ripping out that curvy stitching. It was a pain. But not as much of a pain as I would have felt every time I looked at those curved lines on my finished quilt!

Second, I had a mishap with a marking tool - it wouldn't erase when it was time. Isn't that every quilter's nightmare?!?

I rubbed quite a bit with water, but in the end, it was a stain remover that got the mark out. I added some matchstick quilting to the affected section. I love the effect!

Matchstick quilting2

This is the first time that I've done this kind of matchstick quilting in only one area of the quilt. I'm calling it minimal matchstick.

Matchstick quilting1

After all that quilting, this quilt needed some blocking. I usually block my quilts by spraying them with water and pinning them in place. This quilt, though, needed some serious cleaning up. So I threw it in the machine on the delicate cycle and laid it out to dry on the floor. That was the first time that I washed a quilt before binding it. I'm guessing it won't be the last!

What about you? How have you had to improvise in your quilt making?

Linking to W.i.P. Wednesday

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

More Improv with Intent

After making my first improv with intent block, I still had a lot of fabric left over. I was determined to not add to my already overflowing scrap bin!

So I made another block - a minimalist log cabin with the required triangle.

Improv with Intent_Minimalist log cabin

And another one.

Improv with Intent_Minimalist Log Cabin 2

And late one night, when fatigue was calling me to bed, I challenged myself to whip up one more block in 10 minutes. It took me 25 minutes, but this is what I made - a slice and insert block.

Improv with Intent_Slice and Insert

I loved it so much I decided to make a larger version as a whole quilt.

I've got it all basted (that brown tool is a Kwik Klip, in case you were wondering).

Improv quilt_basting

Now to stitch it up!

Linking up to W.i.P. Wednesday

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Improv with Intent

The Modern Quilt Guild has challenged members to make charity quilts for QuiltCon 2016 with the theme of "Improv with Intent." For details on the challenge, check out the Member Charity Challenge page.

All quilts will have the same color palette, but members are free to use which ever colors they would like in their blocks.

Charity quilt fabrics

I chose to use the neutral colors: grey, cream, white, and black.

I didn't use a ruler when cutting the pieces so there is a subtle curve in some of the piecing.

Charity quilt block

One of the guidelines that our guild is following is to include a triangle somewhere in the block. I made mine a tiny red triangle for contrast.

I have plenty of fabric left over so I may just make another block or two, if time permits.

If you're looking for improv inspiration, check out this Pinterest board.

Happy stitching!

Linking to W.i.P. Wednesday!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Tiger Pincushion

I've been wanting to make a new pincushion for my longarm machine pins for a while now, but it wasn't a priority until I stumbled upon some leftover HSTs. Rather than throw them away, I wanted to do something with them. A pincushion seemed like a nice, quick project.

The top came together pretty quickly, even with such small units. For more on that, check out my previous post, "Rescuing Leftovers."

Cotton and Steel Tiger Pincushion

I wanted to give the pincushion some height so that the long pins wouldn't poke through the bottom of the cushion and prick my fingers. I made the pincushion 2.5" tall.

Tiger Pincushion_Side View

At 6" x 6" x 2.5" it is the biggest pincushion I have ever made. It will be perfect for my many pins.


I plan on pinning around the tiger in the middle.

Cotton and Steel Tiger Pincushion_Pins

I can' t image sticking pins in this cute kitty.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Rescuing Leftovers

As I was sifting through my closet this weekend, I came across a little baggie of half square triangles left over from a mini quilt I made many moons ago.

Leftover HSTs

These tiny HSTs would finish at one inch. My instinct was to toss them. But then I wondered if there was something little that I might make with them.

I looked through my book of 501 quilt blocks - which is an excellent reference, by the way - and came across the Amish Star block.

Tiger block

I only ended up using 8 of the HSTs to make this little block. It will finish as a six inch square.

I think it will make a nice jumbo sized pin cushion - something that I've been meaning to make to replace one that has seen better days.

I love this little block and could see myself making a bunch of them at a larger size for a quilt. Someday, perhaps!

For now, I think I will stick with the pin cushion - it's a much more manageable project, don't you think? As for the rest of those HSTs, someone on IG said she'd be willing to adopt them. I'm thinking I will take her up on her offer. I wonder about what they will become next.

Linking up to W.i.P. Wednesday!

Friday, October 16, 2015

A Red, White and Blue Finish

I have a finish to share!

Triangle MQG Charity Quilt

This quilt is part of a Spoonflower/Triangle Modern Quilt Guild challenge to make a quilt for a local charity using a set of Spoonflower prints and solids. The challenge was over earlier this summer, but I'm just finishing up now. You know what they say, "Better late than never!"

Can you tell that I started this quilt around the Fourth of July?!? 

Triangle MQG Charity Quilt2

I made this quilt using jumbo log cabin blocks that I cut into quarters and then rearranged and sewed back together. It's a technique that I've been wanting to try for some time.

I'm glad I tried a new technique, although I'm on the fence about the finished quilt. It's not my usual color scheme; I miss the pink and orange! Nor is it my usual design aesthetic of less is more. But, I do like the bold graphic design of the blocks and that I used only fabrics that were in my scrap bin. What I love most is that it's done!   

Now it's ready for gifting to a child in our area.  

Triangle MQG Charity Quilt3

For more on the challenge and the winning quilt, check out the Spoonflower blog.

Linking to Finish It Up Friday!

Friday, September 11, 2015

A Patchwork Pouch

Ooh, it feels good to have a finish!

I made this patchwork pouch as part of a birthday package for my dear friend, Valerie.

Mama Love Quilts_Patchwork Pouch

I used the Noodlehead open wide zipper pouch tutorial for the medium size with a couple of modifications. First, I made patchwork panels of 1" squares. For more on that, see this post.

Mama Love Quilts_Patchwork Pouch Closeup

Second, instead of having the zipper hanging out, I made little tabs at each end. That took some trial and error, but I got it in the end. 

Mama Love Quilts_Zipper pouch

For the lining, I used a text print from the Quilted Fish's collection of The Cottage Garden.

Mama Love Quilts_Pouch lining

I must admit it was hard to let this one go!

Have you seen the leather open wide pouches that Anna made? Now, I need to find some leather so I can make my own!

Linking to Finish It Up Friday!