Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Quilt Church

I am back from QuiltCon and it was so much fun! I know so many of you didnt get to go but it was so great meeting so many friends, new and old! I got to have this whole experience with my friend, Alyce Blyth from Blossom Heart Quilts, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. We have been following each others blogs for the last couple of years and finally met in person. She stayed a couple of days at my home with my family then we drove down to Austin together and stayed with one of my dear friends. It was nice having that one person to check in with!

I shared some of my favorite quilts over on my IG feed and there are so many other blog posts that have done a spectacular job at properly crediting the quilters to their lovely quilts so Im not going to bore you with even more QuiltCon pictures except........

I did manage to get one picture of Flat Texas at the Czech Stop in West and I had hoped to get one in front of the Capitol but never managed to get down there. We will drive through in April and will try again.

Flat Texas

And I loved the photo booth in the Moda booth! I think I left my actual printed picture in the printer but here is a screenshot.
Flat Texas
(Dinglehopper)

I'm pretty sure most of you were glued to IG looking at all the lovely quilts and there is a hashtag just for quilt viewing (#quiltsofquiltcon). You can also see all of the winners on The Modern Quilt Guild's website as well. This is just a small group of awesomeness that was to be seen so please don't just stop at the winners. I probably won't get to make it to Pasadena but already planning for Savannah!

We've had a bit of ugly weather the last three days and I've been home with the girls since school was cancelled. Boo! On a super positive note, I've gotten lots of extra snuggles in and I'm so glad since I am leaving again tomorrow for QuiltBLISS! I. CAN'T. WAIT. Oh, and guess who gets to fly first class? ME! It is my first time ever and since I wanted to check two bags, it was going to be same price as coach. Absolutely absurd but I sure feel fancy! I am all packed and decided to take my Featherweight 221 to sew on and have three different quilts to work on and then my class with Camille Roskelly. I am most excited about taking a fabric dying class the day I get there. I will try to take lots of pictures and post them on IG so be sure to visit me there!

But before I am off again on my next adventure, I wanted to share something with y'all and wanted to make it sort of a pep-talk as well. So, if this post gets sort of long, please forgive me but don't give up on me!

I realized a lot about myself and quilting the past couple of weeks and it was compounded when I attended Angela Walter's How to be a Better Quilter lecture at QuiltCon. This lecture was only 35 mins or so long but it was impactful (and funny!). So much so and not just to me, that Angela released a video just this morning about her three important rules to quilting. You can watch it here and it's really quick and you might cry at the end. Go watch and come back.

So back to why I am sharing this video: I shared a picture of a quilt that I was working on on IG a few weeks ago and it was just blocks arranged on my design wall.

Church quilt

The quilt pattern came from a tutorial by Cristina at Pretty Little Quilts using the QuickCurve ruler. It was my first time using the ruler and sewing curves and knew I would need a bit of a learning curve (hehe no pun). The blocks went together fairly simple. The curves weren't as hard as I feared and I was so please with how they looked on the design wall. All my IG peeps seemed to like it too and was feeling pretty confindant. You know how it goes, right? So it was time to trim them up and piece them together and that is were things took a turn. I could not get them to trim down all to the same size and literally put them in the scrap bin three, THREE, times! I then went and sat on the couch with Mr. Relish and told him my plight and showed him my picture of the design wall and just like all the others on IG, he said it looked great.

So I went back in the sewing room and trimmed them the best I could and then pieced them together and this is was what I got....a bubbly, wonky mess with points not matching (it's hard to see in the picture but TRUST ME). Humph! It hung there for a week or two while the longarm sat empty and I just couldn't bring myself to waste time even quilting it, but since I had purchased the QuickCurve Sidekick long arm ruler specifically to quilt it I decided it was a perfect crappy quilt to practice the ruler on.

Church quilt

And guess what I learned...."A finished quilt is better than a perfect quilt top!" - Angela Walters (now is the time to watch the video if you skipped that step ;).

Church Cathedral Quilt




























My quilt is no longer wavy and wonky, my points magically lined up and all the flaws I hated from the quilt top were no longer noticeable because I quilted the crap out of it and had so much fun doing it!

Church Cathedral Quilt

Church Cathedral Quilt

Church Cathedral Quilt

Church Cathedral Quilt

So, if you hate an imperfect quilt top and have no desire to finish it, then I hope this will motivate you to at least try and you might be surprised with the outcome. I know I was! This quilt is now hanging in little relish's room and it makes me smile everytime I look at it and it makes my baby girl happy to know that mommy made something just for her to put in her room.


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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Will quilt for room and board....

My dear friend, Beth, is having a baby boy! I am so very happy for her and she is probably one of my biggest non-quilting quilty fans! I made her and her husband a quilt for their wedding a couple of years ago and they have been the best quilt gift recipients Ever! Beth is constantly telling my how much she loves it and how her hubby won't let her use it because he doesn't want it to get messed up. Beth not only married her awesome husband but his beautiful family and when Beth told me that she was having a boy, the first thing that came to mind right after, I get to make a baby quilt, was -- Oh, no, Grace (current baby girl of two older brothers)! She really was hoping for a baby girl, naturally. So we all know what I had to do, right? Make Grace her very own quilt, too!

On top of Beth just being an awesome mom, she is also an awesome friend because she is hosting Alyce (Blossom Heart Quilts) and me in Austin when we come for QuiltCon! I knew that if I went to QuiltCon I would stay with Beth, but then when Alyce reached out on IG looking for a roommate to save money, it was perfect combo and Beth was so gracious to welcome a complete stranger. We are going to have so much fun!

By the way, Beth has been stocking my blog for the last couple of weeks hoping to get a glimpse of her baby's quilt and I was tempted to not post it just to make her crazy. So I will start with big sister Grace's quilt...

I knew that with Grace's quilt, it was going to be more about the fabric and colors than the design so I went crazy simple and just put a Ten by Ten of C+S Hatbox together and did loopy butterfly quilting on the longarm. So fun, fast, and EASY!

Emmy Grace, Baby Boy, and Grace Quilts

I quilted a heart around 'Texas" of course and then her name right at the end.

Emmy Grace, Baby Boy, and Grace Quilts

Grace

Ok, for the sweet baby boy, it was super easy to design this quilt because like true Beth fashion, the second Beth got her big fat positive pregnancy test, she started a baby quilt board on Pinterest. Gotta love her! She told me she wanted a modern look with greys and blues and knew the perfect fabric combo. I picked up a Modern Neutral's layer cake and added 5" corners pieced on the diagonal and ta-da....

Emmy Grace, Baby Boy, and Grace Quilts

Emmy Grace, Baby Boy, and Grace Quilts

I saved all the corner pieces (they are already all stitched together into HSTs) and plan on making a car seat quilt for baby as well. She will have to wait a bit longer to get that quilt, though!

Here's a little time and fabric saving tip when I do corners like this....After I stitch the corners down, I stitch an additional line 1/2 inch to the right of the first stitch and then cut down the center. Now I have a bunch of HSTs that just need to be trimmed up and made into something else. I forgot to take pictures while I was doing the baby quilt but here is one from another project...

Baby

I quilted it on the longarm doing a wood grain motif. It's a pretty simple design with basically just a bunch of wavy lines and throwing in a few knots (squished spirals) in here and there. I wish I had made it a tad bit denser but oh well. I hope this quilt gets lots of loves and snuggles and washes and can't wait to snuggle this new baby boy!

How many sleeps till QuiltCon?

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A long time coming...

This quilt has been a long time coming and so glad to finally share it! It actually was finished several weeks ago and I hung it up on the wall in the future office/temporary playroom since I think it is kind of a quilty Texas map. Educational, right? The room has lots of light and took pictures of it in there. After looking at my pictures, I realized that they were pretty lame and weren't doing the quilt any justice. THIS quilt really deserved a good, purposeful, photo and since I needed to take pictures of 4 other quilts I decided to make an afternoon of it....

Texas Roadtrip QAL FINISH

Texas is an amazing State and I was born and raised here. I have no plans on ever leaving (unless my daughters convince me 20+ years from now). While I was taking this picture, I thought how much this image really depicted what Texas is to me. I grew up going camping and fishing all throughout Texas and have so many memories of being in the woods, swimming in lakes, riding my bike and just enjoying the outside. This reminds me of all that. I guess that is why I made this exact quilt for my dad for his birthday. His soul is tied to Texas just like mine and pretty much just like most other Texans. I'm really glad I made this effort to show it off.

Texas Roadtrip QAL FINISH

When I first made the half-ass joke about doing a Texas QAL with Cristina of Pretty Little Quilts, we really didn't think it would get much attention. Luckily, we had a great group of quilters from Texas and beyond participate. I am so thankful for them and Cristina! I love seeing all the versions that people have come up with and to see new groups of quilters making their own little QAL. Just nuts! I recently compiled the instructions for the QAL into a pattern form and you can now download it on Craftsy. You will still need to visit the bloggers to get the instructions for their blocks but you don't need to print anything additional to what you print from the pattern download. To get the full list of bloggers that participated, click here or click on the tab on the top of my page.

Texas Roadtrip QAL FINISH

I held off on quilting it for so long that by they time I finally got around to it, I was able to do it on my new longarm. To be honest, I am sort-of, maybe happy with the outcome. I really wanted to go for a graffiti look but not quite there. Still working on my free motion muscle memory and confidence. Practice, practice, practice.

Texas Roadtrip QAL FINISH

Texas Roadtrip QAL FINISH

I have decided to challenge myself to try to take more meaningful pictures of my quilts, my family, and my life. I not going to hang my Texas quilt back up on the wall just yet. I want to take more pictures of it, but in other memorable places just how the quilt illustrates for me. So, when I travel to Austin in two weeks and then Galveston and Rio Grande Valley this spring, it's coming with me and getting photographed. Like a Flat Stanley, but Flat Texas.

Texas Roadtrip QAL FINISH

Last week was a pretty crummy week with two sick kiddos and a poor puppy dog getting surgery to thinking all was okay again this week to waking up with one kiddo with an ear infection and finding out said puppy dog has a mass in her bladder. So here's to hoping the rest of the week goes much better and everyone gets healthy and we get positive news about sweet Dolly. Thanks so much for reading my blog and hope you have an amazing week!

Dining with Dresdens


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