January flew by, but somehow I managed to meet my sewing goal for the month. Now we’re on to February, an already short month. To top it off, QuiltCon is in the middle of the month and there is a TON to do before I head to Austin. I have been debating which project to choose for this month of A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYoF) and I’ve decided NOT to choose any of my QuiltCon prep projects (just in case I have to abort mission and go to the conference without newly handmade accessories) and instead to choose Maddie’s Rainbow Jellyroll quilt as my goal. All I have left to do is square up the quilt and bind it. Sounds doable, even though I’ll most likely be working on it after I return from QuiltCon.
I quilted it with straight lines 1/4″ from each seam, in coordinating colors of Aurifil 40wt thread. I am LOVING it and clearly, so is my little helper. This quilt is for Maddie, but Max certainly had a grand old time rolling around with it during the photo shoot while Maddie was in preschool.
I like how the quilt lines look on the back WAY more than I thought I would. I was all worried they would look off kilter, but it looks fine to me (don’t mind the fluff balls!).
I have a confession to make: I’ve never made a quilt for an immediate family member. There, I said it. Yes, I have two kids and another on the way. Yet, I’ve never made a baby quilt for one of my own babes let alone myself or my husband. Well, that’s finally about to change! I’ve been working on a Rainbow Jelly Roll quilt for my daughter Maddie since early July of last year (as seen HERE and HERE), but it always seems to get shoved to the back burner behind projects for other babies, baby showers, and other family members. Finally, on Maddie’s birthday right before Christmas, we laid out the quilt and matched some threads to help psyche myself up for quilting and hopefully finishing her very first quilt.
I decided that I wanted to quilt this with simple seam-echoing straight lines in coordinating thread, but that would require a rainbow gradient of thread (awww, darn! I have to buy a spectrum of Aurifil!?). I had a couple of spools of organic cotton Scanfil and one 50wt spool of Aurifil that already matched, so I went onto the Hawthorne Threads site and ordered the supplementary colors. I opted for 40wt since I had never tried them before and the website said they were good for machine quilting. I figured a little bit thicker than 50wt wouldn’t hurt, so these 40wt beauties were added to my stash.
I’ve since then started and almost finished quilting this Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt, so I think my eye candy photo shoot worked! Here are some more gorgeous photos from my photo shoot with my adorable five year old, her rainbow jellyroll quilt, and the matching Aurifil thread.
I think she may have been a bit bored during some of it, though! LOL!
I seriously love Aurifil thread. It shines, has never broken once, and doesn’t fuzz up my machine NEARLY as much as other hand-me-down threads I use upon occasion. I’m excited to be slowly growing my supply of Aurifil.
It’s a bit of a motley crew, but I think the resulting quilting is going to be gorgeous!!
Here’s an Instagram selfie I posted while quilting. It’s my first-ever quilting selfie! See!? I’m making progress!
I’ve never been to a quilt guild meeting. There, I’ve said it. The nearest Modern Quilt Guild is the Maine Modern Quilt Guild (MMQG), and they meet over 2 hours away. With two little kids, it’s not really possible for me to meet with them with any kind of regularity. There’s another local, traditional quilt guild about 30 minutes away, and I hope to attend some of their meetings, but I just haven’t been able to make it work yet.
I read and hear so much about the fun projects people do at Modern Quilt Guild meetings: the new skills learned, the opportunities to be a part of a charity quilt or MQG contest, the tricks and tips shared, and I very much want to be a part of that! So far, though, I’ve only been participating from afar, via email as much as I can. That will have to do for now. You, my blogospheric quilter buddies, are my quilt guild–so thank you!
One MMQG activity I have joined is their Block of the Month.
Because I’m not able to attend meetings, I think I’m already behind simply because I don’t know what the September blocks are yet. I think most of the blocks are coming from Tula Pink’s City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks, and sadly I do not yet own the book. I was sent the patterns for these blocks over the summer and I’m eager to make some more. (Amazon affiliate link above, fyi)
This MMQG BOM quilt will consist of 36 blocks, and the layout is slowly taking shape in my mind. Nothing is set by any stretch, but I’m combining my love of grey as a background color with my infatuation with rainbow gradient. Each block will consist of one main color and a shade of grey. After seeing these blocks, I think I may switch it up a bit and have some of my future blocks have the rainbow color on the outer portion with the grey in the center. Here’s what I’ve completed so far:
I definitely have come to love creating these blocks. I was hesitant at taking on a new project, especially one that I would be joining from afar when everyone else in the guild would be quilting along and sharing progress. After making these first five adorable (they finish at 6″x6″) blocks, I’m hooked. And I’m excited to see how my color choices grow and build as I get more experienced with these little modern blocks. The final one I made is definitely my favorite.
I think my next step is to buy the 100 Modern Quilt Blocks book so that I can find out what number blocks are next! I’m glad I decided to take on *just one more* project, since these 6″ blocks are a great little break from other larger projects, and I don’t have to think too hard about design just yet. The blocks look so tiny on the side of our shed now, but I’m eager to see them grow!
Have you made any Tula Pink’s City Sampler quilt blocks? I’d love to see them, and the color design and layout you chose! Please link to your projects in the comments.
The hustle and bustle of the autumn harvest season has overflowed into my sewing habits. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been finalizing some new foundation paper piecing patterns with the help of some awesome pattern testers. I’m relatively new to the solicit-pattern-testers game, but I managed to find some great and enthusiastic testers through the Late Night Quilters Club facebook group. Here are my new patterns, and a sampling of the fabulous testing:
This pattern literally came to me as my family was driving home from church one Sunday. I have been really trying to simplify my patterns and focus on geometric symmetry. Perhaps the turning leaves speckling our drive home inspired me, but either way I quickly sketched out this pattern on a scrap of paper while my husband drove (don’t worry–I didn’t sketch it out while driving!). Here we are a few weeks later and it’s ready to go!
One of the most exciting things about sending your pattern to testers is the anticipation of what color scheme and design each tester will choose. My testers for this leaf didn’t disappoint! Check out these lovely tester versions; they are so incredibly varied and gorgeous!
Each of these three lovely ladies will be giving away a copy of my new pattern on her blog, so head on over to check them out and try your hand at winning this seasonal leaf pattern. The pattern is also listed for sale in my Craftsy store, and will be on sale for $3.50 for one week before it goes back to its usual price.
Fishies Rainbow Row
Just about immediately after sketching out my original Fishies panel, the idea for this alternate layout and color scheme came to mind. I sketched it out and wrote out rough piecing instructions and then put it on the back burner. When asking for pattern testers, Julie Schloemer from That’s Sew Julie offered to test my fishies panel pattern. After looking through her blog and seeing her style, I thought she might be interested in making my rough idea into a reality. Little did I know that she would literally make my exact vision into a reality! Here is the Fishies Rainbow Row pattern, exactly as I envisioned it, pieced and quilted by Julie.
I loved watching Julie’s progress with this on Instagram, from the first pieced fish, to the matching of thread in preparation of quilting, all the way to finishing as a lovely pillow. Check out these great photos by Julie:
Julie will also be hosting a giveaway on her blog, where you can enter for a chance to win a free copy of this pattern. The pattern is also listed for sale in my Craftsy store and will be on sale for $3.50 for one week until it returns to its usual price. Get it now!
I also recently created a Flickr group called Night Quilter Creations, where you can post photos of projects you’ve made using my patterns. If you’re on Flickr, go check it out, join in, and post your photos! I’d love to see what you create!
Maddie’s rainbow jellyroll quilt top is finally complete! It only took me a bit over three hours to sew together, but with a fairly large summer sewing hiatus in the middle. I decided to focus on completing this quilt over a month ago, and sewed the first jellyroll strips into pairs. This past weekend I was graced with a rare chunk of uninterrupted sewing time, during which I finished sewing all of the strips together. This quilt is made entirely of strips from an Andover Fabrics Color Collection Jellyroll. Easy peasy! Go ahead and get a cup of tea or coffee (and a snack) because here comes a deluge of rainbow photographs!
I was so excited to finally finish something, I immediately dragged my husband outside for a photo shoot upon completing this top. It was a bright sunny day with a decently brisk breeze, but I just couldn’t wait. Here’s Maddie’s gorgeous rainbow on a sunny, bright blue sky day:
My husband Garrett was quite patient as I dragged him around the yard, trying to find a spot where the lighting was decent and the photos were not too washed out from the bright sun. The wind didn’t always agree with our plan, but it made for some fun outtakes:
As evening began to set, I decided to go out and try a shady photo shoot, since in the past I’ve captured better color richness in shaded photos. With my kiddos back at home after an adventurous day with Grammy & Great Aunt Ellen, they of course wanted to help:
The colors definitely are richer in the shady photos, although I miss the crispness of the sunny photos. With this photo shoot, I think I prefer the sun for the full-quilt photos, and the shade for the close-ups. What do you think?
So pretty! I am quite pleased with how this came out, even if it’s a bit off-kilter on the edges. I plan to quilt it and then square it up after it’s all quilted. For those of you who have quilted rainbow quilts before, do you have any tips? I think I am going to try to match general colors of thread, and do simple straight line quilting along each strip. I guess that means I will need to buy some more Aurifil since I don’t have a full rainbow spectrum of thread (darn. wink wink).
I need your help!
My biggest question is with the bobbin: I only have two bobbins for my machine, and thus far I have quilted only in grey. When switching colors often in your quilting, do you just wind a bobbin a small amount, and hope to get lucky with how much you will need? I don’t want to waste a bunch of thread, but once I am finished quilting in a certain color, I will need to unwind the rest of the thread from the bobbin to make room for the next color. Any tips are greatly appreciated!
I’ll leave you with one last cute picture of my helpful kids, posted on Instagram last weekend (follow me @nightquilter).
Sometimes you see a burst of color so amazing, you just can’t let it go. That happened to me yesterday, when my cousin Kayley posted these amazing photos of glass sculptures created by Dale Chihuly, seen at Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle, Washington. Kayley is visiting our aunt in Seattle, and her photos are just amazing! They are taken with her camera phone, but the back-lit glass sculptures look so vibrant that I feel like I could reach out and touch them. Most of the photos are detail shots taken of a suspended 1,400-piece, 100-foot-long sculpture.
I think you will agree that these photos just begged to be turned into quilt-inspiration color palettes!
Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right: Tangerine, Lipstick, Ocean, Royal, Cedar, Citrus
I absolutely love this color palette! Consisting almost entirely of primary colors, it is bright and cheerful. I think it would make a great kids’ quilt.
Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right: Mahogany, Poppy, Lipstick, Plum, Surf, Hibiscus
This palette makes me think of the purple hat ladies. Purple hat ladies make me think of fun-loving, bold and beautiful women who do what they want without concerning themselves with what others may think. Can you tell that I hope to join their ranks someday? What fun! Passionate reds and purples, with a bit of rich mahogany make this another vibrant palette.
Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right: Black, Sable, Cappuccino, Shadow, Parsley, Honey
This palette isn’t colorful, but sometimes we need to focus on neutrals. This earthy palette has a good balance of neutrals and achromatic colors and would make a lovely subtle quilt or foundation for a quilt with a splash of additional color (maybe a bright Leprechaun green to pull from that subtle kona Parsley?) Plus, what an amazing glass squid sculpture!
Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Slate, Lime, Wheat, Lipstick, Rose, Corn Yellow
I’ll leave you with one more rainbow color palette to cap off this week. This photo features all the colors of the rainbow, which is well represented in the resulting palette. I don’t know about you, but I’m on a definite rainbow gradient quilting kick lately. You can’t go wrong with rainbow!
Special thanks to Kayley this week for letting me use her photographs to help inspire more colorful creative works of art. Enjoy!
Lately I’ve been trying to multitask during my sewing time, since this summer is so full of outdoor adventuring that my time spent sewing is little. The last time I had a good chunk of sewing time, I worked on piecing three projects at once. It made for little bits of progress for each, but no big noticeable progress on any one quilt. Today I decided to focus on one quilt so that I can hopefully get a finish under my belt to renew my quilting fury. Since I have yet to complete quilts for my kids, I decided it was high time I remedied that, and I decided to focus on sewing together my daughter’s rainbow quilt.
My design wall is one huge fail, so I had to lay out the strips while the “wall” was laying flat on the ground, and then slide it up to take photographs as quickly as possible before the pieces all fell to the ground. The bumps bug me, but such is life. Nothing’s perfect, especially not a partially pieced quilt top! A new design wall is creeping its way up my to-do list.
My four-year-old daughter wanted a rainbow quilt, and while searching for ideas, I came across this gorgeous quilt on Creativebug.
Today during my two-year-old’s nap, I finished sewing the strips into pairs. I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish sewing all of the paired strips together soon and will have a completed quilt top within a week or two. Next I will have to decide whether to keep it simple and finish it, or to add a border or edging to the quilt. Because it’s for my four-year-old, I’m leaning toward finishing it simply and letting it be small enough for her to drag around with her. What would you do?
I’ll leave you with some fun photographs from my playroom photo shoot today.
I’m attempting my first wonky anything in quilting. “Wonky” is a word I rarely heard before getting into the modern quilting world. The first quilting blog I ever followed is Bijou Lovely, and it’s still one of my favorite blogs! The photography is always stellar with lots of bokeh (narrow focal length resulting in that gorgeous blur around the point of focus), the projects are gorgeous, her tutorials are the best I’ve found, and I’m always on top of the newest fabric lines by following. Holly, the creator of Bijou Lovely, creates a lot of “wonky” quilts.
Quilting is traditionally very exact and symmetrical. With “wonky” quilting, elements of the quilt are all a kilter, asymmetrical, or otherwise skewed. There’s a lot of wonky in the modern quilting world. Come to think of it, the project I’m working on may not even be categorized as wonky; it might be more scrappy. I’m still learning this quilting lingo! Whether scrappy or wonky, it’s a bit uncomfortable for me. I like exact. I like precise. I really like symmetrical.
So far, despite this new-to-me wonk (something with wonk is wonky, right? :)), I like the way this is turning out. I can’t show you more, since I’m testing a pattern for a fellow designer, and the pattern isn’t out yet! Once the pattern is published and I’m cleared to show you, I’ll be sure to show you the finished work. Maybe you’ll be able to tell me whether it’s wonky or scrappy!
I grab a needle and thread once the kids are in bed