Sunday, September 22, 2013

Robin's Stars

This quilt belongs to Robin and she used a variety of ideas to come up with her own design.  The stars in the center of the quilt are made like the ones in this tutorial.  Robin always does amazing things with scraps (or what some would just consider garbage).  She was able to create all the pinwheels in the border from the trimmings from the star blocks - smart cookie isn't she?

I wanted the star points and pinwheels to pop so they were stitched in the ditch and I added a small geometric element to the center of the stars.  The background got a couple of different fills, some swirls behind the stars and some curls in between the pinwheels.

The outer border got  bead board and I wanted something interesting for the light border.  Regular feathers didn't feel right, but the squared off feathers and curls seemed to fit the bill.

And the back.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


This is Cheri's lovely jelly roll quilt.   She used a pattern called Tess by Bella Moon.  Cheri was able to cut all her red fabric lengthwise, so the border and sashing pieces are solid.  There is no disruption to the large scale print in that fabric and that really adds to finish of the quilt.

Cheri chose the "Come Dance with Me" pantograph, So Fine thread and Quilters Dream Blend Batting.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Summer Romance

This pretty quilt belongs to Dawn.  She made it from a kit called "Summer Romance" from SewBatik.  It is hard to get a sense of the size from the picture above, but it measures in at 102" x 102".  I needed to get up on a ladder to get the whole thing in the picture!

This quilt was made with a specific bed in mind.  Dawn needed a spectacular quilt to go with this spectacular Diamond Willow headboard.  How cool is that?

Dawn felt the "Come Dance with Me" panto completed the vision she had for this quilt.  We decided on a shiny Magnifico thread in a color called "Bay Leaf" and Dream Puff batting for texture and to keep it a little lighter.

 And a few more pictures of all the piecing that went into this quilt!  It is amazing Dawn, thanks for letting me enjoy it for a while!

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Little Thread Painting

I am a member of the Crocus Quilters Guild here in Dauphin and this is a picture of the guild banner.  Every member has the opportunity to add their own mini quilt of a crocus.  I decided to try my hand at Thread Painting to complete my contribution to the banner. 

I didn't really know if what I was doing was going to work or not as this was quite experimental for me, but since I am quite pleased with the end result I thought that I would share the process I used.  I am certainly not an expert by any means, but here is Thread Painting my way.

I started out by tracing an outline of my sketch onto water soluble stabilizer.  The product I had at home was Fabri-Solvy made by Sulky.  The lines will either be covered with thread or washed away after the stitching is complete.

I debated whether to do this project on my longarm or on my regular sewing machine.  My longarm was empty while waiting on a thread order, and my sewing was set up for another task, so the longarm won.  I layered a piece of batting and my top fabric on the frame.  (I would have basted these together or put them in a hoop if I was using my sewing machine.)

I then layered my pattern on top, and added a few pins to keep it in place.

Here is the color palette I chose to work with.  I only had So Fine! thread in appropriate colors, but I can now see how this would be a great time to use all those fun threads that exist in the marketplace.

Now comes the fun part. You kind of have to pretend that you are back in elementary school and coloring in a coloring book.  The difference being that instead of a crayon you are using a needle and thread.  I started with the lightest shade of each color and shaded in the background of that area.  I was careful to stitch in the same direction to make it look like nice coloring/shading, not scribbling.

Now for some green.

And the lightest of the purples.  I was careful to pay attention to what portion of the design was in the foreground and in the background.

After I had covered all the area with one shade of thread is was time to go back in with a darker shade to add depth to the piece.  Here I have added a dark green thread.

I added a darker shade of purple, the pop of yellow and a lighter shade of green.

Last but not least I went in with a slightly darker shade of blue.  

When I removed the piece it was pretty bumpy.  Time to trim away the excess stabilizer and give it a bath to remove the remaining stabilizer.

After it was washed and dried and pressed it was much flatter. (If the piece was larger, I may have blocked it to square and flatten it.)
 Here I have marked the area I was going to quilt.  

I added a second layer of batting and a backing fabric and popped it back on the longarm to add a few quilting details.  I stitched around the flowers and leaves and added a little detail in the background. Trimmed and bound it is ready for the banner.  If your have ever thought about thread painting I highly recommend you give it a try.  It was really quite relaxing, and because my piece was so small, I wasn't worried about wasting a lot of materials if it didn't work out.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Daisy Blue

Sherry made this simple, yet elegant quilt from just her blue fabric scraps.  Sherry has a real ability for putting together fabrics that you wouldn't necessarily think would work together, and making them look harmonious.

Quilting was a mix of a freehand flower/feather that was inspired by Emma of Sampaguita Quilts on her Covent Garden Quilt and some custom details around the hand appliqued daisies.

And I can't forget to show you the back.  Are you inspired to dig in your scarp bins yet?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Giveaway Winner and I'm a winner too!

The Giveaway is now closed.  So time to draw for the lucky winner....

 And comment #8 came from Debbie who blogs over at ....and Sew Forth - An Alaskan Quilter Living in Paris.

Congratulations Debbie!  I can't wait to hear back from you and see if I'm sending this to Alaska or Paris??

Something kind of fun for you to check out is the new Alternate Routes Flickr Photo Pool that has been established to share all the different layouts of the Alternate Routes pattern.  

The pattern comes with 20 layouts, but the possibilities seem endless as we keep seeing new layouts at every turn. This is a public group so anyone can post pictures of their own quilts and get inspiration for which layout they might choose.   There is a link to the group on my side bar, or click here to join the group.

It was a great mail day here today, look what came for me!

I was the lucky winner of this great Barn Owl mug rug from Rhonda at Ravelly.  I happened upon her blog a few weeks ago while surfing on the Quilter Blogs site - glad I did.  Thanks Rhonda, this barn owl is going to have a happy home in the Night Owl Quilting Studio!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Alternate Routes with a New Twist

This is Sandra's version of the Alternate Routes Pattern.  Sandra came up with her own unique layout, which she referred to as "the fish version".  I can see the fish, but I love the unexpected, yet symmetrical nature of this layout.

Sandra choose the Flirtatious panto, and after much deliberation we decided that a charcoal grey So Fine thread was the answer.

Is this backing fabric fantastic?  It is a wonderful surprise when you turn the quilt over and see this cheerful modern print!

If you are tempted to make your own version of Alternate Routes, there is still time to enter to win a copy of the pattern and a Hand Dyed Infinity Scarf here.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Let's Celebrate with a Giveaway!

Highway 10 Designs (the pattern design venture that I share with Kathy Schwartz) has a little news to share - a hard copy, printed version of our Alternate Routes pattern is now available in our ETSY shop!  

What better way to celebrate our next step than with a Giveaway?  Actually, two designers means two giveaways!  Kathy has her own surprise on her blog here

I am giving away a copy of the pattern as well as one of my hand dyed Infinity Scarves.  What is an Infinity Scarf you may ask?  My girls are showing a couple of the ways they can be worn.  They are seamless 60" circles of bamboo jersey with rolled edges.

I always find it tricky to capture the true colors of these hand dyed scarves - they are somewhere between these two pictures!

From left to right:

Magenta, Rust, Blue, Navy/Brown, Green or Purple

To enter the Giveaway leave a comment letting me know which color is your favorite!

The draw is open until noon CDT on Friday, September 6th.

International entries are welcome! 

Please make sure I can contact you if you are the lucky winner -  leave me your email if you are an anonymous commenter.  Also, if you enter a lot of giveaways and never seem to win, you might want to check if you are a "no-reply blogger."  If you are not sure what that is all about you can look here for the answers.

Good luck and don't forget to head on over to Kathy at Tamarack Shack for your second chance to win!