Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mermaid Dreams

 Look! It's another finished quilt! I know, I can hardly believe it myself.  I told you I was back at my machine with a vengeance, right? That's a happy vengeance, in case you wondered.  (But I do have to say that sewing my way through the evening political shows is helping me keep my sanity in these dire political times.)  At any rate, I've been having fun pulling fabric out of my stash and stitching up some simple but fun patterns.

Quite a while back I fell in love with a fabric line by Heather Ross called "Mendocino" -- charming (but not too cutsie) mermaids and other sea life, in an unusual set of colors. I have a good friend who loves mermaids, and loves that seaglass aqua color, and this seemed perfect for her.  So, I bought a fabric bundle and then tucked it away for a bit while I puzzled over how to use the fabric to make the most of those wonderful patterns. 

It took me a while to find a pattern that would show off those large mermaids.  And then I stumbled onto a pattern called Ribbon Box Quilt by Cloud 9 Fabrics. It's a free download, even, and you can get it here.  The ribbons are about 6 inches wide, and I really liked how the pattern allowed me to use an assortment of rather odd colors together in a way that worked. (Btw, my photographs make the oranges look a bit darker than they really are, and the red is more pink, and that that dark ribbon is a magenta-ish burgundy that doesn't look quite as dark in real life. You can get a sense of the true colors on the Quilted Castle link above, but for the life of me I couldn't balance these colors on the photograph to look true to life.)

If you are inclined to make the pattern, I'll tell you this: the cutting took some concentration but wasn't hard. I gave each ribbon a number, and laid it out on my design wall following the pattern's diagram. Once I got it laid out, I just assembled each horizontal row and it went together beautifully.

I decided it quilt it with straight lines -- easy walking foot sewing. Look at all these cute little critters -- octopusses! (Octopi?) Seahorses! fishies! 

I actually took these photos before the binding was on, but I pieced together all of the pale aqua leftover fabrics and used those for the binding. It looks great -- an edge but not too visible an edge, if you know what I mean. 

I'm sending this off to my friend this week -- she's an internet-free sort of woman so I know she won't see it here before she gets it in person. But I'm happy to have this done and posted. I figure it'll be a good quilt for snuggling and dreaming of the seashore!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Silly Goose!

Do you find that you go through art phases? I sure do.  And since some time in February, I've been in a serious quilting phase. I have no idea what re-ignited the spark, but I have sure appreciated the feeling of eagerness to get back to the sewing machine. And I've managed to start and finish a bunch of quilts! That hasn't happened in a long time.

I made this quilt for a polka dot challenge at my April quilt retreat. I'm always drawn to dots and have an embarrassing assortment of dotted fabric in my stash. So when the challenge topic was announced, I knew it'd be a piece of cake.

You may recall that I have a thing for flying geese quilts and have made a number of them. (You can see three of them here!) When I stumbled across an online tutorial for a fun flying geese variation, I knew I had to make it.  So, I'm considering this #4 in my Flying Geese series. Doesn't that sound more impressive than saying I have a weird obsession with flying geese quilts and can't seem to stop making them?!

The tutorial is from Jenny at the Missouri Star Quilt Company and is called Flying Home.  (Boy, do I love her tutorial videos.) I loved how the background behind the geese is divided with different fabrics. And this is a jelly roll quilt -- actually quite fast and easy. I really had fun with this.

It took me a bit of drawing to figure out how to quilt the geese block in a continuous line, but I played around for a while drawing blocks on my Ipad and came up with something that worked.  Gosh, I guess I should pick a detail shot that shows you that most of the geese points actually are sharp.

Are you noticing all of the polka dots?!  And because a polka dot challenge quilt needs a polka dotted back, I chose this wonderful Kaffe Fassett dot for the back. It is definitely a happy dot and the colors were perfect. 

Because of my crazy obsession with flying geese quilts I am working on a flying geese series, I have been collecting flying geese quilt ideas in a Flying Geese Quilts Pinterest board. Who knows which will be next?!

Have you found yourself repeating certain blocks or themes so that you've developed a series (or obsession!) without even planning it?