December 29, 2015

Best of 2015: Linky Party

Let's just say, picking 5 posts was quite a challenge. It was fun to go through all the 2015 posts and revisit some long forgotten projects. As a bonus I have titled them with "Best of" awards. Some were fun, some were traumatic, but all were worth it! Thank you Cheryl for hosting this link up, it's been great to see everyone's favorites from the past year. Head over to Meadow Mist Designs to get in on the fun!

Best Perseverance through Tears: Bias Strip - Score 9

This quilt caused the most misery and trauma this year, but turned out amazing. The struggle came from the curves, getting all those petals to sit flat, and making a cohesive quilt, put a damper on the fun. In fact, it was downright painful at times. Then after all that effort, I took a huge risk and decided to hand quilt using black Perle cotton thread with a flower pattern. That wasn't painful, it just took a long time. The pattern creates such a cool effect on the quilt overall.

Best Skill Learned: Zippers 

Thank you to Michelle at From Bolt to Beauty for sitting me down for a zippervention. This little Sew Together Bag was my first go at zippers. Might as well try with something with multiple zippers for my first attempt. Good thing everything went together smoothly and I have since stretched my zippering skills to pouches and hand bags. Don't worry Michelle was rewarded for her time and effort.

Best Out of Comfort Zone: Picnic Pinwheels 

Ok, this was going to be called "Best Pattern" but it's my only pattern, so that wouldn't be right. Joining up in the New Block Blog Hop, I created the Picnic Pinwheel block. From the block tutorial, I then wrote up a pattern for a baby and throw sized quilt.  You can download the pattern here. 

Best Quilt of 2015: X-Ceptional

X-ceptional is part of Gerri Robinson's book, Quilted Living and Fat Quarter Shop's Summer Book Tour. I was so excited to be apart of their hop and loved working with Gerri's book. It was hard to narrow down just one quilt, and since then many patterns have made my to do list. Through every step of the quilt making process, this quilt was my favorite. I just love it. Out of all the quilts on my quilt rack, this one is used the most. 

Best Pattern Test of 2015: Sea Star

Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs put out a call for pattern testers early this year. Of course, I couldn't resist. Last fall I tested the Looking Glass pattern, and fell in love with Cheryl's designs. Sea Star was no different, her patterns are easy to follow have great visuals and directions. If you are looking for new projects in the the new year, Cheryl's patterns are a must try. 

Linking up with Meadow Mist Design ... 

Hopefully you join the fun and create your own best of post (link is open until January 2nd), or at least reflect back on the year to admire some of your favorite projects!  Everyone have a safe, happy, and healthy New Year. I will see you again in 2016. 

-Patch & Chels 

December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! 

Hi everyone, hope you are enjoying your friends and family on this Merry day! This year I have made such great new friends and have enjoyed another year with all my older blogging buddies. It's been quite a year and I am so excited for what the new year will bring, more on that later.  Until then, everyone have a safe holiday. 

- Patch & Chels 

December 22, 2015

Pouches 2.0

And, I'm back at it. After completing my first round of pouch production some family members decided they wanted some to give away to friends as well. So, back on the assembly line for 14 more. This time I used decor interfacing and found it too thick, last time the interfacing I used was too thin.  Does this mean on my third production line I will get it right? Too bad there will not be a 3.0 version of this post! 

Although this time around I made some of larger size from the same Lola Pouch pattern by S.O.T.A.K. and smaller coordinating bags. The large bag is perfect for travel, while the small pouch is great for the purse or pencils. Just like the smaller version these were super easy to make. 

Then sometimes you just need a Christmas present for yourself. I couldn't part with these lovely strawberries, so they are mine! The other awesome gift I splurged on was a new DSLR camera.  Yay, I will be patiently waiting by the door to see the mailman arrive. The new camera comes with some great upgrades and cannot wait to see how the pictures turn out.

- Patch & Chels 

December 18, 2015

Bias Strip Quilt: Score # 9

It's done, it's done! Ok, it's really been done for a couple weeks but I haven't found any daylight lately. It's dark before I get home and the weekends haven't been very sunny.  Let's face it, its been dismal up here in New England. Last weekend, I found some sunshine and got some projects photographed, finally! 

Many of you quilty friends have been sharing about different projects from The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood. Here is my version of score #9. This spring I was lucky enough to take a class with Sherri. She shared with us her methodology for bias strip piecing. We started by making bias tape then learned how to create the petals, and how to ease the fabric flat. The real trick here was getting those strips to settle into a flat space with out curling up or buckling. Oh, then getting all those petals together and filling out the quilt. That was probably the biggest challenge.

I was also huge fan of Sherri's hand quilting. Before seeing Sherr's work up close, I was scared to use black thread. She sparked some inspriration inside me.  Now I have no regrets in choosing the black thread (Perle cotton, size 8) and doing a design independent of the quilt design.  It's subtle but still makes an impact overall. 

This may be my all time favorite quilt. Maybe it was the tears, the bountiful frustration, or headache of trying to fill in the background, but everything came together perfectly and was worth the trouble. This is also the first time I put a sleeve on a quilt.  Once I find some wall space this one is getting an up front and center wall spot. Have any of you been so frustrated you wanted to quit?  This one pushed me to that limit more than once ... 

-Patch & Chels 

December 14, 2015

Super Tote

First and GOAL Ok, I don't watch football but my significant other is watching the game and that is my only thought about completing this bag! First try and it was a huge success. I used the popular Super Tote pattern by Noodlehead. I will admit this is not my first bag, but I found the pattern super easy to use and love the final design. It was a commission from a friend for her daughter.

The front and back is a Cotton & Steele print, and the inside is cute pink hopscotch pattern. The bag is a diaper bag for a little girl, so the idea is something cute and girly on the inside but something more "adult" like for the outside. The sides and handles are Essex Linen to provide some extra stability. I used both the SF101 and Craft 808 interfacing on the quilting cotton and love how it worked out.

My friend is using the bag to travel, so I opted to put in the zipper to keep things more secure. The dark pink zipper was a nice contrast to the light pink lining and brought out the dark pink in the outside pattern.  I already have plans to make a bag for myself. Although, I am not sure I would put in the zipper flap for a workbag. Jury is still out.

How is everyone doing on their Christmas sewing? I only have a couple small projects to finish, but I am starting feel the pressure for the countdown for the 2015 Challenge Quilt with my Grandmother. She has announced her's is done, so I guess that means I should get started? Ahhhhh ... 

- Patch & Chels 

December 03, 2015

True Pink

It's December! Where has the year gone? One of my goals this year was to get my WIPs down to 5, and I am on a roll. Here is my second finish, True Pink. Early this year I had amassed a lot of pink scraps, so this quilt was born. I'm not usually a huge fan of monochromatic colored quilts but this one may have changed my mind. 

Quilt Stats: 

  • Finished Size: 60 inches x 60 inches 
  • Pattern: True Blue
  • Fabric: Pink Scraps 
  • Batting: 80/20 Blend
  • Thread: Connecting Threads - Light Pink
  • Quilting: Straight Line 

Now I need to get the rest of my Christmas sewing done. Only a couple more projects to go then I am finished. Last year I was scrambling last minute to finish gifts, this year I learned something about time management. Win for me.  Good luck to the rest getting everything finished!
- Patch & Chels

November 30, 2015

Churn Dash

Hopefully everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving meal and was surrounded by great friends and family. We ended up doing a Thanksgiving marathon, with 4 meals total. Whew, I'm stuffed.

These last couple of weeks have been super busy, but I have been able to get some quilts finished. The first quilt finished was my Churn Dash quilt. This quilt has been looming over my WIP list since the spring retreat. The quilt turned out super sweet using both a layer cake, and a charm pack. 

Quilt Stats: 

  • Finished Size: 60 inches x 60 inches 
  • Pattern: Churn Dash
  • Fabric: Fresh Cut by Moda
  • Batting: 80/20 Blend
  • Thread: Connecting Threads - Light Pink
  • Quilting: Stipple 

The backing using up extra charm squares

While visiting my parents for one of our Thanksgiving day feasts, I tried going up to our local arch and taking pictures. It was way to windy up there to get any good shots, but it would have been cool. Here is the only shot I took.

- Patch & Chels

November 14, 2015

Sunday Stash

Lately I've been good better about limiting my fabric purchases, still looking to finish the year at net zero. Well really, I need to be at net negative 50 yards, but I am a realist and zero sounds better! Although, I found these pictures from summer while cleaning out my photos folder and thought I should share. The image below is all fabric my roommate purchased for me while she was traveling through Paris and Amsterdam this summer. Don't you love that blue dot and the floral? I loved each and every one of them, so pretty. 

Then I couldn't resist getting some of the Modern Background fabrics by Moda. I also couldn't resist that floral on top by Cotton & Steel.

Then I saw this bundle of Kona solids by Emily Cier that I couldn't resist. So, they also got purchased!

Even though these fabrics were technically purchased before my net zero start I am going to count them as a + 10.25 yards.  This puts me at -23.75 yards for the year so far! 

Happy weekend all! 

- Patch & Chels

November 10, 2015

Little Baby Girl Quilt

It's official, fall is over. New England is in that dreary season where everything is dormant and isn't covered in snow yet. The world is a depressing shade of gray. The background does nothing to the contrast of this little quilt made for a dear, best friend for her first baby. The collection is Wildflowers from Camelot. 

She was very specific in her request, no pink and not overly girly. Well then, peach it was and although this quilt isn't pink it's still girly (I win). The chartreuse and aqua balance it out to make it less girly, but it's still sweet. I used the Penny Patch pattern from Stitched in Color.  It's been on my to do list for quite sometime and ended up playing well with the colors from this line. I sewed up extra parts and they became bits and pieces for the backing.

Net Zero Update: 

This little quilt used 4.75 yards in total, including the top pieces, binding and pieced backing. Last month I was a net of - 25.25 and I am starting this month down another -4.75 yards, for a total of -30 yards. Yay me!

- Patch & Chels

November 07, 2015

HST Quilt Along

Over the last year my guild has been doing a half square quilt along. There are 72 different patterns in all, but I only did 29. Instead of making them 8 inches, I scaled up and did 12 inches instead. This made the quilt come together much faster.  I also went with 1 inch sashing, it worked out perfect! It might just be my new favorite sashing width. Just enough to separate the blocks but not too much that it creates too much white space. 

For fabric I used a fat quarter pack of Gypsy Caravan by Amy Butler. They are not my "typical" colors but I was drawn to the color palette as a whole. For the background I used Kona Bone. The red and blue blocks are my favorite patterns in the bunch.

Over the summer I was at a discount fabric store and spotted some of the line for this quilt. At $4.99 a yard it was going to be the backing! The quilt was originally going to be 5 by 6 blocks but I hated one of the blocks, so the front became 5 by 5, and I used the other four in the backing. It ended up working out perfectly with the yardage I already purchased. 

Check another quilt off my WIP list! Now I can bring this one into my next guild meeting to share/brag to my guild mates this quilt along is done. Next, I just need to get started on my Patchwork City blocks .... 

- Patch & Chels