Friday, May 30, 2014

Field Trip Friday: Quilting Florida

Wouldn't it be nice to take a quilty field trip every week?  This past week I was able to venture out with my guild buddy Michele and road trip to Bok Tower Gardens to see Carolyn Friedlander's Quilting Florida exhibit.

Carolyn in front of her exhibit sign

I enjoyed catching up with Michele on the hour drive there and back.  She stays way too busy these days, and I haven't seen her in forever!  Here she is flipping through Carolyn's soon-to-be-released book.
Michele perusing Savor Each Stitch
Carolyn had organized a meetup for locals to see her exhibit, lunch together, tour the Gardens, and spend time chatting and hand stitching on a Saturday afternoon.  She gave us each a mini charm pack of her fabric and an opportunity to peruse two books from the new Lucky Spool Media. I can't until these titles (Carolyn's Savor Each Stitch and Lucky Spool's Essential Guide to Modern Quiltmaking) are released this summer.  Both books look amazing!!!

Excited for this Essential Guide to be released

Olive Single by Carolyn Friedlander
I have seen Carolyn's work before during trunk shows and classes, but it something else seeing so many of her beautiful quilts on display in this fashion.  So inspiring!

Home and Palmetto Single by Carolyn Friedlander
one of my favorites with her Architextures fabric
closeup of the quilting
Meeting other quilters in real life is always a bonus!  

Carolyn groupies
must exchange IG handles

Our Orlando MQG was well represented too!

This was my first time visiting Bok Tower Gardens.  Don't know why I haven't made this stop before.  I will definitely make a return trip....with quilts in hand to photograph ;-))

nice shady spot for hand stitching
a glimpse of the tower

If you are local, Carolyn's exhibit runs until June 4th.  You should check it out!
Enjoy your weekend and thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Have a Heart

Welcome to my Blogger's Quilt Festival post!  I am sharing the quilt I made for my husband to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary....which was yesterday actually!

30th anniversary quilt
Other than the thinking, planning, designing and ordering fabric which I did a while back, this quilt came together start to finish rather quickly.  This was only because I completely lost track of time procrastinated and only had two weeks to get it done!

lots and lots of triangles

The quilt design was inspired by a Pandora jewelry display seen around Valentine's Day, and I imagined a quilt with a lot of negative space with half square triangles going this way and that to form a rough outline of the heart shape and tapering off so to speak. trimming!
Since my wrist isn't healing as quickly as I think it should, I worked the pattern around the Accuquilt Go! die I have for half square triangles. That sure cut down on the cutting and trimming time.  My HSTs came out a perfect 3.5" square.  Just wish I had that 3.5" square die in my possession for the 300+ squares I cut.   It's now on my "To Buy" list.

cutting squares the "old fashioned" way!
The fabrics in this quilt are almost entirely solids, and I used a very scientific method for selecting those colors ;-)  Pearl is the traditional gift material for the 30th wedding anniversary, according to the experts at Google, so I went with Kona Pearl Pink for the background color.  Other Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids I ordered were chosen (within the pinks, reds and grays) because of their names including Valentine, Azalea, Pomegranate, Lipstick, Rich Red, Camelia, Peony, Flesh, Plum, Silver and Graphite.  I also used some solids in the red and pink family from the Michael Miller Cotton Couture charm pack gifted at SewDown Nashville. The few prints used are from a Pink Chalk bundle aptly named Passion Pink.

My Flatter spray matches the scientifically chosen colors!
I really like the pale pink color for the background.  I was worried about using a pink color since it's theoretically for my husband, but you really can't tell it's pink unless you look closely or at a certain angle.  And the heart shape isn't really apparent either unless you spread the quilt out.  I just like the scattering of various HSTs in arrangements of flying geese, pinwheels, hourglass blocks, and then it's a nice surprise when you see the heart.  So I don't think it's too girly.  The backing fabric used is a light gray, Kona Cotton Silver, to make up for the pink front ;-) 

where the heck am I gonna baste this?!
The quilt finishes at 78" square which is a rather large size for me to quilt on my home machine since FMQing and I aren't good friends, but I managed.  I had issues with thread breakage but after a while decided it was due to the bulky seams in certain areas of HSTs and then I was able to work around that.

an outside picture
For quilting, I used Aurifil thread color #2410.  I usually use the 50wt but tried the 40wt this time which I like for this type of project.  The quilting was done on my Juki with various FMQ styles trying to remember everything I learned at SewDown in Angela's class;-)  The center of the heart was done in meandering loops and circles.  I quilted different designs on the HSTs and background ..... some more perfect than others.... sort of like life and marriage.  I even, purposely, left some areas unquilted to represent years and experiences yet to come.  I left mistakes in...some points not exactly perfect...quilting definitely not perfect....again representing the ups and downs of everyday life.  I also designed the heart to be off center a little to the left... I like that rather than smack dab in the middle.  I actually meant to have it more off center but the quilt was getting rather large so I stopped where I was;-)

pieced heart for the backing and label
I quickly took pictures for this post and realized I didn't get all that I wanted.  For example, I quilted our names and anniversary date near the bottom of the quilt and the word "love" here and there in the quilt to serve as a permanent label in the addition to the pieced heart I stitched on the back for a label.

does anyone else do this...iron back their binding after machine stitching on and before hand stitching to the back?

stitching with a view
This quilt was finished just in the nick of time.  My husband and I went away this past weekend and the quilt went along too.  I was able to do some stitching of the binding while relaxing by the pool, and I finished hand stitching the binding on yesterday while watching movies on Netflix. When my husband came home from work, I was able to give him our anniversary quilt on our anniversary!

closeup of quilting
My very first Blogger's Quilt Festival entry was of the quilt I made to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  Doesn't seem that long ago.  You can see that post and quilt here if you'd like.

30 years ago I married my best friend
Thanks for visiting my blog and reading my quilt story!!  I hope you take a minute to leave me a comment to let me know you stopped by.

Have a Heart
Quilt Stats:  Have a Heart, original design, pieced and quilted by yours truly, 78" square, RK Kona Cotton solids and several prints (details in blog post), binding Robert Kaufman Ruff n' Tuff, Aurifil #2410 40wt thread

Be sure to visit the other quilt blogs participating in Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival!

Happy stitching,

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Finish: Spiderweb Mini

Yay, it's Friday, and yay, I have a finish!!!  It's been too long.  This mini was an Instagram Pay it Forward made for a friend.  It has been 99% complete for a while, and I was able to deliver it to her in person this week.
Notice a theme?
I discovered Julia loves Anna Maria Horner about the time I started working on her PIF which coincidentally was when the SewDown Nashville teachers (including Anna) were announced and I had just ordered some AMH fabric bundles.  I knew then that I wanted to make her something featuring Anna's fabrics.
the top
Also around that same time I was working on my MCM Bee spiderweb blocks and cut some of the background blocks too small.  This mini is a product of that happy mistake and the lovely coincidences.  There are one or two non AMH prints.  The background fabric is natural linen.

machine and hand quilted
I used Aurifil #5011 (which is the perfect color for this linen) 50wt to machine quilt the webs and then used Perle Cotton to do some hand stitching in the background areas.  With my sore wrist, it took a while to do the hand work.  I was determined to add that perle cotton stitching ever since running across this selvage quilt on Flickr.

The backing is a AMH fat quarter and the binding is a roll of ready made binding I purchased a while back from Lollipops.  These designer bindings are fun to have on hand for minis.

AMH mini quilt, mini pincushion, FQ and notepad
I also stitched up a mini pincushion and threw in a fat quarter.  The cute notepad was part of the swag given by Anna Maria Horner during her studio tour at SewDown.  Another happy coincidence is Julia won the giveaway of extra AMH swag at Wednesday's guild meeting.  

Our OrlandMQG is challenging its members to finish their WIPs.  This is the first one crossed off my list of 30+.  Whoo hoo!  Also linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts finish it up Friday.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Really Random Thursday: Adventures

My husband and I have a big anniversary coming up, and our gift to each other was adventures in airstreaming.  The story behind our purchasing a camper is kind of funny and started out as a joke, but here we are!

you have to admire Disney's style
Since we are airstream newbies, our first (and only one so far) trip was an easy one to the Disney Fort Wilderness campground.  I got a lot of chuckles when I told friends and family this.  We are not big Disney fans and don't like crowds so we stuck to the camping part and didn't venture into the parks or participate in their organized events.
snippet of our weekend
 We grilled, biked, canoed and enjoyed the relatively (not too terribly hot) nice weather.  Even Max got to go camping.  Not sure he's convinced this is a fun activity.

our only souvenir
We did make one stop to the "outpost" for a cold beverage and couldn't resist the Mickey Mouse ice cube trays .....
really does taste like apple cobbler...with a shot of whiskey
....and the moonshine!

my daughter's picture
My daughter was most impressed by this Thor sticker on our camper.  She's such a Marvels fan and Avengers nerd!

kind of scary!
I guess for this reason I am not surprised her brother brought home THIS cake for her birthday!  Her favorite gift was the very cheap inexpensive Thor keychain I bought her.  I just love that about her.

My middlest is home for a very short break between semesters.  You can't tell from this picture, but these two really do love each other's company.  I think they were discussing the meaning of life or some other important topic.  Eric is home in time for our next camping adventure.  Lucky him!

quilt block washi tape
happy mail
I mailed a few quilty happies off to friends.  Put my new washi tape to good use and pulled out my rubber stamps too.  I love receiving snail mail, and I am trying to share the love by sending some too.

Flatter spray matching my HSTs
So happy to say I did a little bit of sewing yesterday.  This quilt needs to be finished really soon.

We are leaving for another quick camping trip this weekend so the sewing will have to wait...
Linking with other randomneers to Cindy's Really Random Thursday.

Thanks for stopping by,