Eye Candy + Instagram

Things are settling into a little more of rhythm here and I am full-steam-ahead working on my preparations for Riley Blake’s upcoming Fabric Fest and then the Sewing Summit the week after that! It’s going to be a crazy month. A lot of work to get there, but a lot of fun once I arrive. I hope!

Fortunately the preparations are pretty fun too. (Other than preparing what I’m actually going to say. That part = stressful. Eek.)

But the sewing and cutting-up-fabric part is super fun! Especially after not doing a lot of sewing the past few weeks/months. It feels fun to be spending more quality time with my machine and even my rotary cutter again.

These lovelies are Riley Blake solids. They make such pretty eye candy.
One of the classes I’m teaching is about Modern Quilting and I want to talk about improv quilting. So I am finally assembling some improv Bee swap blocks from 2010. (When I looked up when that bee was I was kind of shocked that is was that long ago.) Well, it’s good that they’re finally seeing the light of day!
And finally, speaking of eye candy, check out these pretties from Aurifil thread and the Fat Quarter Shop. This collection is called The Binding Box and it contains a variety of colors to have on hand to match most bindings.
I am a huge fan of Aurifil thread. I buy it buy the cone in basic neutrals and use the 50 wt for all my piecing. Those cones last for.ever. I also love the 50 wt because piecing comes together so nicely and because you can get a lot of thread on a bobbin! So when the Fat Quarter Shop offered to let me sample their new Binding Box collection I was ecstatic to have colored Aurifil thread to play with too!
And finally, if you’re looking for insta-quilty-eye candy on your mobile device, I am on Instagram @diaryofaquilter. I’ve been lurking on instagram for a while – I like my own quick-fix on other people’s eye candy too – but my private life and my public quilting world were colliding and making each other uncomfortable. So I finally bit the bullet and created a separate account. Now I am free to post all kinds of fabric-y fun, without embarrassing my children, and my extended family and neighbors thinking I am a total weirdo. If you’re an Instagram-junkie too, let me know where to find you!

Bloggers Quilt Festival Spring 2011

I work at a local quilt shop and I make a lot of samples for them, plus I do some custom sewing from time to time.  I enjoy all of that, but it keeps me busy and I don’t often get to just play with the fabric that I love.  So starting last summer I decided I was finally going to cut back on some of those projects and do more sewing for friends and family. Two of my sisters were pregnant and I wanted to make quilts for both of them, which were both a lot of fun (see here and here, if you like). I also really wanted to make a quilt for my mother-in-law.  It was so liberating to be as creative as I wanted to be and to use up my stash.  
I had a pile of fabric under my cutting table for almost 2 years waiting to be made into a quilt for my third sister and before Christmas I finally decided I was going to FINISH one for her too.  I really loved the improv nature of this quilt and had a great time putting it together and using up a LOT of that fabric. (Feels so good, you know? And makes you feel less guilty about buying more fabric. Haha.)

The other part of this quilt that stretched me was the quilting. I don’t often do my own quilting, partly because I just don’t feel very competent in those skills and partly because I’m just lazy and partly because I’m terrified that I’ll ruin the quilt. But this time I decided to gird up my loins and give it a go.  I used a long-arm machine at the shop where I work.  The process took longer than I thought it would and by the end the machine and I were practically in a rumble and I was feeling so frustrated and swearing never to attempt that again.
But when I took it home and looked at it again – especially the design in the brown solid on the back, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.  Looking at it again now, I think it’s pretty awesome.
I have had people ask me about a pattern for this quilt.  Frankly most of it is improv so I don’t even know if I could re-create a pattern with directions shorter than War and Peace, but because I like you all so much, I’ll give you some basic block measurements and give you free licence to copy my quilt if you want. 
The large blocks are finished at 15″ and the small blocks are finished at 7.5″.  Some of the small blocks are solid and so I cut 8″ squares for those. I made a total of 12 of the 15″ blocks and 15 of the 7.5″ blocks (that includes the blocks that are a solid square).  All the pieced blocks I just kept adding scraps of fabric until the blocks grew and I squared them up to 15.5″ or 8″ (that includes the seam allowance). Use the first picture to see the block placement. The blocks are basically sewen into 5 rows before the rows are all sewn together.
Enjoy the rest of the Blogger’s Quilt Festival. I always love all the inspiration I glean here. Thanks again Amy for putting it all together.

Amy's Creative Side