Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Butterflies - Quilt Along Progress

Good Saturday Morning to you all!

This is me working outside this lovely morning.  The morning temperature was so unseasonably cool and we had our morning coffee and oatmeal on the deck while I tuned in to the "quilt show" on public television.  It is my Saturday ritual while my DH moves out back to his tractors.

Earlier this week I previewed some of the pattern possibilities I was considering for the Jen Kingwell Quilt Along I am participating in.  I supposed I have settled on Spring Fever as the "one" because I have done a considerable amount of prep work on that quilt at this point for me to set it aside.  I have become totally involved with the box of scraps and making vases and butterflies from the old fabrics. I have had to add a few fabrics from my stash for stems and butterfly bodies.  If I follow Ms. JenK's philosophy of using 110 different fabrics, I will have to go outside of the box of scraps but so far I have been true to the box.

The box of scraps story is this. I was gifted two boxes of scraps from a dear elderly quilter at my church way back in the late 1980's/early 1990's.  The boxes have been on a shelf for all this time.  Waiting for "someday." Since I am tired of making scrap quilts from my own scraps, I pulled out the box of scraps and have found lovely treasures that I have been using in this quilt.   

This is a polyester green and white polka dot that has blossomed into a lovely butterfly.

A cotton/poly floral background with a mix of blue taffeta and woven check.

I am using the woven check as background and feature some black florals and woven lavender stripe.

The box of scraps has lots of brown fabrics.  I haven't worked with many browns.  So this is fun to be using the brown tiny floral prints and plaid taffetas.

Loving every minute of this quilt so far.  I  have set aside GTSBs for the moment.  I have Spring Fever as the season is moving into autumn here in Texas.   This quilt is quickly becoming Zella's Flower Garden honoring the memory of my sweet quilter friend.

Have a great weekend.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Quilt A-Long Planning

A few weeks ago I serendipitiously found a Jen Kingwell Quilt Along being organized by LiningUpMyStitches.  Read about it here and here. I asked to play along. My name has been entered in the box on the right hand side of her blog under the JenKingwellQuiltAlong badge so now I really have to be accountable for my actions. Also #JenKingwellQAL has been added to Instagram. There is some pattern prep going on for the projects.  Start date will be Sept 5.  No big rules, just fun stitching and inspiration.  You do have to start a new Jen Kingwell quilt pattern.  

As you can tell I am in a Jen Kingwell state of mind at the moment. My last post was a progress report of my GTSB and I have shown some of my current blocks on #Takemetheretotes. I am currently making Green Tea and Sweet Beans. It is so much fun. It is a variety of all types of blocks with just enough hand piecing, hand applique and machine piecing to keep my interest.  I do get bored and that's bad because I will start another project and I do not need another project.  But I start them anyway....

I bought the Jen Kingwell Quilt Lovely book this month and I also treated myself to her Gardenvale Layer Cake.  So I HAVE to pick a pattern from the book for this quilt along. It would not make sense to splurge on more patterns at the moment. 

 Ahhh but which one! ???

For starters, I prepped five Daisy Do's.  Who wouldn't love a quilt that looks like that.  Isn't that the cutest little flower pattern on the book cover!

Here are four of the five. Three hand pieced, the navy and red one is machine pieced.  Got one more to do. Nah, can't do it. They are darling of course even without their center circle. But I do not have the patience to work on those daisies. I drew out the templates.  I added the 1/4 inch seam allowance.  They aren't coming out accurate.  They are figidty.  I starched the fabric with Mary Ellen's. I am discovering that I don't want to take the time to develop the EPP or hand piecing or template piecing technique right now.  And that is okay. I stitch for happiness and that was not making me happy.  Movin' on.  They will be added somewhere on Green Tea and Sweet Beans.  

Next up is Spring Fever.  Jen Kingwell said this pattern was developed as a follow up to Green Tea and Sweet Beans.  Her GTSB fans requested another pattern.  The style is very similar and I do love to make the pots of flowers.  I can make a circle or an oval template and nothing needs to match up while stitching.  Win! Win!  I haven't tried the butterfly yet.  My plan is to machine piece the wings. 

I have prepped four.  At the end of this post,  I have to tell you about the fabrics I am using or will be using if I decide this is the project I will make for the Quilt A-Long.  For now I am showing you what I have put together so far.  Not all of the parts are sewn down.  You will see lots of pinning and fabric auditions. (I zapped one of the four photos, so there are only three flower pots to show you.)

All fabrics above are from the "box of scraps."

This maroon stripe is the back of one of my husband's old shirts, Yes, I have been saving those too.  The flowers are a mix of old and new scraps. 

All from the BOS (box of scraps) except the stems.
  And finally, I will eventually make the Bonnie Lass from the Gardenvale layer cake.  There should be plenty left over to make another quilt.  I might consider making this one along with Spring Fever. 

So if you are still with me, I am going to tell you that I am tired of my fabrics at the moment.  I have made quite a few scrap quilts over the past year and they all have the same fabrics in some form or fashion. I just didn't want to make my Jen Kingwell patterns in my same fabrics.  I don't want to buy any more fabric.  I am pretty much making myself stay away from fabric stores.  

Back in the late 80's or early 90's, a dear elderly quilting saint at my church knew that I too was a young enthusiastic quilter and she gifted me two boxes of scrap fabrics.  I have had them stashed on a shelf just waiting for the day.  On the weekend, I pulled those boxes off the shelf and took them outside to see what treasures I might have.  I found some gems.  There are cottons, poly cotton blends, and 100% poly. Ms. JenK says she uses all kinds of fabrics in her quilts and I thought "So can I."  I washed and ironed some of those nifty fabrics and this is what I am using for Spring Fever. 

Lots of woven gingham checks and plaids.  Lots of brown and peach.  I have an "anything goes attitude" (almost).  I am certainly having fun going through the scraps and finding the odd ball pieces. It feels liberating to be breaking the 100% cotton rules.  It is devious to have teal stems and brown check flowers. Thank you Miss Zella.  I think those scraps will be just the right thing for my Spring Fever.

I know. It looks like a mess.  But what a fun mess!

Hope you find some time to stitch today. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, August 3, 2015

GTSB Progress Update

GTSB stands for Green Tea and Sweet Beans the joyful pattern by Jen Kingwell.  This is an absolutely fun fun hot summer project.  It moves fast.  Not too much repetion. Not too complicated. Lots of creativity and color play with fabrics.  I am having a ball with this one.

I don't think Ms. Kingwell will mind that I have adapted the blocks to my style of appliqué where she pieced hers.  She appears to be a "do pretty much whatever makes you happy" kind of stitcher.  I will list a few links of some of her tutorials here, here, here and here so you can get a glimpse of her quilting style. What a thrill it would be to visit her and her quilt shop in Australia.

So on the weekend I prepped two blocks. 

This one is the Baby Carriage Flower block. 

I am using a variety of applique techniques through this quilt.  But I always come back to freezer paper on the outside and use needle turn on the edge.  It just seems to work for me.  My second choice is to use a Frixion pen to draw the quarter inch line around the piece and needle turn the edge.  So easy to tap a hot iron on the ink and it goes away.   I am using both of these methods on this quilt. And again I find myself watching Jen Kingwell's applique tutorial to keep this technique fresh in mind. 

I may have gone a little too bold on my colors.  Only time will tell. The great thing about this quilt is each block can stand alone in a mini quilt.  So all is not lost if a block just doesn't work in the big quilt.  

This is the Applique 2 block.  

I cut the background a little too large so I added that last flower on the right. I used some leftover quilt binding I had cut on the bias for the stems.  Looks like a candy land flower garden.

The Baby Carriage Flower block is almost finished.  The stem corner will have a half square triangle inset.  

And these are most of my bigger blocks so far.

I was thinking there were 31 hexagons.  The pattern calls for 38, so I have a few more to go.  I may incorporate a bold color or two to blend with these stronger colors I am using.

Clamshells.  Glad I got to try them.

Squared Daisy.  All hand pieced.  Looks good but don't look too close.  It really doesn't lay flat.

Berry Basket.  What fun!  I can see a whole quilt made of blueberries, blackberries, cherries, raspberries.

Igloos.  I made a Sunflower.  So appropriate for July and August. The pattern calls for two of these Igloos.

This is really a fun block. Something I have never done before. Fussy cutting the five shapes.  It is supposed to be a pieced flower and stems but I chose to applique the leaves and stem. The pattern calls for three  Flower Blocks.  I am already looking through my stash for the next fabric to fussy cut those flower petals.

I got my pattern here in the US.  Jen Kingwell is an awesome Australian quilt maker but thankfully you can find her patterns in the US to save a bundle on international shipping.

For more free tutorials from Jen Kingwell and other designers check out Fat Quarter Shop's YouTube channel here.  

Thanks for stopping by.

I am linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching this week over at Kathy's Quilts.