Saturday, September 14, 2013

The making of a Quilt for Quiltmaker... blog #8 - Partytime!

It is time! 

The Quiltmaker's Back to School Party starts on Monday!

BTS13 logo 400 287x300 Back to School Party Preparations

I can FINALLY reveal to you the pattern for the project. Here is the pattern called Playground;  
designed by  Denise Russart.

BTS13 quiltfullsize Back to School Party Preparations

Here is a sample of the front of my quilt (photo taken by the professionals at Quiltmaker).

kaufmanBTS Back to School Party Preparations

My quilt will be featured on Quiltmaker's Blog on Friday the 20th.

To read about it NOW, click HERE.

Here are some more photos of my quiltmaking process:

Two blocks.

Lots of really beautiful colors.

One HAPPY quilter. :)

Join me for the Party, won't you?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The making of a Quilt for Quiltmaker... blog #7

And NOW, the continuing saga of a Quilt made for Quiltmaker magazine....

As the days of Summer begin to come to a close, I am happy to report that I will actually have a job to go to next week! (I am a Public School Music Teacher by trade and was laid off by my District in June - 2nd time since 2009). It will be nice to actually be going "Back to School". Yea. Now enough of that.

Speaking of going Back to School, let's tune in to our next installment of What does the front of this Quilt made for Quiltmaker's Back to School Party actually LOOK like? 

In a previous installment, I have stated  that there are "12 colors" that were used in my version of the quilt. Well, in that block, they are surrounded by that lovely chocolate brown. This is where the "throw-away triangles" came in. You know, the ones that a Scrap Quilter like me can't stand to "throw away!" That is why I HAD to use them and incorporate them into the back of my quilt or I would go crazy. Can't have waste!

You see, these Stars have absolutely NOTHIN' to do with the pattern on the front of the Quilt 

I am so cruel.

Another thing that was completely different about this quilt that I have never encountered before was the outside edge of the quilt before the border. See how the border is right up there against the corners of the 2 squares? Let me tell you this: you cut absolutely NO triangles to be a part of this quilt. Hmmmm... interesting, and yet you SEE triangles there, don't you? (by the way, I included this close up picture showing the "not so precise matching up of my squares" just to make you feel better). Yup. Its true. I am not perfect. There. 
It is out in the open for all to see. {GASP!}

There you go. Today's installment.

Stay tuned... will our Quilter use a needle and thread to save the world? 

Hey, it can happen.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The making of a Quilt for Quiltmaker... blog #6

All of the other ladies that are a part of the Quiltmaker Back to School Party are now finishing up their quilts and are sending them off to Colorado to be photographed. It is getting pretty exciting to see all of this come together. Everyone's quilt is so different due to the choice of fabrics and quilting design, but the basic pattern is exactly the same. Each one is beautiful to behold. 

Once again, I am somewhat blown away about being able to be a part of the entire project. I feel so honored to be chosen to partake in such an event.

And now for today's installment of "hints as to what the front of this quilt could actually LOOK like!"... The main fabrics that are used in the making of  my version of this quilt consist of a beautiful chocolate brown (have I mentioned before that I am fond of chocolate?), a very bold grey floral, and a blue-grey subtle stripe.

The "pattern" part of the quilt consists of 12 different fabrics used to create the design. I was given a lovely array of colors of the rainbow of Robert Kaufman fabrics to use in my quilt.

So that is today's hint. There are 3 "base" fabrics and 12 "pattern" fabrics used in this quilt. 

Ta Da!...

I know. You want more. Then stay tuned! 

Quiltmaker's Back to School Party is September 16th - 20th!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The making of a Quilt for Quiltmaker... blog #5

I mailed off my quilt to Colorado this last week. Off to Quiltmaker it goes to be photographed. {sigh} I am sure they will do a much more professional job than me having my son hold it up in the living room.
Now, I can't show your the front, but here is the back side. :)

(My darling dog, Precious is sneaking into the photo here)

I machine quilted it according to the suggested quilting for the project. Some others in our "party" (8 other ladies beside myself), have chosen to quilt it in their own pattern. Each quilt, although it has the same design on the front, looks so beautifully different due to the choice of fabrics and quilting options. I am sure you will agree when they are revealed on Quiltmaker's Quilty Pleasures Blog on September 16th-20th. 
It's gonna be quite a Party!

This is their invitation in the September/October issue of Quiltmaker Magazine:

Here is another hint about the Quiltmaker Back to School Party: 

It involves 2 blocks, block X and block Y. Here is where those blocks collide. :)

The wonderful people at Quiltmaker provided me with some really YUMMY fabrics to play with to complete this project. It reminds me of candy and chocolate.

Speaking of which, that makes me hungry for some.

Stay tuned!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The making of a Quilt for Quiltmaker... blog #4

I am happy to say that I have finished the quilt! 

I am not able to show the entire thing, but I can give you "hints" as I have done before. Here is the label on the back of the quilt. Once again, I have used left-over triangles that were cut away and "discarded" from the design.

I was one of the quilters to use the "recommended" quilting design using my home machine. It is simple and easy to do, making it look done, but in my imperfect quilting ability, it is not without flaws.

I certainly prefer to quilt with a "meandering" stitch, because you can't really make mistakes that way. Everything is on purpose! This method, I felt as though my lack of ability showed more.

I certainly have learned from this project. I know that I piece together pretty good. My top looks very good in my opinion. My machine quilting needs more work. I will continue to practice that part. :)

More to come...

Friday, August 9, 2013

The making of a Quilt for Quiltmaker... blog #3

 Today I learned a very important lesson:

I am not perfect.

 I sandwiched the Quilt today, and as I did so, I found that my borders were a bit puckered even though I thought I was being extra careful not to make them so while sewing it together.

Once I got all the pins in the quilt to baste it together ready for quilting tomorrow, I turned it to the backside to find that the backing is ever so slightly "off". The row of stars I place on the back will not be centered, and it even may be just a little crooked.

Do I bother doing it all over again and try to be a bit more accurate? Or should I just continue not being perfect?

I'm really leaning toward stickin' with the not perfect.

What do you think?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The making of a Quilt for Quiltmaker... blog #2

I love playing with fabric. 

As I have been putting together this Quilt for Quiltmaker's Back to School Party, I have had the opportunity to play with some delicious fabric. 

Part of the pattern that I have put together for this project requires that a lot of triangles get cut away and discarded thus creating "bonus triangles". Being a Scrap Quilter, I am not one to discard fabric easily, so I decided to play a little with the extra triangles I had from the Quiltmaker project.

I started by taking my bucket full of bonus triangles...

... and I sewed them all together.

I trimmed them down to 2 inches square.

I had a total of 12 colors combined with a beautiful chocolate brown.

So I put those together and made them into an 8 pointed star.

I have made 6 stars that finish at 6" square.

I have put a strip of chocolate brown in between each block and I will be placing the stars on the back of my quilt as my signature.

Quilting will begin tomorrow. :)

Lavonna ZWB

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The making of a Quilt for Quiltmaker... blog #1

So, I have been chosen to make a quilt for Quiltmaker magazine's Back to School Party which will be revealed on their website in September. I am one of 9 quilters from across the United States and Canada that are working on the same pattern but with different fabrics. I have been given the ok by my editor to share my progress with you as long as I don't "reveal" anything about our pattern until after the big party.

I have been provided with some wonderful fabrics, batting, thread and a pattern to follow based upon my quilting preferences. That is really the only reason that I applied to do this project. I loved the thought of fabric being sent to me in the mail. I like Christmas, and this was literally, my very own Christmas in July. :D

Since I love scrap quilts, the powers that be decided to sent me the following Robert Kaufman fabrics:

I washed them and began cutting the required pieces according to the directions. This is not necessarily a pattern that I would choose to do myself, but the instructions have been easy to follow and the quilt has come together very quickly. I do have to say, that I have enjoyed the Kaufman fabrics tremendously! I think they are beautiful and truly make the pattern come to life.

My frustration is the left-over triangles. I am so used to using up every scrap in my projects that the thought of any "waste fabric" kinda makes my skin crawl like when hearing fingernails on a chalkboard. I think I may sew a few together and make something to throw onto the back of the quilt just to make it a little more personal.

I have completed the quilt top today and plan on sandwiching it all together tomorrow and begin quilting the suggested quilt pattern as they have asked. I will continue to blog over the duration of this project until the big reveal mid-September.

Looking forward to the whole project reveal! Please join us, won't you?

Lavonna ZWB

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Some exciting, day-making news

I received an email today informing me that I have been chosen to be one of nine quilters for the Back to School project from Quiltmaker Magazine!

Free fabric.

Oh, I am in heaven!

SO excited. It made my day.

Monday, July 8, 2013

How is it that fabric makes one happy?

The past few weeks/months have been a bit stressful to say the least. Living with the ever-present stress of pending budget cuts, and the flip-flopping of, do I have a job next year or do I NOT have a job? One day, it looks pretty good and then the next, it isn't looking too pretty. To top it all off, I also managed to blow my transmission in my van coming back from singing at a friend's wedding during all of this roller coaster of unknown. I only have a half-time job. I can't afford to fix it.

Last Monday, I found out with certainty that I had officially been laid off from my School District due to the continually declining Oregon economy. This is the second time that I have been laid off by this District, the first time in 2009 when I was still a probationary teacher, but this time, I was contracted, and yet I was still the only Music Teacher in the District to lose their job, once again. Oh how lucky I am.

I now have to spend my beloved Summer break endlessly searching for the ever-so-scarce Music positions in my local area, filling out application after application, hoping beyond hope that my cover letter may catch a glance from someone in charge of setting up interviews. Then if I am lucky enough to perhaps receive an interview, I try my best and hope I was good enough. So far, I have not been blessed - 10 applications, 3 interviews, 5 rejections, 5 unknown and still pending.

With all of this happening around me, I find that all I want to do is touch fabric. Cut it, sew it back together, move it, place it into patterns, sew it together some more, layer it with other fabric and batting, quilt it together, sew it some more. All I want to do is CREATE and create with fabric specifically. Fabric makes me happy.

I recently read an article that said that creative people are HAPPY people. I would have to agree. I began creating when I was a wee little child. I seems as though I always had to be creating something with my hands. My parents saw that I needed to do this and provided me with my own space in which I could instantly create. It was my "creative corner". I loved being creative! As I got older (around 11-12 maybe), my corner was moved to the 3rd floor of our house. I could have more privacy here and leave my things out without having to clean up for visitors. It was at that age that my mother sent me to my grandmother's house for a few days, and she taught me how to sew. We made a dress together. She made me cut it out from the pattern and sew it together all by myself using her machine. She did end up helping me put in the zipper.

I now have my grandmother's machine. It is my workhorse. I use it for all my straight stitch and zig-zag work. Whenever I use it, I am reminded of my grandmother and that time I spent at her home when I was 12. I loved that dress and enjoyed wearing it throughout my middle school years. It has since disappeared, but my grandmother had saved some scraps. I do have those.

My current project is a scrap quilt with 9 patches and 4 patches.

I must go work on it some more now. I feel a need to be Happy. :)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Finishing Touches

I am proud to be finishing up my second quilt in a week. Last week, I finished my Heart Crazy Quilt for my step-daughter.

And this weekend, I am finishing the binding on a bird quilt for my step-son, Heron.

I am anxious to finish more. My husband challenged me to finish up my UFOs. Next up is my Log Cabin Broken Star Quilt which I blog about on my Quilting Habit page. I have decided to make it just a little smaller than I originally planned, but it is ready for binding.

I have plans for another quilt to start from scratch for my other step-son and my 2 sons as well. My plan is to have a finished quilt for all 5 of my kids by Christmas. I have one already about 1/2 done for my oldest son, but will have to come up with an idea for my 15 year old son. 

I'll be busy, but happy. :) I love to create, and I love to quilt.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

It's for the Birds Blog Hop - My Turn!!!

Time for the It's for the Birds Blog Hop - Yippie!

I have been excited about this one because I had a specific project in mind to do and this gives me a reason to DO IT. To explain, I shall have to start at the beginning...

I had won some fabrics designed by Amy Bradley

during the It's All About Me Blog Hop for my Mama Z bag, (here is a link to that entry) and one of the bundles of Amy's fabric had birds on it. As I opened the package on the dining room table, my 16 year old step-son Heron (yes, that is his name, just like the bird), was Oooing and Awwing over the fabric. He loves to sing and in fact sings ALL the time (we often have to remind him that there are others in the room that may not want to hear him singing at that time), and some of the fabrics have musical notes on them.
He REALLY liked them and thought all of the fabrics were really cool. As I was examining the fabrics and laying them out on the table, Heron quietly mumbled in a sheepish tone, "I'd kinda like a quilt with birds on it." His nickname is Birdman for obvious reasons, and even though he was a bit sheepish about his Bird Quilt request, I was listening.

Along came the announcement for this Blog Hop. I was so excited! It gave me a reason to get this quilt made for my step-son. I have made it in secret and have decided that it will either be a birthday present for him in August, or a Christmas present.

In designing this quilt, I decided to start with H blocks since his name is Heron. I debated whether or not to actually put a Heron on the quilt, but decided against it as it would not go well with the adorable multi-colored birds in Amy's fabrics.

I wanted to feature this cute white fabric which had the singing birds on it, so I added a square in a square block.

This blue "birds on a wire" fabric was just so adorable, that I wanted to let as much of the birds be seen, so I cut 6" squares and added them to the over-all design.

In order to get the most out of my "bird" fabric, I calculated how many blocks I could get out the fat quarters, using every last scrap that I could. I decided to go with a layout of 4 x 5 12" blocks consisting of 4 six inch blocks in each.

I had to add a few mismatched blocks here and there to complete the layout, but I really liked the look of how random it was, so I actually ended up adding a few more in the mix.

I concentrated on using colored fabrics from my stash to compliment the colors that Amy's birds were in her fabrics.

The border is made of birdhouses that I simply made up as I went along. Didn't bother using patterns, I'm kinda a miss-matched kind of girl, so I just MADE them, again, using fabrics from my stash and a ripped sheet that I chose to "up-cycle".

I had a spot where the fabrics did not quite meet together, so, (considering that I live in a suburb of Portland, OR), to quote the skit from the show Portlandia, I "put a bird on it". I picked up the blue fabric and simply free-handedly cut a bird out of it, sewed it on, and gave it thread details.

Here is the entire quilt.

The back of the quilt consisted of solids that I had in my stash.

I quilted by machine in yellow thread using a simple meandering stitch all over. I completed one or two strips at a time to avoid too much bulk and it being too heavy to maneuver with my machine. I think the back makes for a pretty cool modern-looking quilt all on it's own.

I am pretty proud of myself for completing this Bird Quilt. I love the fact that I did not have to purchase anything to complete it and simply used what I already had. Makes me want to see how much more I can make and finish just using that which I already have here at home. I think my next project that I would like to start is a "modern" style quilt because I have never done one, and I think it might be pretty cool to do so. I have another step-son that would need a quilt too... hmm...

Thanks for stopping by! A BIG thank you to Madame Samm and to Mary for putting this Hop together.

Please visit our other Bloggers today:

Thursday, May 9

Have a very Tweet day!

Lavonna ZWB