Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Well that's it then

The sun has finally came out here in Wisconsin and with it frigid temperatures... that's ok, I'm staying inside sewing! I took out a few bonus HSTs from a chevron project earlier this year and whipped up this orange and grey pinwheel pillow

The HSTs were already assembled from the chevron pillow which was made flying geese style, perfect for bonus projects! I just ironed and squared them, and played with them on my design wall for a little while until I had something I liked. I was three HSTs short.... rather than take some out I added the fun low volume pinwheel in the center! I kept the quilting simple and did straight line quilting on each diagonal which created a diamond pattern on the front.

I had just the thing for the backing, I picked up this great bicycle fabric from Erin McMorris by Free Spirit at a lqs during the summer quilt shop hop and had to use it here. Those little baskets carrying flowers are so cute! The orange comes from High Street by Lily Ashubry for Moda.

And of course I just had to install an invisible zipper... how could I not? The pull matched just perfectly with the little bikes... It's like I had to!

This pillow is small just 16 inch square and has been added to my etsy shop which is in need of some new things after a holiday of custom orders!

Link Parti's 

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Quilty Christmas Haul and Finishes

Whew Christmas is over - we survived again! Although it was a busy time I did have some sewing time that allowed me to finish three quilts, two minis and another dog quilt!

This little pup was an orphan block from a past dog quilt; it's been on my design wall long enough so I just bound it in Dear Stella peony confetti dot and did tiny loopy loo quilting. In all honesty I wanted to practice the tiny loopy loos on this block before using it for the dog quilt I finished this week. The backing of the mini has teal polka dot bursts on white.

I'm calling this a throw back version as I have made this quilt using these exact fabrics earlier this year. Well almost, this time I used Kona Bone instead of a bright white on white print for the background fabric. I think it softened up the look a little. The rest of the fabrics were all from Coquette by Chez Moi from Moda. I'm nearly out of these great fabrics - I will miss them when they are gone. Over Christmas we had nothing but cloudy days and rain, no snow for Christmas... hardly ever happens in Wisconsin, we always have snow! The rain and clouds are no good for picture taking.

I also turned the little heart balloon block into a mini quilt- another orphan. I love this tiny quilt, I did put it in my etsy shop but I might have to keep it all for me! The backing is hot pink with great big white polka dots. Heart was appliqued and free motion embroidered. I love this technique and hope to do it again soon.

Aside from these finishes this week I also have a couple of WIPs that have my attention, my mini for the rainbow mini swap on IG and my wonky pinwheel quilt in navy and teal. As if that wasn't enough to work on my hubby gave me several quilty gifts this Christmas that are really tugging at my attention!

Pretty threads and much wanted Swoon patterns in mini and full size! Yay! These really aren't the best gifts of all; he also made me a thread holder. It's so amazing and it's deserving of its own post... another day, after it gets put up in my sewing room!

Link Parti's 

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

RnB Finish

The Ruby and The Benny are all done! In addition to finishing these two fun pet quilts I also attended my first Madison modern quilt guild meeting last week, yay! There were so many ladies showing off some amazing skills.

The Ruby and The Benny were ordered for a pair of dog siblings, a red king charles cavalier and blond golden retriever. I added a heart balloon applique to Ruby's quilt. I practiced it beforehand on this little block

Easy peasy. I just drew and cut the heart using Wonder Under and attached it to the white square. I then drew the string with my sewline pencil. Once I had the heart and string ready I attached my free motion foot, loaded up some black thread and outlined the heart applique and followed by pencil line. I went over everything three times which was key as it didn't look that great after only twice. Oh, I did use a piece of stabilizer behind the heart and string before the free motion embroidery otherwise I think there would have been issues. I just trimmed the stabilizer back after I was done.

I'm glad I practiced the heart balloon before putting it on the quilt. It's a little like using permanent marker to write on your quilt, the pressure! See it floating in the sky.

I did free motion quilting throughout both quilts. The binding and backing on The Ruby were both from Girly Girl by Pat Bravo; I'm super crazy about this fabric for the binding!

The blond golden retriever fabric was from Marmalade by Moda. It's tricky to do a light colored dog!

I think these are my last two finishes for 2014! I'm not sure, there might be time to finish one more quilt by the end of the year! This was also my fourth and fifth of these custom dog quilts this year; they are putzy to make but my Mr. P is still sleeping on his quilt every single night!

Link Parti's 

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Friday, December 12, 2014

The Hildy

She’s finished! One down, two to go! I was able to send this quilt off to her new home this week, well almost home, she is a Christmas gift. She needs to make a stop for wrapping and inspection first. I hope she passes! This quilt was featured on Richard and Tanya's Link a Friday Finish!!

I did free motion quilting throughout using three different patterns, one for each section of the quilt. Tiny loopy loos for the white background, Moda Bella White.

Meandering in the sky because it sometimes reminds me of poufy clouds! Meandering is not my favorite fmq pattern, but it works here.

And swirls with great big flowers for the grass. Love!

The plaid binding fabric is by Denyse Schmidt, it was so perfect for this quilt. The oat colored backing is from Marmalade by Bonnie and Camille and was just the thing to pull it all together and was selected by her new owners along. Wouldn't you know I ended up with an adjoining piece of binding right at the corner, agh! At least it was only one corner on this quilt. I've had quilts where every corner was tricky because of the extra fabric. Maybe I should roughly lay out the binding before I start attaching to prevent that problem in the future?! I say with a chuckle, I’ll never learn!

A final head shot! The eyes are always tricky on this quilt but I think I've gotten it down. Basically 2 white jelly beans layered with 2 smaller brown jelly beans. Instead of free motion quilting them in place this time like with the Jake quilt I slowly did a straight stitch around the outside of the white and black in coordinating thread.

Link Parti's 

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Monday, December 8, 2014

First Timer

I just signed up for my first mini quilt swap! Kate - @katebasti on Instagram - is hosting a Rainbow Mini Quilt swap. Hurry over registration ends on December 11. I believe the mail date is around March so plenty of time to come up with a great idea! The wall behind my sewing machine is bare, no more! Need inspiration for the swap? Here’s a rainbow pillow sham I completed this summer before starting my blog. This pillow was featured at Quilt Story: Fabric Tuesday and My Quilt Infatuation: Needle and Thread Thursday!!

It was made with scraps from my rainbow herringbone quilt and a few pieces from my scrap bins. The squares are 2 inches finished. The pillow cover fits an 18 inch pillow sham. The fabrics are Simply Color by V and Co, my most favorite rainbow collection ever. I've mentioned that before, I know! I posted this a couple of weeks ago on Instagram, you can find me at @modernpartiquilts

I kept the quilting simple with straight line quilting going on both sides of every seam. The pillow cover has a solid teal envelop style backing.

I'm super duper excited about my first mini quilt swap!!

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Mini Improv Quilts and Dog Progress

Lots of catching up this week after the holiday last week! I've made quite a bit of progress on one of my dog quilts. The grass and sky have been pieced. I've cut all of the applique pieces using Wonder Under 805 which I have used since Steam a Seam II disappeared earlier this year although it looks to be back now; if anyone has given the new stuff a try I'd love to hear about it. I have just a few applique pieces left to attach including the eyes which are the most difficult to place. Temporarily I'm using scotch tape to attach them... and hoping I don't run over the tape with the iron!

This gal had some pretty floppy ears with the left one laying flat and the right one flipping out a little. I decided to give the right one a little dimension and added some fluff between the layers. I had worried about the batik dog fabric as I don't use a lot of batik but I think it really works here.

I do my applique with my Pfaff (love her!). It can be a slow process especially on rounded corners where the fabric needs turned every couple of stitches. Maybe I won't do such round-y letters next time!?! I'm using both Mettler and Aurifil threads to do the applique.

This will be my third time making this quilt. So far I'm really liking the 'Hildy' version!

Holiday Mini Improv Quilts

Just before Halloween I did a custom set of mini Ghastlies quilts for a client. Now there is a matching set of Christmas Ghastlies mini quilts! 

I love doing improv with the Ghastlies; you don't really know where you're going until you've arrived. They are all different but coordinate well together. They have been shipped off just in time for the holidays! I can't get over the gold polka dot fabric by Dear Stella; I lucked out and had a few large scraps of the gold and red snowflake fabric that went really well the the gold polka dots too.

Link Parti's 

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Fabric Watchers

In addition to having a great Thanksgiving with family I was also able to get some sewing in with our niece who was visiting from Indiana. Together we made an American Girl doll quilt and pillow for her American Girl doll. She picked out the fabrics all by herself and I think she did a great job!

The backing fabric matched the fun white fabric on the little pillow we made. The white fabric was from JoAnns. She also chose fabrics from Riley Blake and Art Gallery. We did some free motion quilting with loopy loos and little flowers. He dog Sophie even got in on the free-motion action – I can say that I wasn't expecting that!! She stuffed her little pillow perfectly! 

Fabric Watchers

No, not like weight watchers for fabric addicts although I could totally use that! I was able to snap a couple of photos of my fabric watchers, Laci and Peanut, while shooting pictures for my fabric inventory just before Thanksgiving. This is Laci, the little princess of the house. 

And Peanut. As you can see, they take fabric watching very seriously!

They may actually have been watching these little birds! I guess they won't be getting paid for fabric watching this week... 


Speaking of dogs, I’m in the middle of more dog quilts! I've had a run on custom dog quilts for the holidays this week. Here are a couple of the fabric pulls for a pair of ‘dog siblings’

Hers. Art Gallery fabrics including Girly Girl, Rapture, Nouvelle, Nature Elements and Oval Elements Collections plus the pink heart fabric from Sandy Gervais Flirt by Moda.

His. More Art Gallery Oval Elements, Nature Elements, Modern Affair Collections, plus the cute plaid from Denyse Schmidt which goes perfectly with these! The light blue paisley is from Noteworthy by Moda. 

An Unrelated Dog. This particular quilt is actually a memorial pet quilt that will be gifted for Christmas. Fabrics from the Noteworthy line by Sweetwater from Moda. Plus the blue batik. These should probably keep me busy in between baking, shopping and decorating for Christmas! 

Link Parti's 

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Monday, November 24, 2014

It's A-Bark Time

I managed to finish my latest dog quilt this weekend! I pondered and pondered over the fabric choices for the bases. And then pondered some more for the borders and binding fabrics, good grief. Working in the dark hasn’t been helpful. I initially thought I was going to use the coral solid I auditioned in my last post about this quilt. After I cut the coral strips it wasn’t right so I plunged ahead with the teal solid. I blame the short days. By the time I get home from work it is already dark, stuff just looks better in the dark!

Once all of the bases were attached I reviewed about a thousand – ok a dozen (felt like a thousand though) – different combinations for the inner and outer borders and couldn't get that to come together either, ugh. Ever have ‘one of those’ quilts, jee whiz?! I finally decided to nix the inner border altogether and increase the size of the outer border so that the quilt ended up the same size but only has one border. Since this quilt is destined to hang in a dog rescue I went with this Moda Summersville print by Lucie Summers that features different animals included dogs for the border. The larger sized border allowed for plenty of space to show off those animals too!

I had not forgotten about that solid coral! I did a peek out binding using the solid coral and teal. I'm wondering if there is a name for this type of binding? I recently discovered a two color binding strip in a $5 scrap bag I purchased from my LQS, Patches and Petals. Serious, make your own scrap bag for $5! After deconstructing the scrap binding I figured that I could probably manage making one! To create the two color binding I just cut a 1.5in strip of teal aka the outer binding color and a 1.75in strip of the peek out color which was coral on this quilt, sewed the two pieces together and pressed in half. Done! It’s a little fussy because the binding does need to be pressed exactly in half or the peeking color ends up wavy but this is going to look super cute hanging up so totally worth it! It is just the right amount of that amazing coral which is by Art Gallery Pure Elements. The teal solid is Kona Azul. 

I attach my bindings front and back by machine. I use a 2 3/4in binding folded in half, the extra ¼ inch gives me just a little breathing room... I attach the binding to the back of the quilt first. This time I sewed the back binding a little narrower than usual by moving the needle to the right a couple of hairs (1.0 on my machine – it was either 3 or 4 hairs). Making the back binding a little smaller allowed me to stitch along the front directly on the crease where the teal and coral meet without sewing over the back binding accidentally.

Side track: Did you notice the dog butt with chicken head, yikes!

Oh the quilting! This time around I top stitched each dog in coordinating thread. The simple quilting should allow the dogs to shine without distraction at the rescue.


Too rainy for a good outside photo but here are all the dogs! I did add in the coral with flowers in the upper right and solid mustard dogs... because they were too awesome not to.  Both are Art Gallery fabrics, but don't they look great with the Simply Style line!

Link Parti's 

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday #1

I’m still struggling with selecting the base for my current dog quilt… Thanks so much for all the help! I finally decided on the coral solid, cut a strip and put them up on the design wall. And then I wasn’t WOWed. I cut a string of the teal solid. I liked the teal a little better but not enough to actually attach them. Sooo more pondering and less sewing. Boo. On the plus side I now have all of the dog blocks finished! Since there isn’t much to share on my current wip I thought I’d do my first Throwback Thursday post, yay, another first! I finished this red and tan HST quilt earlier this year

I was inspired by a quilt over at cluck cluck sew. I wanted to do something similar as a gift to our friends for their upcoming wedding that my hubby and I could make together. I thought it might be best to practice first! This is the practice quilt. We used Kona Khaki for the tan and various red fabrics. It had to be red for Wisconsin Badgers of course. I started with 4.5 inch squares, drew a line down the center of the tan squares, right sides together and stitched on each side resulting in two HST blocks for each set of squares.

I realized that I had absolutely no red fabric in my stash before I started making this. That was sort of an eye opener, jeez, how did that happen?! Oh well, more shopping!! I kept the quilting simple with straight lines outlining one side going in each direction. The balloon fabric is one of my favorites in this quilt!

I loved the idea of a black and white binding along with a black and white backing. This little quilt measured 37x41 and is available in my etsy shop.

Here’s a picture of the wedding quilt that my hubby and I made for our friends. Hubby marked all of the squares, did some rotary cutting, drew the applique and snipped all of the thread from the chain piecing. Serious. I sewed, quilted and supervised!

Link Parti's 

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Doggone Progress

I've still been playing catch up from our trip to California last week. My family did Thanksgiving last weekend so we were out of town again. Hoping to catch my breath this week! I did manage make a trip to the grocery store, the first in three weeks! And make some progress on my current dog quilt

I've been struggling with selecting the base for the dogs so I've left it off for now. The rest of the pups should be finished by the end of the week so I've got to figure it out!  Below is the base for the dogs; it sort of acts like a colored sashing. Here's a pic from the last time I made this quilt.

The base is a pretty major component since it's repeated in every block. Below are a couple of options I have auditioning on my sewing room floor aka center stage at my house!

Coral solid or print

Mustard solid or print with teal

I think both the mustard and coral prints are a little bit busy for this quilt. I'm also still thinking about the borders and binding. Usually I have all these things pulled together before even starting.

There are a number of green, teal and blue colored dogs and hardly any coral, grey or mustard which is why I'm leaning towards the less dominant colors as the base. I've also considered doing bases of all different colors??  Thoughts? Which do you like?

Link Parti's 

Take a look at the linki parti's I get down with here or by clicking on the Linki Parti's link above. Linking up to Freshly Pieced Quilt Story Blossom Heart Quilts Show and Tell Tuesday and Let's Bee Social