Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Funfetti Block!

At last month's NYC Metro Mod guild meeting, we had a wonderful visit from the folks at Michael Miller fabrics (you can read the recap here).  Michael Miller is debuting a new line of solids, which features 85 beautiful colors.  The cotton is  silky and smoother than typical quilting cottons, almost like a cotton voile (but opaque).

We were fortunate to be able to use their new solids as part of a challenge quilt for our members!  We each received squares of solids, plus a small scrap of bright yellow (called Starfruit, I think) for "pop."  We were asked to make "modern" blocks.  Here is my finished block:

Funfetti!
The browns reminded me of the mid-century modern look, so I went for a slightly Mad Men style.  I added the pops of yellow as little confetti accents.  The scraps on the right are all that remained after I completed the blocks...good to the last scrap!

Here are the views of the other colorways that members received.  I can't wait to see the other blocks when they're completed!


Love the fabrics!

PS:  Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a free copy of the new Modern Blocks book!  Entries are open until November 1st.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Giveaway - Modern Blocks Book!

I just received news that one of the books that features one of my quilting projects will be released early in November!  The book is called "Modern Blocks:  99 Quilt Blocks from Your Favorite Designers," by Stash Books (a division of C&T Publishing).



Here is the information about the book:  "Today’s most talented modern quilters share 99 block designs, with new ways to think about the classics, plus some brand new blocks you have not seen before. These fresh and fun 12” blocks are beginner-friendly with complete cutting instructions. This book is great for block swaps; combine blocks to make your own impressive modern quilt."

Here is a sample page, which includes the block that I created (called the "Topsy Turvy Tree" block.  All of the projects are beautiful and feature interesting designs.  I'm really happy with how the block turned out in the book, and I look forward to seeing how other folks interpret the block:

My original submission to the book.

To celebrate the release of the book, Stash Books has generously offered to give a free eBook to one of my lucky readers! 

Prize:  One eBook of "Modern Blocks."  The eBook is a full-color PDF download that shows all of the projects in the book.

Entry Deadline:  Tuesday, November 1st at 9:00am Eastern time.

How to Enter:  Leave a comment at the bottom of this post!  If you sign up to follow my blog (or you already follow it), leave another comment and you'll get a second chance to win!  If you blog about the giveaway, leave a comment (with a trackback), and you'll get a third chance to win!

NotesUS or Canada addresses only (Update on 10/26:  this is an eBook, so anyone is welcome to enter!)  Please include your email address or another way to reach you.  If a winner does not respond within 3 days, I will choose another winner.

Good luck, and happy quilting!

PS:  If you make a quilt block using my pattern, please send me a photo!  I will be happy to post it on my blog.  :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Spy - Historical Village Version

This weekend, my husband and I traveled to New England to visit family.  On the way back, we decided to stop at Mystic Seaport, a beautiful museum in Connecticut that features historical ships from the 1800s-1900s.  It also has a large historical village that represents whaling village life in the 1800s.



For some reason, we have visited a plethora of historical villages in the past year, and I always like to keep a sharp eye out for any quilting-related items in the recreated villages!  This village did not disappoint.  Check out this reproduction of a dressmaker's studio:


Beautiful, right?  My focus was immediately drawn to the vintage sewing machine in the corner!  Love the old-school treadle machine.


 Here is a reproduction of an old bedroom.  Check out the faded and (I think) historically accurate quilt on the bed!  Great use of mis-matched fabrics and blocks.  Yes, it looked hand-quilted.



 In another room, it looks like someone has been doing some patchwork.  Is that an Ohio Star block?



My other favorite "I Spy" moments are spotting beautiful quilts in movies and TV shows.  Do you have any favorite quilt-related "I Spy" finds?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Better with Cheddar Quilt

A few months ago, I attended the spectacular event at the Park Avenue Armory called "Infinite Variety," which featured a private collection of over 650 red and white quilts!  It was a stunning event, and I'll have to post photos eventually.  As a reminder, you can download an amazing free iPhone or iPad app that shows all of the quilts in detail!

One of the quilts caught my eye, which was a feathered Lemoyne star pattern.  It featured a little touch of cheddar in the quilt.  Subtle from far away, but it packed a punch up close:

Look at that hand quilting!  Amazing...

Soon after the quilt event, I took a class with the talented Anita Grossman Solomon at the City Quilter.  She wrote a great book (called Rotary Cutting Revolution) that featured an easy pineapple block.  You can read my initial post about the class HERE.

I put away the projects for a few months, but I recently decided to finish it.  I didn't have the patience to create a bed-sized quilt, so I opted to make a wallhanging (perfect for our new house!).  I was so inspired by the quilt at the Red and White exhibit that I decided to make the quilt a little whimsical....

Here is the finished quilt, which I call "Better With Cheddar," because everything is better with a little cheddar (fabric or cheese) added to it!



Measures about 36 inches square.  I'm not planning on hanging it above the sofa (that's just for show).

I used Kona cotton in Snow, Chinese Red and School Bus.  I opted to free-motion quilt the white parts only with a dense stippling.  It was surprisingly easy to create, and I love the off-center pop of color!  It also reinforced how much I like working with solid colors...an all-solid quilt is now high on my list of to-do projects.

Close-up view.
Action shot as the quilt gets un-stuck from the tape!  Whee!


PS:  Hi to all of the visitors from Amy Lou Who's Sew and Tell Fridays

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Monkey in the Middle Block

For this month's NYC Mod Bee, Mary asked us to create a freeform version of a Monkey Wrench block (also known as a Churn Dash or Hole in the Barn Door block).  She gave us a bunch of solid fabrics and asked us to just "close our eyes and grab the next piece" to make the block work.  She found a beautiful example of a quilt that used this idea.

It was such a pleasure working with solids, and I really have to get more for my stash!  I played around a lot and ended up with a block that I call "Monkey in the Middle":



It was so much fun to make this block!  I started out by making a tiny monkey wrench block for the middle.  It measured 4.5 inches square:

Tiny but fun!

Then I pieced four half-dark, half-light striped blocks and four half-square triangle blocks, each 4.5 inches square.  I used a lot of scraps and assorted fabrics to create a loose interpretation of the block shape.  I sewed it all together, and voila!


Fun and colorful!
I had a great time making this block, and I am considering using my scraps to make my own version of this block.  It would be easy to make striped and half-square triangle blocks regularly with my scraps and put them aside for later use.  Time to break out the scrap pile...

View of my workspace.  Fabric confetti!

Metro Mod Meeting

This weekend was the start of the season for the NYC Metro Mod Quilt Guild!  Sadly, as I will be moving in November, this was also probably my last meeting for a while (unless I come to NYC for some meetings or Skype in, which is a strong possibility)!

The meeting was kicked off by a surprise visit from Christine Osmers and Kathy Miller of Michael Miller Fabrics!  They showed us their new solids collection, which is beautiful and incredibly silky...can't wait to work with it.  They also showed us design boards and fabric samples from upcoming lines.  It was  amazing to hear about the fabrics that will be on the shelves in the next few months.





Michael Miller also generously gave us plenty of solid and patterned fabrics as take-home goodies!  Fortunately, we figured out a fair way to let everyone choose a bundle...otherwise it would have been a fabric melee.

Waiting to pounce on the fabric bundles...

Another exciting part of the meeting was seeing the Dresden Plate blocks that folks from the NYC Mod Bee created!  They look incredible, and I love the range of sizes and styles.  After I receive the final two blocks, I'll have to do some deep thinking about how to assemble the quilt...any thoughts?  Sashing, no sashing?

Incredible blocks!  Thanks to the Bee members!

We also saw some of the other completed Bee blocks from earlier months:


Show and tell is always a highlight of the meetings, and this meeting's was great as well: 





This one is mine!  I'm finishing up the free-motion quilting and will post official photos soon.  :)



E's amazing EBay find.  It was huge and so soft!

Victoria's signature quilt.  My block is the basket at the bottom-left!

It's been an amazing experience at the Metro Mod guild, and I will be really sad not to have the chance to see these lovely folks every month or so.  Thank goodness for the blog world, where I plan to keep in touch regularly.  I will miss everyone! 

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Monday, October 3, 2011

H2B2 Blocks - September and October

For my Hip To Bee Square virtual quilting bee, we received two sets of fabric at once for September and October's blocks.  I had fun putting aside my current big quilting projects and focusing on two smaller projects!

Quilting bees are fast, a great way of "loosening up" and a perfect way to break out of a sewing rut.  Do you enjoy quilting bees?

The first block was for Becca, who asked us to make "some sort of improv log cabin" using Dream On fabric, white fabric and a little Kona solid fabrics.  I had fun making the orange center block and then adding layers around it.  Cheerful and sorbet-y!

Kitchen table = sewing space.  I won't mind moving out of my one-bedroom apartment soon and having room to spread out!

Happy block!

For October, Peg asked us to make stacked blocks with greens, grays and Kona cotton in Coal.  I've never tried this pattern before, but it was super easy and fun.  I was also intrigued by the use of gray, and I may have to start adding some to my stash...it's a great neutral option for toning down bright colors that I love to use.

Is that lettuce fabric at the bottom?
 PS:  Hello to all those coming from Lily's Quilts!
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