1.30.2015

Ask and you shall receive...

I have been absolutely inundated with questions about Bobette's Christmas sampler so here you go:
I had sooooo many questions flooding in, so I searched online to no avail and then I had to contact Bobette for the info...

This pattern is called Be Merry and it's by the folks at Bits 'n Pieces.

It comes in several size options, however...

Bobette made the largest size but made it wider by adding in an extra snowman, snowflake and tree she told me. Now, this was made from Bobette's stash, so you're going to have to either ask the nice people at Bits 'n Pieces to make you a kit, or you can raid your own stash. I can tell you many of these prints were basics like the Moda Crackle and some Kansas Troubles basics, but there were a few Christmas-y prints thrown in here and there.

For better pictures of Bobette's quilt, you can visit the original post about her quilt here.

Now mind you, if you choose to make one of these quilts after seeing it here, don't forget that I would love to quilt it for you!!! Have a great weekend!!!

1.29.2015

Lake Farmpark Show Information

It's now posted!!!

The winners for the 2015 Quilt Show at the Lake Farmpark have been announced, you can get to the page for the Quilt Show with all of the information listed including registering for classes, dates and times, the Featured Artist and the list of the winners by clicking here. 

Or you can visit lakemetroparks.com to see what else the park has in store! (Like baby animals being born this time of year)

That's it for now!

1.27.2015

Happy News!

I just wanted to pop in really quick for a bit of happy news...
Carol e-mailed me yesterday and let me know that her quilt received a BLUE RIBBON at the Lake Farmpark Quilt Show in her category!!! I couldn't be happier to be a part of this quilt's journey and now I can't wait to see it hanging with a ribbon on it!!!

Judging for this show was over the weekend and it takes a day or two to call all of the winners. Once they have all been notified, then the list of winners and a picture of the Best in Show quilt will be published on the Farmpark's website. That will probably happen mid-late this week, but once it's public knowledge, I will share it on here too!

The Lake Farmpark Show is a quite large local quilt show here in Northeast Ohio that is held every Spring. This year I've heard there are 182 entries into the show and once I get a chance to run over there and snap some pictures, I will be sure to share them on here with you. I didn't enter anything myself this year (all of my quilts were either fun couch quilts or are secret projects that I can't share yet, so I'm working on my entry for next year...), however I did long arm several quilts that were to be entered. If I hear any more news on ribbon winners before I get to the show, I will share those too!

This is such an exciting time of year in Northeast Ohio!I mean, with the snow and the cold, it gives us something to look forward to until Spring arrives, right?

Speaking of which, I hope all of you in New England getting hammered by this awful winter storm are staying safe and warm!

1.21.2015

Machine Quilting: Rock Island Campfire

Carol made this quilt... and has been making this quilt for some time. It's a super amazingly scrappy masterpiece that needed a little pop...
 And that little pop came in the form of that super tiny black and white checkerboard fabric... I love this quilt, but I knew before I even got started that I was going to have a migraine or two working on this quilt. That's just how it goes sometimes.
 I started out and only made it about half way through the first day before my eyes and head were exhausted, but I was loving how the progress was going.
 For this design, I had a drawing of the quilting plan I kept next to me as I worked. In order to keep the motifs in the correct orientation in the blocks, this was my little road map and it was so helpful...
 Here you can see it better. I even numbered the quadrants and which direction I needed to go into first. Without this doodle I would've messed up... a lot... I don't always need a doodle like this, but with exhausted eyes and a pounding head at times, it was needed this time.
 But alas, the next day I was well seasoned and we had beautiful sunshine that actually helped. The first day was a bit overcast and gloomy so the checkerboard was very very loud visually. The next day the sunshine made the other fabrics brighter and equal visually to the checkerboard fabric so it was much easier to look at for hours on end.
 Carol and I both agreed that this quilt wouldn't be the same without the crazy checkerboard fabric... And it really makes this a happy fun quilt to balance out the other colors and textures. We came to the conclusion that the checkerboard fabric was like the red-headed stepchild that holds the family together. Simple as that.
 Isn't this quilt gorgeous?! If you're heading to the Lake Farmpark Quilts 2015 Show coming up here soon, you will be able to see this quilt in person! Just saying!
 Here's a much better representation of the quilting in relation to the block and the fabrics in the quilt. I love string quilts, but I will warn you, they're very heavy! Tons and tons of seams, so plan on a quilt like this for those long winter nights, not a light quilt for the front porch...
And here's how the quilting design looks from the back of the quilt without all of the other visual stimulation from the fabrics. I'm very happy with how it turned out and I think this quilt was a mixture of all sorts of wonderful things from start to finish to create a beautiful quilt. Wouldn't you agree?

It's amazing how this quilt's personality changed in the differences in lighting. Remember that little tidbit if you're working on a fabric with a ton of fabrics (like my super insanity crazy quilt I shared yesterday). Maybe the fabrics look a bit muddled or off and you don't know why... Maybe it's the lighting. Remember to look at your quilts during various times of the day to see if maybe they're happiest in sunlight, or brightest under indoor lighting at night. When you pulled together the fabrics initially, the lighting may have been different than when you're working on a quilt (like if you bought them at a store with fluorescent light or during the middle of the day on a weekend but you only sew at night). Just a little tidbit to share...

Well, I wanted to thank Carol again for letting me play with her quilt and sharing this crazy envision of scrappy quilts. It's such a treasure to click with other quilters on a level that certain fabrics and ideas just make sense and pull at your heartstrings! We can have a little too much fun at times and I love it!


1.20.2015

My super crazy quilt idea...

So you all saw the wonky star quilt... well, the day I finished quilting it, I was determined to make one for myself. And as I do, I was killing some time and browsing Instagram (find me at rubybluequilts) and saw this amazing houndstooth quilt...

Well, I already wanted to make the star quilt, that was a given. But I just couldn't get that houndstooth quilt out of my head either... And then it happened...

Late that night (or early morning, I can't remember) I was up letting Paco out and I was just tired enough that my brain clicked like magic... Combine the two designs!

I spent the next day driving myself crazy trying to figure out how it would work. I started doodling on my graph paper but it was taking too long and wasn't as clean as it needed to be, so I switched to the computer... I first started with this idea and it was okay...

But then I changed up the sizing on the houndstooth and it was Eureka!!!

And then I spent the next week or two thinking about fabrics and sizes and and and... And then I decided to raid my stash and just go scrappy. Oh, and finally bust into my Cotton & Steel stash I've been hoarding. It must've been a really big deal because Ben stopped dead in his tracks during his workout to ask me if I was really ready to break into my C&S Stash. What can I say? He knows his fabrics... (And it's not like I wasn't carrying the bundle around the house petting it when it first arrived... Not that I would do a thing like that...)

So I made a template or two once I decided on the sizing to make sure it would work out right and then I started cutting, and cutting, and cutting.

I have all of the lights and "darks" for the houndstooth portion cut, but  I wanted to use navy blues and black-ish tones for the stars (which will be pieced centers and strip points) and I had next to nothing in my stash. I did have to go out an supplement a bit, but I think I may still need a print or three to feel like there's enough of a mix to get started.

Now this is the super crazy part (if the rest wasn't crazy enough) I'm going to make this one piece at a time cutting and trimming as I go starting in the center and working my way out. It's going to be a long drawn out process, but I'm hoping with the right set-up I can stay organized and love it more and more as I watch it grow... That's the hope...

So, I'm to the point where I think I will make the star centers first and then start with the houndstooth pieces and see how it goes. Not today though. Today I'm taking it easy because my chest pains are back with a vengeance after finishing all these custom quilts lately... That's okay, I'm almost enjoying taking it easy. Paco and I have been a little chummy on the couch and that's fine with me...

So are any of you as crazy as I am to make a quilt like this?

1.17.2015

Machine Quilting: Wonky Stars

This quilt is a stunner... It was stunning before I got my hands on it and I can only hope that I helped take it over the top... But first you need the details! This is another one of those quilts that Bobette brings me and it immediately goes on my to-do list. And not only is it awesome for that fact, it's also the same quilt pattern I quilted for Bobette this past Fall, but you wouldn't know it!
 Isn't this a great cozy lap quilt that's perfect for winter without screaming "Christmas". I thought so. It's just so rich and pretty and, well, you get the idea. Do you recognize the pattern yet?
How about now? This is the exact same pattern with the colors flipped. And Bobette only used two fabrics in the new version. Just by switching the color placement this quilt went from floral and warm to rich and cozy...
 But enough on that part, let's see more of the quilt! This reminded me so much of the Nordic styling that has been so popular in quilt designs as of late. And it was almost Christmas time too, so that may have influenced my design choices a bit...
 Each block is impromptu and wonky so I had to use a plan that could adapt accordingly. What I chose to do was mark the center-ish of each star and quilt these diamond-ish shapes out from each center to the points.
 I also kept the background quilting the same as the first quilt (if it's not broke, don't fix it!) and outlined each area and filled it with swirls for a contrasting texture.
 I had so much fun quilting this and I was sad when it was almost over because I knew I would have to give it back soon.
 But then I got to thinking I could make my own (1. because I really like it and 2. so I can quilt it just like this one) and that little seed sat in the back of my mind and grew into this new plan I have to show you next.
Here's how the back of the quilt turned out. I think it's awesome... But how could I not?! I keep joking with Bobette that she has to stop making these awesome quilts because it keeps adding to my to-do list... I also threaten to keep her quilts and that hasn't worked yet... Guess I'm going to just have to make my own then.

Have you ever made a quilt like this that has taken on a new personality just by changing the placement of the colors? If not, I urge you to try it out if your gut is telling you to change up something, the results could be amazing!

1.15.2015

Machine Quilting: Summer Solstice Deja Vu

I got an email from Lindsay one day and she was super excited to finish up her Summer Solstice quilt but was in that mood of "now what?". She sent it off to me and said she liked the original version of this quilt that I had done, but if the mood struck me to try something new or add something in, go for it. (I love when that happens) and this is what we ended up with:
 This quilt was made just like the original Summer Solstice I quilted because that quilt was featured in Timeless Treasure's booth at Market and turned into a project sheet for other shops to make into kits. It was interesting for me working with the two quilts because of the slight change in the coloring of the fabrics (the original quilt was made with advance yardage and this quilt was made with the actual fabrics from their normal release date, plus batiks can differ from run to run so that could've been it too). The tans were a bit deeper, the greens were more vibrant, the orange was a bit bolder, but it still has that same charm as the original quilt.
 The first major change I did with this quilt was play up the piecing in the border fabric. This fabric was much brighter and had more vibrancy than the original quilt, so I used that to my advantage. I kept some of the quilting in the tan areas the same...
 Here you can see the quilting better in the borders. I also made a slight change to the quilting in the orange, but not a major one...
 I did however change up the center a bit and tried a new design in the inner background of the New York Beauty blocks and I will be using that again in the future!
 With this design (and almost every quilt design that springs from my fingertips) I tried to keep it simple and relative by using about three or four designs scattered throughout the quilt so there is a consistency but you can still see each piece individually. This quilt was mainly line designs in a myriad of configurations, ribbon candy and tendrils with some swirls to calm the backgrounds.
 The other little bit that I did differently with this quilt was to use this amazing raspberry colored thread in the magenta and purple areas including the center star (pictured above). It's a much bolder choice so I had to check with Lindsay before going forward with it because some people like their quilting a little more subtle. Luckily she loved it and I got to finish up this quilt and send it on it's way and I think it turned out awesome!!!
This pattern, unlike many of the other patterns designed by Judy Niemeyer, is relatively simple and methodical. Now, many of her other designs are methodical, but not simple... Not in the foggiest... For a quilter, this quilt is basically just diamonds, New York Beauty blocks and borders. Usually Judy's designs have like 27 different elements and there's a lot more planning that can go into them. The neat thing with this pattern is depending on how it's colored and where the accents lie, I can quilt each and everyone differently to make the personality of the quilt stand out. That's how I play and get creative and end of loving my job at the end of the day.

Lindsay did an amazing job piecing this quilt. This design is almost never square and here's why... The border is pieced with several angled pieces... and the corners are mitered too. Plus when you combine that with how this quilt top is constructed (it's weird, just trust me) no matter how good of a quilter you are, there is a ton of bias edges going on and it can get wonky fast.

Any quilt with a pieced border and mitered corners can have it happen. Basically you can think of the pieced border and the mitered corners as the exaggeration of the center of the quilt. If there is any bonus fabric in the center, it will find it's way to the outside and definitely into the corners... NOT LINDSAY'S!!!

It was awesome and I had such a fun time quilting it. I want to thank Lindsay for sending me her quilt to play on and letting me share the pictures with you too! Continuing on with the trend of quilts on the blog this week, I DID NOT want to send this one back. I may just have to break down and add this quilt on my to-do list too... It just keeps growing...

Speaking of which, the next quilt I'll share added my "blizzard project" for this winter on my list and I'm going to share it with you guys, but I'm pretty sure I'm the only person crazy enough to make this particular quilt... We shall see... I can't wait to share it with you guys, but that's for another day. Have a great day and I'll be back with more awesome quilts!
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