April Flowers

“April Flowers” with a Peggy Martin rose bush.

April flowers is my baby quilt project for April Island Batik Ambassador challenge. The challenge was to make a square baby quilt using the AccuQuilt Go. The fabric for this quilt was provided by Island Batik and the batting by Hobbs Batting. As part of the Island Batik Ambassador program, we also received an AccuQuilt Ready Set Go cutter and dies.

A cutting system for fabric was not something I was considering at this time. As soon as I got this though, I pulled out a pile of medium-sized blue scraps and cut them into 2.5″ strips. It was like magic – my odd sized scraps were instantly transformed into a jelly roll worth of strips. These strips are part of a project-in-progress but that is for another blog post.

For this project, I decided to make a block from the book that accompanied the Accuquilt system. It is by Eleanor Burns and has patterns for several classic 8″ blocks along with instructions on which die to use and how big to cut the strips, etc. I picked the flower basket block – a classic block that I’ve never made before because is has numerous and small half-square triangles. With AccuQuilt, the HSTs were a breeze. I cut a zillion 2.5″ HSTs, 2.5″ squares and 4.5″ HSTs in 20 minutes. It took me longer to gather and clip the pieces for a block. Using AccuQuilt for projects with several identical pieces is a great time-saver. Next time, I will place the pieces that make a HST – the pinks and the background in this project – right sides together before on the die. They go through the cutter together and I can just pick them up and sew. No extra time for matching the pieces.

I used several bright pinks for the flowers, greens for the basket and the Island Batik solid white for the background. The solid white is the same high-thread count batik fabric but it is just white. I used a bleached Hobb’s 80/20 cotton batting that came in my box. The bleached batting retained the bright white of the background.

I quilted an all-over daisy meander in the white space.
Some baskets got straight lines
Some baskets got wavy lines.

I know a lot of you in the northern parts of the Northern hemisphere have had severe weather this past week and even snow storms in April. Here in Houston, TX, we’ve had several weeks of spring already. It was an unusually mild winter with just a few hours of below freezing temperatures. This is very unusual even for Houston. My eggplants and peppers from last year did not die out and have already started blooming and bearing fruit. My Peggy Martin roses, amaryllis and impatiens are blooming. Peaches are done blooming and have tiny fruits. Orange blossoms and baby lemons aplenty on the citrus trees. Enjoying the lovely spring weather and the flowers and their fragrance but dreading the summer heat just around the corner.

Linkups:
Color Inspiration
Let’s Bee Social
Midweek Makers
Wednesday Weight loss
Needle & Thread Thursday
Finished or not Friday
TGIFF
Whoop Whoop Friday
Friday Foto Fun
Freemotion Mavericks

Q2 2019 Finish-a-long

I’m finally throwing my hat into the finish-a-along wagon. Finish-a-long (FAL) is a link up hosted by a community of quilt bloggers where a quilter makes a list of projects that she/he plans to finish that quarter and links up the list on one of the FAL hosts’ linky party.

1. Baby quilt for the April Island Batik challenge. Top is almost done. Needs to be quilted and bound.
2. Be a Diamond blog hop quilt. Construction is in progress. I hope to be done by April 21st! If I can’t get it quilted, I will blog with just the top. I will follow this up with a design process tutorial/post in May. I designed using a combination of EQ8, hand drawn templates and a programming language called Processing. Alison Glass SunPrints 2018 and 2019 on Kona Regal.
3. Complete the Summer in the Park quilt top. May be able to quilt in June? This is a 2+ year UFO.
4. Island Batik May challenge should be a modern quilt. I am planning to do a light, medium, dark 3D illusion quilt and try some heavy quilting.
5. This is currently hanging over the stairs near the kitchen. The pattern is 54-40 or fight. I made this maybe 3 or 4 years ago – before FMQ. I want to take it down and give it some more FMQ to enhance the curve illusion.
6. The Island Batik challenge for June is try a new technique. I’m planning to make two Cathedral window cushion covers using this YouTube tutorial from Missouri Star Quilts:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akKU0zg-qaw . I’ve never made the faux curve before. It will be a new pattern and a new technique for me. The cushions will go on our living room sofa.
7. Quilt the Bali sunrise. Not sure if I will even get this far in the list…
8. Finish the top for the Modern Plus Sign QAL. I worked on this quite a bit last month and I think I can wrap it up in just a couple of days but ……

Finish-A-Long hosts:

Quilts for CA – Golden paradise, Bisection

Golden Paradise is one of two quilts I sent to #quiltsforca to be donated to the survivors of the California wildfires. The quilt blocks are from my first quilt support group – the quilting forum at Houzz (formerly GardenWeb). These were my birthday blocks from 2011. A birthday block group is a group of 13 quilters. Each quilter specifies what kind of block she’d like and the other 12 quilters make and send her one during her birthday month. Each quilter in the group gets to make 12 different blocks and in return, she gets 12 blocks from others in her choice or colors or theme.

I had asked for Buckeye Beauty in greens and golds. For some reason, I got 16 blocks – some quilters in my group sent more than one. I made 4 more blocks and made the top. After adding three borders, the top finished at 60″x 72″ – a very respectable lap quilt/throw size.

I quilted an overall feathery design – a kind of hooked feathers that require no travel stitching, and therefore went very fast. I quilted the entire top in one stretch. It took me about 3 hours including loading the quilt on the frame and 4 bobbin changes.

The backing fabric is from a suitcase full of fabric I got from my aunt Jaya. See story in my Storied Dresden post. The selvage says Falling Leaves by Alexander Henry 1994. My aunt regularly volunteers at a consignment store for the American Cancer Society. They receive a great many donations and one of them was a huge collection of fabric that belonged to a quilter who passed away unexpectedly. Her family donated her entire stash to the store. My aunt picked out a large box full of fabric of different vintages, different sizes for me.

I’m blown away by the symbolism in the quilt. It’s going to someone who probably lost everything in the fire in California. My birthday blocks came from one Australian, one Canadian, and quilters from eight different states. The backing came from a quilter in Michigan. I hope it brings hope and warmth to someone.

The second #quiltsforca is Bisection – see top and tutorial. I quilted large feathers going up and down the quilt.

Also, this month I will be part of the Black & White Blog Hop organized by Carla of Creatin’ in the Sticks. The Blog hop runs Jan 21st-24th. Please come back to visit. This is a sneak peek of my finished quilt I will be sharing for the blog hop.The Blog hop runs Jan 21st-24th. Please come back to visit. This is a sneak peek of my finished quilt I will be sharing for the blog hop.

Linking to the following linky parties:
Main Crush Monday

Free motion by the river 
Let’s Bee Social
Midweek Makers
Needle And Thread Thursday
Finished or not Friday @ BusyHands
Can I get a Whoop Whoop
TGIFF @ Anja Quilts

Baby James Quilt Three – Sequence

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This is my third quilt for the Baby James memorial quilt project. Quilt one is here. Quilt two is here. Some background from my previous post: A quilter from an online quilt forum I visit often lost her grandson three days after he was born due to a birth defect. Her son and DIL are expecting another baby later this year, and grandma wants to donate a quilt in baby James’s memory to all the babies in the nursery when the new baby is born. I am honored to make a few quilts for her.

The pattern for this quilt is called Sequence by another favorite quilt blogger – Patty Dudek of Elm Street Quilts. See her post about this pattern here. I got my first issue of Make Modern magazine a few weeks ago and I loved Patty’s pattern. Sequence is based on the Fibonacci sequence – 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, …. . The size of the pieces follow the Fibonacci numbers, giving it a curved illusion.

IMG_0975I used Kona white for the background and four blue fat quarters. The blues seemed to have enough contrast against each other but when I put them together they looked very similar and quite blah. I used small piece of bright orange from my scrap bin to add some interest to the center. The “accent” placement is a bit different from Patty’s pattern but I think it works well with my white background and the almost identical blues.

IMG_0979The backing is a world map print from Joann’s that I absolutely love. I got some 8 yards of it the last time it went on sale. I’ve used it to back many quilts so far. I just quilted straight lines in the ditch and a few extra lines in the large pieces, approximately following the Fibonacci sequence. The binding is pieced with some of the left over orange accent fabric and some leftover red binding from another project.

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My three quilts for the baby James project are now complete and here they are ready to be mailed to James’s grandma.

This was also my One monthly goal for July and I will be linking up to OMG.

Linking up:
OMG July Finish
Linky Tuesday – Free motion by the River
Main Crush Monday
Let’s Bee Social
Midweek Makers
Needle and Thread Thursday
Finished or not Friday
TGIFF
Whoop Whoop!