One of my goals this year is to expand my repertoire of crafty skills. First on my list? Needle turn applique. My guild is doing a mug rug swap this month, so this was a great opportunity to test my skills on an unsuspecting guild member. (They’re a pretty friendly bunch.) I used a very simple bull’s eye shape adapted from Denyse Schmidt’s Quilts book (hands down my favorite quilting book–it’s really great for beginners). It’s just three irregular circles stacked; aiming for imperfection is a great choice when you are learning a new skill (or improving a rusty one).
When I’ve tried needle-turn in the past, I’ve always cheated and turned the raw edge under with my hand, which can result in an uneven edge. I think I finally got the knack of needle turning by the third circle! You use the point of the needle to push under the next section of edge before you sew–which turns the edge evenly as you move along. If you are working on a precise shape, having a clear line for the seam would be very important. Because my circle did not need to be precise I just winged it. It was so nice to work on a small project by hand that I decided to hand quilt, too. At first I quilted around each circle–not good! The circles poofed up, totally negating all my careful applique. Here’s a picture, before I pulled out the hand quilting:
What else do I want to try this year? Embroidery, making a stuffed animal, and (maybe!) English paper piecing. Look for more Skillful Sunday posts in the coming months!
I’m so glad that Vanessa is a great photographer–the lighting at our group show in December was challenging to say the least! She shared these pictures from the show, so I thought I would post. My first official quilt show! (You’re probably tired of seeing this quilt. I have a new one almost finished so there is some variety on the horizon.) You can see all the quilts on the Gainesville Modern Quilters website.
I thought this quilt was really innovative–I love the three-dimensional aspect! Sorry I don’t have the quilter’s name for this one.
Here is Vanessa’s quilt–a little tucked behind the trees. I really like the geometric design and the free-motion quilting.
This quilt just came back from being in a modern quilt show here in Gainesville. The gallery manager at Santa Fe, Kyle Novak, did such a great job hanging the quilts–they looked gorgeous! I loved seeing all our guild members’ work together. I, however, was too busy chatting to take any decent pictures–sorry! It was great to see, even in this small show, how eclectic modern quilting can be. And as much as I love quilting blogs (and I do!)–there’s nothing like seeing quilts in person. I can only imagine what it is like to go to a massive quilt show like QuiltCon! 2015 is on my wish list for sure.
Even though I love this quilt–something about those colors–I’ve added it to my Etsy shop. I have big plans for quilts to make in the new year–can’t wait to get started!
I finished my signal flag quilt! I am very excited to have this quilt finished for my guild’s exhibit–a first for me. The exhibit opens November 4. I still need to add a sleeve, but thanks to Vanessa I know how. We are so lucky to have Vanessa Vargas Wilson as the leader of our guild. Vanessa (aka Crafty Gemini) is a total dynamo and a wonderful teacher. In fact, before I ever met Vanessa I used her tutorial about hands stitching binding. I was having trouble with my corners–they were lumpy and crooked–not pretty! Vanessa’s video tutorial walks you through the process so clearly and you get a sense of her sparkling personality. Here you can see my tidy binding–thanks Vanessa!
This quilt measures 41 x 52 inches. I used all Kona solids for the front and an organic print of the back. I added a small tag in the binding–it’s a really small way to identify the quilt as mine.
My guild (Gainesville Modern Quilters) has a chance to exhibit our modern quilts at a local college, and I want to make something a little outside of my usual style. I’ve been playing around with a palette of teal and salmon, but hadn’t quite hit upon a design that was interesting but still simple enough. Then, I was browsing around pinterest (I could go on about why I love pinterest, but I’ll save that for another time) and I came across this photo of pillows from London textile designer Naomi Paul. All those lovely blues and touches of peach — I found the perfect design. I love the limited palette and the traditional quilt motifs. I’m planning to make nine blocks with blues, bone, salmon and coral (of course!) with Kona snow between.
I’m hoping to finish the quilt top this weekend!
I got my email from Pink Chalk Fabrics and I was so excited to read about the new Kona colors–28 beauties! And three new shades of gray. My guild has the opportunity to exhibit quilts at Santa Fe College here in town and I’ve been mulling over some ideas. I am thinking about a sort of slice-and-dice / pick-up sticks style–with bold colors and lots of white. I haven’t abandoned the idea of entering a double wedding ring quilt in the NYC Metro Modern Quilt Guild challenge. How far away that December deadline seemed this summer! Hmm, I’m also thinking about applying to be a vendor at a craft show in December. I would need to make some small items like mini quilts, coasters, placemats. I know I can’t do all these projects but these lovely solids are inspiring! I can think of so many things to make!
What are you thinking about making?
At last, here is the finished framed star quilt! I went with aqua binding, and I think it adds a nice cheerful touch. Binding is almost my favorite part of quilting. I love how it pulls a finished quilt together and I really enjoy the hand stitching. I started out crafting as a knitter and sometimes I miss sitting on the couch and working on a project. I bound this quilt while watching the US Open round of 16–perfect.
I am very happy to be linking up with SwimBikeQuilt 100 Quilts for Kids and–more importantly–to be donating this quilt to Peaceful Paths. This organization in Gainesville, Florida, (my hometown) provides support to women and children who are survivors of domestic violence.