Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Bit of Light Reading from 1974

I finally finished something!!!  Can you believe it!?

In my defense, the long arm quilter had this quilt for 3 months.  I'm really not completely lazy, haha!

Anyway, I have titled this quilt "A Bit of Light Reading from 1974" because I think the blocks look like stacks of books, and the fabric is 1974 by Urban Chiks. 

You might remember this top from a few years ago while I was still living in Kalamazoo.  I pieced these blocks improv because I couldn't figure out what else I'd like to do with such fun modern fabric.  I ended up wasting quite a lot of the background fabric, but I think the effect was worth it in the end.

I love the quilting pattern that my quilter used, but I was a little disappointed that she didn't "seat" the pantograph so that the quilting passes weren't noticeable.  This pattern should have fit together like a puzzle to look like one all over pattern, and she decided to quilt it in rows instead.  I have another quilt with her right now, so I'm hoping we don't have the same problem (eek!).  Either way, I am pleased overall with how it turned out.

I have been thinking about turning this quilt design into a pattern, but I haven't been able to figure out how to do it without wasting so much background fabric.  Plus, I've seen other similar quilts.  What do you guys think? 

It has been a beautiful autumn here in Northern Michigan.  This is by far one of the best color years we've had in a decade.  With the color, we have experienced awesome apple harvests, crisp breezes, and cider with doughnuts.  I have been excited for a good stretch of sweater weather as well.  There has been some grumbling about snow falling this weekend, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will hold of for just a while longer.

I am hoping to have another quilt back from the quilter soon, and another quilt to show and share!

I hope everyone is having a great fall, and I hope you are all working on something fun and quilty!!!

The Quilted Mitten

Monday, June 30, 2014

New Pattern!!!

Well folks, I did it!  I got a pattern together for the baby quilt I just finished.  I am SO EXCITED!

This really is a quick and easy pattern for a baby quilt, but it is also large enough that it could be used as a lap quilt.  this pattern lends itself well to larger prints that you hate to cut into small pieces, and it would look great in almost any fabric line.


I had a great time putting this one together, and I am certainly glad it did not take me as long to write this pattern, as it did When in Rome!

This pattern is available on Craftsy and Etsy!

Thanks for your support!  I love being a part of an online community that encourages those who are a part of it!  It means a lot!

Happy Sewing!

The Quilted Mitten

Friday, June 6, 2014

Its a Circus!!!

Hey there everyone!  I have a finish to share today!!!  Yay!

Recently it seems like half the people I know are having a baby, so I thought I'd better start working on some baby quilts to keep as emergency gifts.

This one does have an intended recipient due to be born soon, but for the sake of the suprise I'm not telling who. :)

I had some adorable animal fabric laying around, and I just KNEW it would be perfect for a baby quilt.  Problem was, I didn't have any patterns on hand, and I had limited yardage.  So, to solve both problems, I made my own design!!!

This quilt was a ton of fun to make, and it was my first attempt at free motion quilting on my home machine.  The quilting isn't perfect (I did manage one long pucker on the back, but its not very noticeable after washing), but I did a better job than I thought I would on the first try.  I was really impressed with the way my Husqvarna handled it, and the tension was great.  Now I just need to work on consistent stitch length, and smooth movements.

I really loved the way it turned out, and I can see myself re-using this design in the future.  It really lends itself well to focus fabrics, and there are so many cute kid prints out right now.

I am thinking about writing up a pattern for this.  What do you guys think?  Should I?  I'm thinking the photo below would make a good cover shot. :)

 We have had great weather lately, and it is finally starting to feel like summer around here.  I think I'm going to spend this weekend soaking up the sun, and joining the festivities at the craft brew festival here in town.  Sounds good right?

I hope everyone has a great weekend!  Happy Friday!

The Quilted Mitten

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Beautiful Things that No One Sees

EXCELLENT NEWS EVERYONE!!!  I am NOT dead.  Neither have I given up on this blog.  In fact I have some exciting things to share with you in the near future.  The last few months have been a crazy whirlwind of change, and planning, and daydreams.  All of that coupled with a broken computer (now fixed) has put a damper on my blogging ability. 
Still, here I am, and I've been creating beautiful things; things that have yet to be noticed (see quote above).  I am starting to meet some of my resolutions, and also acheiving goals I didn't even realize I had.
I free-motion-quilted my first quilt! AND my quilting doesn't suck (it's not perfect, but it doesn't suck)!  I'll count that as one victory.  Finishing the quilt has only further fueled my fire for this previously untouched aspect of my craft, and I am SO EXCITED!  I have started to plan the quilting futures for quilt tops that have sat untouched for far too long.

Secondly, R. and I joined a gym and February, and we are working it out!  It feels so good to get healthy together, and to feel like you are not alone on the journey.  We are hoping to get stronger, so that we can start backpacking together.  Our hope is that we can backpack on Isle Royale in the next year or so, and we really want to be ready for the challenge.

I am considering incorporating more of my life into this blog including my quilting pursuits.  I have a degree in fashion, and I would love to incorporate personal style, and lifestyle insights.  I would love input from my readers in regards to this.  Would you like a mix of topics, or do you prefer mostly quilt discussion?

Look for some quilty updates soon!  The sun has been shining here this week, and it's primo time to get some pictures taken!

In the mean time, I wanted to share my favorite fabric line that is out right now.  I'm sure you all know that I love Denyse Schmidt, and this line is no different.  Ansonia in the blue/green colorway is my favorite!

Happy Spring Everyone!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The New Year Brings a Progress Report

Photo by M. Chris Leese SEE HERE

Last December, my friend Justine convinced me to come up with a "Big 5 Goals" list for 2013.  Things that I wanted to see myself accomplish, but things that were acheivable and realistic.  I thought now would be a great chance for me to see how I did this last year, and also set my 5 goals for 2014.

Big 5 Goals 2013:
     1: Run a 5K:  Sucess!   I ran TWO actually, which is a huge thing for me.  Trust me.  I HATE running.  Still, I wanted to improve my health for the better, and take advantage of the beautiful landscape that my new home had to offer.  I'm really glad that I took this step, and I am planning on training for a few races this summer.  I never plan on being SUPER dedicated to running, but it makes me feel good to accomplish something that I have had a hard time with in the past.

    2: Finish my Kaffe Fasset Postcard Quilt:  Well...I worked on it. :)  I made some serious progress, but this quilt has proven to be a terrible trial, and if I work on it in short spurts, then I maintain my love for it.  I know I will finish it eventually; I'm not worried.

   3:  Get a new job and move!:  Again, success!!!  I was miserable in my old job, and unsatisfied with the situations I found myself in.  This was the first goal I acheived this year, and I am SO GLAD.

   4: Write and publish 3 quilt patterns:  I finished one!  I have designed a second one, and I've finished the sample, but I haven't gotten around to writing it yet.  Again, I'm not that worried about it.  I probably should be, but right now quilting is my hobby.  When it becomes my job, then I will pay closer attention to deadlines.

   5: Start or join a Quilt Guild:  This one is a fail.  I originally considered moving to Lansing, where I thought a "Modern Quilt Guild" would have a really good chance of making a go of it.  Up here in Northern Michigan, I'm not so sure.  Plus there is one in Traverse City already.  I did look into some of the local guilds here, and attended their quilt show.  I am hoping to join this next year.

Overall, I am pretty happy with my success this year.  I didn't accomplish all of my goals, but I made progress on EVERY SINGLE ONE, and that counts for something.

Now I'd like to look at my Big 5 for 2014:

    1.  Learn to backpack.  My boyfriend and I would like to go backpacking on Isle Royale (he has a degree in outdoor recreation) in the next few years, but I need to get some experience under my belt before I attempt something of that magnitude.  Right now we are researching gear for me, and we will be doing some smaller local trips as soon as the weather permits.

   2.  Join a Quilt Guild:  I'm adding this back to the list because it can and will happen.  This year is the year, I can feel it.

   3.  Learn to brew beer:  You read that right.  I am a beer snob, and I don't care who knows it.  I think it would be SO FUN to make my own.

   4.  Learn to FMQ on my home machine:  I got a darning foot for my machine for Christmas, and I have 27 unfinished quilt tops sitting in my closet.  Therefore I have no excuse for not learning anymore.  It's time to put the pedal to the metal and get some stuff done!

  5.  Volunteer every season:  This last year I got a chance to volunteer with the "Little Traverse Land Conservancy" and it was really rewarding.  This year I would like to do more volunteering with them, and with some other local human services organizations.  Also I am in a local leadership program, and we are building a dog park with local city officials.

Well...there you have it.  I love this list because I can see that I have made progress, and I can see what progress I will continue to make.  I can't wait!

I would love to hear if you have any big goals for this year!  Lets keep each other accountable, shall we?

The Quilted Mitten