Felted Wool Needle Minding Mini

This very little mini came about for a very practical reason- I wanted a place to put machine needles when I needed a different style of needle, but wasn’t ready to dispose of the one I had been using.  Wool is ideal to store needles in since it doesn’t dull them, so I thought this would be a fun place to experiment using this fiber.felted-wool-needle-minder-mini

A friend has a needle felting machine, so I brought some neutral colored wool roving with me to create the fabric for the off white stripe on this mini.  It was so much fun to see a bunch of loose fibers transform before my eyes into 100% wool felt!  The coral colored wool was a piece of fabric my mom donated from her stash, and I used decorative machine stitching to appliqué the needle felted wool in place.

The stitching was done entirely with my mechanical machine, so it is all carefully placed straight stitches to create the boxes and lettering.  My most used machine needle sizes are 10, 12, and 14.  The specialty needles I tend to use are ball point needles for knits (K) and a Microtex needles (M).  A couple rows of decorative stitching and a dense zig zag around the edges finish the mini.

Title:  Needle minding mini

Techniques: Machine needle felting

Quilting: Machine quilted using straight and decorative stitches

Fabric:  Felted wool and repurposed wool scraps

Batting: Warm and White

Thread: Mettler

Binding: Dense machine zig zag stitching

 

2015 Finish Along Q3

2016 FAL

Third Quarter Finish Along Goals

It is (once again) hard to believe that we are heading into another quarter and that half of 2016 is behind us.  The second quarter was filled with theatre work, and now that it is mostly tied up with a delightful bow I will be focussing more on my quilting life.  I have just scheduled several class with a local shop, so I hope to see some of my central Ohio readers there!  (I will be posting more on this in the next few days)

2015 Finish Along Q3

The 2016 Finish Along is being hosted by several people around the globe.

2016 FAL

This quarter’s list looks way too much like last quarter’s so feel free to skim.  I managed to meet my major deadlines for the second quarter, but I don’t consider a project completely finished unless it’s blogged, so I’m breaking down my finish goals by what I need to accomplish.

Needs to be blogged about:

1.  This Way or That Mini QuiltPolar Bear Mini

2.  This Way or That Baby Quilt
This Way or That detail

3.  Wool “Needle Minding” MiniNeedle Minding Mini

Needs Binding:

4.  Lemondrops and Gumdrops Mini QuiltLemon Drop Mini

5.  Blue Wholecloth Mini Quilt

6.  Radiating Mini QuiltRadiating Mini

7.  “Secret” Mini QuiltSecret Mini

Waiting for Quilting:

8.  Happy New Year Star QuiltStarburst process

9.  Grey Diamond QuiltDiamond Quilt

10.  Sand Dollar Star Mini or PillowSand Dollar Star

11.  Peppermint Forest Mini QuiltPeppermint Forest

12.  Broken Circle Mini QuiltBroken Circle

13.  Cotton Felting Mini

14.  Apple Core MiniApple Core Mini

15.  Swap Pillow Cover

Pillow Cover Top

Assembly in Process:

16.  Mystery QuiltMeadow Mist process

17.  Waves PillowPillow Top

18.  Green Baby QuiltGreen Baby Quilt

19.  Coral Baby QuiltPeach Baby Quilt

20.  Medallion Mini QuiltMedallion Mini

21.  Sashiko Pillow
Sashiko Pillow Top

22.  Circle Applique QuiltCircles Quilt start

Aspiring Projects:

23.  Plus QuiltPlus Fabric

I never number these projects until I have listed them all, so let me assure you that I am as stunned as anyone by this number!

 

Hills and Valleys: 2016 Riley Blake Challenge Quilt

This year’s Modern Quilt Guild / Riley Blake fabric challenge was one of the best challenges I have ever participated in, and I am very excited about the resulting quilt!

Hills and Valleys full view

The print that was selected for the challenge fabric has almost endless possibilities since it contains so many different designs.  I had the fabric draped around the studio for a long time before I decided what direction I wanted to go with it.  I still wasn’t entirely certain what I was doing when I ordered the solids to coordinate.  Emerald green has been very appealing to me lately, and I decided to draw my color scheme from it.

Challenge Fabric

I enjoy taking linear prints and cutting / reassembling them into a star formation, and I started out thinking that was where this project would lead.  In an effort to step out of my star-shaped box, I decided to consider other options that could produce a similar effect with the pattern of the print.  I drew the fabric print to scale in AutoCad and started to experiment.  Ultimately I landed on this design based on a traditional clamshell configuration.  I thought that the greens I had selected would create the illusion of abstract rolling hills, and the black and white print would look like giant flowers bursting forth from the landscape.

Hills and Valleys detail c

I developed and printed templates for each shape using AutoCad.  Since I had already planned the design with the fabric in mind, I was able to print the templates with guidelines that matched the print.  Cutting was super easy this way!

The clamshells are machine pieced to one another.  I used the templates to mark the start, center, and end of each seam which helped me to accurately position and pin each seam.  The top row of clamshells is hand appliquéd to the light blue background fabric.

Hills and Valleys detail b

The quilting was the most fun part of the process.  Solid fabrics give so much room for play, and I loved the idea of creating movement in this piece.  Each “hill” has a different texture from those directly around it, and the quilting thread matches each section.  This is also my first project to incorporate hand sashiko stitch quilting.  The large stitches in contrasting thread helps to draw your eye around the quilt.

Hills and Valleys detail a

I was excited to submit this quilt to the challenge, and I was absolutely ecstatic to find out that it received second place!  If you would like to see the other fantastic quilts that placed in this year’s challenge, you can find them on this Modern Quilt Guild blog post.

Quilt Stats

Title:  Hills and Valleys

Size:  41″x43″

Techniques:  Machine piecing, Hand Applique

Quilting:  Freemotion and Ruler work on an A-1 Longarm machine, hand sashiko accent stitching

Fabric:  Riley Blake black and white sashing print and Riley Blake solids

Batting:  Hobbs 80/20 cotton blend

Thread:  Pieced and appliquéd with coordinating Gutermann Mara 100 thread.  Quilted with five colors of 50wt Aurifil cotton thread.  Sashiko stitching done with dark grey Aurifil Floss.

Binding:  Faced with Riley Blake fabric

Goal #3 is Finished!

Goal #3 is Finished!

Crystalized Citrus: A Hoffman Challenge Quilt

Crystalized Citrus is my first Hoffman Challenge quilt, and I am thrilled with the result!  I was cutting it really close time wise, so it was quite a relief when they extended the deadline by a week- it saved me a late night getting the binding on!
Crystalized Citrus full view

For many years I had seen the Hoffman Challenge quilts exhibited at the Rotary Quilt Show that coincided with the AQS show in Paducah.  It was my first introduction to the concept of a challenge quilt, and I was intrigued.  This year was the first time I was able to find the fabric in a local shop before it completely sold out, and it is the best fabric challenge print yet!  The butterfly print on the right is the required challenge fabric and the print on the left was an optional coordinate that I really liked, but didn’t end up using in the finished design.  Both of these fabrics are printed digitally so there is an almost infinite range of colors since the process isn’t limited by traditional printing processes.

Hoffman Challenge Fabric

When I’m designing with a specific print in mind, I like to alter it to see it in a new way.  I had thought about creating a “Butterfly Garden” by turning the wings into flower petals, but as I was starting the idea of vibrant citrus came to mind.  The butterfly wings turned into the flesh of the fruit and the neutral space of the print became the membranes.  I pulled a variety of prints from my stash to create the skin of the fruits.  My main goal was to keep the challenge fabric the star of the show.

Crystalized Citrus detail

 

 

I intentionally chose to balance the representational aspects of this design with the abstract.  The pieces of fruit do not overlap and the improv piecing in the flesh of the citrus doesn’t create an ultra realistic image.  These aspects of the design allowed for quilting that defies realism and creates a more abstract overall design.

The primary quilting design is matchstick quilting going both horizontally and vertically.  Most of the horizontal quilting is done in white with guest appearances from purple and the local color of each fruit to create a grounding shadow.  The color of each piece of citrus infuses the background above it with colorful vertical matchstick quilting.  Free motion quilting further defines each piece of fruit in the composition.

Crystalized Citrus

 

Quilt Stats

Title: Crystalized Citrus

Size: 24″x21″

Techniques:  Machine Improv Piecing, hand appliqué

Quilting:  Matchstick and free motion quilting done on my A-1 Elite longarm

Fabric:  Hoffman Crystalia digitally printed fabric in opal, assorted cotton prints and solids.

Batting:  Hobbs 80/20 cotton blend

Thread:  Pieced and appliquéd with Gutermann Mara 100 in coordinating colors, Quilted with six colors of 50wt Aurifil cotton thread

Binding:  Facing done with the same white fabric used for the background and backing of the quilt

Goal #1 is Finished!

Goal #1 is Finished!

Color Challenge Mini Quilt

In February the Central Ohio Modern Quilt Guild began its first member challenge, and I was excited that it was based on color.  Each participant drew two crayons from a bag and combined them with their tints/shades and a single neutral to create a quilted project.  I pulled out carnation pink and cornflower blue crayons and this mini is the result.  For an added bonus, these colors are pretty much the Pantone colors of the year!Finished EPP Challenge Quilt

The initial designing was done on AutoCad, and from there I was able to print out my templates for English paper piecing (EPP).  Pattern Drafting

I debated about which technique to use for assembling this design, but ultimately I decided that EPP would allow me to eliminate some of the seams, creating a more streamlined visual design.EPP on Challenge Quilt

I was intrigued by the idea of embracing the color gradients as a design element for this project, so I decided that the most effective way to achieve this look would be to dye a set of fabrics in each color.  Since this was not a particularly difficult dye process, I went with the relatively simple (and mostly mess-free) liquid RIT dye.  I had a large piece of white American Brand Cotton, and used it throughout the project.Detail Finished EPP Challenge Quilt

Recently I have done quite a bit of ruler work with lots of starts and stops in my quilting, so for this project I challenged myself to quilt with no rulers and no design based starts and stops.  This was a lot of fun, turned out cute, and went super fast!Back EPP Challenge Quilt

We have had lots of wind this month which has made it challenging to get decent photos, but this shot of the quilt trying to blow away does show the quilting off nicely!EPP Challenge Back Detail

Quilt Stats

Title: Gradient Geese

Size:  24″ x 24″

Techniques:  English Paper Piecing

Quilting:  Free motion quilting with A-1 Longarm

Fabrics:  American Brand Cotton Solid, dyed in gradients with RIT dye

Batting:  Warm and White

Thread:  White Aurifil

Binding:  Dyed blue bias, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

This project was my One Monthly Goal for April.

 

Goal #19 is Finished!

Goal #19 is Finished!