Friday, March 13, 2015

Two Birds, One Stone | A finished quilt

Warning this is a picture heavy post!

I was very exited when Adrianne and Anne announced the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge using this year's color: Marsala.  A lot of people aren't thrilled with the color but I really like how warm and versatile it is.  Just check your fabric stash, I bet you'll find some as a secondary color is quite a few of your fabrics.

official Marsala Swatch


Luckily for me, the announcement of this year's challenge coincided very nicely with the beginning of a design concept for my local quilt guild's yearly challenge.  And I, being the ever practical and logical person that I am, decided to combine them!

I have been sharing sneak pictures of this quilt since I started working on it but because our local challenge is supposed to be blind voting I couldn't share a picture of the finished quilt...  However, we had our presentation of the challenge quilts on Wednesday and our guild meeting and now I can!

Many thanks to my good friend Jenn and her co-worker Jason for holding up my quilt for me in a few of these pictures!





This quilt uses fabrics from a variety of designers, including Cotton + Steel, Kaffe Fasset, Anna Marie Horner, and many others!  The solid I found closest to the official Marsala swatch was American Made Brand in Brick Red.  Not exact, but close enough for me.  The background is a from Carolyn Friedlander's newest collection, Doe.  It's the Ladder Lines print.  I love how this print gives the whole quilt warmth and is less aggressive than a stark white print would have been.






I quilted on the diagonal on my home machine, a Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8900QCP, using my walking foot and a brandless pink-red thread I picked up last year at Vermont Quilt Festival.  I love the pop of color on the backgrounds and how it blends into the prints.  I also really like the texture it gives the back of the quilt, just enough to be structured but still soft and cuddly.

The background is pieced, half with a nameless print I picked up at a clearance sale last spring and half with this adorable animal faces fabric... blanking on the name of it right now.





I used a fun purple/orange/marsala triangle print... again blanking on the name... and leftover scraps of the American Made Brand brick fabric to bind the quilt.






Despite it's size this quilt, when it's done hanging in our local quilt show, will become a couch quilt for my husband and I.  It measures a hefty 84" x 68"!  My husband gets genuinely upset when he can't find a large enough quilt to cuddle with on the couch so I have been given strict instructions not to make anymore lap quilts!  This ought to fit the bill though.

I'm calling this one: "Two Birds, One Stone"

It uses two different birds in the air blocks, two main color-ways, and will be entered into two different challenge quilt competitions.  You can see my previous progress post on this quilt here: Instagram Progress | Challenge Quilt


Linking up with Caroline at Sew Can She for Show off Saturday.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Round #3 Recap {Round Trip Quilts}

I'm behind on my recaps of our Round Trip Quilts round robin.  We are finishing and mailing round 4 now...  Here is a round up of the additions made during round 3 of our round robin quilt bee.

Liz at Green Cheese Quilting


Liz was working on Christina's autumn themed quilt and added some requested falling maple leaves to the top.

Image from Green Cheese Quilting

Jennifer at Never Just Jennifer


I had Kim's quilt for round 3 and added some wonky flying geese.



Leanne at Devoted Quilter


Leanne added some cute applique flowers to Heather's quilt.  

Image from Devoted Quilter


Mary at See Mary Quilt


Mary was working Liz's quilt this month.  She added some color coordinated bear paw blocks to the top.  



Chelsea Huckins at Patch the Giraffe


Chelsea had my New Hampshire Beauty quilt and added the NH state motto to the quilt top.

Image from Patch the Giraffe


Christina at WIPs and Tuts


Christina was working on Leanne's star quilt top.  She added some of Leanne's favorite friendship stars to the top.

Image from WIPs and Tuts


Kim at Ties That Bind Quilting


Kim had Mary's rainbow quilt top for round three.  She gave the quilt some breathing room, adding thin stipes of color in between low volume squares.

Images from Ties that Bind Quilting


Heather at QA Creations


Heather was working on Chelsea's quilt top.  She added some meandering flying geese to the top.

Image from QA Creations



Thanks for visiting.  You can find a complete summary of all of our posts on my Round Trip Quilts page in the toolbar at the top of the page!

Round Trip Quilts is on Flickr and you can follow our progress on Instagram using #roundtripquilts!  


The full list of members is below:

Heather at QA Creations

Leanne at Devoted Quilter

Kim at Ties That Bind Quilting

Liz at Green Cheese Quilting

Mary at See Mary Quilt

Christina at WIPs and Tuts

Jennifer at Never Just Jennifer

Chelsea Huckins at Patch the Giraffe




Monday, March 9, 2015

Round #2 Recap {Round Trip Quilts}

I'm behind on my recaps of our Round Trip Quilts round robin.  We are finishing and mailing round 4 now...  Here is a round up of the additions made during round 2, back in November.

Liz at Green Cheese Quilting


Liz had Kim's bright and colorful quilt and did a great job beginning to add all the pieces together.

photo from Green Cheese Quilting

Jennifer at Never Just Jennifer


I was working on Heather's "Wishes for my Daughter" quilt.  I added some bright and cheery cathedral window blocks with some additional words that Heather sent along.



Leanne at Devoted Quilter


Leanne added some beautiful paper pieced feathers to Liz's feathered star center.

Image from Devoted Quilter


Mary at See Mary Quilt


Mary was working on my New Hampshire Beauty quilt.  She made some fabulous flying geese.

image from See Mary Quilt


Chelsea Huckins at Patch the Giraffe


Chelsea also made flying geese for the second round and added them to Leanne's Star themed quilt.

Image from Patch the Giraffe


Christina at WIPs and Tuts


Christina got Mary's Roy G. Biv themed quilt and added some truly tiny log cabins.

Image from Wips and Tuts


Kim at Ties That Bind Quilting


Kim was working on Chelsea's pastel and low volume quilt top.  She added some more soft and dreamy stars.

Image from Ties That Bind Quilting


Heather at QA Creations


Heather had Christina's woodlands/autumn themed quilt top and added the most adorable paper pieced squirrels

Image from QA Creations


Round two was equally as challenging and fun.  Thanks for visiting.  You can find a complete summary of all of our posts on my Round Trip Quilts page in the toolbar at the top of the page!

Round Trip Quilts is on Flickr and you can follow our progress on Instagram using #roundtripquilts!  


The full list of members is below:

Heather at QA Creations

Leanne at Devoted Quilter

Kim at Ties That Bind Quilting

Liz at Green Cheese Quilting

Mary at See Mary Quilt

Christina at WIPs and Tuts

Jennifer at Never Just Jennifer

Chelsea Huckins at Patch the Giraffe



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Round #4 - Christina @ WIPSandTUTS {Round Trip Quilts}


For Round #4, I had the opportunity to work on Christina's (from WIPs and Tuts) Round Trip Quilts Top.  You can see all of my related posts here and all of our updates here.  Christina can be found all over the web.... on Flickr, Instagram, and Etsy.

Christina asked for an Autumn and Woodland themed quilt.  When her quilt left Liz's she had a lovely scrappy star, some yummy apples, two hungry squirrels, and some falling leaves.  Well being a "woodlands" girl myself, I knew the minute I saw it what I wanted to add to her top:  the forest!

Image from Green Cheese Quilting.

I grew up in the woods.  My favorite place to play was literally in the trees... my brother and I would climb trees all day in the summer and hide under the lowest branches of the pine trees in the winter.  I love the peace and quiet that exists in deep in the woods; when all you can hear is the sound of the wind running through the trees and the animals chatting with each other.  There is no place better than that.

To make my trees I started out by cutting 5" strips by various heights out of the green and various sized squares out of the blues.  Then I made the two into REALLY wonky flying geese, not worrying about losing the points.  I actually preferred when they did lose their points.



After everything was pressed and trimmed to neat 5" wide I sorted them out into eight roughly equal piles.  I ended up making another, neater wonky goose for the top of each tree, as that was the only place I didn't like the lost points.


Trees in progress



Once my trees were assembled I used what I guess I would call a slash-and-insert technique to make the tree trunks, again varying the heights of the trunks.  Then the whole thing was brought up to size using strips of blue sky for the background.


Finished trees

I really love the height and weight that this gives the quilt and I hope that Christina does too!  What was really fun about this round is that while I was working on Christina's quilt, she was working on mine, and though I haven't seen the finished product of my top, I'm pretty sure we both made trees.


Christina's top after my finished addition

The trees do add a lot of green and blue to the quilt top, but I'm confident that Leanne, Mary, and Chelsea will be able to bring in some more of the oranges and yellows that Christina loves.  I didn't actually measure the top when I was done with it but I know it's about 50" across and long enough that my dear, quilt holding friend had to work hard to keep it off of the ground.  When it's done this is going to be a great cuddle quilt.

Leanne this will be in the mail first thing tomorrow!!





I'm linking up with this weeks WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Northern Lights Quilt Guild Raffle Quilt | Local Quilt Guild News

Are you a member of a local quilt guild?  If not, I definitely recommended becoming one.  There are so many out there and the members have so much information to share!  The online community is great but there is something extra special about being able to sit and share and learn directly from other women in my community.  I am a member (and current President) of the Northern Lights Quilt Guild in Lebanon, NH.

We meet on the second Wednesday of each month at the Lebanon Methodist Church, Lebanon, NH from 6:30-9:00 PM.  If you are local to the upper valley we'd love to have you join us as a guest.



Every two years our guild hosts a quilt show in the community to show off the community service work that we do and the quilts that we love to make.  This year's show is scheduled for:

Saturday, April 18th and Sunday, April 19th 
at the Richmond Middle School in Hanover, NH  

We have local vendors, a mini quilt silent auction (I've donated this quilt to the auction), demos (I'm doing two: machine pieced cathedral window blocks and how to add fast triangle hangers to your mini quilts and wall hangings.  I will also have three quilts hanging in the show.



As part of the show each year we make a raffle quilt to help raise money to support our guild, its mission, and our community service projects.  The Quilt for this year was made by members of Northern Lights Quilt Guild with many, many members making the half square triangle that make up the majority of this quilt. Then three of our members worked together to piece the hundreds of half square triangles together to make this amazing quilt.

finished 2015 NLQG Raffle quilt.  Tickets are 1 for $1 or 6 for $5

The quilt is made up of a scrappy mixture of blues and white-on-white fabrics with small pops of yellow thrown in for good measure.  It was custom quilted by one of our guild members using a gorgeous light blue thread.

quilting detail


The backing is a fun blue and white print.  It was bound in a dark navy with some yellow piping to accent.  The quilt finishes at 96" x 96" and would make an amazing addition to anyone's home.

quit before binding, picture of backing fabric


If you are interested in purchasing raffle tickets comment below with your Paypal information and the quantity you'd like and I will send you an invoice  Tickets are $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00.  You do not need to be present to win and we will ship the quilt to the winner if they live out of town.

You can find the Northern Lights Quilt Guild on our website at: http://www.nlqg.org/ or on facebook. Hope to see you at our show in April or at one of our guild meetings!



Linking up with Caroline at Sew Can She for Show off Saturday.



Friday, February 27, 2015

Churn Dash | a bright and cheery quilt

Every year my girlfriends from school (affectionately nicknamed: The Cupcake Club) get together and have our annual Friendsgiving gathering.  We eat lots of food, paint our nails, apply face masks, adventure about, drink lots of wine, and do a Yankee Swap or Secret Santa.

This year I brought this fun quilt for our Yankee Swap.  When I started it I had dreams of making it massively large and keeping it for myself.  But I found it sitting in a WIP pile after several years and that changed.  Rather than making another 20 blocks or so, I decided to finish it as is and gift it to a friend.




It is a basic churn dash quilt using various blues, yellows, and grays from my stash.  It was one of the first projects I started working on when I came back to quilting.  I can tell because all of my seams are between 3/8" and 1/2" wide!  This was before the light bulb moment of perfect 1/4 seams.  The quilt finishes at about 45" square and is backed in a fun blue and white plaid.  I quilted it using my walking foot and what I'll call "organic straight line quilting."  It is bound using a soft blue polka dot, also from my stash.


The Quilt in it's new home.

My friend A. got to keep the quilt and I'm so glad.  It suits her personality perfectly!  She is a kindergarten teacher and a generally cheerful, happy person!  She says things like "aww sugar muffins", loves dancing to Pat Benatar, and is rarely found without a smile on her face.  The quilt fits in perfectly in her living room.  Though, I'm not sure which came first, the quilt or the yellow pillows!

I hope you enjoy cuddling with this quilt pretty lady!


Happy Girl, Happy Quilt.


Linking up with Finish It Up Friday and Crazy Mom Quilts!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Instagram Progress | Challenge Quilt


Last week I made a quick trip to Quilted Threads in Henniker, NH for some new fabrics.  They are one of my favorite local quilt shops.  They carry a great selection of new and modern fabrics.  One of the only places in the area that does.  My plan was to make a Marsala Quilt for the Pantone Color of the Year Quilt Challenge.  I also wanted to make something for the annual challenge at my local quilt guild and thought why not combine the two??

I left with this lovely bundle of pinks and reds.  The main fabric I purchased is an American Made Brand solid in Brick Red.  It was the closest I could find the Marsala.  That's the bottom fabric in this picture.  I rounded out the bundle with some Kaffe Fasset, Cotton + Steel and Anna Marie Horner plus a few more solids.  I also picked up some Doe Ladder Lines in a white on white print for the background.



Using the templates here I got to work sewing and cutting HST.  You are essentially paper piecing when you use this method.  It's quick and easy to make a ton of HST at one and there is very little waste or trimming... when you print the right size template.

I printed the templates too large and had to trim all of them down by a half-inch on both sides.  Luckily my husband took pity on me and actually helped me trim them!  He did great and I only had to touch up a few of the pieces.  I even offered to let him trim all of my blocks from now on ... an offer he declined quite quickly.  Oh well!



I'm using several different methods to make my blocks but the end result will all be Birds in the Air blocks.  The blocks below will finish at 6".  I plan on making 12" and 3" and 2" finished blocks also! I was mostly inspired by this quilt when I was thinking about my design.  I can't share much more because some of my guild mates do read my blog but after the quilt reveal in March, I'll be sure to share more progress pictures!

Can we also just take a moment to appreciate the octopus peaking out of the corner in the center HST of the bottom right block, and the perfectly lined up critters hanging out in the center HST of the top right block?  So cute and fun!


Last night I had some more time to sew while my husband was in a class and have another 20 blocks completed in addition to the four above.  Our adopted cat, Martin, also got in on the action and decided to visit with my on top of my sorted HST.  The sewing went a little slow at that point because his tail was dangerously close to my sewing machine.  But I was glad he came to visit!  He and his brother Archer are finally starting to warm up to us after almost a year.




All of these pictures are from my Instagram feed.  You can follow me here, @NeverJustJennifer, if you'd like to stay up-to-date.  I tend to share there the most.  And if you want more of the cats (you know you do!) they are at #MartinCat and #AgentArcher.

I'm linking up with this weeks WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.