Thursday, July 6, 2017

Island Ways are Winding...

Can you believe it is summer already!! I have been super busy sewing--but none of the projects can be shown yet!! Super excited about all the new adventures I am trying!!

The Ambassador theme for June was to use curves. Great opportunity again to try something new.

Earlier in June I went with a friend to Country Traditions in Fremont, Nebraska for a 4 day sewing retreat using the AccuQuilt cutting system. The teacher for the event was Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. We used her Serendipity Qube to learn many new things.

There were 90 ladies at the retreat and yet Edyta tried to make it to see that we all were learning and having fun. I used some fun brights from my stash to make one block from each thing she taught and turned it into a collage type wall sampler. Can't wait to quilt this one.

While at the retreat we had access to the whole AccuQuilt library. I took this opportunity to--cut the letters for my sampler--and to use the Winding Ways die for my June assignment.

First, I used half strips from the strip stack to make some strip sets. I didn't do any math with this project--just sewed and cut. After pressing the seams open, I fan folded only three layers on the die--because you have to count the seam allowances as part of the 6 layers of fabric allowed in one cut.

How pretty is this!!! I just kept on sewing strip sets and cutting out pieces until my stacks looked big enough. Then I did the same with the blend yellow.

Once I returned home, it took a bit of figuring as I didn't have any instructions...

I found that sewing the pieces like the picture shows made for the easiest assembly.

It looks wrong...but it works!!

The die cut notches are just the best thing ever!! Also, there is a little bit of bias stretch to help around the curves.

Next up, how to quilt?? In all my years, I have never atttempted these continuous circles with the walking foot on my domestic machine. Well let me tell you---that is just too much fun!! Just start in the center and go. I really like how the quilting turned out. 

This color thread from Superior was the perfect match. I wanted the yellow fabric and thread to be pushed into the background on this project, so that the eye would be drawn to the multi colored sections. I think that was accomplished.

I don't have a plan for the finished project yet--so am just going to leave it unbound for now until more inspiration strikes.

Thanks again to Island Batik for these gorgeous fabrics to be inspired by!!!!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Adventure Seeker...Road Rally Block Tour

Welcome to my little place along the Road Rally tour!! For Quiltmaker's 100 Block Volume 15!! Check their blog for more rally stops and more awesome prizes!!

I live on a family farm in Iowa, where the winding path of Lizard Creek flows through the farmland on which we grow corn and soybeans. I have been a farm girl my whole life--growing up on a similar farm 30 miles to the north.
I have been blessed to always have a job working from home. When my children were young, I stayed busy with country wood crafts. Selling at local vendor shows. The creative adventure turned into quilting  on a road trip with friends to Country Threads in Garner, Iowa.
I now operate my long arm quilting business from home and  have just started the adventure of turning my designs into purchasable patterns. When not quilting, I am a full-time farm wife helping my husband with all the activities associated with raising quality pork.

I couldn't resist this vintage photo of  4 year old me--helping my Dad raise quality pork!!

Now on to Adventure Seeker....

The inspiration for this block came while on the airplane going to Florida for a small winter get-away with my husband. As you can see--sometimes it takes a while to get to the finished design. Planning family or quilty1 and quilty 2 adventures has been a passion of mine, so it only seemed fitting that this design was drawn while on an adventure!!

Such great spaces in this block to use your favorite fabrics. I played with a striped fabric in the original block--which I did not get a picture of--you will have to find it in the magazine--on page 58!!

Did you know that some fabric companies provide jpegs of their fabric lines? These can then be used in Electric Quilt software. How cool is that?! Being able to see how the fabrics work together, makes the project go together so nicely.

I thought it would be fun to see how Adventure Seeker looks as a quilt. I used Moda's Creekside by Sherri and Chelsi for the following quilts--Creekside for a quilt made by Lizard Creek Quilting. Too much? LOL

...and then I realized that adventures are the best way to learn. 

So I looked for a fabric line with stripes. Moda's The Good Life by Bonnie and Camille was just right. There was a stripe in it. And I wanted to learn how to rotate the stripe in EQ7. Lucky you, watch how it works!!

If you have a quilt with straight stripes, look for the rotate button in EQ.

A screen will pop up. I used 60 as the starting angle in the box.

Click all the right side patches of the striped blocks and watch what happens.

Then double the angle to 120....

...and click on the left side patches of the striped blocks...

Ta Da!! I now have my stripes at 60 degree angles!! Oh the possibilities!!! 

Now what if you don't have EQ software and still want to have fun with stripes...
Make your own template from cardstock...

.....use the size given in the instructions for the rectangle and cut your template.

Figure out which way the template needs to be for the right and left side!! Then lay your template on the fabric in a pleasing angle. Draw distinguishing marks--so when you flip it over to cut the other one--you can line up the template perfectly!!

Make some swiss cheese out of your fabric!!

Layout the pieces to make sure it is right!!

Then I marked the 1/4" seam allowance on the light background fabric--it makes for an easy line up!!

Stitch on the marked line and press open--then look at those funky dog ears to cut off!!

How cute is that???

What kind of adventure can I plan next--some giveaways?? 

How about this--if you could live in a teepe and have a working sewing machine for a week--where would you want that place to be?? I would park it somewhere in the Madison Valley of Montana.

Answer the question in the comments--and I will randomly draw a winner--on May 7--for four adventure fat quarters and Quiltmaker 100 blocks Volume 15.

One other person also randomly drawn from the comments will receive a copy of Volume 15 directly from Quiltmaker.

Thank you ever so much for stopping by my place. I hope you learned something new and enjoyed your time here today!!!

Blessed are the curious for they shall find adventures!!!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Bloom Maker

A play on words of the fabric collections used in my April assignment--Adventurous Applique--for Island Batik Ambassadors. Blushing Blooms has a gorgeous range of colors in the red-pink-purple ending with orange range. I also used them in Happy Soul last month. Maker is a cool graphic fabric collection from Art Gallery Fabrics--this one is from my personal stash and not supplied by Island Batik. But I so wanted to use it here as the colors were perfect and I wanted to show that mixing contemporary print fabrics with gorgeous batiks can bring about an amazing finished product!!

I started out by sewing 2 1/2" squares together for the petal shapes. I know you are going to ask--Terri--why did you cut apart fabric and sew that same fabric back together??? Well, I didn't want the background to look like just a big plain piece of fabric.

Can you see the slight variations of color in the 2" squares on the right. This happens because the weave of the fabric is turned in different directions when those same colored squares were sewn back together. I know it is just slightly different--and it might not be super noticeable--but it gives just the right amount of color change and visible texture with the seams to give the project life.

Who doesn't love a closeup!!!

Petals all ready to go!!

If you were paying close attention, You would have noticed that I had the table runner all loaded up on my longarm--ready to quilt--but the petals were nowhere to be seen. That is because I wanted to try a new technique--aka too much in a hurry to put fusible web on petals before cutting them out!!!
Elmer's glue stick to the rescue. After gluing the petals in place, I planned the quilting path to include appliqueing them down while quilting. By doing this I never had to break thread--which is a long arm quilter's dream.

The circles were added as my intersections were a bit too messy for my liking--but a happy addition to the finished product!!

 The new growth of spring blooms are starting to appear here in NW Iowa, so I couldn't resist some photographs of them with Bloom Maker.

To end with--here is a quote from Elise de Wolfe...

I'm going to make everything around me beautiful, that will be my life!!!

Point of View thoughts...

This picture of Point of View popped up on my Facebook feed this morning--reminding me that it has been one year since my adventure with AccuQuilt started.
I must admit up front that I find it hard to resist a quilt contest. You know that kid who was always picked last in school yard recess games--well I was the kid that neither captain even wanted on their team--and for good reason--sports just wasn't my thing and I didn't try very hard to improve on that skill. I mean who gets a D in PE?? This is the reason I think  I so enjoy a quilt contest. It is the place were I excel by using my God-given gift of seeing the world through colors and shapes.

For the past 6 years, AccuQuilt has held a Barn Quilt contest. The winning block is turned into a 17 foot sign on the headquarters in Omaha, NE. I had entered almost every year, even having a few honorable mention finishes. So I thought--let's just try again--because if you don't try you can't complain if you don't win!!
My husband and I took an early spring motorcycle ride, the day turned out much windier than we had anticipated for the first ride of the season. The cross winds that changed when we passed by the groves of trees surrounding farm places here in northwest Iowa almost pulled us off the road. We came to a stop sign on a country blacktop and decided to change our route. Upon arriving home, I sat down and designed this block. It just flowed out of my thoughts on the days activity.  The name came from how each person looks at a situation from their own Point of View. If I had not been riding motorcycle on that day I would have thought it was just a regular spring day in Iowa--wind--no big deal. But on the back of a motorcycle wind can be a scary situation.

Eleanor Burns was the guest speaker at the unveiling event. Funny story here!! I started quilting before the days of Internet and YouTube videos. The only learning events available where books and PBS!! Oh how I loved cooking in my kitchen on Saturday mornings and watching the sewing/quilting shows. My children and husband on the other hand, do not have those fond memories. In fact--Quilt In A Day was their least favorite one of the bunch!! How ironic that she is the quilt celebrity at the unveiling event!! If you know my husband at all--you never have to guess what his stand is on anything. He will tell you straight out if something is not to his liking. So as providence would be--we sat right next to Eleanor at the supper event!! He told her the story of our Saturday morning discussions of how my family did not want to watch her show. Eleanor being the gracious and extremely funny lady that she is genuinely listened and laughed! What a great memory for my amazingly supportive husband!!!
In the year since getting the phone dropping call that my block had won the contest, I have found my confidence and creativity boosted to insane levels!!! From designing patterns for AccuQuilt--click to see the patterns and their blog posts of unveiling--to taking the brave leap of submitting ideas to magazines.  Watch for those in coming posts!!
All of this to say--take the leap--just try--use the gifts and abilities given to you by God!!

Come along and enjoy things from my Point of View!!!