Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Twisted Sister Quilt- Celebration of the Denver Metro Modern Quilt Guild

Nothing better than creating with friends. Taking an idea and making together.

Case in point: The Denver Metro Modern Quilt Guild's Twisted Sisters Quilt, a group derived inspiration quilt from the talented ladies in Colorado. The quilt is a modern take, of improvisational design with intent. The inspiration, an iconic game, Twister. We had 24 unique circles in a modern take  on the red, green, blue and yellow twister game. The circles could be anything, as long as they: finished about 15.5",  were created within the makers assigned colors, used solids for the circles and low volumes for the background. Outside of those few guidelines, anything goes. It was uplifting to see how excited everyone was and how outstanding and unique the circles are.
DMMQG meeting showing all the pits and pieces before the top and back are pieced.
At Susan Santisteven's house

Guild Members met the deadline for blocks being done. We laid them all out and admired our work. One guild member  couldn't make it at the last moment so we found her block (posted to the #dmmqgtwistedsistersquilt group on Instagram and added her block (on iPad in photo).
We added a twist to our Twister take off, by being lucky enough to have a guild member who excels at many things and Wendy made us a mini quilt, the twister spinner, with everyone's name and color circle represented. Like a mini quilt label of makers, but also the spinner for the Twister game. So we really did Twister with 2 quilts!

We then laid the circles out in the traditional twister grid of 4 x 6
blocks laid out, light to dark before trimming and piecing
but then added a twist, an additional improv quilted negative space of circles, all in low volume.
negative space back lit. You can "see" the low volume circles best this way
 If you look closely, the circles, are color graduations, from lightest (at the top) to darkest. The negative space on the right has several phases of circle, from a metallic quilted "ghost" circle at the top, to a more concrete circle at the bottom. All phases of circle in between.
quilt top pieced
back pieced- label of makers to be added (shown floating on quilt back)

The quilting is simple, curved, occasionally overlapping in a pale pearl glide thread. Wendy Bermingham, of Wendybzquilting kindly leant her long arm and her expertise to the quilting. Paired with Christine Perrigo of Contemporary Custom Quilting (who created the custom ghost circle and orchestrated the quilting around it), the two long arm experts made this quilt even more outstanding.
Wendy making sure everything is as it should be before quilting commences

"Ghost" circle in Metallic thread in progress. Design by Christine Perrigo

Almost done
 My total participation in the quilting consisted of asking too many questions and taking photos.

Quilt from below, while the quilting is happening. The shadowing secondary to the long-arm's  lights creates great visual overlapping of the top and the backing.
 I hadn't realized all the behind the scenes work that has to take place to get a quilt quilted on a long arm, including dismantling the quilt after the quilting had commenced, to add a backing layer of muslin so that the beautifully paper-pieced Denver Metro Modern Quilt Guild Logo and lettering,
(pieced by Chelsea Camalick and Wendy Birmingham),  wouldn't shadow through onto the front. (I did help with making that decision and taking lots of photos!).
This is the BACK!!!! The paper pieced DMMQG logo by Chelsea and the Lettering by Wendy. I suggested  using the Modern Quilt Guild lettering for the M, the Q, and the G letters on the quilt.  It looks awesome!!!!

Title: "Denver Metro Modern Quilt Guild's Twisted Sisters Quilt"
90 x 80 inches
Inspired by the game of Twister
Circle Makers: Sheri Nichhols, Katie Rapp, Heather Feurgeson, Michelle Davis, Chelsea Camalick, Wendy Roth, Teri Ladtkow, Susan Santistevan, Charlayne Dunn, Shelby Skumanich, Andrea Berryhill, Teresa Barbagallo, Lauren Lang, Wendy Bermingham, Dena Mehling, Christine Perrigo, Anne Deist, Amy Wade, Carla Keahey, Marsha Loewenberg, Judy Sanclaria and me!

Quilt top piecing: Amy Wade, Wendy Bermingham, Christine Perrigo

Negative space makers: Wendy Bermingham, Christine Perrigo, me

Quilters: Wendy Bermingham, Christine Perrigo: long arm quilted with custom additions (ghost circle in metallic Superior Thread in silver) and adjustments, both to quilt top and Spinner board which has custom quilting as well. (Thank you Christine).

Quilting in progress. The top was basted and floated.
The back can be seen peeking over the quilt at the top.
Binding:  bias, Kona snow: Wendy Bermingham

Batting: yummy wool- the loft really makes the quilting a real stand out (not that it wasn't already, it's just more).

Mini Twister Board:  Designed and Pieced: all Wendy Bermingham. (I tried to help but kept making more work for Wendy so I stopped). Custom quilting design: Christine Perrigo.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Well Done, thank you Your Honor

I was intrigued by an IG post from a fellow Quilter and Physician, Kathryn Dundas. It was picked up and posted by Kayy,  It was written by Allan Fredsham,  a criminal court judge in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  PLEASE go read this. It's long, but it's written with keen insight, and loads of love and admiration for his wife Gloria. Now if we all could get our spouses to see our quilting life this way, the world would indeed be perfect!!!
Mae's quilt, Totally made entirely  from scraps,
circa 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Labeling in the 21st century

I am a firm believer in quilt labeling. I am because I can't tell you how many times in my rush to get things done and out the door/into the mail, I have neglected to do this.

In the past I hand stitched a cloth label to the quilt back. It typically had the recipients name, quilt title, date and my name on it. It could easily be removed if someone wanted it gone. I tried to get a bit tricky and sew a few through stitches into the label (stitching all the way through to the front) and although it might slow someone down the label could still be easily removed.

I then took to stitching my name and date onto the edge of the quilt, in the same color as the "negative space". I used a preprogrammed alphabet on my machine. Again (and only because I had to once), this too can be removed. Trickier, takes longer, but it can be done. I will continue to do this regardless of it's drawbacks. 2 labels are better than one right??

So, I got thinking. What if I could in some way, add my "Spontaneous Threads" title too. What if I could do it in addition to these other labeling techniques. How would I do that? Some have had labels printed (Spoonflower is a good example) and then they are pieced into the backs before quilting. That's one way, and a good one at that. It's permanent.  But sometimes I can't decide on where to label, or heaven help me, I forget all together….. then the back is pieced and now what?

I turned to my friends at Versatranz for some help. They make commercial heat press labels for teams, schools etc, etc. I spoke to a very helpful young lady who guided me through the ins and outs of designing custom labeling and we came up with something that works perfectly for me. I knew going in that I wanted something reflective. They had something that would fit the bill. Although it's not as striking as the fabric I've been using, (I'm guessing its a nano particle density thing), it's pretty cool none the less.

I got a single run (about 70 labels total), knowing that I may be spending money for something that wouldn't work. The person who helped me told me, several times, this was not an iron on process. I nodded my head, we were on the phone after all, she wouldn't know I also had my fingers crossed that perhaps it wouldn't matter. You see,  I do have an iron and a sense of adventure (even with quilting) and she really didn't have to know that I was going to ignore their only use a heat press directions and give it a try regardless. It's my money and I'll try if I want too.

So, once the labels arrived,  I heated up my Rowenta, got out my test fabric and gave it a whirl. I decided I should start my (mis) adventure by attempting to follow the directions for the type of label/fabric I was using. It was an excellent place to start.  It worked like a charm. I can apply it to a piece of fabric or a pieced quilt back. I can make it go exactly where I want it.  I can quilt right through it like it wasn't even there. It's washable and lightly reflective. It's ME!!!!

If YOU decide to go this route a few things you NEED to consider:
Cut out the labels individually. Don't try and iron directly from the label sheet. If you order any you'll see what I mean.
Use your iron's hottest setting and some muscle. Remember you are the heat press, be the heat press.
I counted out the time in my head, One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand etc. This seemed to work just fine.
Don't move your iron back and forth, just place and press.
Which then states the obvious, if you can't press in place on your fabric at the highest setting of your iron for 10-12 seconds without completely ruining your fabric then this is not the type of label for you (the disclaimer).
Each label cost me about $1.50, I can't remember if that includes shipping but I think it does. (This amount is based on my design and the material I chose). A small price to pay to have your quilt labeled and done!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Mother, May I?

May as always, is busy, between several birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and end of the school year stuff there is rarely much time to do other things. But other things got done….

Quilty things:

Haven do.good stitches Modern blocks- we did our version of the Moda Modern Building blocks, and since I didn't have that specific pattern several free 12.5" blocks were suggested for our use. We could only use solids. I can't wait to see this quilt come together.
Golden Gate Block by Patchwork square

Capital T block by Janet Wickell
 Mother's Day: I made my mother/quilter and other friends these fun wrap bracelets. It's a free pattern that I modified to use vintage button closures instead of the hook and eye suggested. These are great scrap projects.

I also made a few curvey clutches by Pink Door Fabric. Also a free pattern. These also got gifted as graduation presents, although I forgot to take pictures of those.

The Curvy Clutch

Bee Sewcial: May was all about Marci and she had us listening and improv piecing with intention. Houses, Hills and Happy colors.

rotate 90 degrees to your right (clock wise)

I have also been working on a Denver Metro Modern Quilt Guild project, and trying to finish up a few quilts of my own.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A heartfelt Quilt

A beautiful quilt for a BeeSewcial Bee Member. Blocks for the quilt top (Me, Diane, Kari,  Melissa,  Felicity, Leanne,  Hillary). Here are my 2 blocks. One landed on the front and the other on the back.

  I added a bit of retroflective fabric, hidden in the form of a teeny, tiny improv heart to the front, bottom right. Just in case they want to use it at night.
it's really little. (improv heart without flash)

improv heart with flash (glass nano particle fabric)

The entire back/second front was pieced and designed by Debbie, I got to contribute one of the heart blocks, but her genius makes it truly a quilt with 2 fronts.

The whole thing was quilted and bound by Leanne (shecanquilt) with beautiful dense straight line quilting (as Leanne does so very well) in pale, pale pink.

HeartBEEts for baby Evie and mom Marci, by the women of Bee Sewcial

A total group effort and a simply beautiful quilt for a brand new baby girl.

Marci we love you,  and welcome to the newest member to the group, congratulations!

Photo credits, Leanne, shecanquilt!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Aspirin anyone?

I seem to be easily distracted these days. I should be working on things I have ready and waiting. I keep finding other things to do. Case in point. My daughter's (and my son's) favorite teacher is leaving their high school at the end of this school year. My daughter asked if I could make her a quilt. (Of course she did). This teacher is very special and she will be missed. The class is AP Chemistry. And what kind of quilt do you make a chemistry teacher? Well, a chemistry quilt of course.

My daughter asked and got her favorite compound. The teacher likes it because it's fun to say, acetylsalicylic acid. Aspirin to most everyone else.

I thought about construction of this for a little bit, I actually slept on it. And the best solution seemed to me was to try bias tape. Thanks to the perseverance of some wonderful quilting friends, I did have my reservations but I also had resolve.  I muscled the 1/2" black Kona cotton bias tape to my will (no evil scientist at work here, just glue and pins and a really hot iron).
Once the molecular compound was in place I had to tackle the elements, you know some C (carbon) H (hydrogen) and some O (oxygen), and a number, the number 3.

So may I present,

 "Take some aspirin and call me in the morning"
Quilt front

60 x60" square
Fabrics: Kona cotton black (bias tape/letters C,H,O), Kona snow (background), Kona steel, 2 circles, glass nano particle fabric (the 3 and 1 circle). The back is pieced (from stash) chemistry fabrics (thank you Christine) and more Kona solids.
Quilt back. showcasing a small collection of Chemistry fabrics.

Thread: Piecing: Aurifil #2024 in 50 wt, 100% cotton.
Quilting, same as above with the addition of  Black for the bias tape and letters. Superior threads metallic in silver for the accent.
Batting: 100% recycled cotton batting from Pellon
Binding: pieced 2" straight of grain (Kona snow, WOW scraps, IKEA black and white scraps)
pieced binding is subtle

Quilting: FMQ irregular triangles around compound and pebbles (bubbles) for the rest. 3 circles outlines only.
The addition of metallics is subtle but effective.

Techniques: Bias tape appliqué, turned edge appliqué, glue basting, FMQ
New and different:
Labeling: Although I will have an additional post about the label specifics, let's just say for now, I have a new way to label, and I love it. The "spontaneous Threads" is on the quilt and it can't be removed. It's also "reflective".
Periodic table fabric compliments of Christine Perrigio

Just some random things: I used the glass nano particle fabric that I have used previously in this quilt as well. It was the easiest solution to the number 3 and it wouldn't give me any frayed edges. Since the quilt is aspirin, and since I made a fuss about the 3, I thought it needed 3 representational aspirins on the quilt. I've been known to put a small statement in my quilt tops in the lower right hand corners and this quilt is no different. I did make one aspirin out of the glass nano particle fabric as well.  I like that it's not "in your face" aspirin, unless of course, you are up on your chemistry.
The flash is on for this photo and the glass nano particle fabric really stands out in the "aspirin" circle
and the number 3. 
I also pulled my love of metallic threads into this quilt too. It was suggested to me, and a great suggestion it was, to outline the triangular quilting in metallic thread. Kind of like the cartoon "Kapow" and "Boom" you see in comic books. I used the metallic to outline the transition from the very angular to the very circular. I like how it looks. And because I'm one to carry a theme to distraction, I did it three times.
Subtle metallic outline (x3)
There is nothing about this I don't like, look, even the selvedge on the periodic table of the elements fabric is in theme. (If there has been 3 of them, it would have been epic).
Erlenmeyer Flasks, how cute is that!!!!
I'm linking up with Amy's Creative Side, I couldn't decide what category to be in, Original design, Machine quilting, Small quilt, modern (because there is some of all of these in this quilt) …… I finally decided on appliqué as it was a technique I hadn't tried and I ended up using 2 different kinds (bias tape and turn-edge).
Please stop by and see all the other fabulous quilts on display!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

April makings

Busy as a bee again in April with a quilt for a birthday and some Bee blocks.
This fun and very spring Tulip block. I'm going to say it again, I'm not good with directions. But I thought I'd give it a try. I started cutting and cutting and the realized that perhaps the directions were for  the entire quilt, not for a quilt block. So I stopped and reassessed and my mistake hopefully will be someones pleasure as I made 4 blocks instead of 2.
Amsterdam Blocks

The Bee Sewcial blocks for Diane. I loved her color palette and her inspirational art. Her request is that each block have not just curves but round/oval things with a pop of black. I needed to come up with enough for the equivalent of 2 12"blocks and I did that with 3 blocks of different sizes. I forgot to take good outside photos before I sent them off in the mail (typical).
My 3 blocks. 

My local guild had a name tag swap. I got carried away and made 2. One for a guild mate and one for a lovely IG follower who entered into a small giveaway I had.
My guild mates name is Sheri
Sheri, right? All done with inset seams and lots and lots of glue

The back, name more obvious
This name tag is about 5 x 4"
The IG winner is Tamara
I had a blast with this one. The flash is on so you can see the retroreflective fabric

Added a grommet for hanging. The nano particle fabric is silver gray when not reflecting light
This name tag is about 4 x 4"

I really had fun messing with their names.
Tamara also got some nano particle fabric. That stuff is showing up in lots of little things I'm making.

I also had a first in April. I made a bed and carrying bag for a hedgehog. My niece is adopting one. Hopefully she'll send me photos of the goods in use.

Carrying bag on left, bed on right, both lined with fleece. Hedgehog fabric on both.

Lastly, I had planned on a pillow for the X-factor pillow swap, this rounds theme was drunkards path. I went with a modified drunkards path and then ended up keeping it. It will be a gift instead. I used my fun nano particle fabric (again).
Front, no flash (pay attention to the purple oval)

With flash. Ta dah!

I quilted the right side to mimic the piecing on the left.
I ended up calling it Blank Canvas.
It's 20 x 20"

The back, simple with a zip closure

And some utilitarian things for a talented crowd of teens- I modified slightly a pattern by sotakhandmade, eliminating the lining fabric.
patriotic red-white & blue fabrics from my stash, all cut

Shoe bags for the competitors. 

I'm still working on quilting my Bee Sewcial quilt. I took a break to get some other things done.

I have a few other quilts in the works. Don't forget to check back.