Cross Stitch Sparkle quilt

This week I managed to finish up another quilt… my Cross Stitch Sparkle quilt finally got quilted and bound….it only took 30 weeks and a friggin ton of half square triangles!

x stitch sparke quiltThis quilt started last year when I agreed to test a quilt pattern for Sara at Knotty Gnome.  I love to challenge myself and I had never done anything with half square triangles before so I jumped in feet first.   Each block is 18 inches square and I thought I could make a little baby quilt.  My original top finish was four blocks by four blocks.

cross stitch sparkle topBut…in a moment of crazy a month or so ago… I thought I would make the quilt bigger and added an additional 5 blocks!  I had just cut a whole pile of 4 inch solid squares so I thought why not use some of them.

x stitch sparkle detail 2Actually I love this size quilt…I think you really get a great sense of the pattern with the extra blocks added.

x stitch sparkle quilt detailI used so many different warm and cool solids in this quilt.  I know I have tons of Kona and Michael Miller Cotton Couture as well as Moda and a sprinkling of American Made in there.  Basically any appropriate solids I had in my scrap bin went into this thing.

quiltingI quilted the top using straight lines on my home machine.  For some reason I did not want to quilt it too densely and straight lines echoing the grey center square seemed to be the thing to do.

quilt backingFor the backing I used part of an IKEA duvet cover I had in my stash… it was the perfect back for this crazy colourful quilt.

quilt bindingFinally I hand bound the quilt using scraps of different greys.  The grey was the perfect way to frame the quilt and contain the colour explosion.

Quilt Details

Pattern:  X stitch Sparkle by Knotty Gnome
Fabric: Various solids
Quilt Size:  55 inch x 55 inches

Pink is the new….

Another Pink themed Paper Piecing Monday…

pinwheel snowball quilt blockToday’s block is the last one for my baby quilt.  It is another EQ inspired block that I turned into a paper pieced pattern.  You can find the free PDF pattern for this 12 inch block here…Pinwheel Snowball

pink block piecesNow that I have completed four of these blocks, I have been playing with the layout for the baby quilt.  For the first time I had a plan for my paper piecing Monday blocks before I started making them…

baby quilt wipI knew I wanted to make the most of the scrappy black and white background fabric so I cut a stack of 6 1/2 inch square blocks from my b/w stash and started playing with the layout.

design wall wipI have a bit more rearranging to do with the blocks, but I am close to being happy with the layout.  My hope is to have the top done by Friday…weather permitting!

Back on track….

So I am not sure if any of you noticed…but I have been very slack in my posting lately.  I have managed to keep my Paper Piecing Monday posts happening but everything else has just fallen by the wayside.

Bad bad me.  Last week I was teaching all week and found that my creativity was completely absent.  I have been a little out of kilter for a couple of months now and I am slowly getting my mojo back….and here is the proof.

Do good stitches cross quiltYesterday I had a blast using the new Bernina long arm machine at my LQS (local quilt store), Modern Domestic.  Up until yesterday I had never done a whole quilt by myself, and I was so excited by how much fun I had.  I did an all over squares and boxes pattern which seem to come very naturally to me (that means I did not quilt myself into a corner once!).

quilt detail 2The quilt was one of my unfinished Do Good Stitches quilts…  and I love the scrappy feel to it all.  If you are interested in the pattern we used, you can find the link on my original post here…

do good stitches cross quilt detailI did a simple solid back and a wide navy binding to finish it all off.  In a couple of weeks I am going to go back and give it all another go with one of my other unfinished Do Good quilt tops.  I may branch out and try something loopy!

quilt detailI have a long way to go before I master this long arm free motion thingy but I am pleased with the results of my first step.  I must admit I am now hankering for some straight stitch quilting on my home machine, so I may baste up some more quilts this weekend.  I had forgotten how satisfying it is to actually finish something up.

Scrap busting quilt…

This morning I managed to finish up the improv baby quilt I started last week.

easy scrap baby quiltI started making blocks last week as a way to take a break from doing old WIP’s (see my original post about the process) and found myself making blocks here and there as I worked on other things.

improv quilt detial 2The blocks are all random improv and used up quite a nice selection of my low volume and pastel scrap stash.

quilt detailThere are lots of novelty prints with enough bits and pieces to play a good game of I spy (aka eye spy).   But for me the most fun of this whole process was the quilting.  If you follow this blog you know I am determined this year to get better at free motion quilting and this week I got some help.

maching bindingLast Friday I took delivery of a wonderful Bernina 550, which I have on loan to play with and oh what a difference a good machine makes.  When it came to quilting this baby up, I was excited to attach the free motion foot and stitch regulator and really play.

quilting detailNow the quilting is far from perfect but it is okay and so much better than anything I have free motioned before…. and most importantly it was great fun to do.  I just free motioned squares and I am now chomping at the bit to try some new things.  I have dusted off my Angela Waters books and bought Christina Cameli’s new book “Step by Step Free Motion Quilting” and I am ready to get serious about this quilting thing.

A heartfelt Paper Piecing Monday

This week I decided to get into the Valentine spirit, despite my husband poo pooing the holiday at every turn.  He strongly feels that it is a holiday that is purely about selling cards and flowers and chocolates.  He feels just a little less negatively about Christmas and I ignore him then too!

So in honor the of the upcoming day of celebration…and to annoy my husband, I  put together a little 3 inch love heart block…

heart blockThe pattern for these darling little things can be found here….3 inch pp hearts.  The pattern sheet has six of the heart patterns on it.   After making my first heart I decided that one little heart was not enough for (1) annoying my husband and (2) making this a substantial Paper Piecing Monday, so I pulled some more fabric from my stash (the first block was done purely with scraps)….

fabric pilesand got to work making this….

heart quilt blockHopefully by the end of the week this will be a darling 18 inch cushion…which I may be allowed to put on our couch…

Better late than never….

Paper piecing Monday just did not happen yesterday. After spending 5 days celebrating Russian Christmas with friends at Hood River we got home late last night and I just could not get my act together enough to post.  I blame the vodka, the lack of sleep and the rip snorting good time I had.  So without further ado here is Paper Piecing Monday’s latest block…

free paper piecing blockI like the pointy light green spike behind the dark green star.  I used the lightest greens for the background points so they almost fade into the sky….

quilt block piecesI branched away from the triangle blocks this week and went with simple square components.  You can find the free pattern here….Star petal  I promise the PDF has a numbered pattern, unlike the one in the photograph!  I once again blame the vodka!