Round and Round….

It has been a busy, crazy couple of weeks for me…which can all be summed up by the fact that all the photos I have taken of my quilts and things I have been doing were on a SD card which got corrupted.  I had photos of my quilt at Sisters Outdoor quilt show…photos of my works in progress and photos of the Kids quilt class I taught last week.  All gone.

After lots of tears and maybe a tantrum or two I dusted myself off and decided to let it go… so instead of sharing my recent adventures I am going to share one of my most recent quilt finish…

PMQG Medallion quilt

This week I finally finished my Portland Modern Quilt Guild medallion quilt.  Now to t be honest with you I did not do all the borders that I was meant too… partly because I wanted this quilt to be baby size and partly because I got bored with the pastel colour scheme!

Medallion detail 2

If you are interested in the pattern and process you can check out my earlier post about the quilt…which includes links to the free patterns we used.

novelty prints

To finish off my quilt I decided to do my first lot of circular quilting… using the walking foot on my new Bernina 550.   I thought that circular quilting would be perfect with this quilt so I started in the center of the quilt and worked my way out.

circular quilting issues

Now if I am honest with you the center quilting was a little tricky.  I took the above photo so you could see just how wonky I was at the start… I did end up unpicking quite a few of my stitches as they were so off kilter and I went back into the center using free motioning quilting (no walking foot) to get the center right.

cronder block

Once I got past the tricky center it was really fun to just keep going round and round and round and round…. it was easy to move my small baby quilt to get a nice rhythm going.  I know there is going to be more circular quilting in my future… I love how the quilt looks and feels with this type of quilting…

binding

To finish it all off I used a selection of Kona pastel solid scraps to make the binding and hand bound the quilt…. and I was done.  As I was putting the last stitches on the binding the wonderful postman dropped off this for me…

Modern Medallion book

I kid you not, I took delivery of this book just moments after finishing my Medallion and I am now inspired to make another one…. this time not in pastel and this time maybe a little more modern.

Quilt Details:

Pattern:  PMQG Medallion QAL
Fabric:  Pastel and low volume scraps
Finished Size:  40 x 40 inches

When your old life intersects with your new…

When the Modern Quilt Guilds of the Pacific Northwest were recently invited to submit quilts for a Quilt Show in August I was a little apprehensive.  The guild lines were that the quilts could use black, white and the shades of grey in between and as you can tell from my quilts I love colour.  We were allowed, if we wanted, to add one colour in one place but that was it.

I pondered this challenge for a month or so and then one day, as I was talking to an old friend it hit me what I could do.  You see in my previous life I was in film and a key essential tool in the camera kit was always a grey card.  This card was used to white balance and focus the camera (back in the old days before digital took over!).  A grey card would make the perfect quilt for this project….

So I found an image similar to the cards I used to use…

greyDid some crazy quilts maths… not something I usually do and not something that comes easily to me…

quilt mathsPulled some greys from my stash…

grey stashAnd went to work.  The end result was this…

WQ grey card quiltI am thrilled with how it turned out.  I was really impressed with the depth of my grey stash, which allowed me to do some fun colour graduation….

graduating greysI cheated a bit and used some black and white stripes for the focus bars… I was not going to be able to get that kind of sharp precision with piecing… (but it is driving me crazy that photos in this post seem out of focus unless you click on the image to enlarge it….@%*$#^! WordPress….AUGH!!!!!

grey card detailI also managed to get my favorite prints, Mirror Ball and Pearl Bracelets into the mix.  Now all I have to do is work out how I want to quilt it.  I was thinking of echoing the circle on the card in the quilting but that is as far as I have gotten so far.  I do know that I am going to add one tiny splash of colour in the binding.

I am really thrilled with this mini quilt (it is 36″ long by 28″ wide)… not because it is amazing or beautiful or revolutionary.  I love it because it has such meaning for me.  As I stepped out of my film career I stepped into quilting… and this quilt represents that life change for me.

A little quilt showcase

I thought I would take the opportunity to share with the wider world some of the amazing Charity Quilts that the Portland Modern Quilting Guild has produced this month.  For those of you who follow me, you know that I am a pretty active charity quilter and I organize our guild’s charity sewing.  I am constantly amazed at the generosity and talent of our guild when it comes to our program….

Some Guild members donate orphan blocks that we make up into quilts.  Our wonderful Guild president this year, Elsa, donated the blocks that made this beauty….

green star quilt topElsa donated ten blocks which were sewn into a top by me, and then quilted by Coleen of The Quilted Thistle.  Photos do not do Coleen’s quilting justice, it is beautiful.

quilting detailOh and did I mention the little hedgehog?

star detailI used the tenth donated block in the back of the quilt…

back of green yellow star quiltOther guild members donate fully completed quilt tops to us… Sam Hunter of Hunter Design Studio donated the top and back for this beautiful quilt….

sams quiltand another guild member Gail Weiss free motioned quilted all over it, to great effect…

sam's quilt detailOne or two of the quilts we donate each month start life at our Charity Sew Day, which are held at our local quilt store Modern Domestic.  Once a month we invade MD’s class room space and whip up blocks which in turn are made into quilts…

rainbow improv quiltI love this improv rainbow quilt top.  All the blocks were made at the Charity Sew Day in January by guild members including Mary Ann, Kim, Debbie, Dawn, Michelle, and Elsa.    The top was then quilted by the fabulous Dawn Graf-Thiessen, another one of the Guild’s talented long armers.

rainbow improv detail

The fabric for these blocks is from scraps that were also donated to the Charity Sew program.  When I receive a donation of scraps I sort them into colours (each colour has its own shoe box).  What is left over is put into a catch-all box of multi coloured scraps…

improv quilt..and some of those scraps were used to make blocks for this bright improv quilt.  In November last year I asked Guild members to make a 12 inch square bright improv block, if they wanted, which would then be used in a Charity quilt.  This top was the end result…

Improv quilt detailBright loud and fun this quilt is definitely going to make some kid very happy…  The top was quilted by last years Guild president, MaryAnn.  She did a great job free motion quilting on her home machine.

The last quilt I want to share is a simple quiet baby quilt…

low volume charity quiltThis top was made during a Charity Sew Day by guild member Anne.  She took some precut squares that had been donated to the program and made a disappearing nine patch block.  On Sew days I always pack some precut or orphan blocks so that people who do not necessarily want to make the block of the month can play.

low volume detail

Another guild member, Emily, free motioned this darling pattern all over the quilt using her home machine.  The sweet pattern works so well on this low volume quilt.

I would like the thank all the PMQG guild members who every month help our charity program in ways big and small…either by donating fabric or blocks or their time and talent.  We could not do it without you.  Thank you.

Quilting with friends

Wednesday I had a wonderful day quilting with some of the members of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild.  We had an incredibly productive day and finished 3 quilt tops and also threw a quilt up on the long arm.

What made the day extra special was that we were working in a space that was displaying a collection of our Medallion quilts…

medallion quiltsOnce a month Modern Domestic hosts our charity sew day.  We get to work in their wonderful space and use the amazing Bernina sewing machines in their work room.  It is always hard for me to go back to my basic Brother machine after a day of luxury sewing on the Bernina!

Sewing on the berninaSo what did we get done I hear you ask….

Kaffe fassett quilt topWe managed to get this floral beauty quilted on the long-arm machine.

Kaffe fassett detailLots of loops and a couple of flowers were stitched into the top by a number of PMQG members.  It is really fun to have a top that anyone can have a turn on, so we usually use a simple free motion technique and people can embellish if they are so inclined.

quilt detailWe also made a collection of wonky snowball blocks that became a sweet little quilt top…

snowball quilt topAnd a couple of orphan blocks also became quilt tops.  Anne made a sweet little disappearing nine patch….

Anne design wallAnd while we are talking about Charity quilts I wanted to share another quilt that was recently finished…

charity quilt topThe blocks were orphan blocks donated by the fabulous Elsa Hart, I put the top together and finally the amazing quilting was done by Kazumi Peterson.

charity top detailKazumi quilted this fabulous pattern into ever block with my favorite bubbles pattern in the sashing.  I really love how this quilt turned out and I am realising more and more how important the final quilting process is.

charity quilt detailI know most of you already know this, but for me every time I see a quilt properly quilted I am in awe of what those top stitches bring to a project.  It is spurring me to really tackle my lack of quilting skills this year.

The PMQG Medallion Quilt

This past week has been a full on Portland Modern Quilt Guild week….starting with a fabulous Quilt retreat and ending with a full day of Charity Sewing.

The weekend Retreat was my first quilting retreat… actually it was my first retreat since High School and my first retreat that did not involve religion in some way.  Needless to say it was fabulously, wonderfully unlike any retreat I had done before.  3 days, 30 creative ladies, 1 well stocked candy bar and 4 Mexican Coca Cola’s worth of fun.

work station

During the retreat a number of people were working on finishing up their Medallion Quilts.  It was great fun to see how everyone had interpreted the border patterns.  Every single medallion quilt that PMQG members have made have been so different, it has been a blast watching them all come together.

Each month the new border was announced by showing the Guild Medallion…

PMQG Medallion quilt top

This version of the Medallion was made by this years Guild Officers – Kelly, Mary Ann, Suzanne, Lisa and myself.  We used the full range of Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander which was generously donated to us by Robert Kaufman.

PMQG Medallion detailEach month we choose a border, worked out the maths (the hardest part for me!) and then one of us wrote up the pattern and made the border (most months I did a paper piecing version of the pattern as well)… You can find all the patterns and instruction here if you are interested.

PMQG Medallion detail 2

So when the last border was added it was my turn to take all the left over scraps and yardage and make a back for this beauty.  There were a few extra blocks and bits in the mix and in the end I made this…

quilt backKeeping with the Medallion vibe, and embracing all the leftovers I made a stripped panel for the center of the quilt back.

PMQG quilt back detail 2

The orange flying geese, circles and navy stripes were all left over blocks from my fellow Officers.  The rests of the blocks I made… including some more cross blocks and some square blocks.

PMQG quilt back detail

Left over yardage was then used to get the back to the needed size of 75 x 75 inches.  Now the top and back are off to one of the Guilds many talented long armers for finishing…  after I have removed some paper from the back of it and given it one last press!