A fabulous finish for Friday…

This week I am pleased to share another Portland Modern Quilt Guild charity quilt… actually one of my favorite so far I must admit…

Finished PMQG charity quilt copy

The blocks for this top were made at one of our Charity Sew days (check out my original post for more details) and then shipped off to be quilted by one of our wonderful members. This time it was the amazing Nancy Stovall who did the long-arming.

pmqg charity quilt detail 2I love the pattern that Nancy chose for the quilting and extra love that she did it with yellow thread….

pmqg charity quilt detail

…it just pops against the grey and makes the whole quilt come alive.  I am constantly amazed at how the quilting and binding can bring a quilt together… you think I would have that figured by now, but no, every time total amazement.

binding detail

The quilt is backed with a mixture of Michael Miller challenge left over fabric and some very cool donated pieces.

quilt back detail

This quilt will be heading to Raphael House, a local women’s shelter here in Portland, hopefully to provide some warmth and comfort.

Quilt Details:

Block:  9 inch wonky pin wheel block
Quilt size:  45 x 54 inches
Fabric:  Riley Blake charcoal solid and lots of red/orange.yellow scraps

Lost in the infinite Starry Night…

Well that at least is what it has felt like the last couple of weeks.  My design wall has been home to just one thing…  my Starry Night quilt.  I was determined not to take it down until it was finished… and I didn’t…

design wall

Over the last weeks I have added more night sky bit by bit…

photo 3 (1)

The white bits of the design board became smaller and smaller…. and this week I finally finished all the sky blocks and wrangled all the pieces together…

completed top cu

Starry Night quilt top is now finished….It was quite a task to get this paper stiffened behemoth through my little old domestic machine but I did it… with only a few minor injuries.

completed starry night 2The most interesting view of this creation, I think is the back, with all the paper pieces still in tact.  You can see just how much variety there is in the night sky.  I had a blast playing with the EQ7 paper piecing library and I do not think this crazy would not have been possible without EQ.

completed paper back

I think if I had set out to do the sky this way in the beginning I am sure I would have found some way to talk myself out of it.

completed Starry NightAs it was I just did it bit by bit, not really fully understanding how insane I was being….

Top completed cu

Once the paper is off I will post photos of the complete top… at the moment it is just to stiff and unruly to handle…. next week I promise a full quilt top reveal.

Wonky Kites Quilt

A couple of weeks ago a group of PMQG members met for our monthly Charity Sew Day.  These get togethers are always good fun and this one was no exception.  For July I had chosen a wonky kite block for us to make… another easy scrap busters…

wonky kite quilt 2This quilt is so ridiculously simple.  We started with a 5 inch square of our background solid, Kona Shadow and then sewed a green/blue scrap on opposite corners.

trim blockYou then trim the block to 5 inches….

wonky kite blockThen sew two block together, making sure the triangle pieces meet, but not worrying at all about matching the seams (this is the wonky way).  Repeat process and then sew the two halves together to make the kite centered block…

trim block to sizeWhat you end up with is a really fun, random block…

quilt detail 2

Sew them all together and you end up with a huge quilt top!

wonky kite quiltOur charity for this month has requested Twin size quilts, no mean feat at the best of times (and impossible for me to photograph properly).

quilt stain glass

This block was perfect for making sure we had a fun, modern quilt ready to go to a long armer, in a day.

Michelle sewing awayIt helped that we had a great team working to make blocks….

sorting out the scrapsAnd of course the final check and block layout approval was provided by the cat!

cat inspection

A smattering of quilt blocks…

I can not believe that June is nearly over…. this year is slipping away way to fast.  It was with a small amount of panic that I realised this week that I was running out of time to finish up some of my Bee blocks, so armed with a pile of fabric, my iPad and a caffeine enriched beverage I set to work.

First up was the June blocks for my Do.good.Stitches bee…

curved blockThe block is a great log cabin variation…Though one block does not look that exciting, put four of them together and you get a fabulous orb pattern…

Hope circle orb blocksWhile we are on the subject of Do.good.Stitches Bee blocks, here is May’s blocks which were a blast to make…

scrap cross quilt blocksI have not done a cross block before and loved how easy it was to do.  I got a little carried away with this block and made a few extra.  I used Rachel from Wooden Spoons easy dimensions to make the block…plus lots of starch!

The final lot of Bee blocks I got done this week is a repeat of a block I did last year….

Scrapbeelicious block 2Yep the mini flying geese crazy is back.  This month it was Stephanie from Quarter Incher’s turn to be Queen of our ScrapBeeLicous Bee, and she choose the Liesl Made’s Flying Geese Block.  Yipee….

Scrapbeelicious block 1So I retooled my paper piecing pattern and set to work raiding my scrap stash.  I actually think the only way to make this kind of quilt is to do it as part of a Bee (and to paper piece ti!).  There is no way you want to be making more than a few of these blocks… okay there is no way I could make more than a few of these blocks and remain sane!

As it is Wednesday there is only one thing left to do….link up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

A Wonky Tree Forest…and tutorial

A few weeks ago I forced everyone at the PMQG Charity Sew day to make wonky trees.  We had a large amount of green, brown and cream fabrics donated to the Guild and as soon as I saw the fabric I knew that we MUST make trees.

There were only two rules…. the finished block had to be 8 1/2 inches square and it had have a tree in it.  What follows is the basic instructions I gave at the start of the day…

Wonky Tree Block Instructions:

Step One…. grab all your green scraps…and some of your brown scraps and either some white/cream solid or a collection of cream scraps.

start with a pile of scrapsStep Two... sew a selection of your scraps together to make a rectangle of green goodness… this is going to be your tree top so make it as big or as small as you want you tree to be.

Step Three… trim said rectangle to your desired shape.  For some of our trees we used a triangle ruler…

Making the leavesand for others we just made wonky oval shapes by trimming the corners of our rectangle and adding some corner background fabric….

Trim folageStep Four…. add pieces of your background fabric around your tree top to make the it square and trim the bottom of your tree top so that it is straight…

Tree & skyNote:  You do not have to worry too much about making sure that the “sky” (background fabric) around the tree is as big as your finished block size as you have the ability to add a border to the block as needed.  With the smaller trees we made the tree block up and then sashed the block out to the 8 1/2 inch square finished size (see Step Six and a half).

Step Five… Build the tree trunk by cutting a small piece of brown scrap fabric to make a suitable sized tree trunk.  Remember this is wonky quilting so it can be as fat or as thin or as tall or short as you want.  Sew two pieces of your background fabric to your brown strip, making sure your finished trunk piece is at least as wide as your tree top piece. Make sure that you trim the top of the tree trunk so that it is straight.

Tree trunkStep Six… align the trunk to your tree top and sew the two pieces together.

Step Six and a half… if you have made a small tree sash your tree block to make it the correct size.

small treeStep Seven…. Trim your block to size, we went with 8 1/2 inch square.  Note: that the tree trunk ends at the bottom of the block, with no extra background fabric at the bottom.   I found that having all the trunks at the bottom of the block made the overall look of the pieced quilt cleaner and more uniformed.

Trim blockAnd voila you have a wonky tree block….

Tree treeAt the end of our day of sewing we had a veritable forest of different type of trees.  Everyone embraced the wonky and the freedom to do whatever took their fancy. My favorite creation of the day was the Apple Tree…

Apple treeIt was so much fun putting the final quilt top together, there were so many fabulous blocks to choose from and I spent a good hour or so re-arranging the forest on my design wall.

Tree wipWhen piecing the top together I used cream scraps cut into 8 1/2 square blocks and 4 1/2 x 8/12 inch strips to space out the trees.  From playing with the layout on the design wall I knew I did not want to put all the trees together in one clump.  I then added a 3 inch sashing of cream scraps between each row of trees.

Finished quilt topI am so pleased with how this top turned out.  There is a sense of fun and silliness to the trees…everyone did such a stellar job and no two trees are alike.

lots of different trees

Now our forest is being handed off to one of the Guild’s talented longarmers for quilting.  I can not wait to see how they handle this one.