Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Are you keeping up with your Blocks of the Month?  The only one I am doing well with is the 2012 Designer Mystery Block of the Month from Fat Quarter Shop.  We're up to Block 8.  This month's block was designed by Bonnie Olaveson and Camille Roskelley, who also designed the fabrics for this year's quilt.

Someone will point out to me that the center of my block is reversed, but I doubt it will be noticeable in the finished quilt.

I've finally completed all the blocks for my version of the Quiltmaker's Scrap Squad quilt.  The March/April issue of the magazine should be on newsstands soon, so you can see the original quilt that is our inspiration.  Or go to the Quiltmaker blog, Quilty Pleasures.  We're making scrappy versions of Monique Dillard's Majestic Garden.  Mine uses scraps from an old Moda University project, "Chocolat."

I don't dare start another project until this one is complete.  My deadline is February 22!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Is your January UFO complete?  Send me an email with a photo and description of your project to AuntMarti [at] 52Quilts [dot] com by tomorrow so you can be in the parade!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday Tool: Spinning Triangles

I'm shocked (shocked, I say!) to realize it has been more than one month since I've posted a "Tuesday Tool." Isn't it about time to learn something new?

How about a new template?  This one is called "Spinning Triangles," and it comes from Nancy Zieman at Nancy's Notions.  I took some classes from Nancy 25 years ago (!) at the Northwest Sewing Expo in Puyallup, Washington.  She is an excellent and gracious teacher, she never gets impatient when students ask stupid questions.  (Ask me how I know this.)

Here is one of the blocks made with this template:

To make the Wind Farm block, cut strips from three different fabrics.  Nancy recommends stabilizing the fabrics by using spray starch or Best Press.  Sew them together with the narrowest strip in the middle:

The template is labeled to position it over the strip strata:

There is some waste with this method -- but you can donate the waste fabric to someone who makes pillows for cats at the humane society!

I find it a lot easier to cut odd-shaped templates if I use my rotating cutting mat.  Buy one when it's on sale at JoAnn, and you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.

For each "Wind Farm" block, you'll need four triangles.

To make a perfect center, "stab" a pin through both layers of fabric exactly through the center of the seam.  Leave this pin inserted vertically, it's only to match the seams, not to hold the layers together:

Next, insert a pin on the seam allowance either side of the vertical pin:

Remove the vertical pin and stitch the seam.  Remove the other pins just before you get to them -- I try to catch the seam allowance in my machine needle before I remove the pins.

And see?  Perfectly matching seams!

Press (don't iron) the block.  Be generous with the  Best Press, and remember, the outside edges are on the bias.  A newish quilter I met last week wondered about the difference between "pressing" and "ironing."  I prefer to say "press," don't "scrub."  In other words, it's OK to move your iron around a little, but don't lean hard on the iron and "scrub" it back and forth over your project.  That way madness lies -- or at least, misshapen blocks!

The Spinning Triangles template comes with directions for four projects and three different styles of blocks. Unfortunately, it makes only one size of block (10" finished).  But 10" is the perfect size if you need a row of blocks that finishes at 40"!

New snow in Colorado today -- a good day to stay inside and quilt, doncha think?

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday is for (QOV) Scraps

Today was "Quilts of Valor" day at Ruth's Stitchery.  My project was  a "Strip Club" pattern from Cozy Quilt Designs, "Stars from Stripes."

Stars from Stripes

I had a hard time figuring out the directions, but with Beth's help, I completed all the pieces for my blocks:

I only have room on my design wall for three blocks, the top of the design wall is filled with my Scrap Squad project::

Only three more rows, plus borders, to go!

Mitzi is making a lovely QOV quilt, and I hope she'll join the Jelly Roll Party on Friday.  Hook 'em Horns!

How progresses your 13 in 2013 UFO?  I'm collecting photos for the UFO parade on Saturday, send yours in as soon as your UFO is complete!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Friday, January 25, 2013

I Heart My Local Quilt Shop(s)

In case you missed it, yesterday was "Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day."


I visited five, count them FIVE Local Quilt Shops (LQS) yesterday!

Since I was delivering DH to the Denver airport yesterday morning, I was more than halfway to my first stop:  Quilters' Stash in Windsor, Colorado.  These ladies were ready to celebrate!

Look at this mouth-watering selection of precuts!  And click on the photo so you can see that fun vest Lovely Clerk (I forgot to write down her name, but really, she was so nice!) is wearing:

Here is their motto:

Good idea, isn't it?  I scored a sale quilt kit, but I can't share it as it will be a birthday prezzie for someone I know reads my blog!

Only 30-or-so minutes north of Windsor is Ft. Collins, home of Colorado State University.  And Fig Leaf Furniture and Quilting.  That's right, the quilt shop shares space with a furniture store.

See?  I'm not making this up!

P.S., if you haven't been able to find Robert Kaufman's Essen Linen/Cotton, they have it at Fig Leaf.

As soon as I left the city limits of Ft. Collins, the wind began to blow.  I had a hard time keeping Hal (DH's Scion) on the road!

Next stop was Harriet's Treadle Arts in Wheat Ridge.  While I have to admit this store doesn't specialize in my style of fabric, years ago Harriet graciously gifted my sons with several wool quilt bats for them to try in their 4-H quilts.  So I'll always be a loyal customer.  On display in the back room are several of Harriet's own antique quilts, like this lovely:

My last stop in Denver was the Creative Needle in Littleton (south Denver).  Creative Needle has greatly expanded their selection of solid-color fabrics, so if you need a solid in an unusual color, take a gander at their Great Wall 'o' Solids:

My photo only shows a small part of their selection, the shop is small and I couldn't get far enough away to show the entire wall.

By now, it was getting dark, so I hit the freeway for a fast trip toward home and a quick stop-off in Monument at Crafty Laine.  Here is my "I <3 My LQS" contest photo:

Some special girls in my life really like the apron in this photo, so I asked Angie to right quick cut me some fabric, and I'll whip up the apron in three sizes this weekend.  Just in time for the DD and GDs to make Valentine cookies!

BTW, if you're on Facebook, please go to this post and vote for me in the "I Love My Local Quilt Shop Day Fan Contest."  I've promised to share the fabric goodness if I win!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Get Ready: Thursday is Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day

It's almost here!  Tomorrow is "Local Quilt Shop Day!"


While we have a wonderful selection of quilt shops in Colorado, only five are "officially" participating.  They include Harriet's Treadle Arts in Wheat Ridge, Creative Needle in Littleton (aside:  this is where I bought my Julki!), Quilter's Stash in Windsor, The Fig Leaf in Ft. Collins, and Crafty Laine in Monument.

Now, not to discourage you from visiting our other great shops, but only by submitting a photo of one of the "officially participating" shops can you win the $500 giveaway from I <3 my Local Quilt Shop!

The closest participating shop to me is Crafty Laine, only about 30 minutes away.

So on Saturday, friend Mary and I ducked out of the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild meeting to dash over to Crafty Laine and snap a photo.  (I am not photogenic.  I need My Little Sailor and his Photoshop skills!)

Crafty Laine is not "just" a quilt shop.  In fact, they rather specialize in contemporary fashion sewing.  The owner, Angie, set up a lovely "sewing studio" for new sewists, and those who don't own a sewing machine.  While we visited, a lively class for young beginners was being taught in the studio.  By the laughter emanating from around the cutting table, I would say a good time was had by all!  (PS, it was a "Teen and Tween Valentine Workshop."  Go to the Crafty Laine Facebook page to see photos of their cute projects..)

Plus, the shop is just across the street from one of my favorite "lunching" places -- Wisdom Tea House!  'Cuz, you know, I think it's important to do what you're good at.  And I'm good at going out to lunch!

Be sure to go to this link to look up your closest participating Local Quilt Shop, and if possible, visit them tomorrow!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

We have a Winner!

And, surprise!  The winner is international!

Using the Random Number Generator, our winner is #25, Amy, of Amy's Crafty Shenanigans!  I'm so pleased to read that Amy is a member of the London (UK) Modern Quilt Guild.

Amy wrote:

Congratulations, Amy!  The Farmgirl's Garden kit will be on its way to you as soon as I receive your postal address!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Monday, January 21, 2013

Design Wall Monday

432 Half Square Triangles later:

This is my first Quiltmaker's Magazine "Scrap Squad" assignment.  I foolishly decided to make a queen-sized sample, requiring 72 blocks.  Each block has six HSTs.


I have all the blocks pieced, but not quite sewn together.  I'm using leftovers from an old Moda University project made of "Chocolat" by Three Sisters for Moda.  I did buy the background fabric, when I decided one part at least needed to be consistent.

I'm planning to gift this one to my nephew in Idaho.  Only 54 more blocks to go!

Linking to Design Wall Monday.

And less than 24 hours to enter the 52 quilts "400 followers" celebratory giveaway.  Visit this post and comment for your chance to win this quilt kit!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Friday, January 18, 2013

A (Secret) Friday Finish

Shhh -- I can show you today's finish, but you have to promise not to tell for whom I made it.  Promise?

It's a pillow top:

The fabric is Madrona Road by Violet Craft for Michael Miller fabrics.  I used the "Ocean" colorway.  The design is a paper-pieced pattern from Nancy Mahoney's book, "Kaleidoscope Paper Piecing."  My niece bought me this book because she saw a quilt made from one of the patterns at Esther's Fabrics in Bainbridge Island, Washington.

I love my niece, but I do not love paper piecing.  Even though I used the "butcher paper" paper-piecing method (I promise a Tuesday tutorial on this, soon), I still hate paper piecing.

I even did a tiny bit of hand-quilting, using three strands of embroidery floss.  Backing the pieced top with lightweight fleece makes the stitching "stand up" very nicely.

Hmm, my gold thread matches so well, even close/close up you can't see it in the photo.

This project is for a challenge in which the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild is participating.  We're making pillows for our projects, so only one block (whew) was needed.

Linking up to Thank Goodness it's Finished Friday, hosted this week by Fiona at Celtic Thistle Stitches, as well as Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Meanwhile, have you commented on this post to enter my giveaway celebrating 400 followers of 52 Quilts?  And how is your #5 UFO for 13 in 2013 coming along?  Less than two weeks to finish!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WIP Wednesday -- Sort Of

"Sort of" means I didn't make much progress on this week's Work-in-Progress!

I need to make 72 blocks to make this quilt the size I want, and so far I have four complete.  I do have most of the 432 Half-Square Triangles sewn.

On a happier note, I was selected to play along with this year's Quiltmaker Magazine's "Scrap Squad!"
QM scrap squadB3 Donnas Caribbean Vacation
The QM Scrap Squad is a select group of seven QM readers.  They take one pattern from each regular issue of Quiltmaker and create their own scrappy versions to inspire you.  The quilts are then featured on the "Quilty Pleasures" blog.

The 2013 Quiltmaker's Scrap Squad includes:

Gina, of Gina Quilts and Knits; Becky, of Becky's Quilt Obsession; Nicole, of Colie's Quilting;  Anne, from QuiltWoman; Christa, of Second Story Quilting; Colette, of My Quilt Place; Carol-no-blog; and me!

The squad has its own Facebook group where we can exchange idea about the scrappy quilts we'll make this year.  My first contribution is due February 22 -- so I'd better get cracking!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced:


Speaking of cracking:  Have you gone to Monday's post to enter the 400 followers giveaway?  Click here to comment and enter!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ding! Ding! Ding! 400 Followers Giveaway!

Today is a Red-Letter Day:  52 Quilts in 52 Weeks has reached 400 followers!  Woot, woot!

And didn't your Aunt Marti promise you all a giveaway at the point?  Why yes, yes she did!  And here it is:

A complete kit to make this cute quilt.

Includes all the fabric from the "Farmgirl's Garden" collection by Joined At the Hip Designs for Clothworks Textiles needed for the top and binding -- choose your own backing.  The quilt finishes at 48" square.  Perfect for a baby quilt or "I'm so sick of winter I could scream" cuddle-under quilt.

Here are the giveaway guidelines:

  1. Please comment on this post and tell me if you prefer to buy your projects as "kits" or "bit by bit."
  2. Since we're celebrating followers, please be a follower of this blog.
  3. If you're a no-reply or anonymous commenter, be sure to include your email address in your comment.  Use this format to avoid being spammed:  AuntMarti at 52quilts dot com (fill in your own email address).
  4. Giveaway ends next Tuesday, January 22 at Noon MST.
  5. Please, one comment per person.
  6. Oh yeah, international entries welcome.  Hurry before the postage rates go up!

Good luck, and thank you for following 52 Quilts!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature