Friday, March 21, 2014

Pineapple Quilt Progress & Patterns

 Now that I'm done with my Farmer's Wife quilt for a while, 
I figured it was okay to pick up another crazy, intense, long-term project.  Well, at least for me it is :)


I started these blocks at the beginning of February when I attended Quilt Bliss (a quilting retreat in Heber, UT.).  These paper-pieced Pineapple blocks are really fun to make and kinda make my heart sing!



  My green stash has needed a little "refreshing" lately so I picked up a bunch of 2" strips the other day while I was at work.  One of the benefits of working at a quilt shop, I guess! 


I like to pre-cut lots of strips so I can just grab one and sew.  
It makes my piecing go much faster and
I keep them in one of my big scrap jars for easy access!


Once I got into my groove, I figured it took me about an hour and a half to make one block.  I'm hoping I can do at least one block a week until I'm done.


 I've got 10 so far and am planning on doing a total of 24.


If you're not following me on Instagram (username: gigisthimble), you may not know that I've started selling sets of these patterns all ready to go for those of you that want to quilt along with me.  Since they're over-sized (each block finishes at 12 3/8") I had to get them specially printed at a local print shop.  I'm selling sets of 36 patterns (+ 1 master copy) for $20.50 plus shipping.  Stop by my Etsy shop if you're interested.  I'd love some company on this long (but fun) journey ahead!

Happy quilting!
~ Amber

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Two Table Runner Finishes

I'm a little behind in blogging about a few items on my February "to-do list".  I finished up the quilting of this granny square table runner at the Quilt Bliss Retreat I went to in the beginning of February.  I was able to finish the binding a couple weeks later while sitting at 2 hours of futsal practices for my son.


Most of the fabrics are from Joel Dewberry's fabric line, Botanique.  
I really love him I mean his fabric :)  Big fan.


I added in a few others from my stash just to break things up a bit.


As you can see, I made 7 granny squares with no sashing in between.  Originally I had planned to sash it but then realized it wouldn't have fit on my table.  I kinda like how it turned out though.  I did add on some borders so that it would cover most of my table top.  I didn't want my decor to be tip toppy (that's a word, right? :)


All of my squares were cut at 2 1/2" 
so the blocks finished somewhere around 9".


For the quilting, I followed the edges of the outside squares with my walking foot to create a zig zag pattern.  Once I did the first line, I was able to use the walking foot to mark the rest at a 1/2" apart.  The zig zags kind of make a herringbone pattern and I love, love, love it!



It has a happy place in my family room and I love the fact that my new (ish) table is not getting scratched up anymore from my mercury glass vases 
(a TJ Maxx purchase from a year or so ago).
 

 I also finished up an old WIP and donated it 
to a church auction we had a few weeks ago.


This was a very simple pattern - just sashed 9-Patches.  
The fabric line is Hometown from Sweetwater 
(with of course, a few other ones from my stash thrown in!)


I quilted it myself with little loops.  I was kind of disappointed with that so don't look too close.  Guess I need to practice more!


Oh well, glad to check that one off my list!

Happy quilting!
~ Amber

Monday, March 10, 2014

Farmer's Wife Finished Quilt Top

 About a month ago I finished my Farmer's Wife quilt top 
and I'm excited to finally share it with you!  

 
My trip on the Farmer's Wife Express started back in January 2012 when my bosses and I decided that we would start a Farmer's Wife Club at Just Sew (the quilt shop I work at in Highland, Utah).  We taught a different technique each month, including basic piecing, paper piecing, template piecing and applique so that by the end of the year we would have all 111 blocks complete. I learned a lot from teaching and participating in the club.  I learned that I like template piecing (I had never tried it before).  I learned about new tools for paper piecing.  I paper pieced really intricate blocks and I made dozens of new blocks!  I learned new methods for making half square triangles.  I tried Y-seams for the first time!  And I found out that tiny stuff - is actually really fun to make!  It was a great experience overall and I'm really glad I was a part of the club.
  

Originally I planned on making all the blocks but somewhere along the way I decided that I really didn't need another queen size quilt so I decided to stop at 83 blocks for a twin size quilt.  I feel good about my decision and still feel like this was a BIG accomplishment.


 I decided that I wanted bigger sashing than what the book called for so I cut my strips 2" wide.  I decided to go with the off-white sashing and setting triangles because I really wanted to keep the focus on the blocks.  And, to be honest, I didn't know if I could handle any more red at that point.  Let's just say that although I've always wanted a red and white quilt, I may be a little tired of it and have tried to keep my distance from it ever since :)


For the inner border I used a red tone-on-tone gingham print from Sweetwater's fabric line, Wishes.  I liked that it had a dark and a light red 
on it - to pull in all the different shades of red from the quilt center.  
Plus, who can resist gingham on the bias? :)  

 
Mitering the outer border was a first for me.  I'm just glad that the stripes were small and relatively subtle so that if I was off it wouldn't be too noticeable (and I was off - pretty much on all 4 corners :)  Unfortunately I don't know the name/designer of my outer border and backing but they both have a vintage feel that I couldn't resist.


I really want this to be hand quilted, but I know myself and know that will NEVER happen.  So I am going to take it to a local group of ladies that hand quilt for hire and all the proceeds go to buy materials for patients at the Utah State Hospital.  I think it will be a win-win situation but it takes 6-8 months to get it back so you won't be hearing any more talk about this quilt for a long, long time!


 On a slightly different but related note, I wanted to let you all know that I was contacted at the end of last year by Karen Walker who is offering a Farmer's Wife Quilt Revival class on Craftsy that sounds really interesting.  It's a year long class (similar to the Farmer's Wife club I was in) that divides the blocks into different categories and techniques, advancing in skill as the year goes on.  She teaches modern piecing techniques and you can sign up for all 12 classes or just a few - the choice is yours!  Head on over to Karen's Craftsy pattern store or blog for more details.

If you'd like more details about my FW quilt journey click 
on "Farmer's Wife Club" under "Labels" on my sidebar.

Happy Quilting!
~ Amber

Monday, March 3, 2014

Quilty Fun Book Giveaway Winner





Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway for a brand new copy of Lori Holt's first book, Quilty Fun!  She definitely has some big fans out there!  I enjoyed hearing about your favorite blocks from Quilty Fun.  My favorite blocks are the houses, I think.  But they're all so much fun to make!


So the winner is Lani Glasser, who said, "My favorites are the houses and the trees."  Lani, you lucky duck!  I'm sending you an email.  Let me know your mailing address and I'll get this sent right off to you.  Congratulations and thanks to all of you for playing!

For those of you who have been sewing along with us and have uploaded your butterfly blocks to the Quilty Fun Sew Along Flickr Page, go check The Fat Quarter Shop's blog, The Jolly Jabber to see if you've won one of the other prizes!  They're already posted along with this weeks block ~ the spools! 

Happy quilting everyone!
~ Amber