Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dogwood Blossom Quilt

It is with jumping-around-my-sewing-room joy that I reveal my latest finish, my Dogwood Blossom Quilt ...

This quilt top was designed by Rachel Hauser, of Stitched in Color.

I started this quilt top at the end of 2013, before I began blogging. It was my first adventure in applique, and as far as applique goes, it’s very me. I love the bold graphic nature of the dogwood blossoms and the orange and cranberry and pink of the petals that compose them. I wouldn’t say that the applique was difficult. It was, however, time consuming and, as a result, easy to brush off for faster and higher-priority projects. (You know how that goes!)

To celebrate this finish, I’m entering this quilt in the applique category of the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.

If you’re visiting from the quilt festival, you should know that I’m a fairly new quilter, so many of my posts examine techniques I’ve tried out—for piecing, quilting, binding, you name it. In case you’re interested, here’s the nitty-gritty on this quilt ...


Fabric for the petals came from my scrap bin. Perhaps most note-worthy is the two Free Market Fancy fabrics (original run)—my last, last bits of them!—that are used in multiple blossoms. The petals are appliqued to squares of Kona Snow. The sashing and border are a soft cranberry from French General.

I'm crazy about the polka-dot binding. I definitely need more polka dots in my stash!


I sketch-stitched each petal to the Kona Snow backed with a stabilizer. The chocolate-brown thread and imperfect-on-purpose stitching gives the petals a little character, I think.


I started quilting by ditch-stitching in a cranberry thread along the sashing and border. My original plan was to FMQ around the blossoms, but all of my attempts were seriously ugly. In the end, on the advice from someone at my LQS, I used my regular piecing foot to echo-stich around the petals. The lip from the edge of the applique helped keep that foot on track. I really, really like the results. I didn’t really, really like turning my quilt around and around, however, which is why I echo-stitched just once around the dogwood blossoms instead of two or three times. : )

The quilting is best seen on the pieced back.

There’s a lot of inspiration on display during the Blogger’s Quilt Festival—I highly recommend checking it out! To view the other quilts, go to Amy’s Creative Side. Voting opens on May 22 and wraps up on May 29. The other quilt I’m submitting, Oh Christmas Tree, can be found here.

Linking up to Let’s Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday, and Finish It Up Friday ...

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Oh Christmas Tree!

Spring has finally come to New England. You may have been enjoying warmer weather for a while now where you are, but it’s only in the past few weeks that the forest around From Bolt to Beauty world headquarters has turned lush and green.

That’s not to say I’ve forgotten about the winter past. We New Englanders were scarred by the record snowfalls of early 2015, not to mention the coughs and colds and missed school days that came with the snow. It was during this past winter that I decided to tackle curve piecing with projects that ranged from potholders to journal covers, throw quilts to pillows.

Perhaps my favorite project from that period is my Oh Christmas Tree mini quilt ...

Featuring a variety of fabrics from my scrap bin and based on a design from Rachel Hauser (Stitched in Color), this mini measures 18.5 inches by 19.5 inches. I look at this project and think how I never would have made anything quite like it just two or three years ago. Back then, I didn’t have solid piecing skills for straight lines, let alone curves. I also didn’t have the confidence in fabric selection to put together what you see above.

If you follow my blog, you know that the most intimidating part of quilt making for me is the quilting itself. Despite that, I’ve quilted all of my projects, big and small, myself. My plan of attack is usually to do as little quilting as I can get away with in a project! I’m not to the point where I think my quilting, to date almost exclusively straight-line quilting, adds anything to my creations.

This project is the exception. The quilting here adds something to this mini. It brings movement and life to an otherwise simple Christmas scene. The final product would be something altogether different without it, don’t you think?

To celebrate this little beauty and show Mother Nature that I harbor no hard feelings about the winter of 2015, I’m submitting this quilt to the Blogger’s Quilt Festival in the mini quilt category.

There’s a lot of inspiration on display during the Blogger’s Quilt Festival—I highly recommend checking it out! To view the other quilts, go to Amy’s Creative Side. Voting opens on May 22 and wraps up on May 29. The other quilt I’m submitting, my Dogwood Blossom Quilt, can be found here.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day!

UPDATE: The winner of the B&C bundle is #313, dcargill. Congratulations!

Hello and welcome to Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day bonanza! If you’re a first-time visitor, I’m Michelle, a stay-at-home mom to two little monkey boys who sews in her every spare moment.

Mostly, I’m a quilts-and-bags kind of gal, as you can see from my most recent creations ...

Clockwise from top left: Cargo Duffle Bag, Oh Christmas Tree Mini,
Miranda Bag, Orange Peel Pillow

When I’m not chasing after my boys or sewing my latest project, I’m searching for my phone. If I have my phone in hand, then I’m looking for my slippers. Sigh. Sad, but true.

I’ve recently decided to start hoarding Bonnie and Camille fabric for a future quilt. Why? Moda does not rerun its fabric collections, and more often than not, I find myself missing out on fabulous lines, including those designed by B&C. And before I was a sewer, I was an antiquer, buying and selling post-WWII glass. I have all the antiques I need now, but I miss the hunt and it’s fun to troll off-the-beaten-path quilt shops for overlooked B&C gems.

I’d love someone to join me in this effort (read that as: I want to be your fabric enabler!), so I’m giving away eight fat quarters to jumpstart one lucky reader’s B&C stash. Some of the fat quarters are from Happy Go Lucky, and some are from April Showers. There’s even a fat from Marmalade for good measure.

This giveaway is open to anyone anywhere in the world. For a first chance to win, comment on this post, sharing an old fabric line that you love. One of my favorites is Denyse Schmidt’s Hope Valley.

Both old and new readers receive a second chance by following me and leaving a second comment. Please indicate how you follow me, whether it’s Bloglovin’, Feedly, RSS, Instagram (@frombolttobeauty), etc. Please don’t say that you follow me on Facebook—I’m not on Facebook!

This giveaway is open through Sunday, May 10, at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. I will email the winner and announce his or her name on this post by 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13. Please note: The fabric will not be shipped out until Monday, May 18, because I’m taking a sweet childless vacation with my husband. (Do you know of any quilt shops near West Palm Beach, Florida?!)

UPDATE: The giveaway is closed.

I know your reading time is limited, but give From Bolt to Beauty a shot. Both here and on Instagram, it’s all crafts all the time. If after a few weeks, my crafty adventures aren’t your cup of tea, no worries—we’ll part as friends.

Enjoy this round of Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day and good luck!

BTW: I typically respond to comments on my blog via email. Since I expect a lot of people to want a chance to win this prize, I doubt I’ll be able to follow up with everyone on this post. My apologies! Rest assured that I read every comment, though. : ) 

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