Friday, October 18, 2019

Choosing Sanity This Christmas / Beauties Pageant 53

About this time every year, I make the same resolution: Christmas prep is going to be a sane event for me. I vow to limit the number of handmade gifts I will give to family and friends. I decide to buy presents for my kids’ teachers instead of sewing something. I remember that some of my best holiday sewing happens in January, when I’m still riding the Christmas-spirit high without the pressure of a December 25th deadline.

Then sometime, usually by mid-November, all that wisdom flies out the door and I’m making 13 drawstring pouches or 27 quilted tissue holders!

But not this year. I have a three-pronged resolution for 2019. Will you help keep me accountable?

1. I am not going to touch the Christmas fabric I bought at last year’s post-holiday sales. It can wait until 2020.

Return to Winter’s Lane by Kate and Birdie

Vintage Holiday by Bonnie and Camille

Juniper Berry by Basic Grey

2. I will make a wall hanging or two (but definitely not 13!) using Sterling Sewn’s new Log Cabin Home for the Holidays pattern. I am thinking one will be for me and any others for those who deserve special recognition come Christmastime.

I got to pattern-test the new holiday-themed blocks from Sterling Sewn. They’re crazy cute!

3. I will make some lovely presents for friends, but Ill use the gift-giving opportunities called Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day to distribute them. A February or May deadline is much more doable.

This block just needs 29 friends to make a quilt top!

If you have fallen victim to the allure of holiday sewing in the past, the From Bolt to Beauty readers can keep you on track! Share your own resolutions in the comments below.

* * *


The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, October 11, 2019

Another Retreat, Please / Beauties Pageant 52


Last weekend, I traveled to Cape Cod with my guild for our annual fall retreat. It was so darn good. I didn’t have tons of time to prep new projects, so I grabbed what I had in the works already, figuring I’d get done what I could get done.

I completed an as-yet-unrevealed project and pieced its back, I sewed two tops for baby quilts, I made good headway on a QuiltCon submission, and I finished up some bee blocks for a charity quilt. Honestly, I was so productive that I thought I might run out of things to do, and if I had gone for three nights instead of two, I think I would have!

A highlight of the weekend was when we presented Ahoy Sailor to the retreat coordinator at the inn where we stay and sew. I pieced the quilt for this project, and guild mates contributed to the quilting, binding, and labeling. The recipient was very touched. Watching people accept handmade quilts I have contributed to will never get old. : )

I have already written about the fabric pull for this project, as well as piecing it. But here she is in all of her quilted and bound glory, against the backdrop of the Cape Cod shoreline ...


Beautiful, right?

I have very few scraps from this project because I used the big chunks I had on the pieced back ...


I am often at a loss about how to quilt a project. When I was asking my guild mates to consider quilting this particular one, however, I knew the quilting design had to complement the subject matter, and I knew it could be done successfully with a walking foot, a darning foot, or a longarm. Anything that created a sense of waves across the width of the quilt would work. A longarmer volunteered to quilt this, and she chose a zigzag with a little personality. Perfect!

Do you attend quilt retreats? If so, what are your favorite parts of weekends away with quilty friends?

* * *


The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, October 4, 2019

No Time to Talk! / Beauties Pageant 51

Dear readers, I am writing this at 11 o’clock the night before my guild’s fall quilt retreat on Cape Cod. All my sewing stuff is in my car, ready to go, but I still have so much to do ... like pack my bag and make some food and do a dozen other un-fun, un-quilty things. There’s no time to write or take pics, so I’ll direct you to the search box on the right. Type in “retreat,” and you’ll discover what I have to say about going on retreat.

If you can’t be bothered to do that (and who am I to judge? this barely qualifies as a blog post!), check out two of my favorites ...
Now what this post needs is some pictures. Add your latest finishes to this week’s linky!

* * *


The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, September 27, 2019

Pageant Highlight Reel / Beauties Pageant 50

It’s been over a year since I started the Beauties Pageant, and I have to admit that hosting the linky has proved to be a blessing and a curse. Don’t get me wrong: I love the little community of regular participants the weekly event has created for me—in fact, it’s renewed my interest in blogging. But it has also introduced me to countless new quilt patterns. When will I find the time to make them all?

Take, for example, Jen’s Summer Swoon quilt. I’ve known of this pattern, from Camille Roskelley, for years. It had fallen off my radar, however, until I saw Jen’s version and was reminded that it requires just 16 fat quarters to make. Heck, I’ve got 16 fat quarters! It’s the time to sew up 16 fat quarters that I am short on.


Then there’s Sew Yummy’s Rainbow Swirl quilt. Six years of quilting have turned me into a lover of rainbows—it’s impossible to look at one in quilt form without smiling. The next time I’m in need of a rainbow project, this will be my go-to pattern.


And Susan, of QuiltFabrication, has just released a new pattern, called Just Batty, that she shared in last week’s Beauties Pageant. I don’t make many holiday-themed quilts, but this design has me rethinking that policy ...


Have you seen something in a past pageant that you’ve added to your quilty to-do list? If so, please share in the comments!

* * *


The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, September 20, 2019

Fellow Pieced-Back Fans / Beauties Pageant 49

There’s a fun event going on right now on Instagram that I wanted to tell you blog readers about. Andrea, of 3rd Story Workshop, is hosting a quilt back party, which turns the spotlight on the works of art on the back of our quilts. If you have an Instagram account, you can still get in on the action and be entered to win some cool prizes by posting some backs of your own. Even if you aren’t on Instagram, you can view what others are posting through a web browser. Just click here!

So far I’ve posted two backs to the party ...

The first is from my Neighborhood quilt, finished this past spring. It’s a good example of my quilt-back philosophy: Use up yardage. For this quilt, that meant first taking the Kate Spain/Early Bird fabrics I didn’t use on the top and adding swaths of orange and blue from my stash. The result is a cool transparency effect.

See the full post on this project here.

The second is found on a Christmas quilt I made for my family. When I couldn’t fit these three tree blocks on the quilt’s top, I knew I had to incorporate them in the back. The finished product features those orphan blocks and an awesome Anna Maria Horner print, which I had stashed for years, just waiting for the right project.

See the full post on this project here.

Fun, right? For more examples of my pieced backs and the thinking behind them, check out this post: I Heart Pieced Backs. For my basic approach for piecing backs, check out How I Piece My Backs.

* * *


The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, September 13, 2019

Quilty Orphan Adoption / Beauties Pageant 48


Cynthia Brunz, over at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework has many clever ideas. One of my favorites is her annual Quilty Orphan Adoption event, when quilters are encouraged to offer up their abandoned projects or unwanted blocks. I have two sets of blocks that are looking for a good home.

The first, pictured at the top of the post, is a set of seven concentric hexagons, all pieced by hand and still attached to the papers. Each measures 6 inches from point to point. Five of them have the printed centers, and two have the plain gray centers. I also have more of the corresponding fabric line to include in the package (all of those pieces are a fat eighth or smaller).

The second set is pictured below. It contains two sailboat blocks (both 8.5-inch square, unfinished) from this quilt, along with some 2.5 inch strips of the striped fabric used in the sails. It’s worth mentioning that the pattern I followed to make them is a free one from Suzy Quilts, in case you would want to make additional sailboats yourself.


If you’re interested in either of these lots, please comment on the original version of this post. (In other words, if you use a reader like Bloglovin’, you must click through to my actual site and comment directly on the post.) These giveaways are open to U.S. addresses through Monday, September 16, at 8 p.m. Eastern time. I will pay for shipping. If there’s more than one interested party, I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner.

UPDATE: The sailboat blocks are headed to Sheila, and Dawn is the recipient of the hexagons. I can’t wait to see what they do with these bits from my sewing table!

Thanks in advance for helping me clean up my sewing space!

* * *


The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, September 6, 2019

QuiltCon Season / Beauties Pageant 47

These ombre fabrics, from V and Co, are going into a new design of mine.

For me, the first day of school also signifies the start of QuiltCon season. Submissions to the show close on November 30, so by the time my boys are back in the classroom and my days are more my own, there are three months left to go.

In general, I’m not a show-quilt maker. I have displayed 47XY+21 at two shows—QuiltCon and the Vermont Quilt Festival (where it won a first-place ribbon)—and plan on submitting it to a few others because I believe in sharing the message behind it. I am, however, a QuiltCon-quilt maker. The audience at QuiltCon is my people, and I get a thrill from seeing my quilts on display when I attend the conference and show.

Another design I hope to submit will be super colorful.

My philosophy with submitting to QuiltCon is that I can make anything I want, and buy any required fabric I want, as long as I legitimately want to make the quilt. (I’ve abandoned plenty of clever project ideas because I decided I wouldn’t want the finished project in my life after the show.) I also try to submit my projects early (by, say, October 15) and believe in resubmitting past rejections. Circa 1870, for example, was rejected for QuiltCon 2018 but accepted for the 2019 show. For the resubmission, I took a new picture—one on a white background instead of against the fall foliage and held up by my husband—and placed it in a different category, Modern Traditionalism, instead of its original one, Piecing. I am not sure whether the category change made a difference, but I think the new photograph did.

So although I have a long list of WIPs that needs attention, it’s all QuiltCon all the time at my sewing machine these days. I have two quilts to resubmit and hope to finish two new ones. Wish me luck!

* * *


The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Quilters Meet and Greet

https://benitaskinner.blogspot.com/2019/09/2019-online-quilters-meet-greet.html

Hello, everyone! Today is the launch of the 2019 Online Quilters Meet & Greet, hosted by Benita of Victoriana Quilt Designs. By visiting the main event page and checking out participants’ blogs, you will find new quilt bloggers to follow and have the opportunity to enter to win a sweet grand prize that includes fabric, thread, notions, and more.

* * *

If you’re new here, I’m Michelle and you’ve landed at From Bolt to Beauty, where I record my quilty adventures. I have been quilting for over six years and blogging about quilting for five. I’m a modern girl and love bold and graphic designs, oversize blocks, and lots of negative space in my quilts. You can browse some of my favorite projects below. If you like what you see, let’s keep in touch!
With Third Time’s the Charm, I made up for the minimalist design and palette with size.
Some of these flying geese are 40 inches in length!

Near Wild Heaven is my ode to oversize stars and the color yellow.

I based the design for Circa 1870, which was displayed at QuiltCon 2019, on an antique house in the small New England town I call home.

Mix and Mingle is my unique interpretation of a nine-patch and was shown at QuiltCon 2017.
I also host a weekly link-up of finishes called Brag About Your Beauties Pageant, or just the Beauties Pageant. Visit each Friday to see the projects that others are checking off their to-do lists. If you’re in need of a new project yourself, peruse the From Bolt to Beauty tutorials page or browse my galleries of finished quilts (here and here). Current or aspiring bag makers should head to my gallery of bags and pouches as well as the Cargo Duffle Sew-Along page. The sew-along is over, but my tips for making your own Cargo Duffle are still posted to help you navigate the pattern.

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to go main event page to visit others in the Online Quilters Meet & Greet!
https://benitaskinner.blogspot.com/2019/09/2019-online-quilters-meet-greet.html


Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, August 30, 2019

Ahoy, Sailor! / Beauties Pageant 46

A completed quilt top!

Finishing a quilt top always feels good, but finishing a top and knowing you’ll be passing it on to others for quilting and binding is even better. Such is the case with my current project, a version of Suzy Quilts’ Ahoy Sailor pattern.

I noticed after the top was finished that the fish on the left are upside down. I was contemplating fixing the problem until I remembered my recent visit to the New England Aquarium. Guess what my older son and I saw there in the giant central tank. Fish swimming upside down!

This quilt is a gift from my guild to someone who helps make our fall retreats such a success. (See an in-process post about this quilt here.) I chose this design both because it was a free pattern and because there were only 14 boats to sew. I had the best of intentions to rally my guild mates to piece the blocks, but we were under a time crunch (less than two months to deliver the quilt!) and I realized I would spend more time organizing the group effort than I would if I just banged the blocks out myself.

This low-volume print filled with nautical terms was a huge score. It’s been out of print for years and was perfect for this project.

In the end, it may have been for the best. This pattern involves cutting many of the pieces to an eighth of an inch, which I found odd, and the instructions for trimming the half right rectangles to size lack the precision I like to see in a pattern. By the 14th boat, though, I achieved a level of proficiency that a collection of quilters all making a block or two wouldn’t have realized.

What are your pet peeves about quilting patterns? I have a love-hate relationship with patterns. I approach most with a sense of distrust (maybe I’ve been burned by too many in the past?), and because I aim to use stash instead of buying new fabric, I’m always trying to make my fabric work with the requirements of the pattern at hand.

* * *


The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, August 16, 2019

Sewing the Seven Seas / Beauties Pageant 45


I had a legit reason to buy some new fabric recently. : )

I volunteered to organize a thank-you quilt for the woman who oversees my guild’s fall retreat. She works at the inn where my guildmates and I stay and sew, and really works hard to make it a pleasant event for all of us. After some snooping around, I learned that she likes blues and greens of the ocean and would enjoy a quilt with a nautical theme.

With Suzy Quilts’ Ahoy Sailor pattern in hand, I ordered some Bonnie and Camille fabrics, including some out-of-print Daysail prints and a few basics. (See the picture, above. Longtime readers might remember that I sewed with Daysail when I was designing my Bring on the Dancing Horses project.) The text print is all marine terminology. It’s the perfect ocean-themed low-volume print. I adore it!

From there, I added a bundle of Art Gallery fabrics and started making sailboats.

The Art Gallery fabrics come from two collections: Loved to Pieces by Mister Domestic and Sirena by Jessica Swift.

This striped print adorns two of the sailboats and will provide a border around the entire quilt.

I’m pretty pleased with how the blocks are coming together so far and think the recipient will like it!

If you have an interest in making a nautical-themed quilt yourself, here are other pattern possibilities I discovered during my research:

* Storm at Sea using AccuQuilt dies
* Elizabeth Hartman’s Sea Urchins
* Barbara H. Cline’s Under the Sea
* Camille Roskelley’s Cheerio

* * *


The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, August 9, 2019

Little Farmer Quilt / Beauties Pageant 44


My philosophy these days is I can sew anything I want as long as I already own the fabric to make it. I do make an occasional exception—like, if I need background fabric or if a few print additions would flesh out a fabric pull—but for the most part, this strategy is helping me prune my stash, fat quarter by fat quarter.

Most baby quilt patterns work within these parameters, and as a friend’s due date approached earlier this summer, I started cutting for another Little Man Quilt. This pattern, from Camille Roskelley’s Simplify, is one I’ve made before (here and here). I knew that with some scraps of Stacy Iest Hsu’s Farm Fun in hand, I could transform this pattern into a quilt for a little farmer.


First, I added the Kona Parchment solid and the sweet green sprouts to the fabric pull. Then I wasn’t sure where to take the palette. Because of my stash-busting philosophy, my supply of prints that read as one color is dwindling, and I had limited options for supporting prints. The yellows and blues I had on hand didn’t work, so I decided to incorporate red and green, resorting to using some 10-inch squares I had set aside for my in-process Bonnie and Camille Gypsy Wife Quilt. (Let’s hope stealing from Peter to sew for Paul doesn’t get me in trouble later on!)


Honestly, I was somewhat nervous with my selections as I pieced the blocks—after all, there are many more pretty strawberries and wildflowers on this quilt top than there are manly tractors!—but I’m hoping my friend and her baby will like it. And I’m proud that there are only splashes of white in the finished piece. My inclination with quilt tops in general is to go with tons of white, and that’s just not practical for a baby.

My Little Farmer Quilts is the first one I’m checking off my Q3 Finish-A-Long list!

* * *


The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Follow on Bloglovin