Friday, January 31, 2020

Seeing Double / Beauties Pageant 67


The Show Me Something Purple Linkup, hosted by Sarah Goer, was the kick in the pants I needed to finish my fifth and final version of Camille Roskelley’s Little Man Quilt, from her Simplify book.

Why five versions of the same baby quilt pattern? Because it’s an easy pattern whose yardage requirements are easily met by the fabric I have on hand. The first three versions I sewed were all for little boys (see them here, here, and here). My fourth and fifth quilts are going to sisters: This purple finish is for my 4-year-old niece, and its peach and blue counterpart (see picture below) is going to her little sister, who is scheduled to arrive by this time next week.


What I like so much about this pair is that they’re completely different quilts made from the same line of fabric, Rae Ritchie’s Seaside Carnival. The only print they have in common is the strip of ocean waves, a fabric by Janet Clare. You can see it at the top of this picture ...


My favorite print from the entire Rae Ritchie collection—beating out even the soft pretzels, featured in my fourth version—has proved to be the mermaids. Dear Stella has released that design in a different colorway, and I’m trying to come up with an excuse to buy some!


You would think that a fifth go-round with the same pattern would make me an expert, but I made more mistakes with this dang purple quilt than the others combined ... First, when I was quilting it, I realized that there is a discrepancy in dye lots: Two blocks are ever-so-slightly different from the other ones. The disparity is most noticeable in artificial light, and I fear it will become more prominent with each washing. I also had a weird experience squaring up the project after quilting. Until I remedied the situation, the quilt was more parallelogram than rectangle. Sigh. It’s a sign. After five finishes with the same pattern, it’s time to find another go-to baby quilt pattern!

DonnaleeQ was recently expressing a similar gripe to me via email. She said after 30 years of quilting, she still makes the occasional silly mistake. Whereas my pitfalls were dye lots and squaring up, she managed to cut a stack of squares the wrong size. (Been there, done that!) How about you? What amateur mistakes do you find yourself making, even after having sewn dozens if not hundreds of quilts?! Commiserate with the rest of us in the comments below. : )

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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.


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Friday, January 24, 2020

A Magic Patchwork Tutorial / Beauties Pageant 66


With Valentine’s Day less than a month away, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Cross My Hearts Quilt. It’s a cute quilt—one that now lives with a friend of mine in New Hampshire—but the real beauty is what’s inside the quilt. I used a quick and easy piecing method to make the pixelated heart blocks: I ironed squares to a piece of fusible interfacing, folded along a long seam, and sewed. Simple, right?


After making Cross My Hearts, I would not use this technique for another quilt-size project. (You can read my rationale here.) It’s a pretty perfect approach for things like pillows, though.

If this piecing shortcut or my heart block is new to you, great! Consider it an early Valentine’s gift from me to you ...


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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.


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Friday, January 17, 2020

Progress! / Beauties Pageant 65


So we’re 17 days into this new year, and I am happy to report that I’m making some good headway on projects. I’ve been alternating between things I prefer to do, like picking fabrics for new blocks, and things I have to do, like hand-sewing a hanging sleeve. The progress is slow but steady—I’m determined to make the most of this quiet, cold New England winter!

Projects that I plan on finishing this first quarter include ...

Scrappy Granny Squares

I just trimmed 15 blocks for this top and sewed 5 new ones. All I need is 10 more blocks and some skinny sashing, and I’ll have a quilt top!


Farmhouse Chic

Back in November, I wrote about my plan to tear through my Denyse Schmidt and Amy Butler stash. This project, then just a handful of blocks, is now a full-fledged flimsy.


Rainbow Strip-and-Flip #1

With no imminent need for a baby quilt, this project has been on the back burner for months. Heaven help me, I need to wrap this project up sooner rather than later—if not to gift to a newborn, then for my own peace of mind!


All three of these are my Q1 Finish-A-Long goals. A three-project to-do list is completely doable, right? (If you’re participating in the FAL this year, the posts that count are exclusively on Instagram. For more information, read the rules here.)

How is 2020 treating you? Share your recent triumphs in the comments below on in this week’s Beauties Pageant link-up!

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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.


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Friday, January 10, 2020

A Purple Retrospective / Beauties Pageant 64

It’s funny how this sewing hobby of mine has affected my relationship with color. After assembling fabric pulls for countless projects, I am much more comfortable using color and creating unique palettes. Sewing and quilting, for example, are responsible for my current love affair with orange and my affinity for red as a source of pop and interest. One color that has little place in my life despite my hobby is purple. I’m more of a warm-color girl, and although I find myself using greens and blues to some degree, purple rarely takes a big role in my projects.

So when Sarah Goer unveiled her new Sew Me Something linky and announced that the theme for January was purple, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to play. But a look through the From Bolt to Beauty archives proved me wrong. I have sewn with purple—orchid and eggplant and lavender. What follows is a look at some of those projects.

The Must-Have Fabric

When I saw this beautiful eggplant fabric, from Amy Butler’s Love collection, I bought many yards of it. It was an unusual fabric-buying strategy for me, but it resulted in two fabulous bags, one for me and one for my sister. (See the original posts here and here.)



The Workshop Quilt

Years ago, when I coordinated events for my guild, we brought Amy Garro to New England for a workshop and trunk show. I am not sure what drove me to purple for this project, but I love the results. Amy made her original quilt in blues and called it Icy Waters. My rendering of the same design in purple is called Grape Fizz. (See the original post here.)


The Scrap Buster

All it took was a project or two, and suddenly I had a pile of purple scraps. I paired stash with solid scraps from Grape Fizz and a cute fox print from Judy, of Sew Some Sunshine, to sew this Penny Patch quilt. I think it’s my favorite purple make to date! (See the original post here. Find the Penny Patch quilt-along at Stitched in Color here.)


Do you sew with purple? Let us know in the comments, and add your projects to Sarah’s Sew Me Something Purple link-up.


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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.


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Friday, January 3, 2020

Love Boldly / Beauties Pageant 63

Hello and happy new year!

I thought I’d start 2020 off here on the blog by introducing you to Love Boldly, the project I made for the American Patchwork & Quilting Stripes Challenge at QuiltCon. I’m happy to say that it was juried into the show and will be hanging in Austin in February!


An insignia on one of my older son’s shirts sparked the idea for this quilt. I started the design process by cutting up construction paper and playing with the pieces. Then I mocked up the design on graph paper and sewed a trial block, which I hated. So I played around with the design and colors more, this time in EQ7. I came up with three options and asked friends to chime in with their thoughts (because one can look at striped hearts only so many times objectively). Finally—finally!—I homed in on the design that would become Love Boldly.

For kicks, here are some of the EQ7 mock-ups I was working with. My inner Goldilocks thought the first one was a little too asymmetrical ...


This second one was too wide ...


But this third one was just right ...


I wish the design process was faster, especially since the block design I ran with entailed sewing 68 pieces, but that’s what I required to get the look I wanted. (Would you believe that now this large lapsize quilt is done, I think there’s an easier way to construct the blocks?! Sigh.)

Although I’m super pleased that Love Boldly will be enjoying a Texas vacation this winter, I’m sorry to say that I won’t be able to accompany it. If you’re going to QuiltCon, please take pictures—of Love Boldly, of the amazing quilts you see, of the fun you’re having. : )

There’s one more thing to share before I jump into this week’s Beauties Pageant. I wanted to give you the heads-up that Sarah Goer has started a new linky called Show Me Something. This month’s theme is purple quilts, and I’m going to use that prompt as the instigation to finish up a purple quilt I have in the works. (Older projects are fine to link up too, though.) Read all about this month’s linky and the idea behind Show Me Something here.


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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