Thursday, March 15, 2018

Modern Plus Sign Book Blog Hop: Rick Rack Runner

I am no stranger to plus sign quilts. I’ve made a bunch of them, and some of my favorites were created by quilt designer Cheryl Brickey. Maybe you remember my Outlined Plus quilt or Birds in Blue project? Both of them were designed by Cheryl.

Recently, Cheryl teamed up with Paige Alexander, of Quilted Blooms, to write Modern Plus Sign Quilts: 16 Dynamic Projects, a Variety of Techniques. I knew before I opened it up that this book would offer unique designs and well-written patterns. It did not disappoint!

For the Modern Plus Sign Book Blog Hop, I decided to make the Rick Rack Runner, a project sized generously enough that it could serve as a bed runner. I opted to trim it down so I could gift it to a friend as a table runner this summer ...

I stayed true to the original—designed, pieced, and quilted by Paige—choosing a light background color (my beloved Kona Snow) that would highlight some carefully chosen fabrics for the pluses. Then I dove into my Bonnie and Camille stash to assemble a modern version of the traditional red, white, and blue Fourth of July palette. I’m delighted with how it turned out!

This is Paige’s original, from the book.

I took the back as an opportunity to use more from my Bonnie and Camille collection, making a simple patchwork of 5-inch charm squares. It may seem like unnecessary extra work for the back of a project, but I tend to gravitate toward B&C’s more saturated prints. This back was a great way to give those lower-volume charms a life outside of my stash. (For more on that back, including how I cut corners on the pressing, click here.)

All those angles in the pieced quilt top needed some softening, so following the instructions in Jacquie Gering’s Walk book, I quilted a large, soft S-shape diagonally on the runner and then echo-quilted out from there. It was a fun break from my usual straight-line quilting and was surprisingly forgiving.

I experienced the usual pitfalls with this project—trimming threads I was supposed to bury, unpicking and resewing a binding that should have been easier to finish, scrubbing off schmutz that I managed to get on the quilt top. (Ack!) It all worked out in the end, though, and I’m excited to give this summery runner to my friend in a few months.

The blog hop for Cheryl and Paige’s book continues through March 23rd. Be sure to check out other bloggers’ plus sign finishes and visit the authors’ blogs for daily giveaways! You can purchase your own copy of Modern Plus Sign Quilts here, and both Cheryl and Paige are selling signed copies in their Etsy shops.

Enjoy the rest of the hop!

Modern Plus Sign Book Blog Hop

Monday, March 12th
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Tuesday, March 13th
Soma @ Whims and Fancies
Ann @ Brown Paws Quilting
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod
Shelley @ The Carpenter’s Daughter Who Quilts

Wednesday, March 14th
Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
Jen @ A Dream and a Stitch
Abigail @ Cut & Alter
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Sandra @ mmm! quilts
Karen @ Run Sew Fun

Thursday, March 15th
Linda @ Flourishing Palms
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Liz @ Savor Every Stitch
Stacey @ Stacey In Stitches
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty [That’s me!]
Patty @ Elm Street Quilts
Melanie @ A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog

Friday, March 16th
Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts
Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts
Ruth @ Charly and Ben’s Crafty Corner
Christa @ Christa Quilts

Monday, March 19th
Jessica @ Quilty Habit
Cindy @ Hyacinth Quilt Designs
Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter
Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

Tuesday, March 20th
Tish @ Tish N Wonderland
Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine
Emily @ The Darling Dogwood
Wanda @ Wanda’s Life Sampler
Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good

Wednesday, March 21st
Anja @ Anja Quilts
Kate @ Smiles from Kate
Sue @ Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Carole @ From My Carolina Home
Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts

Thursday, March 22nd
Debbie @ Esch House Quilts
Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts
Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
Janice @ Color Creating and Quilting
Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne

Friday, March 23rd
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday ...

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Odori Quilt-Along

Hello and welcome to From Bolt to Beauty! If you’re new to these parts, I’m Michelle and I quilt a lot (like, more than I will ever admit to my husband).

I was so pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Fat Quarter Shop and Art Gallery Fabrics recently to sew my own Odori quilt, a free pattern and tutorial that uses a specialized ruler to make spider webs.

Here is my Odori, all quilted and bound and ready to be used. Beautiful, right?

For this project, I was allowed to choose any Art Gallery fabric I wanted. I love AG—the colors, the variety of designs, the super-soft hand—and it didn’t take me long to home in on Amy Sinibaldi’s Little Town collection. I have a weakness for Christmas fabric, and Little Town’s tiny houses and pine needles have a longer shelf life than other Christmas lines. Its palette contains gray-blues and pinks that, I think, will allow this quilt to be displayed and used from Thanksgiving through Valentine’s Day. I often gift the quilts I make, but I may have to keep this one for me (even though I just made a Christmas quilt for my family)!

I knew I wanted to use this print with the tiny houses, but I wasn’t sure
whether there was enough color in this design to use it in the spider webs or
whether it was low volume enough to use it as the background. Once I started
cutting and sewing my quilt top, I came to the conclusion that it would work well
either way.

The beauty of the Odori pattern is that it’s easier to assemble than it looks. Following the instructions, I sewed strip sets and used the Creative Grids Spider Web Ruler, provided to me by the Fat Quarter Shop, to cut my wedges. The process was gratifying and I had extra fabric, so even after I completed my six rows for a 50-inch square quilt, I kept sewing. I added two more rows for a rectangular quilt that measures 50 inches by 67 inches. (Note: If you want to supersize your Odori, buy the foreground prints as listed in the pattern and an additional half-yard of the background. Follow the instructions, saving the extra wedges and the ends of the strip sets for use in the two additional rows. You will also need to make an extra strip set with fabrics B, C, and D.)

I quilted this project with an all-over two-inch grid.

I think the hardest part of the assembly is getting the center points of each block right. Here is how I recommend doing it ...

1. First, place the two halves of a block right sides together, line up the center-most seam with pins, and sew a scant quarter-inch seam through just that intersection. (Don’t sew the entire length of the seam.)

2. Open up the block to see how the points line up. If you aren’t happy with it, unpick the stitches and try again.

3. If you like what you see, place the fabrics right sides together again, pin the other intersections (I like using a pin on either side of the matched-up seams), and sew the entire seam. Be sure to sew right over those initial trial stitches from step 1.

4. Open your block up and press.

Pretty nice, right? I have another example of this shortcut here.

To make your own Odori quilt, head to the Fat Quarter Shop’s Jolly Jabber blog for the free pattern and video tutorial. : )

Linking up to Let’s Bee Social and Needle and Thread Thursday ...

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

A First Go with Noodlehead's Market Bag

Friends, I had the best of intentions of posting a new tutorial for my Still Pretty Simple Jelly Roll Quilt this past week. It was going to be a Valentine’s gift for those of you who come back to From Bolt to Beauty post after post. (Bless your sweet, quilt-loving hearts!) Then non-quilting life got in the way and my sewing priorities changed. Boo!

In the meantime, I’m going to catch you up on some yet-to-be-blogged about 2017 finishes—like this, the Market Bag I made for my sister ...

This is the first project I’ve made from Handmade Style, by Anna Graham of Noodlehead. In general I tend to approach patterns with a wary heart. In a time when anyone with a word-processing program and basic graphic design knowledge can churn out patterns, I’ve been burned by inaccurate material lists or less-than-stellar directions. But Anna I trust 100%, and this pattern only bolstered her reputation with me.

This bag is my style—roomy without cluttering things up with a lot of pockets. (I can sew pockets just fine, but I’m not good at using them.) I used up bits left over from this quilt, which makes me especially happy. Those birds and flora look so good together.

I really enjoyed constructing this bag and foresee making another one (number 2 will be for me!), but I have a few notes for my future self before she starts sewing:
  • I may have lost some width and/or height on the exterior of this bag after quilting—I don’t know for sure because it didn’t occur to me to measure. Next time, future self, consider quilting slightly larger front and back panels first and then cutting the exterior down to size. You’ll waste some ByAnnie’s stabilizer in the process, but it will be OK. Promise.
  • The lining on this first bag ended up rather bulky, and I wasn’t pleased with how it fit into the exterior. I suspected that would be the case as I progressed with the project, but I was under the gun time-wise and just ran with it. I highly suggest that my future self take her time and get the fit she wants. This may include cutting down the lining considerably (Elisabew recommends lopping off a full 1.75 inches!) and/or not interfacing the lining. 
You might think that those kinks would dissuade me from embarking on this pattern again, but they don’t. (And my sister seemed really pleased with the bag.) I enjoy figuring out bag patterns and then making them a little better on the second go-round. The question, as always, is when I can find the time to make one again. Hopefully, it will happen before this experience fades too far into my memory!

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