Friday, June 14, 2019

Please Send Reinforcements! / Beauties Pageant 36

Quilty friends, summer vacation has begun. My sewing time, which was already hindered by Cain Renovation 2019, has been hijacked by two little boys. They won’t let me near my sewing machine. Even simple tasks, like viewing last week’s Beauties Pageant participants or responding to emails, have been denied. Yesterday I spent hours (hours!) playing ping pong with my 10-year-old. I’m still exhausted. From playing ping pong. For real. Please send reinforcements!

I don’t have anything sharable this week, so I’ll throw in some pictures of projects past for good measure and get right to this week’s event!

Pretty pictures of stuff I made years ago!

Even more pretty pictures of stuff I made years ago!


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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, June 7, 2019

I Heart Pieced Backs / Beauties Pageant 35

Quilters tend to fall into one of two camps: those who piece their quilt backs and those who don’t. I am a member of the former group. I almost always piece my backs. To me, piecing a back doesn’t mean joining two widths of identical fabric, though. (I despise matching repeats and avoid that approach whenever I can!)

I have a particular approach that involves stashing 2-yard cuts of fabric, cutting them lengthwise, and then filling in the middle with fabric I want out of my stash or scrap bin and into a quilt. (For details on this technique, click here.)

What results is often a chunky design that coordinates with the quilt top without competing with it. Check out some of my favorites from finishes past and the rationale behind each one ...

Piecing to Use a Precious Fabric

I was lucky enough to have yardage of a focal fabric from Basic Grey’s PB&J years after the collection went out of production, and I used it in the back below. I made this quilt for me, so now I get to enjoy that beloved print every day. (See the full project here.)


Piecing to Avoid Accumulating Scraps

I made my mother-in-law a quilt to coordinate with her family room. There were a lot of cool colors in the quilt, which are far from my preferred palette, so instead of filing the leftovers from the quilt top in my scrap storage, where they would likely linger for years, I incorporated them in the back. (See the full project here.)


Piecing to Feature a Large-Scale Print

I loved the Joel Dewberry print below and knew it deserved to exist uncut in a project, so onto a back it went! (See the full project here.)


Piecing to Highlight an Inspiration Fabric

The floral print below from Rifle Paper Co. set the palette for a quilt top. Of course I had to include a swath of it on the back. (See the full project here.)


Piecing to Do Something a Little Different

The front of this quilt included the tiniest bit of teal. I couldn’t successfully incorporate teal in the top, though, so I gave it its day in the sun on the back. (See the full project here.)


How do you decide what to do on the back of a quilt? Share with the rest of us in the comments!

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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, May 31, 2019

Elizabeth Hartman's Neighborhood Pattern / Beauties Pageant 34

You might remember that some Very Bad Things happened the last time I rented my local quilt shop’s longarm. In fact, I had to pull the partially quilted project off the machine and take it home for some unsewing. I’m pleased to report that despite the setback I successfully finished the quilt on my domestic!

I offered only sneak peeks of this quilt previously, but now that it has been gifted, I can give you the full reveal ...


This is Elizabeth Hartman’s Neighborhood pattern, from her book Modern Patchwork. At 45 inches by 60 inches, it’s a modestly sized throw quilt and features a diamond quilting pattern from Jacquie Gering’s Walk. It’s the third quilt I can check off my Finish-A-Long Q2 list.


I spent much more time selecting fabric for this project than I did sewing its 12 oversize blocks. I started by finding the bird fabric, which is from Kate Spain’s Early Bird line, and fussy-cutting the birds to incorporate as many bright colors as I could. I did have to buy a few fat quarters—most of which ended up being from Kate’s other fabric collections—to sew the birdhouses, but I otherwise used stash and scraps on the top and back of this quilt.


Have you encountered this phenomenon, too—when you labor over a fabric pull only to be surprised how quickly the quilt top comes together? 


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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, May 24, 2019

Just a Pouch / Beauties Pageant 33

In a perfect world, my Friday posts are inputted with accompanying pictures the preceding Thursday. In the real world, I am often still proofreading on Friday morning. And in my reality today, I had to write the whole thing, proofread it, and take pictures, which is especially unpleasant because my 8-year-old woke up at 3 o’clock this morning and has yet to return to bed. He is currently jumping around the basement. I, on the other hand, can barely walk, let alone string words together coherently. So please overlook any grammatical errors or jumps in logic. My main goal right now is to stay awake!

With that, I present you my tiny finish for the week. It’s a pouch ...



More specifically, it’s a Lined Drawstring Bag by Jeni Baker of In Color Order. I’ve made this pattern before. I suspect you have, too. This particular bag is one of a pair. In true Twiggy and Opal style (see Jayne’s post along those lines here), I found a fabric combination I liked and couldn’t stop at a single pouch. This bag’s twin was a prize at my guild meeting earlier this week. The version pictured here has no purpose yet, so I think I’ll just admire its beautiful Art Gallery fabrics for the time being.

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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, May 17, 2019

A Story of Longarming Woe / Beauties Pageant 32

This is an older quilt that features the same quilting design I am using
in my current project.

Apparently, I have confused everyone. The photos accompanying this post are from an old project I finished in 2017. My current project is not done yet.

I bring you a cautionary tale today, dear reader, about the project I’m quilting on my home machine right now. I was planning on finishing this quilt on a longarm. In fact, I scheduled some time at my local quilt shop to rent its Quilt Maker Pro and computerized Prostitcher, but some Very Bad Things transpired while I was there.

This quilt (see a sneak peek here) was supposed to be my third time working with a pantograph on the longarm. I was going to be efficient, people, because in the world of longarm rentals, time is money. I was going to load that machine like a pro, and I decided before I arrived to use a boxy meander quilting design. As I greeted the proprietor that morning, the caffeine from my morning tea had started to kick in, and I was feeling good!

Not quilted on a longarm but still pretty, right?

It took a few hours for things to go off the rails from there.

I did load the machine pretty easily, with only a few minor snafus. The shop owner helped me scale my pantograph and then left to tend to an employee and a notions rep. Meanwhile, a friend from guild appeared in the store, so I set the Prostitcher in motion and walked away from it to talk to her.

When I checked on the machine’s progress, a few minutes later, it was apparent that the aforementioned Very Bad Things were happening. I had forgotten to lock the various bars holding my project in place, so the quilt began to move as soon as the Prostitcher got going. I tried to unpick some of the mess and start things up again, but with a row partially quilted, I ended up taking the quilt off the machine and left for home.

I can honestly say if I had just asked for more help, the day’s events could have been very different. (Darn you, artificially inflated sense of self-confidence and stubborn desire to be independent!)

The project went into time-out for a week until I was ready to deal with it. With Jacquie Gering’s Walk in hand, I am using the same diamond design featured in the project below to quilt it.

Walk is the straight-line quilter’s secret to fancy quilting.

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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!)
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  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.


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Friday, May 10, 2019

My Oldest WIP / Beauties Pageant 31

My oldest WIP? Not anymore.

I have a love-hate relationship with quilting workshops. I love getting together with quilty friends, meeting popular teachers, and learning novel techniques. I hate leaving each class, however, with a new WIP.

In November 2017, I took a class on bias-strip applique with Latifah Saafir to make her No Latitude pattern. It was a great day. Latifah is lovely, and the tricks she shared were well worth the cost of the workshop. Plus, once I got my bias tape made, it was clear the pattern’s oversize blocks would come together quickly.

Don’t let the applique intimidate you. It’s easier than you think.

Months later, when I decided to finish the lap-size quilt I started in the class, I realized I didn’t have enough background fabric. Attempts to match it and buy more failed. When I was thinking about my sewing goals for 2019, I knew I had to finish this project. It had become my oldest WIP and had the potential to languish longer if I didn’t make it a priority. (That’s also why I added it to my Q2 Finish-A-Long goals.)

This was my solution to the problem (see picture at the top of the post): I made three blocks with the fabric I had, cut one of the blocks in half horizontally, and used a strip of leftover background fabric to make a square quilt. It hurt to cut one of my awesome blocks to make this design work—especially because I love Latifah’s original design with four complete blocks so very much—but I thought this was a clever and beautiful compromise.

I accentuated the minimalist design of the quilt with diagonal quilting lines
spaced an inch apart.

The finished product is approximately 60 inches square. I used Essex Linen in flax for the background and Kona Cotton in Peacock, Teal Blue, Green Tea, and Cyan for the bias strips and binding. Those colors were all pulled from the Heather Givans’ print on the back. (Which is exactly what I did with this quilt ... let a fabric from Heather Givans dictate my palette for the front. Weird, right?)

This print from Heather Givans’ Succulents line set the stage for the palette.

What have you been working on? I’m hoping you, too, have a fabulous finish to share in this week’s Beauties Pageant!

Linking up to Favorite Finish Monthly Linkup and Needle and Thread Thursday ...

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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, May 3, 2019

Finally, a Finish / Beauties Pageant 30

It has been a long time since I’ve unveiled a fully finished quilt! I’m happy to introduce you today to my latest foray into scrapping quilting: Valentine.


My version of this pattern, found in Elizabeth Hartman’s Practical Guide to Patchwork, was dictated by a fabric I used on the back. The recipient of this quilt is a librarian, and I could not resist splurging on some of Heather Givans’ Overdue print ...


The shades of periwinkle, aqua, teal, and berry that I pulled from the back were not my usual palette, but I had a surprising amount in my scraps and stash. It felt great to put those jewel tones to good use. The fabric deficits that remained were made up by friends who dug into their own scraps for me.




I quilted this project using the Prostitcher at my local quilt shop. It was my second time using a pantograph on the longarm, and everything went OK, although the quilting design I chose at this density required me to change the bobbin a dozen times. (Bleck.)

There are so many great fabrics in this quilt, including long-cherished prints from Catnap by Lizzy House and Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander.

I’m thrilled to add that this is one of my Q2 Finish-A-Long goals. : )

Linking up to Oh Scrap! ...

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My apologies to those of you who visited last week only to realize that the Beauties Pageant wasn’t happening. I was attending a local Special Olympics event instead of bragging about my own scrappy finish. (For the record, the games were a big, wet bust. My athlete would have nothing to do with the rain!) But the pageant is back today, and we’re all waiting to see this week’s participants!


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!
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Friday, April 19, 2019

Pretty Row Markers / Beauties Pageant 29


I’m in charge of purchasing items for my guild’s monthly raffles. It’s a good gig—I get to enjoy the process of buying fun stuff without growing my own stash.

To keep things interesting, I’ve been trying to come up with ideas other than books, patterns, and fabric to use as raffle prizes. For the May meeting, I’m assembling a collection of notions to raffle off and decided a set of handmade row markers might go over well with the group.

These markers are super easy to make with the tutorial at Leland Ave Studios. I ordered the number stickers and laminating pouches on Amazon and used Art Gallery’s Bundle Up: Geometrical Edition for the background fabrics. A set of stickers and a packet of laminating pieces produce two sets of 10 row markers, with some numbers left over.


I am hoping these will be a hit at the next meeting, but I need to pair them with other interesting notions. Got any ideas? Let me know in the comments!

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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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Thursday, April 18, 2019

2019 Finish-A-Long: Q2 Goals

My Finish-A-Long Q1 list was humble, composed of a mere four projects, and I managed to finish only one of the four before the deadline. (Lame!) But every finish counts as an entry to the prize drawings, and I won! I linked up my Jane Market Bags in the finish linky and scored a fat gift certificate to Sew Sweetness.

I have higher expectations for the next quarter—it’s my attempt to wrap up as much as I can before summer is in full swing. I’ll start with the new-to-you projects because the holdovers from Q1 aren’t nearly as fun to talk about ...

Neighborhood

I probably would have completed more of my Q1 goals if I weren’t sewing up this quilt top and pieced back. This pattern is called Neighborhood. It’s an older one from Elizabeth Hartman, before she started designing critter quilts, found in her Modern Patchwork. I haven’t decided on my plan of attack for the quilting yet.


Gypsy Wife

I’ve been chipping away at the blocks for my Gypsy Wife quilt in Bonnie and Camille fabrics. Current home renovations are affecting my sewing space, however, and I really need to jury-rig a design wall once things settle down. As a result, I won’t be finishing my quilt with the rest of the quilt-along participants, but I will finish it.


Valentine Quilt

This quilt, designed by Elizabeth Hartman and published in her Practical Guide to Patchwork, is super close to being done. I could have finished it at the 11th hour for Q1, but I spent time with my husband instead (#goodwifey).


Garden Plots

I went to make the back for my Garden Plots quilt only to discover that I had forgotten to add a border to the top and didn’t have the necessary fabric to remedy that. Instead of just ordering the fabric already, I bellyached about it. Does that happen to you? Do you let a silly snag derail a project for a disproportionate amount of time? (A friend from guild admitted at this week’s meeting that the purchase of a zipper postponed a bag project of hers for months!)


Apparently, this is a pitfall of mine, because I could make a comparable statement about ...

No Latitude

So I at one time had enough Essex Linen in flax for my No Latitude project, but then I used a chunk of it in a tote. This is Essex Linen from years ago, and the bolts I can get my hands on now don’t match the yardage I already have. Every so often I pull this project out, resolve to make it work with what I have on hand, and then return it to storage, discouraged. Here’s hoping this quarter be the quarter I tackle it once and for all.


I have other things in the works; this is the list I’m willing to commit to, though. Wish me luck!

https://capitolaquilter.blogspot.com/2019/04/2019-finish-long-q2-time-to-link-up.html

What’s on your to-do list for the next few months? Also: I am planning on buying cork fabric with that Sew Sweetness gift certificate. If you have any experiences with cork fabric, please share them below. Thanks in advance!

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Friday, April 12, 2019

Pageant Highlight Reel / Beauties Pageant 28

As you are reading this, quilty friends, I am at an indoor water park with two little boys. It’s back-to-back days of splashing in the wave pool and going down the slides and trying to keep track of my kids. (So not exaggerating on that last point.) At the moment, I am likely anticipating the need for a nap when I get home and preparing myself for an evening on the couch instead of a productive session at my sewing machine.

I may be running around with the boys, but I still have sewing on my mind, including these projects from past Beauties Pageants ...

Lisa linked up this Bloem Basket from an Instagram sew-along. I love how she took the opportunity to use a large-scale print on the exterior—pretty!


Alice used an online tutorial to make up her Octopus’s Garden quilt. Look at that strong geometry and bold palette!


And Bernie, of Needle and Foot, made this version of Meadow Mist Designs’ Flock of Geese pattern. Be still my geese-loving heart!


If you have a recent finish to share, I hope you’ll include it in this week’s pageant ...


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


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