Friday, December 18, 2020

Elephant Caravan Quilt / Beauties Pageant 110

 
It’s been such a weird year, quilty friends, and I’ve been celebrating every accomplishment I can. Some days, that could be getting showered and dressed before I walk my son out to the school van. Other days, it’s having the emotional wherewithal to exercise even though I would rather not or to clean my house even though no one but my family will see it to appreciate it (and let’s face it: I live with three boys who will not appreciate it). Today my accomplishment is a finish that I’m calling Elephant Caravan.

 
It’s a simple design with good-size blocks, and I was thankful to find this design in my copy of Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters. The pattern, called Cub Crawl, was designed by John Q. Adams, aka Quilt Dad. (BTW: What happened to him? He seemed to fall off the face of the modern-quilting world a few years ago after writing multiple books and being an integral part of the Fat Quarterly team.)

I honestly don’t know what I would have sewn if I hadn’t stumbled upon this pattern. I had a bundle of Birch Organics fabrics to build this quilt around, and I wanted to feature the elephants without chopping them up too much. The long rectangular blocks were the perfect solution, and I easily fleshed out the fabric pull with other bits from the Birch bundle as well as solids and geometrics from my scraps and stash. Discerning eyes will see some of Zen Chic’s Comma collection and Bonnie and Camille’s Miss Kate line, all oldies but goodies. : )

I finished off the project with more Miss Kate on the back, simple diagonal quilting, and a Grunge binding with fabric left over from this project.


Have you finished a project this week? Share your triumphs—quilt related and otherwise!—in the linky and comments below. 
 
Before I sign off, I have a few housekeeping items to address ...
 
Next Beauties Pageant on January 8
 
Because Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on the next two Fridays, I won’t be posting another Beauties Pageant until the first Friday in 2021. But save up those finishes—we will want to hear all about them on January 8!
 
$5 Patterns Through December 31
 
Both my Warm and Cool Coin Quilt and the expanded version of my Ridiculously Easy Jelly Roll Quilt are on sale for $5 each through the end of the year. It’s just my way of celebrating that we’ve made it to the end of 2020! Go to Quilt Pattern Mart to purchase. : )


Follow Me On ...


 
* * *


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

Friday, December 11, 2020

The Walking Foot Makes All the Difference / Beauties Pageant 109

As I sit down to write this post, I’m thinking there’s little left to say about my finish for this week. It’s my second Merrily quilt, featuring a fabric collection of the same name from Gingiber, and it’s almost identical to the original one I made earlier this year. (If you want more information about the pattern and fabrics and such, head to my July 31 post. And yes, Lark Cottons still has three of the panels in stock.)

The most noteworthy difference is the quilting. Merrily #1 was shipped off to a longarmer for a swirly quilting treatment with holly and berries. I quilted Merrily #2 myself, in a simple crosshatch. I really like it and—get this!—I really enjoyed quilting it with my new walking foot.

 

Now, I knew that my walking foot was worn down. I could see it in the quality of my quilting as I encountered more and more puckering. As a rule, whenever puckering happens, I decrease the pressure of my presser foot because too much pressure causes puckering, right? Yes, usually. I think that plan of attack was making the problem worse in this situation, however. My old walking foot had been used so much—and rendered so ineffective—that I probably should have been increasing the pressure, just to get the foot to move the quilt sandwich through my machine better.

A picture may best illustrate what I mean. The one below compares the two feet. The rubber bits on my old foot, on the right, were so worn that it’s amazing that I managed to quilt anything with it.

Do you quilt with a walking foot, and if you do, do you replace it regularly? I had been using my previous one for over five years. I’m going to keep track of how many projects I can quilt with it before replacing it again.

Follow Me On ...


 
* * *


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

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Guess Who at Needle and Foot

Need a little levity in your day? Head to Needle and Foot for a fun game of Guess Who!

Match your favorite quilt bloggers to pictures of their younger selves to have a little fun and perhaps win a prize!

Yours truly is included in the lineup. If you need a hint about which one is me, all I can say is that I’ve been rocking the fivehead since 1974. (Fivehead [noun], a large forehead.) HA!

Good luck!

Friday, December 4, 2020

Thimbleblossoms' Norway Quilt / Beauties Pageant 108

In November 2019, I did something scary: I counted my WIPs. After a spate of making decisions, pairing long-stashed fabrics with patterns, there were a lot. (Well, a lot for me.) And when all was said and done, a list of 21 WIPs was staring me down.

The good news is that just over a year later, only six projects remain on that list! One of those I’ve checked off recently is Thimbleblossoms’ Norway Quilt!

Big, Bold Blocks

I fell in love with this pattern, in part, because of its super-big blocks and the super-big impact they create. Each of these lovelies measures in at 26 inches square, bringing the quilt top to 78 inches square. 

For me, the tricky thing about sewing this pattern from stash is that each block requires a third of a yard of the focal fabric. (I checked the math, and quarter-yards or fat quarters won’t work.) Lucky for me, I had been collecting prints from Kate & Birdie’s Christmas collections in generous half-yard cuts or bigger. : )

The Fabric Selection

The fabric I had on hand dictated my decisions with Norway. Half-yards from K&B’s Winter’s Lane, Return to Winter’s Lane, and Winterberry were put to good use. I also employed some bigger cuts, like the pale blue pine branch fabric, also from K&B, which I used for those chunky crosses in the secondary pattern. The background is Kona Snow, because I buy it by the bolt. (Ha!) I picked up the almost-solid red and brown snowflake print at my local quilt shop to round out the palette.

My stashed cuts further determined the design of the back. Here, I featured a block that was demoted from the quilt top.

To top off this triumph of stash usage, I listed the K&B scraps on FeelGood Fibers, and they sold quickly.

The Quilting

I’ve spoiled myself since the pandemic hit: I’ve sent five projects out for longarming instead of tackling them myself. Doing so has helped me check WIPs off my quilty to-do list, but it’s come at a cost. Even though this beauty was large for my domestic to handle, I chose to quilt it myself to save money and get the finished quilt on my bed faster.

I began quilting parallel lines on the diagonal 3 inches apart. Because the quilt sandwich was so large and bulky, I started each line in the middle of the quilt and progressed outward. I buried a lot of threads with this approach, but it was worth it. I considered adding another set of quilting lines to make a cross-hatch but instead quilted a parallel line in between the original ones. (I sewed this second set of lines edge to edge, which worked well.) I’m pretty darn pleased with how it came out!


 
 
Now it’s your turn: Share your finishes in this week’s linky! BTW ... I owe a bunch of you replies from last week’s comments. They’re coming! If you don’t receive replies to comments you’ve left for me, you’re likely a no-reply blogger. In that case, drop me an email at frombolttobeauty [at] gmail [dot] com with your email address, and I can start replying!

Follow Me On ...


 
* * *


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

Friday, November 27, 2020

Still Ridiculously Easy / Beauties Pageant 107

In a year when my world (and I suspect yours!) has gotten smaller, commitments have evaporated, and trips outside of the neighborhood are few and far between, anything goes. One day, I’m thinking that I need to make new window treatments for my living room, and the next, I’ve removed the drapes and rods, my husband has spackled the holes, and the two of us are debating a new color for the walls. Is this a project we would have taken on in a normal version of 2020? Maybe not. But this year we do it because we can.

Similarly, when a reader contacted me about my Ridiculously Easy Jelly Roll Quilt pattern in different sizes, my knee-jerk reaction was to politely send her on her way—it was an old, free pattern in one size that I wasn’t interested in revisiting. Then I thought, Why not? Within two weeks, I had designed the pattern, asked two tech editors to review it, and had posted it on Quilt Pattern Mart. Because I can!

So for you fans of my modern take on a chevron, this post is for you. The Ridiculously Easy Jelly Roll Quilt now comes in five sizes: child, lap, twin, queen, and king. I wrote the pattern for two different design options for all of your stash-busting and quilt-making needs. And because we are in the home stretch of this weird time called 2020, the pattern is $5 through the end of the year. To sum up, the pattern is still ridiculously easy, and for the next five weeks, it’s ridiculously cheap, too. : )

Can you relate? What quilty endeavors have you taken on this year that you wouldn’t have if life were normal?

Click here for the free lap-size version of the Ridiculously Easy Jelly Roll Quilt pattern.

Click here for the expanded version on Quilt Pattern Mart.

Follow Me On ...


 
* * *


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

Friday, November 20, 2020

Hey, That's Me! / Beauties Pageant 106

A few months ago, I shared my thoughts on selling at FeelGood Fibers, a secondhand fabric marketplace and online community with a heart for sustainability. I’m six months into pruning my stash and selling the unwanted, unused fabric from it—and I’ve made over $500 in sales!

Kim and Tom Soper, the fabric-loving brains behind FGF, asked me to do a fun little interview about my experience, which went live just this week. To read what I have to say about destashing, how I’ve increased my sales, and what I’ve done with the proceeds, read the seller spotlight now.

We’re in the home stretch of 2020, and I am selling lot after lot of my preowned fabric and finishing project after project on my to-do list. Wow, it feels good to accomplish something quilting related during this weird Covid time when it feels as if I haven’t accomplished much else.

What do you have to say about all of this? Share your finishes in the linky below and your experience destashing in the comments. : )

Follow Me On ...


 
* * *


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

Friday, November 13, 2020

Pageant Highlight Reel / Beauties Pageant 105

I have more than one finish to share with you, quilty friends! But the New England sun has not been cooperative the past few days, so I have completed projects without the requisite pictures. : ( Let’s take the opportunity to look at lovely pictures of other people’s finishes from past beauties pageants.

Each week’s linky offers a nice variety of projects—from new patterns like Quilt Fabrication’s penny-candy blocks, to raw-edge appliqué triumphs like Needle and Foot’s Ticker Tape Holiday Tree (tutorial by Devoted Quilter), to masterpieces like Quilting Mod’s Homemade challenge quilt—and it’s difficult to pick out a few to highlight. But what follows are three projects that struck my fancy and may have me amending my quilty to-do list ...

Janine Marie, of Quilts from the Little House, shared her Jelly Roll Stroll last week. Referring to an old Moda Bake Shop tutorial, she sewed a throw-size version of Nines in the Middle, and I had to laugh. She found herself in a situation that I’ve created for myself on more than one occasion. Deciding to wing the construction instead of following the pattern, she was forced to sew partial seam after partial seam. But look at the picture at the top of the post—in the end, her efforts were well worth the time and energy!

Allison, of New Every Morning Patchwork and Quilting, posted her take on AnneMarie Chany’s Chocolatier BOM. Instead of creating the full 72-inch project, however, she created her own layout to make a smaller version—one she could more easily quilt on her domestic. The result is charming and uniquely her own ...

Another project came from Tiina, of Käsityöläinen-unelmissan. I have been wanting to sew one of Violet Craft’s paper-pieced animals (in particular, I love her Cow Abstractions Quilt), and Tiina’s account of sewing and quilting Violet’s paper-pieced horse is encouraging me to make the leap. Click through to see detail of the quilting in particular. I am a free-motion-quilting newbie, and her simple motifs have me wanting to hone my skills.

I would love to look at your fabulous finishes now. Please share your completed blocks or quilts or smaller projects below!

Follow Me On ...


 
* * *


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

Friday, November 6, 2020

Christmas Is Coming / Beauties Pageant 104

 

One of the first books I purchased about quilting was Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson, a co-owner of Purl Soho. I got so much pleasure out of perusing the projects in this book. At the time I hadn’t done any actual quilting; I was in dream mode, not quite ready to guide a huge quilt sandwich through the tiny throat of my sewing machine but getting excited about the possibilities. 

In addition to the fresh and modern projects in this volume, I also loved how the author organized them, by the time commitment each project required. Some of the smaller items fall into the two- to four-hour category, the midsize projects may take eight-plus hours, and so on. (Last-Minute Patchwork is out of print but readily available used. One project I made from its pages is this pencil roll.)

There will be no last-minute anything for me this holiday season. My world—as I expect everyone’s—has shrunk with the pandemic, and I am ahead of schedule. I am even sending out holiday cards, which in past years has been the first item to fall off my holiday to-do list. And they’re Thanksgiving cards, because why not? When you’re ahead of the game, you can send out cards in November.

If you’re in the opposite camp and are just starting to consider a Christmas project or two, here are some suggestions, presented in the style of Last-Minute Patchwork ...

An Hour or So

Ornaments are the perfect quick project for the holidays. I’ve made them from mini-charm squares that I’ve sewn into four-patches or from leftover half-square triangles. (See more pictures here.)

The problem with making ornaments, in my opinion, is that many require hand sewing, which almost always sends me running. I found this tree ornament pattern from Amy Sinibaldi, however: It’s super cute and sewn by machine. I already have some trees cut out to assemble for Christmas 2020. : )

**Please excuse this moment of gratuitous self-promotion: If you’re lacking in the Christmas-scraps department, I have a bundle for sale on FeelGood Fibers. It’s $20 with free shipping in the U.S. I just trimmed a quilt sandwich and have some Kate and Birdie scraps to add to the pile!**

A Weekend

If you’re looking for a more substantial project, I suggest The Tree Is Trimmed mini-quilt. It’s a tutorial I wrote years ago for From Bolt to Beauty and was subsequently posted on Moda Bake Shop. My favorite version is the second one I made, pictured above, that uses Basic Grey’s Evergreen collection. The mini-quilt requires little fabric (just four jelly roll strips for the green Xs) and uses a strip-piecing method.

A Few Days ... Or Longer

If you have the time for something bigger, I had a lot of fun making the log cabin blocks, by SterlingSewn, at the top of the post. You could whip up a mini-quilt in a weekend, but the pattern includes blocks more than the six I created, encouraging you to make something much grander. The designer made this throw quilt, which is not Christmassy but lovely and holiday themed just the same.

Will you be sewing any holiday projects this year? If you’re machine-sewing ornaments, I am especially eager to hear about them. : )

Follow Me On ...


 
* * *


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

Friday, October 30, 2020

A Basting Party / Beauties Pageant 103

Whenever I have more than one quilt to baste, I like to hold what I call a “basting party,” but really, it’s no party at all. It involves moving the living room furniture, rolling up an area rug, cleaning the hardwood, and crawling around on the floor armed with a can of 505 basting spray. 

Two inhabitants of my house are seriously inconvenienced by this process. Rose, our furry family member, expects daily naps on the living room couch and regular sewing sessions in the adjacent dining room. When a quilty creation is on the floor, she is not invited into these rooms and instead snoozes in the kitchen smack up against the door to the dining room, as if to say, “If I can’t come in these rooms, Mom, you cannot come out.”

Then there’s my younger son, who has taken up residence in a corner of the living room with his stuffed animals, trains, books, and other assorted treasures. I call this spot his “office.” He is a creature of habit, and he unrolled the rug more than once, an attempt to get things back to normal. Once I heard, “Woo hoo! I did it!”—a sign of triumph that he had successfully moved an armchair back to its rightful spot. 

See what I mean? Basting is no party!

Despite these obstacles, I successfully spray-basted two projects, my two final Christmas quilts for 2020. The first is my second Merrily quilt, by Gingiber, shown at the top of the posted and below. (See my original Merrily quilt here.) I had initially slated this quilt for getting an edge-to-edge pantograph at the longarmer’s, but I’ve since decided an all-over crosshatch by me would do the trick.

When I posted my original Merrily, a no-reply blogger asked about obtaining the requisite panel. If that was you and you didn’t see my reply on the post, Lark Cottons still has multiple panels in stock. (The site is also offering 20% off on selected manufacturers through November 4. Just sayin’. I love Lark because all yardage is available as fat quarters.)

The second project is Camille Roskelley’s Norway pattern. This quilt, too, was supposed to go to a longarmer—at 78 inches squares, it’s a large quilt to put through the 9-inch throat of my semi-industrial Janome—but I’m quilting it myself now. It’s actually on the machine already. I’ve started quilting diagonal lines, sewn from the center outward, every 3 inches. There are a thousand threads to bury with this approach; I’m OK with that. I’m not sure what I’ll do after the diagonal lines are complete, but I find them rather forgiving. It’s easier to spot wobbles on horizontal and vertical lines of quilting, I think. I may quilt diagonal lines in the opposite direction, creating a true crosshatch. We’ll see.

The skies have been gray for days (hence the rather horrid pictures!), and the snow is now falling. All of us here at From Bolt to Beauty world headquarters have a sore throat and a case of the sniffles. You know who wants to hang out with people with simple colds during a pandemic? No one! So it’s a weekend at home quilting for me.

What are you all up to this weekend? Does your plan sound like mine? 

By the way, my apologies for the confusion over last week’s giveaway. I didn’t pick a random winner; it was a first come, first served kind of situation. Pamela was the first to call dibs on the notions, so they’re off in the mail to her. : )

Follow Me On ...


 
* * *


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