Loons Here and There

This doesn’t happen often! A quilt that I started this year, finished this year, photographed this year and am blogging about this year!

This one I’m calling, Loons Here and There. If you are a fan of Maria Shell, you may recognize it as a play on one of her quilts.

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I took Maria’s class, Improv Triangles: Perfectly Pointless, at Quiltcon From Home in February. I love a good improv triangle quilt and found the class very inspiring! I also have a bad habit of starting quilts at QuiltCon and never finishing them. (But thanks to the WIPs Be Gone Challenge, I’m going to change that soon!) But this class inspired me to get out of bed despite my broken leg and sew for a little while each day! I fell in love with Maria’s Break Up quilt and wanted to give it a go!

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She recommended pulling 8 to 12 fabrics for the fabric pull. I pulled 17, plus I added in brown later. I didn’t think much about the pallet, actually. I pulled a bunch of leftover fabric. Fabric that I had about a fat quarter’s worth of or so. Then got to cutting the squares.

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Once I had the squares, I cut them in stacks into triangles and then sewed them back together. The rule I made was that the sides of the triangles couldn’t be the same color. In keeping with improv, I only used the ruler to eyeball the size of my blocks. I did use it to get a straight cut on the triangles, but not to measure anything. Once I sewed all the pieces back together, I do trim the blocks, but just to give me straight edges, not a particular size. And I repeat this every time I sew blocks together.

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Then I just laid them out and played with contrast to place the blocks.

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I would sew them into smaller blocks and then added a few straight pieces as needed to get all the blocks to fit together. I love the quilting pattern I used. Again, using improv a bit. I laid out the diagonals first using a guide, but then went back in between adding the diamonds ‘freehand’ with the walking foot! I did have a little problem with the quilting and the fabric not staying put. I spray baste and I think it was a combo between the actual brand I was using and also with the the fact I sprayed and then it sat without being quilted. Anyway, once it washes, I think it will be just fine for a potential baby quilt for a friend.

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I did piece this back. I love how the orange block is reflected in the rock formation behind the quilt! You may also recognize this backing fabric from a few other quilts… The Spark and Tic Tac TIgerlily and Scatterlilies. I still have more so you may see it again!

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And my label shot. This also gives a nice view of the quilting pattern.

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And the cutest quilt holder…

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And that’s a wrap for this one! In case you’re wondering where this awesome ‘quilts in the wild’ photoshoot took place, I’ll tell ya! It was at Steamboat Rock State park in Eastern Washington. One of my most favorite places in WA!!! If you haven’t been, you should go!

The Spark- A Mini Quilt

If you follow me on IG, you know I have a to do list this year to get my WIP completed and my sewing area purged. I also have a list of exceptions and one of those exceptions is to participate in the Quilt Improv Studio’s quilt challenges!

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This challenge is Monochrome Dreams!

“Monochrome dreams” is our new improv patchwork game, aimed to let you play with one hue in many shades.

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Originally, I had a plan for a pink quilt. I’m on a bit of a pink kick right now. Not that you’d know if from what I’m sewing, but you would if you saw what I’m buying! 🙂

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Then, I was sorting through scraps I had pulled for an ongoing scrap project I’m working on, I found all these orange scraps that were already pieced…. I couldn’t resist! They are the leftovers from the Improv Flower Pillow I made a while back.

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I didn’t have quite enough to hit the 24″x24″ size requirement, so I also pulled more orange scraps to get me to the right size. I also cut way more squares than I needed for another quilt I just finished and will tell you about soon. So I pulled those orange squares and started cutting into them too, making flying loons.

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I was going to cut out the yellow (or the very, very light orange hehehe) pieces, but in the end I decided to keep them in. They are what give the quilt it’s name. The Spark!

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I usually am not very creative with my quilting thread. This year I participated in the monthly Aurifil 2021 Color Builder program. Mostly to get the awesome wildlife paper piece patterns by Cassandra Beaver. But the ones I just recieved happened to be orange, so I used them!

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Some detail shots….

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The back was almost just one piece of fabric. Which isn’t really my style, but for the smaller ones, I don’t piece as much. This one I cut the back wrong, so I had to add the orange anyway. And you know me, I always like to throw in a picture of the label!

I know there are a bunch of pictures, but I also wanted to share a few behind the scenes…

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My kiddo did the quilt holding. We did 4 photo shoots. Two just didn’t turn out quite right. Then we found these fields! The pup looked happy to stop and smell the fresh air!

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And that’s my Spark for the Monochrome Dreams Challenge! Are you participating? What color would you use?

Red and White Quilt

It’s almost perfect for this holiday weekend! It’s just missing that Blue part….

This one was started way back in 2018 and finished last year. It is a paper pieced pattern that I did with my do.Good Stitches group back in the day.

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My group was usually not fans of my paper piecing obsession! But they played along nicely anyway. Well, some of them did. I bowed out of the group not long after designing this one and presenting it to the group. A few members never sent me their blocks… Oh, well..

There are actually 3 different blocks in the quilt and I had assigned different blocks to different people. The original quilt design was intended to be a little larger, but I think the size it ended up is just right.

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One thing I do love about bee quilts is the variation in colors of fabric. I love how this is a red and white quilt, but when you look closely each block is just a little different.

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And the back. I had a few blocks that were a little smaller than the rest so they went to the back. That is a typical problem when doing paper piecing. Be sure to always print your pattern with no scaling. If you don’t, different programs treat PDF’s differently and some scale up or down the image.

Anyway, they ended up being perfect for the back, so it all worked out in the end.

The little triangles in the top corners are not part of the quilt. I basted them on to make it easier to hold for photographs! And it seemed to help.

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I just really love this one! I did have a little trouble quilting it due to the bulk in the corners. I need to figure that out before I attempt this one again.

I’m also considering publishing the pattern one day soon. Yes, no?

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And my quilt holder fighting with the wind. You can see how he used the corners. Not my idea. I got the idea from my friend Debbie, aquilterstable, who got the idea from Zak Foster Quilts.

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It’s quite Red, White and Blue for the holiday weekend, but it’s as close as I could get! I hope everyone in the US has a great 4th of July weekend and stay safe!

Courthouse Steps Mini Quilt

My first quilt finish this year.

I’m off to a slow start this year with my broken leg in January, but I’m hoping to catch up soon!

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I started this one to submit to the Curated Quilts Mini Challenge for the ‘Stripe’ issue coming out later this year. The challenge was:


Please use “balance” as inspiration for your quilt design. Balance can be interpreted at many different levels and we encourage you to explore what balance means to you. You can improvise or paper piece your mini quilt. We love seeing how creative everyone is and appreciate all forms of piecing in your mini quilts. The color palette we would like you to use is included in the image above, soft grey, jade green, bright pink, bright blue, purple, and highlighter yellow. 

Originally I was going to make a striped mini, with circles cut into it and in the circles the lines were going to go in a different direction. Maybe I still will make that one, but I saw a lot of others using circles and I didn’t want to anymore. But I kept making my stripes until I figured out what I wanted to do!

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Balance was the inspiration…

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I started my stripes picking out some of the colors from the challenge. Well, all of them except green and purple. I started with paper piecing the stripes, still unsure where this was going.

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I drew lines on a large piece of freezer paper and started sewing. The lines are spaced in 1/4″ and 1/2″ increments.

Doing this wasn’t very quick and it gave me time to realize where it was going.

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To balance the color, I went all grey. To balance the precise straight lines, I went improv.

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It almost killed me, but I finally got up the nerve to cut into all my stripes. They were so pretty just the way they were that I didn’t even want to cut them!

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The traditional courthouse steps quilt pattern was my third ‘ode to balance!

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I was falling in love with this mini quilt and knew I couldn’t keep it small enough to submit it for the challenge and that was perfectly fine with me! The challenge submissions can’t be bigger than 16″ square. This one ended up about 24″ square. Maybe one day they will do a Courthouse Steps issue and I’ll submit this then. in the meantime, I’m just loving on it!

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I also got new labels this year. Similar to all my other ones, but these are put together a bit different than last years version. Maybe I’ll do a blog post one day! I think these are my favorite.

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I love a good challenge to get me trying new things! I had never freezer paper pieced anything, much less small lines. I wouldn’t have picked these colors together, yet I love them! I had a great time making this one, even if I struggled for the design for a while.

Impossible is a Bad Word- a mini quilt

Here’s a min quilt you may recognize. I actually finished it in 2019, but again, never blogged about it. Catching up! Late is better than never! ha!

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This mini quilt was a Curated Quilts challenge for the Well Said Issue. The challenge was to incorporate a word into the quilt, literally or figuratively. I have always told my son to never say, ‘I can’t,’ without at least trying first. During Christmas time we read a book by Matt Haig, A Boy Called Christmas, and in it the word ‘Impossible’ is considered an elf swearword. The book was great, but that sentiment has stuck with me. That sentiment, combined with our family not saying ‘I can’t’, inspired this quilt.

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I absolutely loved the color pallet for this challenge! Pink, orange, teal and bright green. I could use this color scheme over and over.

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I started by piecing the letters. No plan, pretty improv. The strips of pink were all the same size and I tried to make the letters the same size. But pretty much just winged it!

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Then I sewed them together. It had to be a square, so I had to rotate the letters in a ‘circle’. And I added the border.

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Then I do that crazy thing that quilters do. I cut it into pieces and sewed it back together. I wanted the word to look shattered!

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I wanted the quilting to further enforce the idea of the word being shattered.

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I took these pictures at Jackson Lake Island near Montgomery, AL. It’s a little island where they filmed the movie Big Fish. The only inhabitants are the goats. I just loved this series of pictures and watching the goat look and me, then see the quilt and then head over to maybe take a taste of the quilt. We moved fast, so maybe he just wanted a closer look, but I wasn’t taking my chances…

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Quilts in the Wild! ha!

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Have you made a word quilt? This was my first. And even though I made it in 2019, I still love everything about it. I’ve since made another word quilt last year. Before I made this one, I didn’t think I’d ever really make a word quilt. But now I wouldn’t be surprised if I make more!

A Buffalo Cushion

This is an oldie project that I never shared, but since I’m broken and confined to elevating my broken leg, I’m pullin’ out the oldies to share!

I’m an architect and at our firm at least once a year a vendor will ask us to participate in a design fundraiser. They usually supply a piece of furniture and we have to make it something else or embellish it or something! Then we give the piece back when we’re done and they have a party and silent auction to raise money for something. For this project, I contributed my quilting skills.

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The firm I work for is called Buffalo Design, so we decided to make a Buffalo seat cushion for part of the transformation.

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This is what we started with. A plain blank white chair that’s way heavier than it looks! A co-worker drilled the holes in the back of the seat. (more to come on that…)

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The name of our firm comes from the building where the firm actually began, but our logo is an actual buffalo. Everyone has different colored business cards and we each have a few different angles of the buffalo. The colors of our business cards became the colors of our cushion.

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I sketched out how the pattern would go together and put it in CAD. Which is how I make all my paper pieced patterns!

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Then I just started paper piecing it together until I had our colorful buffalo!

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The cushion fit perfectly in the curved seat.

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My co-workers took on the yarn embellishments! I love the pattern on the front and the pompoms on the back. And again, we stuck with all the colors of our business cards.

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The great thing is, my bosses went to the party and were the high bidder on our chair! So it’s still in our office for us to enjoy! I keep saying I’m going to make the office a buffalo pillow for our couch in the waiting area, but I haven’t yet. One day soon!

Bright Tide Pools

ok! I’m on a roll and loving getting quilts and projects finished! Not half finished in a pile! Now if I can only post them! 

This little one isn’t as old as some of my other WIPS. It’s only about a year in process. For my son’s school auction, I have been putting in a custom quilt. I give them some of my designs to choose from and whoever gets it, gets to pick the colors to make it their own. This is the second time I have done it. You can see the first one, Triangle Mountain, here. And probably the last as the auction was cancelled this year and I don’t think they do it at his middle school. And I honestly get kinda freaked out about whether or not the person is going to like it.

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This design came from when I was active in the Quilt Design a Day FB group. I really miss it and need to pick it up again.

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Each day there is a prompt picture, like the one above by Michelle Wilke of Factum of Arts Blog. This picture she took of tide pools in the Olympic National Park was te inspiration ‘spark’ where this quilt originated!

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From the picture above came this design.

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Which turned into this design after I got the color inspiration from the auction winner!

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And this is what we ended up with! Not a single square in the mix. one of the things I like about quilting is the puzzle of putting it all together and this one was a real puzzle!

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In hindsight, I probably would have made the blocks bigger so that sat closer together, but I like how it turned out.

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I used all the scraps for the back. Starting with the little yellow green rectangle in the orange. That was the first block for the front when I realized it was WAY to small! The back started out as a log cabin, but ended up looking like an old TV with the ‘bunny ears’ antenna. the TV is all I can really see at this point. HA!

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I think my favorite part of the back is this skinny purple line!

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The auction winner wanted it to cover her induction cooktop. At first I was like, ‘No way! That’s a fire hazard, if I’ve ever heard of one!’ Then I googled it and apparently it’s a thing to cover these cooktops with quilts. Very odd to me and it makes me nervous. But It’s what she wanted, so I went with it. I also added inslu-bright so it can act as a huge potholder/hot pad/trivet.

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Name : Bright Tide Pools
Design:
 Original Design
Dimensions: 32 x 21 in.
Quilted: Straight line quilting 

 

 

Triangle Mountain

 

Introducing Triangle Mountain! This is another one that took forever, yet didn’t take forever! A few years ago, I donated a quilt design/custom quilt to my son’s school. I give some design options and the size. they get to pick the colors. Solid colors, because that’s what I do!

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But I realized that when I’m quilting for a particular person, it makes me nervous! Kinda like when I tried to be a photographer… I was a stress case! Will they like me? Will they like my pictures? And on and on… Needless to say, that career idea didn’t last long! Back to quilting. I guess that kinda carries over into quilting. I knew the design, and I knew the colors she wanted, but I was nervous she wouldn’t like it! Gifts, no problem. ‘Client’ is where I got stuck!

All the designs I gave as options were designs I had made through the Quilt Design a Day FB group!

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This is the inspiration photo from Design Seeds.

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And the design that came from the inspiration photo! Obviously, originally it hade a white background, but the ‘client’ wanted a coral background. Originally we were going to use some hand dyed fabric from her mother, but that didn’t happen.

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Then by the time I got to adding the background, the Pantone Color of the Year for 2019 had come out. Living Coral! I was so excited! I have had grand intentions every year to participate in the Pantone Quilt Challenge hosted by No Hats in the House and Bryan House Quilts every year and finally I knew I’d have one completed for it! I did it!

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I love how the triangles turned out! I was a little intimated by the triangles too! But I found this tutorial from Jaybird Quilts that got me past it! It’s not an earth shattering tutorial, but it gave me that push I needed to realize I could do this! And just look at those corners!!

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And I added a couple of matched binding transitions at the corners of the mountain. They aren’t quite the exact same angle, but it’s ok! Still gets the point across!

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And the back! I just all the scraps from the triangle in that little pieced box on top. I didn’t have as much as I thought I would!

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Such a relief to get this one done, out of the house and to it’s new home! And my ‘client’ was very appreciative and seemed to be very happy with her purchase. Her long, overdue purchase…

Madrona Road Challenge- An OLD WIP, finally finished!

 

If you are a member of the Modern Quilt Guild, you are probably familiar with the fabric challenges they do. I used to love them! I would get so excited and sign up right away for my free fabric. The problem is there are deadlines. You are supposedly to make a quilt using their fabrics within a certain time frame… I had a problem with staying within that timeline… A bad problem..  Does anyone remember the Madrona Road Fabric Challenge???

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In 2012 (yes, 7 years ago now, see what I mean??) The Modern Quilt Guild announced their Winter Fabric Challenge. You signed up and then got the fabric around the first of Decemeber that year and were supposed to finish the quilt by January 31st. This fabric bundle was the Madrona Road line from Violet Craft for Michael Miller.

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I had originally design this quilt to be a rainbow of hexi’s, but when I got this fabric, I decided to go with this designing using the Madrona Road to make the hexi’s. I started these hexi’s the summer of 2013. See, I was already behind. Way behind! Violet Craft had already selected her favorites!

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I finished the top and back in January of 2014! And that’s when this quilt went into the pile of WIP’s. Wishing to be quilted… Yelling at me from the shelf… See, these pictures even have my old ‘logo.’

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Then in 2017, this photo made it’s first appearance in the Finish A Long posts that I was participating in. (still am, though missed the last one!) And it’s been showing up every couple of months since then. Sitting basted, waiting to be quilted….

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And then last year it finally got quilted! What a long story for this little quilt!

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I just quilted it in straight line quilting with accent quilting around the box.

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Of course, the other thing with the challenges is they don’t give you much of the fabric, so you pretty much have to buy more if you want to make more than a mini. and I did. I used the yellow flower fabric on the back.

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And you know I love a label shot!

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So this quilt started back in 2013 and had a long journey of 5 years before I finally finished it last year about this is same time. And I guess you could call it 6 years, if you count the year it took to actually blog about it! I finished it and put it in my son’s school auction. His best friend’s family purchased it and it lives on their couch just a block away! We went over to take care of their cat and I saw it sitting out. I was like, that looks familiar! Ha!

And needless to say, since I can’t keep up with the deadlines of the fabric challenges, I no longer participate in them.

It does feel nice getting a WIP finished and then to know it’s being loved by someone.

 

 

Seattle Modern Quilt Giving Quiltcon Quilt for 2019

With three years of giving quilts under my belt as one of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Giving Committee co-chairs, I think this is my favorite giving quilt! OK, I love it! Really love it! Like want to steal it kinda love it….

 

Introducing our quilt for the Modern Quilt Guild QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge, The Last Hurrah! If you’re at QuiltCon right now, be sure to take an up close look at our quilt!

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The basic layout of our QuiltCon Charity quilt was inspired by an antique quilt made of hand pieces diamonds from our guild President, Matt Macomber’s, antique quilt collection. From this quilt layout, I designed the layout colored diamonds, white on white diamonds and the solid diamonds.

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For our quilt we jumped right in and embraced the Modern Quilt Guild small piecing challenge. Between the two of us Seattle MQG Giving Committee Chairs, Debbie Jeske and myself, 18 yards of fabric was cut into 1 inch by 6 inch strips! We shared those strips with the guild in little baggies of 18 pieces each. Guild members sewed them back together into 185 rectangles. Then the Giving Committee Chairs cut the rectangles into diamonds and pieced them into hexagons! I love explaining this process to non quilters and watching their blank expressions as I tell them, ‘We cut up the fabric, then sewed it back together and then we cut it again and then sewed it back together again…. ‘

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There are a lot of great things about QuiltCon, but one of best things is meeting new people and online friends. We designed the quilt based on a particular size diamond. Instead of using paper as a template to cut 309 diamonds, we wanted a plastic template and we remembered taking a class at last year’s QuiltCon with a woman who owns a company that makes acrylic templates! So we still had her card and looked her up online and ordered our 5″x8″ custom templates ordered from MakeATX!

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My co-chair Debbie pieced half of the hexagons and I did the other half. The quilt plays on a very traditional quilt design, but makes it modern. The diamonds are pieced into a group of 12 to make an 18″ hexagon. The placement of each of the striped pieces and solid pieces are laid out to break out of the hexagon to blur the lines between hexagons and stars and where one hexagon starts and stops. I love how it looks in the end, but I did confuse myself once or twice when piecing the top together!

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The amazing quilting was also done by Matt with a mix of machine and hand quilting. Again, he drew from his antique quilt for the quilting inspiration. And a special thanks to Kathleen for putting the finishing touches by binding the quilt!

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With the design taking inspiration from the antique quilt, the color inspiration from the MQG, and the design goal of small piecing, we created a truly modern quilt.

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You may have noticed the name of this one…. The Last Hurrah! This one really is our last hurrah being the Guild’s Giving Committee Chairs! We think it’s a great one to go out on. Debbie and I would like to thank every single person that took the time to make even a single block for any of our Giving Committee Quilts for the last three years! To everyone who made a block, quilted a quilt or added binding, we appreciate it! We think all the quilts turned out fantastic! I had my doubts about some of them, but when it all came together, I loved them all!

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Seriously, do you really think anyone would notice is this quilt ended up at my house????

 

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Quilt Name: The Last Hurrah

Design by: Louise Wackerman, @imfeelincrafty

Quilt Size: 70″ x 90″

Blocks by: Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Members

Top Pieced by: Debbie Jeske @aquilterstable and Louise Wackerman, @imfeelincrafty

Quilted by: Matt Macomber @odditease

Bound by: Kathleen Munns @quiltmunnster