My Quilt at QuiltCon Together

Happy March, everyone! We are seeing glimmers of spring everywhere around us after our ice storm several weeks ago. I have crocus and some early daffodils blooming and birds are joyfully singing!

A few weeks ago, I attended QuiltCon Together, which was a virtual quilt show this year due to the pandemic. Normally, QuiltCon, which features modern quilts in many categories, is held in person and alternates between west coast venues and east coast venues.

This year, I entered a quilt in the “Floral & Vine Fabric Challenge” category and, for the first time ever, I got a quilt juried into QuiltCon!! In this category, participants received 4
fat-eighths of specific fabric prints to use in the construction of a modern quilt. We could only use these prints plus any number of solid fabrics. We could buy extra quantities of the specified prints, but I decided to challenge myself by using only the provided fat eighth pack. I used 3 of the 4 prints plus a white solid in my quilt. The binding is a gray solid.

I drafted my pattern using paper and pencil initially. I wanted my quilt to express my hope that we will soon be able to gather together in person, and that this weird situation that we are currently living through will not last forever.

I came up with a design and then used EQ8 to create my foundation paper pieced templates and curved traditionally pieced templates. I then calculated my setting triangles to complete the design. I called my quilt, Concourse.

Here’s a picture of Concourse:

My quilt, Concourse, at QuiltCon Together, February 2021

Although QuiltCon Together is now over, the images below show what my quilt looked like displayed virtually. Quilt show attendees could zoom in on individual quilts and even listen to a short audio clip from the quilt makers.

My quilt, Concourse, hanging virtually at QuiltCon Together 2021, front view
My quilt, Concourse, hanging virtually at QuiltCon Together 2021, back view

I was very pleased to have my quilt selected as one of the entrants in this challenge fabric category. Although I did not win a ribbon, I’m just so happy to have had a quilt in the show.

I took a screen cap of the other quilts in the category so that you could see the variety of modern quilts that used just these 4 prints plus solids. Quite impressive!

QuiltCon 2022 is scheduled to be an in-person quilt show in Phoenix in February. I’m very hopeful that we’ll be returning to in-person events later this year. I hope to enter a quilt into that show and maybe (just maybe), I might get to attend it with my sister!

P.S. I added a new page to my blog with recommended quilting supplies and notions. Go check it out!

Happy quilting!

-Jennifer

Historic Ice Storm

In Oregon, we had a pretty wild Valentine’s Day weekend with an historic ice storm for some people and snow for others. At my house, we didn’t receive much snow, maybe 1/4 of an inch, but we were hit hard with the ice storm.

We had about 1-1/2 inches of ice accumulating over a short period of time, which caused major power disruptions and tons of damage to trees in the area.

During the ice storm, we heard the cracking, creaking, and falling of tree limbs and whole trees constantly over several days. We saw tree branches explode, just literally fall to pieces in front of us. With other trees, it looked like the ice covered limbs shrank back into themselves before cracking and falling under the weight. The eerie popping noises spooked our dog and kept us nervously looking out the window to see if one of our trees or a neighbor’s tree fell.

We lost 2 large trees in our front yard and one flowering plum tree in the backyard. One of the front yard trees dropped a large limb on our car. Fortunately, the thick ice spared the car major damage, and we saw just minor denting after the ice melted.

Our large maple in the backyard took heavy damage and will need an arborist to remove it later this year. We had a decorative juniper bush, about 20 feet tall, topple over. We cut the top 10 feet off and replanted it, hoping that the roots will take to the earth again.

After a few hours of ice, this is what our front street looked like:

Trees with ice damage

Many of the trees in the photo above took severe damage and either fell over during the storm or had to be removed. One branch fell on the neighbor’s house and punctured the roof.

Ice storm hits these trees hard

In our backyard, my beautiful flowering plum tree took heavy damage. Most of the major limbs snapped and fell during the storm.

Plum tree, mid ice storm

Limbs continued to snap and break for a few days after the freezing rain stopped falling. I will replant something beautiful where the plum once stood.

Plum tree, after (February 2021 ice storm) and before (spring 2020)

The ice was very beautiful, in its own way. It made beautiful patterns and shapes in the bushes, grass, and objects on my patio.

Ice coats a bush in my backyard
Icicles dripping off a hanging basket frame

I wouldn’t want to sit in this chair during my lunch break. Brrrr!!

Ice coats a patio chair

Before the COVID pandemic, my sister gave me a fun garden decoration for Christmas. It is a rooster made from metal scraps. He’s now become the recipient of many jokes and curses in the past year, including this ice storm. Let’s all blame him, ha, ha!

Ice coated “Corona” rooster

I didn’t get any sewing accomplished in the past two weeks, outside from a little English paper piecing. Now that the ice is melted and we’ve cleaned up most of the fallen debris, I plan to get back to some quilting.

Stay safe out there!

~Jen

Sea Glass BOM – We Have a Quilt Top!

Hi everyone,

If you’ve been following me during the past year, you know that I’ve been working on a BOM by Fig Tree called Sea Glass. This BOM uses a soothing palette of sea glass: greens, blues, and creams.

In January, we received our final BOM packet to not only complete the blocks for month 12, but we also received the final setting instructions for the quilt. So exciting!

When I sew blocks together to form a quilt top, I like to arrange them all first and then take a picture so that I can remember the order in case things get messed up. Sometimes I put the blocks away into a WIP pile, and sometimes my little inspector likes to do a little rearranging!

The quilt inspector happily rearranges blocks!

I then sew my blocks together into rows, one at a time. I press each row carefully and remove stray threads. I like to use Clover Patchwork Glass Head pins because they are heat resistant and glide through the fabric easily.

I also use a fine mist spray bottle with plain water and a hot iron for pressing. I do not use water in my iron to avoid potential issues like rust stains. Plus, I do foundation paper piecing often and steam is a big no-no because it shrinks the paper.

Piecing blocks into rows, Sea Glass BOM

The Sea Glass quilt has, what I call, “feature” blocks and “spacer” blocks. The spacer blocks form a beautiful Irish chain with subtle variations between a light green color and a light aqua color. The feature blocks are all different, usually 2 per month during the BOM. They use deeper hues of blues, aquas, and greens, like beautiful sea glass found on the beach.

Here’s a look at the quilt with all the rows sewn together, but before I added any borders:

Sea Glass BOM, top without the borders

The final quilt layout contains 3 borders. The first border consists of cream-colored squares that were leftover pieces from the feature blocks. The second border uses the sawtooth flying geese units that we sewed at various stages during the BOM. The third and final border uses long pieces of the cream colored background. The quilt is roughly 72″ x 72″ before quilting.

It’s been so rainy here lately that it’s been very difficult to get a good picture of the completed quilt flimsy (top), but we finally got a bit of afternoon sunshine yesterday.

In this first picture, my husband is holding the quilt with his arms as wide as he could go!

In this second picture, I’m standing on a little ladder while my teen took the picture. The quilt is dancing in the breeze, and we can’t catch a moment of still air. Oh, the problems of taking quilt pics “in the wild!” I do like how the afternoon sun shines through the quilt, illuminating the sea glass colors.

I haven’t yet decided on quilting. I plan to use this quilt on the bed in my guest bedroom so I’m leaning towards free-hand edge-to-edge quilting rather than custom quilting.

I also plan to back it using minky fabric, possibly this Cuddle in Turquoise. It will so soft and comforting!

With a little luck, I’ll have time to quilt it this weekend.

Happy quilting!

~Jen

Sea Glass BOM, Months 11 and 12

Happy Friday, everyone!

This week seemed very long for some reason. Cabin fever, I suppose. We had a little snow flurry earlier in the week, giving us a skiff of snow where it was pretty to watch the fluffy flakes falling from the sky, but not enough to cause any problems. It melted within hours, and the dog loved it!

For the Sea Glass BOM by Fig Tree, I finished my month 11 blocks in early December and my month 12 blocks in early January.

For month 11, we made 4 total blocks using 2 similar but slightly different settings. The blocks on the left in the picture are called Sea Urchin and the blocks on the right are called Barnacle Star.

Month 11 blocks in the Sea Glass BOM

I love how the blues just sparkle and pop in these blocks!

I also finished all my flying geese for the sawtooth border. As of month 11, the exact layout is still a mystery.

Assorted flying geese but the final layout is still a mystery

For month 12, we made 2 blocks called Sea Sparkle. These blocks are nearly identical with the exception of the placement of the blue half-square triangles.

It’s hard to believe that we have completed all the blocks in this wonderful BOM! We received the final layout instructions with block 12 so I’ve been working on piecing my quilt top together the past several weeks. The finished quilt top has 3 different borders, one using the flying geese mentioned above.

In my next post, I’ll show you my quilt assembly process and the completed quilt flimsy. I’ve been waiting for some non-rainy weather to get a decent pic of the quilt outside with my photography assistants, and I think this afternoon just might work.

Happy quilting!

~Jen

First 2021 Finish – a Tula Pink Quilt!

Grab a cup of coffee because this post will be longer than usual with a few more pictures! I’m so happy to cross off my first official quilty finish of 2021 by completing a WIP that started its journey in 2018.

In 2018, I signed up to do a 100 blocks in 100 days project, hosted by @gnomeangel on Instagram. The goal was to make each block from the book, Tula Pink’s City Sampler Book: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks. Each day, starting in July 2018, and for 100 days in a row, we posted the designated block for that day. We could make the blocks in advance, but we had to post the blocks in order on the specified day.

Here’s a look at my first and last blocks (on little design boards). You can find all my blocks by searching the hashtag #nwquiltedcat100blocks on Instagram.

Once I finished all 100 blocks, I put the project aside for awhile. In January 2020, I was lucky enough to secure a spot in a Tula Pink class set for July of 2020 at the Quilter’s Affair event, which takes place the week before the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Little did we know that a pandemic was looming!

In February 2020, I decided to pull out all the blocks, arrange them, and decide on a setting layout.

Each of my blocks stuffed into the book!

I decided to use all 100 blocks with Kona White and Kona Lighthouse for the sashing. I started piecing in March 2020 and finished in April 2020, still with the hope that I would be attending Tula’s class in July.

100 Modern Quilt blocks layout, light gray and white sashing with quilt inspector, Romeo
100 Modern Quilt Blocks, the quilt grows while quilt inspector, Romeo, approves!

Of course, we all know that all quilting shows and events did get canceled for the rest of 2020. Once I had finished piecing the top, I lost my enthusiasm for the project as I knew I wouldn’t be able to ask Tula to sign my quilt in July. However, most of the instructors, including Tula, agreed to postpone their classes for July 2021! Yeah, hope renewed my ambition to get this quilt finished.

This is a large quilt, maybe queen size plus, but not quite king size. I had to piece the backing so I used a beautiful Neptunia Von Black portrait (from the Nightshade line) backing from I Heart Tula Pink at 54″ x 72″. I then added some of Tula’s 108″ backing from her Linework line called Sketchyer Paper along with some Fairy Dust in Whisper from her True Colors line. My label is a scrap of Kona White fabric, pieced directly into the backing. I left a large open space on the label where I hope to get Tula’s autograph eventually.

In December of 2020, I decided to quilt it using Glide thread in Bone and a hand-guided pantograph called Modern Twist by Urban Elementz on my HQ Avante. I selected this simple panto to keep the quilting in the background and the focus on the blocks.

Finally, I was ready to bind this giant quilt! I went with the same Fairy Dust in Whisper that I used on the backing. It picks up all the colors in the quilt without detracting from any of the blocks.

This past weekend, we took the completed quilt for a little photoshoot to Battery Russell at Ft. Stevens State Park at the Oregon coast. My hubby and son held the quilt while I took the photos. Our dog, Pepper, helped too!

Unfolding the quilt for pictures, January 2021
100 Modern Quilt Blocks quilt front at Battery Russell, January 2021
100 Modern Quilts Blocks back at Battery Russell, January 2021
A close-up view of my 100 Modern Quilt Blocks quilt at Battery Russell, January 2021
A close-up view of my pieced backing at Battery Russell, January 2021

I love this quilt! It is so bright and cheerful, and the backing is just as fun as the front. With a little luck, we’ll be able to have in-person quilt events this summer, and I just might get to take my class with Tula and show her this completed quilt.

I’ll leave you with one last picture from our day trip. We also stop to visit the Peter Iredale shipwreck when we visit Ft. Stevens. It is ever so slowly eroding away and, with this visit, we really noticed that a larger piece of the bow had disappeared since our last visit. I really need to dig up some of the pictures of this ship when I visited as a little kid to compare the differences.

Now I’m on to my next WIP, which is my Sea Glass BOM by Fig Tree. I will post an update soon!

Happy quilting,

~Jen

Welcome 2021!

On New Year’s Eve, my family and I stayed home as we usually do, played board games, and made homemade pizza for dinner. We stayed up until midnight to celebrate the official kicking of 2020 to the curb. We saw fireworks light up the sky as neighbors welcomed the new year. I feel positive that this year will turn things around for everyone, and that we’ll finally see Covid lose its grip as the months go by. I want my son to be able to enjoy some normal high school times and make memories.

I have a few goals for this year, not time-specific. The first is to spend more time in nature. We did quite a bit of hiking last year, and I want to continue doing so.

Here’s a picture from Ecola State Park with Haystack Rock in the background at Cannon Beach (aka “The Goonies” beach) in Oregon just days before the new year. We took the dog and had a lovely short hike and picnic lunch.

My second goal is to release and let go of stuff. I have way too much stuff in the house so I’m committing to reducing and donating items each week.

My third goal is to sew a little each day, even 5 minutes. I want to finish WIPs that have been languishing for far too long! The first one in the queue is to add the binding to my Tula Pink 100 Modern Blocks quilt. The second one is to finish my Seaglass BOM, which I just received the final blocks and setting layout this week.

My word for the year is serenity. I want to live it, breath it, be it.

Do you have any goals, quilting related or otherwise?

Happy quilting,

~Jen

Sea Glass BOM, Month 10

Hi everyone,

I’m playing a bit of catch-up on my Sea Glass block-of-the-month project. I finished the block for month 10 several weeks ago, but haven’t had a chance to blog about it. If you are new to my blog, this BOM is by Fig Tree & Co, and sign-ups were last year. I don’t know if this BOM will run again in the future or if the pattern will be available to everyone at the end.

I continue to really enjoy working with this soothing color palette each month, and I’m a bit sad that we only have 2 months to go! I’m not sure if month 12 will contain finishing instructions only or if that month will also include blocks.

For month 10, our block is called Water Lily. This block stitched together very quickly!

Seaglass BOM, Month 10

We’re getting very close to the end of the program, and I just received my fabrics and pattern for month 11. I will stitch those blocks up this weekend as well as catch up on my flying geese for the sawtooth border.

Happy sewing!

Jen

A Ghastlie Reveal!

Hi everyone,

Two years ago, I attended a quilt retreat with my sister and some friends. We decided to do a Ghastlie themed round robin, where we would each create our own center block. We determine a round robin order, and then send our centers to the next person. We had 4 total members and had no restrictions other than using Ghastlies fabrics with blenders.

The Ghastlies is a line of fabric by Alexander Henry, featuring a splendidly creepy family including a cat! It is unusual, whimsical, and funny fabric, and definitely outside of traditional quilting.

For my quilt, I really wanted my theme to be Sebastian, the Ghaslie cat. I used a foundation paper pieced pattern by Linda Hibbert of Silver Linings Originals called Miss Teree. I don’t see the pattern on her website, but you may be able to email her if you are interested in the pattern.

Here’s what my center looked like in December 2018:

Sebastian, my center block

Coincidentally, the other 3 members of our round robin all selected the same Ghastlie fabric for their center block, but added personalized details:

All the Ghastlie center blocks for the round robin

Aren’t they fun? From 2018 to 2020, we added rounds and mailed them to the next person. The last round finished up this September, and we each received our completed tops in October.

Here are the completed Ghastlie quilt flimsies!

Kimberly’s Ghastlie quilt flimsy
Shannon’s Ghastlie quilt flimsy
Jody’s Ghastlie quilt flimsy
Jen’s Ghastlie quilt flimsy

Our plan is to quilt them and enter them into a quilt show in fall 2021,and we’re hoping for the COVID crisis to be lessened by then so that we can have in person quilt shows again.

We had so much fun with this round robin, and we’re planning another one. The next round robin will be different. Instead of complete quilt flimsies, we are thinking about a Ghastlie themed block swap.

Happy quilting!

Jen

Baskets in the Woods

Remember my post about making fabric baskets? Well, I couldn’t stop with just one, and so I made 4 similar baskets for a group of quilting friends.

I wanted to get a picture of the baskets all together in an outdoor setting. So, my family and I took a weekend drive to a beautiful little lake, with falls colors beginning to emerge.

I placed all 4 baskets into a plastic bag, and I took them with me on the very short hike. It was only 1 mile around the little lake, with a some heavy brush in a few sections.

How cute are these baskets all lined up on a log with the lake in the background?

Fabric baskets on log

We had a great time, having this little lake all to ourselves. It wasn’t chilly, but there was a beautiful cloud hovering over the lake surface and providing a misty backdrop to our time here. The foliage was quite wet, and so our pants became soaked as we walked around the lake, but we didn’t mind at all.

The maples were starting to turn color, with many trees displaying vibrant yellow leaves and a few turning towards orange and red.

Cloud hugging Daly Lake
Wooden bridge
Fall foliage

I hope my friends like their fabric baskets! Getting out in nature is one of my favorite things to do, and it really helps me deal with times of stress. I can’t wait to go again!

Take care,

-Jen

Tula Nova EPP Progress

Hi everyone,

This summer, I started an English paper piecing (EPP) project so I could have some handwork to do while waiting in parking lots due to Covid restrictions. I blogged about starting the Tula Nova quilt here.

I’ve had a bunch of time in the past few weeks due to my son’s taekwondo classes and surgery follow-up appointments for my dog. We used to be able to go inside, now we must wait in the car. I’m not sure what will happen will we start getting below freezing, lol!

I’ve added some more rounds to my cat themed Tula Nova. I’m using as much of the “Tabby Road” line as possible, but I don’t have many of the coordinating prints so I’ve been trading with people on Instagram for different pieces. I’m also using fabrics from the True Colors line, such as the mineral prints, hexy rainbows, and fairy dust.

Do you see the cute cans of cat food in the star blocks?

Once I complete each round, I audition fabrics from my stash. It’s quite a messy process! I have fat quarters and half yards scattered about the room, until I decide on something.

The next round has 10 stars and 20 medium hexagon shapes. I decided on some purple stars to pull out the purple in the center of the quilt.

I fussy cut a striped print from the “Chipper” fabric line so that the dark purple fabric was more or less in the middle of the star points with some green on each side. I had just enough of the cat eyes print from “Tabby Road” to make enough small hexagon centers for the 10 stars needed.

“♪ ♪ ♪ I always feel like someone is watching me . . . ♪ ♪ ♪”

After I finished hand piecing these 10 stars, I placed them next to the my Tula Nova to decide what color I wanted for the medium hexagons in between each star.

Well, my quilt inspector had a strong preference, which I will reveal in a future blog post! He is really loving this cat themed quilt, and loves to help me “arrange” fabrics.

This is a bright and cheerful quilt, and I’m so happy that I started learning how to EPP.

Happy quilting!

Jen