Stitches in Bloom Quilt Show – Oregon Garden

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to visit the Stitches in Bloom quilt show at the Oregon Garden in Silverton. This part of Oregon is lush, green, and famous for the nearby waterfalls at Silver Falls State Park. Since it is so green, the area naturally has plenty of rain and this weekend was no exception!!. The $10 admission to the quilt show did include entrance to the gardens, but it was chilly rain so I decided to stick with the show. I definitely need to make a return trip in the spring to see the garden in bloom.

The show had some great vendors, and I picked up a wonderful wooden quilt frame, a paper piece pattern, a wooden quilt coaster, and some fat quarters.

Here’s the wooden quilt rack that I picked up:

The quilt is one that I made a couple of years ago called the “Bear Went Over the Mountain” by Susan Schwarting. The fabric is from the Lake of the Woods collection by Julie Ingleman for P&B Textiles. P&B Textiles has the pattern available for free on their website; however, the fabric collection is probably out of print now. I think it goes so well with the oak quilt rack above my brown leather couch!

I took a few pictures of quilts displayed in the show. We were not able to take flash pictures so many of my pictures turned out too blurry, but I did manage to get few decent ones.

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What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Happy quilting,

February 2013 BOM and Solution Guess

Before I talk about the BOM and guess, I’m adding a bit to my last post on the “Visit Your Local Quilt Day” contest. I’ve uploaded my photo to the Facebook contest page, but I need some votes! If you can, vote for me at this link. Thanks for your help!

You can find the patterns and information on Carol Doak’s 2012/2013 block-of-the-month mystery by following my Yahoo Groups link on the right-hand side of the blog.

Carol gave us a special treat by uploading the February block a little bit early. Instead of being a single block, we have 4 individual flying geese squares to sew. I had some time today so I sewed the February pieces as well as the large December setting blocks for the mystery quilt.

Here’s a look at the February mini blocks:

We have just one more block to receive in March and then the finishing instructions and mystery will be revealed in April!

Here’s my guess with my blocks laid out on the floor with a substitute block plus cat for the March block:

What do you think? Do I have a good guess? Just a little bit longer and we’ll get the final reveal!

I did get a chance to visit the Stitches in Bloom Quilt Show at the Oregon Garden yesterday. I need to download my photos, and I’ll share some with you in my next blog post.

Until then, happy quilting!

Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day!

Today is Visit Your Local Quilt Shop day – where fabric lovers show their support to locally owned fabric and quilt stores!

I visited Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe today for my photo op! I needed to pick up some more black and white fabrics so it made for a perfect lunch time excursion.

Here’s a pic of me at Hollyhill getting ready to purchase my fabric, snapped by one of the friendly cashiers:

Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe

Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe

As a special gift, Hollyhill gave a free fat quarter out to anyone who stopped by today. I got a nice, bright pink one! I think it may be a perfect zinger color to add to my black and white blocks.

Black, White & Pink

Black, White & Pink

I’d love to hear if you made a stop to your favorite quilt shop today!

Happy fabric hunting!

Completed Island Breeze Batik Quilt

Last year, I blogged about starting a large batik quilt because it reminded me of a quilt cruise that I took with my sister. You can read about the start of this project here.

I finished up the quilt blocks over the summer and then took it to my mom’s house for quilting in the fall. Then, I brought it home and there it sat in my to-do stack until last week. After working on winter themed projects for a while, I finally decided to add the binding and finish it.

Here’s a look at the quilt with my cat supervisor in the foreground:

Finished Island Breeze Quilt

Finished Island Breeze Quilt

This is a large quilt at about 83-inches square. The pattern is called “Island Breeze” by Jackie Kunkel and be found in the June/July 2012 issue of Quilt magazine.

The finished quilt is quite warm and inviting, and I hope to get a better picture of the finished project in different lighting. I really wanted to make a quilt using pink batiks, but not one that would be too feminine for my husband to look at every day! I think the blue, green, and yellow batiks really help to keep the pink from becoming too much.

Here’s another look:

Island Breeze

Island Breeze

Just looking at this quilt makes me long for warm, summer days!

Happy quilting!

Madrona Road Challenge Quilt is Finished!

Just in time for the Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting this week, I finished my Madrona Road challenge quilt!

I did the quilting and binding last night. The quilt is about 34-inches by 34-inches. I’m calling it “Bird in a Window” because of the cute little birdie sitting in the center square.

Here’s a look at the completed quilt:

Bird in a Window Quilt Top

Bird in a Window Quilt Top

For the quilt back, I added some interest by piecing together a few more squares and hand-embroidering the quilt details onto the label:

Bird in a Window Back

Bird in a Window Back

Two close-ups:

Bird Block Close-Up

Bird Block Close-Up

Label Close-Up

Label Close-Up

This has been a fun challenge for me, and I hope to participate in future challenges!

I plan on taking this quilt with me to the guild meeting this week. I think there may be a group photo taken at the meeting so I’ll try to post about it.


More Progress on Madrona Road

I’ve worked a bit more on my Madrona Road quilt challenge and have finished assembling the top.

You can read about my start in this earlier post.

For the Portland Modern Quilt Guild, we had to incorporate a word so I choose to use the word, “bird.” There is a cute little golden bird that appears in one of the prints that I used, plus I decided to use a paper-pieced bird block as my center image for some whimsy!

Here’s a look at the center block:

Madrona Road Bird Block

Madrona Road Bird Block

And here’s a view of the quilt top:

Madrona Road Quilt Top

Madrona Road Quilt Top

For the top, I took inspiration from Faith at Fresh Lemons and her Lemon Squares Quilt pattern. I altered the pattern just a bit to include my whimsical bird block and added an inner border from Kona cotton and an outer border using one of the Madrona Road prints.

Of course, my cat had to ask me: “Mom, why a bird and not a cat?”

Why a Bird, Ma?

Why a Bird, Ma?

This weekend, I hope to take the project over to mom’s house to quilt it.


Black and White Block Swap

Have you ever wanted to make a quilt using just black and white blocks? Or perhaps black and white with a few bright zinger colors? If so, now is a good time to join Carol’s Yahoo group. We’re doing a 12-inch block swap using black and white fabrics.

I have a limited supply of black and white fabrics in my stash, but I found enough pieces to make my first block.

There is some Michael Miller black fairy frost fabric in my block. Plus, the white fabric actually has little shimmery white dots that my camera couldn’t capture in today’s light. I may try the pics with different lighting.

Here’s the block:

Black and White Block #1

Black and White Block #1

I used the Switzerland block from Carol Doak’s book, Mariner’s Compass Stars. This block has 64 total pieces!

One cool aspect of making a black and white block is that it meets with the approval of my cat, Cow.

Here he is giving his paw of approval:

Cow Approves the Block

Cow Approves the Block

I hope to make a few more black and white blocks for the swap.


Picture Piecing

I started organizing my sewing room a bit this weekend. I didn’t get too far because I was distracted by some of the patterns, books, and fabrics that I “re-discovered.” One of those books is called Picture Piecing by Cynthia England.

Picture Piecing Book

Picture Piecing Book

The idea behind this technique is to create realistic pictorial quilts by piecing fabric together rather than using an applique technique. It differs from paper piecing in that you use freezer paper and iron it to the right side of your fabric rather than using it on the back of the fabric. Another major difference is that you don’t sew through the paper like you would in paper piecing. This means that there is no paper to remove at the end of your project!

I highly recommend getting a copy of Cynthia’s book to learn more about this fascinating technique.

The book contains a small butterfly practice pattern so you can get a feel for the technique before moving onto more complex projects.

Here’s my sample butterfly:

Batik Butterfly

Batik Butterfly

I really like how the butterfly turned out and plan to use it in a yet-to-be-determined project!

One of my goals this year is to design my own picture pieced pattern. Before I do so, I went ahead and ordered one of Cynthia’s patterns to gain more experience. You can order the patterns directly from her website.

Have you sewn a picture pieced quilt before? If so, please share in the comments below!

Happy piecing!

Peek at my Madrona Road Quilt

In my earlier post here, I talked about joining the Portland Modern Quilt Guild and picking up the Madrona Road fabrics for a challenge project.

I’ve started working on this project and, I must say, it is definitely cat approved! My orange and white cat keeps sitting on it while I re-arrange the blocks! I’ve got some of the blocks created and will start assembling the quilt top soon.

Part of the challenge is to use a word that inspired the quilt. My word is both found within the Madrona Road fabric, but it also holds a special meaning to me and my sister (aka my quilting cruise companion and fellow quilt store junkie!). I will reveal the finished project in the next several weeks.

Here’s a quick peek to tease you just a bit!

Peek at Madrona Road Project

Peek at Madrona Road Project

Are you working on any fun projects during this first week of the new year? I’d love to hear about them.

Happy sewing,

Winter Snowman Quilt

I had a very “sewful” New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day and was able to finish up some quilt tops. Woo hoo!

This Winter Snowman Quilt is one of those projects! I had started and completed the 4 inner shooting star blocks in December, but then set them aside to finish up Christmas gifts. I originally planned on making more of the shooting star blocks, but ran out of my white snowflake print fabric. I like the smaller sized quilt as I can use it as a winter decoration on a table top or a wall.

You can read about the shooting star block designed by Carol Doak in my post here. I encourage you to join Carol’s Yahoo group by clicking the link in the right sidebar of my blog. She has a valentine heart challenge going on right now so it’s a perfect way to start paper piecing!

Right now, I only have pics of the quilt top but hope to have it quilted and bound soon! All the fabric in my quilt top is from the Fresh Fallen Snow line by Maywood Studio. I have a quilt recipe following the pictures below.

Here’s a look at the finished quilt top inside my sewing room:

Winter Snowman Quilt - Inside

Winter Snowman Quilt – Inside

I took the quilt outside to try and get a better photo of it, but it was a bit breezy:

Winter Snowman Quilt - outside

Winter Snowman Quilt – outside

A close-up view of the shooting star blocks:

Shooting Star blocks

Shooting Star blocks

And finally a close-up view of the snowman border fabric. The snowmen are so cute and have little red birds sitting on their stick arms!

Snowman border

Snowman border

Quilt Recipe
If you’re interested in creating this cute Winter Snowman quilt, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Join Carol’s Yahoo Group to get the shooting star block.
  • Print out 16 of the 4″ shooting star paper piecing patterns.
  • Blue snowflake print fabric. Approx 2/3 yard.
  • White snowflake print fabric. Approx 1/2 yard.
  • Red accent fabric. Approx 1/3 yard.
  • Blue snowman print fabric. Approx 2 yards for both the outer border and backing.
  • Basic sewing and paper piecing supplies.

Here’s how to assemble the quilt:

  • Use a 1/4″ seam allowance. If you don’t already have basic paper piecing skills, then I recommend Carol’s excellent instructional DVD.
  • Cut out all the fabric pieces for the 16 shooting star blocks.
  • Sew the shooting star blocks.
  • Assemble each large block by sewing 4 individual shooting star blocks together. Make 4 large blocks.
  • Sew the 4 large blocks together to form the quilt center.
  • Cut 3.5-inch strips from the white snowflake fabric for the inner border and sew around the quilt center.
  • Cut 2-inch strips from the red accent fabric for the second border and sew to the quilt center.
  • Cut 5.5-inch strips from the blue snowman fabric for the outer border and sew to the quilt center.
  • Quilt as desired and bind.

My quilt top is approximately 35 inches by 35 inches. You can make your quilt smaller or larger by resizing the shooting star blocks.

Hope you enjoy this little winter project!