Quilters for Koalas Mini Quilt Swap

Hi everyone,

In January, I signed up for a mini quilt swap to benefit various wildlife rescue charities in Australia to help them out due to the massive wildfires. Each person who signed up for the swap agreed to donate $10 towards the charities in addition to making a mini quilt featuring an Australian animal.

Sharon (@shoppershaz_swaphost on Instagram) hosted the swap. We had over 250 swappers so she organized us into groups and assigned us each a secret partner.

I made a little koala on a tree for my partner using the Koalas pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. This is a traditionally pieced pattern rather than a foundation paper pieced pattern, and it was really fun to make!

My partner, Debbie, indicated that she preferred blues, teals, and yellows for her colors, and I knew that she liked batiks based on previous posts to her Instagram account.

I do combine batiks with quilting cottons, although some quilters cringe at the idea! I used a really pretty teal batik for the koala body with light blue Grunge for the ears. The background is also a batik in a warm neutral that is lightly patterned. I found scraps in my stash for the tree trunk, leaves, belly, and facial features. The binding is a dark teal batik.

The tree trunk fabric is directional so I had to make sure each piece faced in the correct direction. No drunken trees here with vertical and horizontal stripe mismatches!

I quilted this mini quilt on my trusty Bernina  Activa 145 S, my everyday piecing machine. For the domestic machine quilting, I used the Bernina free-motion foot #24 with Aurifil 50 weight thread in a light cream color. I did some free-motion swirls in the background, some leaf shapes in the leaves, and some ruler work on the koala and tree. If you look closely at the koala body, I added three free-motion heart shapes.

Here’s a look at my completed koala mini that I made for my partner:

Koala that I made for my partner

For my mini quilt, I asked for a koala, but I left the individual pattern up to the maker. I also mentioned that bright modern fabrics would work or more natural colors.

My partner, Sandy, made me a very cute little koala using a pattern by Joe, June, and Mae. She used natural colors and Essex linen for a rich texture.

Here’s a look at the mini quilt that I received:

Koala mini quilt that I received in the swap

This little koala mini quilt is now hanging in my sewing room, along with other minis that I treasure from swaps over the past few years on Instagram.

I’m happy that I was able to contribute to the wildlife rescue agencies in Australia during this swap! If you want to see more mini quilts from this swap, check out the #quiltersforkoalas hashtag on Instagram.

Enjoy,

~Jen

2020 Mini Series SAL – Week 1

Hi everyone,

Have you heard about the 2020 Mini Series Sew Along hosted by Alison Glass (#alisonglass) and Giucy Giuce (#giucygiuce) ?

It’s a 10-week sew along with 8 tiny foundation paper-pieced blocks plus a bonus block for those participants who sign up on Alison’s website. The SAL is free; however, you do need to purchase the patterns. You can find the patterns on Alison’s website or from various quilt stores that she mentions

Here are my fabric selections for the SAL:

  • A Kona charm square pack called Mermaid Shores
  • A batik fabric for the background that reminds me of pebbles on a beach
  • A Tula Pink fat quarter from the Zuma line with little stars and seahorses

Fabric Selection for 2020 Mini Series SAL

I’m making the 4-inch blocks rather than the 8-inch blocks due to the length of my charm squares.

For week one, we are making the classic log cabin block. I’m an experienced foundation paper piecer so I already had an Add-An-Eighth ruler on hand as well as some very fine 80 weight piecing thread. The 80 weight thread is important with smaller blocks because it is less thick than 50 weight thread so your block presses flatter.

I fuzzy cut a little star for the very center of my block from the Zuma fat quarter. You can see it in the picture with the dime for scale.

Here are some pictures of my log cabin block:

Week 1: Log Cabin Block

Week 1: Log Cabin block with dime for scale

Week 1: Log Cabin Block on Tree

Week 1: Log Cabin block on a stump

I really love these colors together! I’m leaning towards making a small wall-hanging quilt with the blocks from this SAL. I may make a few extra of some of the blocks, but I have’t entirely decided.

Here’s a look at the back of the block. I will keep the paper on for stability until I sew the block to another block or sashing.

Week 1: Log Cabin back of block

Are you participating in the SAL? Leave me a comment below!

Happy stitching!

~Jen

Prince Cherrywood Challenge Finalist!

This past year, I entered a quilt into the annual Cherrywood Challenge for the first time. Cherrywood makes beautiful and unique hand dyed fabrics with a suede-like appearance. Each year, they sponsor a challenge where contestants can submit 20-inch by 20-inch quilts in a specific theme using a limited palette of Cherrywood fabrics.

For 2018, the challenge theme was Prince. The Prince Challenge fabric bundle contained 3 purples and 1 black. While we could use other Cherrywood colors as accents, our quilts had to “read” as purple. We could also use embellishments to enhance our quilts.

For my entry, I wanted to feature Prince and his wonderful performance at the Superbowl. In particular, I wanted to highlight the song “Purple Rain” because it was such a stunning moment for him and the audience.

Here’s a look at my completed quilt with a ruler to show the judges the 20-inch size:

DSC_0211 (2)

Prince Cherrywood Challenge Completed Quilt

I used holographic thread for the swirly quilting in the black background. In person, the thread has a beautiful shimmery look to it. The black background also has little beads with silver metallic threads to represent the camera flashes from the stadium audience. I used a purple Razzle Dazzle thread to give a hint of the “purple” rain during the performance.

For the purple background, I used metallic thread in the straight-line quilting. I used the thread to accent the guitar, guitar strap, and to add music notes.

The Prince symbol represents the stage while Prince faces the crowd in a decorated purple jacket.

Here are some close-up pictures:

There were 388 submitted quilts for the Prince challenge. Out of those 388 quilts, there were 165 finalists.

My quilt made it as a finalist! It is now traveling the country to various quilt shows as part of the Prince Live Tour. I will get to visit the show in person in 2019 when it travels to 2 quilt shows near me: the Clark County Quilt Show in March and the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in July. Cherrywood will likely have book signing events at each of these shows, and I hope to be one of the artists signing books.

Here’s a look at the Prince Cherrywood Challenge book:

You can order a copy of the book, featuring all of the finalist quilts, from Cherrywood directly or you can buy a copy at the traveling exhibit.

Happy quilting!

~Jen

Mt. Hood Elevated Abstractions Quilt

Hello quilters!

I love the landscape of the west, particularly in my home state of Oregon. When I saw the Elevated Abstractions quilt by Violet Craft, I just knew that I had to make it.

This quilt is a wonderful abstraction of Mt. Hood. It is entirely foundation paper-pieced using Pure Elements Solids by Art Gallery fabric and Aurifil thread in 50 weight.

I wanted the quilting to take a back seat to the piecing so I took a modern approach with straight-line quilting using channel locks on my HQ Avante.

MtHood_2

Once I took the quilt off the frame, my trusty quilt inspector instantly arrived. How do cats know?

MtHood3

I decided that the quilt needed a pop of bright color for the binding so I dug into my stash and added some orange Notorious fabric by Cotton + Steel. Then, I took the quilt on a 9 mile round trip hike to visit Pup Falls in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Quite the scene for a little photo op! My son took this picture while I balanced precariously on the muddy trail, working hard to keep it out of all that mud!

MtHood_1.jpg

I really enjoyed piecing and quilting Elevated Abstractions. I need to find the perfect spot to hang it in my home.

Happy quilting! ~Jennifer

Elephant Abstractions, Mini Size

Greetings friends!

Last March, I started work on the Elephant Abstractions quilt by Violet Craft during a spring break quilt retreat with my sister. I finished it in August, just in time to display at the NW Quilting Expo in Portland.

The original pattern is quite large and, having made the full-size Giraffe Abstractions, I decided to make the elephant at 50% size. Since this is a foundation paper-pieced pattern, it is easy to scale it by reducing the templates when copying them.

I purchased all my fabrics at the Stitchin Post the summer before in a frenzy of purchasing in the week leading up to the annual quilt show! The background is an Alison Glass Handcrafted Grove in Neon batik fabric and the elephant fabrics are a combination of Moda Grunge, Michael Miller Painter’s Canvas, and some solids.

For the quilting, I did some pretty dense custom free-motion quilting on the elephant body. I used more geometric shapes on the ears and different curvy shapes on the head, body, and tusks. I added pearl hot fix crystals in the center of the eyes. For the background, I wanted the quilting to make it seem like the elephant is running out from the jungle towards the viewer.

Here’s a look at the finished quilt:

Elephant Abstractions Quilt

Here are some close-up pics of the quilting:

I’m very pleased with how this small quilt turned out, and I’m excited to do another one of Violet’s abstraction patterns soon! Maybe even her new one, the Wolf!

Happy quilting!

~Jennifer

Renewal, A QuiltCon Entry

Happy 2018 everyone!

My goal this year is to blog at least once each week. Although I post on Instagram regularly (@nwquiltedcat), my blog posts let me go into greater details on my quilts!

For this post, I want to show you a foundation paper-pieced quilt that I designed for the small quilt category for QuiltCon 2018 in Pasadena. Unfortunately, the QuiltCon selection committee did not choose my quilt for display. I do hope to enter it into a local show later this year.

This quilt is called Renewal, and I designed as a personal reflection of my feelings for the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge in the summer of 2017. This fire was human-caused and devastated the area. My family has been hiking, camping, and fishing in the area for 4 generations so this fire really hit home.

However, wildfires also promote renewal and healing in the forest. It is a natural process and cycle that keeps forests in balance. Hence, my quilt is Renewal!

Look for the quilted shadow animals. These shadows represent the animals that lost their lives in the fire, but also represent animals returning to the forest as it regrows.

Renewal

Renewal Close-Up

I really wish that I could attend QuiltCon this year, but vacation time and funds are in short supply. Hoping to go in 2020!

Happy quilting!

~Jen

Little Protean Mini Quilt Finish

Hi everyone,

Recently, I made a very dynamic and wavy looking mini quilt called Fierce Protean. This mini is approximately 21 x 21 inches finished and is designed by Eye Candy Quilts.

I made this mini as a shop sample for The Confident Stitch in Missoula, Montana. If you’re in that area, you can stop by and see it in person.

The quilt only uses 2 blocks. One is traditionally pieced and one is foundation paper pieced. The triangle shapes come together to form a wavy motion, especially when you limit your color palette. I did add a color pop using yellow. The yellow bits remind me of sun sparkling on the water.

I did circular free-motion quilting, which I think enhances the overall effect of moving water.

Here’s a look at the finished mini:

Fierce Protean Mini Quilt

Cat Inspects Fierce Protean

Happy quilting!

~Jennifer

Bountiful Mini Quilt Challenge

Hi everyone!

I’m excited to share with you my mini quilt entry for a collaborative contest between the Portland Modern Quilt Guild and Art Gallery Fabrics. We used the Bountiful Fabrics collection by Sharon Holland. Our challenge was to create a mini quilt to celebrate the beauty and scenery found across the mid-west.

My entry is called “Bounty in Every Direction” and is inspired by all the wonderful farms and ranches that I’ve seen while flying. The arrows are my own foundation paper-pieced design. I used free-motion quilting in a circular shape to represent the center-pivot irrigation system used on many crops.

The dark brown border is made from faux leather and represents the ranches in the mid-west. The appliqued flower with beaded center represents the farms and growers.

I hope that you enjoy this little quilt! It will be on display, along with all the other entries, at the PMQG Quilt Showcase on October 19th at the Lagunitas Community Room in Portland so come check it out if you’re local.

“Bounty in Every Direction “Mini Quilt

“Bounty in Every Direction” Mini Quilt

Close-Up of “Bounty in Every Direction” Mini Quilt

“Bounty in Every Direction” Mini Quilt

“Bounty in Every Direction” Mini quilt

Happy Quilting!

~Jennifer

Stellar Twist Pattern for Sale!

Greetings!

I had a wonderful time teaching my Stellar Twist block in an introduction to foundation paper piecing class at Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe.

If you want to purchase the pattern, you can find it here on Craftsy starting today. I’d love to see what you make with it! I’ve made a mini quilt plus a Halloween themed table runner and a holiday themed table runner.

Stellar Twist Mini Quilt

This pattern is very versatile and comes together pretty quickly. I don’t show you how to do foundation paper piecing in the pattern so if you need to learn how, ask your local quilt shop for a class!

Happy quilting!

~Jennifer

Stellar Twist Quilt Pattern and Class!

Hi everyone,

I’ve designed a foundation paper pieced pattern (FPP) called Stellar Twist! This pattern is perfect for beginners who want to learn the basics of FPP techniques. I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be teaching this pattern at a local quilt store, Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe¬†on Saturday, July 29th.

In addition, Hollyhill is having a Grand Opening Celebration at their new location in Wilsonville on Saturday, July 15th. I’ll be attending the celebration, so come out and say hello and register for the class!

Currently, the pattern is only available if you attend the class. At a later date, I’ll likely have the pattern for purchase on Craftsy.

Here is a look at the mini quilt version using the Sunday Supper fabric collection by Sweetwater.

Stellar Twist Mini Quilt

I used my HQSixteen to do some heavy custom quilting on this mini using white Aurifil thread in 50 weight.

Stellar Twist Custom Quilting

Stellar Twist Mini, photo by Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe

The Stellar Twist pattern is very versatile! Add more blocks to create a crib quilt or bed quilt or stitch blocks together vertically to make a table runner. For the class, I’m also making a Halloween table runner sampler and a holiday table runner sampler.

Here’s a look at a Halloween table runner using Moda Grunge fabric. This one will be quilted soon!

Stellar Twist Halloween Table Runner

Next, I will sew the holiday table runner version in time for the meet-n-greet at the Grand Opening Celebration!

Enjoy and happy quilting!

~Jennifer