Alpaca Anyone?

Oh my, I haven’t blogged in so long! I have been working on many quilting projects in my spare time, and you can see more real time progress on my Instagram account.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend some classes at A Quilter’s Affair in the week leading up to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. I usually attend each year, but my sister got to join me after she missed the prior 2 years.

I wanted to surprise her with a fun gift as a memento of our trip. We stay at the Best Western Ponderosa, which used to have a llama herd. The hotel retired the herd and replaced it with an alpaca herd! These alpacas have been at the hotel grounds for just a few weeks so they are still a bit shy.

The lovely Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts recently posted a series of new mini quilts that she designed, including an alpaca! It was fate!! I immediately purchased the pattern and set out to make 2 alpaca minis.

This pattern is traditionally pieced and goes together pretty quickly. Here’s a look at the quilt tops with my inspector:

Romeo inspects the alpaca quilt tops

The solids are hand dyed from Cherrywood, the background is from Karen Lewis Textiles, and the alpaca body is the aqua Fairy Dust print from Tula Pink’s line called Pinkerville. The other prints are various scraps from my stash.

I quilted these alpaca minis 2-up on my HQ Avante. I did a combination of ruler work to outline the alpacas and some free-motion swirls in the background. I used a black and white striped print for the binding.

Quilting the alpaca minis

I surprised my sister with her choice of quilt last week. She picked the alpaca with the orange hair, and I’m keeping the alpaca with the green hair.

I just couldn’t resist getting a picture of the completed mini quilts with the alpacas at the hotel. One alpaca was very brave and came to check them out!

An alpaca inspects the completed quilts

We had such a fun week together! In my next post, I’ll talk about the classes that we attended at A Quilter’s Affair.

Happy quilting!

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:

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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

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

MQG Riley Blake Fabric Challenge for 2015

Hi everyone!

I made an original design for my entry into the “Modern Quilt Guild 2015 Fabric Challenge with Riley Blake Designs” contest.

The rules for the challenge are:

  • Make something fantastic that is quilted.
  • Make something you have never done before.
  • Challenge yourself to learn something new.
  • Use only Riley Blake “the Cottage Garden” fabrics and coordinating Riley Blake basics and solids.

I used the fabric sampler pack that MQG members could sign up for and receive in the mail. I added just 2 fabrics – a Riley Blake shade (granite) and a Riley Blake solid (off-white).

I’m calling my entry “Sisters in Bloom” because the quilt features the Three Sisters mountains with a nod to all the beautiful, blooming flowers that you can see while strolling through the town of Sisters (particularly during the upcoming Outdoor Quilt Show in July!!). There is a fussy cut bird from the fabric perched on one of the flowers. Look on the right-hand side!

The flying geese are a paper-pieced, spontaneous creation that I made up as I went along!

I used red floss for a punch of color in the flowers, on the bird, and in the quilt name. The quilting is all free-motion on my domestic machine. If you look closely, the sun is radiating out from just behind the mountain on the far left-hand side of the quilt. I used a variegated thread in the bottom portion of the quilt to add color and movement to imitate a flowering alpine meadow.

Sisters in Bloom Quilt Entry for the MQG Challenge

Sisters in Bloom Quilt Entry for the MQG Challenge

Close-up of embroidery

Close-up of embroidery

Little bird close-up!

Little bird close-up!

Spontaneous, paper-pieced flying geese!

Spontaneous, paper-pieced flying geese!

If you are an MQG member, you can view other entries into this challenge via the online forums. Anyone can view entries in Instagram using the #mqgfabricchallenge hashtag.

I hope you enjoy my entry!

~Jennifer

Spring Blogger’s Quilt Festival: Mini Quilt Entry

Happy Friday, everyone!

Today, I want to reveal this beautiful butterfly mini quilt that I made for an Instagram-based quilt swap.

I used Cotton & Steel prints and Kona solids to create this stunning, paper-pieced butterfly. The pattern is called Take Wing by Lillyella Stitchery. It finishes at 24-inches wide by 15-inches high, but you could increase the size by adding borders.

I did free-motion quilting using my HQ16 and white Aurifil 50 weight thread. I think the wavy quilting adds to the fluid, fluttering nature of this pretty butterfly. For the antennae, I hand-quilted using purple Razzle Dazzle thread by Superior.

Here’s my completed butterfly:

Beautiful Butterfly!!

Beautiful Butterfly!!

Beautiful Butterfly, Side Angle

Beautiful Butterfly, Side Angle

Butterfly on a Lavender Bush

Butterfly on a Lavender Bush

Beautiful Butterfly!

Beautiful Butterfly!

Here’s a look at the wings prior to assembling with the body. The Cotton & Steel fabrics work so wonderfully with the Kona solids!

Beautiful Butterfly wings with pins before attaching to body!!

Beautiful Butterfly wings with pins before attaching to body!!


I loaded it onto my HQ16 for the quilting (late at night, but a gal has got quilt when she can!!):
Quilting the Beautiful Butterfly!

Quilting the Beautiful Butterfly!

I really enjoy paper-piecing and the process of making this beautiful mini quilt. In June, it will be winging its way to a new owner, and I hope she enjoys it as much as I do!

Please hop on over to Amy’s Creative Side and the 2015 Spring Blogger’s Quilt Festival and check out all the entries. I’d love your vote in the mini quilt category!

Enjoy!
~Jennifer

Charley Harper Mini Quilt Swap

Hi quilty friends!

I’ve got 4 Instagram mini quilt swaps due in late March and April. I’ve finished 3 out of 4 so I’m going to start sharing what I created.

For the Charley Harper inspired mini quilt swap, my partner indicated that she liked the penguins from the Nurture fabric line so I decided to create a penguin mini.

First, I started by creating a larger sized penguin and chick by making my own applique pattern. I used Kona snow, black, and yellow for the adult penguin body. For the chick, I used Kona black, snow, gray and a piece of medium blue Charley Harper fabric.

Next, I created the background piece by stitching together 2-1/2 inch squares, using some Charley Harper fabrics and adding in other fabrics from my stash. I decided to use aquas, blues, and neutrals with the aquas/blues starting in the upper left-hand corner and fading slowly into the all neutrals. The bottom gray portion resembles the ground and is also Charley Harper fabric.

Then I carefully added my penguin appliques to the background and used a blanket-stitch in matching Aurifil thread colors to secure all the individual pieces to the back. I used yellow Aurifil 40 wt thread to add some detail stitching o the adult penguin (mimics the Nurture fabric).

Here’s a look at the completed mini:

Charley Harper Penguin Mini Quilt

Charley Harper Penguin Mini Quilt

Closer look at the penguin:

Penguin close-up

Penguin close-up

I added a few extras to the swap package, including a open wide pouch that I made from the Charley Harper Nurture fabric. I couldn’t resist adding a little stuffed penguin plus some chocolates and wildflower seeds to represent my home state of Oregon:
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I hope my partner loves this mini as much as I do! I had so much fun making this quilt, and it was very hard to take it to the post office yesterday for mailing.

I received a wonderful red cardinal Charley Harper mini in return. I’ll show pictures on my next post!

Until then, happy quilting!
~Jennifer

Schnitzel & Boo Round 3 Mini Quilt Swap!

Hi everyone and Happy Monday to you!

I recently participated in my first Instagram (IG) mini quilt swap ! This swap was organized by Kristi (IG is schnitzelandboo) and you had to be an IG user to participate. My IG name is nwquiltedcat if you want to follow me.

My partner has received the mini quilt and extras that I made for her so I’m going to share them here. I haven’t yet received my mini in exchange but the mailing deadline isn’t until this Friday, the 23rd so I need to have patience!!

I used a pattern called “Candy Dish” by This & That Patterns and used April Showers fabric by Bonnie and Camille with a little white dot solid for the background by Michael Miller. I didn’t take a final measurement, but this mini quilt finishes at about 18 x 18 inches. The binding is also from the April Showers line. I did straight-line quilting using white Aurifil 50 weight thread.

Here’s the mini:

Schnitzel and Boo, Round 3 Mini Quilt

Schnitzel and Boo, Round 3 Mini Quilt

For extras, I used the free pattern “no guts” boxy pouch by So Chick. For this pouch, I used fabric from Violet Craft’s Brambleberry Ridge line and paired it with some pink polka-dot fabric for a contrasting zipper pull.

I also made a little pin cushion using Sweetwater fabric scraps and no pattern. I just winged it by starting with a 2.5 x 2.5 inch piece in the middle, and then adding little strips of fabric to the sides and tops.

Here are the extras:

Swap Extras: No Guts Boxie Pouch and a Pin Cushion!

Swap Extras: No Guts Boxie Pouch and a Pin Cushion!

I really had fun with my first IG swap! I’ve signed up for 3 more with 2 being due at the end of March and one in mid-April. I like using these mini quilts to help hone my skills and work from my stash!

Enjoy!
~Jennifer

Sunny Savannah Mini Quilt

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Dear Stella and Timeless Treasures are hosting a mini quilt challenge called Modern Traditional. The entry quilts must be 20-inches by 20-inches and have to include at least 2 prints from each company and no solids allowed! Entries are due today, April 30th and will be judged by two guest judges, Julie Herman and Katy Jones.

I decided to jump into this challenge with my entry called Sunny Savannah!

The fabrics that I used are:
Wee Gallery, Wild, Safari Animals in White (Dear Stella)
Wee Gallery, Wild, Safari Animals in Black (Dear Stella)
Zig Zag in Black for the binding only (Dear Stella)
Alice Kennedy, Matilda, Chevron in Citron (Timeless Treasures)
Woodstock, Stitched Swirl in Gold (Timeless Treasures)
Crosshatch Sketch in Grey (Timeless Treasures)

Since all the pieces in the quilt are very angular, I wanted the quilting to pop out a bit but still enhance the overall design. I decided to do an off-center swirl pattern in 1/4-inch increments on the entire quilt. I used a yellow Aurifil 40 wt thread for the quilting and Aurifil 50 wt Light Sand for the piecing. The swirl pattern reminds me of the sun shining down on the safari animals and so I decided to call this little quilt, Sunny Savannah. I really love the overall effect!

Here are some photos of the completed mini quilt:

Sunny Savannah, Completed Quilt

Sunny Savannah, Completed Quilt

The back of the quilt is the Chevron in Citron fabric from Dear Stella with a label. I love the spiral quilting!

Sunny Savannah, Quilt Back

Sunny Savannah, Quilt Back

Just for fun, I took some pictures of the quilt flimsy. I thought it might be interesting to show you the backside of the quilt top because of all the neatly pressed rectangle shapes!

Sunny Savannah Quilt Flimsy

Sunny Savannah Quilt Flimsy

Quilt Top Backside

Quilt Top Backside

Some close-ups of the spiral quilting! I spray basted and then went slow and careful on my Bernina.

Spiral quilting in process

Spiral quilting in process

Spiral quilting close-up

Spiral quilting close-up

I want to give a shout out to Charlie and Lindsay at Hawthorne Threads. Since I wasn’t able to pick up the fabrics from my LQS, I ordered my fabrics from Hawthorne Threads on a Tuesday evening after work and had them in my mailbox on that Friday! Thank you so much for the quick shipping!

I hope you enjoyed looking at my mini quilt for the challenge. If you’re on Instagram, search for #DSTTchallenge to view other entries.

Enjoy!
~Jennifer

A Little Cat Mini!

While I impatiently wait for the Sisters Quilt Show this upcoming Saturday, I decided to take on a miniature quilt challenge. This is my first mini quilt, although I have made some mini blocks before (just never found the time to piece them together!).

This mini quilt and block is called the Royal Miniature Star and is designed by Carol Doak. I have this wonderful black and white cat border print by Michael Miller in my stash that I’ve been wanting to use but didn’t have the right project. I decided to use this print as the outer border and “catify” my Royal Star! My sister gave me some wonderful black-on-black and white-on-white cat fabric that I used as well. If you look closely at the images, you can see little cat silhouettes in the black and white fabric pieces.

Here’s a look at the mini quilt top:

Royal Mini "Cat" Star Quilt

Royal Mini “Cat” Star Quilt

I plan to quilt it, bind it, and then display it on a mini wire rack soon.

Here’s a look at the quilt top in comparison to my Cow cat:

Cow and the Mini Quilt

Cow and the Mini Quilt

Isn’t it such a cute little quilt? The center block is a 2-inches finished while the little cornerstone blocks are 1.5-inches finished. I think this quilt top would also make a fabulous pillow cover or tote panel as well as a fun wall-hanging to make as a gift.

Enjoy!
~Jennifer

Finished One Sunny Day Mini Quilt!

I started this mini quilt last week in my post about a batik play day. I had to take a quick 3-day business trip to Austin, Texas during the work week so I did not get any sewing time. On Saturday, I had a whole sewing day and finished the One Sunny Day mini quilt pattern by Carol Doak.

There was a brief ray of sunshine this morning that illuminated my back fence. I decided to snap some quick pictures of the completed quilt. It measures approximately 21 inches by 21 inches.

Here’s a look at the whole quilt:

Completed One Sunny Day Quilt

Completed One Sunny Day Quilt

I used a really pretty fabric that changed from dark blue to turquoise for the binding. Then, I thought: why not add a little bling? I added just a few sparkles by applying crystals to the sun rays and the tulips. I also practiced using some different types of free-motion quilting using my home Bernina. I did some wavy lines, pebbles, cloud shapes, and swirls. You can click on the individual photos to see a larger image.

Close-up of the crystals on the sun rays:

Crystals on Sun Rays

Crystals on Sun Rays

Close-up of crystals on tulips and dragonfly button:

Crystals on Tulips and Dragonfly

Crystals on Tulips and Dragonfly

How do you like the little dragonfly? I had wanted to put a cute little frog button at the base of the tulips, but I didn’t have one in my button stash. Instead, I found this sparkly silver dragonfly that I think adds a little fun to the quilt.

Enjoy this early taste of spring!
~Jennifer~