Monday, January 23, 2017

my Wicked Funky Dresden

Last Friday morning I woke up with a quilt design dancing around in my head. This doesn't happen to me often, but every now & then things come to me in my sleep! Often I roll over and ignore them and then they are gone forever. This time, I dashed to my studio for graph paper and pencils and got it drawn out before it got away. Boy am I glad I did!
By the end of the weekend, my drawing was sewn into what I lovingly referred to as my "funky dresden".  Once it was all assembled, I was perplexed as to what I should put in the center. My first instinct was a split circle, to make it look like the background was coming through. But then I began to consider other options. I took to Instagram to see what others thought...
My original idea is top right. And many liked that too! The green dot, top left, got lots of votes from more traditional folks who wanted a place for the eye to rest. And the split square on the bottom? Also popular, mostly with those who wanted a bit of the unexpected. In the end, the votes were split almost perfectly in thirds! Well, that was helpful!

In the end, after examining the options for a day or so, I decided to go with the square.

Jennifer, who is tenseturtle861 on Instagram, suggested I name it "Wicked Dresden" based on the color scheme which reminded her of Wicked, the musical.  Brilliant! So this particular one is named Wicked Funky Dresden, but the pattern overall is just Funky Dresden. Thanks Jennifer!

By Sunday evening, I was stitching down the binding on my finished quilt (maybe my fastest ever quilt finish)

My background colors are charcoal gray and white, with the lime green pop of color. Finished quilt is 30 inches square and the very feeble quilting was done on my domestic machine, just radiating lines which s fine, I guess. I'd really like to try a spiral on my next one, but I've never done that before & frankly it scares me. We'll see.

I also did matched binding so as not to take away from the simplicity of the quilt.

So there you have it. There has been interest in a tutorial. Naturally I was in such a hurry to get this done I didn't take any pictures of the process. So, I will work on a tutorial, but I'm going to need a few days. Meanwhile, if you're anxious to jump in and make one too, here's what you will need:

1 yard dark background
1 yard light background
1/2 yard contrast
18 degree dresden ruler - mine is creative grids. This will give you a 20 section circle. If you have a different size, that's ok, you just might need more or fewer wedges for your quilt
batting & backing bigger than 30" square.

 I can't wait to see what others come up with!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

baby quilt finish

A quick baby quilt finish shipped off to my niece who is expecting her first little one....
Made with fat quarters from my stash and brushed cotton on the back, making it so soft and cuddly. I used Debbie's quarter cut baby quilt tutorial for the second time. I love the way it comes together! Finished quilt is 40" square.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

modern mystery block of the month

Hubby and I have been flat out on the couch with the cooties for about 10 days. Neither of us has been sick like this in a long time. boo. The good thing is, we have binge watched The Crown and it gave me plenty of hand sewing time. I was happy to finish up the binding on this quilt so I can share it with you. Today was a nice day for a photo shoot, so we mustered up some energy and headed outside.
my trusty assistant

Last year, one of the gals in the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild designed a modern mystery block of the month. It was a skill builder of sorts, nudging us to try different techniques. I enjoyed making the variety of blocks using gray prints and bright solids from my stash.

I really like the end result! With a few tweaks to the provided layout, mine ended up about 54" X 60".  A nice lap size, or toddler sized quilt. I sent it off to my friend Sandy for quilting. Told her "do something modern" and this is the pattern  she used....
The pattern is called "water dance" & I think it adds the perfect modern touch to my quilt. Guild has allowed us a couple more months to finish up our quilts, so I'll have to wait to see what the other gals have done. I loved all of their blocks throughout the year, and I just know the finished quilts will be outstanding!

This is my first finish in the 2017 Finish-along.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2017 Finish Along first quarter goals

It's time to link up my first quarter goals for the finish along! 

First up, I WILL finish my Liberty Plus quilt, which I have decided to make into a pillow. As you can see, I'm almost finished with the English Paper Piecing....
Second, I will finish my Modern Block of the Month from McKinney Modern Quilt Guild. The topper is pieced, it needs to be quilted and bound. This has been a fun project!
Third, this beautiful bundle of scraps needs to become a pillow cover for my friend, Chris. The guild had a scrap swap and I was lucky to choose Chris's fabric to work with!
Fourth, I will make my Word of the Year quilt for 2017. I haven't chosen fabric (or even a color scheme!) yet, but I've been doodling a bit and playing with ideas. Oh, I also haven't shared my word here yet! It's Present, as in BE Present (not "buy me a present" haha). I look forward to exploring this more....
Fifth, and finally, I'm going to get back to making myself some garments. I'm thinking this fabric and pattern will be a good place to start...
So that's my list for the first quarter. I'm linking up here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Celebrating Dad

It was such a treat to travel to Phoenix this past weekend and celebrate my dad's 80th birthday. We had lots of family time and a big party and I don't think he stopped smiling the whole time!

Dad is the greatest guy I know! He loves people, is always the first to help when needed. He's kind and generous.... I have always looked up to him. It was fun to do nice things for him for a change!

Before we left I decided to whip up a little quilt for him to hang.....
Dad is a huge Cleveland Indians fan (we were really hoping for a World Series win last fall!) so I thought a chief wahoo mini would do the trick. I used a picture of chief wahoo to create the appliqué and I think it turned out pretty sweet! Dad seemed to like it too.

The weekend went way too fast & now I am home, nursing a nasty cold. Sigh.

Monday, January 2, 2017


Last year I chose EXPLORE as my word of the year.

I had several areas of my life that I was wishing to explore & it turned out to be a really good word for me. 

I began to explore weaving, with the purchase of a schacht rigid heddle loom in January.....

Weaving has been so much fun and so relaxing for me. In addition to experimenting with my new loom, I took a trip to Charlotte, NC, where Kathie taught me to weave on one of her floor looms. I plan to continue exploring new weaving techniques in the years to come.

Hubby and I had also decided to explore new options for worship in our community. It turned out, the first church we visited in the new year was a great fit for us. Trinity Presbyterian Church has become our new church home & I look forward to exploring ways I can become more involved this coming year.

As my knees continued to deteriorate, it became clear that I needed to explore new treatment options. I'd been getting by with meds and shots for years and it just wasn't cutting it anymore. In November, I had a total knee replacement and I'm already way more mobile than I was before the surgery.

As far as quilting goes, I attended 2 classes this year (oddly both involved variations on dresdens!)

I have also been exploring improv more, including participating in Debbie's crosscut quilt along

There are lots more examples of how I used my word, EXPLORE, this past year. All in all, it was a successful word for me! One I plan to continue using well into the future.


Saturday, December 31, 2016

fourth quarter of the finish along

Well, despite setting low goals for the fourth quarter finish along, knowing I was having surgery and all, I only finished two of the three items on my list. The third one is, however, well under way! I'll just add it to my first quarter goals for 2017 and be happy with that.

My first finish this quarter was my wonky dresden neighborhood quilt. I had so much fun with this one!
My second finish is my most recent bee quilt which has already been put to good use.

My Liberty plus quilt is still a work in progress.... although I am nearing the end of the piecing! I am thinking now that it may become a pretty pillow. We will know soon. This is the only goal I didn't reach in the finish along for the whole year. Pretty proud of myself for that.
How did you do with your quilty goals this year?

I'm linking up over at A Quilter's Table