Thursday, August 18, 2016

Christmas in August

Anybody else having a busy month? I have several things on my plate this month, so I thought a simple quilting project was in order.

Christmas quilt as you go table runner
A year ago, one of my favorite online quilt shops went out of business and I snatched up a few yards yards upon yards of fabric for 99 cents a yard! I used some to make pillowcases, some to make my Scintillating Stars quilt, and now I'm using some to make Christmas table runners. Don't worry, I still have plenty for future projects!

Christmas quilt as you go table runner

I started with nine different one-yard cuts of fabric from the S'Noel line by Dana Brooks for Henry Glass & Co. I cut each into 2.5" strips.
Christmas quilt as you go table runner

I spray basted a few yards of the gray print onto some cotton batting and started sewing the strips to the batting. This quilt-as-you-go technique is quick and doesn't require extra quilting afterward.

Christmas quilt as you go table runner

Once I had enough strips to reach the end of my batting, the quilt measured about 40" x 90".
Christmas quilt as you go table runner

I trimmed up the edges, cut the quilt in half to make two 40" squares, then cut each of those into thirds to create six table runners.
Christmas quilt as you go table runner

I used more of the strips that I had already cut to bind them.

Christmas quilt as you go table runner

I still have a large stack of strips left, so there will be more of these in my future!

Christmas quilt as you go table runner

Now I will print a few labels and send them off as Pay It Forward gifts! 

Christmas quilt as you go table runner

I'm never sure if I should count "table runners" in my overall quilt count. I haven't in the past because the word "quilt" isn't in "table runner." However, it still requires all of the same steps and is larger than many of my mini quilts (that I do count)!

Christmas quilt as you go table runner

Maybe I should just call them a "table quilt" so I can justify counting them!

Christmas quilt as you go table runner

If I add them to my count, then these six "table quilts" make quilt finishes 29 through 34 for the year!

Christmas quilt as you go table runner



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Then and Now

After my most recent quilt finish (the Round Robin quilt), I've been thinking a lot about how far I've come since my very first quilt. Then this week, my friend Leanne (she blogs at Devoted Quilter), is hosting a linky party on exactly that subject!


Baby quilt using fabric book panels

I made my first quilt in 2010. I bought a fabric book panel and coordinating solid fabrics from Jo-Ann's. I knew nothing about fabric and less about quilting! I watched YouTube videos for every step. Then called my mom with a million questions. Then called my grandma with even more! I thought everything had to be done the "right" way. I tried many techniques in that first quilt - applique, biased binding, and even free motion quilting!
Baby quilt using fabric book panels

I had no idea how to do free motion quilting. I didn't even have a sewing machine foot for it. I tried no foot at all (why did I even think that would work??), but found that if I used the knee lift to lift the presser foot just a little, I could sew around each picture. I broke a lot of needles, but the quilting turned out pretty good!

Baby quilt using fabric book panels

I knew I didn't want to hand sew the binding down, so I used a decorative stitch on my machine to stitch it down. The spacing was uneven, and it was the part I was least happy with.

After completing the quilt, I was hooked. I decided I would always try something new with every quilt I made in order to keep getting better.

I have made many quilts since that first one six years ago! Many have been mini quilts, but I count them as they allowed me to try new techniques. Much learning has occurred with each finish.

My latest quilt finish was my 69th quilt! I love the quilt SO much! It is a visual representation of how far I've come. The quilt was also a collaboration project between me and my best quilty friend, Heather. She has been so encouraging and helpful in my quilting journey.


Red and aqua round robin quilt

When piecing the quilt, I used some "advanced" techniques like paper piecing and y-seams. Each round required quilt math, as there were no patterns or standard measurements.


Red and aqua round robin quilt

When quilting, I used a walking foot for straight lines and a darning foot for free motion quilting. Of course there are imperfections, but overall, the quality of quilting surprised even me!

Red and aqua round robin quilt


See all the quilts I've made here.

Practice makes progress! Keep quilting!



Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Teal Mini Swap 2016

Have you ever participated in a quilt swap?



Maybe you remember my deer quilt? Or my art quilt of the road I live on? Or my Horton quilt? Or my big dipper quilt? Those were all for quilt swaps!

Reverse applique deer mini quiltBig dipper mini quiltHorton Hears a Who Dr. Seuss mini quilt

Deer autumn leaves art mini quilt

In a quilt swap, you make a mini quilt and mail it to another participant, and someone mails you one in return!

If you've been around here for awhile, you know I love mini quilts! They are perfect for trying something new. Even with the most challenging patterns, a mini quilt is a relatively quick finish. Of the 28 quilts I've finished this year, 21 are mini quilts! "Make a cathedral window quilt" has been on my quilty bucket list for years! A couple months ago I scratched that itch and my cathedral window mini mini quilt was featured last week in Issue 12 of Make Modern Magazine!

My friend, Beth of EvaPaige Quilt Designs, is hosting a one-of-a-kind quilt swap during the month of September to raise awareness for ovarian cancer. Beth started the swap five years ago in honor of her mother who passed away from the disease. She is hoping for a record number of participants this year! (Don't know Beth? Check out her blog or Facebook page! She's honest, real, and hilarious. And a spitting image of one of her teenage daughters.)
Teal mini quilt swap

The swap costs $15 - $10 goes to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and $5 goes towards the administrative costs of the swap.

After you sign up, Beth will send you an 8" x 8" square of teal fabric to use in your mini quilt. Slice it, dice it, put it on the back, but use it somewhere! Every mini quilt and mug rug will have the fabric in it. I can't wait to see how creative everyone gets! (Fabric is a print from Basic Mixology by Moda.)

Teal mini quilt swap 2016 fabric Basic Mixology by Moda

Another unique component to this swap is that the person you make a mini quilt or mug rug for is the person that will be making one for you! Make a quilt, make a friend!

Teal mini quilt swap

You'll have the entire month of September (ovarian cancer awareness month) to make your mini quilt (18" square max) or mug rug (10" square max).
Teal mini quilt swap

Signing up is easy! Just click the "Register now!" button on the very bottom of this page!

Join the Teal Mini Swap Facebook page to share pictures of the swap mini quilts, encourage other participants, and read personal stories of how ovarian cancer has affected the members of the group.

Be sure to check out these other bloggers that are participating too!

August 3 - Slice of Pi Quilts
August 4 - Quilting Gallery

As a thank you for stopping by and reading about the Teal Mini Swap, I have a giveaway for you! Giveaway now closed.

Teal mini quilt swap

Mistyfuse has donated a large package (10 yards!) of Mistyfuse for one lucky reader! Have you ever used Mistyfuse? The description from their website says: "Use paper-less Mistyfuse® for all weights of fabric from velvets and cottons to delicate tulles and organzas. It's a dream to work with—it handles well, is incredibly sheer, doesn't add bulk and bonds firmly once cooled. Since there is no added adhesive, it will never gum up your scissors or quilting needles. Each package comes with simple instructions for easy fusing with no waste."

How to enter: just comment below and tell me what's on your quilty bucket list! Is there a skill you haven't tried yet? Or a quilty event you want to attend?

I want to try curved piecing and go on a quilting cruise!

Teal mini quilt swap


Feel free to share about the swap with a friend or on social media - let's help Beth get a record number of participants this year! (Use the first image on this post to tell your friends that you're participating!)

Disclaimer: Giveaway is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Blogger. By entering, entrants confirm they are 18+ years of age, release Blogger of responsibility, and agree to Blogger's terms of use. No purchase necessary to win. Open to legal residents in the contiguous US only that are 18+ years of age. Giveaway starts at 12:00am CDT August 3, 2016 and ends at 11:59pm CDT on August 7, 2016. Winner will receive a Mistyfuse collection with a retail value of approximately $30. Odds of winning determined by number of eligible entries received. How to enter: leave a comment on this post. One comment per person. Duplicate comments will be deleted. Winner will be chosen by random.org on August 8, 2016 from all eligible entries and notified by email. If prize is unclaimed after three days, a new winner will be chosen by random.org. Winner is responsible for paying any taxes related to the prize. By entering this giveaway, you release Slice of Pi Quilts from any liability whatsoever. Void where prohibited by law.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Round Robin - A Finished Quilt

In January, my best quilty friend, Heather, and I started a Round Robin quilt. Now, just over seven months later, we both have finished quilts!

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt

Aqua and purple feather round robin quilt

Do you remember how it worked? We set some rules (that we I often broke) and each started by making a center block. Then we mailed the block to the other person to add a border. Then switched two more times to add another border each round. We then gave ourselves two three months to finish the quilts. (Read about the previous rounds here: Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, and Round 4.)

Let's look back at how Heather's quilt came to be!

Aqua and purple feather round robin quilt

Aqua and purple feather round robin quilt

Aqua and purple feather round robin quilt

Aqua and purple feather round robin quilt

Heather really felt that the quilt did not need anything more added to it from a design perspective, but she wanted the quilt large enough to use as a throw.

Aqua and purple feather round robin quilt

She decided to add a 10" border to the top and bottom and a 5" border to each side using a light colored print fabric with hints of purple and turquoise.

Aqua and purple feather round robin quilt

The back is pieced with purple and gray fabric, and she used a low-loft polyester batting.

Aqua and purple feather round robin quilt

To quilt it, she started by hand quilting with turquoise thread around the feathers in the center block. So unexpected - and my favorite part!

Aqua and purple feather round robin quilt

Then she used a walking foot to sitch in the ditch to quilt the rest of the quilt.

Aqua and purple feather round robin quilt

Aqua and purple feather round robin quilt

She finished the quilt with a purple binding. The quilt finished around 68" x 56". A great throw quilt size!

Aqua and purple feather round robin quilt

Aqua and purple feather round robin quilt

Aqua and purple feather round robin quilt

Isn't she beautiful?!

Aqua and purple feather round robin quilt

Now let's look at how my quilt came to be!

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt

I had several ideas for borders that I considered adding. However, I decided that none of them would actually make the quilt better. They would just be adding for the sake of adding. So I decided to leave the quilt as is and just "quilt the life into it." Or quilt it to death. Or spend hours upon hours sitting at my sewing machine.

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt
Red and aqua string star round robin quilt

I pieced a back using red fabric and various aqua scraps. I used a low-loft polyester batting.

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt

I used my walking foot to quilt parts of it, but also used my darning foot to free motion quilt other parts. All quilting was done on my Bernina Record 930.

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt

I used the same red fabric for the binding that is on the back. The quilt finished at 48" x 48".

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt
 Red and aqua string star round robin quilt
Each of our quilts traveled 2,532 miles (assuming the USPS took the most direct route - HA!), we each tried several things we had never done before, and we each have a quilt that symbolizes a friendship that started in college and has grown stronger because of quilting.

Aqua and purple feather round robin quilt

Red and aqua string star round robin quilt

We both enjoyed this collaborative project very much and have already started brainstorming what we could do next!