Fan Dance Quilt – A Modern Quilt Guild Challenge

I am finally revealing my Michael Miller Modern Quilt Guild challenge quilt!  When I saw the fabric, at first I was really excited about it…then I got nervous. The colors are really not my colors. I find it hard to work with some colors and when I struggle with that the entire quilt becomes a struggle.  After a month and a half of staring at the fabrics I decided to take out my huge 10 degree wedge ruler and play with the fabrics. I had a few designs in mind and this is what I settled on:

Fan Dance Quilt - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comI’m calling this quilt – Fan Dance – because it kind of looks like the fans are dancing with each other.  I still wasn’t keen on the top after I finished it, so I decided to turn it into an FMQ sampler. After I finished all the quilting, I finally fell in love with it.

Fan Dance Quilt - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comI did 9 different FMQ designs and had the sides become mirror images.  This was a huge skill builder for me and made me want to spend even more time practicing different FMQ Designs. I’m not sure you can tell but I alternated between sharp and soft designs. Click on the picture to see a larger view.

Here is a close up of the center section, which happens to be my favorite element of the quilt:

Fan Dance Center Section - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comSince I was at my parents house when I finished the quilt, I had to take a picture of the finished quilt on their old wooden bench. It is a tradition when I am home. I just love that bench!

Fan Dance Bench - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comThis quilt was gifted to a dear friend of our family and she loved it.

Quilt Stats:

Name: Fan Dance
Designed and Quilted by: Melissa Dunworth (me)
Size: 60×60
Fabrics: Michael Miller Petal Pinwheels and Kona Ash, bound with American Made Brand
Thread: Aurifil Mako 50/2

I do love a good finish!

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Posted in Modern Quilt Guild, Sew BitterSweet Designs Patterns, SSMQG | 7 Comments

Week 30 Goals

I have 3 goals this week. Number 1 is to get caught up on emails. Number 2 is to start getting caught up on all my wonderful blogging friends and what they have been up to.  Number 3 I want to finish piecing this top and get it basted if I can.

Do Good Stitches - HST Quilt - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.com

These are the blocks I requested from the Trust Circle of Do Good Stitches back in May when it was my month to be the quilter. I asked for the ladies to make their 2 favorite HST blocks using cool colors. I told them the quilt would be for a teenage girl. Can I just say that these ladies delivered!!! I feel so incredibly blessed to work with these women. I have connected with Kristy from Hopeful Threads to find this quilt a home and that is a whole different story that has made me cry several times.

Wish me luck as I work on this gorgeous quilt!

On a different note, today I am entering two quilts and a dress into our local county fair. I am nervous to put myself out there for “judging” but excited at the same time.

Have a wonderful Monday!

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Posted in Do.Good Stitches, Goals | 6 Comments

June Winners – A Lovely Year of Finishes

ALYoF2014We announced on our Facebook group that we would be a tad late announcing the June winners, thank you for bearing with us. Shanna and I both left at the beginning of July to spend some time with our families and had wonderful vacations. It was a lovely break, but it is time to get back to business as usual! On with the winners!

 1.  Green Fairy Quilts – 3 pdf patterns

Andrea – Flickr

2.PDF Pattern from Persimon Dreams

Project QUILTING

Jody – Flickr

3. $15 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop

Kris – Sew Sunshine

4. One PDF Pattern from Meadow Mist Designs

 Meadow Mist Designs Button

Deb – Deb’s Doodling

5, 6. One pdf Pattern from Clover and Violet

 cloverandviolet

Ellie – Color My World
Patty – A Stitch In Time

7. Thimblepie’s Quilt Supplies - Custom fabric package, 4 yards (worth $20) plus free shipping

Lisa – Flickr

8. One pdf pattern from  Sew Sweetness

 Sew Sweetness

Moneik – Moneik Quilts

9, 10. TWO winners each getting to choose one pdf pattern

from Sew BitterSweet Designs ($10 value)

 http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.com/

Tammy – Karamat Sew
Heidi – Red Letter Quilts

11. Thread Prize from Aurifil

Kristyn – Melon Patch Quilts

12. Quilting Patterns designed by Quilting Lodge

 

Nicole – Quilting Like a Maniac

13. 1 Charm pack or $10.00 gift certificate to

Stitches n’ Giggles (winners choice)

Sandy – Sew…This Is My Blog

Congratulations to all of our winners! Keep up with your finishes!!!!

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Posted in A Lovely Year of Finishes, Fiber of All Sorts | 2 Comments

A Lovely Year of Finishes – July Participant Highlight

ALYoF2014July has been a busy one for Shanna and I, both of us have had lots of travel!  We are finally getting back into the swing things. Winners from June will be announced soon, Mr. Random has selected them we are in the process of notifying everyone.

In the meantime, we would love to introduce another awesome participant to you! Jess from Quilty Habit!

Blog name: Quilty Habit
Blog address: http://quiltyhabit.blogspot.com
Name you’re known by throughout quilting world: Jess @ Quilty Habit

What’s your ALYoF goal this month?

I want to finish my orange peel baby quilt, a quilt I designed for the Orange Peel Quilt-A-Long! This goal isn’t very lofty because: 1. I’ve already had a huge head start on the top, and 2. I’m in head-over-heels in love with the fabrics I’m using (Pretty Potent by Anna Maria Horner). I’m sure to get this one done quickly. I am already thinking about how I’m going to quilt it and what my next orange peel project will be!

Orange peels

Shameless plug – if anyone wants to join in on the fun, I have a page dedicated to the QAL, which runs until September 8. There are three size categories and prizes, as well as a Viewer’s Choice award – so come and design a quilt with orange peels! They are way too much fun, promise!

Orange Peel QAL resized

How do you approach your sewing goals? I have a lot of trouble following through with goals, mostly because I hate to put too much pressure on myself for a hobby. Granted, I sew for at least an hour even on my busiest days, so it’s a big part of my life, but I feel like that doesn’t mean I *have* to get certain projects finished all the time. I am a big follower of inspiration urges – I only work on projects I feel inclined to work on. Yes, deadlines are important (see below), but it’s not fun to me anymore if I force it (and it is supposed to be fun!). I do set monthly and quarterly goals now thanks to ALYoF and the Finish-A-Long, but otherwise, I try keep myself open to whatever comes up.

How do you organize/prioritize your projects?

My typical approach to life is this: whenever I feel overwhelmed, I make a list. If I’m feeling extra antsy I’ll write down all the deadlines, even if I know when the are. I’m primarily a visual learner so any cues (dates, huge underlines, very bold pen marks, smiley faces) are helpful. :) In terms of deadlines, I try to reward myself. For example: “If I finish this quilt top that’s due on (x), I can take a small break before quilting it to work on this selfish pillow/quilt top/what have you.” I’m like a little kid: rewards go a long way around here. Milkshakes made or brought home by my very supportive husband work, too!

Here is a picture of Jess and her Husband with their wedding quilt:

our wedding quilt

What is your current favorite project that you are working on? Will you share pictures with us?

My current favorite project is actually in “time out” – my (predominantly) Anna Maria Horner medallion quilt. I’ve been snooping on and scheming up medallion quilts for a while and decided to design my own, border by border. I have a general sketch in my notebook but I’m still deciding what to do next. Besides the fact that I’m using my favorite fabrics, it’s also been such a blast to really dig into the creative process and do whatever I want. It’s in time out because I just need time to decide what’s next!

Medallion 1

What is your dream project to work on?

Oh, wow, what a question! I have two. One, I would love to make a double wedding ring quilt or a really intense Irish Chain quilt one day. I haven’t psyched myself up to all the little DWR templates yet. Maybe that’s a project for next year. Two, I would love to collaborate and piece, quilt, bind, etc. a quilt with a friend (the whole way through, in person, together).

What is your favorite time of day to sew?

I love to sew in the afternoon when I can! I get pretty good natural light in my sewing space then, and that makes for optimal precision. I worked a job in the morning and a job at night for the last year, so midday was when I had the most free time to sew. It works out!

What is your favorite quilting/sewing accessory?

My current favorite is those seam rippers with the rubber or plastic on the cap. A friend recently showed me how to sweep away the threads from your seam ripping using the cap, and I *had* to have one! It’s funny – as a self-taught quilter, I feel like I have missed out on a lot of tools and knowledge that others have, but that’s okay. My guild members are always pointing out new things to me, and I so appreciate it!

What is your number one quilting/sewing goal for 2014?

I want to submit three quilts to QuiltCon, so my goal is to get the last one done. It’s a progressive quilts from a bee my friends and I created, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts. A couple of the quilts are still going, but we hope to open up more rounds afterwards. My quilt top is finished and just needed to be backed, quilted, and bound! I am amazed by the sewing prowess of my friends. It was so cool to see a quilt evolve from my starter into a modern kitchen sink quilt in the colors I chose!

DSC00415

What is one technique you really want to learn?

I would love to learn how to quilt on a longarm. My friend Jess has one and has promised I can practice sometime. :) I’ve done a lot of FMQ on my home machine and I l.o.v.e. it, but for certain quilts (like the medallion quilt) I really want to give special treatment/try something new.

Here is a picture of Jess’s Sewing Space – I love seeing other quilter’s spaces!

Sewing spaceThank you so much Jess for joining Shanna and I, we loved learning a bit more about you!!!

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Posted in A Lovely Year of Finishes, Fiber of All Sorts | 5 Comments

Slowing getting back

You know when you get back from vacation and it is really really hard to sit down at a computer again? I’m there. I am struggling with the notion of sitting down and doing something productive. I must have really enjoyed my semi-unplugged vacation.

I did get some sewing done yesterday and completed 3 more of my 10 blocks. Only 6 blocks to go, it feels manageable now!

Swap Blocks - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comHave you been sewing?

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Posted in swaps | 8 Comments