Category Archives: Quilting

Sugar Block Club 2014

SBC-2014-Large-Button

Last year I participated in the 2013 Sugar Block Club by Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock.  I enjoyed it so much that I signed up to sew along with her again for the 2014 Sugar Block Club! On the first day of each month Amy sends a new pattern and a yummy recipe.  This year she decided to go beyond a pattern and recipe and has included a personal challenge for each month.

Kim's Quilt - The Sugar Block Club

Last Year’s 2013 Sugar Block Club Quilt

I must admit that I have not focused a lot on the personal challenge aspect of the BOM.  Not that I don’t want to, I’ve just found myself so busy that I haven’t had the time.  What I find interesting is that I’ll read through the challenge and even though I don’t have time to really meditate and think on it, I will remember it as situations come up during the month.  So even though I haven’t made it a focus of my month, Amy’s words resonate with me throughout the month.  And I appreciate the extra “food for thought” aspect of participating in this sew along.

Inspiration fabric

Inspiration fabric (sorry for the bad picture)

Last year I went with Kate Spain’s Cuzco fabric line when sewing up my blocks.  This year I decided to challenge myself in my weakest area as a quilter: Color.  My fabric pull was inspired by the grey Medallion print in Denyse Schmidt’s Florence line. It is a print that has all the colors/shades that I am not comfortable using together.  I determined that if Denyse Schmidt could put a fantastic fabric line together using them, then I should be able to put together prints and use them together in a block.

Fabric Pull

Fabric Pull

I had fun with January’s block. I will be using the Medallion print as a focal part of each block. Choosing the black fabric to be part of the center of the block had me chuckling at how “rebel-ish” I felt at doing something different.  I really liked how it turned out!

January Block

January Block

February’s block was a bit more difficult for me.  Lately I seem to be having trouble with making my seams too scant.  When I trim the block up I end up taking too much off so that when the blocks are finally assembled any points at the edges will have been taken off because I cut into the seam allowance.  I had a particularly difficult time with this on a couple of other blocks. It’s not as bad on this block as it was on another (that I ripped out and re-sewed THREE times), but this is clearly an area for me to work on.

February Block

February Block

Again with the black in the center!!  I am having fun with these fabrics and using them together.  I think 2014 is the year of trying different things and so far I’m loving it!

 


Vintage Quilt Revival: Catch Up

I am finally caught up with the Vintage Quilt Revival block-along that Sukie – Don’t you know who I am? is hosting. Whew! When finishing my Riley Blake Challenge I had to put all other projects aside, including these blocks. It’s amazing how far behind you can feel when committing to doing two blocks per week.  Glad I took some time and focused on getting these done!

Blocks for Week 3:

Dove at the Window

Dove at the Window

Art Square

Art Square

I had a very difficult time with Art Square.  I figured it would be the easiest, but ended up sewing with the wrong seam allowance (too scant) and when trimming I went into the 1/4″ seam allowance.  Which basically meant my points would be chopped off when putting the borders on the block.  I ripped it all apart, cut new HST’s and sewed it up again.  But this time I messed up the seam allowance the other way (not scant enough), and had to adjust that.  Thankfully I checked before sewing the entire square together.  It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for me!

Blocks for Week 4:

Riviera

Riviera

Dakota Star

Dakota Star

Out of all the blocks made so far, I think Riviera is my favorite. Those points. I. Die.  I have never made such an almost-perfect block (yes, I actually am bragging a bit here).

Blocks for Week 5:

Rolling Square

Rolling Square

Red Cross

Red Cross

These are the blocks for this week.  I really pushed myself to use color combinations that I would not normally put together, not to mention colors that I would usually not choose to use.  These Modern Solids fabrics have really been amazing to work with.  There is a fairly limited selection of colors, and I am determined to get all the colors into this quilt.  These blocks really showcase this fabric, and this fabric really makes my blocks look amazing.

I had a friend stop by recently and I showed her the fabric.  She said that it looked great in pictures, but in person these fabrics are even more amazing.  I have to agree.  I am really sold on these fabrics, and if you have an opportunity to get your hands on some, or at least see (and feel) them in person, I would highly recommend doing so.  They’re really worth it! (Disclaimer:  I have not been paid to say any of this by Alissa or the manufacturer.  Nor has any fabric been given to me.  But I’m totally willing to accept both.  Ha!! Just kidding, Alissa!!!)

Linking up with Sukie!

Vintage Quilt Revival Block Along


My first self-designed quilt: The Riley Blake Challenge

"Follow The Riley Blake Road"  Designed, sewed & Quilted by Christine Slaughter

“Follow The Riley Blake Road”
Designed, pieced & quilted by Christine Slaughter

Last year The Modern Quilt Guild announced The Riley Blake Fabric Challenge. It took me a couple of weeks to decide if I wanted to sign up.  I had never done anything like this before, only having made quilts with other people’s patterns, or with Block-of-the-Months. Finally, I decided that it was time to stretch myself as a quilter.  A MODERN quilter.

In the Individual Group on The Modern Quilt Guild community, a question was recently asked about how we each go about our design process. This post is an explanation of my process in creating my challenge quilt.

First of all, I procrastinated on this quilt for two months.  I think that’s probably the best way to start a project, no?!  Sheesh!  In my defense, I had a crap-ton of Christmas sewing to get done before I could get started.  Although, I did have this project constantly swirling around my mind.  In January, I sat down with some graph paper and started to fill in squares.  That seems to be the only way I can visualize quilts.  Also, the squares are EVEN on all sides, and my math-challenged brain appreciates the simple math of “each square is either 1 or 2-inch squares”.  In this case, I chose one inch squares. Then, I grabbed my colored pencils and started filling in the rectangles I drew.

Old Skool. Graph Paper, Pencils & eraser.

Old Skool. Graph paper and pencils.

I liked what I came up with, with the exception of the odd ball rectangles in the top-left and bottom-right corners.  When I looked at the paper as a whole, I realized I basically created a Percent sign (%).  Not. Happening. After erasing the offending “percent” parts of the design, I decided I needed to see the pattern better… without all the lines or the erased areas.  Call it OCD if you like.  I spent the better part of an evening on Libre OfficeCalc (Ubuntu’s version of Excel) recreating what I drew on graph paper.  Then I typed out ALL the pieces that needed to be cut from each grid square.

No eraser marks!

No eraser marks!

After cutting and piecing the quilt top, I needed to design the back of the quilt.  I didn’t have enough of the aqua chevrons to keep the fabric in the same direction, so I decided to cut it into 10.5″ squares and rotate the chevrons every-other-square.  I pulled out my trusty graph paper, drew and colored in the design, and listed the pieces to be cut.  Annnndddd…. at about 75% of the way through cutting out the squares, I realized that I had cut them to FINISHED size: 10″ instead of 10.5″.  ARGH!! I grabbed the graph paper and decided to add in a 3″ white vertical stripe and 3″ white horizontal stripe to make up the difference in lost inches.  I think it broke up the all of the aqua in the back of the quilt and made a nice design element! *Whew*

Again with the graph paper & pencils.  Also, not all mistakes are bad!

Again with the graph paper & pencils. Also, not all mistakes are bad!

 

The completed back with the not-planned-for white stripes.  Love this "mistake"!

The completed back with the not-planned-for white stripes. Love this “mistake”!

After creating the back and basting the quilt, I needed to decide how to actually QUILT it.  I figured all that white space would be a perfect area to create a negative of the colored rectangles.  So, I grabbed the computer, went back to the Libre OfficeCalc worksheet, and started outlining rectangles.  It was a perfect way for me to see how the quilt design would look overall.

WM Riley Blake screenshot

Next came the task of actually marking the quilt.  I realized that I probably should have noted in the boxes how many inches each rectangle was.  Since each square is one inch, I just started writing the numbers in the boxes on a printout of the worksheet.  I didn’t print grid lines, so I definitely needed the extra help in noting how big to mark the rectangles pattern to be quilted.  Also, marking with a yellow chalk pencil on white fabric sucks.  Especially when it’s time to quilt.  So. Hard. To. See.  I didn’t want to use a FriXion pen, because they have a tendency to not disappear all the way. It was a struggle getting this one quilted… But it got done!

Inches and Inches... and more Inches!

Inches and Inches… and more Inches!

WM Marking quilt

Looks nice and bright here… Yeah, not really.

The quilting took me about a day and a half to do, then the binding was another day’s work.  I got the challenge submitted with about 5 days to spare… Probably a record for me.  As I was quilting it I kept thinking, “Follow The Riley Blake Road”.  I had kicked around several names for the quilt, but after hours of that phrase being repeated in my head, I knew that had to be the name.

I completely enjoyed this challenge.  And, for me, it WAS a challenge.  Big thanks to The Modern Quilt Guild and Riley Blake for the fabric and the opportunity to participate!  The top 10 finalists were posted today, and they are FABULOUS!  If you’d like to see them, you can find the post HERE.  Congratulations to the finalists… your work is awesome!

 


The Granddaughter’s Housewarming Present

Mister’s granddaughter, who I proudly claim as my granddaughter too (even though she’s actually old enough to be my daughter… Or rather, I’m young enough to be her mother. Nevermind, that’s probably a story for another day. Or not. Annnyyyyyywayyyyy). She turned 18 in November and graduated from high school shortly thereafter.  6 months early! This granddaughter is a highly motivated, independent and smart young woman. And she is taking charge of life and planning/organizing/living it well.

While we have enjoyed watching her grow up these past few years that she has lived near us, we recently had the privilege of being invited to her first “this is my own place” for a housewarming party.  And I immediately decided to make her a set of four placemats and napkins.

Placemats & Napkins

Placemats & Napkins

I only had about three days to decide on a pattern, buy fabric, and get everything made.  On Tuesday night I discovered Elizabeth Hartman’s Color Block Placemats + Napkins sew along on Sew Mama Sew.  On Wednesday we had errands to run, shopping to do, and appointments to attend to, so I all I was able to get done that day was a run to Hobby Lobby to pick up the fabrics, and then pre-wash and iron them that evening.

Hobby Lobby fabrics

Hobby Lobby fabrics

I am NOT a fan of the Hobby Lobby material.  But I did not have time to order any from my usual shops, so I had to make do.  They had some nice looking fabrics in colors that the granddaughter mentioned she liked (darker neutrals and neutrals), so I picked them up and hoped for the best.  I also found some Kona in the Sand color there, and added that to the bundle as well.  There is such an obvious difference in the quality of fabric that after I assembled the placemats I fused some Pellon SF101 to the back just to add some sturdiness to them.

Napkin

Napkin

The first day of sewing I was able to get all the fabrics cut, and the napkins done.  The second day I pieced the placemats, quilted them and completely finished the binding on two of them.  On the third day (the day of the party) I finished handsewing the binding to the back of the placemats.  I actually had about 4 hours to spare… which seems to be the norm for me. *sigh*  One day I’ll do better at planning ahead!

Quilting on the reverse side of the placemat.  Also, I remembered to add my personalized label!

Quilting on the reverse side of the placemat. Also, I remembered to add my personalized label!

I think the granddaughter liked the placemat/napkin set.  It looks fancier than I wanted, and I had to tell her that they were meant to be used. Hopefully she’ll use them! I actually like this pattern so much that I may make some for the house here.  I also may make them for some Christmas presents too.

Way to go, granddaughter!! We are so proud of you and so happy for you!

“Gramma C”