Sunday Stash #6: February Fabric Club Bundles

I have two fabric “subscriptions” that I get every month.  There are quite a few monthly fabric clubs you can join, and I did quite a bit of research and calculating before deciding on two and subscribing to them.  One club to build up my printed stash, and one to build up my solid (Kona) stash.

Citrus

Citrus

The printed fabric club I chose is the Rainbow Must-Stash from The Intrepid Thread (of course!).   I chose the 6 half-yard half-stash bundle.  This month was a beautiful rainbow of a new stash builder Julie got into the shop called “Citrus”.  So bright and cheerful… I just love it!

WM Marmalade Fabrics February half yd Kona bundle

Around The Color Wheel: Kona Solids HY bundle
I just realized I didn’t photograph this with the Kona Snow that was included in the bundle. Oops!

The solid fabric club I chose is the Around The Color Wheel half-yard Kona bundle by Marmalade Fabrics.  I have been able to build up my solids using this club, and this month I was able to add white/neutrals to my stash.  I have only been using Kona Snow as my go-to background fabric, so it was nice to get a few of the other whites to see how I like them.  It also turned out to be perfect timing, because two of my hive-mates in the Modern Insta-Bee have asked for Kona White to be their background color.  I also love how Tammy labels each fabric piece.  I have also learned to keep track of those labels.

(Someone here very possibly might have just ordered 3 yards of Caribbean Kona because that was the label on one side of a particular piece of half-yard fabric, and then discovered that what they actually wanted to order was 3 yards of Capri Kona… whose label happened to be on the other side of the particular piece of half-yard fabric.)  

Around The Color Wheel Low Volume FQ bundle

Around The Color Wheel
Low Volume FQ bundle

This month Tammy inadvertently sent me the Around The Color Wheel Low Volume fat quarter bundle.  Since I don’t have a lot of low volume fabrics in my stash, this was a really fortunate accident.  Mainly because I just love these fabrics, but also because a third hive-mate is asking for a low volume background for her block.  Again with the great timing from Tammy!!

The one thing I love about these clubs is that every time I’ve gotten my fabric in, I’ve always had a need for one or more of the pieces of fabric included in the bundles.  Plus, I’m guaranteed happy mail at least twice a month!

I’m linking up with the ever fabulous and always inspirational, Molli Sparkles Mila + Cuatro

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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!

 


To-Do Tuesday: 2-18-14

It’s that time again… Time to whip out a To-Do list of things you’d like to accomplish for the next seven days! How did you do last week? I did better than I expected. I completed my Riley Blake Challenge Quilt (FINALLY!!!), finished my February Modern InstaBee block, made the Week 3 Vintage Quilt Revival blocks, and fixed my SkillBuilder 2014 ruler block (the instructions had some piecing wrong). I was able to get my Sugar Block Club fabric for the February block cut, but did not have time to assemble it today. This past week was pretty busy, and I even agreed to take on an extra project for someone in the midst of all that I had to do. I found that my list was helpful in that, 1. It kept me from starting other blocks that weren’t on the list (oh-so-tempting); and, 2. I actually stuck with what was on my list, despite the urge to put the “ucky” thing off for another week (ripping apart my ruler block and fixing it). Here’s this week’s To-Do list:

  • Package and mail Bee block Done Feb 18th
  • Finish February Sugar Block Club Block Done Feb 18th
  • Make Week 4 and Week 5 Vintage Quilt Revival blocks Done Feb 23rd
  • Make Skillbuilder BOM 2014 Block #3 “Stitches”
  • Take pictures for upcoming “Sunday Stash” Posts Done Feb 18th
  • Wrap fabric piles onto Comic Book Boards Done Feb 19th
  • Quilt Skillbuilder BOM 2014 “Ruler” and “Spools” blocks
  • Write up Riley Blake Challenge blog post Done Feb 19th
  • Write up Sugar Block Club blog post
  • Make January Bag of the Month (put off until March)
  • Make February Bag of the Month (put off until March)

Now it’s your turn!  Write up your post and link up here! I can’t wait to read how you did with your list this past week, and what you have planned for the upcoming week! Rules:

  1. Link up your To-Do Tuesday blog post using the InLinkz linky (below).
  2. Try to visit at least one to two other blogs and leave a nice comment!
  3. Please feel free to grab the blog button to show that you’re participating in To-Do Tuesday!

That’s it!  Now let’s get sewing… or whatever there is to do on your list!

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Sunday Stash #5

I’ve mentioned before that my favorite quilt shop is The Intrepid Thread.  I really do buy the majority of my fabrics from there… Julie is awesome and the shipping is quick.  And…No, this isn’t sponsored, this is simply my own opinion that I’m sharing.

I’ve made some purchases from Julie over the past two months that I haven’t talked about yet.  I’ve been spacing out the pictures of new fabrics added to the stash because I will have pretty long spells between buying fabrics.  This way I hope to be able to have a Sunday Stash picture every Sunday of the year!

This week I have Florence by Denyse Schmidt.  I know, I know… everyone has purchased Florence by now. I’m probably the last quilter on earth to have gotten my hands on some of this fabric.  I purchased these first four prints to have for bag making.  So I ordered one yard of each.  I am so in love with the plaid.

Florence

I decided to use the grey Medallion print as an inspiration for a fabric pull for another project, and then Julie had a sale.  So decided to pick up a few more Florence prints in half yards.  I love this fabric line SO much. These aren’t my usual colors that I’m attracted to, but for some reason I absolutely love them.  I’m thinking that means I’m growing in my quilting endeavors… choosing prints and colors that are out of my comfort zone.

WM Florence 2

When I purchased the last set of Florence prints, I also chose a few prints from Bonnie Christine’s Sweet As Honey line. I love how AGF fabric feels, and these prints are so fresh and beautiful. I bought one yard of each… I envision more bag making with this fabric.

WM Sweet as Honey

The bee hive print is a lot brighter than I expected.  Think coral in neon. Not my usual choice (neons), but it will make a fantastic lining or pocket.

WM Sweet as Honey bundle

And this bee.  THIS BEE. Oh. My.  I thought I would really like it looking at the picture online, but seeing it in person?  LOVE.  So much love.

WM Sweet as Honey Bee

I can’t wait to see the other Sunday Stash posts! I’m linking up with the ever fabulous and always inspirational, Molli Sparkles.

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