Tag Archives: Modern

Finished Friday | The Modern InstaBee 2014 Quilt

Another Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday post! This is my second WIP quilt finish this year, and I couldn’t be more pleased that I am on track with my sewing and quilting goals.

2014 Modern InstaBee Quilt

2014 Modern InstaBee Quilt

This quilt was my first Bee experience. This quilting bee started on Instagram not long after Lindsay Conner’s book, Modern Bee — 13 Quilts To Make With Friends was published. Someone had an idea to organize a virtual quilting bee and I jumped at the opportunity. Suffice it to say that this experience is also the reason I will never participate in a bee again. There were many lessons learned about being a bee member, and what not to do when participating in a bee. On a positive side, I met more than a few people who have become great Instagram friends and for that I am grateful for this experience. And, as Forest Gump would say, that’s all I have to say about that.

My month in the bee was November of 2014. At that point in the bee I think everyone was pretty much over it, so I asked for everyone to make the Come Together block in the book since it was easy. I requested that they make a scrappy block with fabrics that they were drawn to and that represented them. I put no restrictions on colors, I just wanted every one to have a low-key, no pressure month with their bee block. And also use up some of their scraps if they wanted! Once I received all the blocks I put them away as I was feeling a bit down about the bee experience and I didn’t want to look at them for a while. I pulled the blocks out in August of 2015 and realized that many of them were smaller than the 20.5″ they were supposed to be. Since this is a forgiving block, I trimmed them all down to 20″ and sewed them together into the top. When the top was done, I really started to love the scrappy look it had.

Quilt Back

Quilt Back

For the quilt back I used the black words on white background wide-back fabric from Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics. I enjoy the look of the texty background and I think it’s brings some cohesiveness to my scrappy front. Also, I thought it was awesome that I didn’t have to spend time planning and piecing a back after having recently done the Grungy Windows quilt backing! I loved being able to just starch and press the fabric, measure and cut it, and BOOM! I was done! I may possibly be getting more wide-back fabric in the future. This was fantabulous!

Since I was on a roll with the speediness of the quilt backing coming together, I chose to quilt a large all-over swirl pattern. I used 40 weight Aurifil thread, and it quilted beautifully! I did much better with my machine speed and hand movements, so I don’t have many thread goobers on the back as I did with the Grungy Windows quilt. Yes! Oh, I tried a different batting this time too. I used Quilter’s Dream Orient and I had ZERO thread breaks. The machine felt like it glided around the entire quilt. I think I have found my perfect quilting combination: Aurifil thread and Quilter’s Dream Orient batting.

2014 Modern InstaBee Binding

After it was quilted and squared up, it took me about an hour to figure out what to do with the binding. I was hoping to find a multi-colored fabric in my stash, but nothing really jumped out at me. I grabbed this Jenean Morrison True Colors Ribbon Red print and when I held it to the front I liked how it looked with all the various blocks. When I held it to the backing, I was in love. I think that texty fabric and this True Colors print is a match made in fabric heaven!

2014 Modern InstaBee edited Quilt Label

I remembered to add my quilt label, but only after quilting. I didn’t want to piece it into the backing, but I regret not attaching it before quilting so that I could have it quilted on. I really like the look of the label being fully integrated into the quilt, rather than having it sewn on (and potentially taken off by someone else later). Next time I will fuse it down and then quilt, rather than hand-stitch it into place.

2014 Modern InstaBee Quilt Front

Although we had some bad moments with this bee, I am glad for the beautiful quilt that resulted from the experience. It is my first scrappy quilt, and I can guarantee there will be more. I adore the scrappy look!

Quilt Stats:

Finished size
58.5″ x 78″
Pattern
Come Together block from Modern Bee — 13 Quilts to Make With Friends
(trimmed down to 20″ unfinished from 20.5″ unfinished)
Fabric
Various fabrics (Top)
Writing by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics 108″ wide back (Backing)
Jenean Morrison True Colors Ribbon Red (Binding)
Batting
Quilter’s Dream Orient
Thread
Pieced with various threads
Quilted with Aurifil 40 wt 2021
Binding stitched with Aurifil 50 wt 2021
Quilting
Free-motion all over swirls
Finished
February 10, 2016

Linking up with TGIFF hosted by Devoted Quilter
and with Can I Get A Whoop Whoop over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

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To-Do Tuesday 10-6-15 | Modern Insta Bee Quilt

Happy Tuesday!! I finally managed to get a post done by Monday evening. Amazing, right? Actually, it really IS amazing because I got caught up watching Tula Pink‘s video series on QNNTV.com. There are 6 of 12 videos posted and I watched episodes four through six tonight. I am blown away by her as a person and as a designer. I was a Tula fan before watching these videos, and after watching them I’m a Tula fan FOR LIFE.

2014 Modern InstaBee Blocks assembled into a top!

2014 Modern InstaBee Blocks assembled into a top!

This past week I got my 2014 Modern Insta Bee Blocks put together. I chose the May Block, Come Together, from Modern Bee — 13 Quilts to Make With Friends by Lindsay Conner. I am thrilled with how the top came out. Not so thrilled with the quality of some of the blocks I received. My blocks were supposed to be 20.5″ unfinished, but I ended up having to trim all of them down to the lowest trimmed block size which was 20″. Not a problem for me with this particular block design, thank goodness!

Grungy Windows Quilt Backing in progress

Grungy Windows Quilt Backing in progress

I started working on a quilt backing for my Grungy Windows quilt. Because the front has a lot of white on it, I decided to go fun, funky, and improv on the back. I grabbed some Kona solids from the shelf, and just started cutting them into big pieces. I put them up on the batting hung on my shelf (my make-do “design wall”) and then started sewing the pieces together. I have part of the top half of the backing done. I will work on finishing the backing this week.

This week’s To-Do list:

  • Finish Backing for Grungy Windows quilt top
  • Baste Grungy Windows top, batting & backing together
  • Continue with the c25k program. Do the best you can and be satisfied with that!!!

Now it’s your turn! Write up your post and link up using the InLinkz linky below.

Rules:

  1. Link up to this To-Do Tuesday blog post using the InLinkz linky below. You can link up Instagram photos now! The link up is open all week, and you can link any post for the week even if it’s written on the prior Sunday or Monday. It simply needs to be related to setting, working on, and/or completing your weekly goal(s).
  2. Try to visit at least one or two other blogs and leave a nice comment.
  3. Include a link back to my blog. Feel free to grab the blog button from the sidebar to show that you’re participating in To-Do Tuesday.
  4. You do not have to follow my blog to participate, but if you do decide to follow me… thank you! I appreciate it!
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To-Do Tuesday 9-29-15 | Up and At ‘Em!

Some progress was made in the sewing room this weekend! Woo to the Hoo!!

New Ironing Board Cover

New Ironing Board Cover

There was some beautiful Kona Snow sitting on my cutting table that needed to be starched, pressed and cut so I could finish my Grungy Windows quilt top. There was a great big pressing board that had stains from previous pressings and starch remains all over it. I did not want to put my white fabric on that, so I found this tutorial and made myself an ironing board cover. Start to finish it was only about an hour and a half to make. And THEN I pressed my fabric and finished my Grungy Windows quilt top!

Grungy Windows Quilt Top, Twin Size

Grungy Windows Quilt Top, Twin Size

Instead of a throw size it is now a twin size quilt, measuring 63″ x 84″. Very happy with how it looks. Now to quilt it! I hope to get a backing made for it this weekend. I also have my 2014 Modern InstaBee blocks that need to be trimmed and sewn into a top. I’d like to get that assembled this weekend too.

This week’s To-Do list:

  • Make Backing for Grungy Windows quilt top
  • Sew InstaBee Blocks into a quilt top.
  • Continue with the c25k program. Do the best you can and be satisfied with that!!!

Now it’s your turn! Write up your post and link up using the InLinkz linky below.

Rules:

  1. Link up to this To-Do Tuesday blog post using the InLinkz linky below. You can link up Instagram photos now! The link up is open all week, and you can link any post for the week even if it’s written on the prior Sunday or Monday. It simply needs to be related to setting, working on, and/or completing your weekly goal(s).
  2. Try to visit at least one or two other blogs and leave a nice comment.
  3. Include a link back to my blog. Feel free to grab the blog button from the sidebar to show that you’re participating in To-Do Tuesday.
  4. You do not have to follow my blog to participate, but if you do decide to follow me… thank you! I appreciate it!
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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!