May 18, 2017

Pretty Posy Mini Goes To Market

I recently had the opportunity to play with some of the new Cotton and Steel thread when Kelly Nagel from Sulky sent me the Flower Shop thread box so I made a mini quilt, Pretty Posy.

Cotton and Steel thread

I wanted to do some machine applique and used the Thistle Indigo print from Alexia Abegg's collection by the same name, Flower shop as inspiration.  Cipher in Natural was used for the background.

I pulled fabrics from other Cotton and Steel fabric collections to match the thread colors in the Flower Shop thread box.  Aren't the spools cute?

My favorite color in the collection is No. 1815 Japanese Fern, the one I used to applique the leaves.

 The applique is all done, now how to quilt it?

I decided to free motion and echo around all the elements.

Here's a couple of close-ups.  Bow Ties in Grass was used for the bias binding.

And another look at all the colors in the collection.

I used the Indigo Thistle print and incorporated the label into the backing.

Here's a close-up of the label I created using the handwritten quilt labels tutorial I posted last month.

If you are going to Spring Quilt Market in St. Louis, look for Pretty Posy in the Sulky of America booth No. 2829 and Kelly will have Pretty Posy at Sulky's Schoolhouse session.

Linking to...
Show Off Saturday with Caroline at Sew Can She

May 11, 2017

Teaching Machine Applique

Next week I will be teaching a machine applique class for the Asheville Quilt Guild in Asheville, NC.

In this class, students will learn the technique of machine applique using the satin stitch (zig zag) practicing inside and outside corners and smooth rounded edges.  The shapes from Blue Christmas will provide plenty of practice.

Students can make either the pillow cover, table runner or just plain practice! There's still room in the class, so if you are in the area, you are welcome to join us.  The class will take place on Wednesday, May 17th.  Details and registration information can be found here.

May 8, 2017

2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop - Challenge Quilts

Welcome to the 4th and final week of the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop.  I am participating again this year since I had so much fun last year meeting new bloggers and learning so much from my fellow newbie bloggers and experienced ones like Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, Beth at Cooking Up Quilts and Leanne at She Can Quilt who are our hive leaders this year.

I am part of the Better Bloggers Hive with Beth as our leader.

In last year's introductory post I shared how my grandmother was influential in my sewing and quilting, how I choose the name Quilted Blooms and the inspiration for the my blog graphics.  You can read all about that in my 2016 New Quilt Bloggers post.  

I thought it would be fun to share challenge quilts I've made over the years and document them here in one place.  Some I've already shared and will link to those, and others are new here.

Challenge Quilts

1. Verging on Ugly - Sept. 2004 (29" x 29")

This an early quilt was made for the Quilters of South Carolina Ugly Fabric Challenge.  At the very first Spring Meeting I attended, my name was drawn from over a 100 quilters. 

The challenge was to make a quilt using ugly fabric which was stuffed in a tote bag.  I chose two fat quarters which I really didn't think were THAT ugly (the colorful marbled looking fabric), added two more fabrics and used Original Harmonic Convergence pattern from his book, Ricky Tims' Convergence Quilts (affiliate link).

Don't laugh, but this was the first quilt I free motion quilted.  I drew the watery looking design on Golden Threads paper, quilted it and then picked out all that paper.  When I pulled this quilt out to photograph it, I still found bits of paper.

2.  While I Dream, My Garden Grows - Sept. 2005 (15" x 21")

Another early quilt made for a fabric challenge (Flowering Herbs by Hoffman Fabrics) in conjunction with our quilt show, Carolina Dreaming. There was a lot of fussy cutting in this one and machine applique which I love.  I still wasn't confident in FMQ and just stitched in the ditch so quilting was minimal.   

The pattern was from Scrap Miniature Magic (affiliate link) by Christine Carlson. The fabric was definitely a challenge as the six herbs represented were set on point and evenly spaced on a black background which I cut out and appliqued on the quilt backing.  Now do you see why this was a challenge?

3.  Bird's Eye View - Sept. 2007 (21" x 21")

I was the chairman for this challenge and chose the fabric, Birds on a Wire, by Kim Schaefer for Andover Fabrics.  The quilt had to depict the theme of the guild's show, Wonders of Nature, and contain a bird (fabric or not) somewhere in or on the quilt.

This is really 4 mini quilts bound and stitched onto the quilted challenge fabric.  The dimensional applique technique is from Fabulous Flowers (affiliate link) by Sharon K. Baker.  And the idea for this quilt was from a mini quilt, Sunflower Snapshot, I saw in American Patchwork & Quilting, August 2007.

4.  Celestial Swirl - Sept. 2009 (20" x 20")

This miniature was made from a pattern, 4-Patch Swirl by Lynn Buske.  It was fun to see the possibilities by rearranging the squares within each block.  It was even juried into the AQS Paducah show in 2011. (It's on bottom left.)

2011 was the year there was historical flooding along the Ohio, Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers. The convention center is beyond the flood gates, so the entire show was moved in town.

Paducah 2011 (flood gate on the right)

6.  Game Day - Sept. 2011

7.  Clementine Daisy - July 2014

8.  After Dinner Mints - Nov. 2014

9.  Barcelona - Nov. 2015

10.  Witco's Daisies - Nov. 2015

11.  Five Times Five - Jan. 2016

12. Peak of Perfection - March 2016

13.  Well Rounded Single Girl - June 2016

14.  Cursive is a Fading Art - Aug. 2016

This quilt won 1st place in the Greenville MQG Black and White challenge, 2nd Place in the Gray Matters category at the Asheville Quilt Show, 2nd place in the Small Quilts at QuiltCon 2017 and was chosen for the Best of QuiltCon 2017 Traveling Exhibit, so I guess you could say I'm getting a lot of 'mileage' out of this one.

15.  Navigating to Pluto - Nov 2016

16.  Mustard Stain - Nov. 2016

17.  Recycle Block Challenge - April 2017

You believe me now, right?  I love a good challenge!

Quilting Advice

Sometimes quilting and life in general are full of challenges...but my advice to you is just do the best you can where you are in your quilting journey.  Do you remember that first challenge of mine where I was so scared to free motion quilt, I drew almost the entire quilting design out on paper first?  Just keep doing the best you can and don't compare yourself to others!

My Sewing Room

I'll close with a couple of photos of where I sew.  I've got plenty of light coming in from the windows. (And, remember, it looked like this for a brief shining moment!)

My design wall is behind iron on the wall left of the window and the large metal cabinet on the right holds fabric and supplies.  

I hope you enjoyed the challenge show and tell!  

Fellow Better Bloggers 

Be sure to visit my fellow Better Bloggers this week!

Sue at Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Jennifer at Dizzy Quilter
Tara at Quiltersstash

More new bloggers are being introduced by Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl and Leanne at shecanquiltI hope you’ll visit them as well.


And don't forget the sponsors! This wouldn't be possible without their support!  So visit one of the hosts and enter!  Thank you sponsors!

And thank you Yvonne, Beth and Leanne for your leadership and advice!