June 17, 2016

Free Wheeling Single Girl Quilt

I'm excited to show you my Free Wheeling Single Girl quilt made for the Sewtopia Virtual Fabric Challenge.  Thank goodness for a two week extension or I would have had to rely solely on the mini Outlined Plus quilt as my entry.

Free Wheeling Single Girl by Paige Alexander
I mentioned my fondness of challenges in my introductory post as part of the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop hosted by Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs and Stephanie at Late Night Quilter.

We could add any other Hoffman fabrics to the 5 fat quarters received. I decided to use three different chartreuse fabrics, 2 prints and a solid as the background.  And I added in 2 purples to go with the black and white prints for a pop of color.

Piecing the rings went very well, similar to the first Free Wheeling Single block made in Denyse's class at Sewtopia Atlanta.  Planning the fabric placement for the so-called improv rings was probably the most time consuming part.  I say that only because, I really struggle with improv.

Free Wheeling Single Girl quilt top on the green beans
I had a hard time deciding on what size to cut the borders.  I thought about asymmetrical which several had suggested when i posted a picture on instagram, but decided on 10" borders all the way around because that's what the fabric would allow.

For the quilting, I thought about using the quilting design included in the original Single Girl pattern, but decided to try Denyse's Figure Eight quilting template.  My fellow guild member digitized the design to be able to use with Quilt Path, the computerized quilting software for her APQS Millennium. This the 2nd quilt I've quilted on her longarm and with each quilt I'm learning the ins and outs of loading the quilt on the machine and using Quilt Path.

Free Wheeling Single Girl 'improv' pieced ring and quilting detail

My friend suggested that I round the corners to match the rings and so I did. It was a great idea!  I simply used the inner background template to round the corners.  You also get a peek of the backing fabric, more of the stitches print used in the top.

Rounded corners of the Free Wheeling Single Girl
For the binding, I didn't have enough of the original fat quarters to make the entire binding improv or scrappy. I pieced 5 separate sections of improv and for the rest of the fabric, I used the stitches print in the black colorway which I found at my local quit shop.  In my 12+ years of quilting, I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've rounded the corners on a quilt.  I cut the binding on the bias, even for the scrappy parts, and it went on beautifully.

Improv scrappy binding for Free Wheeling Single Girl
You've got to love a husband who will help photograph your quilts.  A storm was brewing and the wind was gusting so I was glad to have some help.

Photographer's assistant taming the quilt top

Quilt Stats:

  • Finished size:  63" x 63"
  • Pattern:  Free Wheeling Single Girl by Denyse Schmidt
  • Binding: 3/8" double fold bias binding (partially improv) from 2 1/4" strips and sewn down by hand
  • Fabrics: Me + You batiks from Hoffman Fabrics
  • Thread: Aurifil black for piceing the rings and 5010 beige for assembling blocks; 5022 mustard for quilting
  • Quilting design:  Denyse Schmidt Quilts Figure Eight template digitized for computerized quilting
  • Batting: 100% Cotton Warm & Natural by the Warm Company
  • Completed: June 15, 2016

Usually a name for a quilt comes to me while working on it, but this time nothing!

Any suggestions for a name for my Free Wheeling Single Girl quilt?

Linking up to Finish Up FridayWhoop Whoop Friday, Ali at Arabesque Sicssors hosting Thank Goodness Its Finished Friday this week, Fabric Frenzy Friday and Show Off Saturday.



June 13, 2016

2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

Hello everyone! Welcome to Quilted Blooms, my little corner of quilting blogland. The 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop is kicking off this week and I'm one of the firsts, so here goes...


I learned many skills for sewing when I was a young child while sitting on the lap of my paternal grandmother at her Singer sewing machine.  Even when I was too young to operate the machine, I watched and soaked in everything she did from moving the reverse lever in order to backstitch to winding bobbins.

She stored all of her sewing supplies in hat boxes which she painted all the same color, an aqua blue. (Notice any similarities here?)  Many, many years ago she gave me some pearl buttons shaped like flowers still on the original cards. (You're beginning to see the influence she had, right?)

Vintage BGE Originales pearl buttons once belonged to my grandmother
I should also mention that she was an avid gardener as well, from flowers to fruits and vegetables of all varieties.  When visiting, we would all go out into her yard to see what was blooming or 'coming in' at the time.  After my family moved to South Carolina from Mississippi in the late 70's, she always shared plants or cuttings from her garden.

Grandmama's Legacy of Flowers, made for a guild challenge in 2011, is, and probably will remain, my favorite quilt of all time. The Journal of Life challenge had the following rules:
  • The quilt must contain the pieced "Tree of Life" quilt block(s)
  • Must have some applique included
  • Interpret LIFE or life experiences in some way 
  • Size 40" x 40"
Grandmama's Legacy of Flowers by Paige Alexander
The the four 20" tree of life blocks which make up the background were pieced as one large block in order to eliminate as many seams as possible.

The layout and some of the applique motifs are original designs.  The iris and daylily blooms are from a pattern, Vintage Dreams, by Colette Belt.  The dimensional applique technique used in the center hydrangea was from a book, Fabulous Flowers by Sharon K. Baker.

On a recent visit to Johnson Daylily Gardens I snapped this photo of my quilt where you can see more of the dimensional applique and quilting.

Grandmama's Legacy of Flowers by Paige Alexander at Johnson Daylily Gardens
The quilt label says it all...
In memory of Sadie Mae Gordon Taylor Sinquefield
July 13, 1921 ~ June 21, 2002
The flowers represented in this quilt were those grown in Mississippi by my
 paternal grandmother and transplanted to my garden in South Carolina.
Daylily ∙ Iris ∙ Acuba ∙ Yellow Rose of Texas ∙ Hydrangea ∙ Nandina

Now you can see from where my love of flowers comes and why I decided on Quilted Blooms for the blog name, right?

Another favorite quilt is one I made in September 2013, Up the Wall.  It is a variation of  Leaves and Vine from Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyburg and Cheryl Arkison.  It has more of the machine applique I love and slab blocks which Cheryl explains here, an intentional improv way of piecing.

Up the Wall by Paige Alexander photographed at Hagood Mill
I enjoy participating in challenges whether a fabric or a theme challenge.  I made Witco's Daisies in November of last year for the QuiltCon triangle challenge.  It wasn't juried into the show, but still my favorite make from 2015.

Witco's Daisies by Paige Alexander
Barcelona was made for the MQG Michael Miller Glitz fabric challenge and I was excited to have it juried in to QuiltCon West this year. It was inspired by the artwork of Donna Mibus who recreated the panels flanking a Turner mirror from the late 1950's.  The curved frame of Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Chair (1929), still manufactured today, inspired the quilt title.

Barcelona by Paige Alexander
You can see I love all forms of quilting from traditional to modern. Now, a couple of tips, a quilty question and a random fact about me...

Blogging Tip:

If you are a new blogger or thinking about starting a blog, consider securing your domain name NOW.  I found this blogging tip about domain name registration on the WestHost blog. (non-affiliate link)  You never know where this blogging journey will lead and you may want your own website one day only to find YourBlogName.com is already taken.

Quilting Tip:

When entering a quilt in a quilt show, if you are like me and feel as though your free motion quilting skills are less than perfect, consider a 'busy' fabric for backing your quilt.  With a patterned fabric, it's harder for the the judge to focus on things like quilting stops and starts or tension issues.

Quilty Question:

When given the opportunity, I try to take quilt classes from national or well known teachers.  I've taken classes from Denyse Schmidt, Elizabeth HartmanJacquie Gering, Paula Nadelstern and more just hoping some of their knowledge would rub off on me.  I would still love to take classes from a few more, but at the very top of my list has always been Diane Gaudynski.  I would love to quilt beautiful feathers like she does.  So my question to you is...
If you could take a class or spend time with any quilter, who would it be?

Random Fact About Me:

To this day, the most challenging thing I have done, both physically and mentally, was to hike the Grand Canyon with my uncle and three of his friends in December 2008.  We covered over 50 miles in 5 days. Weather conditions were less than favorable, it rained a lot and snowed, even at Phantom Ranch.

My favorite picture was taken of these cottonwood trees looking back toward at the South Rim on the way to Ribbon Falls hiking on the North Kaibab Trail. One day I would like to make a quilt with the this photo as inspiration.

Cottonwood trees on the North Kaibab Trail of the Grand Canyon
Enough about me, thank you for visiting and hope you will follow along on this quilting journey with me.

Please show your support and visit my fellow new quilt bloggers from The Sewcial Network hive:

This wouldn't be possible without the hard work (and a little hand holding of us newbie bloggers) of the bloghop hosts.  I hear there are some wonderful prizes up for grabs, so please visit them for all the details and links to more new quilt bloggers this week.


Note:  Work has been going on behind the scenes the past two weeks to update the blog.  I'd like to thank Valerie at Inkblog Design Studio for incorporating the vintage pearl button from my grandmama just as I had envisioned into the blog header design and other graphics.  And thanks to Emily at Blogaholic Designs for the re-design, adding a gallery and more.


June 11, 2016

Block #11 - Echo

This is the 11th block challenge for Modern Quilts Unlimited Everything Old is New Again block and quilt challenge.  Each month we have been given a traditional quilt block to interpret in a modern way.  The size of each block must finish at 12" when sewn into a quilt.  And, there will be a quilt challenge at the end.

To interpret the drunkard's path block I had the idea of sewing improv curves.  I found a tutorial on Craftsy, How to Sew Improv Curved Quilt Blocks.  Knowing with each seam I would lose part of the block with the seam allowances, so I started with 8" squares.  I had plenty of room to trim the quadrants to 6 1/2" to sew into the final block.

I'm calling my block Echo because I used the same two colors in opposite quadrants and they are almost mirror images of each other.

Echo quilt block by Paige Alexander
Here is the Drunkard's Path block as presented by Modern Quilts Unlimited for the challenge.


Another challenge requirement was to use any Michael Miller fabrics in the construction of the blocks. I have been using Cotton Couture in Pluto as the background and Apple, Azure, Lava and Magenta in the other block pieces. Here are my previous 10 blocks.


You can read more about my Last Lemoyne Star block here, Sailboat block here, Rail Fence block here and Square in a Square block here. I can't believe we have just one more block to complete and then the quilt challenge will take place. You can read more about the challenge rules here.

Voting is open from the June 11th to the 15th.  You can vote on your favorite block here.

Linking to Show off Saturday at Sew She Can and Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts.