Poison!

Poison Bottles – Pick Your Brain Designs

My high school self would have loved to have owned Misty Cole’s Poison Bottle Quilt, so I was thrilled when she asked me to do the May block. I collected fun bottles and had them lined up on shelves that circled my bedroom, everything from vintage bottles to new bottles with bright labels. I have since transitioned out of the phase and only have 2-3 unique bottles floating around the house. This block was fun to make because it forced me to think about bottles in a completely different way.

Be sure to check out all of Misty’s blocks and blog posts to see how she and other’s interpret them.

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The May blocks feature the Martin’s UBend (top) and Gilbertson’s Wedge (bottom). Based on the history, I decided that I wanted to both bottles to have a broken, fragmented look. I achieved that look two ways – UBend is a solid piece of fabric and Wedge is fabric made from green scraps. The blocks are appliquéd, which is a new technique for me. I densely quilted the shelf with horizontal lines and added some simple diagonal lines around the bottles.

Instead of turning it into a mini, I decided to make this a pillow for my chair at work. I used a new to me technique to add a flap to cover the zipper by following this great tutorial from Sew Mama Sew. I loved their tip of adding fusible tape to help with installing the zipper. I will be using that trick from now on with all of my zippers!

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Pillow Details

Title: Poison, May 2016
Pattern: Poison Bottles by Misty Cole of Pick Your Brain Designs
Front: Fabric from my scraps bins, background is Quilter’s Linen in Platinum
Quilting: Aurifil White, 50 weight
Finished pillow size: 12.5 x 12.5″

Finding My Rhythm

Hindsight certainly is 20/20! After sporadically posting from March – October last year and stepping away from the blog for a bit, I am ready to jump back in! I realized that I needed to find my rhythm, the rhythm which has been missing since I left Philadelphia in August 2014 – I think I finally have things figured out (hopefully!).

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I wanted to share some exciting (and terrifying news), I am teaching my first quilting class tomorrow at Prints Charming Quilt Shop in Fulton, MD! I am teaching an introduction to foundation paper piecing workshop using Carolyn Friedlander’s Sunrise Quilt pattern. Above is my class sample, First Light. I will be channelling my inner Sarah Bond tomorrow and sharing my love for foundation paper piecing. I need to go spend the rest of the afternoon preparing and getting my thoughts together.

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In addition to being the first class I teach, this quilt was also the first one I put on the Handi Quilter at the shop. I freehanded an allover curvy meander and enjoyed every minute of it. I don’t anticipate putting anything larger than a runner under the walking foot of my Bernina anytime soon! I’ll update the post with finished quilt photos next week, I need to get it back from the shop tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

A side note: thank you to everyone who has stuck around and cheered me on on Instagram the last few months. If you missed it (on Instagram), we brought home a Great Dane-Weimaraner mix at the end of April. His name is Bex and he has 100% captured our hearts.

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Quilt Details

Title: First Light, April 2016
Pattern: Sunrise Quilt by Carolyn Friedlander
Front: Kona® Cotton Designer Palette Series: Emily Cier of Carolina Patchworks 2.5″ strips, Gray Sketch, and two misc. black and white prints.
Binding: Aqua on aqua geometric print
Quilting: Aurifil #2600, 40 weight
Finished size: approx. 66″ x 74″

Guilds, Bees, and Swaps

As promised, here is my post from 52 Quilters about guilds, bees, and swaps. How many of you are in quilt guilds, participate in bees, or in swaps?

Two years ago I attended my first Philadelphia Modern Quilt Guild meeting and I am so glad that I did. I found my group, my support, and my teachers. The Philly MQG shaped who I am as a quilter. I was (and still am) constantly inspired by the diversity and creativity that is shown at the monthly meetings. In Maryland, I have found similar support with the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild and the Southern Comforters of Bowie. All three guilds encourage me to reach out of my comfort zone and to keep making on a regular basis. I love being inspired at the meetings, learning at retreats, and making life-long friends who don’t roll their eyes when I talk about quilting and fabric.

I joined my first bee, the Modern Insta Bee, in 2014 as a way to meet other quilters and to have a reason to sew every month. What I did not know at the time is how much it would push me and that it would make me a better quilter. I put colors together that I would have never have dreamed of putting together, paid attention to my scant quarter inch seams, became best friends with my seam ripper, and made blocks that I would have been afraid to make if I wasn’t obligated to make them.  I am now participating and leading two swarms for The Bee Hive quilt bee and participating in the Philly MQG bee.

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I was hesitant to put yellow, orange, purple, and gray together with black and white fabrics, but it is now one of my favorite blocks that I completed for the Modern Insta Bee.

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String Circles – the block that I dreaded making, but it is the block that taught me the most.

I have participated in a few swaps over the last year, both online and in person, and I really enjoy the process of making for others. It is another way that I stretch my comfort zone and play with fabrics and colors that I may not have considered before. My favorite mini was for my secret sewist at Mid-Atlantic MOD though:

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I designed the pattern myself since my partner was a huge Alice and Wonderland fan.

You can see most of my bee blocks (I am still catching up on posting some of this years) and minis on my bee blocks and swaps page if you are interested in seeing the range of them.

How about you, what do you get out of guilds, bees, swaps, and/or the online quilting community?

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