Friday, June 13, 2014

Modern Medallion: week two

Last week my friend Angela came on to guest post about my week for Crystal of Two Little Aussie Bird's Modern Medallion. I was SO VERY thankful to have her help because I was in Michigan without internet! ACK! Lucky for me, Angela is not only a brilliant writer but she's also a brilliant quilter (and friend!) This week I am home and she is out of town. 

I added the Plain Jane border to my New York Beauty Contest medallion. I used a hot pink linen which I think looks really good. I'm still working on my Drunk Geese border, which is apparently quite a challenge for me!
I cut 80 3" squares and 80 2 1/2"x3" rectangles and sat down to get to work.

Oh. Crap. I just cut 80 rectangles at 2 1/2"x3" not 2"x3 1/2". GROAN. Fine. No big deal, we'll just set aside those mistake rectangles and use them maybe in my schnitzel & boo Mini Quilt Swap partner's quilt...

After a little digging, I came up with a piece of white linen with a silver tinselly thread stripe throughout. Perfection! 80 rectangles cut the right way AND NOW we're ready to get started.

(Actually, I like this better!) I'm still pretty new to quilting, I've always been a garment/3-D sewist so the whole Modern/Wonky thing is something that I'm just not used to. I dunno, maybe it's the angles. I finally had six geese sewn together but not after seam ripping three times. I'm eleven geese into it now and I'm still trying to get my thoughts around how to do it wonky not wrong. It's getting easier as I go, but I had to call it a night. I'm just too tired I think. I'll pick it back up tomorrow but for now, this is where I am:
I have decided that going with just two fabrics, instead of several different low-values and several different colorful scraps, for the Drunk Geese was perfect for me. I love that Crystal's pattern gives us the freedom to do whatever we want. We're designing and creating at the same time. That's pretty dang cool. The uniformity in color will tone down the wonky geese in my quilt, which is great for me because I have plans to get crazy with those awesome little pluses. Here's a close up of my progress: 
I do love me some animal print! Especially zebra!

Anyway, check out Angela's post last week for the links to check out everyone else's progress. You should also definitely scroll through the #modernmedallion hashtag on Instagram. There are some seriously awesome quilts happening over there! I'll update during the week as I get the chance!

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

And The Winner Is....

Thank you to everyone who entered the Little Smiles Bunny Pack Giveaway!

I am a little late in drawing a name, I just got home from a fabulous weekend of sewing in Michigan where there was no internet.  Truthfully, it was kinda nice!  Without further ado, the winner is:

We're going to contact you soon to get your prize on its way to your happy, stitchy hands.  


Friday, June 06, 2014

*****Hijacked Blog!***** The Modern Medallion Quilt Along-

So, here's the dealio- I am not Kristi.  I'm supposed to put something lovely like "Hi, I'm Kristi's guest blogger today," but I'm kinda liking the power trip I'm having sneaking in on someone else's blog.  Makes me feel like I'm a Ninja blogger.  Only with permission.  And I'm not destroying anything.

My name is Angela from The Green Apricot.  (Hey, if you're gonna guest blog, you may as well do a little self-promotion, right?!?)  Kristi just so happens to be in a place where Internet access seems to be a little dicey today, but before you feel too sorry for her, let me explain.  She is at Camp Stitchalot.  Yeah, that's right, the one hosted by none other than Pink Castle Fabrics and Fresh Modern Quilts.  The one where Tula Pink, Katy Jones, John Adams and Deborah Moebes are camp counselors.  And she left me at home.  Sheesh.

So, being the awesome, amazing and outstanding friend that I am, I'm hijacking Schnitzel & Boo to tell you about the...

 Kristi and I have been working on this project together, which makes this a little easier to do.  In fact, those are my hands in that picture.  Lol.  (Sorry Kristi, I couldn't help myself.  Power and all that.)  So, we got started by reading the pattern.

Stop laughing.  We really did read the pattern.  I love what Crystal did with this because I come from a "traditional" quilting background, and I needed a little guidance on how to "let go".  In the 21 years I have been quilting, it has been all about perfection and rules.  In my own rebellious way, I have largely ignored most of that, but still, I needed a little help with this one.  Kristi's part of this Quilt Along is the very center, aptly named "New York beauty contest".  It uses a freestyle foundation piecing process, which really is awesome sauce.  However, I have to admit that my very first thought was "What the heck?!?  Where's the foundation pattern?  How on earth are we going to draw arcs with any kind of success?"  The traditional quilter in me was having a heart attack.

Thankfully, Kristi is a smart cookie, and knew just what to do.  I should note here that we opted to use paper rather than the quilter's muslin mentioned in the pattern, mostly out of convenience.  We had paper, so we used it!  Anyway, she showed me how to use an 18" grid ruler to draw the arcs to make a freestyle New York Beauty pattern.  The ruler has tiny holes in the center of it, as well as the expected measurement markings.  As seen in the picture above, begin by stabilizing the ruler by securely placing a pin in one of the holes placed over the corner of the paper.  Then, decide how big of an arc you would like, and place the pencil tip in the hole in the ruler that matches the size of arc you desire.

Then, while keeping the pin in place, simply drag the pencil from one edge to the next, creating an arc.  Voila, magic!  Well, not exactly, but kinda.  Because this particular ruler doesn't have holes running it's full length, we could only draw the bottom arc this way.  In order to draw the top of the New York Beauty, we simply used the markings on the ruler to measure about plus or minus 2" from our original arc and made a series of "dashes" that we connected into an arc.

This is the only picture we remembered to take of this, but I believe you can understand what we were doing.  For those perfectionists out there, I get it.  Just relax.  I promise it will be okay.  Just go with it.  After you have drawn both arcs on each of 4 sheets of foundation, it's time to add in the points, or spikes.  This is the beauty of this New York Beauty.  You can put as many or as few spikes as you would like, but five is a good number to work around.  We used a straight edge, mostly because we had one, and because it just made it easier.

 Here's what one of our foundations looked like:

From here, we simply followed the instructions included in the Modern Medallion pattern for foundation piecing the spikes.  (I like to say spikes rather than points because this pattern always makes me think of the spikes on Lady Liberty's crown.)  This really is the fun part- playing with laying out fabrics with the perfect contrast.  This is where the personality of this quilt begins.

Now, here's another part where my "traditional quilter" brain started to panic.  Once you have foundation pieced the spikes, it's time to add the background fabric.  Don't freak out, but this is where the curved piecing part comes into play.  The great thing about curved piecing is that if you stack and cut your fabrics correctly, the piecing actually comes together really easily.  In this case, we found that for us, stacking your background fabric, right side DOWN, and your foundation piece, fabric side DOWN on top of it, it made cutting a little easier.  ****Note- this is the opposite of what the pattern says- remember, there is always more than one way to skin a cat, although I don't know why you'd want to skin a cat in the first place...

By doing this, we were able to use the drawn lines of the arcs as a guide to cut through all layers of the fabric 1/4" out from the arcs.  The result is two pieces that look like this-

When you stack and cut in this manner, you end up with a yin to your yang, and it sews together perfectly.  Repeat this process for each side of the arc, creating a background for your crown of spikes.

See?  Two beautiful New York Beauties!  Just two more to go!

Almost there!

How stinking fabulous is that?!?  I personally really loved this process and making the center of the Modern Medallion.  I cannot wait to see how these are all going to turn out, and I've enjoyed seeing some of the other Modern Medallions already in progress online. You can see too by checking out the hashtag #modernmedallion on Instagram.

So how's your Medallion coming along?  Share your progress on Instagram, and click here to link your blog to Two Little Aussie Birds so that we can all enjoy each other's work! 

Would you like to jump in, but don't have a pattern yet?  That's easily rectified- click here for a link to purchase your own copy and join in the fun!