Hoffman Challenge 2014

My fingers went a little numb writing this.

 

Today the Hoffman Challenge released it travel lists and winners. I am over the moon to announce that my entry, Fossilized Gemstones, won 3rd place in the Pieced Category! woo-hoo!!

Fossilized Amethyst

Fossilized Gemstones

The design was my QDAD design from May 9th, and it fit the challenge fabric perfectly. I fussy cut the printed fabric to get squares of teh background, which looks like fancy spiderweb-flower motif, andthen fussy cut a pair of the butterflies from the print. The finished quilt reminded me of a piece of amber with an insect embedded in it. Thus Fossilized Gemstones was named.

Butterfly

Butterfly centers

The quilting was done once again by the esteemed Joan Nicholson of Maple Leaf Quilters. She got exactly what I wanted! I wanted some ghost blocks on the corners and then lines radiating outwards from the edges, with some complimentary quilting in the gemstones.

Ghost Block

Ghost Block

I used a nice tight 2″ double fold bias binding for the finished edge. I played with the idea of a facing, but in the end the binding gave the look I wanted.

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I used mostly solids with the challenge fabric. I scoured the internet for that purple. I has a tiny amount in my stash and nothing else would do. It is a discontinued color from Freespirit called Mulberry Wine. Its the right amount of purple and grey with a warm base. I also used some Kona in Snow, Silver, Ash, and Smoke.

 

You can see the entire line up of award quilts, jewelry, dolls, and accessories here. Its well worth a look, a lot of beautiful items all travelling around the country in 2014. I am looking forward to the next Challenge Newsletter, it is rumored to have a sneak peek at the next challenge fabric!

Happy Stitching!

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Petal Pinwheel Challenge and Upcoming Workshop

Monday night was the annual outdoor meeting of the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild. I have missed it every year from being out of town, but this year I finally got to go. It was so much fun sitting at Trout Lake with my fellow VMQGers. We had a great turnout considering its summertime, and we are now officially over 100 members! Way to go VMQG! This was the meeting where we showed off our MQG Petal Pinwheel challenge quilts. I got mine back from Joan that afternoon and quickly sewed the binding on before I left the house, then hand stitched it to the back during the meeting. I love a hand turned binding!

It took forever to get a good picture of it though, since it was super windy that afternoon. My patient husband stood there battling cats and kids and peeking neighbors so I could finally get a good shot to enter in the challenge. I drafted a template and then played with the orientation until I got the movement I wanted, without slapping you in the face with a pinwheel =)

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The best catless, kidless, peeking neighborless picture I could get when the wind was down. Yes, I know there is still a kid in it =)

I fussy cut the prints and added Cotton Couture Solids in Sun, Kryptonite, Watermelon, Coral, Aqua and Orange. The background is CC in natural. I ordered Khaki but it was a little too green tinged to work. I have other plans for it, probably a QDAD =)

Spinners

Spinners

I paper pieced the tiny pinwheels. They are 3″ square and I offset them around the outside, again to mimic movement. Joan quilted it perfectly again, with spinning straight lines that I just love! The little details in the center of my spinners are perfect! I chose the Peg a Plenty print for my binding and cut it on the bias. I love a bias stripe binding! (Have I mentioned I love bias binding??)

I also announced a paper piecing workshop that I will be teaching in September. I am very excited to be teaching. Paper piecing is my favorite technique. You can do so much with it! Its a beginner class so I will be showing my students how to pre-cut strips for full coverage, how to do the piecing, how to adjust a block when needed, and all the tips and trick to good piecing skills and well made blocks. The pattern is really easy and from Amanda Hines Kattner of What The Bobbin? Her July 21 QDAD was a perfect foundation ready block and it also has the bonus technique of a Y-seam, and she happily sent me the image file. Woo hoo!

For those of you interested, block details, quilt ideas, and  sign up for the workshop will be available soon on the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild website. There is no pattern fee for this one. Hope to see you there!

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QDAD giveaway winner

And the winner of the fat quarter bundle is *drumroll*

 

#5!

Winner

buntyw, who said:

Who Said

 

Thank you to everyone who entered! It was great to see so much interest in QDAD, and all your thoughtful, positive comments were appreciated =) There sure were some great puns!

Enjoy your fat quarter bundle buntyw!

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Quilt Design a Day and a Giveaway*winner chosen*

Welcome to another QDAD day here at Stacey in Stitches!

If you are here visiting from the Sew Mama Sew interview, welcome! I have a lot of fun making a Quilt Design a Day. Today marks day 140 of designing for me. I am happy to say I haven’t missed a day. QDAD is one of my favorite exercises, and the group is so happy and friendly and a whole lot of fun! We’ve had an influx of new members, many of whom are participating. It’s great to see everyone’s interpretation of the inspiration photo. I hope everyone gets a change to try it at least twice. The first time for practice, the second time to get hooked!

I use EQ7 for my designs, though I did download a new program to try. I am playing with Corel Draw, and I want to try Adobe Illustrator. Sometimes there are things in my head that need a drawing board rather than a grid to work on. I have discovered many new features in EQ7 in the meantime, and I am having a blast playing with different layouts and blocks.

July 2 Tap

July 2-Faucet

This design reminded me of a video game, so I called it The Dark Castle. The inspiration photo had an outdoor faucet topped with a fanciful castle. Soe days a literal interpretation is in order, and I love how it came out!

July 6-Buttons

July 6-Buttons

This particular inspiration was a bowl full of buttons. It evoked so many different memories in people, for me it was the button jars at my grandma’s house when they lived down the road from us. We used to play with those hundreds of buttons, and I’m sure many of them saw the inside of a vacuum when we went home. Not on purpose either.

July 4 Ice Cream

July 4 Ice Cream

July 4th marked our 200th member, and the 200 member challenge. l chose the color rich ice cream inspiration photo for my 200 quilt. I haven’t counted them, but I am pretty sure there is enough ice cream in this photo for all our members, including the new ones! I love the navy as a background, I think its my new favorite! I recently bought a whole lot of navy solids, so I am going to have to make something with it soon.

Anne’s 200 member quilt  ended in hilarity and this picture as a result.

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STACEY THE BOLD WELCOMES ALL NEW QDADERS!

You know how hard it is to take a selfie wearing a tinfoil helmet and holding a rotary cutter?? Its not easy…..and that tinfoil is HOT!

July 12 Antiquity

July 12 Antiquity

The photo for this one was of an antique door knob and keyhole. I was planning to make something around the shape of the keyhole, but then I noticed the scuffed and faded pattern carved into teh doorframebehind it. It was a little nine patch interspersed with lines and diamonds. I did my best to recreate it and ended up in a Gatsby-era art deco world. I added the tiny coral diamonds and it really added dimension to the design. I am very happy with it and may work it into a pattern.

Run, Zombi Run!

Run, Zombi Run!

This design started out happy and fun, but there is a running joke about the zombie apocalypse in QDAD, sparked by a series of abandoned looking building with random diamond shapes in them, and chihuahuas. Someone mentioned this looked like people running from something, probably zombies. So I turned some of my happy little petal pluses into zombies. Minus the whole Z.A theme, I like the grayscale graduating into color. It definitely sparked a conversation or two!

July 13 Raspberry

July 13- Raspberry

This inspirtion was a bowl of raspberry swirl frozen yogurt. It looked so yummy! I decided to do a cross section of the swirl, which has sparked a series of cross sectional designs. Mostly fruits and veggies, and every so often ice cream. I am going to do a couple up as patterns so I will save them for a surprise!

May 24 feathers

I did do up a foundation pattern for my feather blocks, you can download it here for free! If you make one ( or a dozen) send me a picture, I would love to see it!

Feather Block Feather String

I hope you enjoyed your visit today! Make sure to visit Amy Gunson at Badskirt, and Anne Sullivan at Play-Crafts, both have QDAD giveaways running!

Now for my Giveaway! The giveaway is now closed! You can see the winner in my next post!

The giveaway is open to anyone, including international visitors! Simply leave a comment. That’s all! Tell me your favorite color, your favorite quilt design, what you’re going to make with the feather block or the bundle, what the weather is like at your house today, tell me a joke ( the punnier the better!) ANYTHING!

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I am giving away a Fat quarter bundle of 5 cool colors of my new Colorworks Premium Solids by Northcott. I picked these up on vacation, and I got a ton of yardage, so I thought I would share with everyone. The colors are deep and rich, more so than in the photo. The colors are perfect for making a QDAD of your own! The Giveaway will be open until Wednesday at 8pm PST, and I will pick the winner using Random.org

Happy Stitching!!

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WIP Wednesday-Vacation Edition

So this week finds me in the sunny Okanagan visiting family. Lots of fun for the little guy, and lots of fabric shopping for me! I found some solids at a quilt shop in Oliver. (Sadly, it is closing due to illness. It was one of my favorite stops.) They are by Northcott. I didn’t even know they made solids, but let me tell you, Oh My Goodness! The COLOR! It’s so rich and vibrant!

I can’t even photograph it, not with my phone or my good camera. The colors are so rich and saturated in person I couldn’t leave without them.

My pretties

My pretties

I also picked up some Waterfront Park and some Folklore in my favorite color/print.

 

My Hoffman challenge quilt is at Joan’s to be quilted. I am so happy with how it turn ed out an due equipping is always perfect. She translates my half formed impressions and psychobabble and turns it into perfection.

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I can’t wait to get my hands on this beauty. Deadline is next Friday! Eeek!

Stacey

Linking up with Lee@freshly pieced (hopefully!)

WIP Wednesday

Stacey is going to Quiltcon!! Woot woot!!

I am super excited to be able to attend Quiltcon 2015. I don’t know how I am going to wait until Feb! Resgistration opened this morning, and man, that was a crazy nightmare of stress, but I got into all the workshops I wanted. It was hard to narrow it down, there are so many great speakers and teachers. I ended up with 3 full days of workshops. I don’t know when I am going to see the show. I might have to try and modify my schedule a bit.  I am doing the Paperless Paper Piecing and Curved Seams Piece-lique taught by Cristy Fincher. For those of you who don’t know, Cristy Fincher is the daughter of the esteemed Sharon Schambers, multi-award winning quilter, and one of my personal quilting inspirations.  Cristy runs the online business Purple Daisies, where you can find Sharon’s lessons and tutorials and patterns. You can also view her award winning quilt up close, Mystique. This quilt is amazing and all my favorite shades of fuchsia. Really, look at her gallery. It’s amazing!

 

I also got into two of Krista Withers half day quilting workshops. I am especially looking forward to these. I have had the pleasure of hearing her speak at a Vancouver Modern QUilt Guild meeting and seeing her work up close. The two workshops are about composite drawing and and ghost shapes. Exactly what I need!

I still have to go back and see if there are any lectures I might want to go to. Maybe free up some time, we will see what is left. A lot is sold out, but that’s okay, I might learn something new! I am mostly looking forward to meeting my quilting friends in person! So excited!!

On to the WIP portion of the evening!

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My petal pinwheel quilt top is done and off to Joan for its VIP quilting treatment. Joan seems to be able to read my mind and interpret my psychobabble and give me exactly what I didn’t realize I wanted. So now I am on to my Hoffman Challenge quilt. I went a completely different direction with it this year. Normally I do these paper pieced masterpieces of color and stitchery, but this year I wanted to really bring it in and do something modern. Modern quilts are underrepresented in the Hoffman Challenge (read:none) I wonder if it’s not known enough in the modern quilting world, or it’s the fabric. Either way, its a load of fun and it is a CHALLENGE. You don’t always like the fabric, so creating something you love can be hard, but definitely worthwhile.  I make sure I get the show book each year so I can look at all the lovely quilts that travel the country. The closest mine has ever been was Yakima, WA. Alas, I was unable to make the event but there will be others =)

Pile of pressing...

Pile of pressing…

This evening has been filled with lots of pressing. There is going to be some stitch ripping after this post. A tip for ripping paper piecing stitches- place the blade between the paper and the fabric, the stitches come out cleaner.

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I have a big mess of precut fabric shapes for such a small quilt ( the max perimeter is 160″, any shape). I also fussy cut the challenge fabric, the background between the print shapes is gorgeous and quite modern. That navy is delish! I also have some triangles cut from a Freespirit Designer Solid in Mulberry. I love that dusty shade of plum purple, and it fits the gray scale perfectly.

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I thought about including a pair of butterflies in the blocks. What do you think?

 

I would love to see more modern quilts in the Hoffman show. Maybe I will write to the curator, and I certainly hope you pick up some of the challenge fabric and give it a try! You can find the details here, and the deadline is July 18. Quilts must arrive in Colorado by the end of that day.

Would you consider the Hoffman Challenge with me next year?

 

Happy Stitching,

Stacey

 

Linking up to Lee@ Freshly Pieced.

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Book Review: Playful Petals

Yesterday I sat down and pulled out my copy of Playful Petals by Corey Yoder. I love applique, and I love orange peels so of course I was keen to dive in. I was definitely curious as to just how many projects could be made using a single shape. Quite a few would be the answer. You can find some great pictures here on Corey’s blog. * I would like to note that it was next to impossible to find stock photos to use here. I finally stumbled across some on a Pinterest board that linked back to a file on Connecting Threads. I do not know the origin of the photos, but can only assume they were taken by the photographer who shot the book.*

Playful Petals

Corey uses the single petal shape in lots of fun, innovative ways. The book includes both quilts and matching pillows, which is fun if you want to have matching throw pillows with your lap quilt. (I can never have enough!) The quilts use a combination of piecing and fusible web applique to keep things interesting, and to save you from the monotony of just press, peel, stick, press, repeat. There are multiple petal templates included, so you could scale down a project if you wanted by choosing a different petal shape. Most of the projects are pre-cut friendly, and will tell you which precut in the fabric requirements, so getting started is as easy as grabbing that fat quarter bundle or layer cake that has been languishing in your stash and put it to good use. The petals are also scrap friendly. What a beautiful way to use all those little bits and pieces!

 

The writing is easy to read and understand. She outlines her process and includes a fun bit of history as to how she got started quilting and why she centered on applique. She explains her method and shows you different options for stitching the applique pieces to the background fabric. The stitching instructions also include tips for perfect stitched petal points. She also gives you a layout for optimal petal placement that you can refer back to at need. Her method uses less fusible web than you might think, and ultimately creates less layers to sew through in some of the multi-petal patterns. She also gives you tips on picking a good fusible web, choosing threads and the effects they have, and some tips for using pearle cottons and decorative stitching.

 

Scattered Blossoms

Scattered Blossoms

 

Corey also includes a great section on precuts and fabrics. Each of the common precuts has a small overview, and then she goes into other printed fabrics and how to use the different scale prints to your advantage. The fabric section may be a bit small, but it is to the point and includes all the information you need to help pick fabrics for the included projects.  The finishing section is complete and her techniques are pretty standard, but she has included a fantastic pillow cutting chart! It gives you the backing sizes to cut for square pillows from 12″-24″, and a rectangle pillow as well. It’s super helpful when you want to resize your pillows.

Daisy Feilds

Daisy Feilds

This book is definitely beginner friendly. The technique is easy to learn and remember, and it can be applied to any shape not just petals. The patterns aren’t over-complicated, but they are fun! You could easily make a quilt in a weekend, and the pillows could be done as a same day gift for sure. The written instructions are very easy to understand and follow. The quilts are made of blocks with applique that are sewn together, making construction easy. It also makes it very easy to resize a project by adding or subtracting blocks.

 

My favorite quilt in the entire book as to be the cover quilt, Rainbow Petals. It is so fun and cheerful, the petals are plump and can only be described as jaunty!  I can see myself making this to use in my nook (aka the armchair in the sewing room) to read under.

Rainbow Petals

Rainbow Petals

Second upon my favorites list, and another want to make, is Tossed Petals. This reminds me of a garden path strewn with petals. There are hundreds of cherry blossom trees in Vancouver, and the streets would be littered in blossom petals in the spring. This would be very fun to do with  bright petals and a low volume background. The block is easy to construct and the layout is straightforward.

Tossed Petals

The tossed petals block is my favorite petal block in the book, so I decided to whip up a pillow following Corey’s instructions to the letter. I have been doing fused applique for years, I made my first quilts with fused applique and almost no piecing, and I still found some tips and tricks that make the construction that much easier.

PLayful Petals Pillow 009

My Scattered Blossoms Pillow

PLayful Petals Pillow 011

 

 

I picked some of my favorite blenders and prints for the petals, and I used a pair of fat quarters in Kate Spain’s Cuzco for the back and binding. That bright pink is my favorite! I used a simple orange peel motif for the quilting, and using Corey’s suggested sewing lines I quilted the entire thing without backtracking once. I chose to use a raw edge straight stitch to secure the petals. Mostly because it was way too late to pull out mymulti stitch machine. It came together easily and I love how it looks!

Overall these petals certainly live up to the description of Playful. It is beginner friendly and has some tips and tricks for the experienced quilter as well.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Stacey