Thursday, December 28, 2023

Best of 2023

Each year, Cheryl invites bloggers to join the best of year link-up and share their 5 best blog posts of  the year.   And the best part?  We get to define what 'best' means so my best of 2022 all correlate to some major things that happened in my quilting life and documented on my blog.  They are listed in no particular order.

Favorite make:

Each year I try to make a quilt that challenges my skills and gives me a chance to puzzle out how to best move image from paper to fabric. My quilt Echo fit the bill this year! Echo will be hanging in QuiltCon 2024 so more opportunity to celebrate my favorite 2023 make coming soon. Read more about Echo.

Favorite quilting event:

QuiltCon Atlanta! What a great time with friends and amazing quilts. My quilts Patent Pending and Decade were on display at the show! Patent Pending was a group quilt and it was such fun to grab a photo with some of the contributors. Read my QuiltCon recaps - Part 1 - My Quilts,  Part 2 - The Quilts, Part 3  - The Best Bits, and Part 4 - Final Reflections. 

Favorite Quilt to Quilt:

Islands in the Sky was inspired by Irene Roderick's quilts displayed at QuiltCon and her book Dancing With The Wall . This quilt sat on my design wall under construction for at least 6 months and you can watch the progress through these posts -getting started (mid-May) to making block (mid July) to combining block (early August) to Which Way is Up? (mid-September). The quilting is a mix of walking foot and hand quilting - such a fun adventure!

Favorite Bag Make:

Anna @noodlehead released a new pattern in February and I jumped on the chance to make the Haralson Belt Bag to bring to QuiltCon Atlanta. It was a fun make and this bag is used any and every time I leave the house to run errands. I love it so much that I want to make another! Read more about my bag.

Favorite QAL:

Summer is by far my favorite season of the year. I love to swim and hit the pool early every morning. I love sitting on the back porch in the afternoon to read or stitch. And I love the long days of daylight. Joining the #summerlovinseaglassal hosted by Kitty @nightquilter and Allie @exhaustedoctupus was an easy decision. Recognizing joy in daily life is a harder task than you might think but what a delight it was to focus on joy and collect seaglass pieces of fabric to help me remember all the moments. My Summer of Joy quilt hangs in my sewing room. Read more about my journey.

I enjoy participating in the link-up each year even though it is always tough to choose just 5 highlights.  You can find my previous yearly top 5 here: 202220212020,  2019,   2018,  2017,  2016

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Handmade Gifts for the Win!

I enjoy making gifts for family every year and felt really good about my gifts this year. My son got handmade stockings for him and his partner.

My husband runs each morning on trails through a park and reports each day on what animal crossed his path. Often the tales are about an owl sighting - he starts his runs before dawn every day. 

This owl was FPP and I had just enough scraps to pull it off in this fabric. Pattern was purchased from this Etsy shop.

My youngest is an animal lover and enjoys seeing turtles sunning themselves when they go biking so I made a softie!

This was a fun sew - I had the most trouble getting the eyes right but I think it worked at the end!

There are a bunch of turtle tutorials on YouTube (who knew?) and I used this one and the free pattern that came with it. Instead of snaps, I had stitched the shell around the turtle body. 

Lucky for me, they have also discovered the joy of handmade giving. I'm so very excited by these crochet softies! The top row is a Silly Goose (in a sweater) made for my middle daughter and a pickle ball paddle and ball for me! (I love playing pickle ball.) In the bottom row is a squirrel with a sweater marked #1 Nemesis for my husband - we had squirrels take the ripe tomatoes from our garden. Finally, Snoopy is for me. 

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Thursday, December 21, 2023

December Star

Several years ago, Frances 
@offkilterquilt released an novel in the form of a serial podcast called Friendship Album 1933.  

We were introduced to 5 woman - Eula, Bess, Dorothy, Florence, and Emmeline - who gathered together each week to work on their entry to the quilt contest for the 1933 World Fair. 

Since then, Frances has shared a new short story about one of the women set during the Christmas season.  This year we join Emmeline in 1919 in a story called Starry Night. For the last several years, I've put together a block pattern in celebration of the story. This years block is called December Star.

You can find the story and the free block pattern - written by me! - at QuiltFiction.

The block finishes at 8" square and the star points can be made with templates or with FPP. It is a very fun block to sew - the FPP way at least! - so I enjoyed putting together this table runner for my kitchen table.

The block pattern also includes the fabric requirements for a few settings. I love the secondary pattern you get at the corners when the blocks are set together. 

This first option is a 25 block option is throw sized and finishes at at 48" x 48".

This second is wall hanging sized, finishing at 21" x 21"

The table runner is made with 3 blocks and finishes at 30" x 12".

I can't wait to listen to the latest story!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls! I made stockings! Hanging by our chimney will still be the stockings the kids have had since they were babies. But everyone needs a stocking in their home so I'm sending my son one! (Colors are true in the photos below.)

No pattern - I just traced an existing stocking and added about 1/2" all the way around. I had a 1/2 yard of this wonderful plaid in my stash for quite some time - it was a print from Moda Sweetwater - and was happy to put it to good use to create two stockings.

The lining was set inside the outer piece. When sewing them together, I added a binding which I would fold around to cover the raw edge and add a bit of color too.

I found a fun (free) alphabet on Shiny Happy World. The letters were applied with fusible and then stitched with a straight stitch along the edge.

Some more secret sewing going on here in my sewing space that I don't plan to share until after gifted.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Pickle Bird

Pickle Bird was my entry for this years QuiltCon fabric challenge. 

The design for Pickle Bird evolved in a improvisational process when playing around with half-rectangle triangles and drunkard path blocks with an initial intent of creating a version of a pickle block. When the final layout looked like a group of tropical birds sitting around chatting with each other somewhere on an island paradise (once you see it you can’t un-see it!), the name Pickle Bird was born.

The quilting is a combination of walking foot and big stitch quilting using a series of cardboard templates to mark the curve quilting lines.

I tried something new this year for capturing quilt photos and it worked really well. I hung a white table cloth from my quilting rack and then pined the quilt to the table cloth. Duck tape was used to get the table cloth reasonably taut and the setup meant I didn't need to worry about the background.

Creating a quilt with the fabric challenge fabrics is something I look forward to every year! Sadly, Pickle Bird won't be hanging at QuiltCon 2024 - 3 of my other quilts will though! - so I'm glad I snapped a photo of me in during my 'front yard' quilt show.

Have a wonderful day! Patty