Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Progressive Steps to Photographing a Quilt & a Dog

In honor of today being the 4th anniversary of Miss Lilly coming to live with us, I thought I would share some recent photos I took as I was attempting to get a photo of Lilly with a quilt top. 
When we first adopted Lilly, she was completely scared of the camera and would cower down with her ears tight against her head. In just the last 6 months, she has actually started posing a little for the camera ... so I'm really proud of her.  When you rescue a dog, or any animal, you never know what their past experiences have been. 

So here is the unedited progression of photos along with my captions.  Enjoy!

Photo 1:  Let's walk across the quilt laying on the floor and sniff your shoe. After all you have a camera and I'm ignoring that fact.


Photo 2: Oh, let's turn around and sniff the quilt.  Maybe if it smells good, I will fluff it with my paws and lay on it.  I'm sure you would like that after you spent all that time getting smooth on the floor. 


Photo 3: Here's another spot that smells good.  Gotta keep my nose to the ground.  Sniff, sniff, I need to sniff more.  These batiks smell good.  


Photo 4:  Ya, I know you've been calling my name - I heard ya the first time.  Oh you wanted me to look up at the camera.  Okay, I get it. 


Photo 5:  Sure you want to see my face. I will make this easy for you... I'll just stand on my hind legs and jump up on you ... that get's my face close to the camera. 


Photo 6:  Oh, I see ... you wanted me to sit on the quilt.  Why didn't you say so in the first place?  We could have saved a lot of time. Here ya go!  I'm sitting now. 


So every time you see a photo with a perfectly posed pet, be assured a lot of photos were taken as well as patience exercised (and sometimes exhausted) just to get that one amazing photo!

Fabric Credit:  Island Batik
Design: Ricky Tims' Convergence Quilt

Sunday, April 1, 2018

2018 Monthly Color Challenge: April = Orange

It's time for another new color and another new block in the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge.  Are you participating?  No?  Why Not?  If you aren't, there is still time for you to join in all the fun.  To get all the scoop, be sure to check out Jen's post.



This month we are celebrating the color Orange! 



Just like yellow, orange is another color that I don't use as much as I should.  I was thinking why do I not like orange.... My memories immediately go back to playing sports as a kid and our primary rivals' school colors were orange and black.  ....  Surely an athletic rivalry from 30+ years ago isn't influencing my fabric selections today ... or is it ???   

Anyway, again this month I made both the 12" and 6" version of Jen's free block.  You can get a copy of the block pattern on her blog - see link below. 



If you are wondering what all the blocks look like from the previous months - here is a quick photo that I took.  It's going to be really neat to see how all these blocks look finished together in the final quilt.  



I can't wait to see what your block looks like.  On Jen's blog you have an opportunity to share your orange block or anything made with orange from April 21 to 30 to be eligible for prizes.  And speaking of prizes, the sponsor for this month is: Island Batik! 



Check out the this gorgeous collection, Island Batik is giving the lucky winner a fat eighth bundle of these fabrics. Don't forget to enter to win - all you have to do is share a photo of something made with orange... it could be this block or any another project. 




Also be sure to visit the other bloggers who are participating this month.  It's so much fun to see what fabrics everyone has selected and how different the same block looks with different fabric choices!



Jen Shaffer of Patterns By Jen
Jen Strauser of Dizzy Quilter
Sherry Shish of Powered By Quilting
Suzy Webster of Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Jen Rosin of A Dream and A Stitch
Dione Gardner-Stephen of Clever Chameleon Quilting
Joanne Harris of
quiltsbyJoanne


And if you are playing along with us, make sure to use #2018monthlycolorchallenge on social media! And speaking of social media, be sure to follow me on IG: @Masterpiecequilting and Masterpiece Quilting on FB for sneak peeks and updates!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Try A Technique - March Island Batik Ambassador Challenge

Our challenge this month as Island Batik Ambassadors was to try something new - a sewing or quilting technique that we had not done before. 


Well, that took some thinking!  As ambassadors, we brainstormed a really long list but I had already done a lot of them.  So I decided to try a technique that was on my bucket list.  A Convergence Quilt using Ricky Tims method. After all, I had bought the book 6 years ago, so it was about time I tried it :) 



I selected four fabrics that I received from Island Batik as part of their Brand Ambassador program.   I cut 14" squares and arranged them in a four-patch layout.  


Next the fun began ....  Following the instructions in the book, I sewed, slice, rearranged and resewed ... and ended up with this.


Then I repeated the process - slicing, rearranging and re-sewing - and presto, my convergence was complete!


I was tempted to leave it as is but I decided it needed borders.  So using the gallery of quilts in the book as inspiration, I opted for a pieced outer border with a narrow strip of orange for my inner border.  Since the fabrics were bold, I quilted a basic allover meander that would hold everything together without detracting from the fabrics.  Since it will be a wall hanging, I used Warm 80/20 batting from The Warm Company to keep it nice and flat. 


I finished off the quilt with an orange binding that matched the inner border.  So I can now say I have made a convergence quilt!  I can cross it off my bucket list - which makes room for more quilting projects :)   

And, of course, Miss Lilly had to put her "paw of approval" on the quilt top while I was trying to photograph it.  


Be sure to follow me on Facebook at Masterpiece Quilting or on IG: @masterpiecequilting

Thursday, March 1, 2018

2018 Monthly Color Challenge: March = Yellow

Where has the month gone?  It's time for another new color and another new block in the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge.  Are you participating?  No?  Why Not?  If you aren't, there is still time for you to join in all the fun.  To get all the scoop, be sure to check out Jen's post.



Our color for the Month of March is Yellow... and I was really worried!  I'm not much of a yellow person.  I look horrible in it and I don't use it much in my quilts - but I was pleasantly surprised how much yellow I had in my stash.  I apparently I use it more than I think I do. 


Again this month I made both the 12" and 6" version of Jen's free block.  You can get a copy of the block pattern on her blog - see link below.  I did learn one thing - yellows are hard to photograph! If I were to make the blocks again, I would try to find more contrast between the fabrics or use prints to make it easier to distinguish them.  Apparently when I use yellow - I'm pretty focused on solids or tonals! 




I can't wait to see what your block looks like.  On Jen's blog you have an opportunity to share your blue block or anything made with yellow from March 21 to 28 to be eligible for prizes.  And speaking of prizes, the sponsor for this month is: Make Modern Magazine who is giving away 3, YES 3, six-month subscriptions to their magazine (which I absolutely LOVE!) 





Also be sure to visit the other bloggers who are participating this month.  This is always fun to see what everyone is making too!


And if you are playing along with us, make sure to use #2018monthlycolorchallenge on social media! And speaking of social media, be sure to follow me on IG: @Masterpiecequilting and Masterpiece Quilting on FB for sneak peeks and updates!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Mini Dresden Love - Island Batik Style

Each month the Island Batik Brand Ambassadors create a quilt based on our challenge theme for that specific month.  This month's challenge theme is Mini Love. 


Well, as a quilt maker who loves oversized blocks, anything MINI is a challenge for me! But as Kelly Clarkston's lyrics say "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". So I started sketching and since I didn't want to do a lot of MINI piecing, I opted for some applique. I'm a huge fan of Dresden's and I discovered that with proper color placement, 3 bladed Dresden's form heart shapes!  I Love it... so MINI Dresden's = MINI Love!  Here is what my original design looked like.


After printing the patterns, I started selecting fabrics.  I swapped out some colors - primarily because I didn't have enough red or aqua to cut all the pieces I needed!  But I think the change to the darker purple was a good one. 



My Mini Dresden Love is made from a scrappy mix of Island Batik fabrics that I received as an Island Batik Brand Ambassador.  The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik and Aurifil.  To give the wall hanging some extra loft, I used a scrap of Hobbs Polydown batting that I had laying around. 

I tried a few new techniques while I was making Mini Dresden Love.  With contrasting color thread I wanted to emphasize the hearts that formed from the two matching color blades.  I outline stitched the heart shape and added some straight line fill. 


It worked but it's a bit too subtle.  I was hoping for a bolder look. Next time I try this I will use a thicker thread for more coverage. 
 

Well there's my Mini Dresden Love and if I don't stop typing this blog post will go from MINI to MAXI :)   Thanks for reading if you have made it to the end!

To keep up on everything I'm working on, be sure to follow me on Facebook or on IG @masterpiecequilting. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Flying Star Pinwheel Bed Runner

Bed runners are one of my favorite quilted home décor items to make and to use.  They are so versatile. They allow you to change the look of a room really fast without a lot of effort.  Plus they go together really quick since they are typically half the size or even less of a regular quilt. Add precut strips to that mix and my Flying Star Pinwheel Bed Runner is the perfect choice. 

Photo Credit: Annie's

This gorgeous bed runner features the Transforms fabric collection by Sarah Vedeler of Sarah Vedeler Designs from Benartex fabric.  With some strategic fabric placement the pinwheels create a secondary pattern of flying stars.

I designed the Flying Star Pinwheel Bed Runner as part of my Time-Saving Quilting with Precuts video workshop and due to it's success it is also available as an individual workshop



If you aren't familiar with my video classes, a preview is available for you to watch so you can get a feel for the quality of the instruction and video. 



As with all my other online classes, Time-Saving Quilting with Precuts is available both as an online class or in DVD format which you can watch whenever you want.  It's like having me in your quilting room 24/7 :)   



So just grab a couple of precut rolls, purchase the class and you are ready to go! To purchase Time-Saving Quilting with Precuts, please click on my affiliate link to purchase. 

If you enjoy learning online, I have classes in a variety of topics and you can read more about them. 


This post contains affiliate links, please see my full FTC Disclosure.






Thursday, February 15, 2018

Charming Chains - Cover Quilt of Quilter's World Quilts You Can Make in a Day

It's always fun to get quilts back from the publisher but it's even more exciting to find out you have a COVER QUILT!  It's such an amazing honor to have the photo of your design selected for that prized position on the cover of a magazine.  

Yesterday I got two quilts back whose designs are published in the new Quilter's World Quilts You Can Make in a Day.    On the cover is my Charming Chains quilt!  

Photo Cred: Annie's

If you follow my designs you know I LOVE designing chain quilts so Charming Chains makes perfect sense - but instead of the chain extending clear across the quilt, these chains fit perfectly in each block unit. 

To highlight the chains, I knew I needed a bright, bold, fun fabric and Christa Watson's brand new Modern Marks collection by Benartex Contempo was the perfect choice.  The colors are so fresh and compliment my design perfectly.



I met Christa a few years ago at the SewPro Conference and I was delighted when she shared her first fabric collection with designers and encouraged us to use it in our designs.  And a huge thanks to Benartex for graciously providing the fabric!   

I also want to thank Aurifil for providing the thread I used to piece the quilt as well as The Warm Company for providing the 80/20 batting I used to make it.  I love both of these products and if I didn't love them, I wouldn't be using them! 



Charming Chains is designed with precut squares and strips in mind so it gives you an opportunity to use an entire fabric collection in one quilt.  Just select your fabric and pair it with a neutral and you are ready to stitch.  The pattern for Charming Chains is available in Quilter's World Quilts You Can Make in a Day which you can purchase at your favorite news stand or at Annie's Craft Store.

For updates on my designs, be sure to follow me on IG: @masterpiecequilting or on Facebook