Monday, July 27, 2015

Social Climber - Faith Circle Style

I just finished reading a post by Debbie at A Quilter's Table about how quickly a quilt can be made from start to final binding stitch. It seems that 7 hours is a real possibility for a baby quilt. Contrast that with my decidedly un-quick work on the Social Climber quilt. The Faith Circle ladies stitched up the blocks last October and mailed them off to me. At that same time I was spending every free moment working on the Snowflake Among the Stars wedding quilt for a dear couple. It had to be ready for a December wedding date. Then, of course, came Christmas and New Years - not a good time for finishing large quilt projects. As soon as the holiday season was over I knew I'd need to dedicate all my time to completing Mixed Flock in time for the Northern Shenandoah Valley Quilt Show in April. Fast forward to the end of the school year and another wedding gift (soon to be revealed) and Social Climber was just not getting the attention it so deserved.

Well, I'm so pleased to be able to say Social Climber is now complete!

Social Climber - pattern by Villa Rosa Designs

With a burst of dedicated effort I was able to finish the quilting, binding, washing, and photographing in a two day period. How's that for getting a second wind on this project?

My inspiration for the quilting came from a Craftsy class I bought, Creative Quilting with Your Walking Foot, taught by Jacquie Gering. One of the lessons teaches how to do sectioned curves. Needing something a little more at my comfort level I divided quilt into three sections and did straight line quilting instead of curves. I used masking tape to space the lines at 1" intervals - just moving the tape with each line of quilting.

Pieced back for Social Climber

For the back I used one large piece of My Sunshine, a Riley Blake Designs fabric and then finished out with several smaller cuts from my stash. This photo of the quilt back also shows the quilting better. I was looking through my stash trying to find enough fabric to do the binding, however there just was nothing that would work. As I trimmed down the quilt top I noted that there was significant backing fabric on all sides being cut away. It turned out I had enough fabric to cut down into binding strips - Hooray! No extra scraps created!

All in all this turned out to be a lovely quilt and I'm so happy to have it finished!


In the interest of ensuring a sturdy binding I machine stitched it - folding to the front so I could make sure it had the best results possible. I went ahead and used straight stitching and although not perfect, it's not bad! My sewing skills have greatly improved since my last attempt to attach a binding using this method.

The Faith Circle donates it's quilts to Restore Innocence. A Colorado based non-profit which aids in the restoration of young women rescued from human trafficking. You can read more about them here. Thank you Faith Circle ladies for your work on these blocks - you're a great group of ladies to sew with :o)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Let's see...where did I leave off?

Goodness, it hardly seems possible that my last blog post was in March. I knew as Spring was approaching things were going to go into high gear: I'm a teacher and Spring is "testing season," I've also spent a tremendous amount of time working on design plans for our log home, and working on the occasional necessary gifts. Something was going to have to give and blogging was it. Let's pick up where we left off.

The largest project I worked on and finished (Oh yeah!) is Mixed Flock. It appeared in the Northern Shenandoah Valley Quilt Show in the newly created Modern Quilts category.

Mixed Flock ~ Finished (at last)
Mixed Flock: designed stitched and quilted by me

In my last post I drew out possible quilting plans that included some pretty labor intensive straight line quilting. In the interest of actually getting the quilt finished in time for the show I ended up spiral quilting the center section and grid quilting the borders. I'm happy with how it turned out. 

In addition, I entered four of my mini quilts in the show:

Mini quilts

Clockwise from top left: Baby Nova, Dashing Geese Mini Quilt, Apple Blossom Celebration, and Wonky Crosses. Most of the time these mini quilts hang on the walls of my office at school. Making mini quilts is very enjoyable because they are so much easier to finish up on my small Janome sewing machine.

It was fun to participate in the quilt show. It's a biannual show so the next one is in 2017...maybe I should get started on a quilt now so it will be finished in time :o)

Well, that's enough to get us started. I'll be back soon with more of what I've been up to. Happy quilting!