to boston with love

I have never even been to Boston, but the events surrounding the bombing were upsetting to all of us.  When I saw flags of support popping up online, I wanted to make a contribution, especially after reading my friend Morgan's post yesterday.

The Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild is collecting flags that will hang in Boston.  I spent last night making a couple of flags to contribute.
to boston with love
I can't wait to see this project when it is all finished, just the thought of seeing support being sent from all over the world makes me emotional.  

If you would like to find out more information you can find it on the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild's blog and you can see more flags in the To Boston with Love flickr group

feeling a little out of it

Things have been a little crazy around here lately.  Not that anything major is going on, just the same old stuff, sometimes I just feel like all of the days blend together and two weeks ago feels like yesterday and yesterday feels like tomorrow.  Does that make any sense?

I got very behind on blog reading.  It was a little overwhelming so this morning I just marked everything as read in attempt to try to catch up with things.  I am sorry if I missed some of your blog posts!  Reading blogs is one of my favorite activities I just need to get out of this funk.

I have been sewing a lot, but they are projects-that-can't-be-shared so those will have to wait for a bit.  These types of projects are fun (I have loved doing stuff for Moda Bake Shop) but I also love blogging my progress so that part is a little hard.  I did get this little gem in the mail yesterday.
It is a Moda Bake Shop ad on the inside cover of Quilts and More magazine. In case you have no idea what I look like, I am the third hexagon down in the second column.  When Moda asked me to send my photo to be included in an ad I was beyond excited.  It is still a little surreal, and it was completely amazing of Moda to send a copy.  This was pretty much the only existing photo of me that was taken within the last 2 years that doesn't also have my husband or kids in it.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about quilting books.  I love them and have developed a pretty good size collection and I would love to add to it.  Do you have any books that you would recommend?  These are a few of my favorites:
Quilting Modern - One of the most inspirational books I own
Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters - this book is beyond amazing if you are interested in FMQ
Hand Quilted with Love - I pretty much want to make every quilt in this book
Quilt Love - I first read about this over at Blue Elephant Stitches and I love her philosophy on quilting

And here are a few on my wish list:
Tula Pink's City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks - I don't really know anything about this other than I really like the cover
Liberated Quiltmaking II - I have wanted this one every since I saw this quilt
Vintage Quilt Revival - It's not out yet, but I know that I need it
Farmer's Wife Sampler - I figure I have to make this one at some point

Are there any quilting books that you love?  What should I add to my wishlist?

bangles quilt

I spent the last few days finishing up my Bangles quilt (pattern is from Sarah Fielke's amazing book).
bangles quilt front
I know I was a little disparaging about the quilt last time, and it certainly isn't an fast and easy quilt to make, but I am glad that I made it and would definitely recommend it.

If you are interested in giving this quilt a try, definitely check out Faith's y-seam tutorial.

I backed the quilt with one of my favorite prints from Lotta Jansdotter's Echo (which I recently got on sale for less than $6/yard from Fabric Shack, though I think I bought the last of it).
bangles quilt back
A couple weeks ago I saw this tutorial about quilting flowers and thought this would be a good time to give it a try.  It was pretty fast, fun, and fairly easy, so I will definitely be using this quilting design again.
bangles quilt closeup
I used pieced batting for this quilt and it was the first time I have used Pellon batting tape to join the batting.  I have tried zig-zagging the pieces together in the past and while it worked out okay, it was kind of pain.  The batting tape was much easier (you just apply it with an iron) and faster.  Hopefully I can make a dent in the giant pile of batting scraps in my closet :)

bangles quilt with backing
This quilt will be going to my niece when she turns 8 in a few months.  If you are have been reading my blog for a while, you might remember that I have been making quilts for my nieces and nephews when they turn 8 (which is the age in my church that kids can be baptized).  My husband's sister had twins and his brother's wife had a baby on the exact same day in 2005, so I have a nephew and 2 nieces turning 8 this year.  I actually already made quilts for the twins (here and here) so I am done ahead of time.  

You can see the quilts I made for my older niece and nephew here and here.  

finished size: about 53x57"

wip wednesday

1.  I spent the majority of the past week working on my most recent work in progress, the Bangles quilt from Sarah Fielke's great new book.  This quilt may look sweet and innocent, but it is a bit of a beast. There are so many y-seams it is getting a little draining, but I do really appreciate the practice and now that I am getting close to finishing the quilt top, I am actually enjoying piecing the blocks together.  It is just a little slow and tedious.

Please forgive this terribly grainy photo I took with my phone last night.
When I finish working on a quilt I like to ask myself whether or not I would consider making the quilt again, and I definitely still feel like I would make another one of these so I guess it hasn't been too bad :)  I do appreciate that it is on the smaller size for a lap quilt, the finished size is 53.5x57.5".  It is for my soon-to-be-8-year-old niece so I think the size will be perfect.  

2.  Maple Leaf Rag quilt.  I probably won't share any more photos of this one until I am done hand quilting.  Progress was made, though not much.  

3.  I haven't actually started this, but my daughter has requested that I make her a birthday crown.  She will be 5 on Monday and I have never seen someone so excited about something :)

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  


I woke up yesterday morning and decided it was time for the polar bears to come down.  This past fall I made a maple mini quilt and hung it on the wall behind my computer.  When winter came around, I made a winter-ish one.  Now that winter is long gone, especially here in Southern California (where it was never really here in the first place) I needed a change.

My husband has been working long hours from work and I wanted to let him sleep in yesterday morning, so the kids and I raided my bags of orange and low volume scraps.  My daughter is actually pretty helpful, my son just likes to make a giant mess.
orange! mini quilt
I have been loving orange lately.  It was so fun to involve my daughter in the process (she also helped me make her remixed geese quilt).  She insisted on using every orange and low volume novelty scrap I have so there are jack-o-lanterns, chickens, bunnies, elephants, etc.

It is pretty small, around 20" square.  I went with orange peel quilting.  I couldn't resist since it is so orange.  Here it is in action (the lighting in my dining room is awful).
The best part was that I finished it yesterday while my daughter was asleep and she was so excited to see her quilt hanging on the wall this morning.  I can't wait until she is a little older and I can teach her how to sew :)


Pillow Talk Swap 10 signups are now open. I participated in the last round and had a blast, so I thought I would post this in case anyone is interested since spots in the swap are limited!

thoughts on hand quilting

To be honest, I never really thought I would try hand quilting.  It looks nice, but I was happily plugging on with my machine and didn't see any reason to change that.  Until I saw a couple of quilts by Patti and Svetlana.  Not only are they beautifully hand quilted, but they are quilted in a way that seems (to me at least) like the right choice for that quilt.
Fast forward a couple of months and I am working on my Maple Leaf Rag quilt (yeah, I know you're probably sick of it by now).  This is a quilt that I have wanted to make for a long time and it is one that I really wanted to take my time with.  While I was piecing the quilt top I spent quite a bit of time contemplating how I would quilt it and hand quilting just seemed like the right (only) choice.

Disclaimer: I am no expert, I am a beginning hand quilter.  But I spent entirely too much time researching the process so I thought I would share what I found.  To prepare myself, I found a few great resources.
  • The most helpful source I found was this video by Sarah Fielke.  Everything that she said about the process clicked with me and I have re-watched it several times.
  • This post by Anna Maria Horner. Everything she does is gorgeous and her hand quilting is no exception!
  • And this post from Chase. There is a ton of great info here. 
When it comes to supplies, I try to go with a less-is-more approach.  These are the tools that I have found to be useful.  
  • Embroidery needles.  I bought this pack of size 5-10 at Joann's and I just used the smallest needle that I could thread easily with my perle cotton.  When I first started I just randomly picked a needle out and got started, but I was having a little trouble pulling the needle through the fabric.  I switched to a thinner needle and it has made the process much easier.  
  • Clover metal thimble.  Do not try hand quilting without a thimble or you will be in a lot of pain.  I have really disliked thimbles in the past, but when Sarah Fielke recommended this one I thought I would give it a try and it has been great.
  • Perle cotton size 8.  I went with the color Ecru, which is kind of boring, but the quilt is so crazy I thought it would be best.  I bought mine locally at Joann's.  My local store has a very limited color selection of perle cotton.  I am looking forward to getting my hands on some of this in the near future.
  • Embroidery scissors.  I have two brands, Elan and Fiskers, which are both great.
  • Hera marker for marking lines.  Apparently it didn't make it into the photo.
  • When I decided to try hand quilting I did not want to use a quilting frame.  It seemed big and unnecessary so I started out the process without one. Maybe it is just because this quilt is big and heavy (it's backed with corduroy), but the frame makes quilting so much easier.  I am using a 17"x17" Q-Snap lap frame.  It is a great size so I don't have to move it around too often but it's not too big to hold in my lap.  It is also easy to put on the quilt and collapses into little pieces so it doesn't take up too much space.
One question that I had before I started was how to baste the quilt.  I normally pin baste, but that wasn't really a good option because the pins are so heavy and they would get in the way of the quilting frame.  I didn't really want to thread baste because, to be completely honest, I have no idea how to thread baste.  I noticed that Svetlana had used spray baste when she hand quilted so I thought I would give it a try.  

I don't particularly like to spray baste because I kind of enjoy turning on a good movie and spending some time smoothing out and pinning a quilt. I also try to avoid adding things to the cost of making a quilt, but I used 505 spray on this quilt and it has worked out wonderfully.  Even though it has been hoisted around all over the place, everything has stayed together and I would definitely spray baste quilts that I intend to hand quilt in the future.

I have heard people say that hand quilting is relaxing, but I didn't understand how relaxing until I started this process.  If you are interested in hand quilting, I hope that some of this information helps!

wip wednesday

I'm afraid that WIP Wednesday is going to be repetitive for a few weeks.  Both projects that I am working on are fairly slow and will probably take a while.
Current WIPs
1. Maple Leaf Rag - still hand quilting.  I decided not to count how many blocks I have done or how many there are total so I am not sure how far along I am. I just want to enjoy the process and try not to rush into finishing.
maple leaf rag progress

2. Bangles quilt - I have 24 blocks completed, which leaves 46 blocks plus all of the partial blocks left.  I appreciate the y-seam practice that I am getting while working on this, but it is a little draining.
bangles quilt progress

Projects that I haven't started but hope to start soon:
1.  Roller skate dress for my daughter - Harper is turning 5 in less than 2 weeks (crazy!) and I would like to make her a dress or a tunic.

2.  Mini quilt - in the fall I made this mini to hang behind my computer, then I made this one once it was winter, but I still have the winter quilt hanging up.  It's time for something a little more season appropriate.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday.

Q2 FAL Goals

For Q1 I was pretty conservative with my goals, but this quarter I really want to push myself.
1.  This might be impossible, but I would like to finish my Maple Leaf Rag quilt.  I am LOVING hand quilting it, but I have carpal tunnel in my hand and don't want to injure myself so I'm trying to take it slow.  But I can't wait to finish this one up so I can use it.  This pattern is from Sarah Fielke's book Material Obsession 2.

2.  Over the weekend I started a new quilt after seeing Amanda's posts on Instagram (are you on Instagram? my username is ericajackman).  It is the Bangles quilt from Sarah Fielke's amazing new book.
3.  I don't have a photo because this project is way hiding in the back of my closet, but a few months ago I started a simple patchwork square quilt for our bed.  Originally I was just going to use Lotta Jansdotter's Echo and Bella, but when I found out that Glimma would be coming out soon I put the project on hold.  I have already preordered a bundle of Glimma so once that gets here I can finish this one up.

I am looking forward to finishing these so I can put them to good use :)

Linking up to She Can Quilt's Finish-a-long.

April blocks

I have a busy month ahead so I wanted to take care of my Lucky Stars and Do Good Stitches blocks early.
april lucky stars block
I intend to turn these into a wall quilt at the end of the year, so I want to work on making my blocks a little more colorful since I like wall quilts that are packed full of color :)  I may have gone a little overboard with the green here; I don't particularly like green and it is overwhelming me a little bit, so hopefully the rest of the blocks will calm it down a little.
jan-april lucky stars blocks

Steph, who has been a member of our DGS circle since the beginning, is now a quilter and this was her first month to host.  She chose a modernized D9P block using shades of aqua, red, and dark brown.
do good stitches wish circle april blocks
So now I'm just wondering, how in the world is it April already?

wip wednesday

Late Monday night we got home after spending a week in Utah visiting family.  I am tired.  I did absolutely no sewing while I was gone.  While I was gone I didn't have a computer, so I got hopelessly behind on reading blogs and responding to comments (sorry!).  But it was nice to have a little break.

I have been looking forward to getting my Maple Leaf Rag quilt basted, so that is what I did last night (no, I have not unpacked a single thing from my trip).
maple leaf rag quilt - just started hand quilting
And I started hand quilting.  It is going to take so very, very long, but I think I am going to enjoy it.  Hand quilting just feels like the right choice with this quilt.  Other than a couple of pillows and bags with a few lines of hand quilting, this is really my first experience so don't look too closely :)

In addition to this quilt, this week I need to . . .
  • get started on my April lucky stars block
  • make April do good stitches blocks
  • I may have to get started on a Marcelle Medallion quilt.  I won a copy of this magazine from Alison recently and it is calling my name!
linking up with WIP Wednesday

Powered by Blogger.