Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Aviatrix Medallion QAL: Border two.

The second border is super easy!  It's a nice break from the first two weeks of technique sewing. The larger pieces really help show off the prints.

Lining up my rows.
Love the yellow bridge fabric.
One of my favorite fabrics in this quilt is the yellow bridge fabric which until now didn't look like much.  All of the pieces I've cut so far are pretty small, not doing this larger print any justice.

Pretty orange block.

Need to fix the uppermost orange block.

I need to take the right side border apart just a bit and remove the first two blocks.  Shaving ~ 1/4" off the green kangaroo block will help line up the top orange block with the rest of the row.  

My eye goes right to that upper right most orange block.  Funny how when everything else is lining up, one flaw, no matter how minor, sticks out like a neon sign.

As a side note, I'm using a scrap of our Quilters Dream Poly Request as a traveling block wrangler.  The cotton fabric grips the polyester batting and helps keep my ironed seams in place.  I've been moving this around for three weeks now - in the car, out the car, in the office and back home again - its holding up really well.  No fuzzing or stretching.  Pretty cool.  

Look at all those pretty blocks

It's coming together!


This week feels like the calm before the storm - border three is going to be intense!  I'm gonna  try and get a jump on that one this week.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Aviatrix Medallion QAL: Border one. The Neutrals.

Part 2 in my adventure with Oh, Fransson! Aviatrix Medallion QAL.

Last night I started the first border, made up of half square triangles in a selection of 5 neutrals.  I chose a silvery-brown, could even be called a taupe, for my neutral palette.  

There are so may options for making half-square triangles (HST).  Elizabeth has you cut 3" squares, then cut the squares diagonally and sew the triangles together then trim to size.

I decided to give Quilt Time's Triangle Genie a whirl.  My sister gifted me this nifty tool last Christmas.  She has video tutorials on her website, but the instructions are clear and easy to understand.

Cathy Wierzbicki's Triangle Genie by Time to Quilt

Instructions are easy to understand.

I cut 3" long strips, matching up light and dark.  Lined-up the Triangle Genie and marked my cut lines.  Then I noticed something.

What are those bubbles??

Protective stickers!  (kinda fun removing those things -- am I right :)

Much better. Ruler is clear and without the stickers its so much easier to get the tip of my pen through the grooves. Silly me.

Sew 1/4" on both sides of the purple cut line.  

I really like the Triangle Genie.  

Cut up all my HST on the purple cut lines.

Pressed and trimmed.

I like the taupe-brown borders.  It adds some warmth to the overall look.

How is everyone else coming along with Aviatrix Medallion QAL?

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Oh, Fransson! Aviatrix Medallion Quilt-Along: Thread and a Prayer

One of my favorite designers is Elizabeth Hartman over at Oh, Fransson!  I have both of her books and really love her style (she's also a Janome girl!)  So I was checking out her blog a few weeks ago, eagerly awaiting the release of her next book, Patchwork City.  I noticed a post about the Aviatrix Medallion Quilt.  I loved it.  Clean, modern, angular lines and it looked like a great skill builder quilt.  Then she announced a quilt-along (QAL) for this pattern.  I had to participate.

I will be posting every Wednesday my progress with the QAL.  Finishing with my choice of batting as well as posting the finished project.

The fabric selection process was a bit difficult for me.  I have trouble committing to a pallet, and I always end up second guessing my color choices.  Thankfully, I work with some very talented, crafty ladies.  Their input was invaluable.  I followed Elizabeth's suggestion and headed over to Design Seeds for some inspiration.

The bulk of my fabric selection was purchased at Hawthorne Threads with a few additions from Pink Castle.

To be honest, my piecing skills are not the best.  I'm constantly looking for projects that will test my skills and ultimately make me a better quilter. Elizabeth wasn't kidding when she said the middle block is the most challenging!

The middle diamonds were not impossible; I just lowered the speed on my machine, went slow and used the fabric guide that came with my Janome 7700. I had no idea my Janome came with a fabric guide until I saw Elizabeth's.

The part that gave me the most trouble was adding the grey background pieces.  Everything sewed on nicely, but when I tried to square up the diamonds to the grey background, it became apparent that my diamonds were a bit wonky.  And you know how things go from there.  With each additional piece added, my wonky block became flat out wacky!

The end result is a 14 1/2" wavy block with points that mostly match up and are held together on a thread and a prayer. :)  If I'm up to it this weekend, I'll give it another go and make a second medallion.

Wavy Block.

Completed block.

Most of the points match.

SEAMS....don't judge me too harshly :)

Have you participated in a Quilt-along?  Who was the designer?  Any quilting tips so my blocks don't end up so wonky?  If so, tell me in the comments.  

If anyone is interested in trying the center medallion block, Elizabeth posted a larger 24" version on her blog. Head over to Oh, Fransson!  and check it out.

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Featured #battgirls (May2014) - The Quilt Studio/ Designs by Karen Gibbs

Meet fabric and pattern designer Karen Gibbs. Her passion in quilting.. Bargello! Check her out on Craftsy as she teaches you how easy this technique is. 

Karen started quilting when she worked as a sweater and textile designer for a clothing manufacturer. She would graph out holiday sweaters, giving the movement of color, similar to the way bargello is created. Now, the bargello quilts she creates uses bargello in sections or blocks of the quilts adding texture and movement, drawing the eye into that area.

Madison's Star
Her Madison's Star Quilt screams with vibrancy as many bargello quilts do and is only rivaled by the dramatic flair of a special 14 year old the quilt is named after! With the ease of strip sets, with a nod to traditional lonestar piecing, it's a dynamic quilt! Karen chose to use Quilters Dream Poly Select. She loves how it doesn't add weight to the quilt- which in a bargello, is really important with all those seams! 

Madison's Star close up

Textures are fun to freemotion with bargello and the Dream Poly Select allows enough "poof" around the stitching to show the design that compliments the quilt.

Argyle Style
Loving the Madison's Star but not quite ready to commit? Try it Argyle Style!  In this version you'll use precut strips (same layout as the star) BUT no Y seams! Using the Poly Select gives this quilt great background texture as well.

Karen's love for fabrics:

Like to experiment with fun fabrics? Well, you and Karen have something in common. Her favorite....Shannon Fabrics Cuddle Collections. You too can create these quilts by simply picking up your favorite style of Cuddle Fabric and Karen's Tilting at Windmills or Radiating Americana patterns. See her experience with these projects on her blog.

Radiating Americana
Tilting at Windmills

Karen's tips when quilting with Cuddle on the longarm:

* Use a thin lightweight batting like the Dream Poly Request (loft). Cuddle fabric is super heavy so any batting heavier might make your quilt feel like an x-ray protection shield! Because the Dream Poly Request stabilizes the stretchiness of the Cuddle, this allows for fun quilting options! 

*Try using open motifs when quilting with Cuddle on the top and back.

Karen's love of batiks:

This lucky duck was fortunate enough to travel with Anthology Fabrics as staff on the Bali Expedition Tour for 10 days! While there, she was able to experience the batik process. She currently has over 200 batik designs in stores that she has created for them! Pretty cool adventure if you ask us. :)

Pittsburgh Spring Quilt Market w/ Karen:

Have some fun with Karen in booth #450

For more details on demos, giveaways, sample sprees & schoolhouses, head on over to The Quilt Studio.

Keep up with The Quilt Studio/Designs by Karen Gibbs

Google+: designsbykarengibbs

Well..... are you grabbing your keys and running to your local quilt shop? If so, don't forget to share, remember the search for future #battgirls will continue. We can't wait to see your ideas! 

Looking forward to your submissions. :)
~The original

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