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WIP Wednesday: Another Busy Week

WIPWednesday

So, Wednesday again. And with QuiltCon smack in the middle of the last week, I don’t have much progress to report today. Sorry! But let’s see, what can I show you?

Evening Star block from the Summer Sampler Series
Well, the Modern Sampler class I’m teaching is more than halfway done already! Hard to believe. This week we made the Evening Star block, one of my favorites from the Summer Sampler Series (but then again, I seem to say that about all of them!) I wanted to show my students how different this block can look when you change up the color placement and value. You can purchase the full Summer Sampler Series in PDF format here or here.

Subway tile

And hey, let’s check in with those bathrooms, shall we? It’s starting to sink in that this is not going to be a quick reno. It’s just our contractor and one assistant doing all of the work—great for the budget, not so good for our schedule. : ) But they started the tile today and it looks amazing. I’ve always wanted subway tile in my house, and I’m finally getting some!

That’s all I got, you guys. But I can’t wait to see what you all have going on. Here are the rules:

1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog. (Or grab my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links. Because what fun is a linky party without comments?Have a great week!

 

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WIP Wednesday: Summer in January

WIPWednesday

January in these parts has been either frigid cold or dreary and rainy. So I’m bringing a little summer into my life right now with more Summer Sampler Series blocks, as I work along with my Modern Sampler class students.

Flower Garden Path block
Flower Garden Path. I thought I might hate the color scheme of this block once I sewed it together—but now I think it’s my favorite one that I’ve made so far.
Six-Pointed Star block
Six-Pointed Star. Such a great block. I forgot how much I love this one!

 

Summer Sampler Series Anthology

And tomorrow is the day that Faith, Katie and I will be making the full Summer Sampler Series Anthology available in PDF format. The PDF collects all of the block tutorials and paper-piecing templates into one handy (86-page!) booklet, plus there are lots of tips, design hints, PDF-exclusive content, and pictures of blocks and completed quilts to inspire you. Check out any of our three blogs tomorrow for more details!

Whatcha workin’ on? Here are the rules for the linky:

1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog. (Or grab my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links. Because really, what fun is a linky party without comments?

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WIP Wednesday: Have WIPs, But No Machine

WIPWednesday

Oh, man. And I was making such good progress on my WIPs too.

On Monday evening, while I was teaching my Modern Sampler class, my wonderful (only six-month-old) Janome Horizon 7700 freaked out on me and wouldn’t do anything but give me an E1 error code. I took it in to the service technician, who said it was probably just a popped fuse—an easy fix. But he called back a few hours later and …. let’s just say it’s not going to be such an easy fix after all. And I was just thinking about how I needed to do a full-scale review of my machine, since I’ve had her for almost exactly six months now. Well, needless to say, now the review will have to wait to see what happens next. This seems like it will be a good test of how Janome stands behind its products and its customers. I’ve heard good things about Janome’s customer service, so I’m optimistic they’ll come through for me. Stay tuned.

Anyway. WIPs. I did make good progress, prior to Monday!

Summer Sampler Series blocks

Made lots of progress on my Summer Sampler Series blocks for the Modern Sampler class that I’m teaching. I’m making two sets of blocks, since I like to show a finished block at the start of class, and I have to do some demonstrating during class as well.

And here are some of my students’ Mosaic blocks from last week! Can I just say how proud I am of these ladies? Three of them had never even made half-square triangles before, but check out those points. They rocked it. (Thanks to Anne from Material Matters for the photo!)

Summer Sampler Series PDF

Speaking of the Summer Sampler, I made major progress on the Summer Sampler Series Block Anthology. I heard from many of you that you’re excited about having the series in a PDF format, so Katie, Faith, and I are looking forward to making it available! And seeing as I have no sewing machine, that might happen even earlier than I thought. Silver linings, people. Silver linings. : )

Baby quilt

And I got my Rebel Amish-inspired baby quilt top finished, at long last. Now I just need to get it quilted. When I get my machine back, anyway.

Candy Necklace in the book!

Oh, and don’t forget: My Modern Quilts From the Blogging Universe giveaway is open through next Tuesday! I’m giving away an ebook version AND two physical copies, so pop over here to enter.

Whatcha workin’ on? Here are the rules for the linky:

1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog. (Or grab my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links. Because really, what fun is a linky party without comments?

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WIP Wednesday: Colorful Progress

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Got WIPs? You know I do. : )

Summer Sampler Series Mosaic block First up—more Summer Sampler! I’m teaching all of the Summer Sampler Series blocks over the next few months as part of my “Modern Sampler” class at a local quilt store. I’ve got a great group of ladies in this class and I’m so looking forward to making this quilt again with all of them. And in solids this time around! The block above is the Mosaic block.

Making progress on a baby quilt
Finally made some progress on this very overdue baby quilt. My design was completely inspired by Adrianne’s incredible “Rebel Amish” quilt.

Bundle for my next pattern
And I’m itching to dig into this little stack, which is destined for my next pattern quilt. : )

You’ve got WIPs too, right? Whatever you’re sewing, link it up here. Just remember the rules:

1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog. (Or grab my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links. Because what fun is a linky party without comments?

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Sparkler Quilt

My newest quilt pattern, Sparkler, is now available in the Spring 2013 issue of Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts! Yay!

Sparkler quilt
I’m so happy to finally be able to show you this quilt! The unbelievably beautiful quilting was done by the talented Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful. I didn’t give her any requests when it came to the quilting, I asked her to do whatever she saw fit—and I’m sure you’ll agree that she knocked it out of the park. This is hands-down my favorite quilt right now, and Jenny’s quilting is the reason why. You can read more on her blog about how she decided to quilt it.

Sparkler quilt
“Easy quilt” is definitely an apt description of this pattern. It’s just straight-line sewing and some half-square triangles. The entire quilt is made up of one very simple traditional block that is often seen as a tessellating pattern. But rather than tessellate it, I used a single background color and reversed out the colors for half of the blocks, giving the design a whole different look (and making it far easier from a color-placement and planning perspective!).

Sparkler quilt - the back
(the back)

My version is done entirely in Cotton Supreme Solids from RJR Fabrics, a collection of beautiful, rich colors. I chose cool greens, blues, and purples and graduated them diagonally across the quilt. It would be fun to see this pattern done in warm colors or in the full rainbow as well. Quite a few of the colors I used are available on Amazon: Including Electric Green, Raging Rose, and Riviera Blue.

Sparkler quilt
And can I just say how thrilled I am to see that there are several modern quilts in this issue of Easy Quilts? The issue also includes quilts by Amy Smart from Diary of a Quilter and Corey from Little Miss Shabby, along with several others of a more modern bent. It’s nice not to have the one lonely modern design in a sea of traditional patterns!

You can check out all of the other quilts in the Spring 2013 issue here, and order your copy of Easy Quilts here. It’s also showing up on newsstands now.

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Modern Mirage Quilt

Modern Mirage

Well, I made it! I completed my new quilt in time to enter it into the Quilt Con show, and with a few hours to spare, no less.

Quilt Con quilt
It was not without its challenges. This quilt fought me tooth and nail into existence. First of all, piecing it was a BEAST. I knew extreme accuracy was going to be crucial, so I paper-pieced some of the small units, but when it came time to do the traditional piecing, it was still tough to get all those seams and points lined up. I didn’t count the number of times I had to tear out stitches and re-do, but I can assure you it was a lot. The top took forever!

Modern Mirage
Then, I started quilting it by outlining the vertical wavy pattern the design makes between the stars. But straight-line quilting isn’t my strong suit, and this type of quilting was kind of straight-line plus. Straight enough to require a walking foot, but with some turns that were so slight, it was hard to decide whether to turn as sharply as possible or to make it more curvy and flowing. And it ended up looking like a mish-mash of both. : ) So after four rows, I decided to change strategies and do loose wavy lines instead. That meant all the previous quilting stitches had to come out. You should have seen my family room yesterday. It was seriously covered in all these tiny little pieces of thread! Ugh!

Then, just because I apparently needed an extra challenge, when I finished my wavy line quilting yesterday morning, I turned over the quilt and found this—a huge crease on the back! Really??? The feeling when you work your butt off and then discover something like that is The. Worst.

This was my first real spray-basting fail. For some reason the 505 I use just didn’t seem all that sticky this time around. After basting, I noticed I didn’t have to clean up nearly as much overspray residue as I usually do—I guess that should have been a warning sign. Then the whole back of the quilt seemed to come loose during quilting. It’s totally weird, I’ve never had that happen with 505. Maybe I didn’t shake the can enough? It was a new can, so I hope the entire thing isn’t defective. Or worse yet, that there’s been some sort of formula change. Anybody have a similar problem with 505 lately?

(Updated to add: I just heard from my friend Katie at Swim Bike Quilt that she often has basting problems with Art Gallery fabric—and that is exactly what I used on the back of this quilt. Ironically, I think it’s the fact that Art Gallery is so high-quality and has such a nice sheen to it that accounts for this problem—spray-basting doesn’t work on voiles either, probably for the same reason. But at any rate, if you’re using a lot of Art Gallery fabric in a quilt, be aware that you may want to pin-baste.)

So I ripped out 5 more rows of quilting and re-did it all, and finally finished the quilt with no further incidents at around 3 p.m. Whew. So here it is—I’m calling it Modern Mirage. I entered it in the “Modern Traditionalism” category, which is the category I was most excited to see included in the show.

Modern Mirage
The design originally started with a variation on a traditional star block. I set that on point and liked the vaguely “Storm at Sea” feel it gave to the quilt. To modernize it, I gave the design some negative space on each side, but off-center (because I love me some off-center designs!). Then, when I was playing around with the colors, I came up with this palette, which gives it sort of a transparency effect, and I loved it! And I thought the wavy line quilting added sort of a “heat-haze” feeling, so that’s where the “Mirage” name came from.

For those who have asked about a pattern—um, we’ll see. : ) I have to admit, I’m a little sick of this design at the moment! It would be quite the complicated pattern to write up, with all the strategic color placement and what-not. And I don’t know how many people want to buy a pattern with such nit-picky piecing! But give me a few months, and then maybe I’ll want to revisit it.

As far as Quilt Con, since we were allowed up to three entries, I decided to throw two older quilts into the mix as well.

Shattered Spectrum
I’m now calling this one “Shattered Spectrum,” since “HST Mini” didn’t quite have that show ring to it. I entered it in the Modern In Miniature Challenge sponsored by Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine. I gave this little quilt to the lovely Susanne earlier this year as a thank-you for driving all the way from Madison to take my headshots and pictures of my family. But she was nice enough to give me permission to enter it and said she would ship it back to me if it gets accepted into the show. Thanks again, Susanne! Here’s the full blog post about this quilt.

Third Quilt Con entry
And I’m also entering my Lifesavers mini, since that one did so well for me in the EZ Dresden Challenge. I entered Lifesavers in the “Minimalist Design” category. Honestly, I’m not sure if it really qualifies as minimalist, but since I’d already entered something in the mini challenge, it seemed like the best fit for this one. Here’s the full blog post with more information on Lifesavers.

I was quilter #435 to enter the show, and my quilts were #587, #595, and lucky number #600! Wow! That’s a lot of competition for this show. I’m just hoping that at least one of mine gets accepted, and I cannot wait to see the entire show in Austin in February. Good luck to everybody who entered!

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WIP Wednesday: Last-Minute WIPing

Happy Wednesday! And welcome to my week of last-minute scrambling!

Quilt Con quilt

In case you haven’t heard, there’s going to be an epic modern quilt show at Quilt Con in February, and the deadline to enter is this Friday. Unfortunately, other commitments have kept me from making any quilts specifically to enter in the show—until a few days ago, that is. Five days to create a quilt for the most important modern quilt show to date, with thousands of dollars in prizes on the line? Sure, why not! I don’t know if it will be accepted (I don’t even know if I’ll finish it in time), but I have to at least try. Because yes, apparently I am that crazy.

What’s on your to-do list this week? Whatever you’re sewing, link it up here! Just remember the rules:
1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog. (Or grab my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links. Because what fun is a linky party without comments?

Have a great week—get those Quilt Con entries in!

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WIP Wednesday: WIP Candy

Happy Halloween, and I hope all of you that were in Hurricane Sandy’s path are now safe and sound and dry. Talk about scary!

I’m planning a bee quilt this week. My bee mates will be getting charm squares in these yummy colors …

Palette for Sew Beautiful block

… and they will be using them to make this block ….
Sew Beautiful sample block

…. which I will then make into this quilt. The design is by Rita of Red Pepper Quilts—you can see her beautiful version in Chicopee right here.

What have you been working on? Here are the rules for linking up:
1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog. (Or grab my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links. Because what fun is a linky party without comments?

Have a great week!

 

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WIP Wednesday: School’s Out!

Today I feel like a kid who can’t pay attention on her last day of school, because she’s daydreaming about summer vacation. Why? Because today is my last WIP Wednesday until September!

That’s right: I’ve decided to take a vacation from Work-In-Progress Wednesday. I’ve been doing this linky for more than a year and a half now. It’s a huge part of my blog—people tell me it motivates them to make progress on their unfinished projects, and I love that to pieces. But writing about my WIPs week in and week out gets a little old sometimes. And what better time to take a break than summer?

But no worries, I’m not leaving you hanging! I would hate for WIP Wednesday to go away entirely, even temporarily. So I’ve lined up a fabulous slate of guest bloggers who will be here at Freshly Pieced, posting about their own WIPs and hosting the linky, every Wednesday. Not only will I get a little WIP vacation (a VIP—vacation-in-progress?), but you’ll get to see some different projects and maybe even meet a few new bloggers you’ll love as much as I do! And I’m certainly not going away entirely—you’re still stuck with my usual ramblings every other day of the week. : )

Here’s this summer’s WIP Wednesday Guest Blogger schedule, so you can see who’s going to be the hostess with the mostest each week.

June 20 – Amy from Sukie – Don’t You Know Who I Am?
June 27 – Felicity from Felicity Quilts
July 4 – Jessica from SewCraftyJess
July 11 – Kati from From the Blue Chair
July 18 – Taryn from From Pixels to Patchwork
July 25 – Colleen from The Busy Bean
August 1 – Katie from Katie’s Korner
August 8 – Bethany from Make Me A Quilt
August 15 – Cindy from Live a Colorful Life
August 22 – Rebecca from Pieces and Cream
August 29 – Michelle from City House Studio
September 5 – Emily from Mommy’s Nap Time
September 12 – I’m back!

So keep those WIPs coming! And while you’re at it, go ahead and link up this week’s. Here are the rules:

1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP)
2. Somewhere in your post, link back here to my blog. (Or grab my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other links—because what fun is a linky party without comments?
Have a wonderful week! (P.S. – don’t forget to enter my Art Gallery Fabrics giveaway and check out my Ruffled Zipper Pouch tutorial! Click here!)