Supernova Friendship Swap Winners

I was so excited when Stephanie and Michelle of Late Night Quilter decided a few months back to do a Supernova Friendship Block Swap! Supernova was my first quilt-along, four whole years ago now(!), and that design is still one of my sentimental favorites, so it was a delight to see it get a whole new lease on life with the Supernova Swap. All of a sudden, Supernova blocks were all over my social media feeds. And I loved that it was a friendship swap, too. So fun!

And Stephanie and Michelle were nice enough to let me pick the swap giveaway winners! It was not an easy task—check out the Supernova Swap Flickr group to view all the amazing finished quilts by swap participants. In the end, I chose the quilts by Jen Van Dyke of Jennifer Under the Juniper Tree and Kris Jarchow of Sew Sunshine as the winners.

I thought their color usage was amazing, so saturated and bright. And the back of Jen’s quilt is like another whole quilt unto itself, so there was that. : ) I also loved how Jen’s quilt had straight-line quilting at right angles, while Kris’s was straight diagonal lines. The quilts are clearly a matched pair, but they’re not identical, and I love that!

I also want to give a shout out to a few others that were favorites of mine, and gave the winners a real run for the money. I loved loved loved the hand quilting on the quilts by Ashlee Schnell and Kate Yates. I think those two may have convinced me to make yet another Supernova and try hand-quilting it! I also really loved the ones made by Maya Toscani and Cathy Ledbetter—there is some seriously amazing quilting on those two quilts as well! Check them out!

But really, I thought everyone did an amazing job with their blocks, so thank you all for participating in the Supernova Swap! And thank you to Stephanie and Michelle for organizing it! What a fun swap all the way around! : )


Supernova Friendship Swap

Have you guys seen this? Stephanie at Late Night Quilter (love the name, by the way, since I’m totally a late-night quilter too) and Sandra at One Million Stitches are hosting a Supernova Friendship Block Swap, based on my Supernova Quilt-Along!


All the details can be found here (Stephanie’s blog) and here (Sandra’s blog). Basically, the idea is that you pair up with a quilting friend near or far. Each month, you’ll make one Supernova block for yourself and one for your friend.

In the end, you’ll both have beautiful finished quilts and a great friend! How cool is that? And I’m honored that they chose my quilt-along for such a fun project!

Oh, and there are prizes, too! Including a signed copy of Vintage Quilt Revival. : )

You can find your own partner for the swap, or you can contact Stephanie or Sandra and they will kindly pair you up with someone. Enjoy, and thank you to Stephanie and Sandra for organizing this!

, ,

On Display

So, did anybody get to International Quilt Festival in Houston this past week? I am so proud that I had a quilt hanging at the Festival!

Photo courtesy of Heidi of Buttons and Butterflies

My Supernova quilt was part of the Modern Quilt Guild Showcase 2012. I’m honored that something I made was chosen to help represent “modern” to the rest of the quilting world.

Photo courtesy of Heidi of Buttons and Butterflies
I love that the Modern Quilt Guild included my blurb about my design process, which is taken from the application I filled out to enter the quilt in the show. I guess if I had known it would end up on a sign at International Quilt Festival for all to see, I might have edited it a little more carefully (“but yet”?). : )

I wish wish wish I could have seen my quilt there in person, but thank you to Heidi of Buttons and Butterflies for taking such great pictures and allowing me to post them here. It was almost as good as being there.

Photo courtesy of Brenda of Pink Castle Fabrics

I was lucky enough to have a couple of quilts displayed at Fall Quilt Market as well. Here’s the quilt I contributed to the new Martingale book, Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe. Apparently it was displayed at Martingale’s Schoolhouse session for the book—I didn’t even know they were planning to have my quilt there! It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since I’ve seen it myself!

Photo courtesy of Kati of From the Blue Chair

And here’s my little Lifesavers mini, which was my entry in the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild‘s EZ Dresden challenge.

Photo courtesy of Kati of From the Blue Chair

It took third place in the challenge and therefore got to be displayed in the Simplicity booth at Market. Don’t all those winning quilts look great?

It was fun to have some quilts at Market—it’s the next best thing to being there in person!


Super(nova) News

I got the exciting news on Tuesday that my Supernova quilt was accepted into the Modern Quilt Guild Showcase 2012!! I am so honored (and still a bit in shock) that my quilt was one of only 33 quilts selected from across the country, and it will be hanging at International Quilt Festival in Houston.

After premiering in Houston in the fall, the exhibit will be traveling around to other quilt festivals for about a year. I really hope I’ll get the chance to see it somewhere!

, ,

Shattered Spectrum Mini Quilt

Queen of the last-minute finish—that’s me! My mini for the Modern Mini Challenge is done, with just a few hours to spare.

In the spirit of using what I already have, more than half of the HSTs in this mini were made last year—they were the “bonus HSTs,” leftover from when I made my Supernova Quilt-Along quilt.  I trimmed them up, added a few more (mostly the greens), and ta-da, a mini was born! (But yes, it still took forever!)

The background and binding are Kona Coal, and I quilted it with simple straight lines along the seams. The completed mini measures about 20″ square and the HSTs are 1.75″ finished. I couldn’t be happier with it! Thanks, Jennifer, for organizing this great challenge!

 And one more thing—would you believe, after all of that, I still have more than 80 of these leftover HSTs? I think I’ve had my fill of them at this point, so would anybody else like to play with them? They’re mostly blues, pinks, oranges, and yellows, and they need to be squared up (I squared mine up to 2.25″ square). If you would like to give these HSTs a home, just tell me that in a comment, and I’ll pick somebody tomorrow. (THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.)


, ,

Original Supernova Quilt

Okay, get your fainting couches ready …
My Original Supernova quilt is finally finished! Only fourteen months after I started it.
Tomorrow marks a whole year of WIP Wednesday linky posts. One year! And I thought, what better way to celebrate than to haul out one of my longest-term WIPs and actually finish the darn thing? Also motivating was a hilarious comment from Eryn on last week’s WIP Wednesday that if I didn’t finish off the Original Supernova soon, she was going to find out where I live and swipe it. Well, here it is Eryn—swiper no swiping!
The front is made up entirely of Hope Valley prints by Denyse Schmidt, Kona Snow as the background, and Kona Stone for the star “extenders” and binding.
I pieced this differently than the method I used for my Supernova quilt-along. Original Supernova is pieced entirely from squares and HSTs. It is also much smaller than my QA Supernova—Original Sup is 48″ square, with each Supernova block finishing at 12″ square.
I came up with the alternate way of piecing this for the quilt-along to eliminate the HSTs and give people fewer squares to piece. But I think there are benefits to this method as well. I definitely recommend this method if you have a lot of directional fabric, because the other way requires a lot of advance planning to coordinate the direction of the prints. If I were going to make this quilt again, I think I’d go back to this original method, but I would increase the size like I did for the QA, and I would use Thangles to piece the HSTs.
PTS Redo
Speaking of Thangles, I have to add one more thing to this post: Check out this a-MAZ-ing pillow made by Amy of Don’t You Know Who I Am? These are the TINIEST Supernova blocks EVER! Each block measures just 7″, with each teeny square 1″ finished! Amazing! She used Thangles for her piecing as well.
Anyway, I’m so happy to have Original Supernova in the “finished” column at long last. The top has actually been done for just under one full year. It’s also worth noting that this is my 10th finished full-size quilt of the year—I just need to complete two more by the end of the year to meet my goal of 12 quilts in 2011! Woo hoo!
Be sure to come back tomorrow for my big anniversary celebration of WIP Wednesday. There will be a giveaway for everyone who links up, and a special “retrospective”. You won’t want to miss it!
, ,

Supernova Quilt

OMG, Blogger’s back! Did we all survive the outage? Just barely? Good, because I’ve got a quilt to show you. And if you’re visiting my blog for the first time via the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, welcome! Come on in, make yourself at home. : )

My Supernova quilt is complete. If this is your first visit here, a little background: This is my own design, which I originally made with the Hope Valley line. I had a few requests for the pattern, but since I’ve never written a pattern before, I decided to turn it into a quilt along. Click here to see this quilt in all the phases of its construction and to learn how to make your own, if you are so inclined.

I made this version from a mix of fabric lines, in a color palette loosely inspired by Heather Ross’s Mendocino line. The background is Kona Coal and the binding is Michael Miller’s Ta-Dot in Sunny Yellow.

There is a chance I may have gone slightly overboard with the quilting on this. : ) Dense straight-line quilting is something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time now, and I do like how it turned out. But while I was actually doing the quilting? I was this close to checking myself into the county mental health complex. So, while I’m happy with the end result, I don’t think I’ll be returning to this well very often. If at all.

To make the converging lines pattern, I marked the center diagonals and started by quilting a big “X” from corner to corner. Then, using that “X” as my guide, I worked the quilt one quarter at a time, going from one edge/corner, up to the center, and back down to the other edge/corner, always using the previously stitched line as my guide for the next line. Sounds like a good way to do it, right? Wrong. My quilt got a bit distorted as I worked. The center of each edge of the quilt got pushed out, and as a result, the top is no longer square. It also won’t lie quite flat! I’m not sure if it’s a basting problem, or because I wasn’t always stitching from the center out, or a combination of the two. Either way—not so good.

But I am very glad I did it—it’s been a learning experience, that’s for sure. And the fact that it doesn’t lie flat doesn’t actually bother me all that much, since it’s not going on a bed. I love the colors, love the back, and love the look of the mental-institution quilting—now that it’s finally done and I’ve stopped cursing at it.

But most of all, I LOVE that so many of you made Supernovas along with me. I really enjoyed taking you through the process of making this quilt. And I learned a lot about pattern writing in the process. It’s been an invaluable experience! So without further ado, let’s check out all the finished ‘Novas:

1. supernova complete, 2. Supernova!, 3. Supernova Quilt Finish, 4. Supernova, 5. Supernova, 6. Oceanic Supernova Front, 7. Supernova Finished…Yay!, 8. Supernova, finished, 9. Completed Babynova front, 10. Supernova complete 5.2.11, 11. Supernova Quilt Along-Done!, 12. 100_1402, 13. Supernova quilt finished!, 14. Supernova full shot, 15. Black Hole (a Supernova variation), 16. Supernova complete, 17. Hooty Supernova – finished!, 18. SupernovaFinished, 19. Super Nova, 20. Finished Supernova

Thank you for quilting along with me! If you haven’t finished your quilt, or even if you haven’t started yet, I hope you will still do so. The Flickr group will remain open, discussion can continue in the forums there, and I’m leaving the “Gallery of Completed Quilts” linky open permanently.

And this is a timely finish: I’m linking up to the Blogger’s Quilt Festival at Amy’s Creative Side! This is such a fun event—go check out all the beautiful quilts over there!

, ,

WIP Wednesday #26

Ack. Wednesday? I’m not ready! Well, it’s gonna be a short one from me this week—it’s been all quilting up in here, all week long.

Ongoing projects:

Supernova Quilt-Along
Quilting, quilting, more quilting. Oh, and also? Quilting. I chose to do the converging lines, a decision that has me questioning whether I was of sound mind at the time. Also wondering how much quilting I can do before I actually burn out the motor on my poor sewing machine?

Modern Meadow baby quiltStill hand-stitching that binding. This quilt has been painfully slow into the finish line. I am so ready to get this one off the list, but I’ve been too busy with Supernova!

Completed tops awaiting quilting:
Hope Valley (the original Supernova)

On hold … yeah, yeah.
Central Park jelly roll quilt
Figgy Pudding quilt
Wonky Log Cabin

This week’s stats:
New projects – 0
Completed projects – 1 (Mod Times)
Currently in progress – 9 (down one from last week)

Again, my apologies for not commenting on all the links last week. It’s always such a bummer when I don’t have time to get around to them all. Blame Supernova for being so demanding about how it wanted to be quilted. : )

Anyway, I can’t wait to see what you’ve got this week! Just a few quick reminders: 1) Please link to a post from the past week containing a work in progress. Yep, I’m the weirdo who doesn’t want a linky full of finishes. : ) It’s okay if your post contains finishes, but it must also contain at least one unfinished item. 2) Please link back to my blog in your post. 3) Comment on some of the other links. 4) Enjoy!



Supernova Quilt-Along: Quilting and Finishing

Today’s the day: Time to finish your quilt!

Unfortunately, we’ve now reached the part of the quilt-along in which I feel least qualified to be giving out advice. Because the actual quilting? Is so not my specialty. I just don’t like it all that much. The more quilting I do, the more tolerable it gets, but I’m still not at the point where I’m like, “Oh, yay, I get to spend an afternoon wrestling this quilt into the machine to be stitched!” Also, I have yet to master free-motion quilting. I’m all about the straight lines, but that’s more out of necessity than preference!

However. It’s my quilt-along, so I guess I have to say something here, right? Just be advised that at this point in the QAL, it’s entirely possible I have no idea what I’m talking about, and proceed with caution. : )

I’ve had a hard time deciding how to quilt this, and I still am not 100% decided. After all, a carefully-chosen quilting style could take this design in a whole different direction. That’s especially true of straight-line quilting. So I pulled out my computer and doctored up a photo of my quilt top in order to test-drive a few patterns. Let’s take a look at some options, shall we?

Basic echo quilting. Personally, I don’t care for stitch-in-the-ditch. I don’t particularly like how it looks, and I find it very difficult to do well. It requires way too much concentration for me, and the needle always wants to pop out of the ditch somewhere. But echo quilting (quilting 1/4″ or more away from the seams) is a perfect alternative to stitch-in-the-ditch. And while this style of quilting is quite basic, I really love it. It adds to the twinkly, starry feeling of the Supernova design.

Diagonal lines straight across. This is a very modern look, with much tighter quilting. But it still lets the design of the piecing shine through. If you want to avoid stich-in-the-ditch on this design, you’ll need to do some advance planning to figure out exactly where to put your lines, and how far apart to quilt them.

Diagonal lines converging. I love the quilting on this pillow by KarrieLyne of Freckled Whimsy. That pillow was my inspiration here. I think this style of quilting works very well with the Supernova piecing, and I’m strongly leaning toward this one for my own quilt.

Echo quilting plus. This design basically attempts to fill in all the negative space with quilting. This strikes me as the “glutton for punishment” option, because turning the quilt that many times would probably drive me to drink (more than I already do). But I do like how this looks, so I thought I’d throw it out there, in case somebody is ambitious enough to take it on.

Hooty Supernova - finished!

Of course, there’s always free-motion. You can’t go wrong with a good stipple! Elizabeth and Katie have already finished off their Supernovas that way. Elizabeth had a great post the other day outlining her tips for free-motion stippling, so check it out if you’re new to FMQ.

Black Hole (a Supernova variation)

And finally, check this one out! This is by Marlene of KISSed Quilts. Incredible! It does such fascinating things to the Supernova design! This quilting is obviously way beyond my abilities, but if you’ve got mad skills like Marlene, go for it!

So without further ado, this is where you can link up your finished quilts. I can’t wait to see every single one of them! You can link up a blog post or a Flickr photo of your completed quilt. Everyone who links up a completed quilt by noon Central time on May 12 will be entered into my drawing for a FQ bundle of Castle Peeps. (A completed quilt, in my book, means one that is ready to use—so it must be quilted and bound.) However, I will leave the linky open permanently, even after May 12, so you can link up a completed quilt any time, even if it’s months (years?) from now. I hope people will continue to participate in the quilt-along even after it is technically done!

I can’t wait to see how you all choose to quilt your Supernovas. And I want to thank all of you for quilting along with me! This has been not only enjoyable for me, but it’s such a rush seeing my design completed in so many different and interesting ways. In a quilt-along, everybody seems to bring something different to the table, and that’s just so much fun. I feel like I know a little more about each of you, thanks to your Supernovas. How wonderful.

Edited to add: Looking for an alternative way to baste your quilt? Becky’s got a great save-your-knees approach to basting—check it out!


Supernova Quilt-Along: Making the Back

Welcome back to the Supernova Quilt-Along! By now I’m sure every last one of you has a completed quilt top, right? : ) Of course you do! Okay then, today we’ll be piecing the back.

I have a love/hate relationship with making backs. Love: The design possibilities, and the fact that you can make a quilt back in an evening. After spending so much time on a quilt top, you gotta love the instant gratification of the back. Hate: Dealing with gargantuan pieces of fabric. I tend to sew large cuts of fabric like a drunken sailor. That often includes the cursing.

But like it or not, making the back is a necessary part of creating a quilt. Even if you farm out your quilting to a professional, you will almost always need to provide the back yourself. So it helps to consider the back an opportunity to add to your design, rather than just another chore.

I usually have two goals when it comes to making a quilt back: 1) Use up as many scraps, excess blocks, and existing stash fabrics as I can. 2) Create a design on the back that echoes or compliments the design on the front. I also consider the back a chance to be a little more improvisational and free-flowing than I was on the front. Let’s face it, there’s just less pressure back there. If you end up hating it, you can always just fold the quilt with the front facing out. Problem solved!

So when it came time to piece the back for my Supernova, I started with some excess sub-units that I had on hand. I changed my mind about using these on the front, so now they were just hanging out on my design wall, lined up in a row, waiting to be useful. And do you see what I see? Yes! Zig zags!

I decided to extend the zig zag across the entire back of the quilt. To do that, I needed 9 sub-units. Since I already had four, I started by piecing the remaining five and sewing them all together, side by side, into one long row, as shown above.

Next, to complete the zig zag points, you’ll need some flying geese units.

Remember how we made the “half-goose units” during the first piecing step? You’ll make your flying geese units in the same way, except that when the half-goose unit is done, just add another square to the other side, as shown above.

Trim and press, and you should end up with something that looks like this.

Make 1 flying geese unit for each point of the zig zag. If you use 9 sub-units, like I did, you’ll need a total of 8 flying geese units, plus one half-square triangle on each end. So here are mine, all sewn and added to the design wall, in the appropriate spots to complete the zig zag.

To complete the zig zag, cut some 3″ by 10.5″ rectangles from your background fabric. Sew the flying geese units alternating with the rectangles, into one long strip, as shown above. Sew that row onto the zig zag row. Now, I won’t lie to you: Matching up bias seams all the way across on such a long row is not an easy task. Start by lining up the seams in the middle of the rows, pin, and work your way out toward the sides. My seams are far from perfect in a number of spots. But I was so enamored with how this giant zig-zag looks that I didn’t even care. Repeat with the bottom zig zag points.

Once I had the focal point of my back—the jumbo zig zag—done, I was ready to finish off the back. To do that, I laid out the front of the quilt face down on the floor. Then I just started spreading fabric over it to create the back. Doing it this way means you’ll get the size of the back right, and you can keep an eye on placement of various design elements in relation to the front. I started by laying down my zig zag, placing it off-center toward the bottom of the quilt. Then I added some strips from my Supernova scrap pile, as well as some Metro Living yardage from my stash. (Love, love, love Metro Living.) I then filled in the holes with my background fabric, Kona Coal.

Sewed it all together, and ta da, one completed quilt back! (Sorry for the truly awful photo.)

Supernova back

If you don’t want to tackle the zig zag, there are plenty of other design options for your back. Katie, who has already completed the quilt-along(!), did a great strip-pieced back (more details here). This is a perfect use for any leftover 3″ strips you might have.

Supernova bonus HSTs

And if you did the bonus HSTs while you were piecing your sub-units, that’s another design possibility. There are so many cool ways you can lay out HSTs—the possibilities are endless.

Supernova Quilt back - a Plus quilt

Or you could get really ambitious like Elizabeth, and make another whole quilt top for the back. Look—so awesome! Elizabeth and Katie, over-achieve much? : )

Quilt backs are a place where almost anything goes, and where you don’t have to do much planning. Just go for it! That freedom makes for a fun design process, no matter how you feel about giant pieces of fabric. I hope these suggestions have given you a jumping off point for your own unique pieced back. Can’t wait to see all of your backsides in the Flickr group!

Next week, we’ll have our final post in the series: Quilting and finishing. I’ll have some suggestions for different ways you can quilt your Supernova. That post will also be the site of our exciting final link-up! This is where you can show off your completed quilt. (Remember, completed quilts only—that means quilted, bound, the whole shebang). The linky will be open until May 12, and everyone who links up a completed quilt by then will be eligible to win the Castle Peeps FQ pack. Good times! See you then.