3 Year Anniversary – Giveaway!!

Can you believe it, I have hit the 3 year mark with my blog and my quilting hobby. Surprisingly, it feels much longer than that. In a good way, of course.

This blog started out as more than just a quilting blog. It was a space in which I shared all my hobbies & interests. Slowly, quilting/designing has consumed my world, and I have moved some of the other content to my IG account (ml_wilkie), focusing here on all things quilting.

I was thinking about the best way to recap this past year. It has been a crazy productive year, especially considering that I only have the weekends to really concentrate on quilting. To share with you how crazy it’s been here is a mosaic of my main finishes (links to the projects can be found on my Project Finishes menu above).

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A lot of these projects, represent some big accomplishments this year, including:

  • A couple of great swaps, and participating in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts
  • Contributing 5-part tutorial series “Design to Reality” on Sew Mama Sew
  • Two quilt entries accepted to QuiltCon 2015 & just the fantastic experience attending QuiltCon.
  • Block of the Month (February) Cloud 9 Cirrus Solids
  • A quilt featured on the cover of Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine (Publication)
  • A second publication in Quilt Now Magazine (Publication)
  • A quilt featured in one of Art Gallery Fabric LookBook + pattern release.
  • Quilt of the Month pattern for the Modern Quilt Guild

It is starting to get hard now to choose a favorite. I expect more of the same for the next 12 months, maybe a little less chaotic.

Ok, so I have to say this……I would not be where I am today without my wonderful supportive husband (in both allowing me to work on my quilts in my limited free time and understanding my fabric addiction) and the support system you all have provided. Thank you so much, to those who follow me here on my blog and/or Instagram. Thank you, thank you!!

This giveaway is a small gesture in which I can give back to this fabulous community I find myself immersed in. I am giving away a $50 gift card to Hawthorne Threads.

So, how do you win this gift card?

  • Just leave a comment answering  “What quilting accomplishment do you hope to fulfill over the next 12 months”. It doesn’t have to be big – anything.
  • If you are a follower please leave a second comment, just letting me know you follow.
  • A giveaway winner will be chosen at random at 8pm next Monday 7th (Labor Day here in the US)
  • This post will be updated with the winner and the winner notified via email.

Note: I read every comment but due to the number of comments I may not reply to your comment.

You, also, have a second chance of winning a $50 gift card to Hawthorne Threads by visiting me on IG (Instagram ml_wilkie)…look for the give away post in the next 30 mins.

Again, thank you!! Good luck and I hope you all have a great week.

 

Traveling quilts, progress and lessons learned

Throughout the year, I have been working on 4 quilts for our Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts. I have loved the process and have learned so much. I thought I would share some of my thoughts of the process, some realizations and some of my contributions.
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[My starter pack for my minimalistic road sign inspired quilt]

First off some background, a traveling quilt involves a small group of people. Each person creates a starter for a quilt which then gets passed systematically to the next person with guidelines and some fabric. You may be asked to add a row, a border for a medallion quilt or just blocks. The last person to contribute to the quilt, pieces the top together (if this is a row-based or block-based quilt).
IMG_4231
[Renee’s quilt: my contribution – 1st border]

Usually each quilt will have a theme, for instance, in our group:

  • Renee (quiltsofafeather) Started with this amazing center and asked that Bison to be the main background color. You can add solid purples but keep purple prints and oyster solid to a minimum
  • Laura (littleandlots) asked for each person to add a row to her quilt, with the row containing rainbow colors.
  • Jess (quiltyhabit) asked for blocks that all had curves in it and she had a specific jewel color theme she wanted to use. With one of the colors, mustard/gold,  Jess added additional details to ensure that the color matched her desired outcome.
  • Ashley (wasntquiltinaday) had an idea for a rainbow quilt as well, but she wanted each row to be of a single color. Her initial starter kit was 72″ wide so the goal is to create a row of that length to add to the quilt.
  • Myself: My thing was minimalism with a limited and heavily neutral color palette (pops of navy, aqua and orange). The theme was interpreting road signs.

Rainbow Chorus Line
[Laura’s quilt: My contribution of the Rainbow Chorus Line]

My goals:

  • Adding “me” to another persons quilt and know that person will always know…”oh that was  done by so-and-so”
  • Making sure I produce a high standard as these ultimately are someone else’s quilts
  • Be challenged by other people’s ideas and projects
  • Have Fun and Enjoy!!

I think, I managed to meet all my goals. I have definitely had a lot of fun and enjoyed the overall process. The lessons I learned were more about me:

  • I was definitely challenged. Renee’s quilt was a very different color palette than I would choose but I love the results.
    Lesson learned: Don’t be afraid, embrace the challenge and it will surprise you
  • I had fun with Laura’s, as I played around with fabric and worked out what combinations would work best.
    Lesson learned: take the time to make the decisions that you need to make the product the best you can.
  • I enjoyed adding my own block design to Jess’ quilt – definitely something recognizable as me.
  • Now it’s my turn to actually make up Ashley’s top, as I am the last contributor. This has been fun working out the Math, adding various colors and designs for the 3-4 rows that I need to add.
    Lesson learned: while making the final top check with the “receiver” what their final expectations are. In general, get to know the people in the group and use fabrics /blocks that you know they will like.
  • As I wanted to contribute my best, many times I over committed and under estimated my time to the project.  For my contributions on the first two quilts, I choose projects, that in total took over 30-40 hours to complete. This was usually for a single row or a border. Due to some of these project decisions, I was late by 2 weeks on one quilt and 4 weeks late on the other.
    Lesson learned: this was unfair to the group, so this is something I improved for my 3rd and 4th contributions. Choose do-able projects in the time you have but still produce a high quality result. It should still be something you are proud of or you would be happy to receive.
  • One of the things I enjoyed, most was watching how others were doing on their contributions and ideas by sharing on IG.
    Lesson learned: sharing built our communication/ friendship, it also gave us all check points to see where people are etc.
  • I loved getting to know folks through the process.
    Lesson Learned  take the time to get to know each other. Also, it’s really about communication, and being part of a team. You can’t let people down but most of the time  if you communicate the situation people are usually understanding.

My recent finish, that is due end of August, was Jess’ quilt that incorporated the curves and jewel tones. I added 3 of my Phased Circle Blocks, that I designed. I also added two more blocks using the circle cut-outs as additional blocks added to a low-volume print in a like color.

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The last quilt I am working on, is Ashley’s rainbow quilt (each row of one color). Being the last person, I get to also construct/piece the top. Like I mentioned above, I am loving working on the math. The additions I have added include a row of red crosses, a row of Anna Maria Horner feathers in teal/aqua and the blue row consisting of economy blocks and blocks from Patchwork City.

The red crosses will be added to an orange row (still to be decided) and Laura’s fabulous yellow and pink rows.
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In this last picture, you can see how the bottom 1/2 of the quilt is progressing. It starts with Ashley’s starter row of Green flying geese, Renee’s row addition of the HST teal/aqua, my feather and blue row contributions and the purple churn dash row from Jess.
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I would highly recommend the traveling quilt process. I enjoy it more than bees. I can’t wait to see how my road sign minimalistic quilt turns out. I am off to make dinner and work on more of Ashley’s quilt!!

Linking up with Lee over at Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday (see button on the right).

 

 

Altitudinal Ecosystem

The last of this round of secret projects was revealed last week!! “Altitudinal Ecosystem” was August Quilt of the Month for the Modern Quilt Guild. Amazing to think that thousands of people got my quilt in their email last week. WOW!! In case you missed it, the pattern is available to MQG members here.

Altitudinal Ecosysytem

This design was created as part of Quilt Design a Day (QDAD). It was inspired by Anne @ Play Crafts spark (inspirational photo and color palette) of Crater Lake.
CraterLake_AnnPlayCrafts

The mountain in the middle of the lake reminded me of my ecology studies. We looked at the impacts of altitude on species causing zonation/changes of various species (both plant and animal).

This gave me the idea to represent the zones by various colored bars and graduating the color from light green to dark green to white (snow caps).
Altitudinal Ecosystem Forest

For the back, I really wanted to use this mountain print from Sarah Watson’s Indian Summer line and some of the off cuts from the front. However, the off-cuts were too bold for the print so instead I created a grey and white stripe section with splashes of the color from the front.
Altitudinal Ecosystem Back

You may also notice in this photo above I have used color blocked the binding. That is, The mountain areas is in  dark green (pickle), the lake in the dark blue and the sky area in Lighter blue.

The quilting was all done with my walking foot and various Aurifil threads. I used standard straight lines following the direction of the zones, for the mountain. This represented the solid nature of the mountain. The sky and the lake though I wanted to introduce more movement. For the sky, I used wavy lines representing air movement.
Quilting Sky

The lake, I was thinking about circles but since it it not symmetrical I thought an improv. irregular block design could work. This quilting design was inspired by some of the quilting Carolyn Friedlander uses in her savor each stitch quilts. I really like the look and the texture is fantastic.
Quilting Lake

This is definitely one of my favorite quilts, I have made so far, its getting a little hard to choose now :-). I hope you all enjoy it too.

Details

Name: Altitudinal Ecosystem
Design:
Designed by me, available from the MQG site (if you are a member)
Fabric:  Kona Solids (White, Shadow, Pickle (which was provided by Robert Kaufman), Wasabi, Prussian, Oasis); Back: Woodland in Pine, Indian Summer, Sarah Watson, AGF, Kona Solids (White, Shadow, Pickle, Oasis, Prussian)
Dimensions: 60″ x 60″
Quilted: Using walking foot and matching Aurifil 50wt threads; Ultra wavy lines, Improv. Irregular block shapes, Straight line quilting.

If you want to submit a quilt design for the MQG Quilt of the month, you can – they are looking for 2016 people. Vist this page for the information and submission form.

 

 

August QDAD

The set of designs, for this month, are all so different. I was inspired by folks like Clare Rojas, Lucienne Day, and Sherri Lynn Wood.  I really enjoyed the designs exploring improv. using various shapes (squares, triangles, stripes, and curves) from the 8th – 11th August. These designs were definitely my favorite of the month so far.

As the sparks (inspiration photo is not mine) don’t forget to check out the facebook page for the photos.

02 August: Coastal Village

The coastal village on the hillside spark had areas of color. I used these blobs of color in my design. I was also inspired by Clare Rojas work for this design.
QDAD_02August2015

06 August: Dragon Boats

A line of dragon boats inspired this simplified design. The lines end at various lengths based on the angle of the line of boats.

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07 August: Flowers
These colors reminded me of Lucienne Day and inspired me to play elements that were in one of her designs where she breaks areas into angles and using solid shapes and lines. Here is my individual block but the repeats are endless and make unique patterns.

QDAD_07August2015

The first one is a more regular pattern just using an inverse repeat but my favorite is the second design which randomly places the block at different rotations.QDAD_07August2015(1)        QDAD_07August2015(2)

08 August: Gridded Wire Frame

The gridded wire frame that was in the spark for this day, let me experiment with varying square designs that I had been collecting from various building facades.

QDAD_08August2015(2)

09 August: Car Show

Based on the squares the day before, and the inspiration I had experienced with Sherri Lynn Wood’s class, I decided I wanted to play with improv. only using triangles. I broke the areas into rows and sections and designed a piece at a time. This was the final design.

QDAD_09August2015

10 August: Casino Lights

The spark definitely had three distinct areas, the two sides and the foyer. Still in the mood, for improv, I used those sections to introduce improv design elements of triangles and lines. The foyer section in the design represented by the full columns. I was surprised with the color palette of this spark, I really enjoyed it and definitely would not put these colors together naturally.

QDAD_10August2015

11 August: San Diego Strip

In the spark, there were these unique curved lampposts in between the trees. These lamp posts and trees are represented by the left side of the design…playing with improv triangles and curves. Th right side with the more structural lines represent the building structures in the spark.

QDAD_11August2015(6)

12 August: Boardwalk Pier, San Diego

I was inspired by a blind and its reflection on the wall for this design. I do like the angles and the variations of the line widths in the design, though I would use a different color palette if I made this up.

QDAD_12August2015

Please Note: If you would like to make or use one of my designs, please email me (ml_wilkie(at)hotmail(dot)com) or leave a comment below. I am happy to talk with you on options and provide the relevant measurements etc. or have you test out a pattern. Also, if you use one of my designs, please use the following text to credit me the design: “Designed by Michelle Wilkie @ Factotum of Arts”.

Spoonflower Sampler Quilt Update

I have finally got back to my Spoonflower Sampler quilt, which has been lying around since last August.

Spoonflower Sampler Quilt Top

I worked on the quilting last night at Spoonflower’s Pins & Needles. I am doing various straight line quilting designs, using the bottom middle block as a focal point.
SamplerQuilt_WiPFront

And you can see the quilting a little better on the back and I am loving the texture. The lines are my usual 1/2″ apart.
SamplerQuilt_WiPBack

Last year, I also promised to provide the instructions for each block, finally I have managed to get around to that and plan on releasing at least two blocks each week.

Linking up with Lee over @ Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday (see button on the right).

A Finish: Idea Design Create

It has been on my list to finish since April, and its finally done.  I think it is one of my favorite quilts, I have made. Idea, Design, Create.
IDC_Front

This quilt was designed to show my design process of making one block – Mind the Gap. The pattern, for this final block, is available on Cloud 9’s blog and in my quilt it is Block 9.
Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 4.14.36 PM

The design process shown in the quilt is:

  • Block 1: decide on size, single square
  • Block 2: Decided on an uneven split (ie. two parts).
  • Block 3-5: Was deciding on how many white horizontal stripes to include in the block.
  • Block 6: Decision to add the vertical stripe at just over the center of the block
  • Block 7: I didn’t like the vertical bar going all the way to the top as it took away some of the flow of the block.
  • Block 8: Now that I reduced from the top, I also did not like the vertical line going to the bottom so I pulled the end up about 1/2 “
  • Block 9: Final design: Now that the vertical stripe had been reduced I though the horizontal white top and bottom stripes would be more balanced if they did not run edge to edge

IDC_Closeup

The words “Idea Design Create” has always been my tagline. I loved adding the text as it also represents my design process. Perfect combination.

As part of my prize for the “Mind the Gap” Block was a fat quarter bundle of Cirrus Solids. I used those along with Sarah Watson’s Biology line for this quilt. The left overs and the Biology Panel print were used for the back for consistency.
IDC_Back

I even included some of the selvadges on the back. The quilting was done by Sarah @ Crinkle Love (which I highly recommend!!). I finished it off with some mustard solid binding. I plan to hang it up in my sewing studio this weekend as constant inspiration.

Details

Name: Idea, Design, Create
Design:
Designed by me, Pattern of the last block can be found on Cloud 9’s blog.
Pattern: For the text, Paper Piecing Pattern by Diane Bohn @ From Blank Pages “My first alphabet #210”
Fabric: Cirrus Solids; Biology, Sarah Watson both by Cloud 9.
Dimensions: 36″ x 45″
Quilted: Sarah @ Crinkle Love

Linking up with Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday.

QDAD: July Installment 2

I got to put together another round of sparks this month. I love seeing what other people do with the palettes. Check them out on our facebook page. Below are my photo sparks/palettes and the designs I came up with this last week of July.

 26 July: Vatican City

imm034_35-palette

I thought I would start of with a brighter palette. I wanted to play with different designs row by row and build up the overall quilt.
QDAD_26JUL2015

27 July: Astronomical Clock, Prague, Czech Republic
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I used the window on the right side of the clock as the inspiration of the design. Its not a favorite of mine but in all fairness of showing my design process – here’s one I would do over.QDAD_27JUL2015

 28 July:  Ericeira, Lisbon Portugal (Coastal town)imm036_35-19-palette

I love the blues and the whites of this quaint coastal town. I used the umbrella’s and awning as inspiration. I used improv blocks in a Mediterranean feel. This definitely one of my favorite but I might try some softer colors.QDAD_28JUL2015

29 July: Scottish Castle
imm023_24-palette

This is the favorite of the week. I decomposed, somewhat, the crosses in the stain glass windows into two parts. I really like the secondary shapes that form. I kept the warmer color palette around the edges and the more neutral palette for the center. QDAD_29JUL2015

30 July: Iron Gate in CharlestonIMG_7943-palette

I love the neutral color palette. The variations in the wrought iron gate inspired the creation of various blocks to make up this design. This was version 3 (and my favorite of the 3), as I needed to play with the diagonal blocks.
QDAD_30JUL2015(2)

The first version I thought that diagonal block was too heavy, so I removed the border in version 2. I then did not like the same block across the diagonal so I replace the middle block with diamonds. The last one I added here, I have been playing with the C+S Tinsel colors thinking it might make a good Christmas quilt (??)
QDAD_30JUL2015   QDAD_30JUL2015(1)   QDAD_30JUL2015(3)

31 July: Wrought Iron, Bonaventure Cemetery, SavannahIMG_9737-palette

I got stuck on the vertical lines of the gate from the day before, hence the design of lines. Again, not one of my favorites this week but I do like the layered look the design offers. It would make an interesting improv. project.

QDAD_31JUL2015(1)

16 July: Extra Design
This was one of my designs from another spark. I was going for a minimalistic approach of a shop front door frame elements of triangles and blocks.

QDAD_16JUL2015(3)

Please Note: If you would like to make or use one of my designs, please email me (ml_wilkie(at)hotmail(dot)com) or leave a comment below. I am happy to talk with you on options and provide the relevant measurements etc. or have you test out a pattern. Also, if you use one of my designs, please use the following text to credit me the design: “Designed by Michelle Wilkie @ Factotum of Arts”.