Friday, October 23, 2015

Bloggers Quilt Festival - For Those Of Us Too Cool To Go To Real Festival

Thank you Amy's Creative Side for hosting the Bloggers Quilt Festival! I just love the semi-annual chance to see what everyone is up to while having a good excuse to put off work for an hour or two and enjoy an extra cup of tea while I drool over it all.
Click here to go to the festival!

It's been a fall full of minis, and I'm excited to share this little project in the Mini Quilt category. (Side note, I actually typed "hexcited" accidentally in that last sentence and almost kept it, but then decided it was too dorky. But now I'm telling you anyway, which may or may not make the whole thing even dorkier for you. But there it is. Let's get hexcited.)

So how did this little number come about? Somehow this summer I decided I simply must break every last rule I've ever made for myself about how I refuse to be trendy, am not a hand sewer, and don't paper piece by buying some paper piecing supplies on a total whim. Damn you, Pinterest. Seriously, even the owner of the shop I bought them from, who knows me well enough as a quilter, was like "What ARE you DOING?" As long time readers here at QHH know, summer can do weird things to me. Trying EPP was this summer's big weirdness.

This fabric (Carnaby Street by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics) was the impetus that had me  saying "what the heck, I will try something new." It almost killed me to fussy cut such a pretty piece of fabric, but I still have a good 1/2 yard to hoard so it's all good.

Out came my chalk marker, which I hadn't used since about 2005, my hand sewing needles (never did figure out if they were the right size, I just used what I had), the glue stick, and scissors. I'm not going to lie - it felt weird to use something other than my 6 x 24 ruler and a rotary cutter.

But suddenly I had a block. Or is that what they are called? I have no idea what six fussy cut jewel shapes sewn together are called. I'm new at this. But I was sort of in love with the result.

Not the worst first try ever.
 It was quickly followed by another block/flower/jewel shaped piece of wonderment...
 And then a third....
Triple fun
In looking at these photos, I'm amused by the random assortment of backgrounds, which top to bottom are my dining room table, the arm of a chair, and my kitchen counter top. This not only proves my inconsistency as a photographer, but also how portable these EPP projects are; for all you know, I put them together in three different places in my house. Maybe more.

At this point I noted that these blocks were looking a lot like a display of paperweights I had loved at the Chicago art museum. Coolness.

The paperweights would have looked way better photographed on my kitchen counter, of course.
Eventually I had made six little blocks, and chose a minty green Oval Elements (also Art Gallery Fabrics) for the middle. I won't lie, I was a little annoyed by how long it took to sew all seven of these blocks together, but I guess that's the "joy" of hand sewing. This teal solid seemed fairly awesome for the background, and because on the day I went to put it on a background I was in no mood to go shopping anywhere but in my stash, I made it work.
Smack that puppy on there.

A first go round of the quilting resulted in a disaster, and is part of the reason this mini is octagonal; the bad quilting was in the corners and very distracting to the beauty of the blocks, so I just cut them off. Drastic? Yes. Lazy? Oh, for sure. But a stunning if dumb luck choice? I think so. In the end, there is some simple quilting in each block and the entire shape is echo quilted once with matching teal thread. Easy enough.

I finished it off with a "made" binding, using circles of both pink and mint green Oval Elements fabric cut with the Hearts and More template by Sue Pelland Designs. I love Sue, and I love her templates, and I'm always up for something new (obviously, or this whole quilt never would have come about), so a non-binding binding it was to be. I cut a bunch of 1 1/2" diameter circles in both pink and teal, and had a vote on my EPQD Facebook page as to which color to use for the "binding," which is really just the circles folded over the edge, fused, and satin stitched. The result of the vote was pretty much a tie between green and pink and was no help whatsoever, but the couple of people who said "both" got me thinking, and I honestly think they were brilliant. The entire edge/binding is pretty awesome, I think, and I love how it gives the whole quilt a lacy effect.

I so love my EPQD Facebook community. Without them I likely would have thrown this back in the UFO pile, but instead it is a finished quilt and is in the BQF. What DID we do before social media?

One last look at the completed mini, which is 14" wide at the widest points. I really love it. I also will sheepishly admit that I kind of love EPP now too. As a scrap quilt designer, it really is appealing to my "use up the scraps at all costs" side, plus it is way more social to hand sew in the living room than hole myself up in the basement dungeon sewing studio.

The one thing (well, besides a sleeve so I can finally hang it on my wall o' minis) that this quilt is lacking is a name. If you have a great idea, please leave it in a comment below!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and enjoy the rest of the beautiful quilts in the BQF.


Quilting Babcia said...

Maybe this is your Never say Never quilt. Whatever you call it in the end, it's a keeper.

Katie Cogswell said...

EPP is fantastic isn't it? This is really gorgeous! Your fussy cutting is brilliant.

Angie in SoCal said...

Fabulous for a first time EPP adventure. Congrats!

Jolanda said...

Your mini is justo lovely. I love your fabric.

Tish Stemple said...

Your fussy cutting is amazing! I know you said the shape of the quilt was accidental, but I think it was genius! Isn't it funny how Pinterest is like that one friend that is always trying to talk you into crazy things??

SarahZ said...

This is adorable! I love when an exploration becomes an adventure! Thanks for sharing such fun details of how this one came to be! :)

magistra said...

Well let's see, 2 things. 1. I enjoy and admire your first foray into the joys of hand sewing. I have forayed but with not quite so cute of an outcome yet. Actually, no outcome yet, maybe that's the problem. I should make it into something, probably could make it much prettier. 2. I am ecstatic, okay happy plus, that I found your blog through the Blogger's Quilting Contest because I really enjoy your writing and style so, yay, another blog I must follow. I really don't need another blog to follow, but someone that makes me smile I can always appreciate, so thanks. New follower here.

Lisa E said...

A name for your lovely mini? Isn't it obvious? Call it "Hexcited"!!

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