Friday, March 27, 2015

Fat Quarter Shop Charm Box Blog Hop

Welcome familiar friends and new visitors to my stop on the Fat Quarter Shop Charm Box Blog Hop. You are in luck today because, not only is a charming free pattern and accompanying instructional video available, but there's a giveaway going on too.
Fat Quarter Shop Charm Box Blog Hop @ Quilting Mod
Today's project is part of the Fat Quarter Shop's Shortcut Quilt Series on YouTube, as was my Layers of Charm quilt. This video series shows you how to make beautiful, but easy to assemble, quilts. I know you're anxious, so let's take a look at the Charm Box Quilt.
Fat Quarter Shop Charm Box Blog Hop @ Quilting Mod
I used two charm packs of Heather Ross's whimsical Far, Far Away line for Wyndham Fabrics. Kona Daffodil was used for the coordinating solid and binding. The backing is Unicorn in Green from the same line.
Fat Quarter Shop Charm Box Blog Hop @ Quilting Mod
For the quilting, I used a removable marking pen to draw a horizontal line across the center of my quilt. With this line as an initial guide, I put on my walking foot and went across the quilt using a scallop decorative stitch. I lined up the edge of my walking foot with the top points of my scallops to make a second scalloped line, parallel to the first. I continued making lines to the right of the previously completed lines, in order to keep the bulk of the quilt on the left side of the needle and out of the throat space. When I reached the top of the quilt, I flipped it over, vertically mirrored my decorative stitch, and finished quilting the other half.
Fat Quarter Shop Charm Box Blog Hop @ Quilting Mod
I do have a cautionary tale for you. If your charm squares have pinked edges, it is important to determine whether they are 5" from outer point to outer point, or 5" from valley to valley of the pinked edge. 
Fat Quarter Shop Charm Box Blog Hop @ Quilting Mod

I wrongfully assumed I should measure my 1/4" seam from the outer points of the pinked edges. By doing so, I unintentionally decreased my seam size and added 1/4" to the row's size with each and every seam. When it came time to add the sashing, my strip of pieced blocks was too long. I could have re-sewn my seams, but decided to forge ahead and recut longer sashing.
Fat Quarter Shop Charm Box Blog Hop @ Quilting Mod
For bonus points, I made a second version of the Charm Box quilt in Carolyn Friedlander's Doe collection for Robert Kaufman. The sashing and binding is Kona Gold, and the backing is Black Line Scales from the same collection.
Fat Quarter Shop Charm Box Blog Hop @ Quilting Mod
To mimic the prints in the Doe collection, I did straight-line quilting with my walking foot and seam guides. The lines are at a 45 degree angle to the sides of the quilt and 1" apart. Sporadically, I threw in a stacked triangle decorative stitch.
Fat Quarter Shop Charm Box Blog Hop @ Quilting Mod
Just in case you have forgotten that I am not the epitome of flawless perfection, I feel the need to share another cautionary tale. When sewing your charm rows and fabric strips together, always begin stitching at the same end. This way, if some of the strips stick out a little more than others, you'll minimize fabric loss by only having one staggered end. Personally, I did not do as I say. This meant that my charm rows got a little taken off the top and bottom. Regardless of my "Afton Moments", I adore both quilts. It's amazing how the same pattern can have such a different feel based on fabric choice. 
Fat Quarter Shop Charm Box Blog Hop @ Quilting Mod
Are you ready to give the Charm Box Quilt a try? Check out their instructional video on YouTube or below.
I also wanted to mention that the Fat Quarter Shop has a kit available in Aloha Girl by Fig Tree Quilts, in case you want to save yourself the task of fabric selection.
Without further ado, I present to you the opportunity to win a $25 gift card, courtesy of the Fat Quarter Shop.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I'm linking up with:
Rooted In ThymeFort Worth Fabric StudioCreations by Nina-Marie

Fort Worth Fabric Studio
Too Much Time On My Hands

Keeping It SimpleSkip To My Lou

Cooking Up QuiltsCreating Really Awesome Free ThingsModern Tradition Quiltsmop it up mondays

Thanks for joining me. I hope you'll do me the pleasure of a return visit, or following Quilting Mod so you don't miss out on any of the fun.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Quilt Bliss Swaps and Giveaway Winners

The Quilt Bliss retreat provides several swap opportunities, and in a moment of brief insanity I signed up for every single on of them -- a decision I later regretted (when prepping for them at the last minute) and then appreciated (when I was at retreat collecting my glorious swap goods).
Let's start things off with my mystery friend, Angela Bacon. She described her favorite fabrics as, "Anything Denyse Schmidt!" and in other comments she added, "I am really loving mini quilts for my sewing wall."  I decided to finally make use of the wide array of Chicopee fabrics I acquired in a Craftsy Freespirit Mystery Box. I cut triangles in short order using the AccuQuilt GO and AccuQuilt 3" Triangles In Square die. While there was admittedly more fabric waste, it was well-worth it in time savings, since I only wanted about four triangles from each fabric. I cut out an equal amount of solid cream triangles and arranged the shapes to gradate from cream to patterned blocks. The final shape ended up more table runner than mini quilt, but rather than backtracking, I decided to embrace the new direction. It was finished with an olive-green backing/binding and straight diagonal lines about 1/2" apart.
Delivery was amusing. I put my packaged gift on the dresser of my shared queen bunk room as a reminder to myself to bring it upstairs after dinner and seek the aide of the staff in locating my secret pal. When I went back to my room, one of the girls inside reported to me that her secret friend was a major chicken, who just dropped off her present to the room without acknowledging who they were. A quick glance at the now-empty dresser revealed who my secret friend was after all. Well, that solved the delivery issue.
I was well-pleased with what my secret friend, who turned out to be my car-pooling buddy, Melissa of My Fabric Relish, made for me. I had requested a Sew Together Bag since I would love one, but haven't mustered the guts to try my hand at it. (Bags are not my comfort zone.) Well, Melissa is a supreme bag-maker (and quilter, and little girl dress-maker) and delivered on my request in a supremely colorful fashion. 

I love it, and am quite sure if I didn't, throngs would line up to take it off my hands. But alas, I'm not giving it up. Just look at that dresden plate!
That's right, work your angles, Sew Together Bag!
The bundle of fat eights I acquired in the polka dot swap is a visual delight. My contribution was the white with mini gold dots (second from the top).
I ordered a little too much. It turns out that shopping online late at night has its consequences. Then again, waiting until the last minute and trying to make accurate measurements while two very active preschool children keep you company, is also not a recommended course of action. As it turns out, if your five-year old is talking non-stop about his rendition of survivor, cutting at the 27", 18" and 9" mat marks can been overly mentally rigorous. That's when your improper allotment of dotty fabric seems really clever after all.
I forgot to photograph the three fat quarters I submitted, but I am well-pleased with what I received in our White Elephant-style fat quarter swap. 
Small-scale animal prints cut into 10" squares were exchanged. I brought the turtles on the right. These cute woodland animals will make a fine quilt, but I want to pick something that will keep them fairly intact.
I'm thrilled about my pouch swap acquisition. I must apologize for neglecting to photograph my pouch. I really thought I had taken a snapshot, so if I come across the lost photographic evidence, I'll let you know. It was complete in a peachy-pink floral, and bedazzled with sporadic Swarovski crystals in hopes of counteracting my unfamiliarity with pouch-making. In any event, we used a Jedi Craft Girl tutorial. After a fun game of swapping with those who shared specified characteristics ("If you have more than one sewing machine, come to the center and swap."Etc.) I came away a happy camper with this beauty, hand-embroidered and filled with special quilting treats by Nichole Christoffersen of Scribbles and Stitches.  
To give whoever received my pincushion a taste of local flora, I created a cactus pincushion using a tutorial at the Sewing Lab blog. I used a paper funnel and straw to pour crushed walnut shells (aka reptile bedding from the local pet store) into the top portion before stuffing with Poly-Fil. It would have been so much easier if I didn't sew so far down and/or if I had used a 1/4" seam and a shortened stitch length. I used a tea light holder from Target (Dollar Tree probably has some too.) and landscaping gravel from my garage to plant it. I used a funnel to gradually pour Mod Podge over the gravel into it barely covers the rocks in gluey whiteness. I thought it would never turn clear, but one day, weeks later, it did. However, if you use the less permeable walnut shells instead of pebbles, it'll only take a couple days to dry clear.

In return, I acquired the most giggle-inducing pincushion. Unfortunately, I don't have information on his creator, but I assure you, I adore this little fella. I also found a free tutorial if you must simply have your own.
On an unrelated note, I have some giveaway winners to announce.
Kelly Wilson won the Wyndham mini charms and orange thread.
Shannon Conley won the Cuddle Charms and thread.
Pam Wisner won the Casablanca charm pack.
Sonja McLane won the batting, mini charm, thread, and solid fabric bundle.
Caity Thurman won the AMB and Moda mini charms and thread.
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