Monday, September 22, 2014

Sewvivor 3: Lap Quilts + Voting!

Hello Sewvivor fans!! We are down to the FINAL round of competition. It's hard to believe that its almost over! Think of all the quilty goodness that has gone in the last few weeks. Thank you to all the fans, family, and friends who have stopped by to support our contestants! Sewvivors, you are just amazing!! Congrats to Nicole, Amanda, and Amy for making it into the finals! The competition is definitely ON!

The final challenge:

The Sewvivor twist for this round is ANONYMITY.
You will not be told which designer created each quilt below. They are required to keep it a secret. I felt that this could be the most unbiased way to choose the Sewvivor champion. All the quilts are so cool, so good luck with your vote!

{Projects appear in the order they were submitted}.
Prepare to be blown away!


NOTE FROM THE CONTESTANT: Hello, and welcome to my FINAL project for the Sewvivor Quilting Edition!  I never expected to make it passed the auditions and so I am thrilled to have made it to the final three!  I know the other two competitors are bringing their "A" game and I tried to do the same with my lap size quilt! Thanks to everyone for the continued support of me and the others in the Sewvivor competition!  It has been quite the journey and I'm grateful I have made it this far.  No matter the results, I feel like a winner!

I chose to use the American Patchwork and Quilting "Tone It Down" pattern designed by Lisa Alexander for my quilt.  Except, I definitely didn't "tone it down" with the color!  I used a variety of Bonnie and Camille fabrics from my special stash to make this colorful and bright quilt (and I threw in a navy floral by Joanna Figueroa just for fun).  This beautiful quilt finishes at 75.5" x 93.5", so it's a BIG one!

I have never been one to shy away from a lot of color, and I love how all of Bonnie and Camille's fabric lines coordinate so well together.  This quilt has 20 blocks (each block has 97 pieces), 44 scrappy sashing strips, and 25 nine-patch blocks set as the posts for the sashing.  In all it contains 2209 pieces!

In each of the 20 blocks, I quilted some free-hand petals, cross-hatched lines and cathedral windows.  I quilted figure 8's in the inside sashing strips, double cathedral windows for the nine-patch posts, and finished it up with a meandering feather for the outside sashing border.  It was my first time doing a feather design and I'm pretty proud of the result!

 I used a blue floral print from Miss Kate for the backing and paired it with the Red Sundae Scallop from the same line for the binding.  I usually sew my double-fold binding 1/4" from the quilts edge, but decided to sew it 3/8" this time.  I hand stitched the binding to the back of the quilt and I really like how it butts right up to the edge of the quilt.  I LOVE the way it turned out!


NOTE FROM THE CONTESTANT: I'm absolutely thrilled to be here in the top three! I would have never guessed in a million years that I would have made it this far, I'm so very thankful for everyone's support, sweet comments and of course votes ;)

This quilt is one that I've had in my head for some time now and making it this far in Sewvivor has given me the push I needed to get it out of my head and into reality! So without further ado, may I present... Carrousel!

Carrousel is a mixture of Melody Millers's first line for Cotton and Steel, Mustang and one of my all time faves from her Ruby Star Polka Dot line for Kokka, the patchwork cheater print in blue, love this print so much! I spent a ridiculous amount of time fussy cutting images to feature in the Star Dresden wedges and even went so far as to piece three of them with little plus signs to mimic the little plus signs used in some of the Mustang prints.

I used up a lot of the little left over scraps to improv piece a strip for the top of the quilt. I knew I wanted the giant dresden to be the center of attention so I had planned from the beginning to bind it in the same fabric i used to applique the dresden onto. So I thought a splash of color along the top of the quilt would be needed!

The giant dresden measures almost 50" across from point to point and I absolutely love the effect of having the one edge scalloped. And I almost love the back as much as the front!

I've used Carolyn Friedlanders widescreens for both the front and the back, grey on the front and black with a strip of grey for the back. I also used the grey for skinny binding. I cut the binding at only 2" and machine stitched it to the front and hand stitched it to the back.

In an effort to keep this one soft and drapey I minimized the machine quilting and used the dresden wedges to guide where all my quilting lines went. I just did simple lines with Aurifil #2606 Mist through the centers of all the wedges from point to point and continued on in a straight line to the edge of the quilt. It creates a fantastic crossing of lines in the center! Where the lines reach the outer edges the quilt they were too far apart for my batting so I made the decision to do some hand quilting.

I love the little vintage pyrex looking starbursts on some of the Mustang prints and decided that they would be perfect to quilt all over the grey area of the quilt. I used Aurifil #2975 Brass for them and also for the simple stitches around the inner and outer edge of the whole dresden. The perfect amount of hand quilting!

The details:
Pattern - Carrousel by me!
Finished size - 64" x 80"
Fabrics - Star Dresden is all Mellody Miller Mustang, and Ruby Star Polka Dot and a selection of RJR Cotton Supreme Solids.
Front, backing and binding all Carolyn Friedlander Widescreens in grey and black.
Pieced with Aurifil #2600 Dove Grey and quilted with Aurifil #2606 Mist and #2975 Brass


NOTE FROM THE CONTESTANT: Thank you for bringing me this far on this adventure! I know there is so much talent in his group and I'm so grateful to be a part if it!

Sewvivor Final-11

Trying to choose what to make for the final round of Sewvivor was impossible. I wanted something classic, but modern. I wanted something technically difficult, but simple and clean and bright and possible to complete in a week.

Sewvivor Final

So I chose something I think meets all of those criteria. This quilt is bold, graphic and timeless. It captures everything I love about quilting, the repetition, the color, and the tradition. And at the end, a delightful quilt is draped over my couch. Which makes it pretty much perfect!

Sewvivor Final-4

Sewvivor Final-2

Quilt: inspired by classic plus and cross block
Quilting: inspired by Leah Day's 'modern art' design
Bound using glue basting tutorial from Cristy Creates via Ali Winston

Vote for your favorite quilt! Voting closes Wednesday September 24, at midnight EST.
One vote per device is allowed. The public vote counts as 50%. The other 50% of the vote comes from our "tribal council" aka Judges. The Finals will be revealed next Monday, September 29!

If you're sewing along, any lap sized quilt counts, just upload your pictures to the Sewvivor Sew-Along Flickr group. Or post on Instagram, tagging @sewvivor and @familyeverafter and use hashtags #sewvivor and #sewvivorsewalong! A "SewPrize" will be given to a random sewalong participant, announced next Monday. Can't wait to see them!

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Reverse Applique Deer Mini Quilt & National Sewing Month with FatQuarterShop

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Last year, my "deer" friend Mary made a pillow that I just absolutely fell in love with.  She has such a creative mind! Check hers out in her blog post. Isn't it awesome!?!?

Since I've been wanting to add a little sewing decor to my sewing corner in my home, I thought it'd be fun to make a mini quilt version of Mary's pillow to hang on my wall. I just LOVE how it turned out. The handquilting is my favorite part.

Also, I'm so honored to be celebrating "National Sewing Month" with the Fat Quarter Shop! I haven't had a lot of time to sew since giving birth to my 4th baby this summer, sew it was nice to finish up this project I began back in February. FQS challenged me to sew something I've never tried before. I've never made a mini quilt, nor anything to decorate my sewing room, so this project was great!

I'm not sharing the entire tutorial, because this creation was Mary's idea, and I think she'll be sharing it on her blog. But here's a few pictures of the sequence behind the scenes. She hand drew the template both for the deer and the scalloped shield, and shared them with me :)


Reverse Applique-ing:





Be sure to visit Mary's blog, Molly Flanders, for lots more sewing inspiration and tutorials!

Also, if you're in the market for fabric, I just LOVE online shopping with the Fat Quarter Shop. Not only do they have a huge fabric selection, great sales, quick shipping, but their staff is super nice and helpful, and they always do such a nice job packaging the goodies :)

Also to celebrate National Sewing Month, FQS asked me a series of sewing questions... 
so here we go!

1. How did you start quilting/sewing?
I was exposed to sewing as a child, as my mother is an excellent seamstress. I sewed a few things alongside her, but it wasn't until I went to college that I truly desired to learn the art of sewing. I took every sewing class I could at BYU, and they were my hardest classes! I stayed in the sewing lab past midnight several nights a week. Things haven't changed much-- I am often awake past midnight sewing in my little sewing corner of my house!

2. When was the first time you knew that you were a quilter/sewer?
I landed my first job out of college as an 8th grade sewing teacher. I learned so much about sewing from my student's trial and error. They came to me with a lot of questions and sewing mishaps, and together we learned to work through them. Until then, I had never learned to thread a serger-- now I had 4 sergers that needed to be rethreaded frequently! I didn't have a sewing machine of my own, but was lucky to have 30 machines at my fingertips in the classroom. I worked on class samples and a few of my own projects in between class periods. One day, my husband and I both decided to make a quilt for our mothers as a Christmas gift. I'll never forget our trip to the fabric store. He chose several African inspired prints, and I thought he was crazy! I went with an Americana theme. After school was over, he'd come to my classroom, and we would sew and listen to music. Together, we both made our first quilts! And that's when I knew I wanted to be a quilter!

3. Do you have any sewing/quilting horror stories or faux pas?
The hardest thing I have ever sewn was a man's collared button up dress shirt. I made it for my husband, and guess what.... it was too tight in the neck and shoulders. He was never able to wear it. Years later, when cleaning out his closet, it ended up in the Goodwill pile. He'd forgotten I made it. I almost had a heart attack when I found out he got rid of it! 

4. What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out in sewing/quilting?
These days, I truly believe that anyone can learn to sew. Start with an inexpensive machine and online tutorials; the possibilities are endless! I have continued to learn so much beyond what I learned in my college classes. What I love about sewing is that you can create something that will last forever. Sewn gifts are my favorite. If you have the desire, you can do it! I'm so excited about the sewing and quilting revival that has taken place in the last 10 years. Being part of the online sewing community is one of my favorite parts. Don't be afraid to dive right in! There's room for everyone!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sewvivor 3: Hexie Challenge Results

Coats and Clark can trace its roots back nearly 250 years. They are the world's largest supplier of crafting products-- from cotton sewing threads, to knitting, embroidery crochet, accessories, and fabrics (including Free Spirit and Rowan).
Visit them on Facebook and Instagram.
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Our Top 5 didn't hold back when it came to technique and creativity. It was really fun to see everybody's different interpretations with their hexie projects. This challenge was particularly difficult for our judges, because every single project was incredible!

The challenge was:

Congrats to these 3 contestants who will advance to  the final Challenge #4: Lap Quilt. The final round will be completely anonymous, so don't anticipate seeing any sneak peaks. The projects will be revealed here next Monday!

Nicole from Snips Snippets
hexagon floor cushion

Amanda from A Crafty Fox
Sewvivor King Quilt-3

And a hard, heavy goodbye to these lovely ladies, who will be so missed in this competition...

Jade from Stitch Mischief

Here is the breakdown from the public voting and judges. The first picture shows the graph from the public vote. The Sewvivor twist included 30 extra points awarded to the third person to turn in their project. The lucky winner was Amy!

This chart reflects the popular vote plus the judge's votes. The popular vote percentages are recorded in the first two columns. This counts as 50% of the total vote. The next columns include the judges rankings, which includes the other 50% of the total. Each judges individual cans as 10% of the total vote.

And now for the Quilted Bag SewAlong winner, chosen at random (by scrolling through the hashtag on IG with my eyes closed and tapping a picture). She will win a shirt from Patchwork Threads!
Congrats: aqua_paisley

If you're participating in the sew-along, upload to the Sewvivor Sew-Along Flickr group, or post on Instagram, tagging @sewvivor and @familyeverafter and use hashtags #sewvivor and #sewvivorsewalong! A "SewPrize" will be given to a random sewalong participant, announced at each Challenge Result post. The new theme for the next two weeks is: Hexies, so feel free to jump in!

A note about one of our sponsors, Westwood Acres. I approached this amazing fabric shop to be a sponsor back in May, and I was delighted to have them onboard! Just a week after that, Amanda, the owner, asked if she was able to audition. I said yes. At the time I did not see it as a problem, seeing as her shop is separate from her creative sewing blog. But now that she has approached the top 3, I was concerned that others may see it as a conflict of interest. So she has kindly stepped down from being a sponsor. I take full responsibility for any confusion or perceived unfairness this may have caused. I do maintain that Amanda has earned her way into the top 3, separate from participating as a sponsor. Thank you all for your understanding!

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