Dream Catcher Quilt

I summoned the courage to quilt my Dream Catcher Quilt top.  Honestly, that’s usually the reason why it takes me so long to quilt them.  I need a deadline, or a whole lot of courage to quilt them.  In this case, it took courage.  I felt intimidated by the size and the wide range of colors, but once I settled on a simple approach, it worked out.  

I chose with a simple orange peel quilting design for the hourglass blocks, and in the stripes I did some straight line quilting that followed the print.  The Kaffe stripe in this quilt has got to be one of the best stripes ever designed!  I wish it was still in print.  

I shared the story of making this one in my post about the quilt top.  Finding the stripes was a fun challenge that I tackled with a friend.  Along the way we collected solids, tweaked the pattern instructions to our satisfaction, and had a great time sewing together.  It’s fascinating how such a simple design, with the right print, becomes incredible.  I feel like this Dream Catcher Quilt is a great example of that.  The stripe makes the quilt!  While it’s a long out of print fabric, it could be interesting to piece stripes and make something similar.

I’m thrilled to have this one in rotation around the house.  Like I admitted at the outset of this post, I have a backlog of quilt tops.  I’m trying to catch up, but progress is slow.  But nothing motivates like success, right?  I’m excited to finish another.

I hope your summer is as happy and colorful as this quilt!  It’s hard to believe that August is already here.  I’m counting on more sewing time this fall – we’ll see what happens!

Happy sewing to you!

Jennifer

Hunt Quilt Top with Mini Block

The story of this quilt top begins back in February 2020 at QuiltCon, when I took a class from Carolyn Friedlander using her Hunt quilt pattern.  From the first time I glanced at the pattern, I pictured a smaller circle dropped somewhere in the large circles.  So before I went to QuiltCon, I scaled it down, fiddled with angles and curves a little, and came up with my own mini version of the block.  Fast forward to July 2022 and I have a finished Hunt quilt top with a mini block in it.  

Just like my Grateful Melody quilt (finished this month as well), the Hunt quilt is an applique project.  I finished the first of my blocks in 2020, in time to snap a few photos while we were at the beach house.  This project was a quick one to sew, but the prep time was slow.  Lots of hours spent basting all those little pieces!

You can see how the raw edge pieces line up next to each other and then the awesome gaps between them come as you turn under the edge and sew it down.  So great.

But that mini block has my heart.  I used some of my most precious scraps in it.

Although I cruised through the stitching once it was basted, it took me forever to prep all the blocks.  I think I went months between prep.  Overall this is one of my slowest applique projects ever.  It happened in bursts.  Then, finally, near the end I prepped everything and cruised through to finish.  

I love the mini gallery of gorgeous prints in this quilt top and am brainstorming ideas for quilting it.  The mini circle quilting is planned, but the overall quilt I’m not sure about yet.  Any thoughts?

So that’s where I’m at right now with applique.  I love keeping these projects in my car and then finally, one day, I have a quilt top with almost zero time used in my studio.  They feel like bonus quilts.  Bonus quilts with extra travel and memories included!

Grateful Melody Quilt

My Grateful Melody Quilt is complete and I’m so happy with it.  I made the quilt top as part of a Lucy Engles sew along during the pandemic.  As I shared previously, I love the happy colors and that each block is a token of something I’m grateful for and wanted to remember.  

This quilt is also the first I’ve quilted on my Gammill longarm, so it feels like a big deal.  I struggled with the tension when we first set it up, so straight lines were helpful with working out those kinks.  My lines are organic and often wonky but I’m happy with them.  It was a great learning experience and I’m relieved I didn’t ruin the quilt!  I hope to get much more practice and eventually have the skill to quilt all my own quilts and feel proud of my work.  For now, however, my Grateful Melody quilt is a good first step.

I’ve been thinking about applique lately.  I’d like to go my own unique direction with it.  Unfortunately, I have no idea what direction that would be!  So for now I’m stitching daily on one applique project or another, and sketching ideas on the side.  I love the portable nature of applique, and the unlimited shapes to be stitched.  It’s a great technique.

I pulled a happy red and white floral from my stash for the backing.  Since I was short on yardage by a bit, I filled in one corner with another scrap.  I am enjoying using more scraps, and I always like a backing that has a bit of character.  A simple aqua binding finishes everything off.  In sum, this project was fun at every step (except the picking out quilting lines part) and I’d love to make this one again someday.  There is SO much potential with this pattern!

-Jennifer

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