Nightshade

At the end of February I had the glorious opportunity to attend a weekend quilting retreat with my quilt guild (Dallas Modern Quilt Guild).  Most of the time retreats are out of my reach financially, but this one was going to be an in town retreat at a newly opened retreat space, Best Little Retreat Center in Texas.  I had been so looking forward to this retreat because I pretty much have done no sewing or quilting since the in town retreats the Dallas Quilt Guild put on ended.  And sadly, I haven’t even posted about the last couple I went to, but at the first one I finished my Tula’s Squirrels quilt top.  But, I think the last retreat we had was like in June of 2016, so yeah, it’s been THAT LONG since I sewed.  So, you understand when I tell you how excited I was to be able to sew all weekend long!

I started out the weekend by working on my Pixel Heart mini that I started with my Tula Pink Elizabeth fabric that a friend gifted me.

 

I had been inspired by Diana, itiskismet_stitches, to start this mini.  She had been encouraging me to sew a little bit, even if I could only do ten or fifteen minutes at a time, it would add up.  So in November of 2017, I started sewing my squares together.  And then I managed to get a few rows sewn.  But, in true to me fashion I ended up sewing a row upside down and then it sat there from November until the end of February with no movement.

 

 

So the first thing I did when I got my table set up was rip out that row and resew it the right way round.  I managed to get the whole thing sewn up relatively quickly.

I was a bit undecided on how to quilt it but I did a bit of searching around on IG for some inspo and also consulted the expert (Diana).  In the end, we decided that cross-hatching on the diagonal was the way to go.  And I’m pretty thrilled with it.  I also got the opportunity to try a hera marker for the first time.  And when I used it my lines were so much straighter and more even!  I got the binding sewn on and now it just needs to be hand sewn to the back.  Not a bad start to a sewing weekend!

Next project on my list was to get started on my Nightshade quilt.  I had started cutting this out at one of the other in town retreats, so I was able to keep going and get all the smaller pieces cut, including my background fabric which is the black & white moons and stars.

Then I started on the hard part.  Cutting out the cameos from the Coven fabric.  It is no joke cutting into precious fabric that you have no way of replacing if you screw up!

But I managed to get it done.  It is a pain the ass fussy cutting those though (as I learned with my Parisville quilt).

And one of the best things about the retreat center is that you also get your own design wall!  This is how mine was shaping up on day 1.

It’s always fun seeing what everyone else is working on too.  My friend Karen was busy making these fabric baskets for friends.  This is the one she made for me.  Isn’t it perfect?!

A little peek around the room…

And let’s just take a closer look at that Tula quilt in progress.

I so enjoyed being able to watch this one come together.  It is so so pretty and vibrant in person!

On day 2, Sunday, I continued on with my Nightshade quilt.  Now that I had all those lovely ladies cut out I could start making my blocks.  I added the corners to each of the blocks to start making “snowballs”.

And you may notice a slight issue with the block second from the bottom on the right side.  Yeah, I don’t have any of the blue storm cloud fabric.  Like none, except for that small scrap my friend Lee was willing to spare.  Not sure what I’m going to do, but I’m guessing I’m going to beg the Tula Troops to take pity on me and trade some storm clouds for cameos.  But, I soldiered on with my other blocks.  I added the borders around each block.

And then I started adding the background fabric on the corners of each.  Yeah, that one block is looking pretty darn sad now.  But OMG I am so freaking in love with this already.  It’s going to be SO GOOD when it’s done.  I can’t wait.

And here’s what the whole thing will look like more or less…

So, my next step will be to finish adding the background corners to the rest of the blocks and then start on the sashing strips and cornerstones.  Can’t wait!

 

So, all in all it was an awesome weekend.  I got to visit with friends, I got to sew and reinvigorate my creativity, I got to see inspiration from others, and I even got to witness a finished quilt top.  How amazing is that?!

I am grateful for finally finally getting to sew again!

DMQG

DMQG In April of 2014, I set out on a new adventure.  I’d been thinking about joining a quilt guild for awhile.  I’d even visited one of the local quilt guilds a couple of times with some friends.  I just didn’t connect with the guild.  And I’d thought about visiting the big Dallas quilt guild, but somehow that seemed overwhelming.  And then it hit me – what about the modern guild?  A ton of the quilters I follow on Instagram are members of the MQG, and of course I’d found my taste moving in a decidedly more modern direction as well (thus, the people I follow on Instagram).  So, I looked up the local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild and lo and behold, found the Dallas MQG.  Armed with a little courage, I attended my first meeting.  And what a meeting it was!  The first people I saw when I came through the door were young, tattooed, and vibrant.  And immediately I felt a sense of “these are my people” relief.

The program for the meeting was a trunk show from Michael Miller fabric.  They showed the new releases, talked a good bit about the Couture Solids, and we each were given a charm pack of them!

But the best part of the meeting was the show & tell!  And to see a Tula 100 quilt in person, but even better made completely out of Saltwater, was the icing on the cake!

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And here’s the back!


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This one was fun!

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And I’m completely in love with this one. It was called Ghost Diamonds. See how the quilting echoes the diamond shapes? Love!

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I can’t wait to share more show & tell with you!

I Just Want Your Extra Time…

Kiss Kiss blocks
Remember that time, a million years ago, when I shared my almost-finished Kiss Kiss quilt top?  You know, the one I worked on at a weekend retreat?  At the end of that weekend, I only needed to sew my borders on for the top to be finished.  So, a couple weeks after that retreat I settled in at my brand new work surface/desk top to get those borders on.

New Sewing Space
 

It really took no time at all to have my quilt top finished but I’m glad I didn’t try to rush it at the retreat and just waited until I had more time to focus on it.

Kiss Kiss Blocks Close
I cannot wait to get this one quilted.  It is going out for custom quilting for sure.  In the meantime, I just had to share full photos of my (very wrinkly) top.

Kiss Kiss Finished
Isn’t she beautiful?!  I love how the Eye Drops border looks!

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Details on this quilt:

Pattern is Kiss Kiss by Tula Pink; I made the Large version 82″ x 82″

Fabric is Parisville by Tula Pink in the Pomegranate colorway and Free Spirit Solids for the background

Started in 2012 and top finished in 2014.

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And just in case you’re wondering what the title of this post is all about.
I am grateful for finally getting around to sharing pics of this quilt!

Oh Look, a Squirrel!

Tula's Squirrels

 

At the Dallas Quilt Show in March of 2013, I spotted this quilt in Material Girl’s booth.  I can spot Tula fabrics a mile away, so I was immediately drawn to this one.  I loved the use of the cool colorways from Tula’s The Birds & The Bees line, the pattern itself, and the use of a Denyse Schmidt plaid from her Chicopee line for binding and backing.  It paired perfectly with the Tula fabrics and I would never have thought to put them together.  They were of course offering a quilt kit for sale but it was outside my budget.  Months went by and I continued to obsess over this quilt.  I have a stack of The Birds & The Bees fabric to make Tula’s Cartwheels quilt, but it is only the warm colorways, so this seemed to be the perfect compliment.  I shared this quilt pic with Sylvia and she immediately fell in love too.  Some googling on the internet brought Sylvia to the free quilt pattern called Five Yard Wonder by Mill End Textiles, which is exactly the pattern used for this quilt.  There was much rejoicing once we knew the pattern it used.  It’s simple enough I felt I could have recreated it, but way easier to follow a pattern.  It is called the Five Yard Wonder because the whole quilt is made with a yard each of five different fabrics.  Time to order fabric!  Luckily, the Tula fabrics were still relatively easy to find so I ordered a yard of each and then enough of the Denyse Schmidt plaid for the backing and binding.  The hard part was the solid.  Sylvia ordered a couple different solids and was able to find one that worked.  I went to Hawthorne Threads’ website and used one of the features I love – you can choose a fabric (in my case I chose the squirrels) and then it shows you coordinating prints, the print in other colorways (if applicable), and then at the bottom coordinating solids.  Lo and behold, Citron was my color.  So I ordered my citron fabric and off we went.

Fussy Cutting Squirrels

I started cutting for this quilt in February of last year.  It was then I discovered a problem.  In order to fussy cut those squirrel blocks, I really needed more than a yard of fabric.  You may remember the podcast episode where I lamented the fact that only half my squirrel blocks had the squirrels facing each other, the rest were comprised of squirrel butts.  Not the look I was going for.  Of course, by this time two years had gone by and the squirrels were impossible to find.  I ended up buying two FQs from etsy sellers at the low price of an arm & a leg.  But, at least I now had all squirrel faces in the blocks.

Tula's Squirrels fabric

In May, I finally had my cutting done and started assembling my quilt blocks.  I had podcasts to keep me company while I sewed, in this case the Must Stash podcast where Dianne from Suburban Stitcher joined.

Sewing with Podcasts

Aren’t those squirrels adorable?

Squirrels

 

Squirrels with borders

Squirrel blocks done and bee blocks completed not long after.

Bee Blocks

And then in June of 2015 I attended my very first “In Town Sewing Retreat”.  This is a retreat put on by the Dallas Quilt Guild and it’s a fun weekend at a local location and we sew all day until midnight then go home to sleep in our own beds and come back the next day.  It runs Friday morning through Sunday afternoon.  So, I decided that working on my squirrel quilt was going to be my top priority.

In Town sewing

I managed to get all my blocks sewn and then started sewing rows together on the first day.

Oh Look, a Squirrel!

On Saturday, I had a completed quilt top!

Squirrel top complete

I’m seriously so in love with it.  But, it wasn’t until I went to send a photo of my quilt to two friends that I noticed the issue.  And strangely enough it was because I was looking at a thumbnail of the photo in the email that I realized something was amiss.  My pattern wasn’t working right.  Do you see it?

Tula's Squirrels quilt top

When I was sewing the blocks together I turned some of them intentionally because I wanted those center bees to be facing different directions.  It never once occurred to me that by doing that, I was also changing the direction of the corner fabrics.  So, I had three blocks going the wrong way.  Ugggghhhhhh!  It took me until September to finally feel like I could face ripping out those blocks to fix them.  And typical me, I went the hard way about it.  I sat down and started ripping off the inner and outer border and then started ripping back to the first block.  Eric saw what I was doing and said, “can’t you just rip out the seams on all sides of the block itself?”  So, I gave that a try and it worked.  I was able to get the three blocks ripped out, turned, and sewed back into the top in the right direction.  Perfect!  Now, time to take a photo of the corrected and complete quilt top.

Oh Look, a Squirrel!

Ummm, yeah.

Oh Look, a Squirrel!

Sure, come stand on that.  I’m not trying to take a photo or anything.

Oh Look, a Squirrel!

So, you’ll just have to take my word for it that all the blocks are the right way round this time and I’m thrilled with my quilt top.  One of these days I’ll take it to be quilted, I can’t wait!

I am grateful for squirrel faces and black spots on my quilt. 

 

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Dallas Quilt Show Buttons

Miss me?  My sincere apologies for leaving you hanging.  It’s been busy over here at Cozyegg central, and unfortunately there’s been little needlework happening too.  But, back to the good stuff.  When last we met I promised more photos of the lovely pieces I got to see at the Dallas Quilt Show and boy, do I have a ton of things to share!

I decided to volunteer at the show this year.  I’m not a member of the Dallas quilt guild, but am a member of the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild and I thought that volunteering would be fun.  I signed up for two shifts (two hours each) and spent the first shift at volunteer check-in and the second shift at the door prize raffle table.  When I completed my shifts I had lunch and then spent the rest of the afternoon checking out the show.

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The Cloth Pocket is a great quilt shop that carries a ton of modern fabrics in Austin, Texas.  They came to the modern guild last year and did a trunk show/pop up shop that was so fun.  I was happy to see their booth at the show again this year.  I’m completely enamored with this Lion quilt by Violet Craft and this version of it is stunning!  I totally want to do it in these colors!!

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One of the other booths I spent a good bit of time in was Traditional Primitives by Missie Carpenter.  She was demonstrating her appliqué technique and had some great tools she offers as well.  I really want to give her methods a try!  One of the quilts patterns I completely fell in love with was her Gardens of a King.  It is stunning in person!!!

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Here’s a closeup.  Isn’t it gorgeous!  This one is definitely on my wishlist!

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While shopping the vendor booths and watching technique demos is a lot of fun, the best part of the show is the quilts themselves!  These are just a few of the ones that caught my eye!

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I love this Moda Building Blocks quilt and have the pattern to make it someday.  I’ve seen it done in prints and in solids and both ways it is equally beautiful.  There were a couple of these at the show, but this one was my favorite!

Opposite end of the spectrum – this sampler quilt in civil war repros was a stunner!

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I loved this diamond quilt.

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Done in batiks.

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And I can’t resist a hexy quilt.  I love the layout of the rings.  Lots of people saw this one from afar and thought it was all one piece of fabric…but no, it was all EPP hexagons.

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Here’s a closeup.  What I love about this is that it’s totally scrappy.  Fantastic!

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I think every year I go to the quilt show I fall in love with and take a million photos of a Phebe quilt (designed by Di Ford).  I don’t know what it is about this quilt that draws me in, but I just adore it.

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Maybe it’s the fuzzy sheep?

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Or maybe it’s the fantastic borders?Quiltus Interruptus

Either way, I’m totally adding this one to my to do list.

I’m always impressed with those quilts that have such masterful quilting that from far away it’s hard to tell that at least 50% of the quilt’s design is actually quilting and not piecing.  Like this one, that was called Stars on Mars.  I love the color palette.

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Here’s the closeup – all of that intricate quilting in white brings a whole new dimension to the piece, doesn’t it?  Just amazing.

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More appliqué that I love.  That blue background really made this one an eye-catcher!

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Tesselations by Alison Glass made by a fellow modern quilt guild member.  Love this one so much and especially love her use of solids and prints.

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Another great modern quilt.  I love that each year I seem to see more and more modern quilts at the show.

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This original design wholecloth quilt was the Best in Show quilt.  Pictures do not do this justice.

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This is another one where the quilting plays a huge part in the design, adding texture and interest.  I especially love that fern frond looking border.

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A beautiful Americana quilt by a friend of mine.  I love love love the muted color palette.

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And back to modern.  This quilt was really interesting from afar, but even more impressive up close.  This year’s theme was “Words and Letterforms” and this quilt is a perfect representation of that theme but you have to get closer to see why.

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Closeup…

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I wanted to include the description of what the quilter did to create this one.  Amazing!

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Loved this modern piece with the straight line quilting.

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Another civil war repro sampler.

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Love this one with Bonnie & Camille fabrics.

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And this Swoon was made by a good friend of mine.  She combined solids with Liberty-esque prints.  I love love love the little stars as the cornerstones in the sashing.  This quilt is HUGE too!  Each of those Swoon blocks is 24″ square!

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The quilting was perfectly suited to the pattern too!

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This was a super fun quilt, made entirely of triangles.  The background is really blown out in this photo, unfortunately.

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Here you can see that background a little better.  And the whole thing was quilted with just wavy lines!

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Another quilt by a fellow modern guild member.  This is her Chic Shells quilt that was a workshop the ladies from Sew Kind of Wonderful taught at our guild.

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Don’t you love the negative space quilting too?

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Love this red and white feathered star quilt.  Red and white quilts may be my favorite.

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Two Jo Morton Little Women quilts.

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One of these days I’ll get around to making the Jo quilts in my stash!

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And I was so excited to see a Project of Doom quilt in person!  If you don’t know about this quilt it is a free Harry Potter bookshelf paper-pieced pattern by Jennifer Ofenstein and published on her website Fandom in Stitches.  She also has a Facebook group that was started for the 2015 quiltalong.  I really really want to make one of these.  I love that the bookshelf is basically totally customize-able.  You can choose which blocks to include and how you want to arrange them.  There are also fun extras you can put next to the bookshelf like Dobby or Harry’s Nimbus 2000.  You can see there’s books galore, a cauldron, the sorting hat and Crookshanks, Harry’s glasses, Neville’s toad, a box of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, and even Hedwig.  I spent a long time looking at this one!

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The Monster Book of Monsters was made with craft fur, which was awesome.  You can see some of the book titles here too.

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I loved the quotes the quilter included as framed pieces next to the bookshelf.

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And the book on top with another quote.

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So, next to the Steampunk Baltimore quilt I shared in my last post that was my favorite at the show, the Project of Doom quilt was probably number 2 and then here is my third favorite…Tula Pink’s Butterfly quilt made with her Acacia fabrics.  Gorgeous and the first one I’ve seen in person.

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It’s basically a sampler quilt in the shape of a butterfly.  That Tula is so clever!  I really wasn’t in love with this quilt when it first came out, mostly because I’m not a huge fan of purple and pink.  But when I saw it done in her Eden fabrics I had to have it!  So, one of these days I’ll get mine started.  But this really is a stunner in person.  Beautiful!

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Another fellow guild member.  This quilt was from a Round Robin the guild did.  She had been collecting polka dot fabrics and so that’s what she requested in her quilt.  She made the center block and then each member of the round robin added a border.  Love how it turned out!

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Another guild member’s quilt.  This one I believe was from a bee the guild did a while back.  I just love how these Modrian-inspired blocks look like Rubik’s Cubes.  And that neon pink is so fab.  But the best part…

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She quilted 80’s references into the quilt – bands, movies, etc.  Love it!

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Another guild member, the same that did the Alison Glass Tesselation quilt.  Love this modern log cabin and the trapunto quilting she did that meets the show theme – not as easy to see in the photo as you can in person, but it says “Today was a good day”.

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Awesome, right?!

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More quilts in the show theme.  This one is so cool and is done in flannels.

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Here’s the explanation of her quilt – isn’t that creative?!

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Another show theme quilt, with runes.

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A Morse code alphabet.

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Love this one!  It was made by another modern guild member during one of the in-town sewing retreats I attended.

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This Clockwork Orange quilt was made by the same quilter that did the Modrian inspired quilt.  We had a challenge at the guild to choose a title of a book, movie, tv show, etc. and make something (didn’t have to be a quilt) that represented that title and then the members would guess what it is.  I love this quilt.  You know immediately that it’s A Clockwork Orange.

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A closer view of the quote.

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And look at the amazing graffiti quilting she did!

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Show theme quilt and it makes me laugh.

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Also show theme.  I really liked this one too.  She recreated her fingerprint and in between the whorls she added quotes that she loved and were inspirational to her.

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Whew!  I hope you enjoyed seeing the quilts from the show, even if this post was much delayed.  Now I’m feeling like I need to go do some sewing of my own!  For those of you in the US, I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

I am grateful for creative inspiration.