Moda Bella Solids Challenge

Back in February when Moda announced their Bella Solids Challenge, I immediately knew I wanted to participate. I had a rough idea come to me, which I sketched out, then got to work. The colors they chose were a real challenge…. more so than coming up with an original idea. They are SO bright and not my normal style (there’s no pink or aqua and definitely orange, yellow, red, purple, and lime green).

The parameters for the competition were to create a modern, 72″ x 90″ finished quilt, using all 12 colors in an original design. I have always loved the Dutchman’s Puzzle traditional quilt block. I love it even more because my husband’s family has a huge Dutch heritage on both sides. I wanted to do a spin on the Dutchman’s Puzzle block and make a minimal quilt. Nothing feels more Modern to me than a minimalistic quilt. It takes a huge amount of restraint to go minimal. It is so much easier to overdo things than to hold back.

In this quilt, which I named Dutchman’s Dilemma, there are several iterations of the Dutchman’s puzzle block with some elements omitted. I am so proud of this quilt, even though it did not win. I had Marion McClellan quilt this in a “graffiti” style to help add movement and fill in the blank space that I intentionally left knowing Marion would fill it in with amazing motifs. She blew me away. Some have asked if I’ll choose to enter a competition of this kind again. At this point, I am not sure. It was a process that caused me to grow, but also was really hard to get the box of shame back in the mail. For now, I’m glad I participated and hope to make this quilt again out of fabrics of my choosing and maybe release a pattern for it in the future.

Monthly Minis

IMG_1364

Growing up, my mom had these fun little cross stitched pillows (we’re talking maybe 4″ x 5″) that corresponded with each month. They lived in a drawer and my two sisters and I went through a phase where we would fight over who’s turn it was to change the pillow. It was such a fun part of my childhood that I wanted to do something similar in our home. Since I don’t cross stitch and do quilt, I decided to make monthly minis. I started with September back in September 2015 and I just finished the rest today. I couldn’t make up my mind for a few months last year, so we were mini-less! That has been rectified and I feel really relieved. I have taken a photo of each month (and a few extra bonus minis I’ve made as well), and I’ve done my best to link to where you can find the pattern should you feel so inclined to make one. 🙂

JANUARY:IMG_1368

Mrs. Snowman complete with french knot snowflakes. I used Lori Holt’s #mrsnowmansewalong on instagram for these instructions.

FEBRUARY:IMG_1367

I used Cluck Cluck Sew’s free heart tutorial. In hindsight, I would’ve added a small-ish border.

MARCH:

IMG_1369

I used the clover part of a Splendid Sampler block and added a simple border to enlarge it. The multi colored polka dot was just too perfect to pass up for this one!

APRIL:

IMG_1370

Camille Roskelley’s Mini Raincheck was perfect for my April vibe. (She has it free on her site and has for awhile). I used Desert Bloom by Sherri & Chelsi and added on borders instead of making more blocks to enlarge it.

MAY:

IMG_1371

May flowers were perfect for this mini. This was actually my very first attempt at free motion quilting. I had zero practice and just went for it. This is Camille Roskelley’s Flower Patch in Hello Darling.

JUNE:

IMG_1372

Ice cream cones were a must for June as it usually starts getting very hot in Utah. I found a free Single Scoop paper pieced pattern and repeated it 4 times.

JULY:

IMG_1373

For the 4th of July, there is a big hot air balloon event held each year in a neighboring city. It’s been fun to go with our kids, so a patriotic hot air balloon fit the bill. This is Alli Jenson’s Rise pattern with some modifications to add in the stars.

AUGUST:

IMG_1375

This is a cheater because my sweet mom made it for me. August was a month I just couldn’t pin down and she surprised me with this adorable watermelon. Isn’t it perfect?!?!

SEPTEMBER:

IMG_1376

September is a simple 6″ maple leaf block on repeat 4 times. There are plenty of great tutorials if you search the internet for one. Our leaves change big time here in September and we see all shades, just like this mini.

OCTOBER:

IMG_1377

October is a patchwork pumpkin from Lori Holt’s Farmgirl Vintage book with some fun jack-o-lantern applique I added at the last minute.

NOVEMBER:

IMG_1378

This is Lori Holt’s “Tom Turkey” block, before he was modified with actual legs. I love his skinny little embroidered legs. It reminds me of hand turkeys we all draw around thanksgiving.

DECEMBER:

IMG_1379

I made a present for December not to remind us all about presents at Christmas, but to remind us that Jesus Christ is the greatest gift we’ve ever been given. Maybe as my kids grow up, we can have some nice chats about that. This was a free Kate Spain pattern called Flurry.

BIRTHDAY:

IMG_1380

Each time a family member has a birthday, I try really, really hard to remember to put out this special birthday mini. This is once again a free Lori Holt pattern. I omitted the ribbon around the cake stand.

OLYMPICS:

IMG_1381

If you’re new around here, then you missed my Olympics obsession. They’re just my favorite. I have this free mini pattern available on my site. Yes, it will only be used for a few weeks every 2 years, but it is just way too much fun to not have for my mini stand!

Now for the question I am certain will be asked. How do I display my minis? I have a cute little mini stand I purchased on line.  I then put a small hanging sleeve on the back and slide it into the mini holder. It works great and sits on top of my piano for all to see.

 

How to: Make a Quilt Feel More “Manly”

IMG_1148

 

First and foremost, this is just my opinion on the matter of “manly” quilts. I have two sons and zero daughters, yet I gravitate mostly towards PINK pink pink pink pink with a little aqua thrown in for good measure. I challenged myself this year to make at least one quilt that I would consider manly enough to proudly place on either of my son’s beds. Yes, there is nothing wrong with pink quilts on beds. Nothing at all. However, I just can’t seem to step away from more feminine colors and patterns.

I have had Samantha’s (Aqua Paisley) Cherry Tree Lane quilt on my list since last December when she hosted her quiltalong. Life was just way too crazy with my own holiday sewing and binding for others that I couldn’t participate. I looked in my stash and realized I only had 1 jelly roll and it was the cool colorway of Blueberry Park. I took it as my sign that this was to be my attempt at a “manly” quilt.

timthumb

I wouldn’t necessarily consider a trellis style quilt to be very “manly”, but I decided I was up for the challenge. I’ve included Samantha’s cover image from her pattern as a reference. Isn’t it such a stunningly beautiful quilt?!?! Here is what I did to make it feel more “manly”:

1- I used a light gray background to help darken the sashing bits. I do love white and the crisp, clean look it gives, but for a masculine quilt it is a great opportunity to use something other than white.

2- I ended up doing away with the horizontal sashing once I laid it out. I just LOVED the look that was achieved when I took the extra sashing away.

3- Had I sashed the quilt further, I was planning on continuing the same navy blue setting stones I had used in the middle of each block and decreasing the size of the sashing to be similar to the smaller sashing. Getting rid of the scrappy element helps to make it feel more masculine. (Check out Samantha’s “Bert” version of this quilt on Instagram. Having never seen this version, I realized after I planned my changes that she and I were on the same wavelength!)

4- I wasn’t afraid of flowery fabric!! There are still flowers and other more feminine motifs in the Blueberry Park range, however, one can achieve a masculine feel even with flowers!! Don’t shy away from something just because it has flowers in it.

5- I plan on quilting it in a more masculine motif as well. You’d be surprised how much this can change the look of a quilt. The motif I have chosen was recommended by Kaylene Parry (@quilterlove66) and has circles and lines that reminded me of something my older boy would choose, if I left such decisions up to him. Once it’s quilted and bound, I’ll come back and update this post with more photos.

While I do have a buffalo plaid quilt that I made late last year and we LOVE it, I am so thrilled that I challenged myself to make a “manly” quilt that maybe isn’t so obviously manly. What do you think? Did I achieve a “manly” look and feel? What are your favorite things to do to make quilts feel more masculine?