Snowflake Shimmer Quilt Along {Piecing Instructions #2}

Welcome back to the Snowflake Shimmer Quilt Along! This week we are piecing the quilt top!

Snowflake Shimmer Quilt Along

I timed myself as I went through the quilt making process, and it took me 3 hours to piece the quilt top. I know we all work at different paces, but I thought that I would try to give you some kind of expectation of the work involved for each step of this process.

Snowflake Shimmer Quilt Top Assembly

Step 1

Following the Quilt Assembly Diagram, arrange the quilt top on a design wall.

Step 2

Sew the blocks together into rows. Press seams open.

Step 3

Sew the rows together. Press seams open. Quilt top should measure 72 ½ʺ x 88 ½ʺ.

Snowflake Shimmer Quilt Assembly Diagram

Snowflake Shimmer Quilt Assembly Diagram

Tips and Tricks

  1. Beyond just using pins to match seams and points of the square in a square blocks when you can (this helps a lot!), I recommend:
  2. First piece and assemble the 11 rows of the quilt. Fold each row into quarters by first folding in half and pressing. Then fold each end of the row to meet the middle press and press again. Use pins to align the quarter marks as you sew the rows together.

Linkup #3 Winners

There were a total of 29 people who linked up with their progress for linkup #3 (1-22 via the link up and 24-29 via email). The giveaway winners are: 

  1. Lisa (14) who won a 10 small spool bundle from Aurifil, 
  2. Patty (1) who won a pattern from Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs, 
  3. Barbara (26) who won a pattern from Lorna @Sew Fresh Quilts, 
  4. and Laura (25) who won a pattern from Quilting Jetgirl. 

Emails have been sent to the winners; congratulations!

Snowflake Shimmer Quilt Along Schedule

Friday, July 1stSnowflake Shimmer Quilt Along Opens (Fabric Selection)
Friday, July 22ndSnowflake Shimmer QAL Linkup #1
Friday, July 29thSnowflake Shimmer QAL (Fabric Preparation Post)
Friday, August 5thSnowflake Shimmer QAL Linkup #2
Friday August 12thSnowflake Shimmer QAL (Piecing Instructions #1)
Friday August 19thSnowflake Shimmer QAL Linkup #3
Friday August 26th – Snowflake Shimmer QAL (Piecing Instructions #2) <– You Are Here
Friday September 2nd – Snowflake Simmer QAL Linkup #4
Friday September 9th – Snowflake Shimmer QAL (Finishing Details)

Friday September 23rd – Snowflake Shimmer QAL Linkup #5 (Final Linkup for Finished Quilts)

Finished Flimsies

I have had several groupings of quilt blocks waiting patiently to turn into quilts since early this year, and I finally carved out a morning to get the blocks pieced together into quilts. I am actually at a point where I will have a lot of finished flimsies, and I expect that September will be a full (and fun!) month of quilting and finishes. Yay!

Plus Banner Quilt

Plus Banner Quilt

First up for piecing were my Plus Banner Quilt Blocks, which I requested and received from Hive 9 in the Stash Bee back in January. The top finishes at 56 1/2-inches square, and I have one block left over that I’ll piece into the backing.

Plus Banner Quilt

Plus Banner Quilt

I am totally crushing on the corners where 4 blocks come together. 🙂

2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Charity Quilt

2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Charity Quilt

Next on my piecing to-do list were turning half of the 2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block blog hop blocks into a quilt to donate to charity (the other half are being made into a charity quilt by Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs). These blocks all have free tutorials online! Block makers are:

Top Row (L to R):

Abby @Hashtag Quilt
Renee @Quilts of a Feather
Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl

Jayne @Twiggy and Opal

Second Row (L to R):

Kim @Leland Ave Studios
Tish @Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland
Renee @Quilts of a Feather

Mary @Quilting is in my Blood

Third Row (L to R):

Carrie @The Zen Quilter
Jess @Quilty Habit
Silvia @A Stranger View

Dena @Living Water Quilter (I needed one extra block, so I used Dena’s tutorial to make this block!)

Fourth Row (L to R):

Sarah @Smiles Too Loudly
Dena @Living Water Quilter
Josi @Avocado Quilts

Sharla @Thistle Thicket Studio

Bottom Row (L to R):

Jan @The Colorful Fabriholic
Cassandra @The (not so) Dramatic Life
Chelsea @Patch the Giraffe

Jane @Jolly and Delilah

2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Charity Quilt Top

2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Charity Quilt Top

I know the color palette was not the most popular, but I am really pleased with how the quilt came together and I am excited to finish and donate it to Project Linus. The quilt top measure 48 1/2-inches wide by 60 1/2-inches long.

I am very thankful I had a free morning to dedicate to sewing these together; it feels good to have them ready to quilt!

Quilt Photography {Then and Now}

Then and Now

Leanne @Devoted Quilter has a wonderful link party open through the end of the month that she is calling Then… and Now. The premise is that we will be sharing where our skills used to be, where they are now, and linking up so that we can celebrate together. I really like this encouragement to soften our inner critic, pause, and look back and appreciate the growth we have made in our journey as quilters.

I realized the other day that I started my first quilt over 20 years ago. *gulp* That is a lot of time, and I can say with great confidence that I have a lot of skills that have improved over that period of time! The skill I want to talk about today is my quilt photography. It might seem like an odd choice, but I went from never photographing my quilts (I have many from my early quilting career that I have no photos of and will never have photos of), to snapping photos randomly, to being really proud of some of my more creative quilt finish photo shoots!

Important Note: I am not ashamed of any of the quilts or photography that I am sharing here and this is only to celebrate personal growth. I still take quick photos in dark places on occasion and I am OK with that; I am mostly just thankful to have learned how to use a camera better!

Tighe Baby Quilt - Front

Tighe Baby Quilt – Front

For instance, this is the best photograph I have of the baby quilt that really launched me into quilting on a very regular basis. It is a baby quilt I made for good friends and gifted in 2009. Bad lighting, non square… lots of things about this photograph aren’t the best. At least I have a photo record of what I made, though!

Seeing Squares - Flying Things

Seeing Squares – Flying Things

I learned that taking quilts outside (and asking my photographer husband to help) was really beneficial. This Seeing Squares baby quilt was finished in June of 2012. We were both working long hours, so while evening light here was not the best (resulting in a bit of blur from long shutter speed), it was definitely an improvement!

Woodland Creatures - Completed Quilt

Woodland Creatures – Completed Quilt

My husband and I made a quilt ladder that was helpful for some photo shoots, and I bought some nice pants hangars that have been very handy for holding up quilts when I need to photograph quilts on my own. The Woodland Creatures baby quilt was finished and photographed in September of 2012.

Lillie Mae Baby Quilt

Lillie Mae Baby Quilt

The combination of outdoor and hangars seems to have dawned on me back in May of 2013.

Whale of a Time - Front

Whale of a Time – Front

I officially started my blog in January of 2014, and in doing so I went back and populated posts for the quilt finishes that I had photographs. That, in combination with the 2014 New Quilt Bloggers Blog hop, really opened my eyes to quilt photography. Kitty @Night Quilter was kind enough to critique my blog at the time, and she encouraged me to get outside and think creatively for my quilt photo shoots and not just photograph my quilts laying on my floor… which I think is probably what prompted me to try my rocking chair instead. LOL! I have to admit that I was a bit intimidated – Kitty’s photography is amazing and she is now offering quilt photography if you are interested. However, I definitely tried to take that bit of advice to heart.

Foothills Mystery Quilt

Foothills Mystery Quilt

One of the first quilt photo shoots that I was really excited about was my Foothills Mystery Quilt finish. The contrast of the quilt to the snowy mountain backdrop was fun to execute. There were families sledding down the hills nearby, and at first I was nervous about tromping around in the snow with a quilt and a camera, but no one minded and it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.

Tessellated Leaves - Queen Sized Color Wash

Tessellated Leaves – Queen Sized Color Wash

Again, I want to emphasize that not every quilt has to have a super amazing photograph. Some quilts are really big and having a nicely lit bedroom with the quilt on the bed is OK. Some quilts are for clients and I don’t want to risk dragging them outside and getting them torn (side note: Triangle Transparency was torn on its outdoor photo shoot) or terribly dirty. But learning about natural lighting, taking a few moments to tidy the items off the bedside tables, and giving myself permission to do what works for each quilt has been a valuable and continuing learning experience for me.

I’ll leave this with a few of my favorite outdoor photographs of recent quilt finishes. And if you are interested, I highly recommend Ruth @Charly & Ben’s Crafty Corner’s Tips and Techniques to Improve your Photography (a 10 part series!). Her series gave me pause and thought about many aspects of photography and was a helpful part of my growth.

Oh, and if anyone is curious, I use a Nikon Coolpix P510 (not an affiliate link), which has a single integrated lens but some higher functions than a basic point and shoot (and more glass to let in more light). I shoot in Aperture priority (A), and my favorite trick is to adjust the white balance using the +/- quick key on the right side of the scroll wheel.

Linking up with Then… and Now.

Lucent Baby Quilt {Sunday Stash}

I have been commissioned by a friend to make a baby quilt. The nursery the quilt is being made for is going to be purple / lilac, and after reviewing options, we settled on making a baby sized version of my Lucent quilt pattern. My friend really liked the idea of starting with the fabric selection for the center and then coordinating from there, so that is just how we picked and selected the fabric. These are the fabrics that I will be working with:

Lucent Baby Quilt Fabric

Lucent Baby Quilt Fabric

Timeless Treasures House Designer, Felicity, Felicity Birds in Lavender
Makower UK, Windy Day, Birds in Teal
Lizzy House Butterflies in Purple
Alisse Courter, Make a Wish, Rosette in Aqua
Lizzy House, Mini Pearl Bracelets, Mini Pearl Bracelet in Petal
Tamara Kate, Birds and The Bees, Honey Honey in Lavender
Rae Ritchie, Foxtail Forest, Scallop Dot in Grey (Background)

Kaffe Fassett, Shot Cottons, Wovens in Lavender (Backing and Binding)

Lucent Baby Quilt Graphic Design

Lucent Baby Quilt Graphic Design

And this is hopefully what the fabric will turn into shortly!

Linking up with Sunday Stash.

One Lovely Blog & Aspire to Inspire

OLBA2I

The One Lovely Blog Award is making its way across quilting blogland, and I was recently nominated by Vanni @my odds and ends. Vanni is a very new quilt blogger (I think she has been blogging for just over a month!), so please go check out her blog and say “Hi!” Thank you so much for the nomination, Vanni, I appreciate this community so much and am excited that you have joined your voice to the online discussion. 🙂

With the nomination comes a set of rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you, and give a link to his/her blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Display the image of the award on your post.
  • List seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate (up to) 15 bloggers for this award, and notify them to let them know you have nominated them.

So, after much thought (why is this so hard to do?), here is my list of seven random facts:

  1. I have been listening to a lot of Chill Step music through YouTube playlists lately. I am especially fond of the Arctic Empire No Vocals Playlist and the Best of Chillstep Pulse8 Playlist.
  2. I love eating snow cones in the summer. My favorite flavor is Tiger’s Blood, and somehow I have only had one good snow cone this summer (I bought another one but it tasted like aspirin so I threw it away – so sad!).
  3. When I was younger, my hair was white blond. As I have aged, my hair has naturally darkened and now when I have to fill out a form that asks my hair color, I am perpetually confused about what to say. I still mentally consider myself a blond, but I suppose I now technically have brown hair??
  4. Just a few weeks ago my husband and I finally joined the 21st century and got smart phones and a texting plan. I think it’s hilarious that we are such late adopters to texting and modern phones.
  5. Recently I was able to fly in an airplane designed and built by Burt Rutan for the first time.
  6. I have a lot of favorite foods, but my husband calls chips, salsa, and guacamole “Yvonne bait”. The only other perfect food group missing from that combination is cheese. 😉
  7. I am a morning person and my husband is a night owl. I worry that when he retires and is no longer forced to wake up at a particular time that we may never see each other!
Flying in Catbird

Proof I Went Flying in Catbird

Instead of wrapping up by nominating another list of bloggers, I want to do something a bit different. Earlier this week, Diana @Red Delicious Life wrote a blog post titled Aspire to Inspire, which I think dovetails very nicely with the sentiment of the One Lovely Blog award. Diana wrote:

When I started on this quilting and blogging journey, I didn’t do it for anyone other than myself. I think that’s how most of us start out. That is still the case for me, but what keeps me motivated and wanting to try new things are those that have truly inspired me with their creativity and passion.

Diana went on to say lovely things about me, which was surprising, touching, and deeply appreciated. The quote above resonated very deeply with me, and I really want to also thank Diana for putting voice to that sentiment. I am guessing many of you quilt and blog for the same reasons she lists above. I think it is awesome what we can inspire one another to try and accomplish by interacting online.

Thank you for following along on my quilting journey with me, especially to those who have left comments on my blog over the years. Interacting and discussing and connecting with you all has been vital to my growth and excitement. So I nominate anyone who is so moved: consider this your nomination for the One Lovely Blog award. I want to extend deep gratitude to you for continuing to come along with me on this journey, and I am excited to see what we are all inspired to try next.