Posts tagged #easy street quilt

IG Quilt Fest - Week 1

Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side is hosting a month long quilt festival on Instagram. Each day she posts a photo prompt, and quilters around the world share an appropriate picture. It's amazing to see how many people are posting and the wide variety of things they are working on. Since most of my blog readers aren't Instagram users, I thought I would spread the love and share my pictures here. I hope you enjoy this peek into my quilty world.

Day 1: Introductions
My name is Bobbi Bridgeman. I live in Montana and I'm a bit obsessed with quilting. My favorite part is machine quilting, and my dreaded part is sewing the top together after the blocks are all made. I enjoy hand binding and I really like to take pictures of my quilts in the wild.

Day 2: Partner in Sewing Adventures
When I first read the title of this one, I thought she wanted us to post pictures of our pets. It turns out she actually wanted to see our machines! My partner for every stitch is my longarm quilting machine. I'm pretty lucky that my hubby graciously gave up the living room for my quilting business.
The quilt on the frame is Barbara Beller's rendition of En Provence by Bonnie Hunter. I'm quilting it all over with Hugo by Anne Bright.

Day 3: Where the Magic Happens
My office/sewing space is in the corner of my bedroom. It takes a bit of juggling to do everything on one 4' table, but I'm so grateful to have the dedicated space for my craft.

Day 4: Fast Finish
My fastest finish ever was this baby quilt. I found out the baby was a girl a week before the baby shower. It took some late nights, but I was able to turn two charm packs into a finished quilt just in time.

Day 5: Can't Live Without These Notions
My two favorite notions are my medium Perfect Scissors and Wonder Clips. The scissors are super sharp, and they're big and bright enough not to get lost when I set them on the quilt while I'm longarming. The clips are just all around handy. The longer I have them, the more often I find myself reaching for them.

Day 7: On the Cutting Mat
You may have noticed that I skipped day 6. That's because it asked for a pillow finish, and I've never made a pillow. Maybe I'll do that someday, but it's not high on my list.
So I went straight for day 7, which asked us to share a glimpse of our cutting table. Since trimming customer quilts is part of my longarm quilting service, I have to keep my cutting table clean. Most of the time it looks like this while it's waiting for the next quilt to be ready for trimming.

If you are on Instagram and would like to see more, you can find me at @snowydaysquilting. I generally keep up a steady stream of pictures of the quilts I'm longarming for my customers. If you would like to see the quilt festival or join in yourself, check out the hashtag #IGQuiltFest. All of the photo prompts are being posted by Amy Ellis at @amyscreativeside. Anyone can check out these links, so you can enjoy browsing even if you don't have an Instagram account.

Posted on March 8, 2017 and filed under Photo Challenge.

Easy Street Quilt

Some quilts take much longer to make than others. This was one of those quilts. I started working on it in 2012 when Bonnie Hunter was presenting it as her annual holiday mystery. I had only been quilting about six months at the time, and I was still plugging away at my first quilt.

I thought the mystery quilt would be a fun diversion, and she said it would be easy! It turns out that it was about equal parts thrilling and overwhelming. The idea of a mystery was fun, but I struggled to keep up. It was so many pieces, the units were challenging for a newbie, and they all had to come out the right size. I ended up falling behind, and after the reveal came out I was discouraged and put it away.

That quilt spent the next few years living in the closet while I attempted to forget about it. I'm not generally the type to start something without finishing it, so knowing it was there was a bit like having a pebble in my shoe - it refused to be ignored! I finally caved in October of 2015 and pulled it out to finish.

The first thing I did was spend some serious time thinking about the design. When I was working on it as a mystery, I went with the color scheme that Bonnie suggested. I was excited because it was all of my favorite colors. However, when the final design was revealed, it had too much of the bright green for my taste, so I needed to come up with something a bit different.

It's hard to tell by looking at it, but this quilt is actually made up of two different blocks set on point. I ended up deciding to swap the blue and green in the alternate blocks only. I'm really glad I did that, because I love the way it looks! Fortunately, it didn't require a huge amount of reworking units I had already made.

Finishing the quilt was a bit of a challenge, because the units I originally made in 2012 weren't consistently sized. Fortunately, I've gotten much better at piecing over the years. I made the rest of the units needed for the quilt, and those all came out the right size. As I assembled the quilt, I fudged the seam allowances wherever possible to make my old units match the size of my new units.

Once the top was finished, I decided to use the leftover fabric to piece the back. I love pieced quilt backs! Every time I make one, I think it's my favorite. This one was a ton of work and took me several weeks to finish. About halfway through, I decided I had lost my mind; but when it was finished, I was so glad that I stuck with it.

For the quilting, I wanted an overall design that would look great and be fairly forgiving. My beginning piecing skills meant that this quilt didn't lay as flat as I would prefer. Check and Chase was the perfect quilting choice. I love the combination of swirls and spikes, and the design is good for easing in a little bit of fullness in the quilt top.

It's easier to see the quilting on the back of the quilt since it's not quite so busy. This is one of my favorite quilting designs. If you're looking for something to put on a guy quilt, this may be just the thing. It has lots of movement with a bit of softness, yet it's not the least bit frilly.

Every quilt has a story, and the label is there to tell the tale. This one reads:

Easy Street
Mystery quilt designed by Bonnie Hunter in 2012.
I tweaked the design and pulled it out to finish at the end of October 2015.
I did the back improv style to have fun and use up the scraps.
Pieced and quilted by Bobbi Bridgeman.
Gallatin Gateway, Montana
Finished Jan 2016

I typically write the label before attaching it to the quilt, because I find it's easier when there isn't extra fabric under the label while I'm writing. Since I sew the label in with the binding, the date reflected is usually when I sew the binding down by machine. I often finish the quilt in the same month as I attach the binding, but not this time. In this case, it took about six more months for me to finally finish securing the binding to the back of the quilt by hand.

Even though it took me four years from start to finish, I'm so happy that I didn't give up on this quilt. It was great to see how far my piecing skills have come, and I love the final product. Since it's been finished, I have had it on my bed more often than not. I love this quilt!

I'm linking up with Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Friday.

350 Blocks Project: January Report

Shelly from Prairie Moon Quilts is hosting the 350 Blocks Project again this year.   The goal is to make 350 quilt blocks in 2016.  For me, it's less about the challenge, and more about seeing how much I am able to do in a year.  I have a lot of fun keeping track and looking back at what I've accomplished.  If you are interested in playing along, or just in seeing what everyone is up to, I encourage you to check it out.  All of the details can be found here, and the summary page is here.

Personally, I did not complete very many blocks last month.  My focus for the month was to complete the pieced backing for my Easy Street quilt.  I'm thrilled to say that I was able to achieve that!  Here it is, all sewn together:

Quite a few of these blocks were completed in December, so they went towards last year's count.  You can see the details of that (and a shot of the front of the quilt) here.  I completed 11 more blocks and sewed everything together in January.  That puts me behind the curve for the month, but I'm really pleased with what I accomplished. 

Posted on February 12, 2016 and filed under 350 Blocks Project.