Saturday, March 19, 2016

Project QUILTING Season 7: A Goose in the Monkey Wrench

Today I am writing about my second time participating in one of the Project QUILTING weekly challenges. The theme for this challenge was "A Goose in the Monkey Wrench." Participants had to incorporate at least one monkey wrench (aka churn dash) block and at least one flying geese (or singular goose?) block.

I present to you: It's a Goose, It's a Monkey, No...It's QUILT GIRL! This finished project measured 24" x 24" and is double sided. Well, kind of. The back is not as cool as I had imagined in my mind. Partially because I am not good at math. Here is a shot of the back:

The upside to this piece is that I finally got to use the Quilt Girl by Whistler Studios fabric I had impulse bought during a 24 hour sale on Also, I put to use the awesome book, Farm Girl Vintage by Lori Holt, that I purchased from my local fabric shop, Ginger Threads. You see, I had never actually made a monkey wrench block or flying geese, so this book had patterns for each. Except they were called "Churn Dash," and "Furrows Block," FYI.

This is really only probably the fourth thing I have quilted, unless you count an oven mitt and some casserole carriers I made as Christmas gifts, so all of this is new to me. Here is what I learned:

1. I stink at spacial relationships and math. Multiple times the blocks I made were off because of some mystery reason, and a few times they were off because I didn't take the time to draft an actual pattern or blueprint for this project and miscalculated.

2. In the future, I should actually make a rough draft or pattern of my design before starting. I am impatient, and I get excited about my ideas, so I didn't want to take the time to actually plan out what I was doing on paper. It ended up hurting me several times.

3. I REALLY need to take a free motion quilt class. Even if it's online. Or read a book. I don't know what I am doing, but I will pretend that the haphazard quilting and varying stitch lengths are because of my artistic license and free spirit.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my project.  I hope you might join me the next time these challenges come around. This was the final challenge for this particular series of Project QUILTING. To learn more about it, visit  I liked these quick challenges because I was able to stop procrastinating about sewing due to the short deadlines, and I was motivated because of the chances to win cool prizes. Thanks so much to Kim at for putting these fun challenges together!

I intended for this quilt to be a wall hanging for my artist/sewist/quilting studio, but it will probably end up being a drool soaked baby blanket.

I thought these mini blocks were going to be so cool...but they ended up all wonky. PS. 6 inch blocks are super tedious.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Project Quilting Season 7: Through the Eyes of a Child MY FIRST CHALLENGE!

My 8 year old daughter (and dog lover) is always begging me to teach her to sew. Normally, I am too impatient and too much of a control freak to give her a chance...however, I happened to stumble across a post on Facebook from Persimon Dreams about a quilting challenge that was happening called Through The Eyes of a Child. The wheels started turning. I had the idea to combine my daughter's love of dogs, drawing, and her desire to learn to sew into a fun project we could do together! I hope you enjoy this piece of work from Bloomington, Indiana. I am thankful to Persimon Dreams for giving me the motivation to quit procrastinating about quilting (the whole process took me 24 hours!) and the opportunity to bond with my beautiful daughter.

First, I had her decide on something to draw for me to to turn into a quilted piece of fabric art. Of course she chose our dog, Tessa, for the subject matter.

I found a charm pack from Free Spirit Fabrics which I purchased a few years back from Fat Quarter shop and hadn't used yet to piece some brown fabric together to be the form for Tessa's head and body.

Then, I had Molly redraw Tessa on top of the squares I had pieced together, and I cut it out. Next, I used some fusible interfacing underneath to make a 3d effect.

After that came my least favorite part: applique. Applique was a requirement for the challenge, which is unfortunate, because I am not very good at it at all. Nevertheless, I ended up with this:

After I had appliqued the fabric Tessa onto a fat quarter I had purchased from Ginger Threads, my favorite local quilt shop, located in Bedford, Indiana, I basted and quilted the top using free motion quilting. Again, not really skilled at FMQ, but my daughter wanted me to do it that way. It actually went fairly quickly.
Next, I added binding using my machine. I was really liking how it looked.

My daughter loved it. Even my husband was impressed. Before she went to bed, my daughter actually hugged it!
My two helpers

The inspiration, the artist, and the finished project.