Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Whale Love!

hi! welcome!

i'm amy dame.

(there are lots of amys in quilty blog land, aren't there?)

this is the second time i've posted for the Blogger's Quilt Festival, and the quilt that i'm sharing this time around is a little mini quilt that i made for one of my guildie friends. i haven't blogged this before, so i'm including more info than i would just for the quilt festival, so feel free to skim.

if you'd like to know more about me, i'll direct you over to the excessively long about me page, but the basics that that seem to either repel or attract folks are these - i hate capitalization, i swear a lot and babble just as much, i'm a bleeding heart lefty who's hella opinionated, i get distracted kinda easily, and i often get so excited that i bounce up and down and clap my hands like a 6 year old. (if you like me, you might find it endearing, otherwise, it's probably just annoying!)

and most importantly, i love quilting! i'm the secretary of the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild, and i'm a member of the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild. my guilds are amazing. not only are they full of incredibly TALENTED people, they're also full of incredibly AWESOME people!

do you know Sonja? she's pretty much the queen of paperpiecing. her patterns are all super fun, both the ones that she sells in her shop, and the ones that have been published. i've stitched up a few of her blocks, and recently she drafted up a pattern based on our guild logo, and i sewed that one up too.

she's also a fabulous photographer, and takes pictures at all of the VMQG meetings. a few months ago, some of us decided to submit quilts for the Modern Quilt Guild Showcase at the International Quilt Festival, and Sonja very helpfully took pictures of our quilts for us. at the time, i kind of spaced on thanking her properly, so i had it in my head that i should make her a little something. i was thinking pincushion, or needlebook, or pouch, but somehow it turned into an actual quilt!

whales mini quilt

ever since Sonja updated her blog, Artisania, with a new header, i've been in love with the little whale on it. i think it's part of a future pattern idea of hers (she's too busy designing patterns for books and magazines to finish the ones she's started!), but i just think he's the cutest thing. inspired by the mini-quilt that she made of her freaking adorable fox pattern, i thought two whales would be fun. a friend would keep one from getting lonely, right?

so i drafted up a pattern and sewed up the two whales, and added a little patchwork border around them. i embroidered their faces (twice actually, cause i hated my first attempt and ripped it out, i'd used too many strands of floss) and the little hearts between them. aren't they sweet?

whale closeup

i'm so happy with the water!! i was so proud of myself when it occurred to me how i was going to show the waves like Sonja's header does, without resorting to raw edge applique. when i showed this at guild last week, i said that it was a variation on cathedral windows, but i'm not sure anyone knew what the hell i was talking about.

basically, you start with strip of fabric that's got the top folded over by an inch or two. you tack the fabric down in multiple spots, and then curve the fabric between each spot down, pulling the fold into a wave shape. with cathedral windows, you're tacking down the corners, and then curving the fabric between them, right? so therefore this is a variation of cathedral windows.

well, in my head it is. that's amy-logic for you. i have just spent a ridiculous amount of time googling for faux cathedral windows quilts and haven't found what i'm looking for, or even as much info on the other kind of faux , cathedral windows, which is surprising, really. apparently i fail at google!

this is actually the closest i can find to explain what the hell i did - Tamiko at Patchwork Notes Hoo-Ha Pouch Tutorial, except that i just did one row, and i removed the straight lines of stitching. (as a sidenote, i just came across that pouch a week or two ago and damn, isn't it gorgeous? i'm slightly obsessed at the moment!)

i'm not quite as happy with my hearts. i was trying to make them look casual, freehand, less precise than i tend to do, but i think they might have just turned out a little bit wonky looking. hm.

whale quilting

i enjoyed echo quilting on the white, and really loved the contrast of the chevron like quilting around the whales with the curves around the hearts.

the water was quilted with four or five colours of blue thread, just freehand curves.

i used a synthetic batting, because it was the only pure white batting i had in my stash and i didn't want the cream colour of my cotton batting to show through the background. it was a bit puffier than the batting i usually use, so it added a bit more texture, which was fun.

thread tails

the backing was this pretty print, and i included two hanging triangles in the upper corners. i didn't backstitch at all while i was quilting, because it would've shown a lot on a quilt this tiny, so i was VERY thankful for Krista's self-threading needle tutorial! this picture only shows the threads from when i went back in and added the quilting around the hearts, so you can imagine how many there were overall!

so! what do you think? it's a bit of a departure from the sorts of things i usually sew, but it was so much fun to do! i'm not sure if it's considered a wall hanging or a mini quilt for the new categories that have been added this time around. opinions? have you been keeping your list of quilts to nominate, as you've been surfing around?

Amy's Creative Side

i hope you've enjoyed the Blogger's Quilt Festival! as i click post, there are 28 minutes left to enter (i'm a master procrastinator), and 620 entries! that's amazing! be sure to pop over and say a huge THANK YOU to Amy for all of her hard work coordinating this!


CitricSugar said...

Very cute!

Quilt+Bitch said...

very cute indeed. The hearts are actually cute and compliments the whole quilt. I love it. I like how you put the solid blue border and then another patch work border around it. Very nice.

Anonymous said...

I know what in the hell you are talking about, LOL!
I love the explanation. I've never done anything like this. Not really done any machine quilting and have never done a mini quilt. Hmmm... I have work to do!
It looks great, you've inspired me!

Quiltbenaco said...


Anonymous said...

Oh AMY!! You're so sweet and talented, the waves are total genius!! Thank-you so so much for the kinky love and for making me such a sweet little quilt *hugs* I love these whales, and it's already hanging up in my sewing room. :D

Ritapizza said...

What a lovely tribute and gift to Sonja! The whales in love are so adorable and the quilting and embroidery is just perfect! Thanks for stopping by Mochi Studios! I'm totally nominating this for best mini quilt!!!

Rebecca said...

Oh! This is so adorable. Thanks for sharing! I love all the different quilting. Thanks also for that self threading needle tutorial - I was trying to figure out how to do that but hadn't found a good tutorial with pictures and wasn't following the text-only instructions.

Cherie said...

That's so cute! The Whales are adorable! =D

I'm hosting a new swap over at my blog if anyone is interested please pop over for a look =D


Mrs Flying Blind... said...

I love it !!!!!!!!

Poppyprint said...

Well, I think it's totally adorable and I absolutely understood when you said the 'faux cathedral windows thingy'! Thanks for the tute shout out Amy. I'm bloody impressed you darned in all those ends on a mini quilt!! Lucky Sonja.

Angie in SoCal said...

You gave those whales such a happy character. Very cute. Thanks for sharing!

LimeRiot said...

This makes me all kinds of happy!! What a sweet and adorable quilt.

Lily said...

Hi Amy! I love the sweet whales and you did do an awesome job on the water! Thanks for your comment on my BQF blog. Good luck with the rest of your Outfoxed stash! Lily.

felicity said...

Whale love indeed. So sweet, Amy!

Sonja said...

Umm, that would be LINKY love LOL!!

Eileen said...

Lots of personality - really wonderful job!

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