A Christmas Quilting Miracle

It’s a Christmas Quilting Miracle, you guys. Huge Secret Project (aka Metro Rings II – yes, I did make another one!) is finished. I’m still not exactly sure how. I remember quilting the first one, which took a literal month. And this one was quilted in a matter of days and finished on Christmas Eve.

Metro Rings II

Let’s back up a bit. I’ve wanted to make my parents a quilt for a while now. It was their 40th anniversary in September, and while my ducks weren’t in a row enough to make it then, I wanted to make something for Christmas.

Metro Rings II

There’s 35 different fabrics in the ring segments in shades of blue, green, and indigo with a few pops of red and orange and gold. My parents like to hike and birdwatch together, so I used a lot of botanical and bird prints. All of the fabric for the top came from my stash and I used several favorites (hello Tula Pink!).

Metro Rings II

I quilted parallel lines within the rings and almond sections but left out the FMQ. The large white segments within the rings have some petals and a little star in the middle.

Metro Rings II

The binding is Netorious from Cotton + Steel and the backing (not pictured, as it was raining) is a super wide purple, blue, and teal batik.

We opened presents with my parents last night and my mom cried when she opened this one. I’m glad she likes it, and I’m glad I finished it and didn’t have to gift it with pins in.

Metro Rings II

Finishing Metro Rings II was my December ALOYF goal and one of my Finish Along Q4 goals– hooray! It is done!

Here’s hoping you and yours are having a wonderful holiday season filled with light and love. I know I sure am!

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Metro Medallion Top

My Metro Medallion top seriously came together so quickly. The blocks themselves are fairly large (13.5 x 16.5) and it felt like I just sat down to sew a few blocks together and suddenly I had the entire top! I love when things work out that way.

Metro Medallion top

I waffled about the corner triangles, especially when I realized that the pattern directions call for cutting left- and right-facing triangles to get the neat diamond shapes and I disregarded all rules of geometry and cut all right triangles. So then I had to go back and cut out the correct triangle shapes.

Metro Medallion diamond

But it looks much nicer this way!

Metro Medallion block

And I managed to fit one entire octopus on one block. Sadly, the other’s tentacles seem to be across some sort of dimensional portal.

A Bit

It’s nice, after finishing a big project, to work on bits of things.

A bit of Metro Medallion.

Metro Medallion blocks

A bit of a label.

Metro Medallion label.

A bit of a sketch and a bit of a sweater.

Sketch and Sweater

And a bit of something new.

Something new

Linking up with WIP Wednesday.

Metro Rings is Done!

Metro Rings complete

There it is, in all its glory, my complete Metro Rings. I think this is the best thing I’ve ever made, or at the very least, the best quilting I’ve ever done.

Metro Rings quilting

The quilting, first stitching in the ditch around the rings with my walking foot and then filling in the FMQ bits took all month, but it was so worth it in the end.

Metro Rings

The grey borders are filled with a FMQ stipple, and the quilt is bound in the tangerine Modern Floral from Botanics.

Orange binding!

I’m so glad this is done; I can’t wait to give it to my friends B&G, who are getting married next month. I’m linking this up with the Sew Kind of Wonderful Quick Curve Ruler linkup. This was also my ALOYF August goal, and I’m linking up there as well!

Metro Rings

Finishing Metro Rings was one of my Q3 Finish Along goals and it looks like it’s the only one I’m going to complete!

Sew Kind of Wonderful Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Sew Kind of Wonderful Blog Hop!

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When I started quilting, I appreciated the ability to be precise in cutting fabric. When a pattern calls for a 3″ square, I can cut a precise square using rulers, a mat, and a rotary cutter. Curves kind of wigged me out because they seemed so… imprecise. Enter the Quick Curve Ruler, a tool that makes cutting curves downright scientific. The ruler has a curved slit and is marked with a quarter-inch grid as well as curve guides, which helps with lining up and trimming blocks. If the fabric is the right size and shape and the ruler placed properly, every curve will be almost exactly like every other curve. Precision!

Jenny Pedigo at Sew Kind of Wonderful kindly provided the Metro Medallion pattern and I dove right in. I cut all my rectangles and lined up the QCR and began to cut curves.

Cutting curves for Metro Medallion

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Both small almond piece and larger piece are used in this pattern, which means there’s very little waste. The curved edge pieces are cut in a similar way, but this time, the previous curve cut is lined up with one of the curve guides marked on the ruler.

Metro Medallion border fabric

Cutting fabric for Metro Medallion seemed to take less time than cutting for Metro Rings and before long, I had neat piles of all pieces needed for the pattern.

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After a bit of chain piecing, I had all my block components ready for trimming. When I was piecing Metro Medallion, NaNa suggested marking the QCR’s 1/8” line for ease in trimming. I also marked the 4.5 line on the ruler and folded my component blocks in half, lining up the curves, to mark the center of the block.

Lining up curves

Curves are nicely lined up

To trim, I lined the fold up with the marked 4.5” line on the QCR and made sure the curved seam lined up with the 1/8th” line.

Getting ready to trim

This makes sure that the curve points don’t get cut off – not a big deal in the Metro Medallions pattern, but I still want to be precise.

Metro Medallion component block

And here’s the first finished block! The pattern also has a variation with corner triangles; I’m going to sew those on once all blocks are complete to make sure colors are balanced. I’m looking forward to sewing up the top, so many of my favorite fabrics are represented. I may have to keep this one for myself!

Metro Medallion block

Please go and check out Jenny’s blog and shop. You can also join the Sew Kind of Wonderful mailing list to get news of any new patterns or promotions.

There will be a linky party on the Sew Kind of Wonderful blog starting tomorrow for any quilt or block made with the Quick Curve Ruler. The party will run through 31 August. If you haven’t tried a QCR project, I believe Elizabeth will be hosting a giveaway tomorrow! And for more inspiration, check out #SKOWBlogHop on Instagram and the rest of the posts in the hop!

Monday 18 August http://quokkaquilts.com
Tuesday 19 August www.cluckclucksew.com
Wednesday 20 August www.fromthebluechair.com
Thursday 21 August liveacolorfullife.net
Friday 22 August www.happyquiltingmelissa.com
Monday 25 August www.greenfairyquiltsblog.com
Tuesday 26 August http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.com
Wednesday 27 August www.pleasant-home.com
Thursday 28 August http://www.lucymade.wordpress.com

AND

http://msmidge.blogspot.com.au

Friday 29 August www.dontcallmebetsy.com

The bloghop is going to be followed by a ‘Curve it up’ Challenge Quilt-a-long on the Sew Kind of Wonderful blog starting in September, so join in the bloghop, get inspired and get ready to Curve It Up!

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Disclosure: this post was sponsored in part by Sew Kind of Wonderful; I received the Metro Medallions pattern for free. My opinions are my own and based on my experience with the products.

Metro Rings FMQ

You guessed it, I’m still working on my Metro Rings. I’m filling in spaces with free motion loops and stipples and it is going well!. Here’s a little sample:

I’ve also been cutting and sewing for my QCR blog hop post, but you’ll have to tune in next week for the reveal(s)! In the meantime, I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Thanks so much for your thoughts on work and craft. It seems like a lot of us are in the process of thinking on this issue and living in this tension. This week for me at least feels more hopeful; I have a game plan for some additional creating on the side of my 9-5. Within my 9-5, my manager told me yesterday that she knows I’m creative and wants to use these juices in a few upcoming projects. So my mindframe is hopeful. Here’s hoping for creative outlets for you as well!

Last night’s Arcade Fire show included Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) which I’ve been humming all morning. Yes.

Announcing the Quick Curve Ruler Blog Hop!

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The Sew Kind of Wonderful blog hop kicked off yesterday at Quokka Quilts. This is the first blog hop I’ve ever participated in and I’m thrilled to be posting in a few weeks alongside these talented, creative sewists! I’ve really been inspired by the Quick Curve Ruler and it has opened up a world of curved seam ideas. After the blog hop, there will be a Quick Curve Ruler linky party on the Sew Kind of Wonderful Blog, which will be open from 29 – 31 August. You can link up any block or project made from the QCR. And if you don’t have a QCR, there will be a chance to win one during the blog hop, so check out the other posts!

Monday 18 August http://quokkaquilts.com
Tuesday 19 August www.cluckclucksew.com
Wednesday 20 August www.fromthebluechair.com
Thursday 21 August liveacolorfullife.net
Friday 22 August www.happyquiltingmelissa.com
Monday 25 August www.greenfairyquiltsblog.com
Tuesday 26 August http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.com
Wednesday 27 August www.pleasant-home.com
Thursday 28 August http://www.lucymade.wordpress.com

AND

http://msmidge.blogspot.com.au

Friday 29 August http://>www.dontcallmebetsy.com

Here’s a little tease of one of the projects I’m going to highlight in my post in two weeks using Metro Rings leftovers.

A little QCR fun!

The blog hop is going to be followed by a ‘Curve it up’ Challenge Quilt-a-long on the Sew Kind of Wonderful blog starting in September, so join in the blog hop, get inspired, and get ready to Curve It Up! Please go and check out Jenny’s blog and shop. You can also join the Sew Kind of Wonderful mailing list to get news of any new patterns or promotions.

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Metro Top

The Metro Rings top came together so quickly! I was surprised, after all the trimming and pressing and sewing and more trimming when I looked around and realized that all my blocks were square and all that was left to do was to sew them together!

Metro Rings top

Tonight, I plan to pin baste and then I’ll start on quilting. I’ve been browsing Pinterest for DWR quilting inspiration and found some good ideas. I really like the original heavy quilting done by longarm by Jenny at Sew Kind of Wonderful but I’m not confident in my straight line quilting ability yet. This pin of the backside of a Metro Rings from Francesca Plancher is gorgeous – I love the negative space where the ring segments are. Anyone know if Francesca is the original source or if it comes from elsewhere? Google Image Search let me down.

Nearly matchy points!

Here’s another Metro Rings with great negative space use from Helen Robinson’s Instagram. I think I’m going to aim for something like this!

Metro Rings side view

Finishing the Metro Rings top was my Lovely Year of Finishes goal for July!

Cutting for Metro Rings

After troubleshooting the Metro Rings pattern, I got right down to cutting the fabric needed for the quilt. I’m using Pure Elements solids in Linen White and Ash for the background, Honey and Burnt Orange for the triangles, and a Botanics jelly roll for the ring segments.

Cutting curved triangles

Then I cut more fabric.

More triangles

Then there was a brief interlude of sewing and ironing.

A bit of sewing

And then back to cutting.

Cutting curves

I still have four curve sections to cut and then I’ll get down to sewing. I’m really liking how this is coming together! And all this trimming is leading to some interesting possibilities for the leftover bits.

Interesting Possibilities

I may stitch them together as well and see what I can make!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.