Happy 2015 & A Look Back

Wow, January is more than half over and before it gets too far into 2015 I wanted to mention my favorite thing that came out of 2014. I joined the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild.

Since I'm designing fabric now, I thought it might be a good idea to meet some people who love fabric and sewing as much as I do. The only problem was that I got a case of the shies and never went to a meeting! I was a member for a whole year before I ever got up the gumption to attend one of their monthly meetings. I was pleasantly surprised to run into a former co-worker there...score! I had someone to sit and chat with! 

This group of women has been such a pleasure to get to know. They have been kind and welcoming and their talent blows me away every time I see their work during our show and tell portion of the meeting. 

Seeing what they create inspired me to start making my own quilts and late last year I made my first one. A Christmas present for my grandmother. She's always loved sewing and quilting and I have to laugh whenever she wonders where I got my own love for this stuff. I knew had a challenge on my hands since I also inherited my meticulousness from her! 

sweet tea pattern

I chose to make BasicGrey's lap quilt called Sweet Tea. The blocks feature larger pieces and I wanted to show off the prints I was using. Luckily I had just gotten sample yardage of my new line of fabrics called Tole Christmas. It ships to stores next summer.

I'm not one to improvise. I like knowing how it's all going to look when finished so I designed the quilt on my computer first. The placement and distribution of the colors was planned out before I ever sat down to cut the fabric. Do you do this?

Moda makes this easy to do! If you go to their site and look at the bottom of the page there is a link called downloads. You can get images of all the fabrics in a line and plan your quilts first. That way, there's no running out of one print or neglecting to order enough of another! 

So here is the result of my efforts...my first quilt! I loved the process. The pre-planning let me just sew and not second guess fabric combinations or block placement. 

Once I finished the piecing the quilt was long arm quilted by a fellow KCMQG member Laura Capello of Thread Up Studio. She did a beautiful job and I think the loopy design is a nice contrast to the geometric lines of the block. 

My grandmother loved it! She examined my piecing and binding very closely looking at how well the pieces lined up and at the quality of my hand stitching. The only thing is that she is a quilt "purist" and feels that all quilts should be quilted by hand. I love her dearly, but I'll never have the time or skills for that!

I hope 2014 was a year of firsts for you too. Happy 2015 and happy sewing!