EZ Dresden Challenge

Wow, has the beginning of the semester swamped me. Now that I have a full load of coursework in addition to my MA thesis (and a part-time assistantship), well, I have a little less time for quilting. Knitting socks is going well, though even that has slowed down: I need to read on the subway, instead of knitting.

That said, there are a few things I want to point out, because the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild’s EZ Dresden Challenge has ended, and they’ve got link-ups of a huge variety of excellent projects.

Mini-quilts are here.

Innovative quilts are here.

Traditional quilts are here.

Go check them out — you’ll be astonished at the variety of quilts people constructed using the very same ruler.

Signal boosting

Do you like modern, designer quilting fabric? Consider this:

BirdsandBees-wasp-450 copy

When you sign up for the swap you vote for designers you’d like to see included. Participants will be split into 8 groups of 7 people, and each group will be assigned a designer. You get two yards of different fabrics by that designer, and cut each into 56 charm squares. Collate them AB, AB, AB, etc. and send them in! Get back charm squares representing 14 fabrics each by 8 different designers. This sounds like a win-win scenario to me.

I’ve got my fingers crossed for Lizzy House, Riley Blake or Denyse Schmidt, though I’m also looking forward to discovering new designers!

As of right now, there are 16 open spots. Come join us, and help get this thing going! I can’t wait to get cutting. :)

And, just in case it’s fallen off your radar:
Plum and June

This past week, we had posts on July 31st from Audrey, of Hot Pink Quilts and M-R from Quilt Matters. On August 2nd, there were posts by Jennifer, of GH Quilting and Danny, of MommyFor Reals.

This week, we can look forward to posts on August 7 from Liz of What I Did On My Summer Vacation and Susan, of Canadian Abroad. On August 9, we get posts from Kirsten of Gemini Stitches and Stephanie of Sewing By Stephanie.

This blog hop is a ton of fun, and a great way to meet new people, find awesome projects and get a ton of inspiration. Drop by their blogs and see what they’re up to! Even better, leave a comment — if they’re anything like me, it’ll make them happy.

I’m not up to bat until the very end of the blog hop, but I’m already thinking about what my project / mini-tutorial is going to be. :)

Blog link-ups

I didn’t really know what blog link-ups were until maybe a month ago. This week, I’m posting to two:

Lily's Quilts

And, over at Plum and June, the Let’s Get Acquainted Monday Link-Up.

Head over to either of them to get a really convenient list of interesting quilting blogs: small blogs, for the one at Lily’s Quilts, and anyone participating in the Let’s Get Acquainted at Plum and June.

The Let’s Get Acquainted Blog Hop is going strong.

The Let’s Get Acquainted Blog Hop continues! For links to all the participants, click here, or click the button on my sidebar. If you don’t know what it is, definitely check it out: it’s a great opportunity to find other quilting blogs, and to meet other people in the community, not to mention learn something new and come away with great ideas and inspiration.

The Advice for New Bloggers Series continues today, with great advice from Angela of Cut to Pieces.

For this week’s lineup of bloggers, who will be posting on the 26th and 28th, a link party and a giveaway, click the button below.

Plum and June

And, hey, if you get a chance? Thank Beth for organizing this whole shebang!

Nine-Patch Lattice Quilt

This is the Nine-Patch Lattice Quilt from Oh, Fransson!, Elizabeth Hartman’s quilting blog. I stumbled across her tutorial on how to make crazy nine-patch blocks a year or so ago and thought it was genius. So when I got the urge to try my hand at quilting something that actually had a pattern, I thought of the tutorial, visited her blog, and found the Nine-Patch quilt. The practice blocks I did were mock-ups for this project.

I didn’t end up going for crazy blocks, because I preferred the lattice effect of symmetrical squares. I strip-pieced the blocks, which made everything much faster and easier, and aside from learning that I can’t sew a scant 1/4″ seam without a guide of some kind (and even then, I sometimes manage to sew a slightly wider seam, just enough to throw things of a teeny bit overall), it went very smoothly.

I used nine fat quarters I’d picked up at a Joann Fabrics to use together. Originally I was going to use the green sheet I used in the test pillow squares as sashing, but something about it didn’t quite look right to me. So when I went down to Brooklyn General to pick up a 6×24″ quilting ruler, I brought along one of the squares, and laid it against some of the fabrics they had there. This is Kona Cotton in Navy (if I recall the color correctly: a dark blue, in any case) and I really like the way it sets off the greens.

One of my favorite things about this pattern is the back:

The little squares remind me of stained glass windows, glowing in the darker wall of blue fabric.

Where it began

Getting into quilting is largely what made me start this blogging thing up again.  And that’s largely because of quilting blogs I was reading that made me think “That’s gorgeous!” and “Hey, maybe I could eventually learn to do something like that!” Besides, it’s not as if I have a dozen knitting and spinning WiPs. I’ve only got, say, eleven or so of those.

The first project I really wanted to try was the Ninepatch Lattice Quilt. Elizabeth Hartman’s blog, Oh, Fransson! is a source of fabulous information and inspiration. Her patterns are clear and easy to follow, and I love the way she thinks.

Of course, I didn’t trust myself to do anything right the first time around, so I made a set of practice nine-patch blocks, and then, when they weren’t disastrous, sewed them together into squares that I’ll probably use as the front and back of a pillow. Test pillow

The print fabrics are fat quarters I picked up at a Joann Fabrics sometime when I was in Connecticut or Indiana, and the green is from a sheet I picked up at a thrift store in Atlanta for pretty much exactly this kind of project. I don’t think they match perfectly, but for a test swatch, I think it came out okay. Front of the test pillow piece