Sunday, December 2, 2018

NEW Favorite LQS and NEW Project! Modern Baby Clam Shell Quilt

Okay, so the advice I got from you all from my last post was pretty evenly split down the middle between quilting another charity quilt for more practice versus attempting to custom quilt my Paint Me a Story bear paw quilt with my current skill set.  So last week I quilted nothing in real life and designed a compromise project in EQ8 software instead.  

The new project will be more interesting to piece than what I'd choose for a charity outreach project, but not nearly as complex as any of my WIPs that are anywhere near quilting stage.  This baby quilt is intended as a gift for baby whose arrival is anticipated within the next week, so that gives me a built-in "deadline."  [Just so we’re clear, that deadline is December of 2036.  I hope to finish the baby quilt before the baby turns 18].  Baby quilts are really perfect for developing custom quilting skills because if it looks great, the recipient will love it -- and if it DOESN'T look that great, no one will notice because everyone will be gushing over an adorable BABY! 

Behold, my new Modern Baby Clam Shell Quilt design:

Modern Baby Clam Shell Quilt, 40 x 40

Have I told you guys lately how much I love designing quilts in EQ?  And no, they don't pay me to say that, either (unfortunately!).  These clam shells will finish at 9.5" x 9.5", perfect for showing off large scale prints -- and perfect for piecing together relatively quickly, curved piecing challenges notwithstanding.  
I chose this size clam shell because I already own this set of 9.5" clam shell acrylic templates:

Once I'd come up with this design I was so excited about making the quilt that I dragged my husband with me, in rush hour + holiday shopping traffic, to a quilt shop that is 37 miles away and located across the street from the giant Concord Mills outlet mall.  

Inside We're Sew Creative in Concord, NC
I hadn't been to this shop in years since it's a 40 minute drive even without traffic, but my husband thought the traffic would be even  worse if we went to my usual shop (Sew Much Fun in Lowell, NC, near Gastonia).  The two stores are about the same distance away from me but in opposite directions, and Bernie correctly anticipated that the heaviest traffic would be going in the opposite direction from us if we went to the store in Concord rather than to the store in Lowell.

And I am SO GLAD I went to We're Sew Creative in Concord, NC because, although they stock less fabric overall than Sew Much Fun, the lines they DO carry are some of my favorites -- and they also carry the following products that I did not know I could purchase locally and had been reluctantly ordering online:

I think this shop has been open for about 8 years, so it's not a new shop -- but it IS newly one of my favorites!  I will be changing my longarm needles and my applique needles more frequently now that I know I can get in my car and buy new ones any time I need them, and I am SUPER EXCITED that I can buy that gorgeous, strong, tension-friendly Glide thread in person, where I can lay strands of different colors across my fabric rather than guessing about colors that I see on a computer monitor.  I am GIDDY.

I ended up with a different color scheme for my Modern Baby Clam Shell quilt than what I originally designed in EQ:

My Real Life Selections for the Modern Baby Clam Shell Quilt
When I start out designing a quilt in EQ, I generally use fabric from a "virtual stash" -- images that are already loaded into the software's fabric library.  However, most of those fabrics do not exist "in real life" in my stash.  So, once I have my basic design, I look at real fabric that I own already or that is currently available for me to purchase, import those fabrics into my EQ8 software, and then recolor the design and do any additional tweaking until I'm happy with the way everything looks on my screen.

Modern Baby Clam Shell in Grunge Sky with Painted Garden Layer Cake
I selected fabrics for this quilt with the new momma's personality in mind.  I was smitten by Crystal Manning's Painted Garden collection for Moda and picked up that layer cake first for the print clam shells:

I like the bold colors and "painterly" style of these florals especially, and the scale of the prints is perfect for my oversize clam shells:
10 Inch Painted Garden Layer Cake, Same Size as My Cut Clam Shells
I chose Moda Grunge Basics in Sky for my background fabric rather than the pale gray/white I was originally thinking of for two reasons.  First, this is a baby quilt and babies are messy.  Pale pastel and white baby quilts get stained and dingy looking very quickly, wheres bold, brightly colored fabrics continue to look good even as they fade from frequent laundering.  Second, there is a lot of hot pink and red and florals in my layer cake, and I wanted a background fabric that would tone down the hyper-girly-pink vibe a bit:
Moda Grunge Basics in Sky
I'll be using Kaffe Fassett's Rose Clouds fabric in Mint Green for my backing.  This is one of those fabrics that didn't wow me when I first saw it online, but it's FABULOUS in person.  The style of the rose print complements the Painted Garden layer cake print beautifully, but in a much larger scale that will look fantastic as the reverse side of my baby quilt.

Backing Fabric: Kaffe Fassett Rose Clouds in Mint Green, FreeSpirit Fabrics
Finally, for my binding, I'm using the same fabric I used on my Tabby Mountain Disco Kitties quilt earlier this year, Tula Pink's All Star Stripes in Peony.

Tula Pink's All Star Stripes in Peony, FreeSpirit Fabrics
(By the way, I'm including Etsy and Amazon (affiliate) links for y'all's convenience for all of my fabric and thread picks, but PLEASE support your local quilt shop if you're lucky enough to have one that caters to your taste!  Online shopping has come a long way for sure, but there's nothing like dragging bolts of fabric around a quilt shop in person and those quilt shops are precious treasures!)

I'll be quilting this with Glide monofilament polyester thread in color #37457 Cloud, which is a really close match to the Grunge-Sky background fabric.  That will help to camouflage the wobbles that are to be expected when learning new skills, and I know from experience that Glide thread is beginner friendly and easy to use with my longarm machine.  I even doodled some quilting ideas on my iPad last night:
Possible Quilting Design
Of course I have no idea whether I actually own the right curved quilting rulers to actually quilt that design, but I like the idea of it!  I'm considering a machine embroidered monogram in the center circle, but not 100% sure about that yet.

...And yet, with all of this designing and fabric shopping and quilt doodling, no actual sewing has been done...  Well, my main sewbaby, the 'Nina 750QE, was in the Bernina shop for her annual Well Baby visit last week, and I'm juggling several interior design projects for clients, just finished up a class I've been taking, and oh yeah -- only 23 days until Christmas.  I haven't even set foot in my studio.

And yet, on this first Sunday of Advent, what I think I'd most like to work on is my Jingle BOM quilt:

2013 Jingle BOM, Designed by Erin Russek, Hogging My Design Wall Since Late June
Two reasons: First, I need to get Jingle off my design wall in order to use the design wall for laying out my clam shell project.  This quilt has been mocking me from my design wall since late June, and I've been pointedly ignoring it.  Second, well...  Wouldn't it be fun to put an actual CHRISTMAS quilt on my frame to work on during Advent?  

And so, because I am a crazy person who likes to torture myself with unnecessary stress and anxiety around the holidays, I hereby declare that:

Finishing My Jingle Quilt Top is My OMG (One Monthly Goal) for December!

I'm linking this post with the December OMG linky party over at Elm Street Quilts, and I'm also linking up with:


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I will love to see your Jingle Bell quilt finished - please post photos along the way will love to see them. You Can Do It!!! love the clam shells too and sounds like you are lucky to have quilt shops - I found out we have one small one now about 25 to 30 miles from me but have heard nothing good about it and haven't bothered to drive over to see it mainly from what I hear is the weird hours they keep - sounds like they open when they want and close when they want - really how is anyone supposed to know if they are open without calling in advance - not for me I will stick with on line and drive 1 1/2 hours when I really feel like it - which I normally do not if I really want to feel the fabric before I buy :(

Ramona said...

I’m excited to see Jingle finished! This drew me in a long time ago. I made a quilt with the painted Garden line this past summer and was really happy with it. It went to a friend newly diagnosed with cancer. Good luck with your projects! I’m cheering you on to the finish line.

Sharon - IN said...

That sure sounds like a fun shopping trip. I love what you selected for the baby quilt. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with Grunge! Good luck on finishing up Jingle - perfect reason to do so to make room for the baby clam shell!

Gretchen Weaver said...

I really like the clam shell pattern you designed. It is going to be lovely!

Patty said...

Pretty quilt top! Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilt One Monthly Goal and good luck on your project.

chrisknits said...

I visited that shop a year ago while on a trip with my husband. I was basically ignored for the the entirety of my visit. I was left standing at the register so long I just about walked out! Looks like you had a better experience than that. Can't wait to see the baby quilt!! Get going with it already. LOL

KaHolly said...

Wow! I absolutely love it and truly can’t waiy to see the completed project. This was a delightful read! Good luck with your OMG! That’s a biggie! I was always smitten with that quilt along, but not much for applique work, so I just admired it from afar.

Louise said...

Drooling over your fabric choices for the baby clam quilt! Luscious :)

Andree G. Faubert said...

Hi Rebecca, that's going to be one lovely baby quilt. And they are perfect for practicing on! Good luck!

Susie H said...

Love the clams!

dq said...

I sure hope you get your Jingle BOM done this month because it is exquisite. Your workmanship is to die for - perfection! I am in love with this quilt!