Finished Science Quilt: Corona

When I went to the AQS Chattanooga show back in the fall of 2015, I really fell in love with Zen Chic’s Modern Background Ink line. All that was left in the Moda both was a jelly roll. I don’t use precuts very often (mostly because I’m a pre-washer), but I had to have this one. So, what to make with a jelly roll? The answer, for me, was a whole lot of half square triangles (HSTs).

Corona | Flying Parrot Quilts

This quilt is inspired by the Sun’s corona, the superheated zone of gas (actually, plasma) surrounding the star itself. The corona is mostly visible during solar eclipses. Speaking of which, what are my American readers doing on August 21 of this year? If you’ve not made your plans to try and get to the path of totality that will cut across the entire United States from coast to coast, I strongly encourage you to do so! I’m told there is no substitute for being in the path of totality. We’ll be near Anderson, South Carolina, for 2 minutes 33 seconds of totality!

Corona | Flying Parrot Quilts

Anyway, back to the quilt: I used solids from my stash. To piece the HSTs from strips, I used Thangles so that the HSTs finished at 2″. The HSTs made up of two solids were pieced using the old-fashioned two-at-a-time method.

Making the Corona quilt | Flying Parrot QuiltsWhile going through my photos of making the quilt, I found this one of my sweet Pizzicato (whom we lost at the end of last year) playing with trimmings. It totally sums up how she used to help me quilt!

Making the Corona quilt | Flying Parrot Quilts

Then there was a whole lot of design wall (okay, floor) rearranging to get the placement just right, and then a whole lot of strip sewing and matching up of points.

Making the Corona quilt | Flying Parrot Quilts

Using my music stand for non-approved purposes.

After that, I had trouble figuring out how to quilt it, and the top sat around for a while. When I pulled it back out a few weeks ago, my husband actually had an idea that broke the quilter’s block: rays. I marked them with a blue wash-out marker on the quilt top before loading it on the longarm and using rulers along the marked lines.

Making the Corona quilt | Flying Parrot Quilts

The in-between areas are quilted with a combination of fiery sorts of fills: swirls in between the curved lines, and then flames, petals, and McTavishing in alternating rays.

Corona | Flying Parrot Quilts

Corona | Flying Parrot Quilts

Some of these photos were taken at the Sapelo Island, Georgia ferry dock while waiting for people to come off the barrier island on the ferry and hand off some scientific samples to me. I’m pretty sure people thought I was weird for bringing a giant bag full of quilts to photograph, but haven’t we all gotten some weird looks with our quilts?

Corona | Flying Parrot Quilts

The quilt is backed and bound with yardage of the same Modern Backgrounds line. I love how well you can see the overall quilting design on the back.

Corona | Flying Parrot Quilts

Corona | Flying Parrot Quilts

Corona | Flying Parrot Quilts

Quilt Stats:
Size: 40″ x 52″
Fabric: Zen Chic Modern Backgrounds Ink & assorted solids (mostly Kona, leftover from a fat quarter bundle purchased for the Disintegrating Artichoke quilt)
Batting: Hobbs 80/20 cotton/poly blend
Thread: Aurifil 50-weight, 2606 & 2150
Quilting stitches: 160,293
Started October 2015; Finished April 2017

Posted in Finished Quilts, Longarm Quilting, Science | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Craftsy Quilt Designer Fellowship

When I promised exciting changes coming earlier this year (meaning my new longarm), I had no idea just how exciting things were about to get! I am thrilled and honored to be able to tell you that Craftsy has selected me for the 2017 Quilt Designer Fellowship. That means I’ll be exhibiting at Quilt Market, the industry trade show, this fall in Houston, and it means that printed patterns are just around the corner!

If this is your first time visiting, I so appreciate your stopping by! Some quick links for you are a gallery of my quilts, gallery of my science-themed quilts (I’ve been on a serious modern science quilts bender lately, so there will be a bunch more coming soon), and my patterns (I’ve got a bunch more of those in development, too!). You’ll get the most sneak peeks by following me on Instagram. If you’d like to stay up to date on just the important stuff, I’ve started a mailing list so you can be the first to know when new patterns are released!

Celestial Orbs quilt | Flying Parrot Quilts

Gratuitous quilt picture—this is Celestial Orbs.

Between this and some other projects I’m working on behind the scenes, there’s a lot of sewing to do, but I’m so excited to share this journey with you!

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Modern Star mini

I realized I hadn’t posted the mini quilt I made for the MQG swap, so here are a couple quick photos.
MQG Swap mini | Flying Parrot Quilts

My partner mentioned all these colors as her favorites, and while I was initially skeptical, it turned out that this combination really works! I am going to have to remember it for future quilts.

MQG swap mini detail | Flying Parrot Quilts

I forgot to take a picture of the back, but it was a cute 30s print, which my partner also mentioned as a favorite.

Posted in Finished Quilts, Mini Quilts, Swaps | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Batik quilt

This is the second quilt I’ve finished on my new Handi Quilter Avanté! (The first one is lovely, too, but I’m afraid I have to make you wait a little while to see that one.)

Batik Quilt | Flying Parrot Quilts

I haven’t worked with batiks much lately, so it was fun to dig back into that stash. I also worked from someone else’s pattern for a change—this is “Four Square Lap Quilt” from Cozy Modern Quilts by Kim Schaefer (no relation).

Batik Quilt | Flying Parrot Quilts

For my first free-motion quilted quilt on the new toy, I chose an all-over feathered swirl pattern, and I was so pleased with how it came out. I think I will be using this design again!

Batik Quilt | Flying Parrot Quilts

I did learn that the combination of batiks, a batik backing, and cotton thread was not the best; I had to give up on the first 40-weight YLI thread I chose and switch to a 50-weight Aurifil, but in the future I think I will stick to polyester thread for batik quilts, as it still broke quite frequently.

Batik Quilt | Flying Parrot Quilts

In the end, the solid mint thread worked really well.

I had an extra block left over, which I pieced into the backing. I really kind of like this quilt design, too, although I also will not piece batik backings in the future.

Batik Quilt backing | Flying Parrot Quilts

It all worked out in the end, though, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. I just need to add a label, and then it can be off to its new home!

Quilt Stats:
Finished size: 64″x64″
Thread: Aurifil 2830 (50 weight)
Quilting stitches: 113,519
Batting: Warm & Natural

Posted in Blog Hops, Longarm Quilting | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

My new toy

Man oh man, I’ve been so busy quilting that life got away from me and I neglected to blog! I hinted at a big purchase at QuiltCon, and it’s arrived and been set up for a little while now. That’s right, I finally bought a longarm!

I’m not sure what the UPS guy thought, but he certainly got his workout that day.

A few days after that, representatives from the local dealership came over to set up and train me on it. The assembly took several hours on its own—first, the table.

This is clean and neat by the standards of my sewing room, by the way.

Getting the box with the actual machine head up the stairs was the worst part of this experience. I definitely got my workout that day!

So now the view looks like this!

The first order of business was to load two yards of 90″ wide muslin on the machine and practice my way through those.

I’m super excited about the ruler work possibilities on this machine. My free motion quilting is not as good as on my domestic machine yet, but I’m feeling confident it won’t take me another 10 years to get to the same level on the longarm! I’ve moved on to some real quilts now, and I promise I won’t make you wait another month and a half to see them all!

Posted in Longarm Quilting | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

QuiltCon recap part 2: classes, swap, and more!

I also had several quilts hanging at QuiltCon. It’s always so fun to see them in a show setting!

I accosted some passers-by to take my picture.

Jeweled Bracelet | Flying Parrot Quilts

Jeweled Bracelet at QuiltCon

Meeting of the Geese at QuiltCon | Flying Parrot Quilts

Meeting of the Geese was in the Quilt of the Month Special Exhibit and is featured in QuiltCon Magazine!

One of the highlights was the mini quilt swap that the MQG organized. The partner I made for unfortunately decided not to come to QuiltCon after all, so I had to mail mine ahead of time. My partner, though, turned out to be my super-talented roommate Cassandra Beaver, and she made this stunning mini for me:

MQG mini swap | Flying Parrot Quilts

I also took several classes. Hands down my favorite was screen printing with Karen Lewis. We hand cut stencils out of newspaper in this class—I was shocked that this worked, as I thought the paint would soak right through, but it worked beautifully.

screen printing feathers | Flying Parrot Quilts

My first attempt at a stencil was too detailed, and my microscopic sea creatures didn’t print terribly well (they kept losing antennae), but my feather stencil worked out really well and I printed up as much fabric as I could in the remainder of class.

QuiltCon screenprints | Flying Parrot Quilts

True story: I was feeling really uninspired after the sea creatures, and was just sitting there trying to think of something to make, feeling like class time was a-wasting. Fortunately, Karen brought chocolates, and when I remembered that, I went for a walk to the bag of chocolates. As soon as I grabbed one, inspiration struck! So, in this class I also learned that when in doubt, eat chocolate.

I’ve loved Karen’s fabrics for quite a while now, and this was probably my biggest fangirl moment. She was kind enough to take pictures with us!

meeting Karen Lewis! | Flying Parrot Quilts

Another class was Natalia Bonner’s Straight Line quilting class. Not too bad for my first time trying rulers on a longarm (I only just got a ruler foot for my domestic)!

straight line quilting sampler | Flying Parrot Quilts

I also took a handwork class from Heidi Parkes. We tried several different techniques that allow your hand stitches to show, including a shadowing technique where you put dark fabrics or thread underneath thin white muslin. I think these will be fun to play with in small quilts, and I was therefore inspired to stock up on perle cotton at the show.

handwork | Flying Parrot Quilts

QuiltCon is particularly generous in all the swag the vendors offer up…

QuiltCon swag | Flying Parrot Quilts

And of course I couldn’t resist all the lovely modern fabrics in the vendor booths.

QuiltCon goodies | Flying Parrot Quilts

There’s one more purchase I made that isn’t in the picture because it hasn’t arrived yet, but I can’t wait to show you. Exciting changes are coming!

Posted in Mini Quilts, Shows | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

QuiltCon recap part 1: Favorite quilts

I’m back from QuiltCon and here’s a post full of my favorite quilts! These are by and large not award winners, not because those weren’t beautiful, but because you’ve probably seen those all over the place already and I wanted to share some that perhaps you haven’t yet if you didn’t get an opportunity to go to the show.

C41 H64 O13 by Dia Sue-Wah-Sing

C41 H64 O13 by Dia Sue-Wah-Sing

Going Rogue by Julie Elliott

Going Rogue by Julie Elliott

This fun quilt was not in the show, but in the Aurifil thread booth. I love Aurifil thread, so this quilt spoke to me. 🙂

A Sprinkling of Stars by Josee Carrier

Caged Bird by Juli Smith

Rails by Michelle Wilkie

Pieces of Me by Sarah Maxwell

Pieces of Me by Sarah Maxwell

Leftovers #4 by Debra Jalbert

Leftovers #4 by Debra Jalbert

Measure by Melanie Tuazon

Measure by Melanie Tuazon

49 by Anne Sullivan

49 by Anne Sullivan

Square Count Game by Debra Jalbert

Square Count Game by Debra Jalbert

smoke by Katherine Jones

smoke by Katherine Jones

smoke by Katherine Jones

Detail of smoke by Katherine Jones (who also won Best of Show). I loved the way she used a variety of thread weights.

Westshire by Julia Williams

Westshire by Julia Williams

For the Watchers and Dreamers by Kristin Shields

For the Watchers and Dreamers by Kristin Shields

I Spy by Cassandra Beaver

I Spy by Cassandra Beaver

Quilt no.019: Of Discontent by Shelby Skumanich

Quilt no.019: Of Discontent by Shelby Skumanich (2nd place, Handwork)

Lime Light, Star Bright by Mel Beach

Lime Light, Star Bright by Mel Beach

Birds on a Wire by Wendy Richards

Birds on a Wire by Wendy Richards

Improv No. 2: Pho-nomenal by Kelly Spell

Improv No. 2: Pho-nomenal by Kelly Spell

Twelve Constellations by Amber Corcoran

Twelve Constellations by Amber Corcoran

Pearls on a Clamshell by Elaine Poplin

Pearls on a Clamshell by Elaine Poplin

Part 2 will be about the fun stuff I learned in my classes, etc.!

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Lleonard the Llama

I have a standing agreement with my good friend Joan (who incidentally is an amazing crochet artist with a new website!) that one of these days, we’re just going to run away to the llama farm (pending acquisition of a llama farm). For her recent birthday, I thought I’d jump-start the process by giving her her first llama.

Well, maybe just a quilted llama.

Lleonard the Llama | Flying Parrot Quilts

This is Lleonard (paper pieced from this pattern), and he’s purple to match his new owner’s favorite color. The background is a yarn-dyed Essex Linen blend, and I quilted it with a loopy yarn-like pattern.

Lleonard the Llama | Flying Parrot Quilts

Lleonard seems a little unsure about everything, but I think he’s settling in nicely after a dramatic first day in which he fell off the wall.

He’s backed in this amazing llama print I stumbled across at Gotham Quilts in New York city this summer:

Lleonard the Llama | Flying Parrot Quilts

Who else is headed to QuiltCon in less than two weeks? I’m hoping to meet lots of online friends there!

Posted in Finished Quilts, Mini Quilts | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Quilt Challenge: “I’m a Sewciopath” & pattern

My local traditional quilt guild put out a “Say it with Flowers” challenge: we had to make a quilt that incorporated text and at least three floral fabrics.

My husband and I recently read a whole lot about sociopathy and narcissistic personality disorder to better understand some people we know. As I digested the reading at my sewing machine, a little pun popped into my head.

I'm A Sewciopath | Flying Parrot Quilts

My definition of a sociopath is one who prefers sewing machines to people, and who is incapable of feeling guilt about purchasing more fabric!

I'm A Sewciopath | Flying Parrot Quilts

The design is 36″ x 16″ and the text is paper-pieced. As a result, some of these pieces are truly tiny!

I'm A Sewciopath | Flying Parrot Quilts

Text fabric was not considered to fulfill the requirements of the challenge, but I used it as background fabric. The fabric is “Newsprint” by Carrie Bloomston, and is full of lovely and affirming quotes, which makes an amusing contrast with the realities of sociopathy.

I'm A Sewciopath | Flying Parrot Quilts

I know that many of you have realized that you are sewciopaths, too, so the pattern is up on Craftsy and Payhip for your amusement!

I'm A Sewciopath | Flying Parrot Quilts

Posted in Finished Quilts, Mini Quilts, Patterns | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Finished Union Jack quilt

I’ve been part of Stash Bee for several years now, and this year I requested Union Jack blocks because I decided that my British husband needed a Stash Bee couch quilt that he loves as much as I love mine from several years ago. I finally decided I needed to get a move on and finish it because, with the possibility of Scotland seceding from the UK reopened after the Brexit vote, I wanted to at least finish the quilt before the flags become obsolete!

Rainbow Union Jack quilt | Flying Parrot Quilts

I was initially inspired by this quilt which is part of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collection. Fortunately, my husband is not too macho and so not anti-rainbow or purple/pink! I requested blocks following Molli Sparkles’ anatomically correct tutorial, because my husband would definitely notice if the flag were upside down or otherwise wrong. (I did not know that the British flag has an upside down a right side up until I got involved with him, but it does!)

Rainbow Union Jack quilt | Flying Parrot Quilts

Once I received the blocks, I had to make a bunch more, mostly in the orange/yellow/green range to bring the quilt up to a good size and fill out the rainbow. I debated for a long time whether to add sashing or not, but in the end I really liked the way the colors flowed without it.

Many of my bee-mates kindly used science- or marine-themed fabrics to make it really special:

Rainbow Union Jack quilt | Flying Parrot Quilts

I quilted the quilt with straight lines about 1/2″ across, because that seemed to best compliment the geometric nature of the flag. I used a variegated Aurifil thread in the colors of the British flag—who would have thought that I could find such a thread here in the United States?! 😉

Rainbow Union Jack quilt | Flying Parrot Quilts

For the backing, I used scraps of various London-themed fabrics I’ve collected over the years for bags and pillows I’ve made him, plus a bit of yardage.

Rainbow Union Jack quilt | Flying Parrot Quilts

Rainbow Union Jack quilt | Flying Parrot Quilts

The binding is a map of the London Underground, and I just love the way little station names and bits of the subway lines randomly pop up on the front.

Rainbow Union Jack quilt | Flying Parrot Quilts

Rainbow Union Jack quilt | Flying Parrot Quilts

Finished size: 60″x60″
Thread: Aurifil 4647, 50wt cotton
Batting: Warm & Natural 100% cotton

Posted in Finished Quilts | Tagged , , | 11 Comments