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RJR What Shade Are You? Blog Hop

Dreamer's Star Quilt

What Shade Are You? Blog hop

Hi!  I’m Joanna Marsh from Kustom Kwilts.  I live in the Texas Hill Country with my husband and baby girl.  I have been so captivated by all of the #whatshadeareyou projects and the RJR Cotton Supreme Solids, and I’m so excited to share mine with you on the RJR blog today–The Dreamer’s Star Quilt!  You can check out my instagram @kustomkwilts to see what I’m up to.  I’m so excited to be featured on the RJR blog today with their amazing cotton supreme solids!  Check out the What Shade Are You? posts for some amazing inspiration here.

Dreamer's Star Quilt
Dreamer’s Star Quilt in RJR Cotton Supreme Solids

A little background on what brought me to quilting: In my previous career, I was a high school agriculture science teacher.  My principal’s secretary was a quilter, and I mentioned to her that I was interested in starting to sew.  I remember her telling me the secret to quilting was a consistent quarter inch seam allowance–and that as long as I remembered that, I’d be okay!  I found a beginner’s quilting book in my teacher mailbox one morning with a sweet note of encouragement from Donna Jo (principal’s secretary), and that was how my sewing journey began.  Both of my grandmothers were amazing seamstresses, but I had never learned to sew from them.  One thing I’ve learned about the sewing community is that it’s full of people who want to share their love of the craft with others, and I love being part of such a giving community!

In 2016, I left my teaching job and committed to sewing and quilting full time.  At my 9-5 job (really more like 5-9), I would find myself thinking about sewing in spare moments.  The Dreamer’s Star Quilt is a quilt I drew while dreaming of doing the thing I love as a career, and I knew I wanted to use my favorite pattern for the What shade are you project.  The design reminds me of the toy kaleidoscopes that produce different images just by turning the end, and how the images can be so bold and impactful.  I love quilts that have a large central design and aren’t necessarily block based.   I also remembered that when I started quilting, I struggled with selecting lots of fabrics to coordinate within a quilt, and I wanted a design that would look great with a two-color scheme, but could also make a big impact with lots of colors.  This is the original quilt that I used Michael Miller’s painter’s canvas with.

Dreamer's Star Mini Quilt
Dreamer’s Star Mini Quilt

I knew that the Dreamer’s Star Quilt would just glow with RJR Cotton Supreme Solids, and wanted to use colors that would reflect the gorgeous sunsets that we sometimes see out in the Texas Hill Country.

RJR Cotton Supreme Solids

There are so many amazing colors to choose from and I went with 11 of my absolute favorites:

292-Turks and Caicos

279-Purple Haze

274-Riviera

317-Jacaranda

391-Robin’s Egg

328-Bora Bora

422-Plum

371-Melody

333-Bougainvillea

287-Raging Ruby

378-Lilac Festival.

RJR Cotton Supreme Solids
Look at those yummy colors!

While I was browsing through the color card, I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself about the clever names of the colors.  Some of my color selections might tell you that I’m ready to take a vacation 😉

Piecing the quilt together was a breeze with lots of simple half-square triangles and chain piecing.

Half Square triangles
I love these color combos!

I love to use several shades of similar colors to create a little depth and dimensions to a quilt.  For the backing I used Bougainvillea with a strip of Bora Bora down the middle, and Turks and Caicos for the binding. I loved seeing all the colors melt together, but still be distinctly different, just as in a sunset.

Back of the quilt
Bougainvillea with a strip of Bora Bora really make the quilt back glow.

Once the top was completed, I loaded it on my longarm and quilted some simple straight lines with rulers and added some free motion accents in coordinating Glide threads.

quilting the quilt
Quilting the quilt

I love using Quilter’s Dream Wool to keep the quilt lightweight–remember, I live in Texas–but still let the quilting pop.  I had a lot of fun getting some pictures at the Cibolo Wilderness Trail in Boerne, Texas.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day and my husband and mom were my professional quilt holders.

quilt at the cibolo

Check out other versions of the Dreamer’s Star on Instagram with #dreamersstarquilt and you can pick up your copy of the pattern here.  The pattern comes with three different size options, and the color combinations you could choose are limitless!  I had so much fun making this quilt and drooling over the Cotton Supreme Solids.  Thanks for joining me in this quilting adventure, and a huge thank you to RJR for allowing me to participate and for the inspiration they bring with the #whatshadeareyou blog hop!

Quilt Details:

Pattern: ‘Dreamer’s Star’ by Kustom Kwilts

Fabrics: RJR Cotton Supreme Solids (full list above)

Backing: Bougainvillea and Bora Bora RJR Cotton Supreme Solids

Binding: Turks and Caicos RJR Cotton Supreme Solids

Quilting: Long arm quilted by Joanna Marsh of Kustom Kwilts

Finished Size: Approx. 80″ x 80″

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Churn Dash Quilt – Love Patchwork and Quilting Issue 54

Love Patchwork and Quilting Issue 54

Who doesn’t love a little churn dash quilt?  I know I can’t seem to get enough of the traditional block that basically represents butter being churned!  Have you peeked in issue 54 to check it out?  I’ll tell you a little bit about the design…

Love Patchwork and Quilting Issue 54
Photo provided by Love Patchwork and Quilting

I’m so excited to share my most recent quilt with you from the Love Patchwork and Quilting Issue 54.  I’m inspired by bright, saturated colors–and that’s typically the palette I use.  But for this quilt, I opt for a more subtle palette. The cheery sherbet colors and hints of greys that are sure to make you swoon!  This quilt- “Sorbet Shades” in the mag, is inspired by one of my favorite traditional quilt blocks–the churn dash.  This block is so rich in history and I love that it can be interpreted in a modern way.  I have a great appreciation for the traditional quilt blocks and the colors they typically have.  I also love seeing them updated in a more modern way.

One of the first quilts I made when I was learning to sew was a traditional churn dash quilt.  My mother and I gave this special quilt to my grandmother prior to her passing.  The churn dash block represents so much more to me than just a traditional quilting block.  The simplicity of the block lends itself to being altered in construction in so many ways.  The possibilities for this block are limitless!  I quilted this quilt with swirls on the white background and simple straight lines on the colored blocks.

Sorbet Shades Quilt as pictured in Love Patchwork and Quilting, Issue 54
Photo provided by Love Patchwork and Quilting

For this project, I use some delightful Kona Cotton Solids and create a coordinating pillow to go with the quilt.  The colors in these projects really make me want some ice cream and macaroons–or really any other cute little pastel dessert!  I hope you’ll checkout the issue (digital issues are available here).  Don’t be afraid to try your hand at breaking out of the traditional box to create a modern spin on traditional.  (photos above provided by Love Patchwork and Quilting).

 

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Summer Picnic Quilt

Summer Picnic Quilt tutorial

When summer arrives, I always get the itch to make a quilt.  Nevermind the fact that I live in Texas and it is sweltering, to say the least.  Also, disregard the fact that I have quilts coming out of my ears…what is that saying…you can’t swing a cat without hitting a quilt?  (Surely that isn’t the saying, but I think you catch my drift!)  So when I am thinking about making a new quilt…I need to have a reason for it, aside from just being functional to keep you warm.  I also love to sew with materials that are a little unexpected.  So I teamed up with Janome and American Quilter’s Society to bring you a free tutorial for a great summer picnic quilt.

This pattern is great for many reasons.  It’s layer cake friendly, which makes it a super quick sew.  The blocks are large enough to feature those great prints you’ve been holding on to for a special quilt.  The quilt is large enough to accommodate a family picnic at the park.  The backing can be made from laminated cotton (or regular quilting cotton, if you choose), so it won’t pick up dirt as easily as standard quilting cotton.  You can just as easily throw it in the wash as you can a regular quilt (line dry to be on the safe side).  So grab two layer cake packs and your favorite sewing and quilting notions and get ready to sew your socks off!  Follow the link to the American Quilter’s Society blog to get started on your picnic quilt.  

This is a great quilt to fold up and keep in the back of the car for unexpected outings (and if you have a little one in diapers, you can always use the laminated cotton side as a quick changing station on the go!).  

I quilted this with some large meandering loops on my Janome MC9400, and was done with the quilting in under two hours.  


Since the back of my quilt uses laminated cotton, I slipped a Supreme Slider onto the bed of the sewing machine and it really helped glide the fabric easily under the needle.  This isn’t something you have to do, but it certainly makes the task a little easier.  I tend to use one anytime I’m quilting something larger than a mini quilt.  Put on your favorite podcast/Netflix and get ready to sew up a storm!  Happy sewing 🙂 

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San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild Mini Quilt Show

The guild I belong to recently held a mini quilt show/silent auction, where the members were challenged to make modern mini quilts measuring 16″ square to show and raise awareness for modern quilting and invite people to ask questions about what our guild does.  The event was graciously hosted by Sew Special Quilts in San Antonio, where they provided space for us to show the quilts and have our meeting after hours.  They were so awesome and have a great selection of quilting and sewing supplies, so if you’re in need and in the area, please show them some love!  

I already posted about the mini quilt I made two weeks ago (the double wedding ring mini quilt), but I wanted to share the other two quilts I worked on, in collaboration with Debra–a fellow member of the guild.  
The first quilt I quilted was pieced by Debra from yet another guild member’s inaugural fabric line (Leslie Tucker Jenison-Urban Artifacts by RJR Fabrics).  It’s a great design and awesome way to showcase a variety of great fabrics.  For this quilt, I just quilted some simple contrasting straight lines.  I think the fabrics and design of the mini are more prone to show better when the quilting design is simple.
Pieced by Debra B, fabric-Urban Artifacts by Leslie Tucker Jenison
pardon the not-square appearing mini.  It really was square, but I forgot to smooth that wrinkle before I snapped this picture.  This was right after quilting and mini was not yet bound. 
The second quilt I quilted was also in collaboration with Debra.  Debra hand cut each charm square from a Grunge charm pack and fused the fabrics to the background.  I thought this was a super cool quilt pattern to use and has the illusion that all the circles are connected.  For this one I wanted to do something to make the circles stand out from the background, so I quilted a smaller grid on the fused circles and then did some straight line quilting on the background fabric.  
Mini Quilt “pieced” by Debra B. using Grunge fabrics
We had a really great night and the event was so much fun.  It isn’t often that everyone in our guild participates in “Sew and Tell”, and we had a lot of members participate in this.  Seeing the range of everyone’s quilting interests and what their personal specialty is was a treat.  
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Love Patchwork and Quilting Issue 48!

photo provided by Love Patchwork and Quilting
fabric for quilt provided by Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Have any of you ever made a goal so outrageous that you don’t ever really even consider it to be a possibility?  You might still work towards that goal, but the hopes that it will come to fruition aren’t there.  That’s exactly how I feel about this post. I always looked at the quilts and projects in this magazine and was blown away by the talent and variety.  I’m BEYOND excited (so excited I’m yelling in all caps!) to say that this quilt I submitted to Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine made the cover!  When I started sewing a few years ago, I joined the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild, and someone mentioned that LP& Q was the only magazine they bought.  So I jumped on that train.  I had never heard of it, because I was very new to quilting, let alone sewing.  I was tired of the traditional color palettes that are represented in other quilting magazines.  It was definitely love at first sight, and I subscribed to it immediately.  (And ask for it for Christmas every year!)

photo provided by Love Patchwork and Quilting
fabric for quilt provided by Robert Kaufman Fabrics

I’m super excited about the photography of this quilt!  I’ve never had a quilt professionally “shot” before, so it is thrilling to see the results (and know that I have a lot to learn when it comes to my own quilt photography 😉

This quilt is something I worked really hard on, and for a long time.  I am so thankful to the amazing people at Robert Kaufman Fabrics for providing the Kona Cotton Solids that were used to make the cover quilt, and for the opportunity from LP&Q to share my quilt!

I did some custom quilting and a little bit of ruler work on the longarm to finish off the quilt.  I hope you’ll check out the quilt in issue 48 of Love Patchwork and Quilting!  Thanks for letting me share my happy news with you 🙂

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English Paper Piecing – Double wedding ring style!

Good morning!  So many milestones going on in our household this week–our little girl turned 6 months last week (How has it already been half a year???) I celebrated my first mother’s day, started the baby on her first solid foods, and it’s my husband’s birthday this week.  Needless to say, it’s been super busy, and I feel like I’ve been to the grocery store almost every day this week.  Do they give frequent flier miles for multiple grocery store trips in one day?  I should also mention we live 12 miles from the nearest grocery store…  I’m sure you can relate to the feeling that you’re flying by the seat of your pants on household chores and checklists.  Laundry, dishes, etc., etc., but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

One of the many reasons I love English Paper Piecing is the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the process of hand sewing.  I also love combining multiple parts of the sewing and design process and planning out a project from start to finish.  There is something so satisfying in making something completely from start to finish…even if it sometimes feels like you’re recreating the wheel.  


I started by sitting down with my EQ7 software and designing a mini quilt for our local Modern Quilt Guild.  We recently had our first silent auction event and mini quilt show (SO FUN!).  Then I printed templates onto cardstock for the EPP pieces and started thinking about my fabrics.  I had a great charm pack of Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids that I had been holding onto for over a year, and thought this would be a great opportunity to use it.  I traced and cut out my fabrics, and then had to pause when I selected my background fabric. 


I knew I didn’t want white, and I really like the effect black and white patterned fabrics have with solids.  So I auditioned a few different fabric choices–I really thought I wanted to go with a black and white stripe, but I opted for a more solid-reading print instead.  I pieced together a few of the DWR pieces and then placed them on top of my background fabric choices.  Pictured below is what I thought I was going to go with, but I instead selected a Tula Pink True Colors black and white print.  Because…Tula!!!


From the basic design in EQ7 (They already have the blocks drawn up…I just sized them to fit my needs), printing the cardstock, then cutting the fabrics, I got to take a breath and piece in my leisure time.  HA.  Leisure time…You know what I mean.  The semi-quiet moments in the house when my hair wasn’t on fire 😉


Then I loaded the mini on my longarm and did some simple stitch in the ditch around the wedding rings and some loopy swirl combos on the black and white background that blend nicely.  It may seem kind of dumb to longarm a mini quilt, since you need a little bit more backing fabric than you would if you were to quilt it on a domestic, but I figured I paid for that huge machine and I’m going to get my money’s worth!  Plus, I had just taken a fresh quilt off of the frame, and I had to take advantage of it before I loaded my next quilt.  It made for a slightly quicker finish than if I’d done it on the domestic sewing machine.

I was thrilled with the results, and playing with the color gradation and high-contrast background was really a lot of fun.  But mostly, I was able to really enjoy the process and each step along the way.  I don’t know about you, but from the day I started sewing, I’ve always eyed the double wedding ring quilts.  I’m not sure I have the patience at this point in my life to see a full-sized quilt through, so this mini quilt was the perfect opportunity for me to cross a DWR quilt off my quilting bucket list.  I had also never taken the time to hand piece curves before, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be.  Really, I had built it up to be this super scary moment, when all you really need to do is take a little extra time and carefully mark the centers of each EPP piece prior to piecing it, and make sure you line the centers up while adjusting the curves.  

I hope your sewing adventures take you somewhere awesome this week, and try to slow down and enjoy the process behind what you’re doing.  I know I really enjoy the projects where I can slow down a bit and take a break from the hustle and bustle of life.  Happy sewing friends!

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Red Heart Quilt – client quilt

I recently had the privilege of quilting this gorgeous quilt for one of my clients.  The piecing is just gorgeous and the quilt was donated to a charity event/fundraiser.  I quilted the quilt with free motion hearts all over the top.  
Quilt Pieced by Debra B.

 This was such a joy to quilt–check out the close up of the free motion hearts 🙂

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Embrace the Chaos Workshop with Libs Elliott :)

Libs Elliott was the guest speaker for the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild Meeting!  It was so awesome to have her lecture at our meeting and present a workshop the following day.  She was such a fun guest speaker (and even did her workshop for us on her birthday!)  
Libs delivering lecture at SAMQG meeting

The workshop Libs presented for our guild was “Embrace the Chaos” and was a great way to discover some planned improv piecing.  I know I have a lot of trouble just winging it and creating something without any planning.  Libs’ workshop was a really unique presentation on how to create something similar to her code method without the use of electronics.  

This is the quilt top that I ended up with (after I enlarged the blocks quite a bit)…these are 12″ blocks, so it’s roughly 60″ x 60″.

I’m waiting for a small break in my work load until I can quilt this for myself, so I’ll post an update as soon as I get it finished!  

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Graffiti Quilting my Karlee Porter Panel

I know I already posted about attending the Karlee Porter workshop that SAMQG hosted a few months ago–but I really need to post about this as well!  Karlee has some really awesome panels that she designed, and if you haven’t felt them in person, they are buttery soft.  This one is called “Explosion” (picture is from Karlee Porter’s website), and if you want one, click HERE to order your own!  And FYI, this one is ginormous!  

“Explosion” printed tapestry designed by Karlee Porter (picture from Karlee’s website)



I love sewing and piecing and constructing quilt tops as much as the next person, but seriously…it is so awesome to load a quilt top and not worry about the hours, days, weeks it took to piece it.  Especially when you get to skip that part entirely.  There’s nothing better that just mindlessly losing yourself in a quilt while quilting.  This is my ultimate stress reliever.

The back of the quilt (Tula Pink wide back)


I haven’t hung this one yet, as I haven’t bound the edges, but I will update this blog post once it’s finally finished.  

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Alison Glass Ventana Quilt

I usually am not such a sucker for holiday deals and sales…but when Alison Glass had her twelve days of Christmas, I couldn’t resist.  I ordered the pattern below (picture from Alison Glass’s website) in the kit format.  And I have to say…I have NEVER purchased a quilt kit before.  I take immense pleasure in selecting fabrics and design for a quilt, but it was so nice to not have to think about those things for once.  I opened the pattern, cut up all the fabric that was sent to me, and I whipped this quilt top up in about 4 days.  

I have yet to quilt the top…I’m thinking of adding some applique to the center of the white parts of the quilt to add a little more to it, but haven’t quite decided yet.  I had allowed myself a few days of selfish sewing prior to the end of 2016, and this was the project I chose to do.  It’s a great pattern–especially if you want to just follow someone else’s instructions (the blocks are foundation paper pieced), and you don’t even have to worry about being too mindful of the piecing process.  
foundation paper pieced blocks ready to be assembled
The kit I purchased came with Alison’s newest line of fabric-Seventy Six.  I added a few blocks to the standard pattern to increase the dimensions slightly.  I really didn’t think this pattern would come together as quickly as it did, and didn’t really have a backing in mind for it when I finished.  So I just wanted to share my bit of selfish sewing for 2016.  And while this isn’t really a pattern review, I have to say the pattern is extremely easy to follow (and the kit even came with enough fabric for me to make 12 extra blocks–increasing the size from a 5×6 layout to a 6×7 block layout.) and such a pleasure to make.  

My nearly finished quilt top