Friday, May 27, 2011

The 2nd Craftopotamus Quiltaway!

One year ago today... 

I started a blog named Craftopotamus.

Time sure does fly.

Over 41,000 pageviews, over 400 followers, a couple dozen features, 3 Blogger's Quilt Festivals, and 2 semesters of grad school later, I'm still in it and loving it.

In celebration of creating, blogging, and all of the wonderful people I have met along the way, I am giving away another quilt.

This one, in fact.  It's called Urban Utility I.  That's partly because it was based off of the City Tracks pattern in Cherri House's City Quilts book and partly because some of the colors and quilting remind me of those utility blankets that are used for moving furniture.  And the "I" is because I am working on "II" as we speak, but I'll be keeping that one for myself.  :)

This quilt is my first foray into solids and I have to say, I am hooked.  I bought myself a Kona solids card and haven't looked back. 

It's also the first time I've done any straight line quilting that wasn't done by hand.  It is crazy to me that I have been quilting for almost 6 years, I've done tons of meandering quilting and designs, but have only just now bought myself a walking foot with a guide.  It's almost embarassing!  The finished quilt measures roughly 58" by 75" and is made with all cotton fabrics and batting.

I tell you, I just love this creative journey and having such a great way to share it.  Every day I am amazed by the warm and genuine bloggers I have found on my journey and am continually inspired by YOUR work.  The talent you all have is amazing.  And thank you for following along with me, even when grad school gets the better of my time.

So, are you ready to hear the Quiltaway rules?  They're pretty simple.

You have 5 chances to enter.  Each comment is considered an entry (no more than five per person):

1. Leave a comment about this quilt or what you might do with it if you win it or about what blogging has meant to you.

2. Become a follower.  Just leave a comment, whether you're a new follower or old, just saying that you are one.

3. "Like" Craftopotamus on Facebook and leave me a comment here to let me know you did (or that you already have).  Follow the button for a quick link...

4. Share this post or the Craftopotamus link to this post on your Facebook page (and then come back here and leave me a comment saying you did.

5. Blog about this quiltaway or post one of my buttons (located in my sidebar) on your blog.  Let me know which you did and post the link in the comment.

Please make sure there is a way for me to contact you by email!  This quiltaway will run from now through Thursday, June 9th at 9:00pm.  The winner will be drawn by random number generator and announced Friday, June 10th at 9:00am.

I'll be linking this quilt up to lots of my favorite link parties including Amy's Sew & Tell and Met Monday... be sure to check out my newly remodeled Link Parties tab and all the awesome inspiration you can find at all of these parties - you won't regret it!

GOOD LUCK!!  I hope YOU win!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fresh Out of the Dryer

There is little better in life than pulling a fresh quilt out of the dryer.

The second Craftopotamus Quilt Giveaway is just around the corner.  Are you ready?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Craftopotamus is on Facebook and Another Quiltaway!

Craftopotamus now has a Facebook page!  Click on the button below and "like" the page to follow via FB!

Meanwhile, it is pouring here today!

Good thing I have some binding to work on for the quilt I am giving away on Friday...

Oh, did I forget to mention that I am giving away another quilt on Friday?  Opps!  Silly me.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dreaming in Blue and Green and Grey

Do you know that feeling where you are pretty sure that you couldn't possibly think about something more than you already have?  Where some small part of you knows that you have gone down the rabbit hole of over-thought and is lost?

That's where I'm at with these blocks.  They have been arranged and rearranged and rearranged again, starred at until I was cross-eyed, trying to find just the right balance of color.

So far, I am enjoying my foray into solid-color quilts.  I may even have plans for another.

AND, my Recycling Blues quilt was featured over at Marvelously Messy yesterday... you can check it out here!  I feel like I've been following Missy FOREVER... love her creativity and her blog!

Friday, May 13, 2011

"Folding Screen" - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Amy's Creative Side

Hooray!  The Blogger's Quilt Festival is here again!  And I finished my latest quilt just in time. 

It's called "Folding Screen," because that was what I was going for... a Japanese folding or rice paper screen.

Originally, I had contemplated several different patterns for this group of fabrics that I collected over time, but they all involved cutting up the fabrics too small to make good use of all of the bold prints. 

So, I took a different (for me) tactic and thought about what kind of pattern I could come up with that involved large pieces, including the panel and a bunch of fat quarters.  I chose grey for the "structure" of the folding screen because it worked well with all of the purples and pinks and I thought that black would be too much.

The fabrics themselves led me to the idea of trying to recreate the geometry of a folding screen.  And the fabrics also dictated the quilting designs as well.  I pulled the design from the swirls in the water in this fabric.

Here it is from the back...

Someone's always trying to get into my photo shoots.

This quilt has really helped me see that a quilt does not have to be complicated to be pretty and that the fabrics should really dictate a quilt.  That probably doesn't sound like much of a revelation, but I have a way of complicating things when left to my own devices.  :) 

The final quilt is 88" by 104" or roughly for a queen-size bed.  I made it for my sister and her husband and hope they'll enjoy it for years to come.  And I hope YOU enjoy the rest of the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

I'll also be linking this up to many of my favorite Link Parties, including Met Monday!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Recycling Blues" - Revisited and Revamped

I originally finished and posted this quilt about a year ago.  I designed it around the idea of using blue fabrics from my stash in addition to some upcycled fabrics.  The quilt includes some upcycled work shirts belonging to my husband, some old jeans and a bunch of non-standard quilting fabrics.  Unfortunately, one of those fabrics in particular did not work out as planned.

See that shiny fabric (roughly in the center)?  The one to the left of my husband's initials from his work shirts?

It was a Chinese brocade made of polyester/nylon.  I knew it probably shouldn't have gone in the dryer, but... well... sometimes these things just happen.  And sometimes they happen more than once.  I didn't realize when I made it that it would become the house favorite and greatly abused.  It has been used as a picnic blanket, a throw, a dog bed, it's gone camping...

 ... but the dryer has destroyed that brocade and, clearly, it needed a rework.

But what to do?  How do you fix an old quilt?  I really didn't like the idea of trying to somehow replace all of those pieces.  Should I try and patch it?  Then I thought about how hideous a patch would be.  And then I thought some more... and realized that an applique is basically a fancy word for a "patch."  Eureka!

So, I carefully went over the quilt and marked every troubled seam and tear with a pin (and made them really obvious so I wouldn't miss any).  Then I dug out the only applique template I own.

After I sewed them all down by hand, I quilted over the top of each applique to help give the underlying fabrics a little more stability.  I think it worked.

Did I mention that this quilt is much loved in our house?

When I spread it out in the grass to photograph it originally, I only had about 3.4 seconds to snap pics before my son came running over to make use of it.  It sort of became a great big bulls-eye.

Oh.  And it also climbs trees.

And just a reminder... the Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy's Creative Side, starts on Friday!  I'll be working into the wee hours to finish another quilt by then and I can't wait to see what everyone else will post!

Amy's Creative Side | Bloggers' Quilt Festival

I'll be linking this up to all the fun parties on my Link Parties page including Met Monday! Check 'em out!