Category Archives: Crumb Quilting

Secret Projects and One I Can Show

A secret’s worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept. – Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

Most of the quilting and sewing projects I’m working on are secret. One’s crumby, another’s silly, and then there’s the waiting piece but I can’t talk about any of them just yet. And yes, they’re secret because they’re special and for people whom I care deeply about. When I can show you I will.

Still, I thought you guys might enjoy hearing from me so here’s a photo of a quilt that’s not a secret. It’s another crumbs quilt, a baby or lap sized, which is in the machine being quilted. It’s super-cute with the bubbles fabric and bordered in orange and red dots. It’ll be up for sale in my etsy shop once completed.

quilting bubbles

 

Expect a reveal on each of those secret projects this month!

Tropical Starburst – A Teal Crumb Quilt for Project Quilting

Well, I’ve done it! I worked on this quilt all week long and still wasn’t sure I’d make the deadline. Entries need to be submitted to Project Quilting by 9am here in California. This week it’s a triangle challenge. So here she is, “Tropical Starburst.”

Tropical StarburstThis quilt measures 42 x 42 inches square and took me 22 hours to make. Yes, I tracked it. Why? This beauty is for sale in my etsy shop. See that listing here. The next photo is a close up of the center.

Center of Tropical Starburst

I had originally planned for the eight pointed star to look like it’s all one piece. Then I cut the center crumb square 9″ instead of 10.5″. Oops. Well, I could add more crumb pieces to that block to make it big enough. But that would make obvious addition lines and I like things more random than that. Or I could spend forever making another crumb block that’s large enough. Plan C? It’s pictured above. I bordered the block I already had in the solid teal.

I think this change actually makes the piece more interesting and modern. Plus it solved a problem that I would have had if the crumbs were all together…. quilting. Since the crumb blocks are pieced from tiny scraps of fabric there are a LOT of seams. It’s nearly impossible to quilt through them, so much so that I try to avoid it. Having the box of teal made it so I didn’t have to. The quilting lines were spaced close enough together for my batting to make it work.
Back of Tropical Starburst

Here’s the back, binding, and you can see a bit of the straight-line quilting I did. I used a single piece of fabric for the backing and a single piece of batting to stuff the quilt… this time. That’s pretty rare for me. In my next post I’ll show you how I usually piece the batting.

If your interested in this quilt, check out its’ listing on etsy. Also, expect more crumb quilts in my shop in the next few weeks.

Save Some Green This St. Patrick’s Day

Save some green this St. Patrick’s Day! All day Monday, March 17th shipping is free in my etsy shop. That’s right, free shipping! This includes custom orders, so if you have something special in mind let’s get started.

Email: mrs.megan.null@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/QuiltArtbymegan?ref=hl

Green Megan

Saint Patty’s has always been a fun holiday in my half-Irish family. Growing up we had such fun! Leprechauns would visit us. No, really! They tinted our milk green in the middle of the night.

Of course, the most fun part this holiday is the stories mom would tell. Her grandfather, Papa, would buy her a new green dress every year. He’d take her out of school to hang out at the country club with him and his buddies. When she was young, they would sing the Beatles’ song, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” together on walks. As he got older and needed help steadying himself, he’d sing it to ask for her arm.

What’s your favorite Saint Patrick’s Day memory?

Here’s a peek at an I-Spy baby quilt that I’m finishing in time for the sale tomorrow. Remember, that’s free shipping all day Monday. Spread the word!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/QUILTArtbymegan?ref=shopsection_shophome_leftnav

Strippy I Spy

That Crumb-y Pillow is Awesome!

I’m so blessed to have friends who will brainstorm craft ideas with me. This time it was the snowflake mini-group who helped me out. Soooooo… in addition to offering the super-cool letter pillows, state pillows are making an appearance in my etsy shop.

Founding snowflake, Trisha, ordered the first one so I could use it as a sample. She got a 16×16 inch square pillow cover. The crumb block is reverse-appliqued and in the shape of Wisconsin. Can you see the little heart? That’s over the city of her choice. I also hand-embroidered the word “Wisconsin” on it. Cool, huh?

Trisha's pillow cover

Here’s a close-up of that heart button. It’s sewn onto a yo-yo and is a little shiny so that it pops out and can be seen against those crumb fabrics.

city heart yoyo and buttonAnd here’s a close-up of the hand-embroidery.

one word hand embroidered

 

Trisha didn’t need it, but I also sell the pillow forms. Order from me and it’ll save you a trip to the craft store.

12 inch pillowform

You can have these be as simple or complex as you want. Just the state? Order that. The other options are add-ons for a few more dollars. What about getting a letter “J” pillow embroidered with Jaime’s name? I do custom orders! What’s your idea? Maybe a football with your team written on it, or a heart that says, “Will you marry me?”

Check out the pillow covers and more in my etsy shop. https://www.etsy.com/shop/QUILTArtbymegan

Follow me on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/QuiltArtbymegan

Coming soon: an update on the turtles and turkey quilts for summer camp, a portrait quilt of a dog and her owner, some baby quilts, and giving new life to an old quilt. Stay tuned!

Crumb-ing with Ami Simms

Look! I’m featured in Ami Simm’s newsletter!

http://amisimms.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/the-2014-crumb-quilt-challenge/

Here’s the youtube link if you just want to skip to my part:

E0l0Y

How’d that happen? Well, I went to a workshop sponsored by my quilt guild where Ami Simms was the teacher. (It was her twisted sister class.) As I usually do, I crumb-pieced blocks together as I worked instead of using leaders and enders. Ami asked about it and ended up filming my explanation. So cool, right?!?! She said that a customer asked about sorting and using scraps in the comments of her January newsletter. So, right place, right gal, right time… all of this fit nicely into the ideas that were already being formed for the February newsletter in response to that customer.

I feel honored that such a super-star quilter felt inspired by me and what I do. My award-winning quilt, “Picking Up The Pieces” even appeared in the mostly smart-phone-recorded video. What’s even cooler is that I’m helping to fill a need too. Win-win…. for the win! 🙂

Picking Up The Pieces

Prep Work

I painted my toenails just to stuff my feet into sneakers. I put lipstick on to sew in my pajamas. I do my hair up nicely to watch TV with my husband. I put a dirty fork on the counter so the sink can be empty. Aaand I cut up perfectly good fabric just to sew it back together.

These things may be a little nutty but they make me feel good. What are little things that make you feel good? I challenge you to do one of those things today.

Speaking of cut up fabric that’s sewn back together, I showed a sample of my letter pillows in this post. Well, the time has come to reveal the etsy listing. Get ’em while the getting’s hot!

J Pillow

Here are the options on the pillow covers. I’ll be adding more sizes and colors as we go. They’re envelope-backed. And yes, as part of my prep work for launching these pillows, I made sure they actually fit into the pillow form. Who’da thunk?!

  • Four background colors to choose from: Black, Beige, Grey, and Teal.
  • Buy just the 12×12 inch pillow case, or add-on a pillow form to save you a trip to the store.
  • I can do any letter, uppercase or lowercase. For now, it’s one letter per pillow.

I used Sam Hunter’s time-tracking method to help determine pricing. These pillow covers are only $35 plus shipping! What a deal.

Prices increase on custom orders beginning tomorrow, February 1st. Everything that’s already listed as a completed item in my shop will stay the same price. New items and custom orders increase by 10% tomorrow.

Challenging Myself – For The Children

I’ve been putting a lot of time and effort into improving my own head-space…. you know being very on-purpose about noticing my thoughts and behaviors. I want to become a better version of myself. Maybe even become more of myself than I’ve ever been. Clearly, this is a very personal journey…. though I’ve had lots of help along the way.

I had a bad day. I did. It didn’t undo all the progress I’ve made. I just had a bad day. By keeping things in perspective I’m able to continue moving forward. Thing is, this isn’t just for me. My mom once told me that with each generation we get better. I remember hoping that would be true but it doesn’t happen effortlessly. My reaching for higher health for myself may trickle down to future generations, especially if/when my husband and I decide to have children.

The Project Quilting Challenge for this week is up-cycling. Much of my art is very personal. You now know what I’ve been thinking about, so it’s probably no surprise that I knew the title of this piece before anything else. It’s called, “For The Children.” First, I tore photographs of children out of these Reader’s Digest Almanacs from the 70’s.

Reader's Digest

The tear-ings (not clippings) were raw-edge appliqued and bound with masking tape. In this case, raw-edge applique is code for sewn down. ‘Cause I used my sewing machine on paper. Yup.

For the Children Front

The backing for this piece is a sheet of cling-on snowflakes found as Christmas decorations. They add meaning because I made and donated snowflakes when the Sandy Hook Elementary School reopened after the shooting. Plus we’re each a unique and beautiful snowflake but collectively (and individually) we can change for the better.

For the Children Back

 

One more thing. I made the following quilt for a dear friend. It almost said, “You are loved.” This is much better. Now she can read it to herself as an affirmation… as a tool to help shift head-space from negative to positive. An opening up.

I am loved quilt

 

 

2014 will be a great year for QUILTArtbymegan

Here’s a bit of a preview of what’s coming this year. First of all, I’ll be doing a bunch of portrait quilts. You know, those are the ones inspired by a photograph and then rendered into fabric. Coming up are twins, a dog, a snowy landscape, and more. Here’s a tracing of one I’m working on now which has holding hands and wedding rings showing. It’s in pencil so it doesn’t photograph beautifully just yet.

hands tracing

Also, one of my sample quilts this year has to feature my niece Mary. ‘Cause I love her and she’s flipping adorable. So here’s a photo from Halloween that I’ll be using as inspiration.

Panda Mary

Alright, on to the second category of quilts you can expect from me in 2014. I’ll be making more things with crumbs! Here are two quilts-in-progress that use crumb blocks in their design. (One is a super-close up because the whole quilt hasn’t yet been revealed to the receiver.) Crumbs heart crumbs with black

I’m also working on making my crumbs customize-able. I think they’re in the top two cool things I do with my quilting and hadn’t figured out a way to make them in a cost-effective way. Worth my time to make the stuff and worth your money to buy them. Enter the letter pillows! Soon these will be available to order in my etsy store. You can buy them individually or as a group to spell out names, holidays, important dates (numbers will be available, too), and more. I’m also working on a way to stretch these across canvas for an on-the-wall look rather than the pillows’ on-the-shelf thing.

letter pillow sample

Another thing I’ll be playing around with (and hopefully making beautiful wear-ables out of) is old wool, cashmere, and silk items. I’m experimenting with up-cycling in the style of the artist Katwise.

What else? Tons, I’m sure! I’m learning new things all of the time. I think as an artist it’s important to explore new things and learn from other artists. Plus just play around and see what happens. That’s what I did with this doll quilt piece that was entered into the Project Quilting Challenge this week. It’s made of strings, which are skinny long strips. I’m not in love with the final quilt but it was fun to experiment and stretch myself. There are bunch of quilts finished in this challenge that are gorgeous! See and vote for your favorites here. 

pinked dolls

I took the “Twisted Sisters” class from Ami Simms on Saturday. It was so much fun! I initially wasn’t thrilled with the quilt design but learned how I can make it my own and am sure I’ll love the thing once it’s all put together. I also learned a bunch of tiny tips and tricks that make all the difference when you’re sewing. For example, if your selvage strips have been cut off the way you find the straight of grain (which is parallel to the selvage) is to stretch a tiny section of the fabric with your fingers. The direction that has the least stretch is the straight of grain. Twisted sister

I predict this’ll be a great year for me personally and QUILTArtbymegan as well. Stay tuned! You won’t want to miss any of it.

Megan Bags Courtesy of My Friends

I’m on my way back home tomorrow! I’ve had such a super wonderful time in St. Louis and am looking forward to a nice long hug from my husband. And some kitty snuggles. I’ll have a bunch of posts for you guys as I download photographs, experiences, jokes, and life lessons. For now, here’s a little insight onto how I’m able to turn trash to treasure with a little help from my friends.

Some of my quilting buddies have taken to collecting and saving their scraps of fabric for me. I love using teeny tiny pieces of fabrics for my crumb piecing projects, and they feel good that these bits aren’t ending up in the trash. My friend Melissa says it’s like going back to the origin of quilting, sewing together every usable bit of fabric. It was out of necessity way back when. You know, keep the family bed warm with what’s left of dresses and flour sacks. When I get scraps, they come in “Megan Bags” which look something like this:

DSCN0008Yup, this one’s mostly batiks. Aren’t they pretty?! I turn on the TV or Hulu and start the sort. The pieces that are too small even for me (yes, there are a few) go in a bag for community service at one of my quilt guilds. They stuff pillows for the homeless with those bits. The rest, I sort by color into bins.

DSCN0010

When I stop for the night, usually when the show is over or the Megan bag is empty, I transfer the sorted fabric into the larger drawers that I use to store scraps. Here’s what some of them will become:

Hexes so far

Turtles, Turkeys, Wolves and Bears Oh My!

I love collaborative projects. They’re always such an adventure. This one is for the lodge at my childhood summer sleep-away camp, Crystal Lake Camps. I have such awesome memories of this place and the people I met there. So when the idea was pitched on the alumni Facebook page to make clan animal themed quilts for four rooms I was eager to help.

There many ways campers are grouped together at CLC. One is by age, which determines your cabin assignment. Another is girls’ camp and boys’ camp. Also your skill level in classes like swimming and horseback riding. Clans are something different and special. Boys, girls, and counselors of all ages are split into four groups: turtles, turkeys, wolves and bears. These clan groups compete in events like blueberry picking and tug-of-war, make their own cheers, and sit together at council fire. It’s another opportunity for bonding and though I haven’t been to camp since 2001 I’m still a proud turtle.

So here’s what we’ve done so far for these four clans… starting with the turtles ’cause, well… I’m a turtle. I’m collecting blocks that have a light blue background and one or more turtles on them. The blocks’ measurements must be divisible by 3, so they’re not the same size but I can puzzle them all together. So with seam allowances, you can have 3.5″ x 3.5″ all the way up to 15.5″ by 15.5″ and anything in-between. Here are some of the blocks that have been made.

more turtles coming in

 

I’m the maker behind this one. Can you tell? Its shell is crumb-pieced then reverse appliqued under the blue fabric and the rest is hand-embroidered. 12x15 turtle

Okay. Onto the turkeys quilts. This lodge room gets two because it has a set of twin beds.  I’m also coordinating this project. I sent off some quilt blocks to the alumni reunion weekend along with fabric markers. I haven’t gotten them back yet but am so excited to see what everybody wrote/drew on them for the turkeys quilt! I’m kind of hoping I get a hand print turkey or two back. Do you remember making those in elementary school for Thanksgiving? Anyway, alumni weekend was populated with several generations of alumni and their children so I’m sure the quilts will be awesome. Here’s what some of the blocks looked like before decorations.

turkeys

The next two quilt tops are for the wolves and bears. Their very talented maker Betsy Huffman gave me permission to share them with you guys. Another volunteer will quilt and finish them. So all four quilts are technically still UFOs (unfinished objects)…. with a lot of love put into them. See?

bear quilt

Yes, that bear quilt has a cat on it. My cats are also quilt-inspectors. I love how Betsy included the traditional “bear paw” block as one of her borders.

wolf quiltI love the howling wolf in the corner of this quilt. Did you notice that Betsy also made matching pillowcases? She said she made them with the leftovers from making these quilts. What a good idea.