Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Quilting, Quilting, Quilting

A Quilter's Mixology Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I pulled out a not-so-old UFO this week to finish up. Remember this one, from Angela Pingel’s book A Quilter’s Mixology? It was set aside while I was finishing up some other deadlines and now it’s back at the machine.

A Quilter's Mixology Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I knew from the start that I wanted to do straight line quilting. Sort of a tedious process though. I am halfway done and hope to finish today. There’s this little feature on the Bernina 750QE that I am loving. I can have a short attention span when it comes to straight line quilting. I never want to turn the machine off after I’ve set up all the stitch length, tension and pressure foot settings just how I like them for a current quilting project. This machine has a button that puts it into “Eco Mode”.

A Quilter's Mixology Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s like putting the machine to sleep or power save, but when you press the button again – magic! – you are just where you left off. This is definitely one of those features that I never thought I would need, but I find myself using constantly. And now, to push that handy little button and get back to work.

Tagged as:  · · ·

17 Comments - Leave a comment »

A New Week

Trimming : Fresh Lemons Quilts

October is one of those months around here that is constantly so busy, it just flies by. Between soccer, birthdays, Fall Festivals, kids excitement building to Halloween….well I can’t believe it is already the 20th! Last week I worked quite a bit on a to-be-seen-later quilt. In the meantime, you can see the color palette in my trimmings above. I changed out my rotary blade and it was like quilter’s Christmas. So smooth! Every time I put in a fresh blade I wonder what took me so long.

Costumes : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I also finished my son’s skeleton costume last week. We took them for a spin at a local kids night of games and they were a hit! For the skeleton, I bought black sweatpants and a black long sleeved shirt at Old Navy. I went to Google to find a skeleton template and used this one from Country Living. I resized it to fit his shirt and pants dimensions, then cut out the pieces and traced them onto white wool felt. I decided to make the costume have bones on the front and back, so I changed the rib cage a bit for the back.

Costumes : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I ironed Heat n Bond Ultrahold to the wool felt and followed the directions to apply them to the black clothing. I went to Party City for the hat and gloves. :) (It’s funny how growing up in southern Ohio, having a warm costume for Halloween was less important than being in Chicago!) He’s very happy with how it turned out!

Uppercase Magazine and Bookhou : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Totally switching topics – but does anyone here get Uppercase Magazine? It’s a bit of a splurge for me, but I really enjoy it. (I was sold after seeing the cover of the last issue.) So, this is the second issue I’ve received and I was flipping through and saw a spread on Bookhou. I was so excited because I love my Bookhou bag so much! The quality and design are really just beautiful, and it was awesome to see them featured. Maybe something for your wish lists with the holiday’s coming up?

Tagged as:  · · · · · ·

12 Comments - Leave a comment »

Halloween and the Art Institute

Halloween Costume! : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I can’t believe it, but I finished my daughters Halloween costume way early! I don’t think I’ve ever made her a costume for Halloween in all 8 years. But not long ago I pinned some costume ideas on Pinterest and she really loved these bird wings.

Halloween Costume! : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I followed the general idea on both this website and this website (this second link for the headpiece as well). I didn’t worry about making each wing a perfect 1/4 circle. I measured the length of her arm and the length down her back. I cut a rectangle that size and then just eyeballed a curved line between the two.

Halloween Costume! : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I want her to be able to put the costume on by herself for her school party, so I used some sparkly black elastic about 3/4″ thick that I found at JoAnns for the arm holds. It’s not too tight for her and there is nothing for her to tie (or really, for her teacher to tie).

Halloween Costume! : Fresh Lemons Quilts

For the headpiece, I followed the general instructions here. (But again, I didn’t make it tie, just sized it to her head.) The ribbon is Renaissance Ribbons by Anna Maria Horner. I’ve had them forever! Happy to finally use them.

Halloween Costume! : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The wings at headpiece use a variety of fabrics (handpicked by my daughter) and wool felt. I love wool felt, it is such good quality compared to craft felt from big box craft stores. It comes in so handy for craft projects. One of my sponsors even carries some in her shop – Fabric Spark!

Halloween Costume! : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My daughter love, love, loves it. **I know I generally ask you not to Pin pictures with my kids on Pinterest, but feel free to Pin any of these Halloween costume photos.** Now to finish my son’s costume. He has a much simpler request – a skeleton.

Halloween Costume! : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Not quilting related, but my kids had off school Thursday and Friday so we decided to have a little fun in Chicago. We took a day trip Friday to the Art Institute. I had my kids bring sketchpads and colored pencils, and they spent the day finding their favorite artwork and recreating it themselves.

Art Institute of Chicago : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This is such a fun way for kids to experience art museums. It makes them really look at the artwork and not just walk on by, bored after a couple rooms. It doesn’t matter AT ALL if they are artistically gifted. It makes them notice details in the paintings that they would have missed otherwise. The staff in each room allowed them to sit on the floor if benches weren’t around. I think the only time in the past we were not allowed to do this was in special exhibit areas (too crowded).

Art Institute of Chicago : Fresh Lemons Quilts

We are so spoiled to have all these awesome works of art practically in our backyard. The fact that we can drive 45 minutes and then spend our day surrounded by Monet and Picasso and Matisse…just incredibly lucky. I knew my daughter would have fun (we’ve done this before), but this is the first time I’ve brought my 5 year old – very active – son. He LOVED it. He wanted to draw everything he saw. He was so calm and concentrated so hard, he did not want to leave at the end of our time there.

Art Institute of Chicago : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I definitely recommend checking out the Art Institute, even with young kids, if you are ever in Chicago. We only made it through 3 sections – Impressionism, Modern American Art 1900-1950 and Modern Art (3rd floor in the modern wing) so we will be back to explore more soon.

Tagged as:  · · · · ·

45 Comments - Leave a comment »

Big Top Quilt ~ Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration Challenge

Big Top Quilt ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

Yay! I am finally posting finished pictures, inspiration, pattern and voting details for my Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration Challenge quilt! Last July, I was contacted by Free Spirit Fabrics and asked if I wanted to participate in a Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration Challenge. The rules were…

Make a 60 x 60 inch quilt with Denyse Schmidts’s Modern Solids Collection. In the spirit of Denyse’s book “Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration”, the design should be inspired by – or be your own interpretation of – a traditional quilt pattern.

Big Top Quilt ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

Well if you know me, you know I love Denyse Schmidt, I love solids, and I love modern traditionalism! So it was a no brainer. I sat down with my favorite block anthology books, including Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns. For those of you that are not familiar with this book, it is completely awesome. It is a hand drawn collection of hundreds (thousands?) of historic quilt blocks and their source. There are no directions for making the blocks, simply drawings of the blocks themselves.

I really was taken with Nancy Cabot’s Spring and Fall quilt block (block 216.27 in this photo).

Big Top Quilt Inspiration ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

I liked that it had the basic shape of flying geese blocks, not a 12″ square. I also liked that it included some unexpected details with the tiny half square triangles inside. They were a bit too much detail for my personal taste though – but I really wanted to incorporate that concept somehow. I went about “modernizing” the block by taking that space and changing it to chunks of solid color.

Big Top Quilt ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

I selected colors for each block from the Modern Solids fat quarter box color families, giving them a really nice, dynamic look. For the quilt top layout, I alternated the direction of the blocks throughout the quilt, and incorporated a lot of negative space. I think it really keeps your focus on the design, without it getting too cluttered.

Big Top Quilt ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’ve made a quilt pattern for this design, so far available only as a PDF download. I named it “Big Top” because they remind me of little tents. :) You can find the pattern in my shop.

Big Top Quilt ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

And now for voting details! You can vote for your favorite quilt now through October 14th in a few places:

FreeSpirit Facebook Album
FreeSpirit Blog
FreeSpirit Pinterest Board

I’ve said before, this was a VERY friendly challenge. All of us participating know and respect each other. Everyone’s quilts are so great! So go over and pick your favorite quilt that embodies the “Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration” goal. But trust me, it will be very hard to pick a favorite!

Tagged as:  · · · · · ·

32 Comments - Leave a comment »