Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

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.

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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!

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Welcome Gotham Quilts ~ and a Discount!

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a brand new fabric shop that was interested in sponsoring this blog. I went on over to check out Gotham Quilts (such a cool name) and was so excited! A beautiful new shop full of beautiful new fabrics! Gotham Quilts was started just this year by fabric and quilt lovers Andrea and Ivete. They live in Manhattan and plan to open a brick and mortar storefront next year.

I did some poking around their shop – so easy to navigate. You can shop fabric by Category, Designer, Manufacturer, and Color. They carry a ton of the new American Made Brand solids. I haven’t used these but they are on my list! Love the idea of supporting fabric manufacturing in my home country.

Ivete is a huge Tula Pink fan, and Gotham Quilts carries her latest collection Moon Shine.

I loved Far, Far Away by Heather Ross the first time around (when it was on double gauze), but I was even more thrilled when it was reprinted on quilting cotton!

If you love bundles or are looking for holiday gift ideas for a quilter, Gotham Quilts offers precuts and kits as well.

Now for the discount! If you sign up for the Gotham Fabrics newsletter, you will receive a coupon for 10% off your order of full priced fabrics. You can find the sign up on the very bottom right of their shop, under “NEWSLETTER SIGNUP”. You can also keep in touch with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Welcome Gotham Fabrics!

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Great Big Giveaway Day ~ October Edition

October! How did that happen? It snowed here over the weekend! Ok, just light flurries but it was pretty depressing. I’m not ready for winter! Anyway! :) Today is the Great Big Giveaway Day and my sponsors have 7 really awesome prizes for you to win!

Reminder ~ Please check your email (including SPAM folders) or back to this post after I choose the winners on Thursday. I want to make sure everyone gets connected to their prize.

1. Custom Labels 4U is offering a winner their choice of one of the following: Free 36 labels of 1/2″ size woven name tapes – OR – Free 30 labels of 1″ size woven name tapes.

The great thing about these fully woven name tapes is that you can actually design them and see them on the site before they are even purchased! Also some very cute little optional icons/designs to add if desired.

2. Fat Quarter Shop is giving away a $50 gift certificate so you can go pick out exactly what you like from their shop!

3. Discover Fabric is offering one lucky winner a $20.00 gift certificate to go shopping! New items in shop include Play Date by David Walker for Free Spirit Fabrics and Woodwinked by Dear Stella.

4. Shabby Fabrics is giving away a beautiful Fat Quarter Set of Voilet Craft’s newest collection, Brambleberry Ridge.

5. Cuts of Cotton is offering a Christmas Fat Quarter Bundle – remember when I said it snowed here over the weekend? Time to start holiday sewing!

6. Lovequilting.com is giving away a $20 gift certificate to one lucky winner! During Think Pink October, all pink fabric is on sale along with orange and black fabric for Halloween. Many free downloadable patterns are also available.

7. Fresh Modern Fabric is giving away a Fat Quarter Bundle of Suzuko Koseki (love!!) Show Window, 4 Pieces.

To enter to win, simply leave one comment at the end of this post. I’ll pick one will per shop on Thursday, October 9th. Good luck everyone!

+++ Closing comments and will pick the winners soon! +++

Congratulations to the below winners! I will be emailing you now to connect you with your prizes. Thank you everyone for commenting! :)

132 / Ellen – Custom Labels 4U – choice of one of the following: Free 36 labels of 1/2″ size woven name tapes – OR – Free 30 labels of 1″ size woven name tapes.

484 / LeeAnn – Fat Quarter Shop – $50 gift certificate

111 / SoozeM – Discover Fabric – $20.00 gift certificate

178 / Marilyn – Shabby Fabrics – Fat Quarter Set of Brambleberry Ridge.

438 / Sally – Cuts of Cotton – Christmas Fat Quarter Bundle

319 / Linda – Lovequilting.com – $20 gift certificate

113 / Bethany – Fresh Modern Fabric – Fat Quarter Bundle of Suzuko Koseki Show Window, 4 Pieces

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