Dreaming of Half Square Triangles

Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Well, I’ve made a lot of half square triangles. I may see them in my sleep tonight. After a few hours cutting, a few hours stitching, and a few hours ironing, I have several lovely stacks to spend a few more hours trimming.

Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Last week I made a test block with one of my favorite Anna Maria Horner prints from Good Folks, and some Robert Kaufman Essex Linen. I believe this is yarn dyed black, but as usual, I failed to label it. I may turn this block into a pillow.

Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Besides sewing, I’ve spent a bit of time this week baking in the kitchen with my kids. We made cupcakes and a very delicious blueberry cobbler with cornmeal biscuit.

Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This recipe is from one of my go-to favorite cookbooks, Rustic Fruit Desserts. Must remember to take advantage of all the fresh fruit while it is so readily available in the grocery!

Time to trim those half square triangle blocks!

Cutting Fabric, Here and There

Fresh Lemons Quilts

Summer vacation is officially half over…maybe even a little more than half. There hasn’t been as much sewing as I thought, but there has been a lot of creative time. We’ve been making much use of the various “… Ways to Draw” series of books. Our favorite is Lisa Congdon’s 20 Ways to Draw a Tulip. We’ve also spent a lot of time in the garden, planting new flowers and enjoying those that have been there a few years. The kids even built a fairy garden! It’s been so wet here…the mosquitos are out of control, but the plants seem to be loving it.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

I was able to sneak some time in over the weekend and do a bit of design work. Oh, how I’ve missed spending time in Photoshop and then pulling fabric. My original pull was at the top of this post. I will likely still use that stack for a project. But for this design, I’ve tweaked and narrowed things down a bit.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

I spent yesterday morning cutting half square triangles – fun! Today I’m hoping to cut the background fabric and then start sewing. I see a lot of HST trimming in my future. :) I hope to share more soon!

Improv ala Sherri Lynn Wood

Improv ala Sherri Lynn Wood : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’ve managed to find a bit of free time over the last week (why is Summer always busier than I anticipate?), and I used it to finally crack into Sherri Lynn Wood’s Improv Handbook. It seems like forever ago that I was relaxing at the pool flipping through this book after QuiltCon…only 4 months though.

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously by Sherri Lynn Wood : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters is on my all-time-favorite-most-beautifully-photographed-books list. There is just so much content (174 pages!) and fuel for creativity in here. I’ll be honest, I’m a picture person and I usually don’t read everything in a quilting book. But I sat down with this one and it’s been so interesting. I actually keep it on my coffee table!

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously by Sherri Lynn Wood : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I knew the first project I wanted to try to tackle in this book was one of the curve quilts. I went through a bit of color-paralysis but decided on some monochromatic segments. Mostly solids with a few coordinating, low volume prints mixed in.

Improv ala Sherri Lynn Wood : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It was a somewhat messy, but totally freeing process. VERY fun. It did not take too many hours to finish these segments.

Improv ala Sherri Lynn Wood : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I need to make more. Should I add more colors? Stick with this palette? Now is when I begin to over think it. I’m a bit nervous about how it’s all going to go together, but the instructions have over 10 pictures so I think it should go well. I’ll share more as I create!

+++ Update! +++

There are a couple supplemental resources for those of you working with this awesome book. First, the Test Quilt Galleries ~ 165 quilts made by testers during the book writing process. Amazing!

Second, the Improv Handbook Facebook page. This is a space where Sherri Lynn Wood and other quilters actively share their process.

I hope you are inspired!

Four Square ~ A Finished Quilt and Pattern

Four Square Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My Four Square quilt is finished, and the rain stopped for a short break on Tuesday to allow me a photo opportunity! I shared some in progress photos of these blocks as I was planning and stitching – here and here. As I mentioned earlier, this quilt was inspired by a shirt I bought this Spring at JCrew. What can I say, all inspiration can’t come from art and architecture. 😉

Four Square Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I really enjoyed working with what I would call a more “mature” color palette on this quilt. Most of the focal fabrics are from various Carolyn Friendlander collections, with some Cotton + Steel basics and other fabrics from my stash mixed in. The background is a muted white on white (maybe even like a faint foggy color?) print from Cotton + Steel. I’m having fun lately using non solids for the backgrounds, especially when there is more background than focal print in the pattern.

Four Square Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The Four Square quilt is lap sized, measuring 58″ x 68″. It has a modern, minimalistic design. I selected the same fabric for all four squares in each block, but I think it would look equally nice as a completely scrappy quilt. The background could also be scrappy, maybe low volume prints? Or a dark background with light squares?

Four Square Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

For the backing and the binding, I used a print from Rashida Coleman-Hale’s Mochi collection called Dottie’s Cousin. The backing is teal and the binding is mint.

Four Square Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I quilted it with diagonal lines. In one direction, they are spaced about every 1/2″. In the other direction, they are just 1/4″ on each side of the outer edges of the four square prints.

Four Square Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

For those interested in the pattern, it is available in my shop here on my blog, as well as my Etsy shop (for EU customers). I’m suggesting it’s appropriate for advanced beginners, only because it is really important to stitch with a consistent 1/4″ seam. If you’ve made a few quilts (or anything with a sewing machine where a nice consistent seam is important), you will not have trouble making this quilt.

Four Square is already washed up and nice and crinkly, draped over the couch in my sewing room. I hope you will share photos if you make one of your own!