Category — Modern Quilts
With the kids in school, it’s been a remarkably productive couple of days over here. The house is clean, dinner has been planned ahead each night, I’ve actually gone to the gym (shocking!!) and I’ve even spent busy chunks of time in my sewing room.
This week I also received a great package in the mail. Last week I ordered Moda Fabric’s Modern Building Blocks pattern and kit. I remember seeing this quilt at market and it was one of those stop-you-in-your-tracks moments for me. I love Moda’s Bella Solids and the colors in this quilt, along with the layout of the blocks, really spoke to me. I cannot wait to make this (even if it will have to wait in line a bit until I’m done with other commitments).
Also, I love the packaging of this kit. I was joking on Instagram that whoever came up with it deserves a promotion! Wouldn’t this make a beautiful birthday or Christmas gift for a quilter? (Husbands…hint hint!)
The inside has all the fabrics, layout and assembly directions, as well as this handy set of double sided cards with all the block patterns.
You can buy this kit at a few of my sponsors:
The Loopy Ewe (fabric kit with pattern)
Fat Quarter Shop (fabric kit with pattern)
Fat Quarter Shop (fabric kit with pattern – PREORDER if link above sold out)
Fat Quarter Shop (pattern only, no fabric)
So, besides drooling over this kit for the last few days, I’ve also been working on my sadly neglected Arkansas Traveler quilt! I basted it yesterday while watching Call the Midwife on Netflix. Wow, what a great show (even if it does make me cry at every episode!).
I started quilting in the blue fabric areas using a coordinating blue thread I had on hand – Aurifil’s Color Me Happy by V & Co’s set. It’s #2775 in a 50wt (orange spool). I’m still debating whether or not to quilt the cream fabrics (with an off white thread) or leave them unquilted, giving it a slightly poofy look.
I’m using my Bernina Stitch Regulator (BSR) which I just realized I’ve been using for 5 years! Obviously I’ve had a lot of time to practice with it. I’ve had some people ask for tips on using it.
• I don’t go too slow or too fast. I try to find a nice, middle of the road speed and stick to it. It might help to get some music (not too crazy now!) with a consistent rhythm and play that while you sew, to get in a nice groove.
• I use Bernina’s single hole stitch plate when stitching straight lines.
• For a while I found that when I was stopping stitching (like to remove a pin), I was taking my foot off the pedal while still moving the fabric slightly. Not good, this leads to messed up stitches. Stop completely before taking your foot off the pedal. When you stop moving the fabric, the stitching will stop as well. (At least does when I use BSR 2).
• If you are feeling like your fabric is getting stuck and you have to pull it (leading to messed up stitches), lessen your pressure foot setting. I’ve had to do this with some fabrics that just didn’t seem to slide well under my foot. Other’s swear by using something called the Supreme Slider on their machine. I don’t have one though.
• And then just practice, practice, practice. When I first sat down to use the BSR I thought I would turn my machine on and suddenly my quilting would be perfect. Um, it wasn’t. lol I needed to still practice. If you still aren’t getting the results you think you should be getting, ask if you can bring your machine into your dealer and have them watch you quilt on your machine. I’m sure they will have tips as well.
I’m halfway finished with the blue and about to go upstairs and get cracking again. I can’t wait to (finally!) share this completed quilt with you soon!
August 27, 2014 30 Comments
This week I started cutting into some of my Cotton + Steel fabric for a new project. Next month I’m going to be participating in a blog hop celebrating Angela Pingel’s new book, A Quilter’s Mixology: Shaking Up Curved Piecing. I thought it would be fun today to show you a bit about her book, as well as the start of my project. You’ll have to wait about 5 weeks to see the finish!
A Quilter’s Mixology is a quilting book of 16 projects centered around the Drunkard’s Path Block. I think every quilter probably has his or her strengths, things that come easiest to them. For me, it’s Foundation Paper Piecing. It’s like second nature and I really find my rhythm when I’m sewing.
Curved piecing is not one of my strengths. I don’t really sew curves often, so when I do I have a bit of anxiety, worry about my cuts, worry about lining everything up properly. Stitch reeeeeaaaaalllly slowly. This is one of the reasons I was so excited to receive Angela’s book. The entire premise is challenging to me.
Angela starts off her book with a bit of history (yay!) on the Drunkard’s Path block (4 pages). She then spends 8 pages going over the important technique stuff – templates, cutting, stitching the curves, and then stitching the blocks together. She also reviews some common problems you may run into when sewing curves and how to fix them. To me, this was a “must read” chapter of the book. Next is 8 pages on color, fabric and thread with lots of really beautiful photo inspiration.
After that Angela jumps into the 16 projects. They range from pillows to 100″+ inch quilts. These patterns are not only beautiful, but have very detailed instructions. In fact, the first time I was flipping through this book, I was really shocked (in a good way!) at the amount of detail put into the directions.
I have some favorites of course!
Orange Twist Quilt by Angela Pingel, A Quilter’s Mixology
Medallion Baby Quilt by Angela Pingel, A Quilter’s Mixology
I’ve just started working on the pattern above, Angela’s Petal Pusher Quilt. When I first decided to make it, I didn’t really look at the finished size. (Mental note: Always look at the finished quilt size – ha!) It’s huge! 106″ x 106″ Each block is 24″.
I will probably make 4 blocks for my quilt. I’m using Cotton + Steel fabrics with a couple other prints mixed in where needed. Angela’s sample quilt in the pattern used directional prints, so I decided to try my hand at that as well.
These blocks are large but actually very easy to put together. I worked on this for 2 mornings (2 hours each) and 1 afternoon (also 2 hours), and cut out 4 blocks and pieced 2 together.
For the curves, the book comes with a fold out template sheet in the back. I just traced my templates onto some scrap paper – nothing fancy here! Works like a charm.
I can’t wait to share this one with you next month during the blog hop. And I hope you will check out A Quilter’s Mixology and try your hand at some modern interpretations of this classic block.
August 6, 2014 15 Comments
As promised, today I’m sharing my latest quilt finish, Spectrum. Several months ago, the folks at Robert Kaufman Fabrics asked me if I was interested in creating a pattern using their Kona solids. I have been sitting on this flying geese design for a bit, waiting for the right time to make the quilt. (Does anyone else do this?? I swear I have more quilt designs than I’ll ever be able to make!) I decided the Kona’s would be perfect for it.
The Spectrum quilt features flying geese in a variety of Kona colors: Valentine, Camellia, Carnation, Pink, Coral, Kumquat, Mango, Cheddar, Corn Yellow, Canary, Buttercup, Maize, Sour Apple, Pistachio, Pear, Honey Dew, Breakers, Pool, Bahama Blue, Aqua. The background happens to be one of my favorite neutrals, Kona Snow (I just bought a bolt of it!)
In this design, I took a classic quilting element (flying geese) and updated the design through use of negative space. By staggering the columns and leaving the tops and bottoms empty (piecing in the background fabric), a traditional concept now has a very modern feel.
I quilted this using a free motion meandering design. I tried out the BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) on my Bernina 750QE for the first time. (I have used the BSR on my Bernina 440QE). It worked great! I put my pressure foot setting down to 0 and found that to be the easiest for smoothly moving the quilt around while stitching.
July 29, 2014 32 Comments
It’s a funny thing, how quickly five years can fly by. Today is my blog’s 5th anniversary. I went back a couple days ago, to revisit that first post. (The image from the post lost in the shuffle during a blog transfer a few years ago.) I’m not sure how long I thought I’d be blogging back in 2009. But I’m happy to still be around and have all of you join me each week, reading and commenting and sharing tidbits and your projects with me. Thank you so much for spending a bit of your time here with me.
Much of the last two weeks has been devoted to designing and pattern writing. I can say there are some new, fun quilts and patterns coming down the pipeline. And while I can’t share those just yet, I thought I’d share some fabric and blocks and food.
I’m planning to use some Kona Cottons in an upcoming project. I totally copied everyone else who was cutting up their Kona Color Cards and placing them on book rings. So much easier to pull out colors and plan quilts!
I also ordered an absolutely beautiful collection of Liberty of London Tana Lawn fabric, cut into a roll, from DuckaDilly.
And – total accident but they were sitting next to each other on my table – doesn’t the Kona look awesome with the Liberty?
I love it when that happens!
Another project in the works is a pattern based on my Radiant Splendor block tutorial. Although this test block below looks the same, I did some unpicking after I took the photo as the pattern changes up the block a bit. I’m working on writing and testing and hopefully will get the new pattern finished sometime this Fall. For those that like bigger quilts, this one will be Queen sized (ok, well that’s big for me!)
I’ve also spent a bit of time in the kitchen lately. I’ve recently discovered America’s Test Kitchen and have fallen hard. (I know, I’m the last on the planet, right?) I have had success with pretty much everything I’ve made from both Cooking for Two and The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2014.
This Cinnamon Swirl Bread is in the latter, as well as online (and I saw them make it in an episode I recorded on PBS).
It was *delicious*.
I hope those of you in the United States and Canada have a great holiday week. Yesterday was Canada Day and Friday is Independence Day here (and my husband’s birthday!) I plan on doing some relaxing and enjoying time with family. And hopefully fit at least some sewing (or more pattern writing in) too.
July 2, 2014 47 Comments