Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Category — Modern Quilts

Milwaukee Saturday

Milwaukee Art Museum : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Another busy, busy weekend here – but I have a lot of photos to share! Saturday I woke up bright and early and headed north to Milwaukee. Lee and I had our third (and final) Pottery Barn Trunk Show scheduled, but before that began we visited the Milwaukee Art Museum. Lee and I were lucky enough to be invited to see their Uncommon Folk: Traditions in American Art special exhibit, featuring a few quilts from from Gee’s Bend, Alabama.

Milwaukee Art Museum : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Because I always leave for events ridiculously early, I was actually the first person inside the museum for the day! How cool is that? The space was so beautiful and full of light, right on Lake Michigan.

Milwaukee Art Museum : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The Uncommon Folk exhibit had whimsical sculptures, paintings, quilts, photographs…all sorts of fun and funky things really.

Milwaukee Art Museum : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Of course, the five or six quilts especially caught our eye.

Milwaukee Art Museum : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Above, from left to right: “Lazy Gal” Quilt (1993) by Revil Mosley; Four Block Housetop Quilt (2000) by Rita Mae (“Rabbit”) Pettway; Work Clothes Quilt (1935) by Rachel Carey George.

Milwaukee Art Museum : Fresh Lemons Quilts
Four Block Housetop Quilt (2000) by Rita Mae (“Rabbit”) Pettway

Milwaukee Art Museum : Fresh Lemons Quilts
Crazy Quilt (1883) by Margaret A. Beattie

I captured Lee taking a detail shot of this beautiful quilt.

Milwaukee Art Museum : Fresh Lemons Quilts
“Star of Bethlehem” Quilt (1875), American

It was a really fun morning! After we finished up at the museum, we headed over to the mall to grab lunch and set up inside Pottery Barn.

Vintage Quilt Revival Pottery Barn Trunk Show : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This time we got to set up right up front. What an experience!

Vintage Quilt Revival Pottery Barn Trunk Show : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Vintage Quilt Revival Pottery Barn Trunk Show : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Vintage Quilt Revival Pottery Barn Trunk Show : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Lots of people stopped by and it was so fun to meet everyone. Many told us that seeing quilts in person is such a different experience than seeing them in a book – and I cannot agree more!

I also finished my big deadline quilt yesterday (woo hoo!) so now I’m hard at work cutting into my Shimmer fabric in preparation for a blog hop after Spring Break. I’ll be posting some updates as I go along ~ paper piecing, yay!

March 24, 2014   24 Comments

Pottery Barn Trunk Show Weekend

Pottery Barn Vintage Quilt Revival Trunk Show ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

What a weekend! Between the two Pottery Barn quilting trunk shows on Saturday, my son’s 5th birthday party on Sunday (at Chuck E Cheese’s no less), and daylight savings time, I’m pretty much running on fumes. But oh, what a great time we had on Saturday. I thought I’d share some photos from the trunk shows. I didn’t bring my “real” camera, just my iPhone. I thought it’d just be too hard to manage keeping track of the good camera – and that was the right call because we were busy – but I do wish I had brought someone with me to take nice photos. Live and learn!

Pottery Barn Vintage Quilt Revival Trunk Show ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

When we arrived at Pottery Barn in Naperville, this sign was out front with balloons! Really exciting! We met the store manager who was just exceptionally nice and welcoming, it really put my nerves at ease! We decided that we’d have more room to set up on the second floor and brought all our things up.

Pottery Barn Vintage Quilt Revival Trunk Show ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

There were these awesome railings that overlooked to the first floor. We were able to drape all our quilts on them – you could see them from below as soon as you walked into the store.

Pottery Barn Vintage Quilt Revival Trunk Show ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

We treated the event as a meet and greet. It was so much fun to talk to everyone one on one, answer questions, let people come and touch the quilts. Lots of quilters visited, some planned and some just happened to be in the store without knowing about the event. We met people from all experience levels – from expert long armers to women who sewed but were looking to learn to quilt. The hour flew by – it was just such a great time!

Pottery Barn Vintage Quilt Revival Trunk Show ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

We packed up the quilts, loaded up the car, and drove to the Oakbrook Pottery Barn to set up for round two. This store was one floor (so no railing) and really long with different nooks and sectioned off areas. We were placed in a side bedding area, so deciding how to display the quilts was harder. But luckily they had a Visual Stylist (fancy!) who came over to help us. He was an expert quilt hanger.

Pottery Barn Vintage Quilt Revival Trunk Show ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

If anyone is looking to display quilts like this at home, it was really a great set up. They had installed a nice, solid curtain rod. The stylist took the quilt by the corner and folded that over the back of the curtain rod. Then he used super heavy duty clamps to clamp the corner to the back of the draped quilt.

I am guessing you could get the clamps at a hardware store. Lee had a hard time even opening them when we took stuff down, so they were pretty strong. We also hung some quilts on a coat rack!

Pottery Barn Vintage Quilt Revival Trunk Show ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

We met even more quilters at this stop, and again we were able to talk to everyone one on one. I know I’ve gushed this entire post, but I really can’t stress enough how fun it was to get to share our quilts with a new audience and in this setting. And look, they let us each take home a sign! You better believe that’s now hanging up in my sewing room.

Pottery Barn Vintage Quilt Revival Trunk Show ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

I just want to thank everyone who came out to visit as well as Pottery Barn for inviting us to share our quilts at their shops. We have 2 more trunk shows planned – Lee and I in the Milwaukee area and Katie in Arlington, VA on March 22nd. If you happen to live around those cities, I hope you will come!

March 11, 2014   30 Comments

Radiant Splendor ~ A Quilt Block Tutorial

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s been quite some time since I’ve been able to sit down, relax and look through my favorite block reference books. A couple weeks ago, I pulled out Nancy Cabot’s Quilt Collection, complied by Rose Lea Alboum. You can see more about it on my blog here and ordering information here. This time as I was flipping through the pages, this block caught my eye, Cubes and Tiles (1933).

Cubes and Tiles Quilt Block - Nancy Cabot 1933

I decided to see if I could find a bit more information about it, so I search for it in my other favorite block reference, Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. (Which by the way, is now available to buy as a PDF download!) It turns out, this block has been, well, around the block a few times! It was listed under 5 different names, from 5 different publications. The oldest I saw was a Ladies Art Company quilt pattern catalog from the late 1800′s, under the name Stars and Cubes. Pretty cool! And since everyone else came up with their own name for this block, I decided to call mine Radiant Splendor. :)

I sat down to do a little photoshop work to see if I could figure out how to put this block together. Turns out it’s not that hard – as long as you love making flying geese! I’ve put together a tutorial for anyone interested in making one of their own.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts


Radiant Splendor ~ A Quilt Block Tutorial

20-1/2″ x 20-1/2″ unfinished quilt block

We are going to follow the below construction diagram to make this block. We will begin with the flying geese, then piece center star, followed by the border stars and finally sew those components together to make the final block.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Cutting Instructions

Pattern Piece Fabric
Background Cut 4 6-1/2” x 6-1/2″ White
Background Cut 12 2-1/2” x 2-1/2” White
Background Cut 20 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” White
Center Star Cut 1 4-1/2” x 4-1/2” Purple
Center Star Cut 8 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ Purple
Border Stars Cut 4 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” Yellow
Border Stars Cut 32 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ Yellow

Block Instructions
This block contains 20 flying geese components. Let’s make those first.

Step 1: Using a marking tool (disappearing ink pen, pencil, hera marking tool, chalk, etc), mark your (8) 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ Purple Squares and your (32) 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ Yellow Squares from corner to corner on the wrong side of the fabric, along the diagonal.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 2: Gather your (20) 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” White Rectangles. Take (1) 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” White Rectangle and place (1) 2-1/2” x 2-1/2” Purple Square, right sides together as shown, lining up the fabric on the short end of the rectangle. Stitch along the marked diagonal line.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 3: Using a quilting ruler, trim the stitched 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” rectangle 1/4″ past your stitch line, as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Press your fabric open.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 4: Place your next 2-1/2” x 2-1/2” Purple Square, right sides together as shown, lining up the fabric on the other short end of the rectangle. Stitch along the marked diagonal line.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 5: Once again using a quilting ruler, trim the stitched 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” rectangle 1/4″ past your stitch line, as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Press your fabric open.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

You now have a 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ Flying Geese unit.

Step 6: Repeat the above instruction to piece a total of (4) Purple flying geese units and (16) Yellow flying geese units.

Now that you’ve made your 20 flying geese units, we will make the Purple Center Star.

Step 7: Take your (4) Purple Flying Geese Units, (1) 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ Purple Square, and (4) 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ White Squares, and lay them out as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 8: Stitch together the segments into three rows as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 9: Stitch your rows together to form a finished 8-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ block, as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Set aside. We will now assemble the Yellow Border Stars.

Step 10: Take (4) of your Yellow Flying Geese Units, (1) 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ Yellow Rectangle, and (2) 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ White Squares, and lay them out as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 11: Stitch the top row of (2) 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ White Squares and (1) flying geese unit together, as shown. Stitch the center 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ rectangle to (1) flying geese unit, as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 12: Stitch the remaining (2) flying geese units to the center pieced unit, as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 13: Piece the assembled top row to assembled bottom section, as shown, resulting in a 6-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ Yellow Border Star.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 14: Repeat the above steps to make 3 more Yellow Border Stars, for a total of 4 Yellow Border Stars.

Now we are going to assemble all your pieced components into a finished block.

Step 15: Lay out your (4) 6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ White Squares, (4) Yellow Border Star components and (1) Purple Center Star as shown.

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 16: Stitch each row of blocks together, as you would a 9 patch. Stitch your rows together.

Congratulations! Your block is now finished!

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

March 5, 2014   65 Comments

The Traveling Quilts ~ Round Seven

The Traveling Quilts : Fresh Lemons Quilts

So, who remembers the Traveling Quilts Bee? Wow, things reeeeeally slowed down for us over the last year. We have some awesome members of the bee that have done amazing things over the last year: launched fabric lines, put on QuiltCon, written books. Luckily no one seems upset about the slow progress. I just finished my latest round, working on Alissa’s quilt top. If you follow Alissa’s blog, you know she likes modern and she likes minimalism. Well, I’m not sure you are going to get a minimalistic quilt out of this type of bee. :) She sent a bit of chartreuse solid along with the quilt and everyone has been incorporating a little here and there.

The Traveling Quilts : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I decided to channel my inner ultra modern quilter and use the slice and insert technique I learned in Jacquie’s class. I made 3 blocks of various sizes and then added some random, neutral sashing around them.

I just need to sew the column to the rest of the quilt top and mail it off to Ashley! And if you get a chance, Monica just finished working on my quilt and you have to check it out – I’m loving it so much!

February 27, 2014   10 Comments