Modern Solids ~ Progress!

Fresh Lemons Quilts ~ Modern Solids by Denyse Schmidt

The month of September has been dedicated to my Denyse Schmidt Modern Solids challenge for Free Spirit Fabrics. I think I’ve put a little too much pressure on myself for this one and designed no less than 5 quilts, trying to come up with the perfect project.

Fresh Lemons Quilts ~ Modern Solids by Denyse Schmidt

In the end, I decided to stick with my original idea. You may remember these blocks? I’m using the solids from the Modern Solids Fat Quarter box and Free Spirit Designer Solids in Pearl for the background. I’ve been quite busy cutting and chain piecing, but I’m thrilled with how it is coming together. I can’t wait to share the final layout with you.

Fresh Lemons Quilts ~ Modern Solids by Denyse Schmidt

I have a couple prints from Denyse Schmidt’s Ansonia collection planned for the backing.

Fresh Lemons Quilts ~ Modern Solids by Denyse Schmidt

I’m hoping to have a very productive week at the machine, and finish the rest of the blocks for the top. Wish me luck!

Travel Home

Travel Home Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My first back-to-school finish! It only took almost 2 years. I’m so happy today to share with you my finished Arkansas Traveler quilt. I decided to rename it though, since really the blocks have been changed from the original Arkansas Traveler quilt block. I chose “Travel Home” because this quilt is destined to live at home with me, on my couch.

Travel Home Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This quilt is the product of a lot of different inspiration sources combined. First, I’ve always been in love with historic two color quilts ~ red and white quilts, blue and white quilts, black and white quilts. There’s just something so striking about them.

Second, around two years ago I discovered Folk Fibers. I am really in awe of their quilts, the process that goes into making them, and then of course the natural colors.

And finally, last year I made an Arkansas Traveler quilt as a wedding gift and it was hard to give up! I knew I wanted to make some version of it again, this time for keeps.

Travel Home Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

When I started designing the Travel Home Quilt ever so long ago, I knew I wanted it to have the same overall look as my first Arkansas Traveler quilt. I liked the chain effect…but I didn’t really want to make a quilt that large again. Honestly, for lounging under the couch I just don’t need something bed sized. If I kept the blocks at 12″ finished squares, I would need to make another large quilt to create a nice looking design. I ended up shrinking the blocks to 8″ finished squares. That allowed me to have the chained look, but a smaller quilt. This one finished at 56″ x 72″.

Travel Home Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Another change I made to the Arkansas Traveler block was to eliminate the 4 diamonds that made up each quadrant of the block. Instead, I used just one fabric for that space. I did this for a couple of reasons. I did really love the effect of the 4 diamonds in my original quilt (gave a sort of shimmering effect). But since I was doing cream/black prints on this quilt, I thought it would be overly busy and/or not very noticeable. Second, as I shrunk the blocks, the diamonds also shrunk so I though one fabric was plenty for these spots.

Travel Home Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts
Nevermind my son running around like crazy!

The backing is a print from Melody Miller’s Mustang collection for Cotton + Steel. It’s quite different from the front, but I think complimentary. I quilted free motion meandering with a dark blue thread over the blue portions of the quilt, leaving the cream diamonds unquilted. I really wanted this quilt to have a nice, cozy drape after washing and it does! Now let’s see what I can finished next. :)

Fabric Bundles and Paper Piecing

It’s been a flurry in my house this week as we prepare for a bit of downtime next week for Spring Break. Between some quilt designing, laundry folding and errand running, not a ton of sewing got done. That’s ok, I did do a lot of prep work for my next project.

Isn’t that fabric up there pretty? That is a really fun Fat Quarter bundle I put together for Fabric Spark. (And yes, you can buy your own!) I’m so happy with how it turned out! I’m sort of picturing tiny wonky stars made out of those colors, but not totally sure yet.

I did cut all my fabric for my Shimmer blog hop project this week. And my paper piecing templates.

Next time I sit at the sewing machine, I should just fly through these blocks (hopefully!) These are pretty similar to the Arkansas Traveler blocks.

Things will be a bit quiet here over the next week while I take a little break with my family. I hope to be nice and relaxed when I return! :)

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!