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!

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