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

Travel with a Bit of Sewing Thrown In

Stardust Quilt Pattern from Vintage Quilt Revival : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s been a pretty busy week around here. Last week I basted and started quilting my Stardust quilt. About the same time I came down with a nasty bug. During the weekend I was feeling ok one minute and sick to my stomach the next. Not fun! But I did make it to Cincinnati to celebrate my dad’s 60th birthday and am starting to feel like I’m coming out of the fog.

Stardust Quilt Pattern from Vintage Quilt Revival : Fresh Lemons Quilts

We came home Sunday night to watch the Superbowl (let’s not even talk about that! Big Peyton Manning fan over here…) And now I’ve been busy prepping for a trip to the Sinnissippi Quilters Guild in Rockford.

Safari Moon Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I did manage to finish my Safari Moon quilt top. This is one last peek (just before I completed it). I will be sharing the finished quilt in just a couple of weeks. I picked up some of the Animalia in Splendor fabric for the back. I just could not resist, it’s so fun!

Safari Moon Quilt - Animalia in Splendor : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I also have been thinking about this little quilt that I started over a year ago at Quilt Camp.

Work in Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This quilt is based on my Poinsettia Mini Quilt Pattern, but it’s sort of morphed into it’s own design. Other projects have constantly taken priority over it, but I think I’m ready to push it back to the top of the list. I at least want it twice this size (to be a wall hanging), but in my dream world it would be lap sized. We shall see!

Quilt Improv Blog Tour

 

Quilt Improv by Lucie Summers

Today I’m very excited to share with you a new book by designer and author Lucie Summers, Quilt Improv: Incredible Quilts from Everyday Inspirations. Many of you probably know Lucie through her fabrics for Moda. I have a fair share of them in my stash and I’m constantly reaching for them when working on scrappy projects.

When I first opened Quilt Improv, I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the photography. I have a very large library of quilting books. (Sort of a quilt book addict.) I think I can easily say, these are the most beautifully photographed quilts in my entire collection.

Quilt Improv by Lucie Summers

Seriously. If I could spell out what would make a perfect setting for quilt photos, I would probably say rustic barns…

Quilt Improv by Lucie Summers

fields…

Quilt Improv by Lucie Summers

historic looking stone walls…

Quilt Improv by Lucie Summers

And what is this? A truck full of flower bulbs? (LOVE!!)

Quilt Improv by Lucie Summers

I want to move into every picture! I honestly feel like this could be a coffee table book. Drool worthy.

Quilt Improv has directions for several improvisational techniques, referred to as The Building Blocks: Applique Circle, Basket Weave, Chain Pieced Strips, Chevrons, Crazy Triangles, Half Square Triangles, Log Cabins, Pieced Squares, Portholes, Quarter Circles, String Blocks and X Blocks; as well as 12 Quilts. Is is absolutely packed with information.

I decided to make a little project out of the book, and in the spirit of one of my New Year’s Resolutions, include one of my kids in the fun. I showed my 4 year old the project – Chain-Pieced Strips. I let him dig through my scrap tubs and lay out all the fabrics.

Quilt Improv ~ Chain-Pieced Strips : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I trimmed them to size and sewed them together. It was actually a really fun project to work on together. He was so excited, he kept saying “I can’t believe I’m making my very own quilt!!”

Quilt Improv ~ Chain-Pieced Strips : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I quilted and bound it and now it is a very special quilt for his stuffed panda.

Quilt Improv ~ Chain-Pieced Strips : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Improv can be a little scary, but it’s also quite freeing and a great way to sew with kids.

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour – some stops even have giveaways!