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.
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.
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″.
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.
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.
Happy September everyone! Today is the Great Big Giveaway Day and my sponsors have 7 really awesome prizes for you to win!
Reminder ~ Please check your email (including SPAM folders) or back to this post after I choose the winners on Thursday. I want to make sure everyone gets connected to their prize.
The great thing about these fully woven name tapes is that you can actually design them and see them on the site before they are even purchased! Also some very cute little optional icons/designs to add if desired.
2. Southern Fabric is offering a $25 gift certificate to go shopping! Lots of great fabrics in the shop, and also there is a special Labor Day sale September 1st and 2nd. Go on over and save up to 25% on all full priced items as well as free U.S. shipping after $150 for two days only.
4. Fat Quarter Shop is giving away one of their super fun “Sew What?” t-shirts!
5. Lark Cottons is offering one lucky winner a $25 gift certificate to go shopping! I love the Far, Far, Away Princess and the Pea fabrics by Heather Ross.
There is also a great sale going on right now! Save 30% on fabric from Aneela Hoey, Angela Walters, Emily Herrick, Heather Bailey, Joel Dewberry, Lotta Jansdotter, Sandi Henderson, and Zen Chic. Discount applied automatically to the shopping cart. No coupon code needed!
To enter to win, simply leave one comment at the end of this post. I’ll pick one will per shop on Thursday, September 4th. Good luck everyone!
+++ Closing Comments to Pick the Winners! +++
Congratulations to the below winners! I’ll be emailing you shortly to connect you with your prizes. Thank you so much for commenting everyone, and supporting my wonderful sponsors!
568 – Rachael
Custom Labels 4U – See above for details
601 – Vernon Chee
Southern Fabric – $25 Gift Certificate
449 – Linda
Dragonfly Fabrics – $25 Gift Certificate
137 – Karen Rhodes
Fat Quarter Shop – “Sew What?” Tshirt
361 – Dana
Lark Cottons – $25 Gift Certificate
282 – Rina
Connecting Threads – Lion’s Share Fat Quarter Bundle
415 – Sue
LoveQuilting.com – $20 Gift Certificate
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!
Tagged as: Arkansas Traveler · aurifil · Basting · Bernina · BSR · Free Motion quilting · Moda · Modern Building Blocks · Modern Quilts · Modern Traditionalism · Sampler · Text Fabric · Text Prints · Traditional Quilts
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Happy Monday everyone! As I type this, I’m sitting in a very quiet house. Last week, for the first time in almost 8 years, both kids went to school at the same time. Although I obviously knew it was coming, it’s so weird. So now I’m plotting and cleaning and stitching and beginning to think about this new chapter. (And the kids area absolutely loving school and their new teachers.)
Today I’m excited to share with you a new quilting book, sent to me by Dana Bolyard of Old Red Barn, Co. ~ Imagine Quilts : 11 Patterns from Everyday Inspirations. Dana is a hugely talented quilter and as soon as I saw the beautiful quilt on the cover of her new book, I knew I needed to get my hands on it.
Imagine Quilts is 64 pages and contains 11 quilt patterns. The patterns are sorted into 4 sections: “be inspired by your stash”, “use techniques in new ways”, “look around”, and “break the rules”. There is a 1 page introduction and then Dana jumps into the patterns.
I love the idea of being inspired by your stash. Many of us are a bit of fabric collectors…sometimes even forgetting what we have buried under the piles. Dana talks about pulling fabric, making piles, and seeing where that leads you.
Imagine Quilts not only has very in depth patterns…
But also even shows alternative layouts with one of the blocks.
The “Zip It!” quilt is one of my favorites. I just look at it and think “how did she do that??”
I also love the “Princess Crowns” quilt and Dana’s ideas on working with Dresden Plates. This quilt would be fun in a huge range of colors.
Each pattern that requires templates has them printed in the book, to scale. All you need to do is make copies – I don’t believe I saw any that required enlarging (which is always nice!). The end of the book contains 6 pages of terms, tools and tips and tricks.
I hope you will check out Imagine Quilts and also be inspired by the patterns inside!