Remember the last Arkansas Traveler quilt I made and gifted? I’ve known since I sent that one away that I wanted to make one for myself. So as a bit of a reward to finishing up some UFOs and deadlines, I decided to start this week.
For the last several months, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about making a quilt where the background was a nice, dark blue and the focal fabrics were cream with black accents. (Many of those here are from Sweetwater, Summersville, Comma and Collage.) I spent a bit of time last week with my solid color cards and decided to go with Moda Bella Solids Admiral Blue for this quilt.
I changed up the Arkansas Traveler block a bit. I reduced the size some to make an 8″ finished block. I also decided with this smaller size, I would just use one fabric for the diamonds (rather than piecing in 4 smaller diamonds to make a larger diamond). I’ve started and finished cutting the fabrics for the quilt yesterday and am ready to start my chain paper piecing. Can’t wait to share more!
I also wanted to let you know today that one of my sponsors, Christa Quilts, is starting a new quilt along on September 25th called Modern Trees. It uses scraps to create a fun Christmas themed quilt from “Tri-Recs” trees. Make your trees solid or improv – the choice is up to you. Visit Christa’s blog for the complete quilt along schedule!
September 18, 2013 19 Comments
It’s done!! Last week, I finished up hand stitching the binding of the Arkansas Traveler quilt. I am in love with how it turned out. (For those that are new to the blog, you can find previous posts about this quilt here, here and here.)
A little backstory on this quilt…my aunt asked me to make something for my cousin and his wife who were married late last year. The design and colors were all left up to me (yes!) I have loved the Arkansas Traveler block ever since we made them in the Summer Sampler Series. They are a bit of work with the diamonds and the paper piecing, but they are just beautiful blocks.
When I was brainstorming layout ideas, I was inspired by the fact that this quilt was for a newly married couple, so symbolizing the bond of marriage was important to me. This layout is a nod to more traditional wedding quilts like a Double Wedding Ring or Irish Chain.
Measuring 72″ x 96″, I’m not sure if this is the largest quilt I’ve ever made, but it is close. It’s definitely the heaviest. Usually I use Quilter’s Dream Request Loft batting (the lowest loft), but for this one I used a slightly loftier batting, the Select Loft. The quilt is headed to Montana and I figured it was colder there so a thicker quilt would be nice.
The size and weight did make for a challenge when quilting. There were more than a few moments when I wondered if I should have sent it out to a long arm. I stitched horizontal lines, spaced randomly between 1/4″ and 3/4″ apart. I went through 12 bobbins and each of the 8 rows of blocks took about 1 hour, 15 minutes. I tried to quilt 2 rows each day. It was quite a workout!
The diamonds are all scrappy fabrics from my stash, but the neutral is Free Spirit Designer Solid in Sand Dune and the backing and binding is Submarines and Seaweed in Aqua from Tula Pink’s Saltwater line.
I’m heading to ship it out today. It’s hard to say goodbye but I’m really happy to have created something special for someone in my family.
April 22, 2013 79 Comments
Very quick update today on my Arkansas Traveler quilt. I finished the blocks! Sewing the four quadrants together for the blocks actually went pretty fast. I think it took about 2 hours to assemble 24 blocks.
I’ve started laying out the blocks for the final top. Sorry about the bad phone photo! I still need to decide on a backing and order that, but things are coming right along!
March 25, 2013 18 Comments
I have a few works in progress that have been occupying my time this week. The Naperville Modern Quilt Guild is currently doing a “log cabin challenge”, due at the end of March. All the quilts have to be 36″ x 36″ finished and use log cabins in some way. I was throwing a few idea around in my head, but in the end decided to make white log cabins with pops of color throughout them. I had a vision in my mind….they probably won’t be ALL white in the end. But I’ll wait to share the finished quilt in a couple weeks.
And if you are on Instagram, you probably know about my very, very sad moment with one of these blocks. The biggest one. (of course!) When I started sewing, I pulled some whites out of my scrap bin, before I continued to sew the block with white yardage off a bolt. Horrible idea!
Mistake block, before it got bigger
I brought my block down into natural light yesterday and discovered there are 4 logs in the center that don’t match the rest of the blocks. I think the scrap bin white was a Free Spirit White and the yardage is Moda Bella Solid White. And although many on Instagram suggested I leave it or work some other whites into the blocks, it wasn’t in my vision, so I’m going to attempt to rip it out. And if that doesn’t work, I’m just going to remake the whole thing. You’ll probably hear me crying all the way from my sewing room to yours!
I’ve also been working on my special-quilt-gift-project. Remember this stack of fabric? They’ve been cut and are in the middle of piecing.
Someone guessed correctly that I’m making Arkansas Traveler blocks.
I’ll leave the final layout as a surprise! Ok, now off to shovel the driveway for the 4th time in less than 24 hours. Please someone tell me Spring is coming soon!
March 6, 2013 33 Comments