Four Square ~ A Finished Quilt and Pattern

Four Square Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My Four Square quilt is finished, and the rain stopped for a short break on Tuesday to allow me a photo opportunity! I shared some in progress photos of these blocks as I was planning and stitching – here and here. As I mentioned earlier, this quilt was inspired by a shirt I bought this Spring at JCrew. What can I say, all inspiration can’t come from art and architecture. 😉

Four Square Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I really enjoyed working with what I would call a more “mature” color palette on this quilt. Most of the focal fabrics are from various Carolyn Friendlander collections, with some Cotton + Steel basics and other fabrics from my stash mixed in. The background is a muted white on white (maybe even like a faint foggy color?) print from Cotton + Steel. I’m having fun lately using non solids for the backgrounds, especially when there is more background than focal print in the pattern.

Four Square Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The Four Square quilt is lap sized, measuring 58″ x 68″. It has a modern, minimalistic design. I selected the same fabric for all four squares in each block, but I think it would look equally nice as a completely scrappy quilt. The background could also be scrappy, maybe low volume prints? Or a dark background with light squares?

Four Square Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

For the backing and the binding, I used a print from Rashida Coleman-Hale’s Mochi collection called Dottie’s Cousin. The backing is teal and the binding is mint.

Four Square Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I quilted it with diagonal lines. In one direction, they are spaced about every 1/2″. In the other direction, they are just 1/4″ on each side of the outer edges of the four square prints.

Four Square Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

For those interested in the pattern, it is available in my shop here on my blog, as well as my Etsy shop (for EU customers). I’m suggesting it’s appropriate for advanced beginners, only because it is really important to stitch with a consistent 1/4″ seam. If you’ve made a few quilts (or anything with a sewing machine where a nice consistent seam is important), you will not have trouble making this quilt.

Four Square is already washed up and nice and crinkly, draped over the couch in my sewing room. I hope you will share photos if you make one of your own!

Quiet Stitching

Four Square Quilt Pattern : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Phew, it’s been a busy few days. I guess that’s pretty typical for the end of the school year. Lots of celebrations, travel, and soccer with some colds and allergies mixed in. I was happy to have a bit of quiet stitching time the last couple of days. Only 4 days of school left (not that I’m counting). I’m looking forward to the relaxation of summer and spending more time with my kids. They are at such fun ages (6 and 8).

Remember those tiny squares I cut a few weeks ago? Well, after I changed my mind as to how I was going to assemble the blocks – and REcut some of them – I’m finally back in business. I think I’m going to call this quilt “Four Square”. It’s inspired by a shirt I bought this year from JCrew. I really like the simple, repetitive design. It’s calming to me.

Four Square Quilt Pattern : Fresh Lemons Quilts

If possible, I do most of my sewing as chain piecing. That means my projects usually go from pieces…to more pieces…to slightly bigger pieces…to BAM! Finished blocks!

Peony : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I also just had to share this beautiful peony from my garden. I love peony season, it is just too short. I finally had enough blooms to not feel guilty about cutting a few for a vase inside. Something pretty to look at while I sew. Now I wonder, will I get this quilt top finished before school is out on Tuesday? We shall see!

Scrappy Kaleidoscope ~ A Finished Quilt

Scrappy Kaleidoscope : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Sorry it’s been a bit quiet around here the last few days, but I promised myself I wouldn’t post again until I finished my Scrappy Kaleidoscope quilt. And it’s done! I love this quilt so much – it’s going to be a hard one to give away. But the recipient deserves much thanks for all her work and care over the last year, so I’m happy to have made something pretty for her.

Scrappy Kaleidoscope : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The prints are scrappy and the background is FreeSpirit Solids Sand Dune (personal favorite). As I mentioned in a previous post, I made this quilt by paper piecing 12″ (finished) kaleidoscope blocks. I made a paper piecing template, and you can download it here. Be sure to print 4 copies at 100% or Actual Size to make your own 12″ block.

Scrappy Kaleidoscope : Fresh Lemons Quilts

There are 30 blocks in this quilt, and it measures 60″ x 72″. I quilted it in a meandering free motion design. The lighter colors just didn’t photograph well with the quilting texture last night, but it is oh-so-pretty in person and I wouldn’t change one piece of fabric.

Scrappy Kaleidoscope : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Above is a nice shot from while I was getting ready to baste.

Scrappy Kaleidoscope : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The backing and binding are Wordfind in Pink by Melody Miller for Cotton + Steel, part of her Playful collection. I love it so much! I’ve also pieced in a specially embroidered label on the back, with To, From, and Date details. Sorry, no pics as I don’t want to spoil the surprise too much.

Scrappy Kaleidoscope : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Next up, basting and quilting the Cubs Quilt! I’m thinking straight lines for that one. My back is sore just thinking about it!

Two Steps Forward…

Fabric Pull : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’ve spent the week in a bit of a holding pattern. I have both gift quilt tops finished and have been waiting for my kids to embroider some labels for them. Only to realize I had no batting. I spent early this week on quilt backs and catching up on some other sewing commitments. Yesterday, I decided to work a bit on a quilt that I planned out just before Sewtopia.

I cut many, many tiny squares. I just love this palette, mainly inspired by Carolyn Friedlander’s fabric lines. The more I work with Carolyn’s fabrics, the more I am convinced she is a quiet design genius. The small scale and color of her prints…they just inspire me lately. There’s some Cotton + Steel basics and a few others from my stash mixed in there as well, coordinating nicely.

Fabric Pull : Fresh Lemons Quilts

So I have this block planned out (which I’ll share later), and I thought I knew how I was going to assemble it. Well, you know the old saying “two steps forward, one step back” right?

While I was mindlessly stitching away, I glanced at my sample and realized there was a better (and easier!) way to accomplish it. Sometimes I just break things down to such a small level that I fail to stand back and look at the bigger picture. I stopped everything, made a new test block, and realized that yes, this was the new and better way to go. It’s a bit discouraging to know that I wasted all my time so far. I called it a day and let myself mope, but today I’m going to go back into the sewing room and start fresh.

Oh – and I now have one kiddie quilt label finished and batting ready, so I will also be basting and maybe wrapping up a quilt today. Wish me luck!