A Visit, a Quilt and a Week Off

International Quilt Festival

This week is Spring Break here in the Chicago suburbs. The kids and I have just been hanging out at home, playing outside during the few glorious days of sunshine. I’ve only spent a few stolen moments here and there at the sewing machine, starting work on teacher quilts. (I need to make TWO this year!)

International Quilt Festival

Last weekend my parents came to visit and we went to Quilt Festival in Chicago. I have been really out of the loop I guess, because I had no idea it moved from the Summer to Spring! Luckily my mom was on top of it and planned her visit accordingly. The quilts you see in the top photo of this post are of the Ruby Jubilee exhibit. If you are a regular reader here, you’ve heard me say I love, love, love red and white quilts. So this exhibit was a treat for me. Inspired by the Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts exhibit in New York City, these quilts are a collection of old and new, modern and traditional. All stunning.

Cog + Wheel adaptation by Lorellen Moore

My mom also brought her latest quilt finish to visit. (Hi Mom!) We took it over to my favorite local barn for photos. Isn’t it cool? This quilt was created using Denyse Schmidt’s Cog + Wheel pattern, obviously with some big modifications. She changed where the pattern has negative space and prints, created her own paper piecing template (sorry, I can’t share that as Cog + Wheel is for sale), made some half blocks, rearranged the layout, added a border…

Cog + Wheel adaptation by Lorellen Moore

The prints are mostly from Lotta Jansdotter’s new collection, Follie. You can prints from this collection at following shops:

Gotham Quilts
Harts Fabric
Sew Modern
Fat Quarter Shop
Fabric Spark

She also mixed in some large scale Japanese prints (those letters in the background).

Cog + Wheel adaptation by Lorellen Moore

My mom quilted this on her new BERNINA 750QE (yep, we are now machine twins!) using a wavy stitch. You can read more about creating that stitch here.

I love the quilt mom!

A Snake Trail Quilt ~ by Lorellen Moore

Snake Trail Quilt by Lorellen Moore : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Last weekend, I went to Cincinnati to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday. It was a lot of fun – great weather, a visit to the Cincinnati Nature Center and a really, really delicious dinner at Sotto.

Family : Fresh Lemons Quilts

While I was there, I also was able to see my mom’s latest quilt finish in person ~ her Snake Trail Quilt.

Snake Trail Quilt by Lorellen Moore : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My mom is really a master at taking a pattern and changing it up to make it her own. This quilt uses blocks from the Snake Trail pattern in Denyse Schmidt’s book Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration.

Snake Denyse Schmidt Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My mom changed up the pattern in several ways. First, she altered the construction of the block. She used the pattern to determine the correct placement of the curves on the square, but rather than traditionally piecing the block, she converted the pattern to use foundation paper piecing. (See! We are so alike! She loves to paper piece too!)

Next, she reduced the block size 78%, to make it a bit smaller. The most obvious change however, is the layout. This is the pattern in the book.

Snake Denyse Schmidt Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The layout possibilities for this block are really endless. My mom used an assortment of colors of linen for the background. For the Snake Trail, she used a scrappy mix of Liberty of London (I believe some purchased from Sewn Studio in Cincinnati) and other prints in her fabric stash.

Snake Trail Quilt by Lorellen Moore : Fresh Lemons Quilts

She quilted it in the ditch of the block squares, and then about 1/2″ away from the curved seam lines. It just turned out amazing! I hope you are inspired by my mom, just like I am.

Big Top Quilt ~ Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration Challenge

Big Top Quilt ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

Yay! I am finally posting finished pictures, inspiration, pattern and voting details for my Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration Challenge quilt! Last July, I was contacted by Free Spirit Fabrics and asked if I wanted to participate in a Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration Challenge. The rules were…

Make a 60 x 60 inch quilt with Denyse Schmidts’s Modern Solids Collection. In the spirit of Denyse’s book “Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration”, the design should be inspired by – or be your own interpretation of – a traditional quilt pattern.

Big Top Quilt ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

Well if you know me, you know I love Denyse Schmidt, I love solids, and I love modern traditionalism! So it was a no brainer. I sat down with my favorite block anthology books, including Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns. For those of you that are not familiar with this book, it is completely awesome. It is a hand drawn collection of hundreds (thousands?) of historic quilt blocks and their source. There are no directions for making the blocks, simply drawings of the blocks themselves.

I really was taken with Nancy Cabot’s Spring and Fall quilt block (block 216.27 in this photo).

Big Top Quilt Inspiration ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

I liked that it had the basic shape of flying geese blocks, not a 12″ square. I also liked that it included some unexpected details with the tiny half square triangles inside. They were a bit too much detail for my personal taste though – but I really wanted to incorporate that concept somehow. I went about “modernizing” the block by taking that space and changing it to chunks of solid color.

Big Top Quilt ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

I selected colors for each block from the Modern Solids fat quarter box color families, giving them a really nice, dynamic look. For the quilt top layout, I alternated the direction of the blocks throughout the quilt, and incorporated a lot of negative space. I think it really keeps your focus on the design, without it getting too cluttered.

Big Top Quilt ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’ve made a quilt pattern for this design, so far available only as a PDF download. I named it “Big Top” because they remind me of little tents. :) You can find the pattern in my shop.

Big Top Quilt ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

And now for voting details! You can vote for your favorite quilt now through October 14th in a few places:

FreeSpirit Facebook Album
FreeSpirit Blog
FreeSpirit Pinterest Board

I’ve said before, this was a VERY friendly challenge. All of us participating know and respect each other. Everyone’s quilts are so great! So go over and pick your favorite quilt that embodies the “Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration” goal. But trust me, it will be very hard to pick a favorite!