Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Confetti Logs

Confetti Logs Front
Look how great my 6 year old holds a quilt!

This month the Naperville Modern Quilt Guild had a log cabin challenge. We were all asked to make a 36″ x 36″ quilt with log cabin(s) in a modern way. Last night was the meeting and everyone came up with such great designs! Really, no two were alike. It was a lot of fun seeing everyone’s quilts and the thought that went into all of them.

Confetti Logs

I decided to make all white log cabins with tiny strips of bright fabrics randomly incorporated into the logs. The logs are various widths, from 1-1/2″ to 1/2″ finished.

Confetti Logs Detail

This quilt was pretty improvisational. Although I had a plan for the blocks in my head, I wasn’t really sure about how to put them together. At first I was thinking about 1 giant block. Then it changed to multiple blocks. Then I decided I needed some separation to define the blocks. Ideas floated around from using neutral tan to narrow strips of color, stacked. But in the end I decided on larger color blocks.

Confetti Logs Quilting

I quilted this in straight lines, about 1/2″ apart.

Confetti Logs Back

The backing is one of my favorite prints from designer Anna Maria Horner.

Confetti Logs Binding

The binding was also something that changed at the last minute. I was planning on doing bright scrappy binding, but after it was cut it just seemed like too much. So I went looking through my stash and my eyes were drawn to one of my favorites from Violet Craft’s Madrona Road – the black text print. I worked in a couple spots of bright strips just to echo the design of the blocks.

And in an Arkansas Traveler update…I finished the quilt top! It looks great and the backing just arrived. I am still deciding on the quilting, but that will be the next large project to tackle on my list.

March 29, 2013   30 Comments

Paper Piecing, Log Cabins and New Fabric

This post is going to be all over the place. But that’s not always a bad thing, right? I’ve been busy sewing over the last couple of weeks. Not really finishing anything but making good progress.

First up, my Arkansas Traveler quilt. After lots of cutting, sewing diamonds, paper piecing those diamonds, trimming, trimming and trimming, I have 96+ blocks! It really feels like a huge milestone.

You can find a tutorial to make this block on Lee of Freshly Pieced’s site. Those of you with an eagle eye might notice my template is a little different than the one from the Summer Sampler Series. I’m trying out something new Lee came up with, less seams, but maybe a little trickier to assemble the final block, depending on how you feel about sewing together shapes other than squares.

I know I said I wasn’t going to share my final design until I was done. I guess I lied. Here’s the plan! This weekend/next week I’m hoping to finish the quilt top assembly.

As a bit of a personal reward for finishing all those components, I cut into the little pack of Liberty of London Lifestyle fabric I picked up at Quilt Con.

I knew I wanted to pair it with some Essex Linen in Natural. I thought it would look super cute as one of Anna’s Open Wide Pouches. Great pattern, as usual! I made the smallest size because I only had a 10″ zipper on hand. (I bought my metal zipper from Zip It on Etsy.)

The inside is Stamped by Ellen Luckett Baker for Kokka.

This week I also performed a little surgery on my local Modern Quilt Guild challenge quilt top. You can read up on the sadness of unmatching white fabric here.

I finished the top yesterday (happy dance!) and will share the finished quilt next week. That is a promise – it’s due Thursday!

I also have been lucky enough to receive some new fabric in the mail this week.

Windham was kind enough to send some of Lotta Jansdotter’s Glimma Canvas for me to check out. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with canvas so I’m pretty excited to try something out. They also sent a charm pack of Ride, Julia Rothman’s second collection. I seriously love the little bicycle wheels. My son has already claimed this for his own, so I’m thinking of using it in some way to make him a tote bag for the library.

I also had a very happy surprise from Moda Fabrics – three layer cakes of upcoming collections.

These are S’More Love by Eric and Julie Comstock, Simply Style by Vanessa of V and Co, and Honeysweet by Fig Tree & Co. (Seriously, I don’t know how I got so lucky!)

I decided to immediately cut into Vanessa’s fabric because, well, I think she’s pretty fun. :) I found a block in 163 Favorite Patchwork Patterns : Japanese Craft Book, an awesome book I purchased a few months ago from The Workroom in Canada.

I had some questions on Instagram about this book. It is all in Japanese. There are diagrams that help give ideas about block assembly, but there are no directions or sizes in English. If you like a challenge and are good at figuring things out, this is the book for you. I do, and really, what do you have to lose except a little bit of fabric? Keeps my old mind sharp. ;)

So anyway, I picked this cool design…

And started to layout a couple blocks…

And then something funny happened. I made these up at pretty much the exact same time Lee was writing up her post to announce her planned Bloom Bloom Pow Quilt Along with a very similar block! Yesterday morning we had a good laugh about how we must be totally on the save wave length after writing the book together. So! If you like the block, are interested in making the block, you are in luck because Lee’s about to start her quilt along and will have tutorials for you. Her block just has some great additional shading.

Phew! I hope some of you made it through all that! Next week is Spring Break here. (As I ignore the -4 degree wind chill and snow outside…) I’m not really sure if that means I’ll get more sewing done (not driving the kids all over the place) or less (more play time with the kids!). We’ll see. My newly 4 year old wants to put on a kid art show in the house, so we have big crafting plans. Very exciting! Have a great weekend everyone!

March 22, 2013   36 Comments

A Little Sewing Progress

Log Cabin2

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.

Log Cabin3

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!

Log Cabin1
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!

Arkansas Traveler

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.

Arkansas Traveler2

Someone guessed correctly that I’m making Arkansas Traveler blocks.

Arkansas Traveler3

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

100 Quilts for Kids

100 Quilts for Kids is a charity quilt drive started in 2010 by Katie of Swim, Bike, Quilt and the DC Modern Quilt Guild. The first year, the goal was to create and collect 100 quilts to donate locally to children in need of some extra comfort. By the second year, several hundred quilts were made and donated. I’m sure the quilt drive will be even a bigger success this year.

100 Quilts for Kids

It’s very easy to participate. Simply make a quilt, donate it (locally if possible), and post a photo in the “Link Up” party, which also enters you to win a few fabulous prizes which are listed on Katie’s blog.

100 Quilts for Kids Blocks

For my quilt for donation, I decided to use my Quilting Bee Blocks from the Twice Around the Block Virtual Quilting Bee which wrapped up earlier this year. I sent a lot of bright fabrics to my bee group and asked them to make scrappy log cabins.

100 Quilts for Kids Layout

I posted a photo on Instagram asking if people thought I should finish with sashing or no sashing – the vote was for no sashing and I think it looks great for a child, lots of color! The back is a collection of fat quarters and a half yard from my stash.

100 Quilts for Kids Back

The quilting is straight lines, randomly spaced between 1/4″ and 1″.

100 Quilts for Kids Quilting

Some ideas of places to donate quilts are Project Linus, Wrap Them in Love Foundation, Newborns in Need, the (not related) Quilts for Kids organization, your local women’s shelter or your local hospital. If you are still stumped, check with your local quilt shop and I am sure they know of organizations in your area that need donations.

If you aren’t sure what sort of quilt to make, Katie is also hosting a quilt along as part of 100 Quilts for Kids. And finally, don’t forget to post photos of any finished quilt for the drive in the Flickr Group.

Thanks for donating everyone!

September 3, 2012   6 Comments