Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend. I spent both days traveling to the city for various birthday and Mother’s Day parties – May is a very, very busy month in our family. I did manage to get a photo of me and my kiddos yesterday. Usually I’m at the other end of the camera so it’s always a special treat.
I wasn’t able to spend any time at my sewing machine, but I did finish up my newest mini quilt last Friday. This quilt was so fun to make. Mostly because of the great fabrics from Laura Gunn. The colors are really amazing!
When making this quilt, I first cut my neutral squares at 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″. Initially I thought this was going to be a pillow, so I set it up to finish at 18″ x 18″. This means there are 9 squares across and 9 squares down (for a total of 81). I pieced those together first, and then created my quilt sandwich for quilting. The neutral fabrics I used are all Free Spirit Designer Solids – Pearl, Sand Dune and Dogwood.
After that was all set up, I started placing out my circles until I came up with a layout that I liked. I used Heat n Bond Lite to fuse the circles to the squares.
After I was done ironing everything into place, I did the quilting. I’m not sure if this is a weird order to go about the process, but I thought it would be fun/smart to combine the applique and quilting steps. (As opposed to appliqueing the circles onto the squares, and then sewing them together, creating the quilt sandwich, and quilting).
At first I started just going around the edge of each circle, but after one row I changed my mind and decided on something a little different. So I ripped out those stitches and started quilting 4 straight lines through the middle of each row and column. Just something a bit unexpected.
From the beginning, when I was thinking about this project, I envisioned raw edges fraying in the finished quilt. I’ve washed it a couple times now and it’s only now starting to fray a little. I think I need to throw it back in a couple more times. I’m really enjoying the texture it’s creating.
This week I’m hoping to sit down and do some design work, and also get back to work on my Simply Style work in progress. Finger’s crossed!
May 13, 2013 30 Comments
*Lots* of eye candy for you today! Last week I received a little bit of designer Laura Gunn‘s new line, Edges, in the mail. It arrived courtesy of Michael Miller Fabrics. I absolutely love the colors she chose for her latest collection.
As I was laying out the charms to take pictures, I was getting more and more excited to cut into them. I wanted to really feature all these great colors.
Inspired by this print from the line…
And this amazing quilt by my mom (hi mom!)…
I decided to make something with circles. I cheated a bit and used my Sizzix die cutter to cut these out.
They are 1-1/2″ in diameter. Before I cut them, I iron Heat n Bond Lite to the back of my charms, as I am going to fuse the circles onto fabric before quilting.
I spent Wednesday playing with the layout. The neutral squares are 2″ x 2″ finished. I can’t wait to share the completed mini quilt with you soon!
Edges is now available in stores. You can find it at Fat Quarter Shop.
May 10, 2013 30 Comments
One of the fun things about living with a 3 or 4 year old is their always-going imagination. My son has been in a pirate phase for months. He walks around with a cup on his foot (his peg leg), his finger curled like a hook and he’s even given himself a couple pirate names. Depending on the day, you can call him either Captain Willypanels or Captain Root Beard. That’s why when I saw Sarah Jane Studios fabric line Out to Sea, I knew it would make a perfect quilt for him.
This quilt was really easy to make. I combined several of the Out to Sea prints with other coordinating fabrics from my stash. These include some of Moda’s Mono Pez, Lizzy House’s Pearl Bracelets, Sarah Jane’s Children at Play, and Aneela Hoey’s Little Apples. I think one of the keys to making a quilt that really pops is using different shades of each color. As you can see, there are several obviously different shades of blue. But also, the yellows and reds are different. The prints with the white background give your eye a place to rest.
I cut each rectangle 3″ x 10″ and the quilt has 6 columns and 24 rows, for a total of 144 rectangles. The finished size is 57″ x 60″.
I had a definite picture in my head when I started this quilt, and that vision included rounded corners. I found a circular picture frame in my house that was just the right size, and used that as a template to cut the corners. It’s such a nice detail that softens the look of all those rectangles. Just don’t forget to use bias binding when you make something with round edges, or your finished product won’t lay flat.
I also knew I wanted to quilt with wavy lines. It gives a nice texture and reminds me of the ocean which is perfect for this quilt. I’ve mentioned this technique before, but as a refresher, I use the Running Stitch on my machine (Bernina stitch #4) and max out the width and set the length to 4.0. I use my walking foot while quilting.
The backing is a dark navy minky, which made for messy quilting! I had to really work the carpet in my sewing room with the vacuum after I was done basting. The binding is a dot from Sarah Jane Studios Children at Play line.
My son loves the quilt. While I was working on it, he told me he wasn’t going to use it. I called his bluff though, and luckily I was right! It’s quite a nice feeling to know he’s spending time now cuddling under something I’ve made.
April 4, 2013 52 Comments
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.
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.
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.
I quilted this in straight lines, about 1/2″ apart.
The backing is one of my favorite prints from designer Anna Maria Horner.
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