Today I’m very excited to share with you a new book by designer and author Lucie Summers, Quilt Improv: Incredible Quilts from Everyday Inspirations. Many of you probably know Lucie through her fabrics for Moda. I have a fair share of them in my stash and I’m constantly reaching for them when working on scrappy projects.
When I first opened Quilt Improv, I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the photography. I have a very large library of quilting books. (Sort of a quilt book addict.) I think I can easily say, these are the most beautifully photographed quilts in my entire collection.
Seriously. If I could spell out what would make a perfect setting for quilt photos, I would probably say rustic barns…
historic looking stone walls…
And what is this? A truck full of flower bulbs? (LOVE!!)
I want to move into every picture! I honestly feel like this could be a coffee table book. Drool worthy.
Quilt Improv has directions for several improvisational techniques, referred to as The Building Blocks: Applique Circle, Basket Weave, Chain Pieced Strips, Chevrons, Crazy Triangles, Half Square Triangles, Log Cabins, Pieced Squares, Portholes, Quarter Circles, String Blocks and X Blocks; as well as 12 Quilts. Is is absolutely packed with information.
I decided to make a little project out of the book, and in the spirit of one of my New Year’s Resolutions, include one of my kids in the fun. I showed my 4 year old the project – Chain-Pieced Strips. I let him dig through my scrap tubs and lay out all the fabrics.
I trimmed them to size and sewed them together. It was actually a really fun project to work on together. He was so excited, he kept saying “I can’t believe I’m making my very own quilt!!”
I quilted and bound it and now it is a very special quilt for his stuffed panda.
Improv can be a little scary, but it’s also quite freeing and a great way to sew with kids.
Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour – some stops even have giveaways!
January 21, 2014 39 Comments
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 31 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
I first fell in love with Dresdens when I saw the beautiful quilt on the cover of Material Obsession. (Remember, I’ve only been quilting a few years.) A year ago I bought an EZ Dresden ruler and made my first Dresden mini quilt – it was surprisingly easy!
This month the Salt Lake City Modern Quilt Guild is celebrating Darlene Zimmerman’s twentieth anniversary of developing EZ Quilting Rulers – including that EZ Dresden ruler I had so much success using – with the EZ Dresden Challenge. Go check out their page to see the details and prizes – LOTS of prizes. Seriously GOOD stuff, like a sewing machine!
The first stage of the celebration is a blog hop that will hopefully start to get you thinking about different dresden designs and ideas. I decided to focus on dots, inspired by that cover quilt from Material Obsession. Each quadrant of my dresden mini quilt is a different dot though. Also, each quadrant is composed of different shades of a solid.
A dot from Tanya Whelan’s Delilah fabric line…
A dot from Sarah Jane Studio’s Children at Play fabric line…
And a dot from Riley Blake’s October Afternoon Fly a Kite fabric line…
To help you get started, I’m going to give away TWO EZ Dresden Rulers to two of you. Just leave a comment and I will pick a winner Thursday, June 14th in the evening.
And don’t forget to continue following the blog hop and start thinking of ideas for your entry.
June 1 – The Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild
June 2 – Lee
June 3 – Kati
June 4 – Victoria and Tanya
June 5 – Val and Leigh
June 6 – Amy and Elisa
June 7 – Katie and Emily
June 8 – Melissa and Brooke
June 9 – Nicole and Amy
June 10 – Elizabeth and Colleen
June 11 – Me! and Deonn
June 12 – Angela and Barbie
June 13 – Amy
June 14 – Jessica
June 15 – Salt Lake MQG: Wrap-up
++ Update – closing comments to pick the winners of the rulers! ++
The winners are #50 and #143.
Diane W said “A Dresden ruler is next on my list of must-have rulers. Thanks for the giveaway.”
Lou Ann said “I would love to win. I made my first quilt just last month. All squares. Time to try another pattern and shape.”
Congratulations! I will email you both for your addresses. Thanks for commenting everyone!
June 11, 2012 240 Comments