Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Aye Aye Captain!

Aye Aye Captain Quilt

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.

Aye Aye Captain Quilt

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.

Aye Aye Captain Quilt

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″.

Aye Aye Captain Quilt

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.

Aye Aye Captain Quilt

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.

Aye Aye Captain Quilt

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.

Aye Aye Captain Quilt

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

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

This Way, That Way

This Way That Way Front

I finished my Glimma quilt just a couple of hours ago and I am pretty proud of myself for braving the frigid cold outside to get pictures! It helped that my car has heated seats. And I think it’s actually 20 degrees which feels like a heatwave after the sub-zeros from the last two days!

I’ve decided to call this quilt “This Way, That Way”. I love the effect of the flying geese going in all the different directions.

This Way That Way Detail

As I mentioned here and here, Windham Fabrics sent me a little pack of charms from Lotta Jansdotter’s upcoming line Glimma, due out in April. I decided to mix it with two shades of Essex Linen – yarn dyed in black and flax. Paper piecing the flying geese made working with the linen quite easy. When it came to removing the paper and sewing everything together however, I really relied on starch. It stiffened up the fabric enough to make it easy to work with, not stretching all over the place.

This Way That Way Quilting

I quilted this with diagonal lines, randomly spaced. They are each between 1/4″ and 1/2″ apart. I bound it with the Yarn Dyed Black Essex Linen. The back is a Moda Crossweave in a coral color (not sure the exact name). It measures 30″ x 40″.

This Way That Way Back

Have I mentioned that I’m actually going to get to meet Lotta at QuiltCon? I signed up for her Textile Printing class and I can’t wait! Is anyone else taking it? And speaking of QuiltCon, I am honored to have two quilts selected to be displayed, my Off Centered Improv and my Belle Wave quilts. I’ll be spending the next week getting them ready, sewing hanging sleeves, labels, and packing them up to ship. Fun, fun!

January 23, 2013   44 Comments

A Friend For My Pillow

A Friend for my Autumn Star Pillow

I decided my couch looked kind of funny with one fall pillow (my Autumn Star Pillow) and one regular pillow. So I made a friend for Autumn Star.

A Friend for my Autumn Star Pillow

I wanted to use the same general fabrics but not the same design, so I made a couple columns of flying geese. I chose to paper piece them because I’m just so much more exact when I use that technique. I didn’t make a tutorial but I did make a PDF of the templates I whipped up to use. You can download it here.

Fall Pillows

I was able to fit 10 on one sheet of paper but you’ll need to print 2 sheets if you want to make a pillow like mine. You’ll have a few leftover. If you’ve never paper pieced before – these are easy! I have a tutorial on the technique here.

I think they look happy together!

November 6, 2012   24 Comments