Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

A Modern Whimsy

Modern Whimsy 1

Last week I finished my Modern Whimsy quilt, and I am very pleased with how it turned out! When choosing a design this time, I turned to my collection of quilt books and ended up using a pattern (sort of) in the book Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspirationby Malka Dubrawsky. This is the quilt from the pattern. I say I “sort of” followed the pattern because rather than using the actual measurements, I just made up my own based on the width of the solid fabrics I had and also the size of one of my quilting rulers. {Lazy much?} This meant the solid fabrics I used were cut 2.5″ x 17″ and the printed fabrics were cut to 6″ x 17″.

Modern Whimsy 2

There were a couple things that drew me to Malka’s pattern. First was the fact that the resulting quilt appeared random and scrappy, but if you look at the solid fabrics, they are actually a pattern. In each column, the top 3 solid strips are the same color, the next 2 are the same color, and then the bottom 4 are the same color.

Modern Whimsy 3

When I was laying out the Modern Whimsy prints, I made sure not to place a print with a non-white background between 2 solids that matched. For example, if the printed fabric had a blue background, I did not place it between blue solids. This ensured the fabric would really pop and not get lost in the quilt.

Modern Whimsy 4

This quilt went together extremely quickly. I cut it in one evening and assembled the top the next morning. I think it has a pretty nice “wow” factor for a short timeframe.

Modern Whimsy 6

For the back, I used some leftover prints and solids and made a strip through the top of the quilt. I quilted in a meandering free motion style. The binding is scrappy, using all of the colors of the Modern Whimsy circles. I really love how that part turned out, especially from the back. It measures 62″ x 49″.

Modern Whimsy 7

I’m very excited about the destination for this quilt. I have a group of friends that started in an online message group 6 years ago. We met when we were all pregnant with our now 5 year olds. Over the last 6 years, the group has become a little smaller and moved locations, but there are still quite a few of us together. A lot of us have met each other in real life through vacations or just the fact that we happen to live in the same cities. It would be impossible to tell you how special this group is to me. We have been through a lot together – from siblings being born, to losing children, love, divorce, career changes, illness…even losing two of our own to cancer.

Modern Whimsy 5

I tell you all this so you know how important this group of women and their families are to me, and how lucky I am to have the chance to help one of these moms and her son with a quilt. One of our moms (a fellow Chicagoan) has a little boy who was born 5 years ago extremely premature. He has cerebral palsy and receives therapy at Center for Independence, Through Conductive Education. It is an intense therapy program for children with Cerebral Palsy. The center has made unbelievable progress with my friend’s son – he has even started a bit of walking with a reverse walker, something they were told he would never be able to do. And the best part is that they do not turn anyone down because if an inability to pay.

This quilt is being donated to the Center for Independence for an annual auction fundraiser on March 2nd. I hope it helps raise a bit of money for an organization that has given so much hope to someone I love.

January 23, 2012   35 Comments

My First Finish of 2012 ~ Morning Tides

Morning Tides Front

First, I just want to thank everyone for your kind comments on my “A Million Thanks” post! You all are seriously making me blush and I am looking forward to coming up with new ideas for tutorials and quilt alongs for everyone! It’s going to be a great year I think.

And I’m happy to share my first quilt of this new year, Morning Tides. Designer Mark Cesarik sent me a bit of his fabric collection last month and I knew right away that I wanted to make improv blocks with it.

Morning Tides Quilt

I incorporated a few shades of tan and some white into the blocks. They are all a bit different in size. I sashed them in white then to make the center of the quilt.

Morning Tides Blocks

I can’t take credit for the idea of off-centering the main focus of the quilt. Heather did this last year and I loved it! So I added a border of purple, wider on the right and bottom sides. I also added in a bit more of the Morning Tides fabric for added interest. The purple is FreeSpirit Designer Solids Lavender and it is a perfect match.

I quilted the blocks and white portion of the quilt in a meandering, free motion style. Then I quilted the purple border with straight lines, spaced about every 3/4″.

I went out yesterday in the freezing cold to try to get some photos with my camera’s remote. I was laughing at some of the photos when I got home. “Is this thing working??”

Testing 123

And then half the photos were like this – sideways! Oh well, live and learn!

Morning Tides Sideways

January 5, 2012   32 Comments

A {Tiny} Stitch in Color

A {Tiny} Stitch in Color quilt

Earlier this Fall, I was lucky enough to received some fabric from Quilt Market from my friend Katie. I had done some graphic work for her and as a “thank you” she really spoiled me with a Fat Quarter set of Echo by Lotta Jansdotter as well as a little sample charm pack of Malka Dubrawsky’s upcoming fabric line for Moda, A Stitch in Color. I saw a bit of this fabric in person at Malka’s Improvisation Piecing class from the summer, and I’ve been excited about it every since.

A {Tiny} Stitch in Color quilt

I’m not sure if you have ever seen these little sample charm packs, but the squares are 2.5″. I knew I wanted to showcase the bold prints in this line, so I decided to make a simple patchwork quilt with several shades of off-white and tan from my fabric stash. This is another project that I thought I would finish in a couple hours but sewing 200+ tiny squares together accurately actually took longer than I thought!

A {Tiny} Stitch in Color quilt

For the quilting, I wanted to do something a bit in contrast to the horizontal and vertical rows and columns, so I decided to first quilt a diagonal line through all the squares. Then I added two more diagonal lines in the resulting empty diagonal sections, leaving every other section empty. I am thinking about hanging this on a tan wall in my house, so I bound it in off-white so it would not blend into the wall.

Morton Arboretum - December

I went to the Arboretum again today for my photos. Winter is really taking it’s time to show up here in Chicago. I know I shouldn’t complain because a couple months from now I will be SO ready to be done with the cold and snow, but I will miss having a white Christmas if it doesn’t start snowing soon.

Morton Arboretum - December

It’s still beautiful though, even without the white stuff.

December 16, 2011   17 Comments

Prism : Quilt and Pattern for Quiltmaker Magazine

Prism

** Update: For those that missed out on the issue of Quiltmaker Magazine, I’m excited to announce this pattern is now available for sale for instant download in my shop. **

I feel like I’ve been waiting ages to show you this quilt. Last July, Quiltmaker magazine asked me to create a quilt pattern for their January/February 2012 issue that fit into the category of “modern color”. I designed this quilt, which I call Prism. It uses 99 paper pieced blocks. Simple paper piecing though, I promise!

Quiltmaker

I spent August working on the quilt, and that even included taking it and my machine on vacation with me so I could get it done on a tight timeline! Luckily I have a very understanding husband.

Prism Detail

The quilt is made using all Free Spirit designer solids. These are all the bright colors, except for the dark purple.

Free Spirit Designer Solids
Pink, Fuchsia, Tango, Orange, Saffron, Lemon, Kiwi, Apple Green, Sky, Rocket Blue, Lavender, (Violet not shown)

So the magazine article itself is really cool. I’m lucky enough to be featured with two other bloggers I’m sure you know – Rachel from Stitched in Color and Elizabeth from Don’t Call Me Betsy. They both also have great patterns in the issue. We were all interviewed on our thoughts regarding use of color and there is a write up before the patterns.

Quiltmaker Article

My two pages in all their glory!

Quiltmaker Pattern

The final quilt measures 70″ x 85″. I quilted it in straight lines, on both sizes of the horizontal and vertical seams. I also quilted in the ditch on both sides of the white fabric.

Prism Hill

The back is solid white with a simple stripe of all the colors I used on the front.

Prism Back

The solids and the pattern of this quilt make it probably the most modern I’ve created. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and am really thrilled to be in my first print magazine. I hope you will check it out!

And speaking of pattern making, Generation Q has a post up on their blog about what *really* goes into writing a pattern. If you are interested in pattern making yourself, or just are curious into the time and effort involved, head on over.

December 6, 2011   88 Comments