Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Big Top Quilt ~ Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration Challenge

Big Top Quilt ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

Yay! I am finally posting finished pictures, inspiration, pattern and voting details for my Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration Challenge quilt! Last July, I was contacted by Free Spirit Fabrics and asked if I wanted to participate in a Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration Challenge. The rules were…

Make a 60 x 60 inch quilt with Denyse Schmidts’s Modern Solids Collection. In the spirit of Denyse’s book “Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration”, the design should be inspired by – or be your own interpretation of – a traditional quilt pattern.

Big Top Quilt ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

Well if you know me, you know I love Denyse Schmidt, I love solids, and I love modern traditionalism! So it was a no brainer. I sat down with my favorite block anthology books, including Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns. For those of you that are not familiar with this book, it is completely awesome. It is a hand drawn collection of hundreds (thousands?) of historic quilt blocks and their source. There are no directions for making the blocks, simply drawings of the blocks themselves.

I really was taken with Nancy Cabot’s Spring and Fall quilt block (block 216.27 in this photo).

Big Top Quilt Inspiration ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

I liked that it had the basic shape of flying geese blocks, not a 12″ square. I also liked that it included some unexpected details with the tiny half square triangles inside. They were a bit too much detail for my personal taste though – but I really wanted to incorporate that concept somehow. I went about “modernizing” the block by taking that space and changing it to chunks of solid color.

Big Top Quilt ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

I selected colors for each block from the Modern Solids fat quarter box color families, giving them a really nice, dynamic look. For the quilt top layout, I alternated the direction of the blocks throughout the quilt, and incorporated a lot of negative space. I think it really keeps your focus on the design, without it getting too cluttered.

Big Top Quilt ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’ve made a quilt pattern for this design, so far available only as a PDF download. I named it “Big Top” because they remind me of little tents. :) You can find the pattern in my shop.

Big Top Quilt ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

And now for voting details! You can vote for your favorite quilt now through October 14th in a few places:

FreeSpirit Facebook Album
FreeSpirit Blog
FreeSpirit Pinterest Board

I’ve said before, this was a VERY friendly challenge. All of us participating know and respect each other. Everyone’s quilts are so great! So go over and pick your favorite quilt that embodies the “Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration” goal. But trust me, it will be very hard to pick a favorite!

October 9, 2014   32 Comments

Blocks, Thread and Patterns

Modern Solids by Denyse Schmidt Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I had one of those weekends where you barely have time to catch your breath – 3 soccer games, 1 wedding and 2 birthday parties. Sunday night I fell asleep at 8:45! It felt good Monday to get back into the routine. I spent quite a bit of time in my sewing space. On the wall, more blocks done for my Modern Solids Challenge.

Favorite Things by Jeni Baker for Aurifil Threads : Fresh Lemons Quilts

In the mail, I treated myself to one of Jeni Baker’s Aurifil set of threads. I love the collection of colors in this box, such a great variety to have on hand.

Favorite Things by Jeni Baker for Aurifil Threads : Fresh Lemons Quilts

And at the computer (as promised), I have been working on the pattern for the Modern Solids quilt I’m making.

Quilt Pattern Writing : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Today I’m planning to spend some time trying my hand at a bit of appliqué using Corey Yoder’s new book Playful Petals. More on what I create later this week. Wish me luck!

September 16, 2014   22 Comments

Modern Solids ~ Progress!

Fresh Lemons Quilts ~ Modern Solids by Denyse Schmidt

The month of September has been dedicated to my Denyse Schmidt Modern Solids challenge for Free Spirit Fabrics. I think I’ve put a little too much pressure on myself for this one and designed no less than 5 quilts, trying to come up with the perfect project.

Fresh Lemons Quilts ~ Modern Solids by Denyse Schmidt

In the end, I decided to stick with my original idea. You may remember these blocks? I’m using the solids from the Modern Solids Fat Quarter box and Free Spirit Designer Solids in Pearl for the background. I’ve been quite busy cutting and chain piecing, but I’m thrilled with how it is coming together. I can’t wait to share the final layout with you.

Fresh Lemons Quilts ~ Modern Solids by Denyse Schmidt

I have a couple prints from Denyse Schmidt’s Ansonia collection planned for the backing.

Fresh Lemons Quilts ~ Modern Solids by Denyse Schmidt

I’m hoping to have a very productive week at the machine, and finish the rest of the blocks for the top. Wish me luck!

September 8, 2014   21 Comments

Travel Home

Travel Home Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My first back-to-school finish! It only took almost 2 years. I’m so happy today to share with you my finished Arkansas Traveler quilt. I decided to rename it though, since really the blocks have been changed from the original Arkansas Traveler quilt block. I chose “Travel Home” because this quilt is destined to live at home with me, on my couch.

Travel Home Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This quilt is the product of a lot of different inspiration sources combined. First, I’ve always been in love with historic two color quilts ~ red and white quilts, blue and white quilts, black and white quilts. There’s just something so striking about them.

Second, around two years ago I discovered Folk Fibers. I am really in awe of their quilts, the process that goes into making them, and then of course the natural colors.

And finally, last year I made an Arkansas Traveler quilt as a wedding gift and it was hard to give up! I knew I wanted to make some version of it again, this time for keeps.

Travel Home Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

When I started designing the Travel Home Quilt ever so long ago, I knew I wanted it to have the same overall look as my first Arkansas Traveler quilt. I liked the chain effect…but I didn’t really want to make a quilt that large again. Honestly, for lounging under the couch I just don’t need something bed sized. If I kept the blocks at 12″ finished squares, I would need to make another large quilt to create a nice looking design. I ended up shrinking the blocks to 8″ finished squares. That allowed me to have the chained look, but a smaller quilt. This one finished at 56″ x 72″.

Travel Home Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Another change I made to the Arkansas Traveler block was to eliminate the 4 diamonds that made up each quadrant of the block. Instead, I used just one fabric for that space. I did this for a couple of reasons. I did really love the effect of the 4 diamonds in my original quilt (gave a sort of shimmering effect). But since I was doing cream/black prints on this quilt, I thought it would be overly busy and/or not very noticeable. Second, as I shrunk the blocks, the diamonds also shrunk so I though one fabric was plenty for these spots.

Travel Home Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts
Nevermind my son running around like crazy!

The backing is a print from Melody Miller’s Mustang collection for Cotton + Steel. It’s quite different from the front, but I think complimentary. I quilted free motion meandering with a dark blue thread over the blue portions of the quilt, leaving the cream diamonds unquilted. I really wanted this quilt to have a nice, cozy drape after washing and it does! Now let’s see what I can finished next. :)

September 4, 2014   43 Comments