Weekend in Wisconsin

Fresh Lemons Quilts

Last weekend, I drove up to New Glarus, Wisconsin for a little relaxation and creative recharging with some of my favorite Iowa, Wisconsin, and Upper Peninsula Michigan quilty friends (and a couple of Houston and Nashville ladies thrown in for good measure). Somehow, I have no pictures with any of them! I suppose we were having too much fun. We rented the house you see above, about 5 miles outside the downtown New Glarus area. I had no clue that New Glarus was like a mini Switzerland, so you can imagine my surprise when I rolled into town. Lucky for me, this meant cheese fondue was on the menu and yes, I indulged.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

The weekend was just perfect. I love Wisconsin with the rolling hills and beautiful farms. On the way up from my home in the Chicago suburbs, I saw lots of corn, lots of black and white cows, a huge sunflower field, and at least 15 quilt barns.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

Our house even had sheep! I’m pretty convinced I need to move somewhere with sheep now.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

I spent quite a bit of my two days there sewing, and managed to finished all the blocks for my current quilt. Jeni came up with the perfect name too – Picnic Point. I’m so thankful that I trimmed up all the HSTs before leaving. Everything went together easily.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

I threw the blocks up on the design wall for a quick photo before packing up to leave. I’m hoping to sew the blocks together this week and start basting!

A New Beginning ~ Splendor Quilt

Splendor Quilt Fabric : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Well, I’ve taken a bit of time off to focus on things away from the sewing machine. Basking in the joy of finishing the Poinsettia Quilt I suppose. I spent the last week thinking about what I wanted to work on next. The big winner is another new quilt/pattern called the Splendor Quilt. This one is an adaptation of the Radiant Splendor block tutorial that I posted last March.

Splendor Quilt Beginnings : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I designed this quilt over the summer and made 2 blocks. Then it sat while other projects jumped in front of it. Now it’s on the design wall, looking a bit lonely at the moment.

Splendor Quilt Beginnings : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Not for long though. I have the pattern written and am testing along the way. This is going to be a large Queen Sized quilt. I’m already throwing around the idea of having it long armed. It would be my first time sending a quilt out!

I hope you enjoy watching the process of this quilt coming together over the next several weeks.

Poinsettia ~ A Finished Quilt and Pattern

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s finished! After a few days of quilting, yesterday I stitched on the last bit of binding. I’m so very happy with how it turned out. Hopefully you all are as excited as I am – if for any reason, because you don’t have to hear about this one anymore. Ha!

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I know I’ve said so much about this quilt already, but I’ll touch on the main details again because I always have questions in the comments. I started this quilt over 2 years ago at a retreat put on by Pink Castle Fabrics (formerly known as Quilt Camp, now known as Camp Stitchalot). I was teaching a session on paper piecing and we were making the larger Poinsettia Star components as part of a small mini quilt pattern. I had already made the mini quilt, so I decided to play around with a new layout for all of my sample blocks.

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’m sure a lot of you know how it goes – life gets busy and your UFO pile grows and grows. The original quilt section was put aside while I waited for the right time to pick it up again. That time proved to be last November.

A little more than 2 months later, the finished quilt measures 62″ x 75″. There are 99 quilt blocks…2,610 tiny pieces of fabric. But who’s counting. 😉 Despite those seemingly overwhelming numbers, if you followed along on the progress you saw how this quilt was pretty achievable to assemble when broken down into steps.

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Almost every piece of bright fabric in this quilt is from my stash of fabrics by Anna Maria Horner. (I can only think of 1 piece, from the original section 2 years ago, that isn’t hers.) I could gush all day about Anna Maria’s talent. Her collections just sing together. The colors, the designs…they are perfect for patchwork. The black/cream fabric is also from my stash. Half yards I’ve collected here and there. I used a lot up for this quilt, but I certainly don’t regret it. Much is from various Moda designers. A lot from Sweetwater, Lu Summers, Zen Chic. If I see it, I buy it, because Moda does not reprint fabric once it’s gone. Some are text, some are shapes and lines. Together, it just works.

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

For the backing, I used a print from Anna Maria Horner’s Hand Drawn Garden collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics called Sketchbook in ivory. The binding is a scrappy mix of black prints I used within the quilt. I think it provides a nice finishing frame. By some truly accidental piece of luck, when I cut the this large piece of fabric in half to sew together for the backing…the design matched up perfectly. You can’t really even tell where the seam is (it’s in the middle of the above photo, down the middle of the black hand drawn birds.)

I quilted using straight lines, just organically measuring – not marking. They are about 1/4 to 1/2 apart.

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

And…for the moment many of you have been waiting for…a quilt pattern! This pattern is now available in my shop as a PDF instant download. I have a few new PDF patterns that I haven’t announced formally, so be sure to check them out. There’s the Poinsettia Quilt, Big Top Quilt and Holland Mills Quilt. I plan on sending all 3 to the printer this week for hard copy pattern booklets (if you prefer that to an instant download PDF file). Those should be available in about 2 to 3 weeks.

Now it’s time for me to go cuddle under that quilt. This one is for keeps.

Stage 3 ~ Complete!

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Yesterday was such an exciting day in the sewing room, as I stitched together the last of my filler or connector blocks.

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Even though I pretty much knew what this quilt top would look like with all the blocks on the design wall together, there is just something about seeing them up there for real.

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s pretty safe to say this is the scrappiest quilt I have ever made. It’s been a lot of work – but not as much as I thought initially. If it hadn’t been for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years happening right in the middle of the project, I think I would be finished with the quilt by now.

Poinsettia Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Today I’ll begin stitching all these blocks together. I’m guessing that will take several hours. I can’t wait to have the top completely assembled and start quilting. It’s beginning to feel real!