Piecing Kaleidoscopes

Kaleidoscope Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

With the kids back in school after a week of illness and a week of Spring Break, I’m finally spending some quality time back in my sewing room. I have two more gift quilts I need to get done before the end of May. Maybe you can all guess who will be the recipients? The first one I’m working on features a scrappy assortment of bright fabrics.

Kaleidoscope Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I started out with all the above colors, minus the green and white. But as I was making my initial blocks, I kept deciding the quilt needed more and more color. I just can’t help myself! I’m piecing 12″ kaleidoscope blocks. When I think of a classic, well loved quilt pattern, kaleidoscope is pretty high up on my list. You just can’t go wrong. I paper piece mine – I whipped up this template before starting. If anyone is interested you can download it here. Just be sure to print it out at 100% or Actual Size.

Kaleidoscope Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Although the white doesn’t seem to photograph that well in the quilt, it does look nice in real life. I’m using FreeSpirit Solids Sand Dune as my background. This is one of my favorite neutrals.

I need to make 30 blocks for a 60″ x 72″ quilt. Almost halfway there. They do go together rather quickly. I’ll post again when I am closer to the finish!

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

Last month while I was away at QuiltCon, a special package arrived on my front porch: The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman. Publisher Interweave was kind enough to send me a copy to review, but being a huge fan of Penny and her designs and blog, I was planning on buying this book anyway. Penny is a major paper piecing expert. She designs patterns that you look at and think “how is that even possible???” And they are beyond cute. I wasn’t surprised when I opened her new book and loved everything I saw.

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

The Paper Pieced Home is 136 pages and comes with a CD of paper piecing templates. It begins by listing necessary tools/supplies and then gets into the basic steps of paper piecing these designs. This is super important (to me anyway) because these patterns have several different sections that are paper pieced and then stitched together to make your finished blocks. Penny also spends time covering fabric selection (she has SUCH a good eye for this) and more advanced techniques such as fussy cutting, sewing y-seams, and adding embellishments to your projects.

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

The 40 blocks and 10 projects in The Paper Pieced Home are divided into six chapters: Kitschy Kitchen, Wear It!, Retro Home, Create & Organize, Playtime, and Get Outdoors! There are so many cute blocks in this book! A few of my favorites…

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

How great is this fruit bowl on a grocery tote? Although if my groceries leaked onto this bag I would probably cry!

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

Clawfoot tub bath mat! I want this tub in real life.

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

I actually made this retro couch block last week. I was so loopy with the flu that my fabric choices were absolutely horrific. I took the entire thing apart and fixed it. Which proves how delirious I actually was! I’m much happier with it now though.

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

It’s only a matter of time before I make this sewing machine for my sewing room. Penny’s class at QuiltCon made this block. Amazing!

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

You can buy The Paper Pieced Home on Amazon, directly from Interweave, or (hopefully) at your local quilt shop or bookstore!

The Paper Pieced Home by Penny Layman

If you enjoy paper piecing (or learning new techniques) and making super cute blocks, this book is for you.

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.

A Finished Quilt Top

Poinsettia Quilt Top : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Thank you all so much for your wonderful and kind comments on my poinsettia quilt so far. I was especially happy to read those that commented on the enjoyment of seeing this quilt come together step by step. This has been a newer goal of mine for the blog – not to just pop in with a finished quilt and say “Ta da! Another one finished!”

Poinsettia Quilt Top : Fresh Lemons Quilts

We all know what goes into making a quilt. Planning, cutting, stitching, more cutting, more stitching, basting, quilting, binding…. I think it’s important to show all these things, not only because each step is exciting and beautiful, but also so that we don’t set false expectations surrounding what goes into creating something handmade.

Poinsettia Quilt Top : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’ve finished the quilt top and backing. The backing fabric is one I bought several months ago. It is a print by Anna Maria Horner that was first available in Home Dec weight, but has since been rereleased in a quilting cotton. It is called Sketchbook in ivory and is part of her Hand Drawn Garden collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics. (I first used this print, in the home dec weight, on my Loulouthi Crosses quilt back in 2011.)

Poinsettia Quilt Top : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’ve also pretty much finished the pattern for this quilt. As I said in my earlier posts, this quilt is based off my Poinsettia Mini Quilt pattern, but with additional blocks. I can’t wait to release it! (Thinking next week – but don’t quote me on that!) Today is officially basting day, so I’d best get busy!