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!

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.

Olfa ~ 35th Anniversary

Olfa Quilting Tools : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Did you know the Olfa Rotary Cutter turns 35 this year? Which means I’m actually older than the rotary cutter. I think this gives me some sort of quilter street cred, right? Except that I never actually quilted without using one. I honestly can’t imagine creating a quilt without these handy little cutters and I’m guessing most of you feel the same way.

At Quilt Market last Spring I was lucky enough to attend a breakfast with the Olfa team – and we were able to see that original invention. The first one was yellow and everything!

First Olfa Rotary Cutter : Fresh Lemons Quilts

In celebration, Olfa asked me to participate in a project and make a 6-1/2″ quilt block for a big birthday quilt. They sent this very fun box of goodies to use – a mini rotary cutter (I’m told these are great for cutting curves!), a 6-1/2″ frosted quilting ruler, and a spinning cutting mat. I was most excited to try out the cutting mat. I’ve been eyeing these for quite some time.

Olfa Quilting Tools : Fresh Lemons Quilts

These mats are fun because you can place your fabric/block once – trim.

Olfa Quilting Tools : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Then spin the mat – trim again. You don’t need to pick up your fabric and reposition.

Olfa Quilting Tools : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I decided to make my block using 3.5″ flying geese blocks. (Get it – 35th anniversary…3.5″ blocks?) For the background I used some scrappy patchwork which reminds me of the 1970’s.

Olfa Quilting Tools : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The flying geese are yellow because – well Olfa = Yellow!

Olfa Quilting Tools : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Happy 35th Birthday Olfa! :)

Five Years and Counting

Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s a funny thing, how quickly five years can fly by. Today is my blog’s 5th anniversary. I went back a couple days ago, to revisit that first post. (The image from the post lost in the shuffle during a blog transfer a few years ago.) I’m not sure how long I thought I’d be blogging back in 2009. But I’m happy to still be around and have all of you join me each week, reading and commenting and sharing tidbits and your projects with me. Thank you so much for spending a bit of your time here with me.

Much of the last two weeks has been devoted to designing and pattern writing. I can say there are some new, fun quilts and patterns coming down the pipeline. And while I can’t share those just yet, I thought I’d share some fabric and blocks and food.

Kona Cotton Solids : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’m planning to use some Kona Cottons in an upcoming project. I totally copied everyone else who was cutting up their Kona Color Cards and placing them on book rings. So much easier to pull out colors and plan quilts!

Liberty of London from DuckaDilly : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I also ordered an absolutely beautiful collection of Liberty of London Tana Lawn fabric, cut into a roll, from DuckaDilly.

And – total accident but they were sitting next to each other on my table – doesn’t the Kona look awesome with the Liberty?

Kona Cotton Solids and Liberty of London : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I love it when that happens!

Another project in the works is a pattern based on my Radiant Splendor block tutorial. Although this test block below looks the same, I did some unpicking after I took the photo as the pattern changes up the block a bit. I’m working on writing and testing and hopefully will get the new pattern finished sometime this Fall. For those that like bigger quilts, this one will be Queen sized (ok, well that’s big for me!)

Radiant Splendor Quilt Block : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’ve also spent a bit of time in the kitchen lately. I’ve recently discovered America’s Test Kitchen and have fallen hard. (I know, I’m the last on the planet, right?) I have had success with pretty much everything I’ve made from both Cooking for Two and The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2014.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This Cinnamon Swirl Bread is in the latter, as well as online (and I saw them make it in an episode I recorded on PBS).

Cinnamon Swirl Bread : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It was *delicious*.

I hope those of you in the United States and Canada have a great holiday week. Yesterday was Canada Day and Friday is Independence Day here (and my husband’s birthday!) I plan on doing some relaxing and enjoying time with family. And hopefully fit at least some sewing (or more pattern writing in) too.