Cutting into Liberty

Liberty of London Tana Lawn

A few weeks ago, I decided to bite the bullet and cut into the Liberty of London fabrics I bought 2 years ago. (Well, start planning the cutting anyway.) Sometimes I don’t know why I buy “fancy” fabric because I just get some sort of fabric-paralysis and become too scared to use it. Two years of waiting was long enough.

A stack of Free Spirit voiles came in the mail today! I thought these would work well with my Liberty of London fabrics.
Voiles from top to bottom: Fuchsia, Rose Pink, Coral, Gold, Yellow, Cilantro, Green, Water, Seafoam, Heather, Purple, Sky

I thought if I was going to use these lovelies, I needed something soft and silky to go with them. I bought a variety of Free Spirit voile fabrics. I love voile…but it does pose some challenges. It is a bit slippery to work with, so I just pin more and try to pay extra attention when piecing. I purchased these from Hawthorne Threads. Pink Castle Fabrics also has some voile solids available.

They looks so pretty together.

Liberty + Voile

I have started some paper piecing…future pattern maybe?

Liberty Block

Can’t wait to show you more soon!

Updated to add some works in progress from today. :)

Piece, Piece.

Liberty + Voile

Trim, Trim.

Trim Trim

Off Centered Improv

Off Centered Improv

Next month I’m lucky enough to be leading a sewing workshop at the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild. I grew up in Cincinnati and my family all still lives there, so this will be a really fun opportunity for me to hang out with all the talented modern quilters in my hometown.

Off Centered Improv Top

The guild was really great and left the decision as to what we would be working on up to me. I love improvisational quilting so I thought that would be a fun technique for everyone to explore. This is our class sample ~ improvisational log cabins.

Off Centered Improv Center

These blocks are a bit similar to the pillow I made Jennifer last October. You can see the work in progress below.

Improv Piecing

I broke down the log cabins by warm and cool colors, incorporating a bit of grey and just a small amount of prints.

Off Centered Improv Pre-Quilting

The border is a black and white Alexander Henry crosshatch.

Off Centered Improv Bottom

I quilted this mini quilt with randomly spaced organic lines. They are all around 1/4″ apart, but I didn’t mark or measure. I used my walking foot and slowly moved the fabric back and forth ever so slightly as I quilted.

Off Centered Improv Workspace

This new quilt has a home above my new computer workstation in my sewing space! For more information about the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild, you can contact them through their blog or email them at cincinnatimodernquiltguild (at) gmail.com.

Festival of HST ~ Candy Pinwheel

I’m happy to have you visit my blog today as part of the Festival of Half Square Triangles! Today I’m going to share a tutorial for a new quilt block and then talk about some ideas for what you can do with it.

I almost titled this post “When a Square isn’t a Square”. Because those are the words that were constantly in my mind as I was creating this quilt block and the quilt that will follow it on Friday. When I’m designing quilts, I think I tend to fall into the mindset that I have to make blocks that are square. But when I sit down and really think about quilts that catch my eye, a lot of the time they are quilts don’t use basic squares – whether it be stars or hexies or any number of things.

So today’s block is a rectangular hexagon. This block can be used on it’s own – I actually think it would make an adorable pillow. I could see a bunch of them in different colors all over my daughter’s bed. Or it can be combined with many more blocks to make a quilt. I will share tips for making it into a quilt at the end of the block tutorial.

Let’s get started on the single block tutorial!


Candy Pinwheel Quilt Block Tutorial

All seam allowances are 1/4″

Step 1. Cut your fabric.

Color/Print 1 Cut 3 5″ x 5″
Color/Print 2 Cut 3 5″ x 5″
 

Step 2. Cut all 6 squares along the diagonal, resulting in 12 half square triangles (HST).

Step 3. Pair 8 of your HSTs together as shown. Sew together along the diagonal creating 4 squares.

Step 4. Trim your squares to 4.5″ x 4.5″.

Step 5. Sew your 4 squares together to form a pinwheel.

Step 6. Take your 4 remaining HST. Lay out as shown below.

Step 7. Sew together along the short edge, forming a larger triangle as shown below.

Step 8. Place these larger triangles on each side of your pinwheel square. Line up the middle seams and sew together.

Step 9. Using a quilting ruler, trim the sides of the resulting block if necessary, so they line up with the edges of the pinwheel section of the block.

Congratulations! You’ve made a Candy Pinwheel quilt block!

As I mentioned earlier, I think a block like this would make an adorable pillow. But what if you want a quilt? There are a few options. First, let’s talk color and layout. These blocks are staggered to “fit” together.

I followed a few color rules when designing this quilt mockup. Almost all my blocks were made using all warm (pink, red, orange, yellow) or all cool (blue, turquoise, green, purple) colors. I think this gives a bit of order to a quilt that is actually scrappy.

As for quilt top assembly, there are a couple options. First, you could make individual blocks (rectangular hexagons) and sew them together using the Y-Seam method. I’m sure most people just fainted. :)

But there is another easier option. If you plan your quilt ahead, you can actually sew your quilt together in rows. Simply lay out your entire quilt top on the floor or design wall, and rather than making one block at a time, you make one row at a time.

You will need some space to make your quilt this way, but I found it to be very easy. I hope that gives you some ideas for making an eye catching half square triangle quilt. I will post my finished Candy Pinwheel quilt on Friday. Here’s a sneak peek!

Antique Tile and Nancy Cabot

As I wrap up work on more UFOs (hopefully to share with you soon!), I am letting myself cut into new projects with much less guilt. This week I added a few more fabrics to one of the stacks I posted last month.

And added in those adorable typewriters from Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Shining line.

This block is actually a traditional design called Antique Tile by Nancy Cabot. Some of you probably know that I have a weird obsession interest in Nancy Cabot. I don’t know why, but it seems that so many times when I see a traditional block I think would look great in a modern quilt, it’s by Nancy Cabot. It’s also cool that she was from Chicago and wrote a column for the Chicago Tribune…fun to think of someone like her so close to where I live. Anyway, I like her so much that I made a Flickr group called Nancy Cabot Made Modern full of blocks attributed to her.

I even bought an index with hundreds of Nancy Cabot blocks. It is great! Similar to The Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns, as it shows drawings of the blocks but you need to figure out how to make them.

I really love this Antique Tile block, and it was quite simple to figure out the dimensions. I’ve posted the sizes to cut below for you to create a 12.5″ unfinished block. If you make any of these blocks, be sure to post them to the Fresh Lemons Flickr group as well as the Nancy Cabot Made Modern group!