Between snowball fights, taking the kids ice skating, preschool holiday programs and baking cookies, I managed to finish something this week! (I know, pretty amazing). A couple of weeks ago I shared this photo…
I decided to make four blocks from a pattern in Elizabeth Dackson’s Becoming a Confident Quilter book and turn them into a mini quilt. Not too mini, as the blocks are 17″ squares. I paired the Oakshott Cottons with some linen. Because I wanted to keep things interesting, I made one block with the Essex Linen black background.
I really love these colors. They remind me of the Amish community. For the backing I used strips of additional Oakshotts and Essex linen. I quilted this with straight lines, that radiate in a “V” shape on each side. It was my first time quilting this pattern, so I am trying not to be overly critical of myself. I did get better as I went.
I also wanted the binding to blend with the front, so I matched the binding color to the background color in each block.
It was great working with Oakshotts again. I know they are a bit pricey but they are definitely something special. Elizabeth’s pattern was also wonderful. Perfect for beginners on up and I love the modern-traditional look of the design.
Update! You can find Oakshott cottons in the US at Contemporary Cloth.
December 18, 2013 25 Comments
Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend. I spent both days traveling to the city for various birthday and Mother’s Day parties – May is a very, very busy month in our family. I did manage to get a photo of me and my kiddos yesterday. Usually I’m at the other end of the camera so it’s always a special treat.
I wasn’t able to spend any time at my sewing machine, but I did finish up my newest mini quilt last Friday. This quilt was so fun to make. Mostly because of the great fabrics from Laura Gunn. The colors are really amazing!
When making this quilt, I first cut my neutral squares at 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″. Initially I thought this was going to be a pillow, so I set it up to finish at 18″ x 18″. This means there are 9 squares across and 9 squares down (for a total of 81). I pieced those together first, and then created my quilt sandwich for quilting. The neutral fabrics I used are all Free Spirit Designer Solids – Pearl, Sand Dune and Dogwood.
After that was all set up, I started placing out my circles until I came up with a layout that I liked. I used Heat n Bond Lite to fuse the circles to the squares.
After I was done ironing everything into place, I did the quilting. I’m not sure if this is a weird order to go about the process, but I thought it would be fun/smart to combine the applique and quilting steps. (As opposed to appliqueing the circles onto the squares, and then sewing them together, creating the quilt sandwich, and quilting).
At first I started just going around the edge of each circle, but after one row I changed my mind and decided on something a little different. So I ripped out those stitches and started quilting 4 straight lines through the middle of each row and column. Just something a bit unexpected.
From the beginning, when I was thinking about this project, I envisioned raw edges fraying in the finished quilt. I’ve washed it a couple times now and it’s only now starting to fray a little. I think I need to throw it back in a couple more times. I’m really enjoying the texture it’s creating.
This week I’m hoping to sit down and do some design work, and also get back to work on my Simply Style work in progress. Finger’s crossed!
May 13, 2013 31 Comments
Don’t worry, I didn’t just whip this quilt up in the last few days. (You probably figured that out based on the weather in the photo here.) Last December, I had the great opportunity to make a new, larger version and pattern of my baby Starfall quilt for Modern Quilts Unlimited, Spring 2013 issue. (See the bottom of my Publications page for pattern errata.)
I originally made this quilt for the class I co-taught at the Sewing Summit – Shapes and Angles. This quilt was an example of what you can make using the Partial Seams technique. (Speaking of…I do plan on *finally* putting up a tutorial for partial seams very soon.)
I fell in love, hard, with Denyse Schmidt’s Chicopee collection last year. So much so, that I made this second quilt out of the same fabrics. I mixed in a few fabrics from her DS Quilts Collections from JoAnns and one perfect green print from Anna Maria Horner’s Good Folks collection.
The finished quilt measure 60″ x 72″ and I quilted it with straight lines, 1/2″ apart. As usual, that took awhile but was more than worth it in the end.
I definitely recommend picking up the magazine – not just for my quilt but for all the others inside. It’s full of beautiful patterns by all sorts of names you will probably recognize (Rossie Hutchinson, Patty Sloniger, Patty Young, Elizabeth Dackson, Victoria Findlay Wolfe and many others) and a great article about Negative Space by Jacquie Gehring.
I believe subscribers already should have their copies, and you will be able to find it at shops soon (if not already).
May 2, 2013 38 Comments
It’s done!! Last week, I finished up hand stitching the binding of the Arkansas Traveler quilt. I am in love with how it turned out. (For those that are new to the blog, you can find previous posts about this quilt here, here and here.)
A little backstory on this quilt…my aunt asked me to make something for my cousin and his wife who were married late last year. The design and colors were all left up to me (yes!) I have loved the Arkansas Traveler block ever since we made them in the Summer Sampler Series. They are a bit of work with the diamonds and the paper piecing, but they are just beautiful blocks.
When I was brainstorming layout ideas, I was inspired by the fact that this quilt was for a newly married couple, so symbolizing the bond of marriage was important to me. This layout is a nod to more traditional wedding quilts like a Double Wedding Ring or Irish Chain.
Measuring 72″ x 96″, I’m not sure if this is the largest quilt I’ve ever made, but it is close. It’s definitely the heaviest. Usually I use Quilter’s Dream Request Loft batting (the lowest loft), but for this one I used a slightly loftier batting, the Select Loft. The quilt is headed to Montana and I figured it was colder there so a thicker quilt would be nice.
The size and weight did make for a challenge when quilting. There were more than a few moments when I wondered if I should have sent it out to a long arm. I stitched horizontal lines, spaced randomly between 1/4″ and 3/4″ apart. I went through 12 bobbins and each of the 8 rows of blocks took about 1 hour, 15 minutes. I tried to quilt 2 rows each day. It was quite a workout!
The diamonds are all scrappy fabrics from my stash, but the neutral is Free Spirit Designer Solid in Sand Dune and the backing and binding is Submarines and Seaweed in Aqua from Tula Pink’s Saltwater line.
I’m heading to ship it out today. It’s hard to say goodbye but I’m really happy to have created something special for someone in my family.
April 22, 2013 79 Comments