Blue Squared

Blue Squared Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It is now officially that moment of the year where I look at the calendar and freak out that I only have one month to make teacher gifts. Throughout the year I ask my kids to try to get hints as to what color quilt their teacher might like. Yes, I even go so far as to suggest they ask what color their family room is painted. I am always met with a look of horror by my children, so I am left guessing which fabric to use. This year my daughter provided me with “she wears blue, black and white a lot.”

Blue Squared Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

So. I present to you a blue, black and white quilt!

Blue Squared Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I have been wanting to make a quilt of big scrappy squares for quite some time. Although I came up with this on the fly, you could achieve the same look by using my Starfall pattern layout diagram, and simply using large squares of fabric in place of piecing the stars.

Blue Squared Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Bonus ~ I was able to cut and piece this quilt in one day! And most of the time I didn’t even sit down.

Blue Squared Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I am very excited with how this quilt top turned out. My daughter wants to embroider the tag for the back, just like she did with her teacher’s quilt last year. That should give me just enough time to decide on the main fabric for the backing and then I will finish it up!

Union Square ~ Quilt Top

Union Square ~ Quilt Top

I spent much of the rainy day here yesterday at my sewing machine. I finished up my Union Square quilt blocks and then started playing with a layout. I mentioned earlier that I didn’t have a lot of the background fabric, so I wasn’t feeling very confident that I would come up with something I really liked.

Union Square ~ Quilt Top

After stitching the blocks together, I decided it needed a border to make it pop. And it turns out, I had the perfect print. The blue canvas border is from Rain Walk by Anna Graham of Noodlehead, called Ripple in Navy.

Union Square ~ Quilt Top

I cannot wait to show you how it looks all laid out. Sorry for the “sneak peeks”, but it’s such a great effect that I don’t want to spoil the final reveal. I plan on quilting it soon, although I just love it on the design wall right now.

Union Square

Union Square Quilt Block : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I spent a bit of time over the last few days researching, sketching up, and testing design ideas. I found a quilt block that I thought would be pretty with my blue fabric stack. This is a vintage pattern called Union Square, designed in 1937 by Nancy Cabot.

If you are a regular visitor around here, you probably know I’m a big fan of many of Nancy Cabot’s block designs. Nancy Cabot is actually a pen name for Loretta Leitner Rising. She wrote a column in the Chicago Tribune in the 1930’s with quilt block patterns. Recently, I discovered you could search the Chicago Tribune archives online – and find Nancy’s blocks in their original newsprint format! Sometimes technology is just great, right?


Image from Chicago Tribune Archives

(Side note: These archives are also fun to check out with kids. My daughter and I searched famous dates in history – or the day after – and she was able to see news stories of events as they happened. She also loved seeing different advertisements from 70+ years ago.)

Union Square Quilt Block : Fresh Lemons Quilts

For my background, I pulled out a yard of a special Nani Iro fabric I’ve been saving for a while. This is Pierre Pocho canvas in silver. It is described as a cotton, linen, canvas (a bit of everything in there). It seems like an accurate description. It’s a bit heavy (but not like home dec). It is a bit stretchy too, like linen. The whiteish spots you see are really a silver metallic design on the fabric. It’s pretty special and I love it with the blue fabrics. I only have a yard, so that will definitely limit the size of this quilt. One block down, 11 to go!

Picnic Point ~ A Finished Quilt

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Finally, I have photos of my finished Picnic Point quilt! You have to dig pretty far back into my blog to find the beginnings of this one. Back when there were actually flowers in my yard! I pieced all the blocks when I was in New Glarus for a selfish sewing weekend. I love those.

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s always a fun challenge to take half square triangles and play with color, layout, and negative space. (Notice I did not say it is fun to trim the actual HST units.) This quilt also uses blocks placed on point, which is another one of my favorite things to do when designing.

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I didn’t want to buy fabric just for the back, so I pieced together several prints from my stash. It was a bit like Tetris, finding pieces large enough and making them fit. Of course when it came time to photograph the back, it was super windy here in Chicago! My poor husband.

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Our local Arboretum is really pretty though, isn’t it?

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I ended up getting a less attractive, but more informational, photo on my back deck. The finished quilt measures about 67″ x 84″. It’s a bit larger than I usually make but was definitely quilt-able on my home machine. I quilted it on my BERNINA 750QE using the Bernina Stitch Regulator and a meandering free motion design. It took about 2 mornings to complete. I really just can’t sit happily quilting longer than that ~ sore shoulders!

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The binding is a scrappy assortment. Some of it actually comes from the extra backing I trimmed off the sides after quilting. Others from my stash. I think it’s a fun addition!

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It feels good to check this UFO off my list – and to have the quilt ready for snuggling. I am putting the finishing touches up on the pattern and will update the blog when it is in the shop! This pattern is now available in the shop!