Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Scrappy Improv Strip Quilt

If you've been reading my blog for a while, or know me at all as a quilter, you know I love scraps.  I also love improv quilting.  Put them together, and I am in my favorite sewing place.  This scrappy, improv strip quilt was sewn up just for fun.  I had the idea to play with value and strips again, but in a different way from Partly Cloudy.  Instead of short strips used in strip sets, I sewed the strips end to end to create long, narrow columns.  And instead of concentrating the darkest values in the center, I put them at the top and the bottom of the quilt.  The lighter strips in the middle become the focus of the quilt. The varying lengths of the lighter strips makes the design dynamic.
I like how the quilt moves from pink to orange to yellow as well.  These bright, warm colors just scream summer to me. 
While I was playing with my scrappy strips, I sewed up a few improv log cabin blocks.  They never get old!  I used three of my favorite on the back of the quilt.
The quilt finishes at 58" x 71" and it just the right size for napping or picnicking or napping at a picnic.  I think it would be sweet in a girl's room at the end of a bed too.  The quilt is listed in my etsy shop. SOLD

Friday, July 18, 2014

Board Shorts Quilt

I'm excited to share some photos of a quilt of mine that appears in Stitch magazine. You can find the pattern for Board Shorts in the summer issue. It's a very simple quilt pattern, quick to piece, and perfect for beginners.
This twin sized quilt (70" x 87.5") was inspired by the striped board shorts surfers wear.  The Boys of Summer section of the magazine has some nice beachy, masculine projects including mine. 
I love the summery color palette.  All Kona cottons, I found all the colors I needed at Marmalade fabrics.  Thanks again to Tammy for letting me come over and try out a zillion combinations.  I love how she labels the Kona color names. So handy!
The quilting was done by Tia Curtis in an all over design.
The quilt is perfect for a twin bed, dorm room, or picnic blanket.  It is available now in my etsy shop.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Waves Baby Quilt, PDF Pattern

Thank you for your patience waiting for the pattern for the Waves Baby Quilt.  It is now available as a PDF for instant download in my etsy shop.

The 10 page pattern has full color diagrams, detailed instructions, helpful tips, and full sized templates.  The quilt pairs quarter circle blocks with easy to cut rectangles and squares.  It goes together very quickly, especially once you've cut the curved blocks. 

The quilt works perfectly for a boy or a girl, depending on the color you choose. The design is bold and graphic, but simple enough to work well with a variety of nursery decors.  I can't wait to see your Waves quilts.  You can tag them #wavesbabyquilt on Instagram or upload them to my flickr group.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sunshine Runner

I was lucky enough to have Lauren Hunt photograph my sunshine table runner.  All the photos in this post, in fact, were styled, shot and edited by Lauren.  I have decided not to feel badly about how sad my pictures look in comparison because she is a professional photographer; she has a degree in photography and years of experience (besides being an amazing artist, illustrator, quilter, pattern designer, fabric designer, and person in general).  
Most recently she was the photographer for School of Sewing, a Fall 2014 release written by Shea Henderson of Empty Bobbin Sewing, published by Lucky Spool.  The cover alone tells you it is going to be so, so good! 
Lauren also shoots covers for American Quilt Retailer. So, you can see how striking and lovely her work is.

Now, back to the runner.  It is a gift for my mother-in-law, who asked me to make something to use for spring and summer d├ęcor in her dining room. She requested that it include yellow.  I wanted to create something sunny and fairly traditional to suit her house.  I went with a common variation on the log cabin block.  Each block uses a different pair of yellow and gray prints. 
Using two different width strips, on opposite sides of the log cabin square, creates the illusion of a circular block.  My strips finished at 1/2 inch and 1 inch respectively.  Thin strips! Each block finishes at 11 inches square, making an 11 x 55 inch runner. (A pattern for a similar block in a larger size can be found in the spring issue of Quilt Sampler magazine. The pattern is by Holly deGroot of bijou lovely.)
I quilted the runner with swirls with light gray Aurifil thread to echo the circular design of the blocks.
Many thanks to Lauren for these gorgeous images. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Spears Runner


This earthy color palette and graphic, geometric pattern was inspired by a laundry basket I found on pinterest, of all things.  I love the simplicity of the design, and the spear shape really appeals to me.  I learned a few things about half rectangle triangles while making it, let me tell you.  We are not close. But they are so pretty!

The table runner is quite generous at 22 x 65 inches.  It would be perfect on a large dining table, or over the end of a twin bed, as a bed runner.  You can find this runner in my etsy shop, which is now open again.  It is safe to say I will not be making this design again soon, so grab this one-of-a-kind piece while it is available.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Pink Cross Quilt

After a stretch of making exclusively improv quilts, sometimes I crave a simple, traditional project.  My pink and neutral scraps bins have also been getting rather full, so I started searching for a single block I could make, using just two fabrics in each block, featuring the pinks as the primary shape.
I settled on this cross block, a simple variation of the nine patch. My blocks finish at 9 inches.  The pieces are quite small, making them perfect for using scraps! If you are looking for a pattern, you can find a similar block in issue one of Love Patchwork and Quilting designed and made by Holly DeGroot of Bijou Lovely.

I had a lot of fun pairing each pink scrap with the neutrals, and the blocks are very quick to piece.  I chain-pieced about four at a time.
I quilted figure eights across each row.  Three inches was a very easy size to create, and the rows make for a clear horizontal guideline.  I definitely recommend this free motion quilting design, particularly if you have seams to guide you.  Very speedy!

The backing is a very popular print from Ikea which is particularly useful because it is about 60 inches wide.  Sadly, I believe it has been discontinued.
The binding is one of my favorite prints from the Botanics line by Carolyn Friedlander. I really want a bolt of it.  I think it would be fantastic as a background, in the place of a white solid.  
This 36 x 45 baby quilt is destined for my etsy shop.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Purple and Gray Strata Quilt

This quilt began as a pile of monochromatic strata.  I often sit down and create strata (improv, crazy pieced units) out of scraps when I need a bit of mindless sewing.  I added dark pink units around the lighter pink center rectangle, log cabin fashion.  The unit grew to include a final round of purple.
I decided to make a quilt, as the unit was too large for a pillow.  A large amount of negative space, using peppered shot cotton in charcoal, provided a nice space for some interesting quilting. I used matching aurifil thread and my walking foot to create a spiral from the center of the strata unit, outward.

I absolutely love the hand of the peppered shot cotton.  You can see a bit from the photos, how the warp and weft vary slightly from one another, since I cut the side and top borders the same way.  The warp and weft show slightly differently.  If this bothers you, pay attention to keeping the warp and weft oriented consistently in your border strips.

Shot cottons have a looser weave, in most cases, than quilting cottons, and in my experience can shift more when quilting.  As you may know, spiral quilting using a small home sewing machine requires a great deal of pushing and pulling through the machine throat and can result in a bit of distortion in a loosely woven fabric, especially if the quilt back is a quilting cotton which does not shift quite as much.

Even with some re-basting and unpicking, I ended up with some small tucks on the back of the quilt.  I have done spiral quilting on largish quilts, like the Tiny Log Cabin quilt, with no problem, so I surmise it the shot cotton made the difference.  I think straight-line in a single direction or free motion quilting would have gone over much better, but the manipulation required by spiral quilting a large quilt (60 x70) was not the best choice for the peppered shot cotton fabric.

Lesson learned, and hopefully someone will benefit from my experience.  The upside is that I get to keep this quilt!  I hope to use is as a sample for future classes on monochromatic strata piecing.

I'm linking to the Blogger's Quilt Festival for the first time.  Check out the link for so much inspiration.