A Stockpile of Quilts

30 05 2017

My friend and customer, Linda, recently mailed me a big box of quilt tops with backings. It was exciting to open the box and unfold the projects she has created in the past few months. My job was to transform the tops into quilts. Linda and I collaborated on quilting designs and thread color. And I’m happy to say, we are both pleased with the resulting stockpile.

Notice the gray quilt on top of the pile made with neutrals and text prints. It is a graduation gift for a young friend who asked for a feather quilting design. You would not believe how feathers in a gray poly thread transformed this simple patchwork design into a sophisticated quilt!

One of the lap quilts I think you’ll find interesting is the Owl – Yellow Brick Road. Linda selected the flannel owl print and then found tone-on-tones to coordinate. I find the effect of the owls peeking out between the squares and rectangles of colors intriguing, don’t you? I imagine they are playing “Peek-a-boo” or “Hide and Seek.” Baby will love the soft fabric and the bright, happy colors.

What are you stockpiling these days? Quilts, quilt tops, fabric, or ideas?

 





Dinosaurs say “Raaarh!”

10 05 2017

Last week daughter Trinity visited us ostensibly to help hubby celebrate his birthday. We celebrated, yes, but we also quilted up a storm. I quilted a fall quilt that granddaughter Krystine finished piecing this summer. Click on the picture to enlarge it; you’ll see the leafy edge to edge quilting design.

And Trinity worked on three baby/toddler quilts as well as a large lap quilt her friend pieced. Quilting and bindings progressed smoothly and on schedule . . . and then we paid a visit to our favorite local quilt shop, Loving Stitches on Ramsey Street in Fayetteville, NC. The striped dinosaur fabric called Trinity’s name! She has a two year old great-nephew who loves dinos. So she mentally designed a simple quilt, bought the fabric, and stitched it up. I quilted a simple edge to edge design adding “raaahr” in the orange blocks, and I bound it while she worked on blocks for another quilt.

Needless to say, I had to lend Trinity a suitcase for the return trip. All six quilts would NOT fit in the two backpacks she arrived with. She couldn’t wait to visit Hagen and give him his “I love you this much” dino quilt. He loves playing with it, and the kid who never naps with a blanket fell asleep under the cozy, fun quilt Auntie Trinity made!

It is so rewarding to give a quilt to someone who loves and appreciates it, wouldn’t you agree?





First Quarter Challenge – Yet More Inspiration

30 03 2017

This year I’m making a concerted effort to use some of my pre-cuts, and I’ve challenged blog readers to do the same. If you’ve been following along from January through March, you’ve seen creative ways to use Fat Quarters and/or Quilter’s Candy.

Ilse sent a picture of a modern mini quilt using Brigitte Heitland’s Zen Chic collection. She wrote, “At the 2015 Nürtingen (Germany quilt) exhibition, all helping hands received a Quilter’s Candy pack from one of Brigitte’s many quilt fabric series, with the request to transform them into something special to exhibit at the upcoming 2018 show.”

The simplicity of Ilse’s quilt spells sophistication, don’t you think? I love the wavy quilting lines–close together where the colored squares are densest and farther apart toward the edges of the quilt where the squares are farther apart.

It will be so interesting to see all the quilts made with Quilter’s Candy in next year’s exhibition. (Be sure to send pictures, Ilse!)

 

Several other blog followers were inspired by recent posts. Darla sent a picture of a “Holly Hobby” placemat made by her sister, Anna. My post on the vintage “Little Dutch Girls” quilt reminded her of the placemat made years ago. I love the sweet embroidered flowers on the bonnet and sleeve cuff.

Helga contributed a picture of her “Sternen und Herzen” I Spy quilt in response to my question on the “Eye Spy” post. The quilt is about ten years old and remains at Helga’s house. All the grandchildren and young visitors can enjoy looking at it when they visit her.

Stephanie, inspired by the Polka Tot post, shared a picture of a patriotic quilt she made for Army Chaplain Sam Boone. She increased the block size to 9″ and used scraps and fat quarters from stash. Bowties are Chaplain Boone’s trademark, so this Quilt of Valor design suits him to a T.

With the first quarter of 2017 behind us, it’s time to look ahead to the second quarter’s challenge. Your role is to roll up your sleeves, unroll your jelly roll, and get the ball rolling on a new quilt!

 

 





“Eye Spy” Finish

27 03 2017

“Eye Spy with my little eye . . .”

I raided my box of 3″ squares and cut more from conversation prints for the centers of the patchwork blocks. Frames of primary colors were cut 2″ wide, and I cut 2″ corner squares of black and white polka dot fabric. I decided to extend the Nine Patch secondary design in the borders. (The math actually works out for 3″ finished squares in the outer border, but I forgot and cut 3″ squares as I did for the interior blocks. Extra points if you can figure out how I coped with my “Ooops.”)

While looking in JoAnn’s for sashing, I ran into a quilting friend from my guild. She propelled me toward a white with colorful triangles print instead of the white and gray print I was considering. I am pleased with the fun-loving results. Most of the squares in the interior of the quilt have a “twin” in the outer border so the recipient of this quilt has had fun matching the monkey, cat, cowboy boots, construction equipment, etc.

I quilted the quilt with white thread in a meander and loop, freehand design. And I bound the quilt with black Kona cotton.

Have you made an “Eye Spy” quilt? What was the most interesting conversation print you included?





“Polka Tot” Revisited

5 02 2017

Deb MacDonald, an editor at McCall’s magazines, recently sent me the following picture and story of a mother/daughter quilting duo.

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“My mother Arrabelle Frock of Westminster, Maryland made the Polka Tot Quilt from the August/September 2015 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts.  As you can see from the attached picture it came out awesome!  What a wonderful Christmas gift from my mother.” –Kathy

McCall's QQ Cover Aug. Sept. 2015Kathy also wrote that her mother likes the quilt so much, she is considering making another one for herself. If you need a cheerful project to chase away winter doldrums, make “Polka Tot.” It is quick and fun to make. Display the quilt diagonally as a table topper or hang it in your sewing room or gift it to an expecting mother.

If you are not a Quick Quilts subscriber, you can purchase the magazine for $3.00 from the Quilt and Sew Shop.

 

 





Inspiration for “Quilter’s Candy”

31 01 2017

Our “Use your pre-cuts” challenge for the first quarter is using Fat Quarters or Quilter’s Candy (2 1/2″ squares). Happily, I made my goal already! You can read about a quilt I made from Fat Quarters here.

But I’m thinking maybe some of you need ideas for using the deliciously sweet packages of Quilter’s Candy. To that end, I’ve searched my blog’s media library for examples of quilts made with squares. The photo roll begins with my latest quilt top finish – made with leftover 1930s repro 2 1/2″ squares. Imagine the quilty, home-y feel if muted or Civil War repro fabrics are used, and the blocks are set on-point for visual interest.

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Last June I made a quilt for Charlotte, my baby grand-niece. The quilt is made with 2 packages of Quilter’s Candy sewn into Four Patches. I framed the Four Patches with narrow white strips and inserted alternate squares of navy anchor fabric. My niece declares it coordinates perfectly with the nursery décor.

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“Aunt Sukey’s Choice” 12″ blocks are constructed from 2 1/2″ squares along with 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles for the “Flying Geese” units. This design would sew up quickly if you purchased coordinating Quilter’s Candy and a roll of 2 1/2″ strips from which to cut rectangles.

Postage stamp quilts are a snap to sew when the squares are already cut! Consider alternating print squares with plain white or ecru squares. Mini quilts such as the one pictured make wonderful gifts for wall or table.

A star block with ferns

DSCN7512You could make some color/fabric coordinated placemats. Those pictured were made from 3″ scrappy squares, 35 squares each. Adapt the design by sewing 63 squares in a 7 x 9 grid to yield 14″ x 18″ placemats.

My friend, Tricia, used small colorful squares as cornerstones when making this predominately blue and white quilt. Wouldn’t this idea stretch your tiny package (or two) of Quilter’s Candy into a lap size quilt?

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A sampling of quilts made from squares wouldn’t be complete without a “Nine Patch” example. Cindy made this with nearly solid mottled prints. Set on-point with alternate white background squares, the “Nine Patches” seem to float.

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DSCN6080I made this mini quilt for my sister from a Quilter’s Candy package plus a few fabrics from my stash. I paired each 2 1/2″ colored square with a tan background square right sides together. I drew a diagonal line on the wrong side of each tan square and sewed 1/4″ away from both sides of the line. Then I cut the squares on the drawn lines and pressed the seam allowances toward the darker fabrics. So petite and country, just as my sister prefers!

 

I hope the quilts pictured in this blog post have jump-started your creative ideas for using Quilter’s Candy. I would love to share pictures of your projects for Fat Quarters or Quilter’s Candy with blog readers. (aby.quilts@gmail.com)

 

 





1930s Four Patch Baby Quilt

28 01 2017

This past Thursday I enjoyed a sew day with my friend Heather. We worked on various projects and caught up with what is going on in each other’s lives. While Heather trimmed some patchwork blocks, I rotary cut borders for a lap size quilt and sashing for my Splendid Sampler of 6” blocks (more on that in the future).

fullsizerender-10Another of my projects was making a Four Patch baby quilt. As always happens, I have scraps leftover from a recent quilt top finish. If you remember, I purchased a roll of 2 ½” strips of 1930s prints and solids to make the 6” blocks for a Vintage Farm Girl lap quilt. I decided to use my scraps to make a baby quilt.

I was inspired by a sweet quilt on Pinterest featuring Four Patches each made from four different 1930s prints. The Four Patches combined with white sashing for a pretty, fresh finish. My quilt does not look quite as soft and sweet because of the solids I included. (I HAD to use those solids in order to use up my scraps.) Note the Four Patch in the bottom right corner of the photo; you can see that I pressed the final seam open to reduce bulk.

img_0580 Before beginning my project, I calculated that I needed 32 Four Patches and 32 white 4 ½” squares. Placed in an 8 x 8 grid, the dimensions of the patchwork would be 32” square. By adding 4” wide borders, the quilt measures 40” square – just the right size to fit on 42” – 44” wide backing. I considered purchasing 2 1/4 yds. of 1930s print for borders, backing, and binding, but decided to check my stash first. There I found enough of my favorite lil’ chicken print for borders and a multi-colored polka dot for backing. Neither print is 1930s repro, but both blend with the colors and playful nature of the baby quilt. I am not sure yet what I’ll use for binding. Click on the picture to zoom in for a better view. I draped the quilt top over the front porch of our new home. Here’s hoping the contractors finish in the next week or so.

I had some help from Heather’s five year old daughter with laying out the squares and sewing them together. If you are wondering how such a little girl could reach the sewing machine foot control . . . Christina found a little stool on which to rest the foot control. I pinned and helped her guide the pieces beneath the presser foot. Teamwork at its best! After lunch, when she tired of helping with my project, Christina worked on her own quilt in progress from 6″ floral charm squares.

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What a fun sew day! Including Christina in Heather’s studio was so rewarding – It’s great to motivate and encourage the next generation of quilters!