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!

 

 





“Conflagration” Quilt Top

10 03 2017

This is a wedding quilt for a young couple whose favorite color is orange. But since they bought red couches, the bride asked if I could combine red and orange in the quilt. She said, “I have always liked red and orange together.” Well, personally, I generally do not combine red and orange in the same quilt. I use either red, or I use orange. However, I concluded, after an online search, that orange and red could look really nice together. To see what I saw, search for “images of red and orange quilts.”

I found inspiration for this quilt from a “Nine Patch” quilt on Pinterest made by Leslie with black and white and lime fabrics. I changed the alternate blocks, putting a “Four Patch” on point, square-in-a square style. I purchased quarter yard cuts of 3 red tonals and 3 orange tonals, and I repurposed black and white prints I had saved for a different quilt project. All squares are cut 3 1/2,” and I cut white triangles over-sized so I could easily trim the alternate blocks to 9 1/2.”

I plan and edge to edge quilting design, and the backing is an orange/red and yellow print. But I’m in a quandary over thread color. Red or Orange . . . or Yellow? What is your opinion?





“Movers and Shakers” Baby Quilt

15 10 2016

One of the easiest baby quilts EV-ER! And it’s fat quarter friendly, too!

Here’s a basic tutorial:  Choose a multi-colored theme print. I only had 25″ of the construction equipment fabric, but I recommend purchasing 1 yard. Cut 2 strips 8 1/2″ by width of fabric. Sub-cut into eight 8 1/2″ squares.

Choose 4 tone-on-tone fat quarters that coordinate with the theme print; I chose red tone-on-tone, yellow swirl, blue tone-on-tone, and green polka dot. From each color cut three 2 1/2″ x 21″ strips. Sub-cut into four 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles and four 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangles.

fullsizerenderCut eight 4 1/2″ squares from a black and white print.

Sew the colored tone-on-tones to the black and white print 4 1/2″ squares. Press seam allowances toward the colored fabric. Make eight framed squares, two of each color. These blocks should measure 8 1/2″ square.

On worktable, lay out the blocks, alternating the framed squares with the 8 1/2″ theme print squares. Sew together in rows, pressing seam allowances toward the theme print squares. Pin and sew the rows together.

For an inner border, cut four 2″ x 40″ strips of black and white polka dot fabric. Measure, pin and sew to quilt, pressing seams toward border.

My theme print was directional and I only had 25″ initially to work with. As you can see from the photo below, I had enough print for 3 3/4″ wide top and bottom borders, but I had to piece the side borders with leftover tone-on-tone strips.

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From a design standpoint, the pieced side borders with plain top an bottom borders looked like an accident. To make the composition more cohesive, I cut the top and bottom borders and inserted strips of tone-on-tone fabrics.

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“Movers and Shakers,” at 42″ square, is perfect for tummy time!





August FQ Challenge – Blog Readers Share

29 08 2016

In 2016 I’ve challenged myself to use several fat quarters each month and share them with blog readers. And I’ve invited blog readers to accept the challenge as well. Admittedly, some months we have more time to sew than others. So don’t worry if you haven’t sewn something with your FQs each month, just jump in when you can. I would love to show pictures of your projects to blog readers. It is so inspiring to see what you are making. Please attach your picture to an email which explains your project:  aby.quilts@gmail.com.

20160805_154957Chris sent a picture of a mug rug she made. “I finished a coaster. Not much, but better than nothing!?” What a fun, quick project, Chris. Thanks for sending a picture.

0721161431Tonya sent a picture of a modern quilt on her design wall. “I had less than a yard of the blue fabric with the “cartoon words” and wanted to make a child’s quilt for donation so I pulled about 12 fat quarters and a little extra yardage for more color.” Click on the picture to zoom in and see all the fun fabrics Tonya included in this bright and bold quilt.

Amanda has been a busy bee. She make two “Triple Star” quilts. She will add borders later. (Wouldn’t the pastel blue and yellow version be a sweet baby quilt?) She also make two smaller Double Stars. With borders, they will be perfect for wall quilts or table toppers. Amanda has plans to make some star quilts for Christmas gifts using printed winter motifs as star centers. (“Triple Star” was my FQ challenge project for June, and you will find a link to instructions for “Triple Star” on the Patterns page of this blog.)

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Stacy accepted the FQ challenge and made a pillow cover with an envelope style closure on the back. One FQ for the front, plus one FQ for the back and front ruffle, plus a pillow form. And, viola, you have a pretty, decorative pillow.

Stacy's FQ pillow

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your FQ Challenge creations! With a new month just around the corner, it’s time to rev up our creativity for September’s challenge.

P.S.  Please note Stephanie’s comment in the comment section. Here’s a picture she sent to explain her project. This is going to be a gorgeous “Stepping Up” quilt, Stephanie!

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Quilt Design Inspiration–A Contest

11 08 2016

This week hubby and I are vacationing with family near York, Pennsylvania. Yesterday we enjoyed a family lunch at Hoss’s restaurant to celebrate Aunt Anna’s 80th birthday.

Quilt sightings! Not only were several framed antique quilt blocks displayed behind the cash register, there was an awesome ceramic tile and glass mosaic decorating the outside of the building.

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Click on the picture above to take a closer look. Which part of this crazy quilt style mosaic inspires you? Which section could serve as a springboard for your next quilt? Comment with your design ideas, please. I’ll send a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, Vol. 13 to you if your design idea piques my interest.

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“Gemini” Lap Quilt

6 06 2016

DSCN7846Kathy H. sent me a lap quilt to longarm which she made in memory of her mother whose favorite color was green.

Kathy writes, “I used a pattern–actually one of those post card type patterns–called Gemini by Villa Rosa Designs. It uses 20 – 2 1/2 ” strips–so just half of a jelly roll– plus 2 yards of background fabric.”

Several of the batik prints are foliage in nature, and the quilt back is a swirly fern green-on-green batik. The images on the fabrics gave me the idea to quilt fern fronds across the face of the quilt. You can tell at first glance that the design of the quilt is vertical columns of offset “boxes.” I could have loaded the quilt into my machine sideways and quilted stems of ferns that would follow the vertical theme. However, I felt the columns were too wide to effectively quilt this, so I decided to quilt fern fronds horizontally across the quilt using the 6″ wide rows as my visual quilting guide. This orientation gives the viewer’s eye two movements to consider–vertical and horizontal. Here is how I developed the design:

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Using my Wave Edge ruler (which is actually for rotary cutting), I drew a line approximately through the center of each row. On the light areas, I used a green chalk; on the darker fabrics, I used a white powder chalk (chalk-o-liner). I then quilted across the quilt on the drawn line.

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Next, I quilted a wavy line about 3/4″ above the drawn and quilted line, eye-balling the ups and downs. These two lines form the stem or main vein of the fern. (I have experimented with only one line for the vein, but feel the double lines define the design much better.)

The fun part was filling in the fern leaves between the wavy line. “S” curves, “C” curves, “moustache” curves, and curls were all useful in this step. Some of the leaf tips and curls point left while the others point right. By quilting this way, I achieved my goal:  there is not a definitive left or right, top or bottom of the quilt.

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Green is always so soothing, comforting, and calming; I know Kathy will enjoy snuggling under this quilt. Perhaps the fern quilting design will conjure images of lush, cool forest glens, welcome respites from arid summer weather.





Batik Bed Runner

2 06 2016

IMG_20160525_132339_541I am absolutely smitten with this bed runner! Linda G. made it for a former co-worker who is a long time friend. The batiks she selected glow like stained glass on a summer day. Did you recognize the “Disappearing Nine Patch” design? This is proof positive that even a simple patchwork design combined with the right fabrics yields an awesome quilt.

Many of the batiks have floral or leaf designs, so Linda asked me to quilt flowers and leaves all over the 19″ x 87″ runner. I also quilted two coordinating pillow tops made with 2 1/2″ squares. Can you imagine the runner and pillows resting atop a white or light gray bedspread? Gorgeously colorful!