“Chopped” Finished!

19 02 2018

“Chopped,” a pattern designed by Joan Ford, has been languishing in a project box for about two years. Last February, at a quilting retreat, I pledged to complete it by retreat time 2018. Of course, I envisioned working on it last summer or in the fall, at the latest. But family commitments and deadlines for quilting magazines took precedence, and here we are, down to the wire in a race against time.

An impromptu “sew day” last week with my friend, Karlene, afforded me the opportunity to work on the quilt uninterrupted by other appealing/urgent projects on my cutting table at home. I must admit, I read the instructions, which weren’t as hard as anticipated. But I did not follow them 100% because I questioned the necessity of spinning half the blocks clockwise prior to the second “chop” and spinning the other half of the blocks counter clockwise. I could not tell from the quilt layout diagram why this would be necessary. However, I discovered the purpose for the enigmatic instructions when I began piecing the border out of the patchwork which had been chopped away from the Pinwheel blocks! As the result of revising the instructions for convenience sake, I did not have enough reverse pieces to make the pieced border per Joan’s pattern.

This called for a re-design opportunity! I used all the correctly chopped patchwork pieces, wrapping them around opposite corners of the quilt. More cream grunge background fabric strips filled out the border. I thought a “Broken Dishes” block would work nicely as a corner square in the border.  Oooops! Not quite. Can you see that the emerald green triangle touches a light blue triangle instead of a grunge background triangle? Through experiment, I discovered that a small “Pinwheel” block does the trick.

The backing fabric is a muted batik, blue with tan squares. Hoping to color coordinate with the back and the front of the quilt, I selected a light blue thread and quilted a ribbon pantograph design by Keryn Emmerson. The quilting design shows up nicely in the grunge wide sashing and first border. I selected a solid wine fabric for the binding.

I like the quilt more than I thought I would, and I can’t tell you how happy I am to have completed this “serious” UFO prior to the quilting retreat. (I have thus avoided “paying” everyone else a fat quarter.)

Have you recently had occasion to re-design a quilt project?

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House Quilt Finished!

2 02 2018

I am excited to share a picture of “Mi Casa Es Su Casa,” the quilt made with blocks exchanged between twelve friends most of whom live in Germany.

I quilted, E’s and 3’s, a freehand all over design with pale yellow thread. The yellow blends well with the orange sashing as well as with all the other colors, and yet it fades into the white background of the blocks.

For binding, I chose a black and white even stripe. I considered cutting the fabric on the bias so that the stripes would diagonally wrap around the quilt, but I decided I liked the look of straight stripes just as well. In comments to a previous post about this quilt, Sana suggested adding a narrow black flange or black piping prior to attaching the binding. What a great suggestion! In the future, I need to dress up some of my quilt edges. Unfortunately, I had already machine stitched the binding to this quilt before reading Sana’s suggestion.

I added a wide hanging sleeve on the upper edge of the quilt back because “Mi Casa …” will hang in a quilt show in Nuertingen, Germany with other block exchange quilts. I can’t wait to see pictures of the quilts made by my friends.

Whew! One of my “serious” UFOs is done. Now to move on to the second – which has an end of February deadline. But first I have to quilt a handful of customer quilts and make a patriotic quilt that has been accepted for publication. Sew many quilts, sew little time!





Sarah’s Chevron Quilt

18 08 2017

Just wondering, do you save back issues of your quilting magazines? My grandmother did; she stored them in stacks under the guest room bed. When I was a teenager, I loved leafing through her Quilters Newsletters and imagining how I would color in the diagrams with fabric.

Here’s the story of another grandma, Anna, who saves her quilting magazines and encourages her granddaughter to translate quilt patterns into her favorite colors. The quilt shown here is based on my pattern, “Chevies on the Levee,” published in the September/October 2014 issue of McCall’s Quilting. Click here to see a picture of the original quilt.

Meet Sarah.  “I play travel volleyball, take piano, and I love to sew!  When I was five I made my first quilt with my grandmother.  I got tired of my old quilt so I set out to find a more modern design.  I was thinking about a chevron quilt, and my grandmother found one in your 2014 September/October Magazine!  I decided I wanted the colors aqua, coral, white and gray.  My grandmother cut the pieces and I sewed everything together.  We added a beautiful label to the backing and finally started to quilt.  It was my first time quilting a quilt all by myself!”

Please comment with encouraging words for Sarah:

 





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?

 





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.

fullsizerender-1

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!