“Over and Under” and “Partly Cloudy” Published!

11 01 2018

Have you seen the latest copy of McCall’s Quick Quilts? The February/March 2018 issue contains two of my quilts!

“Over and Under” is made with tone-on-tone fabrics from Wilmington Prints. The patches are an easy to handle size and units are assembled by partial seaming around the central orange squares. Setting the blocks on-point accentuates the over-all woven appearance of the fabrics. With light gray thread, I quilted a freehand all over design of E’s and 3’s.

Do you need a birthday or graduation quilt for a young man? This is it! It would also make a great wedding gift or retirement gift.

Interestingly, McCall’s Quick Quilt editors selected another of my quilts to publish in the same issue. “Partly Cloudy” was made with rainy spring days as inspiration. The colorful 2″ squares represent rainbows peeping out from behind the clouds. Again, Wilmington Prints graciously supplied fabrics for the quilt. Originally, I planned for black narrow borders on both sides of the pieced border of colorful squares, but the color contrast was too stark. A charcoal gray choice keeps the viewer’s eye on what is most important, the interior patchwork surrounded by the colorful pieced border. I designed and pieced this quilt during the time my longarm was packed away in preparation for our move, so my friend, Irene Grimes, quilted “Partly Cloudy” for me. With gray thread, she quilted cloud arcs and loops on the interior, curved arcs in the pieced border, and straight lines in the outer print border.

If you are searching for a quick and easy quilt in popular decorating hues with a fun punch of color, your search is over! The construction is suitable for young sew-ers; perhaps your daughter or granddaughter would like to help make a new quilt for her bedroom on the next snowy or rainy day.

If you are not yet a Quick Quilts subscriber, click here to order your copy from The Quilting Company’s online store.

Advertisements




“Garlic Knots” Finished

8 01 2018

Since finishing my “Dresden Plates” quilt, I have poured sewing time into finishing my “Garlic Knots” quilt. You can read about the beginning of this project and a strip piecing hack here. The patchwork block was popularized by Bonnie Hunter in an “Addicted to Scraps” column for Quiltmaker (Jan./Feb. 2014 issue). I saw this arrangement of blocks on Pinterest which motivated me to make the quilt.

I had about 3 yards of the shirting background fabric and so decided that my total of blocks would be determined by the amount of background fabric on hand. Fortunately, the fabric stretched for making 100 blocks and an inner border. As usual, I auditioned fabric for the outer border and settled on this wavy stripe. It forms a dark frame around the multi-colored patchwork blocks, achieving a calming finish, yet the unusual orange and white stripes add zing.

Construction Tip:  Before adding the inner border, I turned the quilt to the wrong side and stay-stitched 1/8″ from the edge all around the quilt. By turning the quilt over, I could see all the pressed seams. The stay-stitching ensured that the pressed seams would not flip out of place when I attached the first border.

Surprises:  I usually think of Civil War fabrics/quilts as a bit faded with muted colors. Intellectually I know that quilters of that generation selected bright colors that have merely faded over time. But practically, I expected this quilt to look faded even though I selected CW reproduction fabrics. Silly me! However, I do like the bright, bold appearance of the quilt, so it’s a keeper. Another surprise was the way the wavy stripes misbehaved in the mitered corners of the outer border. I expected the stripes to mesh in an orderly fashion as they would in a mitered border of straight stripes. Instead the corners of the outer border are a riot of zigs and zags!

I was tempted to quilt an all-over feathers design with an old gold polyester thread as I did on my recently finished Dresden Plate quilt. However, the gold thread would contrast too much in the dark navy stripe-y border. I want the viewer to appreciate the unusual border fabric without being distracted by gold thread. The solution was quilting rounded, back and forth lines about an inch apart with navy thread in the border and meandering with the gold thread in the quilt’s interior. The binding is solid black, an understated finish for a vibrant quilt.





Aidan’s Quilt

2 09 2017

A Step-by-Step Photo Journal

In July four-year-old Aidan and his family visited for a long weekend. It happened to be the weekend his cousins Kaleb and Krystine had finished their summer quilt projects and were ready for a photo shoot. “Could I make a quilt, too?” he asked. Absolutely! There is no better question to bless a quilting grandma’s heart!

We looked in my bin of juvenile prints and he selected a rocketship print and an seaside print (thinking he might make two quilts, one for himself and one for his little brother). Grandma Aby decided to focus on one project at a time.

We selected colorful tonals that coordinated with the rocketship print. The patchwork design is a variation of my “Steppin’ Up” quilt found on the Patterns page of this blog. Instead of cutting ten 4″ x 40″ strips, I cut eight 5″ x 40″ strips. Then we arranged the strips in color order.

Next, we sewed the strips together on the long sides, joining the first and the eighth strip to make a tube. Note whose toes are operating the sewing machine’s foot control.

   

I cross-cut the tube in 5″ increments and un-sewed one seam of each unit to make a “Steppin’ Up” design. We placed the rows on the design wall so Aidan could see what his quilt would look like.

I pinned and sewed the upper four rows together and then the lower four rows together. “Yes!” we are making progress!

After sewing the upper rows to the lower rows, Aidan joined his cousins for the photo shoot. If you missed it, you can see Krystine’s and Kaleb’s quilts on this blog post.

In order to make the quilt a little larger for this would-be astronaut, I added a narrow black border, a scrappy border made from 2 1/2″ wide strips, another narrow black border, and a 5″ wide red outer border. Aidan was enthusiastic about the “Blast Off” pantograph from Lorien Quilting which pictures a rocketships, stars, and Saturns. He selected a variegated thread of primary colors. Black binding completes the project modeled here by one happy boy!





Ninja Turtle Quilt

10 07 2017

In late winter, a house fire tragedy occurred near Gatesville, TX, claiming all the earthly belongings of the family. The young son, a Ninja Turtles fan, attends the same country school as my granddaughter. Together we cooked up the idea of a Ninja Turtles quilt to comfort him. Once I found the licensed turtle print in JoAnns, we selected solid red, orange, blue, and purple to match the headbands of the sensational reptiles.

The patchwork design is simple — Four Patches from 5″ squares alternating with plain 9 1/2″ squares of the Ninja Turtle print. Krystine began sewing the quilt in February, but then schoolwork and sports crowded out her sewing time. She brought the unfinished project in her backpack to my house this summer for us to complete together. I pinned and pressed while she sewed the blocks and rows together. Then I loaded the quilt top on the longarm and installed the “River Run” pantograph for her to stitch. We selected green thread which blends nicely with the majority of the fabrics. Leftover turtle backing fabric became binding which we top-stitched with a machine zigzag stitch.

I am proud of Krystine for carrying on the family tradition of gifting quilts to folks in dire straits. I related to her my husband’s grandmother’s practice of making quilts and saving them in her cedar chest for the purpose of giving them to families who had lost all in house fires. We know Scott is going to love his quilt and we hope his parents will realize that folks in the community care about them in their great loss.





Patriotic Banner

4 07 2017

Happy Independence Day! I am so thankful to be an American!

Our family was invited to a 4th of July picnic . . . and I decided to make a small quilt as a hostess gift.

If you would like to make a similar banner, here are basic instructions:

Make a Saw Tooth Star block that finishes at 8.” Cut a 1 3/4″ wide navy print strip to frame the Star block. Choose 2 red prints and cut a 2″ x 40″ strip from each. Cut these strips in half. Cut 3 tan strips 2″ x 20,” and sew the tan strips between the red strips. Press seams toward the red strips. Sliver trim the ends of the red/tan strip set to square up and attach it to the framed Star. Press seam toward the Star block.

I quilted wavy lines with red thread in the red stripes and loops with tan thread in the tan stripes. I meandered with navy thread in the background of the Star and quilted a continuous curve in the Star with tan thread. Navy print binding and a hanging sleeve on the back finishes the project.

Are you working on a patriotic project?





“Postage Stamp” Quilt – a Graduation Gift

7 06 2017

My young friend Emily has reached a milestone – graduation from high school!

I love to make “Postage Stamp” quilts for graduates. All the tiny squares can symbolize the bits of knowledge they’ve crammed into their brains for the past 12 years. Amazingly, the bits and pieces combine together to make a beautiful and useful whole. I encourage young people to keep on learning.

“Postage Stamp” quilts are also a metaphor for keeping friendships alive by corresponding. Yes, it is an effort to keep up with friends long distance after graduation, but long-time friendships are worth preserving.

I made this quilt with 1 3/4″ squares that I cut from scraps and save in a box. My friend Linda made a portable design board for me by covering a sturdy piece of cardboard with batting and then with gridded flannel. As I lay out pieces for the wall quilt, my squares will easily stick to the flannel . . . unless I’m outside and it’s windy like on Memorial Day. In that case, I pinned each square to the design board, securing them until I sewed the squares into rows. I think alternating light and dark squares helps the eye to focus on the motifs of the dark fabrics. I arranged the 99 squares in 11 rows with 9 squares each. Click here to see a “Postage Stamp” quilt completely made with bright/dark squares.

The following picture shows how I pressed the seams so they would lock together when I joined the rows. Every other row is pressed to the right; the alternate rows are pressed to the left.

I obtained insider information from Emily’s mom for the border color; her favorite color is turquoise blue. I cut the inner solid border 2″ wide and the outer tone-on-tone border 3 1/2″ wide. The wall quilt measures 20 1/2″ x 23.” Straight line quilting with white thread in a cross-hatch design through the squares is simple, yet enhances the patchwork. I echoed the seam lines with white thread in the inner border and meandered with turquoise thread in the outer border. A congratulatory label on the back completes the gift.





Brittany’s Wedding Signature Quilt

12 04 2017

Look what’s on the design wall!

My young friend, Brittany, and her mom are designing a “Trip Around the World” wedding quilt. The batik fabrics are similar to the colors of her wedding, and guests signed the ecru 4″ squares provided at the reception.

I love Brittany’s eye for color and shading. Although, she is (up to this point) a non-sewer, she is willing to try her hand at sewing the blocks into rows and then sewing the rows together. I foresee spending many happy hours together in my sewing room chatting, pinning, sewing, and pressing.