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.





“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?





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)

 

 





“Framed Four Patch” Baby Quilt

27 06 2016

quilters candyHave you been tempted to purchase those darling packages of “quilter’s candy?” Forty-two 2 1/2″ squares all coordinated from one of Moda’s enchanting fabric lines. How can you resist?

A couple of months ago, at a quilt shop sale, I bought two packages of the Dot.Dot.Dash-! line intending to make a dolly quilt for my great niece. Her mama, my niece, is expecting her second girl, and I thought a simple quilt made of squares sewn side by side would make a nice “big sister” gift. Well, two months passed in a blur, and I hadn’t even made a quilt for the expected baby, so I repurposed the packages of squares for a large baby quilt. (The dolly quilt will have to wait.)

DSCN7890My niece is decorating the nursery with pink and navy colors and an anchor motif. I felt I could stretch the quilter’s candy packages into a crib size quilt if I made Four Patches, framed them with white fabric and alternated the blocks with navy anchor print squares. The anchor print, ordered from fabric.com, is “Jack and Lulu” for Dear Stella Designs (Ptt # Stella-JL537). Granted, all the Dots and Dashes prints are not pink and navy, but I think my niece will like the infusion of purple, orange, yellow, aqua, and apple green.

Basic Instructions for quilt top:  Make Four Patches from 2 1/2″ squares; these blocks measure 4 1/2″ square. Cut strips of white fabric 2″ wide and sew to Four Patches; these blocks measure 7 1/2,” unfinished. Make 21 “Framed Four Patch” blocks and cut 21 alternate 7 1/2″ squares from print fabric. Lay out the blocks and alternate squares in a 6 x 7 grid. Sew together in rows, pressing seams toward the print squares. Sew the rows together and press seams to one side or open. The quilt measures 42″ x 49,” so you’ll likely need to creatively increase the width of your backing fabric.

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Have you made a quilt from “quilter’s candy” 2 1/2″ squares? If so, what patchwork design did you use?





The Need to Sew

9 06 2016

Months ago, I packed up a lot of my miscellaneous fabric and all my quilting books in preparation for moving. To declutter my studio, I folded and placed the fabric I was most likely to use in clear, lidded bins for easy access. And I filled a tough tote with projects I hoped to finish (or start!) in the months prior to our actual move. I have to admit, I have not been very diligent in working on these projects; I’ve been side-tracked by other shinier designs.

But just now I find myself between quilting projects and in need of something to sew. (I had to send the circuit boards of my long arm machine to the factory for repair, so quilting is “out.” I need something to sew.) I opened the tough tote, rummaged around, and extracted some coordinated leftovers from a baby quilt.

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There were seven Uneven Nine Patch blocks among the leftovers. I added a deep purple print and a bright yellow tone-on-tone from stash.

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I decided to make six more Uneven Nine Patch blocks with different fabric placement. The twelve blocks just need some white sashing to set them off. And then a purple border.

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I fulfilled my need to sew for today, anyway. And I completed two 6″ blocks for my Splendid Sampler as leaders/enders while sewing the baby quilt.

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Now all that remains of the coordinating fabric is truly scraps . . . except for that leftover Uneven Nine Patch block!

How about you? Are you feeling the need to sew? What are you working on?





“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.





Fat Quarter Challenge – May

15 05 2016

Believe it or not, May is half over already! Have you been working on using up some fat quarters? I would love to see pictures of your projects, and blog readers would love to be inspired by your creativity! (aby dot quilts at gmail dot com)

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Project #1:  A simple way to utilize fat quarters is including them in your guild’s Block of the Month design. I used a white-on-white FQ as the background for two “Tulip Lady Fingers” blocks. Nancy, the Tarheel Quilters Guild BOM coordinator, specified yellow for the half square triangles and any color for the squares. Won’t these blocks be a great addition to the Block of the Month winner’s pretty spring-time quilt?

In addition to making the design in 12″ size, I made a 6″ block with “Chocolat” fabrics for my Splendid Sampler.

Project #2:  My baby quilt design, “Summer Safari,” is published in the June/July 2016 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts. Click here to see  a picture and to read my blog post about it. Click here to order a magazine. I discovered that I could use the same amount of units needed to make “Summer Safari” to make a “Stair Step” quilt instead.

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I cut 2 1/2″ wide strips from 4 coordinating fat quarters, paired them with white strips, and cross-cut in 4 1/2″ increments. I made 16 “Rail Fence” units of each fabric combination. Instead of sewing 4 units into a “Simple Pinwheel” block, I laid out the units, stair-step fashion on my carpet. To organize the 64 units during the sewing stage, I stacked and sewed the quilt top in a web. If you zoom in on the picture below, you will see the threads connecting the rows. Click here to read Bonnie Hunter’s explanation of this technique.

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A 4″ border completes the 40″ square quilt. I’m entering it into our guild’s challenge for baby quilts using bright fabric. (Stay tuned for how I’ll used the fat quarter leftovers in another baby quilt!)

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