Monday, June 27, 2011

The quilt shop Bee Block

The quilt barn

I had so much fun making this block! In our bee, Cara wanted to make a house block quilt for a family with a baby in NICU as a hope for 'Home'. Click over there to see the other awesome house blocks.

I was inspired by the picture of Becket standing in front of a painted barn at the Quilt N Go shop in Michigan.  Started with the sketch Saturday night and finished first thing Sunday morning!

The quilt barn

I pulled out some blank newsprint, cut it to 12" square as my usable area, and created a sort of paper pieced pattern for myself.

Cara's request for 'no applique' was taken as a challenge. I figured out how to make myself a semi-fluffy cloud. It was the only part of the block that was actually paper pieced. The rest of it was more for scale guidance.

The quilt barn

At the painted barn, one of the quilts was made to look like the wind blew up a corner as they hung on a line. I wanted to add that detail, too. 

I initially planned to piece a little section of half square triangles, but realized it would break the pattern of the quilt front. So I braved it - did a mock up test - and actually inset the HST flip. Quilt Karma smiled on me for trying something new and tricky - I was pleased to see how nicely the wood grain matched all on it's own! I have a little pucker at the corner, but I decided it was a feature, making the wind rumpled fabric look realistic :)

The quilt barn

It was so nice out, I rode my bike over and parked in under the overhang. Picked some wild flowers and fresh strawberries on the way.

That blue fabric Cara sent was perfect for a mini quilt!

The quilt barn

I'm glad to think of a family loving this quilt, as I can hardly stand to send this block away. Would love to hang it in my sewing space!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

House plans

The quilt shop has inspired a paper pieced house block....and I'm so excited to see if it works!


house plan

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vacation fun

We found a fabulous shop in michigan!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pieced Backs

Pieced Backs are so much fun. Sometimes I think I like them better than the front - perhaps the fact that it's the back makes me feel more free to just do whatever. And going with the flow can be when cool, creative stuff happens.

Rebecca at Chasing Cottons is having a quilt back link party and it motivated me to gather a bunch of my backs in one place!

The Green One
The Green one - sew and cut until done :)

{Filled} back
Fibonacci sized stripes, some pieced, in Figgy Pudding

Laura's Birthday Quilt
A paper pieced Harry Potter back

Improv Pears back
I used up a bunch of ends from the front for a simple strip of color

honu back
I wanted to feature the charm squares and I loved the result!

fibonacci back
My first try at applique circles - fun to do new stuff on the back!

Friday, June 10, 2011

OMG It's me......

My purple hexagons peeking from the bottom corner.  And more inside!

The traditional quilt swap is being reinvented by Modern Quilters. Chrissie Grace and her contributors explore the different types of swaps with 10 different quilt projects. Each project is stepped out with clear, concise illustrated instructions on making the quilt as well as setting up a swap for that particular quilt. Each project features a photographed skills tutorial that will help the reader in making the quilt project, and will increase their skill set for use in future projects. The community aspect of quilting is brought to the book by the incorporation of popular swappers and bloggers insights into this exciting realm of shared art. 

I'm so excited that Chrissie invited me to be part of her book and can't wait to share the whole thing with you.  I had an awesome time making quilts with the group she gathered.

The book is available for pre-order on Amazon!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Green : Finished

59" square

For Christmas I gave both of Becket's teachers and the preschool director fun, quilted tree pillows.   They all enjoyed them so much - and both of his teachers STILL have them out.  Even though it's long past Christmas.  (That's one of the reasons I knew I HAD to make them quilts.  The director already has one of my quilts)  

Random sew and slash stripes on the back - love them!
One of his teachers especially loved the pillow because of the lime greens I used, she said that was her living room color - and green is her favorite color.   It's also the favorite color of Becket and myself, so an Ode to Green was the perfect plan for her quilt!

Becket gasped when I pulled out that green wood grain and exclaimed he NEEDED some for his own.  Likewise, any trimmings disappeared from my sewing area.  The scraps of greens, along with the prints from my Symmetry quilt, are stashed in a little box in his room.  Fabric disease is obviously genetic.

These modern log cabins were inspired by Susan Beal's cover quilt.  And over Christmas I had just bought a stack of fun neutral prints - so they were the ones I ended up pulling for the plus signs.  I chose the letters on the top left because she's a big fan of nice penmanship. 

There have been so many cool quilts with just solids lately, I've been wanting to give them a try.  Although not all solids, I liked the thought of a green mosaic background and pulled five different Kona greens from my stash.  I used them at random as I made the individual log cabins.

The neutral logs around that center are the same natural linen and cotton/linen blend I used in the other quilt.  Two more Kona greens were pulled for the right (cactus) and bottom (green tea). 

As I was making it, I knew I wanted to quilt straight lines in the linen blocks and stipple the outside edges.  But I had planned on just a 1/4" in/out of each center plus.  I didn't want to disturb the mosaic green background.  But after I did all the neutrals, I was worried that I didn't have enough quilting to hold it well through the wash.  

After much hemming and hawing, I decided to stipple the green center with a variegated green thread.  I was quite happy with how it turned out, and also really liked that contrast with the unquilted centers of the pluses. 

We love green!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Symmetry in Completion

59" square

The first of two quilts I made as gifts for Becket's preschool teachers.
I LOVE this shoo fly block.  And it's even more fun making large and small ones.   Each of the big blocks are about 32" square.

All prints are the lovely, new DS Quilts, with one KJR tossed in.  I needed a solidish blue to balance my small set of four.  

The neutral areas are linen.  The darker is a heavy, natural linen.  The lighter is a cotton/linen blend.  Although easier to work with the blend for quilting, I actually preferred the heavy, 100% linen after it was washed up.

These are some of Becket's favorite prints, and it was hard to get him to let me use them!  Once I told him they were for his teacher, he was happy about that (didn't tell him too early, as I don't trust his secret-keeping skills).

Although, as I would cut large sections for the big blocks, he would look over what was left to make sure I didn't use TOO much.  You should have seen him when we were at the store buying it in the first place.  He kept telling the lady that we had to buy the WHOLE bolt.  I didn't, but talk about an enabler!

That blue and red print on the back is his very favorite.  His teacher guessed it right - it's because it reminds him of Hawaii.

I used some of the wonderful pearl bracelet for my label.  Such a fun way to label.

Deciding on the quilting took me a long time.  I thought about it, stared at it.  I felt the quilt needed just a little more contrast between the prints and the linen sections, so didn't want to all-over stipple.  I considered straight lines around the inside of the shoo fly shapes, but decided that would be too much quilt turning.  NOT a fan of quilt turning.  As it was, I did end up pushing it through my machine WAY more times than was fun.  But it turned out so worth the effort.
I love stipple quilting and it's just about my favorite part of the process.  I feel like it's meditative with a little thrill tossed in!  Straight line quilting - not so much.  But it looks so good - especially against other organic shapes.

I stippled the prints, straight lines in all the linen.  Becket loved what he called the 'pyramid' quilting.

He's known for his love or symmetry and creating with it in detail....a couple pictures his teachers took:

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