Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Super Simple Curiosities Quilt (with tutorial and a tip about basting with voile)

super simple curiosities quilt
Have you seen Jeni Baker's new collection, Curiosities?  It is adorable and so when Art Gallery asked me to make a little something with it, I was pretty excited.  
super simple curiosities quilt
I knew that I wanted to make a quilt that would really show off the fabrics so I thought it was a great opportunity to put together a tutorial for a beginner quilt.  And of course this quilt isn't just for beginners, it is also a great quick project.  
You don't have to use a computer program to plan out your quilt, but if you do, I highly recommend EQ7.  If you are more old school, this is a great graph paper notebook.  
I didn't get a good photo of this, but you can actually cut one of the strips in half (see photo below).  It doesn't have to be exact, I just cut where the fabric had been folded.
And press the seams toward the darker fabric.
Piece your fabric into columns. 
And then sew together the columns.  Baste, quilt, and bind as desired.

I was excited to use a Curiosities voile for the back of the quilt.  This was the first time I have used an Art Gallery voile and though it is buttery soft, basting with it was a little challenging!  When I taped the voile down to the floor to baste the quilt, it would not stick to the tape.  At all.  So I came up with a solution:
Before the tape (I recommend this one) could unstick itself from the voile, I hurried and put pins in about 2" apart.  And it worked!  
super simple curiosities quilt
I quilted it with my favorite style - diamond crosshatch - and the voile on the back is just wonderful.  Definitely worth a little extra effort.

Finished size: 40" x 48"

Friday, August 14, 2015

Double Pinwheel Quilt

These blocks have sitting on my blocks for entirely too long and I finally got some time this week to put them together.  They are the February do. Good Stitches blocks from the Wish Circle.  I requested double pinwheel blocks using this tutorial in pinks, yellows, oranges, and purples.
February do. Good Stitches
I experimented with quilting clamshells all over on the quilt which went much better than I expected considering that I haven't done any free motion quilting in ages.  
quilter in training
I also machine stitched the binding down.  I don't love doing it, but I have decided that for quilts that are donated, it is more durable.  This was my best attempt so far so practicing must be making a difference!
machine binding
This quilt will be donated to Project Linus.  

School starts next week and it will just be this guy with me at home:
august in august
I feel a little bad about how excited I am, except the kids seem even more excited. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Quilt Tower

This weekend my brother and his wife came to stay with us which required me to do some tidying up in the guest room.
quilt tower
And at the end of the tidying up process, I had this pile of never-been-used quilts on the dresser.  I love making quilts, and I love making quilts for people that are in my life, but sometimes I make something just to make something.  

So I'm going to try something new.  I am listing all of the quilts that are available here, and if you are interested you can email me ( and make me a offer.  

I know that some people rely on their income from selling their quilts, and that certainly does help me be able to continue making quilts, but the more important thing to me is that they go to someone that will love them.  Right now they are not getting used and quilts should be used.  

Friday, August 7, 2015

Small World Baby Quilt

It's so funny how now that I have a new baby and the kids are home from school for the summer, when I have so very little free time, I have my sewing motivation back.  Even though I haven't been able to sew very much, I have been able to squeeze in a little this week while the kids have been at camp in the morning.
small world quilt
This is actually exactly like a quilt that I made for Studio E that I will be sharing next month, only the colors are completely different, but the great thing about a quilt like this is that different colors make a completely different quilt.
small world quilt
The colors are pulled from this Small World corduroy print which I am in LOVE with.  It is so snuggly and I love the texture of the corduroy.  The quilt top is made with Kona cotton.

I don't know if the front is a plaid or a gingham or what, but it is fun to make.  
small world quilt
I have used corduroy for a quilt back before (see here and here), but this is the first time I have used a Cloud9 corduroy and I was impressed.  It is very soft and the colors are vivid.  When I use corduroy I treat it just like a flannel and prewash it first and it handles pretty similarly.
small world quilt
This quilt is now listed in my shop.  
Finished size: 34" x 46"

Sunday, July 26, 2015

AGF Stitched - Fractal Quilt with Free Pattern

The Fat Quarter Shop and Art Gallery Fabrics have teamed up again to create a free pattern.  Let me introduce you to my version of The Fractal Quilt using Happy Home Fabrics by Caroline Hulse.  
fractal quilt
One of the best things about this project is that it uses y-seams and there is a video tutorial with instructions on how to construct the quilt.  This is a great project for anyone who is wanting to try y-seams for the first time, they really are not that scary!
fractal quilt
The only change I made to the pattern was to alternate Fabric D and Fabric H (the yellow and green) instead of having them always in the same location.  I just felt like this helped balance out my fabrics and didn't require any additional fabric yardage.  

The Happy Home fabrics are gorgeous and include several great blenders.  I saved my absolute favorite print for the binding.
fractal quilt

and my other favorite for the backing.  Okay, maybe they are all my favorite.  
fractal quilt
Finished Size: 56.5" x 61.5"
Pattern: Fractal Quilt
Fabrics: Happy Home by Caroline Hulse
Kit Available Here

You can find additional versions of the Fractal Quilt . . .


Friday, July 24, 2015

At Dusk Quilt

Earlier this year I designed a project using Kona cottons and submitted it to Quilty.  A few weeks after it was accepted, I found out that Quilty was going to stop producing new issues and my quilt wasn't going to be published.

Soon after this the good people at Robert Kaufman asked me if I would be interested in making the quilt for them and having it released as a free pattern.  Yes I would!
This quilt uses almost all of my favorite Kona colors and come together pretty quickly considering that it is a 60"x75" quilt.  You can find more details about the quilt here and the free pattern will be available soon.

Since this guy is sleeping much better . . .
this photo is from a few weeks ago but it's my favorite :)
and I am back from my sister's wedding . . .
my youngest sister Kelly with her new husband, my kids, and another sister's kids
I think I will be back to posting more regularly.  I appreciate all of the support in my efforts to make my time here more meaningful and hope to be making more posts that are helpful (tips, tutorials, etc.).  I also am going to be doing a little redesigning so if things might start looking a little different soon.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fabric Selection

One part of the quilting process that was the most difficult for me as a new quilter was fabric selection.  It was terrifying.  I am not very fashionable and have never been very artistic, so for a long time I sewed almost exclusively with collections of fabric.

Now that I have been quilting for a few years, this is my favorite part of the process. I didn't say it is the easiest - it can still be challenging - but it is oh so much fun.  There are so many people out there who put together amazing fabric combinations and there are so many different ways to go about it, but I thought I would show you what I do.

1.  Build a stash of basics (of course there is a lot involved in building a stash and it deserves its own post, maybe someday).  It is up to you how much fabric you want to have on hand, but I think it is helpful to have basics.  These are fabrics that are primarily one color and that aren't too busy.  Probably about 90% of fabrics that I buy are basics, 5% are fabrics that are kind of crazy but that I love (though they rarely get used), and another 5% are fabrics that are on sale (or that I really love) that I buy for quilt backs.

2.  Pick a color palette.  Type in "color inspiration" into Pinterest and you will have more options than you know what to do with.  One thing that I like to do is to use a fabric for color inspiration.  I'm going to use this pretty voile which will also be the backing for the quilt.
fabric selection
3.  Pick a bunch of fabrics (mostly basics) that coordinate with your color inspiration.  I usually leave them on the counter in my sewing room and add and subtract fabrics over a few days.  Sometimes I stick to my color inspiration and sometimes I go in a completely different direction.
fabric selection
4.  And this is the part that has made fabric selection much easier for me: I put the fabrics in rainbow order.  I don't know if this will be helpful for you, but for me it lets me see if I have too many of certain shades or if I have fabrics that clash with each other.  This quilt isn't rainbowy, but arranging the fabrics in rainbow order helps me to edit the fabrics.  
fabric selection

That's how I do it.  If you are feeling uneasy about selecting fabrics, I guarantee that if you practice you will become more confident and your skills will improve dramatically.  
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