September 13, 2021

Flannel & Blue Jeans

 I just finished a quilt using Mammoth flannels:

This quilt was inspired by a quilt made by Sarah Cooper (@coopcrafts). I used 40+ different flannels and added squares of denim from old blue jeans.

The quilt is made up entirely of squares. Each square was cut to 6 inches and sewn with a 1/2-inch seam allowance, so their finished size is 5 inches each.

The backing is Windham Seven Seas 108" fabric, and the binding is a Robert Kaufman chambray.

I quilted this on a longarm, renting time on an Innova machine at Sweet Home Quilting and Supplies.  I did all straight lines using a ruler, as I'm not confident yet with free motion on a longarm.  It took me three rental sessions to complete!

With wool batting and a flannel and denim top, at 95"x105", this is quite a heavy quilt, and hopefully warm too.

April 11, 2021

An Auburn "AU" quilt

As a graduate of Auburn University, and with my son currently enrolled, I decided to make an Auburn-themed quilt.

The entire quilt is made up of 6-inch squares.  I scaled up the logo using computer software and overlaid a grid; each square of the grid was then made into a paper-piecing pattern.

The border is also broken up into 6-inch squares; the orange stripe is 4 inches wide, and the navy and white stripes are each 1 inch wide.

For the backing I used Mammoth flannel.  The batting is wool, so this is a warm and cozy quilt.

The binding is a navy woven stripe.

I sized the quilt to fit on our son's bed.  I made matching pillow shams using an adapted version of this tutorial.

I also made a throw pillow using the backing flannel fabric, and quilted it by following the lines of the plaid.

For the quilt, I quilted a cross-hatch in the orange areas, beads in the white strips, and a spiral design in the background.

Believe it or not, my quilt was inspired by this improv quilt.  I originally considered using a similar improv technique for the AU logo, but in the end I chickened out and went with a more direct representation.  I'm not sure the improv approach would have worked well for a relatively simple image such as this logo.

Originally I had hoped to have this quilt completed in time for late fall football games, but when COVID changed everything I decided to take my time with this quilt. Maybe we'll be able to attend a game or two this year (our son's senior year).

War Eagle!

February 19, 2021

Quiltcon Together

The Modern Quilt Guild's annual show, Quiltcon, is virtual this year, and for 2021 is called Quiltcon Together.  The dates are February 18-20, so it is happening now.

Two of my quilts were juried into the show, Corona Wedding Dish (in the Piecing category) and Everyone Was In the Loop (in the Small Quilts category).

What a surprise to learn that Corona Wedding Dish won two awards!  It received the award for Best Machine Quilting, Frameless, and also received a Judge's Choice award.

Special note -- I'll be joining a panel Saturday afternoon to discuss the top winners.  Quiltcon attendees can access it as LE19.

The awards ceremony was an online event Wednesday night.

The previous night I spoke with Heather Kinion and Colleen Molen; they told me about the quilting award and recorded my reaction to share in the awards ceremony.

(I need to learn to look at the camera instead of the image on the screen.)

Heather and Colleen did not mention in our chat that I would also be receiving a Judge's Choice award, so this was a big surprise when it was announced in the awards ceremony.

Jen Carlton Bailly is one of the three Quiltcon judges, and she selected my quilt for this prize. Jen spoke about her choice in a recorded video; my wife and I really enjoyed her comments.  She said it brings Dr. Seuss to mind, and she even dreamed about my quilt!

You can see all the winners from Quiltcon Together here, and you can read more about my Corona Wedding Dish here.

I've not blogged about Everyone Was In the Loop before.  This quilt was intended for a challenge by our local guild, Heritage Quilters of Huntsville, but like so many things that challenge had to be cancelled.  The prompt for the challenge was to incorporate a fan block and make the quilt 20"x20" for 2020.  My design was inspired by the work of Sara Bond.  The applique letters were cut from a Tim Holtz text print; the background fabric is a Tim Holtz print as well.  The text itself is a quote by former ambassador Gordon Sondland from the 2020 impeachment inquiry.

There are lots of great workshops and lectures available to Quiltcon attendees.  So far I've enjoyed a workshop on Creating Graphic Quilts by Lynne Goldsworthy, and a lecture on 10 Things Judges Wish You Knew by Nancy Fuka.  And of course there are plenty of great quilts to enjoy in the show.

October 24, 2020

Corona Wedding Dish

When Tula Pink announced the availability of her solids collection on Instagram, she asked folks to share how they might use them.  My response was that I would love to do an updated take on a double wedding ring quilt.

Two and a half years later, I have a finished quilt.  I drew inspiration from an upholstery fabric design seen at our church which consists of overlapping distorted circles.

I used Inkscape to design the pattern, starting with a group of four overlapping circles on a repeating 20-inch grid.  I used the drawing tools to distort the circles, which required trial and error to get the overlapping repeats to intersect as I wanted.

Translating the overlapping circles to individual pattern shapes with seam allowances was tedious, but I soon got the hang of it.  I printed the melon shape outlines and improvisationally penciled in zig-zag lines for paper piecing on each individual melon, so that each piece is unique.

For the center shapes, I had acrylic templates laser cut locally by Aly Shearer.  I'm very happy with how they turned out, and with how helpful they were in the fabric cutting.

A half-yard fabric bundle was almost enough to complete this quilt.  From most colors I cut two centers and made two blocks worth of melons; for the few colors I repeated three times, I had to purchase additional fabric.

I divided the bundle into warm and cool colors (roughly), and alternated blocks between the two sets.  This type of design does not lend itself to making blocks and then arranging them on a design wall; I had to plan out my color placement in advance.  I assigned a number to each color, cut small squares from the selvedges, and glued them onto paper grids as a placement guide, one for the centers and one for the melons.

Each center is quilted in a grid-based design, inspired by a class with Christina Cameli at Quiltcon 2019 in Nashville.

My original name for this quilt was "Where is my compass?"  I was not anticipating that the spiky secondary design would be so prominent; as a result, a coronavirus-inspired name seemed obligatory.  With the close relationship to double wedding ring and pickle dish quilt designs, I settled on "Corona Wedding Dish," which seemed to resonate with folks on Instagram.

I hid one Easter egg in the quilting.

"It will go away like magic."

The back of the quilt uses Anna Maria Horner's Hindsight 108" backing.

I'll close with a few more quilting photos:

July 8, 2020

Dayhike quilt

I finally finished a UFO that's been in progress for quite a while.  This quilt was made using the Dayhike pattern by Amy Ellis.

Two fabrics provided the initial color inspiration -- Rifle Paper Company's Rosa in Peach, and Rashida Coleman-Hale's Cicada Song in Forest.

The pattern is targeted towards 10-inch layer cake squares, but I used yardage and scraps.

There is one intentionally rogue block; I'm not sure how noticeable it is, though.

The two inspiration fabrics appear in the backing as well as in blocks on the front.

For quilting, I tried to draw inspiration from the fabrics and quilted each rectangle individually.

The binding is a Cotton Couture solid in Juniper.

This would have been a quick finish had I not set it aside for a while.  It has been over three years since I started this quilt!  With so many quilt shows being cancelled, I don't have any current deadlines, which gives me an opportunity to finish up some smaller projects like this.  It's good to have this one complete.

April 26, 2020

Two National Parks quilts

Our family enjoys visiting national parks, so I was excited when Riley Blake Designs released their National Parks fabric line with large poster panels.  I like the retro graphic look of the designs too.  The large panels are about 36 inches by 42 inches; adding some simple borders is a quick and easy way to create a lap-size quilt.  I was able to complete two tops from start to finish between Christmas and New Years.  (The quilting still took weeks, of course.)

I chose panels from two parks that we enjoy and that would also make suitable gifts for friends -- Rocky Mountain National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  For the Rocky Mountain quilt I added several borders of varying widths, including a woven Anna Maria Horner stripe and a few solids.  Simple stars sit in the corners of the stripe border.

For the Smoky Mountains quilt, I created a plaid-like border using solid fabrics.  The cream inner border expands the dimensions of the panel out to multiples of four inches -- fortunately it is an odd multiple in each direction.

I was well out of my comfort zone when it came to quilting the animals in these prints.  I chose to quilt them sparsely, mostly outlining the color zones. 

To keep the quilting somewhat even, I tried not to quilt the backgrounds or borders too densely either.  This was a challenge for me, as I usually tend to quilt heavily. 

I did want the lettering to stand out, so the background in those areas are the most dense.

The back of each quilt uses Mammoth flannel from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. 

I was nervous about using flannel as a backing, but it quilted really well.  Even matching the seams worked out well. 

Combined with Dream Wool batting, I'm hoping these quilts will be warm and cozy.

I had hoped to share these quilts with our local guild during Show and Tell at the March or April meetings, but quarantine upended those plans.  These quilts have found their way to their recipients already -- and may eventually find their way to vacation homes near their respective parks.