February 17, 2017

Gabled House -- a free paper piecing pattern

This past November, our circle of the online bee do.good.stitches (Believe circle) made house blocks of any design for the group's monthly project.  When I saw that the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild had put out a call to action to make house blocks in support of victims of the senseless attack on a mosque in Quebec City, I pulled out the pattern I had drafted last fall and made a #QuiltsforQC block:

I drafted the original pattern in pencil on freezer paper.  In the spirit of the MMQG's effort, I thought it would be worth sharing the pattern online, with the added advantage of providing for me the opportunity to learn Inkscape.  I've made the pattern available as a free PDF on Craftsy.

This is my first pattern to share, and it is untested.  If you try the pattern, I'd appreciate and feedback you might have.

I am glad to see there will be a collection point at Quiltcon for these blocks.  My block is ready to be packed, along with my other supplies.

I'm linking up with crazy mom quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

February 3, 2017

Loominous Cabins

I purchased a fat-quarter bundle of Anna Maria Horner's brilliant Loominous yarn dyes about a year ago, and spent some time trying to decide what to make with them.  I settled on 9-inch quarter log cabin blocks set on point.

This quilt uses all but one of the fabrics in the bundle.  I worked out a way to cut each fat quarter so that 25 fat quarters yielded 50 blocks, with enough left over to form a scrappy border.  The inner border is from yardage of the yellow metallic fabric in the collection; this fabric is also used as an accent strip in some of the blocks.  I had a concept in mind in the arrangement of the accent strips, although it might not be evident.

For the setting triangles, I used Manchester Yarn Dyed in Charcoal from Robert Kaufman.  This was my first time setting a quilt on point; I had a few issues in squaring it up, but hopefully they are not too noticeable.

I chose an AMH print for the backing.  This was not my first, second, or even third choice, but this fabric was on sale and was very cost effective.  Still, I am very pleased with how well it coordinates with the front of the quilt.

Here is a full shot of the back:

I quilted it in a diagonal grid, using multiple colors of thread in an attempt to create a plaid-like design.  I really like the texture this created.

Here are some shots showing the different colors of quilting thread.  Most of the threads are 50-weight Aurifil; the blue and yellow are 50-weight Mettler, but these are 3-ply and thus slightly thicker than the Aurifil.

The binding uses the orange "Headlines" stripe cut on the bias:

The quilt measures 71 inches by 82 inches. 

I'm linking up with crazy mom quilts for Finish It Up Friday. 

January 24, 2017

Quilts for sale -- a PSA

I've opened up a shop on Etsy to sell a few of my quilts.  You can find the shop here, or click on the badge in the upper right of the blog page.

Here is a collage of the quilts currently available:

January 12, 2017

A "Hello World" Baby Quilt

I enjoy Cori Dantini's artwork, and had stashed away some pieces from her "Hello World" collection for a possible baby quilt.  Now that I have a new great-niece, it became time to put these fabrics to use.

I created the black and white border by cutting strips free-handed, sewing multiple strips together, then crosscutting them, again free-handed.

The animal prints are from a panel.  I free-motion quilted the outlines of the drawings with dark thread, then used a loopy fill with light thread in the background.  The animals are mostly unquilted, which makes them soft and puffy, especially after washing. (These photos are prior to washing.)

I added a row of wonky stars across the bottom...

 ... and I like a fabric that can tell me how it wants to be quilted (the scallops).

I originally had a different fabric in mind for the binding, but when I saw this Denyse Schmidt plaid next to the other fabrics, I knew it was a better choice.

Here's another shot showing the backing fabric:

More of the animals:

This is my attempt to photograph the puffiness after washing.  (It doesn't show as well as I'd like -- the lighting is too soft.)

I hope baby Rebecca enjoys her new quilt!

I'm linking up with crazy mom quilts for Finish It Up Friday. 

January 7, 2017

Log Cabin Carpenter's Star -- a memory quilt

My father passed away this past spring, at age 93.  As a memory tribute, I decided to make a quilt from his shirts.  My dad was a builder, so a Carpenter's Star design seemed appropriate.  It also seemed appropriate to use log cabin blocks.

I cut strips from his shirts at 1.5 inches, for blocks that finish at 9 inches.

The border fabric, which is also used in the center of the log cabins, is a Tim Holtz print which reminds me of my dad's wooden carpenter rules.

For quilting in the diamonds, I chose a peacock feather motif (we had peafowl on our farm when I was young).

In the background, I used swirls and a grid of orange peels for the quilting.

I pieced the back of the quilt using the backs of the shirts.  I cut them at an angle following the cut of the shirt to make maximum use of the fabric, although I still had to add some partial rows.  The label is from Spoonflower, and incorporates a photo of my father.

I sorted the shirts by lights, mediums, and darks for the star, using 7 or 8 shirts for each grouping.  The orange/red/white plaid which appears on the back, though, did not fit easily into any of the groups.  I did piece a few strips from this shirt into the "whole" light blocks, where they are less likely to detract from the contrast of the design.

For the binding, I wanted to use a yarn-dyed plaid.  I chose a Robert Kaufman Mammoth flannel for the colors.  It's a bit bulky for a binding, but I think it turned out OK.  I did cut my strips at 2.5 inches (rather than 2.25 as I usually do), and used a trick found here (step 5) to trim some bulk from the corners.

One of the shirts had some embroidery with a team logo above the chest pocket.  I didn't see a way to work this into the quilt, but I did save it to make a beanbag/pincushion, adding trim from a second shirt.  I gave this to my niece who also graduated from UNA.

The quilt itself is a gift for my dear sister, who lived next door to my dad and did so much for him.

I'm linking up with crazy mom quilts for Finish It Up Friday. 

December 14, 2016


This quilt was inspired by brick work on a building in Nashville, Tennessee.

I made improv log cabin blocks from strips of various denim and indigo-colored fabrics, cutting free-hand, and set them on point.  The background fabric is an unbleached linen from Moda.

I threw in some small bits of Kona Lime just for fun.  I included a batik fabric as well, thinking it would be fun to sneak some into Quiltcon.  Unfortunately, though, this quilt was not selected for Quiltcon.

With so much negative space, I wanted to show off the quilting.  I used wool batting, which really pleased me in combination with the unbleached linen.  Here's a shot I took before adding the binding:

And more details of the quilting:

Finally, here is a shot of the back:

I'm a little disappointed not to have a quilt in this upcoming Quiltcon, especially since it is the first chance I'll have to attend the show in person.  But I do hope to enter this quilt in other shows.

I'll be linking up with crazy mom quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

November 18, 2016

House Blocks for do.good.stitches

As a member of the Believe circle of do.good.stitches (an online charity bee), I make a few blocks each month and send them off to the designated quilter for that month.  This month, we were asked to make house blocks, using any design we wish.

I drafted a block based very roughly on our own home, and pieced it using freezing paper and "paperless" paper piecing methods.  I included a tree as well, but left that portion unattached to the house, to give our quilter some flexibility in placement.

I wanted to make a second block, and tossed about ideas of using mostly Tim Holtz fabric, but with a fussy-cut hot air balloon in the sky.  The fabrics didn't want to play together well, though, so I made two additional blocks -- one making use of Tim Holtz fabric, and another using the hot air balloon fabric.  I pieced both of these improvisationally

Here is the block using Tim Holtz fabric.  It looks more like a barn, which I suppose is not a bad thing.

And here is the block using hot air balloons:

I added some "landscaping," although I'm not sure how well it works.

I'm looking forward to seeing blocks from our other bee members, and the final quilt.