May 1, 2024

Mosaic Musings

About 10 years ago I designed a block based on our church's logo, and I've used the design several times to make small wall hangings or other gifts. I've also made a quilt using a larger version of the logo.

My latest quilt, Mosaic Musings, uses multiple instances of the block in a modified grid.

The fabrics are primarily by Giucy Giuce and Alison Glass; the background fabric is Essex Yarn Dyed in Aqua.

The quilting is done in a diamond grid -- which somehow makes me think of stained glass windows.

The backing fabric is a Mammoth Junior flannel. I really like how it coordinates with the aqua linen.

I used the aqua linen for binding as well.

The church uses various colorways of the logo depending on context, one for general use and others associated with specific ministries. I tried to incorporate each of these colorways, and also added some variations of my own.

Incorporating the church's different colorways produces a result that appears more random than I would probably have come up with on my own -- but I think it works.

April 1, 2024

Improv strip blocks

 This hotel room carpet had me thinking of improv quilt blocks.

I thought this would be a good choice for our April quilt for the Bliss circle of Do Good Stitches.  Here's a tutorial for blocks inspired by this carpet.

Assembly of these blocks was quick and easy for me, but the key is to stay organized. I'll have a couple of suggestions for how to deal with this.

Start with two strips of fabric 7 inches by 20 inches (or longer); align one on top of the other, both with right sides up.

Make a series of random cuts, using the carpet photo as inspiration. Leave the first and last pieces a bit wider than the rest, to allow for joining blocks later. Try to keep your pieces more than a half inch wide to avoid losing bits in the seam allowance (although you might be ok with that).

It is critical to keep the pieces in order. One approach is to mark numbering on the pieces; I used a fine-point marker in the lower seam allowance.

Separate the two fabrics and number them correspondingly.

Now swap out alternate pieces.

Sew the pieces in order and you'll get two complementary blocks.

To join two blocks, overlap the ends and make another random cut as shown by the black line below. (Bliss members, you can skip this step.) This works best if there are an even number of cuts in the blocks.

Optionally, trim the blocks to 6.5" high to straighten the edges. (Bliss members, you can skip this step too.)

An alternate approach to staying organized is to make only one cut at a time (after the first two cuts) and sew together as you go, as illustrated in the following three photos.

When joining pieces, remember to line them up at the quarter inch point, not at the edge of the fabric.

This is my second pair of blocks:

These two photos show two options for joining a pair when they have an even number of cuts. Rotating the block on the right gives a slightly different look.

(My apologies for the poor color consistency of my photos. I know how to avoid this issue using my DSLR, but I don't know if it's possible on a cell phone camera.)

February 18, 2024

Main Event

I was quite happy with my Kaleidoscope Star quilt, although I didn't get the full effect I'd hoped for from the stripes. When I saw Tula Pink's neon stripes, they seemed to be a good fit for what I had in mind. So I tried a second version of the design, this time adding some applique.

I used a Broderie Perse approach for the applique, with fusible and raw edges.

My original vision for the giraffes was a bit different, but I had to make adjustments to work with the scale of the prints. The bias strip arc in the squares was not part of the original plan either. I had considered grouping a bunch of flowers as in the triangles, but that quickly became unwieldly in terms of layers and number of pieces. The arc is appliqued rather than pieced, primarily to get the stripes to rotate, but this was also easier than piecing.

The flowers and leaves come from a variety of (mostly) Tula Pink fabrics. The large flowers in the corners are from Moon Garden Kabloom fabric; I like how the petals and leaves echo the stripe motif.

I added just one bee.

The dark background fabric is Essex Yarn Dyed in charcoal. The backing is a larger scale version of the striped Kabloom flowers (with plenty of bees).

While these stripes are closer to what I had in mind originally for this design, they seem almost overpowering. I think the outside border is my favorite part of this quilt.