Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Star Flare Quilt

Star Flare

If ever there was a quilt to be awarded the "Hardest to Photograph" award, I do believe this one would be in the running! I've heard people complain before about not being able to accurately capture a fabric's color and to a certain degree I've experienced that, too. But this one is ridiculous. The colors are so much deeper and more vibrant and somehow not as harsh as what these pictures would have you believe.

Star Flare on chair 
I have recently fallen back in love with my solids, so there's a good chance you'll see more projects like this in the future. I had so much fun sketching this out and choosing fabrics that I very nearly made a 96" quilt! I really wanted to add another darker ring but once I realized that I really had no business making a quilt that large I talked myself down and used it as binding instead!


From the center out, the fabrics I used are: Kona Cheddar, Bella in Clementine, Kona Tomato, Kona Pomegranate, Kona Cerise, and Kona Berry for the binding. Hungry?

Star Flare, back

For the backing, I just pieced together some of my larger scraps in an awkward log-cabin fashion. You'll notice there is an odd color in there which I believe is another Bella solid, probably Berrylicious. It's a good one.

For the quilting, I just stitched in the ditch around the center star, then radiated out and echo quilted about every 2" using a hot pink thread. I'm really not sure what my plans are for this, but if I get some spare time today I may list it in the shop.  Or, I might hang on to it...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Modern Maples

It's finished! 
I'm pretty sure that I haven't been this excited about a quilt since I completed my Chicopee Herringbone one earlier this year. 

Taller help has arrived! #modernmaples #fallingformodernmaples

I know you've heard it before, but I absolutely adore Autumn. Far and away my favorite time of year, so when I saw a few of these Modern Maples quilts popping up last year I knew that I had to make one. I was a tiny bit busy last fall, what with a newborn and trying to move houses in the middle of harvest and all that, so it got pushed to the side. Then my friend Debbie had everyone in That Stash Bee make these blocks for her month. That was just the kick I needed to start my own version. 

I had so much fun choosing fabrics for this. I was a little worried at first that the reds would be too vibrant for the other prints, but I think it all worked out. I also went back and forth on the background, very indecisive on using a mixture of low-volumes or just one. Actually, you can't really even call this low-volume. It's quieter than that. Mixed neutrals would be more appropriate, I think. 

Modern Maples on rail

Honestly, the entire process of making this quilt was full of indecision. I spent so much time rearranging the blocks once they were made that I nearly went cross-eyed. I was fairly sure that I wanted to do random not-so-straight lines for the quilting, but even that was questioned after a few lines of stitching. After seeing some really cool projects with variegated thread, I thought that I might as well try it on here, too. I used a thread that was mostly creams, browns, and golds. When Wyatt saw it he thought it was pretty cool that I was using camouflage thread!

For the backing, I used these two Farmyard prints and another floral that was a nice rusty color. I'm so glad that I finally found a use for these prints. I really like them, but they aren't exactly ones that go well with much else! The binding was an easy choice, since I already had it made. I was going to use it for my Gathered Geese  quilt back in January, but it was too busy so I put it away. It was so nice to get to that point and already have the binding ready!

I think this little guy is my favorite.

I think my favorite part of the quilt is the addition of little leaves. I really like all the negative space in the original version, but I knew I wanted a few of these little guys thrown in. I just made some 6" and 9" versions of the block and framed them with more neutrals to get them up to 12".

The Modern Maples tutorial by Amanda of hey porkchop can be found here. I absolutely love her version! And if you want to see more Modern Maple quilts, Deb has set up a Flickr gallery and even a Flickr group for a laid-back sew along. You should definitely check them out!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Vintage Finish

I had an ultra-productive nap time yesterday and managed to finish the quilting on my Modern Maples and complete the quilting and binding on this baby.


There really isn't too much more to say about this quilt that I didn't say yesterday. In general, I don't buy a lot of quilting books, mostly because I'm cheap, but also because I like the challenge of figuring out patterns on my own. With that said, I'm pretty happy that I bought Simply Retro. I've already made two quilts out of the book which is more than I can say for most of my other ones.

Vintage OB on deck

I also really like this block and I'm already plotting a larger quilt with a white background and maybe some more Denyse Schmidt? These blocks finish at 19.75" so it wouldn't take too long to make a larger quilt.


Pattern: "Vintage" from Simply Retro by Camille Roskelley
Fabrics: Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet in Persimmon, Lizzy House Castle Peeps, DS Quilts Croquet Tile, RK Metro Living Lattice, Kona Ash
Backing: Seaside Plaid by October Afternoon for Riley Blake
Binding: DS Quilts Croquet Oval in Orange
 Approximate Size: 40" x 40" 

**This quilt is currently available in my shop.**

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I'm hoping that with school back in session I might actually be able to keep my days straight and get back on a normal schedule. Maybe? 

It seems like in the last week or so I have started a few new projects, so I thought a WIP post was called for to get a little organization going. 

I made this little quilt top on Sunday, mostly just because I needed a change from my other projects. This block is called "Vintage",  and is another fun one from Simply Retro. I really liked making these blocks and will definitely be making another quilt from them. Unfortunately, I sewed the blocks together backwards twice and after taking it apart, those bias edges got just a little wavy. Not a big problem, but next time I'll pay more attention!

Solid Stars 
I've recently become obsessed by solids again and had an overwhelming urge to make this design. I should have planned a little better as I ran out of the last two colors before I was done and had to wait a few days to finish it. Patience is not a virtue I possess when interrupted! I also had such a hard time taking pictures that accurately showed these colors. Carson ended up taking this one this morning and it is closest in terms of color, so try to ignore the random deck clutter, ok?

Modern Maples top done

My Modern Maples top is finished, and I'm about halfway done with the quilting.  I'm doing random "organic" straight lines in a variegated thread. I'm honestly still undecided about it, but I think I'll like it once more of it is finished.

24" Folded Star

I also made this the other day. See? Totally random projects. I really don't know what I'm going to do with it. It is in the same color scheme as my Lucky Stars in case I wanted to combine them, but I'm not sure that I do. I'm also pretty sure I still have April-August to catch up on with my Lucky Stars BOM, so I should probably work on that, huh?

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, August 12, 2013

Skinny Churn Dash and Variations

September is my month as quilter for Bee{Purposeful} and I've chosen the Churn Dash block. There are hundreds of churn dash tutorials out there, most of which are based on a block divided into 9 equal squares. I prefer the look of these skinnier churn dashes which are more of a 1:2:1 proportion, so I thought I would add another tutorial to the mix, along with a few variations for our stitchers to choose from. 

This is more of a quasi-tutorial in that I'm basically just giving dimensions and assuming that you know the basics of assembling blocks. As always, if you have a question please feel free to ask! So, first up...

To make a 6" skinny churn dash:

You will need: 
Fabric 1: (1) 3.5" square for the center
(2) 2.5" squares
     (1) 1.25"x14" rectangle
Fabric 2: (2) 2.5" squares              
    (1) 1.25"x14" rectangle

To make the block:


 Pair up your 2.5” squares of Fabric 1 and Fabric 2 right sides together. Draw a line diagonally through the center and stitch a scant ¼” away from both sides of the line. Cut on the line, and press the seams open.   Trim your HSTs to 2”.


Sew your 1.25” rectangles together along the 14” edge, creating a rectangle that is 2”x14”. Subcut this rectangle into [4] 2”x3.5” pieces. 


Assemble the block as shown and trim to 6.5”


To make a 12.5" Skinny Churn Dash, you will need:

Fabric 1:  (1) 6.5" square for the center
  (2) 4" squares         
                             (1) 2"x26" strip OR (2) 2"x 13" strips
 Fabric 2:  (2) 4" squares                       
                             (1) 2"x26" strip OR (2) 2"x 13" strips
Assemble the block the same as the 6.5" block, except you will trim your HSTs to 3.5" and subcut your strips to yield (4)  3.5"x6.5" rectangles.

Now for the variations:


You can make four of the 6.5" blocks and sew them together as above to yield a 12.5" block, or sew them together to make a 6.5" x 24.5" strip....

Or make one 6.5" block and frame it with 3.5" strips...

Double Churn Dash Or combine the two, and make a Double Churn Dash! To make this one, just make a 6.5" Churn Dash and use it as the center of your 12.5" one. Make sense?


I am so excited to start assembling this quilt! I recently bought this Reminisce print  and loved it so much that I decided to use it as the basis for our color, teal, tangerine, melon orange, straw-yellows, along with tomato-red, navy, and a bit of light grey. Fun!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Les Amis are Swell

Les Amis on rail 

Earlier this spring I bought a fat-eighth bundle of Les Amis by Patty Sloniger from Amanda's wonderful shop Westwood Acres. I was so, so excited to cut into it that I didn't spend enough time planning what I was actually putting together and very nearly created something horrible. After sitting in one of my WIP bins for a couple of months, I finally got the blocks out and introduced them to my seam ripper. After removing the offensive yellow the blocks went back in the bin until I was sure of my next move. I knew that I wanted to use both colorways of this fun line together, but was having a hard time envisioning how to make that happen. Then came my copy of Camille Roskelley's latest book, Simply Retro. I knew that her Swell pattern would be the first one that I made and it didn't take long for me to decide that mixing my Les Amis with Kona Snow was the way to go.

Les Amis, back

The blocks came together very quickly thanks to chain-piecing and in no time I had this little top complete. For the backing, I just sewed together several of my scraps into a large patchwork block and added Kona Ash and Kona Coal to bring it up to size. I had such a hard time choosing the binding fabric for this one! I thought that a scrappy binding would be fun, but all of my scraps were about 6" and there was no way that I was going to piece all of those together, so Kona Celery was the winner.

I took this little quilt with me to my parents' house last month and this was actually the first one that I quilted on my mom's longarm. This loopy, swirly pattern is by far the one that comes most naturally to me so I thought that would be a good one to start with. I think the swirls add to the playfulness of all the little creatures in the quilt.

Les Amis on deck

And since this was another quilt made just because I wanted to, it is now listed in my shop. That's right, people, I actually did it! Not too much listed yet, but since I don't see this sewing-thing slowing down any I thought it might be good to at least have an excuse for all my making!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bee Blocks

I got my latest round of bee blocks put in the mail yesterday, so I thought I would share them here. And it doesn't look like I ever posted about July's, so you get those, too!!

All four

I recently joined a new bee, Bee {Purposeful}, that is organized by Corey of Little Miss Shabby. I have been wanting to increase my charitable sewing this year and Corey happened to post about this bee at just the right time, so I joined. It is set up in a similar fashion as do.Good Stitches with some people as designated quilters and others as "stitchers" that send blocks but aren't responsible for the actual quilting. Our first month was August and Corey asked for Scrappy Trip Around the World blocks, in the style of Camille Roskelley's. These were so much fun to choose fabrics for that I just might have to make a version of my own, too.

New England blocks for Andy

Andy was the quilter for July in our dGS circle. She chose these scrappy New England blocks in colors inspired by her summer flowers. These blocks were quick and easy to make. A tutorial can be found on Andy's blog, A Bright Corner. 

August Blocks for Lindsay

For our August dGS block, Lindsay asked us to make these blocks which are one of the patterns featured in her upcoming book, Modern Bee. Sukie designed the block, which was another quick one to make. 

Arkansas Traveler

We are taking August off in That Stash Bee, but for July Kelsey chose these Arkansas Traveler blocks in bright, scrappy colors. I have been wanting to make these blocks for a while now, but I can definitely say they were not quick to make! They aren't difficult, just a little time consuming. And since Kelsey wanted a specific fabric used for the background, she sent some to us since most of us wouldn't have it in our stash. When I opened the package and saw 1/2 yard of fabric I was surprised that she had sent so much for two blocks. But she knew what she was doing, as I just barely had any left over!


Our July block for Always Bee Learning was this fun Sparkler block by Lee of Freshly Pieced. Kristina already had our fabrics cut, so these blocks seriously came together in about 15 minutes. I love this block and am excited to see the quilt all finished! 

Improv arrows 
And finally, our August blocks for Always Bee Learning. Megan asked us to make improv arrows inspired by some pictures on The Workroom's photo stream. These were so fun to make, and a nice break from the other projects I've been working on. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Modern D9P

Last spring, my friend Jenelle of Echinops & Aster hosted an aqua and orange mystery charm swap. It was such a fun concept that I had to join and was delighted with the 28 pairs of charms that I received from her. I had every intention of jumping right into a project to use them, but somehow they ended up sitting in my cabinet for over a year. 

Modern D9P

A few weeks ago I finally pulled them out after seeing this quilt by Kristy Daum of St. Louis Folk Victorian. Basically you make a disappearing nine-patch, but use more of your negative-space fabric than colorful prints in each block. Jenelle's charm pack also included some grey prints, so I added in about the same number of grey-toned low-volume prints from my stash.

Modern D9P, quilting 

This is one of the quilts that I quilted on my mom's longarm. I just did a random squared meander, not sure if there is a more official name for it. It was fun, but straight lines and sharp turns are definitely not as easy as loops and swirls! 
Modern D9P, back 

For the backing, I used this Lizzy House print from 1,001 Peeps and the binding is (I think) Timeless Treasures Sketch in Tangerine. 


Yesterday morning when I was trying to take pictures of the quilt, I originally had Wyatt holding it while I had the camera. As you can see, he's still a little short and Jill is a master photo-bomber so I decided to switch places with him. Of course once Carson saw Wyatt taking pictures he had to do it, too. I should use them more often, because between the two of them they took the best pictures that I got! 

I seem to be getting into the habit of making quilts without a plan for them, so I was beyond thrilled when one of my friends from college saw this on IG and wanted to buy it. I have kicked around the idea of opening an Etsy shop or something but thinking about it is as far as I've gotten. Maybe I should?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Handmade Confessions

This morning you can find me over at my friend Palak's blog, Make it Handmade.

I'm today's guest on her fun series, Handmade Confessions, so if you've got a minute hop on over and find out what my deep, dark secret is!

Hopefully I'll be back later today to show you one of those baby quilts I just finished. Happy Friday!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Random Thursday

What we've been up to lately:


A quick trip to Iowa to visit my parents. It had been over a year since we had been able to go out there so I'm thrilled that we could squeeze in a visit before school starts again. We've been back for almost a week but there is still an unpacked suitcase on my bedroom floor...


I can't remember if I posted about it here or just on IG, but the boys were taking care of a swallowtail caterpillar that they nabbed from my garden. They were very excited when it formed its chrysalis, but the timing  was such that we had to take it with us to Iowa to release the butterfly.

It's a boy!
Hopefully we didn't upset the balance of the swallowtail universe too much by moving this guy 350 miles west.

While we were there we also made a side trip to Moline and took a little tour of the John Deere Pavillion. I'm pretty sure this was one of the highlights of the trip for my boys, especially Roger. 


 One of the highlights for me was finally getting to play around with mom's longarm. That sounded a little odd...But seriously, this was so much fun! She has probably had this machine for at least 10 years and last week was the first time I had used it. I took two baby quilts with me to work on, but you better believe that next time we go I'll be taking some big ones! 


Before we left I placed an order with Pink Castle Fabrics and just for fun I bought one of their random fat-eighth packs. I love the little surprise of not knowing what I'll be getting, and I was thrilled with what they sent. I adore that Madrona Road print in front and see that yellow crosshatch in the middle? I recently ran out of it in my stash and the day that I placed my order, I was actually searching online to find more of it because I like it so much. It is called Haybale from Riley Blake and I had it in two colors, this yellow and a cream. I also just used up the last of the cream one in my Modern Maples quilt that I've been working on. Some people become attached to their designer, I like my blenders. 


Speaking of Modern Maples, here is what I've got so far. It has been laid out like this on the floor of Jill's room for about two weeks now. Hopefully this morning I can finish my bee blocks and get back to this baby. But first, I'm going to go make this Blueberry Cake that my friend Cathy just posted. Yum! 

And since I finally remembered to do a random post on Thursday, I'll be linking up with Cindy at Live a Colorful Life!