Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Star Patchwork Baby Quilt

Star and Patchwork Baby Quilt
Greetings! Well, fair warning, this post has kind of a lot of photos! I just really, really love this quilt and I was actually sad to send it away. My friend's cousin recently had a baby, and her sister ordered a quilt for me. I've known this family since I was in middle school, so it's always nice to make something for someone you know. The only directions I had were to use a little bit of green to match a nursery, still make it girly, and embroider the baby's name on it. 
Maybe my favorite section. Love that horse and carrot!
Honestly, I had some problems for a while coming up with an idea! I didnt know what pattern or fabrics to use, so I was stumped for many weeks. I did know that I wanted to use a Tina Givens print, "Elephant Flight," which is the center pink square in the bottom row above. It is pink with white elephants dangling from hot air balloons!! I've been wanting to use it in a baby quilt since I ordered it. I had also recently ordered some cute prints from the "Wee Wander" line , which are cute kids and horses and have some green. From there I gathered up 8 or 9 other fabrics from the store, and ended up with what I think is a really fun color palate. Though there is aqua in it, and grey, it still felt new and fresh for me to use, possibly because of the addition of yellow and purple, 2 colors I dont generally use, especially together. 
Embroidered Star
I hadnt made a patchwork quilt in ages, so I thought I'd go that direction, but and the last minute decided to ad a few stars in a light, contrasting print, and I'm really glad I did because it's my favorite part of the quilt now. I cut 4 1/2" squares, and then embroidered the name on an 8" square that would take the place of 4 of the regular patchwork pieces. 
For the back I used the elephant print, which I love cut up but also love as a large print, and added one row of scrappy pieces I had left over from cutting the patchwork squares. I quilted straight lines on either side of every seam, which actually didnt take that long on a quilt this size, maybe 90 minutes, and then I also outlined each star, which was tedious and added probably another 45 minutes, but I like it so it's ok. 
The back
For binding I used a coordinating aqua polka dot by Dear Stella, which has a slight bit of stiffness to it that actually makes it really great to work with as binding. Although I have recently learned how to hand-bind, and dont mind it, I must say my machine-binding technique is getting pretty solid too! 

Machine binding
I also really like how the aqua binding looks next to the pink of the backing fabric. Its almost a lavender-y pink, and they look neat together.
More machine binding
I kept this quilt around the store for a few extra days before sending it out because I just didnt want to part with it! I was also able to use a few fabrics that I used in a wedding quilt for the mother of the baby, plus a few fabrics I used in the baby's cousin's baby quilt, so I like that they are all kind of tied together. 
In the harsh light of sunset. 
Also, I sewed these squares up in sections of 2 or 3 at a time, instead of piecing whole rows, and it made a big difference in getting the points to line up. Some still didnt, but a lot more did than normal. Check it out!
Beautiful point matching.... and above, point non-matching
I love every single fabric in this quilt, and I love that even though I've been staring at the same group of fabrics in my shop now for 6 months I was able to come up with a combo that felt new to me. It was a fun quilt to make and I hope baby Marie Elizabeth will love it for years to come!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Outdoor Modern Quilt Show

First of all, ThankYou to everyone who made it out for the quilt show at the shop. It was really, really fun and I loved seeing everyone's different quilts. There was such a great, cool variety of styles and I thought it was really inspiring! And if you didnt make it, please take a look at the pictures below! I'll link to the owners of each quilts blog, when possible.(if there is a name written in the caption, it is most likely a link). Many of these pictures are courtesy of my friend Lindsay, from LindsaySews!
Behind the scenes help!
I was lucky on the day of the show to have my mom, my cousin, and my cousin's awesome roommate come and help me set up. They actually did all the hanging while I ironed, cleaned up the store, and talked to early arrivals, so their help was vital!

Mom and Sarah
I love this fence that runs along the front of the building, and it was the perfect length for all the smaller quilts that I had collected. There were 16 different sections and I had 16 small quilts so that was nice!

Welcome to the Outdoor Modern Quilt Show!
The show went from 5:30-8:00, although I hadnt really considered that it would be dark at 8:00, so it kind of ended at 7:30. But the golden light of sunset looked really pretty with the quilts, and although it had been cloudy and threatening rain all day, it cleared up for the show. How nice!

View from across the street. 
I ended up collecting about 25 quilts or so, maybe a few more. They just look so fun and colorful all next to each other!
Hiding amongst the quilts!
Checking things out.
Now, although these pictures dont show people, there actually were people who came to the show, came to the shop, and wandered down from the other part of the art crawl. I promise! I was too busy chatting to take pictures once people arrived though. Below are pics of all the quilts except for one that was right outside the door of the shop and for some reason I didnt photograph it. Sorry, Devon!
Australia pixel quilt, made by me
Richly colored Joel Dewberry quilt by Jessica's mom (dont think she has her own blog?)
Improv and log cabins quilt by Jennifer of Jennifer Quilting
Jennifer's quilt was hard to take a good photo of since it was windy, but it had lots of really vibrant colors and interesting piecing. The back was also really cool too, which you can see on her blog.
Scrappy X-Plus quilt by Jessica of A Little Gray
My X-Plus quilt
It was fun to have two different quilts using the same block. I made my blocks much bigger, I think they finished at 12" squares, and Jessica's were probably around maybe 7" (not sure). But it was interesting to see how much size and color choice change the look of a block. A quilt show with the same block interpreted 20 ways would also be really cool, I think!
Quilts by Lindsay (left) and Jayne (right)
Quilt by Jayne (left) and me (right)
Quilts on the fence by Katie Haas (left) and me (right)
Michael Miller Quilt challenge quilt by Jenny Parker (left) and "Echo Quilt" by Lindsay (right)
Triangle Quilt by me (left) and Clamshell Quilt by Lindsay (right)
Cool color diamond quilt by Jayne (love what she does with solids!) 
Modern Mini by Jenny Parker
Cathedral Windows mini by Lindsay 
Fun modern baby quilt using Lotta Jansdotter fabrics by Lindsay 
Pixel Ohio quilt by Devon and Miss Make.com
Adorable Fancy Foxes quilt by Erica of NYCNash. com
Quilts in the setting sun. From closest (on the right): Flying geese quilt by Jessica, Foxes by Erica, and the last 3 barely visible ones are mine 
Close up of my scrappy spiderweb quilt (separate blog post on this one to follow)
So there you have it! It was so great working with talented, creative women who so generously and trustingly let me borrow their quilts for the show. Check out the links to their blogs too, because they have lots of great creations and each have their own very unique styles. I am hoping to do another show this spring, maybe for the 1-year anniversary party, so we will see! In the meantime, I'll just be here sewing and (hopefully!!) selling fabric! Hope you enjoyed the virtual quilt show :)

The aftermath: Quilt mountain

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cotton and Steel Plus Quilt

Cotton and Steel "Plus" Quilt
Hey, who made that extremely understated, dare I say Scandinavian looking modern baby quilt?? As a matter of fact, I did! I know, I know. It only used 4 fabrics, which is totally crazy for me, and the pattern is symmetrical. (no, not in this photo! I just realized I had it hanging "sideways" when I took pics of it, but in my mind, the row of three pluses on the right should actually be the top. For symmetry sake!  

Barely noticeable but nice: light aqua thread!
How did this quilt come to be? Well, actually it was a customer design, so that explains the restraint. A friend of a friend came into the store and wanted a quilt for her unborn baby boy. She picked up fabric she liked, and told me what the nursery was going to be like (during this whole exchange I thought she was buying fabric to make it herself.) We eventually got on the same page, and I took the order.
Understated calm
I must say it was actually pretty fun to make a quilt like this. It came together really quickly since I pieces the pluses and then used larger pieces of fabric in between. The navy is one of the Cotton and Steel basic blenders which has cute white "X"s on it. The back is the amazing mustang print by Melody Miller, also by Cotton and Steel. It is a great mustard background with navy and aqua horses. And gold "X"s. So cool! (can purchase here!)
Wild mustang quilt back
I quilted it with straight lines on either side of the patchwork pieces, which creates a really nice grid, as you can see below.
Straight-line quilting
I used Michael Miller's Cotton Couture solids line in Seafoam for the binding, which I think works really well with the front and the back of the quilt (which is the challenge, when choosing binding, I think). Overall I really love this quilt! I think it would be fun to pick a big-scale, colorful print for the back, and then chose just one color from it to combine with white on the front.

Will I ever be able to restrain myself this much again?? Who knows, but I always enjoy a good challenge from a customer, and helping to make someones idea come to life. Thanks, Erin!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tumbler baby quilt

Baby boy tumbler quilt
Hello! Just wanted to pop in and share a recent quilt finish with you. An old co-worker of mine from Indy contacted me a while back because her best friend was pregnant (I also worked with said friend, briefly!), and she wanted to order a quilt. It is always really nice to hear from people I know, so I was excited to make her something. She sent me photos of the nursery, which was pretty clean, and modern, and decorated with orange, aqua, green, and grey, which I thought was a really fun color palate. 
Close up
It didnt take me long to chose the fabrics, which all came from my store, and I think are  nice blend of solids, polka dots, and fun patterns, but none of them on their own are really "baby"ish, which I like in a baby quilt. There is a little bit of Cotton and Steel, a few nice Art Gallery prints from the Safari Moon line, some polka dots, and some grey blenders. It took me a while to chose the pattern, and I debated making a "plus" quilt as well, but we ultimately decided on the "tumbler" pattern, and I'm glad was did. It's just a nice twist on patchwork, I think, and is just slightly more unique and interesting. And the fabrics can really shine through because the design isnt overly complicated. 

The back
I was excited to discover that I had a nice print in the store that used all the colors as well, this fun design by Michael Miller, so I used that with a vertical stripe of leftover tumbler squares. I made my own tumbler template that I believe was 6" tall, 3" wide at the top and 5" wide at the bottom, then just traced it out of cardboard and used it for cutting. 

The whole back, and binding. 
I quilted it with straight lines on either side of the angled tumbler pieces, which you can kind of see in the close up picture of the back. I thought that part turned out really nice, and then I used a nice green and white polka dot for the binding.
All her glory!
Although the mom/baby hasnt received the quilt yet, my friend was happy with it, so that's good news! It was a fun, simple, but really happy quilt to make. I may end up doing more of these in the future! What's your favorite easy go-to quilt pattern?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Craft Book Blog Hop!

Hello! In case you haven't seen, September is Craft Book Month at Craft Buds, and lots of bloggers will be posting projects made from a book! (see the full roundup here). And, if you decide to make something too, you can post it on Instagram with the hashtag #craftbudmonth or a blog post with a link back to Craft Buds and you can win prizes! I know I am guilty of buying many craft books but then not using them as much as I probably should. This was a good time to look through what I had and finally make something!

I decided to use Elizabeth Hartman's book, "The Practical Guide to Patchwork," which is an older book of hers (she has a really cool new patchwork one as well, that comes out in November). I decided to use this one though, since I have had for years, and think the projects are really neat. 

"Birdbath" Quilt
I have always liked this quilt pattern which is toward the back of the book, which I think means it is in more of the "advanced" sewing section. I didnt have time to make the whole quilt but I did need a new pillow so I decided to make 4 squares instead, and since each square is 9" it would work perfectly for an 18" pillow form I already had!

Birdbath Pillow
I used a variety of blues and greys and aquas, and did 2 squares in 2 colorways. I have to admit, I ran into some problems sewing this, which were all my fault! One, I was using scraps instead of cutting the amounts the pattern says to cut, so I kept choosing fabric that I didnt actually have enough of. Then I didnt read the directions closely enough and cut out the wrong sizes. It was annoying! When I made the block it said trim to 9 1/2" which was not possible because my blocks varied in size and some were only 9"! I have no idea why these blocks were so off. Was it poor measuring? Poor cutting? Poor sewing? (even though I use a 1/4" foot?) Who knows, but I am glad I didnt try to make a whole quilt!

Pillow in its new habitiat
I connecting the blocks with 1" sashing in a light grey sketch fabric, and I like that it separates the blocks a bit. They were a bit fiddly and tedious to make, with some pieces only 1 1/2" square. Im learning from this and from some of my quilting bee blocks that I am just not good at sewing with pieces that small! Something to work on for the future. 

Cozy, rainy night and lovely view of construction site!
Once I had the pillow top made I quilted it with straight lines about 1/2" apart, which I really like, and made a simple envelope back out of grey fabric. I think it would have looked more balanced if I had made the outer rings of all the squares out of the darkest fabrics, because it seems like the dark turquoise rings stand out much more and appear bigger than the one that is lined with light aqua. But, I think I'll get over it! I really like the colors, and I like it with my blue chair! 

What craft book have you bought and not used yet? Any projects waiting to be made? Let me know! And good luck!