Graffiti Feathers: Mini Quilt #16

For a lot of my recent quilting, I have been creating designs that can be executed with a walking foot.  I love the results, but constantly turning my quilt and having to bury threads was getting a bit old!  So for this week’s mini quilt I decided some free motion work was in order!

Graffiti Feathers front view

I was just a couple inches away from finishing the binding on this quilt when it started to pour down rain, and it has been raining ever since.  For now I have to settle for indoor photographs, but I will update them when I can get better shots outside.

I knew I wanted a bunch of negative space to free motion quilt in, but I wanted to try working with a quilt top that had a design element of it’s own.  Knowing that I wanted to incorporate feathers into the quilting design, I thought that a single, colorful, stylized feather might make an interesting focal point.

First, I drew the feather design on freezer paper using the same drawing technique I would use to free motion quilt later.  Then I refined the feather and cut out the petal shapes, labeling them carefully as I went.  Once it was time to bring fabric into the mix, I adhered Wonder Under to the back of my fabric scraps before ironing the freezer paper patterns to the front.  The finished petals adhered nicely to the white Kona Cotton base fabric, and I did a machine blanket stitch around all of the edges to further secure the pieces.

Graffiti Feathers Detail

Since so many of my recent quilting designs have involves tons of starting and stopping (and burying of thread tails!), I thought it would be an interesting challenge to never stop quilting (unless I ran out of bobbin).  This was my first attempt at graffiti quilting, and I didn’t mark any of my designs ahead of time.  Using a variegated thread was also a new experience and the aesthetic effect worked really well in this context.  I had a spool of Gutermann cotton quilting thread that I had been given at some point.  I liked the coloring of the thread, but I thought it felt thinner than other brands of 50 wt thread.  It also left behind way more lint than other cotton threads I have used.  I normally love Gutermann thread, and use the Mara 100 for clothing and other general sewing, as well as a lot of quilt piecing.  I would not buy the cotton machine quilting thread again, so I will be seeking out a different brand of variegated thread to try. It was very freeing to do whatever design I wanted, waiting to see what the design wanted at that moment.  I think I’ll be trying this technique again!

I like how the quilting looks on the solid white back.  The binding is a scrappy mix of fabrics also used for the feather design.

Graffiti Feathers back view

Quilt Stats

Title:  Graffiti Feathers

Size: 19″x19″

Techniques:  Fusible appliqué with machine blanket stitching

Quilting:  Free motion quilted on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  Front base and backing- white Kona Cotton, Feather design- misc. warm colored scraps

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Red Variegated, 50 wt, Gutermann Cotton Machine Quilting Thread

Binding:  Scrappy binding, cut on the bias in 2″ strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

What was new:

Graffiti Quilting

Quilting with Variegated Thread

Quilt 16 / 50

Quilt 16 / 50

Goal #2 is Finished!

Goal #2 is Finished!

Rainbow Roundabout: Mini Quilt #15

For this week of Mini Quilt Mania I wanted to reinterpret a classic block.  Courthouse Steps is a block that I have always found attractive, and I was wondering what would happen with the block if I forced it into a wedge shape rather than the traditional square.  This week’s quilt is the result of this experiment.

Rainbow Roundabout front view

I have been doing a lot of hexagonal work lately, so I thought that I would give an octagonal format a try.  Each wedge has a forced perspective courthouse steps block and a triangle to finish the shape.

 

There were several options for adding color to this pattern.  I considered keeping the design very simple, using only two fabrics and enhancing the starburst effect that happened when only two sides of each block had a contrasting fabric.  Another option I considered involved using a gradient along three sides of each block.  This still maintained a starburst effect, but it also enhanced the octagon base.  I thought this version had a real Art Deco feel.

/Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Quilt Drafti

For this quilt I ended up going with the starburst layout, but instead of one color I decided to try a rainbow effect.  I have always admired everyone’s rainbow quilts, but I had never attempted one myself.  There are 74 fabrics in this quilt: 72 forming the color wheel, white Kona cotton for the background, and a Lotta Jansdotter stripe for the binding.  To guarantee the wedges maintain the desired shape and size, I developed foundation paper piecing templates to create the quilt top.

Rainbow Roundabout detail a

Rainbow Roundabout detail b

The back of this quilt is also white Kona so that the quilting is really shown off.  For the quilting, I used nine different threads to quilt this piece.  Each wedge has echo and diamond quilting in the white areas and echo quilting in each segment of color.

Rainbow Roundabout back view

Quilt Stats

Title:  Rainbow Roundabout

Size:  18.5″x18.5″

Techniques:  Foundation paper piecing

Quilting:  Echo Quilting within each area of the quilt using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  74 different fabrics:  72 colors from scrap and stash, Kona cotton in whiter for background and backing, Lotta Jansdotter stripe for binding

Batting:  Warm and White

Thread:  Pieced using white Gutermann Mara 100.  Quilted with Connecting Threads cotton Essentials quilting thread in Red, Grape Juice, Peridot, Persian Blue, Persimmon, and Sangria as well as yellow, teal, and green in Gutermann Mara 100.

Binding:  Striped fabric, cut on the bias in 2″ wide strips, machined stitched to the front of the quilt, hand stitched to the back.

What was new:

Rainbow color scheme- I’m pretty sure I have never used so many different fabrics in a mini quilt!

Converting a square quilt block into a forced perspective wedge

Quilt 15 / 50

Quilt 15 / 50

Goal #1 is Finished!

Goal #1 is Finished!

 

I’m linking this week’s quilt up with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, Scraptastic Tuesday at She Can Quilt, Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework, Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Paper Piecing Party at Quilt Art DesignsNeedle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt InfatuationLet’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please check out the amazing work being produced!

Quilted Name Tag: Mini Quilt #14

I recently got up the nerve to go to a local quilt guild meeting (a goal for this year!) Everyone there was lovely and shared such amazing work.  I am really looking forward to becoming involved with a group of such creative and inspiring people.  This group encourages name tags, so this week’s mini is going to serve that purpose.Name Tag front

My quilt of the year for 2015 is red, orange, and pink flying geese on a white background.  While I didn’t want to make a copy of this quilt, I thought it would be fun to incorporate the same colors and some triangles into the design.  I also knew that I would probably want to put a few of my quilt pins on this little quilt.  I hadn’t looked at my pin collection in years, and I had a lot more than I remembered.  Not all of them made the cut- just the membership pins, my blog pin, and a couple show pins with sentimental meaning.

As I worked on the design for the quilt, I decided that I wanted to break up the overall shape so it wasn’t just a rectangle.  Then it came to me- prairie points!  I feel like I have made prairie points at some point in my past, but I cannot remember what project it would have been for!  These tiny prairie points across the bottom of this mini quilt make me very happy, and I hope that the rounded top corners won’t flop down quite as quickly as square corners may./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Quilt Drafti

I considered several options for adding my name to the quilt.  Embroidery, fused lettering, writing with a fabric pen, and printing all seemed to be within the realm of possibility.  I wanted the lettering to be clear, bold, and easy to read.  I ended up deciding to go with the printed name.  I had drafted the name tag to scale and then used Photoshop to experiment with font size and style.  To print the name I used white Kona cotton which had been soaked in a Bubble Jet prep liquid, dried, and then ironed to freezer paper to stabilize it.  Once trimmed to the size of letter paper, all I had to do was hit print and watch the lettering appear directly on my fabric.

Since the pieces were so small on this project, the top was foundation paper pieced.

The backing fabric is a reprise from the quilt of the year.  Since this project is so small, I “bagged it out” prior to quilting so I wouldn’t have a binding strip taking up any space on the front of the quilt.  Simple, linear quilting finished off this little project.

 

Name Tag back

Quilt Stats

Title:  Name Tag

Size:  4″x4.5″

Techniques:  Foundation Paper Piecing, Prairie Points

Quilting:  Straight line quilting with a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  White Kona cotton and assorted scraps of prints and batiks

Batting:  Warm and White

Thread:  Pieced with Gutermann Mara 100 in white, and white cotton machine quilting thread

Binding: None! (quilt was stitched with right sides together and then turned out)

What was new:

A wearable mini quilt!

Small prairie point edging

Quilt 14 / 50

Quilt 14 / 50

 

I’m linking this up with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework, and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please stop by to see all of the fantastic work being shared!

2015 First Quarter Finish Wrap-up

2015 Finish Along

It is hard to believe that we are already a quarter of the way into 2015 and it is already time to wrap things up for the Q1 Finish-Along hosted at On the Windy Side.  This was my first time doing this sort of thing, and I have had mixed results this month with 13 out of 16 goals completed.  My original goal list is here.  I shifted my focus as other projects and opportunities came up, so projects that were really important to me in January worked their way down the list while other projects went to the top.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Goals 1-12

Mini Quilt Mania has been a big priority for me so far this year.  I have been using this series as a sketchbook to help me explore different techniques and aesthetics.  All twelve of the mini quilts for this quarter are completed.  (Please click on the image to see more about each specific quilt)

Fibonacci on the Seashore

Fibonacci on the Seashore

Implied Spiral

Implied Spiral Mini Quilt

Triple Heart

Triple Heart Circular Mini Quilt

Valentine Tic-Tac-Toe Set

Valentine Tic-Tac-Toe Set

Blue Improvisation

Blue Improvisation

Repeat with a Twist

Repeat with a Twist Mini Quilt

Whole Cloth Mini

Whole Cloth Mini

Catch a Falling Star

Catch a Falling Star

Winter Trees

Winter Trees

π, pi, PIE!

π, pi, PIE!

Embellished Spring

Embellished Spring

Marsala Mini

Marsala Mini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goal 13

This goal was based on my goal of creating a new variation on Low Volume Fail, Pastel Win! I had pulled fabrics but didn’t cut or sew anything on this one.  Right now this project has moved much further down the list, so it probably won’t even make an appearance in my Q2 goal list.

Goal 14

This was Secret Project that is a generous twin sized quilt.  It was quilted and ready for finishing at the beginning of the year, and it is still quilted and ready for finishing.  This one will reappear on the Q2 list

Goal 15

A Secret Project that will be a lap sized quilt.  At the beginning of Q1, the blocks were made and ready to be assembled, quilted, and bound.  I still can’t share the full quilt with you yet, but here is an edge view of the finished state.Secret Quilt 1

Goal 16

This lap quilt is based on Mini #1.  In January, I had scaled up the pattern and purchased and pulled fabric.  Right now it is about half quilted.  I got side tracked on this one when my sewing machine was acting up a bit (and the constant burying of threads was getting on my nerves).  Fortunately, I have my sewing machine back from its tune up, and I recently purchased some spiral eye needles to make thread burying go a whole lot faster!

Other First Quarter Accomplishments (that weren’t on the official goal list!)

  • I made two small quilts to start a series of “Sweet and Simple” quilts which would be great quick or teaching quilts.
Sweet and Simple Hashtag Quilt

Sweet and Simple Hashtag Quilt

Sweet and Simple Chevron Quilt

Sweet and Simple Chevron Quilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Modern Log Cabin” was accepted into the modern quilt category at the American Quilter’s Society show in Paducah later in April
    Modern Log Cabin "Potholder" Style Quilt

    Modern Log Cabin “Potholder” Style Quilt

     

  • I made two Bionic Bags (one for myself, and then one for my mom) with this pattern by RipStitcher.  I will be posting about this soon!
  • In March I started working on creating quilt patterns.  I am hoping to release the first in Q2.
  • Throughout January and February I posted tutorials on this site for patterning and constructing a personalized tote bag.  I had taught this in person a few times, but I had not put it into writing before this series.


Marsala Mini: Mini Quilt #13

Pantone’s color of the year for 2015 is Marsala, a warm red with brown undertones.  Every year, I look forward to finding out the color of the year, and I knew that this year I would explore the color in the form of a quilt.  I was even more excited when I heard about the Pantone Quilt Challenge at On the Windy Side and Play Crafts.Marsala Mini Front View

The Pantone website features a quote by their executive director, Leatrice Eiseman, describing marsala as a color which “enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us into its embracing warmth.”  The challenge for me was that marsala isn’t a color that I’m particularly drawn to.  However, I learned long ago that there is no “ugly” color- it is all in how you use it.  I certainly wouldn’t label marsala with the U-word, but it is skating a bit to close too brown for my taste, and so many red-brown fabrics can look depressing or even dead.  Fortunately, last fall I picked up several fat quarters of marsala-like fabrics from a clearance bin.  Maybe my subconscious is better at picking up color trends than the rest of my brain, but I was sure glad that I had these when the color of the year was announced!  I mixed those with a few other marsala-y reds to come up with my basic palette. Marsala Fabric

When I am not immediately inspired, I will often do some sort of free writing or word association with the topic or theme.  For me marsala is associated with things like wine, curry, tomato sauce, roses, lipstick-  sensuality, volume, and curves come to mind.  The more I thought about this color, the more I thought that marsala calls out to be used in an Art Nouveau inspired design.

In looking at some Art Nouveau research, I landed on this tile design.  For me, the curves of this design seemed to be the perfect match for marsala.ANTD-080_i

I popped the image into the computer to create three graphics that would help in the creation of this quilt.  The first was a line drawing for the main pieces of fabric.  I printed this image on freezer paper so I could cut apart the image, iron the pieces to fabric and press the seam allowances around the paper.  This allowed me to assemble the quilt top using English Paper Piecing style techniques.Marsala Mini line drawing a

Over the line drawing I added a layer showing the smaller pieces of fabric that I would later add using wonder under.  I also printed this off on freezer paper to make it easier to cut these shapes.  (Hint:  Freezer paper won’t stick well to the paper backing of wonder under.  I ironed the wonder under to the back of the fabric and the freezer paper to the front.  It was really easy to cut these fairly small shapes, and you could even leave the freezer paper in place to add stability to the fabric after the paper wonder under backing is removed.  Once the fabric is ironed in place you can peel back the freezer paper.)Marsala Mini line drawing b

The final graphic I created was a color image which I used to help determine general fabric placement.  After quite a bit of experimentation, I decided that marsala paired beautifully with oranges and deep, muted violets, blues, and greys.Marsala Mini color

The main construction of the top was done entirely by hand.

Main Marsala top construction with tan appliqués in place

Main Marsala top construction with tan appliqués in place

With the main construction complete, I adhered the smaller pieces to the quilt using Wonder Under before using a machine blanket stitch to sew around the edges of the appliqués.Marsala Process B

Here is the back view of the quilt top- I just love seeing “behind the scenes” on this sort of construction!Marsala Process B back

The quilt back is improvisationally pieced using marsala colored fabrics.

Marsala Mini back view

Marsala Mini back view

For the quilting I decided to do fairly heavy quilting echoing each shape in the design.

Marsala Front detail

Marsala Mini front detail

Marsala Mini back detail

Marsala Mini back detail

I am pretty sure that this is my favorite mini I have done in this series, so I am really glad that I went out of my comfort zone to embrace marsala!  What do you think of marsala?  Are you making a project using marsala this year?

Quilt Stats

Title:  Marsala Mini

Size: 13″x17″

Techniques:  English paper piecing, machine appliqué, improvisational piecing

Quilting:  Echo stitching done using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  Kona in wine and charcoal; Alison Glass prints; Basketweave, Whisper, and a couple other prints from Riverwoods Collection by the Troy Corporation; Carolyn Friedlander Botanics print; several prints and batiks from unidentified fat quarters.

Batting:  Warm and White Cotton Batting

Thread:  Pieced with Gutermann Mara 100 color 245 (a warm clay/taupe color), Machine appliquéd with Gutermann Mara 100 in color 257 (a dark plum sort of color), Quilted with Connecting Threads Essential cotton thread in Red

Binding:  Strips cut on the bias in 2″ widths, machine sewn to the front, hand sewn to the back

What was new:

Using English paper piecing techniques on irregularly curved shapes

Quilt 13 / 50

Quilt 13 / 50

Goal #12 is Finished!

Goal #12 is Finished!

I’m linking this post up with Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt InfatuationFabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, Pet Project at Pink Doxies, Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She, and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please stop by to see all of the lovely work being created!