Triple Heart: Mini Quilt #4

I had originally planned to post this sweet little mini quilt a bit closer to Valentine’s Day, but ultimately decided that there may be someone who could draw inspiration for their own heart-based endeavors in the coming weeks!

Triple Heart Front View

I recently did a quilt with a lot of hexagons that were made by cutting a circle and folding the edges in to create the hexagon shape.  In creating these pieces, I became curious about how these shapes would look if I omitted the final fold.  The result is a vaguely ice-cream-cone-shaped piece.  Two of these together make an adorable heart!

  1. To make these shapes you will want to start with a circle.  I used a container from a round of Brie cheese, but this technique will work with any size circle.
  2. With the wrong side of the fabric out, fold the circle into quarters to find the center point of the shape.
  3. With a needle and knotted basting thread, catch 1-2 threads at the tip of the fold and pull the thread through to the knot.
  4. Unfold the circle with the wrong side of the fabric facing up and your thread coming up from the center of the circle.
  5. Take a small stitch at a point on the outer edge of the circle.  You will want to insert the needle as close to the edge of the fabric as possible without the stitch pulling out of the cut edge.  The needle goes in on the wrong side of the fabric and emerges on the right side.
  6. Now pull the thread through, bringing the edge of the circle to meet the center.  Press the fold you have created with your fingers.
  7. At the end of the fold you just created, take another stitch and pull that point on the edge of the circle to the center.  Finger press this fold, and take another stitch at the end of it.  Pull this point into the center.
  8. Continue around the circle in this manor until you have an ice-cream-cone-shape.
  9. Knot off your basting thread or backstitch at the center point and take the shape to the ironing board to give it a good press.

Triple Heart Construction InstructionTo form the center design, place the shapes right side together and whip stitch them together.

Whip Stitching

You will end up with a shape that looks like this.

Triple Heart Shape The back is almost as pretty!

Heart Medallion Back View I was originally planning to hand appliqué the shape to the background, but after thinking it over, I decided the hearts needed some additional emphasis in the form of more decorative stitches.  I liked using decorative machine stitches on Fibonacci on the Seashore, and I was eager to experiment with using machine stitching for appliqué.  For this project, I used a blanket stitch in a different color to stitch around the edge of each heart.

Blanket Stitch Detail

The hearts in this project are created without using curves, and I selected a gridded background for the piece.  Given all the linear aspects of this mini, I thought it would be interesting to make the overall shape a circle.  The radius for this 4.5 inches.

Triple Heart Back View

The hearts are quilted a quarter inch inside the appliqué.  The background is a radiating hexagon shape, with diamonds filling in the gaps.  The binding matches the background and backing, and I love the linear effect.  It was worth the effort I made to match up the design.

Binding and Blanket Stitch Detail

Quilt Stats

Title:  Triple Heart

Size:  9″x9″  (circumference is about 28- 1/4″)

Techniques:  Hand piecing, folded “hexagons” (without the final fold), Machine appliqué

Quilting:  Machine Quilted.  Hearts: Offset quilting 1/4″ inside the edge  Background: Spiraling hexagon

Fabrics:  Background from Carolyn Friedlander’s Doe line.  Hearts are 100% cotton prints and batiks.

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced by hand using Magenta Gutermann Mara 100 (and Thread Heaven); Machine appliquéd with red, magenta, and violet Cotton Mettler Quilting Thread; Quilted with navy cotton machine quilting thread; red, magenta, and violet Cotton Mettler Quilting Thread.

Binding:  Bias strips cut at 2 inches, machine straight stitched to the back, machine blanket stitched to the front.

What Was New:

  • A round quilt!
  • 5- sided “hexagons”
  • Machine appliqué with a blanket stitch
  • Finishing the binding on the front with a machine blanket stitch
Quilt 4 / 50

Quilt 4 / 50

Goal #3 is Finished!

Goal #3 is Finished!

I am linking this post up with Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday at From Bolt to Beauty, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Fresh Sewing Day at Lily’s Quilts, and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  I hope you take a moment to see all of the wonderful work being created!

New Blogger Series

Happy New Year 2015! Mini Quilt #1

I am excited to kick off Mini Quilt Mania with finish #1!  For this quilt I wanted to use the New Year as an inspiration.  For a lot of people, New Year’s is a time for big parties and fireworks.  For me, the New Year is celebrated by watching the Times Square Ball Drop on television.  So I decided I would focus on that iconic piece of lighted metal and glass for my inspiration for this quilt.

Happy New Year! Front

While I usually like to observe my objects of inspiration in person, I am in the midwest, and the Times Square Ball is not.  Turning to the internet, I looked at several sources including the fact sheet found on the Times Square Alliance page about the New Year’s Eve Ball.  Not really a true sphere, the ball is made up of triangles within triangles.  These triangles are lit using LEDs (really exciting to the theatre designer part of me!) which allows for almost endless color combinations and patterns.  I started out by creating a line drawing of triangles within triangles.  Then I added borders around each main triangle to represent the metal structure of the ball.

/Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilt/Quilt Designs.dwg


I knew that I wanted to use medium to dark greys in the borders of the triangles to give the design a slightly industrial feel.  (I like to juxtapose “utilitarian” with “pretty!”)  Then I started to experiment with color.  At first I was thinking along the lines of emphasizing the hexagons formed in the design, but I soon moved onto star configurations.  The gallery below is a small sample of the designs I considered.

I am pretty sure the most challenging part of this process was decided which color scheme to go with!  Ultimately, I ended up choosing the Red, Orange, and Violet Stars.


Red, Orange, and Violet Stars

Red, Orange, and Violet Stars

I pulled from stash fabrics for this project, and decided to select one dark and one light material of each of the three star colors.  I also pulled three different grey fabrics for the triangle borders.  The top is constructed using paper foundation piecing techniques.

Happy New Year! Detail

For the quilting design, I wanted to emphasize the straight lines found in the quilt top, and I ended up choosing to outline and enhance each element of the design using a coordinating thread.  Since I was quilting in several colors, I used a white backing fabric to really show off the colors of the threads.

Happy New Year! Back

Overall, I am really happy with this quilt, and I may consider creating a larger scale quilt using this block design.

Quilt Stats

Title: Happy New Year 2015!

Size: 12.5″ x 14.25″

Techniques:  Paper Foundation Piecing

Quilting:  Outline stitching with additional interior lines using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  White Kona Cotton, 100% cotton prints and batiks

Batting:  Warm and White Cotton Batting

Thread: Pieced using Gutermann Mara 100 in white, Quilted using cotton machine quilting thread in dark grey, Mettler cotton quilting threads in Red, Magenta, and Orange

Binding:  Grey bias- cut in 2″ strips, machine stitched to the front of the quilt, and hand stitched to the back.

Quilt 1 / 50

Quilt 1 / 50

I am linking this post up with Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She, Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Paper Piecing Party at Quilt Art Designs, Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please take a moment to stop in and see all of the wonderful projects being created!

Solstice Mini Quilt

I always get excited for Winter Solstice.  The last few weeks have been particularly dreary, and that coupled with the short amount of daylight everyday has made it feel like it is perpetually either dusk or night.  But solstice means we have made it to the shortest day of the year, and for the next six months we will have more daylight every day.  I felt like doing a little something to celebrate, so I designed this mini quilt.

Winter Solstice Quilt

Winter Solstice Quilt

I decided to feature evergreens since they are about the only sign of plant life this time of year in the midwestern US.  I also wanted to embrace modern shapes, and lately I have been thinking of doing something with a “Flying Geese” motif.  After some very rough sketches, I sat down to draft and eventually landed on this design.  The flying geese are paper pieced in wedges, with each triangle growing smaller as it reaches the top of the tree.  The Wedges are then joined with the background pieces to construct the overall pattern for the design.

Solstice Trees Line Drawing

Solstice Trees Line Drawing

Once the line drawing was done, I moved to color options.  I started with a standard landscape color scheme with green trees and blue sky, but quickly abandoned it.

Solstice Mini Quilt with "Standard" Color Scheme

Solstice Mini Quilt with “Standard” Color Scheme

Then I decided to try something monochromatic.

Solstice Mini Quilt in a Monochromatic Color Scheme

Solstice Mini Quilt in a Monochromatic Color Scheme

Then I went with something more high contrast and modern.

Solstice Mini Quilt in High contrast Modern Color Scheme

Solstice Mini Quilt in High contrast Modern Color Scheme

Finally, I realized that since I am thinking of this quilt as a celebration of Solstice, maybe I should embrace a dark background.

Solstice Mini Quilt with a Dark Background

Solstice Mini Quilt with a Dark Background

This is where I was wanting to go with project.  With a general color scheme decided, I went to raid the stash.  I had quite a few low volume prints and batiks in pale greys and blues, but the darker fabric proved more challenging.  In an effort to decrease her stash, my mom had given me pretty much free reign in her collection.  That is where I came across this fabulous piece of Hoffman woodblock print.  The photographs just don’t do this fabric justice- the color variation is delightfully subtle with a wide range of hues that played nicely with the low volume fabrics for the trees.

Solstice Quilt Fabric Selection

Solstice Quilt Fabric Selection

The block design for this quilt is about 18″ so I printed it out over several sheets of paper, taped them together, and cut out the pattern pieces.

Solstice Mini Quilt Paper Pattern Pieces

Solstice Mini Quilt Paper Pattern Pieces

I paper pieced the tree wedges and laid them out with the background pieces so I could keep all of the pieces in their appropriate orientations.

Solstice Mini Quilt with "Tree" wedges assembled

Solstice Mini Quilt with “Tree” wedges assembled

I assemble the quilt top by first joining each tree to the background piece to its right, and then sewing all of those pieces together.

Solstice Mini Quilt Top

Solstice Mini Quilt Top

I almost went with a single piece of fabric for the back of the quilt, but decided at the last minute to mix it up just a little bit.  I decided to echo the idea of the evergreen tree on the back of the quilt as well.  I cut unequally sized triangles from some of the low volume fabrics used on the front, and stitched them together to form a larger triangle.  Once this was inserted into the quilt back, it creates another version of an abstract evergreen tree.

Solstice Quilt Back View

Solstice Quilt Back View

The quilting design proved to be more of a challenge.  Since I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired, I printed off a few copies of my line drawings and started sketching some of my ideas.  At first I thought about doing straight horizontal lines.

Horizontal Quilting Design

Horizontal Quilting Design

Then I considered echoing the shapes of the trees.

Echo Quilting Design

Echo Quilting Design

Then I started thinking about doing some free motion designs.

Freemotion Quilting Designs

Free-motion Quilting Designs

Free-motion quilting is one of my great weaknesses, so I was a little hesitant.  I have only ever experimented using scraps of fabric and batting, so this was the first time for doing any of this type of work on something “real.”  Of all my possible quilting designs, I liked the swoops in the trees and the circles on lines in the background the best.  I took a chance on free-motion, and I think the swoops in the triangle of the trees and the wavy lines in the snow are coming close to being ok.  However, I wish I had practiced a lot more on quilting circles before attempting the background design.  I almost ripped it out to try again, but I decided to leave it.  I think I’ll keep this quilt as-is to serve as a “base line” piece.  In the coming year, one of my major goals is to improve my free-motion quilting, so hopefully I can come back to this quilt in a year and marvel at my improvement.  We all have to start somewhere!

Winter Solstice Quilt

Winter Solstice Quilt

Quilt Stats

Title:  Solstice Trees

Size:  17.5″x17.5″

Techniques:  Paper Piecing, Standard Piecing

Quilting:  Machine Free-Motion Quilting on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  Background-Hoffman woodblock print,  Trees and Ground- low volume prints and batiks

Batting: Warm and White cotton batting

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

Binding: Bias made from the background fabric- cut at 2″, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched on the back

What would I do differently?  Oh my goodness do I ever need to work on free-motion quilting!  Otherwise, I think this quilt would look great with the background also quilted in white, just like the trees.  I think it would look like snow falling amongst the trees.  I also may have left the background a single fabric- I wasn’t happy with the dark thread on the white tree shape.  However, I really liked how the white quilting showed on the back of the quilt.

Have a happy Solstice!


I am linking this post to Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Show off Saturday at Sew Can She, and A Very Merry Happy Holiday Linky Party at Quiltville’s Quips & Snips.  Please stop by to see all of the beautiful work everyone is producing!

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