The Collection Quilt

This week I finished sewing The Collection Quilt by Carolyn Friedlander.  This quilt is created as a “Block of the Month” style quilt embracing the slow sewing movement- most of the design is hand sewn using needle turn appliqué.  I am really excited about this quilt, and I am even more excited to be teaching this project next year at one of my very favorite local quilt shops, Sew to Speak, in Columbus, Ohio.The Collection Quilt

The class will be held once a month for ten months.  Prior to the first class, we are scheduling a day that I will be in the shop if you would like to discuss the project and fabric selection.

My original fabric pull with the pattern and a colored sketch to help with fabric placement

My original fabric pull with the pattern and a colored sketch to help with fabric placement

The pattern includes a line drawing of the quilt that can be colored in to help with color and fabric choices.  We will have a few color schemes to look at, or you can create your own- this quilt has almost endless possibilities!  (I’m thinking about doing one with a lot of pink the next time around!)

The first nine classes will focus on one section each.  The tenth class will cover final quilt top assembly, discussion of quilting options/techniques, and binding.  Carolyn Friedlander has written this pattern to be very friendly to anyone just starting hand appliqué by gradually introducing new variations in each block.

Section one focuses on learning basting and the appliqué stitch on straight lines.

Collection Quilt Section 1

Section 1

Section two introduces convex curves and allows for a lot of creativity in fabric choices.

Collection Quilt Section 2

Section 2

In section three you will learn reverse appliqué along concave curves.

Collection Quilt Section 3

Section 3

Section four teaches you to stitch to an interior point.  You also have the opportunity to experiment with additional fabric substrates.  In the sample I used a lightweight denim and a cotton/silk blend.

Collection Quilt Section 4

Section 4

Corners are added in section five.

Collection Quilt Section 5

Section 5

Section six combines straight lines, corners, and curves in reverse appliqué.

Collection Quilt Section 6

Section 6

In section seven you will experience overlapping pieces.

Collection Quilt Section 7

Section 7

Section eight includes several acute angles

Collection Quilt Section 8

Section 8

Finally, in section nine, you will create the design with narrow strips of fabric, and reverse appliqué created from cutting slits into the upper layer of fabric.

Section 9

Section 9

By adding new skills with each section, you will be able to make the quilt without becoming overwhelmed.  With the block completed, the final quilt top goes together quickly.Collection Quilt Top

I quilted this project on my longarm using an edge to edge computerized design that I created.  I thought that the linear aesthetic complemented the graphic quality of the pattern.  This quilt (like most :) ) looks even better in person, so if you are in central Ohio, I hope you will stop by Sew to Speak to have a look at it.  Maybe you will even sign up for the class!Collection Quilt Detail

Quilt Stats

Title:  The Collection Quilt (Designed by Carolyn Friedlander)

Size: 40.5″ x 51.5″

Techniques:  Needle turn appliqué, machine piecing

Quilting:  Computerized linear edge to edge pattern (my original design) done on an A-1 Elite longarm

Fabric:  High quality quilting cotton, including many prints designed by Carolyn Friedlander, lightweight cotton denim, a cotton/silk blend satin.

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Appliqué and final machine piecing done using Gutermann Mara 100 in grey, quilted with 50wt Cotton WonderFil in white

Binding:  Grey Carolyn Friedlander and Cotton and Steel Prints, cut on the bias in 2″ wide strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back.

Goal #21 is finished!

Goal #21 is finished!


Tiny Cottage Garden: Mini #25

After finishing my entry into the Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake Challenge, I had quite a bit of fabric left so I thought that I would create a mini quilt using some of the extra fabric.  For this mini I used 60  45 degree triangle and 6.5″x24″ rotary cutting ruler, but no specific templates.Tiny Cottage Garden front view

This fabric line has designs in several color ways that seem to lend themselves to fussy cutting, so I wanted to explore this aspect of the fabric in the design.  Two colors of the floral fabric I used in the border had the same color flower center, and I thought it would be fun to piece them together to create a single border print.  The main part of the quilt design focuses on a fussy cut diamond star, and the yo-yos in the center of each diamond are also also fussy cut from the same fabric.Tiny Cottage Garden yo yo detail

For the batting in this quilt I used a piece from a sample pack that Hobbs Batting had given me at a quilt show several months ago.  This batting has a fusible on each side which allows you to iron the top and back into place simultaneously meaning that there is no basting!  I loved not having to baste!  This batting is fairly thin, so it isn’t necessarily perfect for every project, but it worked really well in this application.  I am thinking about getting some more to use for small projects- it was so great to not have to mess with safety pins, and I don’t do sprays (but that’s a conversation for another day!)

I enjoy creating designs that are asymmetrical so the border of this mini only encompasses two sides of the star.  The quilting pattern on the border embraces the garden theme with vines quilted in variegated green thread.Tiny Cottage Garden back view

The quilting on the stars is very simple with only a double row of stitching which echoes the diamond shape.  This allows the Zentangle quilting in the star surround to really shine.  I had never tried this type of design, but now I am in love.  It may be hard to not use this design on absolutely everything!  It was really easy to do using a walking foot, and I didn’t even have to do any marking since this project is so small.  I’m sure if you looked closely enough you would see differences between each area, but it isn’t immediately noticeable.Tiny Cottage Garden quilting detail

For the quilt binding, instead of cutting a true bias strip, I cut on the angle of the pattern instead.  This allowed for the equilateral triangles in the fabric print to line up along the edge of the quilt.Tiny Cottage Garden back detail

Quilt Stats:

Title:  Tiny Cottage Garden

Size: 15.5″ x 15.5″

Techniques:  Machine piecing, fussy cutting, Y-seams

Quilting:  Freemotion leaves; Zentangle and echo quilting using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabric:  Riley Blake Cottage Garden fabrics and RB light blue solid.

Batting:  Hobbs 80/20 Fusible Cotton Blend

Thread:  Pieced using Gutermann Mara 100 in white, quilted with grey cotton quilting thread, Connecting Threads 50wt Magenta Cotton Essentials, and Wonderfil teal and variegated green 50wt cotton thread.

Binding:  Strips cut following the pattern on the fabric (about a 60 degree angle), machine stitched on the front, hand stitched on the back

What was new?

  • Zentangle Quilting
  • Fussy cut yo-yos
  • Cutting binding on an angle which matches the pattern of the fabric
Quilt 25 / 50

Quilt 25 / 50

Goal #2 is finished!

Goal #2 is finished!

May Flower: Mini Quilt #21

This mini quilt is one of the most fun I have ever done!  May Flower is my first attempt at a quilt which is pieced entirely using bias improvisation.  The light teal center of each petal was cut free hand with the intention that they would each be different.  Then strips of bias were added around the shape until it became large enough to cut a 45 degree wedge from each segment.  When assembled, this also created my first quilt that finishes as an octagon.

May Flower front view

For the quilting of this piece, I used a walking foot to echo quilt each petal in teal Wonderfil thread.  Then I free motion quilted the center of each petal with a feather motif, and switched to a variegated thread for the pebble quilting surrounding the design.

May Flower back view

For the center of the flower I made yellow and yellow-orange yo-yos with glass beads in the center to catch the light.  Since the petals of the flower are placed in a somewhat random manner, I also placed the center pieces randomly.

May Flower front detail

I had not yet attempted binding corners that are not 90 degree angles, so this was a first.  I was pleasantly surprised that it was not as difficult to do as I feared.  As I approached each corner, I would check that if I were to pivot at that point the edge of my piecing foot would line up properly with the next edge.  If it did, I would lock in the stitching and turn the bias just like I would on a corner with a right angle.

May Flower back detail

Quilt Stats

Title:  May Flower

Size:  15″x15″

Techniques:  Bias Improvisational Piecing, fabric yo-yos with beading

Quilting:  Echo quilting using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008, Free motion quilting feathers and pebbles.

Fabric:  Assorted cotton low volume, teal and yellow prints

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Wonderfil 50wt cotton quilting thread in teal and variegated yellow-orange

Binding:  Teal cotton matching the exterior petal color, cut on the bias in 2″ wide strips, machine stitched to the front of the quilt, hand stitched to the back

What was new?

Octagonal quilt shape

An entire quilt using bias improvisational piecing

Quilt 21 / 50

Quilt 21 / 50

Goal #7 is Finished!

Goal #7 is Finished!

 I am linking this post up with Mini Quilt Monday at Modern Cozy and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please stop in to see all of the wonderful quilts being made!

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!

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!