Pi Day: Mini Quilt #11

Happy π Day!  Best wishes for peace, hope, and joy during the glorious season of pi day- Who can’t get behind a holiday that requires the consumption of pie!  There are so many kinds of pie you could celebrate with . . . fruit pie, cream pie, ice cream pie, chocolate pie . . .  Or a savory pie . . . pot pie, shepherd’s pie, pizza pie, quiche . . . Okay now I’m hungry.  I thought that the best way to celebrate such a wonderful day would be to make a mini quilt that could serve as a pie plate mat.π, pi, PIE! Front

I knew I wanted to do a circular mini quilt, and a pie motif seemed too perfect to pass up.  I pieced a “lattice” top and then used a bias cut strip of fabric to create the outer edge of the “crust.”  I had never attempted curving a bias strip around the edge of a full circle, but this worked out well (a great deal of steam was involved).

Today is a particularly special π Day since twice today we will have seven digits past the decimal point align with the date and time.  3.1415926 translates to March (month 3) Day (14th) Year (’15) and Time (9:26 am & pm).  To commemorate this once in a lifetime event I decided to embroider these numbers to my mini quilt.π, pi, PIE! embroidery detail

The backing and binding fabric is a grey print- think tin pie plate.  For the quilting I decided to keep it simple by stitching around the edge of each red square in the lattice work.  Of course “simple” involved a whole lot of thread tails to bury- maybe I should have thought that through a bit more!  But since I like the result, we’ll say it was worth it!π, pi, PIE! back

Now to see the pie mat in action:

Coconut Pie with Meringue Topping- I adore Meringue.Coconut Pie

Cherry Pie.

Cherry Pie

Quilt Stats

Title: π, pi, PIE!

Size:  14″ Diameter.  3.1415926 x 14″ = 43.98229″ Circumference

Techniques:  Machine Piecing

Quilting:  Machine quilting- stitching in the ditch

Fabrics:  Red: Batik, Tan: Print from Carolyn Friedlander’s “Doe” line, Grey: Lonni Rossi print from Andover Fabrics

Batting:  Hobbs Heirloom Bleached Cotton Batting

Thread: Pieced with white Gutermann Mara 100, Quilted using Mettler cotton quilting thread in red

Binding:  Bias in coordinating grey fabric, cut in 2″ strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

What was new:

Adding a strip of bias around a circle and pressing it flat (other than bias binding)

Quilt 11 / 50

Quilt 11 / 50

Goal #10 is Finished!

Goal #10 is Finished!

I’m linking up with Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She, Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, and Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation.  Please stop in to see all of the fantastic work being done!

Blue Improvisation: Mini Quilt #6

The last few weeks I have done mini quilts that were (for the most part) carefully planned before I ever started cutting fabric. This week I thought it would be a fun change of pace to do a small improvisational mini with fabric pulled entirely from my scrap bin.

Blue Improvisation Front

I started with two left over half square triangle blocks which a sewed together to form three sections including this larger hourglass block.

Blue Improvisation Detail A

This smaller hourglass block and oblong shape also came from the original block.

Blue Improvisation Detail B

The rest of the mini was formed by adding pieces from the scrap bin, trimming, and adding more pieces.  Even the backing and binding were created by piecing together scraps.  For the quilting, I continued the improvisational theme with wavy lines moving across the quilt.

Blue Improvisation Back

Quilt Stats

Title:  Blue Improvisation

Size: 12″x12″

Techniques:  Improvisational piecing

Quilting:  Improvised curvilinear lines using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  100% cotton prints, solids, and batiks:  All pulled from my scrap bin

Batting:  White and Natural cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced with white Gutermann Mara 100.  Quilted with navy cotton machine quilting thread.

Binding:  2″ wide binding scraps, mostly cut on the bias.  Machine stitched to the quilt front and hand stitched to the back

What was new:

Using fabrics entirely from the scrap bin

Starting a project with an extra quilt block

Quilt 6 / 50

Quilt 6 / 50

Goal #5 is Finished!

Goal #5 is Finished!

I am linking this quilt up with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than HouseworkFinish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Scraptastic Tuesday at She Can Quilt, Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts, Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, and Show off Saturday at Sew Can She.


Fibonacci on the Seashore: Mini Quilt #2

This week, I set out to create a snow inspired wintery-beyond-belief mini quilt.  That did not happen.  There were unexpected technical difficulties that I have not been able to resolve yet.  I still have a couple options to explore to make this work, but I need to track down some supplies.  This quilt is not eliminated (although the original design may end up altered), so I will share those challenges when I write about the finished mini quilt.

If I can’t play in the (fabric) snow this week, I decided to celebrate the beach!

Fibonacci on the Seashore

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Front View


The Fibonacci spiral has long been inspiring to me as a designer.  I am fascinated that art can be derived from mathematics, but since I am definitely not a mathematician, I will not be going into any specific details about how it works!  The Fibonacci spiral is based in a grid which starts with a square which is duplicated.  Then those two squares together determine the length of the sides of the next square. Now the size of all of these squares determine the side length for the next square.  This can continue on forever if you want it to!  This gridded image shows the basis for the spiral.

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

To get the spiral, you draw a quarter circle in each square.

/Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilt/Quilt Designs A.dwgFor my mini quilt I started with two 1″ square blocks, and added 2″, 3″, 5″, and 8″ blocks.  Each block is essentially like sewing a Drunkard’s Path block, but the illusion created due to the size shifts is like a seashell.

Fibonacci on the Seashore with Grid Overlay

I selected subtly colored batiks with the thought of having the quilting thread inject a bold moment of color to the shell.  There are six different blue, pink and lavender batiks used to create the “Shell” and the “Sand is created with one batik which is both incorporated into three of the blocks as well as the border strips.

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Detail

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Detail

I quilted the “shell” first using a silver metallic thread as well as bright pink and purple.  This was done using the walking foot, but I shifted to free motion quilting to create “pebbles” in the sand.  My free motion quilting is definitely a work in progress, but this is a vast improvement over past attempts.

Fibonacci on the Seashore Detail 2

The back of this quilt is another batik print that I selected to incorporate both the yellow of the sand and the blue tones of the shell (as well as implying water).  I think the quilting on this piece makes the back as interesting as the front, although in hindsight, I wish I had used a batik with a less rigid pattern.

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Back View

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Back View

The binding is another purple batik that I selected to: (1) Draw the purple used in the center of the quilt out to the edge, and (2) play off the yellow of the sand fabric- I seriously love using complementary colors.  To create a greater sense of definition in this quilt, I used a decorative stitch to secure the binding and enhance the spiral shape.  I liked using this technique of finishing the binding, and now I wish a had a few more options on my wonderful little mechanical machine!

 

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Binding Detail

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Binding Detail

Quilt Stats

Title:  Fibonacci on the Seashore

Size: 12″x16.5″

Techniques:  Curved Machine Piecing

Quilting:  Outline and curved quilting using a walking foot, and free motion pebbles in the background.  All quilting was done on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  Batiks (I have never done an all batik quilt before!)

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced with Gutermann Mara 100 in white.  Quilted with Light Blue cotton machine quilting thread, Gutermann Silver Metallic thread, and Mettler cotton quilting threads in Magenta and Purple

Binding:  Blue and Purple batik- cut in 2″ strips, machine straight stitched to the front, top stitched to the back, and accented with purple decorative stitches.

What was new:

  • An entirely batik quilt
  • Using bright quilting threads on a pastel background
  • Trying out metallic thread for machine quilting (I need to explore other thread and needle options for use in the future- Does anyone have suggestions?)
  • Decorative stitching for quilting and securing binding
Quilt 2 / 50

Quilt 2 / 50

Finish #1

Goal #1 is Finished!

This post is linked with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please stop in to see all of the wonderful creations that have been shared!

A Whirl with Hexagons

Last summer, on an impulse, I decided I wanted to start quilting again.  I had gotten away from quilting when I went off to college, and a trip to a fabric store with a phenomenal selection of quilting cotton re-inspired me.  Having seen some lovely quilts with subtle tones, I decided I would give a low volume quilt a try.  This quilt is the result.

Cassandra I Beaver Low Volume Fail Full


Starting out, I knew that I wanted to do something improvisational, and I wanted to include hexagons.  The hexagons were the starting point for this project.  Each one was created by cutting a circle of fabric and folding the sides to the center to create the hexagon.  In the center of each hexagon I sewed a small fabric yo-yo.  Then each piece was embellished with hand embroidery and glass beads.

Cassandra I Beaver Low Volume Fail Detail D

As I worked on these hexagons, which I knew would become appliqués on the quilt, I began thinking of them as flower petals blowing in the wind on a spring day.  Now the big question:  How do I create a feeling of wind in a quilt?  I wanted to develop a sense of sweeping movement and an illusion of individual gusts rolling into one another.  After a great deal of sketching and brain storming, I landed on the idea of having individual segments of irregular shapes coming together to form a quilt.  I started with the section in the upper left section, and then moved to the piece spanning the bottom of the quilt.  At this point, I realized I was going to need to create a more defined plan to develop the rest of the quilt layout.  I took a snapshot of what I had completed so far, and printed out several copies on regular printer paper so I could easily draw on top of the image.  This composition was ultimately the one I liked the best.

C Beaver Low Volume Fail Process Sketch

I used a flannel sheet on a wall to do the layout for this quilt, and to transfer the shape of each piece to the design wall I safety pinned 1/4″ wide fabric twill tape to the fabric to create an outline of each major area.  Then I began piecing sections one at a time.  Each segment is improvisationally pieced, quilted, and bound with bias strips prior to being connected to the adjoining segments.  I used a walking foot on my domestic sewing machine to quilt each segment with lines reflecting the piecing of each area of the quilt.

Cassandra I Beaver Low Volume Fail Detail A

In keeping with the improvisational piecing, I chose to make the binding using a mix of fabrics cut into bias strips.  The bias is machine stitched to the front of the quilt and hand slip stitched to the back.  I used a very small hand slip stitch to connect the segments to one another.

Cassandra I Beaver Low Volume Fail Detail C

The hexagons were appliquéd onto the quilt following the assembly of the quilted panels.  I knew that it was important to me to further a sense of movement with the hexagon placement, so I arranged the pieces to bridge the eight main segments of the quilt.

Cassandra Beaver Low Volume Fail Detail E

 

Ultimately, I did veer away from my initial goal of a low volume quilt, but in the process I have achieved a pastel success.  Because of this, I have titled this quilt “Low Volume Fail, Pastel Win!”

Cassandra I Beaver Low Volume Fail Detail B

 

My only big remaining question is which direction the quilt should go.  I originally designed this piece to hang horizontally, but once it was finished, I began thinking that a vertical orientation may be more appealing.  What do you think?  How would you hang this piece?

Cassandra Beaver Low Volume Fail Orientation

 

Quilt Stats

Title:  Low Volume Fail, Pastel Win

Size: 66″w x 47″h

Techniques:  Machine Improvisational Piecing, Hand Appliqué, Hand Embroidery, Glass Bead Details

Quilting:  Machine quilted using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics: 100% cotton prints and batiks

Batting:  Warm and Natural cotton batting

Thread:  Cotton machine quilting thread

Binding:  Bias, cut in 2″ strips from fabrics used in the quilt.  Machine stitched to the front, and hand stitched to the back

 

This post is linked to “Let’s Bee Social” at Sew Fresh QuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Whoop Whoop Fridays at Confessions of a Fabric AddictFinish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and Fresh Sewing Day at Lily’s Quilts.  Please stop by to see all of the wonderful work shared there!

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