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!

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!

2015 Mini Quilt

As I began preparing posts for the upcoming year, I realized that there would be occasions I would need a general graphic or background image.  I considered creating a graphic from scratch in a photo editing program, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to create a quilt to use as a background image.  This is the quilt I designed.

2015 Mini Quilt Full


As I began sketching, the only major requirement I had of this design was a large area of negative space.  I knew that I would want to be able to easily place text over the image.  Ultimately I landed on a classic “Flying Geese” border design with separate corner blocks.

2015 Mini Quilt Line

When choosing colors, I had a few requirements:

  • The palette must be eye-catching even in a thumbnail scale
  • Text placed over the finished quilt image should be easy to read
  • I must like the colors
  • All fabrics must be readily available in my stash

White with shots of bright pink, red, violet, and orange fulfilled all of these requirements

2015 Mini Quilt Color Sketch

I paper pieced each corner block and border for the quilt top and then chose a bright red and orange dot for the back of this little quilt.

2015 Mini Quilt Back

I quilted the piece using diagonal lines approximately 1/2″ apart.  I am happy with the finished quilt, and I think I will be able to use it in a lot of different configurations.

  1. A corner border where text can be placed in the opposite corner2015 Mini Quilt Corner Detail
  2. A side border with text along the opposite side2015 Mini Quilt Side Detail
  3. A center only version that supplies texture, but no bright colors2015 Mini Quilt Center Detail
  4. And of course, the full quilt image2015 Mini Quilt Full

I am very happy with the cheerful color scheme, and I’m certain that this image will be making an appearance frequently in the coming year.

Quilt Stats

Title:  2015

Size: 8″x8″

Techniques:  Paper Piecing

Quilting:  Diagonal lines using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  Background- White Kona Cotton, Triangles- 100% cotton prints

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

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

Binding:  White Kona Cotton bias cut at 2″ wide, machine stitched to the quilt front, and hand stitched on the back

I am linking this post up with Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!

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!

Sew Fresh Quilts