Valentine Tic-Tac-Toe: Mini Quilt #5

What could be more fun than a mini quilt?  Eleven mini quilts!  This week I decided to make the fun and games of Mini Quilt Mania into a real game!  This mini is a quilted version of tic-tac-toe with a Valentine’s Day twist.

Tic-Tac-Toe Quilt Set

The game board section section of the set is comprised of a grid of red echoed with this fun pink print.  The background of white Kona Cotton really shows off the echoing heart spiral quilting.

Quilt Front

The backing of the quilt is also white Kona, which shows off the pink quilting thread.

Back Quilting and Binding

One quilt isn’t enough for this week, so I made ten more mini quilts to act as game pieces.

Tic-Tac-Toe Set Bag

The five X’s for this game are square blocks made from half-square-triangles that are paired with one another then stitched and cut again along the opposite diagonal.

Square Game Pieces

I replaced the standard O’s of the game with five heart shaped pieces.  The inner hearts are fused using Wonder Under before being machine blanket stitched around the edges.

Heart Game Pieces

All of the game pieces were “bagged out” (stitched together with right sides of the fabric facing one another and then turned right side out through a small opening in the stitching) with a piece of cotton batting.  I had never tried this technique with batting before, and I was a bit concerned about the bulk around the edges of the pieces.  Fortunately, a row of edge stitching around each piece allowed them to lay flat.  The added bonus was that the edge stitching closed up the openings used to turn the pieces right side out.  No hand slip stitching on this project!

Game Pieces in Bag

To keep the game pieces together, I whipped up a cute little drawstring bag in matching fabric.  It is fully lined in the light pink cotton.

Bag Closed

Quilt Stats

Title:  Valentine Tic-Tac-Toe

Size:  Quilted Game Board- 16.5″x16.5″   Hearts and Squares- 3″x3″   Storage Bag- 5″x7″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing, Fusibles, Machine Applique, Bagged-out shapes

Quilting:  Machine quilted.  Game board- Heart shaped spiral.  Heart Pieces- heart shaped ech0.  Square Pieces- diagonal orange-peel shapes

Fabrics:  100% Cotton fabrics including Kona Cotton in White, Marble Dot from Moda, a Suzy Ultman print for Robert Kaufman, and a Nancy Halvorsen design for Benartex

Batting:  Scraps of Warm and White and Warm and Natural

Thread:  Pieced using Gutermann Mara 100 in White and Magenta. Machine embroidery done with Mettler Cotton Machine quilting thread in Magenta.  Quilted with Connecting Threads Essential Thread in Magenta.

Binding:  Marble Dots from Moda, cut on the bias in 2″ strips.  Machine stitched to the front of the quilt, hand stitched to the back

What Was New:

Creating an interactive game in quilt form

Bagging out small quilt pieces with batting included

Quilt 5 / 50

Quilt 5 / 50

Goal #4 is Finished!

Goal #4 is Finished!

I am linking this quilt up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, 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.  Please stop by to see everyone’s lovely work!

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!

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!

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!

Sew Fresh Quilts