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!

End of Our Rope (uh- fabric)- A Selvage Mug Rug: Mini Quilt #20

This is my travel week for my summer job, and I’m sure you all know how stressful packing, moving, and traveling can be.  I have arrived in Connecticut and spent almost all day cleaning- yuck.  Now I need to unpack.  I  feel like packing for two months can (almost) be worse than a full move because it is difficult to anticipate exactly what will be needed during that time.  This year the preparation for leaving also involved planning and/or prepping tops for my Mini Quilt Mania series.  In all of the shuffle, I nearly forgot about this week’s quilt!  So I decided to stick with something simple, cute, and quickly executed- enter the Cotton and Steel selvage mug rug!

CS Selvage Mug Rug full view

I really like the selvage quilts that so many people have been making recently, but I tend to use every last bit of printed fabric in my projects without thinking about saving the printed edge first.  The one exception to this is Cotton and Steel fabrics.  I love the selvage designs on these prints.  The graphics are great, the fonts are varied and interesting, the colors reflect the print, and the text even tells a bit of a story.  I can’t through these selvages away!

For this mini, I topstitched several selvage strips together overlapping the raw edges with a finished ones.  Then I cut 45 degree triangle pieces from the larger strip, similar to how I made last week’s Topsy Turvy Mini Quilt.  I turned them together to form a square, and here we are!

CS Selvage Mug Rug detail

I kept the quilting simple with a half inch diagonal grid, and the binding is mostly red with a bit of the scrap selvage strips included.

CS Selvage Mug Rug back view

This little quilt is going to be on my work table this summer- I can have water bottle condensation dripping on all that pretty garment fabric! This was my first attempt at a selvage quilt, and I like it even more than I thought I would.   Now I might need to start saving all of the selvages. . .

Thank you so much to everyone who has been visiting and commenting on my posts!  I have been reading all of your wonderful comments, and I will be catching up on responses in the next few days now that I will be back in a routine.  I really appreciate your thoughts and feedback!

Quilt Stats

Title: End of Our Rope (uh-fabric): A Cotton and Steel Selvage Mug Rug

Size: 7″x7″

Techniques:  Topstitched construction with finished edges overlapping raw edges

Quilting:  1/2″ diagonal grid in red, done with a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabric:  Cotton and Steel fabrics from assorted designers

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

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

Binding:  Cotton and Steel Essentials fabric and scraps of selvage, cut on the bias, machine stitched to the front and hand stitched to the back

What was new?

Using Selvages!

Quilt 20 / 50

Quilt 20 / 50

Goal #6 is Finished!

Goal #6 is Finished!

Blogger’s Quilt Festival: Petals in the Wind

My second entry to this Spring’s Blogger’s Quilt Festival is Petals in the Wind (also known as Low Volume Fail, Pastel Win!)  This was the very first quilt I shared on this blog, and I am really happy to be able to show it again!

Petals in the Wind blog full view

With this quilt, I was interested in creating a sense of movement and explore the use of negative space.  In this instance, the idea of negative space has a very literal interpretation.  Each area of the quilt was created as a separate segment.  When these pieces combine, there are open area designed into the quilt.

Cassandra I Beaver Low Volume Fail Detail B

 

Each section is constructed using curved improvisational piecing, heavily quilted with lines that emphasize the curves of the piecing, and the edges bound prior to joining it with other sections of the quilt.  If you are interested in reading more about the design process involved with this quilt, please stop by the original post for Petals in the Wind.

Petals in the Wind detail a

A Spring breeze has many small gusts which join together to gently rustle through young foliage and toss colorful petals through the air.  By creating the quilt in sections, I hoped to add to the visual movement of the piece and create a feeling of that Spring breeze.  The open spaces represent moments of calm on a windy day.

Petals in the Wind detail b

In this quilt, the petals are represented by hexagons appliquéd throughout the quilt and in the spaces between segments.  The hexagons are created by folding a circle (I have shown a very similar technique in this post), then embellishing the shape with a fabric yo-yo, cotton and silk threads, and glass beads.

Petals in the Wind detail c

This quilt will be in the Art Quilt Category of the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  The Festival is currently open for entries and nominations for viewer’s choice.  Please stop by to see all of the lovely quilts that have been entered, and come back between May 22-29 to vote for your favorites in every category!

Quilt Stats

Title:  Petals in the Wind

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

What’s Next for this Quilt?  Look for this quilt at the American Quilter’s Society show in Syracuse, NY later this year!

 

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!

 


Winter Trees: Mini Quilt #10

Last Fall I purchased a small amount of a Cotton and Steel Print by Sarah Watts (from the August collection), and when I cut some of it into strips for another project I made the pleasant discovery that this fabric really looks like Birch bark.  Naturally, I went and bought more immediately!  I am really excited to make use of this fabric in an improvisationally pieced tree quilt.Winter Trees Front View

I found a stash Kona cotton in a color that was very close to the color of the teal green splotches in the tree print which worked perfectly as the background fabric.  I started by cutting a rectangle of the general size I was thinking about and then used a straight edge and rotary cutter to slash the fabric where the trees and branches would go.  No measuring involved! (at least at this point-)

Winter Trees Process

I went with a fabric from Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics line for the backing because I liked incorporating the leaf imagery.

Winter Trees Back View

For the quilting design, I wanted to evoke a feeling of winter.  While I’m not generally a big fan of snow, especially this time of year, I do like watching great big fluffy snowflakes fall into drifts.  I decided to use a quilting design of various size bubbles in light blue to give that winter snow storm feeling.Winter Trees Front Detail

The binding is a slate colored piece from Jan Patek’s Front Porch line.  I knew this little quilt wanted a striped binding, and it was fun to find a fabric from such a different line than Cotton and Steel, and make them play together so nicely.  I’m considering doing one of these little tree quilts for every season . . .

Quilt Stats

Title:  Winter Trees

Size:  15.5″ x 19″

Techniques:  Improvisational Piecing

Quilting:  Stitch in the ditch along the edges of the tree shapes, free motion quilting in a bubble motif

Fabrics:  Sarah Watts (Cotton and Steel- August Collection), Carolyn Friedlander (Botanics), Kona Cotton, Jan Patek (Front Porch)

Batting:  Warm and White Cotton Batting

Thread:  Connecting Threads Essential Thread in Persian Blue,  light blue cotton machine quilting thread

Binding:  2″ wide strips, cut on grain, machine stitched to the quilt front, hand stitched to the back.

What was new:

“Tree” Improv!  I have never done improv piecing with the intention of making it look like a particular object.

Quilt 10 / 50

Quilt 10 / 50

Goal #9 is Finished!

Goal #9 is Finished!

I’m linking this post up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please stop by to check out everyone’s awesome work!