9 Patch Circles

I love using colorful thread.  There is a good chance that you have gathered that if you have seen much of my work.  I also have a tendency to use it the most in matchstick quilting.  In the last few weeks I had been contemplating how I could infuse a quilt with colorful thread in an abstract way without using straight lines.  Ultimately the idea of circles took over.

9 Patch Circle front

This mini quilt is mostly a sketch to explore a quilting technique, so I kept the construction process as simple as possible.  Prior to quilting the circles were all held in place with Wonder Under fusible web and the small size (15″ square) made it really easy to throw on the longarm to quilt.

9 Patch Circles process

The quilting thread matches the fabrics and then infuses color into the adjoining fabric.  The color of the outermost section of the concentric circle flows out into the background through the quilting.  I stuck with 50wt thread for this because I wanted to make a lot of lines over a small area, and didn’t want too much thread build up.  I decided to emphasize the grid configuration of the circles and juxtapose the dominant curves of the circles with some straight lines.  Some simple, white matchstick quilting between the rows and columns of dots accomplishes this goal.  The quilting on this took about an hour, but most of that was thread changes 🙂

9 Patch Circle detail

The quilt is finished with a simple facing that matches the backing fabric.  I love using a solid backing on a quilt with lots of thread colors to show off all of that work.

9 Patch Circles back

Quilt Stats:

Title:  9 Patch Circles

Size: 15″ x 15″

Techniques:  Fused Applique

Quilting:  Free motion quilting using an A-1 Longarm

Fabric:  Assorted solids on a Kona Snow background with Kona Snow backing

Batting:  Hobbs 80/20

Thread:  Quilted with a variety of 50wt Aurifil

Binding:  Facings to match the quilt background and backing

Improv Trees

This weekend I had the opportunity to teach my first improvisational piecing class at Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio.  And it happened to be one of my all-time favorite improv inspirations- winter trees!  Talk about being perfect for this time of year!  In the sample piece I used a lot of bright colors.

Improv Trees Sample

I love using unexpected fabrics for the trees, especially irregular stripes or splotches.  We spent the first part of class selecting fabrics, and the students made fabulous selections!  Here are a couple student projects.  I tend to get pretty wrapped up in the class itself and forget to take photos, but I can assure you that there was a lot of awesomeness going on!

For the tree fabric strips she selected a print of trees!  Don’t you love how the print looks all cut up?

Improv student process shot

Here is a finished top.  The tree fabric used in this one was a popular choice and looked terrific with a bunch of different backgrounds.

Improv student project

 

I really hope I have the chance to teach this class again!  If you would like to see another example and read more about the process, please check out another improv trees mini quilt I did awhile ago.

Felted Wool Needle Minding Mini

This very little mini came about for a very practical reason- I wanted a place to put machine needles when I needed a different style of needle, but wasn’t ready to dispose of the one I had been using.  Wool is ideal to store needles in since it doesn’t dull them, so I thought this would be a fun place to experiment using this fiber.felted-wool-needle-minder-mini

A friend has a needle felting machine, so I brought some neutral colored wool roving with me to create the fabric for the off white stripe on this mini.  It was so much fun to see a bunch of loose fibers transform before my eyes into 100% wool felt!  The coral colored wool was a piece of fabric my mom donated from her stash, and I used decorative machine stitching to appliqué the needle felted wool in place.

The stitching was done entirely with my mechanical machine, so it is all carefully placed straight stitches to create the boxes and lettering.  My most used machine needle sizes are 10, 12, and 14.  The specialty needles I tend to use are ball point needles for knits (K) and a Microtex needles (M).  A couple rows of decorative stitching and a dense zig zag around the edges finish the mini.

Title:  Needle minding mini

Techniques: Machine needle felting

Quilting: Machine quilted using straight and decorative stitches

Fabric:  Felted wool and repurposed wool scraps

Batting: Warm and White

Thread: Mettler

Binding: Dense machine zig zag stitching

 

2015 Finish Along Q3

2016 FAL

Crystalized Citrus: A Blogger’s Quilt Festival Entry

Crystalized Citrus is my second entry into The Blogger’s Quilt Festival hosted by Amy’s Creative Side.  I hope you will all set aside some time this week to look at all of the amazing inspiration provided by the festival entries- there is some amazing work on display!

Crystalized Citrus

Crystalized Citrus

I originally created this quilt for this year’s Hoffman Challenge which required the use of this digitally printed butterfly fabric.  I enjoy transforming distinctively patterned fabric into something completely unexpected, so I was excited to transform the butterfly wings to the flesh of citrus fruit.

Hoffman Challenge Fabric

Crystalized Citrus detail

The center of each fruit is improvisationally pieced before being set into the surrounding “skin.”  The entire fruit is then hand appliquéd to the background.  I used matchstick quilting in a range of coordinating colors to ground the pieces on the white background.

Crystalized Citrus

For more about this quilt you can check out the original Crystalized Citrus post.

Columbus Skyline for the Row by Row Experience

This year Dabble and Stitch, a fantastic local quilt shop in Columbus, Ohio asked me to design their row for the Row by Row Experience.  It was their first time participating in this event, and it was my first time designing for it.  I am really excited by the results, and I hope lots of people get to make up this fun block.  During the Row by Row Experience the patterns are available for free in their “home” shop, but can only be distributed by picking them up in person.  Kits for this row are available for $20.  Later this year the pattern will go up for sale and can be sent to you if you can’t make it to the shop.

Columbus Skyline Mini detail

The theme for this year is “Home Sweet Home,” and we thought it would be great to create a row featuring the Columbus skyline.  This view of the city is taken from a bridge in Bicentennial Park.  Columbus Skyline Photo

I was standing right next to this guy as I snapped the photos!Columbus Skyline with Sculpture

Using the photos I took, I designed and rendered the skyline using AutoCad and Photoshop./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Blog/Row By Row/2016/Skyline.dw

The block is constructed using needle turn appliqué, but you can also do raw edge appliqué using this pattern since I included lines on the templates that show the finished sizes of each piece.  This is what the row looks like finished and ready to incorporate with other rows.Columbus Skyline Row

For the shop, I made the row into a mini quilt by adding borders.  The quilting changes from building to building, and for added fun, I quilted the shop name and city into the borders.  I think this looks great as a mini, and I am hoping to make one up as a long pillow for a sofa or bed.Quilted Columbus Skyline Row Mini

I love mixing up my quilting thread colors to match the fabrics on the front of the quilt.  I went with a white fabric on the back to show off all of that quilting.Columbus Skyline Mini back view

If you are traveling through Columbus this summer, I hope you stop in to pick up a pattern!

Quilt Stats

Title:  Columbus Skyline

Size:  Row itself finishes at 9″x36″  With borders the mini finishes at approximately 14.5″x41.5″

Techniques:  Needle-turn Appliqué, Pieced borders

Quilting:  Free motion longarm machine quilted with an A-1 Elite

Fabric:  Assorted 100% Cotton Prints

Batting:  Hobbs 80/20

Thread:  Appliquéd using Gutermann Mara 100, Quilted with eight colors of 50wt cotton Aurifil

Binding:  Straight grain binding assembled to match the borders of the mini, cut 2″ wide, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back.