April Showers: Mini Quilt #18

This mini quilt was designed a few months ago right after I received this package of fat quarters by Bonnie and Camille that I won in a giveaway from Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.  The fabrics come from Bonnie and Camille’s April Showers line of fabric, so I decided that April would be the perfect time to create and share this little quilt.

April Showers Mini Quilt front view

The abstract triangular raindrops in this quilt are foundation paper pieced in rows before being assembled into the quilt top.

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In deciding what fabric to pair with the April Showers Fabrics, I looked at several color options.  I knew that I wanted to go with a solid background fabric in order to show off the cute prints in the fat quarter collection.  White seemed a bit stark for this project, and the blues I had available were a little too cheerful.  This mid-tone grey really captured the feel of a rainy day.

April Showers front detail

I kept the backing simple by using the same grey fabric.  This really allowed the matchstick quilting to shine.  Most of the quilting was done with a teal colored 50wt cotton thread by WonderFil.  I had read good things about this thread in the last issue of Generation Q Magazine, so when I saw their booth at the American Quilter’s Society show in Paducah last week, I knew I wanted to purchase a couple spools.  It really worked out beautifully, and I used red and yellow thread that I already had on hand to add interest to the matchstick design.  I wanted to add a little glitz to this quilt to emulate the shimmer of raindrops so I attempted to use silver metallic thread.  In the past, I have not had the best experience with metallic thread, but this time it worked really well.  The fantastic and helpful people in at the WonderFil vendor booth gave me a sample pack of thread which included a metallic silver thread with a rayon core.  It is a really light, thin thread that went through my machine beautifully.  There was no shredding or breaking of the thread, which was really exciting given my past experience with metallics.  I was quite pleased with the life this small amount of shimmer the metallic thread adds to the design.

April Showers back view

Rather than keeping the entire binding grey, I decided to add small pieces of the April Showers fabric along one side of the bias.

April Showers binding detail

Quilt Stats

Title:  April Showers

Size:  18.25″ x 9.25″

Techniques:  Foundation Paper Piecing

Quilting:  Matchstick quilting using four different threads

Fabrics:  April Showers by Bonnie and Camille, mid-tone grey solid from my stash (I think it was a Kona cotton)

Batting:  Warm and White

Thread:  Pieced using Gutermann Mara 100 in white and grey, Quilted with 50wt Egyptian Cotton Konfetti color 607 by WonderFil, Silver Metallic Rayon core WonderFil, 50wt Red Cotton Essentials machine quilting thread by Connecting Threads, and 50wt Daffodil Yellow (1135) cotton Aurifil Thread

Binding:  Grey bias with April Showers accents, cut 2″ wide, machine stitched to the front of the quilt, hand stitched to the back

What was new:

A new pattern

A new (and more successful) metallic thread

Quilt 18 / 50

Quilt 18 / 50

Goal #4 is Finished!

Goal #4 is Finished!

This week Darcy at Modern Cozy is starting a weekly link up for Mini Quilts called Mini Quilt Monday.  I am really looking forward to having a link up available that is dedicated to the fabulous mini quilt!  I am also linking 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, and the Paper Piecing Party at Quilt Art Design.  Please stop by to see the fantastic sewing being done!

Fruit Crush: Mini Quilt #17

I am constantly sketching or drafting ideas for new quilt designs, and this weeks quilt for Mini Quilt Mania is a result of some elongated block drafting.
Fruit Crush front view

A lot of my designs are in a square format, and I was wanting to think about what would happen to a design if I were to lengthen a square block to create a rectangle.  For this design, I just started drafting on the computer, creating shapes, subdividing them, erasing lines, and adding them back.  The result is, from what I can find, a new block.  I tend to think that it is virtually impossible to create something new, but I couldn’t find anything similar in Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.  (Have you seen this design before?)

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When I designed this block, I was thinking about creating an unusual block to make a larger quilt.  I quickly decided that this block is not something that I would want to make a lot of, and left it alone for several months.  When I was going back through my design file, I decided that this block, while insanity producing in multiples, might be a cute mini quilt.

The fabric choices were drawn from a piece of Kaffe Fassett fabric with a with range of colorful dots.  This was a challenge for me because I have never created a quilt using all bright, middle value fabrics.

Fruit Crush front detail

I printed templates to use for cutting out the pieces for this block.  I hadn’t used this technique in many years, so it was interesting to go back to it after setting it aside for other techniques for so many years.

The quilting on this piece is tightly spaced echo quilting within the major shapes of the space.  I used lighter and darker thread on either side of each star point to create a sense of dimension.  The remaining areas were quilted using thread which coordinates with the fabric.

Fruit Crush back view

Quilt Stats:

Title: Fruit Crush

Size: 12.5″x16.75″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing of pieces cut using paper templates

Quilting:  Echo quilting lines approximately 1/8″ apart

Fabrics:  Assorted bright midtones selected to coordinate with Kaffe Fassett print

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced with Gutermann Mara 100 in white, Quilted with Connecting Threads Essential Cotton Machine Quilting Thread in Sangria, Magenta, Persian Blue, and Persimmon

Binding:  Magenta Print cut on the bias in 2″ wide strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

What was new:

New Block Pattern

Pulling all colors from a single piece of printed fabric

Quilt 17 / 50

Quilt 17 / 50

Goal #3 is Finished!

Goal #3 is Finished!

This week I’m linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart QuiltsLet’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, and Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story.  Please stop by to see all of the wonderful projects being created!

Graffiti Feathers: Mini Quilt #16

For a lot of my recent quilting, I have been creating designs that can be executed with a walking foot.  I love the results, but constantly turning my quilt and having to bury threads was getting a bit old!  So for this week’s mini quilt I decided some free motion work was in order!

Graffiti Feathers front view

I was just a couple inches away from finishing the binding on this quilt when it started to pour down rain, and it has been raining ever since.  For now I have to settle for indoor photographs, but I will update them when I can get better shots outside.

I knew I wanted a bunch of negative space to free motion quilt in, but I wanted to try working with a quilt top that had a design element of it’s own.  Knowing that I wanted to incorporate feathers into the quilting design, I thought that a single, colorful, stylized feather might make an interesting focal point.

First, I drew the feather design on freezer paper using the same drawing technique I would use to free motion quilt later.  Then I refined the feather and cut out the petal shapes, labeling them carefully as I went.  Once it was time to bring fabric into the mix, I adhered Wonder Under to the back of my fabric scraps before ironing the freezer paper patterns to the front.  The finished petals adhered nicely to the white Kona Cotton base fabric, and I did a machine blanket stitch around all of the edges to further secure the pieces.

Graffiti Feathers Detail

Since so many of my recent quilting designs have involves tons of starting and stopping (and burying of thread tails!), I thought it would be an interesting challenge to never stop quilting (unless I ran out of bobbin).  This was my first attempt at graffiti quilting, and I didn’t mark any of my designs ahead of time.  Using a variegated thread was also a new experience and the aesthetic effect worked really well in this context.  I had a spool of Gutermann cotton quilting thread that I had been given at some point.  I liked the coloring of the thread, but I thought it felt thinner than other brands of 50 wt thread.  It also left behind way more lint than other cotton threads I have used.  I normally love Gutermann thread, and use the Mara 100 for clothing and other general sewing, as well as a lot of quilt piecing.  I would not buy the cotton machine quilting thread again, so I will be seeking out a different brand of variegated thread to try. It was very freeing to do whatever design I wanted, waiting to see what the design wanted at that moment.  I think I’ll be trying this technique again!

I like how the quilting looks on the solid white back.  The binding is a scrappy mix of fabrics also used for the feather design.

Graffiti Feathers back view

Quilt Stats

Title:  Graffiti Feathers

Size: 19″x19″

Techniques:  Fusible appliqué with machine blanket stitching

Quilting:  Free motion quilted on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  Front base and backing- white Kona Cotton, Feather design- misc. warm colored scraps

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Red Variegated, 50 wt, Gutermann Cotton Machine Quilting Thread

Binding:  Scrappy binding, cut on the bias in 2″ strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

What was new:

Graffiti Quilting

Quilting with Variegated Thread

Quilt 16 / 50

Quilt 16 / 50

Goal #2 is Finished!

Goal #2 is Finished!

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.

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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!

2015 Second Quarter Finish Goals

I can hardly believe we are entering the second quarter of 2015!  This time around I have a unrealistically long list and a mix of goals: a dozen mini quilts, a few larger projects, a couple bags, a some smaller gifts.  2015 Finish Along Q2

I am excited to once again join in the Finish Along fun with Adrianne at On the Windy Side!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Goals 1-12

In order to keep up with Mini Quilt Mania I am planning to make a dozen more mini quilts for the second quarter of this year.  These are in various stages of completion: sketches, patterns drafted, fabrics chosen, and a couple are even being sewn!

Quilt 5 / 50

Goal 13

In January I started a starburst quilt based on my Happy New Year! mini quilt, and this project is a rollover from Q1.  I have this piece about half quilted right now, and I would really like to get this one finished up this quarter!Starburst process

Goal 14

For my Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake challenge quilt I am making a “potholder” style quilt using hexagonal bound blocks rather than the more traditional squares.  This quilt will be completely reversible, with one side being predominantly turquoise with the other side leaning toward the pinks in the collection.  Right now the quilt is about halfway pieced.Riley Blake process

Goal 15

I knew as soon as I saw the Viewfinder fabric in Melody Miller’s Playful collection by Cotton and Steel that I wanted a Quilted Purse made with it.  I am slightly scaling up the pattern I created for my current purse.  I have set the zipper into the top panel, quilted the main fabric, and made the handles.Purse process

Goal 16

Sometimes I wish I had a Cross-body bag to carry when I need a more hands-free shopping (or quilt show) experience.  I have sketched the design, pulled fabrics, and I am looking for a source for a double tab purse zipper that is at least 30″.  This shouldn’t be so hard to find- I mean- you must be able to buy luggage zippers, right?  Any sourcing suggestions?

Goal 17

I designed and made these cute little blocks for my Baubles Quilt months ago.  I need to put together a top and get this thing quilted and finished!Baubles Blocks

Goal 18

This Secret Project (roll over from Q1) is still quilted, ready for finishing, and needs to stop hanging out under my work table! Here’s hoping this quilt makes it into a finished pile this quarter!secret project process

Goal 19

I am going to be needing a few small thank you gifts for this summer, so I am hoping to get six (or more) cord/coin pouches made.Cord pouch fabric

Goal 20

This quilted pillow top needs a zippered back and finishing.Pillow Top

Goal 21

I bought this fabric last summer to make a skirt.  Now that it is warming up again I need to get this made up!Skirt Fabric

Goal 22

I recently started another Bionic Bag, and I will be finishing it up in Q2.  I have all my pieces cut, interfacing fused, zippers installed, sides assembled, and the outer panel quilted.Bionic Bag process

Goal 23

I started a set of placemats last fall.  I have a set of four that just need the binding finished.

placemat process

Goal 24

I started sewing this hexagon project when I needed some handwork.  I’m not entirely certain how large this is going to get, but I’m hoping to discover what exactly this wants to be.Hexagon process

Goal 25

In the first quarter I created a baby quilt sized Sweet and Simple Hashtag Quilt.  This quarter I will be making a lap quilt size version of this quilt.

Sweet and Simple Hashtag Quilt

Goal 26

This summer I’ll be working as a theatrical cutter/draper. (A draper uses the performer’s measurements to create patterns for a costume.)  I haven’t done this in awhile (I’m pretty excited to return to it!), and when I pulled out my sewing apron it was really worn.  I will definitely need to find time to make a replacement before I leave for this job!  I have some denim left over from another project, and I am still deciding what fabric to use for the accent.  These are my top choices right now.Apron fabric

This list is super long, and I recognize that a some of these projects may not get finished (or even touched) this quarter, but a lot of items are pretty far along, so once again I am cautiously optimistic!