Hills and Valleys: 2016 Riley Blake Challenge Quilt

This year’s Modern Quilt Guild / Riley Blake fabric challenge was one of the best challenges I have ever participated in, and I am very excited about the resulting quilt!

Hills and Valleys full view

The print that was selected for the challenge fabric has almost endless possibilities since it contains so many different designs.  I had the fabric draped around the studio for a long time before I decided what direction I wanted to go with it.  I still wasn’t entirely certain what I was doing when I ordered the solids to coordinate.  Emerald green has been very appealing to me lately, and I decided to draw my color scheme from it.

Challenge Fabric

I enjoy taking linear prints and cutting / reassembling them into a star formation, and I started out thinking that was where this project would lead.  In an effort to step out of my star-shaped box, I decided to consider other options that could produce a similar effect with the pattern of the print.  I drew the fabric print to scale in AutoCad and started to experiment.  Ultimately I landed on this design based on a traditional clamshell configuration.  I thought that the greens I had selected would create the illusion of abstract rolling hills, and the black and white print would look like giant flowers bursting forth from the landscape.

Hills and Valleys detail c

I developed and printed templates for each shape using AutoCad.  Since I had already planned the design with the fabric in mind, I was able to print the templates with guidelines that matched the print.  Cutting was super easy this way!

The clamshells are machine pieced to one another.  I used the templates to mark the start, center, and end of each seam which helped me to accurately position and pin each seam.  The top row of clamshells is hand appliquéd to the light blue background fabric.

Hills and Valleys detail b

The quilting was the most fun part of the process.  Solid fabrics give so much room for play, and I loved the idea of creating movement in this piece.  Each “hill” has a different texture from those directly around it, and the quilting thread matches each section.  This is also my first project to incorporate hand sashiko stitch quilting.  The large stitches in contrasting thread helps to draw your eye around the quilt.

Hills and Valleys detail a

I was excited to submit this quilt to the challenge, and I was absolutely ecstatic to find out that it received second place!  If you would like to see the other fantastic quilts that placed in this year’s challenge, you can find them on this Modern Quilt Guild blog post.

Quilt Stats

Title:  Hills and Valleys

Size:  41″x43″

Techniques:  Machine piecing, Hand Applique

Quilting:  Freemotion and Ruler work on an A-1 Longarm machine, hand sashiko accent stitching

Fabric:  Riley Blake black and white sashing print and Riley Blake solids

Batting:  Hobbs 80/20 cotton blend

Thread:  Pieced and appliquéd with coordinating Gutermann Mara 100 thread.  Quilted with five colors of 50wt Aurifil cotton thread.  Sashiko stitching done with dark grey Aurifil Floss.

Binding:  Faced with Riley Blake fabric

Goal #3 is Finished!

Goal #3 is Finished!

This and That: March Edition

There has been so much happening in my quilt-y world lately, but not everything needs its own post, so I’m combining a bunch of cool stuff into a single post!

Quilt Shows

I had a wonderful time at QuiltCon and it was just as exciting to have my quilt returned to me the following week.

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts hanging at QuiltCon

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts hanging at QuiltCon

Next up in quilt shows: I have THREE quilts heading to the American Quilter’s Society Show in Paducah this Spring!  I was stunned and thrilled to receive three positive notifications, and I am eagerly awaiting the show.

Quilts that are heading to AQS Paducah

Quilts that are heading to AQS Paducah

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts will continue its show tour in the Large Wall Quilt: Modern category, and will be joined by both Can You See (m)E Now? in the Small Wall Quilt: Pictorial category and Rainbow Rotary in the Miniature category.  Even more exciting than having my quilts in the show is seeing that these, as well as several other quilts in the modern aesthetic are being accepted into the show in categories stretching well beyond the modern category.  It is fabulous to see wonderful, long established shows, embrace the differences in the quilt world.

The Collection Quilt Class

The Collection Quilt block of the month classes I have been teaching at Sew to Speak in Columbus, Ohio have been going well, and it is so much fun to work through this delightful quilt with such a wonderful group of women.  I have been making a version of this quilt that is perfect for a princess loving little girl.  The first month’s block features this cute frog print.

Section One of the Collection Quilt

Section One of the Collection Quilt

Block two is especially fun due to the opportunities to incorporate lots of fussy cutting!

Collection Quilt Section Two

Section Two of The Collection Quilt

If you are in the Columbus area, and would like to join the class, we would love to have you!  There is still plenty of time to learn the technique and come out of the class with a fantastic quilt.  Please contact Sew to Speak to get signed up!

Quilting Bee

I am in my first block bee this year with The Columbus Modern Quilters.  I signed up for the six month version since this is my first time, and I never know exactly where or how busy I’ll be in a year.

In January our queen selected the Wanta Fanta block, and I was thrilled by how quickly it went together.

January Bee Blocks

January Bee Blocks

This month we are making the same block for another queen, and I am even more excited to see how both of these quilts go together.

March Bee Blocks

March Bee Blocks

February was my month, and everyone made a filmstrip block that I will be incorporating into a border of a medallion quilt.  I just love the blocks that everyone brought- Aren’t they awesome?!  I have the free pattern available on Craftsy if you are interested in making some filmstrip blocks of your own.

Filmstrip Bee Blocks

Filmstrip Bee Blocks

A Win

Have you been participating in One Monthly Goal hosted by Red Letter Quilts?  It is great for me to be able to set a single goal for the month, because my quarterly lists are ridiculous- they help me keep an overview of large goals, but all of those goals are never getting finished in a single quarter 😉

 

My February goal came with an added bonus: when names were drawn from the completion link-up, mine was selected!

OMG February Prize

This lovely bundle of fabric arrived a few days ago, and I can’t thank Heidi of Red Letter Quilts enough for hosting this event every month and supplying lovely fabric for a prize!

Block Hop

Last year I had a great time participating in the New Blogger’s Block Hop, so when the opportunity arose to participate in another New Block Blog Hop, I jumped at the chance.  Paintbrush Studios sent out fabric to each blogger in the Ocean Sunrise Palette which was curated by our wonderful hosts.
2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Blog Hop

You’ll want to mark your calendars for March 28-30 to stop by and see all of the wonderful new block patterns that are being given to you by more than three dozen bloggers!  What makes this project even better is that all of the blocks created for this blog hop are collected by our hosts to make into some gorgeous charity quilts.

Publication

For the first time I have a quilt design making an appearance in the pattern section of a magazine.  If you’re interested in making this Italicized Hashtag Quilt, make sure you check it out in Generation Q.  I’ll be writing more about this quilt soon!

Spring Issue of Generation Q Magazine

Spring Issue of Generation Q Magazine

Travel Bag

This week will be my first Quilt Con, and to mark the occasion I made a new carry on bag.

Carry on Bag for QuiltCon 2016 front view

I drew up this pattern to work with a fat quarter bundle that I had of Tula Pink’s Elizabeth line along with some denim scraps that I had from another project.  The effect is unified, yet scrappy.  The front and back of the bag are identical with a zipper pocket and an open pocket behind it.  Behind each zipper pocket is a section of coordinating fabric that was pieced in to help stretch the main bag fabric.Carry on Bag for QuiltCon side view

The bag is quilted in sections to allow all of the raw edges to be enclosed as the bag came together.  The final construction seams attach the bag front and back to the side panel.  These seams are stitched with the seam allowances toward the exterior of the bag which will help to give a bit of extra structure to this soft case.  The raw edges are enclosed using a custom made bias tape from one of the striped fat quarters in the Tula Pink bundle.Carry On Bag for QuitlCon Interior

I am excited to take this bag on its inaugural voyage this week so I will have a better idea of what adjustments I should make if I were to create this design again.  If you are at QuiltCon, I hope to have a chance to meet you and perhaps exchange buttons!QuiltCon 2016 Buttons

Goal #8 is Complete!

Goal #8 is Complete!

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

I want to start 2016 off on a high note, so I decided the perfect first post of the year would be to share the quilt that will be heading to QuiltCon.Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

“The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts” is based on a Mini Quilt that I designed last summer, and is constructed in a similar manner.

Violet Calm

Violet Calm Mini Quilt

The central circle is created by assembling rectangles with strips of the white background fabric between the pieces.  Once this initial construction is complete, I cut the circle out of the assembled fabrics.  I used extra wide backing fabric for both the front and back of the quilt.  A circle with a 1/2″ smaller radius is cut from the quilt front, allowing for the seam allowance required to machine piece the circle in the quilt top.Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts detail C

Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts detail B

I used matchstick quilting in colors matching the fabrics the stitching passes through to draw the centralized design out to the edges of the quilt.  Most of the quilting is horizontal, but one section of vertical quilting add energy to the piece.Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts detail A

 

I really love the way the quilting looks, but this technique did result in thousands of thread tails to bury- I’m pretty sure that took longer than the actual quilting!Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts detail D

The binding is made of bias strips comprised of violet fabrics that are used in the central circle.  In the next couple of days I will be adding a hanging sleeve and label so it can head off to Pasadena!

I’m linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please stop by to see all of the lovely work being shared!

Quilt Stats

Title:  The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

Size:  63.25″ x 66″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing

Quilting:  Matchstick quilting done with a walking foot on a domestic Bernina 1008

Fabric:  Quilt shop quality prints in shades of violet and magenta, extra wide white cotton

Batting: Warm and White Cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced with white Gutermann Mara 100.  Quilted with 50wt cotton Aurifil in colors to coordinate with the fabrics they are stitching through

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

Goal #24 is finished!

Goal #24 is finished!

Star Crossed Triangles: An EZ Quilting Triangle Challenge Quilt

When the Modern Quilt Guild issued a challenge sponsored by EZ Quilting, I couldn’t wait.  I was in the midst of a “triangle phase” so this was perfect timing.  I decided that if I was going to take on this challenge, I was going to really embrace triangles, and create a design pieced entirely with that shape.

Star Crossed Triangles:  A MQG EZ Quilt Triangle Challenge Quilt

Star Crossed Triangles: A MQG EZ Quilt Triangle Challenge Quilt

The 45 degree mini template arrived in the mail, and I began drafting./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Quilt Drafti

EZ Quilting Template and prepared triangles

EZ Quilting Template and prepared triangles

Triangles are intriguing in their ability to transform fabrics through careful cutting and reassembly.  I selected quite a few brightly colored, distinctively patterned fabrics to form octagons and stars that are the focal points of the quilt.  The overall design includes several blocks that are all low volume fabrics to give some areas for a visual rest.triangle blocks

Given the small scale of the pieces of the quilt, I decided to go with an English Paper Piecing technique to insure that the corners of each triangle would match up perfectly.  The majority of the 866 triangles in the quilt are cut with the provided template, but there are additional triangle shapes to fill in between blocks and around the edges.  When I took a step back to look at the completed top, I decided that the all-triangle approach was a bit too rigid.  I began experimenting with options to break up the field of triangles, and eventually landed on adding brightly colored appliqué circles.  Each circle is about the size of a dime and is hand appliquéd to the finished quilt top.

Quilt top with circles roughly placed

Quilt top with circles roughly placed

Each star and octagon is quilted with coordinating thread using ruler work on a longarm.  The spaces between each of these shapes is filled with wavy, swirling, organic free-motion quilting.Star Crossed Triangles detail D

Star Crossed Triangles detail C

Star Crossed Triangles detail B

Star Crossed Triangles detail A

This quilt was my second entry into the QuiltCon contest, and I also entered this quilt into the Paducah show of the American Quilter’s Society in the category: Small Wall Quilts, Longarm Quilted.

Quilt Stats

Title:  Star Crossed Triangles

Size:  36.75″ x 41″

Techniques:  English Paper Piecing, Hand Appliqué

Quilting:  Ruler work and free motion quilting on an A-1 Longarm

Fabric:  Scrappy low volume and brightly colored prints

Batting:  Hobbs Heirloom cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced with grey Decobob by Wonderfil, quilted with Aurifil in coordinating colors

Binding:  Scrappy low volume prints cut on the bias in 2″ wide strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

Goal #22 is finished!

Goal #22 is finished!