Fall Frames Quilt

I started this pretty little thing as a custom order. The customer changed their mind and ordered a different quilt (la la la!!!!) but I was in love with the fabrics so was excited to finish it anyway. Of course, it took me a year to finish it! But it’s done!

It uses lots of Kaffe Fassets shot cottons which I like, though they are very lightweight fabrics. It is also nearly impossible to order them on-line, they often look nothing like the swatches provided. I guess you’ll have that when they are, of course, actually made of two different colored thread. It’s now listed in my shop though I’ll be honest, I rarely sell finished quilts, just custom orders, and I kind of those this one too much to part with! But the house is full, sacrifices must be made!

Fall Neutral Frames Quilt

This was one of my Fall 2014 goals listed in my original post here. I’m moving through my list!

Continue reading

#OHCraft Sew-in and Finish Along

This weekend I went to the #OHCraft Sew-in, which is an awesome, low key, annual retreat for crafters across the state. It’s such a nice weekend and was beautiful with the fall weather. I’ll be honest, I spent most of the time sewing, and did not really make the most of my access to the beautiful Appalachian scenery!

However, I finished three tops that had been languishing in the WIP shelf for over a year!

Now I have a giant pile of quilts that need basted and quilted. That is going to be my goal for the finish along: To finish them by the end of the year! Yikes! Lucky a new bolt of Warm and Natural just arrived in the mail! I keep trying to find a batting I like more than Warm and Natural, but I come back to it every time. This is my third 40 yard bolt! I feel like that is some kind of milestone.  I also want to set the goal of finishing the Cardinal quilt this month! That’s my goal for October for A Lovely Year of Finishes.

I have something of a tutorial up for my Charley Harper Mosaic quilt here. I might decide to add another row of neutrals across the top – it’s not feeling quite balanced to me. I don’t want to get wishy washy with this quilt and never finish it like my Goldfinch quilt though!

#ohcraftsewin #ohcraft Finally finished my project from last year!

Continue reading

Fox Applique Quilt – Free Applique Pattern

About two years ago, I made a fall snowball quilt, and had a bunch of HST’s leftover after trimming my blocks. So I pieced them into an awkward shaped block of chevrons. It then seemed impossible to me how to finish the quilt.

Then last week I was sorting through some Works in Progress (sooo manyyyy) and in a flash decided I would add a strip of white and an applique patchwork fox. I had a free moment so got started immediately.

And Done! I have traced the applique with basic instructions for anyone that may want to make their own Fox Patchwork Applique here is the pdf . It is a VERY basic pattern, let me know if you have any questions.  The fox finished at about 13×17 at the widest area, so you could easily make one with a fat quarter if you don’t like it pieced.

Fox Applique quilt

I pieced together a block of orangey-yellow 3″ squares and made a patchwork fox backed with fusible webbing. I pinned the fox down during basting and put on the finishing stitches during the quilting process.

#patchwork #fox #applique

The fox was stitched down during the quilting stage using my walking foot using contrasting brown thread. I could have free motion quilted it, but I was too lazy to change the foot. I felt it needed something more and put a line of stitching around the fox, and then quilted the patchwork using a matching orange thread. I continued the chevron quilting into the negative space. I wanted to do more dense quilting initially and had pulled out some bronze and gold threads to add to it, but now I like it simple.

Fox Applique quilt

The backing is a mustard-tan print from Joann that I got a long time ago. I really like it and it has a nice solid hand. It makes me sad that there are so many other prints at Joann that are so pretty, but feel too flimsy and cheaply made to quilt with.

I had a mustard-tan thread on hand that matched it flawlessly – you can not see the quilting on the back, even the fairly dense quilting on the fox. I used up every last inch of that thread in this quilt. About 4 inches of binding stitching are done in a tan thread that just barely matches. That may seem like a really boring story to most people, but I think many sewists can understand that special thrill of pulling out that perfect thread for a project and then hoping it’s enough!

Fox Applique quiltI used 80/20 batting. Can’t remember the brand. I used to love 80/20 batting, but it is too fluffy for my tastes now, I’ve tried several brands and keep coming back to Warm and Natural. But I do like how soft the finished quilt is, and since it is for a baby, that is perfect!

For a fairly spontaneous project, I’m happy with it. I think if I had it to do over, I’d make the fox a little bigger though. Always more fox!

I’m linking up to TGIFF  and Crazy Mom Quilts, because I am pretty dang happy it’s finished!

Whole Lotta Tote Bag Tutorial

I made this fun and huge bag using Lotta fabric. Yes, it fits 6 rolls of paper towels. I love this size bag, I’ve made a few more since. You can never have a tote bag too big. I want a tote bag you can fit a whole car in! We use this one all the time!

Whole Lotta Tote Bag Tutorial
Whole Lotta Bag instructions

I took about a million pictures of this bag. Including one showcasing all the paper towels that fit inside! Enjoy the show below!

Continue reading

How to Make A Really Scrappy Lone Star Quilt

Really Scrappy Lone Star TuturialTraditional Lone Star Overview
The Lone Star is a traditional diamond shaped block – traditionally you do planned colors so it makes a cool radiating star pattern. For an example of that, here is a cool tutorial! It requires really careful piecing, because if all your bias cut seams don’t match up just right, you lose some of the effect. The strips are all the same length and width and you have to carefully calculate your strip piecing and color placement to get the perfect effect.

Another option is the slightly scrappy lone star, which Better Off Thread has a nice tutorial  with examples for that effect! While her version uses a variety of colors with random placement, the strips are all the same length and width.

HOWEVER, I didn’t use either of these wonderful tutorials, because what I wanted to  do was to make a lonestar with different width strips, for an effect that is truly, madly, deeply scrappy.  So far my quilt looks like this – it has about 33 pieces per block which means it has about 2,770 pieces so far! Here is before I added the blue strips along the outside edge to square it up.Scrappy Lonestar

And one block looks like this – a strip pieced diamond with 45 degree bias cut edges. Using my math below, you’ll create a diamond block. You can certainly use smaller measurements for a smaller block!

Scrappy Lone Star Tutorial
So this tutorial is going to be how to turn a pile of string scraps of a million different lengths like this:
Scrappy Lone Star Tutorial

Into the quilt above! The quilt isn’t done yet, but I have made enough of these things to explain the process!

Continue reading

Charley Harper Mosaic Goldfinch Finish

Here is another one that took me a few days to get ALMOST done and then a year to actually finish.

I think of it as a ‘she’ though obviously it is a male goldfinch. I posted a tutorial for how to make a cardinal version – I have a half finished cardinal version as well – as well as some glamour shots of the unbasted top out in the wild.

Charley Harper Goldfinch Quilt Finished!

Can't decide whether to give him legs or not...

I did an orange peel quilting on it, using this tutorial though I kind of wish I had actually drawn on the circles so it was more precise. Or maybe the organic shapes are better with the scrappy neutral fabrics? Who can say! I wanted a double wedding ring style effect- highlighting the circles more than the petals formed, which I didn’t accomplish, and that’s ok.  It was fairly easy except for the occasional mishap. Womp womp.

Wompwomp. It's been a while since I caught the backing in the quilting. Almost done.

Here is the original clever little birdie from the mosaic in Cincinnati.  I love the inquisitive face! We have several goldfinch that hang out in our garden. I think the females are so pretty too, though not as easy to capture in a mosaic!

Charley Harper Mural in Cincinatti - perfect for mosaic quilts

For the back I used some of Birch Fabrics beautiful Charley Harper line of fabric – they have a new one coming out this fall!?! For the life of me, I don’t know why I was so stingy and didn’t just get another yard of fabric to finish the back,, but after much puzzling, I decided to copy the fabric design to expand it out. I’m happy with the effect! And somewhat impressed with how closely I was able to match the colors with solids from my stash.

Charley Harper Goldfinch Quilt Finished!

Charley Harper Goldfinch Quilt Finished!
And bound in a beautiful gold fabric I am addicted to from Joann Fabric. It almost reads as a solid but has a little floral print. Very subtle and I keep coming back to the cheery color

Charley Harper Goldfinch Quilt Finished!

Finished that Scrappy Trip

Some years ago, everyone on the internet, ok, maybe just the quilters, started making scrappy trip along quilts. They are fun and fast and a great way to use up scraps, how could I resist?  I made one using the ugliest fabrics I had and then made another using the ugliest fabrics I had that matched this muted rainbow color scheme. I then lost interest in finishing the second one and made this awesome Eric Carle Quilt instead and the scrappy trip sat for a year and a half.

Except it didn’t just sit! We actually used it on the bed on colder nights as a back up blanket, which Matt hated because “the safety pins are cold” but for some reason we did not grab one of the 9,000 other quilts that are cluttering up my house.

Anyway, today, I killed the beast! I mean, I quilted the last 25% and bound it up.

We've actually been using this #scrappytripalong on the bed only 75% quilted and unbound for about a year as a "back up" on colder nights. Matt who never complains has asked multiple times for me to finish it because "the safety pins are cold and make me

I’m happy with the quilting, which is from a Nan Moore quilting book. Nice open loop de loops and paisley type shapes. Very comfy. Fast but more interesting than a meander.

Scrappy Trip Along Muted Rainbow - Finally finished!

The backing is a fairly heavy satin-finish cotton sheet. Just something I got at a discount type store once with the idea of using as a whole cloth quilt. To me, this is a double sided quilt, a fancy whole cloth shiny purple on one side and an economical use of ugly scraps on the other.

Scrappy Trip Along Muted Rainbow - Finally finished!

I still had some of the ugly pinks left so I used those for the binding. I do love them all together. Up close you can see all the silly fabrics that I used up. I have sooo many ugly scrap fabrics I have gotten for free other the years. I am actually making my way through them though!

Scrappy Trip Along Muted Rainbow - Finally finished!

Charley Harper Bird Pixel Quilt – Plus Tutorial

Charley Harper Tutorial

I’ve long been obsessed with making Charley Harper quilts for years now – I love his artwork! However, I can’t seem to make my self finish one of them! Here is a an early process shot of my goldfinch quilt and here is the finished top from last fall. Miraculously, I made the back and basted that yesterday, so hopefully photos soon of that coming along! May be a few years before I can decide how to quilt it – but I’m thinking orange peels?

Charley Harper Goldfinch Quilt
I also started a cardinal version last fall at the #OHCraft Retreat that the amazing Kara puts together every year – maybe I’ll finish it at this year’s retreat?

Anyway, a few people have asked me for a pattern for these quilts. I don’t have anything fancy to share, but I will share details on my process that should make it a lot easier for you! Continue reading

Mad Farmer’s Medallion

I am calling this beast the Mad Farmers Medallion after the Wendell Berry poem series (here is another) It needs another border (can’t decide what) and I can’t decide how to quilt it, so it’s going to sit in the corner till it figures itself out. It is Wednesday, so I am linking with other Works in Progress today.

Mad Farmers Medallion Pink Scrap QuiltIt was an attempt to use up my gray and pink scraps. I have a SERIOUS amount of scrap fabric, partly due to always being the first to pipe up when someone is tossing them out, and partly due to my modest little quilt business and the wedding signature quilts I make. I got 3-4 pink quilt orders since  last fall and was getting an unholy amount of pink scrap build up.

The center is leftover triangle corners from this Princess Pirate quilt. It’s bordered in velvet that is leftover scraps from a dress my mom made in about 5th grade — at least 20 years ago. Winning at scraps?

Mad Farmers Medallion Pink Scrap Quilt
I used to claim I wasn’t a fan of pink, but let’s be real, I love it! I think I was too punk rock to admit it at the time.  But I think this quilt is pretty punk rock?

I am taking a break from custom quilt orders, in part because it stopped being fun, and in part to use up some of my glorious (terrifying) scrap collection. This quilt was definitely inspired by “15 Minutes of Play” by Victoria Findlay Wolfe — though I must admit I spent more than 15 minutes working on this quilt so far!

I highly recommend the book version and the blog – she shares a few basic techniques, but is mostly focuses on inspiration and ideas to get you sewing.