I’m so happy to have this quilt done! I love him. It is inspired by the Charley Harper animal mosaic in Cincinnati. A tutorial for the quilt and images of the mural are here. My neighborhood is full of cardinals that like to sing all their crazy amazing songs very early in the morning and then all day. I’m sure you’ve heard them, even if you don’t know it! Here is a great video about cardinal songs.
It finished just under 6 feet square (cat for scale, and also because he wouldn’t get off the 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!
This was one of my Fall 2014 goals listed in my original post here. I’m moving through my list!
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!
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.
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 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!
Traditional 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.
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!
So this tutorial is going to be how to turn a pile of string scraps of a million different lengths like this:
Into the quilt above! The quilt isn’t done yet, but I have made enough of these things to explain the process!
I have a Brother 1500s Straight Stitch only machine which I have reviewed here. I was interested in buying needles in bulk and saw that the Organ HLx5 were recommended for my machine specifically. I thought I would share a few notes about these needles in case anyone else with this machine is thinking about them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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? Update! I did finish it! Details here.
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