Category Archives: Quilts

Jewelweed Quilt and a Hand Dyed Disaster

A couple years ago, my mother in law gave me a beautiful stack of fat eighths fabric for my birthday. She had gotten it at the Lancaster Quilt Show. I had had an idea for a quilt block rolling around in my head, and so I brought the fabrics with me on a sewing retreat and began cranking out blocks.  I called it Jewelweed, because that is a pretty flower, and I liked that the blocks were kind of jewel like, with all the butterflies around them like they were flowers.

I used up EVERY LAST BIT of the butterfly fabric making this. I don’t think I have any scraps larger than a half inch. I was definitely sweating by the time I finished the last few blocks – and I had to piece together some of the pieces there at the end.

But, I made it! And I used every last scrap I had to make up the back, which I love as much (more than?!?) the front. And here is a photo of it, new and pure!

Jewelweed Rainbow Quilt

And then what happened? I set it on the coffee table next to the couch. As I was watering a plant next to the quilt, a few drops of water got on the quilt. And the dye bled like crazy. From a few drops of water, the dye was suddenly everywhere.

I panicked, called every fabric store in town, found some synthrapol at an art store thanks to a savvy member of my quilt guild, and set to bathing the quilt over and over to try and pull out the dye. I also used dawn dish detergent and some oxi-clean based on internet advice.

Jewelweed Hand Dyed Fabric Quilt

I took a picture of the bath full of dye on instagram months ago when the whole disaster happened – this was probably several rinses in. I have never seen fabric bleed like this – it was like they never rinsed out the original dye! Every color was bleeding, not just the reds and blues. The green and turquoise and brown were terrible too.

Luckily (for them) I lost the tag naming the person who dyed the fabric, as I am very amazed at the shoddy quality of their work. I suppose I should have known to pre-wash the fabric, but with fat eighths I was worried about pre-washing those small cuts. And I just forgot.

Jewelweed Hand Dyed Fabric Quilt

Anyway, here is how the quilt is today. You can’t really tell in the photos, but the butterfly fabric is muddy in color with lots of blue splotches.

Jewelweed Hand Dyed Fabric Quilt

I might try one more wash and scrubbing with some shout to get out the really bad parts – in particular this turquoise marking on the back. I mean, come on, this quilt has been washed about 15 times at this point.

Jewelweed Hand Dyed Fabric Quilt

Speaking of the back, I love the effect of the leftover squares of fabric I had on the back.

Jewelweed Hand Dyed Fabric Quilt

I used a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton for one side (the tan) and a bit of organic sheet from Target on the other. As a bit of trivia, the sheet picked up much more dye than the shot cotton.

Jewelweed Hand Dyed Fabric Quilt

Anyway, as I learn over and over in life, try the best you can and then count your blessings and get over yourself! There are worse things in the world than some a little color where it shouldn’t be! I bound it in this old purple sheet fabric that I have used on several quilts now. It has a satin finish which I can not resist.

Jewelweed Hand Dyed Fabric Quilt

 

Improv Star Quilt Return

I previously posted about this quilt here, but at the time I was not excited about blogging, and the post only has two pictures – and you can’t even see the whole quilt!

Improv Star Quilt

So I decided to blog about it again with the motivation of entering the quilt in the Hand Quilted sewing category of Amy’s Creative Side Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  I have another quilt in the scrappy section, my Mad Farmer’s Medallion. This is a great place to check out other amazing quilts. I am not under any illusion that the quilting on my quilt compares to any of the masterpieces that are also entered in this section! But it’s fun to play along!

Voile Improv Star Quilt

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Monkey Applique Baby Quilt

Here is a cute little thing! I made this quilt as gift for my sweet nephew – who is about to turn 1!

I am entering it into The Sewing Loft Blogs September Sewing Month Gift Category.  This challenge has been a fun motivation for me to finish up a bunch of projects that have been lingering – I’ve been sick for the last few months, and I really miss sewing! Now that I’m feeling better I am ready to get some quilts out the door!

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How to Get Started On Your La Passacaglia Quilt

When I told my brother we wanted to have kids but didn’t feel quite ready, he said, “You’ll never be ready, you just have to be brave.” I think the same advice applies to starting a La Passacaglia quilt.

Normally I think it’s a bit of an exaggeration when people compare a sewing project to having a child, but with the amount of time (and money!) I’ve put into this quilt, I’m starting to feel like that’s pretty accurate!  Though this quilt has fewer temper tantrums 🙂

La Passacaglia Progress Using Inkligo

This gorgeous quilt pattern has been very popular and I’ve admired it for several years – HOWEVER I also thought that everyone doing it was totally out of their minds!

What changed? Well, when my daughter was about a year old she was a terrible napper. But she would nap in the car. So I started to spend a lot of time sitting in the car! I started to have an itch for a hand sewing project to keep my hands busy. I decided the people working on La Passacaglia had the right idea. And then I became obsessed with this beautiful quilt.

Now my daughter naps in her own crib, but I am still sewing! I sew listening to audiobooks and while watching TV. My hands have stayed busy.

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Mad Farmer’s Medallion – Complete!

Mad Farmer's Medallion -Finished!

One of my favorite Wendell Berry quotes is this one, from his famous poem “Manifesto, Mad Farmer Liberation Front“:

Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.

And another, from another well know Berry poem “The Contrariness of the Mad Farmer“:

I am done with apologies. If contrariness is my
inheritance and destiny, so be it. If it is my mission
to go in at exits and come out at entrances, so be it.
Mad Farmer's Medallion -Finished!

I love both poems and they kept coming to mind as I embarked on this ridiculous medallion quilt about three years ago. Here is a post from 2014. As I say in that earlier post, 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!

I have finished it just in time for the Bloggers Quilt Festival and am sharing it in the festival in the scrappy category – I think it qualifies! Check out all the great scrap quilts here and feel free to vote for me to win a prize 🙂 I have another quilt in the hand quilting category, my Improv Star.

I have also finished this time to enter it into the Septemeber Sewing Challenge hosted by The Sewing Loft in honor of National Sewing Month. Lots of fun projects over there as well to check out! 

The quilt is about 90×90 inches – so a real challenge to photograph, I might get some better ones but I am not really sure how to accomplish that at some point. I keep day dreaming about constructing some kind of quilt hanging apparatus, but when am I supposed to do that? I’m too busy trying to use up the rest of my scraps!

Most of the dark gray repeated throughout the quilt is from organic sheets from Target – one of my favorite fabrics for quilt backs for quilts I sell, and so I have a ton of small strips of it from over the years.

Mad Farmer's Medallion -Finished!

I quilted most of the quilt with a loopy flying geese/meandering triangles quilt pattern. I thought about quilting each part separately but it just didn’t seem right. I wanted something to kind of unify the quilt over all. However, I did do special quilting in the border, which I’m really happy with.
Mad Farmer's Medallion -Finished!

This quilt has bred more and more scraps and turned into several additional pink and gray scrap quilts, including this mini-quilt, which I made with just the scraps from the border!
Mad Farmer's Medallion -Finished!

I was originally going to do a pieced back, and got the back 75% pieced, but one day I decided the quilt would be too heavy, and that very day there was a sale on Tula Pink Freefall Wide backing. Who am I to disagree with fate?
Mad Farmer's Medallion -Finished!

 

#QuiltsforPulse #OHCraft

The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild put out a call for local guilds to make blocks and quilts for the survivors and families of the horrible Pulse Nightclub shooting earlier this year. The response has been astounding – over 1,000 quilts! Here is one more to add to the mix.

The Group #OHCraft is a crafting community that includes people from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.  Volunteers from the group made the blocks, Lorna put them together, and I quilted the finished project.

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Stop Mountaintop Removal T-shirt Quilt

I made my first t-shirt quilt! It is for a fundraiser for an organization I have worked with for ten years – it’s their tenth anniversary. The shirt is from an event we hosted about 4 years ago.

I have completely used up every “white with red print” scrap in my stash. I was really stretching here – but it’s all from stash.

Stop Mountaintop Removal Quilt

I used an orange peel pattern to quilt it. I wanted a more visible quilting to try and unify the design a little bit, since I think all the background fabrics are a little cacophonous, but the quilting ended up being very subtle.

It uses mostly vintage fabrics, which I think is good for a quilt for an environmental organization. It was a lot of fun to make, I hope it raises a lot of money to a great cause.

Hand Quilting Workshop

I recently did a demo on hand quilting for the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild.

Modified Dresden Hand Quilted Mini Quilt
I covered both perle cotton hand quilting – aka big stitch quilting – as well as traditional hand quilting – since really, there isn’t much difference in the technique, just the size of the thread, needles, and knots. 

Here is the hand out I made for the talk – it’s based on the longer class I have taught a few times. Of course, to really understand hand quilting, you need to see it done!

I want to make an illustrated version of the hand out above, but hopefully it can be helpful to others – at least it gives you the terms you’ll want to google to find videos that show the technique being done.

I love hand quilting – it is such a beautiful, therapeutic way to enhance your quilting. I also like it because so much of my sewing I’m squirrelled away up in my sewing room -this allows me to sew while still hanging out with family.

Woodlands Baby Quilt Car Seat Cover

Monogram Bunting Wedding Quilt

Bunting Flag QuiltBunting Flag Quilt

Do you know who made the first bunting quilt? I’d like to know! I feel like they just sort of popped up all over the internet at once about 5 years ago, but surely someone thought of the first one.

Well, that person wasn’t me, but I have made a fair few of them in my time and I’d love to give the original person the credit! They are just perfect for weddings and baby gifts! Here is the latest.

I also wanted to share a bit on my process of making bunting flag quilts – not so much a tutorial, more of some tips and tricks.

I actually layer, baste and quilt the whole thing BEFORE adding the flags. I use a sheet for larger quilts so I can get a solid background with no interrupting seams. So for this quilt, I was just basting two totally blank sheets together! It’s very odd looking, but I think it is faster than quilting around the flags once they are sewn down and creates a nicer effect. I use an all over meander, though a grid would also look really nice, and I have done that before. It is a real challenge to get the grid to be perfectly even with no squares to go by!

Then I cut out all the flags and iron the edges under – I don’t do raw edge applique with them.

Bunting Flag Quilt

I use a bias trim maker to make the ribbon – a half inch wide – and then lay out the ribbon, criss-crossing it across the quilt till I like the lay out. then I lay down my flags and pin them into place. I quilt along the ribbon top and bottom and then around the flags.

This quilt also had a monogram added – I do this last- and I do use raw edge applique, and you can see on the back where the letters are. I don’t love the look of the backwards letters on the back of the quilt but I think it’s so much nicer to have the letters quilted and outlined.

Bunting Flag Quilt

Finally, no quilt is ready till it’s lint rolled! It’s not glamorous, but it does make a quilt look so much nicer! And a last picture of the binding. I used the Whispers by Michael Miller line and it has these lovely just off shades of clay. They look great together on the binding. This line is just perfect for a wedding quilt that will translate well into day to day life around the house I think. Bunting Flag Quilt

And a last look at the binding – I used

Double-Sided Baby Quilt

Rainbow Alphabet Baby QuiltHigh Contrast Drunkards Path Baby Quilt
I finished this baby quilt shortly after the baby was born, but never got pictures of it. I used it as a play gym for her until recently, since she is now too grown up for play gyms! I wrote about the play gym process here – it was easy to pull off the arches and transition it into a play mat – perfect for sitting on the front porch and watching the cats.

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