Friday, September 25, 2020

That's One Big Block / Beauties Pageant 99

I went on a Christmas-fabric buying bender at the end of 2018 and am still working my way through the resulting yardage. Those purchases included the pile of half-yards pictured above, from Kate and Birdie’s Return to Winter’s Lane collection. I adore Christmas palettes that include not-so-Christmassy colors like that pale blue.

I’ve cut up those lovelies to create Camille Roskelley’s Norway quilt pattern. This pattern is right up my alley—chunky and graphic with big blocks that measure in at 26 inches square ...

All that lone block needs is eight friends to create a generously sized throw quilt. How generously sized? Well, the resulting quilt top will be so large that I am having problems finding a good spot to lay out the blocks, let alone take a picture of the group! More specifically, the finished quilt will be 78 inches square; the basted quilt sandwich will be more like 86 inches square. 

My initial plan was to quilt this project myself, with an all-over crosshatch, on my machine at home. I could quilt from the center outward to minimize the amount of fabric and batting I pass under the needle (I’m not opposed to burying the threads that approach will necessitate). But please, someone, talk me out of it! Surely, this project is better left to a longarmer.

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Friday, September 18, 2020

Stepping Stones Flimsy / Beauties Pageant 98

I mentioned a few months ago that I had started busting through my Denyse Schmidt stash. Making throw- and baby-size Ship’s Ladder quilts (which you can see here and here) was a great first step. Today I am unveiling my third DS project, in flimsy form, for the year ...

This is Stepping Stones, a pattern by Blair Stocker of Wise Craft Handmade. It uses fabrics from Denyse Schmidt’s chain-store collections as well as those she designed for independent quilt shops. If you’re a DS nerd as I am (respect!), you’ll recognize prints from Shelburne Falls, Chicopee, Ansonia, New Bedford, and Eastham.

I am piecing the backing for this beauty now and look forward to straight-line quilting it. I think I can get away without marking any quilting lines. This thought makes me ridiculously happy.

Mixing high-quality fabric with lesser-quality fabric makes me nervous. The colors in the quilt top are beautiful right now. I wonder whether that will be the case after several washings. 

The floral in the picture below is from Joann, and it’s one of my all-time favorite DS prints. Up until now, I’ve used it only in projects that won’t be laundered, like this Cargo Duffle Bag.

My hesitation in using fabrics from the big craft stores originates with my first-ever quilt. I gifted it to a friend who put it to use as a picnic blanket for her young family. It was used hard and washed often, and when I saw the quilt almost four years after making it, the fabrics were a shadow of what they once were. I wrote about the experience back in 2017. Now the care instructions I include with gifted quilts urge owners to wash only when necessary.

What are your thoughts on using fabric from big craft stores in your quilts?

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Friday, September 11, 2020

More Striped Hearts / Beauties Pageant 97

I have been working on my next pattern. It’s a quilt that I designed for, and was shown at, QuiltCon 2020 called Love Boldly ...

I suspect you understand the origin of that title: Those oversize hearts—each finishes at about 16 inches by 17 inches—in that striking palette of solids demand the viewer’s attention! 

For this second version, however, I’m sewing with prints by Amy Sinibaldi ...

The original Love Boldly was sewn with a consistent placement of dark and light values. With this second project, it’s been fun to experiment with value in each block’s primary and secondary heart shapes and see how the different combinations play together. I’ve already rendered a picture of the six blocks I’ve sewn so far into a black and white palette, to help me fine-tune the arrangement.


I’m pretty psyched about how this pattern has evolved. I’ve cut down the number of pieces in each block since the first version (score!) and just realized I can minimize the amount of waste. I think the end product will be something to be proud of. : )

OK, friends, what have you been working on?

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Friday, September 4, 2020

A New Finish and Giveaway / Beauties Pageant 96

I start every year with the same goal: finishing 12 quilts over the next 12 months. Now here we are at the beginning of September, a full 8 months into 2020, and I’ve already completed 11. (Apparently, productivity at my sewing machine is the bizarre silver lining to a global health crisis!) Here is number 11, the latest version of my Ridiculously Easy Jelly Roll quilt pattern ...

I used a jelly roll of Basic Grey’s Gypsy Soul for this project, because I was immediately smitten by its red, green, and blue palette. It’s bright and happy, which was just what I needed back in June when I started the project.


I quilted this lap-size throw in a simple chevron, allowing the swaths of white to go largely untouched, as you can see in the photo above. 
 
I think the back is as lovely as the front. Here I built a palette around two Basic Grey fabrics from the PB&J line—an old collection that is still one of my favorites. With all those gray-toned blues and greens, the back has the same feel as the chevrons on the top while standing on its own.
 
 
If you want to make your own Ridiculously Easy Jelly Roll Quilt, the pattern is free. Click the link below to download it for yourself or to read related posts:

 
Before I segue to this week’s Beauties Pageant, I wanted to give you the heads-up that Quilt Pattern Mart, where I am selling my Warm and Cool Coin Quilt pattern, is hosting a giveaway loop on Instagram. To participate, you start at one of the IG feeds in the loop (like mine!) and follow the instructions until you get through all the participants. The winner receives 20 PDF patterns and a mountain of Carolyn Friedlander fabric. : )

The giveaway is over! The giveaway starts today, September 4, at noon central time (GMT-5) and finishes on Monday, September 7, at 11:59 p.m. central time. The giveaway is open internationally.
 

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The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
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  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.

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