November 29, 2015

(Bigger) Tiny Tile Quilt for a wedding gift (a commissioned project!)

A few months ago, one of my friends approached me about making a queen-sized quilt to give as a wedding gift for one of her best friends. I jumped at the chance! She wanted to be able to give the gift in person at the out-of-state wedding, so that left me just a few short weeks to plan, get fabric, sew the top and back, and get the completed top/back to my long-arm quilting lady. I was up for the challenge...

My friend wanted to have a heavy hand in the design and fabric choice, which I was A-OK with. She has great taste and also wanted to consider the recipients. She took to pinterest to see if anything struck her fancy (also bearing in mind that I was on a bit of a time crunch) and found the Tiny Tile Quilt from Purl Bee. The (FREE!) pattern calls for 120 Large Squares, which measure 5 ½ x 5 ½ inches, and 480 Small Squares, which measure 2 x 2 inches, for a finished quilt that measures 50 inches x 60 inches. As this needed to be a queen sized quilt, I did a bit of math to account for the bigger size. I scaled up the blocks so that I'd end up with 90 Large Squares (which measure 10 ½ x 10 ½ inches) and 360 Small Squares (which measure 3 ½ x 3 ½ inches) for a finished quilt that measures approx 90 inches x 100 inches. Phew!
Now that we had a pattern figured out, we headed over to Anna Maria Horner's wonderful shop Craft South to pick out the fabric. My friend wanted to choose a single fabric for the backing and then match the solid colors accordingly. She settled on the Stampede print from Sarah Watts' first Cotton + Steel Collection, August.

From there we picked out some Free Sprit Solids that matched the paint splotch colors of the backing fabric.
The original pattern uses 6 different colors for the tile corners (and each color is not represented equally). I wanted this quilt to have the same visual effect, so I went so far as to figure out the representation percentage (I'm a little nuts).  I used Kona Snow for the background fabric.
Color 1: 25% (Light Aqua)
Color 2: 25%  (Aqua)
Color 3: 18.75% (Grey)
Color 4: 18.88% (Turquoise)
Color 5: 8.3% (Yellow)
Color 6: 4.5% (Coral)

blocks laid out, ready to be sewn into rows
The top went together relatively quickly. I was able to devote an entire weekend to sewing and pretty much got the whole thing knocked out that weekend. I sewed (3) 3-yard-pieces of fabric to piece the backing and had plenty of fabric leftover.
quilting close-up
Part of what makes this quilt so stunning is the diagonal quilting lines, which create a neat diamond pattern. This quilt was far too large to quilt on my home machine, so I brought it to my gal and told her to replicate the diagonal lines as best she could on her long arm.
I used grey for the biding. IT TURNED OUT SO GOOD! It was done in time for my friend to take to the wedding, and from what I hear, the couple was really touched by their gift.
Working on this commissioned quilt really lit the fire to finally make it (quietly) known that I am available and eager to work on some more commissioned projects. So, if you're interested, be sure to check out the "custom baby quilts" tab on the home page. I'm also willing to consider quilts of larger size (i.e. queen and king), but please have realistic expectations about the price (materials, my labor, outsourced quilting).  Please email me with any questions.

November 1, 2015

Solid half square triangle wedding quilt + heart squares

This was a fun one to make. It was a wedding gift for an old high school pal and his sweet baker-of-a-wife. I went super simple design-wise with some big, solid half square triangles. I might've had some notes about the size of the blocks, the colors i used, etc. but I can't seem to find them (or maybe they never existed to begin with?) Regardless, I managed to take lots of photos of this one, thanks to favorable summer sunlight conditions (this one was made back in May/June). Side note: As I write this, it's a cool November evening, and the sun set at 4:50pm for crying out loud. Bring back the warm summer sunshine and 8:00pm sunsets!
Ah, the eternal struggle of half-square triangles: so many different layout options! 

For the first time ever, I "tied off" a quilt, using navy-colored perl cotton. It was so fun! I definitely want to do it again sometime. I also quilted on the outsides of the diagonals.
Ok, I am smitten with the back of this quilt. My friends got engaged in Paris, and I remembered I had a fat quarter of a Paris map fabric, so I thought it might be neat to incorporate that somehow. I used this tutorial for a heart block. Then I thought about how the two of them had eloped in San Francisco, and I just HAD to make another heart with San Francisco-themed fabric. I ordered a cute print on Spoonflower (my first time purchasing something from them). For a second, I thought about making a Tennessee/Nashville heart too (hometown, represent!), but I couldn't find a decent fabric (and I didn't want to overdo the sentimentality). I love how it turned out.
here's another close up of the quilting and center tie
binding close up
throw-sized quilt, good for picnicking or couch-snuggling
Paris heart. Oui oui!
San Francisco heart
two hearts
Congrats, Brandon and Lauren! 

October 5, 2015

modern half square triangle baby boy quilt

I made this one in early number two (a boy) for some buddies (baby numero uno was the recipient of one of my favorites, the turquoise and peach circles quilt). The mama is drawn to a modern, clean aesthetic, so I went all solid for the fabric choice.

I'd pinned a few solid half-square triangle quilts (and looked to my quilting buddy Lana who was on a HST kick) as inspiration and went to work. I pulled all the colors (and remnants) from my stash - as you can see, shades of aqua, blue, and grey - and regular kona white for the rest.

I started out with 4 1/2" squares to make the HST's and trimmed each piece down to 4". Realizing how many blocks I'd have to make to fill up a quilt, I used some solid squares. I completely randomized the placement - I like all the different shapes that pop out! 11 blocks across and 13 blocks down, it finished out at approx. 38.5" x 45.5".
in progress
quilt top complete!
here's the back
For the back, I used a single piece of fabric from carolyn friedlander's doe collection. I quilted along one of the diagonals, which meant some ditch-stitching. and used white for the binding.

Welcome, baby Julian! 

September 25, 2015

pastel log cabin baby girl quilt

Catching up on all things quilty - I realized that I haven't kept up with my most recent quilt finishes. This one dates back to January 2015...

I made this one for a sweet lady and her sweet husband and their soon-to-be-born sweet baby girl, Calla. I don't think I've made something so overtly pastel and cute and girly, but that's the direction I went for this one. Which is strange, because this sweet lady isn't what I'd call a pastel sort of gal (*not that there's anything wrong with that. I know very few "pastel gals").  She's rock n roll and can play drums like a boss and wears a leather jacket. But for some reason, these fabrics were calling to me. 
I had the art gallery border print (as seen in the center square) for awhile (it's from the 'littlest' collection, which is ADORABLE).  I used this super simple martha stewart pattern . I mainly just read the following statement and ignored everything else: (To make a 40-inch square quilt, start with a 10 1/2-inch center square and add 5 1/2-inch-wide strips.) 
Here's the back! Here you can really see the straight diagonal quilting lines. 
I had the pleasure of giving the couple the quilt at the baby shower...and sweet little Calla was born a few weeks later. Congrats to the family!! 

*sorry for the dark and dreary indoor photos. Winter - hmph!!

scattered quilt for elliott

Everyone in my immediate family has gotten a quilt as a christmas gift, except my one and only nephew, Elliott. I'd been wanting to make him a quilt for many years, but realizing he was soon to be hitting that "not a kid any more" transition (he was 10 at christmas; turned 11 the following month), i held off. I didn't want to make something with cutesy, cartoony fabric only to have him outgrow cutesy, cartoony things the very next minute. He's very much into football, but making him a football-centric quilt wasn't something I wanted to do, either (selfish aunt? I'm not so into the football...). So I waited til I found just the right thing. 

I had the moon phases fabric from lizzy house's (old) constellation collection in mind because this kid's middle name is Moon (really!) Then I had to find a cool pattern. I got "Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe" at the library and Cluck Cluck Sew's "Scattered" pattern really jumped out at me. I picked out some accompanying fabrics (some more Lizzy House, some of Rob Bancroft's Micro Mod collection, some lotta jansdotter, and that pop of yellow) and got to work. *I think the pop of yellow really makes the quilt and I'm glad I threw a few of those in there! 
I made this quilt a little smaller than called for (the pattern finishes out at approx 60 x 72, with 10 blocks across and 12 blocks down). This is 9 blocks across and 11 blocks down (I had to make sure it was small enough for me to quilt at home. I did straight, horizontal lines. Not sure of the final measurement, but i believe it was approx 54 X 66). 
horizontal quilting + the quilt back 
Here's me and Elliott on christmas morning. I didn't know how he'd react, but I really think he liked it! He even remarked that sewing all those pieces together must really take a long time. It did...but for this kid, i'd do anything. I'd make him quilts to the moon and back.

*sorry for the dark, dreary indoor photos. hard to get outdoor pictures in the throes of wintertime. but at least you get to see my silver christmas tree?*

mod sampler queen size wedding quilt for D and T

This quilt! I don't even know where to begin. Yes I do: Spring of 2012. But I almost need to go back even further, to 1988, because that's how long I've known the other people in this quilt story...
So, old friend #1 (D) met a fine fellow, fell in love and got married (in Hawaii!). Old friend #2 (Liz) and I decided to make a quilt as a wedding present for them.  The wedding and a local reception were to be held later that year, so we got together and plans were hatched; we felt no sense of urgency to complete it and decided it would be a nearly stress-free process if we didn't burden ourselves with deadlines. 

I bookmarked Oh Fransson's Mod Sampler quilt pattern as a possible contender for this quilt. Her book The Practical Guide to Patchwork is so insightful & informative, and this (free!) quilt pattern from her blog was no different. This pattern calls for 6 print fabrics and 6 solid fabrics, so we went to Textile Fabrics during one of their 50% off sales and picked out the prints. Shopping for fabric with a co-conspirator was so much fun (Liz noticed fabrics I typically would've breezed over, and it helped me step out of my comfort zone). A few prints jumped out at us (ultimately because they reminded us of D) and it was neat finding others to match. Back at home, I got out my nifty Kona Cotton card and found 6 coordinating solids. It was slightly challenging, as our prints contain browns and purples which typically don't "go" together. In the end, we got: Ash, Mahogany, Salmon, Yarrow, Coral and Hibiscus.

Since the pattern is written for a 52x62 throw size quilt, I transposed it so it would be a queen, and ended up with these notes: 

And here's where everything kinda turns to mush. When we bought our fabric, we each purchased one yard of each of the prints (so...12 yards of prints if you're doing the math). (Side note: at the Textile 50% off sale, you're required to get 1 yard to get the discount, so I figured it was probably "worth it" and easier for us to each get a whole yard). I followed that same (il)logic when buying the solids. 2 yards of each, so...12 yards of solids. 24 yards of fabric for a queen quilt. Any fellow quilters reading this will know how absurd this is. Not to mention: I also ordered additional fabric for the back and binding. That's the point alarm bells should've gone off, but it took about a year and half for that to happen. 

Here's what I THINK happened. My plan was for Liz and I to each make 40 blocks. So...80 blocks total. When we bought the fabric, I think my yardage estimates must've accounted for us each making 80 blocks...

Anyway. So it's Summer 2012 at this point. I thought it would be best to pre-wash all the fabrics because of the deep purples (I had trouble with purple bleeding with this quilt). If I recall, I got right to work on washing, pressing and cutting. I sewed 40 blocks, then stored them in a box. Fall of 2012 is when we put our house on the market. We sold it that winter and moved to our new place in March 2013. Sometime that spring, I got all this stuff out again - saw the "80 blocks" note, counted that I only had 40, so I made 40 more blocks. I had the fabric already cut? (Guess I had cut enough for 80 blocks the first go round). Liz and I continued to talk on occasion about the quilt. She was going through a major career change during this time and was going to move out of state in the summer. So we got together to cut the fabric for her blocks prior to her moving. We spent the day cutting out fabric for 80 more blocks. 

After Liz left that day, I counted all the blocks I had made and realized THAT I HAD MADE ALL THE BLOCKS FOR THE WHOLE QUEEN SIZE QUILT. How and why it took me this long to figure it out is beyond comprehension.  I have no excuses. The time lapses between working on it - irrelevant. My brain just wasn't working. I wrote Liz an email apologizing profusely for my error. I wish I had realized this PRIOR to cutting into her 12 YARDS of uncut fabric, but such luck. 

Before Liz moved, she came over and we worked on the layout of the blocks. Her help was immeasurable as we moved and manuevered 80 blocks around my hardwood floor. We had to make sure all the blocks were facing the right way & that they were in a specific order...and that same patterns weren't next to each other and whatnot. 

When it was all settled, I sewed all the rows and sashing strips (kona snow) together. Quilt top=Complete! 

In an effort to maintain Maximum Equal Collaboration Efforts (a.k.a. M.E.C.E {official term, coined by middle children of the world}), we were able to come to a fair agreement - Liz would take care of the quilting. We contacted Nanette at All Sewn Together and used the same quilting design from my king size lotta jansdotter quilt.  

While Liz and I hoped there'd be some way for us to give D & T the quilt in person, the fact that we all lived in 3 different states made this near impossible. D & T had made a move too, from Seattle to Houston - so - Texas, Tennessee and Florida. I saw Liz around Thanksgiving and was able to show her the finished quilt (and take some pictures at her parents' amazing house). 
In a remarkable case of poor timing, D & T came to Nashville the following week, missing the opportunity for all of us to be in the same state at the same time by a matter of days. But Liz agreed that I should just go ahead and give it to them, and I was delighted to present them their 2+ years-late wedding gift from me and Liz. 

January 2, 2015

low volume plus baby quilt

Pinterest had me drooling over low volume quilts recently, so I finally gave one a go. A co-worker was due to have a baby boy in December, so that settled it! 
I followed this for cutting dimensions. I thought I'd have enough low-volume scraps to use, but it was hard finding enough 5x5 squares to fit the bill, and I had to cut into some fat quarters and bigger fabric pieces. It was fun revisiting some of the cute animal prints that have showed up in past baby quilts. 
obligatory floor layout shot
For the plusses, I had a fat quarter bundle set of all the 2013 new Robert Kauffman Kona colors, so as you can see, I pulled out shades of blue and turquoise. I added a Kona Snow border to bump up the size a bit (so it's about 40" square).

For the quilting, I did lines around each 12" block, then stitched-in-the-ditch around each plus sign (you can really tell on the back). And good ole Lotta for the binding. For the back, I was able to use  this nice Anna Maria Horner light blue print (I picked up a pretty sizable remnant at Textile, so no need for piecing the backing). 
Here's me and the mom-to-be at the office baby shower (complete with giant computer monitor in the background): 

Welcome, baby Ethan!!!