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!