2013: The Quilts

Most of the first post about 2013 showed special projects.  Here are the quilts.

This quilt, made from a Batavian Batiks pattern, hangs in my husband's office

This quilt, made from a Batavian Batiks pattern, hangs in my husband’s office

quilt, donation quilt, bright quilt, blended border

And here is a donation quilt made from extra blocks. I used it to try out blended borders.

Here are two more donation quilts, made for Ronald McDonald House in 2013:

Happy Plaids is my own design, but there are MANY similar quilts out there

Happy Plaids is my own design, but there are MANY similar quilts out there

Twinkle, a pattern by Swirly Girl Designs, was made because I had some fabulous leftover fabric

Twinkle, a pattern by Swirly Girl Designs, was made because I had some fabulous leftover fabric

The first post about 2013 projects included a table runner made from leftovers after I finished this next quilt:

improvisational quilt

This quilt, pieced improvisationally from bright batiks and black, is one of my all-time favorites.  

This quilt was for a special baby; and yes, that’s me with my beautiful daughter 🙂

baby quilt

Quilt for a special baby!

I found a pattern for this little miniature while on a trip, and just couldn’t resist making it–all from scraps, of course.

miniature quilt

Miniature quilt–I’m sorry I don’t recall the name of the designer.

Here’s an improvisationally designed T shirt quilt I made for a friend:

Improvised T shirt quilt

Modern T Shirt Quilt, using my favorite method of designing as I go

And finally, the last Ronald McDonald quilt for 2013, made from blocks that were just too wild without solid sashing!

Ronald 1 2013That’s what I could find for 2013!  More years later.

My Modern Sampler: Using Linen in Quilts

After finishing the blocks for my modern sampler, I ordered several shades of Essex linen/cotton blend to consider for the background. I know I said I’d never use linen again after the last struggle, but I’ve learned several things since. So, if you’re thinking of using linen in your quilts for its nice texture, read my tips at the end of this post.

Here I’m trying various layouts on two different potential background fabrics.  I hung the ironed fabric and pinned the blocks to it, trying out various layouts and different colors of background fabric.

essex linen

Here is the Pewter background

modern sampler

Here is the Natural background, with a different attempt at layout

I decided I liked the natural background better than they gray.  Then I took it all down and made a rectangle on my design “wall”, outlining the approximate finished size with blue painter’s tape.

modern sampler

Here is the layout I decided to use, with some of the sashing in place

And here are my thoughts on using linen in quilts:
–The linen I used the first time was “real”, 100% linen. Remember that from your childhood, when summer clothes were supposed to be linen? Think wrinkles! And avoid 100% linen for your quilts
–The “linen” of the Essex brand actually is a linen/cotton blend, so it has a nice texture but is less wrinkle-prone and tighter woven than the linen I used previously.
–Pre-wash the linen blend, even if you don’t pre-wash anything else. Wash in warm water and dry on warm so it will get its shrinking done and be more dense and stable.
–Before you pre-wash, serge or zig-zag the raw edges together to prevent fraying! This worked great and “wasted” only about 1/4″ on each raw edge, much less than would have frayed. And there was no mess of threads in the washing machine.

How have you done with using fabrics other than quilting cotton in quilts?

 

Crunchy Numbers

The WordPress people send me two statistical reports a year regarding my blog, and of course I can look at statistics on my administrative page at any time. I don’t stress it or check very often, so I was quite surprised when the recent report from WordPress said people from 61 different countries viewed my blog in 2015!

This picture of Iceland is from NordicFoodFestival.org

This picture of Iceland is from NordicFoodFestival.org

Most of the countries were predictable: the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. But there were views from every continent except Antarctica! The place I got the biggest kick out of was Iceland 🙂

This improvised log cabin block, which was made into a pillow, appears to have been the most viewed picture on the site.

improvised log cabin block

improvised log cabin block

Jo Glover, big stitch quilting

Jo Glover

And my most popular post was about Jo Glover, who first developed Big Stitch quilting but doesn’t always get enough credit now that everybody does it. You can find that post HERE if you missed it.

Another popular topic was my ongoing modern sampler quilt, and there’ll be much more about that coming up soon.  A few of those blocks are shown below.

The stats show my readership growing steadily over the 2-1/2 years I’ve been blogging. The growth is slow, but I’m blogging for fun (and I’ve kept my day job!) so that’s just fine. I’ve made some new friends, which is even better.

As always, I’m amazed by the power of the internet. I’ll skip the chance to philosophize about that and just wish anyone who reads this a very happy 2016!

Final Finishes!

I got these two quilts back from the quilter last week, so I put the binding on and have my final 2 finishes for the year!

modern quilt

This binding was made from the remaining black and white chevron fabric

I finally finished the eternal paper piecing for this quilt and I’m having fun arranging the blocks.

modern quilt

The pattern is Lombard Street, by Sassafras Lane Designs

Here are a few of the other projects I’ve done this year.  You can click on any of them for more detail.

And finally, here are a couple of things I had published in Modern Quilts Unlimited:

Can’t wait to start next year’s projects!  Woo!

Artsy Table Runner

YP1I’ve been looking at lots of beautiful pictures of art quilts. Also, the monthly challenge for the Modern Quilt Guild of Franklin (NC) was to make something including prairie points.

For years I’ve had Susan K. Cleveland’s Prairie Pointer, intending to make something with prairie points “any day now”. (Raise your hand if you DON’T know how THAT goes!)Susan KThe stars finally aligned, and here is my first crack at a table runner combining all of the above.

As expected, Susan’s Prairie Pointer tool worked beautifully. I’m a big fan of her techniques, and teach some of them in my classes.  The starting squares for the prairie points ranged from 1-1/2″ to 2-1/2″ in size, so they were all pretty small.

Prairie Points

Prairie Points

I like this runner pretty well, but I just KNOW I could do better! So here goes with another idea I’ve meant to try for some time: working in a series. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Narrow Accents!

Modern Quilts Unlimited just published my article on how to add narrow accents to your projects.  It’s a very easy method for sewing crisp, even accent strips from 1/8″ to 3/4″ wide.

Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine

Notice the Narrow Accents article featured on the cover, along with the beautiful quilt by Bev Getschel

There are so many uses for narrow accents!  Here are a few of mine:

narrow accents, Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine

This is a corner of the piece I made to illustrate the MQU article

These blocks from my modern sampler all include narrow strips:

The samples I made for my improvised table runner class all include narrow strips, as well.  Here is one of them:

modern table runner

Here is one of the samples for my improvised table runner class

modern quilt design

Here’s a Mondrian-style block I made several years ago with narrow inserts

There are options too numerous to mention!  Go get the magazine and make some accent strips, then please send me pictures of your creations.

Blocks 11 and 12, Modern Sampler

Probably  have enough blocks now for my usual size “cuddle quilt”, about 55″ X 70″. I have enough ideas and fabric for at least 2 more quilts, so the project may continue anyway.

improvised quilt block

Doodle block inspired by Sherri Lynn Wood

Block 11 was inspired by Sherri Lynn Wood’s “Doodle” quilt.  I had a couple of scraps and decided to just cut them and see what happened, and this is it.  The block is only about 6″ wide. I quit without adding anything else in an attempt not to “overdo” and make it too complex.

The next block is certainly improvised, having turned out rather different from my original idea.  It started with equal amounts of these fabrics. modern fabrics I thought I would stack them, cut arcs, and shuffle–Karla Alexander’s quilts are among my favorite inspirations.  It all started out as planned…

stack, cut, shuffle block

Arcs cut, colors shuffled

But, as sometimes happens, I felt the need to change it as I went along.  The final quarter actually was made using templates (gasp!) because I had a particular look in mind. stack, cut, shuffle block Now I surely have enough blocks for my sampler.  The question is how to arrange them.  I’ll be looking for your input in a week or so!

My Modern Sampler, Blocks 9 and 10

Channeling Gwen Marston, I made a couple of “liberated” quilt blocks for the sampler.  This means they were cut without a ruler and the pieces are deliberately “wonky”.

modern sampler, modern quilt block

Liberated Hole in the Barn Door blocks finish about 5″ square

Some current authors are making a big deal of cutting without a ruler, but Gwen Marston has been doing it for years.

I DID use a ruler to make the original background square.  Here are the steps:

modern quilt block

I cut the big square using a ruler, the subdivided it into a 9-patch freehand

modern sampler quilt

Corners done, time for the sides

modern sampler

Sides done using method similar to the corners: pin, check, then sew and trim

modern sampler

Ready to be sewn together!

For Block 10, I cut my scraps into strips.and lined them up.

modern quilt block

Scraps cut into strips and pieced with black and white background

The widths of the colored strips and the white strips between them are semi-random. The sashing between the columns finishes 2″, and the block finishes 12″ square.

A few more blocks and then I’ll have to decide how to set them!  Here are the previous posts about My Modern Sampler:

Block 8

Painter’s Tape Block

Humbug Star

Improv Block I

Pretty Blocks

My Own Modern Sampler–It May Take a Year!

My Modern Sampler, Block 8

Here’s a picture of the blocks made to date for my modern sampler. Links to the posts about each one are at the bottom of this post.  Some are designed by me, some not.

modern sampler

These are the sampler blocks I’ve made so far

It’s time to look at all the blocks together and think about what this quilt needs next.

  • So far I’ve made 7 blocks; it needs 7 or 8 more.
  • The blocks will fit together in multiples of 3″, with some solid strips to fill in spaces. The blocks are generally “busy”, so I think those solid strips will be important.
  • There are a variety of colors and a lot of white and bright.  I like the bright, but I want some more black backgrounds.
  • All of the blocks except one have some text fabric.  I need to either save the one block with no text for another purpose or make 2 more without text.  I can use some text fabric as background strips.
  • That orange and turquoise block with all the random trapezoids doesn’t fit with the others, so I either need to make more like it or modify it in some way.  I may cut it up and re-make it altogether.  Suggestions?

Meanwhile, here’s one new block to add to the sampler.

modern scrap block

The Modern Scrap Block will finish 12 inches square

And here are the steps for making it.  I just sewed together my scraps and then framed them with triangles.

modern scrap quilt

I made sets of strips left from other blocks.

These strips varied in width, and some were uneven widths.

modern scrappy block

Strips of tiny blocks cut from the strip sets.

I joined the strips of little blocks (which varied in width from 1 inch to 1-1/2 inches) and then added black triangles.  The center “square” is NOT square–it is improvised without much measuring!

There, now I have another one with a black background! Here are the links to the other quilt blocks in my sampler:

Painter’s Tape Block

Humbug Star

Improv Block I

Pretty Blocks

My Own Modern Sampler–It May Take a Year!

Retreat!

There was a BIG finish at our last retreat:

traditional quilt

Quilt of 3392 Pieces!!!

Here is Jerri’s quilt of 3392 pieces, made from a pattern in one of Bonnie Hunter’s books. Jerri made this for a Little Sisters of the Poor fundraiser, and it certainly should raise a lot of funds!  It is beautiful.  And she had the sense not to count the number of pieces until she was FINISHED with the project!  Even so, it took almost a year to complete.  I am VERY impressed that there is not even ONE block is turned wrong!.

This is a HUGE quilt!

This is a HUGE quilt!

And here is the latest stack of donation quilts from our group.Donation quilts

So far everyone is keeping up with the commitment to make a donation quilt each month, and one over-achiever is several months ahead of the rest of us!!!  As you probably can see in the photo, another over-achiever quilts hers by hand!  I am always amazed by my very accomplished friends!

modern quilt

As soon as Jerri finished the BIG quilt, she started this beauty!

Our latest block swab is monochromatic slabs.  Each of us chose a color we wanted, and as soon as we swapped one group member turned her blocks into a donation quilt.  Talk about quick work!

slabs

Donation quilt from green slabs

When I got the slabs, I immediately started cutting them up and adding accent strips of blue.  So far I really like the result.  More on this later.

Slabs, accent strips

Slabs with accent strips.

So, what’s new with you?