I like to jump back and forth between making stash-busting quilts, and scrap-busting quilts. So after my last few quilts, it was time to get out my 2 1/2" scrap squares and play.
As I was laying these squares out on my design wall, one of my sons asked me if scrappy quilts took more or less time to make than a quilt made with fabric yardage. My answer: scrappy quilts like this take more time to lay out, but they sew up quicker than a quilt that requires assembling blocks. This one - like others similar to it - went quickly at first, as I pulled pre-cut scrap squares from my box...and then progress slows as I struggle to find enough low-volume scraps to cut in to more 2 1/2" squares. Then, once everything is on the wall, assembly flies by as I web-piece everything together in one fell swoop.
Sticking with the "use what I have" theme that I've had during this pandemic, I pieced another backing for this quilt (tho I had to buy a few new 1/2 yards to complete the back).
I quilted diagonal lines through every-other fabric square to create a nice texture, and bound it with an old favorite red and white print.
This weekend I am going camping and I am looking forward to bringing this quilt along for some in-camper snuggling.
This quilt uses 1,089 fabric squares that are all 2 1/2" x 2 1/2". I laid them out with 33 squares across and 33 squares down - resulting in a quilt that is roughly 66" x 66".
Thanks for stopping by and Happy 4th of July!
Back in 2016, I participated in a 30-day quilt design challenge. I had a blast doing it, and I produced several designs that I like - and have made. The hashtag was #30daysofquiltdesign if you want to see more of people's designs. The pictures/posts weren't fancy - most were just sketches on graph paper - but I believe it was a really good exercise. One day I shall do something similar again, but for now, I wanted to share my latest quilt (that came from that design challenge).
Sometimes when I draw up quilt designs, I just work with shapes on a page, and later I go back and figure out how I would actually construct the blocks and quilt. Other times I start the process by thinking of how I would manipulate or change simple block shapes to make a design. For this quilt, I just started playing with triangles laid out in lines, and when someone reached out to commission a baby quilt, I sat down and started to think about how I would actually make this quilt design become a quilt.
As you can see above, my design in EQ8 is a little different than my original sketch. Most obviously, my triangles are a whole lot closer together in the original design. Perhaps next time I work with half-hourglass blocks, I'll eliminate the horizontal sashing and see how I like that.
I went with Kona Cotton in Silver for the background of this quilt, and a Michael Miller blue pin-dot fabric for the backing. I went with more straight lines for the quilting and I did it myself on my Juki home machine.
When I was trying to figure out construction of this block, I googled "quarter-square triangle" and found this helpful tutorial from Bonjour Quilts (and math cheat sheet) to make what I now know are called "half-hourglass blocks."
This quilt is 44.5" x 44.4"
There are 49 blocks in the quilt (4" x 4" finished), along with horizontal and vertical sashing.
More pictures are posted on my Instagram account under #halfhourglassblocks.
If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I had fun using Play Craft's palette builder to choose colors, and then fabric, for this quilt. (You can also find those stories saved in my Instagram Highlights here.) You can see the fabric I originally pulled in the top photo in this post. You might notice tho, that some of those fabrics are missing from the next picture...and actually I also eventually removed the purple stripe (shown below) from the quilt top too.
In the end, I went with just green and yellow stripes, on a "haze" lt gray background (Kona Cotton). I loved making the polka dot blocks, and it renewed my design to make an all polka-dot quilt some day.
The purple fabric ended up on the binding and I love how it works with the other colors in the quilt. I had this guy quilted by my local long-arm quilter using a design from Urban Elementz called Flower Child.
The back of this quilt is mostly a peach (OOP) mouse print from Lizzy House, however I wasn't able to find all that I needed online, and I ended up having to piece a strip using the peach fabrics from the quilt's front.
In all, this quilt finishes at around 67 x 72. Scroll through for more photos, and thanks for stopping by!
In September 2018, I started my second large-scale English paper-pieced (EPP) quilt project. After a few stops and starts, I settled on this design: bright pops of primary colors surrounded by predominantly black and white low-volume fabrics. Check out #myrthsbluehexies to see pics of my first epp quilt, or read this blog post. It is worth noting that my first EPP quilt was gifted to my mother for a significant birthday, and ever since that I wanted a quilt like it for my own. So this EPP quilt followed a similar pattern and was finished with similar materials.
Similar to my first EPP quilt, I used 2 1/2" hexagon pieces from Paper Pieces. I am not a fussy (sewing) person, so to me the bigger the hexie, the better because bigger = less piecing overall. For fun, this time I pulled all of the papers out of the back of my quilt at the same time (soooo satisfying) and I had to snap the picture above.
Again - similar to my first EPP quilt, I wanted to back this quilt with a "lawn" fabric - and who makes the most fabulous lawn fabrics? Liberty of London! Yes it cost a small fortune, but this just might be my last hand-sewn quilt, and it was worth it to choose a fun multi-color print that is soft as butter to back this quilt. I went with their "Emma & Georgina" fabric and got it from DuckaDilly here in the US.
I used Hobbs Tuscany wool batting in this quilt - and again it delivered a lofty soft quilt. I quilted it on my home machine with wavy lines going through the center of each hexagon in quasi-lines. For me the wool batting is so puffy that it lends itself to the wavy lines more than straight lines.
I bound the quilt with an Allison Glass text print and I love how it's a slightly denser print than the other low-volume prints in the background of the quilt. It draws a visual line around the edge of the quilt that is noticeable, but not over-bearing.
This quilt has 333 hexagon pieces that make up the quilt top, and it finishes at 65.5" x 74".
Of those 333, 48 are primary colors, and 285 are low-volume background fabrics.
There are 33 whole "flower" blocks, and the rest are partial flower blocks, or just low-volume hexies filling in the edges. Thanks for reading along!
Below are a few more pictures for your visual enjoyment.
I find it hard to believe, but in my 19 years of quilting, I'd never made a log-cabin quilt. I did make a baby quilt with 1 "mega" log cabin block, and I've made individual small log-cabin blocks for swaps and bees - but those are different in my book. So this month, I decided to change that.
A few weeks ago, Rossie Hutchinson (@rossiecrafts) started an informal log-cabin sew-a-long and it sparked inspiration. Conveniently, recently I had begun saving "stings" when cutting quilts - and a friend (@robineggbluedesigns) offered to send me some of her scraps. The multi-colored print above is from her, and it was the jumping off point for this quilt: I loved the pops of color in the print, and the green in particular (the green dot shown above is also from her). So, during Zoom calls with friends & family, I began sewing together strips of assorted widths. It was the perfect mindless improv project to work on while chatting.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and I have a completed quilt!
I made 25 blocks and trimmed them to 12 1/2" square and ended up with a roughly 60" x 60" quilt. Every inch of this quilt top came from my scrap bins (or the scraps sent to me), and the back is 100% from my stash. The greens on the back don't perfectly match - but they all remind me of spring and they all were on hand.
I bound the quilt with two more fabrics that I had on hand, and quilted more 1"-spaced straight lines on my home machine.
After spending so much time & focus on my Inner Star Quilt patterns, and the three versions that I made of that quilt, this log cabin quilt was a breath of fresh air. I absolutely love this quilt, but my Mom expressed interest in it, so it'll be a late Mother's Day gift to her. I know she'll give it lots of love.
Thanks for following along with me on my sewing adventures, and scroll on to see some pics of my dog, Leo, and the quilt. He loves to jump in my quilt pics, so when he had a quiet moment I took my revenge and wrapped him in the quilt.
Pretty soon after I started my original blue version of my Inner Star pattern, I had the thought that I must make a scrappy one. I raided my stash and found 21 red and white prints and I paired those with more of the same low-volume fabrics from the blue quilt.
I used 9 of the red fabrics to make the blocks, and another 12 to make up the sashing. That made it easy to layout the quilt and not have a sashing piece next to the same fabric in the adjacent block.
I used strips left over from cutting the red 2 1/2" corner squares to make the quilt binding. A scrappy quilt needs a scrappy binding, right?
I pieced the backing for this quilt using large-scale black and white prints, and b/w prints that don't qualify as "low-volume" in my book; and quilted it on my home machine with straight lines that are about 1" apart.
Making a scrappy quilt always takes a little more time to cut and place fabrics, but in the end I think that the result makes it all worth it.
I've updated my Inner Star Quilt pattern to make a scrappy version, and you can find it here.
For more pictures of Inner Star Quilts, check out #innerstarquilt and as always, please tag me if you make one of my patterns @handmademyrth - I love seeing your work!
Inner Star Quilt #2!
This was actually the first Inner Star Quilt that I pieced, but I decided to have it quilted by a local long-arm quilter, and while it was being quilted, I pieced and finished the green version. The palette for my blue quilt was inspired by this picture that I saw on Instagram, though I used Windham Fabrics Artisan Cotton fabric in Denim and I believe that the fabric in the inspiration photo was a linen. I went with the Artisan Cotton fabric because I liked how it had more texture and dimension than a traditional dyed quilting cotton. The Artisan Cottons are woven fabrics and actually look different colors depending on the directions of the warp and weft of the fabric. Can you see it in the picture below?
As you can see in the photo above, I went with a figure-eight quilting pattern. There are many versions of this pattern available, but I believe that this one is called "Modern Twist" and is from Urban Elementz. I had the quilter quilt the "twists" at 6".
I backed the quilt in a fabric from Ikea that has been sitting in my stash for 10 years. 10 years! It felt good to finally use it.
I bound the quilt in a red and white print from Art Gallery. I was going for a very subtle patriotic summery vibe for this quilt and this print is just what I was looking for.
This quilt is a free pattern that went out to my newsletter subscribers, and which I plan to share with my readers at the end of this blog post. So read on!
For 2020, I decided to make only my own original patterns for a change - no patterns by anyone else (with 1 exception for a WIP...stay tuned). I paged through my sketch book, found a block that looked intriguing and then moved to EQ8 where the block evolved a bit in to what you see above. I do love floating-sawtooth star blocks! Encouragement from a friend gave me the push I needed to actually make the quilt.
This is actually the second Inner Star Quilt that I've made (I'm waiting for the first one to get back from the quilter), and it was made to double-check the pattern's cutting instructions. Since I hadn't originally planned to make this quilt, I didn't want to order more fabric (or wait for new fabric to arrive). I dug through my stash, and this Kona Cotton Forest green fabric was all I had that was big enough. It's not my favorite color, but it's what I had on hand, so I went with it. Note on forest green: I live in the mountain of CO where there are way too many homes from the 90's and early 00's that still have predominant color schemes of forest green, brown, and red. Too many moose and bear images on light switches and throw pillows, and too many chandeliers made from deer antlers for my taste. I know that lots of people love that stuff - and that's great for them - I just don't personally care for it. So that style has ruined forest green for me...but maybe this quilt will help fix that.
For the star and half-square-triangle blocks in this quilt, I used off-white and black low-volume prints that I had in my stash. I used similar prints (maybe more medium-volume) and pieced a backing for the quilt - again trying to use what I had on hand rather than buying new fabric.
I quilted straight lines using my walking foot and bound the quilt with more Kona Cotton in Eggplant that I also had in my stash.
This quilt finishes at 64" square and the pattern can be found here. For lots more pictures of my Inner Star quilts and more, check out #innerstarquilt.
Thanks for reading along and please tag me if you make an Inner Star quilt!
PS - if you need Kona Cottons, Stash Fabrics carries every color!
I was asked to make a quilt for a new baby girl and quickly settled on this floating saw-tooth star design using pink and low-volume fabrics from my stash. You can see the block specifics here on my Instagram account.
I used 16 different pink fabrics for the background, and 8 pink low-volume fabrics for the stars ( so I used each fabric for 2 stars). Once I had cut all my fabric squares, I took the time to lay the color combinations out on my design wall to try to achieve an even spread of color (and make sure the star fabrics didn't have duplicates next to each other).
I chose to quilt this one diagonally through the corners of each square of fabric - forming a lattice of quilting and delicious texture.
I chose a binding fabric that is a little darker and deeper than the other pink fabrics in the quilt, and I backed the quilt in a Dear Stella turquoise cat fabric.
This quilt has sixteen blocks that each finish at 12" square. The quilt itself is 48" square. I've always liked baby quilts that are a little bigger; that way there's more room for playing on the floor when I use them for play mats.
Thanks for stopping by!
My next quilt was one that came together with very little forethought or planning. Something moved me to start playing with my 2 1/2" Christmas fabric squares as I was finishing up my latest Mega-block Patchwork Wreath quilt this year. (The wreath is a free pattern I designed that is available here.) You can see the start of my latest scrappy quilt on the wall behind me in the above picture.
This idea originally started with the above sketch that I did in 2016. As I started to lay squares out on my design wall, I didn't like all the negative space - I was going for something a little denser with this design. So I took the center out-lined cross block and started to work with that (the 9 center squares). I love what I came up with! Using low-volume fabrics as the outer ring on alternating blocks was a design decision based on the fact that I didn't have enough low-volume fabric for the entire background.
This quilt is also distantly related to my red and white quilt - both of these quilts have the "on point" granny square blocks (confusing because normally it's the granny square blocks that are on point). However, this one is made entirely of squares (no rectangles), so you can totally web-piece it. I'm calling this one "Granny's Christmas Quilt and it is available as a free pattern if you subscribe to my newsletter.
This quilt is again backed with pistachio Minky and quilted with the "Midnight Sparkle" pantograph from Urban Elementz (like the last 3 or 4 quilts that I've had quilted). I'll add - YES - those sparkles or stars are part of the quilting design. I did not add those myself. (I've gotten that question a few times already!)
The fabric that I used to bind the quilt is a pink and white bias candy stripe from Bonnie & Camille. Try finding it here.
Quick Quilt Stats:
This design is a free scrappy pattern for those who subscribe to my newsletter. My version is made mostly of scraps, though I did have to cut some white-on-white squares from stash to make the background. This guy finishes 62" by 74" and makes a nice throw size. I do still use Warm & White batting when I back a quilt with Minky. That combination makes for a nice thick fuzzy warm winter quilt.
Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you have any questions.
Happy Holidays to Everyone!