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!
In August 2018, I ordered this fun (above), colorful bundle of Kona fabrics from Stash Fabrics in preparation for a class with Tara Faughnan at Sewtopia Milwaukee. We were going to be learning her "Diamonds Quilt" pattern and I wanted mine to be bright and fun - and super colorful!
(See the end of this post for the list of Kona colors that I ordered from Stash Fabrics).
I pulled a few more yellows, pinks, purples, reds and oranges from my stash and ended up with this bundle for the quilt. I was working with the idea of warm, summery, tangy sherbet tones for my inspiration.
Making a triangle (or diamond) quilt had been on my mental "to try" list for a bit, but I was a little nervous to try piecing an entire quilt full of triangles with bias edges. Tara's pattern uses freezer-paper piecing to ensure that those bias edges don't stretch, and points line up and aren't cut off. It was my first time working with freezer paper for piecing and it was a slick way to piece.
To make my "blocks" (partial rows really) for this quilt I didn't pre-plan color combos. I pulled from my pile of fabrics and made color decisions as I worked along. When I ran out of a certain color I went back to my stash and pulled a similar colored fabric, or sometimes introduced new ones. In the picture of my "final" fabric pull above, there are over 30 colors of fabrics. However I'm betting that there might be closer to 40 different colors of fabrics in this quilt. I'm calling it my "Colorful Diamonds Quilt."
I decided to hand-quilt this quilt and had my long-arm quilter "baste" it for me with straight lines.
For some of my hand-quilting lines, I ripped out the basting stitches and hand-quilted following the stitch holes. For the rest of my quilting, I measured from the basting lines and laid down strips of masking tape to follow along as a guide. Having the quilt basted on a long-arm made it a lot easier than than pin- basting and marking the whole quilt with straight lines!
I used Hobbs Tuscany wool batting for this quilt and backed it in a sour Michael Miller green solid fabric. You guys - it was like butter to quilt. The needle glided through each stitch so easily! Now it is so light, soft and cushy.
When I got to choosing binding fabric for this quilt, I ended up going with a solid red. I love the end result, but I've decided that this is more of a bright Christmas quilt (not a summery sherbet quilt).
I made my quilt a little bigger than the quilt in Tara's pattern, so it finishes at 70" x 72".
To see more of my work-in-progress pictures, check out #colorfuldiamondsquilt.
Thanks for reading along, and here is the list of the 12 original Kona solids that I bought from Stash Fabrics. Do you know that they carry every Kona color??
Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Color Names:
Every fall 4 girlfriends and I get together and rent a house and sew ALL WEEKEND LONG. It's awesome. When I talk about it with other friends they always ask: you just sew? You don't do anything else? Do you drink wine? The answer to all of those questions is a big ol' NO! It's a weekend devoted 100% to sewing (with very minimal sleeping).
During the weekend you get a lot of projects done, so you have to make sure that you bring enough to work on. This year Nicole, of Modern Handcraft, came out with her Snowflake quilt pattern a few weeks before our retreat and I knew it would be a perfect project for that weekend. My friend Kayla, of Stitch Kayla Stitch, had the same idea!
I used stashed navy blue and super dark teal prints for the background of my snowflake, and used assorted white-on-white prints for the snowflake; Kayla bought a kit from Sewtopia for her quilt. We both pieced the quilt tops on the last day of our trip and it was really fun to have someone making the same quilt that I was making - at the same time I was making it. It was like our own private sew-along! (Note: there's a real, large Snowflake sew along happening right now too.) To get these pictures were were racing sunset on Lake Erie, but we finished and got it in - just in the nick of time!
This is another quilt that I had long-arm quilted using the "Midnight Sparkle" panto pattern from Urban Elementz - and again, it is backed with minky. My 3 boys fight over the minky-backed quilts, so I'm working on making more of them for winter. I chose a dark navy minky to back this quilt, and there's more about that later.
I bound this quilt with the cut-off Lizzy House butterfly fabric that I used to back my latest Free-wheelin' Single Girl quilt (because darn! there is always so much leftover backing fabric when I'm trimming a quilt after quilting).
This quilt finishes at 60" x 72," and normally that's how I would end a quilt-finish blog post. But read on...
I always photograph a quilt and THEN wash it, because *reality* you never quite know what will happen to a quilt in the wash - especially one with high contrast fabrics like this one. I should note that I always pre-wash my quilting cotton fabrics before I use them; however, I've never tried pre-washing minky. When I put this in the wash, I added 4 Tide color-catchers as I normally would (new color-catcher shown for comparison).
There was definitely still pigment coming out of the quilt in the wash, but not too bad. Most of the white fabrics maintained their brightness. All except 1 white fabric.
I've had this happen before: where only 1 fabric in a quilt soaks up bleeding pigment. But I haven't been able to figure out what manufacturer's fabric is the culprit (by process of elimination I know it's not Robert Kaufman or Andover). Maybe in the new year I'll do a test - and then I'll never buy that manufacturer's fabric again!
So yes, my white snowflake is now more mottled than pure white - or as my kids tell me: "Mom now the snowflake sparkles!" I don't mind much since this quilt is for personal use.
In 2020 I plan to do an experiment washing several manufacturer's fabrics with a darker fabric. I also plan to experiment pre-washing minky with color-catchers and see if I can get it to the point where it stops bleeding.
If you've made it this far reading my blog - Thanks! If you're curious to see what all my friends and I accomplished on our sewing retreat this year, check out #quiltnsisters2019
Now on to the the next quilting adventure!
This past fall, someone in my local quilting guild suggested that we do a mystery quilt project. I thought that the idea sounded fun, so I volunteered to help organize it. Another lady and I did a quick search of #mysteryquilt on Instagram, and found Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Design.
The pattern that we settled on was hers, and she called it the Magnolia Mystery quilt from 2017/18. I liked how the quilt had a lot of negative space (which would be new for all the traditional quilters in the group), but was still block based (which I thought they would appreciate it). Plus it went together quickly with only 6 clues or "steps" in the whole quilt top.
I wanted to have a finished quilt to show my group when I handed out the last clue at the end of this month, so I worked ahead, finished the quilt top on a sewing retreat, and just got it back from the long-arm quilter this past week.
I went with a new-to-me edge-to-edge quilting pantograph from Urban Elementz, called "Midnight Sparkle." I absolutely love it and (spoiler alert), I've already used it for 2 more holiday quilts this week. To me, it's the perfect wintery blend of swirl and sparkle.
I backed the quilt with a holiday penguin print from the original Cotton + Steel ladies. Those penguins and that sparkle part of the quilting make me smile.
I bound the quilt with two different gray polka dot and snowflake prints that I had in my stash.
I made the lap-size version of this quilt (there are also directions to make a queen-size quilt), and it finishes at 60" x 67". This quilt will live in our living room in January once we have put the Christmas decorations away.
Thanks for stopping by!
Did you see my last post on the red memory quilt that I made from my Father-in-law's shirts? If not, click here before you read on. The memory quilts that I've made using the slice & insert method take a lot of time, and after staring at the pile of my FiL's shirts for nearly a year, I wanted something that would go together a little quicker and more easily. I stuck with the large scale blocks, eliminated the strips, and went with large half-square triangles, and I love how they turned out.
For these quilts I cut 9" squares of fabric from the shirt pieces, paired them up and sewed half-square triangles (and then trimmed the blocks to 8 1/2" square). Quilts like this require you to lay blocks out "randomly" so that no two matching fabrics are next to each other (or close to each other). That honestly takes the longest time for me. So for this quilt when I made my HST blocks and cut them apart, I put the two pieces in two separate piles. That way each pile contained a set of the same blocks. Next, I laid out one quilt, took a picture of the layout, and sewed the top together...and when I laid out the second quilt I referred to that photo and laid the second quilt out exactly the same! Such a time saver.
I backed both of these quilts with a fun multi-tone blue dot fabric, and bound them with a diagonal two-tone blue stripe fabric. I quilted both of these quilts myself which means I quilted them with straight lines about 1" apart. Lots of the fabrics in this quilt were thin slippery synthetic or blended fabrics. After struggling with slipping and shifting when quilting the first quilt, I learned that these quilt tops needed to be starched before basting. The quilting went so much better with the starched tops.
This quilt finishes at 64" square.
The blocks finish at 8" square, and are laid out 8 blocks across, and 8 blocks down (64 blocks total). For more pictures of these quilts, check out #johnsshirtquilts
A little over a year ago my father-in-law passed away, and I offered to make a couple of memory quilts from his numerous button-down shirts. This was to be the second time I endeavored to make memory quilts from shirts from a family member. (See #quiltsfrombeau & this link to see my first two memory quilts ever made). The picture above shows the shirts after I had deconstructed them down in to workable (flat) pieces of fabric. There were actually several more shirts that I rejected for being too stiff and thick (read: canvas and thick thick flannels). I had a lot to work with!
My FiL was from Nebraska and therefore had a lot LOT of red/maroon shirts. I started with those and used the same method that I used for Beau's memory quilts: I cut 12" squares and strips of varying widths and then used the "slice & insert" method. My first step was to layout the background squares. Once I had them how I wanted, I added the strips, and then trimmed the block down to 10" square.
Fast forward months and months, and I recently motivated to straight-line quilt this guy.
This quilt has 36 blocks that finish at 10" square, making the quilt 60" x 60". I backed it with peachy tan pine tree print from Art Gallery Fabrics (very hard to photograph). Check out #johnsshirtquilts to see more pics made from my FiL's shirts.