10 Mar

Crafturday (8) with Quilting

I spent my Crafturday piecing. I spent my Thursday and my Friday piecing too. I’m making a quilt for a special young lady who wanted something with a rainbow. So, I decided that a rainbow zig zag with “modern” fabrics would fit the bill. As luck would have it, I was even offered a sample pack of charm squares from Windham Fabrics that looked like they’d play well with what I had in mind.

Sample squares!

I cut 5″ squares from my stash and arranged them in rainbow-ish rows. I had lots of purply reds and greens to aquas, but not much in the way of pinks, sky blues, or blue purples and I needed more white and grey (I’ve actually heard that hard core modern quilters buy these by the bolt!). So I did a little shopping here and in Austin. Stitch Lab is a charming little shop that stocks not a comprehensive collection, but a very nice selection of fabrics that would appeal to the hip sewist, lovely wool felt and plenty of cheerful notions for projects like aprons and bags. But I digress.

Squares ready to start.

I paired one square of each color with a grey or white for the stripe above and one with a neutral for the stripe below and sewed the pairs on a diagonal to make half square triangle blocks.

The cool zig zags

Once laid out on the floor, I could refine my arrangements. The HST blocks definitely look different than the 5″ charm squares without the neutrals mixed in.

Some warm zig zags

Sewing the blocks in columns and rows is easy and it was fun to see the sections grow. The new Cabana Blooms play very nicely with my stash fabrics. And, of course, there’s a bunch of Kaffe Fasset Paperweight in there too (six colorways!). It never ceases to amaze me how well Kaffe fabrics blend with almost everything else.

An interesting aside, I could really feel a difference in weight between the Kona cottons, the Free Spirit and Moda fabrics, and the Windham and Westminster fabrics. For a well used quilt or handbag, I suspect the heavier Kona, Moda, and Free Spirit would last longer, but on the other hand, if I were making wearables, I’d much prefer the drapier Windham and Westminster. I had no problem using the various weights together though, and if a fabric had a color and pattern that I liked I wouldn’t not purchase it just because it’s base fabric wasn’t as thick as something else. It was just an interesting observation I could make because I was using quilting cottons from many sources.

Zig Zag for J

A couple of days collecting and cutting fabrics, and a good solid three days sewing, and I’ve got a quilt top finished!

Zig Zag for J

I think it looks awesome. Now I need to decide how I want to quilt it.

09 Dec


Just because someone’s quilt style is different than your own, it doesn’t mean they can’t inspire you. I started following Tonya Ricucci’s blog years ago, and though her color palette is far brighter than mine and I think she considers herself a fairly traditional quilter whereas I call myself an art quilter, I have found her work to be totally inspiring.

First it was strings, which kept linking to Tonya’s friend Bonnie’s blog and then led me to make a String Lonestar quilt. Now Tonya’s making one and it looks like it will be awesome.

Now I’m hooked on making a medallion quilt inspired by this.

Somewhere in the middle, I had to get on Tonya’s letter bandwagon too. Which, is what this post is all about.

Pieced Letter Pillows

Inspired by her word quilts, I made pillows. My four letter words are house-related though. Four pillows with four words, each reflecting a place we’ve lived. HOME was a given.

Haus Pillow

Then HAUS for our time spent in Germany (I used some of my German Blaudruck fabric too).

Casa Pillow

CASA is for Arizona and our Southwest beginnings. A little Seminole piecing nods obliquely to the American Indian influence in the west as well.

Hale Pillow

And finally, HALE means house in Hawaiian (note the vintage palm tree fabric too).

I was inspired by Tonya and just ran with it, but for those who like a bit more instruction, she’s written a book!!! When we were at the quilt show in Houston, I had the opportunity to take a look at it. This is definitely one for any piecer’s library. I’m planning on buying it as a reference book for my quilting students who want to try something different, but are still looking for a little hand holding. Tonya explains in words, diagrams and examples how to make letters and words and encourages readers to go with the flow, enjoy the process and make their projects unique and personal. There are fun examples and three projects too. In essence,  Word Play Quilts is inspiring.

24 Jul

Happy Birthday Dad

The zig zag quilt started out on a whim, but as I worked on it, the taupe and scraps told me that it would be a nice gift for my dad. The timing couldn’t have been better — I finished it in time to get it to him for his birthday.

In my mind, the quilting was to be a lush forest of free form critters and odd forms.

What came out of my hands was a sampler of sorts of the overall patterns I am comfortable with. The scale compliments the echo quilting on the zigzags themselves and it all looks good, so I’m not complaining.

I used various colored threads in the zigzag section. From afar you wouldn’t notice, but up close it’s a nice detail. The free form in the solid areas is taupe to match the fabric.

The repurposed duvet cover I used for the backing had a hole in it. I “darned” a patch over it and it’s one of my favorite parts of the quilt — besides the zigzags, of course!