24 Jan

Aloha Pineapple Quilt Along: part 1

 

You can read the introduction to the quilt along here.

Today was the first day of class at Ho’ae’ae Park. After catching up on who was coming to class and who wasn’t and why, and comparing notes on the geographic inaccuracies of Hawaii Five-0, we got down to the real business of what fabric we needed and how much. The class supply list is basically the following:

Basic Supplies

sewing machine with universal or microtex needle size 80
thread for sewing (all purpose polyester or 100% cotton 40 or 50 weight)
scissors
rotary cutter
cutting mat
clear quilting ruler)
pins (thin pins are best)
postcard or similar piece of stiff paper with a straight edge
paper foundations, 1 per block (downloadable next week)

Fabric:

approximately 3 yards of a solid colored fabric
a total of three yards of assorted fat quarters, quarter or eighth yards, or scraps of Aloha fabrics (or the fabrics of your choice)
cotton or low loft batting slightly larger than your quilt top
approximately 3 yards fabric for backing and binding

Because we’re focusing on using aloha prints, I decided that a solid fabric would be a nice foil to all the tropical busy-ness. My samples use chartreuse, but aqua or turquoise would work similarly. A neutral taupe, chocolate, or caffe au lait would really make the brights stand out and still tie them in to decor with lots of woods or other neutrals. Orange would make a wonderfully juicy quilt. Red looks great with aloha fabrics! White is a good option, as well as black, for a bold look.

I am excited to see what everyone brings to class next week. A crib/lap sized quilt that is 7 blocks across and 9 blocks down will need between 2.5 and 3 yards of the solid fabric. We’ll see how far we get over the next five or so weeks and then start making plans for the final size of our quilts.

Depending on whether you use your solid fabric on the horizontal and vertical logs, or on the diagonal logs will affect the balance of solid and print. Solids on the horizontal and vertical will showcase more of your scrappy print fabric, while using the solids in the diagonal pieces will give more emphasis to the solid fabric. It’s up to you which way to go. If scrappy kinda scares you, put the emphasis on your solid (second photo above). I want to emphasize the aloha prints, so I’ll use them in the diagonals (first photo above).

Of course, you don’t HAVE to use aloha prints. You could use contemporary florals from your stash, or how about shirt plaids? Deb in our class loves animal prints, so she could use a bunch of animal prints, combined with red solid for a wild quilt! (Her stash isn’t quite big enough for that though, but I’m betting that a bit of leopard sneaks into her tropical garden!) Another suggestion was japanese-esque indigos, which I know would look super classy with taupe.

Making the center of each block the same can add some spark to the quilt. I think red can stand up to just about anything. If a colorful solid for the logs of your blocks seems too much for you to live with, a bright center with a neutral (taupe, grey, chocolate, navy, etc.) for the other solid logs could be just the ticket! A half yard should be more than enough for all the centers.

So, gather your scraps, pick a solid you love, and we’ll meet next week to wrap our heads around the paper piecing process.

07 Nov

Inspiration Sunday

Sunday again and time to post another inspiration. Last week I promised more tropical designs. I would be remiss if I didn’t include taro (also called kalo) in a Hawaiian collection. The ancients considered kalo to be the older brother of mankind — to be respected and honored, but that which also sustains man. The starchy staple foodstuff, poi, is made from kalo corms and is greyish purple in color. The leaves have a distinctive heart shape, and are also used in cooking.

I tried an illustration of the corm, but preferred the simpler leaf shape. The purple background and the circles are my reference to poi.

(click for a closer look)

Previous Inspiration Sundays are here, and here, with the original Inspiration Sunday-er here.

31 Oct

Inspiration Sunday

It’s that time of the week to show a photo or thing and a quilt or design that was inspired by it. I’m working on a quilt that is directly inspired by a road near my house, but since it’s close to being done, I’ll wait until it’s complete to share it. In the mean time, I’ve got more pattern designs and their inspiration to share.

This is a plant native to Hawai’i called Naupaka. It has a wonderful legend attached to it and I was immediately drawn to it. I go by several naupaka plants when I walk around my neighborhood and they got me to thinking about how to translate the flower and it’s story into a quilt or design. It wasn’t long before I had a collection of designs based on local flora.

This is the first, and still my favorite, of the designs (click for a better look). I had it printed (by the half yard, on demand) at Spoonflower so that I could make things with it. Next Sunday, I’ll share another design and it’s inspiration.

PS: Sherri Lynn inspired Inspiration Sunday — check out what’s inspiring her.

24 Oct

Inspiration Sunday

Sherri Lynn over at Daintytime has started posting “Inspiration Sundays” in which she shows an inspirational photo or object and then a sketch of a possible quilt design. She’s also encouraged others to join in, so here I am.

While I’m not sure I’ll be diligent enough to keep up regular posts, this challenge struck a chord with me as I have more than a few ideas and projects right now that I can directly correlate with a specific inspirational thing.

I am so inspired by the flora of Hawaii that I endeavored to create fabric patterns. (Most I have already shared, though I could now pair them with photos of the actual plants for the purposes of this exercise.) The Rainbow Shower Tree, above, recently stuck me as a fun, frothy, possibility:

01 Dec

Kunia

I got hit by the Hawaii bug quicker than I thought I would. It’s not a Hawaiian quilt I’ve made though, it’s fabric designs.

Just walking around my neighborhood got the ideas flowing. I started sketching, and then working up more finished designs, just to see what they’d look like. The Twelve by Twelve Passion challenge ended up being just the push I needed to try printing my designs via Spoonflower.

Lilikoi2

With the fabrics in hand, there were, of course, refinements that needed making, though I used what I had for the next projects.

Along with the Twelve by Twelve art quilt, I also made coasters, tissue holders, and pillows — to fill out a proposal to fabric companies. I’ve been quiet about these, thinking that perhaps I could persuade some big fabric company to pick them up.

Pillows1

Half a dozen rejections, and some soul searching about reality, later, I’ve decided to take a different tack. In a perfect world, a fabric company would love these designs as much as I do, and print them as the type of quality cottons I enjoy buying from my local quilt shop. However, I’m a little fish in a big turbulent sea, and tropical prints make the viability even less.

So, I’m going to show them off here. I’m going to make things with them (eventually). Since they are at Spoonflower anyway, I’m making them available for purchase there (just click here). And if, by chance, anyone sees potential in them, I have a bunch more ideas in my head waiting for an excuse to come out.

I’m calling the collection “Kunia,” after the neighborhood where I live and am inspired.

Kunia fabric logo