Making this quilt top for our daybed was a challenge, but I really like how it came together. When the daybed is made up, only the medium gray will show, keeping the daytime look more like a couch than a bed. But, I was able to work enough interest into the design to keep me happy. The little touch of orange (I think it’s Kona Kumquat) makes all the difference. I am especially happy with the backing fabric. I wanted something subdued, and this subtle gray stripe from Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics line is perfect. (I bought my yardage from Marmalade Fabrics.) I was really pleased that the background is a warm white–which goes really nicely with the Kona Bone in the quilt top.
I am trying something new with the quilting. I usually quilt in a diamond pattern that I mark with washable pencil lines. It takes a long time to mark all the lines but I am weirdly attached to the process–something about the precision appeals to me. For this quilt, I want straight vertical lines. I plan to use the piecing seams and a few lines I made by pressing the folded quilt top in half and then in fourths as guides. I am nervous about being able to stay on course–especially since the guide on my walking foot broke off years ago. I really hope it works!
One of my goals this year is to expand my repertoire of crafty skills. First on my list? Needle turn applique. My guild is doing a mug rug swap this month, so this was a great opportunity to test my skills on an unsuspecting guild member. (They’re a pretty friendly bunch.) I used a very simple bull’s eye shape adapted from Denyse Schmidt’s Quilts book (hands down my favorite quilting book–it’s really great for beginners). It’s just three irregular circles stacked; aiming for imperfection is a great choice when you are learning a new skill (or improving a rusty one).
When I’ve tried needle-turn in the past, I’ve always cheated and turned the raw edge under with my hand, which can result in an uneven edge. I think I finally got the knack of needle turning by the third circle! You use the point of the needle to push under the next section of edge before you sew–which turns the edge evenly as you move along. If you are working on a precise shape, having a clear line for the seam would be very important. Because my circle did not need to be precise I just winged it. It was so nice to work on a small project by hand that I decided to hand quilt, too. At first I quilted around each circle–not good! The circles poofed up, totally negating all my careful applique. Here’s a picture, before I pulled out the hand quilting:
What else do I want to try this year? Embroidery, making a stuffed animal, and (maybe!) English paper piecing. Look for more Skillful Sunday posts in the coming months!
We need a quilt for the daybed in our home office/guest room and I can’t settle on a design. I want the center of the quilt (the top of the daybed) to be solid gray. I want to stay away from symbols (pluses or crosses, for example) but I don’t want the quilt to be completely boring. I need to find a design that can fit in the 12 inches or so that will overhang the bed without the design feeling like one big border. I have been scouring Pinterest for minimal designs and racking my brain. I think I’ve landed on something that will work and then I lose my confidence. I think minimal designs are the most challenging. Does anyone have an interesting approach or design secrets they would like to share? I wish Carolyn Friedlander’s new book Savor Each Stitch was available! I bet she has some nuggets of wisdom that would help.
I finally used some yellow (almost) in a quilt and I love it. When I started working on the design I was planning to use the yellow print (from the Olympus Soleil collection) along with a citron yellow. Then I noticed the print’s selvage colors (the little colored circles at the edge of the fabric that show what inks are used in the print) and I was surprised that there wasn’t a true yellow. Even though the overall effect is yellow–the actual colors are chartreuse, lavender, peach, mint, and ecru. I had ordered some Wasabi Kona cotton (one of the new colors) for another project and it was a perfect match for with the yellow-green in the print.
Wasabi is one of those colors that really changes depending on the light–sometimes it looks green and sometimes yellow. The linen is handkerchief weight in natural from fabrics-store.com. It has a really beautiful drapy-ness. I used gray gingham for the back–I love how the yellow-green contrasts with the gray. This quilt is added to my Etsy shop.
I am so pleased with how this quilt turned out! I think the best part is the texture; it’s really light and lofty and the linen is so soft. I bought the linen from fabrics-store.com and the quality is really wonderful. I know it will improve with age, too, which is really nice for a baby quilt. The backing is Kokka large gingham in gray. This is a beautiful lightweight, silky cotton. I’m so glad I bought five yards–I want to back all my quilts with it!
I added a small section of Liberty to the binding and I really like how it looks. It kind of breaks the frame of the binding, so the design doesn’t feel too boxy.
I’m excited to try another linen quilt–this time with a yellow floral and bright citrus. I’m really interested in yellow at the moment!
I’ve added this quilt to my Etsy shop.
I’m so glad that Vanessa is a great photographer–the lighting at our group show in December was challenging to say the least! She shared these pictures from the show, so I thought I would post. My first official quilt show! (You’re probably tired of seeing this quilt. I have a new one almost finished so there is some variety on the horizon.) You can see all the quilts on the Gainesville Modern Quilters website.
I thought this quilt was really innovative–I love the three-dimensional aspect! Sorry I don’t have the quilter’s name for this one.
Here is Vanessa’s quilt–a little tucked behind the trees. I really like the geometric design and the free-motion quilting.
I just wanted to take a moment to sing the praises of the lovely people at Marmalade Fabrics. I ordered some Kona Solids from Marmalade a few months ago when one of the new colors I was looking for was sold out at my usual suppliers. Of course, I couldn’t order just one color so I ordered a a handful of yards and half yards.
My package arrived promptly and was beautifully packaged. I especially loved that each cut of fabric had a label with the color name. Tammy, the shop owner, also enclosed swatches of two new Kona colors that she thought I might like. Can it be that she is not only prompt and thoughtful but also psychic? Perhaps, because I really did love those colors.
OK, so this level of service would be enough to make Marmalade a great choice for an online fabric provider, but here’s the best part: Marmalade offers loyalty points. Last night I succumbed to temptation and ordered some Kona Solids in yellow (more on why yellow below). I was so pleased to be told that I had earned more than $14 in points that I could apply to my purchase. While I could admit that there is some sort of cycle going on here that involves fabric purchases leading to more fabric purchases, I think it’s safe to admit that I will be buying fabric no matter what and how great is it to be rewarded for it?
So why yellow? I almost never use yellow. I see lovely examples of yellow in other quilters’ work (check out my Quilt board on Pinterest, and you’ll see lots of yellow) but I always seem to edit it out of my own designs. Not this time. I spied a piece of art tucked in the corner of a photo from the most recent DWR catalog that jumped out at me as a great quilt design. I plan to make a throw with a big center square in Kona Snow surrounded by thin squares in shades of bright yellow and maybe a little chartreuse. I am so looking forward to my package from Marmalade!