Category Archives: fabric

Big cushion

bigcushionI’ve had this cushion on my to-make list for months. It always takes me a really long time to make design decisions for my own house–lots of sketches and fabric piles are involved. This cushion is in our home office (which is also where I sew), on the couch/guest bed (yep, the room is also our guest bedroom). This room is a busy place so I really wanted the design to be just right. I played around with lots of ideas, but inspiration struck when I ordered some of Carolyn Friedlander‘s new collection Carkai. I almost never buy a collection of prints, but I snatched up a bundle of half yards in Carkai and Doe. I really love subtle palettes of primary colors, if that makes sense. I ended up going with trusty flying geese (after all that thinking and sketching …)–I think they really show off the prints and keep the colors from being overwhelming. The cushion is a whopping 26×26, perfect relaxing and dreaming up my next project!

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Four times eight, a new modern baby quilt

drape I’ve had it in mind for months to make a baby sized version of my Three Flocks design. My starting point was a lovely print from Leah Duncan’s collection called “Morning Walk” that I picked for the backing. I guess I am literally working back-to-front, but it works for me! The print is so charming and subtle–I love that it hints at floral but is still a simple geometric pattern. I took my palette for the flying geese from the print’s muted primary colors and added some salmon, peach and aqua.

My original “Three Flocks” quilt has three big triangles made of decreasing rows of flying geese triangles. I knew that I would only have two “flocks” in a baby size quilt, and would have one less row in each big triangle. Once I had all my triangles made and ready to arrange, I discovered the design just didn’t look right in the smaller frame of the crib size quilt. Something about having two big triangles made the design feel sort of heavy. I think that old design theory–things are always better in odd numbers–must be right!

fullOr maybe not, the design I ended up with has eight blocks of four triangles–nothing odd about that. This layout seemed to fit the size of the baby quilt better and gave a little more breathing room for the colors.

The binding is Kona Ochre, also used as one of the triangle colors. I played around with different options for the binding (including some patterns!), but I really like the warmth of the ochre. I can’t resist adding this picture that includes the newest member of our family–Olive!

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I’ve added this quilt to my Etsy shop!

Finished Umbrella Print quilt

heart_closeHave you discovered Umbrella Prints from Australia? I first read about them on Anna Graham’s fantastic blog Noodlehead and was immediately smitten. The patterns are cheerful without being too cutesy and the colors are gorgeous. I’m always on the lookout for fun prints that will appeal to kids and adults alike–so I ordered a set of fat quarters from their Elephants Love Water collection knowing I’d find a project for them in no time.

umbrellaprintOnce I had them in hand, I knew I wanted to make a baby quilt. I had some leftover melon and peach Kona from making my daughter’s quilt, and I really liked how they worked with the deep orange in the heart print. Because I usually work in all solids, when I use a print I like to give it room to shine. I decided on a really simple design that centers on the print–and added a few little scrappy pieces on the sides.

hearts_fullMy favorite part of this quilt is the quilting itself. I used a straight-line quilting pattern that echoes the small frame of cocoa that surround the main block of the print. I really love the window pane effect, and the spacing of the lines makes the finished quilting really soft and cozy.

heart-foldedThis quilt has been added to my Etsy shop.

Three flocks quilt

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I set out to make a colorful quilt with plenty of white space for my bedroom. I knew I wanted to include triangles in the design, but wanted to keep it fairly simple. Originally, my thought was to have three rectangular blocks of triangles. I liked the idea of having one column of triangles in each block with the background and foreground reversed. But, what seemed great in my head and looked promising on sketch paper felt sort of heavy and static when I laid out the fabric triangles. A little playing around and I came up with the big triangles.

IMG_0476Because this quilt was intended for a specific space, I tested out different layouts on my bed. It was really helpful to see how the design would work on the surface of the bed–by eliminating the sides of the quilt from the visual field. I think this technique is especially useful for larger quilts. (Plus I don’t have space for a design wall, so my bed makes a pretty great surface for experimenting with layouts.)

IMG_0272This design has the right balance of white and color that I was looking for. The colors are unusual for me, but I love how cheerful they are. I used a print from Leah Duncan’s Meadow collection for the backing, with a little bit of orange at the top. The binding is from Carolyn Friedlander’s Architextures collection. I like how the gray adds a dash of sophistication to the palette.

IMG_0484I quilted using the diagonal edges of the triangles as guides to create a grid. I was really pleased how the quilting lines create a sort of argyle effect. The lines are spaced two inches apart, which gives the quilt a really soft and cozy feel.

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WIP – quilt for a daybed

IMG_2656Making 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.

botanics-AFR-14260-184-B1610006I 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!

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Linen and Liberty quilt–finish

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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!

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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.

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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.

Marmalade fabrics and design inspiration

marmalade_logoI 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.

kona28_310pxMy 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!