The palette for this quilt was inspired by the Pantone colors for 2016–rose quartz and serenity. The colors are unabashedly pretty and seemed just right for a baby quilt. The background fabric is handkerchief linen in a soft white and the center square is a Liberty print–gray Betsy, which I one of my absolute favorites. I added a smidge to the pink binding. I am tempted to make a quilt using the colors in the print–the olive green and coral are so unexpected and wonderful.
This simple, pretty quilt was a nice way to start the new year. Now I’m ready to tackle some of my goals for 2016. My Etsy shop (etsy.com/shop/BrigitGail) has been growing–slowly, but steadily–without much nurturing, so this year I want to see how I can help it along. I really struggle with social media and marketing–but I am determined to get better at this. I think the trick is to find platforms that work for your personality. Instagram is a friendly space for introverts–pretty pictures of quilts I can manage! I also want to try a few new things–submitting a project to a magazine is first on my list. Are you looking to try something new in 2016? I’d love to hear what’s on your list!
This quilt is available in my Etsy shop.
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!
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 am doing my first ever craft fair this Sunday. I’ve been so busy making cushions (pillows?–what is the difference?!) that I’ve almost forgotten about my quilts. But I have become a proficient cushion maker. These cushions are made with Essex linen, Liberty Tana Lawn (for some), and Kona cotton. I lined them with a really nice quality muslin, which makes such a difference in the structure and sturdiness of the finished cushion. The inserts are down filled–so all in all they are quite luxurious!
I’ve also been making little baskets. I really love the Red Riding Hood fabric–so cute with the little woodland creatures.
This is the second Traveler Dress I have made. The Lisette pattern (Leisl Gibson‘s grown-up line) is so well written and easy to follow that I was confident enough to use Liberty Tana Lawn. Just like with her Oliver and S patterns, Leisl adds lots of tips and tricks to help you make a really polished garment. I was nervous about making something with a collar, but I went slowly and carefully read the directions and ta-da!
I am already thinking about making a chambray version!
Before she left for camp, my daughter suggested that her Bunny needed a new summer dress, and that Bunny would probably like this Liberty print–Hot Pink Wiltshire (gorgeous!).I guess Bunny and Betty have excellent taste in fabric. For the dress, I made a paper pattern from Bunny’s existing dress. I machine stitched the side seams and serged the edges, then hand sewed the hem, neck and armholes using a blanket stitch. A perfect fit!
Piglet is her other sleeping pal, so I thought he deserved something, too. This little backpack was really fun to make. I had a rough idea of how to make it, but made it up as I went along. I am seriously spatially challenged (never ask me for directions) so sewing the flap, straps and lining to the exterior in the correct orientation took a few tries–but it’s good to exercise my brain, right? I wish I had placed the straps closer together at the top for a better fit, but otherwise it’s pretty awesome. I got completely carried away and put some salt water taffy and a welcome home note in the backpack for Betty to find on her return from camp. Aww!
Besides needing a distraction from missing my kiddo, I am also procrastinating a little. I bought three yards (!) of Liberty (Betsy Blue) to make a Lisette Traveler Dress. I made one version of the dress last year, so I know the pattern is not beyond my skill level, but I need to work up the courage to cut into this lovely fabric. I got some delightful encouragement from Florence at Flossie Teacakes, who very kindly replied to my question about prewashing fabric for dressmaking. Florence is a seamstress extrordinaire, a charming writer, and a Liberty expert so it was a real treat to correspond with her. The answer, by the way, is an emphatic yes.
Sometimes I wonder about saving odds and ends–will I ever use the strips of batting left over from a quilt? As a former New Yorker I am vigilant about clutter, if I don’t wear something for a full year out it goes. But having a stash of odds and ends is great when you want to make something right away and without a lot of thinking. Some of the best meals are made from what you have on hand–and projects made from leftovers can have that same sort of creativity from necessity. These coasters were made entirely from things left over–Essex linen from a skirt and a hat, Liberty Tana Lawn from the same hat, and those strips of batting. They were also really easy to make–a very basic log cabin on the front, a 4.5 inch square of red Essex on the back, and a 4.5 inch square of batting stitched in between. I consulted Denyse Schmidt’s Quilts for the basic technique, and about an hour later I had some pretty coasters ready for ice cold summer drinks.