Sunday, March 5, 2017

Easter Quilt with Rabbits & Egg Baskets

Easter Quilt

Fun times for Easter! I was looking for a birthday/Easter quilt to make for my sister this year. I gathered up all my old fabrics and a few I purchased recently and then I needed to find a fun pattern.

I searched the web and I was excited to find Elizabeth Hartman's Bunny pattern. It's a really cute bunny face and would work with both my Easter fabrics and my retro 1930's fabrics.

Hartman's pattern is just bunnies and I wanted to have a little more fun. I first looked at Flower Basket quilt pattern, but it just didn't feel right. I also looked at eggs and how to make them using strip sets. In my stash, I had a neat vintage Hallmark Cranston VIP fabric with lots of eggs. This was it! I combined the flower basket's basket with the eggs and I had my second set of squares. 

I thought about embroidering the eggs and instead went with fusible web to attach the eggs. I also looked at using a rick-rack handle for the baskets, but it just didn't look that great. I had to play around with widths and heights due to the shape of the bunny blocks. I ended up with 12.5" wide by 13" tall for both blocks. Here's a photo of the initial design work of the blocks.

Once the blocks were made, it was time to choose a separating fabric. I liked the retro gingham fabric I had and since my wife had already said I was making 2 of these quilts, I let her choose the color. 

For my sister's quilt, we laid out several choices for the outline fabric before opting for the pink.

While the pink plaid was the favorite, the colors were too strong and would have overwhelmed the quilt. The pink was the winner!

These 2 quilts are awaiting a trip to the long arm quilter's house. Can't wait until they're done!
#easterquilt #elizabethhartman

Thursday, April 16, 2015

DC Super Heroes Quilt - Girl Power

DC Super Heroes - Girl Power

I've been gather super heroes fabrics for a couple of years. My wife asked me to make a female super heroes quilt and I had several DC Wonder-Woman, Bat-Girl, and Super-Girl fabrics.

The pattern I created for this quilt was based on a 1940s St Patrick's Day tablecloth we were using in our holiday display.

I experimented a bit trying to reproduce the tablecloth's detail in the intersections. To see the detail, the stripe sets had to be huge, so I decided to go to a simpler design with just a merge of the two stripes sets.

The problem with this was aligning the fabrics, especially the 1/4 stripes, resulted in a really poor looking section. I scrapped that idea and instead went with the smaller bordered Super Hero squared at the intersection. This worked out great. The stripe widths in the original tablecloth are the same in the quilt.

My wife and I discussed the border. Going all blue just seemed wrong. It would have been too heavy. I searched my Patriotic/4th of July fabric and found a bunch of fat quarters of this red/white/blue stars fabric. It seemed like a good match. It did take a little calculating to determine the width of the border based on the amount of fabric I had. I carefully cut this fabric along the stripe edges to ensure a consistent look around the quilt.

The quilt backed is pieced with blue because I didn't enough yardage of this Super Girls fabric. The binding is the matching blue.

And the quilt is quilted with stitch in the ditch ( or close enough).

Friday, February 27, 2015

Trip Around the World Quilt Pattern

You might think the "Trip Around the World" quilt pattern is simple. In some ways, you are correct. It is just a simple grouping of fabric strips cut apart and reassembled. There are essentially two ( or 3) areas of difficulty.
1st is choosing the order of the fabrics. With some groups of fabrics, this may not be an issue. In others, the order is very important. A slow fading between dark and light fabrics makes the pattern stand out better than dark-light-dark-light-etc.

2nd is aligning the fabrics on reassembly. While I usually do not use pins, I use pins when sewing together these types of quilts. Aligned squares look much better in a finished quilt.

3rd is optional. If you have fabrics that have a notion of up and down and you care that your quilt had an up and down (as scene when holding upright), then you must sew 2 groupings of strips. One grouping with the fabric order ascending and one with the fabric order descending.

I tend to make these quilts requiring the 3rd option. Here are a couple of my themed around the world quilts. I'll add a 3rd quilt in a couple of days. All of these quilts have been professionally quilted by a local Long-arm quilter.

Halloween Themed Quilt

St Patrick's Day Themed Quilt


Showing back/binding.

Valentine's Day Quilt:

Close up on center and quilting:


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Feed Sack Placemat Quilt

A few months ago, I was looking through my quilt magazines and books and came across an interesting place mat pattern. The pattern used triangles of feed sack fabric with triangles of a solid. I decided to expand the pattern into a quilt.

First, I created a picture of what I wanted.

The place mat was equivalent to one of the larger squares with 1/4 of each of the surrounding squares. Using the 2 big squares to 4 smaller squares technique,  I started making the triangles.

Once I had all the mini squares cut, I started laying out the pattern.

It was a lot of sewing and a lot of lining up, but I'm very happy with the finished quilt.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Recreating a feedsack quilt

For Christmas, my wife bought me a Moda feed sack FQ bundle. After completing a flower basket quilt, which I'll post later, I thought I recreate a vintage quilt my wife has in her collection.

This vintage quilt has very large squares (15") and I didn't want to use too much of my feed sack fabric on a single quilt. My first step was to investigate how to shrink the quilt.

1. Let's look at a single original block. The block is made up of 1 solid square, 4 half triangle squares, and 4 double mini squares squares. Each of these is 5" square.

For the most part, reducing the size of any square is pretty simple. The hard part here was the double square squares.

In this square, the diagonal of the mini square is important as the 2 combined diagonals is equal to the width of the finished square. 

2. I decided that I wanted the finished squares to be 13.5" with each of the 9 sub-squares 4.5". For the double mini squares, it meant the diagonal of each mini would be 2.25". Now I had calculate what the size of the fabric I needed to cut to make the minis, so I wrote an App for that. 
The width of the cut fabric would need to be approximately 2 1/8".

I cut a 2 1/8" strip of each of the feed sack prints plus 2 1/8" strip of my white solid. I sewed the one of each of the prints to a white strip, right sides together. After ironing the seam, I cut the strips into 2 1/8" sections. I then combined 2 of each of sections together and ironed the new seam. 

3. Time for another calculation. I need to add triangles to each of the sides of this new square to add the finish corners. The edge of this square provided the diagonal of the finished corner triangles, 3 3/4". The sides of the triangle need to be approximately 3 3/16" long.


Now that the double mini's are done, the rest is pretty simple. 

4. Cut strips of the print and solid fabric 5" wide. From the print, cut a single 5" square and then cut 4 triangles using a triangle template. From the solid, cut matching triangles. Take a print and a solid triangle and sew on the hypotenuse (diagonal). 

Iron the seams.

5. Now lets combine the pieces:

6. And combine the squares:

7. I haven't had a chance to drop this off at my long arm quilter's yet. I'll update later with the finished quilt.