Category Archives: Design Wall

Modern Batik Challenge

An Island Batik Ambassador Adventure

For May, we were challenged with a Modern Batik quilt. My first choice was to do a small wall hanging – I find those a little easier for modern than a larger quilt, but then I decided it was time to break out of the mold and go bold so I chose to do a small lap quilt.

Modern Batik

I went through all my yummy Island Batiks and chose blues and greens, various neutrals for the top portion and a neutral for the section out of the main square. I love this color palette and doesn’t that make sewing them together that much more fun? This quilt is made up of all five inch squares set on point. I did do a pencil sketch, but somehow when the squares were on the design board, I was not happy. What to do? I had them all cut. Then a funny thing happened. I sat on the sofa on the other side of the room and looked over at the design wall and it appeared totally different than when I looked at it straight on! I liked it! Whew!!

Modern Batik

Lots of piecing and then straight line quilting. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how many stitches are in the quilting? Then again…maybe not! I used Aurifil 2311 (neutral) for the piecing and Fantastico 5166 for the quilting – both a dream to work with.

Modern Batik 2

Be sure to check out all the Modern Batik creations by the Island Batik Ambassadors here.

Linking up with My Quilt Infatuation, Silly Mama Quilts

Workin’ It Wednesday – Pups & Kittens

Pups, Kittens (Medium)

At a quilt camp in the Spring of 2016, in the NC Mountains, Sue Bouchard of Quilt In A Day gave a workshop on her pattern “Tribe.” The quilt consisted of many blocks using various techniques.  One technique I learned was how to make flying geese in a new way using the mini geese rulers.  Another focus of the design of the blocks was fussy cutting. I had some  adorable fabric with pups and kittens in my stash and decided to go with it.

If you look closely you can see the little fish bones in the left kitty fabric and the little fish in the fabric in the block on the right – such fun!

The little paw prints and bones are just great on the doggie fabrics. I love the bright orange against the royal blue.

Pups Kittens setting (Medium)

I have finished twenty blocks and decided it was time to put them together! I didn’t want to do just plain sashing, so after looking at many quilt settings on (you probably guessed it!) Pinterest, I sketched my plan with dimensions and gave it to hubby to put it on EQ.  I can never minimize how delighted I am that he learned this program and does this for me! Sometimes it’s such a treat to be spoiled and it’s a great way for him to share in my obsession passion. The plan is to finish assembling this quilt top on Friday at a sew-in. Would love to keep with this plan!!

 

 

 

What I’m Working On

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For quite some time I’ve wanted to do a postage stamp quilt – a true postage stamp with 1 inch finished squares. I pulled out a bunch of my Kaffe prints and found a neutral batik that I love. This is a wall hanging – another day I will do a larger one (maybe?). The arrangement is somewhat of a colorburst. I did have fun arranging all the pieces.

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Now for the border. After sketching on paper and deciding on dimensions, Hubby put it in EQ for me so I could print out paper piecing patterns. The sewn piece on the design wall is not trimmed yet, and will be much smaller when done. Now I just need to decide what will go in the outside corners. I haven’t given that much thought yet or played with it, but would certainly welcome suggestions.

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I also got out my black and white scrap bin. Boy is that bin jammed packed! There is now a pile of 2 1/2″ squares that will be pieced as Leader-Enders. This will be my first quilt that will be entirely black and white. I’m thinking of using solid black and solid white half square triangles to make a Buckeye Beauty block. Much more sewing needs to be done before that decision is made.

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Maybe, just maybe, by February I’ll have another empty project box!

NOTE:  Quilt & Sew-In Retreat Fall II still has openings! Hope you’ll join me for all the fun!!

Linking up with My Quilt Infatuation

Red, Black & White Finish

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Put together, these are three dramatic colors. It’s pretty obvious why I named this one “Planetary.” Actually, hubby named it per my request. There was a lot of arranging and rearranging of strips on the design wall before sewing together. Then there was deciding where to join the strips. It was a bit challenging and a lot of fun. Mostly, I worked from my stash. I just happened to have a design roll of black and white fabrics which helped a lot. I didn’t need big pieces of reds, so those came from my scrap bins. I did sew all the circles on by hand, but looking back I could have easily fused them. I do like the turned edges though. For the back I used up large pieces. And yes, I do still have black and white fabrics and some reds. They just never go completely away, do they? (Pattern from Victoriana Quilt Designs)

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I’m all ready for Christmas, so I’ll probably have time for another finish, maybe two. Must admit, though, bindings are becoming just a bit tedious! Fortunately, having a project finish outweighs that by quite a bit!

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I know not everyone has a busy, busy schedule during the holidays, and maybe you’ll be enjoying some great sewing time. Others will have a packed schedule with friends and family. Ours is somewhat in between, but on a grand scale: quiet. Sewing with Christmas music playing will be much enjoyed. Wishing you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

NOTE:  There is still room in the Quilt & Sew-In Fall II – Please join me for a really fun time!

Today I’m linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation. Hop on over to see all the great works!!

 

Whew! What a Whirlwind!!

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Beautiful Colors in the NC Mountains

 

Travel – love it and am so glad that I am now free to do so. But this summer has been a crazy whirlwind! I flew to Chicago for a few days, then a week at the beach in Georgia. I enjoyed 4 days in the NC mountains for a quilt camp, turned around and flew to upstate NY for a special wedding. Now, next week is the Quilt & Sew-In in Blowing Rock, NC. I am so super excited and mostly prepared, but I’ll enjoy the anticipation so much more when I finally catch up on the evil necessity that is laundry.

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Barn Quilt at Quilt Camp – Perfect!!

 

For camp I prepared a leader-ender project which is now in the finishing stages. I want always to have one of these projects prepped because sewing two quilts at once is so much better than just one! This is a scrappy block. A fellow quilter at guild had done one and I immediately had to have the pattern. I have bins of batiks so it was a no brainer to go with batik.

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Sewing away at Quilt Camp!

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Just had to get one block done just to see it!

 

Blocks all complete and on the design wall! The sewing plan for the day is to get them all sewn together with the “spacer” blocks, press, trim, and border. I am really, really pumped – can you tell?!

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I want to finish this top today so tomorrow I can begin prep for the projects I’ll be taking to the Quilt & Sew-In. They I really, really need to get a few quilt tops ready for the long arm quilter!

What I’m Working On

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Beautiful weather here in the Piedmont of NC! Where I live, we were very fortunate – only some much needed rain from Hurricane Matthew, no flooding or downed trees. The clear sunny skies and high 60’s moved me outdoors to do some much needed yard work. Ughhh! For years I spent sunup to sundown digging, planting and weeding. That passion has been replaced with sewing! After a few hours of that and a bit of housework ( double Ughhh!), I headed for the sewing studio.

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Both design walls now have something on them. The first is a postage stamp wall hanging that I’ve wanted to do for some time using Kaffe fabrics. And yes, the squares are one inch finished. It looks pretty skihawed because the rows are not sewn together and it’s on the wall a bit crooked. More neutral squares need to be added to the end of all the rows and then the rows sewn together. This one is done in more of a colorburst style, grouping like colors. I have a pretty cool border planned but the math needs to be done first. “Oh Hubby – you are needed for quilt math detail!”

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The second is a background for a wall hanging. I have an applique in mind but haven’t gotten it designed yet. It too will have a border. This project was started years ago and every time I pulled it out, back into it’s project box it went. Not sure why, but it spoke to me this week and have been sewing on it quite a bit. Still no empty project boxes, but projects have been completed and progress is being made.

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Strips Make Quick Work!

This is my second quilt with this fabric line. The first was gifted and my guess this one will go into my quilt collection or may very well be a gift to someone in the future.

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I started out by cutting 2 1/2″ strips using my Big Kick Pro. I used to be such a snob about these cutting machines, but now eat my words. Not only do they make quick work of what can sometimes be a tedious chore, they make totally accurate cuts! No more slipping an eighth of an inch and saying not so nice words in frustration. I used a quilt pattern I found on You Tube with Three Dudes. This was quick, fun and didn’t require a whole lot of thinking. I love to sprinkle these kinds of quilts among my other projects. Mindless sewing can be so therapeutic!

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If you have journeyed with me on my quilt adventures, you know I’m all about the borders. A plain white border sets off the center of the quilt nicely. Wanting to keep the pieced border simple, I just sewed strips, cut them, and pieced them into the long borders. Here’s something new I am beginning to do with these pieced borders: an eighth of an inch on each side I am sewing a seam, much like stay stitching in garment sewing. (The seams appear wavy because the fabric is not laying flat.) Now the seams stay closed when I work with the border and when the quilt top is quilted! This is another top for the “to be quilted” pile (you know, the one I never wanted to start to begin with.)

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Workin’ It Wednesday – Border Dilema

Pinwheel quilt

Leftover blocks from a split pinwheel quilt last year, so I sewed them up for another quilt top. I’m all about the borders lately, and don’t want to just “plain” border it again, which would be the easiest way to do it. I made some smaller pinwheels and am auditioning a couple of possibilities. Oy – what to do. A very thin red border and then the pinwheels on point with white print setting triangles? Or just the pinwheels with the white print and no separating border? WHAT should I do??? I need a quilt fairy on my shoulder advising me!

Pinwheels on pointBorder with whiteBorder with red strip

I’ll need to live with this on the design wall for a few days and hopefully the bolt of lightening will hit me. Actually, I shouldn’t use that as we really did get hit with lightening last week. A huge tree was destroyed, telephones fried as well as our garage door opener. Yes, we’re fine, just experiencing some stress. I’ll just immerse myself in sewing – one of the best destressers I have (except when trying to decide borders!)

Fallen limb (Large)

This is just the “threatening limb” that was hanging from the tree and had to be removed. The limb alone was a pretty impressive size.

Workin’ It Wednesday! Borders

whole quilt (Large)

What would I do without my design walls?! A couple of weeks ago I sketched a medallion quilt pattern and hubby put it on EQ for me. The plan was to use all Kaffe fabrics in blues and greens. After much sewing – flying geese and half square triangles, and much arranging and rearranging on the design wall, it just wasn’t working. I left it alone for a few days and then decided to just rearrange the pieces. This is not even close to the original design, but I do like it. Now it’s border time! I think borders help to make a quilt come alive. I will do a pieced outer border but need to decide on the inner border. Here are my three choices:

choice 1 (Large)

Choice #1 – Too Busy – a NO.

choice 2 (Large)

Choice #2  ??

choice 3 (Large)

Choice #3 ??

 

I know #1 is a definite “no.” Help! Which do you think works better – #2 or #3?  Your help would really be greatly appreciated.

And what about my original quilt design?  I still have two bins full of Kaffe fabrics. I’ll happily pull some out and have another go at it another day!

Scrapbuster Sunday – COLOR!!

Stick 1 (Large)

Out came the yellow, orange and brown scrap bins. I pictured a warmth and brightness with these colors.  The stick pinwheel blocks were easy and fairly quick to put together. I arranged and rearranged the blocks so many times on the design wall. I altered colors, put them in rows and once I started to group the like colors I liked it better. The arrangement I chose just sort of fell into place. I love it!

Borders can really enhance a quilt and bring it to life. I pulled the “sticks” into the border corners coinciding with their colors. I think it pulls the colors out and then are enhanced by the brown borders.

full quilt (Large)

I also scrappy pieced the backing. Usually when I do a scrappy quilt, the bins appear to have the same amount of fabric in them as when I started. Not so this time – score!! There aren’t many oranges left and very few yellows. Even the browns are somewhat limited. Yeah! A true scrapbuster!!

stick 4 (Large)

I love how my quilter quilted this one. She used both curvy lines and straight – a great vision for what this quilt needed.

stick 5 (Large)stick 3 (Large)

I’m calling it “Autumn Sunshine.” Yes, it is Spring – but I think the name definitely fits. (Someone did suggest this name to me and I only wish I could remember who it was so I could give her credit.)

stick 2 (Large)