Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Month of Quilt Tops: DAYS 12 thru 15: Modern Meadow

As I alluded to in this post, because I feel I was late to the Joel Dewberry party, I seem to collect and hoard his fabric.  In fact, last summer, I literally stalked one of my favorite Etsy stores waiting for his Heirloom collection to arrive.  Of course, I haven't sewn a stitch with it yet -- I think initially cutting into a collection is the hardest part! 

I have done quite a bit of sewing with his Modern Meadow fabrics, and today I have four new quilt tops to share that feature this fabric.  The collection came in three colorways: Berry, Pond and Sunglow.  I made several Berry quilts for my Etsy shop in my Bricklayer pattern:
Several of the prints are large scale, so I really like how this pattern shows off the bigger prints, especially on the white background.  However, I also loved the way this custom order Irish chain quilt turned out.  It used a combo of the Pond and Sunglow prints, cut into 2 1/2 squares:
I brought all of my Pond palette fabrics with me, as I am determined to clear out the Modern Meadow to make room for new things!  I had collected quite a bit of this -- I think there was a complete fat quarter collection, as well as some scraps and destash from other Etsy sellers.  I started with one of my Hip to Be Square quilts.
Even though I was going to add some white background fabric in alternate squares, I do like the way this one turned out. 

Next, I went with the Bricklayer pattern again:
After finishing these two tops, I was left with mosly smaller scraps.  I cut 45 five inch squares and made a bunch of half square triangles with more background fabric. 
Half square triangles are so versatile -- you can make zig zags, diamonds, squares on point, flying geese.. but I chose the modern simplicity of triangles facing the same direction:
Finally, I took the remainder of the scraps, cut them five inches wide, and pieced them together to make another coins quilt. For more on creating coin quilts, check out this post!

So, if you made it to the end of this lengthy post, I will leave you with the "first draft" of the half-square triangle quit BEFORE seam ripping to fix the mistake!

Oops! I almost always chain stitch my entire quilt top together to save time, so unfortunately, these things do happen.  I was thankful that the mistake was on the edge rather than in the middle!

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Month of Quilt Tops: DAYS 10 and 11 Children at Play

One of the things I cannot seem to resist are fabric scrap sets!  If the scraps are a nice size, good variety and a great value, I love the challenge of using them in a quilt top!  Earlier this year, I purchased some Children at Play scraps from one of my favorite Etsy sellers, Sew Love Fabrics.  I often purchase an entire fat quarter set of a fabric collection, but I really hadn't bought much of the popular Children at Play fabrics by designer Sarah Jane for Michael Miller fabrics, other than for this twin custom quilt I made last fall:
The scrap sets I purchased on Etsy contained mostly width of fabric strips that ranged from 5 inches to 12 inches wide in both the "boy" and "girl" colorways.  I was able to cut a nice variety of 5 1/2" charm squares from the girl colorway to make this quilt:
The smallest scrap from the "boy" colorway was about 5 inches wide, so I cut 5 inch squares out of all the boy fabrics to make this quilt:
Both quilts have 99 squares (9 x 11), but the girl quilt is slightly larger because the squares were bigger to begin with.  These were quick and easy projects, and I love the way they turned out.  The boy quilt also has some tangerine Michael Miller Ta Dot fabric, which coordinates nicely.  I found a good deal on flannel backing fabric for the boy quilt in my favorite print (the bicycles!) so this will be a cozy quilt when it's finished!  Even though the color schemes are different, I think the quilts look really cute together!
I do have a few scraps left, so I'm working on some coordinating pillows that I hope to share soon!  In the meantime, I'm also looking forward to Sarah Jane's soon-to-be released second fabric collection called "Out to Sea". 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Month of Quilt Tops: DAYS 6,7,8 and 9: Aviary 2

I missed out on Joel Dewberry's original Aviary collection, so when Aviary 2 was released in the spring of 2011, I purchased a fat quarter set of the entire collection.  Since then, I've sold several Aviary quilts on Etsy in all three colorways, and purchased a lot more fabric!

I love setting off the Aviary prints with white or off-white background fabric.  I've used my Bricklayer pattern to make several quilts in each of the colorways, including the lilac colorway shown above.
Earlier this year, in an effort to make room for new stash, I used up the rest of my lilac Aviary fabrics to make a Hip to Be Square quilt:
I brought the rest of my Aviary scraps with me to California-- I had quite a lot left in the saffron and granite palettes. I was happy to find that I had just enough to make two more Bricklayer quilts:

I also had enough scraps to make two coin quilts!  To make the coin quilts, I cut my leftover scraps into five inch long pieces of various widths.  You can also cut all of your coins the same width, but I like the scrappy look of the mixed sizes, and this also helps me get more out of my fabric scraps.  I chain piece all five strips for the quilt, trying to keep a nice variety of color, print and size as I go along.  When all five strips are the length I want, I trim them to the exact same measurement, and add the sashing strips.

There is also a great tutorial on the Moda Bake Shop website for a Stacked Coins Baby Quilt using either charm squares or jelly roll scraps.  Coin quilts are a great way to use up those extra scrap pieces that you just can't throw away, and they are also a fairly easy pattern for beginners to tackle.

Of course, now that I've used up all of my Aviary fabric, it makes me want to buy more!  Does that happen to you?  I have certain fabric collections that I can't cut into unless I have some "in reserve"!  I just have to remember that clearing out my Aviary fabric makes room for the next fabulous collection!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Month of Quilt Tops, Days 3,4 and 5: Peak Hour!

As soon as I saw Kellie Wulfsohn's collection "Peak Hour" for Riley Blake fabrics, I knew I had to purchase some -- it is much more difficult to find "boy" fabric for quilts, and I loved the colors and designs in this collection.  I bought a fat quarter set of the entire collection, and a little extra yardage of the large scale car print.  The first quilt I made uses my Hip to Be Square pattern -- a great way to show off the entire collection, and showcase some of the larger scale prints.
I had a bunch of 5 inch squares leftover from cutting the pieces for the first quilt, so I put together this simple patchwork squares design:
One of the challenges I issue to myself is to try to use up every last piece of fabric I bring with me!  I had some smaller scraps leftover, as well as the larger scale car fabrics, so I created some simple snowball blocks.  The car fabrics are cut at 6 1/2" square, and the corners were cut as 2 1/2" squares and then sewn on the diagonal and trimmed to create the triangles.

I had just enough 2 1/2 " wide scrap pieces to put together this top!  I was worried about getting the border to fit, but I purchased a little extra of the stripe fabric as an inner border, and the outside border worked out perfectly!  This is the smallest of the three quilt tops, but it will be the perfect size for a little one to drag around! 

I do have a small strips left, but these will be turned into some adorable pillows! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Month of Quilt Tops! DAY 2: Lucy's Crab Shack

I absolutely LOVE Sweetwater's fabrics!  Lucy's Crab Shack is no exception.  The color palette is so fresh and summery, and the designs are fun -- my favorite fabric is the bicycles print.  I purchased a fat quarter bundle of the collection so that I would have a lot of design options, but I also wanted a "quick fix", so 4 charm packs and a simple patchwork design did the trick! 

To simplify the design process, I started with one charm pack and laid out a 6 x 7 grid of squares in a pleasing design.  I used this 6 x 7 grid as the first "quadrant" and replicated it for the other 3 quadrants.  This gave me a nice, even mix of color and pattern throughout the quilt.
This would make such a fun beach blanket! 

A Month of Quilt Tops! DAY 1: Marmalade

Every summer, my kids and I have the opportunity to visit family in California on an extended vacation.  In-between trips to the pool, library and local attractions, I manage to fit in quite a bit of sewing time. In fact, I have a sewing machine that lives out here -- I arrive with a suitcase full of fabric, and leave with a suitcase full of quilt tops! 
I thought I would share my daily sewing accomplishments with you! We've been here 10 days already, and I have 10 quilt tops to share, so I'll be doing some doubling up for the first week of posts.

Here's Quilt Top # 1.  The fabric is Bonnie and Camille's brand-new collection "Marmalade".  I am a big fan of their fabrics, and couldn't wait to get my hands on the precuts for Marmalade.  I really love the addition of orange and yellow to the red, pink and aqua palette.

I used my Hip to Be Square pattern to make the top, which uses one layer cake and almost zero fabric waste!  After I make the blocks, I sort them into color piles based on the outside color of each block. This gives me an easy way to determine which colors are dominant, so I can distribute them equally throughout the quilt.

I purchased two Marmalade layer cakes -- not sure what the second one will become yet!