My sewing of late has been interrupted by summer travels and some much needed redecorating of my house. A trip to the Ponderosa Quilt Retreat with some dear friends was just what I needed to refresh my creativity and get some sewing done.
First on the agenda was a baby quilt for a new grand-niece. It’s been many years since there has been a baby in the family – this is the first of the next generation – and it is the first since I have been quilting. Naturally, I was very excited to be making baby Anna her very own quilt.
Wanting a style that was classic, simple and pretty, I chose an hourglass design and used Cluck Cluck Sew’s tutorial for the inspiration and the measurements.
I increased the size by adding one more row and one more column – a total of 8 x 10 or 80 squares that finish at 4 1/2″ each. I used ten different fabrics and cut 8 squares of each, plus 80 white squares to create the blocks.
I spread out the grays and darker pinks as best I could, but didn’t get too strict about the placement. It is after all a baby quilt and not a quilt show exhibit!! I am thrilled I finally used the pink elephants from my stash and don’t even get me started on the Heather Ross strawberries!!
For the back, I am using this gray Moda print. This may be the first time I purchased backing fabric before I made the quilt top!
Little Anna is two weeks old already so I better get this quilted up and in the mail. I hope she likes it!!
I could also title this post, “Jen Kingwell, how do I love thee?” Her quilts are amazing, her book is gorgeous and her fabric line is brilliant.
I knew right away that Flutterby would be my first project from her book, and it pairs perfectly with a layer cake of Gardenvale, Jen’s first fabric line with Moda.
I am using assorted Kona cottons for the background and the black and white check is one I had in my stash – originally purchased for binding. I have only made a few of the squares so far, just to get a feel for how it is going to look.
Needless to say, I am very excited for this project!!
A 40 yard roll of batting recently arrived on my doorstep so I can finally quilt up some of the other hundred or so quilt tops I have (ok, not that many, but it feels like it). And also this week, I am helping a friend with some last-minute frenzied market sewing – wish me luck!!
Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday – what are you working on this week?
I am not a cat a person. I am not a non-cat person, either, but I am not “into” cats like some of my friends are. Therefore, I don’t usually gravitate to cat fabric, but when I saw this line from Makower UK, I thought it was the cutest and wanted to have some.
So when an upcoming swap partner said she likes cats, I took the opportunity to buy a lovely half yard bundle. Serendipity, don’t you think?
I think it is the colors that make me love it so much – soft aqua, gray, pink and raspberry! That, and the cute smiling faces of the kitties. There is also a couple of little florals that have no hint of cat in them and will be useful in other projects.
I don’t want to give too much of the project away, just in case she reads my blog, so a sneak peak is all I can share. Let’s just say that it is cats made out of cats…
It makes me so happy – I hope she really likes cats! I am using the smiling kitties for the back and a pretty stripe for the binding:
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may notice the different look! I have moved to WordPress – more about the final step and some insight tomorrow!
Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for Work In Progress Wednesday (for the first time in forever!)
I have fabrics in my stash that I bought because I thought they were pretty, only to find that I had no idea how to use them. It is usually the medium to large scale florals that have many different colors in the print. The one on the right in the above picture is a good example of this.
I want to use them. I need to use them. So I thought, why not use it as a feature fabric and add some coordinates and lots of low volume? I started pulling fabrics, sticking to navy, aqua, and various greens. These are not fabrics that I ever would have thought went with the floral, but somehow, they worked because of the colors.
Then I started cutting and piecing in a sort of random, sort of planned method – 18″ x 6″ sections of 6 fabrics each. The angles are cut free form, creating wedges and rectangles.
This is such a freeing way to piece fabrics. No specific pattern or shapes lets the fabric do the talking and there is no right or wrong way to do it. The only goal is to get a balanced layout of darks and lights. I am having so much fun, I am going to do a tutorial so everyone can give it a try!!
How to Add Solids to Your Quilts
Lately, I have been thinking about solids and if I should use more of them in my quilts. So, when RJR fabrics invited me to participate in their What Shade Are You? Blog Hop, I jumped at the chance to explore the option.
Many fabric manufacturers make it so convenient to buy complete collections with their offers of precuts and bundles. I am more than happy to take them up on that offer, especially when stacked up neatly and tied with a bow! But then I feel compelled to use the entire line in one quilt, which can lead to a busy mix of prints. A great way to calm the chaos is to add solid fabrics.
How do you know which ones to add? Using this bundle of fabrics, I wanted to keep the solids “calm” so that the blues, aquas, cream and greens would be the focus and the red and yellow would serve as the pops of color. The Cotton Supreme solids from RJR Fabrics are wonderful, with a high quality weave and a lovely, soft feel. With over 175 colors to choose from, I was sure that I would be able to find what I was looking for.
I used the stripe as my starting point because it has a good mix of the colors and I knew that I would use it for the binding, When adding solids, they don’t have to match exactly, going a bit lighter or darker adds more interest, but do keep them in the same tone (the amount of gray in the colors). If I had thrown red and/or yellow into the mix, it would have defeated the purpose of adding the solids in the first place, which was to calm things down.
The cream and gray are neutrals, and adding neutrals is always a good idea. There are a lot of colors in the prints so I chose six blues/greens and two neutrals for a good representation of them. Sometimes, you just have to play and edit to get this right. It is ideal to keep the proportions of solids and prints in check – the solids should complement the prints, not overpower them.
Here they are all together:
And here is the resulting quilt top:
The question of how much solid fabric to add is kind of a matter of personal preference and the look you are wanting to achieve. I like when things work out in even numbers, so with 30 blocks to make, I decided on a 2:1 ratio of prints to solids for the background squares – 20 print backgrounds and 10 solid ones. I used this same ratio for the center blocks and the star points. Having three different elements to each block also meant that I would be assured of having one solid fabric in every block (because the solids are 1/3 of the fabrics).
When it came time to lay the blocks out, I did my best to keep like colors, prints and backgrounds separate from each other, but it proved to be impossible! I would move one which then meant I had to move another one and then another! So in the end, I have some solid backgrounds next to each other and some prints diagonal from each other, but I had to stop moving them around at some point or I’d go mad!!
I used a great tutorial for the star blocks from Alison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew. I trimmed by blocks to 10 1/2″ which made for easy assembly of the rows and final quilt top. The overall size is 50″ x 60″, a perfect sofa snuggle quilt or a generous kids quilt.
I would love for you to add some solid fabrics to your next project, and RJR has graciously offered a fat quarter bundle of the colors I used to give away to one of my readers.
THE ENTRIES ARE CLOSED AND THE WINNER HAS BEEN NOTIFIED. THANK YOU!!
The color numbers included are: 090, 264, 242, 294, 169, 342, 228 and 155.
To win , you can enter up to three times by:
1. Leave me a comment on this post, maybe say what you would use the fabrics for.
2. Like RJR Fabrics on Facebook and leave me a second comment telling me you did.
3. Follow RJR Fabrics on Instagram and leave me an additional comment telling me you did.
::: U.S. and Canada entries only please and no P.O. boxes :::
I will leave entries open until Monday, March 16th and then choose a winner with Mr. Random. Good luck!!
Thanks for visiting and Happy Sewing,
Over the past couple of years, I have been growing my fabric stash. It is a common trait of quilters, old and new alike, to buy fabric because it is pretty with no regard for what I am going to make with it, if anything at all. But now I look at all those piles of fabric and think, gosh, there’s a lot of money tied up in there, maybe I need to use it up…
So I have made it one of my goals for the year to use what I have and limit further purchasing of more fabric. Not a bad thing when I get to sew up such cute fabrics as these Sarah Jane Out to Sea prints. I have decided on a simple alternating 4-patch and square layout that allows me to fussy cut some of the larger feature fabrics.
The top went together really quickly and I have begun to quilt it on the Princess (my Babylock Tiara) with free motion wavy lines to mimic real waves!