Flying Geese With Rainbow

Once again I was attracted to that stack of fabric chosen for the Colourburst challenge. I wanted to see what a colour array of flying geese would be like against the dark grey background. Initially, I planned to have just the one strip of flying geese and use the dark grey for the rest of the quilt. But when I started putting it together, that seemed too stark for a baby quilt so I added the three long strips of green, blue and purple. For some reason, even though there are orange triangles in the flying geese array, a long orange strip didn’t look nice so I left it out.

The flying geese units are 5 inches by 2 3/4 inches, and the quilt measures 34 by 35 inches. I quilted feathers on the wide grey strips, ocean waves on the coloured strips, and quilted in the ditch for the flying geese.

I am so pleased with the outcome and looking forward to using flying geese again, and also continuing to work with this beautiful set of colours.

Colourburst Challenge

Both my mother and I were admiring the Colourburst lap quilt in the book By the Block by Siobahn Rogers. The two of us decided upon a quilt challenge: each of us will design and create a queen-size quilt based on the Colourburst pattern. We agreed that both quilts will be professionally quilted, so the challenge is about the design and colour, rather than the quilting. The deadline for completion is January 31, 2018. Results will be posted after that on this blog.

In the meantime, we had a meeting and did some fabric swapping. Once I had that stack of glorious colour in front of me, I decided to do a prototype in crib-size format. I love the bright colours and how they contrast with the dark grey background, and it was exceptionally easy to piece the quilt top. I used a bead curtain free motion quilting pattern to finish it off. I wanted some curves to offset all the straight lines and right angles, and the circles to echo the print features.

Doing the prototype did give me some ideas for the final challenge version: in the purple and orange sections, the larger scale prints really liven up the quilt top, while the green and blue sections are pretty, but less lively. I plan to comb through my stash again for prints, and possibly shop for additional fabric as well. The requirements for each fabric are incredibly small – just one 4 1/2 inch wide strip of each.

If you would like to duplicate the crib-size version pictured here, I used 2 3/4 inch strips. The blocks are built with a Courthouse Steps configuration rather than a Log Cabin.

Doll Quilt Collection

Last week I was overwhelmed by an insatiable urge to use leftover fabric and scraps to make doll quilts. It’s still going on, I am working on doll quilt number 14 at the moment. There is something very satisfying about seeing the scrap pile dwindle away, while at the same time completing tiny perfect doll quilts. As I work, I can’t help but imagine the tea parties that dolls will be able to have on these quilts, and the lovely beds they will be able to sleep in. This is also an excellent opportunity to practice my free motion quilting on small manageable projects, and overall therapeutic.

Recently, my insatiable sewing urge has expanded into felt dolls, and I am trying to perfect a simple felt doll pattern. The felt is so easy to work with – no fraying, and I am using my stash of novelty fabrics, stripes and polka dots for the doll dresses.

Pinwheel Baby Quilt

I picked up an Animal Quackers fat quarter collection plus a charm pack and couldn’t resist using it right away. The pinwheel design is made from half square triangle blocks arranged at different angles.

I really enjoyed the free motion quilting. I used an orange peel pattern for the pinwheel section, and feathers for the border. The quilting process was surprisingly easy and quick.

To make the half square triangle blocks, I started with 5 inch squares (because that was the size of the squares in the charm pack). I matched up pairs of squares and put them face to face, drew a line with pencil diagonally, sewed a quarter inch on both sides of the line, then cut along the line, producing two HST blocks.

If you look very closely, you may notice my points are not perfect. Unfortunately, that’s because I trimmed up my rows to an even width, and in some cases cut too far into the points.

On the bright side, I think my free motion quilting is beginning to improve. I was able to produce more flowing and beautiful feathers this time.

Next, I am finishing up the second baby quilt from this collection, then plan to make some smaller items for a craft show in November. I also have two new original quilting designs in mind. How did I ever have time for a full-time job?

Foundation Pieced Bunnies

This is the fourth and final baby quilt made from the Beatrix Potter fat quarter collection. You may recall that I challenged myself to use every scrap of the fat quarter collection I purchased.

My inspiration for this design was a beautiful antique quilt that I own that was foundation pieced on feedsack.

I went ahead and used my scraps fairly randomly, piecing them on a light cotton foundation fabric. I don’t love the resulting quilt, I’m sad to say, because I think it is too random. The off-white corner triangles in each block do not do enough to create a cohesive look. However, I have dutifully quilted it with a mix of walking foot and free-motion, and I will just have to chalk this one up to living and learning.

Bunnies Around the World

This is the third quilt from the Beatrix Potter fat quarter collection. This time, I used the lighter fabrics from the collection and added a polka dot and a gingham from my fabric stash, along with the same off-white plain fabric I used in the first two quilts. I watched an Angela Walters how-to video on Youtube, then quilted the quilt with my free motion foot in an all over paisley feathers design.

Did I mention before that I have a stitch regulator for my machine? This really helps.

Up next is the fourth and final, super-scrappy quilt, which is still in the early design phase. This challenge has been fun, I’ll have to look at the four quilts together once complete. It seems like four baby quilts from one fat quarter collection is a good way to stretch the feature fabric as well as to use fabric from my stash. I’ve been hanging on to the blue gingham for about 20 years.

Reverse Irish Chain

Here is the second quilt made from the Beatrix Potter fat quarter collection. It’s an Irish Chain, but reversed so that the cream fabric makes the chain and the coloured fabrics are the majority of the quilt.

Once again I used a scrappy binding, and quilted with a mixture of the walking foot and free motion. Finished blocks are 9 1/2 inches, with a 3 inch border. It was much easier maintaining accuracy with the larger blocks.

As I finished piecing the quilt top I realized there was still quite a bit of leftover fabric, so I came up with a personal challenge: to use every last piece of the collection in as many designs as possible. In this case, I think two more baby quilts are possible. Not bad for a collection of 11 fat quarters, some plain cream fabric, and a small amount of coordinating fabric from my stash.