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.

Raised Beds

I wanted to design a low contrast baby quilt using the Beatrix Potter fat quarter set I bought recently. Going with the Peter Rabbit theme, I wanted the quilt to look like a garden design with raised beds for the different vegetables.

This was very quick and simple to piece, though it took a bit of math to get the blocks right so that they would be the right width for the strip of 5 blocks as well as for the strips of 4 blocks.  In the end I chose to use 4 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch pieces as well as 3 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch pieces. The raised bed borders are 1 1/2 inches, the paths lengthwise between the beds are 2 1/2 inches, and the other border and path strips are 3 1/2 inches. The finished quilt measures 35 by 43 inches.

I had fun choosing the different quilting motifs for each raised bed, then filled in the rest of the quilt with feathers and stripes. This part took much longer than the piecing. I wanted to keep the quilt low contrast, but add a bit of zing, so decided to use a scrappy binding.

One great thing about this design is that it used very little of the fat quarter collection, only a 6 1/2 inch strip from each fat quarter. That means I can go back and design another baby quilt using the same fabric. Just for fun I want to make this design again in bright, high contrast fabrics. I have just the fat quarter collection in my stash.

Honeybees Irish Chain Quilt

I bought a beautiful collection of honeybee themed fabric last fall when I was in Alberta, at Addie’s Creative Fabrics in Cochrane. I thought for many months about the fabric and how I would like to use it, and finally decided on an Irish Chain. I believe this pattern is a triple Irish Chain. As it got closer to cutting time I added a few more fabrics to brighten the overall effect (the bright greens and yellows).

I took every possible measure to ensure accuracy because of the many small pieces: cutting with the rotary cutter, strip piecing in manageable lengths, using the quarter inch piecing foot, and pressing the seams so that they would nest. Thanks goodness I did all that, because it was still very difficult to get my corners to match, and my quilt top to lie flat. I think the large plain sections have a different amount of stretch to them as compared to the blocks with many seams, and that was the cause of my frustration.

I quilted the quilt in an all over pattern of chevrons (note to self – very time consuming for a queen size quilt), with straight lines around the border. As you can see from the picture Pippi the cat is already enjoying the quilt.

I still have some unfinished objects to complete, but I have been sidetracked by some adorable Beatrix Potter fabric that I want to work on next.

Windmills

While I was playing with 6 x 3 inch rectangles, I got out a fat quarter collection I had bought a couple of years ago from the Fat Quarter Shop online. My thinking was that 6 x 3 inch rectangles would be very fat quarter friendly, and they are; I got 21 rectangles from each fat quarter. This collection had twelve prints, and I set out to design a block that would use each print once.

I call the resulting block “Windmills”. The rectangles are organized in groups of 3 around a central 3 inch square, in this case a light yellow. I laid out the rectangles randomly, with the only rule being each block should contain all twelve fabrics. Once the block is pieced and trimmed, it is 13 inches square, which makes a nice size to create a baby quilt, like this one, with 9 blocks.

I quilted it with my walking foot using an echoing random zigzag pattern.

I have another fat quarter collection that I am eyeing, but I may be ready to move on from 6 x 3 inch rectangles. Only time will tell.

Hit and Miss

I know I was planning to do something with triangles, but as I paged through my quilt books for inspiration I decided to work with rectangles instead. This design is a random placement of blue rectangles 6 x 3 inches, with an occasional yellow for contrast and interest.

Once again I used Melissa Marginet’s book to choose a walking foot quilting design (Hallways). I have the feeling that if I work my way through that book I will be a better quilter by the end of it.

I thought a scrappy binding would be suitable, and I lazily chose to sew the whole thing on by machine.

The quilt is destined for my newest nephew, but I liked it so much I couldn’t bear to part with it, so I made a second, identical quilt for later use.

Sometimes I like to think about what it is about quilting that I actually enjoy, and as I worked on this quilt I tried to track it. I noticed that I enjoyed each step: collecting, planning, cutting, laying out, piecing, quilting, making the binding and attaching it. But the overarching enjoyment is working with the beautiful fabric, because that’s what each step involves – touching and looking at the fabric. Secondly, I like the sense of order that piecing a pattern gives me. And thirdly, I like bringing into reality something beautiful from my imagination.

Blueberry Girl

Remember my disappointment with the Red Riding Hood fabric? Well, to ease the pain, I began putting together 6 1/2 inch squares of some of the other fabrics I’d collected for the Red Riding Hood quilt and ended up with this pleasant little baby quilt I call “Blueberry Girl”. It reminds me of long summer days when I was a child.

Once again, I used a pattern from Melissa Marginet’s book to quilt the quilt using my walking foot. Wow! I love the effect of this one – “Vortex”, and it was shockingly easy to do on this small quilt. It took me under 2 hours to complete.

For a change I decided to do a pieced backing, using strips of the leftover fabrics from the front of the quilt.

I’m pleased that this quilt rose from the ashes of my original Red Riding Hood plan, and I still have enough fabric from the collection to do another small quilt. However, I’m in the mood for a baby boy quilt, since I’ve just become the proud Gramma of a new baby boy. I’ve got a nice selection of blue and cream fabric, and am thinking of triangles – potentially a flying geese or bow ties design.

Green Diamonds

This queen-size quilt is my own design. The inspiration was a bright spring green fabric which I thought would be beautifully offset by surrounding it with black, white, and grey. I designed a large block made up of two rectangles, with a diamond in the centre.

Each block is 16 inches finished. The blocks were constructed by pairing four 8 1/2 inch squares in black, white or grey with four 4 1/2 inch squares. Assembly was random, but as you can see from the picture, each block used two of the same light and two of the same dark squares. The rows were then assembled so that dark and light pieces would oppose each other.

I quilted the quilt using my walking foot in black thread. My Mom was kind enough to give me a copy of Melissa Marginet’s book “Walking Foot Quilt Designs”. I had a great time perusing the book and choosing the “Ripples” design, which was very simple to do on my machine. The random curves look good against the straight lines of the quilt top.

Finally, I used leftover pieces from the top to create a scrappy binding, which carries on the funky look of the quilt.