Tag Archives: crazy mom quilts

Friday Finish: Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt Top

Maddie’s rainbow jellyroll quilt top is finally complete! It only took me a bit over three hours to sew together, but with a fairly large summer sewing hiatus in the middle. I decided to focus on completing this quilt over a month ago, and sewed the first jellyroll strips into pairs. This past weekend I was graced with a rare chunk of uninterrupted sewing time, during which I finished sewing all of the strips together. This quilt is made entirely of strips from an  Andover Fabrics Color Collection Jellyroll. Easy peasy! Go ahead and get a cup of tea or coffee (and a snack) because here comes a deluge of rainbow photographs!

rainbow jellyroll quilt

I was so excited to finally finish something, I immediately dragged my husband outside for a photo shoot upon completing this top. It was a bright sunny day with a decently brisk breeze, but I just couldn’t wait. Here’s Maddie’s gorgeous rainbow on a sunny, bright blue sky day:

rainbow jellyroll quilt top

rainbow jellyroll quilt top
Blowing in the breeze.
rainbow jellyroll quilt top
Sun shining through to the back as the quilt turns momentarily into a kite. I love the look of the back of a freshly pieced quilt, especially with the illumination of the sun!
rainbow jellyroll quilt top
Quilt top-turned-kite in its resting place: crumpled on the ground next to the fence.
rainbow jellyroll quilt top
Rainbow from afar.

My husband Garrett was quite patient as I dragged him around the yard, trying to find a spot where the lighting was decent and the photos were not too washed out from the bright sun. The wind didn’t always agree with our plan, but it made for some fun outtakes:

rainbow quilt top windy outtake

rainbow quilt top windy outtake

rainbow quilt top windy outtake
You would jump up and pretend you’re a bull fighter, too, right?

As evening began to set, I decided to go out and try a shady photo shoot, since in the past I’ve captured better color richness in shaded photos. With my kiddos back at home after an adventurous day with Grammy & Great Aunt Ellen, they of course wanted to help:

helpful kids and a rainbow jellyroll quilt helpful kids and a rainbow jellyroll quilt

The colors definitely are richer in the shady photos, although I miss the crispness of the sunny photos. With this photo shoot, I think I prefer the sun for the full-quilt photos, and the shade for the close-ups. What do you think?

shaded rainbow jellyroll quilt

rainbow jellyroll quilt top back

helpful kids and a rainbow jellyroll quilt
I love the look of the back of a freshly pieced quilt, even with kids flopped on it.
rainbow jellyroll quilt top front
Rainbow jellyroll quilt top front.
rainbow jellyroll quilt top back
Rainbow jellyroll quilt top back.

rainbow jellyroll quilt top

So pretty! I am quite pleased with how this came out, even if it’s a bit off-kilter on the edges. I plan to quilt it and then square it up after it’s all quilted. For those of you who have quilted rainbow quilts before, do you have any tips? I think I am going to try to match general colors of thread, and do simple straight line quilting along each strip. I guess that means I will need to buy some more Aurifil since I don’t have a full rainbow spectrum of thread (darn. wink wink).

I need your help!
My biggest question is with the bobbin: I only have two bobbins for my machine, and thus far I have quilted only in grey. When switching colors often in your quilting, do you just wind a bobbin a small amount, and hope to get lucky with how much you will need? I don’t want to waste a bunch of thread, but once I am finished quilting in a certain color, I will need to unwind the rest of the thread from the bobbin to make room for the next color. Any tips are greatly appreciated!

I’ll leave you with one last cute picture of my helpful kids, posted on Instagram last weekend (follow me @nightquilter).

photo (18)I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts’ Finish it up Friday and TGIFF.

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Friday Finish: Lupine, a Foundation Paper Piecing Pattern

I had never seen lupine before traveling to Maine, but now that I live here they are among my favorite flowers. There is a depth and richness to their color that force me to get really close and admire their intricacy. They are very advantageous growers, almost invasive, and the sheer numbers of lupine seen along roadsides, in fields, and in happy gardens make the color incredibly apparent.

Photo by Steffen Ramsaier, found on Flickr
Photo by Steffen Ramsaier, found on Flickr

Early in my sewing days, I was trying to think of a gift to make for my mother-in-law. I immediately thought of lupine, since they are her favorite flower. (If you have children, do you know the book Miss Rumphius? aka the Lupine Lady? Well that’s my mother-in-law–okay, it’s not really, but it certainly could be!) I had recently found paper piecing and wanted to make her a paper pieced lupine pillow.  The only problem was that all of my searches for paper pieced lupine patterns came up empty.

Flash forward a month or so, when I discovered that I could design paper piecing patterns.  A lupine flower was one of the first sketches I did. Talk about complex! I really wanted to get the heart-shaped petals into the pattern, but I knew it had to be fairly simple to be able to be pieced. I drew out a few sketches, chose my favorite, and began to try to break it down into logical pieces. My brain instantly scrambled.  I had to put the pattern aside, and work on a few different projects for a week or two.

paper piecing process
It all starts with the graph paper and sketch.

After that much needed breather, I picked up the lupine again one evening and smoothly worked it into numbered paper piecing sections. After a month or so of fine tuning and testing, the pattern is ready!

paper pieced lupine quilt block

Don’t you love it!? I wasn’t sure about my fabric choices at first, but now that the block is done, I think they were perfect! They blend together just enough to give the flower depth without detracting from the congruence of the bloom.

This is not a beginner paper piecing pattern in that there are many pieces and a few sharp angles.  There are only simple joining seams, though; no y-seams! If you have a good sense of paper piecing, this block shouldn’t be too tricky. It took me about 4 hours to complete and measures 10″ square (10.5″ with seam allowance).

paper piecing progressIf you follow me on Instagram, you’ve watched this lupine block’s progression. For those of you who don’t follow me yet, here’s a peek at the process from my Instagram feed (@nightquilter). Of course these are taken with my iPhone during my late night quilting foray, so pardon the blur!

Lupine paper piecing progress
Little by little, it comes together.

paper piecing detail

The back is my favorite! Stragglers hanging on after I’ve removed most of the paper.

The pattern will be available in my Payhip Pattern Store by the end of today, so now if you need to make your mother-in-law (or mom, sister, brother, cousin, friend, or yourself!) a lupine pillow, wall hanging, table runner, bag, etc. you can get right to it!

This particular block will soon become a long-awaited Lupine Pillow for my mother-in-law. I’d say it was worth the wait.

This is my exciting Friday Finish, so I’m linking up!

Crazy Mom Quilts
TGIFF

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Friday Finish: Lillian’s Baby Quilt

Finally! Over the past few weeks especially, I’ve hinted at this project and have shown little peeks at quilting and piecing details, but now I can finally show you the whole finished quilt!

2014-04-02 18.17.06

I began this quilt before little Lillian was born, and my friends didn’t find out the gender in advance, so I worked to choose gender neutral fabrics in creating this quilt. The center square is from a pattern I found in an old quilting magazine (I will link to it when I return to Maine; I don’t have the magazine with me and don’t remember specifics), but I really didn’t like the border suggested in the pattern and after much internal debate decided to design my own. I created the heart cornerstones, and I’m really happy with the mosaic-style cobblestone outer border and how well it frames the quilt.

For the back, I used a flannel fabric similar to the jungle focal panel in the front center square, with a single row of the color cobblestones mirroring the focal panel on the front.

2014-04-02 18.16.35

We are down in New Jersey visiting my family, and last weekend my dear friends and recipients of this quilt came down from NY for a visit. We haven’t seen them in nearly–or over–a year! I have been working hard to complete this quilt so that I could gift it in person, and while I came down to the wire, I did it, hand stitching the label the night before their visit.

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I’m really happy with the way this quilt turned out, and it is a showcase of many firsts and newly practiced skills, primarily the free motion quilting (FMQ). You can see more about my process in making the quilt, as well as more FMQ detail in my posts Baby FMQ for the Win, Free Motion Quilt-a-thon, A Sensory Adventure with FMQ, and An Unexpected Element. Seriously, the other posts are worth checking out! I’ve only been hinting at it a little, right? hah!

Since it’s a baby quilt and hopefully will see a lot of use and tough love, I opted to machine sew the binding. I also was pressed for time and really wanted to be sure to finish the quilt before departing on our trip. I used the method suggested in Cluck Cluck Sew’s Machine Binding Tutorial. With this method, the binding is sewn to the front of the quilt first, and THEN the back. The final stitching, when done correctly, traces the edge of the quilt right inside the binding, so it looks like part of the quilting. Just like the tutorial promises, most of the time it turned out perfectly:

Stitches trace the edge of the quilt just inside the binding: perfect!
Stitches trace the edge of the quilt just inside the binding: perfect!

and some of the time, I hiccuped and the stitches ended up on top of the binding:

Oops!
Oops!

All in all, I’m very happy with this quilt, and I’m eager to see many baby, toddler, child photos with this quilt getting grayer and grayer in the background! Enough about the quilt; here are some photos from the day, gifting and of course adorable Lillian!

Gifting the quilt and discussing the little details.
Gifting the quilt and discussing the little details.
I love babies! Lillian was adoring her view of her momma, otherwise I would have been snuggling that girl up close!
I love babies! Lillian was adoring her view of her momma, otherwise I would have been snuggling that girl up close!

2014-04-05 12.20.55

My son Max wanted Lillian on his lap, always. He was so very gentle!
My son Max wanted Lillian on his lap, always. He was so very gentle!

Since it’s Friday and this is an epic finish for me, I’m linking up! Click the links below to see many other awesome finishes.

Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday
TGIFF