Tag Archives: fmq

Kittens at Play: First Commissioned Quilt Finish

Today I am excited to share my first commissioned quilt with you! This quilt was a long time in the making, but has finally been finished, mailed, and happily received. It was a project for my father-in-law (GrandDude to my kids), who wanted to commission a secretly-made quilt for his adored wife (Grand Princess). The quilt features their two kittens Gina and Rascal, and incorporates many of my mother-in-law’s favorites. At 80″x74″, it was the largest quilt I’ve made to date, and lots of fun!

j quilt kittens at play finishWhen my FIL first suggested the idea of making a quilt for J, I asked him what he had in mind. He wanted a kitten quilt and suggested a mauve color palette. I showed him a few examples of kitten quilts with a modern aesthetic, and we decided on a quilt inspired by Luke Haynes’ Silhoucat quilt and tutorial found on Bernina’s We All Sew blog.

Mock up with kittensI sketched out a few versions with one kitten, but then he decided it would be really fabulous if I could show Gina looking out the window at a butterfly and Rascal looking out the door at a mouse. He sent a photo of the “green room” in their home since it is where the kittens often lounge, and asked if I could make the quilt look like the room. Since they live hundreds of miles away, matching the green would have been near impossible, so I grasped the mauve color palette suggestion and came up with a final layout.  My thought was that it is reminiscent of the green room in layout and kitten position, but the color would coordinate with either the green room or the living room, so the quilt could be an all purpose snuggle quilt. I sent him a rough mock up, created in EQ7 and paint–don’t you love my scribble kitties?–which amazingly came really close to looking like the finished quilt (little did we know at the time). He gave me the go-ahead to take artistic license and make the quilt, and so I began!

silhouette cat window butterfly quiltThe windows are made up of an assortment of light teal, blue, and grey half square triangles (HST), since I wanted it to look like dappled light through the windows. I’m definitely happy with the outcome, and think that it worked well! The walls and window/door frame are Interweave chambrays in colors sorbet and boysenberry, and the cats are Moda bella black, fused and raw-edge appliqued in place during quilting.

silhouette cat window mouse quiltNot having cats myself, I had to do some research into cat posture and the meanings behind different stances. Many thanks to Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl and Stephanie at Late Night Quilter for their input and cat positioning feedback. I think the playfulness of Rascal came across well as he eyed a mouse in preparation of pouncing!

finished folded quiltThe binding and backing were a step outside of my comfort zone, but I think they work well. J’s favorite color is lime green, so I knew from the start that I wanted to work some into the quilt. After considering many options (and confirming with my FIL), I made a bold choice to go with a solid lime green lawn for the backing. Lawn is super soft, so it is perfect for a couch snuggle quilt, and the solid lets the quilting shine on the back. I used Anna Maria Horner’s Spotted in the Crowd in Amelie from her Field Study line for binding, since I know J loves animal prints. Plus, the binding has both bits of lime green and teal/light blue, which helps tie the windows from the front into the lime green back.

lime green quilting detailI had lots of fun and tried new things with the quilting for this quilt, and I’m really happy with the outcome. I used coordinating 50wt Aurifil thread, changing colors for each section so that the quilting created texture without detracting from the design. I first quilted straight lines to frame the windows and keep the quilt squared (thank you, Stephanie for the pro tip!). Next, I raw edge appliquéd around the cats, butterfly, and mouse. I echo quilted inside of the cats to secure them while still keeping the shape apparent. For the walls, I free motion quilted a large mod flower pattern to give the walls texture and softness at the same time. I free motion quilted a large orange peel into the windows, using the HST grid as my base. As is my style, I didn’t mark the quilt at all and just went for it! Every time I free motion quilt, I begin terrified and quickly get into the rhythm, grinning and loving the process. I really need to do this more often!

kittens at play quilt commission finishAside from finding the necessary time to piece, layer, trace, fuse, and cut applique, baste, quilt, and finish this commission, the trickiest part was photographing the finished quilt. This quilt was too wide for even my tall 6’2″ husband to hold fully extended, although he did his best. He even tried to jump to get his feet out of the photo, but lo it only resulted in laughs. After washing and drying the quilt, I gave photographing it in full another go, trying the pant-hanger on the shed trick. Still not my favorite quilt photos, but they show the full quilt, so I’ll concede. The quilt is cute and loved, and that’s what matters!

always sign a quilt labelJ with her quilt happy recipientJ is happy with her quilt, so I’m thrilled!

Quilt Stats

Pattern: My own design, method inspired by Luke Haynes’ Silhoucat Quilt and fashioned after the recipients home and kittens

Size: 80″x74″

Fabric:
Front: The windows are an assortment of MANY teal/light blue/grey prints including but not limited to: Firefly Jar Mint from Curiosities by Jeni Baker (Art Gallery), Shimmer 2 fabric by Jennifer Sampou (Robert Kaufman), Mini Pearl Bracelets in Petal by Lizzy House (Andover), Full Circle in Robin’s Egg from Full Circle by Eloise Renouf (Cloud 9), Hilltop Mint Hearts for Wee Gallery (Dear Stella), Geo Mist in Mist from Anna Elise by Bari J (Art Gallery), Flirt Spring Branches on Grey (Dear Stella), Grey Mini Confetti from Confetti Dot (Dear Stella), Net in Smoke and Mint (Dear Stella), Crosshatch in Lake from Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander (Robert Kaufman), Chasing Butterflies in Blue by Lizzy House (Andover), Flowers on Blue by Pippa Moon (Studio E), The Sweet Life by Cori Daitini (Blend), Three French Hens by Pearl Louise Krush for Riverwoods Collection (Troy Corp), Glitz Flower in Aqua from Glitz Garden (Michael Miller);
The walls are Interweave Chambray in Sorbet (Robert Kaufman), and the door and window frames are Interweave Chambray in Boysenberry (Robert Kaufman); the cats and creatures are Moda Bella black.
Back: Cotton Lawn in Lime
Binding: Spotted in the Crowd in Amelie from Field Study by Anna Maria Horner (Free Spirit)

Batting: 100% cotton Soft n’ Crafty batting

Thread: Aurifil 50wt in 2600 – Dove for piecing and Aurifil 50wt 2800- Mint Ice, 5003-Wine, 4030-Plum and, 2692-Black for quilting

Quilting: Both straight line and free motion quilting on my Bernina 560 and a walking foot/open fronted darning foot

Time:
Piecing the top: 12 hours
Tracing, cutting, fusing applique: 4 hours
Piecing the back: 35 minutes
Squaring, layering, and basting: 1 hour 40 min
Quilting: 9 hours 30 min
Finishing (squaring & burying threads): 2 hours
Binding: 3 hours
Total: Approx. 32 hours 45 min

Related Blog Post: Slow and Steady

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, Needle and Thread Thursday, and TGIFF. I’m so excited to have my first commissioned quilt under my belt, and I’m so grateful to my FIL for not only seeing the value in handmade, but insisting on supporting the business side of what I do, too!

 

Relief Quilting Words in Negative Space {Tutorial}

I don’t write on my quilts. I have yet to find a pen or pencil that I trust enough, so I just avoid it as much as possible. I use a Clover Hera Marker* for marking straight lines, which is fabulous since it creases the fabric without actually leaving a mark. (*Affiliate link) But when it comes to complex designs or words, I either have to eye it or just wing it.

When I thought of the idea to write baby Reagan’s name in the heart speech bubble of her Pinkalicious Hazel Hedgehog quilt, I knew there must be a way to get her name to show up accurately but subtly among the matchstick quilting I had planned within the heart. Enter: Freezer Paper. I’ve had freezer paper in my sewing space for over a year, since Grammy June told me it was a must have for paper piecing back when I was first learning. Since I really enjoy foundation paper piecing using plain old copy paper, I have yet to touch the freezer paper. Until today.

TUTORIAL- Relief Quilting Words

Here’s a quick little tutorial on how I used freezer paper to help quilt words in negative space.

Relief Quilting Words in Negative Space

Step 1

relief quilting of words in matchstick quilting with freezer paperGather your materials. You will need:

  • Freezer Paper (I’ve read high quality brands like Reynolds work better than Costo-type brands)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Thread for quilting (I used 50wt Aurifil variegated thread)
  • Your quilt!
  • Optional: printer paper and printer
Step 2

relief quilting tutorialPrint a sample of the word you want to quilt, scaled to fit in the proper space. Trace onto the dull side of the freezer paper (shiny side away from you). Alternately, you could just draw the letters onto the dull side of the freezer paper–entirely up to your desired look.

Step 3:

relief quilting tutorialCut out the letters carefully, using paper-cutting scissors (not your special fabric ones!)

relief quilting tutorialArrange on your quilt as desired.

Step 4

relief quilting tutorial(Note: before ironing your letters to your actual quilt, always test the freezer paper on a scrap of the same fabric. The freezer paper should stick to the fabric, and after cooling should be easily peeled off without leaving any mark or residue.) Iron your letters to your quilt. The shiny side of the freezer paper will stick to the fabric.

Step 5

relief quilting tutorialMatchstick quilt around the letters. I used Aurifil 50wt variegated Bubblegum-3660 to match the background fabric, since I wanted the name to be subtle. Use contrasting thread to make the name stand out more.

Relief Quilting DiagramHere is a *rough* sketch of the path I took while quilting. I used my walking foot to matchstick quilt the entire background, stitching two stitches in the ditch along the outsides of the heart to travel from line to line, rather than having a *million* thread ends to bury. I actually stitched every other line backwards, holding down the “sew in reverse” button for the entire line of quilting. This was easier to me than maneuvering my entire quilt back and forth, and worked just as effectively.

relief quilting tutorialNote: After using your walking foot to matchstick quilt the background (around the periphery of the letters), some of the freezer paper letters may have come unstuck. 

relief quilting words tutorialIron them on again, using the little indents (if your letters had any) as a guide.

Relief Quilting FMQNext, free motion quilt the matchstick quilting within and between the letters, since the space is so small and back and forth quilting is much easier free motion style (you don’t have to twist and turn your entire quilt like you would using a walking foot!). Be sure not to quilt onto the freezer paper.

Step 6

relief quilting words tutorialPeel off the freezer paper letters. Bury any threads.

Step 7

relief quilting words tutorialAdmire your relief quilted name!

I’m linking up with Late Night Quilter’s Tips & Tutorials Tuesday. I hope you found this helpful, and let me know if you try it!

 

Twirling Star Mini Quilt Finish {Pattern Testing for Devoted Quilter}

Visitors entering our home will now be greeted by a bright and colorful quilt (of course we will also greet any visitors in person… but, you know what I mean!). I’ve finished the Twirling Star mini quilt I was testing for Leanne at Devoted Quilter, and I’m loving it in its new home.

twirling star mini quilt finish

It was really fun to make Leanne’s pattern with a modern aesthetic. Here’s Leanne’s version:

Twirling Star Mini Leanne's VersionI love how different choices of fabric and colors can completely change the look of a quilt. The mini quilt finishes at 19 1/2″ x 19 1/2″ and features both traditional piecing (the hourglass blocks) and paper piecing (the pinwheel blocks). The pattern also includes a coloring page, where you can test out different color arrangements before starting. I tried out a lot of different color possibilities before deciding on this one, and the coloring page is KEY (and so much fun). Leanne’s pattern is now available in her Etsy and Payhip shops, so if this looks like a mini you’d like hanging in your home, too, head on over and buy the pattern!

twirling star mini quilt finishI decided to quilt this mini with one big radiating spiral, and I’m quite happy with how it turned out. I followed the tutorial on Crazy Mom Quilts and began the spiral with free motion quilting (FMQ) in the center and then switched to my walking foot for the outer spirals. Since I have yet to find an actual pen/chalk/pencil that I trust for writing ON my quilts, so I decided to just wing it and do it by eye. I’m quite happy with how it turned out, and it was a lot easier than I anticipated.

center of spiral quilt patternOnce I quilted past the center, I switched to my walking foot, which proved to be a lot more difficult than I anticipated. Keeping a steady curve with the walking foot was tough, although I can see that I did improve as I moved outward, either the result of more practice or the less severe angle. As with any quilting, I found that I was more consistent with spacing and more accurate with the curve when I went slowly.

quilting "jump"
A little quilting “jump” as a result of less-than-smooth maneuvering with the walking foot.

There were quite a few “jumps” where I had stopped sewing to reposition the quilt under my machine and must have restarted sewing with too much torque on the quilt. Either that, or perhaps I tried to turn the curve while my machine was stopped. (You can see one of the “jumps” in the bottom of the blue triangle. Just a little wiggle.) If I were planning to submit this quilt to shows or give it to someone who would noticed the imperfections (are there such gift-quilt recipients?), I might have ripped out the quilting and tried again. But for this, a quilt meant to hang in our own entryway, I opted to just let them be. When you step back and view the quilt as a whole, the imperfections are lost.

twirling star mini quilt finish

I didn’t keep track of the time I spent making this quilt, but here are the other quilt finish stats:

Twirling Star Mini Quilt

Completed April 2015
Pattern: Twirling Star Mini Quilt pattern by Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Size: 19.5″x19.5″
Fabric: Pinwheels are pieced using rainbow fabric from Alison Glass’s 2015 Sun Prints, Mercury and Grove (Andover Fabrics), with a background of Modern Floral in Charcoal from the Botanics fabric line by Carolyn Friedlander (Robert Kaufman Fabrics).
Hourglass blocks are pieced using Scribble Notes in Black from the Architextures fabric line by Carolyn Friedlander (Robert Kaufman Fabrics) and Make and Pin fabric from the Makers fabric line (Art Gallery Fabrics).
Border is Ink in Charcoal from Alison Glass’s 2015 Sun Prints (Andover Fabrics).
Binding is Black Kona cotton (Robert Kaufman Fabrics).
Quilting: Spiral quilting using free motion quilting in the center and a walking foot for the outer spirals
Thread: Aurifil 50wt 2600 – Dove for piecing and quilting
Related blog posts: Embrace the Rainbow, Twirling Star Flimsy Finish

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.

 

 

 

Tutorial: Wonky Triangles FMQ for Narrow Sashing

Since the wonky triangle quilting I did in the narrow 1″ sashing of my Dr. Seuss Diamonds quilt was one I didn’t find elsewhere, I thought it would be helpful to create a quick tutorial on how to quilt them.

wonky triangle free motion quilting in narrow sashingBeing “wonky” certainly helps, since it means they don’t have to be–and in fact, shouldn’t be–perfect. For a beginner free motion quilter (FMQ) like me, this is the perfect pattern to play with when there’s a quilt full of narrow sashing to quilt!

The wonky triangles are great because:
-they can be used on very narrow sashing
-being wonky, perfection is not the goal
-they cross fairly smoothly for intersecting sashings
-triangles can be sized as needed, so it’s easy to fill even smaller spaces
-it’s a simple repetitive pattern that is perfect for beginners quilting on a domestic machine (or pros on a long-arm!)

Inspired by Amy Garro of 13 Spools, I’m going to use a pen and paper to show you how to create the wonky triangle pattern. When you are quilting narrow sashing, you can use your piecing as your boundary lines. I drew black parallel lines to represent the boundaries.

Step 1

FMQ Wonky Triangles Step 1

Begin at the top edge of one of your sashes. Quilt parallel to that edge (1 in diagram above), then turn along the sash boundary and quilt the second side of the triangle, approximately the same length as the width of your sashing (2 in diagram above). Since these are wonky triangles, nothing needs to be measured or perfect. Next, head back toward your starting point, creating the third side of the triangle but stopping before you actually get to the starting point (3 in diagram above). Next, quilt a little triangle inside your big one, following the same general shape. Once both nested triangles are quilted, continue your quilting line through the bigger triangle and extend a short distance.

Step 2

FMQ Wonky Triangles Step 2Quilt back toward your starting point again, keeping your quilting lines evenly spaced, to begin the next triangle (4 in diagram above). This first quilting line back toward your start is the first side of your second triangle. Continue quilting the wonky nested triangles along your entire length of sashing! Just be sure to always head back along your existing quilting after emerging from a triangle and it should smoothly progress to the end.

wonky triangle fmq tutorial
Quilting Intersections

If you are quilting sashing that intersects, here is how I crossed over. Begin quilting your first sashing line as described above.

wonky triangle fmq tutorial

When you begin to near the intersection, adjust your triangle size and spacing a bit (if necessary) to exit a complete triangle right at the edge of the intersection.

fmq wonky triangles tutorialQuilt straight across the intersection, creating a long straight line parallel to the sashing you are quilting. (Don’t worry, we will fill in when we do the crossing).

wonky triangle fmq tutorialContinue your triangle quilting, crossing intersections in the same way. Quilt wonky triangles all the way to the end of the sashing.

Note: Depending on whether you are approaching the intersection crossing from the top or bottom, you will need to begin your triangles a bit differently.

wonky triangles fmq tutorial

After you cross the intersection, if you are on a bottom angle of the sashing, begin your first triangle line perpendicular to the crossing, along the intersection (in blue above).  If you cross on the top angle of the sashing, extend beyond the intersection so that your line forms the second side of the triangle (in red above). See the diagram with step 1 above for clarification on what I mean by “the second side of the triangle”.

wonky triangles fmq tutorial

After quilting wonky triangles all the way to the end of the first sashing, begin quilting the intersecting sashing. As you approach the intersection, be aware of how much space you have and try to allow for a triangle to be quilted to completion right at the edge of the intersection. In my example, I cut it a bit tight, so my last triangle is on the small side.

Here’s where you have a choice, depending on both your level of skill and your desired look. If you are really good at tracing existing quilting discretely, you can use the line across the intersection as the edge of one of your crossing triangles. In that case, just trace the line as part of an outer larger triangle and continue quilting as normal.

wonky triangles fmq tutorial

If, like me, you are not a pro at tracing existing quilting, you can pass right through the line across the intersection as if it is another triangle edge and quilt your crossing triangles right through it. As long as you keep the distance between your quilted lines consistent, it does not change the aesthetic of the design all that much, in my opinion.

Continue your wonky triangles until all of the sashes are quilted. Easy, right!?

As with all free motion quilting, the more you practice this design, the more natural it will become to get your triangles consistent and your intersections smooth. During the learning process, don’t fret over little hiccups or half-triangles. After all, they are wonky, right? Triangles are pretty forgiving since you can make them as big or small as you need to fit in your space. As long as it has three sides and three angles, it’s a triangle!

I’m linking up with Late Night Quilter’s Tips & Tutorials Tuesday. I hope you find this helpful, and please let me know if you try it! Tag me @nightquilter on Instagram, or link a picture here. I’d love to see!

 

 

 

 

Friday Finish: Dr. Seuss Diamonds Quilt

Just in the nick of time, I finished the Dr. Seuss quilt for my daughter’s preschool fundraiser. As I mentioned in previous blog posts When Duty Calls: Dr. Seuss Raffle Quilt and Dr. Suess Flimsy Finish, this quilt was created from an old work in progress for a fundraiser raffle at our local elementary school. Every bit of fabric used was already in my stash, with the exception of the polar fleece backing. I am really happy with how the quilt came out, and finishing at 44″x51″, it is a decent snuggle size for a child to curl up under while reading a book.

dr seuss fundraiser quilt finish

Before I go into the details of this finish, I want to extend a huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who commented on my previous Flimsy Finish post. You helped me to realize the true joy in giving that is involved in donation quilts, and to feel entirely positively about the whole experience. What matters most is that this quilt will be loved by a child, and that I have donated my time, skill, and materials to a cause in which I believe. Hopefully the school and PTO will earn a good sum thanks to the addition of this quilt to the raffle basket, but even if not, the joy that it brings to a child–and really, to me for having the ability to donate such a labor of love–is what matters in the end. So THANK YOU!

Now, the quilt!!

dr seuss quilt finish

dr seuss quilt finish

dr seuss quilt finish
Mr. Cat in the Hat likes it, too!

dr seuss quilt finish

I backed this quilt with gorgeous turquoise polar fleece so that it is extra snuggly, and decided to use that same polar fleece backing to bind the quilt. I wanted the binding to be extra wide, since it is so snuggly, so I trimmed the backing so that it extended 1.5″ from every side, then folded in half and then folded over the front of the quilt to make a 3/4″ binding, top stitched on the front. It was surprisingly smooth and easy, and I love the finished look!

The free motion quilting shows nicely on the solid polar fleece back, and I almost like the back of the quilt as much as the front!

dr seuss quilt finish back

dr seuss quilt finish back
Free motion quilting detail on the back of the quilt.

My free motion quilting (FMQ) is far from perfect, but I think it was an excellent design for this quilt layout. The wonky Seussical triangles I quilted on the narrow sashing crossed fairly smoothly, and the simple orange peel-esque diamonds hold it together nicely. I used a wide wiggle on the wide white borders (can you tell I’m a total FMQ newbie? “wide wiggle”!? haha), and couldn’t resist the urge to do a bit of free form Dr. Seuss FMQ in the corners. I roughly quilted three Truffala trees with “Unless” written beneath in one corner, two Seussical stars in two opposite corners, and I quilted my “tag” into the final corner, since I didn’t want to mar the beautiful back with a cotton label.

quilt label free motion quilted

I had my usual helper, Mr. Max, who couldn’t resist snuggling behind this quilt. Just a few cameos of my cutie pie helper and then I’ll share the official quilt stats

peek a boo Max dr seuss quilt
Peek a boo!

max and dr seuss quilt

max and dr seuss quilt

Quilt Stats

Pattern: Must Stash (Diamond Quilt) from the book Modern Designs for Classic Quilts by Kelly Biscopink and Andrea Johnson. *Amazon affiliate link*

Size: 44″x51″

Fabric:
Front: Dr. Seuss fabric by Robert Kaufman Fabrics with Kona White sashing and borders.
Back & Binding: Turquoise polar fleece

Batting: 100% cotton Warm & Natural batting

Thread: Aurifil 50wt 2615 – Aluminum & 2600 – Dove

Quilting: Free motion quilted on my domestic Bernina Artiste 730

Time:
Cutting diamonds (rough approximation): 3 hours
Layout and cutting of supplemental diamonds: 45 minutes
Piecing the top–aka sewing sashing: 7 hours
Squaring, layering, and basting: 1 hour
Quilting: 6 hours
Finishing (trimming to size, clipping threads): 45 minutes
Binding: 1 hour
Total: Approx. 19 hours 30 minutes

I’m linking up with TGIFF. I’m also going to link up with Yvonne’s Thankful Thursday since I’m truly thankful for you awesome quilting community, who helped me see the light about donation quilts. It’s all about the giving!

A Perfect Pair: Wine and Fabric {Tremolo}

It’s been a while since my last wine and fabric pairing post, and there’s a good reason for it: I’m expecting baby #3 and therefore haven’t been drinking any wine! Now that the cat’s out of the bag, you will understand my relative blogging silence the past few months. The first trimester is exhausting, meaning my late night quilting was replaced by sleeping!

This past week, though, my parents came to visit, and when I saw one of the bottles of wine my dad brought along, I immediately was inspired to make a quilt. Or, in this case, a small pincushion for starters.

Tremolo wine  inspired pincushion quilting

Tremolo wine  inspired pincushion quilting

My first thought when I saw the 2013 Tremolo Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina (other than “Man, I wish I could have some wine”) was how the sound waves would make a cool quilt.

Tremolo definition from google
Tremolo definition from google

I did a bit of googling to see if I could find any existing sound wave quilts, and then decided to make my own practice version in the form of a pincushion. At first I was going to make it longer with gradating colors from dark to light, but due to time and resulting size I limited myself to just one sound wave.

tremolo sound wave quilt pincushion

I used almost entirely scraps, but needed to cut one more 3/4″ strip of Carolyn Friedlander’s beloved botanics fabric for background. I’m mostly happy with how this turned out, but I feel like the strips should could be skinnier. Perhaps on a larger scale (think: pillow or quilt), the strips could be wider and still have the right sound wave generating effect. As it was, 3/4″ strips (finishing at 1/4″) were pretty tiny, and still look too wide for my taste.

tremolo sound wave quilt pincushion

I do love the quilting, though!! I jumped right into free motion quilting a sound wave zig-zag right on top. I intentionally bumped out into the background a bit, mimicking the fluctuations of an actual sound wave. I used Aurifil 2810 – Turquoise 50 wt thread, which coordinated with the sound wave, but contrasted enough so that the stitches are very visible (and audible?)

tremolo wine inspired quilted pincushion

My dad reported that the Tremolo wine is very good, and nice and smooth. The label description says: French-born winemaker Didier DeBono crafted this 100% Malbec from grapes grown on two special, high-elevation vineyard sites in Mendoza. A Tremolo is an aurally pleasing musical effect we were reminded of upon tasting this harmonious, balanced wine. It sounds like my dad agrees, and that the inspiration can be extended visually, to music-inspired quilting!

tremolo wine inspired quilted pincushion

There you have it: another perfect wine and fabric pairing. Drink Tremolo while you work on your musically-inspired quilt, whether it be a tiny pincushion or a king sized quilt!

The perfect pair:

Fabric
Any music or sound wave-inspired sewing
My mini tremolo pincushion included:

Front (Collection/Designer/Manufacturer):
Scraps of:
*  Botanics/Carolyn Friedlander/Robert Kaufman Fabrics – background
*  Plum Rose/Blank Quilting – sound wave

Back (Collection/Designer/Manufacturer):
*  Tree of Life/Chong-a Hwang/Timeless Treasures Fabrics

Wine
Varietal: Malebec
Producer: Tremolo
Vintage: 2013
Location: Mendoza, Argentina

Tasting notes from website: Rustic, earthy and even a bit restrained at first, after some air this wine will reveal excellent fruit concentration with notes of dark cherry and blackberry, plus a hint of vanilla and a meaty, earthy finish. It finishes dry and will leave you thirsting for more – especially if you’re having it with grilled meat.

Or if you’re in the middle of an aurally and visually pleasing quilting project. A perfect pair, indeed.

Here are two of my favorite sound wave-esque quilts I found during my google search:

Piano Keys quilt by Avis Collins Robinson
Piano Keys by Avis Collins Robinson

This beauty was found on the November 1, 2009 tumblr post on http://allfortheloveofgooddesign.tumblr.com/.  It’s a photo taken at the African American Quilts exhibit at the Nelson Gallery, of a quilt called Piano Keys by Avis Collins Robinson.

tuning forks quilt by heather preggers
Tuning Forks #11 by Heather Preggers

I absolutely love this quilt by Heather Preggers. Visit her blog to read more about her thought process and creation of this quilt. She also has many other variations of this tuning forks quilt, since she’s admitted she is somewhat obsessed with them! They are all gorgeous and resonate with sound and movement.

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, since I finished my pincushion and paired a nice wine!

Secret Garden Quilt: Attalie’s June Garden

Finally, here is the reveal of my secret garden quilt: Attalie’s June Garden.

garden quilt finish butterfly flower
Attalie’s June Garden: A finished quilt, without all of the butterfly pins.

Last weekend, I was doing some hurried slow stitching, trying to get the binding sewn down on this quilt before the baby shower at which it was to be gifted. I finished sewing the binding just in time for the shower to be postponed due to the swiftly blowing and accumulating snow, and shortly thereafter we lost power. For over three days. But I finished the quilt!

free motion quilted words garden quilt
“Attalie’s June Garden”, free motion quilted into the bottom of the quilt’s border.

This quilt has a definite story behind it. First, to decipher the name for you. Attalie is the in utero baby for whom I made the quilt. June is the name of my husband’s Grammy, the quilter of the family, and the collector of all of the butterfly pins that live in this garden quilt. Grammy June died less than a year ago. When she died, all of the family had the emotional task of going through her things before the estate sale. In looking at her jewelry, I discovered a large number of butterfly pins. “I didn’t know Grammy collected butterflies!” I said. As it turns out, neither did any one else in the family. Either way, I immediately envisioned them living forever in a quilted garden wall-hanging, so I asked if I could take them. Everyone, of course, said yes.

paper pieced star butterfly quilt garden
One of Grammy June’s butterfly pins, flitting peacefully by the glittering sunburst I paper pieced especially for this quilt.

Flash forward a few months. Our cousin Molly, who was the one who took care of Grammy June during her last days, and who now lives in Grammy June’s old house, announced that she was pregnant. Flash forward a few more months: Molly shared that they were having a girl, naming her Attalie, and that the nursery theme would be “Garden”. The butterfly garden quilt was asking to be created, finally. With a little over two weeks before the baby shower, I got started. I designed, pieced, and free motion quilted the entire quilt, which finishes at 27″ x 20″, and stitched on the binding just in the nick of time. The quilt is mostly comprised of fussy-cut 1- and 2-inch squares (1 1/2″ and 2 1/2″ before sewn together).The process was a lot tougher than I imagined, and there were definitely some face-palm, seam ripping moments (which I will go into in a later post), but I am very happy with how this quilt turned out. Here are some detail photos:

flower free motion quilting
I used a wild, make it up as I go free motion quilting pattern, sometimes mirroring the flowers, and sometimes adding features. I love how this particular FMQ turned out!
butterfly garden quilt
The finished quilt, complete with flitting butterflies. The butterfly pins were all collected by Grammy June, who would have been (and always will be, in heaven) baby Attalie’s Great Grammy.

Here are some detail shots of the beautiful butterfly pins on different parts of the quilt. I tried to balance the overall color flow by putting the blue/green pins on the pink flowers, and the other pins in and around the blue and purple flowers. I think the butterflies look quite happy on this quilt!

butterfly pins garden quilt

Attalie's June Garden

butterfly pins on garden quilt
I think this little copper butterfly is my favorite.

butterfly pins on garden quilt

butterfly pins on garden quilt

butterfly pins on garden quilt
As I photographed this quilt after the storm had subsided and during our first somewhat bright day, the sun began to shine with earnest.
flower garden quilt
Even after a blizzard, there were still a few flowers in the garden. This one came out to play with Attalie’s June Garden quilt.
Quilt back with corner label.
Quilt back with corner label.
quilt corner label
My first corner label. I will fill in Attalie’s middle & last names once her middle name has been chosen!

 

Finished quilt stats:

Name: Attalie’s June Garden
Size: 27″ x 20″
Fabric: Assorted flowers from RJR Fabrics, Andover, and Studio E
Quilting: Free motion quilted with mostly Aurifil and some other hand-me-down threads
Finished: November 2014
Related blog posts: A Garden {Quilt} Full of Florals

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.

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!

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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.

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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!

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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

 

Baby FMQ for the Win

It is decided: baby quilts are the all-time best for practicing free motion quilting (FMQ). Why? Here’s my thinking:

1. Baby quilts are the smallest of the “full” sized quilts, so they are a bit easier to maneuver in your machine. Trust me, this is very helpful for a newbie free motion quilter!

2. Many baby quilts, at least the ones that I have made thus far, are made of larger blocks, encouraging many different quilting patterns and styles.

Blocky baby quilt. To see more of my recently attempted free motion quilting patterns, see my post A Sensory Adventure with FMQ
Blocky baby quilt. To see more of my recently attempted free motion quilting patterns, see my post A Sensory Adventure with FMQ

3. Baby quilts are made to be spit up on, peed on, dragged around the house, and shown that tough love only a baby and toddler can dish out. This to me is the perfect medium for practice (ie, imperfection). Clearly, nothing is perfect. But when I know that the subject quilt is hopefully going to be dragged around, have diapers changed on it, and be used as an impromptu picnic blanket or cape, I feel less worried about getting everything exactly perfectly right.

This *oopsie* artistic element will make a great mountain or jump for matchbox cars.
This *oopsie* artistic element will make a great mountain or jump for matchbox cars.

4. Babies like funky shapes and textures. A brand new baby who is just starting to see the world and learn to move will love to explore a quilt with many different colors and textures. Free motion quilting helps you add those varied textures that a tactile creature like a baby will love.

5. When the quilt is for a baby, you can try out that weird or intriguingly unique free motion quilting pattern you’ve had your eye on, but have been hesitant to try on a more formal quilt. Suddenly have a desire to try out your grade school cursive? Go for it!

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In the outer most sashing, I FMQ-wrote the ABCs of babies. It was quite fun and an adventure to think up words to begin with each letter of the alphabet, almost twice around! Let me know if you are interesting in knowing the words I chose; I can addend this post if there’s interest!

See the completed quilt HERE!

Free Motion Quilt-a-thon

I’m doing more free motion quilting (FMQ) tonight, and I’m really enjoying trying out all these different patterns. Tonight I’m quilting swirls and stars in the star border,

photo 5 (2)and I’m trying a new design I recently saw on the blog Sew Katie Did. Katie, from Sew Katie Did, posted an article called ::Practice Practice Practice:: all about practicing FMQ. I’m trying out one of her suggested patterns, with a signature heart added into the design.

20140327-201257.jpgKatie is indeed correct: practice is the best teacher for free motion quilting. The only way to see what you can do is to try it!

What is the latest free motion quilting pattern you’ve tried? 

See the completed quilt HERE!