Monday, November 28, 2011

An Easy Log Cabin Quilt in Black, Bright
and Even Rainbow Fabric!

   Anyone who's ever gone shopping with a 6-year-old is almost guaranteed to have some rainbow fabric in her stash! You almost promise them anything if they will just be patient while you finish looking at fabric. Then, once you have their rainbow fabric, you start collecting small amounts of coordinating fabric...the only trouble is, it never really does go together! Enter this simple Log Cabin quilt that uses up that rainbow fabric, as well as some fun bright fabric you'd never get to use anywhere else...
   This quilt is based on 16 identical Log Cabin blocks. The center square starts off as a 4" square, and the strips are 2 1/2". divide four remaining fabrics into darker and lighter pairs, and start your log cabin going around the center square with the lightest fabric first, progressing to the darkest fabric. For this quilt, you will use the same fabric going around the Log Cabin for the second row as well. I did take the time to line up the rainbow print to give it a continuity in the design. That is what makes the pinwheel stand out as much as it does.
   Arrange the blocks in swirls, or create your own arrangement. add contrasting borders, and you have a fun quilt any 6-year-old or even 16-year-old will love.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Flannel Floral Folkart Quilt

   As a new quilter, I had no idea that flannel was more difficult to work with in a quilt than plain old cotton fabric. It's bulkier, less stable and it tends to shift, so piecing can be challenging, I did have the sense to pre-shrink the fabric though!
   After several visits to one of my favorite local quilt shops Sew What's New in Islip, NY (pssssst...they are usually open on Sundays!) I had to buy some of the floral flannel fabrics that had been catching my eye. I bought a quarter yard of some of them, and about a yard of the main print, which was about four vertical rows of 2 1/2" floral stripes with large motifs lined up between those rows, a couple of coordinating solids, and a coordinating mini print that looked like mini 1" log cabins. Now, what do do with it!
   I am not exaggerating when I say that I poured over patterns for MONTHS, maybe even YEARS before I came upon a book that seemed to help...Two-Block Theme Quilts by Claudia Olsen. This book had many ideas, and with a little adjustment and creativity, I was able to come up with a plan for a quilt that not only showcased the large flannel motifs, but also had some fun and movement in it. As you can see by the small quilt (crib size), the small amounts of fabric I had purchased required coing some of the star blocks in red, and some of them in blue.
   To finish the quilt, I added a lime green border and stippled the whole quilt. It is technically a UFO, since it hasn't had it's binding added yet (it will be yellow) but I'm pleased with the results. One word of warning...a flannel quilt backed in flannel and filled with cotton batting weighs a TON!
   Have you worked with flannel in your quilts? Was it what you expected? I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Turning Eight Fat Quarters Into Two Very Different Small Quilts

   Sometimes those little bundles of fat quarters are just too adorable to pass up. I was reading a quilting novel, and the story involved a woman from Guatemala. In my head, the descriptions of the colorful fabrics centered on reds and yellows, so when I saw a little bundle of red fat quarters next to a little bundle of yellow fat quarters, each tied with a pretty ribbon at a local quilt show, I had to indulge! Here are the two quilts that came out of those fat quarters.
   The quilt on the right was the first quilt,made in a simple pattern that I could imagine in Latin America.It was more difficult than I thought, because it has to be planned out to make the 4-part windmills fit together properly. To keep partial windmills from being on the quilt, I used a gold marble fabric. For the second quilt, I thought I'd add some white, to see if the colors would pop more. I'd never tried an Irish Chain pattern, so this was my first attempt. I definitely like the fabrics with the white added.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hollyhock Fabric Makes a Sweet and Summery Quilt Perfect for a Garden Party

Coral "Heavenly Hollyhock" fabric by Northcott in an original quilt.
   Like so many quilters, I love gardening, too. That made it nearly impossible to resist a bit of this Hollyhock fabric from Northcott. It sure was expensive, so I only splurged on a little...maybe a yard or so. I also picked up a half yard of a matching allover hollyhock print.  I came to discover there were many prints in the Heavenly Hollyhock line (you can see all the fabrics available in this series here, as well as what it looks like in a purple) but I only used these two, along with a wood-ish looking fabric I thought looked like fencing, and a green print for the background that I thought looked more vintage than the green that was in the collection.
   At the time, I was a relatively new quilter, and did almost everything in 12 1/12" blocks, thinking it would be easier to find help if I messed up on a standard size!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Easy Scrap Quilt with Floral Fabrics From Your Stash That Didn't Really Go Together at First Glance

   Sometimes you have fabrics that you really like, but you don't have anything special to do with them. So, they sit, and you know they will most likely never leave your stash, especially if you only have small amounts of them. That's why it's important to go through your stash occasionally, enjoying and touching your fabrics.
   For this quilt, I had several pretty floral prints, and just wanted to get them used up. The blocks in a sweet little Leisure Arts book, Wonderblocks by Terry Martin helped me on my way! Used copies are available online from Amazon I chose the big 12" blocks because I figured the quilt would be finished faster! To make this quilt simple, I cut a bunch of 4 1/2" strips, and further cut those into 12 1/2", 8 1/2", 6 1/2" and 4 1/2" pieces. If I had enough fabric, I cut a few 8 1/2" squares, but nothing bigger. I kept returning to my scraps for bits and pieces that would go with the quilt.

Easy, Pretty, Vintage-Look Doll Quilt

This little quilt was a lot of fun. I'd been given some small pieces of 30's inspired fabric at about the same time my daughter fell in love with American Girl dolls. Once she "adopted" Samantha, of course we needed a doll quilt for her!
   The quilt is based on 2 blocks, each miniaturized to 3" finished. The first block is a scrappy 9-patch. Small scraps of fabric were cut into 1 1/2" strips and sewn together in sets of 3. Sometimes there was very little fabric for the third strip, but that was OK with just added to the "scrappiness!"
   The sewn-together strips were rotary cut into 1 1/2" strips. Then, these 3-piece strips were arranged in groups of 3, and sewn together. Because they were so small, I finger pressed the seams to make them all nestle together when being sewn together.