Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Philly MQG Modern Log Cabin Challenge

The Philly MQG had a modern log cabin challenge last year as one of our monthly activities.  I decided to use some improv and assymetry in my log cabin entry.  I took some scraps of green fabric that I had lying around and spiced them into some solid gray fabric.  I then cut strips of various widths from the solid gray fabric.  I also cut a few strips of a green Quilters Linen fabric to use in the quilt.  I started the log cabin with a piece of the green Quilters Linen fabric and then worked my way around and around, starting with the narrowest strips of gray and finishing with the widest.

I thought that the quilt had a bit of a swirling motion to it, so I used concentric circles emanating from the starting block for the quilting.  I had some of this amazing Kaffe Fassett Jupiter print in green, which I used for the binding.

It was pretty fun and quick to make and I think it turned out pretty well.  It's about 36" square.  I plan to use it for a wall hanging somewhere - maybe in my quilting room.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Gray, Yellow, and White Baby Quilt

Some very good friends of mine from college decided to have a baby a couple years ago.  When I heard the announcement of the pregnancy, I knew I had to make a quilt for the new baby!  I saw some posts on Pinterest of items that were gray, yellow, and white that they were considering for the baby's nursery, so I decided to use this color scheme in the quilt.  I know that these friends have a pretty modern aesthetic, so I wanted to do something fairly simple using mostly solids.  I was inspired by the half square triangle (HST) quilts made by Sew Katie Did and I decided I would use all solids in various grays, yellows, and whites to make a HST quilt.

I chose about 6 or 7 different Kona solids and then created HSTs in all the possible combinations.  I then randomly arranged the HST blocks to form this pattern.  I like how it doesn't look planned at all (because it isn't!)  I was short 1 HST block so I was thinking of maybe adding a cute print to break up the monotony of the triangles.  Luckily, at one of our Philly MQG sewing days, Bobbi offered a square of this awesome Ed Emberly elephant print from Cloud9 Fabrics.  It was perfect!  So I placed that one square of print fabric in the bottom right of the quilt.

I knew almost immediately how I wanted to quilt this.  I used just straight lines going in one direction, all spaced 1 inch apart.  I really like how it turned out.

For the back, I chose some more Cloud9 fabric (the gray, yellow, and white triangles) and I created large HSTs with solids that minim the front of the quilt.  It was great how well the Cloud9 fabric matched my quilt top!  I didn't even plan it that way.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Red and White Japan Quilt

Soon after the big earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, I decided to make a Japan-inspired quilt. I had been reading Dan Rouse's blog and was loving his incredible reverse-appliqué quilts (seriously, go check it out), so I decided to do reverse appliqué using red background fabric and an off-white fabric on the front. The idea was to sort of mimic the Japanese flag.  This quilt took me a long time to finish (about 2 years??), although it was sitting around waiting for a long time.  After doing the appliqué and then basting the quilt, I got hung up on how to quilt it.  My favorite suggestion from someone was to use free motion quilting in the Japan portion to make it look like topography.  However, I had tried free motion before and decided it didn't work on my machine because I constantly had tension issues.  I finally read more about FMQ and decided I needed to put my tension way up (to 9 or10) and try again.  I finally bit the bullet and decided to go for it.  It actually worked really well!  I had a lot of starts and stops and I wanted to do it "right," so I decided to bury all the threads by hand.  That took quite a bit of time but it was worth it.  You can't really see the topography lines on the front, but because I used red thread, they look great on the back.  Here are some overall photos (sorry for the poor photo quality - I'll need to work on getting better photos in the future!) and some detail shots. I hope you enjoy it!