Friday, November 23, 2012

modern quilting means less cut and piece

Ok, maybe most of you will disagree with me on this, but sometimes it is a waste to cut up a big beautiful piece of fabric just to sew it back together again. I know back in the day pioneer women cut up old clothes and grain sacks and used the best pieces for quilts. I think that's still a great way to reuse your scraps and worn clothes. But what about the new yard and half you couldn't resist from the quilt shop? Why not make it into a whole cloth quilt blanket?

Here are 2 of my "couldn't bear to cut up the fabric" quilts:

 The flying geese and the trees have such a wide open field feel to them, who would want to interrupt their flight?

 This fabric from Alexander Henry reminds me of a Mexican horse blanket. It had to stay in one piece!

These are simple 3 layer whole cloth quilts with embroidery floss ties keeping the quilt together. It is so enjoyable to make these quilts. Peaceful, too.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

my very first quilt kit is for sale!

When I started making quilt patterns, the idea to sell kits was not far behind. I've been waiting for the perfect quilt to sell as a kit and here it is:

The first picture is the kit with all the parts, the second photo is the kit all bundled up to mail. The green flower in the center is a coaster, one of the little gifts I like to add to surprise the customers. ( I usually include a bookmark, but of course, being me, I got tired of making them and switched to coasters. The only problem with coasters is I'm not sure if it is obvious what they are so maybe I need to include a tag that says "coaster"?)

Back to the topic, my first quilt kit, is the star fish quilt. So now I have the quilt, the pattern, and the kit available. I hope someone besides me likes them...
Here's how I described the kit deciding process:

love this quilt! It was such fun to design and make, I thought someone else might want to try it. Then I thought, it might be a hard for someone to gather all the little pieces for the star fish. Then came the great idea to assemble it all in a kit. I had enough fabric left over except the mermaid one, which was easy to order from my new favorite Etsy fabric store, Baileygirlsfabric.

I knew if I were buying a kit I would want everything to complete the project, including the batting layer and the back. So everything is here, except for the thread and the sewing machine. The kit is available, of course, in the shop for $42.00.

Monday, November 12, 2012

mermaids and star fish quilt from Sarah Jane

I love Sarah Jane fabrics for kids. The designs say childhood antics, old fashioned fun and lots of imagination. Her newest design set is called Out to Sea. I've already made some quilts from her ship fabric and map fabric, now it's time to take on the mermaids and octopuses.

I've had the mermaid fabric around the sewing a room awhile. I wasn't sure how to make it into a quilt. There's a lot of motion in the pattern with a red haired mermaid swimming and playing. There is also lots of open ocean, so to speak, or open space with just some tiny fish and water bubbles.

My last few kid's quilts have had large appliques to the side with most of the quilt left to show off the main fabric design. With the mermaid fabric, it seemed that the print wasn't telling the story by itself, it needed more. The problem then was that my mind needed to get out of the groove of single large appliques into something else. Finally it came to me.

The mermaid is holding a star fish, so I thought, why not add some more star fish to the quilt? Now the ocean spaces have bright star fish in them:)

The finished quilt and the pattern are available at Maryland Quilter.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

having Christmas fun early

I'm having such fun putting together Christmas quilts. I decided that whatever I wanted to make, I'd go ahead and make. So here are my latest two Christmas quilts, one is a geometric bit of everything and the other is a super traditional nod to Christmas past:

This geometric quilt came together like a painting. I started with preparing the canvas, the three quilt layers of top, batting and backing. These layers were pinned to keep them from shifting. Then the fun began. All my scraps and small pieces went flying everywhere and the best ones landed on the quilt. These were moved and trimmed and layered and finally pinned in place. Then they were sewn to the quilt. I love sewing the appliques and quilting at the same time. It is just a lovely economy of effort and creates a beautiful pattern on the back of the quilt. This holiday quilt is a bit expensive, $105.00, because there is a surprising lot of time and dense sewing invested.

The quilt above  was labor intensive, this one was just fun and easy. I loved quilting following the outline of the little winding road between the houses. Such fun and I could almost smell the pumpkin pie, can't you?