Sunday, January 31, 2021

Pantone Color of the Year

This year Pantone came out with their color of the year as they always do, and surprised us all when it was really two colors of the year!  These colors that sparked my imagination and it didn't take long for an idea to form.


After catching Debbie Jeske's post on Instagram @aquilterstable where she researched which manufactures colors matched her Pantone color cards, I was 100% committed!  Debbie came up with Kona Bright Idea and Cotton Couture Pewter for the closest matches.  Kona Overcast was a close second for the gray.

Knowing the colors that matched was all it took for me.  Especially since I had two of colors in my stash.  I added Kona Dove into the mix to round out the design.  

I designed a paper pieced block the end of 2018 that I love and decided it was worth revisiting for the Pantone challenge.  I've made two quilts with this block, each time the block was a different size and arranged differently.  By flipping, rotating and fabric colors the possibilities are endless!

This time I'm using 4.25" blocks.  Weird size, right?!  I went with a size where I could print two blocks on a paper, save ink...I'm being cheap!!

The first thing I did was write the block placement number on each paper, along with an arrow so I knew which way it went.  Then I highlighted the yellow and wrote where the dark grey was to go.  It helps so much to do this!  Although I will say I flubbed up a time or two!

Next I figured out the size of fabric I'd need for each section.  It takes time but in the end I think it makes the paper piecing process easier and dare I say quicker?!

The points are near perfect!  I love having the 1/4" inch ruler for trimming seams.  I also have a 1/8" ruler which I did use for the skinny point sections.  The bulk is obscene!  Especially when it's time to sew the blocks together.

 The hardest part is matching the sections!  

I paper pieced the center section first only because it's the focal point.  I'm going to have to be careful when it comes to matching those seams!

And...then it's done!  I'm going to admit that matching the dark grey seams was tough.  I had to try a couple times and even then it wasn't perfect.  I also totally messed up when I laid out the blocks!  So much for taking the time to write numbers on each block!

After I had the rows sewn together my son, very gently and cautiously, asked if I meant to have certain sections like 'that'!  ARGH!!  No I did not!!  I had to rip out some seams, anyone who paper pieces knows how much fun that is, and basically reconfigure it.

With that behind me I ended up with something that I love!!  Maybe what I love is how one seemingly simple block can be used to make so many different blocks.  Or maybe it's the colors?  Whatever it is I'm deep into the quilting phase right now and can't wait to redeem myself with this quilting after the last quilt!

Are you going to make something using the 2021 Pantone Color of the Year colors?

Thursday, January 28, 2021

It's a Quilt Finish!

 As promised, I have an actual Lap Quilt finish!  I had high hopes for this quilt and in the end I'm not totally thrilled with the end results.

45 1/2" x 70"

By end results I mean the quilting.  I took the easy route and did horizontal straight lines in varying widths.  It's a nice quilt, but a cop out on the quilting!  Oh well, it's a finish and I'm happy for that!

I have quilts where this kind of quilting is perfect, and then quilts that seem like I'm fighting it.  We fought a good battle and I'm afraid...the quilt kicked my butt!

I might be too hard on myself, as many of us can be.  Trust me when I say I'm not beating myself up over it.

Especially when I have a pieced backing like this!  I took all the color elements from the Log Cabin blocks and threw them into the back.  I do love a good scrappy, yet not, pieced quilt back.

I'm happy with the 'pretty' of this quilt and know that I have one more in the wings waiting to show itself!  My 'purple majesty' (which for now is what I'll call it!) is still waiting on it's debut.  The fabric for that one finally shipped today! 

I don't want to come off as negative about this quilt, because I'm really quite happy with it.  Back in the day I wondered if a quilting design could really make or break a quilt, now I know it can.  I was looking for a finish, a quick finish and I ended up with just that!  

We put so much into each and every quilt we make and always want it perfect in the end.  But...sometimes we fall short of our expectations.  I'm 100% fine with what I did and always chalk it up to lesson learned!  I'm going for the 'glass half full' optimistic view this year! 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Log Cabin :: Continuation

As I mentioned in my last post as soon as I finished my purple log cabin blocks I immediately started in on another log cabin quilt.  I was having so much fun that I couldn't let that be the end of it.  

I decided right away that this new design would use three (3) block sizes and end up being filled up so I didn't have to worry about background fabric.  Which I might add...I'm still waiting for my fabric to arrive so I can finish the purple quilt!

It looks like a crazy mess in a good way I think!  The colors I choose were dictated by what was in my stash.  Teal and aqua colors were in full stock, so I ran with it.

I used EQ8 for this design.  I choose block sizes that would puzzle together in one way or another. This block is an 18" block.  I started with that size first knowing that there would be plenty of strips left for the remaining block sizes.  With the size and only having three blocks to make, it went pretty quick.

In fact all the blocks went together quickly and I found it hard to stop!  These are the 12" log cabin blocks.

I decided to paper piece my 6" blocks so they would be perfect (or near perfect)!  A decision that may or may not have made a difference.

In the end I ended up with (3) 18", (8) 12" and (22) 6" log cabin blocks, plus (8) 6" solid blocks for filler.  

Once all the blocks were finished I put my design to the test!  I placed the blocks on my design wall and after a few adjustments I was ready to piece the top!  This step took a little brain power as I needed to piece sections together and in the end have them all come together as one!

Now I'm cleaning up the back because we all know there are always 'thread' pieces to contend with.  Then I can pin and get it quilted.  

I have to say I'm a bit enamored with this quilt.  It was a great stash buster, a fun block to make and it has a funky mod vibe that I like!

Hopefully I can share my log cabin quilt finishes soon!  That's the best part, right?!


Sunday, January 17, 2021

Log Cabin :: Kick Off!

Again this year I plan on using my stash.  Last year was a stash busting year where my focus was on prints.  I still have plenty of prints left and they will make it into a few stash busting quilts throughout the year.  Now it's time to hit the solids!

I mainly buy solids when I buy fabric and I've been steadily building my color stash so I have all the options to draw from.  From light to dark and everything in between.  I never really 'got' there and found that I either buy certain colors too often and rarely buy the colors I need to fill out the rainbow!  So, I've given up and given in!

Amazingly I don't blow through my fabric very fast.  With all the quilts and things I make my stash stays plump.  I chalk that up to my preference of using scraps or as many colors as I can in one quilt.  A piece here, a piece there.

This year will be different...I'm going to change my thought process and quit skipping over certain colors because I love them too much!

With all that bluster here's my first attempt!

Purple.  Log Cabin.  Negative space.  Modern.  The design is a remake from my 'Quarter Turn' quilt that was featured in Quilts & More magazine.  The magazine quilt used 18" blocks, but for the remake I'm using 12" blocks.  Same concept, different layout.  

With my purple stash screaming out to me, I carefully choose a handful of colors that I thought would make a statement.  I'm not one to buy just one brand of solids.  I tend to buy colors that I'm feeling at the time!  Although Kona cotton tends to be my first choice only because they are readily available.  That was true once.  Nowadays there are several manufacturers to choose from that have every color imaginable. 

What do we have?!  Kona Regal, Free Spirit Orchid, Kona Heliotrope, Cotton Supreme Lilac, Kona Velvet, Moda Aubergine, Moda Amelia Purple and Cotton Supreme Verbena.  All the purples!  

One time I made a quilt with purple that had an off-white background and after washing it I discovered some of the darker purples had bled.  This time I took the darkest shades and washed them twice.  I'll do the same thing with the background fabric when it arrives.  Hopefully I won't have any issues with bleeding fabrics!

With this design there are five (5) log cabin blocks that are identical and one that is the oddball.  After cutting out each log the piecing went together quick and was pretty painless!  

When I started I knew I wouldn't have enough yardage for the background.  One of the pitfalls to buying 1/4 to 1 yard cuts!  I have plenty of yardage in grey, off white and white...just not purple!

Now I wait...patiently?  Not really!  I'm working on another log cabin quilt.  I couldn't help myself!  This one will be with solids in three (3) different block sizes and it'll fill up the entire quilt.  I won't have to worry about not having enough background fabric!  

I'm pretty sure I'll have the second one finished before the first one.  Which is pretty ironic since the first one about as simple as it gets!


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

It's a Gem :: Rainbow Runner

My first completed quilt of the year!  Thankfully I choose to make a runner which made the finish quick and easy.  But a finish is a finish, and a first is a first!

15 1/4" x 47 3/4"

The fun part was using scraps, making odd inset circles and quilting it.  All in all it was fun from start to finish!

There was little doubt how I would quilt it, which is always a good thing.  I knew I'd add a little color with coordinating thread, but not so much that it became overwhelming.

Matchstick quilting was exactly the way I was going to take the quilting.  Dense lines from side to side using black thread.  I marked a 1/2" section through each circle that was off limits to black thread!  Those sections would end up with matching colored thread.    

Once the hundreds of black lines were finished I could begin the fun part.  Before that happened I had an idea!  Wouldn't it be cool to have the quilting go right off the edge?  In order to do that I had to trim the runner and sew on the binding.  I'll admit that it was a little tricky and that the back of the binding isn't gorgeous, but the front...that turned out perfect!

I also didn't feel the need to do any more quilting inside the circles.  Lines through the center and around each circle was it!  Less is more...except there is the matchstick quilting which is more more more!  

All these photos were taken after I washed and dried this runner.  If I'm selling any of my quilts, I always wash each one beforehand.  The exception is mini mini's and the occasional wall hanging.  Why?!  We all know how a quilt can shrink and change in appearance after washing.  I would be shocked if I were a customer and saw the transformation!  By washing first they get the true measurements and can't be shocked...or even ticked off!  Self preservation on my part too!

Now it's time to move on to another project.  I want to make a quilt but I'm having a hard time coming up with a design.  I know it needs to be purple!  Great first step!  I might be leaning towards log cabin blocks...we shall see!


Thursday, January 7, 2021

First Project of 2021 :: Rainbow

I'm always itching to start a new project and with the new year upon us I couldn't wait.  I usually have my first (whatever that may be) ready to share practically before the sunrises on January 1st.  I missed that traditional first this year!

I decided that this year should start with a rainbow!  I'm optimistic this year will get back on track in many ways...fingers crossed and bring on color!

There are so many things I love about this project.  Rainbow, circles, scraps and improv!  Not to mention it's a table runner which means a quick finish.  Total satisfaction!

I pulled all my scrap bins out and began with one color at a time.  Before long I had my eight (8) rainbow squares (purple somehow didn't make it into this photo!) that varied in size and shape from 5-6".  

I almost always use the six-minute circle method which means pull out the freezer paper!  The tutorial for this method shows how to make perfectly round circles, I on the other hand wanted something a little more organic for this project.  

After cutting eight (8) freezer paper pieces, I placed the improv block on the the square and traced around the outside.  This became my guide to how big I should make my shapes and insured that I'd have enough seam allowance to pull it off.  I drew the shapes and cut out the centers.

I choose to use Kona black for my background and cut eight (8) 17" x 7" rectangle strips for that.  Once I centered the template I ironed the freezer paper to the background. 

Leaving plenty of wiggle room for the background seam, I cut the center out, clipped the curves and with a washable glue stick I adhered the seam to the freezer paper.  

Once that is finished I glued the improv block to the back.  Once all my blocks were prepped in this way it was then that I removed the freezer paper and started sewing each section.  Reducing stitch length a little and using a zipper foot is a must with smaller circles for me.  That and taking your time! 

Pink starts the progression.  Maybe not the typical ROYGBIV standard, but my rainbows require there is pink included!

I can't decided if these shapes are raw precious gems...

...or maybe an Amoeba that has the ability to change its shape?  

Yellow could be an egg.  My son thinks they look like Yoshi eggs!  You have to know your video games to get that reference!

There is a little bit of a challenge when making inset circles using improv.  Inevitably there are thick seams you have to contend with.  It can be done though!

I know in the standard ROYGBIV model the BIV = blue, indigo and violet.  I can't help but switch the blue with aqua/teal, indigo with blue and violet with purple.  

Mine is: PROYGABP!  Pink, red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue and purple.  Not as catchy as ROYGBIV is it?! 

I think creative license or artistic freedom is essential.  I use it in my rainbows, much of my quilting and everyday life!

I'm going to ask...are you a rainbow fan?  I know there are some people who aren't and that's okay.  Diversity is always a good thing!

Now I'm off to finish quilting this runner.  Can you say Matchstick?!  It takes a while, it's worth it and thankfully this is only a runner!