Mini Kaleidoscope Quilt

Last week I looked at the bag of Lizzy House fabric scraps I had gathered in the last couple of months and I decided I needed to do something with them… a couple of hours later and I had made this little beauty…

Kaleidoscope mini quiltMost of the scraps I was playing with were tiny little bits and so I designed a little, fat kaleidoscope block to make this quilt.   A tiny paper pieced block allowed me to get accuracy with my piecing while being able to do some fun fussy cutting…

fussy cut 2Each block is made up of four (4) pieces which were 1 1/2 inch square.. the finished block is 3 inches small.  This was such a fun quilt to make, and I used a lot of my little white on white scraps as well as my precious Lizzy House bits.

back of mini quiltIf you are interested in making your own kaleidoscope mini quilt you can find the free paper piecing pattern here….WQ mini Kaleidoscope block. 

I have signed up for one more mini quilt swap, so I warn you there will be some more paper pieced little quilts shortly.

A personal project done….

I recently finished up my Grey Card quilt for the Black to White quilt challenge…

finished grey card quiltI was so thrilled with how this quilt turned out, but I was aware that it was very personal to me and may not be everyone’s taste.  I entered the quilt anyway in the BTW Challenge and this morning got the email that it was not chosen for the exhibit.

quilting detailThere were some amazing quilts made for this challenge…check out the hashtag #btwqks to see some of the other quilts made.

Splash of pink Instead of hanging the quilt in an exhibit it now has pride of place in our living/lounge room…

quilt hanging

My quilt is where it should be… and I must admit I smile every time I look at it… it reminds me of what was and what now is.

The Row by Row experience

I have only recently become aware of a program that is run over summer here in the USA called the Row by Row Experience.  From June 21st thru to September 8th over two thousand quilt shops around the USA and Canada give away a free pattern, based on a theme.  All you have to do is visit the store to get the pattern.

This years theme was H2O (water) and I was excited to work with my local quilt store, Modern Domestic, to design their Row by Row experience….Glass Half Full.

table runnerThe remit was to design a block that was 8 inches high by 36 inches wide.  I worked with Michelle Freedman to design a paper piecing block based on the idea of a glass of water.

block layoutsMy original block was 6 different paper piecing patterns for the water (you can see the my original test run above).  Michelle then streamlined the idea into just one pattern sheet, which still gives you variety in the water but is easier to distribute.

MD patternYou can pick up this pattern for free from Modern Domestic over the next couple of months.  Most of the stores also have kits available for their blocks, which is helpful if your stash is somewhat lacking in blues!  I turned my row into a table runner by simply adding a border strip…

glass half full blocksIf you are not able to make it to make it to Portland you can check out the Row by Row website to see if your local quilt store is participating… I know there are quite a few stores that have paper pieced their row… including Fabric Depot whose very cool paper pieced block I will definitely be hunting down.

quilting detailAnd if you are outside the USA, don’t fret, at the end of the September many of the stores will make their patterns available digitally.  I will let you know when Modern Domestic’s pattern becomes available.

Rainbow Crazy

This week I finished up my Rainbow Improv quilt just in time to ship it to Sisters for their quilt show next month….there is nothing like an impending deadline to get you working hard!

rainbow improv quiltI started this quilt a little while ago, making the blocks in between some complex paper piecing projects.  It was so much fun to do something so free from rules and constraints.  You can read more about the process on my original post

quilt detail 2I just used a rainbow of solid fabric scraps and played with colour.  I must admit I did not know what the end product would look like, I just enjoyed the process of making the blocks.

quilt detail 3Because this quilt was going to Sister’s I wanted to do something modern for the quilting, but I did not want to distract from the blocks too much.  In the end I went with my beloved straight line stitches but used a rainbow selection of thread for the quilting.

threadEach row of blocks got their own colour, which was so much fun to do.

straight line quiltingI just used my walking foot as my line guide…I did contemplate marking up the quilt top but this was so much easier and worked out perfectly… I got 16 lines of stitches per row and only went a little off course, one or two times.

improv quilt backFor the back of the quilt I went with a patchwork of solid Kona greys (Ash, Charcoal and Medium Grey), which was perfect for highlighting the change in the thread colour.  If you look closely you can see the rainbow effect of the quilting.

quilting detailThe final touch was some scrappy grey binding, a label and I was done.

bindingI am so thrilled with how this quilt turned out.  It is so different from what I usually do, but was just so much fun to make…

Quilt Details:

Blocks:  6 inch improv blocks
Fabric:  Variety of solids – Kona, Michael Miller, American Made and Bella.
Finished size:  48 x 48 inches

Designing a paper piecing pattern….

This week I have been playing with a paper piece block that I have designed for a friend’s quilt.  She is a big fox fan and seeing she is getting married in August I thought a quilt was in order.

There are some great fox patterns out there…I  love Elizabeth Hartman’s “Fancy Fox“….but I wanted to make Miss Katie something very special.  Inspired by a print I saw at a local Market Stall, I came up with this block…

Miss K Fox blockI initially sketched the idea in a my gridded notebook, then transferred the idea into the quilting program EQ.  I tweaked a little and then did a test run.

sewing piecesI never print out numbers on the blocks in this initial phase, because part of the pattern testing process is to work out which pieces should be numbered in which order.  In particular the decision of the first piece glued down is important (I select the most awkward shaped piece to start with if possible).

block piecesWhen all the pieces are made I then look at how to make sure that the proportions are right and that all the pieces are okay.  With this pattern I went in and tweaked a few bits … I made the nose bigger and got rid of some extra lines that were not needed.

amending patternI will now go back into EQ and make the changes and finally add the numbers and do another test run.  Then when I am happy I will launch into full-blown fox production mode…. an August deadline is looming and I have a lot of foxes to make!

So before I sign off the winner of the fabric bundle is….

Kirsten who wrote…”I am following along with your progress on this beautiful quilt as green is my favourite colour – all of your stars are just gorgeous and I love the LV backgroundl!”.

So the fabric will be winging its way to Kirsten.  Thanks to everyone who entered.  There was such a great response that I will definitely be doing this again…and soon.

One finished quilt top and one giveaway…

This week, after a little procrastination. I finally finished sewing all my green stars into a quilt top…

finished green star quilt topI alternated the paper pieced blocks with 8 1/2 inch squares of low volume fabric… using mainly fabrics that had been used in the star blocks.

green star quilt detailI sewed all the blocks together, keeping the paper on the stars.  I have found if I remove the paper from the pattern before I sew everything together there can be issues making everything fit properly.  There can be a lot of bias pieces in paper piecing and you want to minimize the wiggle…

piecingWhen I had sewn all the stars and low volume blocks together I realized the quilt needed a border of some sort.  I ended up making four flying geese blocks and interspersed them within the 3 inch border.

quilt top detailI love how the border and those geese bring the whole quilt together.

green star detailTo celebrate finishing this quilt I thought I would do a little giveaway.

prize packageUp for grabs is this 18 fat eight cuts of fabric so you can make your own green star blocks – 12 different greens and 6 different low volumes.  If you would like to win just leave a comment on this post and we will pick a winner on Monday.   As always I am happy to post overseas.