Floral Crackers Fabulous Finish

I was so excited last night when I took deliver of my finished Floral Cracker’s quilt.   The fabulous Rachel from 2nd Avenue Studios had used her amazing long arm/free motion quilting skills to complete this project for me.

modern scrap floral quilt

I meet Rachel through the Portland Modern Quilting Guild and fell in love with her quilts. She does the most amazing wonky scrappy creative quilts.  I was a huge fan and when she offered to quilt Floral Crackers for me I was beyond excited.  Rachel also makes a lot of charity quilts and also does long arming quilting of charity quilts for the Guild.  Basically she is a rock star.

Floral cracker finished quilt detail 3I made the blocks for this quilt months ago using my black and white stash and lots of crazy floral fabrics.  i raided my Kaffe Fassett stash, my Amy Butler stash as well as my friend Lisa’s stash.  You can find my original post about the block, along with pattern links on how to make it here.

Floral cracker quilting motif

Rachel used a wonderful free motion flower pattern for the quilting.  The shape is very  “Kaffe” and mirrors several of the fabrics in the quilt.

Floral Cracker quilting detail

I struggled to get decent pictures that do the quilt and quilting justice.  Why do photos never capture the true beauty of a quilt?

Floral cracker finished quilt detail

To back the quilt, Rachel went with a gorgeous light orange dot solid.  It is the perfect simple accompaniment to the crazy busy front.

Floral Cracker quilt back

Rachel also kindly did the binding for me on this quilt with her new Bernina binding magic thingy…. and I love it almost as much as I love the quilting.  As a nod to me she used Kaffe Fassett’s “Aboriginal Dot” fabric.

Floral Cracker binding detail

I know it is kind of cheating but I am counting this as one of my October Project Linus quilts… I did make the top!

FLORAL CRACKER DETAILS:

Technique:   Paper Piecing

Finished Block size:  7 inches

Quilt size:  56″ x 70″

Foxy Paper Piecing Monday

Okay I could not help myself…I just had to do it…

Paper pieced fox block

I decided that my low volume quilt needed a block from No Hat’s In the House fabulous Forest quilt, as a not too subtle nod to the amazing quilt that inspired my low volume sampler.  So I bit the bullet and headed over to the Forest QAL and picked one of their FREE paper piecing  blocks.

These patterns are crazy good but complex.  How complex I hear you ask… well my fox took four colours…

fabric pull for fox

cut into 99 scraps of fabric…

fabric & paper bites 2

sewn onto 27 separate pattern pieces…

block bits and guidethat were then sewing into three sections…

piecing block

These sections were then sewn together to make one incredible block.

I was so thrilled with how this block turned out and I kept shoving it in my husbands face saying “look how fabulous this is”… “isn’t this block incredible”… “have you ever seen anything so amazing”.   He was not as excited as I had hoped about the whole thing.  Actually his response was decidedly underwhelming.  Going to have to get him to work on that.

He just keeps saying “what does the fox say“….

Paper Piecing Monday Scapbeelicious style

This week’s paper piecing Monday is a little different.   I recently joined my first quilting Bees – one of them is a do.Good.Stitches circle and the other is a fabulous collection of fellow bloggers who set up “Scrap-bee-licious”.  For both Bee’s I was “queen” this month, which means I am choosing the pattern/colour scheme for my fellow quilters.

The Scrap-bee-licious Bee caused me the most consternation as this quilt is not going to charity, but will be staying with me. I have only kept one quilt so far in my quilting history, so I had to think long and hard about what I really wanted.  So after much umming and ahhing, hair pulling and mind changing I settled on…

scrap modern paper pieced block

… low volume.  A couple of weeks ago Sarah at No Hats in the House posted photos of one of the most amazing quilts I have ever seen. Her “Once Upon a Forest” quilt took my breath away.    Inspired the beauty of this quilt, I have asked my fellow Bee members to make me a scrappy low volume paper pieced block or two.

I have not selected a specific pattern to be followed but have asked them to make me any 12 inch paper pieced block they want.  There are so many fabulous free paper piecing patterns on-line, including this one (called Circle of Geese) from Pieced by Numbers or Julie at 627handwork’s Block Rockn’ blocks or Quilting on the Squares Compass Collection.

As I discovered with this block there is a method to getting contrast and detail when you are working with low volume.  When I pulled fabric for this block I pulled two different type of low volume from my stash:

1.  Pastel, soft solid fabrics.

pastel fabric pull

2.  Predominantly white fabrics

white fabric pull

The importance of the contrast these two different low volume fabric selections give you was highlighted to me when I made the mistake of using two pieces of solid light grey in the background.  In the resulting block…

block mistake-

..you can see how the grey pearl bracelet in particular distracts/hinders/muddies the circle of geese pattern.  A little unpicking and some re-sewing later and the block was just what I wanted.  I am now excited to try a paper pieced star or two using these colours and I can not wait to see what my fellow Bee members come up with.   This is going to be fun.

Low volume Log cabin finished

Late last night, while watching fabulously trashy TV, I finally finished up my low volume log cabin quilt.  I am thrilled with the end result, even though I doubted myself a few times during the process.

low volume log cabin quiltThis is my second low volume quilt.  My first one was made up of simple square blocks, this one I decided to do a log cabin block.  My previous post can be found here and here.   I love the log cabin block and was inspired to use this traditional pattern by Susan Beal’s wonderful book Modern Log Cabin Quilting.  This pattern allowed me to really (a) raid my scraps and (b) include an amazing number of fabrics.

finished quilt detail

For this quilt I did use a paper piecing pattern and  you can find a similar one here thanks to quilterscache.com.  For non paper piercers Connecting Threads  has a great log cabin tutorial (with videos and all) which can be found here.

log cabin block detailMy two low volume quilts have been a challenge for me.  As you can tell from my other quilts I love colour and contrast and with low volume I was well and truly out of my comfort zone.   What was not a challenge, this time, was the quilting.  I decided to just run vertical lines down the quilt, using the block’s lines as a guide for my walking foot.  It was a lot  quilting/stitching (more tthan I usually do), but the end result is what makes me really love this quilt.  I can not wait to see how it puckers after washing!

quilting detail

I used a single fabric print for the backing – a charming Kaffe Fassett floral which worked nicely withe the gentle tone of the front of the quilt. I finished the quilt with some scrappy grey binding, just the right colour to bring the whole thing together.

binding detail

Low Volume Log Cabin

I have finally finished the top for my low volume log cabin quilt.  I was inspired to make this quilt after finishing my first ever low volume quilt (see my previous low volume posts).  I had squares and scraps left over that just screamed to be made into log cabin blocks.

quilt top

I like the idea of the structured pattern of a log cabin with the random low volume scraps.  All my other log cabins blocks have had a uniformed repeating colour pattern so when they are placed they form an overall quilt patterns.  For example:

cropped-cover.jpg

The blocks in this quilt make for a scrappy quilt with no over all pattern.  I find myself looking at the fabric and not at the block pattern.  I tried to use lots of different fabrics – geometrics, stripes, dots and lots of novelties.  Hopefully some kid will appreciate looking at all the fun bits and pieces to be found within the quilt.  Now onto quilting….

block detail

Low Volume Part 2

My first low volume quilt is now finished.  I started this quilt a couple of weeks ago and blogged about my struggle working without bright colours here.

I opted for a simple straight line quilting, it was all that seemed to be needed for this quiet quilt.

I backed the quilt with a wonderful Alexander Henry fabric I had in my stash. I must admit I back a lot of my quilts with either Alexander Henry or Michael Miller or IKEA fabrics.

I love how the quilt ended up.  I was not sure at first but it grew on me as it came together.  I was so pleased I have started a new low volume quilt – this time using a log cabin pattern. There was something fun about using such a structured pattern in an unstructured way.  Here are some of the blocks I have done so far….

Low Volume Quilt Challenge

This weekend I decided to challenge myself to do a quiet quilt.  I predominantly use bright colours and fabrics in my quilts so this would be an interesting creative step for me.   I was inspired by a great quilt I saw at Red Pepper Quilts (another Aussie).

http://www.redpepperquilts.com/2012/10/a-modern-i-spy-low-volume-quilt.html

First step was to see what white/cream based fabrics I had in my stash.  I surprisingly had a lot to choose from, including some fabulous Heather Ross and wonderful Aneela Hoey.

I decided on 4 inch squares for my quilt, and to focus on giving the quilt a scrappy “eye spy” feel… so lots of fun objects in amongst the dots etc.

I must admit I struggled a little with laying out the blocks.  I found it hard to focus on the flow of the quilt with everything being so low intensity.    This is what I ended up with.

Next step quilting, then binding then off to Project Linus.