A little Friday Improv

The quilt I am sharing today was made during one of our Guild’s Charity Sew Days.  For these sewing adventures I usually pick a block to make in advance, pull and cut all the fabric and do a couple of sample blocks.  There is quite a bit of prep work… but not on Improv days….

golden improv quilt 2

On Improv days I get to pull fabric but I do not have to cut anything….  I really like those days… and Improv log cabins are the best…

quilt detail 4

This quilt was inspired by some mustard metallic that had been donated to the program – some Mirror ball and some Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets.   I also had a stash of black and white scraps which needed using and a plan came together…

golden detail

There are some wonderful novelty prints in this quilt and some great fussy cutting.  That dog looking out put a smile on my face every time I see him…

quilt detail 5

The color scheme is gender neutral and I think a little more grown up than some of the brights I usually do… and I thought this would be a great quilt for an older kid.

golden improv quilt

The photo shoot for this quilt (and a few more I will share in the coming week) took place at a local garden. Mr Wombat was very patient and a real trooper as some of these quilts are quite big…

the struggle is real

And the wind did not always co operate with us… I finally gave us trying to get a decent shot of the back of the quilt… and went for a close up instead…

quilt back detail

The close up gives you a better look at the fabulous ostridges and their golden butts that are on the back.  This is actually part of a sheet set I bought at Macy’s… I have become obsessed with the Whimsy sheet sets Martha Stewart does as they are perfect for backing  kids quilts.

Quilt Details:

Block:  12 inch wonky log cabin
Fabric: black & white scraps with a smattering of mustard.
Size:  60 x 72 inches

The weather has finally co-operated…

After some miserable weeks of rain here in Portland it has recently fined up enough for me to drag Mr Wombat out and about to photograph some quilts.  It used to be much easier when I hung the quilts on the back fence, but not as much fun.   The first of the recent quilts I am going to share is a Do Good Stitches finish….

double cross quilt

You might recognize the block as I shared the details for making the double plus block in November and if you are interested you can find the pattern here

pinkies close up

It is a fun block and a real scrap buster…and my fellow Do Good peeps did a great job with their Double Pluses.   Mr Wombat was also on good pinkie form don’t you think?

double cross quilting

In true scrappy form it is full of fussy cut goodness and fun bright colors… and is wonderfully gender neutral I think.  I do love my charity quilts to be cheerful and worthy of a good game of I spy.  I was talking to a friend today about stashes and I realized where other people (aka. grown ups)  go for simple blenders, I will always go for a novelty print if I can.

double cross detail 4

The quilt was quilted and bound by one of the fabulous PMQG members.  Our Charity program receives quite a few quilts from different Do Good Circles (or Bees), and each one is sent to our local Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.  Every month or so we send to the hospital between 15 to 30 quilts… some of them are panel quilts but most of them are beautiful handmade masterpieces.

double cross detail 5

I am constantly in awe of the people of my quilting community and the wonderful work they do.  I have always made charity quilts – it has been my passion/obsession for over 20 years… but I never expected so many people to jump in so enthusiastically and help out.  I am constantly speechless at the generosity I see.   There is such good in the world.

double cross detail 3

Quilt details:

Pattern:  12 inch Double Plus block
Fabric:  Scraps…nothing but scraps.
Quilt Size:  48 x 60 inches

It is time for another Bee Block….

Ah yes it is that time again… I am setting another block for my fellow Do Good Stitches gang… and this month snuck up on me so I have resorted to a variation of an old faithful….the wonky star…

dgs wonky star

For this 12 inch block I used:

  • Fifteen (15) low volume 3 1/2 inch squares
  • One (1) black/dark grey 3 1/2 inch square
  • Eight (8) black grey triangles – I used scraps but you can cut a 3 inch square in half to make the triangles.

Step one is to make the star points:

To make the star points you will need 4 of your low volume squares and your triangle pieces.

step 1

 

Take one of the squares and sew a triangle onto one corner, making sure the pattern sides of your fabric are together and when the triangle is flipped it covers the corner of your square.

 

step 2

 

Next trim the excess low volume fabric from the corner and press the triangle over into place.

 

 

step 3

 

Then add another triangle of fabric to the other side of the square…. sew it down … trim the excess low volume fabric and press over.

 

 

step 4

 

Your next step is to trim your block back down to 3 1/2 inches square.

 

 

step 4a

 

The back of your block should look like this…. now repeat the process until you have 4 star point sections.

 

 

block layout

Step Two:

Lay out your block as illustrated….

sewing block together

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Three:

Sew the block together in rows… then sew the rows together to make a completed block.

 

 

 

 

 

What I love about this block is that has built in negative space which allows for you to stagger the stars layout when putting the quilt top together.  You can also make a couple of blocks that are just low volume squares (no star) to break up the layout of the quilt.

In the coming months I will have two different variations of this quilt to show you, as I also used this block recently at out Guild charity sew day.   For the sew day we used a rainbow of solids and a white star which gave us a really fun bright quilt.  If you want to see a work in progress shot of that quilt head over to my Instagram account.

Catching up is fun….

Going through my old photos recently I found a couple of quilts that I had not shared on the blog… some of them I was happy to let go but there were a few that I wanted to share… the foxes was one and this is another…

finished scrap quilt

I started these blocks a year or so ago, after I managed to give myself a nice little concussion… the blocks were easy and used up quite a bit of my 2 1/2 inch charm square stash.   I used a free pattern I found at the Fat Quarter Shop called Sister’s Choice…and it was the perfect project for my addled brain.

block detail

I did not have to cut up too much fabric… just the sashing as I used all my precut scraps to make the blocks.  nI was not going to sash the blocks originally but I like how the white gives the quilt breathing room.  It really works… and I must admit I have sashed some more quilts since this.

The best part of the process was putting together color combinations…

quilt detail

I struggled a little towards the end to find different color combinations and relied heavily on some neutrals to round things out… grey became my good friend with this project.

quilt detail 3

I finished the top up and then one of our wonderful charity long armers quilted and bound the quilt for me.  I do not usually get this much help on my charity quilts but it was perfectly timed, as I was still struggling with post concussion issues.  I love the wave pattern they chose…it is simple but adds great movement to the quilt.

quilt detail 2

This quilt went to the PICU over 6 months ago so it’s new owner should have warn it in well by now.

Quilt Details:

Block:  Sister’s Choice
Fabric:  both color and white on white scraps
Size:  50 x 50 inches

Forgive my tardiness…

This week I am sharing a quilt that I finished up a while ago but I completely forgot to share…. though the photos are not brilliant as they were taken quickly before I gifted the quilt.

finished fox quilt

This quilt is one of the rare quilts I have made for and given to a friend… a friend who has an affinity with foxes needless to say….

I actually started making this quilt a few years ago, well before I taught classes on making Elizabeth Hartman’s Fancy Forest.  I learnt so much teaching and I wish I had known how to make her patterns before I started this….

fox quilt detail 2

Some of things I learnt the hard way is to make sure you are cutting accurately (there is no wiggle room in her patterns)…sew with a scant quarter inch to give yourself  some leeway …. and make sure you trim the subsections to the correct size before you sew the block together.

fox quilt detail

As this quilt was a gift I sent it out to be quilted and loved the wood grain that was used to finish it up.    I also learnt with this quilt it is worth taking the time to take decent photos… and I now try very hard to get good photos before I send the quilt out into the world.    Mr Wombat did not even get a chance to stick out his pinkies…we were in that much of a hurry.

But my friend shared a great photo on Instagram which shows the quilt in the wild…

katies cat

Quilt Details:

Pattern:   Fancy Fox by Elizabeth Hartman
Fabric:  Various orange/red scraps.
Kona White and Windsor for faces and Cross Hatch in blue grey.
Size:  60 x 72 inches