Polaroid love…

This week I am sharing another PMQG Charity quilt…

finished polaroid quilt

This is definitely one of my favorite quilts we have made at the Charity Sew Days EVER!  I may be slightly biased by my love of Polaroid photos.  I became obsessed with Polaroids during my days in the film industry… I have hundreds and hundreds of them still.

polaroid detail 4

This quilt started as a pile of fussy cut squares and yards of navy and white solids.  The end result is so much fun..

polaroid detail 5

This quilt was quilted on a domestic machine by one of our guild members Chelsea.  She did an amazing job and I love how the swirls work with the Polaroid.

polaroid detail 3

The other thing I love is the navy binding… I have never done a quilt where the binding is the same colour as the quilt background.  It is so effective in making the blocks pop off the quilt.  I can tell I will be using matching binding on one of my quilts in the future.

quilt back

The back of the quilt shows off the wonderful quilting Chelsea did… and highlights the fun piece of turtle fabric I found in my stash that just had to go on the back.

 

Some more urban chickens…

As summer is coming to a close here in the US I took the opportunity to make the most of the sunshine recently and get some quilts photographed…. I actually have a stack of quilts finished but have not got all of them photographed.

I got a little bored with sticking the finished quilts on coat hangers and hanging them on the back fence so I have been venturing out with them when I can…

My latest adventure took me to the Oregon Coast with my cousin (aka. the quilt holder)…

finished urban chicken quilt

This quilt was made at one of this years Charity Sew Days.  Actually we made two of these tops in one day.  This year the charity program has exploded in a wonderful way.

quilt detail 3

This is a fun block that I have made before but I love this all solids version.  The pattern was designed by my talented friend Michelle Friedman several years ago and you can find my step by step of it here…  We did vary the pattern a little, using pre-cut 3 1/2 inch squares instead of strips, but the result is pretty much the same.

quilt detail

I absolutely love the quilting on this quilt, done by one of our talented long armers, Nancy Stovall. She used fluorescent green thread which was a daring choice but works wonderfully with the quilt.

quiltng detail

This quilt has now been labeled and set aside for next years Camp Erin.  The sister quilt, which was slightly smaller (4 blocks x 5 blocks) has already headed out to our local PICU.

Quilt Details:

Block:  12 inch Urban Chicken block
Fabric:  various solid cottons including Kona, Bella Solids and Cotton Couture
Finished quilt size:  60 x 72 inches

 

Working with Lawn…

BTS 14 Cath Hall

The Back to School Blog Hop is back and participating again this year along with 31 other sewists to bring you advice on everything from batting to ins and outs of starching.  This month of information downloading has been organized by Sam Hunter  and you will find links to all the blogs playing along at the end of this post.

This year I wanted to talk a little about working with lawn and share some of the things I have learned this last 12 months as I made my first lawn projects.   Lawn is a plain weave textile, which was originally made of linen but now is now chiefly cotton. Lawn is designed using fine, high count yarns, which results in a silky, untextured feel.  Its hand is much lighter and softer than quilting cotton and it is sheerer than most cottons.  I have worked predominantly with Liberty Lawn but stash also includes some Cotton & Steel lawn and some Heather Ross lawn.

liberty lawn

My first exposure to lawn was a couple of fat eights of Liberty of London Tania lawn which was given to me a couple of years ago.  Those little pieces of precious fabric have grown into quite a stash… including an growing collection of my favorite print Betsy…

betsy stack

Last year I decided to stop hoarding my Liberty and started using it… making a bevy of butterflies…

paper pieced quilt

and a couple of Liberty hexagon pillows…

IMG_4907

While making these projects I learnt a bit including:

To wash or not?  There is a quite a bit online about pre-washing your lawn fabric to help with shrinkage.  As I was working with small pieces (some just 5 inch squares) I decided not to pre wash.  If I was going to pre-wash it would be a very gentle hand wash and NOT a washing machine job… unless of course I was working with yardage.

Paper piecing and lawn are a match made in heaven.  Because lawn is so fine I have found that paper piecing is wonderful technique to use – the paper pattern gives the light weight cotton a stability which makes piecing so much easier.  I have used English paper piecing and standard foundation piecing with Liberty and have loved both techniques.  I am able to get really precise piecing with this thin, sometimes slippery fabric.

mini Liberty dresden plates

Starch is lawn’s best friend.  Whether you pre-wash or not starch is an invaluable tool when working with lawn.  Starch stiffens the fine cotton lawn and makes for easier cutting and piecing.    For my butterfly project I starched my blocks after I had removed the paper pattern… and with my hexagons I starch and iron the hexagons with the cardboard template still in place to help keep the hexagon shape when the paper is removed.  If you are using traditional piecing to make a lawn quilt you will find starch is a vital tool to give some weight and body to cotton…and remember to use a dry iron when pressing lawn.

Make sure your tools are sharp.  When I am sewing my lawn I make sure I have a new sharp needle in my machine and when pinning I use fine sharp pins.  The lawn is more delicate than quilting cotton and a little bit of sharpness helps avoid snags or tears.

Cotton thread is preferable.  When working with lawn in particular a fine 100% cotton thread is the best option… my choice is a Aurifil 50wt.

Do not be afraid to mix your fabrics.  Although lawn is lightweight do not be afraid to mix it with quilting cottons or other fabrics.  Liberty in particular plays really nicely, both visually and physically, with Essex linen.

And last but not least I have learnt that you can never have too much Liberty fabric.  If you are interested in starting a collection or adding to your stash a Liberty bundle subscription is a fabulous way to go.  I had a subscription last year to Ava & Neve’s Liberty Society and every month for a year I got a wonderfully curated bundle of Liberty.  It really was a fabulous way to round out my stash, as I got fabrics I would not necessarily have chosen myself but which I loved.

I hope you follow the rest of the hop as there’s some fantastic content coming your way! BTW, the contributors are from all over the world, so please be patient is everything is not posted bright and early in your exact timezone! 

Day 1 – August 15 – Sam Hunter: How to spray baste a BIG quilt – www.huntersdesignstudio.com

Day 2 – August 16 – Mandy Leins: Thread Dread: removing stray bits after quilting – www.mandalei.com

Day 3 – August 17 – Nancy Stovall: The Sweet Creamy Filling – www.justquiltingpdx.com

Day 4 – August 18 – Ebony Love: 7 Indispensible feet for your sewing machine – www.LoveBugStudios.com

Day 5 – August 19 – Michelle Freedman: Machine throat plates – www.designcamppdx.blogspot.com

Day 6 – August 20 – Teresa Coates: Edge/Under/Top stitching – www.crinkledreams.com

Day 7 – August 21 – Kelly Cole: Ten ways to regain your sew-jo – www.vintagefabricstudio.com

Day 8 – August 22 – Megan Dougherty: Choose to Fuse: tips for working with fusibles for applique – www.thebitchystitcher.com

Day 9 – August 23 – Kim Lapacek: Tricks to being productive while hauling your kids around – www.persimondreams.blogspot.com

Day 10 – August 24 – Yvonne Fuchs: Circuitboard quilting on Domestic and Longarm Machines – www.quiltingjetgirl.com

Day 11 – August 25 – Sandi Hazlewood: Chain Piecing Quilt Blocks Tips – www.craftyplanner.com

Day 12 – August 26 – Juliet van der Heijden: Paper-piecing with children – www.thetartankiwi.com

Day 13 – August 27 – Maddie Kertay: Fabric folding for any storage solution – www.badassquilterssociety.com

Day 14 – August 28 – Cath Hall: Working with Lawn fabric – www.wombatquilts.com

Day 15 – August 29 – Tracy Mooney: Tips for the perfect seam – www.sewmuchcosplay.com

Day 16 – August 30 – Teri Lucas: How to bury thread – www.terificreations.com

Day 17 – August 31 – Debby Brown: Securing machine quilting knots – www. higheredhands.blogspot.com

Day 18 – September 1 – Flaun Cline: How to put some sparkle in your fabric pull (part 1) – www.ipleadquilty.com

Day 19 – September 2 – Jessica Darling: How to put some sparkle in your fabric pull (part 2) – www.jessicakdarling.com

Day 20 – September 3 – Trish Frankland: A bigger blade really IS better?! – www.persimondreams.blogspot.com

Day 21 – September 4 – Lynn Krawczyk: Build a simple design with hand stitching – www.smudgeddesignstudio.com

Day 22 – September 5 – Jane Davidson: How to make scrappy HSTs – www.quiltjane.com

Day 23 – September 6 – Linda Pearl: Low cost tips for organizing your sewing room – www.onequiltingcircle.com

Day 24 – September 7 – Christa Watson – Top 10 tips for quilting on a domestic machine – www.christaquilts.com

Day 25 – September 8 – Sarah Nunes: To Starch or Not to Starch – www.berrybarndesigns.com

Day 26 – September 9 – Suzy Webster: Testing fabric for bleeding – www.websterquilt.blogspot.com

Day 27 – September 10 – Sarah Goer: Machine bind your quilts like a pro – www.sarahgoerquilts.com

Day 28 – September 11 – Vanda Chittenden: Beginner paper-piecing tips – www.chittenden.co.za

Day 29 – September 12 – Cheryl Sleboda: Needle threading tips – www.muppin.com

Day 30 – September 13 – Kim Niedzwiecki – Different thread weights and when to use them – www.gogokim.com

Day 31 – September 14 – Sandra Healy: Conquer Your Fear of Machine Appliqué – www.sandrahealydesigns.com

Day 32 – September 15 – Sandra Starley: The Basics of Antique Quilt Collecting – www.utahquiltappraiser.blogspot.com

 

WIP Wednesday…Quilt Block Cookbook

This year I have been teaching a year long class at my local quilt store, Modern Domestic from Amy Gibson’s “Quilt Block Cookbook“.  It has been a fun year of teaching new techniques and getting my students excited in thinking outside the box.

wooded blockThe book has patterns for a 50 different blocks and uses a grid system which encourages you to experiment and get creative with different elements…and make your own blocks.

starboard block

For my class I have also been providing colouring sheets so my students can play with how the blocks in the book look with different colour placements.  The block below is called Cheerio Darling and block in the book looks very different from the block I have created…

cheerio darling block.The book uses traditional piecing, paper piecing, curved piecing and applique and it has been fun to teach my students lots of different techniques…

zinnia block

By the time I am finished this class I will have enough blocks to make at least 2 quilts… which is exciting for me as one of the things I love most about this book is the layouts it has for Sampler quilts.  They even have gorgeous layouts that use as few as 6 blocks.

Flag day block

If you are using this book there is one caveat… there are quite a few mistakes in the book.  You can find an addendum here listing all the mistakes plus all the blocks that use the 5 x 5 grid you need to double check the quilt maths as they are off every so slightly.

All that said I have loved working from this book and I am excited to get some quilts finished.  And Amy has a great Quilt Along with tips and tricks on her blog… Stitchery Dickory Dock.

Charity Quilt catch up….

It has been a while since I shared some of the wonderful quilts that our Portland Modern Quilt Guild has made for our charity program… so lets start with this stunner….

andreas quilt

One of our wonderful members, Andrea, made this quilt for our local Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.  We constantly struggle to get quilts that are appropriate for boys and particularly older boys but Andrea hit this one out of the park.

curved quilt detail

I love this pattern so much but I look at it a realise that it is a little beyond my skills… all that curved piecing would drive me crazy I think.

andreas quilt detail.And lets be honest…I would be tempted to sneak some pink in there somewhere…. Another of our Guild quilts was this interesting one…

Elsas quilt

It is another quilt that is more gender neutral and it was made using orphan blocks donated to the Guild by another of our fabulous members Elsa.

patchwork quilt

Elsa does give us the best orpan blocks.  I have another bundle of her blocks that are just waiting to be made into a quilt.

The guild has also recently made a number of simpler quilts from fabric kits.  Quick and easy patterns and matching fabric has meant we could get a number of quilts made in no time…

For this quilt we pulled fat quarters and scraps that matched…

floral quilt

And for this quilt we used some fabric headers that we had been donated to the Guild…

easy simple kids quilt

This is just a selection of the quilts donated recently by the Guild….and as always thanks to everyone who helped make these beauties – fabric donators, piecers, quilters and binders all.

A Lizzy finish

I have been so very very very very very slack in posting finished quilts this year… so I am going to spend the next couple of weeks playing catch up, just so you can see what I have been up to…. starting with this quilt…

finished quilt 2

This was a little baby quilt I made using a ton of half square triangles and lots of Lizzy House fabric.  You can find details of the block I used on my original post

quilt detail 2

I struggled to get a good photo of this quilt, but the stark lighting really highlighted the fabulous quilting that my friend and fellow Modern Domestic collegue, Michelle did.

quilt detail

The colours and prints are fun and bright and the there is just so many things to see in it – from ghosts to ducks to dinosaurs.  I love Lizzy House’s fabrics as they make every quilt you use them in just perfect.

lizzy house hst quilt

The finished quilt has already been dispatched to the local Pediatric ICU and hopefully is doing the job of providing some comfort.

Quilt Details:

Block:  10 1/2 inch Octagon block
Fabric:  Lizzy House fabric lines (Natural History, Catnap, Castle Peeps, Lovely Hunt. 1001 Peeps, Pearl Bracelets & Whisper)
Finished quilt size:  42 x 52 1/2 inches