Continuing my Lizzy House infatuation…

Last week I managed to finish up my Constellation quilt, which is currently winging its way to its new home in Indiana.

Finished Constellation quilt

I started this quilt a while ago, after I got my hands on some treasured pieces of Lizzy House’s Constellation line.  I have been a big fan of Ms. Houses for a while now…she designs the most fun novelty fabric.  I love her bright colour choices and graphic illustrations… and I do not just use them in my charity quilts for kids,  I try to sneak Pearl Bracelets into nearly every quilt I make!

constellation detail 2

I loved the blues and touch of purple of this line and it was so easy to put this quilt together using just the Constellation fabric line, some Pearl Braceletss and a few supporting solids.

constellation detail

I paper pieced the six-inch cross blocks… you can find the free pattern here.

constellation detail 3

To quilt this baby up I just used my walking foot and followed the lines of the crosses.  I love how the quilting echoes the crosses, while adding a nice grid pattern to the quilt.

constellation quilt

I wanted some denser quilting on this quilt, as it is for my new nephew, Tobias…and I knew from the experience of his big brother’s quilt, that this quilt needed to be able to stand up to pretty constant washing and hardy wear and tear.

quilt back

For the back of the quilt I used three different Lizzy House prints…two of which are from her recent Natural History range.  These fabrics just worked perfectly with the front… and I could not resist sneaking this marvelous gem print into the quilt.

fabric detail

Now I must warn you this is only one of several Lizzy House quilts I have been working on.  I am slightly addicted to Lizzy’s fabrics and am eagerly awaiting her new line, A lovely Hunt,  in September… it has unicorns in it!

Quilt Details:

Name:  Constellation Crosses
Pattern:  Paper Pieced cross blocks
Fabric:  Lizzy House Constellations
Finished size:  36 x 42 inches

Re-purposing Challenge Fabric

Last year the Modern Quilt Guild did a fabric challenge using Michael Miller fabric.  If you follow me you will have seen a few quilts with this fabric in it, including my own Challenge entry.  When our Guild handed out the fabric to its members we said that if anyone was so inclined they could use their Challenge scraps to make some blocks for the charity program.    This is one of the resulting quilts…

Michael Miller sampler

This beautiful quilt was pieced and quilted by the wonderful Cris Pera, who is this years Guild Programs Co-ordinator.

Michael Miller quilt detail 2

Cris took the Michael Miller Challenge blocks and made this darling sampler quilt… using white sashing to bring the blocks together.

Michael Miller quilt block

The blocks are all so different and there is so much amazing piecing in each block…

Michael Miller quilt detail

But I love how they all come together to make a lovely coherent quilt because they are all using the same fabric line.  There should be at least one more of these quilts finished up by the end of the year…fingers crossed!

Not just one tree in the forest…

Today I am spending the day delivering the latest batch of Portland Modern Quilt Guild charity quilts to a couple of charities around town…. so over the next couple of days I would like to share some of the beauties that are being dropped off starting with…

wonky tree quilt

Our wonderful wonky tree quilt.  Now if you have been following me for a while you will have seen a version of this quilt last year, when we made our first wonky tree charity quilt…  you can check out my original post for tips on making the blocks

Finished quilt top

This quilt block has become an annual exercise and makes for such a fun Sew Day.  Basically anything goes tree wise and this year was no different.  We had differently shaped trees…

different types of treesReally big trees…

different size trees

And really small trees….

some tiny trees

The forest is so varied and every one has a blast just making what ever type of tree they wanted… there is no right or wrong but most people kept within the 8 inch square guideline….

quilt detail

We used lots of our donated scraps, and I love this exercise in particular because it allows us to use up  some of the browns and olive greens we have in our donated charity stash… colours that are not always easy to use in kids quilts.

one of my trees

I always throw in some bright greens to the mix to add a splash of vibrancy to the forest.

To finish it all off the amazing Nancy Stovall of Just Quilting, did an awesome job.  She choose an all over pattern that hints at the wind blowing through the trees.  I love it so much.

quilting detail

For the back of the quilt one of our fabulous volunteers, Betty, made a huge tree block….

quilt back

..that was just perfect for the back.  This quilt was truly a wonderful group effect… thanks goes out to everyone who played along and helped make this wonderful forest.

More red white and blue…

As July comes to an end so does my red, white and blue pinwheel blocks….

Fireworks pinwheel block

I mixed the colouring up this week and I love the red background…I hope it works with the other blocks being made for the Quilting Bee…

fireworks pinwheel pieces

There is another fun way to make this block, which gives you a very different looking block…still with a lot of movement in it.

colour alternative

If you would like to use the free pattern just download the PDF by clicking the link…Fireworks Pinwheel Block.


A slightly unusual wedding quilt in progress…

This week I have been having a blast making a wedding quilt for a darling friend… but this quilt is not you usual pretty, demur wedding quilt… it is fun and foxy all the way…

fancy fox pattern

This week I have been using Elizabeth Hartman’s fabulous Fancy Fox pattern to make foxes…lots and lots of foxes…

lizzy house fox

I have been surprised how quickly and easily these blocks come together.  After selecting my fabric and precutting everything it has been a fun process of chain piecing and cutting and chain piecing some more.

Lots of foxes

There has been a fabulous sense of achievement as I have finished up a fox and put it up on my design wall.  The hardest part (and most fun part!) was selecting the fabric.  I knew that I wanted the traditional fox colour of red…

Red fox

and then I threw in a little orange…

orange foxes

and to add tonal variety I added some apricot and pink foxes…

pink fox

The foxes I love the most are the ones with striking patterns…  it was such a fun process to audition fabrics, thinking about what sort of foxes they would make.

Gathering foxes

I have only a few more foxes to go before I have them all done.  For the background fabric I went with Hatch fabric from Time Treasures in Coal…and I love how it makes the foxes pop.

I have a few weeks to get this quilt finished so I am heading back to the sewing machine to finish up the last of the blocks.  I really seem to like working up against a deadline… but as a friend kindly reminded me the other day wedding quilts can be given after the wedding.  So how late do you think is too late for a wedding quilt?

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.

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.