Rowan’s Quilt

I recently finished a quilt for the latest addition to our family, my niece Rowan. I used a deceptively simple pattern for it called Square Play. I really liked how it turned out as it gave each of the fabrics that I used a chance to really pop out.
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This was a nerve wracking quilt to make. It was the first quilt I’ve ever made where I ordered all of the fabrics for it online. Have I mentioned that color matching based on photos online is a little unnerving? Are the colors true? Are the proportions right? You get the idea. The story ends well, since I’m pleased with the results.
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If you want to see more pictures of the quilt, just click on one of the photos and that will take you to the set on Flickr.

Since I’d like to start keeping a list of what fabrics I use for each of the quilts, I figure here’s a good forum for that. So here goes.
Prince Charming Turtle Bay, Aqua
Valori Wells Wrenly Wildfield, Gypsy
Valori Wells Wrenly Rosette, Cerulea
Valori Wells Wrenly Bloom, Cobalt Blue
Valori Wells Wrenly Ingrid, Cobalt
Valori Wells Wrenly Wildfield, Cobalt
Valori Wells Wrenly Wildfield, Cherry
Valori Wells Wrenly Boho Stripe, Cerulean
Valori Wells Wrenly Bloom, Citrus
Valori Wells Wrenly Wren, Cobalt Blue
Valori Wells Wrenly Bloom, Mandarin

fanciful quilt

The latest of my quilts that I’ve made was a bit of a fanciful flight for me. While I normally love to use bright colorful fabrics, I usually tone them done with some calmer solids. This time, though, I decided to have fun with all of the fanciful fabrics and just sew them together in a spiraling pattern outwards.

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When I started the quilting, at first I thought I would do diagonal lines against the straight lines in the pieced top. Instead, though, I decided to stipple the quilt to give it a lot of curve against such straight lines. I’m really pleased with how it came out.

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The quilt was a real treat to make. I was sorry to see it go, but it went to a good home. Good luck Kelly and Jeremy!

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chakra quilt

Part of my yoga teacher training including an independent project. How do I apply the yoga I learn on my mat when I get off my mat? For my independent project, I made a quilt of the chakra colors. While the colors are beautiful and have a lot of meaning, it wasn’t my primary focus when making the quilt. My primary focus was the process itself of making a quilt and how I felt that this quilt is a story of my life.
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Quilting can be broken down into two major parts. The first part of the process is the piecing. The fabric must be cut into various shapes and sizes and pieced together. While the matching of the colors is very artistic, the cutting and piecing of the fabric is mathematical and precise. If you don’t cut each piece to be just the right size with straight and accurate lines, your fabric won’t be sewn together straight. You can even cut the fabric correctly and then sew the pieces together too quickly or clumsily and the fabric can bunch together. Intersections of where multiple pieces of fabric fit together line up incorrectly. The design of the quilt is completely changed by carelessness and hurry in the foundation. If care, though, is taken to cut each piece with straight lines and in the right size and shape and then if those pieces are sewn carefully together a beautiful quilt top can emerge. This is the part of the quilt that the world sees most easily.
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This quilt top is the part of me that the world sees. I can choose to not care for my body and soul. I can not take the care and time to figure out who the real me is. This person can get through life, but so much of it will be illusion. I can also choose to take the care and time to properly cut out the different parts of me and put them together into a tapestry of who I am. I can examine each piece and choose to get rid of the parts that don’t go with the rest of the quilt or the pieces that just don’t fit. When I’m finished, I will have a representation of who I am to show to the world.

The second part of quilting is the most important part in my opinion. Once the quilt top is finished, that’s all it is; a single dimension of fabric that while it’s pretty it has no depth to it. This is where a piece of batting (cotton or wool that’s been pressed together almost like felt), the quilt top and a backing are layered together. Once these three pieces have been layered, the pieces are stitched or quilted together with thread and needle. Each stitch binds these layers together a little more tightly. Quilting can be done quickly and it will hold the pieces together for at least a short period of time. Over time, though, the pieces will slowly unravel and all you will be left with is a quilt top, a piece of cotton or wool and another piece of fabric. If the stitching is tight and done carefully, though, these pieces of fabric can be held together for generations.
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The quilt itself is my world. It is the ties that bind me to all of the relationships I have formed in my life and will form as I continue through my journey. Each stitch is a person that I have been touched by in however a minor way. That tie can either be loose and eventually unravel or that tie can be held tight by care in the making and maintenance of it.
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My studies have taught me how to look at myself and be honest with the person that I want to be. I’m willing to take the care and time to construct a quilt top of all the pieces that make up who I am. I have also learned how to interact with the world so that I can make ties that bind and hold with the people around me. This quilt is my life.

The best part of the quilt was when I presented it to my classmates. We shared ourselves and our lives when we were in that class. I wanted to take that with me, so I had my classmates and teachers sign a piece of fabric and I appliqued it onto the back of my quilt. Now, whenever I look at this quilt, I will remember what a wonderful experience teacher training was for me and the great friends that I made.
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A Study In Purple

I swear there was a reason I’ve been absent the past couple of weeks of posting here. It involves me, some friends getting married and the fact that they didn’t register anywhere for gifts. So, 3 weeks ago, I started to panic a little bit about what to get them for a wedding gift (Sean was blissfully unaware of this as most guys are when it comes to wedding gifts). That was when I decided to make them a small quilt. Just something to snuggle underneath on the couch, but big enough to use.

Jeff is a Kansas State alumn and Suny’s favorite color is purple, so it became obvious what color the quilt would be.
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I didn’t want to do anything terribly difficult because I knew I’d be on a deadline with little time (read: weekends) to work on it. Strip quilt! I had 7 fabrics all based on a batik that I already had in my fabric stash. After hanging those on my design wall, I decided to shake it up a bit and added an 8th strip to repeat that was a combination of the other 7 fabrics. So, each strip repeats 3 times in the quilt.

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To frame out such a continuous amount of color, I decided to just go for a simple black border. It’s 4 inches in width which gives it a nice frame and increases the size of the quilt decently enough.

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I went with a simple black backing as well, but to keep it from being boring and since I was going to have to piece the back anyway, I tossed in a strip of the concentration fabric from the front.

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I used the stippling method for quilting so that the curves would keep the quilt from being too straight and boring. It was fun to quilt using that method, but definitely hard. After that, it was just a matter of binding the edges and I was done. A little of the batik found it’s way into the binding as well. 😉

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Overall, I’m really pleased with the results. I’m still learning and this is the first time I’ve used a machine to quilt in ages (the past several quilts have been hand quilted), but I’m pleased with it and I’m sure my friends will enjoy it. Hope you guys like the pics! Hopefully this weekend, I’ll resume my weekly menu posts at the very least.

quilting drool

Last summer while I was visiting with Misty, she pointed me in the direction of a very talented fabric designer, named Amy Butler. Since then, I’ve been drooling over her fabrics online, but with nowhere to buy them from, I was relegated to just drooling. This morning, while Sean and I were up in town for various errands, I convinced him to let me run by a quilt shop to look for some fabric for one of my handkerchief quilts (more on these later). What I found was a gold mine. Another quilting friend of mine had recommended the quilt shop, so it was my first time in there. What do I see upon entering the store? Amy Butler fabrics. I am now in possession of about 6 yards of various Amy Butler fabrics, with the full intention of going back and getting more in the near term future. First project? A market bag that I’ve been dying to make.