Hi, my name is Ruth and this is my blog to show & share my quilts that I give to family & friends.
Simple designs that may inspire you to make one too.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Layer Cake Lattice Quilt (#81)

Let's face it, I love novelty fabric. Once I saw this Into the Deep blue pattern full of jellyfish and aqua accents I was hooked.
Again, the biggest challenge for novelty fabric is how to accentuate the whimsical patterns.  A tutorial from Ashley of "Mommy by day Crafter by night" saved the day with this large scale lattice quilt tutorial (using layer cakes).
Usually I make my quilt blocks and then lay them out - but with this lattice quilt pattern it was essential to do the layout before sewing to get good color placement.
The border was cut using the large half hexie ruler from  the Missouri Star Quilt Co.  
It's a hard choice to pick a thread color when fabrics go from dark to light in the same quilt. I am realizing that these novelty images can handle bold thread choices, especially if there are not acres of white as a background. I used Aurifil 50wt. #1148. Love the turquoise thread, jelly fish and seahorses with bow ties ... all I need now is a pineapple under the sea! 

Into the Deep / Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller
Kona white
Warm & White batting
Aurifil 50wt. #1148 
Size: 73" x 81"
July 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Accuquilt Snowball Quilt in Bee Creative (# 80)

The fat quarter bundle of Bee Creative by Deb Strain was huge and has made lots of lovely little quilts.
This is my 3rd snowball quilt in this bee fabric and it beautifully showcases the novelty fabrics. The Accuquilt snowball die is a great way to show off large and busy fabric.
Yarn dyed Essex linen in black and this awesome border is paired with a black minky for the back.
Robert Kaufman's Fusion Texture is the border and I got it at a real quilt store. I would never have seen its potential in a small on-line image.  My local quilt store has since closed and it saddens me to think of all the choices we miss by not being able to feel, touch and experiment with fabrics we would never buy on-line.

Bee Creative by Deb Strain
Essex linen yarn dyed black
Fusions Text Collection Ebony / Robert Kaufman
Accuquilt Snowball die
Warm & White batting
Aurifil 50wt #5004
Black dimple dot minky / Hawthorne Threads
Size: 48.5" x 48.5"
June 2017

Half Square Triangle Quilt (#79)

A small half square triangle quilt made with Colette by Brenda Watson and shot cotton by Kaffe Fassett.  A great way to use left over fabric from quilts here and here.
It was fun to make a smaller quilt and try and use every scrap possible.  The half square triangles were cut using the Accuquilt 4.5" finished die.  
I used Aurifil 50wt. Neon Orange (#1104) to quilt in a wavy lined grid and love the way it showed up on the dark blue.  
My new goal is make a little quilt with the left overs after I finish a bigger quilt and it is proving quite enjoyable. I call them my "Franken-wennies" (homage to Tim Burton) - quilts that start out with no set design or size ... improvising all the way.


Colette by Brenda Watson / Blend
Wovens in Blue Jean / Shot Cotton / Kaffe Fassett
Aurifil 50wt. #1104 / #2600
Warm & White batting
Minky / Azurite / Hawthorne Threads
Accuquilt Half Square Triangle / 4.5" finished
Size: 51" x 53"
June 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017

Kaleidoscope Quilt (#78)

Kaleidoscope quilts are fascinating. There are so many ways to make them look different and it all hinders on where your put the colored and background fabrics.  I like this way which looks like a 'star'.  It's a winner for me since it requires no prior design work (like keeping track of what color goes where on a piece of graph paper) and it looks like a million bucks when its done!

Using the Accuquilt Isosceles triangle and HST 3" Finished die, cut:
168 Isosceles triangles (focus fabric)
168 background Isosceles triangles (white)
168 half square triangle pieces 3.5" (focus fabric)
Sew the triangle top to the isosceles piece. Using a SCANT 1/4" seam ... start at the tip (or point) & chain piece with the colored triangles on the LEFT and the background fabric to the RIGHT.  (trim bunny ears or fabric tags before block assembly)
Each block has 4 colored triangle units and 4 white pieces. This makes a 'star' when everything is assembled. Trim to 10.5" square. (Always make a tester block first before you start assembly line sewing or trimming.)
Kaleidoscope quilts can be very intricate, not so with this star motif.  Put your fabric into 42 piles, balance the colors and have fun sewing one block at a time. When it's layout time - flip the blocks around so no two similar fabrics are touching.
Simple quilting with a wavy line stitch in Aurifil 50wt. white using a #14 needle.  It's normal that a little of the darker minky pulls through to the top but when the new owner loves red ... you gotta use red!
The heart tutorial came from Karin Jordan Studio which I made using 2" squares.
Thanks go to a "quilt along" hosted in 2011 by Elizabeth Dackson of Don't Call Me Betsy. I couldn't have done it without her pictures and instructions (Elizabeth even has a printable template).
I love this pattern.  The simple design is so effective and works with a variety of fabrics.  The hardest thing about it is spelling the word Kaleidoscope!

Little Ruby / Bonnie & Camille / Moda
Marmalade Raspberry stripe / binding
Aurifil 50wt. white #2024
Dimple Dot minky / Red
Warm & White batting
Accuquilt  Triangle-Isosceles-5"x6" / HST 3" Finished
Size: 60" x 70"
May 2017

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Four Patch Quilt (#77)

To  make a quick child's quilt I used some left over Lecien Retro 30's jelly roll pieces and RJR Pixie Strips.  Color scraps went on a white strip and then cut to widths of 2.5".
I sewed them into four patches and should have stopped to trim them all the same size - I didn't. 
There is always some distortion with pre-cuts and slight variations with different brands.  They didn't look too wonky but in the final assembly my seams were off in some rows.  No amount of tugging was going to match them.  But some careful trimming around the quilt top and a border fixed everything up nicely - whew!
I like the whole idea of pre-cuts just not the fact they vary in size a lot of the time.  Happy with the final result since no one is going to get upset with a few unmatched squares and using up scraps is great ...win/win. 

Lecien Retro 30's jelly roll
RJR Pixie Strips / Supreme White
Warm & White battinga
Dimple Dot minky in Azurite /  Hawthorne Threads 
Aurifil 50wt. #2311
Binding: Marmalade Stripe Raspberry / Moda
Size: 41" x 41"
May 2017

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Heart Quilt (#76)

There are lots of different ways to make a heart quilt.  This time I wanted one BIG heart that could use up lots of red stash fabric.
It's fun to see how versatile half square triangles can be for the same motif - both quilts were made using the 4.5" finished Accuquilt triangle die.
To offset all the white on the top and bottom, I choose red minky for the back. The only compromise you have to make when using a dark minky on the back is that some of the colored minky may pull through and show on a light fabric top because it is so 'fuzzy'. A little color show through is a small price to pay for an overall great soft minky quilt.
Quilted with Aurifil 50wt. #2311 (muslin) in a wavy stitch, I followed the seams first and then sewed down the middle (right to left & top to bottom) to create little "pillows" that are about 2" square.  
Once it is all washed and dried these little quilted pillows create such a nice texture.  After making more than 30 quilts with minky backing I find simple grid quilting works well. 
Various scrap fabrics
Warm & White batting
Dimple dot minky / red
Aurifil 50wt. #2311
Accuquilt 4.5" finished HST die
Size: 60" x 70"
April 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Drunkard's Path Quilt (#75)

I enjoy sewing Drunkard's Path quilts and how they chomp through lots of fabric.
All quilt blocks benefit from a final trim after assembly. Every article written on half square triangles discusses at length how to square up blocks - so why is trimming Drunkard's Path blocks not emphasized more?  In the past I have struggled to match evenly the Drunkard's Path pieces from one edge to the other: it rarely happened.  
Good news is that you can end up with a pro looking Drunkard's Path if you: 
1)  Starch and iron all fabric.
2)  Use small stitches and slow speed on your machine
3) Pie shape on top, use pins if you like, or my favorite method which is to tug fabric with tweezers ... BUT bottom line - you have to trim and square up your final block.  
On your template ruler, line up the same measurement on the top and bottom of the curve. I use the 6.5" mark.  Even though the block above is supposed to be 7.5" unfinished - I trim them to 7" due to wonky sewing.
When you trim like this, every block will match up on the curve when you do your layout and be of similar size - it's that simple! 
Fabric is Colette by Brenda Walton, bought from one of my go to on-line stores Hawthorne Threads. Not only do they have a great assortment of FQ's but a huge selection of Aurifil which is my go to thread.  
Quilted with simple straight lines on either side of the seams and through the center of the blocks - the overcast 'fire' weather here in So. California just doesn't do justice to the pretty mint greens and periwinkle blues.

Colette / Brenda Walton / Blend Fabrics
Flannel / garage sale 
Aurifil 50wt. #5007 (grey blue) & #1158 (medium grey)
Warm & White batting
Accuquilt large drunkard's path die
Thanks to Jeanette Bruce from Gone Aussie Quilting and her picture tutorial that perfectly explains how to trim and enjoy sewing these curves.
Size: 65" x 71.5"
April 2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Accuquilt Tumbler Quilt (#74)

Tumbler quilts are fun to make & use up a ton of focus fabric.  Best of all, if you pick a harmonizing collection like this one from Hawthorne Threads, your quilt just blends into itself when you snuggle.
A favorite tumbler quilt that I have kept is Sweet As Honey by Bonnie Christine.  I wanted to make my friend in Australia something similar but in blue tones. Norwegian Wood was the perfect choice. 
Here is a little info on Hawthorne Threads and their digital printing process.  The tight weave did require a #10 needle and I pre-washed & starched before cutting the tumbler shapes on the Accuquilt die.
While I usually quilt with a #14 needle through batting and minky, that size made too big a hole through the tight fabric - so it was slow and steady with a #10 needle in a wavy line 4.0 stitch. 
Backed with vanillia minky from Fabric.com and quilted with Aurifil 50wt. #5007 Grey Blue on top and #2000 Light Sand on the bottom.  This super soft quilt is right on time for winter Down Under!
Norwegian Wood from Hawthorne Threads
Vanilla minky / Fabric.com
Aurifil 50wt. #5007 / #2000
Warm & White batting
Accuquilt tumbler die (large)
Size: 59.5" x 78"
March 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Day of the Dead Slide Show Quilt (#73)

"Folklorico Baile de Calavaeras" by Alexander Henry is my favorite Day of the Dead fabric yet.  Like all novelty fabrics it is a challenge to capture all the images in large irregular repeats.
After many Google searches of 'large pattern quilts' - I found "Slide Show" by Atkinson Designs. This pattern is available by snail mail from Etsy and different vendors - or from Atkinson Designs (sadly not digital).
What I love about this pattern:  it's simple ... cuts are in whole numbers (not a 7/8" here or 3/16" there) ... it's fast and it showcases a nice chunk of novelty fabric - perfect! 
Important notes:  always use a scant 1/4" and make a small test strip of the smaller blocks to make sure your seams are not too large - there is no trimming.  Also, make a copy of the pattern before you start writing notes on it!
I used for the first time Shot Cottons from Kaffe Fassett - called Wovens in Blue Jean (from Hawthorne Threads). A word of caution - it is lovely and soft but very thin. Some say its because there is no paint or dye sitting on top of the fabric. I just know some seams made with my usual 1.5 stitch length looked more 'fragile' than with a robust Kona or Essex linen. I did pre-wash and starch all fabrics before cutting and assembly.
This quilt is for someone is loves color and it was super fun to add the bright orange border and go out of my comfort zone and use Aurifil 50wt. #1104 ... Neon Orange!  I love how the bright thread shows up on the blue ... can't wait to experiment with more bold thread colors.  I tend to use Aurifil colors that blend since my quilting is so simple, but no more ... color it is!
Folklorico Baile de Calaveras / Alexander Henry
Stripe-C #8233 / Timeless Treasures
Mixmasters Dot to Dot #7585 / Robert Kaufman
Wovens in Blue Jean / Kaffe Fassett
Aurifil 50wt. #1104 Neon Orange, #1158 Medium Grey
Dimple dot minky Navy / Hawthorne Threads
Warm & White batting
Slide Show pattern by Atkinson Designs
Size: 60" x 71.5"
March 2017

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Gypsy Caravan Half Square Triangle Quilt (#72)

Amy Butler's Gypsy Caravan was just being re-printed in 2012 when I started to quilt - how lucky am I.  No matter what quilt block I have used - this eclectic collection never disappoints. 
                Here is how I made the blocks:  
Starch and iron fabric - and cut with the Accuquilt 4.5" finished Half Square Triangle die. For each block you need:  12 HST in white and color - and 4 HST in all color.
Layout your block as shown above.  It helps to have one handy on a wall for reference. To complete the quilt I just made more half square triangles to fill in the edges.
Aurifil 50wt. Muslin (#2311) on the front and variegated French Lilac (#3840) on the back were my secret weapons for quilting - along with lovely Kona white.
I have had quite the hoard of Gypsy Caravan over the years - and grabbed up enough Turkish Paisley in anticipation of having it for a quilt back one day.  
Why it is easier to start a new project than finish old ones - this quilt top was made in 2014.  For no real reason it just sat there while I sewed a ton of other quilts!  I forgot how big I trimmed the squares, how many triangles to cut ... so many details.  

I look forward to the day when my orphan projects are finished and white knuckle it to do only one at a time ... here's hoping anyway :)  

Gypsy Caravan by Amy Butler
White Kona
Warm & White batting
Aurifil 50wt. #2311 and 3840
Accuquilt 4.5" finished HST die
Size: 62.5" x 81"
February 2017