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.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Gypsy Caravan Snowball Quilt (#34)

Rustic chic doesn't get any better than a snowball quilt made with Amy Butler's Gypsy Caravan and real linen.
Linen is so organic & soft after washing, and as always, Gypsy Caravan doesn't disappoint. Amy Butler's patterns & colors harmonize next to each other and the linen adds a natural element.
There are lots of tips for sewing garments with linen but not many on how to make a quilt with it.  The biggest caution seems to be a concern with the linen edges unraveling when using a 1/4" seam.  Internet advice suggests that sewing with a larger 1/2" seam is a safer option. 
Good advice but this was not possible if I wanted my corners to fit into the 'snowball' and not make a distorted block.
 A scant 1/4"  was my only choice.  I pressed my seams open and quilted on them in a grid pattern, as well as through the middle of the snowball using a medium broken zigzag  stitch.  That way, any stray or loose linen edges are sewn down on the inside - and the seam is really secure.
 I did pre-wash & dry the linen a few times in hot to maximize shrinkage (which was a few inches) and that helped tighten up the fabric weave. I didn't worry that the linen would become 'shiny' when ironing it - all shine and starch marks washed out in the end.  
The most time/labor portion of this quilt seemed to be in the ironing. It makes sense since there were 528 corners, 132 snowballs and lots of 4" squares from the scraps, to iron/starch/cut - and iron again  - but the Accuquilt die was fun and the cutting part went quickly. 
The end goal was not to make this look like beautiful pressed linen bedding - but a textured quilt worthy of a 'very cool & fancy gypsy caravan."

Materials:
Amy Butler / Gypsy Caravan
Natural Linen IL090 from Fabric-Store.com
Warm & White twin sized batting
Aurifil 50wt. Light Sand 2000 for piecing & quilting
Accuquilt Snowball die
Faultless Starch (lots)
Size:  71"x 83"
February 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Herringbone Baby Quilt (#33)

This herringbone pattern made with half square triangles is so easy and effective for any quilt - not just a sweet baby boy blanket.
Using my Accuquilt 4.5" finished sized half square triangle die, starch, a scant 1/4" seam and small stitches (1.5) - the squares came out perfectly.
This template here from Riley Blake Designs can be saved to your computer and then printed out - making layout very simple.
The best part is that everything is easy to keep track of.  Chain piecing only two colors is fun - and using a dainty broken zigzag on the seams didn't take too long since the blanket was so small. For a larger quilt I would recommend a larger zigzag but still in the grid pattern. 
Lastly, Riley Blake Blenders (or Shades) add such depth because of their mottled/uneven coloring.  I've used this slate gray before in the Fancy Fox and Mustache quilts - and it is so much prettier in real life than any photo can show.  For a selection of colors, check out The Loopy Ewe or Stash Addict Quilts.

Materials:
Riley Blake Slate Blender
Kona white
Backyard Baby / Michael Miller for backing & binding
Isacord #40 thread
Warm & White (Crib size)
Accuquilt HST 4.5" 
Size: 40.5" x 45"
March 2015