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, December 31, 2016

Day of the Dead Snowball Quilt (#64)

Textile house Alexander Henry never disappoints Day of the Dead fans with their colorful & glorious designs. The main problem I find with these large repeat novelty fabrics is that they don't do well cut up into tiny quilt pieces. Fussy cutting can ruin the motif as well as waste fabric.
I made grocery bags out of Cartas Marcadas Stamps by cutting a horizontal chunk. This was originally my cheater quilt idea - just leave the fabric as is. Unfortunately the non-black version of this pattern looked really weak & needed some color.
Enter the snowball block with my Accuquilt die - a large shape that didn't conflict with the rectangles and showed the details of the design - perfect.
The end result is a really nice jumble of color and images - every snowball holds some interest with a different skeleton.  Quilted with Aurifil 50wt. #2360 in a wavy stitch following the seams and through the middle of the blocks - this thread complements the brown accent corners.
A deep brown minky on the back harmonizes with one of my favorite blender fabrics: Mix Master Dot to Dot by Robert Kaufman (which is sadly not available much anymore).

Folklorico/Cartas Marcadas Bright by Alexander Henry
Mix Master Dot to Dot / ccoca / Robert Kaufman
Skinny Strips in Spice / Laura Gunn (binding)
Dimple Dot minky brown
Warm and White batting
Aurifil 50wt. #2360
Size: 58" x 74"
December 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

Bee Creative Lap Quilts (#62 & 63)

What better way to show off Deb Strain's lovely Bee Creative line than with snowball blocks that look all hexagon & bee like.
Both these little lap quilts are on their way from sunny California to jolly olde England to keep my cousins warm in the cutest outside hut ever.  The whole vibe just screamed BEEES to me and the fabric choice & shape were ... meant to be!
All fabric was starched, ironed and then cut with the Accuquilt snowball die.  Yarn dyed Essex linen in black is the accent fabric with minky scraps on the back. 
Using a 1/2" seam to join the minky and then sewing over them again from the front to re-enforce the join - you can hardly see the stitching because the Aurifil 50wt. thread just sinks into the fibers ... love that. These seams won't unravel even after lots of washing.
Large patterns and novelty fabrics do great in snowball quilt blocks because all the wonderful designs & details show to advantage.
The generous amount of 28 fat quarters in this bundle means there are more small lap quilts to be made. 7 rows across by 7 rows down makes a blanket 41"x 41". 
Bee Creative by Deb Strain for Moda
Essex linen yarn dyed Black
Dimple Dot minky
Warm & White batting
Aurifil 50wt. Grey Smoke (#5004) Sand (#2000)
Accuquilt snowball die
Size: 41" x 41"
December 2016

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Cherie Half Square Triangle Quilt (#61)

I feel in love with Cherie when people posted pictures of Frances Newcombe's booth at Quilt Market 2014.  When it came out months later I bought fat quarters for me and a few friends.  Beautiful stuff.
Without having a clear idea of the finished quilt design - I paired up darks & lights, cut them with the Accuquilt 4.5" half square triangle die and sewed large blocks.  And there it all sat for months & months in a plastic box.
I couldn't get a handle on a layout and it became my most loathed project to work on.  Fast forward a year and a half - a little wiser, more articles read, more YouTubes watched and more quilts finished and voila - I came up with this and love it!
I unpicked a lot white Kona sashing, used black grunge fabric as the main accent and to frame the faces.  Black minky with that hot raspberry (Les Points in Rose) as a binding - and a mod Barbie quilt with a French twist was born.
This quilt has been a great lesson on the importance of background fabric- and maybe not always use Kona white or Essex linen. One thing that will never change is using a new #14 needle and Aurifil 50wt. for minky quilting - perfect every time.
The 6th & last teen quilt ready to be gifted before the school break. I couldn't have had more fun!
Cherie by Frances Newcombe for Art Gallery
Moda Wintergreen Ebony (black)
Dimple Dot minky black
Warm & White
Aurifil 50wt. Grey Smoke (#5004)
Size: 59" x 74
December 2016

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Nostalgia Star Quilt (#60)

Some of the prettiest fabric ever is Jennifer Paganelli's Nostalgia collection from Free Spirit. 
I adapted Carrie Nelson's pattern called "Place C" from her book Schnibbles Times Two: Quilts from 5" or 10" Squares.
Since I had various sizes of left over fabric from my first Nostalgia quilt (here), I made half square triangles instead of Carrie's suggested flying geese and trimmed everything to 4.5".  Aurifil 50wt. Muslin thread was the perfect choice for wavy line quilting following the seams.
A few star points were omitted to keep the quilt width to 60" wide so I could easily add minky backing - but the overall design looks great.
Since the pattern is simple but stunning - Nostalgia's large motifs and harmonizing colors shine. 
What's not to love about this 5th teen quilt for my daughter's friend.
Nostalgia by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit
Kona white
Dimple Dot minky / vanilla
Warm & White
Aurifil 50wt. Muslin (#2311)
Size: 60" x 75.5"
December 2016

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Hourglass Quilt in Noteworthy (#59)

The thing about this Noteworthy quilt from Sweetwater is that the muted pallet looks fabulous in person - but rather washed out in photos.  This is my 4th quilt made with Noteworthy and it's soothing calm appeal is perfect for a variety of age groups and tastes - (the other quilts are linked here).
What I learned after making this 3rd hourglass quilt using the Accuquilt 6.5" HST die (how I did it here) is while my sewing skills are good - even with starch and careful sewing I ended up with ripples in the border from naturally bias stretchy edges. I thought I could overcome this rippled border by being more careful but sadly that's not the case. So, my simple hack, like the last time, was to fold the extra fabric into 3 little pleats each near a seam line - and stitch over them - not perfect but not that bad either.
Lovely white minky, a broken zig zag stitch over the seam lines using my new favorite Aurifil 50wt. thread of Muslin (#2311) and a #14 needle is a win/win.
Lastly, its always fun to use fabric that has such fun scribbles and text.  
This is "Teen Quilt No.4" ready for my dauther's friends.
Noteworthy by Sweetwater (from Moda)
Aurifil 50wt. Muslin (#2311)
Dimple dot Minky white
Warm & White batting
Size: 59" x 76"
December 2016

Friday, November 4, 2016

Granny Square Quilt (#58)

This granny square quilt block is reminiscent of the crocheted squares many of us made with yarn. My focus fabric is 3.5" x 3.5" - larger than most tutorials which use a 2" or 2.5" square.  I love this bigger size. 
Each Block: 
13 colored fabric squares 3.5"x 3.5"
12 squares background: 3.5" x 4" (rectangles) 

Sew all squares together except the top and bottom rectangle and iron seams open (top right picture) 
Now center and sew the top and bottom rectangles.

It is easier to finger press the seams from the front before ironing.  So, finger press 3 seams towards the top square and then iron from the front.  Rotate the block and do the same for the remaining 3 seams.  Do not press open these seams.
There are many ways to make this block - most vary in how big to cut the background fabric pieces.  You can cut all squares the same size - or even use half square triangles for the sides -  I tried those methods and while ragged edges will probably get 'trapped' in the 1/4" seam I opted to use more fabric with waste for piece of mind. My background rectangles  are 3.5" x 4" ... 1/2" bigger than my colored fabric. I found this tip on Wombat Quilts.
Each block was trimmed to 13.25". A little awkward but since I didn't have a pattern and need to keep everything within 60" wide - this math worked best. 
Kona white sashing between blocks was cut 2" and the top/bottom and sides sashing cut 2.5".
Everything trimmed nicely after quilting with wavy lines in Aurifil #50wt. white - and of course, beautiful soft minky on the back. 
This is "Teen Quilt No. 3" for my daughter's friends.
Feather Flock by Tina Givens
Kona White & Pansy (binding)
Dimple dot minky / vanilla from Fabric.com
Aurifil 50wt. white #2024
Warm & White batting
Size: 60" x 74"
November 2016

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Eclectic Elements Half Square Triangle Quilt (#57)

Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements Quilt from Ye Olde  Sweatshop
Tim Holt's Eclectic Elements was the perfect choice for this teen quilt.  Having used Eclectic Elements twice before, I knew that the colors would look good without sashing and harmonize with denim. 
Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements Quilt from Ye Olde  Sweatshop
Moda Love Layer Cake was my starting pattern so I cut 6" finished half square triangles using an Accuquilt die. But, as it sometimes happens - the pattern I thought would work didn't ... being flexible is key if you are like me & don't map out your quilt in detail or with sketches. 
Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements Quilt from Ye Olde  Sweatshop
 The important thing I like to share is this: do what feels right with what fabric you use and the final result will make you happy - evolve your quilt design.  I spent many years at an art desk doing old school advertising paste up and there is always a way to make your shapes & colors work.
Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements Quilt from Ye Olde  Sweatshop
This lap quilt has a minky back and my usual simple quilting method of a wavy line following the seams - it is fast, effective and makes a nice pattern on the back as well.
Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements Quilt from Ye Olde  Sweatshop
I used Aurifil 50wt. Muslin (#2311) which is a wonderful alternative to the ever popular Light Sand (#2000).  It glided through all the different fabric weights with a #14 needle - not one thread break or jam up ... love that. 
This is "Teen Quilt No. 2" for my daughter's friends.
Eclectic Elements
Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Linen / Denim
Dimple dot minky / beige
Aurifil 50wt. Muslin #2311, Beige #2314, Chocolate #2360
Accuquilt HST 6" finished
Warm & White batting 
Size: 59" x 75.5"
November 2016

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tula Pink Double Hour Glass Quilt (#56)

Who doesn't love Tula Pink? Her collection Chipper has all the color and animal images I could wish for.
Tula PinkDouble Hour Glass Quilt from Ye Olde Sweatshop
Lurking on my Pinterest board was this link to Adrianne of Little Bluebell and her 'no template' method of making the double hourglass block.  Great instructions and very fun to do. Since I cut my own 2.5"strips, used starch and lots of steam - each block was trimmed to 7.5" to be consistent.
Tula Pink Double Hour Glass Quilt from Ye Olde Sweatshop
The hourglass blocks were laid out first to determine the top to bottom length of the quilt (anywhere between 72" to 74"). Then the animal images were cut 4" wide and into rectangles - joined with 1.5" strips of Kona white. These were laid next to the hourglass blocks and trimmed to fit - again from top to bottom.  Finally, I cut 1.5" and 2" sashing strips for inside the quilt - and 2.5" strips for the outer borders.

Tula Pink Double Hour Glass Quilt from Ye Olde Sweatshop
Not bad for a lap quilt that was made without a formal pattern.
Tula Pink Double Hour Glass Quilt from Ye Olde Sweatshop
I am totally pleased with the strong beautiful colors of Chipper and how well they work with this block design.
Tula Pink Double Hour Glass Quilt from Ye Olde Sweatshop
 I am loving the Aurifil 50wt. Muslin on the Kona white - and with a #14 needle working through starched fabric, batting and minky - not one thread broke or messed up.
This is "Teen Quilt #1" - (quilts for my daughter's friends before they graduate high school in 2017.)
Chipper by Tula Pink
Kona white
Binding: Michael Miller Cotton Couture / Purple
Aurifil 50wt. Muslin #2311 & Iris #2560
Warm & white batting
Dimple dot minky / Lilac
Size: 58" x 74"
October 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mini Tumbler Scrap Quilt (#55)

I find making scrappy quilts harder to do since my stash is made up of many novelty and strong colored fabrics.  My scraps are left overs from making grocery bags for The Fabric Hog - and the tone of a market bag is so different than the softer prettier fabrics that are attractive in a quilt.
Luckily this one came out great since it harmonized and is a picnic blanket. Making box corners for my bags left me with lots of 4" squares which I could cut into mini tumblers with the 3.5" Accuquilt die.
I don't know why but my patience level was low with this quilt - so I took the easy short cut of adding scrap flannel and cotton borders to finish it off.
Finally - a rugged background of red cotton mixed with black, indigo and blue yarn dyed linen.  Quilted with Aurifil 50wt. Light Sand on the front and the fun variegated Storm At Sea on the back with wavy line stitches- this quilt will live with the Half Hexi Scrap Quilt in a school locker for lunchtime fun.

Quilting cotton & flannel
Red Kona Dimensions / Robert Kaufman
Essex linen in black, blue denim, indigo / Robert Kaufman
Aurifil 50wt. Light Sand (#2000) & Variegated Storm at Sea (#4655)
Warm & White
Size: 58" x 72.5"
August 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

Half Hexi Scrap Quilt (#54)

This half hexi quilt was made with the large plastic template from The Missouri Star Quilt Co. and it worked out great. No "y" seams - just straight stitching.  Layout is must, going row by row to get the effect of complete hexagons.  
This was all quilting fabric from my stash, along with yarn dyed Essex linen in Indigo on the sides and the back.
 This blanket will live in my daughter's locker to be dragged out for lunch when she and her friends sit on concrete - so it had to be tough and rugged - as well as not too dainty since there will be lots of shoes & food around.
Quilting was done in a wavy lined stitch following the hexagons and down the middle in Aurifil 50wt (#4655) called Storm at Sea - perfect variegated thread for something fun and casual.

Quilting cotton & Essex yarn dyed linen Indigo
Warm & White
Aurifil 50wt. Storm at Sea variegated (#4655)
Size: 56" (wide) x 57" (long)
August 2016