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.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Thicket Quilt (#91)

Thicket by Gingiber came out in 2016 - beautiful stuff.  I made two baby quilts here and knew it was the perfect fabric for someone who loves photography and animals. All it took was one look at this picture from Amy Everon @Fabulous_Scraps to know she had captured the vibe I wanted to do.  
Many thanks for her post and use of #'s since that helped me find the Tribal fabric by Snow Leopard Designs.
Originally I was going to combine HST's with smaller squares - but after a few rows of 2" (finished) half square triangles cut with this Accuquilt die, it became obvious that the HST's  would look great throughout. The entire quilt is a combo of Thicket & Tribal fabrics together.
Animal panels were cut 8.5" x 8.5".  Next came 20 HST units surrounding each panel.  Then the whole block was trimmed to 12" x 12".  After all 24 blocks were sewn together - I added a half square triangle border and 3.5" of black fabric on the left and right sides.  Lastly, a smaller black border of 2.5" on the top and bottom to completely frame all the critters.
Even though there are tons of small pieces, this pattern is worth a try with all sorts of fabric designs.   The backing is a beautiful black dimple dot minky and it is quilted with Aurifil 50wt. in a simple grid pattern.
Looking forward to 2018 are two more baby quilts and two more Tribal quilts to make with this beautiful Thicket fabric.  I am so grateful for generous quilters like Amy Everon & Amy Smart for sharing their Thicket quilts which are so inspiring.
Thicket by Gingiber for Moda
Tribal collection (Alexandria Terra,  Bukhara Terra, Kira Terra) from Snow Leopard Designs / Free Spirit
Wintergreen Aged Solids / Ebony / Moda
Aurifil 50wt thread #2000 / #2692
Warm & White batting
Dimple dot minky / black
Accuquilt die #55063 HST 2" finished square Multiples
Size: 59" x 76.5"
Date: December 2017

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Kaleidoscope Quilt Vintage Style (#90 )

Fabric: Retro 30's Child Smile Fall 2016 / Lecien 
I am not one to plot out detailed designs before sewing which is why simple Kaleidoscope quilts make me happy.  Pieces can be chain sewn without pins or markings and Accuquilt has two dies that make cutting a breeze (see Materials below for specs).  The trick for different looking Kaleidoscope quilts is all in the placement of the focus and background fabrics.  
Here is my Little Ruby quilt that kinda looks like a star. The blog post here has helpful tutorial links and pictures about this style in particular.
Now, this retro Kaleidoscope quilt and the Little Ruby quilt have the same number of large & small triangles.  The only difference is the amount of focus fabric versus background fabric.  That's it - same block with different fabric placement equals a totally new look! 
Here are the two basic blocks. One has 8 focus Isosceles triangles, the other has 4. Notice that BOTH blocks have the same background fabric for the smaller HST's on the corners.
The specs for this Kaleidoscope quilt design are as follows:  
         252 Isosceles triangles (focus fabric)
         84 background Isosceles triangles (light text)
        168 half square triangle pieces 3.5" (light text)

There are a total of 42 squares ... 6 blocks across and 7 rows down. Make (21) 8 focus fabric blocks and (21) of the 4 focus fabric blocks. 
Seams are a scant 1/4" with a small stitch length of 1.5.  Seams are ironed open every step of the way. Blocks trimmed to 10.5".
Minky with batting as the middle layer is perfect for a quilt this size (60" wide x 70" to 76" long).  A larger quilt with batting and minky would be too heavy and hard to machine launder.  For a lighter weight minky quilt though, muslin or flannel instead of batting works nicely too.
Notes: Downloading a blank Kaleidoscope template from the internet and coloring in the triangles would be one way to pre-design your quilt and make it as complicated as you like.  There are lots of great quilts on Pinterest for an overload of inspiration.  

Retro 30's Child Smile Fall 2016 / Lecien 
Modern Background Paper #1588 11  Zen Chic / Moda
Accuquilt: Triangle-Isosceles-5"x6" (#55016) & Half Square Triangle-3" (#55009)
Aurifil 50wt. #2311 & #5007
Warm & White batting
Dimple dot minky & Candy Stripe binding both in Azurite from Hawthorne Threads
Size: 61" x 70"
December 2017

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Quick Curve Ruler Drunkards Path Quilt (#89)

Lots of scraps from Kate Spain's Terrain collection makes this beautiful bright quilt.
The strong pink & orange colors really stand out against Kona white and luckily I had enough dark blue from the same collection to add some balance.
Every unit in the flower block and the small drunkards path pieces were trimmed to 4" x 4".
The flower curves were made with the Quick Curved Ruler and the smaller drunkard's path were cut with an Accuquilt die.
The Quick Curved Ruler was developed by the ladies at Sew Kind of Wonderful, and on their web site or YouTube you can find patterns and tutorials.  The free pattern they have that is very similar to these 'flower' blocks is called Spring Fling.
There are so many places to learn how to do this wonderful curved piecing - here were my sources:
1) the video on how to use your Quick Curve Mini Ruler from Jenny Pedigo (from Sew Kind of Wonderful) here
2) Canoe Ridge Creations
3) She Can Quilt
Each flower block includes:
(8) curved Quick Curved Ruler pieces beginning with a 5" square (like in the video tutorial above by Jenny)  
(8) squares cut at 4x4"
Made for an artist friend who would't balk at something non-traditional, I used lots of color and made up my own the design. First came the 'flower' blocks and small circles using what fabric I had.  The layout came last, more like a puzzle ... but sometimes a quilt can evolve from what you have, not from what a pattern tells you.  
For a large block with plenty of interest this 'flower' or 'butterfly' motif is perfect - and it's good for scraps as well.

Terrain / Kate Spain / Moda
Kona white
Mini Quick Curved Ruler (from Sew Kind of Wonderful)
Warm & White Batting
Aurifil 50wt. #2740 (dark blue), #2040 (white)
Dimple dot minky / Midnight Blue
Accuquilt Drunkard's Path 4" finished *(I trimmed these small Drunkard's Path pieces to 4"x4" like everything else)

Size: 60" x 73.5"
Date: December 2017

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Kaleidoscope Quilt in Novelty Fabrics (#88)

After my first Kaleidoscope quilt (blog post with linked tutorials & tips here), I knew this was the perfect pattern for using up loads of leftover novelty fabrics.  
Ye Olde Sweatshop was a crafty venture started in my hot garage to make & sell preshrunk cotton grocery bags. When each bag used 1.25 yards of fabric along with my time, the reality was they were too expensive when one could pick up a bag for pennies at a superstore. I plugged on for a few years until I admitted defeat and started quilting for fun and gifting quilts to family & friends.
The end result of this failed venture was a trove of bright & beautiful, non harmonizing novelty fabric.  Keeping me up at night was the question of what to do with all this stuff ... enter the Kaleidoscope quilt.
The size of the Accuquilt triangle dies are perfect. Left over scraps from the box corner of a market bag left me with hundreds of 4" squares - these became the smaller HST's. 
The larger triangles are from extra panels and linings of bags never made. 
All these patterns next to each other would be a total mess but the addition of Kona white is the saving grace.  That clean bright separation between the intense colors is perfect. Also important is sticking to the motto "only novelty patterns".  Keeping the theme consistent helps maintain the distinct look of this quilt.
Sewing notes: 
I use lots of starch before I cut, steam iron my seams open, sew a scant 1/4" seam and use a 1.5 stitch length. Most importantly, its always worth making a tester block to see how your fabric reacts to all the steam & starch.
Trim all blocks 10.5".  Layout is 6 blocks across - 7 rows down. (Again, links on how to make & assemble Kaleidoscope quilts are in this post here.)
Personal note:  This year I got a new garage door that fits & doesn't let in wind or rain and best of all ... no small critters with multiple legs. My husband put in an air conditioner so this kinda makes Ye Olde Sweatshop a pretty nice space to hang out and sew.

Novelty cotton fabric
Aurifil 50wt. #5007 & #2311 
Warm & White batting
Dimple dot minky in Azurite and Candy Stripe in Azurite from Hawthorne Threads 
Accuquilt dies: Triangle-Isosceles-5"x 6" / HST 3" Finished
Size: 60" x 70"
November 2017

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Grand Canal Kate Spain Quilt (#87)

It was my lucky day when I stumbled onto two picture tutorials from Trish at Notes of Sincerity for an "easy square in square in square block".
With a little tweaking I found that 2 layers cakes (42 pieces each) can make this beautiful quilt and there is little waste. The quilt has 30 blocks.  
Choose your outside border fabric FIRST - put aside 60 layer cake pieces.  These will be trimmed down to 9"x 9" and cut on a diagonal.  These triangles are the last round of each block.  
Cut 23 layer cake pieces into 5" squares ... yield will be (92) squares ... you need 90.   
(30) of these will be your starting center - leave at 5"x5" 
(60) of these will be cut on the diagonal and make the
       smaller middle round    
(leftovers: 1 layer piece and a few 5" squares)

Follow Trish's first tutorial here for the first two rounds - and trim your blocks to 7.5" as she recommends. Her second tutorial here is how she ends up with an unfinished 10.5" square. 
The only thing I did different than Trish was to cut my 60 outside pieces to 9"x 9" instead of 7.5".  Then its just the same technique as the first two rounds: cut on the diagonal and attach to the 7.5" block.  When finished, trim to 13" x 13". 
And that's it.  With a little prior thought on what fabric you want in the center and on the larger outside areas - 2 layer cakes works nicely.
I am not compensated by anyone for my supplies but do enjoy Green Fairy Quilts for reasonable pre-cuts - which is where I got these Kate Spain beauties.  Whether it is Trish's way with scraps or this way with layer cakes - the final result is pretty sweet. 
Yes, I lost (or wasted) an inch trimming down to a 9"x 9" on that last piece -  but when I used the whole 10" square for the final round it was too big & unbalanced.
Lastly - since I was making a minky quilt and needed to keep it to 60" wide - I trimmed my blocks 12.5" x 13" (instead of the 13"x13" mentioned above).

Grand Canal by Kate Spain / Moda / #grandcanalfabric 
Aurifil 50wt.  # 5007, #2000
Warm & White batting
Minky dimple dot / vanilla
Notes of Sincerity / Square in a Square Tutorial
Green Fairy Quilts / layer cakes
Size: 60" x 75"
November 2017

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Latitude Batik Quilt (#86)

Kate Spain has to rate as my favorite overall fabric designer.  She talks about her inspiration for this collection here on her blog ... beautiful colors, beautiful designs.
The pattern for this quilt is Juice Boxes from  Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew (a lovely blog and assortment of patterns). The heart motif tutorial is from Karin Jordan Studio where I used 1.5" squares and added a little border - all blocks were trimmed to 7".

Starch works nicely on this thin fabric, as does a #10 needle and Aurifil 50 wt. thread.  A light blue grey Aurifil 50wt. #5007 looks good with all the colors, even the warmer tones.
Scraps for the edging were cut at 1.5" wide.  I then sewed 2 pieces together and cut them 6 inches long (3" on one side of the seam line, 3" on the other).   That gave me a bunch of 6" x 1.5" units to sew together to make one long piece.  
There are a total of 88 squares - 8 across and 11 down. 1.5" white strip of Kona was sewn to the batik scraps and pressed.  Lastly, a 2.5" white border added all around.
White minky is on the back to showcase all the luscious colors and designs on the front. 
It was necessary to use a #14 needle to prevent thread breaks when quilting.  A new needle and slower speed worked just fine and didn't punch holes in the batiks - yay!
When I gifted my Kaleidoscope Quilt in May to a retiring teacher from my daughter's high school - a fellow teacher wrote her farewell speech using that quilt as inspiration.  I was so touched when she was telling me this story I could only think ... 'this sweet lady needs her own quilt!"  She was wearing a jacket in jewel tones and I knew right then her quilt had to be in Latitude Batiks.  

Latitude Batiks / Kate Spain (#LatitudeBatiks)
Kona white
Aurifil 50wt. #5007 & white
Warm & White batting
Minky dimple dot / white
Juice Boxes from Cluck Cluck Sew
Size: 60" x 75.5"
October 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Chillingsworth Halloween Scrap Quilt (#85)

Is it ever too soon for Halloween?  I think not!
This paper pieced coffin template is free, along with other wonderful tutorials from Jeni Baker of In Color Order. I loved it and not knowing how to paper piece wasn't going to stop me ... with the help of YouTube, Google and a love of coffins ... viola!
I had saved a bag of scraps from my other Chillingsworth quilts (here).  Made some 'fake' flying geese with half square triangles.
Every inch of border fabric was cobbled together.  I ran out of the black background after two coffins which worked out fine because my paper piecing skills really need a proper class of instruction.
It's no secret I love Aurifil 50wt. for piecing and quilting.  It melds into the minky I frequently use and I rarely get thread breaks or loads of lint.  What I am having fun with is using brighter thread colors that make even my simple quilting look nice.  On the front is hot neon orange #1104.
And on the back is black dimple dot minky quilted with Aurifil 50wt. #5004 (dark grey) in the bottom bobbin.
When I ran out of scraps the quilt was just too small, so I did cheat and buy a yard of Chillingsworth damask - but seriously, who can resist these tiny little skulls?
And here is the big reveal.  Another "Frankenweenie" quilt whose criteria is to use up every last scrap of leftover fabric from other quilts.  

Something new for me to do is link up with others - but I am pleased to join Scraptastic Tuesday hosted by She Can Quilt which I subscribe to and have enjoyed reading for some time.  Lots of inspiration, tutorials and guidance ... a great site to check out.

Chillingsworth / Echo Park
Aurifil 50wt. #1104 and #5004
Warm & White batting
Minky / dimple dot black
Thanks to Jeni Baker In Color Order
Size: 52" x 51"
August 2017