Monday, March 28, 2022

Y-Seams Make Me Feel Like a Boss: My Retro '80s Sampler Blocks Are Finished!

Good Monday morning, everyone!  I am delighted to share that, FIVE and a half years after starting my version of the 2014 Moda Modern Building Blocks sampler quilt, I have finally finished making all 48 blocks!  

Woo Hoo!  All 48 Sampler Blocks Are Finished (Finally)!

No, the blocks aren't sewn together yet.  Expect that to take me some time, because after all of the time I've invested into making these blocks there is no way I'm willing to sacrifice any pointy points along the seam lines where the blocks join together.  This quilt top will be assembled slowly, with lots and lots of pins and probably also with lots of help from my BFF, the seam ripper.  Which is fine, because I can use that time to think about how the heck I'm going to quilt this when the top is finally done.

5 Inch Finished Block, Not In Original Moda Pattern

The black, orange and yellow block shown above was not in the original Moda pattern.  It's a traditional block design that I swapped in from my EQ8 quilt design software (Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links), either from the main EQ8 block library or from the BlockBase Plus add-on containing all of the blocks from Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.  I don't remember the name of this block, but it supports the early 1980s graphic design vibe I am aiming for with this quilt, especially with the opportunity to use two shades of orange and yellow for a three dimensional effect.  There are two Y-seams in that block, on either side of center where the black QST (quarter square triangles) on the outside edges of the block are sewn to pairs of 45 degree diamonds.  The Kona Solid colors used in the block above are Tangerine, Goldfish, Grellow, Sunflower, and Black (links take you to where those Kona colors can be found from Etsy sellers).

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Holly's (Not So) Little Ruby Layer Cake Quilt + Retro 80s Sampler Progress

Good morning and happy Tuesday, my lovelies! It's a rainy spring day here in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the grass looks so vividly green against the overcast skies.  My favorite kind of weather -- cool but not cold, new life springing up all around me, yet it's not such a beautiful day that you have to feel guilty for squirreling away in the studio instead of being outdoors.  It's drizzling out there, but it's dry in the sewing room where all the good fabric is waiting for me!

Holly's (Not So) Little Ruby Layer Cake Quilt

Speaking of all the good fabric...  Today I'm sharing my client Holly's enormous 100" x 100" quilt made from layer cakes (packages of precut 10" squares of coordinating print fabrics) of the Little Ruby fabric collection by Bonnie and Camille for Moda Fabrics.  Doesn't this fabric collection channel the spirit of Spring?  I did find several Etsy sellers who have Little Ruby precuts available here (affiliate link) in case you can't find them at your local quilt shop.  

Little Ruby Layer Cakes + Winter Flower E2E Quilting Design

I don't know the name of the pattern Holly used to make her quilt, but every time I see a quilt like this I think "Why don't I ever make quilts like this?!"  When you have great fabric prints, a simple patchwork pattern shows them off so beautifully.  I love how the large print squares are separated by frames of white.  My cerebral wheels are spinning, y'all -- I have a couple of fabulous large scale print fabrics stashed away, waiting for me to figure out how to show them off in a quilt.

This King quilt is for Holly's guest bedroom.  Won't this be a wonderful treat for her overnight visitors?  We used Hobbs Tuscany 80/20 Cotton/Wool batting for this quilt (affiliate link), a batting that I've only recently started stocking.  I like it -- it's an 80/20 blend so it's similar to the Hobbs and Quilters Dream 80/20 Cotton/Poly battings I carry, but the wool seems to give it just a bit more loft resilience than the cotton/poly blend.  Like the other wool battings I carry, the Hobbs cotton/wool blend batting is resin bonded to prevent the wool fibers from bearding through the finished quilt the way that cheaper wool battings do.  The cotton/wool blend has a lower loft -- and a lower price point -- than 100% wool batting, so it's not going to replace 100% wool in my inventory, but it's not going to replace my go-to 80/20 cotton poly batting, either.  Some people have wool allergies, and wool battings are less forgiving than cotton or polyester if someone throws a quilt in a hot dryer after laundering.  But I love having so many different choices so we can get exactly the look, feel, and laundering options we want for every quilt!

100 x 100 Little Ruby Layer Cake Quilt with Winter Flower E2E Quilting Design

Sunday, March 13, 2022

A Sampler Block, a Custom Ironing Table, and a Custom QOV for Harold

Lest you think I've not been making any progress at all on my own projects, I have this block to show for myself:

Another 5 inch Block Completed for my Retro '80s Sampler

I've actually finished several more 5" blocks for my Retro '80s Building Blocks sampler quilt besides this one -- I only have six left, plus borders and corner blocks.  The photo below was taken a few weeks ago and doesn't show any of the new blocks.  What it does show is my new, fancy-schmancy custom ironing table, built by my "Handy Husband":

Rebecca's Fancy-Schmancy Custom Ironing Table

24 x 48 Custom Ironing Table

I have been searching in vain for an ideal quilter's ironing board, and I finally talked my husband into building one to my specifications.  

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Of Megan's Lone Star Quilt, Artful Rule-Breaking, and Coco Chanel

Hello and happy weekend!  I am so excited that I can finally share my client Megan's stunning Lone Star quilt with you today!  Waiting to post photos is the hardest part of my job.

Megan's 60 x 61 Lone Star, Quilted by Yours Truly

I know everyone loves seeing the "Before and After Quilting" photos, so here's what Megan's quilt top looked like when she brought it to me to for quilting:

Lone Star Top Before Quilting

There is so much that I love about this quilt.  I love that, instead of using a rainbow of different colors as seen in traditional Lone Star quilts, Megan used a mix of black and white prints from Tula Pink and Kaffe Fassett, obscuring the seam lines between the diamond patches so the prints flow into one another in a way that feels fresh and interesting, somehow simultaneously subtle and bold.