Sunday, August 20, 2023

Hooray! My Halo Quilt is Finished!

 YOU GUYS!!!  Today is August 20th, and I finished my first quilt of the year yesterday.  I keep looking out my window for the parade but they must be stuck in traffic somewhere...  Surely there will be fireworks, or at least I'll get a mention on the news tonight???  😐. Seriously -- does anyone else feel a little anticlimactic about finally finishing a quilt, or is it just me?  So much work and effort, and then it's just OVER.  It feels so abrupt!

My 66 x 66 Halo Quilt Finish, Pattern by Jen Kingwell

I started this project in mid-March, so it took me five months from start to finish to cut, piece, quilt, label, and bind it.  The pattern for this quilt is available in Jen Kingwell's Jenny From One Block pattern booklet and there's a set of acrylic templates for the Halo quilt sold separately that are worth their weight in gold.  The curved patches for Halo can be cut with a 28 mm rotary cutter (a larger diameter blade is too big to follow the curves, but a smaller diameter blade is too shallow to glide along the edge of the acrylic templates -- the screw holding the blade in place would get in the way).  The other product I highly recommend for this project is Odif Grippy, a spray-on translucent nonslip coating for the acrylic templates that greatly reduces their tendency to slide on the fabric when you need them to stay put for accurate cuts (this post contains affiliate links).  

Halo is suitable for either hand or machine piecing; I hand pieced just one block just to see if I liked it better than machine piecing.  The verdict?  Hand piecing these blocks is easier but slower than doing it by machine, and I wanted to get this done as quickly as possible so I opted for machine piecing the rest of the blocks.  I used lots of Karen Kay Buckley's Shorter Perfect Pins to machine piece all of those curves.

Halo Pattern Booklet, Halo Templates and Tilda Pie In the Sky Fat Eighths

The Tilda Pie in the Sky fabrics pictured above were my starting point for this quilt, but I pulled lots and lots of fabrics from my stash, from my scrap bins (and from the treasure trove of scraps sent to me by Nann!).  What most intrigued me about Jen Kingwell's original version of this quilt was the way her quilt initially seems "random scrappy," but carefully planned elements reveal themselves on closer inspection (Most blocks are scrappy, but several blocks are planned.  Several blocks are planned to create an entire matching circle with a matching ring where the corners come together, and several other blocks are planned to create a scrappy circle with a solid matching ring).  She set general guidelines for value placement within her blocks (such as generally using darker/higher contrast fabrics for the rings and lighter value/lower contrast fabrics for background patches), but then only followed those "rules" about 60-70% of the time.  This resulted in a really interesting effect where some rings, circles and squares come forward visually in the composition and others appear to recede.  I attempted to recreate these "special effects" in my own version of the quilt and I'm pleased with how that turned out.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Progress on My Scandi Deco Quilt + Florida Deco Quilt Finish for Megan

No, I don't have a 100% finished Halo quilt to show you yet.  I'm still working on hand stitching the binding.  Meanwhile, though, I've finished piecing the first sixteen "Block One" log cabin blocks for my Scandi Deco bed quilt.  Look how cute they look, lined up in crooked rows on my design wall!  The Kona Solids colors I'm using for these blocks are Copen, Indigo, Leprechaun and Kale.

All 16 Blue/Green Log Cabin Blocks Completed!

In my custom coloring from EQ8 (below), you can see that these are the blue and green log cabin blocks needed for the center row of my bed size quilt.  I still need to make the four half blocks that go at the row ends, and then I need to make 32 full blocks and eight half blocks for the ends of the top and bottom rows.

My 102 x 102 Scandi Deco Plan in Kona Solids

Deco Quilt is a pattern by Brittany Lloyd of Lo & Behold Stitchery and it's available in three sizes: Baby, Throw, and Bed.  The pattern is available to purchase as an instant PDF download directly from the pattern designer on Etsy here (this post contains affiliate links).  Brittany's Deco pattern includes instructions for either a 2-color version or a 5-color version, and -- because I like to make my life difficult -- my version of the quilt is made up of 12 different Kona Solid colors: Indigo for the background with Willow, Cactus, Amber, Thistle, Citrus, Tangerine, Magenta, Hyacinth, Leprechaun, Kale, and Copen for the blocks.  I should note that the pattern directions would have been much, MUCH easier to follow if I'd limited myself to either two or five colors.  Brittany gives yardage requirements and cutting charts for both of those options, but my rogue plan of twelve different colors meant I was on my own to calculate yardage for each color and to figure out how many of each shape needed to be cut from each color.  Do as I say, not as I do...  😉.  I am a willfully disobedient quilter who doesn't follow all of the directions anyway, so I'll be pressing my seams to the side instead of open and disregarding some of Brittany's instructions (which are geared toward frugal use of fabric and ease/speed of construction) in favor of wasting more fabric and time (personal preference!).

I've actually quilted two versions of this Deco quilt already, for two different clients.  My client Liz made a two-color baby sized Deco quilt back in 2021 (see that one here), and my client Megan recently made a multicolor throw sized Deco quilt inspired by the vibrant pastel Art Deco buildings in historic Florida neighborhoods.  That's the finished quilt I'm sharing with you today.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Scrappy Star for Carrie, Swiss Cross for Nancy + a Label for Maria Elizabeth

Happy Monday, quilting friends!  I have two client quilts to share with you today, plus glimpses of my so-closed-to-being-finished Halo quilt, and an update on Mister Puppy Pants' recovery from ACL surgery.  Lots of ground to cover, so I'll try (and likely fail) to be brief...

Carrie's Scrappy Star Baby Quilt

This first quilt I'm sharing with you was made by my client Carrie.  There is no pattern for this one; Carrie just made it up as she went along.  Don't you just love how her star is mostly made up of squares, but with a couple pinwheel blocks and a half square triangle thrown in here or there for interest?  I think the pinwheels make it look like her star is twinkling!

Carrie's 42 x 42 Baby Quilt, No Pattern Available

We chose Judi Madsen's Flower Swirl E2E design to give this baby quilt a fun, playful vibe, and the batting is Quilter's Dream Bamboo blend for a super soft, snuggly baby quilt without too much bulk (this post contains affiliate links).  Here's a photo of Carrie's sweet baby quilt before I quilted it for her:

Carrie's Baby Quilt Before Quilting

Since we wanted to really notice the whimsical quilting design against the background fabrics, I used YLI 40 Tex Variegated Machine Quilting Cotton in color Paris Boutique.  

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Lindsay's Ultraviolet Radial, Halo Quilt Top Completed + Deco Quilt Begun!

Good morning and Happy August, y'all!  I have lots to share today: a stunning modern quilt made by one of my quilting clients, the Big Reveal of my finished (!!!) Halo quilt top, and glimpses of the Deco Quilt that I've finally started piecing (nearly two years after buying the pattern and committing to a QAL 😳).  That's a lot of ground to cover and I have limited time available for writing this blog post, so let's get on with it!

Lindsay's Ultraviolet Radial Quilt

Look at this incredible Ultraviolet Radial quilt, pieced by my client Lindsay.  Can you believe Lindsay has only been quilting for two years?!  I can't wait to see what she'll be making ten years from now!  

Lindsay's 60 x 60 Ultraviolet Radial Quilt

Lindsay began this class in a virtual workshop with Ultraviolet Radial pattern designer Audrey Esary of Cotton & Bourbon.  The pattern is available on the designer's web site here.  I love Lindsay's color palette for this quilt and I was impressed by how flat and smoothly pieced these challenging curves were, especially when she told me she was a newer quilter.  Lindsay usually does her own quilting on her domestic machine but she was especially proud of this project and decided to splurge on professional quilting.