Category Archives: Quilting and Sewing

Liberty Dresden Quilt Top

A friend of mine recently went to London, and while she was there, posted a video of the gorgeous collection of tana lawn available at Liberty of London.  London is my dream destination and yet I’ve never been there….

When I saw her video I remembered a project I started last spring at Kathy Doughty’s workshop.  These prints are from the quilting cotton collections that Liberty released several years ago.  I have carefully saved every little scrap and was excited to find I could cut 36 long wedges from my pieces!

For this project I used a ten degree wedge ruler that is 25 inches long.  My fabric pieces weren’t quite that long, and on a few of them I added a strip to make them longer.  The dresden is 49″ across.

I had a number of ideas in mind for the background of this quilt – NONE of which included this purple Mostly Manor Stripe by Victoria Findlay Wolfe.  I had a smaller piece on hand and it happened to be sitting nearby when I was selecting the background.  On a whim I tried it out and to my surprise I loved it!

I loved purple as a second grader, but have avoided it since.  I am learning that it has it’s place in design and sometimes is just the right color to complement a project.  The bold navy stripes in this print turned out to be a beautiful contrast to the small scale prints in the wedges.  I waited impatiently for yardage to arrive so I could assemble the top.

I hand appliqued the outer edge of the dresden to the background.  Now it’s just lacking a center, which will be this awesome yellow.  I am currently debating quilting ideas before I decide when to applique the center circle in place.

I love the colors and prints of these designs.  My Fireworks quilt was the original project I made with them.  It am happy to have made another quilt top using leftovers.  This was a refreshing fast project to indulge in and now I want to make more dresdens!

Anthem Quilt Pattern

Every year I promise myself a red, white and blue quilt for the summer.  I’ve never made it happen – until now.  I’d like to introduce Anthem, a vintage-inspired star quilt that is a quick and fun project.

This quilt is inspired by a vintage block I came across a while ago.  I was drawn to the way the stripes rotate around the star.  Given my love of the lone star block, I liked this variation and decided to try it out.

These blocks come together very quickly (no Y seams) and provide big impact.  The blocks finish at 22″ and you only need nine to make a quilt that measures 66″ square.

The pattern is now for sale in my Craftsy store.  I’m offering it at an introductory price of just $4.99 through July 8th.  Download the pattern now and have a finished quilt top before the 4th!

Happy Sewing!

Ice Cream Soda Quilt – a beginning

Life is a funny thing – it brings such unexpected twists and turns.  It’s brought a lot of that our direction lately, and these blocks are the sum total of my sewing for most of May and June.

I haven’t done much English paper piecing; my tiny hexagon beehive was my first try a few years ago, and a few months ago I made my first block for this ice cream soda quilt.  My subscription for this project comes with paper pieces to make eight blocks each month.  I now have five sets of blocks.

I am very slow at this.  I feel like I’m pretty fast at hand applique but epp has been slow going for me.  I learned about something called flat back stitching, a method that keeps all the stitches on the back of the block so you don’t see them, and I’ve been intrigued by the idea.  I tried it on these two blocks.  The block above was my first try, and my biggest challenge was learning how to hold the blocks and keep them properly lined up.  I feel like I messed up a lot of points in that block, which could mean that I don’t know what I’m doing with this technique, or it could also be a result of stress.

I decided to try it again and see if I get the hang of it, and this second block turned out a little bit better.   Once again, how to hold the pieces together was my biggest challenge, but I made fewer mistakes.  I will probably try it a few more times to see if I get the hang of it.  If not, I’ll go back to stitching them the way I learned, by putting right sides together and stitching along the edge.  I’m finished with three of the forty blocks I should have done, so I do need to get faster.

The interesting thing about being so slow is that as I look at these blocks I think of all the places they went with me:  the block with green in it waited in doctor’s offices while my daughter recovered from a automobile accident related injury.  I will always think of those weeks when I see it.  The block with a pink center has accompanied me while camping and watching my kids at the pool and tennis lessons.  It reminds me of summer.  The block with columbines in it reminds me of being with my son at his State science fair competition.  Lots of memories get stitched in with my hand sewing.

My biggest goal for this project is to practice more fussy cutting, and to create blocks with good contrast. I hope to improve my skills along the way.  Do you like English paper piecing?  What methods/tips have you found most helpful?  I’d love to hear!


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