Category Archives: Quilting and Sewing

Catenary Quilt Progress

Slowly but surely my Catenary quilt top is taking shape.  I started this applique project about a month ago and have worked on it steadily in quiet moments.  I now have ten of the fourteen applique strips complete.

Until now I have cut and basted only one row at a time, but with only four left I couldn’t resist getting them all ready to stitch.  I’m so close!

The lovely blues in the Summer House fabric range (by Lily Asbury for Moda, years ago) have been cheerful company and a feast for the eyes as I work.

I decided to assemble the quilt top as I finished each section, to keep them in order and to see how the overall composition looks as I go.  It also means that I only have six more seams on my sewing machine and the entire quilt top will be finished.  I like that!

Fingers crossed for a finish in the next week!  I have another applique project to start….


State Flowerscape Quilt

I am so happy to share this State Flowerscape quilt today!  I have followed Kirsten Brinton (@turnofthecenturies) on Instagram for some time.  Her artwork is meticulous and beautiful.  I watched with interest when her family made a cross country move a while ago that landed her in one of my favorite places, Tacoma Washington.  I love seeing her photos as they are little glimpses at a place I lived and loved many years ago, and last summer we discovered that we share a birthday!

Pretty much I’m a fan of everything Kirsten does and really admire her work.  She draws the most beautiful maps, temples, and a gorgeous map of the United States, illustrated with the state flower for each state.  When this beautiful print became a fabric panel I jumped at the chance to sew with it.  Kirsten sent me the panel and pieces of most of the other prints in her debut collection for Moda, State Flowerscapes, and I have have loved sewing with it.

I knew that I wanted the map panel to be the central focus of my quilt so I began building around it, medallion style.  I added a few other fabric prints from my stash like the colorful triangle print by Alexander Henry, but I limited myself largely to solid colors so that Kirsten’s fabrics would take center stage.  The creative challenge of using a variety of solids was interesting as I didn’t have a master plan when I started, but instead let the design and color of each border evolve as I went.

I also wanted to personalize the map a little, so when quilting I tried my hand at “thread drawing” by stitching hearts where my husband and I were each raised, where we met, and where we are raising our family.  To me, it’s a fun mini-story.

Kirsten’s collection consists of the map panel, topography designs, the floral print, and a text print of all the states and their flowers.  Each of these is available in three colorways.  My favorite ended up being the flower print in gray and white.

I quilted the quilt on my domestic machine with several different designs, all of them VERY “organic”.  Every time I do this I wonder if someday I might enjoy learning longarm quilting.

I’ve been feeling the pull of medallion quilts lately.  I really love the way each border changes as you add another, and this quilt was no exception.  My favorite borders are the half square triangles in different greens and gray, and the flower strip bordered by purple at the top and bottom of the quilt.  They really make me smile.

For the backing I used a small Juliana Horner floral print and a strip of Heather Ross’ tiger lily, and framed it all with a rich blue binding.

Although the fabric collection is rather subdued as a whole, all of it works well with a range of colors.  I wanted to infuse it with as much color as I could manage, as that’s what flower gardens are to me:  masses of color splashed together, all playing off each other beautifully.  Wouldn’t it be lovely to see all 50 of these flowers together?

This quilt makes me feel like spring is on the way!  Hooray!

Ireland Flag Mini Quilt :: St. Patrick’s Day Placemat

With St. Patrick’s day just around the corner, it’s fun to think of simple ways to celebrate.  Last year I made some of these cute little mini quilts.  And since many St. Patty’s traditions are centered around a meal, they also make great placemats!  I had some of this fun Luck of the Irish fabric by Dear Stella, and it inspired me to make little Irish flags!

The Irish themed print made these placemats really cute, but you could easily substitute another low volume print, or plain white for the center strip.  For that matter, these would be really cute with all solid fabrics.

I combined the Ireland print with a green and orange fabric, also from Dear Stella, and cut one piece of each fabric, making all of them the same size.  For a placemat, I would cut each piece at least 12 inches tall and 6 inches wide.  Then I sewed them together to mimic the color placement of the Irish flag, and in two seams it was ready for quilting!  Simple straight line quilting every couple of inches made this a very fast but festive project.

I chose a simple binding for mine; a black swiss dot on white, and I opted for machine binding to save time.

I have gifted my creations to a couple of friends (both readheads) who love Ireland and teach Irish dance.  It was fun to surprise them with a small gift that celebrates a passion of theirs.  I’m tempted to whip up a few more just for fun before St. Patrick’s Day.

Happy sewing!

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