For a long time I've wanted to design and make a medallion quilt but wanted to take some of the hard work out of the process if possible. So I came up with the idea of designing one around 2 1/2" squares and HSTs which could be cut with a Sizzix die cutter. I have the long dies of each of these which can cut about 50-60 2 1/2" squares or HSTs in one roll and the HSTs then need no trimming. Using those, I could cut a lot of scraps up very quickly.
My colour scheme was based around Ansonia by Denyse Schmidt with co-ordinating scraps thrown in to give the quilt a much scrappier look. The dark in that line is a dark brown which I substituted for black and charcoal which I prefer. Hence the quilt was called Back to Black because I think it's the black in the quilt which makes the other colours really pop. The centre medallion was paper pieced because you can't beat paper piecing for a nice pointy star.
The quilt is a whopping 80" square and, although the maths for that would have been a bit of a kerfufle, designing it in Touchdraw (an app for iPad, mac and android) meant the maths was all done for me. By that I don't mean that TD automatically calculates your yardage etc but it's easy to measure what goes where when you can manipulate the design endlessly in a graphics program - something you just couldn't do with pen and paper. The backing was the most fabulous Suzuko Koseki print from Sew Me A Song.
Another new quilt I've made this month is the Oakshott Autumn quilt. Made with one Autumn Fat 8th pack plus yardage, this quilt finishes as 60" square. When I get sent a pack of fabrics like the autumn pack, my overwhelming need is to put them into rainbow order.
And I wanted to design a quilt that captures the fall of leaves falling in autumn. After going round in round in circles with more complicated designs, it occurred to me that a checkerboard postage stamp quilt would show these colours beautifully.
The quilt is quicker to put together than you'd think because it's strip pieced but nevertheless you do need to keep quite a close eye on which fabric goes where - it's easy to lose track...I bound with the same Oakshott colourshott sand as I used for the background because I wanted the binding to fade into the background of the quilt rather than framing it too strongly.
And finally I quilted a diagonal cross hatch in the coloured squares using a cream Aurifil 50wt. Sometimes I think I ought to branch out in my quilting but, each time I try, it looks rubbish and I like the simplicity and uniformity of a cross hatch or straight line quilt.
This will be available as a free pattern kit from Oakshott when you buy the autumn fat 8th pack and I'd love to see it if you make it!
Makower and I were really happy with the finished quilt and felt that the work taken at the design stage had really paid off to make quite a striking quilt. I also get a kick - I don't know why - out of the final quilt looking the same as the image I had drawn up.
I used a black Aurifil 50wt this time to quilt a diagonal cross hatch so the thread hides itself on the black frame sections of the quilt.
This quilt design will soon be available as a free download on the Makower website and I'd love to see your version if you make it.
So today is my turn to post in the Little Quilts mini quilt swap blog tour. We each have to make a mini quilt for a secret partner from one of the designs in the Little Quilts book by Sarah Fielke and Amy Lobsiger. And don't miss the giveaway for this book at the end of the post - it is a gorgeous book with lots of beautiful mini quilts in it - quick and fun to make.
I decided to make the quilt you can see on the right hand side of the front cover which is called Drawn Together. Since my secret partner (who I can't reveal in this email) is a LEGEND, I did have some mental to-ing and fro-ing in choosing fabrics with a bit of nervous second guessing going on. Eventually I got started with an idea of black stars on a rainbow scrappy background.
I dragged out all my coloured scrap drawers (the OCD in me has my scraps stored in coloured drawers, orange in the orange drawer, yellow in the yellow drawer etc) and worked my way through the rainbow until I had foundation paper pieced all eight segments. I'm quite the foundation paper piecing nerd so I loved this bit. It appeals to the perfectionist in me.
Once it was all together, I auditioned a ton of fabrics for the border but settled on this Lakehouse print which is one of my favourite prints of all time and seems to work well whatever you do with it.
I don't know if you can see in this photo but I quilted it using a 1/2" diagonal cross hatch with a cream aurifil 50wt thread. I wanted the quilting to show and I love something quilted to within an inch of its life which doesn't take too long on something this small.
And then after a good rummage through my stash drawers, I found what I think is the perfect binding - it's a Suzuko Koseki stripe. I cut it 2" wide so that the binding would be really nice, skinny and tight. I also joined the binding seams straight which I always do on a stripy binding so you can't see any joins throughout the whole binding. I did machine the back down which was a bit of a fiddle but I've lost the enthusiasm for hand sewing anything these days. And voila, it's done and will be mailed off to my legendary quilting partner this week. I take comfort from the fact that, even if your partner doesn't like something you make them in a swap, they have to say they love it out of politeness so either way it will turn out fine.
And finally, if you'd like to win a copy of Little Quilts, leave a comment on this post and I'll draw a winner randomly in about a week.
Today I have the very sad news of announcing the upcoming closure of one of my most beloved fabric shops, Sew Fresh Fabrics.
Originally run by Peg and Becca (who now runs Sew Me A Song), Sew Fresh Fabrics were my first ever sponsor and so hold a special place in the heart of this blog and Fresh Sewing Day (a linky party which takes place on the first of every month on this blog) was named in their honour.