Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bella Baby Quilt : Blogger's Quilt Festival

I have another quilt finish that I'm excited to share with you. This one has been done for quite a while (the time stamp on my photos is for June 2013!). It took me some time to decide to finally share this one since I wasn't sure for the longest time whether or not I would release this as a pattern. I decided that I might as well post the photos, and if I develop the pattern further in the future, all the better. :)

Bella Baby Quilt

Just like my "Made in Echo" quilt, "Bella" is made with Lotta Jansdotter fabric, this time from the Bella fabric collection. As I'm typing these sentences I'm realizing just how hard it is to name quilts! I thought of about a million different names for this one (just a touch of hyperbole), but in the end none of them seemed to be A.) not taken already or B.) right for this design. Bella seemed like it fit pretty well since that was the working name that I originally gave this quilt, so it sort of stuck. 

Even though I am sure there are lots of other Bella quilts out there, I'm going with this for now, though please feel free to suggest names for me if you like! :)

Bella Baby Quilt

Anyways, for this quilt I wanted to create something really bold and graphic. As kind of a fun design exercise, I was looking to find a way to strip the composition down to its most basic, essential components--while still having plenty of interest and movement. 

Bella Baby Quilt

In the end, I decided to create a strong focal point and set it just off-center on a fairly basic background. I really like the play back and forth between the strong, framed boxes and the open, asymmetrical background. To me it seems to add energy and movement to the quilt design, and that feels just right for a fun baby quilt.

Bella Baby Quilt

In my fabric stash, I also seem to have quite a few large-scale prints that I absolutely love, but still find more difficult to incorporate into many quilt designs. For Bella, I wanted to find a way to showcase those kinds of fabrics while still keeping a sense of balance and simplicity in the design. The framed boxes were a good solution for that. I can think of many more fabric pairings and collections in my stash that I would love to try out with this design, especially some of my Anna Maria Horner and Tula Pink fabrics. 

Bella Baby Quilt

I've also decided to enter this quilt into the Fall 2014 Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy of Amy's Creative Side. This festival was just the push I needed to get my photos edited and put into a post, so I'm thankful for the added motivation! :) I decided to go for the Original Design category (although this one would certainly be at home in the Modern Quilts group too). You can check out all the other entries and read up on the festival here.

Bella Baby Quilt

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Original design
Size: 40" x 40"
Fabrics: Bella by Lotta Jansdotter, IKEA (backing)
Batting: Pellon Nature’s Touch 80/20 Batting
Quilted by: Me

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Made in Echo : Blogger's Quilt Festival

I have a new quilt finish to share with you today! This one has been a long time coming, so it feels great to finally cross it off the list and get to actually using it (it's living on my bed as we speak). 

Made in Echo

I actually started this quilt as part of the Made in Cherry QAL (you can read my posts on this here) hosted by my friend Chelsea in oh...lets say...2012. I finish the quilt top, but was completely stumped on how to quilt it, so it languished. This is the largest quilt I've ever made, so I wasn't 100% sure I wanted to finish it on my small home machine. Luckily I had the chance to send this to a long arm quilter over the summer, which certainly helped to tip this project from WIP to finished.

Made in Echo

Back in 2011-12, when I was considering what kind of quilt I'd like to make for my own bedroom, I was inspired to create a quilt with a warm, mid-century feel to it. When Echo by Lotta Jansdotter released in 2011, I was completely taken with the clean, modern sensibility of the collection and was particularly drawn to the simple organic shapes that referenced block printing. I immediately decided to use the prints that I had collected from this collection (in the warmer color palette) to make my version of the Made in Cherry quilt pattern. The simplicity of the large, overblown star pattern combined with the pared-down nature of the fabrics seemed to work well together. The crosshatch fabric that I used for the backing, also Echo, really speaks mid-century modern to me for some reason. I think in past posts I've referenced that it reminds me of upholstery fabric (in a good way!), like something you would find on a great chair or sofa from the 1960s.

Made in Echo

I also used my leftover scraps of Echo for the backing, along with some Carolyn Friedlander Widescreen fabric in light grey. I made some simple star blocks to carryover the design on the quilt top to the back, and pieced them into a wide band at the top of the quilt. The Widescreen is such a versatile fabric that it blended beautifully with the Echo line and really made finishing the backing simpler since it's extra-wide. I'm hoping that more extra-wide fabric options will be available soon to quilters, especially options that would blend well with more modern quilt designs and fabric ranges.

Made in Echo

I also wanted to share a quick note about the photoshoot location. I had the chance a few weeks back to take some photographs of the quilt at one the local schools here in Seattle. The 1920's architecture coupled with the haziness of the late afternoon sun made for a great backdrop. I especially love how sun and shadows pick up the details in the archways and give a glow to the quilt. As a blogger, It's always exciting to find new places close to home to photograph quilts. 

Made in Echo    

I'm excited to be entering this finish into the Large Quilt Category for the Fall 2014 Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy of Amy's Creative Side. It's always great to see all the fantastic quilts that are shared each festival, and I'm looking forward to feeling inspired and wowed as I check out the entries myself.

Made in Echo

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Made in Cherry by Sarah Fielke
Size: 80" x 80"
Fabrics: Echo by Lotta Jansdotter, Widescreen by Carolyn Friedlander, Kona in "Yarrow" for the binding
Batting: Pellon Legacy Wool 
Quilted by: Plain Jane Quilting


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Midnight Blooms / Contributor Post

I wanted to stop in briefly tonight and share a link to my latest post and tutorial as an Imagine Gnats contributor. 

In the spirit of fall and Halloween, I made a whole-cloth quilt that features simple English paper-pieced flowers with more intricate quilting. My inspiration for the feeling of this quilt came from my love of old world fairy tales--you know the authentic ones where there's usually a dark twist along with a happy ending.

I usually quilt most of my projects fairly lightly, so it was fun to really add a lot of detail and personality to the quilting and let the applique be more quiet. I also wanted to experiment with different substrates in this project so I used chambrays, cotton lawns, and double gauze to make one of softest quilts I've ever sewn. In fact, not a single quilting cotton was used.

You can read more about the project, my adventures in new fabrics, and even get the complete how-to for this project here, on the Imagine Gnats blog.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Dappled Light / A Folksy Fall Mosaic

I love participating in the mosaic contests that Rachel at Stitched in Color periodically organizes. Choosing fabric colors and patterns to mix together is one of my favorite parts of quilting. It's the part of the process where I feel like I can set the direction and mood of the project I'm beginning.

Dappled Light Palette

For the mosaic contest this time around, Rachel has selected the theme "Folksy Fall" (which you can read all about right here). For my mosaic, I decided to choose fabrics that would feel like a walk through the forest on a crisp fall day. There's a hint of richness and earth paired next to the airy lightness of golds, persimmon, and flame orange. Deep magenta adds just a hint of mystery. All of the fabric patterns also reflect the feeling of an old-world fairy tale complete with unicorns, stags, and intricate florals.

Voting has just opened for the contest finalist (including me!) and will stay open through Wednesday the 15th. The winning design will become a fat quarter bundle available for purchase at the Intrepid Thread. The winning designer will receive a FQ set of the fabrics as well, so needless to say I would be overjoyed to win. :) 

You can vote here. Thanks for checking it out!

P.S. I've been a little MIA from the blog lately, but I'm still posting pretty regularly over on Instagram. Feel free to stop by and see what I've been up to. I also have a contributor post going up at Imagine Gnats in the next week, so I'll have more to share very soon.
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