Author Archive

What Shade are You with Isabel Kelly

Hi, Hello, How are you??

Today I am writing about a quilt I made for the #WhatShadeAreYou blog hop tour. Late 2016 RJRFabrics posted a call out on Instagram for people to receive some fabrics and make a quilt with those fabrics. The challenge is work with solids. Most of my quilts have little or no solids in them. So a quilt mainly out of a solid fabric, was a nice challenge for me to undertake.

A little about me. My name is Isabel and I am a Dutch – Australian. Before I moved to Sydney, Australia, I was a police officer in Amsterdam. My last years I served in the Red Light District. In the Netherlands I never ever touched a sewing machine. My mother used to sew, I remember her doing it and me sometimes annoying her under the table by pressing the foot paddle ( lucky my Mum never got injured !!! ) But never ever did I have any interest in doing so myself. Until I became a mother that is. I told myself I needed to learn to sew if I ever became a Mum. After 7 times IVF we finally got lucky. A few weeks later , as a Christmas present, my Mother in Law bought me a machine.

It stayed in the box for about 6 months … One afternoon I took it out whilst my son had his 2 min afternoon sleep ( he never slept long , but it might have been a tad longer then 2 minutes ). I followed the instructions to set the machine up, but skipped the bobbin part, ’cause really, who needs a bobbin! I threaded the machine and started to sew two bits of fabric together… Hmmm, they didn’t stay together ? I asked my neighbour to come and check this machine because it must be faulty… First thing she asked about was that silly bobbin… The rest is history. I had purchased a nice selection of Amy Butler fabrics and I cut them into 6′ wide strips, varied the length cuts and started sewing them together. My first item I made on this tiny Janome was a King size quilt. I still use the quilt and love it very much. That was 2010…. 7 years later I have made so many quilts, for my family and friends, to sell, for us personally and I hope to do so for many more years to come!

Back to the What Shade are you quilt. I asked my son if he wanted to have a new quilt for his bed and if so…. what colours would he like. Well… he wanted them all !!! RJR Fabrics had posted a colour card out to me so I set him a limit of 3 shades of each colour. I was allowed to use any of the Cotton + Steel basics so I used a printed one in 7 colours to add to the solids.

I made up my own block a few months ago for a cushion making challenge on Instagram with the hashtag #MMRcushionPalooza and thought it would be fun to use it again for a whole quilt.

For one block I used a drunkards path ruler from Bloc-Loc for the curved parts ( 4×4″ finished) and made 4 of these. I cut one ( cute bear) centre square of 2.5″ . Then I cut 4 rectangles of 2″ x 2.5″ , which will be closest to the centre square. And then I cut 4 rectangles measuring 3′ x 2.5″. This will give you a 10″ finished block.

This quilt has 5 blocks in every shade my son picked. He picked 7 colours so we ended up with 35 blocks. He wanted the quilt to be happy and bright so the more colour the better. We made up a sashing by cutting strips WOF and then sewing these together in rainbow order. After pressing the rainbow panel I cut them into strips of 2.5″ width. The panel was the same length as the block of course. To make it all flow better and tone down the rainbow overload I added a 2.5″ (cute bear) square in between the strips .

My son loves his quilt!

For backing I used those adorable bears from Cotton + Steel and used one of the Black and White 2017 prints as my binding. I had some drunkards path quarters left over, so I made half circles and with them I made scallops. I added them to the back, just for fun.

If you are on instagram or Facebook please check out the RJR Fabrics post about this quilt. You could win yourself a luscious bundle of fabric !

Do yourself a favour if you want to be inspired by everything solids …. go to Quilt with Love and see what everyone has been making . You will find so many wonderful projects and new blogs to read and fun ideas to be had… your lunch break will have to be extended!

Thank you Rachael from RJR Fabrics for answering my fabric questions and giving me the go ahead to do what ever I wanted to do, with what ever fabric I would pick.

For the stats….

I have used the following fabrics:

Red: 355 beach coral , 49 chilli pepper, 416 red wagon

Orange: 372 orange crush, 412 orange peel, 415 pickup truck

Yellow: 379 sunnyside of the street , 336 banana cream pie, 195 bronze

Green: 347 grass is always greener, 127 kelly green, 109 shamrock

Turquoise: 389 spearmint, 329 emerald city, 403 julep

Blue: 126 royal blue, 296 electric blue, 316 Lancaster sky

Purple: 421 orchid, 279 purple haze, 378 lilac festival

Background fabric (greys and black): 125 silver, 396 raven , 34 black, 380 silver screen, 362 argento and 5023-008 sprinkle

Backing fabric and centre squares: Bears 5113-01

Binding: Berry Patch 5120-01

AND to sweeten the deal…. a giveaway !!!! You can win yourself a sweet bundle of the solids I used in my quilt… and that is a big bundle !! Make sure to follow RJR Fabrics and Lamb and Wolfie on instagram, like and comment on the FQ Bundle post and tag a friend! Do that on both IG accounts and you will have double the chance to win ! GIVEAWAY ENDS MONDAY 24 April 4pm PST on @rjrfabrics account and TUESDAY 25 April 9 am AEDT on @LambandWolfie account (two closing times ?? Actually, same time – different time zones ! )

What Shade are You with Nicole Buckley

Can you imagine how awesome I felt when I was accepted to be a RJR “What Shade Are You” quilter? Well, I was giddy. Then as the process began, I became terrified! Was I good enough? Was I talented? Should I self-design or use someone’s pattern? I perused Pinterest and Instagram for ideas. Then I thought, “Stop it! Do what you love. Do YOU!”

I am an avid open water swimmer. I swim at my local beaches here along the Florida Gulf Coast. I ADORE the sea, salty lips and hair, sand between my toes, dolphins, manatees, fish, and even jelly fish (though their sting sure is frustrating). My absolute favorite time to swim is at sunrise. There are very few people who get in the water or even go to the beach at 7 o’clock in the morning. I have a hard time expressing what my white powdery sand looks like against my “Blue” (the lifeguard stand I meet my swim mates). When the sun rises it jumps over the buildings creating a reflection on the tall building’s windows north of the beach. Bright orange. The water, which is clear, turquoise, and blue have a brilliant pink and orange reflection. Of course, my sun, our sun is brilliant yellow.

So, “What Shade Am I”? I chose the following:

Bougainvillea 333
Pink Sapphire 218
Turk & Caicos 292
Carrot 131
Sunnyside of the Street 379
Lake 427
Redwork 222
Sunny Delight 326
Black 34
Cotton and Steel Macrame Lawn Pattern Midnight by Rashida Coleman-Hale

I snapped this sneak peek and posted on Instagram the minute my fabric arrived from RJR Fabrics you can see it at @saphre1964

Then the planning began… I adore paper piecing. The perfection that ensues makes me feel like I can accomplish anything. Perfect points are easy peasy. I found a wonky log cabin block and decided to “recreate” it on paper. I’m old fashioned even though I’ve only been quilting 3 years. Sewing since I was 8, but didn’t take my love of art, color, and expression to fabric until a group of ladies asked me to sew 11 blocks for a donated quilt for the Wounded Warriors Project. That’s another story. Back to ‘What Share Are You”. >>>>> proof that I am ‘ol fashioned.

RJR fabrics are delicious in saturation. The weave of the fabric is tight and there is very little fray. I’d really love for someone to start a RJR monthly fat quarter club. I’d surely participate.

Each block measures 8.5″ square before piecing. With 8 rows across and 9 rows down it measures in at 64″ x 72″. Perfect for a beach quilt. I chose to quilt her with my favorite thread from King Tut called Pyramids. It’s gold to a cream variegated thread that works beautifully with many things I quilt. So, I put her on my “Dorcas the Longarm” and had panic attack number two. So many of you are amazing long arm quilters. Me? I am, once again, super simple. I can meander, do awesome swirls and waves, and of course can straight line quilt. But, I only free motion. No rulers. What to do? I decided to follow the wonky of the log cabin and chose a very simple (just like me) wonky (just like me) square.

The backing just had to be one of my favorite Cotton and Steel designers and I love the Macarame Lawn, so soft and silky. Fortunately, the wind blew just right for my quilt holder while taking a photo, so, we could get a glimpse of the backing. Trust me, with the black binding, it all works wonderfully.

The entire experience has been one of growth and learning. Is “Sunrise at Blue” perfect? Of course not. Yet, she’s as perfect as this imperfect, simple quilter is, and as beautiful as a sunrise open water swim. I have a saying, I even had it tattooed on my right inner wrist…..i.am blessed…

What Shade are You with Jayme Christensen

Hey everyone! My name is Jayme, but you may know me as @findingsweetland in the quilting community. I started quilting about 6 years ago and super love every aspect of it, from the fabric to the people.

I was lucky enough to be able to join the RJR Fabrics #whatshadeareyou blog series and I’m thrilled to show you my finished quilt.

I call it “Do Granny a Solid”. Okay so it’s not very creative but I’m a quilter, not a writer.

I used the following Cotton Supreme Solids for my blocks with coordinating Cotton + Steel Basics thrown in:

Melody 371
Wimbledon 205
Guava 373
Toyboat 366
Atlantica 374
Harlequin 358
Gelato 414
Sunny Delight 326
Goldilocks 368
Spearmint 389
Lilac Festival 378
Indigo 191

I also used Kerchief 364 for my background, Schooner 392 for my binding, and 0045-02 Party Dresses from Jubilee by Melody Miller for my backing.

I used Trish’s (Notes of Sincerity) “No Waste Large Granny Square Tutorial” for my blocks. Then I used the rest of the Kerchief solid to add some offset borders because I wanted to take that traditional style block and modernize the quilt top by steering clear of an even border.

It is quilted with a basic stipple with some swirls thrown in for fun.

The RJR Cotton Supreme Solids were a dream to work with and there are so many color options. This quilt is so rich and vibrant and would not look that way without the quality and colors RJR provides.

I must give a huge thank you to RJR for letting me participate in this blog series! I am honored to be in such amazingly creative company on this one. If you haven’t seen all the stunning projects that have been featured in the #whatshadeareyou series, hop on over to Instagram to check out the hashtag. While you’re there, visit me (@findingsweetland) and RJR (@rjrfabrics) for two chances to win a FQ bundle of the solids I chose for my quilt!

Urban Artifacts Fabric Collection with Leslie Tucker Jenison

Hi, I am Leslie Tucker Jenison and my new fabric line Urban Artifacts is a collection that is based upon my work as a surface design artist and quilt maker.

For many years I have told stories through my work by first dyeing and printing on cloth (and paper!) and incorporating these into my quilts. I make quilts that are meant to hang on the wall as well as quilts that are artfully useful. The name embraces my design inspirations: I use a wide variety of rather unconventional tools to create my prints.

Some of these seem a little nutty (bottle lids, anyone?) but the truth is that I am fascinated by the question, “what if?” when I work in my studio. These little “aha moments” drive my enthusiasm. The palette of this collection is inspired by my original dyed and printed pieces of cloth and then translated into several color stories. What I love about it is that these beauties play nicely together as a whole or when combined with solids. When I create cloth imagery I’m after a sense of depth and pattern. I love playing with layers and scale. I hope others will enjoy it, too.

Photo by @gogokim

I’m constantly experimenting with design and dye processes and my study of design and color is never-ending. I love the quilted surface because I consider it “2.5-dimensional” art.

Project by @kakiyork

My studio practice includes painting, drawing, and photography and these things inform my work. Inspiration for my surface design and my quilts is everywhere: from a chance encounter with a bee in my garden to a far-flung travel experience.

Project by @deborahboschert

Repetition, both natural and man-made, is a constant visual feast. I cannot imagine being bored because I spend my time looking, drawing, photographing, and thinking about my experiences and it is fun to see how they find their way into my work! I chose the hashtag bee (symbol) authentic because, at the end of the day, that is all any of us can do. I do not take a single day for granted. My motto is “this is NOT a dress rehearsal”. I hope a bit of that message has embedded itself into my fabric!

Project by @daniellewilkes

Check out my interview with The Quilt Show from Fall Quilt Market! Please include in the blog post this link to Leslie’s interview with The Quilt Show at Fall Quilt Market

Urban Artifacts in now available in stores everywhere!!!!

What Shade are You with Amanda Anderson

My name is Amanda and I go by @mandyandydesignss on instagram (but don’t call me Mandy). I’ve been quilting for 11 years, inspired to start quilting by an antique quilt my mom had bought when I was ten. I homeschool my two kids when I am not sewing. I love making quilts but on occasion will make other things, which tend to inspire my quilts. Here is my quilt, called XOXO, which includes fabric weaving and paper piecing and hand quilting galore.

I was thrilled to be contacted by Rachael at RJR Fabrics and it was the same week I posted my Best Nine for 2016 on instagram, eight of which were weavings I had done so I knew I wanted to make something with fabric weaving. I also was working on a new pattern that I really wanted to finish so I went back and forth between the two ideas for a couple days and then it hit me; I’ll combine them. I’m not much of a planner when it comes to quilting, mostly just starting with an idea and letting it evolve as I work. I decided on the idea to make an XO pattern with the fabric weavings as the X’s and the Pyramid Wheel paper piecing pattern as the O’s. I chose the colors based on a weaving I had made for a different project. Most of those fabrics were Cotton & Steel so I was able to easily match the colors of the Cotton Supreme Solids to the fabrics I liked and the ones I couldn’t match were actually C&S Basics anyway.

My colors are:

Bubblegum 244
Hot Pink 217
Pink Saphhire 218
Sunset Ruby 357
Moulin Rouge 356
Red Wagon 416
Silver Lining 433
Silver screen 380
Greyhound 321
Shadow 431
Raven 396
Gift Box 291
Royal Blue 126
Mermaid 393
Banana Cream Pie 336
Peridot 342
Black 34
XOXO Lightning 5001-019
Sprinkle Jelly Bracelet 5023-011
Sprinkle Corduroy 5023-004
Raindrops Geo drops in Charcoal 1943-002 for the backing and binding

I specifically chose a range of colors in pinks and reds and grays and black for the Pyramid Wheel pattern but just chose my favorites for the rest.

When I was making the weavings, I just sat down with all the ironed strips and made each block as I felt. My only goal was to make them look like X’s. The weavings take twice as much fabric as regular piecing does so I cut and ironed a ton of fabric. I cut the selvages off of the solids first before cutting all of my strips and included them within the weavings. They give this wonderful soft and furry texture which I love.

I originally thought that I would make the entire quilt in the weaving and Pyramid Wheel alternating blocks but soon it started looking super busy (and felt so heavy) so I took some time to think about it and decided to add the black on both sides, creating the negative space and putting all the focus on just the off center strip of blocks.

I machine quilted each block individually as a quilt-as-you-go quilt block and then combined the blocks with sashing and the large black panels, machine stitching the sashing and edges of the panels to the backing. I added the binding and then hand quilted each block differently. It is much more enjoyable to hand quilt a finished quilt with no fraying edges or safety pins poking.

This was actually a weird time because I was fixing my house up, selling it, moving, all while trying to work on and finish this quilt. But it was so worth it and I really did enjoy it all. I think it gave me something to focus on during all the craziness.

My parents had a surprise snowfall the day I was going to their house for our monthly family dinner so I decided to take some photos there.

I had an extra woven block which I felt didn’t really fit with the others. It wasn’t looking like an X the way I had hoped so I turned it into a pillow. I think I was channeling @misterdomestic when I made the misfit block.

Thank you to Rachael and RJR Fabrics for allowing me to participate in this fun blog hop, my first! Come see me and @rjrfabrics on instagram for a giveaway of these amazing fabrics and then see what I did with all of those strips I cut but didn’t end up using!

Marie Webster Sampler Bouquet by Quiltsmart

Marie Webster Sampler Bouquet by Quiltsmart

We are so very excited to share this amazing sampler inspired by the appliqué floral quilt designs of renowned quilter, Marie Webster.

The Marie Webster Sampler Bouquet (90 x 100) features RJR Cotton Supreme Solids hand selected by The Quilters Hall of Fame, and match the actual colors used in Marie’s vintage quilts.

What’s more, this fat quarter friendly project is achieved with a clever printed interfacing from Quiltsmart. Quilters will learn modern techniques for traditional appliqué without needleturn. The results are simply beautiful.

Don’t miss the exciting interview with Mattie Haines from Quiltsmart on The Quilt Show.

Kits are available through Missouri Star Quilt Company and the pattern is available through Quiltsmart. The Marie Webster Fat Quarter Boxes can be purchased through the Quilters Hall of Fame.

Learn more about Marie Webster Marie Daugherty Webster

Marie Daugherty Webster (July 19, 1859 – 1956) was a renowned quilt designer, successful businesswoman, and the author of the first American book about quilting, Quilts, Their Story, and How to Make Them, originally published in 1915. Marie Webster learned to quilt in 1909, and did all of her needlework in her home. She began her pattern business, Practical Patchwork Company, out of her home in 1921 and ran the thriving company successfully for more than 20 years. Her landmark book, Quilts: Their Story and How to Make Them, was first published in 1915. When Marie Webster moved out of this house in 1942, she disbanded the Practical Patchwork Company and ceased to make any more quilts. Marie Webster was inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame in 1991. Her residence in Marion, Indiana, United States, the Marie Webster House, is now home of the Quilters’ Hall of Fame and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

What Shade are You with Lisa Hofmann-Maurer

‘Glitter sparkles’

Hi everyone, I’m Lisa, also known as @sewwhatyoulove on Instagram. I live in Switzerland and am a mom to 2 little ladies and wife to one very supportive husband. I finished architecture school, got an EMBA, worked as a project manager and took a Wilton Master Course in Cake Decoration ;o) before I started sewing on a more regular basis in 2012 after the birth of our first daughter. We were living as Expats in the Mid West of the US (Kansas City) at that time and I was lucky enough to join a sewing circle. I was mainly sewing clothes for my daughter but picked up quilting in 2015 through that sewing circle. And I know now I have found my passion in making quilts.

What shade am I? At a fun mom’s night out in KC I once had to choose a fruit to describe myself and picked dragon fruit. I’m mostly known as someone that laughs and smiles a lot especially among people I know and love but I can also be an introvert and I need those lonely hours to recharge. Translated to my favorite shades of colors: I love everything bright, saturated and colorful, but also a hint of black and white for good measure now and then.

Getting lucky enough to participate in the “What shade are you” blog hop I knew I wanted to make something radiant. Searching through my inspiration archives and after watching Trolls ;o) (those colors ❤), I came up with my ‘Glitter sparkles’ foundation paper piecing design.

I was going for a huge quilt for our couch, but designing, planning and piecing the quilt top took a lot longer than anticipated. That’s why I chose to make it a bit smaller, and instead used the leftover fabric to piece the back in a way I had in my mind for a while. I love how those 48 colors play together in both designs, the wonky stripes and the glitter sparkles.

Next came the quilting. I wanted to keep the quilting simple and somehow ‘imperfect’ to not distract from the design but also to loosen up the perfectness of the paper piecing. I enjoy little imperfections and irregularities in most quilts because that’s what makes them perfect in my very own opinion. After all they’re made by humans and not machines. That’s why I went with “straight” line quilting and didn’t worry about some wonkiness. I quilted with 12 different colors of Aurifil wt50 and added 12 more colors of handstitched lines in Aurifil wt12. I wished I would have had more time to add more hand quilting lines, I might add a few more later on.

And finally the quilt was bound in Cotton and Steel Rifle Paper Co. Les Fleurs Metallic Queen Anne Navy that I had originally planned as the back. The gold accents add the perfect sparkle to the quilt.

When I got my blog hop date announced I knew I had to finish the quilt prior to our ski vacation in the Swiss Alpes and get those pictures taken there. Having snow storms three days in a row it didn’t look like I could get one picture with the Alpes in the background, but then the weather changed I managed to snap those mountain pictures the day before we left.

It definitely was a family effort and I’m thankful for my husband (quilt holder) and the girls for being so forbearing and patient.

Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart RJR Fabrics, and especially Rachael for answering my questions and being so very generous by letting me play with your awesome, soft and beautiful fabric. I really appreciate you were giving me the opportunity to be part of your ‘What shade are you’ blog hop! This quilt is already loved and fought over during movie night.

Here’s a list of the colors I used:

356 moulin rouge
325 scarlet letter
355 beach coral
217 hot pink
181 rhododendron
216 orchid
230 noel red
135 carnation
418 antique rose
286 raspberry
358 harlequin
359 pea in a pod
348 neon
349 aloe verde
343 martini olive
337 citron
131 carrot
130 pumpkin
379 sunnyside of the street
384 citrus
410 mustard
368 goldilocks
350 army green
274 riviera
393 mermaid
354 horizon
426 seaside
389 spearmint
401 teal
391 robin’s egg
392 schooner
404 pistachio
347 grass is always greener
127 kelly green
405 spring
287 raging ruby
218 pink sapphire
422 plum
420 sweet pea
421 orchid
425 harbor
281 cloud 9
345 caviar
423 violet
427 lake
316 lancaster sky
121 grape
317 jacaranda
8005-03 Rifle Paper Co. les fleurs metallic queen anne navy

Xoxo from Switzerland, Lisa

Common Threads Block with Vanessa Stevens

Hi! Vanessa here, the “flaurie” half of flaurie & finch. The “finch” comes from Linda Fitch, who is my design buddy and Creative Director for RJR Fabrics. Linda and I work at the RJR headquarters in California, where we design our signature flaurie & finch line as well as an in-house line called RJR Studio. We also work with several licensed designers throughout the art and strike off phase of their collections.

Every designer brings a unique perspective to RJR, so we fell in love with the idea of making a collaborative quilt where each designer could create a window, giving a peek into her singular style. It’s amazing to me how each block looks so distinct to it’s creator, but somehow they all work together so well in the quilt. It’s like one big kooky quilty family apartment building.

I knew right away that I wanted to include flowers in my block. It’s safe to say that I don’t have a green thumb in real life, despite my love of flowers. I think that’s why I so enjoy drawing and designing floral prints. (No watering necessary!) I came up with 4 different window designs, each using the same pieced window background and fussy cut flowers along the edge of the flower box. The one on the top left made it into the quilt.

Top left: Background includes Shiny Objects and Cotton Supreme Solids. Flowers are from Daisy Blue.

Top right: Background and flowers are from Blossom Batiks Valley.

Bottom Left: Background is from Shiny Objects. Flowers are from Oasis.

Bottom Right: Background is from Shiny Objects and Cotton Supreme Solids. Flowers are from Oasis.

My favorite way of approaching a quilt design is to do a simple pieced background with appliqué on top. I’ve never tried turn under appliqué; I’m not that brave (yet). I prefer to do fused and top stitched appliqué because it’s simple and quick, plus I like the texture of the raw edge of the fabric. I backed my Daisy Blue fabric with Misty Fuse and fussy cut out the individual daisies.

Got all of the pieces cut out and ready to go.

Aaaand it’s done!

If you’d like to make your own window, you can download my block template here. The flowers can be fussy cut from any floral print – I hear flaurie & finch makes some killer ones!

What Shade are You with Vicki Ruebel

Hey guys! Vicki here from Orchid Owl Quilts. I’m a full time professional longarm quilter and wanna be pattern designer. You should follow along with all my craziness over on Instagram (@OrchidOwlQuilts) and Facebook (Orchid Owl Quilts). I spend most of my days with my INNOVA longarm machines quilting for other people.

Today I have the pleasure of sharing my Argyle Gone Wild quilt that I made using RJR Fabrics Cotton Supreme Solids. I was so excited when Rachael contacted me about joining in on the What Shade Are You Blog Hop. My brain instantly started racing with ideas of what quilt I should make.

Without further ado…here’s a look at my quilt Arglye Gone Wild.

It took me awhile to decide on a color palette. I toyed around with going outside my normal faves but I just couldn’t do it. After all, this hop is all about what shade I am. And anyone who knows me knows I’m all about the aqua. I think almost everything I make has some form of aqua in it unless I force myself not to use it.

I finally landed on using neon green as the background paired with various shades of pink and aqua. Because every quilt that has aqua really needs a little hot pink!

Here’s a list of the colors I used:

Neon (background) 348
Hot pink 217
Lip gloss 419
Rhododendron 181
Pink sapphire 218
Raging ruby
Rio 311
Sunset Ruby 357
Jam Jar 400
Turks and Caicos 292
Toy boat 366
Riviera 274
Proud as a peacock 289
Horizon 354
Bora Bora 328

Seriously, could it get any better? I don’t think so. The next huge obstacle was what pattern I’d use. This was a big decision because I really like doing my own designs but I wanted to make sure I did something really cool. I started browsing my EQ7 files to see what I had and found the perfect drawing. Here’s a look at the original EQ file.

My friends, who know me well, know I don’t really enjoy piecing. I actually kind of hate it. I love quilting. So I wanted to make sure my pattern would showcase the solids and my quilting. My quilt varied a bit from the original design as far as color placement.

It all started with the piecing. What a chore! It’s always a great idea to make a quilt that has 1 bajllion pieces when you’re on a super tight deadline. There may have been a few choice words along the way. After several days of cutting and piecing I finally had a complete top. I finally got to the part I love. The quilting.

But I was a little stumped because I wanted it to be good. Really good. So the top sat for several days as I pretended the deadline wasn’t looming over my head like a black cloud. I finally loaded it and just started. Sometimes starting is the hardest part. Am I right?

I knew how I wanted to quilt the little aqua and pink squares that formed the chains. And I was pretty sure I needed to use rulers. Hey, why not? Rulers are not my thing. I’m slow, inefficient and usually frustrated by rulers. I generally look like a terrible contortionist as I try to navigate the ruler work. No pressure at all.

Here’s a ruler tip…I marked all my lines to make my ruler work easier. I know I’m not great at getting evenly spaced lines and marking them eliminated the guessing. This added a little time to the process but I feel it was worth it. I used a Dritz Mark B Gone water-soluble pen and removed the lines when the quilt was finished and off the frame. I lightly spritzed with water to erase the marks.

Needless to say the quilting started out slow and continued at a turtle’s pace, for three days. Three long days. After the first day I was certain it would only take 1.2 million hours to quilt it. In reality, it took about 15 hours. That’s practically the same.

This pic shows a close up of the tiny quilting. Those are size 13 stitches. Thank goodness I didn’t have to pick out any stitches. I may have just burned the quilt instead.

I was very deep in the “this is crap” phase of the creative process for most of those 15 hours. It’s very hard to love the quilt during the quilting process. You can’t see the quilt as a whole. You aren’t quite sure if the quilting design is being executed the way you visualized. It’s stressful and makes a person question her abilities.

Naturally I thought this would be a great time to also practice my stitch in the ditch abilities. This was probably not the best idea. I am not a fan of stitch in the ditch. I usually avoid it all costs. But, I forced myself to suck it up and do it. I managed to stay in the ditch most of the time. Ok, some of the time. Maybe I was practicing my “this is how my stitch in the ditch would look if I were drunk” technique. Sigh. It’s definitely not perfect but it’s not terrible.

I tried another new thing with this quilt. I decided to fuse the label on to the back before the quilting. I hate hand stitching the labels and I figured this would eliminate that step. It was sort of a bust and the label is pretty much a hot mess. The edges lifted and got folded over and quilted down. I’m not sure I’ll do this again unless I piece the label into the backing. However, that sounds equally as awful as hand stitching a label.

If you look closely you can see I ripped out a few stitches. Of course those stitches were on the label and they left super noticeable holes. Awesome. Maybe I’ll not be lazy and simply hand stitch my labels from now on. Maybe I’ll just use a pen and write directly on the quilt. You never know.

You might be wondering why the quilting looks so defined. I love to double batt my quilts. For this particular quilt I used a layer of Quilter’s Dream orient batting on the bottom with a layer of dream wool batting on top. The wool adds definition and loft to the quilting and really pops it.

Contrary to what most believe, using double batting doesn’t make the quilt as stiff as cardboard. It does add a little weight but I promise it’s still foldable. I normally use cotton batting as the bottom layer of batting but I wanted to experiment with a different combination. I’m hopeful that the dream orient won’t hold a crease when it’s folded. I won’t know for sure until I ship it and see what happens. I’ll let you know. That means you should probably hop over to my website and sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss out on the verdict.

I used my favorite thread for the quilting, Superior Threads Omni on top with Bottom Line in the bobbin. I really love this thread combo. I use it 95% of the time and I get very sad when I can’t. I need Bob, from Superior Threads, to make Bottom Line in all the colors! I matched the thread to the fabrics, neon green, light aqua, dark aqua, hot pink, and light pink. Changing threads isn’t always fun but it’s worth it in the end.

I love the back as much as the front. The quilting really looks amazing if I do say so myself.

In the end, I love this quilt. I actually love it more each time I look at it. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share my process with all of you. Rachael and RJR Fabrics have a fan for life. If you haven’t tried the cotton supreme solids, you should! They are amazing. The rich colors and soft hand make these solids my favorite. I can’t wait to start my next project.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my creation and learning a bit more about my process. Let’s stay in touch!

Vicki

Thimbleberries Quilts with a New Attitude by Lynette Jensen

A good quilt design can really work in any fabric, whether traditional or modern. Thimbleberries patterns have always been the “go to” for teaching new quilters. Showing the quilts made in a variety of fabric collections helps everyone imagine the possibilities. In Thimbleberries Quilts with a New Attitude, Lynette Jensen shows just how different a quilt can look simply by “flipping” your fabric choices, from traditional to the bright, exploding colors of the modern aesthetic.

Her new book published by Landauer Publishing is packed full of amazing projects, 23 in all! The patterns are all written in Thimbleberries style with easy to follow instructions and color diagrams.

Throughout the book, each quilt was made using vastly different fabrics. In some cases the same block was used but half sized.

In some cases, the same blocks were used but sashing and borders were eliminated and in many cases an alternate size quilt dimension was the result. A touch of appliqué now and then also changed the flavor of the quilt.

Take a look at Garden Inspiration featuring Garden Collage by Lynette Jensen and My Blue Heaven featuring Cotton + Steel’s Bluebird. The projects are the same, but look completely different. The result is surprising. Isn’t it? If you haven’t tried fabrics outside your comfort zone, perhaps this will inspire you to take a leap!

Shares Lynette, “I am convinced that a good quilt design works for both traditional and modern fabrics. This is the perfect opportunity for quilters whose fabric preferences differ to learn from each other. The best part of quilting has always been the tradition of passing on the joy of making a quilt with another generation of quilters.”

Lynette Jensen’s new book, Quilts with a New Attitude has arrived and is available from Landauer Publishing and hopefully at your local quilt shop.