Is this not the oddest looking quilt you’ve ever seen?
Actually, it’s not a quilt at all.
I’m gearing up to make a few sets of oven mitts as gifts and I didn’t want to take the time myself to quilt the four layers needed for a well insulated mitt. So . . . I made a “quilt top” using three suitable prints from my stash that could all be quilted with the same color thread and asked Karlee of SewInspired2Day to quilt it for me. The result is what you see above. The quilt motif is “Modern Waves,” one that Karlee has used on another of my quilts, Where It’s @.
Here’s a closer look at those three fabrics, pictured with my oven mitt pattern to give you an idea of the scale of the prints:
I think they’re going to make pretty cute oven mitts!
You may remember the mitts I made last month for my sister Diane. I quilted the fabric for those using a cross-hatch design:
After I published the post I had a few requests for a tutorial. Good news! A tutorial is coming.
I received the most wonderful gift in the mail last month, this striking quilt made in 2004 by Lee Fowler:
Lee was an incredibly talented quilter and crafter who was only 54 when she died of cancer in 2013. I didn’t meet her until 2009 so I had the pleasure of knowing her for only four years but she touched my life in many ways. I greatly admired her intellect and talent, and I loved her goofy sense of humor.
The quilt you see above is named Rolling Star Revisited. It was designed, pieced, appliquéd, and quilted by Lee. Here are a few detail shots, starting with a single rolling star:
Each star measures 15″ from point to point; the entire quilt measures 58″ square.
Lee was an accomplished longarm quilter. She did hand-guided quilting without a stitch regulator. Here you can see some of her beautiful free-motion quilted feathers:
The circles in the center of each star are hand-appliquéd using the needleturn method as is the reverse-appliquéd border:
You must be wondering how I came into possession of this treasure. Well, in early December I received an email from Lee’s husband Rick, now remarried and living in another part of the state. Rick wrote that he and his daughter Liz were on a mission to send Lee’s quilts out into the world where they could be “loved, cherished, and above all used,” and asked if I would like to have one. He included photos of 16 quilts. I replied immediately, telling Rick I would be thrilled to own one of Lee’s creations and that it had taken me all of two seconds to identify the quilt I would love to have.
Rolling Star Revisited arrived a few days later. Doesn’t it look wonderful on the back of my couch?
This is actually the second quilt Lee made using the Rolling Star block (hence the Revisited part of this quilt’s name). Her first version, made with Depression-era reproduction fabrics, was featured as a pattern in the September 2005 issue of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine:
Lee had found a circa-1930s newspaper clipping of the block and drafted her own pattern. It’s a challenging project with curves and set-in seams; the directions include sewing the curved pieces by hand or by machine. One of these days I might make a single block just to test my skills.
By the way, this isn’t the first time one of Lee’s quilts has graced my couch. I was one of two dozen friends who helped Lee complete her last quilt, a magnificent version of Pickle Dish. I wrote about that here. Rick dubbed us “the Pickle Dish Gang.” The quilt was displayed at Lee’s memorial service and afterward it was circulated to each member of the group to have in her own home for a month. It was my turn in 2015:
I wrote about that here. It was such an honor to have one of Lee’s creations in my home, however temporarily. And now! Now to have one of her quilts as my very own . . . You can understand why I consider Rolling Star Revisited a gift beyond compare. It will be loved, it will be cherished, and it will be used.
First things first: Happy New Year, friends! May 2021 exceed your expectations in every way.
Now on to the next good thing: ‘Tis the Season, my quilt made with the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Quatrefoil pattern, is a wrap! Take a look:
The quilt was officially completed on New Year’s Day but it was dark by the time I’d stitched the label on so I had to wait till today to take photos. Indoor shots only, I’m afraid; it’s January in Portland (need I say more?).
There was never a doubt in my mind what fabric I would use to bind this quilt: it absolutely had to be the green diagonal stripe in Corey Yoder’s “Holliberry” line. I tried a new-to-me way of applying the binding: it’s single-fold rather than the traditional double-fold. I’ve been wanting to try this method since hearing my friend Pam Raby of Loved to Pieces sing its praises when she was on the Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson last July.
Oh my. Mitering the corners was a breeze! There’s much less bulk, and the corners lie nice and flat. Feel free to inspect mine:
For the label I made an inset circle and then enclosed it in another circle:
Here’s a look at the back of the quilt:
Since I love the crinkly look and feel of a laundered quilt, ‘Tis the Season went into the washer and dryer after these pictures were taken. Now here it is, still warm from the dryer, on the back of the couch, where it will take up residence for the time being:
My Quatrefoil quilt is back from the quilter already! Take a look:
Because of all the straight lines and angles in this quilt, I had already decided on “something with loops and swirls” for a quilting motif. After consulting with longarmer Sherry Wadley, we went with “Retro Heart,” an edge-to-edge pattern by Anne Bright Designs. I just love how it turned out!
Of course Coco decided to make an impromptu inspection, as she is wont to do:
Here’s a look at the whole quilt:
After trimming, it now measures 57″ x 71″ — a good size for a throw.
I made a simple pieced back using some of the leftovers from Corey Yoder’s “Holliberry” layer cake (10″ squares) and a larger piece of the grey floral:
That light fabric at the top is something I pulled from my stash, and it just happens to have loops and swirls on it, too:
I’ve decided to name this quilt ‘Tis the Season. That pretty much covers Christmas, the holidays, and winter, doesn’t it?
If I don’t dilly-dally, I can get it bound and labeled before the end of the year.
On the other hand . . . wouldn’t it be great to start 2021 with a finish?
Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a Best of 2020 Linky Party, inviting bloggers to highlight their top five posts of the year. It’s a fun way to look back over the last 12 months and identify some of the high points. (And wouldn’t we all much rather dwell on the high points of 2020 than the low points?!)
My top five are below, in reverse order. Clicking on the links will take you to the original posts.
5. Uptown Funk. My version of Dresden Neighborhood by Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams. It was so much fun to make!
4. Something in Red: New Oven Mitts. Every oven mitt I’ve tried on in a store has been oversized, and every tutorial I’ve found online has included a pattern that’s too big. What’s a quilter to do? Why, make her own, of course! I just started making oven mitts in December and am still tweaking my process but I plan to offer my own tutorial and free pattern in early 2021.
2. Love Rocks. All You Need Is Love, made using the Love Rocks pattern and alphabet (both contained in Sew Kind of Wonderful’s latest book, Text Me) and the Wonder Curve ruler.
1. Scattered Stars, an original design using a block first seen in Jenifer Gaston’s quilt Churning Stars.
Thank you so much for checking out my “top five” blog posts. If you’re a blogger, you can join Cheryl’s party, too. The link is open until January 2. Be sure to check out the top five posts of the other quilting/blogging partygoers — and prepare to be inspired!
Are these not the cutest oven mitts you’ve ever seen?
Last month, while visiting my twin sister Diane, we were commiserating on the sad state of our oven mitts. We have the same ones — we bought them years ago when we were together in a kitchen shop. They’re in pretty bad shape but they’re the best-fitting oven mitts we’ve ever found so we’ve just hung on to them. (The ones in the stores today are too darn big. I suppose they’re meant to be one-size-fits-all but I swear they’re made for ham-fisted cooks and chefs.)
I resolved to make a pair of oven mitts for Diane when I got back home as a thank-you gift for the marvelous hospitality she and her husband Ed bestowed on the Dear Husband and me over the two-plus weeks we spent with them at their home in Georgia over Thanksgiving. I finished the mitts last week and popped them in the mail. Since then I’ve been waiting (im)patiently for Diane to receive the mitts so I could show them to you. They arrived today — finally!
Diane’s kitchen has accents of red so I chose this darling Michael Miller print that’s been in my stash for a few years. I traced around my old oven mitt to make a pattern out of freezer paper:
I looked at several tutorials online and combined what I thought to be the best features. Interestingly, the patterns that accompanied the tutorials also make oversize mitts. I like the lines and fit of mine so much better!
Diane started her holiday baking today — that’s Ina Garten’s recipe for Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies on the cookbook holder — so her new oven mitts have already been put to the test:
The borders are on my Christmas Quatrefoil quilt and I couldn’t be more pleased:
The inner border is a 2″ finished strip of background fabric to float the blocks. For the outer border I auditioned this red focus fabric and the same print in the light grey background. The grey print is lovely but it just wasn’t bold enough. I was initially concerned that the red focus fabric would overpower the interior of the quilt but happily the individual blocks hold their own.
I think of this as my Christmas Quatrefoil quilt but this line of “Holliberry” prints by Moda is not overtly Christmas-y. The holly leaves and the pointsettia blossoms give it a Christmas vibe to be sure but the prints speak more to me of winter than holiday. What that means is that when it’s quilted and bound, this quilt can take up rotation on the back of my sofa all winter long. I leave my outdoor icicle lights up until Valentine’s Day, after all! I love the way they light up the porch and are reflected in the glass door and windows:
And you can also see my little tree on the sideboard by the front door. Here’s a close-up:
Princess Cordelia aka Coco is on her best behavior.
Tomorrow I’ll make a pieced backing for my quilt top using some of the yardage I bought along with a set of precut 10″ squares. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could get this quilted and bound before Christmas? I might reach out to a couple of my favorite local longarmers to see if they are working their magic this coming week. . .
I didn’t just decide on a final layout for my 12 Quatrefoil Christmas blocks; I sewed them together with the sashing strips. Oh my, I am loving this quilt top!
Right now it measures 40½” x 52½”; the next step is to add a strip of background fabric all around to float the top and then add a border (or maybe two). I have yardage in the large red and the large light grey floral prints. I’ll audition both fabrics before deciding.
As for binding, I could go with the green diagonal stripe or the small red print used in the corners of each block. It really depends on the outer border. Decisions, decisions!
These join the six blocks, shown below, that I wrote about in my last post:
All the fabrics except the background are from Corey Yoder’s “Holliberry” line for Moda Fabrics. The background is from Lori Holt’s “Seasonal Basics” line for Riley Blake Fabrics.
Now that the second set is done, I’m playing with all 12 blocks on my design wall to get just the right distribution of color and value. Each time I think “This is it,” I take another look and start moving blocks around again. Am I obsessing? Yes, but it’s what I do.
Well, tomorrow is another day. With any luck, I’ll arrive at a final setting and post it right here for all the world to see.
These blocks finish at 12″ square. I’ve decided to make a throw-size quilt with 12 blocks. With sashing strips and borders added, my quilt will finish somewhere around 56″ x 68″ — a good size to display on the back of a couch or over one’s lap.
Here are the first six blocks stuck up on my design wall with some sashing strips:
You can see how the sashing srips and the four-patches in the corner of each block combine to create an Irish chain effect. That’s one of the reasons I like this Quatrefoil quilt pattern so much.
I need to pay careful attention to how I put the fabric combinations together in the final six blocks so that the over-all effect is balanced. Isn’t it funny how hard we quilters work to make a scrappy quilt look effortlessly planned?