Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a Best of 2018 Linky Party, inviting bloggers to highlight their top five posts of last year. It’s a fun way to look back over the past 12 months and identify some of the high points.
Finished projects are always high points for me so that’s where I’m taking you now, showing you five projects in random order. Clicking on the links below will take you to the original posts where you can read more about the finishes and see more photos.
This 44″ square quilt was made from the pattern Dancing Churndash by Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson of sewkindofwonderful.com. I’ve made several quilts using their Quick Curve Ruler; this is one of my favorites.
The essential quilter’s tote, designed by Billie Mahorney. It’s 14″ wide, 17″ tall, and 7½” deep. I’ve been teaching Billie’s design for three years now and make a bag every time I teach a class. This one is a gift for a dear friend.
I became quite enamored with Corey Yoder’s pattern Idyllic and taught it at a quilt retreat last year. This quilt was my class sample. It’s a lively design so I simplified three blocks to give the eye a place to rest. The quilt measures 53½” x 67″.
Joining the Best of 2018 Linky Party has been a useful exercise in reviewing my quilting accomplishments over the last year. I’m also inspired by looking at the work of other quilters who blog. Take a few minutes right now and join the party! Clicking on the link will transport you right there.
Before more time flies by I want to show you some of the projects my friends and I were working on in Sisters, Oregon during the week leading up to the July 14 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Normally the group consists of the Quisters (Quilt Sisters), a small group I’ve been a part of for many years. This year Quisters Peggy and Vickie couldn’t make it. Happily, two other good friends, Nancy and Vivienne, were able to take their places.
All four of us took classes during the week organized by Quilter’s Affair. When we weren’t in class, we were back at our rented house sewing in the bonus room over the garage. Here’s Deborah, who just finished layering a darling baby quilt made from the pattern Just Can’t Cut It:
See the blocks with dinosaurs? She’s planning to quilt dinosaur tracks onto the quilt. Won’t that be cute?
Deborah was also working on hand appliqué blocks for her Vintage Moments quilt designed by Marsha McCloskey. The quilt finishes at 90″ square so it’s a large and very ambitious undertaking. She brought along the center medallion as inspiration:
Here’s Nancy with a newly completed quilt top:
The pattern, called High Fashion, is from the book More Layer Cake, Jelly Roll & Charm Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott (F & W Media International, 2011). Nancy’s handbag quilt was made from a Layer Cake, a set of 10-inch squares from a line of fabrics made by Moda.
Nancy was also working on a second design in the book called Twisted Braid:
This one is made from a Jelly Roll, pre-cut strips of fabric 2½” wide, also from a line of fabric by Moda.
I don’t normally work with pre-cuts because I like to wash my fabrics before using them. However, exceptions can be made! During one of the Quilter’s Affair events, I won a door prize: the Charm Pack you see below. It’s a set of 5-inch squares from the fabric line “Blue Carolina” by Riley Blake:
It’s pictured with the book mentioned above because I’m thinking of making a smaller version of the cover quilt from this Charm Pack. If I do, I’ll shorten the handbags so they look more like baskets.
Vivienne was working on a very scrappy Trip Around the World quilt made with squares that will finish at one inch. I wish I had a photo to show you but I’m sorry to say I didn’t get any pictures of Viv with her project. She does such beautiful work! I have never seen such perfectly stitched and pressed blocks. In the evenings Viv was knitting a beautiful and intricate scarf and again I missed out on getting photos. I hope she will forgive me.
As for moi, I finished piecing a top based on Corey Yoder’s Idyllic block:
Those blocks range in size from 14″ to 21″ square.
I also experimented with Dancing Churndash, the delightful pattern Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson of Sew Kind of Wonderful designed for Cut Loose Press in 2014:
I used up all of the focus fabric I had from a previous project but I like this checkerboard effect well enough to make an entire quilt out of another set of black-on-white and white-on-black companion prints.
Speaking of Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson, they were part of Quilter’s Affair, giving a lecture and trunk show during the week and demonstrating the Quick Curve Ruler on the day of the quilt show. I had the pleasure of meeting Helen last year and was delighted to meet Jenny this year. Here I am flanked by Jenny on the left and Helen on the right:
I’ve been a fan of Jenny’s since since she introduced the Quick Curve Ruler several years ago. To date I’ve made 10 quilts using Sew Kind of Wonderful patterns and there are more on the horizon because the SKW sisters keep coming out with tempting new designs.
Coming up in my next post: pictures of quilts from the 2018 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show that caught my eye.
Take a look at my latest quilt, finished late this afternoon:
When you look at the octagonal blocks, do you see bicycle wheels and spokes? I do. That’s why I named this quilt Spokesong, after the play by Irish playright Stewart Parker. Set in a bicycle shop in Belfast, the play is about the troubles in Northern Ireland and the progress of civilization using the history of the bicycle as a framing device. I saw a delightful production of this “play with music” in the early 1980s and it came to mind when I was trying to think of a name.
My quilt is based on the pattern Idyllic by Corey Yoder of Coriander Quilts. (It’s the pattern I taught at last month’s Pine Needle quilt retreats on Hood Canal in Washington.) I changed the pattern a bit by simplifying three blocks.
The floral prints are from a line of fabric called “Paradise” designed by Alisse Courter for Camelot Fabrics. I ran off in high spirits one day three years ago and bought a lot of fabric from this line. It has made its way into several projects since then, and I used up more of it on the back of this one:
Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day did a beautiful job quilting Spokesong for me on her longarm. I love how the wavy lines of the edge-to-edge design called Serpentine almost make the quilt shimmer:
Did you notice the shape of the label?
Here’s a closer look:
Coco made herself right at home during the photo session:
If she wasn’t on top of the quilt, she was under it:
Yep. One more version of Idyllic, the design by Corey Yoder of Coriander Quilts that I’ve been playing around with the last few weeks. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ve already seen this block in a green/red/black colorway and a gold/taupe/black colorway. Now it’s making another appearance in the colors you see above.
There really is a method to my madness. You see, Idyllic is the pattern I’ve chosen to teach in June at the Pine Needle’s quilt retreat on Hood Canal in Washington State. This will be my third year teaching at this retreat and I can’t wait to go back. I’m teaching two back-to-back sessions.
The cover of Corey Yoder’s pattern shows a two-color version and a scrappy version, both measuring 82″ x 98″. I’m playing with a couple of three-color versions and a controlled scrappy version — that’s the one you see in the block above. I’m also playing around with Idyllic in EQ7, the quilt software program, “making” different size quilts so that I can give my upcoming students ideas and options on both fabric choices and finished quilt size. The latter is very important for figuring yardage requirements.
I thought I would have at last one version of Idyllic to show you by now but there’s been precious little sewing going on in the Portland White House. Instead I’ve spent the last week and a half fighting a cold that will just not go away. Maybe today’s the day I turn the proverbial corner.
I hope you’re having productive days in your sewing room. I’m sure looking forward to getting back into mine!
My challenge was to make four Flying Geese units that measure 1⅞” x 3¾” finished (2⅜” x 4¼” unfinished). Those are the measurements needed for the resized block I’m making from the pattern Idyllic by Coriander Quilts. My last post explains why I was even entertaining this idea.
Neither of the two specialty rulers I use for trimming Flying Geese units have such odd measurements so I decided to make a set the closest size up marked on the rulers and then figure out the best way to trim the units down. The closest size up was 2″ x 4″.
I chose to use the Ultimate Flying Geese ruler designed by Deb Heatherly for Creative Grids and the method that yields four units from two squares:
This is such a great method! With very little sewing and cutting you end up with two pieces that look like this:
Those pieces are magically transformed by trimming (with very little waste) into four Flying Geese units. Here are two of the four units trimmed to 2½” x 4½”:
I trimmed an eighth of an inch off each side to bring the width to the desired 4¼”:
That was when I realized how easy my task actually was. Notice two things. First, in the photo above you can see that the top of the unit has already been trimmed so that the point of the black triangle (the “goose”) is exactly ¼” from the raw edge. Second, once the sides are trimmed it immediately becomes obvious that it’s the bottom edge that needs to be trimmed.
In the photo below you can see that when I trim an eighth of an inch off the bottom, my unit will measure exactly 2⅜” x 4¼” — and the diagonal line on the ruler is running right where it should along the seamline:
Here’s that Flying Geese unit with a mere eighth inch trimmed from each of three sides, giving me exactly the size I need for my resized block:
Now I have three sizes of Idyllic blocks that will finish at 14″, 17½”, and 21″ respectively:
The next challenge? Deciding what to do with these blocks.
Simply this: I supersized Corey Yoder’s Idyllic block. As designed, her block finishes at 14″ square. I enlarged it to finish at 21″ square. Why? Curiosity more than anything else — plus the fact that I bought enough of these fabrics to play around a bit.
One of the things I love about this pattern is that it can look traditional or modern depending on fabric choices. Take a look at the pattern cover:
The scrappy version pictured above looks quite traditional to my eye whereas the two-color version has a modern vibe. I figured it would look even more modern if the blocks were larger.
That got me to thinking about a kaleidoscope quilt I made as an experiment a few years ago using three different size blocks:
(This quilt top eventually became a baby quilt for a darling great niece. You can see the finished quilt here.)
What, I wonder, would Idyllic look like as a quilt with three sizes of blocks? I know how to find out . . .
But here’s the thing. Each Idyllic block has three sets of Flying Geese units in it. Two are the same size and one is smaller. The proportions need to remain consistent. If I make a block halfway between the ones I’ve already made, it needs to finish at 17½” inches square. That would make the smaller Flying Geese unit finish at 1⅞” x 3¾”.
Many of you know I started two long term quilt projects recently. One is a sampler quilt with lots of hand appliqué that’s going to take me the better part of a year to make. The other is Cascade, the curved braid quilt designed by Victoria Findlay Wolfe. Cascade is a scrappy design calling for a multitude of fabrics. In preparation I bought quite a few quarter-yard cuts and fat quarters. That’s something I rarely do, preferring to buy bigger cuts of yardage. In this case, I had chosen colors for my version of Cascade that aren’t well represented in my stash: lots of neutrals and muted golds and greys.
Two days ago a new muted gray fabric with a subtle gold metallic finish came into my local quilt shop and I quickly snapped up a quarter yard of it for my version of Cascade. Then a funny thing happened. I went back to the shop yesterday and bought a lot more.
The reason? Idyllic, a quilt pattern by Corey Yoder of Coriander Quilts. I bought her pattern last year and have been casting fond glances at it ever since, trying to decide what fabric I might use. When I laid eyes on that piece of fabric, I could see it in this quilt.
Here’s my test block:
Isn’t that striking? The block measures 14½” unfinished. At this point I have no idea where I’m going with this but I sure like what I see right now. I could potentially make star points for other blocks using scraps from cutting curves for Cascade or I could make an entire quilt using just the three fabrics you see here.
Could these fabric choices represent a seismic shift in my color sensibilities? Maybe . . . maybe not. You see, just a few days ago I made an earlier test block of Idyllic using a color combination you would more likely expect from me. Take a look:
Completely different look and feel, right? One of the things I love most about quilting is how color and fabric can completely change the look of a quilt.
I like both of these blocks a lot but it’s the neutral version on top that’s calling to me.