Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Liberated Star Quilt - Collage by Carrie Bloomston

"In the spirit of collage the debut collection by Carrie Bloomston is filled with letters, textures and hipster imagery ..  with an essence of handmade and artful."

At first glance I felt a little intimidated by this out of my comfort zone collection, but on the other hand I was immediately taken by the unique designs, and even more so by the fun use of a letters and text.  With twenty 10 inch squares to play with it didn't take long to start creating.

Liberated Quiltmaking II by Gwen Marston

Inspired by the Liberated Star Block from the book Liberated Quiltmaking II by Gwen Marston as well as quilts from the Liberated Quilts Flickr Group (in particular this one and this one), I cut into my Collage fabrics in a style that isn't often seen here.  Liberated.  Improvised. Freehand.  
Unfortunately my plan of action at first proved to be a little wasteful of the fabric, but along the way I did salvage a few pieces and learned to make fabric placement more efficient with less to trim off.  Not a scrap was wasted.  I have added several fabrics from stash, including matching solid fabrics in purple, red, teal, and lime green.

This freehand style of fabric placement and piecing does not come naturally to me, and there were moments along the way where I felt entirely out of my depth.  It helped to take a step back - breathe - and not over think the process.  

For the back of the quilt I have used a single black/white text fabric by Kumiko Fujita (from the Infinity Collection), which I thought appropriate for the overall style of the quilt and also complements the design of the fabric.

Quilted with a grid of intersecting straight lines (one inch apart): the lines were not marked on the quilt, instead I used seam lines as a guide as well as a quilting guide attached to my walking foot once the distance from the seam lines became too great to judge the accuracy of the spacing.  

For the binding I have used a solid purple fabric from stash, and have also added small pieces of solid fabrics used in the quilt as a fun extra detail.  

I have listed this quilt in my Etsy Store.  You can view the listing details here:  Modern Liberated Star Quilt.

Collage by Carrie Bloomston fabrics supplied by Windham Fabrics without obligation.  All other fabrics and supplies are from my stash.

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Stash #184 Briar Rose by Heather Ross

Some surprise goodies arrived in the mail this week from Windham Fabrics: samples from the soon to be released Briar Rose collection by Heather Ross and Collage by Carrie Bloomston.
Briar Rose by Heather Ross for Windham Fabrics

Long awaited and much anticipated Briar Rose is Heather's first collection for Windham Fabrics and it is  everything we have come to expect from talented and highly regarded illustrator, author, and fabric designer, Heather Ross.  
 Briar Rose - Stawberry in Pink, Green, Orange and Lilac, 
and Calico in Lilac, Brown, Pink, Blue and Orange.

The collection consists of 20 fabrics in six different designs ranging in scale from small to medium.  The designs are printed on what feels like a great quality base cloth - read suitable for children's clothing and accessories - and the colors are clear and saturated.  As much as I love the adorable frogs and bees I have fallen heavily for the berries and the small scale floral prints.
Briar Rose by Heather Ross is now available from:
More about Collage by Carrie Bloomston is yet to come ~ I have already cut up, stitched up, and quilted my Collage layer cake.  I'll leave you with a snippet:

Enjoy Sunday!

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COPYRIGHT: Do not copy or use any content or photos from my blog without my written permission. This is original content from www.redpepperquilts.com.

Note:  these fabric samples were supplied without obligation by Windham Fabrics.  The images, text and opinions expressed are however my own.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Giant Scrappy Dresden Plate Block and Tutorial

Whilst awaiting the arrival of a backing fabric for my current work in progress I decided to whip up (what I thought would be a quick project) a Dresden Plate block.  I have never made a Dresden Plate block and my only wedge ruler has been sitting idle since 2008, although on several occasions I have read the instructions but have always promptly resumed my usual sewing schedule.

I have used a 9 degree Circle Wedge Ruler by Marilyn Doheny to make my Giant Dresden Plate Block (the two pieces on the left lock together to make a 15.5" wedge, measured from top to bottom through the center).  I have seen quilts made with this wedge ruler with amazing spiraling circles and dazzling movement - which prompted the purchase of this ruler - but I decided that perhaps I should start at the beginning with a very simple pieced circle.   


You can use any Wedge or Dresden Plate ruler and apply the following instructions.  The wider the wedge the less wedges you will need to make.  My wedge ruler is a 9 degree wedge and therefore a total of 40 wedges are required to make a full circle.  A 10 degree wedge ruler will require 36 wedges to make a full circle, etc.
  1. Sew 8 strips together measuring 2.5 inches x 4 inches (or strips to suit the size of your wedge/ruler). Press all seams in the one direction.  To ensure that these horizontal seams lock with the adjoining wedge you will need to alternate the direction of the seams.  For half of your wedges  press seams in one direction and for the other half of wedges press seams in the opposing direction.  For example, if you are making 40 wedges, press all seams up for 20 wedges and press all seams down for 20 wedges.
  2. Place wedge ruler on top of fabric strip.  My wedge ruler has horizontal lines at 1 inch intervals which make placement easy as you can match seam lines with lines on the ruler; helpful but not necessary to complete this project.
  3. Trim away excess fabric.
    4.  Fold the wedge in half lengthwise (no need to press) and sew a 1/4 inch seam along the top (the wide end) of the wedge.
Turn the wedge right side out and press.  If needed use a sharp tool to shape and sharpen the point.  

Make 40 wedges and sew wedges with opposing seams together to make a full circle.  I pieced four 1/4 circles first and then joined them to make a full circle.
40 wedges.
320 pieces of scrap fabric rescued from my scrap bin.
Circle Diameter:  36 inches.

My next dilemma is how to best applique a center circle, and/or even how best to applique this entire (large ~ 36 inch diameter) block onto a background fabric.  Applique is not one of my strengths and a machine technique would be preferred.  All suggestions are very welcome!



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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

In Stitches [workinprogress]

A peek at what I have been up for the last few days - pulling fabric, rotary cutting, arranging and rearranging, and stitching - including some late night work.  I seem to be so much more productive in the small hours of the morning!

I am working on a custom order for a low volume quilt with a balanced splash of color to set the tone for a pretty quilt with prints that tell a story. The quilt top is made up of many of my "fabric favorites"; some of which have been around for quite a while and are now highly sought after and hard to find, and some very new.

The quilt top, measuring 64 inches x 80 inches, is finished and I am waiting for the backing fabric to arrive.  In the meantime I am toying around with a wedge ruler and my fabric scraps and can offer you a peek at my first ever Dresden Plate project:
Ten wedges pieced (and 80 fabric scraps rescued from my overflowing scrap bin) and thirty more wedges to go.  Keep Calm and Sew On.

More on both of these projects soon.

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To Boston With Love

In collaboration with the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild quilters, sewists and crafters are making flags to bring peace and love to those affected by the tragic events that have unfolded in Boston over the last week.  A public exhibition of flags strung into banners to be displayed in Boston is planned for early June 2013.

The overall idea is to provide Boston with an uplifting experience from quilters and sewists around the world; a message of hope, love and support. The more flags the greater the impact.  

All of the details including the design guidelines, specifications and step by step flag making instructions can be found here:

My patchwork heart flag is already on the way.  I hope that you too will join in. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Stash #183 Field Study Linen and Boho by Urban Chicks

Field Study Linen by Anna Maria Horner
Parenthetical in Potpourri (left) and Deep (right)

These large scale designs are printed on beautiful quality linen base cloth and are a indeed a little outside of my comfort zone, but I found them impossible to resist  The feathers are up to 14 inches tall. 

Field Study - Flower Circuit in Sunny

The fabric is what I would call a light-weight home decorator fabric (55% linen, 45% cotton and 54"/55" wide), with a lovely soft drape and a smooth, lightly textured touch.  I immediately pictured myself making a skirt (and that would be a first) and have purchased yardage accordingly.  But don't be surprised if you see these fabrics cut up into pieces and made into a quilt.  

Boho by Urban Chicks for Moda
I also picked up a select few prints from the recently released fabric collection ~ Boho  by Urban Chicks.  These funky, retro inspired prints in a glow soft colors complement my fabric stash and I am looking forward to including these in my projects.

I also went to the Australasian Quilt Convention this week and enjoyed a day spent with like-minded family and friends.  There were many inspiration quilts on display, made with techniques and skills that were awe inspiring.

  1. Southern Stars by Karen Malone.  Some machine piecing, foundation piecing.  Machine quilted.  6300 pieces and 2 years in the making.
  2. Flying Colours: Budgies Uncaged by Brenda Gael Smith.  Free form piecing.
  3. First Blush by Karen Terrens.  Trapunto and free motion quilted whole cloth. Best of Show 2012 Victorian Quilter's Inc Showcase.
  4. Cock of the Walk by David M Taylor.  Hand applique, machine quilting.
Cock of the Walk by David M Taylor
A close-up of the rooster's eye ~ The stitching detail, fabric coloring and placement were incredible.

But the quilt that really caught my eye and made me go back for a second and third look was this quilt from the Quilts from Korea exhibition : : Work I by Jae-Young Eom ~

Quilts from Korea - 2012 Work I by Jae-Young Eom.  
Quilter's Statement:  "Freely configured the quilt by lines and surfaces.  
Machine piecing, machine quilting, cotton, hand dye fabric".

The colors of this quilt were so striking and the longer I looked at it the more there was to see.  Improvisational piecing doesn't come naturally to me but this may have inspired me to step outside of my square and dabble with a little less structure.

Enjoy Sunday!

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Patchwork Please!

I am a huge fan and regular reader of Ayumi's blog - Pink Penguin - as well as a stalker of Ayumi's Etsy Store, so when Ayumi's book hit the stores I was on to it.  It arrived in my mail box late last week and I can tell you that the projects in the book reflect Ayumi's fun and playful style.  Ayumi has a unique eye for color and her quirky vintage patchwork style is one that I rather adore.
Patchwork, Please! includes a chapter on Tools and Materials but importantly also a section on Techniques (including comprehensive Paper Piecing instructions).  The projects in the book are divided into categories: for the kitchen, for kids, for the home, going places, and for crafting. It is in the for crafting section that you will find the Prettified Pincushion - also featured on the cover of the book - which I just had to make.  Or three ...

The instructions were clear and accurate - and although I wasn't confident that I could assemble the sides as neatly as pictured in the book, by simply following the step by step instructions I was able to complete the project successfully and eagerly made two more pincushions.  
Congratulations, Ayumi on a really great publication! There are many more projects in the book that I have bookmarked for making including the Swedish Bloom Quilt as well as a new set of potholders for my kitchen.


Also finished this week is a custom order; a re-make of the Liberty Patchwork Pillow Cover made earlier this month, and already on it's ways across the ocean.
This time around I have used a special hand screen printed fabric by Umbrella Prints - Perfect Circles Printed in Lily White on Natural Organic mid-weight cotton for the back of the pillow cover.

Patchwork Please! by Ayumi Takahashi
The Pink Penguin - Ayumi's blog
Linen Fabric used for Pincushions : : Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Flax
Liberty Patchwork Pillow (April 5, 2013)

Thank you for stopping by,

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