Constellations for my Valentine

I finished up this quilt just in time to gift it to Matt for Valentine's day! I've always been a fan of Lizzy House's designs, and I was especially excited for her Constellations line because it is her usual whimsical style with a definite "boy" feel to it.

Constellations for my Valentine

I knew that I wanted to make Matt a quilt from this fabric as soon as I saw it. To really make the fabrics sparkle, I pieced some small quarter-square triangles as the focal point. Then I offset the quarter-square triangles with some solid in a soft blue-grey (Moda Bella solid....I don't remember what color!). Next I added a thin frame in the Twinkle Twinkle print from the constellations line (black colorway), and offset the piecing a bit more with the same blue-grey solid.
(Reality check: I initially tried to skew the center piecing. Yikes! That did not go well!)

Constellations for my Valentine 

I used a bamboo blend batting for this quilt, and it is SO soft and nice to work with! It seems a tiny bit thinner than the cotton batting that I typically use, but it really gives the quilt a soft, cozy finish. (I would perhaps suggest basting a bit closer together with this batting though. I used the same batting for another quilt which included a piece of an old bedsheet for the backing, and I had a bit of shifting - not something I was expecting!)
When it came time to quilt this piece, I couldn't resist quilting dense (1/2" apart), straight lines. It took several hours, but I love the look. I think it works really well with the simple piecing and the more masculine colorway. For binding, I used some Kaffe Fassett Aboriginal Dots in charcoal. The darker binding finished the quilt off just right, I think!

Constellations for my Valentine 

On the back I used some Kona solid in iron and the Twinkle Twinkle print in black.
(Finished size is 60" x 80".)

Constellations for my Valentine

Matt seems quite pleased to have his own quilt (this is only the second quilt I've ever made just for him!), and I'm quite happy to keep this one around!
Now I'm off to finish up a bit of last minute packing. Tomorrow I'm traveling to Austin for QuiltCon! If you're attending, be sure to introduce yourself!

Constellations for my Valentine

Japanese-y Pillows

When we moved to upstate NY last year we knew 4 people. My husband had become really close friends with a coworker in Seattle, who was from upstate NY and left Seattle to move back to NY just months before our move! We also knew our friend's wife and 2 sons, although not very well.
Matt moved out to NY ahead of me and Addy, and stayed with our friend and his family. They were so helpful to him, and very welcoming! Once Addy and I were moved to NY, we all began spending a lot of time together. Nearly all of our holidays include dinner at their house, and they love Addy as if she was their grandchild! They are the closest thing we have to family out here!

I wanted to do something special for them for Christmas, and my first instinct was a quilt. I had shown them the wedding quilt (that I'm still working on) for my sister's wedding, and they loved the design. Our friends are Japanese, and they thought that my design had a very Japanese feel to it. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to make them a quilt. (Christmas of 2013, right?)

I had more or less settled on making them some large, new throw pillows for their living room, but couldn't decide on a design. Then one day I glanced over at a fat quarter set that I had picked up from Purl Soho a few months ago, and I *knew* what to do!

I wanted to chop the prints up so that the pillows were a simple patchwork of 2" squares. That small, simple patchwork has a very Japanese feel to me. (Finished size is 20" square.)

Japanese-y Pillows!

I kept the quilting simple as well with some straight lines 1/4" from the seam lines.

Japanese-y Pillows!

For the backing I splurged on some yarn-dyed linen blend in "denim" (to me, that cloth just oozes Japanese!):

Japanese-y Pillows!

And I finished the pillows off with (sort of) invisible zips!

Japanese-y Pillows!

I really love how they turned out, and I think they were well received! Our friends thought that several of the prints had a Japanese-y feel to them, which was a bonus, since I was winging it a bit!

These pillows reminded me that sometimes it's the simple things in life. They were pretty quick to create, and so simple to stitch up. And yet I was smitten with them the instant they were finished, and they are being very well loved by their new owners!