The One I Almost Scrapped - The Circus Quilt

Wow. It's been so long since I've shared a new quilt! I promise I'm still quilting, I've just been spending a lot of time with my longarm lately. A friend of mine has started writing quilt patterns, so I did some quilting for her - if you're at Market this fall you may just see some of it! Be sure to check out Sew Many Creations - she's got great bag and quilt patterns! And if you're in the Adirondacks and/or Capitol Region of NY, check out her quilt shop!

So, about that new quilt! This quilt taught me a great lesson about my work - more specifically, to keep an open mind and reserve judgement even when it comes to my own projects.

Diamonds for Ducklings Baby Quilt

I began this quilt as a baby gift for a friend. I had saved these Lizzy House prints for a long time, but suddenly I felt that this was the project for them! I had a few design ideas involving small triangles with borders, but really I set about creating the triangle units without a firm plan for them. Once I had all of the triangles pieced, I played with layout. My initial design idea wasn't playing out quite right when I got the idea to create diamonds. This idea came to me as I was thinking about the name of the fabric line, "Ugly Duckling". I wanted to play around with the name when I thought of the phrase, "diamond in the rough" - Bingo!

After I had the diamond layout I chose the light orange solid. I love the orange, which I had used in another project. However, as I pieced the orange with the diamonds I started to question it. Something about the quilt reminded me of the circus, which I mentioned to a friend during a late-night sewing session. She innocently commented that the orange reminded her of circus peanuts, which started to worry me even more! I thought about taking the quilt apart and using a different solid, but in the end pure laziness won out. I decided to continue with the quilt as it was, but if I didn't like the finished product I would make something different for my friend.

The best part about using solids in quilts is having that area to show off some quilting! Using a light peach thread I quilted smaller diamonds in the solid sections; each quilted diamond area was filled with pebbles and the surrounding area was filled with swirls. Even after the quilting, I still had my reservations. But I charged forward and added the binding, and then tossed the quilt in the wash.

Diamonds for Ducklings Baby Quilt

I was completely shocked when I saw the freshly washed quilt. Everything about it suddenly fell into place - the quilting was soft and crinkly, the colors flowed beautifully. Something truly magical occurs in the washing and drying process!

Diamonds for Ducklings Baby Quilt

Here's a peek at the back. I love using my stash for quilt backings!

Diamonds for Ducklings Baby Quilt

I'm so glad now that I didn't give up on this project. I shipped it off to my friend a few weeks ago and she absolutely loved it! She's a quilter as well, and has a great eye for color and design, so I was a bit worried about her reaction. In the end, the very part of the quilt that I questioned the most - the orange solid - was my friend's favorite part! Call it a happy accident or a learning experience, I'm calling it a win!

Diamonds for Ducklings Baby Quilt

P.S. I'm officially naming this one, "Diamonds for Ducklings", but I will always remember it as, "The Circus Quilt"!

A Triforce Baby Quilt!

Several months ago my college roomie, Emily, confided in me that she was pregnant! I was so excited for her, and immediately started thinking about how kind of quilt I would make her. Emily loves video games, especially Zelda. She has the triforce tattooed on her back and I have witnessed many crazy discussions between Emily and my husband about each new Zelda game to hit the market. I knew that Emily's husband had similar interests, as he and Emily actually met at a Comic Con!
I had to create a Zelda-inspired quilt for Emily...I thought about simply using the triangles as inspiration, but I really liked the idea of appliqueing the full image of the triforce onto a solid background. I wanted to use a grey solid for the background, and either pale pink or pale green for the applique. As soon as Emily announced that she was having a boy, I picked out my fabrics!
Triforce Quilt for baby Linc!
Usually if I needed a graphic enlarged for a project, I would ask Emily to help me out. That wasn't an option for this quilt, so I actually drew the triforce myself. The dimensions aren't quite right, but I think it's close enough!
Triforce Quilt for baby Linc!
I played around with the quilting a bit, too. I wanted the pebbles to trail off in various directions, but as I was quilting I tended to smooth out the edges. From the pebbles I quilted wavy lines that extended to the edges of the quilt. This was so fun to quilt, and I learned a lot in the process.
Triforce Quilt for baby Linc!
On the back I used a grey and white herringbone print and a cute little bug print. I was worried about the bugs not fitting into the Zelda theme, but Matt assured me that Link carries jars of potion along with him! :)
Triforce Quilt - Back
The binding is a very dark grey solid; I love the look of the dark binding as a frame around the quilt!
Triforce Quilt for baby Linc!
While I was visiting my family in the Chicago area this summer I had lunch with Emily. She loved the quilt so much, and showed me that the colors even match the nursery! On the wall of the nursery, she had hung a yellow "L" (which I assumed stood for the baby's first name). Emily even painted a tiny little triforce in the bend of the "L", in a green color very similar to the green in the quilt!
I hadn't heard her mention the baby's name, so I wasn't sure if she was keeping it a secret. As I was leaving I decided to ask her, and she told me that they decided on the name "Lincoln Peter". I knew that Peter was her dad's name, and this is the first boy of 4 grandkids in her family. Then she told me that they decided on Lincoln because they could call him....Linc! (Yes, she really does love Zelda!!)
Linc decided to make his appearance the day after I left, but I've seen photos and he is adorable! I can't wait to see him in person!

The Mama Star Quilt

This is the star quilt that started it all! A friend asked me to create a custom king size quilt for her bed and a coordinating twin for her daughter. My friend was open to nearly every design idea that I brought to her, but I kept coming back to an image of a lone star quilt that her husband's aunt made for them. The lone star quilt was used on their bed for years, and it remains a very special piece for them.

I contemplated creating a new lone star quilt, but I wanted to do something different. I searched quite a bit and came up with lots of modern star quilt ideas, but I couldn't get this quilt by Kati at From the Blue Chair out of my mind. I especially loved that she used paper piecing, which is a great method for ensuring that your piecing is accurate.

I pieced my quilt in much the same manner as Kati outlines on her blog, but I changed the design quite a bit by creating concentric stars that have quite different angles.

The Mama Star Quilt

The center star is about 64" from point to point, and the entire quilt is 120" square. The star looks a bit small here, but I designed it so that it would sit perfectly on their bed. The thin dark blue border is a great frame around the edge of the quilt as it drapes on the bed!

The Mama Star Quilt

Unfortunately my colors are way off in these photos. We were rushing to get the pics before the sun went down, and we didn't have anyone to help hold this huge quilt! I wish I had more time to take better pictures, but I flew out of town the very next morning and took the quilts with to hand deliver.

Here's a close up of the star, the colors are pretty close in this picture and it also shows some of the quilting that I did:

The Mama Star Quilt

I had so much fun quilting this! The light blue background is quilted with straight lines 3/4" apart and each ring of the star is quilted with a different design. Here's a shot of the back of the quilt, where the designs really show up well:

The Mama Star Quilt - quilting on back

This is only the 3rd quilt that I quilted on the long arm, so I'm pretty happy with the result! Here's one more picture of the quilting on the back, this shows how I quilted the dark blue stripe around the quilt:

The Mama Star Quilt - quilting on back

I brought the quilt inside and put it on my bed for this picture. Unfortunately I have a queen size bed, so this isn't the most accurate shot. I does show the colors really nicely, though, and the proportion of the star:

The Mama Star Quilt

I took both quilts with me when I traveled back to Illinois a few weeks ago, and I was able to hand deliver them to my friend. She really loves both of them, and I've seen several photos of them in use! This was biggest custom order that I've ever received, and I was a bit nervous to quilt this giant quilt. But I think they turned out quite well in the end!

Seeing Stars Quilt

I made this quilt for a friend's daughter. I actually designed a king size quilt for my friend first, and then created this one to coordinate with the king size. But I want to share this one first. :)

I wanted to make a star quilt, something fun and whimsical for a sweet 6-year old girl to enjoy now and as she grows. I certainly added touches that she will love now (such as the awesome Art Gallery Menagerie print from the Indian Summer line), but tried to stay away from anything too cutesy (which isn't her style, anyway!).

I used the Sparkle Punch quilt by Oh Fransson! as a jumping off point, but added in 3 large stars (centers are 9" square, stars about just until 27" from point to point!) and some itty bitty stars (centers are 1" square, and less than 3" from point to point!).

Warning: Picture colors are off a bit...I was short on time and my lighting options were either full sun or full shade!
Seeing Stars Quilt

I played around with arrangement a bit, but ultimately decided to not disrupt the flow of the majority of the stars. Because of that, I ended up with a decent amount of background around the larger stars. I filled it in a bit with the tiny stars, and I'm really happy with the layout! I like the extra background space, as I think it calms the design down a bit.

Seeing Stars Quilt

Here's that great Menagerie print! I initially bought this for my stash, but I had to use it for this quilt because it suits the recipient so well. (And now my LQS has the print in BOTH colorways, so I restocked my stash!)

Seeing Stars Quilt

If you follow me on instagram (I'm TheGirlWhoQuilts), you probably know that I've been keeping a quilty secret for a few weeks now...I took the plunge and bought a long arm! I'm now the proud owner for a Handi Quilter Avante 18, and I'm so happy with it! It was quite a whirlwind for a bit though, as we set up the machine and I practiced a bit before diving into these customer quilts. This was only my second official quilt on the long arm, and I'm pretty happy with it! I went with a simple swirl design to keep my stress level low. ;)

Seeing Stars Quilt

For the back of the quilt I used mostly the solid from the front, plus a strip of this fun peacock print:

Seeing Stars Quilt

Quilt stats:
Name: Seeing Stars
Size: 75" x 90"
Background: Kona peacock
Prints/fabric lines include: Dear Stella (peacock feathers), Constellations Lizzy House, Architextures, Cuzco by Kate Spain, Pearl Bracelets, Backyard Baby, Indian Summer, Children at Play, Bella by Lotta Jansdotter, Luxe in Bloom
Binding: Constellations by Lizzy House, Supernova pint in purple

Dresden Sparkles

As you can tell from the pictures below, I made this quilt a few months ago. I intended to give it to my brother's girlfriend, Caroline, for Christmas, but I ran out of time. I had to set it aside and I finished it up in February, I think.
Caroline loves purple, so I started by pulling out the purple colorway of 1,001 Peeps by Lizzy House. I used a pale purple for the background so that the prints and the piecing would pop. After the EZ Dresden challenge last year I had the idea to create these "sparkle" blocks. There were plenty of similar quilts in the contest, and I was really drawn to the simplicity of alternating a print with a background solid.
Dresden Sparkles Quilt
I quilted the background in a small meander and left the sparkles unquilted so that they will "pop" a bit. In hindsight, I wish that I had stitched in the ditch around each print. It's not too visible from the front, but it is from the back.
Dresden Sparkles Quilt
I really love all of the Lizzy House's work, and this line is no exception. Caroline is a sweet, fun girl, and I thought she's appreciate the whimsical tone of these prints.
Dresden Sparkles Quilt
On the back I used two different purple solids and the left over prints. The binding is an eggplant color, as that's Caroline's favorite shade of purple.
Dresden Sparkles Quilt
Caroline loves her quilt, and I was happy to cross this WIP off my list just before I headed off to QuiltCon! Last week I finished up two custom quilts and delivered them over the weekend, so I'll have a few new things to share as soon as I edit the pictures!