Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tilted Tweets

I finally get to share this quilt! I made this quilt for our very sweet friend Maureen, who let Matt stay with her in Seattle for nearly a year while we tried to sell our house in Illinois. As much as I love this quilt, it still doesn't feel like "enough" of a thank you for what she did for our family.
I used Tufted Tweets by Laurie Wisburn as the focal point for this quilt, and all of the solids are Kona (charcoal, white, chartreuse, dark violet, tangerine, papaya, and bahama blue). The blocks were all pieced improv style, which I'm starting to like more and more. I started with a not-quite-square piece of one of the TT prints, and built around it log cabin style, trimming to not-quite-square as I went along. I wanted the prints to appear to be floating, so I included a white border between the print and solid, along with a white border on the outside. When all of the blocks were pieced together, the outer white borders looked like white sashing! I wanted to frame the blocks, so I used chunks of the prints and solids to create a 3" border. Finished size is about 55" x 70", I think.
For the back, I used predominantly kona in charcoal with some printed pieces thrown in. I started to worry that the front was too bright, so I figured Maureen could always turn it over and use the back!
I got the idea for the quilting from Oh Fransson! I just love how inspiring she is in her piecing AND quilting! I am always looking for new fmq ideas, so I was excited to find some new ideas. I think square-ish meandering is my new favorite quilting design! I've also been trying out some different quilting threads, and Aurifil is my new favorite. I love how it looks, and my machine loves to sew with it. For this quilt, I used Aurifil 50wt. Mako in white (100% cotton, of course!).
I love taking pictures of the corners of the quilt. Why? I have no idea.
I also discovered that our new back yard is perfect for photographing quilts!
If I haven't said it enough, a HUGE thank you to Maureen for giving Matt a home away from home.
(P.S. Sorry about the picture quality. I realized late in the photo shoot that I had my iso settings wrong!)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bloggers' Quilt Festival

For the last few years, I have been enjoying the beautiful quilts that pop up during Bloggers' Quilt Festival. Finally this year I have the time to participate!
Amy's Creative Side
This is a new finish, and one that I'm especially proud of. My step brother recently got married in Phoenix, AZ. As soon as I found out that he was engaged, I starting thinking about quilt designs. I initially thought of using some cute camper fabric to make him and his (now) wife a quilt to keep in their vintage Streamline  camper. But it seemed too kitschy for them, so at the last minute I decided on a color stack of Aviary 2 by Joel Dewberry.
I had less than a month to make the quilt, plus pack up our house for a cross-country move! So I quickly got started on the design, even before the fabric arrived.
My first thought was to make a square-in-a-square quilt, as the set of solids and prints work well for that design. But then my mind drifted to a brick layout. Soon I had combined the two ideas, only to realize that 10 fat quarters were not going to stretch very far. That's when I started to envision a brick path, with solid on either side. What better style for a wedding quilt, than a path?!?
And that is how "What Lies Ahead" was born!
(The quilt is wrinkled and wonky in the photos because it was packed in my luggage for nearly a week before I shot these pics.)
 The solids are Free Spirit solids. Having only worked with Kona solids in the past, I was excited to give these a try. I really liked working with them! I love the almost dusty appearance in the coloring, and they are very soft.
 I intended to use the cream solid for the background, but I couldn't find enough yardage online. I ended up using the Camel color, and I'm really glad that I did.
 For quilting, I went with simple straight lines using a thread that matched the Camel solid almost perfectly. (Total coincidence, that's what I had on hand!)
 Gifting a quilt always makes me nervous, and this was no exception. I had never been to Phoenix before the wedding, nor did I know what my step brother's town home was like. Had I known much about the culture or his home, I don't think I would have considered gifting a quilt! The Phoenix area doesn't seem to have embraced handmade goodness like other parts of the country, and my step brother's house is very modern.
I'm happy to say that they loved the quilt, though! They even commented that it looked like something straight out of Anthropologie. That I will take as a compliment. ;)
(For those of you who follow my blog regularly, we are officially moved to Seattle! I apologize for missing the April "Pay It Forward" giveaway, but I do have something in the works for May. Stay tuned!)