Friday, November 14, 2014

Pittsburgh Love

I made this mini as a wedding gift for Matt's boss. He and his wife met here in Pittsburgh, though neither of them are from here. He loved the mini quilts in our home, so I knew it would be the perfect gift for them!

Pittsburgh Love Mini Quilt
(It was so cold and windy when I took these pictures, plus we were high above the city. Matt was really nervous that he would drop the mini, which it why he was bracing it against the railing!)

I had a hard time deciding on a background fabric, not knowing what their decorating tastes are like. Luckily I had this bridge print sitting out after a visit to a LQS! I wasn't entirely sure on the color, but I couldn't pass up the print - did you know that Pittsburgh is called the "City of Bridges"? It's true, we have SO many of them!

I decided to quilt the background with simple, straight lines.

Pittsburgh Love Mini Quilt

I again used a knife-edge binding, because I just love the look of the clean edge! On the back I included a label and a hanging sleeve.

Pittsburgh Love Mini Quilt

This is the 3rd "Home is..." piece that I've made as a wedding gift, and I think so far they have all been really well received! This one may be my favorite, but I have a few others to share when I dig up the pictures.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Free Patterns and a Barn Quilt!

I have a few surprises to share!

First up, some free patterns! Head over to Camelot Fabrics where I have a few pillow patterns and a quilt pattern - all freebies! Don't feel intimidated by the piecing - it's all very fast and easy.

Here's a quick 12" square pillow I sewed up from my trial block for the patterns:
Free pillow/quilt pattern!

And now, about that Barn Quilt! A few months ago I was contacted by the Thumb Trail Quilt group in Michigan. They asked to use my Modern Dresden block design for the quilt block in their quilt block trail throughout "Thumb Region" of Michigan. Not only was my design used, but it is on the Mayville Historical Museum building in Mayville, MI!

Here's a photo of the Barn Quilt, taken from the Thumb Trail Quilt facebook page. Be sure to check them out, and if you're in the area be sure to visit the Barn Quilts in person!

If you'd like to make your own Modern Dresden mini quilt, see the following links:

Monday, November 3, 2014

Home is...

Well, I had a decent stretch of consistent blogging, right? :)

I'm hoping now that the Quilt Market rush is over (for now!), I will have a bit of time to blog! This project is one of my favorite finishes ever, and it hangs in the middle of the first floor of my house, too

I can't claim this design entirely, because I know I've seen similar pieces in the blogging world over the years. This is just my take on a really great design idea!

Upon finding a house to buy in Pittsburgh I decided it was *finally* time to reflect a bit on where we've been geographically over the years. In doing so, I created a mini quilt for each state that we have lived in, highlighting our locations with hearts. Because, you know, Home Is Where the Heart Is, and all that jazz. For my fabrics and colors, I tried to stick with jewel tones for the backgrounds and white/cream prints for the states. The hearts are varying shades of pinks and reds. By creating each piece separately and mixing designs, tones, and colors, I have the freedom to add to this collection without disrupting it.

Let's start at the beginning! First we have the Illinois mini. We lived in the Chicago area and also in the Peoria area of Illinois. I love the blue print in this mini - while not really a jewel tone, it really reflects the Native American history in Illinois, I think.

Home is Where...

Next we lived in Seattle, Washington. We lived in a very urban area, right in the heart of Seattle, but it was always clear that we were just steps from nature! From the "green" attitude of the residents to the mountain views in nearly any direction, I had to use a wildlife print in this mini!

Home is Where... 

From Seattle we moved to upstate New York, in Saratoga Springs. I used a linen and a vibrate green for this mini. Saratoga Springs is known for its natural springs, and despite being a small town far from NYC, it has a large "crunchy" population.

Home is Where... 

And here we are now, in Pittsburgh, PA! The house we bought in Pittsburgh is an old rowhouse that was completely gutted and rehabbed. The first time we "toured" the house, part of the (new) roof was unfinished and the walls were only framed. So, it seemed quite fitting to use a "blueprint" fabric for this mini!

Home is Where... 

Here they are all together! We hung them in our dining area, which is where we tend to end up mingling when we have guests. It's such a fun conversation starter, and I love that they are a prominent feature in our house! 

Home is Where... 

A bit about the design process:
I quilted around the states and the hearts with black thread to really draw attention to the shapes. I found that 3 passes around each shape gave great definition without lots of thread build up. In the background spaces I quilted in various flowing styles with thread to match the background, again to keep the focus on the states.
To finish the minis I applied knife edge binding and a hanging sleeve on each piece. The knife edge binding is a bit more time-consuming, but the look is so stunning! Well worth the effort for this project!

Home is Where...

And one last (poorly lit) picture. Here are the minis hanging in our dining area! The adjacent brick wall is part of the living room, and to the right of the minis is the kitchen. I'd hoped to show a bit more of the house, but lighting was bad when I took this one!

Home is... mini quilts