Kate Spain Sunnyside

I confess to a love of all things Moda (http://storefront.unitednotions.com/storefrontCommerce/).  I have for years – their fabrics and designs are spectacular. I have often found myself visiting the Moda Bake Shop (http://www.modabakeshop.com/).  The bake shop site has a wide variety of patterns, projects and ideas.

When I discovered that they had books available I was thrilled.  I purchased Fresh Fabric Treats (you can find out more about the book here http://www.stashbooksblog.com/products/fresh-fabric-treats/) last year and have made a couple of items from it.

One of my favorite patterns is Rachel Griffith’s Summer Sorbet Quilt.  You can find out more about Rachel here (http://www.psiquilt.com/).  Her quilt pattern uses two of my favorite things – charm packs and wonky stars!

I love charm packs because they are great way to get a selection of a particular fabric without getting fat quarters or yardage.  I love Moda’s solid charm packs as they give you a variety of pieces to use in your projects.  If you have not tried the joys of charm packs, you should!

And wonky stars are delightful!  They are easy to make and take some of the stress of getting everything ‘even’!  The points in the stars are not designed to be exactly even but instead wander a bit, giving the star a little more ‘natural’ look.  I love making them!

So for this project, I was now armed with an awesome pattern and some beautiful Kate Spain Sunnyside charm packs.  My cousin Candace had asked me to make a quilt for a very good friend of hers who was going through a rough patch health wise.  I was of course delighted that she asked me to do this for her and started to work on this quilt.

I did a slight reversal of the pattern – instead of all solids for the background and patterns for the points, I decided to use a light yellow for the stars and used the charm squares throughout the quilt to give it more of a patchwork punch.  In hindsight, the yellow I picked may have been a little too light because one of the stars gets a little lost in the fabric, but overall I was very please with the results.

I used Warm and Natural batting (my favorite) and quilted in the ditch with Aurifil 2110.  The backing fabric is a 108″ wide from Wilmington Prints.

I am just waiting for Candace to give me some input on a label for the back so that the gift can be a little more personalized.  I hope her friend enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Pin basting - a lot of work but so worth it.
Pin basting – a lot of work but so worth it.
A close up of the backup - Wilmington Prints 108" wide.
A close up of the backup – Wilmington Prints 108″ wide.

A study in permutations

I recently purchased Vintage Quilt Revival, an excellent quilt book that updates classic blocks.  This excellent book is by Katie Clark Blakesley (http://swimbikequilt.com/), Lee Heinrich (http://www.freshlypieced.com/) and Faith Jones (http://www.freshlemonsquilts.com/).  If you are thinking about using classic blocks in a new way, you should check this book out.

One of the blocks in the book is Wheel of Fortune.  I loved the secondary pattern that was created by the block and thought, hey, I should try this block!  While the book comes with a CD that provides the pdfs for the paper piecing of the various blocks, I was too lazy to walk upstairs to the ‘puter and decided to check Electric Quilt 7 on my laptop to see what it had to offer.  I found a block called Road to Fortune and printed that out.  I was thrilled with the block and posted it to Instragram.

Well, Lee was kind enough to note on my post that the proportions seemed different from the original Wheel of Fortune and a concept was born!  I decided that with the versatility of EQ7 I would explore various permutations of the block.

 

Here is the original block I made:

Road To Fortune - Electric Quilt 7
Road To Fortune – Electric Quilt 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here I am 12 blocks later:

All the current blocks.  I may make more, I may not!  I will update as we go.
All the current blocks. I may make more, I may not! I will update as we go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I finished up all the blocks, did a border, found a backing, basted the quilt and quilted this one up!  I did a variety of quilting in each of the individual blocks and stitched in the ditches.  overall very happy with the whole thing!  I really enjoyed this!  The pictures below are the finished front, back, and some detail of the quilted blocks.

Post quilting!  I really love this piece.
Post quilting! I really love this piece.
The back of the quilt.  Love this fabric!
The back of the quilt. Love this fabric!

IMG_3157 IMG_3156

 

Feathers QAL Nydia Kehnle and Alison Glass

Well off to a rousing start for 2014!  I have sent off my January and February #NGAQB blocks to their new homes.  I made an excellent Exploding Star from Lisa’s superb pattern (which was trending number two in Craftsy!), and I made got started on the #LuckystarsBOM (I will post on that separately soon I promise).

I finally got started on my Feathers Quilt Along!  I caught this on Instagram and loved the pattern and thought this would be a great new adventure.  So courtesy of Nydia at http://www.add-crafter.com/ and of course http://alisonglass.com/ I am Feathering along!

Feathers QAL

I decided to use fabrics from Alison Glass lines that I have available as well as some peppered cottons and a couple of items from Julia Horner’s recent line.  I was originally going to use a black background that turned out to have a very uncooperative directional fabric!  I switched gears to a basket weave black.

The pattern is paper piecing, which I have always loved but got away from over the years.  I have found myself going back to it a lot lately!  The instructions in the pattern are well written and easy to follow and of course Nydia’s blog has helpful tips, tricks and guidance!

Here’s my fabric haul for the project, pre cutting!  And speaking of cutting – I was going to follow the cutting instructions in the pattern and have at it, but I kept overthinking color placement and got stalled!  So I cut out all the pattern pieces instead, put them up on my design wall, and am now just doing an eclectic mix of color combinations as I go.  So far, I’ve gotten two columns done and am absolutely loving the colors and layout.  I will update this post as I make more progress!

So it is January 7th and I have made some great progress on this piece!  All the columns are complete and I am doing a happy dance.  I could not be happier with the results.  The pattern is great – well written, easy to follow, and goes together pretty quickly once you get the pace going!  I have to sew the sashings on and then I will have a completed quilt top.  Then onto the debate of how to quilt it.

And I decided that I wanted this professionally quilted, so it went off to my favorite long armer Sue Kappes – you can see her work here:  http://kappeskreations.com/.  She has done several quilts for me and I love working with her and letting her get creative on my stuff.  And she got creative!  I’ve posted pictures of the final piece so you can see the stellar finish!IMG_3065 IMG_3066 IMG_3069 IMG_3070 IMG_3068

January 7th and all the columns are constructed.  Now to get it all together!
January 7th and all the columns are constructed. Now to get it all together!
A variety of colors going on here!
A variety of colors going on here!
feathersqal
My progress to date! I am happy with working in columns.

A most phenomenal block!

I had a really amazing New Year’s Eve!  Dinner with some wonderful friends at a great restaurant here in Hanover PA.  I long ago gave up hope of staying up much beyond 9:30 pm and true to form I was asleep by 10!  Of course, the Brooklyn Chocolate Stout (with 10% alcohol) probably helped that process along.  I do not drink much anymore, and even one or two beers or a glass of wine and I am out!

Well rested, I had a magnificent New Year’s Day.  An Instagram friend had sent me a phenomenal pattern she had developed.  Called ‘Exploding Star’, it is foundation paper piecing at it’s finest.  FPP is a very useful tool for the really intricate piecing that you would have extreme difficulty accomplishing with rotary cutting.  I am not, I repeat not, a hand piecer (those who are, I envy your patience – I tried but do not have the level of focus needed).

There are eight quandrants and after I got my groove I was running about a half hour each.  I used some Timeless Treasures Rain for the explosions, a center comprised of Michael Miller Technicolor and a background from Classic Cottons (Joann’s from a couple years ago).

It went together smoothly and I am planning another adventure on this block.  I think rather than alternating with a background fabric, I will truly let it explode and just do all the 1/4 inch strips in colors!

Happy new year!

Lisa Lake-Johnson's Exploding Star!
Lisa Lake-Johnson’s Exploding Star!