30 May 2011

Two little quilts

I finished two little quilts this week. They are simple geometric designs.

The first has two yellow patchwork circles, sashed in bright blue on an improvised patchwork background of green prints and solids.

I quilted with diagonal lines that follow the on-point grid of the yellow circles.

I love how the chevron pattern shines on the white back. The quilt is bound in the same bright blue and measures 41"x44".

I used the rest of my green patchwork and blue sashing for a second modern geometric baby quilt. The quilting is white and follows the grid established by the sashing.

I have to say working with all this kona white was a little bit intimidating. I don't know if it's actually less forgiving than an off-white or print, but the it sure felt that way. Maybe I'll get used to it if I keep at it. The good news for me is that my next project has lots of white, too!

Another bright geometric back and blue binding finish the blanket.
Both blankets are now available in my shop.

Update: The Mod Wheels baby quilt was featured on Modern Day Quilts

18 May 2011

Hexagon WIP

I've made quite a bit of progress on my hexagon quilt lately.

It languished in a corner for several months, but recently I've spent a fair amount of time on airplanes, and hand-piecing hexagons is a great way to pass the hours. This is not without its hazards, as my fingers tend to be pretty sore by the end of a six-hour flight. On one trip I wore my right elbow raw on the armrest from the repetitive stitching motion. I didn't even realize it until I stood up to get off the plane.

The design has expanded a bit since my original sketch and may yet grow more. I'm currently working left to right. All of the large four-inch hexagons are done (with some machine piecing) and I have mostly small one-inch red ones to add to the right side.

My favorite detail so far is the way the small shapes meet the big shapes with half hexagons.

13 May 2011

My beautiful mother

For Mother's Day I made an infinity scarf with Anna Maria Horner voile and Kaufman chambray. I used the free Bon Bon Atelier pattern because the closing instructions were the most elegant of the options I found. I meant to take pictures of Mom wearing the scarf but, as usual, I forgot. So Dad took some pics of Mom wearing the scarf -- in three coordinating outfits!

I love you, Mom!

04 May 2011

Hero's nemesis; or, the orange lizard

If a had to choose a favorite among my three stencil quilts, it would be this one. I love everything about it, starting with orange and blue (the colors of the California poppies and blue lupine blooming all over the hills right now.) The background is a disappearing nine-patch of royal blue and deep turquoise prints and solids. The stencil is a grid of half-square triangles in orange shot cotton and prints.

I'm also pleased  with the sense of menace and movement created by the dinosaur entering the frame from the side.

The back is also pieced in orange and blue collected from trimmings and extras from the front. Once again, The quilting along the stencil outlines has a surprising impact on the back.
The stencil design was inspired by a piece of clip art I saw on SLOG (the blog of Seattle's Stranger newsweekly). My favorite things on SLOG are the Savage Love letter of the day and Mary Traverse's regular Dinosaur News updates, in addition to lots of other delightful nuggets. Mary was kind enough to send me the full image of the articulated skeleton. Thanks Mary! And thank goodness the Stranger has its priorities straight and put her on the dinosaur beat.
I quilted the blanket with concentric zig-zags emanating from the T. rex's gaping maw. It was as close as I could get to a menacing roar without spelling it out.

My nine-year-old wants a dinosaur quilt, but he insists on a red one. So the orange lizard is now available on Etsy.

03 May 2011

Pink Hero

The Pink Hero Quilt is finally done.

I feel like I've been talking about this forever, and thinking about it even longer. Of the three stencil quilts I've finished so far, this is the hardest to let go of. I think that's why I put off finishing it until I finished the others.

I used almost all the same background fabrics for Hero and the stag. Hero, of course, gets a more traditional pinwheel block.

The reverse of the quilt is a crinkly soft off-white solid fabric (Kauffman Kona Crush) with a pink circle pieced from the trimmings of the unicorn applique. The outline of the applique forms a subtle shadow on the back.

02 May 2011


It's turning out to be a big week. Two big things have happened: I've finished three new quilts, and I've decided to set up shop on Etsy. More on Etsy later, but first I want to show my first stencil quilt.

I'm calling it the green stag quilt.

The quilt features a green deer reverse appliqué on an undulating neutral background. It's one in a series of “stencil quilts” that I have designed and created (I'll have pics of Hero and his nemesis soon!). I posted about my technique recently. It involves creating two patchwork quilt tops, sewing the layers together along the lines of a stencil, then cutting out the top layer to reveal the stencil beneath. The raw edge of the appliqué frays, softening the edge of the image and creating a weathered effect.

I was inspired by an antique quilt whose well worn top began to disintegrate, revealing and even older and more worn quilt inside that had been used as batting.

The green stag is a patchwork of squares and rectangles in the disappearing nine-patch pattern, while the background is a series of improvisationally pieced curves intended to create a sense of rolling landscape.

The reverse of this quilt is made with a soft chambray fabric with a meticulously pieced green circle and ivory sashing. You may recognize the green circle from the missing patch in Sharon & Bill's baby quilt.

The quilting highlights the shape of the appliqué and echoes the undulating curves of the background patchwork. On the solid quilt back, the subtle shape of the deer makes a surprising counterpoint to the bold green circle. 

I've listed the Green Stag quilt for sale on Etsy, along with my Seeing Water quilt. I'll be listing two additional stencil quilts later this week.
I'm planning on sprucing up my storefront soon, but I'm at something of a loss. What do your favorite Etsy stores look like? What makes them your favorite?