Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Picchu Boo

Almost a year ago I took a trip of a lifetime to Peru to celebrate graduating from graduate school. One of the most memorable parts of the trip was when I visited Machu Picchu. I took thousands of photos during the ten day trip, but this photo was one of my favorites.
I knew it had to be turned into a quilt, so when we announced the solids challenge in the Boston Modern Quilt Guild, I decided this was my opportunity to make this into a quilt.

Not wanting to do an exact interpretation or make an art quilt, I started cutting a ton of 1" strips out of five different brown fabrics and sewed them together. I ended up making three different groups of these brown strips, one with the strips horizontal, one vertical and one on the diagonal. I varied the width and length of all three as part of my interpretation of the photo.

I decided on a teal background instead of a more natural green that's found in nature. Again, this was my way of modernizing the quilt and avoid looking too much like an art quilt. When it came time to quilt it, I knew I wanted to quilt straight lines opposite the direction of the brown strips. It took me a little while to settle on echoing the brown sections, which ended up giving the quilt a 3-D look.

I used an Art Gallery print from my stash on the backing that I thought went well with the top. I quilted it using gold and teal Aurifil threads. The batting is Quilters Dream Cotton Select. The solids are Michael Miller Cotton Couture.

Overall, I'm pleased with this quilt and it will definitely remind me of my trip to Peru every time I look at it.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Kaleidoscope BOM - Month 4

Can you believe that we're 1/3 of the way through the kaleidoscope BOM now? I know I can't. The flowers are starting to bloom here in New England. It also means I can sew with the windows open in my studio, which is exactly what I did when sewing these blocks together.


This first block is fun. It uses a gradation of fabrics from dark to light, outside in, to create depth and movement. I tried making a scrappy version of this block and it created a much different effect. I happen to like the gradation in this block, as I'm getting enough of a scrappy feel with the variation of fabrics in the quilt blocks.


As you can see, we have a theme this month with flying geese. In this block, the geese are going away from the center of the block. You could also make this one scrappy if you wanted that look. Below is the same block in different fabrics. I think I'm going to use the aqua block above because I like the contrast in the aqua and the background more, but I do love the purples and lemon colors together in the block below. This just goes to show you how changing up the fabrics can make a big difference in the final product.


Want to download these blocks and join along? Check out the Craftsy page here. Don't forget to share your work using the hashtag, #kaleidoscopeBOM.


Check out the previous months too:
Month 3
Month 2
Month 1
Fabric Selection

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Kaleidoscope BOM - Month 3

Can you believe we're already onto month three of the Kaleidoscope BOM? It feels like New Years 2016 was just the other day. I'm so excited about these two blocks because they start to get a little more detailed, which adds a new layer of dimension to these blocks. 


This first one is so cool to me. I love the way the orange in the middle creates a pinwheel, but it also adds a ton of depth to the lemon star. The plum secondary background adds a cool dimension to this block as well. I love the effect of the kaleidoscope pieces extending into the background as an optical illusion. The quilting could really enhance this when we're done. 

The second block for month three is also so fun. This one has a great out of space vibe to it. Maybe it's the fabric selection or the angles of the center of the star and the star itself, but I feel like I'm on Space Mountain going through the galaxy on a space ship. This just goes to show you how the fabric choice and pattern can really make a block pop. 

If you want to download these blocks and join along in our BOM, hop on over to Craftsy. And remember, if you make any, make sure to share them on social media using #KaleidoscopeBOM

Check out the previous months too:
Month 2
Month 1
Fabric Selection

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Butterfly Garden

Earlier this year, Northcott put out a call for quilts for their QuiltCon booth. As one that's always designing new patterns and constantly has multiple sketches and ideas running around my head, I answered their call and submitted a fun, whimsical, yet modern quilt design, which they accepted. I used a bunch of Northcott fabrics along with a tone on tone black print to come up with the quilt you see below, Butterfly Garden.
I was designing a few baby quilts for a soon-to-be baby girl in the family and this was one of my sketches. I ran with it and love the outcome. The color palette was inspired by my printer cartridge. It's amazing where you can find inspiration these days.

I quilted this quilt to look like the butterflies were flying in the wind using some simple wavy lines. Whenever I quilt a quilt, I always pick my quilting with intention, whether that quilting is complex or simple. In this case, I thought some complex quilting motifs would distract from the pattern. I thought about quilting some antenna on the butterflies, but decided against it at the last minute.

After giving a talk at a local quilt guild recently and previewing this quilt, I was encouraged to draft up a pattern for this quilt. If you'd like to make your own Butterfly Garden quilt, hop on over to Craftsy and download the pattern. If you make one, send me a picture, I'd love to see it.

QuiltCon opens this morning, so once I get a good shot of the Northcott booth and this hanging, I'll be sure to include a picture in some of my QuiltCon posts.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Kaleidoscope BOM - Month 2

Where did January go? It feels like I just introduced the Kaleidoscope BOM a week or two ago and we're already launching month two.

Month two has some really awesome blocks in it. This first block would be amazing repeated in a quilt. I'd be interested in seeing the movement that the light teal would work that way. As just a single block, I feel like I'm on Space Mountain at Disney World, just zooming into space. 

The second block for this month is a bright and cheery star kaleidoscope block. I really like how the white background intersects the orange star in this block to give it a great effect. I love star blocks that are framed up, and the use of the same color of fabrics in two different tones really has a nice effect here. 
I can't wait to see what you make with these blocks. If you want to participate in the BOM, download the blocks on Craftsy here. Don't forget to hashtag your blocks using #kaleidoscopeBOM.