Friday, January 25, 2019

Seahorse Sanctuary

Elizabeth Hartman's Neighborhood quilt in her book Modern Patchwork is one of the earliest quilts on my queue. I added it a few years ago, determined to work on it some day, but my biggest challenge? I didn't know what fabric to choose.

My favorite part of the pattern is that each little house has a window where Elizabeth placed some fussy cut birds. That was adorable, and I knew I wanted to do something similar. Yet I could not find the right fabric in the right scale that also had coordinating fabrics to go with it. That is, until I got the idea of using her Reef collection.

Reef has a cute seahorses print that felt like they could be the residents in the houses! And so, my Neighborhood quilt moved underwater and became Seahorse Sanctuary. I chose a solid blue for the background to represent the ocean, and after choosing my fabrics (which is the hardest part) everything else fell into place. This was incredibly fun to piece too, as it's a log cabin, albeit in a funky way.

The blue represents water, of course, so I wanted to go with some watery motifs. Naturally, the first things I thought of were swirls, wavy lines, and pebbles. (But this could be a sky quilt and I'm sure I'll find an excuse to use these exact 3 designs.)

But the most fun part of this quilt are the houses. I decided to make each house slightly different, because of course the seahorses have their own decor choices. I used a variety of designs to represent texture on the houses, but I think the clamshells are my favorite. And I don't think I've ever used them before ... I never saw a good opportunity, but they totally work for houses, especially underwater houses!

Here's another house, with an underwater fern decoration:

I like how this quilt is really cute but it doesn't scream kid quilt. I'm not sure yet if I'll keep this quilt for myself or give it to one of my kids. Maybe we'll just share.


Linking up with: My Quilt Infatuation, Busy Hands Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Cooking Up Quilts, Sew Can She, and Powered by Quilting

Friday, January 18, 2019

An All Stars Assembly

I really enjoy the slow pace and different flow of English Paper Piecing projects, but if I thought Supernova was time-consuming, it was nothing compared to All Stars. I started actively working on this quilt top in June of last year, and I think no less than 200 hours went into it.

The most challenging part of this quilt is actually the fabric selection, which I did back in May. I resisted the urge to go with a kit (which is crazy expensive anyway), and instead painstakingly picked out my own fabrics (but still all Tula Pink), and allowing the rainbow of colors to wash from the top to the bottom. It took a great deal of planning and a great deal of fussy cutting, because I really wanted the colors in a bloom to relate to each other. I'm really pleased with the final look, even though in another medium I would have deemed this far too insane. But ... somehow I like it as a quilt.

This is by far the largest English Paper Piecing project I've ever worked on, and even though making the individual blooms was fun, assembling at the end was pretty tedious.

Part of the reason the final assembly was so tedious was because I don't like to take the paper pieces out until after the whole thing is assembled. I like how much structure and sturdiness the card stock gives it, and I like to keep that for as long as possible. I have this fear that the quilt would otherwise wrinkle and distort while I'm assembling it, or worse, that I step on it and rip it.

But it's finally done, and now it's ready for quilting ... hopefully sometime this year.

Friday, January 11, 2019


It took a year of procrastination, but Skyline has finally been quilted. It's a great one to start the year with, though! Besides my script-generated Haphazard quilts, Skyline is the only quilt that I have "designed", and by that I just mean that I didn't use somebody else's pattern.

I love sampler quilts, but I don't like traditional sampler layouts, so I came up with this after seeing Art Gallery Fabrics's display at QuiltCon one year. Their display was inspired by the Miami Skyline, and it was simple blocks (made of cardboard, probably?) where each set of block makes a building. I drew my ideas on paper before trying it in EQ7 to make sure the proportions worked.

I only used super simple blocks here, but there's a good variety. Fabric selection was by far the hardest part of this quilt, and to this day I wonder if I made the right choices. Too late for that, of course. But where I'm very happy with my decisions is the quilting.

With the big sky background, it's a nice little playground. Scary, but nice. I quilted a lot of leaves in the corner to make it look like somebody was viewing this skyline through a window, and I had to add in a big rainbow. I won't lie, the rainbow is precisely the reason I procrastinated on this quilt for nearly a year. I knew what I had to do, but the thought of marking it and then soooo much rolling back and forth on the frames didn't sound fun. And it wasn't ... but it was worth it. I had to get a rainbow in the sky here!

Once I got the sky quilted, the buildings were a cinch. I love quilting sampler quilts because I can throw on so many designs in a quilt, and I don't get bored while quilting because there's always something new. Pretty much all my favorite designs made an appearance in the buildings somewhere.

I think this quilt came very close to what I was envisioning in my head. Of course, if there's an area I'm unsure I made the right decision, it was the fabric choices, but overall I'm pretty happy with it!


Linking up with: My Quilt Infatuation, Busy Hands Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Cooking Up Quilts, Sew Can She, and Powered by Quilting

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