Thursday, October 29, 2020

Bone & Chain

Since it's late October, I thought Bone & Chain would be a good quilt to finish and blog about! The pattern of Bone & Chain is by BasicGrey, and I used fabrics from Guicy Guice's Declassified line. I love the funky and fun colors in this quilt!

Without a doubt, this is the most intense and complicated cutting I've ever done. There are thousands of little pieces, and they come in all these different sizes. It was amazing I managed to keep track of them and not make a mistake, but I think the well-written pattern has a lot to do with it. The whole quilt is made of straight seams or snowball corners, but I would say the main challenge is keeping everything organized.

After all that piecing, the quilting is actually the easier part. The space is already pretty well divided, so I added in some straight lines for contrast and filled the rest of the background with a swirl.

The skulls themselves, however, were tough. I never quite know what to do with these "face" type quilts, to be honest, so I did some geometric dot-to-dot designs. I did have fun with the eyes though ... some of the skulls are totally dead, others have eyeballs.

This quilt was tough but enjoyable, and I'm so glad I finally finished it! I adore skull quilts and though this is my first one, it will not be my last.

For the back of the quilt, I used more of my Tula Pink backing fabric. It literally pains me to use such nice and expensive backing fabric like this (I'm cheap) but it does make the quilt feel even more special!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Facets ~ Adventure in Improv

Earlier this year I made the Scrappy Market Tote, an improv bag by Christina Cameli. I really loved the finished result, but I couldn't get enough of the palette of blue / green / yellows I picked, and I wanted to make a full-sized quilt with the same palette.

The pattern I decided on is Facets by Christa Watson. I love how the improv patchwork is juxtaposed with white fabrics for some breathing room, and the solid column of colors is perfect for a bit of balance.

In order to gather fabric however and for a truly scrappy look, I had to dive into my scrap bins. I have quite a few of them, and they're all incredibly heavy. I usually don't look inside them because I'm scared of facing my scraps, but I also don't have the heart to toss them. After pulling a ton of fabrics and ironing them and cutting them into random-sized strips, I had a good selection to work with.

The first step is to make large rectangular panels from where I could cut the shapes I need. This part was fun but also very exhausting. I realized that my brain is consistently on and I'm constantly making decisions when I'm doing improv, and it's not something I can help. The result is that I'm completely mentally drained at the end of an improv session!

After I had enough panels (it took a lot) I cut them into triangles for this quilt. I decided to use foundation paper piecing to make these blocks so they'll be perfect and so I don't have to buy any specialized rulers.

Final assembly took awhile as there are a lot of blocks, but it was exciting to watch this quilt come together.

Well, I'm really, really happy with it!

Thursday, October 8, 2020


It's been 3 years since Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic released her Fragile collection, and to this day it remains one of my favorite collections ever. I have made quite a few quilts with it, including Critical Sunshine and Paradox. And, it was because of Paradox that I have this new quilt.

Paradox was a quilt full of large flying geese made in the traditional way, and that meant I had a lot of leftover half-square triangles. I couldn't throw them away, so I decided to try to arrange them to see if I could come up with anything interesting. Happily, I did manage to arrange them in a manner that I found very pleasing, and after tacking on a wide border to fill it out a bit, I had in my hands a very nice throw-sized quilt.

I held onto this quilt top for about 2 years because I was just too in love with it to quilt it. (That statement made a lot of sense in my head.) But, I decided it's finally time. After some sketching, I decided on a design that both emphasizes the geometric lines of Fragile, as well as the theme of the fabric ... beauty in nature.

I always have a bit of trouble deciding what to do with borders, because I don't really like to treat borders like traditional borders. Instead, I prefer to think of it as a negative space. So I extended some of the quilting designs from the blocks out to the borders. I further divided the space and then filled the rest in with a mix of designs that reflect nature, such as leaves, feathery swirls, and pebbles.

The blocks had quite a bit of print on them, so I kept the quilting more minimal with dot-to-dot designs and straight lines.

After all this time, I'm finally done with Fragile, and I couldn't be happier with it. It really is everything I wanted it to be, and the best part is I didn't use up any of my precious hoard of Fragile fabrics to make this quilt, since it's made from leftovers!

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