a (late!) look back at 2015

I was kind of putting off this post, since thinking back it didn’t seem like I had finished many quilts this year. Then I took a quick peek and realized that there were many more than I remembered, so I decided that it would be nice to see them in a mosaic as in years past (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 – looks like I’m on the every other year plan!).

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(links to these quilts can be found under the Quilts tab)

I’m excited to see what 2016 will bring – we’re most excited for the birth of the new baby (any day now – and hopefully sooner than later!), and can’t wait to see how Max and Hazel settle into their new roles as big brother and big sister. One is more excited than the other, so it should be interesting! I also have big plans to make up lots of quilt backs and finally get many of those unfinished quilts finished. I think I may take some help in getting them finished by sending out the larger ones to be quilted. I’m not sure what the next quilt will be, though I’m dying to finish my Carkai stripe quilt. I’ve also been thinking a lot about another Maze & Vale quilt, something out of my large pile of solid and printed scraps, and maybe a series of free tutorials on constructing blocks from my Painted Paddles quilt. Do let me know if there are other things you’d like to see/read here.

As always, I so appreciate you taking the time to read my blog – thank you, thank you!

Posted in Posts about Quilts | 24 Comments

carkai improv stripes

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If you follow me on IG, you’ve likely noticed my obsession with Carolyn Friedlander‘s newest line, Carkai (I usually try to keep from posting the same fabrics over and over, but I haven’t been able to help it this time!). I bought a fat quarter bundle from a friend who snagged one early, and immediately put it to use in my diamond panes quilt. But I wasn’t quite done playing with this line, so when I received a layer cake from a generous sponsor (thank you, Brooke!), I decided to jump right in and make another quilt out of the layer cake and the remnants from the FQ bundle.

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I’ve had stripes on my mind for quite a while. I attempted to make something with stripes a while back with one of the C+S lines, but it didn’t work out as I had imagined (those stripes were too straight!). Ever since I’ve been waiting for the right line in order to attempt it again.

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I think the prints and colors of Carkai are just perfect for these improv stripes. I love pairing the various prints – especially since many of them aren’t colors I’d typically pair together, but somehow every pairing seems to work. This time around I cut my fabrics without a ruler to give more of that wonky, wavy look, and I tried not to overthink the print/color pairings.

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I love making blocks in this manner, though it does take longer than a straightforward pattern. I don’t have tons of time for sewing these days though, so making blocks one at a time worked here. I didn’t worry about block size – just used what I had and figured I’d fill in where needed after the fact.

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I finally filled the design wall with messy-looking striped blocks (I wait to trim them until I’m ready to piece together the quilt top, so before sewing them together things look pretty iffy!), and then had the opportunity to spend a lot of time this weekend putting this puzzle together. There’s usually a lot of staring at the blocks on the design wall – determining the best way to sew them together – along with a lot of additional sewing to make up all the extra filler blocks. I get such joy at seeing it come together and it gave me the motivation to get the top finished up (even though I kept eyeing the couch!)

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I love this one more than I thought I would now that the top’s finished, and can’t wait to see it as a completed quilt!

Oh! Of course I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Carkai is now showing up in shops! I highly recommend adding some to your stash!

Here are a few shops that have it in stock now -

Intrepid Thread
Fat Quarter Shop
Nido
FabricBubb
Westwood Acres Fabrics
Lady Belle Fabrics
Pink Castle Fabrics

Posted in Fabric, Posts about Quilts, Quilt Blocks | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Forest Fables blog hop (+giveaway!)

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I actually have two baby quilt tops to show you today, both made out of this great new in-house line from Hawthorne Threads, Forest Fables. I’ve been aware that Hawthorne Threads have been designing and printing their own fabrics for some time now, but I had yet to have a chance to use any, so when they asked me to take part in their blog hop, I took a quick peek at the prints and then said yes!

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The prints in this line are inspired by two fables – the Three Billy Goats Gruff and Chicken Little, and I love the details included in all of these prints. The kids, in particular, have declared the Billy Goats Gruff print as their favorite and pointed out every spot I used that print in my quilt!

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I selected a few prints from the Glade palette – I wasn’t sure what I’d make, but I selected more of the basic prints, which are what I’m drawn to for quilting.

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As the fabric is digitally printed, it does have a different feel than what you may be used to with regular quilting cotton. Hawthorne Threads recommends prewashing, which will soften the hand, and they also recommend using a sharper needle due to the higher thread count (I didn’t do either, as I’m no good at following directions, but didn’t have any problems while sewing).

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The first quilt I made uses just a bit of the fabrics, paired with Robert Kaufman’s Essex yarn dyed linen in indigo.

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It’s based on a pattern I saw on a floor once, and I drew up my own paper pieced pattern piece, though afterwards I realized it’s also similar to the Arkansas Traveler block, so you could use that template if you wanted to make something similar.

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Once I realized how much fabric I had left (I started with a fat quarter of each of these prints) I decided to make up a second quilt top. I opted to use one of my older free patterns, Rectangle Squared, and was able to make up a second baby sized quilt. I was reminded at how quickly this quilt comes together. I had all the blocks made in one afternoon, so if you’re looking for a quick project, you might give this one a try!

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I think at least one of these quilts will have this fun print on the backing – hopefully I can get that finished up so I can report back on how this quilt washes up! Five more weeks till baby #3 though — we’ll see how much I can get done before his arrival!

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Bundle Image

Have you made it this far? How about a giveaway? Hawthorne Threads is generously offering up a fat quarter bundle of the Glade palette. Please leave a comment here and I’ll select a winner Friday evening! Giveaway is now closed

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Update! A winner!! Random.org selected comment #95, Lynn, who said “The Billy Goats is a fun fabric. Love the quilts. All the best for the impending arrival.”

Congrats, Lynn! Look for an email from me!

Catch up with the rest of the Forest Fables blog hop!

Monday, December 7th – Brooklyn Pattern Co.
Tuesday, December 8th – Clover and Violet
Wednesday, December 9th – Taylor Made
Thursday, December 10th – Film in the Fridge
Friday, December 11th – Hawthorne Threads

Posted in baby, Fabric, Posts about Quilts | Tagged , , , , , , | 245 Comments