My cousin recently had her first baby and my mom was chatting with me about a gift for her. I, of course, was like a quilt, duh! I looked around for a few different quilt block styles and settled on the Rail Fence design. I used this tutorial by Suzy Quilts as a basis.
My mom and I looked at a few different fabric options. She really wanted something super girly, so we settled on the Little Brier Rose line from Riley Blake. I purchased a jelly roll (for the first time ever!) and man, it makes such a difference to take the cutting out of making a quilt!
I started by laying out all the strips and sorting them by color. I stuck to the cream, pink and blue shades and set the others aside.
I wanted to do somewhat of a variegated from cream to pink to blue, so I mixed up the strips into groups of threes. After stitching the trios together, I cut them into the block size and then started the layout. I recently was gifted with a large quilt planning board and I had such fun laying out all the different ways to combine the blocks.
I had purchased some floral for the back, but after talking, we decided to do just a solid flannel that my mom found at JoAnn’s. I ended up using the pink floral that I had purchased for the back for the binding.
The quilt ended up being around 38×44, which is just about right for a baby quilt I think. I quilted it with a curvy stitch over each vertical strip seam.
It was loads of fun to put together and I will for sure be putting this Rail Fence block design in my back pocket.
I’ve made a quilt for pretty much everyone in my family except for my dad. He is a retired Air Force Navigator and I really wanted to make him an airplane themed quilt. Most air place themed quilts tend towards juvenile so when I finally saw the Let’s Fly by Stacy Iest Hsu quilt I knew it would be perfect.
I decided to do a mix of Moda Grunge Blues for the Air Force instead of the rainbow strips as the pattern shows. I really love the Moda Grunge line and I wish I had a source locally that carried most of the color ways. It was super hard to pick a good variety of shade differences on the computer. I quilted it with a wavy stitch and backed it with a piece of plain flannel.
Overall this is a pretty simple pattern. It’s basically strip piecing and the airplanes are templates you piece together. But, making the quilt was totally a slog due to some frustrating issues with the pattern instructions.
To begin with, the cutting is crazy annoying. I knew I’d be cutting strips, which isn’t as fun as piecing things, but still. In one case, the pattern has you cutting WOF strips and then sewing them together to make 43.5” lengths. I did a couple of these before I realized that this was stupid…most fabric’s WOF is 44”. 🤦🏼♀️
I also had some issues with the template pieces not matching the measurements listed in the pattern. These were template pieces so I didn’t think I made a mistake with cutting. I had to modify some pieces to make it all fit. (I honestly wish there was a paper piecing option versus templates because it would have made these blocks much more exact. If I make this again, I’m going to figure out a way to do that myself.)
Nevertheless…I still appreciate the pattern and my special recipient did too!
Back in early 2021, the Modern Quilt Guild did a Challenge where you had to create a quilt based upon trees. Back during the time I was deeply embedded in hand embroidery, I had started a whole series on stump work insects. One of my projects during that time was a combination of quilting and hand embroidered stump work. I made this stump work luna moth and also made some bracket fungus and even some little mushrooms…and then quickly stashed it all away.
When this challenge popped up I decided it was time to redeem this UFO and make something of it – or at least finish it. I decided to leave off the bracket fungus and mushrooms and just focus on the luna moth. I had originally planned for this to set inside a shadow box, but when I decided to turn this into a wall hanging I knew I would need to extend the sides a bit and make it larger. I ended up just adding a few more strips of brown on each side – quilting them down and moving on.
I had originally bought a mixed bag of green trims for the bottom of the tree and digging that out, I decided to sew down a few bits of that for the bottom.
I finished up a stack of green hexes for the tree top and sewed those down on the top. I used some brown Essex linen for the binding and the back and voila…a mostly redeemed unfinished object that is now happily hanging in my daughter’s room.
I’m thankful for this challenge that pushed me to get rid of at least one unfinished project in my bottomless box of UFOs.
Every year the Modern Quilt Guild does a fabric challenge leading up to Quiltcon. I’m always up for some free fabric and the challenge to design something. This year I really wanted to do something with text. I’ve seen so many quilts with letters floating around I wanted to try my hand at it.
I had the idea to do grace upon grace upon grace, based on the verse from John 1:16. I ended up using all the fabrics included in the challenge and had to track down some more grey in order to finish up the quilt.
I asked around within my own guild if there was anyone who could do some free-motion text for the quilting and finding no-one I decided I would try to tackle it myself. I practiced tracing the text and ended up doing better just free handing it. I wrote the bulk of the verse: Out of his fullness we have all received” over and over again. I don’t know that free-motion quilting is going to be the norm for me, but it really was so exciting to see it all come together and actually work!
I texted in between the words and opted to not put the quilting on top – I just thought it would distract too much from the grace text. For the words grace, it wasn’t really planned piecing so much as just trying to fit all the pieces together and fill them in to make blocks.