Monday, January 30, 2017

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch

I know it's the next to last day of January, but we're gonna back up a bit to some of the Christmas sewing I did this year because who doesn't want a little extra Christmas, amirite?
This particular sewing was all for my little guy, the world's biggest Dr. Seuss fan (see here, here, and here for past evidence). Despite being scared of the actual Grinch cartoon (I know, I know), he loves anything with the Grinch on it, so when this Grinch Advent calendar panel (from Robert Kaufman) arrived at the fabric store where I work, he jumped on it the moment he saw it.
Miraculously, I actually managed to finish it by December 1st, and we kept up with moving the Grinch along all month. We always travel for the holidays, and a few days before we left, he commented that we were going to have to have someone come over to the house to move the Grinch while we were gone. Ha! You can imagine how excited he was when we told him we could take the calendar with us. I think this one will be a favorite for a while.
I used a candy-cane print from my stash for the binding. Since this calendar hangs on the wall, I wasn't too worried about the backing, so I pieced it together using a bit of another Grinch print I had, along with a red and white herringbone print.
Then, about a week before Christmas, we wandered into Joanns for some notion, and of course they had the Christmas fabrics right up front, so B insisted on looking to see if they had any Grinch fabric (because, obviously, we needed more). I actually bet him that they wouldn't, a bet I obviously lost. I simply couldn't turn him down when he asked if I'd make him a Grinch quilt, though I warned him that I wouldn't be able to do it until after Christmas because there just wasn't time. He agreed, and the fabric came home with us.
True to my word, it was the first project I undertook when we returned home, and I took it easy on myself by just making a simple wholecloth quilt. The flannel I used for the backing had been hanging out in my stash for a while, and this seemed like the perfect use, combined with a black and white dot and a green Cotton + Steel Dottie print for the binding. For the quilting, I went with a simple diamond crosshatch in red thread.
B's slept with it every night since I finished it, which makes for one happy mama.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

January do.Good Stitches blocks

For January's blocks for the Emerge circle of do.Good Stitches, Allison was inspired by this awesome log cabin quilt and asked us to create blocks that would come together to form a similar look: two log-cabin blocks (strips any size we wanted), one with roughly 50% white, off-white, and/or cream fabrics and 50% blue and green fabrics (with a tiny bit of yellow if we wanted) and a second block that was 90-95% white, off-white, and/or cream and just a bit of color. Hope she likes where I went!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tessellation quilt: A finish!

Back in October, I revealed the Tessellation quilt I finished for RJR Fabrics' What Shade Are You? Blog Hop, and now I'm finally getting around to posting all of the details here.
I love working with solids, so I jumped at the chance to try out RJR’s Cotton Supreme Solids for the first time. I’m a big fan of Cotton + Steel fabrics (a division of RJR), so I expected the Cotton Supreme Solids to be the same great quality, and they did not disappoint. The colors are so vivid, the fabric has a beautiful hand, and they were truly a pleasure to work with.
In fact, the hardest part was deciding which colors to choose. When the Cotton Supreme Solids color card arrived, I couldn’t seem to narrow down the options. They were all too good! So I shifted to choosing my pattern, which turned out to be a no-brainer. I had wanted to make the Tessellation quilt (pattern by Nydia Kehnle and Alison Glass) since I first saw it, and I knew it would look so good made up in solids, so it seemed like the perfect choice. The pattern calls for 25 fabrics, so I started with the blues and teals (my favorites) and then expanded to the cool pinks and purples to round out my selection. I chose the following Cotton Supreme Solid colors for my quilt top: Fairy Princess, Candyland, Charlotte, Rio, Rhododendron, Pink Orchid, Bougainvillea, Hydrangea, Amethyst, Caviar, Hyacinth, Periwinkle, Cloud 9, Carolina, Lancaster Sky, Anemone, Electric Blue, Robins Egg, Riviera, Turks & Caicos, Horizon, Bora Bora, Schooner, Proud as a Peacock, and Celeste.
Additionally, I used Geo Drops in Teal (from Rashida Coleman Hale’s Raindrops collection for Cotton + Steel) for the backing. I love how the hexie drops mimic the triangular shapes on the front of the quilt.
The quilt is composed of five triangle designs, and it was so fun to start playing with the colors to see how different combinations would work in each piece. I spent many a night with rows of paper-pieced sections laid across my work table and floor, shuffling and rearranging.
When it came time to quilt it, I struggled with choosing just one thread color, so instead I chose 16! The obvious alternative, right? I quilted diagonal lines in a triangle shape roughly one inch apart, changing my thread color every three to four lines. There are 15 thread colors on the front, reflecting the range of blues, teals, purples, and pinks in the solid fabrics, and one color on the back, chosen to match the color of the hexies in the backing print. I wish I could capture the colors in the quilting better in the pictures. They really are so fun in person.
I’m so pleased with the final quilt in all of its saturated solid glory. The movement across the blocks makes me think of a sparkly geode or shattered glass, and it has such great visual interest, keeping your eye bouncing from one section to the next. This was definitely a perfect solids project, and it was a joy to get to work with these lovely fabrics.
If you're looking to branch out from the usual solid suspects (Kona, Moda Bella), I'd highly recommend giving RJR's Cotton Supreme Solids a try. They have a similar feel to Konas (a little heavier than Bellas), and the colors are bold and saturated.