Cavorting Colors

img_20190702_105243Cavorting Colors is an older UFO that I discovered around the same time as the Ambleside Picnic Quilt– although not as old. I bought 13 batik fat quarters a long time ago, with no real plan in mind, but I couldn’t pass up the fabric; especially the backing, which is probably one of my favorite batiks that I’ve ever seen.

I finally found the pattern in 75 Fun Fat-Quarter Quilts and saw this one. The quilt is pretty simple to construct- it’s two different blocks (alternating) made of half-square triangles. It was a fun, pretty quick quilt to make and I love how to colors just seem to be dancing around the quilt.

This quilt is intended to be a wedding gift- but I’m going to be honest, I’m not sure I can img_20190702_104517give it up! However, I am starting to run out of space (that’s a lie, but I tell myself that so it’s easier). But, also, I do actually enjoy gifting my quilts- as long as I know that I’m giving it to someone who can love and appreciate the time, effort, and emotion that went into making it. And since this particular couple is one who commissioned a  Christmas quilt from me several years ago, I know they’ll treasure this one too.

I wound up backing the quilt with my favorite batik of the collection; a multi-colored, butterfly-adorned batik. I had it quilted with flowers and swirls, and bound it with the orange batik from the collection. It’s a lighter batting in it, so it’ll be a perfect quilt for spring and summer nights when it gets a bit cooler.

Ambleside Picnic- a 4 year old UFO done!

The Ambleside fabric collection came out in 2015. I loved it and immediately bought myself a layer cake of it. I tried out one of the quilt postcards you see floating around. It was the perfect pattern for a beginner like me at the time- I had just started quilting in earnest for about a year by this point. The pattern is made up of squares and HSTs, and it came together quickly and easily.

mvimg_20190608_1350362-1Full of soft florals and plaids, I absolutely adore the overall look of the quilt. It’s springy and feminine, which was perfect for our current time of year. I added a pink border to pull out more of the pinks (which were my favorite in this quilt).

However, once I finished the top, I put it aside with the intention to have it quilted soon- but then life and other quilts got in the way and I forgot about it. Until this year, when I saw it peeking out from underneath my fallen leaves quilt top.

It was like finding a whole new quilt! I sent it off with the falling leaves quilt to get quilted at the same time.

I chose a GORGEOUS edge to edge pattern full of loops and swirls and circles that did a wonderful job showing off the happy, whimsical fabric. For the backing, I used a light blue wide-back fabric that I got from Connecting Threads. I used it for the binding too.

Also, I *love* the look of a contrasting binding and border. Especially pink and blue. Is that just me? It almost looks like there’s a second border.

I decided this quilt was perfect for a friend of mine I met last year when we moved to our new place. Over the time I’ve known her, she has been such a great friend and a huge help; picking up my son or dropping him off at preschool, watching my daughter when I was parent helper, being a friend when I needed one… the list goes on. It’s a wonderful coincidence that she has a daughter L’s age who will be in his grade next year as he enters Kindergarten.


I really love this quilt. It’s soft pastels made it really hard to give away as a gift, even to someone as deserving as my friend. But I really wanted to give her something special, not anything run-of-the-mill for everything she’s helped me with. I’m happy it’s with a friend and now I can start another one!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I started writing this blog post right after Thanksgiving. And then I left my computer charging cord at my mothers house… so now it DEFINITELY looks a lot like Christmas and I cannot believe it is only a week away!!

Luckily, I have all my presents bought and… thats about it. I still have to wrap them all. I hate wrapping presents. Its not even that I’m bad at it- I just don’t like it!! Fairly often, I wrap very last minute. But now with two kids, an exchange student (so basically three kids), and my husband (okay, four kids) to wrap for, I don’t have the luxury of delay anymore. Guess I have to put down the rotary cutter and put away my quilting gloves for the next few days.

…Yeah, right. Gonna be a last-minute wrap job as always! Quilting comes before wrapping, that’s what I always say!

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Anyways, in keeping with the holidays, I’m showing off a quilt I actually completed LAST Christmas, but wasn’t able to photograph/write a post about for the past year since I had my daughter one day after completing the binding on the quilt!

IMG_2061I used the pattern Scattered, sold by Freemotion on the River on Craftsy. If you want the pattern, feel free to click here. I chose this pattern because I wanted something to show off the beautiful collection of Christmas fabrics I’d been collecting (*ahem*hoarding) for the past few years without cutting them up too small. This pattern allowed me to do that, and came together quickly and easily. It’s a variation of a disappearing 9-patch, with sashing in between the blocks of the nine patch.

Below are some of the fabrics I used; this quilt is the closest I’ve come to fussy cutting my fabric… and I think thats the most I ever WANT to do!


For the border, I used a fabric by Robert Kaufman (I LOVE his Christmas collections), and for the binding a red and gold stripe I found at Joann’s. The backing was another fabric I found at Joann’s. I adore poinsettias, especially with Christmas colors.


IMG_2054The quilting is snowflakes on the main part of the quilt, to mimic the sashing fabric, with holly leaves and ornaments on the border. All in red thread. I adore this quilt! It is perfect for cuddling under during a cold night, with my snowman mug full of hot tea and a book beside me.

…While that’s a nice mental image, the reality is I use it when I manage to grab a couple minutes of shut eye during the day when my son is at school and my daughter goes down for her nap!

ALSO: If you want to see more of my day-to-day quilt and sewing shenanigans, follow me on Facebook and Instagram (@lemon_quilts). I post more often on there- my WIPs, sneak peeks of finished quilts, and I’ve also started practicing some free motion quilting!

I’m so excited to be getting back into my quilting groove. What Christmas projects have you finished recently (or not so recently? I love seeing them all!) I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season. See you all in the new year!

 

My “Special Snowflake” Quilt

I’m baaaack! It’s been a long time since I’ve made a post! Almost a year, in fact. Life was quite busy, what with moving from Virginia to Ohio and having a baby 6 months after that. Quilting took a back seat for awhile, due to my pregnancy making me super tired and taking a little bit  to set up my sewing room. But I finally got back at it… just in time for my daughter to be born. And Athena loves to be held and is a light sleeper, so quilting fell by the wayside a little bit after she was born. But I have a couple completed quilts to show over the next few weeks and hopefully will have more as time goes on!

And yes, I’m referring to my husband when I named this quilt “Special Snowflake.” He loves me anyway. Mostly because I made him this quilt!

This quilt was done using Rob Appell’s take on the 3 Dudes Quilt. It’s a really great tutorial, and he’s pretty precise on his directions. I like it because you only need one jelly roll of your choice and one 1.5” roll of your choice of solid color. I chose white because husband asked for a winter-esqe quilt, and I thought the white would stand out nicely against the blue. Plus it reminded me of snow with the blues representing ice.

While Rob makes the quilt look easy, it was definitely a learning experience for me (and not always a fun one!) When you put the blocks together, the seams meet up and get VERY bulky if you aren’t careful. As well, I had some blocks that weren’t quite the same size, and had to be stretched a bit.

I’ve never done a border like the one on this quilt (and no, I’m not talking about the solid border, but the pieced one.) I knew from previous quilts I had to be really careful about the strips stretching when I ironed them out, but they still weren’t even.

By the time the quilt was done, when I tried to lay it flat on the ground, the borders were so wavy they wouldn’t lay flat. I was a bit bummed but sent it off to the long armers anyway… and the quilting helped. It was near perfect when I got it back!

I’m really happy with how it turned out at the end, and got it done just in time to give to my husband for Christmas! He enjoys it, and uses it often (at least when I’m around!)

I’ll try to get the next post up in a week or so. See you then!

End of the Rainbow

This was a scrap quilt made with leftovers from another quilt (that I have yet to get quilted haha). I was able to finish the binding in time to take some truly gorgeous photos with the cherry trees outside, and I love them.

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I’ve long admired the Irish Chain quilts I’ve seen; I’ve loved their simplicity. And so when I realized I had enough scraps for my very own Irish Chain quilt… I simply had to. I designed it on EQ7 first, and then cut out the pieces for it.


It was so much fun. I really wanted it scrappy, so instead of doing long strips and cutting pieces out that way I did it individual piece by piece. Took a lot longer this way but I’m happy with how it turned out. I did decide however to not go with a white border around it and just went with the Irish Chain

img_1708I got the backing from Joann’s with a coupon so the cost was quite reasonable, which made me happy since it was a scrappy quilt. However, this batik is so bright and colorful; I think it really goes well with the quilt overall. It makes it so happy! I love the colors of pink/orange/yellow together, so this was absolutely perfect for me.

 

The quilting is adorable little flowers and bees. It’s pretty simple, and the layout of the quilt means that quite a few bees and flowers are framed in the centers of the chain links.

While taking pictures it was quite windy, so in order to get the whole quilt I had to lay it out on the ground. It worked pretty well, actually, and I was able to get the whole quilt in. But I’m short, so it’s on an angle. Still, I love it!

Only a couple more days until the end of the week! Thank goodness!

Kaffe Fassett Quilt- Sunshine Daisies

img_1501Yellow quilts. Never thought I’d make one. But one thing I’ve always wanted to do was to make a quilt using the over saturated fabrics from Kaffe Fassett. Last February, I went to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show and there was a booth that sold pretty much exclusively K.Fassett fabrics. They also had a bunch of kits you could get that used his fabrics. I fell in love with one in particular, and when I had the choice of pinks/reds, green/blues, or yellows, I chose the yellows, weirdly enough.

And I am SO happy I did! I absolutely adore this quilt. The best part was that I found out that after quilt assembly, I had more than enough leftovers to make the baby size quilt too. (Which I did, and you can find here.)

img_1509For this quilt I did the same quilting pattern as the baby quilt- flowers. (I think they’re daisies? I don’t know, I’m a quilter, not a gardener!) Although this time I left the color choice up to my longarm quilter, and she sent me a special surprise- variegated thread! I’ve always wanted to use variegated thread in my quilts and this will be the first one! It’s a yellow/orange combo, and I am so over the moon happy!

The backing is a simple yellow that matched with the yellow in several blocks. THIS one I’m keeping for myself, since I talked myself into selling the baby quilt.

I love how happy, bright, and vibrant this quilt is. It’s perfect for those long days when you just want a bit of sunshine in your life! I’m calling it Sunshine Daisies. For pretty apparent reasons. Whelp, it’s almost Friday! Yay!

Make It Rain(bow) Bargello Quilts!

Before we start off, I have to admit after writing that last post, I feel a little lame writing this one with no plans of inserting any rainbow-inspired puns into it. Oh, the hue-manity! (HAH, now I feel better. Carry on.)

Yes, you read that title correctly. Quilts, as in the plural form of quilt, as in I was crazy enough to make more than one of these insanely glorious quilts. BUT, I’m really happy I did, because now I can compare and contrast what works best and what to avoid if YOU ever choose to do this!

Back in my quilting infancy, when I thought I’d do this blog for more than just me, I found a post by Krystal Jakelwicz over at Lets Quilt Something.And seriously, when I mean in my infancy, I’m talking… 2 and a half, almost 3 years ago. But I’ve always, ALWAYS been a huge fan of colorful things, especially quilts, and I just couldn’t get this one out of my head. So I bought the two jelly rolls that you need for this quilt, opened one jelly roll and… didn’t do it for 2 years.

But, this year my quilt guild started a “UFO Challenge” where you put in a fat quarter into a pot and for every UFO you complete you get one entry into possibly winning the pot. So I pulled it out finally and started putting it together.

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Here’s a word of warning- when sewing strips together, of ANY length, make sure to switch the side you start sewing on every other strip. What I mean by that is that if you sew down the right side of a strip first, when attaching another strip to that first one, make sure you’re sewing from the OPPOSITE end. Otherwise, you wind up with a strip that bows out in the middle. And when the quilt calls for putting ALL 42 of the jelly roll strips together, you get a HUGE bow.

This was an issue because when I went to go cut the strips for the quilt, they weren’t straight. And when I say not straight, I mean the rainbow strips were more curved than a real rainbow. You can even see the puckering of the already attached strips where they didn’t meet up well- it was SO BAD. It made sewing the strips together unbelievably frustrating!! I wanted to quit 10 different times! But I’m no quitter.

It became a huge problem; to the point that by the second jelly roll I could no longer use the strip set. (Fear not, I found a different use for all that bowed fabric, as seen in my earlier A Happy Accident post!) I ended up using what I could from the second jelly roll and then just buying a 3rd one to use. Take a look at the difference below from when you sew them all the same direction versus when you sew them on in ALTERNATING directions:


Do you see the curve of those strips in the first picture?! It was awful. Learn from my mistake. Don’t do it. But the 3rd time was the charm; they went together very prettily and were MUCH straighter than the first two times. They weren’t perfect, but I think that just was because when you’re putting together 42 strips, the sheer weight of the fabric will cause a little bowing.

But, finally, the quilt came together, and I posted it on Facebook, so proud of myself. I chose a pink backing (because I love pink) and a swirling quilting pattern. I have to admit, I thought the pattern would be smaller to hit more of the top’s pieces, but it’ll be alright.

Not twenty minutes later after posting my finished quilt on Facebook, a friend contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to make her one too. And even though I wanted to bang my head on the wall, curl into a fetal position and cry, I agreed- and I am SO glad I did!

She chose to have her quilt backed in a gorgeous deep blue that matched one of the strip colors perfectly. And for her quilting pattern she chose a wave; this pattern had a much higher density, and I think really matched well with the “flow” of the quilt top. Hers is a stunning, STUNNING quilt, and if I didn’t have to give it to her because she paid me for it already, I’d keep it and put it in quilt shows. Want to see?

Having the chance to make the quilt again, I was able to avoid all the mistakes I made the first time around and make a much better quilt! Rather than posting the whole set of directions (just go to Krystal’s blog for the main directions), I will post just my “tips” for a quilt that comes together much more easily.

Tips for an Easy(er) Rainbow Bargello Quilt

  • On her website, Krystal tells you to start with the 1” strip. I found that starting with a 1” strip meant that the seams weren’t long enough, got stressed/pulled/unraveled super easily. So I recommend starting with a MINIMUM of 2”
  • For quilt #2, I started with 3.5” strips and worked down to 1 1/4” then back up. This way you get two ‘waves’ instead of just one. I enjoy the overall pattern of the second quilt more than the first one.
  • I got rid of the 1” strip altogether. The lowest I went was to 1  1/4” strip; I found that that helped prevent the seams from pulling apart.
  • If you DO wind up having a small strip where the seams are pulling apart, you can always attach a couple of strips to that side instead of the end. That is why the first quilt has 5 strips in front of the smallest part; I put those on at the very end to help keep that darn 1” strip from entirely coming apart!

Also, I got some quilt labels made on Etsy; and I absolutely LOVE them! Take a look! Ignore the stray threads; I clipped them after the photo… Oops!

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