The A-maze-ing Labyrinth

Another wedding, another quilt! This wedding was for a friend of mine that I’ve known going on 10 years, and was the Man of Honor at my wedding. (My husband had a Best Maid, so it evened out.)

His (now wife) fiancee has also become a good friend, and I was SO over the moon to hear they were getting married. However, they didn’t give me very long, and because they were such good friends I knew this quilt had to be something beyond what I usually do, so that put me in a bit of a tight spot. Plus, their wedding colors are purple and orange, and I was having a difficult time visualizing a pattern off the top of my head.

I decided to try the Amazing Labyrinth pattern that you can find on Craftsy. It’s a different design than the usual Labyrinth quilts you see, and I knew for certain that this quilt couldn’t be a run-of-the-mill quilt. Plus, I had always wanted to try a 3D maze pattern. The pattern itself comes with two sizes; full/lap size, and king size. I definitely didn’t want the king size, so I chose the full/lap size and added two borders. I wound up with a quilt 98”x93”, which I think is perfect for a queen size bed.

The way I chose fabrics for this quilt was I picked three solids (Kona) in shades of purple, and one batik that had the pop of orange I wanted. Originally, my plan was to get the same batik for the backing, but they only had 2 yards left when I went back to buy more, and I needed at least 9 yards for the backing. I wound up finding a solid orange 108” backing fabric, and thought that would be perfect. I actually used it as the binding, too, which I’m not sure I loved but was what I had on hand. (I forgot to add in yardage for the binding… oops.)

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There were 36 blocks in this quilt, and when people tell you that “these quilts aren’t that difficult, you just need to stay organized”… they are absolutely correct. The pattern recommended doing the quilt a block at a time- from cutting to piecing. So I cut out what I needed for the block, put it together, did the same for the second, then sewed them together. I made each row and sewed each block together as I went, and I did the same for the rows.


Each block was made of so many tiny pieces! As I put each row on, I would lay the quilt out on the floor to see if I could see the pattern emerge. And I have to admit, I was worried. By the 4th row, all I could see were the individual seams and I had a hard time finding the maze. I was really worried that I was about to spend all this time on a quilt that was going to be an utter failure.


BUT. The quilting saved this quilt! The borders helped, as did the last row, but it wasn’t until I got photos back from my long arm quilter (Julia Quiltoff; look her up, she’s purest magic with a needle!) that I really could breathe a sigh of relief. The maze pattern echoes the pattern in the batik, and smoothes out the quilt so that you don’t see just the seams and individual pieces, but the whole pattern. I was SO excited when I got the sneak peek photos back.


After putting the binding on, I had my exchange student (who had to stand on a chair) and my husband hold up the quilt before I wrapped it for the wedding. Which was the next day. I think my exchange student has a knack for holding up quilts for photos; can I keep him forever?

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It was really well received, which was the best part of the whole thing. I’m thrilled that they love it, and I hope it will keep them warm and comfortable for many years of marriage to come.

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!

 

Falling Leaves All Around

Yesterday, our magnolia tree in our yard had almost all of its leaves. This morning, it had two. TWO. My 5 year old kiddo had a BLAST jumping in the piles my husband made. My husband did not have a blast making the piles. Meanwhile, I made cookies inside where it was warm while the baby napped.

I also just recently finished a very topical quilt called Falling Leaves, from Connecting Threads. I love them because their fabrics are always super soft and the kits are always reasonably priced.

When I saw this quilt I fell in love with the soft, warm colors of the leaves and the plaid (which I immediately bought 7 and a half yards for the backing).

IMG_2140The kit isn’t actually available anymore, since I bought it in fall 2017 and just this year got around to making it. This turned out to be an issue because Connecting Threads didn’t give me enough of one of the fabrics needed (although when I called they let me pick a replacement fabric and sent it to me ASAP) and there almost wasn’t enough for yardage for the backing even though I bought exactly as much as they said to buy. The lesson I learned is check your kits when you get them. (Not that I’ll ever follow that lesson…)

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My quilting mom (my mother-in-law who taught me to quilt) was extremely generous inletting me steal her long arm and use it to quilt this quilt. At first, I envisioned doing some real fancy quilting, but when it came down to it… I chickened out and just did an all over loopy meander. Which, to be honest, I loved the look of once it was finished. I’m pretty proud of how “circular” my circles actually turned out.

I bound the quilt with a yellow plaid and borrowed one of my new neighbor’s front yards (and their mums and their pumpkins) to take a few photos of the quilt before the good weather disappeared for good! I was trying to hold out to find a tree with low hanging branches and beautiful leaves, but… I didn’t find one in time. I also stuck it in our magnolia

I’ve been doing a few quilts in the past few months, but life is finally starting to slow down enough where I can find a few moments in between life to quilt a bit more. Hopefully I can pick up posting them as well.

Bonus picture of our cat enjoying the quilt just as much as us (if not more!) Enjoy the rest of your fall and stay warm!

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Caribbean Waves Quilt (Craftsy Kit)

A friend of mine from Virginia was getting married; and so of course I had to make her a IMG_2099quilt! I met her at work, my last year. (Of course). And over that year, we hung out several times a month outside of work; she quickly became my best friend. I was so sad that I was leaving Charlottesville after JUST finding her!

But after she got married she moved down to New Orleans, and I’m sorry love, but no matter how much I like you, I am NOT moving to where you walk outside and it isn’t air but humid soup you walk into.

I had gotten this kit for myself in purple (still isn’t finished, of course), and loved it so much I got it in the blue as well. I *almost* kept both of them.

This quilt is a pretty simple design, made out of just two IMG_2100blocks that alternate; but the result is a gorgeous effect that gives an insane amount of depth to the design.

The purple quilt makes me think of space, and I almost did quilting to reflect that in this quilt, but the blues put me in mind of the crystal clear waters of the caribbean. So I chose a swirl to try to mimic the waves, and I’m pretty pleased how that turned out.

IMG_2090The fabric line was a new one that I haven’t worked with before- Boundless Fabrics from Craftsy. I love how soft they are, but MAN do they put out some crazy lint! I had to clean my machine pretty much each bobbin change there was that much lint/fuzz. But the fabric was easy to work with and the colors were oh-so vibrant. I’d definitely buy them for another project in the future.

Since I had met this friend down in Virginia and her wedding was there, I knew on the way down there was a scenic overlook that I knew would be PERFECT place to take the photos of the quilt. And indeed; both quilt and backdrop are spectacular.


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This quilt was also one of the first times I put my tags into the binding, and I have to sayit was much faster and easier than hand sewing them on afterwards. And I think they turned out well! Maybe for future quilts I’ll have more professional looking labels made for the corners from Etsy.

 

Hopefully I get the purple version done soon so I can show you both versions completed! (Although the background for that one will not be nearly as gorgeous as this!)

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Reach Out and Touch the Sky!

Yeah, you’ve got that song stuck in your head now, don’t you?img_0795

This is another quilt kit I found at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show. I was intrigued by it because even though it isn’t my normal style, I had never seen so many colors on one panel! Apparently the fabric is created using a new method, allowing for all these colors and designs. I really, really like it. And the fabric is great to work with as well!

I enjoyed making this wall hanging, and it was a pretty quick one to go together.

The other big news I have is that I’ve officially opened shop up at Etsy. I don’t know what will come of that endeavor (it may just be that nothing does!) but I will be happy enough just to say I’ve tried! Feel free to take a look-see over there.

Check out Lemon Quilts on Etsy!!

A quilty gift!

My husband’s best friend from college got married over the fourth of July, so we decided that rather than buying her a blender, I’d make her a quilt instead. So, I searched Craftsy.com and Connecting Threads, and finally found this (kinda) little beauty over at CT. I’m a huge fan of CT because their prices are very reasonable and the quality of the fabric is pretty awesome for the price.

Anyways, it was a full-size quilt (mostly) and for some reason, I really struggled to get it together. Not for any skill related reason, but simply because when I sat down to quilt I just never wanted to quilt it. It was a mental block, I think, most likely because by this point Dan had left Charlottesville to head to Cleveland for his law internship, I was home alone with the kiddo, it was the last two weeks of school, and I was just tired all the time.

But, once I joined Dan up in Cleveland, and once school finished, I found that I once again had the energy to quilt, and the quilt came together quite quickly. Plus, once I got past my mental block, I absolutely fell in love with the quilt. I sent it out to be quilted and chose a simple swirl stitch, but the quilter was wonderful and put some little flowers in the center of the nine-patch blocks to match the flower theme of the quilt, which I absolutely adore!

Anyways, enough talking, here’s the rest of the pictures!

I’ve been practicing my photo skills, and as an added bonus the apartment we are sub-leasing for the summer has fantastic natural lighting. But yeah! I really enjoyed how these photos turned out. Hopefully you do to!