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!

 

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!

Christmas Pu- I mean, Fun Time!

Alright, this post is snow joke. Also, if you don’t like Christmas-themed puns you should probably leave because otherwise yule be sorry. No getting incensed on this blog, y’hear?! Buckle into your sleighs, because this one is going to be one wild reindeer ride!

A friend contacted me and asked if I would be willing to make her a Christmas quilt. Being the lover of Christmas (really the whole season) I am, I eagerly accepted. Especially since I have had the mistlefortune to never finish a Christmas quilt myself. (But, side note, JoAnn had a huge sale back at the beginning of the month and I got myself about 12 yards of Christmas fabric for about $35. Woo!)

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You’ll be happy to be informed that I had the presents of mind to design this quilt myself, and didn’t make it from a kit or steal an idea off Pinterest (although that is where we started looking at first).

img_1113I took a simple Irish chain design and added a couple of borders. The Irish chain was the part that was the easiest. It went sledding rapidly down the hill from there. It’s not that the design was hard, it was just time intensive. 238 2.5” HST meant a LOT of cutting, trimming, and line drawing. I used the 8 at a time method, and it STILL took longer than the applique and main part did together. It was snow frustrating. Honestly, the worst part wasn’t the time it took, it’s that because it is a holiday quilt I had a deadline to get it done, so I had to do it quickly.

img_1148When arranging the border HSTs I did it in such a way that it almost looks like a DNA strand. Yes, I will be doing this again in the (very far) future, when I’m not on such a huge time crunch. It’s the same arrangement for each row, you just flip the rows each time. I made 9 patch blocks and then put them together. The HST border is separated from the Irish chain by a simple 2.5” red border. I think it grounds the design.

At each corner, instead of doing more HSTs, I did simple but cute applique designs. The four designs were candy canes (sweet and to the point!), a poinsettia (also, right to the point-setta), Santa’s hat (blanket stitching the white part to the white background was ho-ho-horrible), and a Christmas tree (fir god’s sake, it’s definitely my favorite one!). As mentioned, I just used a simple blanket stitch on the outside of each design.

I learned a valuable lesson, however. I used some of the interfacing that helps the fabric stick on the quilt while you sew it on, and I forgot that I need to put it on the WRONG side of the fabric. I didn’t even realize it for the first few parts because they were all solids so it didn’t matter. But I had to re-cut the candy canes and the tree. I based them loosely on designs from EQ and then modified and freehand drew them on the interfacing.

For the quilting I picked a snowflake design in white to make it look a little bit like there was snow falling in front of the quilt. To be quite frank(incense), I really, REALLY like how this quilt turned out. And the design was pretty easy! I’m thinking about making this into a pattern for people to use in the future.img_1115

I guess this wraps up this post! Hopefully nobody got too incensed, and instead found quite a bit of myrrh-th from all these puns. I’ll take a bough and see myself out. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all who don’t celebrate Christmas!

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Spring Thoughts

I participated in a block exchange with my quilt group last year; and since my turn was in January, I asked for spring blocks. And I absolutely loved what I received! Everything from pieced half-square triangles to intricate applique. It’s a wonderful variety!

Here’s close-up of some of the blocks:

As our weather here in Virginia starts to turn from just fall to full-out winter, I thought today would be an appropriate time to remind us of what we’re missing out on. Because I’m a cruel and capricious person, that is.

To put the blocks together, I decided to just do a simple white border in between each block. I created this quilt top all the way back in January, when I wasn’t as sure of what I was doing, and so the blocks don’t quite match up with one another throughout the quilt.

But I didn’t make this quilt for a show, so I’m not too worried about it!

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Sorry about the sunlight in the picture; it got REALLY sunny right as we were taking the photos. But again, all I want this quilt to do is keep me warm in the wintertime, so I wasn’t too picky with my shots. Oops!

For the border/backing, I picked out this adorable little floral print at JoAnn that I thought met with some of the fabrics in the blocks. I had it quilted in a cute little flower pattern that tied in well with the spring theme. And finally, to bind it, I actually picked out a light purple that was present (barely) in the border and backing fabric. I REALLY like how the purple ties in with the border/backing fabric and with so many of the other blocks!!

Anyways, enjoy your holiday week!!

 

Follow the Yellow Brick Row!

It’s been awhile; it has been a crazy couple of weeks. The good news though, is that I have a lot of my quilts finished!

img_0813Back in February, I went to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Virginia. While there, I happened to come across a booth that sold exclusively Kaffe Fassett fabrics and kits that used his fabrics. If you aren’t familiar with K.Fassett, he creates quilts and fabrics that are full to bursting with vibrant, over saturated color. In the booth I saw a quilt made from a brick pattern, and fell in love with it.

I’ve always loved K.Fassett’s fabrics and quilts, and so I purchased the 18 fat quarters needed for the quilt and some white as well as the white fabric. Now, I am not usually a fan of yellow, but the colors and vibrancy of these fabrics… I fell in love.

So, I brought the fabric and pattern back home, and created the lap quilt. After creating the lap quilt, however, I counted my remaining pieces that I had and realized I had more than enough to make a baby quilt from the leftover pieces.

This is the baby quilt I made:

 

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I am absolutely in love with this quilt and I wouldn’t even CONSIDER trying to sell it except that I have the lap size quilt that I think I will keep.

The quilting pattern I picked out was that of a daisy, and I think it compliments both the quilt and the pattern on the fabrics very nicely. I call these two quilts “Follow the Yellow Brick Row” because, well, they’re yellow, and their bricks, and I went down the “road” when sewing the rows together… and everyone knows I stole the thought from The Wizard of Oz. I’m not fooling anyone, am I?img_0817

The lap quilt looks very similar to this, just larger. Getting the rows just right so the same fabric didn’t wind up next to each other too often was exhausting, but I really, REALLY like this quilt! I haven’t had my lap quilt sent off to be quilted yet, but I will be doing that very soon now! I’ll give it it’s own (much shorter) entry just so it doesn’t feel ignored.

Halloween Quilt – “Spectre-acular”

Get it? “Spectre-acular?” Spectacular? Don’t worry, I’m okay with being the only one to find that funny.

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I’ve just finished a wonderfully-timed theme quilt to get in the Halloween spirit. I used a new pattern (for me)- the disappearing 4-patch- to create this quilt. It  is such a quick and easy block,  it didn’t take me very long at all. I managed to get the whole top put together in just over a week to send off to the quilters. (I did work on it each night, however.)

I created this quilt on a whim, too! I was in JoAnn Fabrics for something else (can’t even remember what) when I saw that the Halloween fabric was 40% off. (This was back sometime in August – they are no longer on sale.)

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Sample block.

I got a half-yard of 10 different fabrics; I specifically tried to find prints that were either mostly orange or mostly black. (Included in those 10 were a half-yard each of solid black and orange.) Cutting each half-yard into 5 inch blocks, I made piles of each fabric and put them together in a simple 4-patch block. Then, I cut horizontally and vertically twice, each an inch away on either side of the middle seam. The hardest part of this quilt was stopping the fabric from moving when I moved the ruler. Then I flipped the little cut pieces and put them all back together (keeping the center square where it is. I always pressed towards the black fabric so that when I was putting the blocks back together the seams nestled neatly together.

I wish I had taken some more pictures of this process! Next time.

For the backing I chose a orange, light purple, and black plaid print. I was waffling between the plaid and glow in the dark bats, but for some reason the plaid was different enough from what you normally see in Halloween prints that I had to do it, and I’m so glad I did! I machine bound it using solid black. I was tempted to use orange thread to bind it, but my binding isn’t always perfect, so I held off this time. I was able to create 4 perfect corners this time, however, so that’s a plus!


For the quilting, I really love the pattern I picked out. Originally it was going to be witches’ hats, then bats, but then I saw the ghosts. (If I had seen one for pumpkins I probably would have picked that one.) I fell in love! Super cute!

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I absolutely love how it came out! It really feels like Halloween with it around. I’ve got lots more quilts out at the quilters right now, so hopefully soon I’ll have some more to share! Next weekend I’ll be making a post about different ways to display your quilts at home.

Also, does anyone have any idea why some of my pictures are showing up blurry when there’s more than one? Are they blurry on your screens, or is it just on mine? If you click on them to load, they sharpen up, but the snapshots are blurry. It’s driving me batty! (HAH- admit it, that one was funny.)

HST Lap Quilt – “Heartbeat”

I’m so excited to show off a quilt top that I not only pieced myself, but I designed myself on EQ7! I may have shown this one off before, and since I’m about to send it off to the long arm quilter, I’m sure I’ll show it again.

Here’s the design on the left and the top on the right:

 

It’s a relatively simple design, but the way the colors look always made me think of a heartbeat. I love love LOVE how it turned out!

I found a tree with a low, bare branch and tried to take a few “fun” photos. I also dragged my dh into it, but the wind made that a bit tricky.

Two layer cakes went into this quilt, with enough left over for me to have some grey 10” squares. I cut them up into 5” squares and put them with the rest of my 5” scraps.

Also, I’ve started a new habit of cutting all leftover fabric into 2.5” squares, 5” squares, and 2.5” strips. Anything smaller than that I throw away. Otherwise, I found I just have too much fabric left over. And since I’m usually a big fan of kits anyways… I’d never use the scraps unless they were already good to go. I’m thinking I might start an Irish Chain quilt soon with some leftover fabric I cut into 2.5” squares. I’ve got a lot of projects, though, so… whoops!

Have a great week!