Thursday, April 9, 2015

3 Easy Steps to Picking Great Quilt Colors

Picking a color scheme for a quilt can be one of the most challenging parts of quilt making. I used to agonize over picking colors until I paid attention to the fabric.

Fabric designers have already done the hard work of selecting colors that go together beautifully. Letting the fabric be your guide in color selection makes it easy to choose a color scheme for a quilt.

There are three steps:

1. Select a multicolored fabric that you love.

Lark fabric_Amy Butler

In my case, I picked a print from the Lark collection by Amy Butler.

2. Look for the little circles of color on the selvedge. These circles show you the different colors that were used to make the fabric. Some fabrics may use 2 or 3 different colors. Others may use as many as 12 or more different colors. Either way, the circles provide you with a color scheme that coordinates nicely.


In the Lark example, there are 6 colors that make up the print: 3 blues, 2 greens, and 1 cream.

3. Go through your stash (or the fabric store) and pick colors like those on the selvedge. The colors of the fabrics don't have to be exactly the same as the colors on the selvedge. A color that is a different value, either lighter or darker than the color on the selvedge will work. But be sure the fabric color is in the same color family as one of the circles on the selvedge.


Put the fabrics all together and I guarantee you'll have a great color scheme for your next quilt!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A New W.i.P.

Whenever I finish a project, I feel a tension between what I need to do - finish those w.i.p.s. - and what I want to do - start something new.

This weekend, I ignored the stack of w.i.p.s. and started something new.

I've had my eye on making the quilt on the cover of Modern Log Cabin Quilting by Susan Beal ever since the book came out in 2011.

Modern Log Cabin Quilting book

I rummaged through my scraps and pulled out blues and greens.


Each block of the Modern Crosses quilt is made of 4 simple log cabin units. When the units come together, they form a cross. Simply genius, Susan!

Modern Crosses Block

I've got 5 blocks done so far. 55 to go!

Modern Crosses Blocks

If you're curious about how I picked the colors for this quilt, stay tuned. Tomorrow, I'll share 3 easy steps for picking the perfect color scheme.

Linking up to W.i.P. Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What helps you meet your goals?

One day back in February, I had a burst of energy and started a new quilt.

I pulled out scraps - because I am determined to deal with my scrap problem - and started cutting and stitching with no plan in mind. I used blue and green scraps with beige and tan pieces. I added a bit of orange just because.

Improv mini quilt top1

In one day, I made a mini quilt top.

Improv mini quilt top2

And then the little top hung on my design wall for a week, then two weeks and now more than a month while life has whizzed on.

Improv mini quilt top3

I think it's time to get this little quilt done.

So, I'm setting this quilt as my April goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. I've noticed that setting a public goal spurs me to action in a way that the to-do lists I write in my notebook rarely do. There is something about letting the whole world know what I want to accomplish that helps me get it done.

What about you? What works to help you meet your quilting/sewing goals?

Linking up to ALYoF!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Finished Social Tote

Have you ever finished a project and felt a sense of victory?

That's how I'm feeling about finishing my Carolyn Friedlander Social Tote!

Social Tote

I learned a lot in the process and have a much better sense of putting together a tote like this one with different compartments. For a couple of in-process photos, see this previous post here.

One of my favorite things about the totes was making the handles. The instructions for making them were a new-to-me technique that made the handles come together easily with a neat finish.  

Social Tote_handles

The other thing I like was the optional pincushion. It's a nice, chunky pincushion. I filled it with batting scraps to give it some puff and raw rice grains to give it some weight. 

Social Tote_Pincushion

One thing I would do differently if I were to make the tote again is to adjust the size of the lining and make it a bit smaller so that it would fit more a bit more snugly inside the outer shell. I'm thinking that either making the pieces smaller or taking a larger seam allowance would work. 

Social Tote_Inner Shell

All in all, it was a great learning experience!  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Selfish Sewing

A while ago I picked up the Social Tote pattern by Carolyn Friedlander and Anna Graham of Noodlehead. I had visions of a little tote sitting next to my sewing machine filled with my sewing doohickeys.

Social tote pattern

But it wasn't until Selfish Sewing week this past week that I decided to give it a try. Selfish Sewing week is a week dedicated to sewing something for yourself. What better time to make my visions of having a Social Tote come true?

I decided to make the tote using one of my favorite Cotton and Steel prints from the Mochi collection by Rashida Coleman-Hale. For the lining and trim fabrics, I'm using solids in purple and turquoise.

Social Tote_In Progress

I'm about halfway through the tote. I made it through the hardest part, putting together the inside, thanks to the great photos on Carolyn's website.

Social Tote_In Progress2

Now to put it all together. Wish me luck and some free time!

What about you? Did you do some selfish stitching this week?

Monday, March 9, 2015

And the Rainbow Goes to...

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway for the RJR FQ bundle of Basically Patrick and The Motley Wheel pattern!

RJR_Basically Patrick

Of 230 entries, says that the bundle and pattern goes to #78!

True Random Number Generator  78Powered by RANDOM.ORG
Entry #78 comes from Rachel who writes:
  "Would love to try the pattern - and those colors are beautiful!"
Please join me in congratulating Rachel on winning everything she needs to make her own Motley Wheel!

Motley Wheel_RJR

The Motley Wheel pattern is available in my Etsy shop.

Happy stitching!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Want a Rainbow of Your Very Own?

A little while ago, the good folks over at RJR Fabrics sent me a box of goodies. Inside was a bright collection of fabrics from the Basically Patrick collection. They were destined to become The Motley Wheel. Made of tone-on-tone prints with subtle, small scale motifs, the Basically Patrick Collection is perfect for a project like The Motley Wheel since the prints give a hint of texture without overwhelming or distracting from the main quilt design. In other words, they are great blenders!

RJR_Basically Patrick

Instead of the improv version I made originally (seen here), I stitched together a version with a solid background using the RJR Cotton Supreme Solids in Cream.

Motley Wheel_RJR

I went a little crazy with the stitching, covering the quilt in dense stitching. In the spokes of the wheels, I filled in organic wavy lines.  For the background, I stitched tiny paisleys.

Motley Wheel_RJR_Close up

I stitched the center last. I almost filled it with paisleys, but when I "listened" to the quilt, I heard it screaming for something different. I decided on a spiral to keep the theme of circles going.  I made this spiral with my walking foot. Usually I start stitching spirals from the inside out, but I find that it is quite challenging to start in the center. This time I started the spiral from the outside going in. It was much easier. Give it a try for yourself!

Motley Wheel_RJR_Spiral

It was fun working with this bright set of fabrics. Would you like to win a set of these rainbow goodies? The generous folks at RJR Fabrics are giving away a fat quarter bundle of 24 fat quarters to one lucky reader in the U.S. or Canada. I'm sweetening the deal and throwing in a free copy of The Motley Wheel mini quilt pattern to that lucky reader. Will it be you?

Leave a comment for a chance to win. I'll close the drawing on Sunday, March 8th at 9 p.m. EST and let pick the winner.

If you are a no-reply blogger, please leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. To find out if you are a no-reply blogger, check out Adrianne's post here.

If you don't want to wait to win a copy of The Motley Wheel pattern, you'll find one in my Etsy shop.

Happy stitching and good luck!

The giveaway is closed.