My week for Moda Blockheads! Yay! I am newly back from Quilt Market in Houston (just arrived home late Monday night) and woke up Tuesday morning with the thought of "BLOCKHEADS!!" When I am getting ready for Market, a lot of other things get pushed to the side and making my block became the task of the day. Seriously, I made my block instead of unpacking my quilts and clothes from the trip!
I knew I had to make my star block in my new WINTERLY fabrics that I was just showing at Market! I'm going to be making a holiday quilt to go along with the line and that is why a lot of my color studies have been skewing towards the greens in color...my brain has been piecing Christmas quilts for months. The 12" block I made has a mixture of Crimson Thatched AND Dotty Thatched (which we mix into a line from time to time and reminded me of snowfall for this winter group) and a cheery striped print and some of my whimsical flying birds. I used the Dotty Thatched Cream for the background of the smaller 6" block with greenery and pine stripes for the side stars and a red bird in the center.
My concept for "Community Star" is the idea that one star is in the center and the community of others is surrounding, supporting and reaching out to it. There are 4 partial stars that show half their star-bodies and reach out with points to touch the center star. So very often in quilting, we are reaching out and supporting and connecting with each other. It is really an activity that thrives with strong community. And Blockheads is an active and fun community so it seemed fitting.
As I read through the directions for my designed block, I realized I needed to share another version of construction for anyone who uses stripes like I am to allow the stripes to be horizontal and vertical. The way the directions are written would split the H and I squares diagonally and sew them to the G square, but the lines would be going diagonally in my final piece. So I did a variation that does take a little more fabric but uses a simple "stitch and flip" with corner squares to achieve the triangles. Using this method allowed me to position my stripes so they always looked like they were coming straight from the sides of the edge stars.
If you would like to use this method, these are my changes:
Instead of 4 squares of H and I, you will need 8 of each. Sew them to the corners and flip open and trim, similar to how you make traditional flying geese. After pressing open the opposite corners, add the other 2 corners. Just make sure to press open first (or am I the only one who has forgotten to press open a flying geese side before adding the other square?)
Whichever method you choose, I hope you have fun making these star friends!
Of course I had to share some color studies with you for this block too...
Like I mentioned, I'm thinking Christmas, but you can imagine any colors you like in here. Just substitute and think about those light and dark spaces. Stars can be the same colors in the centers as the points or multiple values of light and dark. The top two probably best illustrate the idea of stars reaching out in community to the center best. It is also fun to look at those outer star shapes as bowties or the center blending into a big X. How about a lighter outer border or a suggested churn dash relative in the white background shapes? Emphasize dots or lines...have fun!
You can download the pattern here from the blue DOWNLOAD FILE below. Or visit the facebook page or Moda's blog.
I'll be making some of the other blocks and sharing them in Winterly fabrics. Winterly will be shipping in May of 2024. It features Amaryllis lilies, birds flying in swirly breezes, hillside landscapes of trees, dotty Thatched, greenery, stripes and a triangle print with holiday motifs. There is also a panel with 4 square bird blocks and two horizontal treescapes. I'll share more pictures and the quilt projects in the next blog post. I've got new Christmas cross stitch to coordinate and it was very fun to share it all at Quilt Market!
If you are new to my world, I hope you will consider joining in on the Oak Grove Square sew along. I delayed October due to Quilt Market but just started in September on a monthly sew along. Want to sew some mushrooms? That is the first month! Check out my Facebook group "Robin Pickens Sew Happy Community" where you can share your projects with my fabrics and patterns or ask questions and be in community with other quilters. Hope to see you there!
You can also find me on instagram and pinterest @robinpickens
Back when I did the Splendid Christmas line I created a wall quilt called Cardinal's Christmas Wreath. It was the first bird quilt I did and started my love of making bird blocks! I've now sized the bird to various different sizes and still have fun making my flying friends. I also started thinking about this bird being for different seasons and not just Christmas.
The first ideas for Fall started like this, with the idea of a Fall wreath:
And then I thought about dropping out the bow and also experimented with a black background with a green bird. What if I filled in the wreath so it was more like a pumpkin?
I took this idea (the one on cream) on retreat with me to play with along with some scraps of Thatched fabrics I had. The pattern "Cardinal's Christmas Wreath" has two sizes, a 54 x 60" large and 45 x 47" medium size wall. I have made the larger one for Christmas and decided to do the smaller size for this autumn one.
This really was a fun, smaller sized project to do AND I used all scraps. I did make some other changes as I experimented and made rows. First off, I dropped the borders on the sides. My finished quilt is 30" across and I thought that was a good size for a wall space. I also liked how the pumpkin looked more squat and horizontal so I kept the size height of the rows but just used less of them. And my corners for the pumpkin use one half square triangle at the ends, vs on two rows for a more angled corner.
What does this look like as a diagram for better understanding? This is the structure and it follows the bird pieces and construction as written in the pattern.
Again, I'm using the smaller size in the pattern (numbers in red in the pattern).
The pumpkin would be filled in all the way across with no opening for a wreath.
There are 2 LESS rows of blocks for the pumpkin body.
only the top and bottom rows have a half square triangle at the very ends for rounding off the shape (vs two rows).
I have still constructed my bird with the 21.5" piece on top as is called for in the pattern. But I'm using an extra one on the bottom and using 30" x 3.5" strips on the sides.
This means there are a number of background pieces you would NOT need to cut (if you are not doing this as a fall wreath). This would need 3/4 of a yard of background fabric (vs a full yard). Instead of the list on page 3 for Background, you would cut this list:
Of the (3) 4 x 4" pieces, (2) of them are for corners and one is for the bird's chest. I have taken out the pieces for the bow and wreath insides, wreath bigger corners and adjusted for the new size of surround with the background.
On page 1 the green fabrics shown are for the wreath. If you are making a filled in pumpkin that is more squat but made from all squares, cut:
(2) 4" x 4" for corner HST
(31) 3.5" x 3.5" squares in a mixture of oranges/fall fabrics.
Page 2 shows pieces in red fabric and charcoal fabric for cutting the birds. Flip the colors so you are cutting the BIRD BODY from black and the (1) 4 x 4 from bird's mask color (mine is Smoked Paprika). Do not cut the bow pieces unless you are making as a Fall wreath version.
It is up to you if you use the borders. If you do not want the border, skip cutting those from bottom half of page 2.
I did not use all squares on my pumpkin. I made my quilt with a more improv approach using my scraps. I cut them all around 1", 1.5", 2", 2.5" and 3.5" in width while keeping them all 3.5" high. I made strips and trimmed to the 21.5" length. The Thatched colors I used were Tangerine, Clementine, Apricot, Citrus, Masala Spice, Rose, Pink Grapefruit, and Smoked Paprika.
These notes have not been to an editor and I'm trying to have them be as accurate as possible. I did notice the pattern does not say on page 7 that the background piece between the bird's legs is the 2.5" x 1.25" piece (and that is 2.5" as written in the list and not the 2.75" shown on the diagram).
I've got Cardinal's Christmas Wreath on sale currently for half price. I hope you like this Fall version! I think it could be cute to add a green wool leaf to the top of the pumpkin!
The pantograph I used for longarming is RICH GIRL (extended width) by Longarm League. I used it in the default size I believe.
Check out the pattern at RobinPickensInc.com!
Hello September! It is time for my OAK GROVE SQUARE sew along to start soon! I feel like the weeks have been rushing by so quickly and I'm still trying to catch up. I originally hoped to start Oak Grove in the beginning of September, but due to me being a little delayed getting this info out, I'm starting further into the month. Just like I did for LEAF PRESS, I've played around with some alternative Thatched palettes. My pattern is written to the Forest Frolic fabric and I've made the quilt in Forest Frolic and have both the light and dark version. Because of that, I'll be sewing for the sew along with one of the Thatched versions.
A couple explanations about the quilt first. Finished size is 72 1/2" square. The motifs are of fall leaves and acorns and mushrooms with some leafy stalks and corner stars and patchwork center star. It is a medallion quilt that has a center square and radiating "rings" (or square borders) surrounding it. You can make this quilt with all one background color or make every row/border/ring a different color. On this dark version I've used the new Thatched Mocha for the center and outer row. The Acorns are on a Cinnamon border and the green leaf stalks and some Oak Leaves are on a Copper border.
This light version uses Thatched Buttermilk for three of the backgrounds and Caramel for one of the rows. Because of the options to use different background colors, the sections are cut and written in the pattern according to the rows.
If you decided to use 4 different backgrounds, you'd need:
Background A..... 3/4 yard (you can use 2/3 yard but it is tight so 3/4 gives you more room for play)
Background B..... 1 and 1/3 yard
Background C..... 1 and 1/2 yard
Background D...... 2 and 1/3 yard
The prints needed are 12 Fat Quarters of prints (Fabrics E-P) and a couple additional accent fabrics of greens for leaves (1/2 yard for Fabric R and 3/8 yard for Fabric S) and 1/8 yard or Fat Eighth for Fabric T used for mushroom stalks.
The blocks all use construction for half square triangles, flying geese and stitch and flip corners. It is regular piecing and not foundation paper piecing. No applique (although feel free to add any embellishments to your own quilt with an applique addition).
As I worked on the Thatched color studies, I wanted to try versions that felt like they went with the fall season but were not ONLY about fall. I liked this version on Cream Thatched with a Pink Grapefruit border C. This feels light and playful on the crisp cream background, thus the "Lighthearted Fall" name.
And by simply changing the outer Background D to Smoked Paprika and Background B for acorns to Buttermilk, the feeling evolved to a richer color scheme for "Colorful Fall".
Lets go darker and more dramatic! "Dark Drama" uses Thatched Soft Black with a row of Olive. Lively Passion, Honeycomb, Cranberry and Tangerine give a sparkle of warm bright colors.
And one more...using colors that stray more from fall and have "Cheery Brights" to make an Oak Grove Square that is fit for year-round fun.
What about the details of sewing along? Where and when?
Where: Share your progress and watch videos through Robin's facebook group. Join the facebook group "Robin Pickens Sew Happy Community" at www.facebook.com/groups/762206228564958
For those of you who don't do facebook, I'll be sending the videos to youtube but there is a delay till my video helper (Mr P) can do it on the weekend.
Youtube channel is www.youtube.com/channel/UCNFGL95Mw4YSj98_k5RakqQ
Oak Grove Square will be a monthly sew along with a group of blocks each month. This is the schedule and I'll be doing my first video on preparing on Friday, September 22nd at 10am on a facebook live in the facebook group.
The blocks are not difficult to do and there is minimal matching of points. Since it is grouped monthly and by similar types, the blocks are rather efficient. It is quite fun to see your pile of mushrooms, leaves and acorns growing!
I hope you will join us.
Maybe you are already joining in with the LEAF PRESS sew along? It is not too late to join in! My blog post about Leaf Press shows color combinations for that as well at:
Patterns for Leaf Press or Oak Grove Square can be found at RobinPickensINC.com. You will need a pattern for the sew alongs.
I hope you will join the facebook group and share your progress and quilts. I am so touched by seeing people post their projects with my fabrics or patterns. Thank you so much!
#QuiltGoals2023 / Stitching Goals 2023 with the Fat Quarter Shop with a FREEBIE pattern! If you saw my blog last week, I talked about getting going with CROSS STITCH! I learned from Kimberly's flosstube Cross Stitch University, got MacStitch software, ordered new supplies and started my first cross stitch project/pattern for my Fall collection from Moda Fabrics, Forest Frolic. I love pulling colors for a project and all those lovely colors of DMC make it so fun.
My first goal was to make some designs that would go along with my Forest Frolic fabric line (which is shipping in July from Moda Fabrics). I wanted to use orange, red, brown, tan, greens and a touch of hot pink. My first project was Acorn Trio and I used Forest Frolic "Little Fall Fling" in Chocolate as the background within this frame.
I enjoyed this project so much that it motivated me to make more little acorns. And leaves. Swirly leaves and little vines and colorful Aspen leaves. I loved learning more in MacStitch as I designed new blocks and tried them out as minis before composing them into a Fall sampler.
More blocks of mushrooms and a little Robin bird with a leaf in her beak. I thought a light seafoam color was a soft and subtle divider color that also complimented the oranges and warm colors. My sampler of blocks can be made as one big image (of an 8 x 10 approximate size) or as small individual pillows. I think they are so sweet in this little format!
The frame I'm showing this in is a 11 x 14" barn wood shadow box from Hobby Lobby (1982158). For the little pillows, I trimmed each to 3 1/2" square and used Forest Frolic fabrics on the backs. Since the front is about cross stitch, I thought it would be fun to add a decorative stitch of Xs on the back in complimenting colors.
This sampler is made up on Charles Craft 14 count Fiddler's Cloth Light Oatmeal. This is similar to Wichelt 14 count Aida in Natural 357-50A or to Zweigart Artiste 14 count Aida Oatmeal 653220. Since I'm more of a newbie to cross stitch, I think I'll get some more practice before trying a smaller scale fabric like Evenweave or linen. I had started this sampler on the Fiddler's Cloth, otherwise I would have switched to the Natural Wichelt Aida that I got from Fat Quarter Shop since it had just a tiny bit more warmth to it but looked very similar.
Like I did with the mounting of Acorn Trio, I've finished this sampler by mounting on sticky board then floating it on the Little Fall Fling print in Orchard (48744-19).
To celebrate the start of my cross stitch journey, I wanted to share a little FREEBIE pattern for you from one of these blocks. I used the acorn with the little heart on top and 4 leaves and added a simple border and a Happy Fall message.
The pattern FREEBIE can be downloaded from the Fat Quarter Shop or here:
Or if you have any problems here, I'll keep up access to HAPPY FALL ACORN on my shopify store. The Fat Quarter Shop has exclusive access to this free pdf and will have the patterns for Acorn Trio and Fall Frolic Sampler for sale.
Luckily for me, the lovely Susan Strumpf offered to make my little acorn cross stitch into a sweet pillow with some Forest Frolic fabric. Look at the tiny button she made to go with the twine. It is SO CUTE! What a perfect amount of little added touch...thank you so much Susan!
Paper patterns have arrived! Perfect timing since I'm getting ready to go to the LONG BEACH QUILT FESTIVAL! If you are coming to the show, come by BOOTH 348 to see some of the cross stitch in person (and I just might have another couple designs to show there).
If you didn't see my previous blog post where I talk more about getting started with cross stitch, the fantastic supplies I got from the Fat Quarter Shop, learning from Kimberly's Cross Stitch University, and a sampling of different Aida fabrics, then please check out my previous post:
Here are my little sample pieces next to my Starlit Bears quits in the Forest Frolic line. The Fat Quarter Shop will be carrying this line (complete with the Thatched backgrounds, the Acorn Quartet kit AND the Mochi Linen prints!) and I think the two go together nicely. The quilt on the wall uses 4 background colors of Thatched that are new with this collection: Mocha, Copper, Cinnamon and Caramel (48626-205,208, 206 and 204) and the quilt on the ladder has Buttermilk Thatched (202) for the background.
I do show some photos in the previous post of different Aida fabrics I purchased from the Fat Quarter Shop for comparison and future projects. I took a picture to show you how the Fiddler's Cloth is close to the Wichelt Natural 14 count Aida #357-50A. It is just the slightest big warmer and I like that. It would look great with the Fall colors.
Feel free to check out the cross stitch section of my shop for new releases of patterns. I have another fun fall project in the works. Here's a little tiny peek:
I'm also working on some other cross stitch based on my quilts and artwork/illustrations as well as coordinating with new fabric lines. Stay tuned stitchers! Thanks again Fat Quarter Shop and thanks to all of you for visiting. Happy stitching!
I am eagerly anticipating the start of not one, but TWO sew alongs that I am running this year. This is my first time having my own sew along, so I'm going to go ahead and just apologize for whatever funny glitches and things happen on my learning curve. But it is time to start and get more comfortable with doing more video sharing. I hope you will come along for the journey!
This also means it is time to open a Facebook Group. This group is for those of you who like sewing with my fabrics and patterns. Maybe you have questions. Or hopefully you want to SHARE pictures of the things you are making with my fabrics and/or patterns! This is that space for sharing and supporting one another. I'll also run the sewalongs from the group page and hope to see lots of leaf blocks popping up as the sew along gets going.
Want to join the group? Visit Robin Pickens Sew Happy Community and ask to join.
I will do some facebook lives and then post those to youtube as we get going with the sew alongs. I'll also be running a poll to find out when you like to attend a live feed...mornings? During the week or weekends? I'll also be having a few prizes for some random folks who POST their progress while we sew along. No, you don't have to keep to my schedule. But participation and sharing, wherever you are at, is encouraged!
TSo lets talk about LEAF PRESS. It was Lissa Alexander from Moda Fabrics who suggested a leaf sampler. I THOUGHT I was done designing my group of patterns for the Forest Frolic fall collection until she mentioned the idea and then I just couldn't get it out of my head. This might have ended up being my favorite quilt design from the group (although it is still a close toss up with Oak Grove Square). I like the nice lap size and range of leaf types and there is something that feels a little modern as a sampler to me.
The number of blocks and variety of leaf types works out nicely to a weekly sewalong where we do couple units a week. We'll be starting at the end of August and finishing up around the middle of October. You will need to buy a pattern. This pattern is in a larger size 8 1/2 x 11" booklet for diagraming all those leaf shapes! Check with your local shops to see if they are carrying it or check my online shop at RobinPickensINC.com.
A document with the tentative schedule is in the facebook group FILES.
I've only made this particular quilt in the new Thatched Buttermilk background but wanted to mock it up on the computer in the dark brown Mocha color. I like that too!
The fabric specifications for Leaf Press include:
13 Fat Eighths for those leaves. Now I'm sure someone will ask if they can use a Layer Cake of 10" squares. YES you can. One layer cake should be enough. It would also work well as a scrappy quilt. Instead of Fat Eighths you can assemble 7 Fat Quarters for leaves.
While playing around with the ideas for this quilt, I wanted to try it in colors as well that were NOT about fall. What about a springy palette?
Or fall colors in all Thatched?
Rachel from Santa Monica Sewing Arts suggested a Christmas palette...
On this last one, I've made it more minimal in terms of the variety of colors. The greens are a little accent and the while, washed linen and oatmeal are all from 1/2 yard of fabric. Makes me think of snowy leaves with a layer of thick frost.
What if you want to do one of these...or if you have a quilt shop and want to kit some of these versions? I'm including all the specific fabric colors here and they are also listed in the FILES section of the facebook group. If you do have a shop, please fill out and email us the form so we can compile a data sheet of shops that are carrying the Forest Frolic fabric, Thatched fabrics, Thatched Widebacks, bias binding, etc. to share with folks who are looking for places to order.
The blue "download file" is a pdf of the specs I am listing below.
I'll have more info next week on my monthly sew along, Oak Grove Square. I will do some color studies for that one as well (but not as many).
I hope to see you sewing along with me this fall.
One last note...Forest Frolic is shipping NOW from Moda! Yay!!
Thanks to Fat Quarter Shop for asking for Quilt Goals for 2023! I'm a goal-setting kind of gal. I like to make lists and explore new ideas and it helps to have a reason to work on that goal and share it. I thought I'd let you see a little more about my exploration into the world of CROSS STITCH as my 2023 goal!
My Quilt Goal is actually a "Stitching Goal". I've been wanting to do some CROSS STITCH for awhile. I like the fact that I can easily travel with it or take it along as I wait for an appointment or kid's activity. And just sewing pretty colors in a meditative rhythm sounds pretty relaxing to me. Because I work on quilts, which tend to be bigger, larger size items, I want the balance of small things to create. I also want to try working with some of my fabric and quilt designs (and other artwork I've made) in this medium, as complimentary projects to go with the quilts.
MY STEPS (keep in mind I'm a beginner):
1. Learn what materials I need
2. Watch Kimberly's tutorials on Floss Tube with Fat Quarter Shop's Cross Stitch University.
3. Prepare canvas and start learning and stitching!
4. Get MacStitch software
5. Learn MacStitch software
6. Translate some Forest Frolic designs into small cross stitch designs
7. Experiment with color palettes and sizes
8. Research finishing ideas
9. Finish project and put into pattern format
10. Repeat, stitch, repeat...
I started this process at the end of January by watching Cross Stitch University on Floss Tube. Kimberly Jolly really goes over everything you need to get going. They have a cute starter project you can do but since I had some ideas in my head, I decided to experiment on a corner of Aida first and then just dive in.
Just like with quilting, I quickly learned there is a large range in the quality of product and color. And one white is very different from another white which is different from antique white, ivory, cream, etc. I headed off to my local craft store since I was eager to get started and bought some Charles Craft Fiddler's Cloth. I liked the natural look of it and little bit of rustic variation in the color and thought it would look good with the Fall vibe for my design.
Meanwhile, I got my MacStitch program and started watching some youtube videos on using it. The colors in the program look darker to me than the actual threads look so I realized I should pick my palette first with the actual skeins of floss and then work in the computer program and accept that it looks a little darker in that graphic grid on the computer than the real stitched project will be. For output of an image from the computer program, I'll do some color correcting later to make the colors look more accurate to the floss colors. There are free programs to create your own diagrams for cross stitch but I chose to purchase MacStitch because it seems the most robust of the computer programs and I'd rather just pay for that and start learning with it right away.
Picking palettes...oh this is fun stuff! Floss comes in some great colors! I have Cosmo floss from some previous embroidery and it is wonderful but I have to drive further to get it. I opted for DMC since it was the most available and THERE ARE SO MANY COLORS and it is also great floss. Floss is not too expensive so I buy a big range so I can audition colors as I like.
Yummy vibrant glossy threads! Oh boy, oh boy. Since I want this to work with some of my Forest Frolic designs I am using those fabrics to select a palette with. I wanted to have colors that worked with the fabrics and also looked like a cohesive group together. Here are some of the oranges I auditioned.
Another thing I learned was that sometimes I needed MORE light/dark difference between the colors than I originally thought because the color changes could look more subtle once it was seen in little stitches. It took a few tries to narrow it down to this group for my overall FOREST FROLIC palette.
Although I show 434 here, I ended up weeding that out since it was too close in color to the other browns. My main colors are greens of 581 and 166. Oranges 721 and 900. Gold to Straw 3820 and 782. Tan to Brown 422, 435, 433. Pink 309, and Red 817 and Terra Cotta Dark 3777.
The first design I did in MacStitch used acorns and leaves. I wanted that pop of fuchsia that is in some of the fabrics and bright orange and gold leaves. A little group of three acorns and three colorful leaves make a centered formation. A simple bunting top and bottom border can frame it in or be left off.
Since my husband and I were doing a road trip to Sacramento for a little vacation, I brought my sewing in the car. It was a lovely way to relax for numerous hours of straight freeway riding. Lucky for me that he likes to drive and I like to be the passenger.
For my first cross stitch, I have to say I am very excited for how much I ENJOYED the process of designing and sewing! What a lovely satisfaction to see little bits of progress evolving into a sweet, colorful cross stitch. I think it is a nice compliment to the Forest Frolic quilts and fabrics. This is Leaf Press quilt with the little acorns next to it. I was thinking this design (which I decided to name Acorn Trio) would be cute framed or as a large pocket on the outside of a Forest Frolic tote bag....hmmm, did I mention the Forest Frolic fabric has Mochi Linen? It would be great for totes!
Finishing this made me want to do MORE designs for my fall line! So back to the computer for more little images to create a fall sampler cross stitch. Stay tuned because I'll be sharing that next week! I also decided to treat myself to some more supplies that I ordered from the Fat Quarter Shop.
These included a snap frame, reference key/ruler, line keeper and quite a few Aida fabrics for future projects and to compare background colors. Yes, I am an affiliate and so happy I am since they have a fantastic assortment of cross stitch (and quilting/sewing) supplies!
One of my FAVORITE things that I bought was the DMC Floss Color Card. For me, a tool like this is a must as a designer. I also find that I can identify random extra pieces of floss that I accumulate, or in the case of a color I loved but had no idea what number it was...identify it and order more. WIN!
And I decided to order a range of light Aida cloths to compare to the Fiddler's Cloth and to use for future projects. The subtle differences in color can make a big difference in the look of your project so I wanted to invest in a range of choices as I move forward designing.
Back to a little info on my Acorn Trio project... I decided to display it in a frame and used some Forest Frolic fabric for the backdrop. This is "Little Fall Fling" in Chocolate 48744-15 and I liked how the little drawn motifs complimented the cross stitch and that dark color made the Fiddler's Cloth pop in contrast. The cross stitch is mounted on a 6 1/2 x 6 1/2" sticky board, then floated on the Forest Frolic fabric. The frame is from Ikea and is a 9 x 9" Hovstra frame.
Yes, I have this pattern up in my shop! Woooo hoooo! You can find it here, along with other patterns that are soon to be added:
ACORN TRIO CROSS STITCH PATTERN
Speaking of soon to add...next week I'll be uploading a little fun FREEBIE cross stitch pattern. I'll also be showing you a larger Fall project so stay tuned!! And thank you SO much to the Fat Quarter Shop for encouraging our STITCHING GOALS and giving me the reason to GET 'ER DONE!
Last week Joanna Figueroa gave us "Invigorate" for the Sewcialites weekly quilt block. I like seeing a bloom with little leaves blowing around it, a posie with ribbons, plaid zig zags or a rainbow burst.
I liked the first one and will have it live in the yellow section of the rainbow print.
This week Sherri McConnell's "Fascinate" block shows off some green fun for Saint Patrick's Day. Plus sign, arrow heads, variations on a churn dash and stair steps all play in the color studies.
My block has some purple and pink and I like the variations on the corner shapes based on the lights and darks in the little patchwork. So many options!
It is so fun to see the little blocks in with their friends and soon the joining into a long row for my runner will begin. Till then, four more weeks of sweet little blocks!
Just a little pattern play with Pansy's Posies today. Picket with the picket fence and colored borders is a good pattern to show off those purple and green colors. I've mocked up the 60 x 60" lap size with a mix of 8 fat quarters. The purple ones use Thatched Pansy 160 for the dark background and the Dotty Thatched Lavender 48715-213 for the light one.
I love greens for a background for the pansies. My top darker green is Thatched 197 Grass and the lower, lighter one is Thatched Meadow 134. Chartreuse is also a good green to pair with this group. In general, when I have a darker background color, I tend to pair prints with it that are lighter and for a light background I look for the darker prints so there is a good amount of contrast in the quilt top.
Picket can also be made with a layer cake of a collection in both the smaller lap or larger 72" square size. If you want to make the larger size with fat quarters, you will need 13 of them.
Well yippeeeee yahhooooo it is my week for Sewcialites 2 with Fat Quarter Shop! Meet my "spellbound" block. A quarter triangle block is surrounded by little patchwork squares and then framed by another outer row with squares on the ends. The free pattern is available at the Fat Quarter Shop. All patterns are listed here when released: https://www.fatquartershop.com/sewcialites
First I'm sharing my color studies but please also keep reading to see my plans for using my blocks in a colorful table runner.
The first one focuses on each row as its own mix of light and dark blues in squares. The next one reminded me of arrows pointing in with shaded 3d arrow bases. The third one makes me think of an hour glass with white sand running from top to bottom ("the sands of time..."). On the bottom row, the outer blues make another chunky plus sign to surround the inner arrows. Then a couple of rainbow spectrum experiments moving around the color wheel, either in the center or in the rows of small squares.
For this sewalong, they asked for blocks that make us crazy. I find that matching up little patchwork square seams can be one of my crazy-making things. Pressing seams in opposite directions, then nesting the seams when joining rows helps. Another thing that helps is when the little squares line up against a sashing or other rectangle, like the little blocks here. As for nesting seams, this is a picture of the back of the blocks. The arrows show some of the places where I have pressed seams to nest.
Another thing I will do with little patchwork and small block piecing is starching. I generally don't starch much but with small sized blocks, the starch will help for handling the fabric better and it keeping its shape as you sew and press. If I am doing patchwork squares I will see if I can make some longer pieces and subcut them and I tend to press to one side on my seams instead of pressing open so they don't pull apart easily when I handle them. These things seem to help with small patchwork squares.
For my block, I've a little blue 3" block for my project using all my blocks in Wild Blossoms. And then I wanted to make a rainbow square Thatched version. I have some leftover Thatched blocks from Moda Blockheads that I have quilted as little minis for the wall so I might add this to the mix.
Want to know WHAT I am going to do with those little 3" blocks? The Wild Blossoms fabrics (which are shipping to shops at the end of this month) has a big Width-of-Fabric print that runs selvage to selvage in a big rainbow print of multiple wild flowers. I've been making my blocks in the different colors with the intention of lining them up with the colors in the WOF print.
I want to add in a 1" wide sashing strip between the blocks (for a finished sashing size of 1/2") and make a table runner. These are some mock ups of the versions I've been considering, with sold squares left for the blocks that are released in the weeks ahead.
The 42" wide runner has two rows of blocks, either in the center, with a center print running through, or placed on the long sides. The top one has cream sashings surrounding the blocks and the second one only has sashings between the blocks and the rainbow print running up to the blocks on top and bottom. For the third one above I tried the Greenery light chartreuse fabric for sashing since it looks really springy.
It is a good idea to get a little extra of the rainbow print so you can position the fabric appropriately to show off the little bees. The above ideas would need either 1/3 or 1/2 yard of the WOF print, 1/8 or 1/4 yard for sashing and 1/3 yard for binding (indicated under each image). The CUT sizes of the rainbow print are listed to the right of the images.
Another idea is to make a longer runner with a single line of blocks and two pieces of the WOF rainbow print. When wanting to blend the color ramp continuously, I flip the print upside down to continue the flow of color. My table is sized to handle this long version well so I think this is what I will make. I've mocked it up with either the lighter colors/yellows to the center or the darker blues to the center of the runner.
The longer runners need 3/4 yard of WOF print, 1/4 yard sashing, 1/2 yard binding. For binding I'm not sure what I'm using yet but it might be the new Thatched bias binding that Moda makes which is sold by the yard. That makes it SO easy!!
This sewalong has been lots of fun! I've really enjoyed seeing the various blocks people share in the Sewcialites Lounge on facebook. Because I want to keep the sewing joy going, I'm participating in the Bountiful sew along with Fat Quarter Shop with the quilt pattern Corey Yoder designed. I'm using the Wild Blossoms fabric for that one too and you can see the mockup and fabric requirements for the Bountiful quilt on the previous post at https://www.robinpickens.com/blog/2023-bountiful-quilt-along-with-the-fat-quarter-shop-to-benefit-make-a-wish. I hope you will join us.
Happy sewing everyone!
I am thrilled to be sewing along on this absolutely stunning and happy quilt design from Corey Yoder for the Bountiful Quilt Along hosted by the Fat Quarter Shop. This is such a springy, charming quilt! The Fat Quarter Shop also has a matching cross stitch project to go along with it too. This is the mockup of the quilt done in Wild Blossoms fabrics:
I have completely enjoyed getting to know Corey Yoder more through exhibiting with Moda Fabrics at Quilt Market. She is just delightful. And this past summer I taught at a retreat in her home town of Berlin Ohio and got to enjoy some more time with her there. She drove us to dinner in her Jeep with no doors and the wind whipping through our hair. What a fun way to spend a summer night!
To learn more about this sew along that benefits Make-A-Wish, please visit the Fat Quarter Shop's page to get started at https://blog.fatquartershop.com/lets-get-ready-for-bountiful/
Moda Fabrics is partnering with Fat Quarter Shop to match the first $30,000 in donations.
Also, I will be giving my finished quilt to Fat Quarter Shop to auction off for the charity towards the end of the sew along. Stay tuned for more info on that!
You can go right to the first block info:
My plan is to make this quilt in my Wild Blossoms fabric collection. This line is shipping to shops later this month from Moda Fabrics (and YES Fat Quarter Shop will be carrying it as well as a bundle of coordinating Thatched colors). If you would like to make one with Wild Blossoms as well, I'm including the fabric specifications based on what the Fat Quarter Shop has done and what I substituted in. I uses a little more of some fabrics and added in a couple more choices to the mix.
Although I am making mine with the cream Thatched background (48626-36), I thought it would be fun to take a look at it in Thatched Navy (48626-94) or even Deep Sea (48626-145). Both of these versions would be so striking.
I could not resist the fresh light feel of the cream background so I'm working with that. The first blocks of baskets are so sweet! These are each 24" blocks and are large so I just decided to take my photos on the floor. I made mine with the same outer Queen Anne's Lace yellow fabric with one basket in reds/pinks and the other in blue.
The next blocks for Bountiful will be released on April 7th.
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
I am proud to be a designer for Moda Fabrics!
Shop Robin's Designs
I am an affiliate for Fat Quarter Shop and may earn a small commission through my links. Thank you for your support!
© Robin Pickens Inc. All rights reserved. No images may be reproduced without permission.