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!
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.
I had not shared my new quilts yet on this blog that I designed for Tulip Tango! The rush of November swirled into the holidays so quickly and with deadlines for fabric lines and calendar artwork added in, I somehow overlooked that. So it is the New Year and time to get back to some more sharing!
The Xs on this quilt make me think of cross stitch and a criss cross motion. And x's and o's make me think of hugs and kisses. So Criss Cross Kisses it is! This quilt is a fun play of both solid and "outlined" Xs with a variety of fabrics making up each X.
There are a lot of opportunities to play with the groupings of color or light and dark with these blocks. I liked separating the Outlined Xs below into cream/linen and gray halves. I then wanted the grays all grouped around the center X. I kept all my Xs in the Red/Pink families. By grouping light and dark halves, you create interesting shapes (like a chunky plus sign) within the overall layout.
In contrast, the Queen bed sized (and it is shown here on a king so you can see it can also work on that size mattress) is made with more random placement of colors. But again, I kept Xs within a color family each for this one.
This quilt can use Fat Eights (for lap) or Fat Quarters (for Queen) of fabric to make the pieces or you can use a Layer Cake(s). I used the Fat Eighths/Fat Quarters instead of Layer Cakes so I could group my colors specifically (the Layer Cakes will give you a slightly scrappier look). On the lap sized quilt (which is 63 1/2" square) you need 20 F8. I used 10 in red fabrics, 4 in linen fabrics, 4 in gray fabrics, then another 2 from the gray family for the outer border triangles. On the queen sized quilt you need 27 Fat Quarters and I selected 13 red, and a mixture of black, linen and green for the other 14 for the outline Xs and border triangles. If you use a Layer Cake, one will work for the lap and two are needed for the Queen. You can even use Fat Sixteenths on these- double the number of F8 or 4x the number of FQ to do so.
For this pattern you are using stitch and flip corners on those outline Xs and reusing parts for the corner backgrounds. Similarly, the big sold Xs cut those corners off but I didn't want them wasted. I challenged myself to think of ways of integrating the leftover corners that were cut off. That is how the little arrow heads that play in the sashings work their way into this quilt. They give more direction and size contrast within the quilt while adding little pops of those big X colors throughout in little ways.
With the strong diagonal directions of the pieces, I thought the border including arrow heads of a larger size was a nice balance. On the lap quilt, it reminds me of a compass of North, South, East and West.
This pattern design idea was actually started back when I first designed my Dear Mum patterns. It has been rumbling around in my head for awhile and I'm happy to see it finally come to life. Sometimes things need to develop over time and this is one of them.
The lap quilt was pieced by Susan Strumpf and the queen by me. I longarmed both and used the Leafarama pantograph by Keryn Emmerson and Whirlwind by Wildflower Quilting/Karen Farnsworth.
Criss Cross Kisses is up in the shop in digital pdfs and printed patterns.
Tulip Tango fabric should arrive in shops in approximately May 2022.
Check the next blog post if you are interested in seeing it mocked up in Carolina Lilies (thanks Mom for your special request for that!)
I am often a "transitional" quilter (or you could call it modern traditionalism)- relating to sewing between traditional quilters and modern quilters. I love to make more traditional quilts, but I also enjoy how modern quilts can allow you to express your creativity in a different way!
For some people, modern design can be a bit intimidating. They may only know of more improvisational modern quilting and not have comfort with improv. However, modern quilting doesn't have to be difficult or intimidating. You also don't have to use a complicated pattern to get that modern look. To help you embrace the modern quilter that is within you, I am sharing one of my easy modern quilt patterns which creates a stunning quilt with tools that you have on hand and no matter what fabric you choose to use!
I enjoy a modern quilt design that is not overly complicated. In fact, I often feel a simpler, pared down design will have a more modern feel. I wanted to come up with a modern quilt that would allow you to easily create with fabrics you may have on hand, utilizing scraps, yardage, or even precuts (and precuts as small as a 5" square Charm Pack). I combined curves and squares into striking modern blooms in this geometric garden. This is Mod Flower Box, ready to bloom upon your wall!
I'm showing two versions of this modern quilt in these photos. You can see how it still has a striking composition whether done in all solid fabrics or a combination of prints. This version on the chair is made with Carolina Lilies. This collection is scheduled to ship to shops in November 2021 and features spotted lilies, paisley prints, vines and ferns. Rich teal and green colors mix with spicy reds and peach tones reminiscent of my Painted Meadow collection. I chose to keep the background a dark soft black so there is high contrast with the colors and they really pop! I like to see the different ways that light and dark colors change up a quilt (keep reading for a lighter version below).
The wall/lap quilt in Carolina Lilies uses Thatched Soft Black 152 for the background and borders in Thatched Lagoon 199 (the teal color) and Dashed lines 48705-21 in Teal. The flowers and leaves are made from one Charm Pack of 5" squares. You can also use a Layer Cake of 10" precut squares and cut them in half both, horizontally and vertically.
Another option for making this quilt is using Fat Eighths. My favorite version of this modern quilt is the one that looks like solid fabrics. It is actually using Thatched basics for the fabric. I've paired a use of bold colors with this subtle textured fabric to make the hues really stand out in a dramatic way. With the floral groupings all in the center, the outer borders create balance with a more expansive negative space that can be good for specific border quilting or just a breathing space and strong framing device. To get the look of these graphic areas of solid color, I've used a mix of 14 Fat Eighths, with 9 for flowers and 5 for leaves. For this version, I wanted to emphasize the corners and really play with the spaces left from the curved blocks by "boxing in" the flowers. That is where the name Mod Flower BOX comes in (plus the extra outer border).
The background is made with Thatched Chalkboard Scribbles 187 with curves and inner border using Soft Black 152. The flower and leaf blocks use a mixture of Blizzard 150, Washed Linen 158, Toast 156, Gray 85, Early Dawn 122, Sugar Rose 127, Citrus 123, Clementine 138, Fuchsia 62, Green Curry 177, Sunlit 142, Grass 197, Dewdrop 143 and Brook 198.
There are two different sizes of Mod Flower Box. The wall/lap size is 51" square with borders. If you choose to not have borders for a smaller wall quilt, the inner part is 34 x 34". The large quilt sized 78" square, uses 4 units of the rotated Mod Flower Boxes.
Depending on which quilt size you choose, the Mod Flower Box pattern can be made with a Charm Pack or Fat Eighths for the wall/lap size or with a Layer Cake (or 4 Charm Packs) or Fat Quarters for the large size.
I am planning on starting this lighter color version of Mod Flower Box, probably with a Washed Linen background or maybe Sandcastle 157 flipped to the backside and accent corners for curves in Blizzard 150.
Speaking of colorways, this is actually one of my favorite things about this quilt design! You could create your own quilt top in almost any color scheme! For instance, you could use solid colors, different styles of fabric within a particular color palette, ombre fabrics, or simply your favorite colors. Color always gives me a new way to look at modern quilt designs.
Needless to say, the color choices you have are absolutely endless!
I've made lots of quilts with curved corners and I DO include a paper template you can work from in the pattern (or pattern downloads if you buy the pdf file version). I do prefer to use a specialty ruler for doing curves and know of a number of them. I usually go to my trusty Creative Grids Circle Savvy Ruler since it has every size I want and I know I will get a really good result cutting with these! I note which slots in the pattern if you have this ruler too.
Since we are talking about curved corners, many beginner quilters stay away from modern quilts due to ''sewing curves''. I took this fact into consideration, so if you are new to curves, this is a great pattern to try since it only uses quarter circles vs half or full circles!
Quarter circle curves are not very hard and I'd suggest making a practice quilt block or two first and then go for it! I love the look of curved blocks- so soft and curvy and gentle. They are a fun thing to experiment, plus, it will make you more confident in your quilting skills!
So, if you are ready to take a break from traditional quilts and want to create your very first modern style quilt, then the Mod Flower Box is a great place to start!
Above I have included additional information on quilting materials and specifications. However, since this is only a blog post, I highly recommend that you check out my shop to learn more about this fun quilt pattern!
If you are interested in the pattern, it is up in my shop at RobinPickensInc.com!
Today I put the last border on my Bird Talk quilt and I was so happy since I've been doing it in little bits and pieces, here and there. One night I will think "okay, I can get all the bird legs done" and another night I assemble the cardinal. Chip away at some leaves...little by little. I had help too with Olivia, who came and calmly cut and pieced leaves and leaf stalks while I filled pattern orders and dealt with computer things.
This has been a happy quilt to make. I don't know why, but birds are just so cheery. Maybe it is because I am named after the first bird of spring- Robins hopping along on the lawn with bits of snow still sticking but signaling that spring is indeed coming. Or maybe it is that I love to see the birds jump around and play with each other in a teasing way on the branches of the trees outside my studio window. Whatever the reason, birds just seem free, colorful, light and full of chatter.
I did start by making birds first. Then leaves. Then border. Then joining it all. The pattern itself is not overly difficult. It is made from patchwork simple piecing, half square triangles and some flying geese. You just have to pay attention to cutting a variety of sizes. I suggest labeling them with some post-it notes as you cut them out. If you want o make scrappier pieced sections of border, combine more smaller pieces into the larger size of block or rectangle for backgrounds.
Wouldn't this be fun with all Blue Jays, or black birds with fall colored leaves? I think this will be really fun to play with pattern and color on other versions. This version was made with Thatched Basics by Moda Fabrics. Some of the differences in colors are subtle- for example, there is a light red, medium red and dark red. You could use all one red, but the differences in value help to define wings from underbelly from top of bird. This could be a great place to experiment with ombres too- Hmmmmmm, I'm wondering the effect I could get with those!
This quilt is a lap size, or a twin with the border. This is the first time I have done a decorative, pieced border and I am really liking how it works with this particular quilt. I wondered if the border would be too much, but now that it's done, I am quite smitten with the border and am looking forward to doing other versions with it.
This quilt is easy to make with a combination of fat quarters, fat eighths and some yardage. I will be sizing it down to half scale for a wall quilt, hopefully by the start of quilt market. I had to make a decision on pattern sizes and the pattern itself is a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" booklet (the size of my other patterns) but its 14 pages of instructions to include what you need for cutting, piecing and borders. I could either make a larger pattern at twice the price and include two sizes, or do two patterns at specific sizes at my normal price (its too much info to put both sizes into the small format booklet). I figured most people would know the size they want to make and appreciate not spending more on the pattern, so two patterns it is. I appreciate knowing if this works for you or if you'd rather spend more and have both sizes together.
This bird family is off to the longarmer tomorrow. Stay tuned for the smaller one!!
Happy quilting! And for more Thatched fabric patterns, check out my shopify store!
Sometimes I just like to sew. You know, the hum of the machine. The forward motion and progress. Adding piece after piece in a rythmic order and just getting into my zen place of calm at seeing rows of color and pattern coming together. KYOTO STEPS takes me to this zen place.
This quilt is easy to make- a logical cutting scheme and straight sewing- but still has a richness of activity and proportions. It is designed to allow some large prints to have a bigger block (yes, my common theme to show off my large florals) that are more centrally located. Then think of the other blocks as steps that skip and hop away from the center in light and dark.
I just love the quilting on this one. I want to rub my hands over it and feel the texture of those fans! Marion Bott (@bottmarion on IG) did a fantastic job with adding the perfect layer of textural dimension to this quilt. The fabric here is from my Painted Meadow collection (shipping October 2019) and I made sure some of my fat bumble bees made it into the large blocks. I also put the large pink print with big Coneflowers on the back of the quilt so there would be lots of drama and excitement when you turned it over.
I must admit I really don't like making quilt backs. And I REALLY don't like trying to match a print on a seam when making a back. I'd much rather add a panel down the middle so I don't have to see an unmatched print and use some extra pieces of fabric I have. In this case I made another row of rectangles from leftovers from the quilt top and ran it down the center. I think its stays in the style and spirit of the quilt front and gives a fun interest to the back.
Kyoto Steps looks serene in these teal and green colors. This is a scaled down version of the quilt with slightly smaller rectangles. This lap version still gives plenty of room for a big print to shine while playing with those rhythmic rectangles. Sally Corona (@coronaquiltworks on IG) quilted this one in fabulous hexies. Quite a perfect shape with this chair!
For this quilt I chose a Moda Bella Solid for the backing- I believe it is Pistachio. I wanted to keep it serene and calm but with a pop of color! I like the way the painted lines coordinate print in the Painted Meadow collection make a good binding with subtle stripes of teal, green, deep red or saturated pink color families.
KYOTO STEPS is written for three sizes- Lap 58" x 67", Twin 74" x 89", and Full/Queen 97" x 93". The placement of the rectangles is diagrammed out to make it easy to replicate this spacing of blocks. The quilt is made with 6 half-yard cuts plus background if you are making the Twin, mostly 1/3 yard cuts for the Lap (but get 1/2 yard if your main print is directional like mine is) and a mix of 2/3 and 3/4 cuts for the Full/Queen (also adding background yardage to the Lap and Full/Queen).
If you want to make this in a scrappier way, you can use mixes of Fat Quarters for your pieces. If you are using a Layer Cake, the scaled down size of the Lap will work for those 10" pieces. This quilt is suitable for more beginning quilters.
You can find KYOTO STEPS along with other patterns from the Painted Meadow release at my shop and the patterns are shipping to local quilt shops with the fabric collections!
The original inspiration for this quilt was a caned back to a chair I saw at a yard sale. I thought it would be fun to replicate that woven look with center octagons in fabric. As I was laying it out, the design was becoming a bit too busy and challenging. It needed simplification so the lines did not compete with the prints on the fabrics and so I wouldn't tear my hair out! My happy ending place was this center part of Picket, with white triangle corners meeting each other, suggesting the continuation of line and an almost mosaic-like feel.
As I was playing with the shapes, I loved how the triangles played together and with some of my diagrams, the flying geese ends started to make their own statement. By lengthening the strips, they suggested picket fence posts (but not too long to be overly literal). The pop of white against a colorful border gave that additional chance to set the mood with color.
Picket is designed to be made with either a layer cake (or any mix of fun scrappy 10" blocks of fabric) OR with fat quarters. I like using the fat quarters to get a good mix of fabrics but still have repeating prints and to select my fabrics to tell a color story. The two lap quilts here have color themes of pink/coral/red and blue/green/teal. They have such a different feeling based on the warmth or coolness of the fabric colors.
For the layer cake version of Picket, I auditioned quite a few colors for the border and centers of the X blocks but I kept coming back to this Moda Bella Solids Spray color. There is something so fresh about it and I loved how it popped with the teals and greens and reds.
The quilt is made up of Snowball and X blocks, set on point. It's really pretty fast to make once you get in the groove of the blocks. I make up all the Xs, all the snowballs, then play with arranging them. Then at the end, I get to enjoy my colorful garden all surrounded by my picket fence.
I'm so happy to have had a lot of helpers on these! The large quilt was pieced by Susan Vaughan @thefeltedpear and was longarmed by Marion Bott @bottmarion. The lap quilts were pieced by Danica Willig @danicawilligdesigns and longarmed by Sally Corona @coronaquiltworks.
Check out more patterns made with Painted Meadow (and yes, Painted Meadow is shipping to shops in October 2019 from MODA FABRICS!) at my shop!
Chunky leaves in curved friendly shapes with graphic triangular blooms. Say hi to Beanstalk! This is a leaf/vine quilt made with Painted Meadow fabrics. The selection of fabrics and instructions use fat quarters for the leaf and bloom prints. The green stems and background are indicated as yardage.
I wanted some growing, garden themed quilts. Beanstalk and my Picket quilts were a direct reflection of the desire to marry plants and quilts.
Beanstalk has chunky, curved leaves made with 4" radius quarter circles (8" full circle size) that make the gentle sides of the leaf shapes, meeting half square triangles to finish off the leaves. You can play with the leaves by putting all dark colors to the bottom for a more shaded look or doing scrappy piecing with color and light/dark values.
The Beanstalk pattern comes with a paper template to make the curved blocks. However, I made the blocks for this sample using the Creative Grids Circle Savvy Ruler and I recommend it! Cutting circles with a ruler like this makes them so accurate and easy to sew together. I also have a number of Drunkards Path and quarter circle rulers in different sizes and one of the reasons I like this Creative Grids one is that it has ALL the sizes I use in one ruler! I can design with it, try different sizes with it, and translate a pattern for applique vs piecing with it too (different sizes minus the seam allowance).
When I started the plans for this quilt, I thought I would make it in only green shades for the leaves. But then I mocked it up with the teal and red shades and loved the graduation amongst the color families. It reminds me of fall and changing leaf colors. I think the reds add a lively touch!
Because I try different blocks to figure out my sizing, I usually make a variety of sample blocks. It seems like such a shame to waste these so I try to incorporate them into the backs of my quilts when I can. For this Beanstalk quilt, I used leaves that were too big and too small and a larger bloom as a pieced block in the center of my backing.
This quilt was longarm quilted by Marion Bott and the pantograph is a Sand dollar design. I love the pretty flower shape and the orange peel structure of this design. It makes such a lovely texture on the quilt!
I'm trying to decide what Beanstalk quilt will be next- one from Thatched basics? One with grays and muted colors? I'm not sure but I'm looking forward to planting a new Beanstalk! Visit my shop for this pattern and more that are made with the Painted Meadow collection from Moda Fabrics (shipping October 2019 to quilt shops). Happy sewing!
There is something so focused and calming about the symmetry of a design that radiates from the center. The Faceted quilt is formed off a central diamond, radiating out in rows of light and dark. But one of the things I love about it is the unexpected play of smaller triangles within the larger rows.
I imagine the way light glints through cut crystal or diamonds. That was my inspiration for this quilt, the way light dances within geometric facets and angles. It scatters out triangular light patterns in pretty lacy patterns.
Sweet Pea & Lily fabrics fell nicely into two groups to create the light and dark rows. Every so often and accent color adds an additional pop of color or pattern. I liked the play of purples and grays in the overall quilt and decided to use green as my accent within the quilt.
The pattern uses Fat Quarters for the prints. Moda kitted Faceted so be sure to check with your local quilt shop if you are interested in making it in this fabric combination. The kit gives you some extra fat quarters so you have room to play plus leftovers for other projects.
Enjoy a diamond today and the light facets within! The larger size of half square triangle blocks makes this quilt go together relatively quickly. The Faceted pattern is available in local quilt shops and in both printed or digital pdf at my shopify shop.
Want to see more patterns using Sweet Pea & Lily? Check out more of my quilt patterns that released with this line on my blog or at shopify! Happy sewing!
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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