I wanted to create a smaller version of Showering Stars that could be used in home decor for pillows and table decoration. Scaling the stars and trails down to half size made it possible to design with these elements for my Splendid collection in Christmas pillow covers and a table runner.
I find I do most of my holiday decorating with red and the red textured background in Splendid is rich and vibrant. I love it! The whites are the cream texture which has a subtle sheen when you see the white on cream background. Simple patchwork blocks and a few longer strips make the trails and patchwork and flying geese make the stars.
I like playing with the mix of scale by having the double stars pillow and the giant star pillow with a much bigger star. The pattern includes directions for making a simple envelope back for covers and its sized for a nice substantial 26" square Eurosham size.
The table runner is sized 16 1/4" x 71". If you wanted a shorter runner you could crop off the trails on the ends or even just use the center stars with trails (making it 32-36 inches long, depending on if you include the last white blocks on the trails).
One thing that was really touching to find out about my original Showering Stars pattern was that numerous people have made it up in patriotic colors for Quilts of Valor. I love this idea! I've also mocked up these pillow covers and runner into red, white and blues to give some additonal inspiration for those that want to explore a more patriotic theme! I'll share those on the next post!
Check out my three other new patterns that use Splendid on my etsy shop and lets get sewing for Christmas!
Joy and Delight is a new pattern I designed with my Splendid Christmas line for Moda Fabrics. I wanted a quilt that showed off the fun mix of fabrics in a layer cake with decorative frameworks for the blocks. But I also quickly decided it was also a good format for alternating blocks of two fabrics- as shown below- my mistletoe greenery and poinsettias which pop nicely against the saturated red texture in the Splendid fabric line.
For an extra pop of wintery fun I decided to have graphic snowflakes surround the outer border. Afterwards I thought this could even be fun for 4th of July in reference to fireworks! The snowflakes are made with subcutting joined strips so they actually go together rather efficiently. There is something really satisfying about making a big pile of snowflake blocks!
I found the Stripology ruler from Creative Grids was a handy tool for making lots of smaller cuts in an efficient way!
And here are blocks with flying geese and framing in progress.
This is a scrappier looking version of the quilt- the original concept using the mix of a layer cake. On this one the framing around the squares is in two colors- red and green for Christmas- and the snowflakes are in a more olivey green. This is next up on my list to make!
Check out Joy and Delight along with the other three new patterns to go with Splendid in my etsy shop. Lets get some Christmas projects going!!
This group of patterns for Splendid needed a quilt with some larger sections to show off the poinsettias and cardinals without cutting them up to much. I liked the idea of vertical columns that showed a few of the prints with the pointsettias as the main center.
To balance out the large panels, I liked adding smaller pieced blocks, arranged into elegant and lacy compositions, to form as a decorative top and bottom to the columns. Thin sashing, like window edges, run the length of the quilt. The result is a group of three columns, reminiscent of church windows, with light flooding through the stained glass images. They seem grand and ceremonial and festive for a celebration.
Many thanks to The Felted Pear (Susan!) for helping me with this and making those flying geese and HST and assembling the ends!
Nature celebrates Christmas with Splendid. I feel like I can hear the jubilant song of either the church choir or the choir of birds out in the trees. This quilt pattern in mocked up into three color versions in the pattern- cream, red, and charcoal. Although this is shown with Christmas fabrics, I think it would be striking with other large scale prints, like the William Morris fabrics that Moda produces with rich jewel tones.
There are four new patterns I'm sewing for Christmas quilts with Splendid. Check out this and the others: Joy and Delight, Cardinal's Christmas Wreath, and Showering Stars Table Runner and Pillows at my etsy shop.
Harlequin is a quilt pattern I designed that uses Half Rectangle Triangles and I get quite a few questions about which ruler I recommend for it. The pattern does come with a paper template so you can make your own plastic template for cutting out the shapes. However, it is easier with a specialty ruler!
I love this quilt because it symbolizes collaboration and community to me. I had it pieced by Terry Bowman because she is more accurate and more experienced than I am and before Quilt Market we have a LOT of sewing to do in a small amount of time. So luckily for me, Terry was willing to help me out. We met at the Quilt Emporium and Lisa, the owner, also came to the rescue by getting her Bernina out of her car so we could sew up some samples in the back classroom. Lisa saw us figuring out the rectangle size that would make sense and she brought over the solution...the Creative Grids Kaleidoscope Triangle Ruler. It was a great moment of brainstorming and solutions coming together and that is a lot of what is so exciting about sharing the experience of sewing and quilting with others! Quilters are often collaborators in creative ways.
The ruler is the actual height of the pieces you cut for this quilt so it really works with the pattern well. Thank you Penny Haren for designing this lovely tool! Just like other Creative Grids rulers it has some circles of texture on the back to help hold fabric without slipping too.
Any time you are making a block that is new to you or different in trimming, etc, I suggest you make a sample block first. Some of my first samples are with my Blushing Peonies left over scraps and I am hoping to go back and make a nice springy version with pinks and oranges in my "spare time." You know how that goes... I did make this block first and make mistakes on the trimming and had to start a new one. So I'm serious when I recommend making a sample and measuring your block size end result before progressing on a pattern. It can make a big difference! Half Rectangle Triangles need to be trimmed up in a particular way so you have correct seam allowance to maintain your triangle points.
If you want to buy this ruler, please check with your local quilt shop to see if they have it. Support those local businesses! If they don't have one you can find them online through other sellers and amazon. I'm looking forward to designing some other quilts that use this ruler because I really like the proportions of these diamonds. Hope this info is helpful! Happy sewing!
Jelly Roll-friendly and quick to piece, this Showering Stars quilt is full of drama!
I knew with the Sweet Pea & Lily collection for Moda Fabrics (ships in Feb/March 2019) I wanted a quilt that used deep purple to enhance the theatrical nature of the purples in the prints. One thing I enjoy with this group is the purples are in both cool and warm purples. I needed to find the right deep purple to show off their splendor.
I have now fallen in love with Moda Bella Solid PRUNE 238. Its rich and vibrant and LUSCIOUS! Its the glorious deep purple/plum color as the background. Did I mention I bought a bolt of it? Not sure what I'm doing with the rest but I can't wait to use it as an accent to other prints.
But what would Showering Stars look like reversed, with a light background? I haven't made it this way (yet) but thought I'd give some computer inspiration for other colorways. I used a soft gray in the star points and dashes to let the colors in the star trails feel more colorful and sparkly.
And going all-out color with this turquoise background and light green star points. Completely different look but all of these are using the same Sweet Pea & Lily prints in the star trails.
This quilt was my main booth image at the Houston Quilt Market this past fall. It was fun to have such a different color play with this collection! One part I like is the greens and grays still transition through from previous collections.
Check your local quilt shop for the Showering Stars pattern, along with Sweet Pea & Lily fabrics! Patterns are also available at my etsy shop if your local shop is not carrying it.
Find a falling star and make a wish! And check back for more Sweet Pea & Lily quilts!
I've been busy doing more catch up on the Moda Blockheads 2 project! When the week calls for an applique block, Corey Yoder does an alternate block that is pieced. Due to my time constraints, I went for the pieced block. Applique just takes me longer and I have a few hand sewing projects in progress now, so pieced it is!
This Happy Scrappy Baskets pattern was so fun to make. I love simple patchwork blocks and enjoyed making it into this charming basket. Corey also has a pattern for a whole quilt with this one and it looks delightful! You can check it out here! The fabrics I used for this one were a combination of Poppy Mae, Blushing Peonies and Dandi Annie.
This 18 inch block "Mountain Climbing" was a block pattern from Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles Quilters. More details on her blog. It did take me awhile to make all the half square triangles and I tried doing a group of 4 or 8 each night. When I have lots of triangles to trim, I use a rotating mat and that really helps to streamline the trimming. The light spotted fabric here is from Dear Mum and I liked adding some solid white triangles too for a little additional pop of lightness.
And more on the catch up list- Blocks 13- Patchwork Flower designed by Corey Yoder, Block 25 Oshkosh Star by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings, and Block 22 Economy Path by Laurie Simpson. Big flowers, tiny stars and delightful plus signs...each block has been so enjoyable to make each week. The catch up continues and I only have two more blocks to go and I will be completely caught up!
Want to join along? Visit the facebook page to get started!
Yet another cute block for this week's Moda Blockheads! This block, Interstellar, was designed by Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique. I was excited when I saw it because I recently became more comfortable with sewing circles AND I decided to use my Circle Savvy Ruler from Creative Grids to make a nice smooth arc.
My first step was to print out the paper template that Vanessa included with her pattern. I make sure my printout is the correct size by checking the 1 inch box for reference.
Next I line up the circle template on the lower corner (bottom and right side) of my printout shape to include seam allowance. I can then look at where my circle template cut line for the arc lines up with the printed sheet for the curve. I have highlighted the section in yellow so you can see the parts I've lined up. I can see my inside piece will be cut to the 10 1/2" circle measurement.
When I put my fabric under the template I again line up my lower right corner to the the lines that will include seam allowance. I cut an arc through the 10 1/2" template. This curve is large enough that I can use a normal rotary cutter but on tighter circles I prefer to use a small blade rotary cutter.
I repeat the same process for the top/outside piece by first lining up the bottom seam allowance line from my printout with the template and looking for the arc that fits. For the outside piece the 9 1/2" circle is the one I want to use.
Line up to seam allowance at the lower right corner and cut the outside piece using the 9 1/2" circle template line.
After cutting my pieces I lay them on the paper template to check them. I MAY have flipped my measurements at some point in the past and learned to double check my pieces! (that's why we buy a little extra fabric, isn't it??)
In order to help me line up the inside and outside parts of the curve for pinning and sewing, I next fold my pieces in half, matching bottom side to right side and make a little crease at the fold.
I fold again so there is an additional crease mark between the middle and edges on both the inside and outside pieces. I will line up these creases when pinning my pieces right sides together.
I pin, starting with the two outer edges, then pinning the middle, then the mid points between the middle and sides.
I'm ready to sew! With curves I slow down and take my time. Sometimes it helps to increase your stitch length too. With a curve of this size I didn't need to make that adjustment. I press my seam outwards and there is a nice graceful curve for my star to live in!
Since I've been doing a little catch-up on my blocks I also did the Corey Yoder version of the star block number 21 (pieced vs applique and you can find it on Corey's blog at http://corianderquilts.com/2018/09/blockheads-wednesday/) so I'm feeling the stars today! For both of these blocks I used Dear Mum fabric and yellows from Dandi Annie by Moda.
Hope this helps if you are using the Creative Grids ruler! I love it and used it for my pattern "Towards the Sun." The pattern has a paper template but I like to use a ruler. You can check your local quilt shop for it and if they don't carry it, you can also find it on amazon or other online sellers.
Happy curved sewing!
Modern graphic blooms stand tall, reaching for the sun. This is the inspiration for my Towards the Sun quilt pattern.
I wanted a quilt to go with my Dandi Annie fabrics that reflected the round spheres of the mature seed puffs of the dandelions. The main prints have a play of large circles behind the plants and I thought they would play nicely within larger circle shapes. This became the overall composition for the blooms within a grid structure for mixing in coordinating prints. With such a graphic and geometric structure, I felt straight sectioned lines as stems would work well to support the blooms and add a new graphic element to contrast with all the circles.
This was my first time making a quilt with half circle and full circle blocks. I created a paper template to go with the pattern that you can use for making the blocks or if you'd prefer to use a specialty ruler template I'd suggest the Creative Grids Circle Savvy Quilt Ruler (CGRSAV1). It has a large range of circular sizes and I used this ruler to make my 6" finished circle blocks. Working with circles was actually quite fun and I found I was most successful with my shapes when I slowed down my sewing a little and lengthened my stitch length to help with the give and stretch going around curves.
This quilt can be made as pieced blocks or as applique, either fusible raw edge or turned edge. The white and yellow quilt here is pieced using the Creative Grids circular ruler and the pink and gray quilt is made with the fusible raw edge method. I top stitched on my machine close to the edges of the shapes after fusing.
The quilts were long arm quilted by Sally at Corona Quiltworks (IG @coronaquiltworks) using pantographs that also use circular shapes and lines, further reinforcing the graphic shapes. Towards the Sun is available at Quilt shops when it ships with Dandi Annie from Moda Fabrics in November. It is also available at my etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/robinpickensinc. If you get the digital PDF make sure you print out the template at actual size or 100% vs letting a printer resize. You can double check the sizing with the 1" marker on the template.
Houses. Neighborhood. Homes. All the differences that make up our communities. This is what I was thinking about when I was pondering the theme "Houses" for the Curated Quilts Mini Quilt Challenge.
I thought it would be interesting to eventually expand the mini quilts into a series of quilts based on houses. I started with "regular" houses bookended by the wholesome "House of God" and the not-so-wholesome "House of Ill Repute." Then I was thinking of new developments, the following of the rules of sameness in the "Homeowners Association", dense housing neighborhoods to living far away and in more solitude. It was fun to play with the rough ideas on the computer.
For challenge I thought I'd make my original "house of God and house of ill repute" neighborhood. For the structure of the houses I started with the houses from Miss Rosie's Quilt Company "The Village" quilt and made them mini...scaled down to 2" across. I also added some reference to side view angles for roofs and sides of houses.
I quilted in straight lines with the steeple of the church going vertically to emphasize the height and direction of the cross. The binding is a faced binding- my first! Hopefully I'll have time to do some more of the house quilts and grow my neighborhood.
Its coming folks! September 15th, 2018. So get your Jelly Rolls ready! I have been mulling over what I am going to make this year and I think a little computer planning and designing is in order. Last year I used my Sliding Shoji Screen pattern which uses solid Bella Jelly Rolls to divide the blocks but I flipped it so the Jelly Roll of Blushing Peonies became the strips and I used solid pink, eggshell, and the Ikat print from Amy Ellis' Serenity collection as the large panels. I loved the result!
In honor of the new National Sew a Jelly Roll day coming up I wanted to share the most recent pictures of last year's project. When I got the quilt back from my longarm quilter, Sally Corona of Corona Quiltworks I loved it even more! The quilting design has a great retro mid century modern feel and lovely flow. When it is on the wall in the foyer it lightens up the space with a calm pretty feel without being overly girly. I recently got this new lamp and I'm liking the feel of these together. Now off to start planning for September 15th...
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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