My Christmas quilts featuring my Splendid fabric came back from the longarmer, Marion Bott in Las Vegas (she's @bottmarion on Instagram). Oh I love the textures that get added to the quilts when they have the quilting done! I just want to lightly stroke each quilt and feel the patterns of the sewing.
I'm excited that Splendid is in shops now so you can all work on projects with these too! My next step is to put the bindings on and also make pillow backs and add zippers to the pillow cases (or should I leave them as envelope backs?)
Here is the Showering Stars Table Runner as I'm sewing the binding on. I like the linear pantograph of the quilting. The direction of the lines balances out the long format of the runner and strong patchwork lines of the star trails by going the other direction (horizontally vs vertically).
At the time that I was designing these patterns I had to pick out the binding fabric without having the actual made-up quilt in front of me. That is always a challenge for me- deciding binding recommendations so early in the process (but if it goes in a sales catalog I have to do it early). For most of the quilts in this group I wanted the bindings more subtle and just a complimenting Christmas color, so if the quilt is red, I'm doing a simple green. And in the case of Cardinal's Christmas Wreath, I felt so many prints were on the right and left side borders that a solid or almost-solid was called for.
But when it came to Jubilant Song I had picked the striped fabric for binding and boy, do I love it! Now I wish I had picked a striped binding for Joy and Delight. But my green strips are cut and they are attached to the front, awaiting the hand sewing to the back. I am not going to rip off a whole quilt's binding at this point. But note to future-self, be bold with the stripes!!
I recently posted some scrap bags of Splendid fabric in my online shop. There is a limited quantity so when they are gone, they're gone. And I'll be getting a few quilt kits of Joy and Delight up soon too! But for today, a-binding-we-will-sew!
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 store at shopify 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 shopify 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 shopify shop.
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!
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.
Check out the Harlequin pattern at my shopify store!
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Layers cakes and Half Square Triangles. Fun and lacy borders. Meet "Emilia"!
This quilt uses Layer Cake 10" squares to make large triangles and reflected small triangles on the opposite side with the same print. I've grouped them into color blocks. If you don't have a layer cake to use, you may want to make your cutting easier to start by using Creative Grids Perfect10 Ruler (CGRPERF10) to make those nice sized starting blocks!
One of the distiguishing characteristics of Emilia is the borders. The half square triangles continue out into the side borders, using the sashing color, to make a lovely triangular lacy edge. It makes the whole quilt almost sparkle! Wouldn't this pink version be pretty in a girl's room? I focused on pink, green and lighter purple shades for this one. I used a chartreuse green for the sashings but a minty green would be pretty too.
Emilia is written for two sizes, a larger, 76" square or smaller, 55" square lap size. You can easily adapt the pattern to add more rows of blocks if wider sizes are needed.
Emilia was designed to show with the Sweet Pea & Lily collection, which is shipping in March 2019 to quilt shops. But since I have Dandi Annie here...and its in stores now, I thought it would be fun to take a look at how Emilia might look in some summer Dandelions! These computer renders are some color play to look at the pieced blocks and how the quilt changes looks with the sashing and border colors.
I think I am partial to this darker gray border. I would use Moda Bella Solids Graphite 202 for this. I think the Moda Bella Solids Gray 83 would be nice for the sashings and border triangles.
This makes me think of a sunny summer farmhouse day! Moda Bella Solids Baby Yellow 31 and Maize 273 work nicely together with this line.
And back to grays with a lighter version of border. I like having a slight difference to white so the inner triangles pop and sparkle more. Moda's Bella Feather is a lovely very very pale gray, close to white.
Emilia can be found in local quilt shops or at my shopify shop. I hope you have some fun with half square triangle love and border play with this one! Happy sewing! For more ideas for Sweet Pea & Lily or Dandi Annie, take a look at more patterns...
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 online 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!
Imagine light coming in through the windows of the farmhouse, dancing between the panes, glowing with the warmth of the sun and soft colors of growing things.
Simple one lane roads intersecting among golden fields and the colors of morning dawn.
The dandelions in Dandi Annie celebrate the simple pleasures, joined with prints of seeds blowing in the wind, sketchy plaid, and painted leaves. Growth and warmth.
I love the way the thin sashing plays from light to dark and extends into the borders. The gray borders add a calm grounding to the bright colors.
There is something so satisfying about making stacks of half square triangles and getting them ready to arrange in balanced symmetry. This quilt is arranged in four colorways of yellow, coral/pink, green and gray. Each color group surrounds an intersection of thin sashing.
For the backing I used Moda Bella Solids in Pesto. What a great green! I'm excited to get my bolts of Dandi Annie fabrics and I'll be kitting a limited number of these quilts in this fabric. But the pattern itself is available now on my online shop and would be fun to make with other fabrics too.
Dandi Annie is shipping from Moda now (December 2018). The quilts shown here were pieced by me, Robin Pickens, and longarm quilted by Sally Corona at Corona Quiltworks.
Happy sewing and farmhouse dreaming! Check out more Dandi Annie patterns at my new shopify store!
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.
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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