Fair and Square has a special place in my heart because it was in the first group of patterns I designed. I've learned a lot since then and ended up completely rewriting the instructions. This quilt continues to be a learning experience for me!
I made a revision to the design from the original quilt. I wanted to show this quilt with a soft, buttery yellow background to go with my big bright sunflowers. Sometimes with a pale color mixed with prints needs a little more defining contrast. I loved how a thin white border gave a little additional crispness to the block centers. I decided to carry that thin white sashing around the border to define the space.
The first time I made this quilt I thought the process of making half square triangles went on FOREVER! Now I just enjoy seeing those big blocks come together from a fun mix of little triangles. This quilt can be a fun way to use up some of your extra half square triangles (I save all my extras for scrappy projects) or pieces at least 3" square. Yup, got a lot of those. This pattern specifies a layer cake but can also be made with scrappy pieces approximately 3 x 5" with background fabric added.
Part of my learning experience this time on the quilt was doing the longarm quilting. My system is computerized and I put the sewing designs into the individual blocks vs going with a continual pantograph that is edge to edge. I did a different border design and two designs rotating between the two types of block styles. Aligning the design, staying centered, working out what looked right with the blocks...I did numerous tests on scraps first. I can say I have SO much respect for the amazing longarm quilters out there that I see doing incredible custom work. It's not easy and requires patience and expertise, even when its guided by the computer. I'm glad I pushed myself to try this. It's not perfect, but I think I gave up the quest for perfection a long time ago! I quite enjoy seeing the areas that have mistakes because it records learning and improving for me.
The back of this quilt has the print from Solana of little ladybugs. I just couldn't wait to try this on a backing since it is such a fun little print and I love ladybugs! They seem like good luck and fond wishes coming from busy little bright ladies. This print is great for a backing since the ladybugs have little dashed lines of curvy walking paths in a subtle texture in the background so its very forgiving if you make mistakes while quilting. Yes, I know that from personal experience.
In case you were wondering what yellow this is, its Moda Bella Solids Baby Yellow 31. I paired it with Bella White Bleached 98. This is the original Fair and Square quilt I made with Poppy Mae, my first Moda Fabrics line. It was quilted by Gina Siembieda.
If you want to check out other quilts made with Solana, visit these posts:
or visit my shop! Have a sunny, happy sewing day!
The other new pattern I've released to go with the Solana fabric group is Simple Solstice. This quilt can be done with a Layer Cake or Charm Pack for a small or large quilt! I love the cheery sunshines in sunflower Solana warmth.
The original plan was just the larger quilt, but when I tried blocks in the smaller, Charm Pack, size, I fell in love with the scale of the sunshines. It makes a lovely wall quilt or baby quilt and can have another row nicely added to make it a square.
This quilt pattern uses a mix of stitch and flip corners to make snowball blocks, with rays from half square triangles and flying geese. Because the HST and flying geese are spaced apart, there is minimal corner and point matching to do, so this is really a very forgiving quilt if you don't like having to match lots of points and seams exactly.
I also like the combination of using the scenic print from Solana for the back of the quilt against the white of the front background fabric. For the small version I used the white on white print of the sunflower seeds and it gives the quilt a slightly lacy feel.
Fun fact: this Windsor chair was my Grandmother's. It has traveled with me from home to home and almost always lives in the corner of my bedroom or a guest bedroom. There is something comforting about having a quilt draped over the arm of this chair and I love the smooth wood of the well worn chair arms.
My little visitor friend seems to like these quilt blocks quite a lot. On two separate visits, she claimed them as the place she needed to sit. She knows what she likes!
Simple Solstice will be shipping to shops and the Solana fabric will be shipping in October. If you want to check out this and the other patterns shown with Solana, visit my previous post or my shop. Happy sewing and enjoy the sunshine!
There are rectangular pavers leading up to the front door so the sound of the UPS man with boxes and a dolly have a "Clunkity, clunkity" sound as the wheels drop into the open spaces between the pavers. I know that sound well around here and today it was the sound of PATTERNS ARRIVING!
There are three new patterns for the Solana group of fabrics and this one, BACKSLASH, was the last of the three to arrive from the printer! Tonight we will be bagging patterns while watching tv and tomorrow I will box up some orders going out. Of the three patterns, this one feels the quickest to do and I really like how much fun stuff is in it due to all the print fabrics. It's a little bit of background, a lot of prints.
ThI've made Backslash in color stories- shown here in blues and yellows and one in coral, yellow and green. I liked the flow of movement I got with using a family of fabrics in consistent yardage cuts. This quilt is shown with 11 print fabrics. For the Lap size, you would use 1/3 yard cuts, for the Twin 1/2 yard cuts and for the Queen 3/4 yard cuts (plus background). This quilt can also be made with a Layer Cake. That gives it a busier, scrappier look but could be really fun too! The forward slash and backslash thin sashings on the angled blocks combined with the smaller/grouped in 4 half square triangle blocks provide lots of angles for your eye to travel around the quilt.
This quilt is suitable for more novice quilters or is great to use to showcase a lively group of fabrics together. I hope you have as much fun with Backslash as I did and that you will also check out my other Solana patterns of Simple Solstice and Fair and Square at my shop! (Solana ships to shops in October) Happy sewing!
I love envisioning past patterns in new fabric lines and since Abby Rose is in shops now, let's play with those cabbage roses!
This light blue in Abby Rose is Thatched Seafoam and I just love the softness and warmer tone of that pretty blue! I wanted to see that as the larger side borders with a cream to highlight the fringe thin sashings. A good choice for the cream is Thatched cream 26 or Bella Solids Porcelain.
Here is the cream as the main background with the Abby Rose/Thatched Greenery 124 as the sashings. We have blenders in the Thatched texture with new collections and they don't all automatically become new basics in Thatched. But if a color is different enough and popular, it's a good chance that it will. Greenery is not as yellowy as charteuse, although it is close. Its pretty and soft, like the other Abby Rose colors.
If you were making a king sized quilt, I would assume doubling the twin size. This mockup shows the Greenery as the large border block with the seafoam as the rectangles in the borders. I like the idea of mixing two colors for the borders! You could even go completely scrappy with the borders and have it be an extension of the prints in the body of the quilt.
This last image uses the darker, Night 89 Thatched from Abby Rose. It is the same as 89 Marine. I have been so fascinated by Marine, Navy and Burgundy Thatched lately as deep, rich tones. They are so full of depth and personality! Notice on this image that the thin sashings are done in Seafoam Thatched for the two outer pieces, and cream for the inside piece in every group of three. Or you could go from light to dark in three steps to get a more gradated ramp. Lots of possibilities. I just love the drama of the darker border color!
I think Fringe is also a good pattern to play with those large blocks as crazy quilt piecing, string piecing, embroidery panels...lots of options! I hope "seeing" the possibilities with Abby Rose is helpful here!
Happy sewing everyone!
Kyoto Steps quilt pattern was launched with Painted Meadow fabric and we were just cutting some more kits in the studio last week. My kits do use the coneflowers and bees in the Painted Meadow fabrics and are available in both Twin and Lap size in the red and blue/green colorways. I did a little video to show my Kyoto Steps quilts on my youtube channel. I hope you will check out other videos on my channel!
Since Abby Rose just shipped to shops recently, I thought this would be a great time to show how this quilt could look in Abby Rose! The quilt needs 1/2 yard cuts in 6 fabrics (plus background fabric) for the twin size, 1/3 yard cuts plus background for lap size, and if you are making a full/queen you would have a mixture of 3/4 and 2/3 yard cuts plus background fabric. I enjoy mixing groups of 6 fabrics to see the different looks in romantic roses!
I've included information under each image to list the Abby Rose fabrics used in the mockup. I've listed the name, color and SKU number in case you want to order fabric from your local shops. The first mockups play with orange and pink and pink and green colors. Pretty, springy quilts in light and sweet colors.
How would it look to use a background with more color and with dark shades? I tried Thatched in Cranberry and Burgundy to offset a pink and orange mix and I love the deeper feeling of these.
Greens and Blues? Abby Rose has a soft seafoam blue that mixes nicely with the fresh green. The darker blue is called Night in Abby Rose and is the same Thatched color as Marine 89. I like the crisp feeling of this darker blue against the cream background. I also like using the lighter seafoam blues with Night as a background.
If you are looking for kits using Painted Meadow, visit my shop at www.robinpickensinc.com. You can also see more details of the Painted Meadow quilts on my youtube channel. For Abby Rose, check with your local quilt shops and have a great time sewing!
I've had a number of requests for showing Painted Meadow fabric in my Joy and Delight quilt design. I love the ease of the computer to try out a few things so lets have some color and print fun! I designed Joy and Delight with my Christmas collection, Splendid. I showed it with the blocks alternating two prints OR in a version with the large block centers using a Layer Cake for a scrappier look. With this exercise in color play, I'm staying with the scrappy Layer Cake assortment.
I'm starting with some of my favorites (I think) because I really enjoy how soft and pretty these can look in this more pastel palette. The above quilt shows the snowflakes in the borders in pink. So now I can feel free to call them sparkle bursts instead of snowflakes. They have a sparkly decorative feeling. Of course you can make this quilt without the border sparkles but I think they do add a layer of twinkle (or pixie dust??) to make those borders feel special. Below is a more close up view to see the softness of the sparkle bursts in a light color. Also the framing around the blocks is shown in pink (below) vs light green (above).
A little more exploration of pinks...lighter to the deeper pink. With the lighter pink background I used dark pink framing and border sparkles. When using a darker frame around the blocks, I like to switch the small squares in between to a light color for more contrast and the color sparkle of the white accents (see, more sparkle!). With the dark pink I went back to the pop of the cream frames but made my border sparkles even darker red.
I enjoy the more dramatic tealish blues of Painted Meadow and thought it would be fun to see some blue stories. A deep midnight blue frames the squares in this first one.
And on this version I wanted to add a soft khaki or light tan for the frames. I think the addition of the neutral natural light tan gives this an entirely different feeling and is a nice compliment to all the color in the blocks. There is something so restful and calm about this color combination.
Hope you enjoyed a little color play with Painted Meadow and this helps in visualizing quilt plans! If you are interested in Joy and Delight, it is shown in Splendid in my shop.
Blockheads 3 is approaching! It is slated to start on January 15th, 2020. I joined in the fun of sewing along with the online group of people last year for Blockheads 2. I looked forward to each Wednesday and the surprise of a new block, not knowing if it would be large or small, challenging or easy. I learned fun things along the way, like how efficient it can be to use triangle paper, and that little piecing can be really fun (thanks for those Lisa Bongean!). This year I'm especially excited since I am one of the designers providing the blocks!
First, I'm going to take a look back at this past year's efforts. This is the joined, but not yet quilted, quilt top I made for Blockheads 2. I usually work up my quilts in the computer first, so any project that gives me blocks without knowing the eventual outcome, is a fun chance to just play with fabric and color and the suspense of wondering what is coming next. Also- playing along in Moda Blockheads is free. Please don't mass distribute or repost the patterns. But please do share pictures of the blocks you make!
In Blockheads 2 I decided to make my blocks with a scrappy mix of my fabric lines of Poppy Mae, Blushing Peonies, Dear Mum, Dandi Annie, and a little bit of Sweet Pea & Lily, mixed with solids. I focused on color palettes of green, blue/teal, pink and coral, and a touch of yellow and orange. I often rotated the colors I used, week to week.
-Blockheads 2 had a variety of block sizes. This year you will have a couple options regarding size! More to come on that, so stay tuned for more information from the Moda Cutting Table blog posts as well as the Moda Blockheads Facebook Group. In the past I've participated in sew-alongs on Instagram so this was the first time I participated in one on Facebook. It is so interesting to see what people post for their blocks each week. I love to see the range of fabric and color choices. Some people even make two quilts with two completely different fabric groups and colorways. I hope you join the Facebook group to make it easy to connect with other quilters on the journey.
If you are interested in making your blocks with some of my fabrics, I have posted some fat quarter bundles in my online shop with 8 fat quarters each. Painted Meadow and Thatched are currently in quilt shops, so you can get those from your local quilt shops. I'm offering some bundles from my earlier collections including Blushing Peonies, Dear Mum and Dandi Annie. These bundles are intended as a starting place of inspiration or to help fill out your fabric pull (or feel free to use them on some other project you have in mind).
This year, I'm thinking about using a scrappy mix of my collections again, but this time weaving in more of my Thatched Basics! The color chart shows the basics so far, plus some Thatched shows up in new collections (like Abby Rose which has a seafoam color and warm light pink). I'm thinking about doing my blocks in color families and trying for a rainbow of color bands. So Dandi Annie yellows with Maize Thatched, Dear Mum Chartreuse with Thatched Chartreuse and Sprig, etc.
Who is playing along? This following group of designers will be posting their blocks on their blog when it is their week by 6am CST on Wednesdays. These are the Moda Designers and their blogs:
Corey Yoder https://corianderquilts.com/
Sherri McConnell https://www.aquiltinglife.com/
Brigitte Heitland https://www.brigitteheitland.de/blog
Betsy Chutchian http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/
Jan Patek http://janpatek.blogspot.com/
Lisa Bongean https://lisabongean.com/
Lissa Alexander http://modalissa.com/
Laurie Simpson http://minickandsimpson.blogspot.com/
Vanessa Goertzen https://lellaboutique.blogspot.com/
Stacy Iest Hsu https://www.stacyiesthsu.com/blog/
Robin Pickens https://www.robinpickens.com/
Janet Clare http://janetclare.co.uk/blog/
Jen Kingwell http://jenkingwelldesigns.blogspot.com/
Joanna Figueroa https://blog.figtreeandcompany.com/
Start gathering your fabrics up and get ready to start Moda Blockheads 3!
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!
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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