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!
It's finally here! Carolina Lilies has made it through the supply chain obstacle course and arrived in quilt shops! Yay! I'm so ready to do some more sewing with those peach, ruby, green, aqua and teal colors. What to do? Well, my dear Mother asked me what I would recommend if she wanted to make Criss Cross Kisses in Carolina Lilies. So of course I had to mock it up!
I've mocked these up in the 63 1/2" lap size quilt. These first ideas use Fat Eighths of fabric. Carolina Lilies has a sweet little print of tiny vines in a white on cream which would be lovely as the background. But the Thatched Cream is a great match too.
I've kept the idea of the red Xs and doing a split light and dark outline X with the inside halves in teals and the outsides in the lighter green/cream colorways.
The fabrics I've used here in the Fat Eighths are the Carolina Lilies main prints 48700-11, 14, 21, Boho Blooms 48701-11, 12, 21, Ferns 48702-11, 12, Little Drawings 48703-13, Vines 48704-11, 13, 17, 20, Dashed 48705-11, 12, 14, 21, Thatched 48626-191, 193, 199. I also think this looks nice on a dark background and using Thatched Soft Black would be very dramatic. The same colors are in the top image on dark. The bottom image uses more greens and aquas from the collection with only a red interior and outer triangles.
But what if you are using a Layer Cake? The mix of fabrics is a little more varied and there are not as many reds to do all red Xs. But it still looks great with a scrappier red/green/aqua look. On the bottom of the Layer Cake mockups I flipped the teal and red families so the solid Xs are green/teal and the surrounding outline Xs are reds. Subtle differences but fun to see.
What IF we tried a background color that is unexpected? Here is Thatched Green Curry 177 and it gives this such an interesting vibe! Colors and their combinations give such strong personalities to quilts.
Have fun exploring Criss Cross Kisses with a new fabric grouping! Check your local quilt shop and happy sewing!
Criss Cross Kisses Quilt pattern can also be found at my online shop RobinPickensInc.com
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!)
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!
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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