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!
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 will be shipping to local quilt shops soon! If its not at your local shop it can also be found in my etsy shop. I hope you have some fun with half square triangle love and border play with this one! 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!
Gibby by Laurie Simpson and Rolling Stone by Jo Morton. I love how fast and easily Gibby went together. Since the pieces were 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" I had plenty of leftovers from other blocks to use! Rolling Stone was also fast due to the smaller size and easy piecing.
With Dreamy by Sherri McConnell I knew I could use more leftovers and go really scrappy...or take some shortcuts on making my blocks by sewing some strips and subdividing them.
First I gathered some 2 1/2" strips and combined them in groups of three and joined them.
Then by lining up my Creative Grids ruler on the 2 1/2" line I could sub-cut these. Then 3 rows became my 9-patch squares. I am a big fan of Creative Grids due to that extra 1/2" side for easy lining up and measuring for cutting with seam allowances (or flip to the other side to measure from a solid inch). When making multiple blocks some steps like this can really save some time.
Are you sewing along with Moda Blockheads too? Join the facebook group and sew along!
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!
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 etsy shop and would be fun to make with other fabrics too.
Dandi Annie is shipping from Moda now (December 2018).
Happy sewing and farmhouse dreaming! Check out my other Dandi Annie patterns too!
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!
Sweet Peas are a lovely combination of elegance and simple delicacy combined with theatrical colors and rich tones. Purples make me think of royalty, drama and celebrations. Deep purple, lavender, warm pink and plum colors look luscious in these Sweet Peas, and feel special in their blend of sweetness and strength. Lily of the Valley with graceful hanging bells of little pops of creamy color add a charming mix to this collection, “Sweet Pea & Lily.”
Additional pink, plum and purple Astor flowers, fluttering butterflies, swirling leaves, tiny branches, ornate medallions, and sketchy lines all joined in the sketchbook and watercolor studies for this collection. The group celebrates the range of warm to cool colors of purples and how they play well with pinks and greens. There is still a touch of gray to balance the brighter colors, as well as to tie in with past collections.
It makes me happy to remember that we often would call our daughter "Sweet Pea" (and sometimes still do) and I wish I had these fabrics when she was younger to make a quilt to go in her room with the cream and pink walls. But now, even as she has gotten older, she can enjoy the deep purples and greens and still likes all the lovely flowers!
Sweet Pea & Lily will be showing at the fall Quilt Market in Houston. I've been busy measuring, cutting, and sewing my new quilts to go with the collection. There are four new patterns I'll be showing soon! If you are in Houston for Market, come on by the Moda booth designer sections. I'll be in booth space 235 and look forward to meeting with you!
Precuts for this collection from Moda Fabrics include Fat Quarter Bundles, Fat Eighth Bundles, Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, Charm Packs and Mini Charms. The collection will be shipping to shops in March 2019.
Oh! One more thing for quilt shops! Excited that my quilt patterns are now being carried by both United Notions AND Checker Distributors!
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.
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.
Shop Robin's Designs
© Robin Pickens Inc. All rights reserved. No images may be reproduced without permission.