Today is Jen Kingwell’s turn to share a quilt block pattern. The name of her block is Proposal and it has a great story behind it. To get the pattern and learn more about the block, visit Jen’s blog, HERE.
Using Jen’s inspiration for her block, I decided to use all lights to represent a diamond. My Diamond is not perfect and since there is all different qualities of diamonds I left the imperfections!! Another thing I learned while pulling fabric for this one is I must love white/cremes with tan or grey dots.
If you follow me on Instagram of Facebook then you probably have seen some of the pictures of my only daughter’s wedding. I wanted to share another story which seems fitting on the topic of proposals. My daughter has always been a city girl but she met and fell in love with a country boy. He proposed to her by carving the words into a tree on their land. The night he was planning on proposing she was late coming home from work which also meant she was tired and probably a little cranky. He insisted on going for a ride and he had something to show her. While she wanted to wait until the morning, but she went ahead and this is what she saw. (picture was taken in the morning)
I had help along the way. Do you sew in your swimsuit?
So when it came time to make her a quilt for her wedding, I could think of no other pattern than a tree block. I sent blocks out to some of their friends and family for messages and well wishes.
I think they were pretty surprised! For a few days this was their wedding quilt, now we call it the Babymaker. No pressure!!
Just in case you are wondering I used a tutorial from Amy Smart for this block. You can find the info HERE.
Visit each of the designers listed below for their take on the Proposal block.
If you have been following along on my Sisterhood of Scraps stories, then you probably know about my love of the color Orange.
One of the Orange quilts that have been on my “MUST MAKE Pinterest Board” is this antique quilt from Barbara Brackman’s quilt collection. I was so excited when she let me include it in the Sisterhood series of books. Then comes along All Hallow’s Eve by Fig Tree and Co, and I became obsessed with the orange’s in this collection, the color is officially named pumpkin. Not too bright or not too orange….just right.
I knew I had found the perfect fabric to remake Barbara’s quilt. Stock # 20354-11 just in case you want to rush to the store to get some.
What really is the hardest decision in the quilt making process is how to quilt it. Finding a quilter that can work their magic takes some time. Several of the quilts in Sisterhood of Scraps were quilted by Maggi Honeyman, so I asked her to do a post about how she goes through the process of quilting scrappy quilts.
When Lissa asked me to write a post about quilting scrappy quilts, I knew it was a subject that is right up my alley. My quilt-making journey has been about scrappy quilts from the beginning. The more fabrics that are included in one quilt top, the better! So, when it comes to quilting them, I feel at home. Over the 19+ years that I have been quilting on a long-arm quilting machine for other individuals, there has been a big transformation in how we approach quilting scrappy quilts. When I started, doing an all-over repeated pattern on most quilts just wasn’t the preferred option. This has changed recently, particularly on scrappy quilts.
I am a very traditional piecer and my quilting style definitely tends towards traditional patterns, whether on scrappy or more fabric specific quilts. I always try and let the quilt suggest to me what it needs in the way of quilting when the piecer is unsure of how they want their quilt finished. The types of fabrics or the block design are a couple of ways a quilt can talk to you. Sometimes it takes getting the quilt loaded on the machine; and other times, the quilt speaks for itself. Feathers and crosshatching are always great go-to-patterns for custom quilting. For the more modern quilts, it has been a bigger stretch for me artistically. When deciding on ideas for quilting, I will use a piece of Press-n-Seal to carefully draw on top of the quilt, which helps me visualize how my idea will actually look on the quilt. There is also a multitude of long-arm machine quilters who have written fantastic books with design ideas, as well as internet resources, that have lots of ideas for custom quilting on all types of quilts. These books and the internet have changed the machine quilting world immensely.
Having said this about custom quilting, all-over/edge to edge designs have become much more acceptable, just as machine quilting is more acceptable than it was 20 years ago. When looking at scrappy quilts, I feel that the fabrics and the actual piecing pattern make the biggest or most important statement for a quilt. On these quilts with so much interest in the fabrics and design, the quilting simply needs to add texture and dimension. I will pick an all-over design for scrappy quilts as often as choosing to quilt it custom.
As with scrappy quilts, I have always loved pieced backs. My philosophy is to use what I have and that includes pieced backs. But what I really mean is if I don’t use what I have, then I can hardly justify buying more!! So, when customers bring pieced backs, I am quite ok with that. However, when there are lots of pieces used for the back, it is very easy for the back not to be “square”. Careful measuring and piecing is just as important for the back as it is for the front so that you have a nice flat back. While quilting the top, I can see when a bit of adjustment is needed and I can attend to it. When the back has some less than square properties, it is much more difficult to see and correct while quilting. Many of my quilts have pieced backs, as it adds another artistic element, and making quilts is very much an artistic outlet for most quilters. When I piece my backs, if I am not using some of my leftover blocks for part of the back, I use a ½” seam allowance with a slightly shorter stitch length and then press the seams open.
As far as pressing seams prior to quilting, when a piecer chooses to press the seams open, they should know that any stitch-in-the-ditch quilting is more difficult. Also, stitching in an open seam runs the risk of cutting the piecing threads with the needle while doing the quilting. If the seam is pressed to one side, it gives you the ditch to stitch in, which provides the stability and structure that stitch-in-the-ditch is intended to give. Having said that, open seam allowances allow for much flatter intersections to quilt through and over. Thicker seam allowances always benefit from very good steam/heavy pressing to ensure they are the flattest they can be.
I hope these thoughts have given you some insight into my quilting process for scrappy quilts. Everybody has their own process, but in the end, we are all makers in one big sisterhood of quilters. This is first, a way to relax, express ourselves, belong to a group, and have fun. There are no hard and fast rules and there is no perfection. Make it yours and know I truly love quilting with you!
Thanks so very much for quilting with me,
Thank you Maggi for always making my quilts SING! and sharing such great tips.You can find Maggi on Facebook.
and Instagram @sewmaggi
Join me back here tomorrow as I share what Maggi has been working on lately.
** Sisterhood of Scraps is available NOW from your favorite book retailer.
Today’s post is a guest post from the uber-talented Susan Ache. Susan is one of the contributing artists in my new book Sisterhood of Scraps. Susan shares with us all about hibernation and what she does in THE cold month in Florida. ( one little hiccup- that I am posting this in February but I think you will get the gist and enjoy Susan’s process.)
Susan’s quilt from Sisterhood of Scraps, Scrap Diving.
It’s not something I get to say often, but, I am a “guest blogger”. Thank you, Lissa, for inviting me to your space. Let’s get some introductions started. Happy New Year to everybody, I’m Susan Ache (pronounced like hockey without the H) and, I play just about every day on Instagram @yardgrl60. I live in Florida, sewing by day and stitching by night.
Now that you know all about me, let’s talk hibernation. I am not about to spend my fun blogging time talking about new year resolutions cleaning and organizing my sewing room with tips and hints. I am going to talk about how I turn my air down really low, throw food in the crockpot and hibernate in my sewing room for the month of January and sometimes February. Florida gets a few cold days in February while the rest of the country is bundled up and snowed in during January. Well, I like to be a part of that fun, so, let’s talk about what I like to spend my time doing.
Hibernating January is such a quiet month to plot and plan new quilt projects from my inspirations I have saved over the year. Let’s not even begin to think that I write it down or count the number of things I want to get done, I just like visuals to let me know that it’s all there for me when I want to start. You know those tabs you put in books to mark your favorites, or if you are like me, those patterns you put in a file, so you will never forget you want to make them. January is my time to sit and re-evaluate what I really want to get done and what I really have in my stash to accomplish that. I do love playing in my scraps, so most of the time, I am lucky enough not to have to cut into the “real” fabric, but, I do like to know that when there is something special I do want to make, I have the materials on hand. The best part about my process is that I don’t actually “kit” my projects. I get everything together, make little notes, and take a quick snapshot of it. I keep that little “kit” photo in an album in my camera phone and will always have exactly what I pulled that day right at my fingertips.
Here’s the thing, I love, and I can’t even begin to say how much I just love to sit down at the machine and make a quilt block. Hibernating January is my time to do this from all of my “kits” that I have pulled. There are three main reasons why I make a practice block. The first reason is that I like to see if I like the construction of the block and if there is possibly an easier way for me to construct it. The second reason, how many times have you started a quilt and realized halfway through that you don’t really even enjoy making the block. Well, by making just one or two blocks, I can pretty much tell if it is something I will enjoy making lots of. And, finally, my favorite reason of all, I have an extra block to throw in my “orphan” basket of quilt blocks, which always come in handy when I want to make a sampler quilt.
Having Hibernating January is also my time to play with all of the templates and rulers that I have randomly picked up at shops, shows, or online. Taking the time to see what those things can do certainly helps me have more fun during the year when I finally learn how to use them. Years ago, I found an entire little box in the back of my cutting table filled with all sizes of drunkards path templates. I spent Hibernating January figuring out how to make curved piecing more comfortable for me, and to this day, it is one of my very favorite features of a quilt or a quilt block, and I feel confident making them because I carved out some quiet non-stressful time to practice.
I want to Welcome Barbara Brackman today as she does a guest post about her quilt in my new book, Sisterhood of Scraps.
“When Using Stripes and Plaids Buy Extra Fabric to Match.”
Someone ignored that good old HomeEc advice to make the Orange Zig-Zag. Lucky for us.
The quilt top came from a Topeka, Kansas thrift store in the 1970s. I asked church ladies in Garnett, Kansas to hand quilt it in the ‘80s. I’d guess the quilt dates to about 1920 due to two fabric style characteristics. The oranges are all cut from the same solid and it looks like a 20th-century dye, not chrome orange, a 19th-century dye. It’s not really lightfast. I hung it too long one winter in Seattle where there’s not much sun; yet the orange faded a bit.
The light fabrics are shirting stripes and plaids, which were quite popular for everybody’s clothing in the teens. Even the giant black and white stripes were probably meant for a snappy men’s shirt, worn with a celluloid collar.
Ad from 1910
I’ve enjoyed hanging it over the years to the envy of my friends who decided to make their own. You might want to use Lissa’s pattern beyond the advice I gave them:
“Get a bunch of orange prints & solids and white stripes & plaids. Make a 60-degree diamond template. Piece rows. When you get bored piece some half diamonds along two sides.”
That’s how I do things, but my friends bought a 60-degree ruler and counted.
We had an orange-fest at our quilt show a few years ago. The quilt on the left is by Kathe Dougherty, a faithful copy. Karla Menaugh’s on the right was done in a Kaffe Fassett workshop.
Kathe was really able to match the look of a century ago.
Orange Zig-Zag by Carol Gilham Jones (Not Orange)
Thank you, Barbara, for sharing your quilt in the Sisterhood of Scraps.
Here is my version that primarily uses the Lollies fabrics by Jen Kingwell. I want to make a quilt exactly like Barbara’s and probably still will.
Please share your version by using the hashtags #sisterhoodofscraps.
Today is my mom’s birthday or as we all called her, Gammy, you know like the Grammy’s. We all won the biggest award by having her in our lives. She was so creative and taught us all to work with our hands. In honor of my mom’s birthday, January 6th is the best day to announce the debut of Sisterhood of Scraps.
Sisterhood of Scraps is a follow-up book to Oh Scrap, but this one is bigger and better because some of my friends have come along for the journey. Laurie Simpson, Susan Ache, Barbara Brackman, Sandy Klop, Kim Brackett and Sheryl Johnson all helped make this book happen. Each of these talented women said YES when I asked them if they wanted to take on the challenge.
They weren’t scared!!
I paired with each person to make a quilt incorporating a certain shape. I would do the same shape but neither of us knew anything else. No other rules or limitations and I hope these quilts inspire you to join the Sisterhood of Scraps.
First up is Laurie Simpson of Minick & SImpson. Laurie has a very classic and timeless style and this quilt did not disappoint. The challenge for Laurie was 4 patches and 9 patches. Remember that was the only rule. There are so many secondary patterns in this quilt that I can look at it over and over and see different patterns created by the lights and darks throughout. The stacked brick border sends your eye back into the quilt. The quilting pattern is what I call a baptist fan. The curved shape of the quilting compliments the linear piecing.
This is my version of 4 patches and 9 patches. I don’t know how most people go about making a scrap quilt but most of the time I just start sewing shapes. It is my therapy, mindless sewing at the end of the day while binge-watching my favorite show.
This quilt is bits and pieces from a couple of other quilts I have made. I call it Friendship Starter because it reminded me of the Amish Friendship bread recipe. Friendship bread you create the starter, keep adding to it and wait patiently until it is time to make bread all the while the starter is shared with others to cultivate their recipe.
SIDE NOTE: I did pass along all the little four patch starters.
Susan Ache of @yardgrl60 Has created just the perfect pop of color using a red background for her LeMoyne stars surrounded by Log Cabins. The quilt is brand new but has that wonderful soft vintage feel as if it had been around for decades. A red binding finished it off beautifully.
Log Cabin was our shape in common. I made a log cabin on point with different centers, half dark and half light to create a woven pattern. If you have followed me you know I love using a combination of different Moda fabric designers’ fabrics. It just makes me happy and I think of each of them as I touch each piece. I love the quilting on this quilt. A floral design was quilted on the light section and simple straight lines in the dark. This also helps create an optical illusion on how the blocks were even pieced. All I need now is an actual log cabin house to go with the quilt. This is a great scrap buster for sure!!
I will give you a minute or two to catch your breath from this quilt.
Ok, got it?
Do you need to scroll up to see the picture again?
This quilt is even more spectacular in person.
Sandy Klop of American Jane is the creator of this quilt. Forever Friends is Sandy’s quilt. I look at this quilt and think about how each fabric tells a story and what was Sandy thinking about as she worked on this. The shape that Sandy and I both went with was a 1 patch square.
When I made my quilt and knew that my sister on the project was Sandy I knew I had to use reds and that my quilt had to be bright and vibrant just like Sandy’s personality and friendship is to me.
One main difference is her squares are uber small and mine and big and funky.
My quilt is named Ketchup and Mustard and is perfect for a picnic quilt.
( thank you Tammy Vonderschmitt for the quilt name.)
It is hard to have just one favorite quilt from the book,
just like it would be hard to have a favorite child but this quilt Half Square Hashtags from Sheryl Johnson will be the first one I reproduce.
I have always been a fan of Sheryl and her shop Temecula Quilts but had not met her in person until we started working on this book. The challenge I gave Sheryl was make something with half-square triangles, yes that was all I said and she created this beauty.
Part friendship quilt and part signatures from people that have influenced my life is the inspiration for my sister quilt to Sheryl’s, INFLUENCERS. I was able to get signatures some of my teachers, designers, friends, family even the president of Quilts, inc and Moda fabrics. I got signatures from new friends at quilting events and hope to travel some with this quilt, so if I see you I will most likely pull out a pen and ask you for your signature. Thanks for your influence.
Kim Brackett hit it out of the part with her DIVERGENCE quilt. So much pattern,
color and movement throughout the quilt without a single set in-seam.
My kind of quilt looks hard but it is easy.
The quilt just makes me happy!
Remember we did not see each other’s quilts until far along in the process. Trapezoid shapes. Geez, what did I do to myself?
You can never have to many holiday quilt so I went with classic Christmas colors, but wanted to create a spinning effect by making the backgrounds between the stars half darks and half lights. Then I thought it would be a super cool bed quilt with
the star set on point so filled it with background fabrics to float.
Barbara Brackman, the queen of quilting has graciously included one of her antique quilts in this book. Barbara and I did sisterhood quilts a little different. She sent me pictures of several antique quilts and I knew the Orange one was it. To tell you what a small world it is, I had saved a picture of this quilt and it was on my “to make in sometime life” list of quilts and had no idea
it was Barbara’s quilt.
Barbara reproduced her own quilt as a mini and yes the pattern is also in the book.
This quilt was probably the hardest to decide upon. Since I had seen Barbara’s quilt and it was on my must-make list, how could I think of anything else but the wonderfully faded orange and the black and white stripes and tickings? Seriously how can you mess with perfection? So I started with the graphic black and whites but went with dots instead of stripes, added tickings and vintage-inspired lights. Okay, half the fabric was decided upon. The other half of the quilt is Jen Kingwell’s Lollies fabrics. These fabrics are 8 fabrics in one so it was a breeze to get a scrappy look with a limited amount of fabrics. While not messing with the greatness of Barbara’s quilt, I think my Pot of Gold quilt gives lots of options when looking at color and fabric differently. I will still be making the Orange version. ( thanks to Sarah Huecthmann for piecing the top for me)
I am going to have some guest posts from some of the contributors over the next 2 weeks, and there will be prizes!! Books are in stores now. #sisterhoodofscraps
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GAMMY
I get my laugh, my humor,
my snark, my patience
and so much more from my mom.
I know she would love all the quilts and brag to everyone she met.
Happy Birthday Mom and thanks for nurturing and encouraging all things creative in me.
I had already made one of these quilts but there is nothing like a quilt-along to encourage you to jump in on another project.
Several people in my family have hinted that they want their own flag quilt and I have a fairly large family!
My daughter (only girl with 4 brothers) got wind that I was making another one
of Camille’s quilts and she decided
she wanted to make one as a gift.
I couldnt believe this and I didnt dare want to pass up the opportunity of JIllian making a quilt.
She hasn’t made a quilt since she was in fourth grade.
She did win a prize at the Dallas Quilt Show for her sunflower nine patch quilt.
She seems to think it was a participation ribbon and all the kids got one.
I dont remember it like that at all!!
Jillian lives about an hour away from me but comes to town often, so we took this project on.
She had a deadline!!
She was on a mission!!
Great photo props in the country!
A little photo op in the country with a lady bug landing on one of the quilts…
JIllian showing off the quilt she made that will be gifted this week.
I always joke that it is just as fast to make 2 quilts as it is to make 1,
so while she was sewing away I was cutting and cutting and cutting.
She thought she would never finish which was quite humorous.
What she didnt know was that I was sewing another set of flags after she went home.
I found the perfect shade of green (jillian’s favorite color)
and a yummy green fireside/snuggles fabric for the back.
Sent both quilt tops off to the quilter (Red Velvet Quilts) in time to finish before the fourth of July.
I have made several flag quilts in my lifetime but I have never made 3 from the same pattern, really 2 and helped with the third.
But I am hooked on this quilt and will probably make many more. Remember that big family I mentioned?
I love the phrase “secret sewing”. My whole life is based on secret sewing. I get to work ahead on many of the lines that Moda produces. I get to try out new products. I get to use products I thought I would never need like the Shape Cut ruler by June Tailor. While doing some of my secret market sewing, more on that later, I remembered that one of the girls in the office swears by her Shape Cut ruler. I am a pretty fast and accurate cutter so I did not see the need to have to fit my rotary cutter into a little sliver just to make a cut. Never say never! I tried it and I loved it!
Why did I love it? One of my secret sewing projects was to make a quilt to be displayed in the Moda Quilt Market booth. It had lots of strips sets and I do like to layer and cut which can lead to your ruler slipping and sliding.
I laid out the strips right sides together and butted the seams next to each other. Then shifted the strip sets so all the seams were not on top of each other. This is where the Shape Cut ruler came in so handy. The weight and size of the ruler kept all my layers together and I did not have to move the ruler. Yeah!!
My pieces were all ready to go to the machine and sew and sew and sew!
Now that Quilt Market is over and Bonnie & Camille have introduced their next line of fabric, Early Bird, I can show my “not a secret any more sewing.”
Fabric will arrive in stores October 2019. It will be here before you know it.
Thanks for listening to my secret sewing story and my new love, of the Shape Cut ruler. Yes I did have to give Janet back her ruler but I am now a proud owner of my own!!