The Trill quilt

In the summer I was inspired to design a quilt using all curves, and I’m so proud and excited that it came to exist in the real world. IMG_7418

I’m calling it Trill, after the wobbly notes of a bird’s call. I thought it suited both the design and the fabric, Wildwood by Elizabeth Olwen for Cloud 9. I used the collection with Cirrus Solids in Ocean, my favorite navy blue of the moment. I think one of my favorite things about this quilt is the secondary squiggle between the prints.IMG_7410

The design is actually made of just one block with different rotation and fabric placement. I’m writing a pattern for it this month and I’ll definitely keep you updated throughout the process. I can’t wait to see how someone else would interpret it– between the circles and pointed shapes and the background there are a lot of possibilities for change and movement.

IMG_7400There were two prints in the collection– one a vibrant coral, the other bright teal– that didn’t quite fall into the categories of blue or white-based print. So I made the coral the focal point and put Ocean in the center, framing it with teal in the binding.

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Speaking of binding, I tried something new that I really love as an innovative way of labeling a quilt– embroidering the binding with the alphabet stitches on my Janome 6600. I learned it from my Instagram friend Shannon, aka @nerdcamp. (She makes the coolest clothes and quilts, by the way.)

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The final size is 57″ x 69,” perfect for a couch throw. I love the drape that the quilting gives it, and it crinkled nicely after a wash. I’ll get to snuggle it after a little trip to Quilt Market, where it’s going to hang out with Elizabeth Olwen herself along with the rest of the fabulous Cloud 9 team.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to visit.

Melanie

The Cirrus Solids quilt

When I heard that my friends at Cloud 9 Fabrics were launching their own line of solids, I was so psyched to see what they’d be like. But when they asked me to turn one of Michelle’s quilt designs into reality (and get my hands on some of the Cirrus Solids a little early), it was just a dream come true. IMG_7238

Meet the Cirrus Solids quilt, my biggest quilt to date. At 72″ by 90″, it’s twin-sized, and whoo-ee was that a workout to manage on my home machine. But what a great result. It’s heavy and warm and so, so, so soft. The fabric itself is a vibrant yarn dye, in a palette that showcases brights, muted tones and a range of neutrals in all their gorgeous depth.

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I used the Hex n More ruler for the half-hexies in the 8-inch size. (I love how the ruler snips the corners for precise piecing.) In quilting the quilt, I opted to choose a focal point and have angles point to that one spot. I chose the  flower in “Sprout” with the “Rain” center.IMG_7242

Fun and cozy and bright and soft.IMG_7244

A new design and a finished top

I spent a huge part of this week at the sewing machine, anxiously piecing curves. Last week I was in the zone, singing away, admiring the fabric, but this week was about matching seams and praying to the gods of pattern design. Every time I design a new quilt a little voice in my head says, it may not look the way you think it will. I’ll test and re-calculate, but the voice doesn’t shut up until the top is done.

And this one came out pretty darn great, if I can say so myself.

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The design had come to me when I was at the Jersey Shore with family this summer, enjoying the freedom and inspiration of a break from routine. I was afraid I would forget it by the time we came back, so after dinner and before Cards Against Humanity, as the cousins played Wii, I furiously scribbled it out with crayons.

The fabric is Wildwood by Elizabeth Olwen for Cloud 9, and the navy is Cirrus Solids in Ocean. I’m furiously quilting to finish it up next week and will be sure to take all the glamor shots.

In the zone

It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it is purely magical. Today I was working on a design for Cloud 9’s market booth, and I was in the zone.

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Part of it was seeing a design that I’ve had in my pocket since July come to life and look just like I’d hope. And part of it was the gorgeous materials, Elizabeth Olwen’s Wildwood line along with Cirrus Solids in Ocean, all organic quilting cotton. It’s tricky and fun and curvy.

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Another part was the soundtrack, a new artist called Hozier. This music hit me just right, with some songs sweet and some raw and sorrowful. Some are morbid and some are sexy. Gah. It was just what I needed to back my creative energy, and it just felt so good. I know that when it hits, if you have the time to ride it, you enjoy the zone as much as you can. I feel so lucky to have had this day in the zone.

Here, “Like Real People Do”

And “From Eden”

But there are others that are more upbeat and more electric. Excellent sewing music.

Christmas quilt top and block pattern

Doesn’t Woody the fence look festive? The Christmas quilt top is done, and I’m celebrating!

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It’s my most traditional and intricate quilt to date. At 72″ square, there are more than 500 3″ finished squares of all different scrappy red, cool gray, and white-on-white prints.

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It fits my goal of making something festive but sophisticated, and it will be so warm to snuggle under next to the tree. I know it’s only September, but hopefully this is plenty of time for quilting and binding.

I’ve been asked about the pattern. I used this quilt from Flickr as inspiration to design a similar block to use in repeat, so I’m going to share the pattern I made to send to the NJMQG bee mates who contributed blocks.

Each finished block is 12 1/2″ unfinished and represents one quarter of a snowflake star. I outlined one block in black on my design to demonstrate:

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CUTTING DIRECTIONS

4 1/2″ squares: 4 white, 10 red, 10 gray

3.1/2″ squares: 2 white, 4 gray

MAKE HST UNITS

Make 1 set white/white, 2 sets gray/white, 8 sets red/gray, 2 sets red/white

There are lots of great HST tutorials out there. I like to put two squares right sides together and draw a line diagonally from one corner to another. I sew 1/4″ on either side of the line and cut on the line. Press open.

Trim HSTs down to 3 1/2″ square.

ASSEMBLE BLOCK

Lay out and assemble blocks with 1/4″ seam allowance according to the photo below.

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Voila! My quilt uses 36 of these blocks to make 9 full snowflake stars. I’d love to see other versions of the blocks, so if you make some, let me know!

Ok, one more big shot:

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Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday!