Sunday, 31 May 2015

Hello, Bear Challenge [Wagon Wheel Quilt]

Hello Bear Challenge

Hello Bear Challenge

Hello Bear Challenge

Hello, Bear Challenge

Bonnie Christine from Going Home to Roost is currently hosting the Hello, Bear project challenge. The challenge is to use anything from her Hello, Bear line, which includes not only fabric but also stencils, wall decals and wallpaper. The timing is perfect because my son is in need of a new quilt and I'd been thinking how great these fabrics would look in his room. I even knew exactly what quilt pattern I wanted to use. I made up for these speedy decisions by taking a while (as in AGES)  to decide on the fabric combination, there are so many great prints in this line, it was hard to narrow it down to just three. In fact, I took so long deciding which fabrics to order that I was left with little more than a week to make the quilt and meet the challenge deadline (which is tomorrow!). Hence it's a quilt top and not, unfortunately, a finished quilt.
The quilt pattern is Wagon Wheel, it's based on a quilt made in Colorado around 1890 and can be found in the book Denyse Schmidt Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration. These blocks are big! They're 20" finished so twelve blocks make a really generous twin bed sized quilt. And despite the fact that all the pieces had to be traced and cut by hand, the blocks really did come together quickly. The trickiest bit was pinning the "wheel" to the background fabric, but by taking my time and using ALL my pins it turned out to be much easier than I was expecting.

I love how this quilt has turned out. I'm a huge fan of Denyse Schmidt's design aesthetic and this pattern is a great example of how a simple design and spare aesthetic can have a huge impact. The Hello, Bear fabrics worked so well too, adding interest and just the right amount of colour. I can't wait to see the quilt finished, I hope it will be a quilt that my son will cherish for a long time.


Fabrics used:

Wheel Fabric: Hello, Bear Adventure Springs
Axle and Sashing Fabric: Hello, Bear Summit Twilight
Background Fabric Hello, Bear Wildwood Birch
Axle Centre Fabric: Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen in Navy

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Starting a Wagon Wheel Quilt

Starting a quilt is one of my favourite parts of the whole quilt making process. This quilt is particularly fun to start, the fabric choices have been made, there's just the cutting and piecing to focus on.

I'm using template plastic to mark the fabric and scissors to cut each piece out. It sounds slow and laborious but these blocks are huge at 20" finished, there are only twelve blocks to make. I'm not sure my templates are particularly accurate but I'm embracing the charm of the imperfectly handmade.

Pattern: Wagon Wheel from the book Denyse Schmidt Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration.
Block Size: 20"
Fabrics:  Hello, Bear by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival Entry

I'm so good at leaving things to the last moment! Here's my last moment entry to the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy from Amy's Creative Side. I'm entering my Sugar Loaf Pillow in the mini-quilt category.  Since I last blogged about this pillow, it's been received by Sami, my partner in the Great Pillow Fight Swap. The idea for the design came about in a backwards kind of way. I started with the idea of foundation paper piecing a block. If you know Sami's work at all, you know she is an English Paper Piecing master so I thought it would be fun to design a block that would be different from what she would normally make. There were a few trial blocks before I settled on this design. And as I mentioned in the original blog post, it took me a while to settle on a colour scheme too. I've been working on a downloadable pattern that I can't wait to share with you soon.

Voting opens in just a few hours, I hope you have a chance to check out the festival.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

A drunkard's path pillow

The X-Factor pillow swap run by Tiina (Cottilello on Flickr) is one of my favourite swaps. This swap works differently from any other swap I've taken part in. First of all, each round has a theme. The latest round was all about the drunkard's path block. The other twist is that partners are not assigned until the end of the swap. Instead, we make our pillows in secret, interpreting the theme any way we like.  We then submit a photo of the finished pillow to Tiina, who posts everyone's photos to the X-Factor Swap group on Flickr. Once the deadline has passed the participants are invited to rank each pillow. The person whose pillow receives the highest ranking gets their first choice of pillow. The next person gets their first choice, if it's available, and their second choice if it's not and so on until everyone has a pillow. It often works out that several people get their favourite pillow.
The best thing about this style of swap is that there're none of the usual requirements to make to your partner's preferences, instead you make the pillow you feel inspired to make. I've received some incredible pillows in this swap!
It's been over a year since the last round so I did not want to miss this round. I originally planned to do an improv pillow but as the deadline was fast approaching, I decided to keep it simple and stick with what I know. Super scrappy and super simple. I even repeated the serpentine quilting I'd just used to finish my Sugar Loaf pillow.

I used a favourite fabric from Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks line for the binding.

And another Good Folks fabric for the backing. I have no idea how it happened but the fabric ended up matching perfectly above and below the zipper. I'm certain I couldn't repeat this feat again if I tried! As usual, I used Svetlana's zipper tutorial. Her tutorial is for a 16" pillow so I adjust the dimensions for a 20" pillow, usually cutting 11" and 16" panels and making sure I have a bit of extra width too (I usually cut my panels 22" wide).

Two swap pillows hanging out together before being posted off to their new homes.
The theme for the next round is Liberty. I might need to raid mum's Liberty stash for that one. I already can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Pillow Stats:

Pillow name: Tequila Sunrise
Pillow Size: 20"
Pillow Block: the quarter circles are 2 1/2" finished, set in a 3" finished square. Sashing strips are 1" wide (finished). Finished block size is 4".
Quilting: Serpentine stitch with a walking foot
Backing and binding: from Anna Maria Horner's Gold Folks line
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