Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bloggers Quilt Festival

It's time again for Bloggers Quilt Festival. Be sure to check it out at  or click on the button on the sidebar.
This entry in the Baby quilt Category is my interpretation of the Falling Charms quilt in a Missouri Star tutorial. I made my blocks 5 inches and they finished 4 1/2 inches. In the tutorial Jenny used a 5 inch charm pack and 2 1/2 inch strips from an all white "Jelly roll". I used 2 1/2 inch strips of Kona Bone, which is a favorite of mine.
44 x 50 inches

I have been sewing scraps of fabric together to make blocks for a long time. At least 15 years ago I made a quilt with blocks made from scraps as an example of quilts we could make for our quilt guild Linus Project. It was just a straight set with sashing  I used a pretty floral print with pink and yellow roses on a blue background for the sashing, borders and backing. It was pretty and kind of quiet and nothing like this one. I wish I had a photo but it is one of many for which there is no photo.

More recently, I started "making fabric"  after being inspired by Bumblebeans "15 Minutes of Play". Most of the time, I prefer to "make fabric" about the size of the blocks I want and trim to the size I want, instead of a making a larger piece to cut up into blocks.

Close up of 5 inch blocks showing some of the quilting
in the light patches and stitching on the binding.
For "made fabric" blocks I don't like to use a paper foundation. I prefer to add a strip and press it and trim the seam allowance to 1/4 inch. I like to trim the edges straight that I am going to sew as I find that I am more likely to have a nice straight seam when I do. I usually work on 3 to 5 blocks at a time, adding pieces and chain sewing and then press and trim and add the next addition to all five at a sitting.

I always try to keep some semblance of order when I make fabric but the truth is I am messy. I might have things in order when I start but in the end I end up with it all tangled together. I probably spend way too much time trying to maintain order.

I like to keep all the pieces up on the design wall and on my design boards, along with strips and other pieces I want to incorporate somewhere. I helps me to keep track of what I need to add for balance.

Piano key borders are my favorite for scrappy quilts. Some people like to "calm down" the quilt with one fabric but every time I audition a single fabric for the border it seems to lack something. I make strips sets with 5 or 6 random width strips that are long enough to make 2 or 3 cuts the width of border. I sew the sections together with one or two different fabric strips between. I have to make more strip sets than if I used longer strips and sewed my sets wider but I like to keep things as random as possible. If I have a piece at the end of the strip set than is too small for a border section I  trim it and turn it sideways and insert it between sections as in the top section next to the bright blue strip. 

I quilted in the ditch around all the blocks. I also ditch stitched around the patches inside the blocks because it needed more stitching to lay flat.

Close up of the quilting in the solid light fabric

I use cotton quilting thread in primary colors with the #4 stitch on my Bernina for the quilting in the solid light patches. I considered feathers or something fancier but in the end opted for lines that followed the stair step pattern in the quilt, with the lines crossing at the ends of the steps. I wasn't really very happy the way the seams showed up in the solid light fabric but the variegated thread in the wavy pattern helped to minimize that.

I used a solid yellow for that back and Kona bone for the binding. I sewed the binding to the back and turned it to the front and finished it with the #4 stitch. I think the #4 stitch is in keeping with the informal whimsical nature of the quilt.

Close up of stitching on binding and inner border
Now hop on over to and check out all the rest of the quilts.


tubakk said...

I love your quilt and the way you did the blocks. And I love your colours. And I really love everything with this quilt. I will come back to your blog soon.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

what a neat way to quilt it!!

Mary said...

The Scrappy Blocks and the zig zaggy stitching make the blocks look like they are really falling.

Quilting Dee said...

I love your quilt. Love the blocks and the way you have put it together. The #4 stitch looks great, adds the finish to the layout. Fantastic!!

CitricSugar said...

So sweet and fun!

JanetK said...

I loved your quilt from the thumbnail - but seeing the lovely waves of stitching sets off the design so well. Just beautiful!

Sharon said...

What a great way to set these blocks together! I make these blocks too - I call them Crumb blocks because they're made with "quilt crumbs". I have a pile of blocks already made that I need to use like this. Thanks for sharing! I think these make fun quilts for charity quilts - I think they're bright and cheery and kids like them.
I really like your quilting on this - I never thought to use that stitch for quilting!

Malini said...

Beautiful quilt!I like how you do the make fabric and then get your blocks from it. Very creative.

Love Victoria's "15mins of play".

grapes and hearts said...

Thanks for sharing how you "make" fabric and your piano key borders. I love the brightness of your quilt and the machine's curvy zig zag is a great addition to your ditch stitching!

Hilary said...

This is really pretty! I love the bright colors :)

Aoife said...

Your made blocks are so much fun and so happy. I really love the tumbling stairs effect. Quilts like this make me want to set aside time to just play with my scraps :)

Ruth said...

Beautiful, really makes a lovely visual impact. I like your wavy lines mirroring the blocks.