Friday, April 14, 2017

Urban Flower Garden - a Quick Curve Ruler Quilt

Have you tried the Quick Curve Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful? It's pretty awesome. An easy curve that doesn't require pinning to sew (bonus!) and has lots of wonderful patterns available. I'm pretty floored by all the wonderful shapes and designs that can be created with this one template. This is my second quilt created with this ruler and one of their patterns.  The first was a baby quilt you can see here.

The pattern is called Urban Candy. I called this quilt Urban Flower Garden because I quilted graffiti style flowers into all the double loops and lattice cross hatching in the single loops.

It was a fun way to learn and practice new flower motifs. I totally enjoyed it. Here's a quick video I shot just after I took it off the frame.

I used my Michael Miller Clay as background cuz I love a good grey modern quilt. The other fabrics are just pulled from my stash - a couple of solids, a few batiks, and a pink grunge which beat out the options of black and grey for the binding.

The quilt is on the small side - 58x81.  So it will live on a couch back instead of a bed. But I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. I've got another QCR pattern in my studio that is completely different. Can't wait to tackle that one!

P.S. As always - props to my rarely seen quilt holders. In this case, my oldest son.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Interchange Applique a la' Gillian Travis

      The lovely and interesting Gillian Travis recently visited our guild here in Germany for a trunk show and weekend of classes. I promise I don't mean 'interesting' as in 'slightly crazy' but as in actually interesting. Here is a lady who lives in England but travels everywhere and makes these amazing small journal quilts each month reflecting where she's been and what she saw. She brought dozens of them with her, most smaller than a piece of copy paper. And there were all so different. Visit her website's galleries page and check out the Journal quilts section.

And then be sure to pop onto the Voyage Quilts 2015 tab to see the Interchange Appliqué quilts that she taught us to do in the day long class I took.  Last October when I visited the European Quilt Championships in Maastricht, Netherlands I met Gillian and took a short free motion embroidery class from her. I also got to chat with her at her booth and see many of her interchange appliqué quilts in person.

The technique she teaches involves cutting a simple design from a square of batik fabric in such a way that you end up with a positive and a negative of the image. Both of these are then combined with two other fabric squares to create two blocks. She has done this with vases, turnips, pears, pomegranates, birds, and sweaters. Here are some of her many lovely interchange appliqué quilts:

But I decided to use elephants. I have a thing for them. Here is mine:

And I made two. Cuz why not?

Gillian did a fantastic job teaching us the technique. The hardest part for me was the color selection. I don't work with batiks very often but since this is essentially raw edge appliqué, batiks work really well because they are tightly woven and don't fray. I also don't have a lot of batiks. I brought what I had to the class but luckily all the students were generous and we swapped back and forth all over to make sure everyone got the pieces they needed.

There are actually no seams in the whole piece. The individual blocks are put together with fusible adhesive and then fused onto the batting. A zig zag stitch holds it all together, and a rat tail type binding with a length of matching yarn finishes off the edge.

The fun part is adding the details. It's been a while since I did any free motion stitching on my domestic machine but it came back pretty quickly.  Here's a closeup of  one block after I added some FMQ details.

We had our guild quilt retreat soon after the class, which was the prefect chance to get these completely finished. Someone took a couple of snaps of me while I was quilting.

One of these minis, the one with purple thread,  is now hanging on my studio wall with my other minis. The other I sent in a care package to a friend in California. I hope she likes it.

And I hope I cross paths with Gillian again.