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Archive for the ‘Improvisational Quilts’ Category

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Section

This quilt is a long time coming, as in years…

Alexander Henry’s Merry Moderns fabric was THE Christmas quilt fabric for me.  I just fell hard for it the minute I saw it.

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The fabric seemed a perfect merge for an improvisational technique I’d been brainstorming about.  A block that was a faster way to produce ‘crazy pieced’ looking fabric.  So I started playing with the block construction concept that became what I now call the Split Personality Quilt Block.  The method quickly produces multiple blocks allowing you instant playtime with it in endless design concepts.

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Fabrics from the stash that would coordinate with a Christmas theme were pulled, auditioned and sewn.  Some favorites were eaten up in the process.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Block

 And so, all these happy fabrics have been living together as blocks for a few years, waiting for the perfect pattern to show itself.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Fold

My friend Laurel showed up at an open studio to finish up an Arkansas Crossroads quilt.  I instantly envisioned my blocks in that design and the production began…last year;)

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Full flat

The essex linen in a cross weave black stabilized the scrappiness.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas quilt awesome

Merging traditional quilt designs with improvisational techniques has really become where my process leads me.  I love the secondary designs traditional set blocks create.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt side

When it came to quilting I lived and breathed this quilt for days.  For once I didn’t overthink it and went with straight lines that ran off the edge and echoed the ‘Xs’ the secondary design created.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Side block

I dreaded the thought that I’d have to add another horizontal and vertical line because my body was done with quilting, but in the end I dismissed the addition.  It has the perfect drape and isn’t over quilted into the luscious feel of cardboard.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas quilt back

Here’s a peek at the back.  Leftovers and flannel of course.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Detail 2

SEW KATIE DID:Side:Split Personality Christmas QuiltThe binding is the small scale print in the Merry Moderns line.  It worked out that some faces landed on the front and back of the quilt’s edge.

SEW KATIE DID:Binding Roll

You can see more designs and concepts with this block in my Instagram feed and I’ve added this block onto my January calendar as a daytime, nighttime and weekend workshop.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and then of course there is spring!

Happy Happy Peeps;)

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SEW KATIE DID:MOD Pinwheel side

I’m continuing my documentation of projects that haven’t yet made it to my Quilts Page for one reason or another.

Mod Pinwheel is another quilt pattern Jacquie and I created for Quilting Modern that didn’t make the cut, but is available as a free e-book.

SEW KATIE DID:MOD Pinwheel 3

The adjective Mod is a little off for this quilt in my opinion, but we named it years ago.  When I look at it now it speaks to the traditional side of quilting that I love, with a taste of something a little different.

SEW KATIE DID:MOD Pinwheel Quilt Detail

It’s these ‘eyes’ that are the twist, removing it one step from a traditional straight set layout.

SEW KATIE DID:MOD Pinwheel Full

Hanging this quilt up gave me a new appreciation for it.

As always, I have a love/hate relationship going on with this quilt.  A little more thought with the value and color placement might have elevated the design, but truly I think this is a pattern that speaks to going scrappy, something we stayed away from in the book, but where my heart really is in quilting.

SEW KATIE DID:MOD Pinwheel EYE

I see myself playing with this foundation pieced block again with a bin of scraps to see if my vision is true.  What a great baby quilt it would make.

SEW KATIE DID:MOD Pinwheel Binding

Teal dot for the binding and a delicious red dot flannel for the back.

SEW KATIE DID:MOD Pinwheel Detail

If I had to pull one component that I love most in this quilt it would be the quilting by Angela Walters combined with the flannel backing.  Oh wait, that’s two.

SEW KATIE DID:REMIX

I pulled out some sample blocks to dream up something new with, but ‘been there done that’ set in and cutting seemed necessary.

You can make your own Mod Pinwheel with the instructions posted here.

SEW KATIE DID:Flooring

I went ahead and ordered the flooring on the right for the studio.  We’ll hopefully install it and paint in the next few weeks.  Three Berninas have arrived for student use and tool kits are collected.

Things are coming together;)

Have a great week peeps!

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SEW KATIE DID:Psychedelic Baby Block:Don't Box Me In Quilt

To make a quilt a quilt you eventually have to baste it through your choice method.  I’m a pin baster.  I also have OBD (Over Basting Disorder).

SEW KATIE DID:Quilt Sandwich

 If I’ve already over thought my quilting design then I try to land my pins in areas that won’t interfere too much with it.

SEW KATIE DID:Psychedelic Baby Full

In my life basting a quilt is a good excuse to clean my floor, have a beer, and soak in a few episodes of whatever TV series I’m currently chain-smoking.  I’m having a marathon with Scandal today.

Here’s a list of my tools for basting a quilt.  A nice container to store them all together in makes for easy transport to my basting spot.

SEW KATIE DID:Quilt Basting Tool Kit

::Basting Tools::

  • Basting Pins-  I’ve run into a load of poor quality basting pins in classes.  If you’re going to bother pin basting buy good quality, your quilt top will thank you.  Heavier thread count material can also make sharp pins even more important.  I prefer the smaller curves ones.  They are about 1.5″ long.
  • Kwik Klip   This little tool helps close pins.  I don’t know what my problem was that it took me so long to purchase one of these.  If you are going to pin baste this tool is also an essential in your toolbox.  Trust me;)
  • Painter’s Tape  Use this to systematically tape your quilt back right side down to the floor.  I work by alternating sides as I tape.  Beginning from the midpoint of the sides.  Don’t stretch, but it should be flat.
  • Shears  For getting rid of excess batting.  I fold the batting back onto itself and cut away at the fold to an inch or so smaller than my quilt back.  This gives me a visual to run my quilting off the quilt top and secure it into the backing.
  • Snips To rid quilt of stray threads.
  • Lint Roller  Don’t forget about the back.  If the quilt has been handled a lot the back will have longer stray threads.  It generally isn’t even a problem, but if I have a light color on the front and a dark thread gets quilted behind it it will show through.  I find this annoying after putting so much work into perfection.

SEW KATIE DID:Basted

This is by no means a concise tutorial on all aspects of making a quilt sandwich or basting, but I’ll fill in the blanks at some later dates.

I also am a true believer that there is no need to reinvent the wheel, so I’ve pinned a Whole Cloth and a Quilt It Pinboard with a load of great tutorials on quilt finishing such as basting, quilting and binding that wonderful people have put together for wonderful you;)

Any tools you can’t live without?

Happy Week Peeps;)  I’m off to quilt and fold a mountain of laundry.

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Remember this quilt?

SEW KATIE DID*Psychedelic Baby Quilt

I showed and sold Psychedelic Baby at Quiltcon 2013.  It is still one of my favorite quilts and block workshops to teach.  I love blocks that provide so much design potential.

SEW KATIE DID*On Target Quilt

 I instantly wanted to recreate Psychedelic Baby a little differently, so I upcycled the leftover bits into a new quilt with a little different take.

I’ll call it On Target.

SEW KATIE DID*On Target Quilt Detail

 Just as with any quilting I learned some things.

SEW KATIE DID*On Target Quilt Bottom

The amount of linen and shot cotton meant some stretching would occur and my choice of quilting didn’t help.  As I reached the smaller outer edge with my “V” things started puckering.  If I was to do it all over again I would stitch in the ditch between the blocks that create the “V” shape and then go back in between with the fill lines on the blocks.  This likely would have stabilized it a bit more.  I was also lazy on switching directions when quilting the same side and this certainly didn’t help.

But let’s not take things too seriously, it’s just a quilt.

SEW KATIE DID*On Target Quilt Back Full

On the back I showcased an Alexander Henry print that I love.  This was all I had of it and I’m continuing on my path of using what I have to create quilt backs.

SEW KATIE DID*On Target Quilt Back Side

The binding I made twice.  I wanted to reproduce the feel of the original quilt and selected the light blue with out auditioning it.  Poor choice.  This quilt needed the drama of the dark purple.

SEW KATIE DID*On Target Quilt

(Thanks Rachel of Wooden Spoon for the photo;)

I finished it up just in time for Anja and Paul of Island Quilter to take it with them to Quiltcon for their booth.

This year was Quiltnon for me, but three of my quilts made it;)
SEW KATIE DID/Pigeonholed

AND I have another layout in process to add to my Psychedelic Baby Quilt Block workshop samples.

I’d think it might never end, but I’m officially D-O-N-E with this color way.

Happy Week Peeps!

(p.s. thanks to my friend Krista for being my quilt holder;)

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That leftovers thing happened again.  Hexes turned into triangles, and now I have another shape to show as an example in my triangle workshop with a hexagon shape center to boot!

sewkatiedid:throwing stars pillow:to the point triangle workshop

The stars turned out pretty wee by the time I cut them from the left over hexes.

sewkatiedid:throwing stars pillow:to the point triangle workshop:

The precision I’m pretty happy with, no paper piecing involved for those of you that asked, just 60 degree triangle piecing.

sewkatiedid:throwing star pillow detail 2:to the point triangle workshop

I floated them in Essex Linen.

sewkatiedid:throwing star pillow favoritesThese prints are favorites and deserved some limelight.

sewkatiedid:throwing star pillow

The diamond shape the quilting forms was simple enough to execute.

sewkatiedid:throwing stars pillow detail:to the point triangle workshop

And it matches the pillows on my couch;)

sewkatiedid:invisible zipper tutorial

Finished off with my Invisible Zipper Tutorial.

The weather couldn’t be any more perfect for quilting and if my child’s mood this morning is any indication of how most of Seattle is feeling today I think I’ll make the best of it and stay home to sew.

Chin up Seattle.

Happy Monday;)

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As I’m making one quilt I generally have block cast-offs and another design lay out evolves.  That’s just what happened with the leftovers from the Scrappalicous Double-Trouble Quilt I made a while back.

Sewkatiedid:Double-Trouble Take Two Quilt

What I call the Double-Trouble block is a half-square-triangle with an improv Stitch and Flip triangle on one side.  Merging the two triangle techniques creates a block that is both controlled and chaotic.  The Swirling Medallion quilt we made in Quilting Modern has the directions for the Stitch and Flips and my tutorial for hst is combined with my value quilt tutorial.

sewkatiedid:on-point double-trouble quilt

This time around I thought I’d try out the squares by turning what I had on point and giving them some space to breath.  I love the scrappy controlled sets.

sewkatiedid:Double-Trouble Double Take Back

I tried my best to create the whole quilt, even the background with scraps.  There’s a mix of flannel, muslin, and other neutrals that I used for landing the improv triangles.  Anything goes for the triangles, voile, flannel, home decor and corduroy are all present.

sewkatiedid:double-trouble take two quilt detail

I failed on using left overs for the binding.  This small scale print from Alexander Henry’s Farmdale line was perfect.

sewkatiedid:double-trouble side

I could have adjusted my neutral squares in some places with a larger size, but keeping everything to 3 1/2″ squares created more texture and depth.

Sewkatiedid:Double-Trouble Back

The backing is another old Alexander Henry.  Shocking I know.

One of my goals this year is to have my backings consume cast offs from the front and fabric from stash.  This challenge so far has led to creating some backs that I’m rather smitten with.  Unfortunately I don’t have a current full shot to show you what I’m talking about.

The quilt hangs at Island Quilter on Vashon Island for the month of January with other lovelies made by my peeps in the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild.  Go take a ferry trip!

Happy Monday Peeps!

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sewkatiedid/somewhat circular hexagon quilt

Regardless of my best intentions posting anything here gets pushed to the back.

I have a new season of lectures and workshops coming up and am always hoping to finish up at least one more sample for design options.  I love this practice as it allows me to reacquaint myself with a technique. Often I’ll gain perspective to share with my students that I didn’t originally think of.  Design wall time is invaluable to my process and a main focus of my workshops.  Leftovers from the original project are generally my go to, but more often than not, one project’s scraps merge into another project.

But it’s that desire for a finish that keeps me from here.  What I need to get over is always wishing to post that finished project.  Especially since I sew way faster in my head than real life.

So I think my intention for blogging this year is to focus on process AND post about it.

Marketing workshops is at the forefront of posting too and I wanna say I’m lucky that my classes fill as if late, but I also have to give myself credit that I’ve been working hard to figure out what people are inspired by, it’s not an accident.

sew katie did/somewhat circular hex

But if there’s a spot I like to make sure that I’m working on a sample. And that’s just what happened with this hex quilt.

There’s some quilting that needs to come out here and there, but I’m pretty happy with it. The trend and my love for dense quilting however isn’t fitting for the utilitarian use of baby quilts in my opinion, cardboard comes to mind, but we’ll see how it washes out.  I probably could have helped it out by selecting a type of batting that would be more supple instead of just grabbing a scrap that fit.

sewkatiedid/throwing stars

My To the Point workshop is full, but I’m working on a sample from the hex scraps for it.  They’re wee and currently being quilted.  Hoping for that finish today along with hanging sleeves/labels for Quiltcon quilts and squaring or at least picking out binding for the hex.

Thanks for reading, I’ve obviously got things to do;)

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