Tag Archives: Bold colors

Autumn Calling

When the autumn season comes, I find myself drawn to warm, earthy colors in my fabrics. It reminds me of autumn leaves, golden sunsets, warm sweaters and hot chocolate.

With that in mind, I pulled out some of those fabrics and started to cut them up. I have a pattern that I’m using as a guide, but my blocks are a different size. They are just simple half square triangles. The trimming is tedious, but it’s such a rewarding, happy feeling when that part is done!

Autumn Calling - the tedious work of trimming - piecefulthoughts.com

I’m not really sure how many blocks I will end up with yet. I am working with the blocks I have and will make more if needed. If I end up with too many, I may split them and make two quilt tops.

My Third Eye

One of the things I struggle with when making a scrappy quilt is trying to control the block layout too much. While it’s important that the blocks play well together,  I need to remember that sometimes that renegade block that bothers me might be just the thing to make the whole quilt pop. It’s also easy for me to get all caught up in not wanting to have two of the same colors or fabric patterns too close to each other. This is where my phone is a handy tool in the quilt room. Snapping a quick photo helps me see layout problems that I don’t always catch  while I’m working on it.

So here’s my design wall progress with this quilt. I tried to capture a picture that shows the warmth of the autumn colors in the fabrics. The creams and tans are actually more golden than they show in this picture. I can already see that I need to tweak it a bit and add a few more colors. It’s not quite where I want it to be yet.

Autumn Calling - Playing with Layout - piecefulthoughts.com

Here are the rest of the blocks, laying about while they waiting to be put on the design board in a somewhat orderly fashion. You can’t see the ones laying all over my sewing machine because that would show the rest of the mess on my sewing table.

Autumn Calling - Blocks in Waiting - piecefulthoughts.com
There’s quite a few red/yellow combinations here. I think I’m going to need some other combos for balance.

The cheddar fabric in the bottom right of the photo below is a favorite. Someday I will make myself a two-color quilt out of cheddar and cream. I don’t know why I’m waiting…

Autumn Calling - Blocks in Waiting - piecefulthoughts.com

So, who knows? This quilt may end up as two minis, one wallhanging, or grow to lap size. We’ll see. It’s all in the process, right?

I’m looking forward to seeing what you are working on today! Happy Friday, all!

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Sherry at Powered by Quilting.

Wendy

 

Batik Finish

I have had this batik quilt top languishing in my stash for far too long. So long, in fact, that I cannot remember when I started working on it. We are having rain again today, but I was able to sneak out between showers and quickly get a few photos. Let me tell you a bit about it.

Batik Finish - A baby or crib size quilt made using the stack and whack method - piecefulthoughts.com

There is no pattern for this quilt. I just picked batiks that I liked and started sewing them together, using the stack and whack method, if I recall correctly. There was no plan, other than just playing with my batik fabrics. It started out with the idea that it would be at least a lap size quilt or larger, but then I got to a point where the rest of my batiks didn’t work as well with it. So I added the inner dark blue border and left it. I added the additional border a little later.

The quilt is 38″ x 50″, so a large baby quilt or crib quilt size. I had some left over yellow flannel, and I pieced that for the backing. That sat and languished almost as long as the top!

Batik Finish - Backing Detail View - piecefulthoughts.com

I brought it to Connie for quilting and then forgot I had brought it to her. This poor quilt! Anyway, here’s a close up of Connie’s lovely quilting with swirls and a leafy vine in the border.

Batik Finish - Front Detail view - piecefulthoughts.com

The binding is in a deep rose batik from my stash. I’m not sure what I will do with this quilt now that it’s done, but it’s my batik finish for this Friday.

Linking up today with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wendy

Improv Play

Improv play is my happy place lately. My goal this week was to finish my daughter’s quilt top so I could get it to Connie to quilt. However, just as I was putting on the last border, I ran out of fabric. Ugh. We pulled the quilt together on the fly while in a local quilt shop, and miscalculated on the second border fabric. The quilt shop didn’t have any more of the fabric, but I managed to find some online. Phew!

So, with nothing else to do (hahaha, right), I decided to play around with improv blocks. I have one improv in progress and I’ve been posting little peeks on my Instagram feed. I very excited to see how it — if it — turns out!

In the meantime, I came across a stack of 20 squares in my stash and decided to cut them up. I just grabbed them as they came off the pile.

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com

Then I just start to sew them together in sets of two.

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com

Then I sew those sets together.  Blocks are starting to form!

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com

Pretty soon I have a bunch of colorful blocks and it’s time to trim.

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com

After trimming, I begin to play with layout. I got so absorbed in doing that, I forgot to take a picture. Once I’m happy with the layout, I stitch them together. This can be the most challenging part of the project, because my blocks are often different sizes. It’s like fitting a puzzle together.

Once it is sewn together, there are a mess of seams on the back!

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com

Now it’s time to quilt it. I’ve decided to use three colors of thread this time. Fun!

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com
Thread is Aurifil: turquoise #5005, green #1231 and orange #2145 (not sure of the actual color names).

With the turquoise and green threads, I just did some random straight line quilting in both directions. With the orange thread, I decided to quilt wavy lines, crossing over the other threads if I felt like it.

Improv Play - quilting - piecefulthoughts.com

I had this piece of fabric in my stash, just enough for the back. You can see a bit more of the very random quilting on this side.

I decided on green for the binding. I had one fabric I planned to use, but I would have had to cut several short pieces to make the binding. Who has time for that? I pulled out this fun polka dot. I think it works well.

I’ve named this quilt “Lunch at Frenchy’s”. Before we flew home from Florida after moving our daughter, we drove to Clearwater and ate at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill. We sat on the deck where we could see all the colorful beach umbrellas while we had our lunch.

Come January, when things are dull, cold and dreary around here, I will pull this out and put it on my table. It will be a good reminder of sunny days!

That’s my Friday finish! I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend! Stay safe, friends!

Linking up today with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Amanda Jean at  Crazy Mom Quilts and Myra at Busy Hands Quilts.

Wendy

 

 

Project Line Up

Projects! Our quilting lives would be dull indeed if we didn’t have projects to be done (and fabric to be bought, but more on that in a minute). I was just thinking that I had some pretty relaxed quilting time ahead, and before you know it, I have a list of projects to keep me busy. We won’t talk about the WIPs languishing on my shelves!

I had a delightful time last Friday when I went up to a local quilt shop, Quilt Cove, and finally was able to meet Nancy from Grace and Peace Quilting. I was able to chat with her for a bit, just before a busload of quilters came in for the Minnesota Shop Hop. Nancy is just as delightful in person as she is in her blog. If you don’t follow her, go visit her page and get to know her!

One of the things I’ve enjoyed since I began blogging is getting to know you, my readers or followers. On Saturday, Karen of Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats sent me a quick notice that she was going to be at another local quilt shop. I couldn’t get over there to meet her, and I am so sad that I missed that opportunity. Karen writes such great posts on her blog; she makes it just plain fun and is very creative. I encourage you to visit her as well; you won’t be disappointed!

I picked up fabric at Quilt Cove, of course. I was specifically looking for fabric for the Meadow Mist Mystery Quilt. I’ll share that fabric with you in another post. The mystery quilt begins tomorrow, so I’m ready! One thing I will tell you is that some of the fabrics are bright! Surprised?

While I’m waiting for that to start, here’s what I’ve been working on.

Garden Dreamer Quilt

All the pieces are cut for the quilt using Maureen Cracknell’s Garden Dreamer fabric. Truly, this is gorgeous fabric.

Project Line Up - piecefulthoughts.com

Improv Play

I’ve been exploring some improv quilting, and finding that I really, really like it. I have over 20 blocks of these two color blocks. I know where this is going. Once I finish the rest of the blocks, I need to square them and then put the rest of the quilt together.

Project Line Up - improv blocks - piecefulthoughts.com

Since I was having so much fun with those, I decided to join up the improv stripes quilt along with Debbie Jeske at  A Quilter’s Table. This is a fun way to give improv a try if you’re interested. Jump in and join along if you wish. You can see all the fun progress at #improvstripesqal on Instagram.

Project Line Up - more improv - piecefulthoughts.com

I wasn’t really sure where these blocks were going, but an idea has come to mind. I’m excited to see if I can make it work.

That’s my mid-week project line up. I’ve purposely signed up for projects that have no tight deadlines since I have a couple of trips scheduled in August and September and I don’t want to fall behind on projects.

Linking up today with Mid-Week Makers at Quilt Fabrication and Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.

See you Friday!

Wendy

Looking on the Bright Side

I promised you a picture of the bright quilt top, so I finally have one to show you. I still need to add some borders to this quilt, but that may involve hunting down some fabric, so it may be a WIP for a little bit longer.

Anyway, the quilt pattern is from Missouri Star and it’s called Two Step. This is a definitely a lively two step! The quilt was made from a jelly roll and a charm pack. After sewing two jelly roll strips together and cutting them, I got about three blocks from each strip. I ended up with 60 blocks and laid it out 6 blocks across, and 10 down. It is a long quilt, long enough for an extra long twin bed. In the photo below, my 6’6″ husband is fully behind the quilt. It completely covers him!

Looking on the Bright Side - piecefulthoughts.com

It was an easy quilt to make. The most difficult part was making sure I was alternating the placement of the white blocks while I sewed the blocks together!

I have no idea what I will do with this quilt, but it is one more pre-cut off my shelf. Yay!

In other news, I am almost done cutting out that lovely fabric I showed you on Wednesday. I’m itching to play with the leftover pieces; I think a pincushion might be a fun thing to make with the scraps. We’ll see!

What a fun couple of weeks it has been with the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop! Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement for my project, and for those of you who have begun following me. I thoroughly enjoy my online quilt community, and I hope you continue to enjoy my posts as I share my pieceful thoughts of my quilting life!

Just a heads up — the drawing for the blog hop will be on August 4th, so good luck to those of you who have followed along and commented on each blog each day. I can’t wait to hear who wins!

Hanging with Sarah was so much fun, so I’m whooping it up with her again today at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and I’m also linking up with Finished or Not Friday over at Busy Hands Quilts.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Wendy

Mini Quilt Finish

Awhile ago, when I first joined our quilt group, we had a challenge where we picked a napkin with a design and made a quilt using the design on the napkin or colors in the napkin. I was told we didn’t need to copy the design exactly, but could use it as inspiration, which I did. I no longer have the napkin or my written description to show you, but I can tell you that my mini didn’t look at all like the napkin!

This little top has been languishing in my pile of WIPs until now. I have wanted to finish it just because I love the color and the fun I had designing it. All of the fabrics are from my stash.

Mini Quilt - piecefulthoughts.com

I decided to quilt it with freeform wavy lines with orange thread. I didn’t think too much about creating the waves, I just let them happen. I started by stitching wavy lines down the center of the quilt, then added additional wavy lines, spacing the wavy line pairs about 3-4″ from each other. Once that was done, I filled in more wavy lines between those until I felt it was done.

Mini Quilt Detail - piecefulthoughts.com

The colors are very bright orange and deep blues. It was a challenge to get a photo showing the intense color.

Mini Quilt Detail - piecefulthoughts.com

For the backing, I pulled out this bright batik.

Mini Quilt Back - piecefulthoughts.com

The binding is another piece of orange batik that I had in my stash.

Baby Quilt Update

I handed off one of the baby quilts today, with a request for some pictures in the baby’s nursery. It was a rainy morning yesterday and I wasn’t able to get any good pictures, even in natural light.

I will be delivering the other baby quilt this weekend, so I’m hoping the weather cooperates enough to let me get some good photos of that one beforehand.

Linking up today with Susan at Quilt Fabrication, Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, and Wednesday Wait Loss with Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter.

Happy Stitching!

Wendy

 

 

Little Friday Finish

Sometimes it’s just the little things that make me feel good. Here’s a few from this week.

On March 1st, BigJ and I had a date night to celebrate our engagement 30 years ago. 30 years! It seems like yesterday. I haven’t aged a bit – ha! We went on a little drive, which took us back to the place where he proposed — Diamond Bluff. There is a much longer story to it, of course. You’ll have to ask if you want to hear it, but it’s too long for a quilting blog post!

Earlier that day, I spent some time with a couple of quilty friends, sipping coffee and doing some stitching while we chattered away. See? It’s the little things that make me happy.

I am 9 blocks away from having all the blocks completed for the commission quilt. Another little thing that makes me happy!

Today I made a little tiny finish. It’s my first finish for the year, in miniature form. One of BigJ’s co-workers, who has become a friend to me, had a birthday this week and I wanted to make something for her.

I pulled out my scraps and started to play. I wanted it to be bright and cheery, because sometimes the job she does can be a challenge. I decided to call this little project a “therapy mug mat” — something happy for her to look at when she needs cheering up.

This is what I came up with.

The block is square, truly! My aim with the picture? Not so much!

I had a little fun with some free motion quilting. I consider it not bad for a newbie to the whole FMQ thing. I made a wonky little star in the middle piece and then just organic wavy lines around the rest.

The block is made using Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s small template and concept from her book 15 Minutes of Play. It is so much fun, I will definitely be doing more of this!

That’s my little Friday finish. I hope she likes it!

Linking up today Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Have a great weekend, all!

Wendy

 

 

 

Wonky Block Wednesday

I didn’t get anything posted on Monday because I was busy helping my daughter move from one city to another. It all went well, despite the rain. We managed to get things moved between rain showers.

During one of my visits to her earlier this year, we were shopping at one of the antique shops in town. This particular shop had quite a few orphan quilt blocks, so I was preoccupied for quite awhile. I don’t usually buy things like this, so I don’t feel that I have a good eye for them. They were piled in a small plastic shelf system, about 4-5 shelves of all types of handwork.

I found these blocks and was very tempted to purchase them. I didn’t and I regretted that. So I finally had my daughter go back to the shop and pick them up for me before she moved.

Here they are, randomly laid out on the floor. I wanted to see all of them together. I love the colors, they are very bright and bold. Most of the blocks are two color, one center block color, one background. Then there my favorites, especially the one on the bottom right, by the table leg. Random background, random center. It’s almost the signature block of the bunch, I think. The mixed blocks add a bit of feisty flare, don’t you think?

Initially I thought the blocks were made from a poly blend, but they are all cotton. I had my iron on the highest heat when I pressed them (after taking this picture) and they handled the heat just fine.

They are hand pieced and about 10″ square-ish. They are really wonky; some of the background pieces are pretty wavy. No matter. I’ll figure something out as I square them, etc. I would love to hear the story behind these blocks. Were they made by a beginner who lost interest? By a grandma who just stitched blocks together and who just “made do” with what she had? At any rate, they are my blocks now, as a friend reminded me. I can give them a story.

I won’t be working with these right away. They are just going to live in my quilt room for a bit. While I’m working on my other projects, I’ll ponder how to square them, etc.

Max the cat thought he would put his spin on the quilt layout. Silly cat.

Today I’ll be working on the commission quilt blocks. I need to get caught up a bit since I’ve been gone a couple of days.

So that’s my midweek crush; just enjoying some orphan blocks that have found a new home!

Wendy

 

Twirling Finale!

Happy Monday, everyone! Thanks for stopping by and seeing what I am up to. I enjoy reading and responding to your comments, so feel free to leave a comment or two.

A few posts ago, I wrote about putting the Twirl Me pattern together from Beth at Cooking Up Quilts. You can read my first post here. It is really a fun pattern to do and it’s paper pieced, so getting those precise points is a breeze.

That lovely 18″ block has been on my design wall for a few weeks now. I liked it there, smiling at me every time I looked up. Besides, if I used that excuse then I could delay trying to decide how to quilt it for a bit longer. However, I knew that since I posted a Part 1, there really should be a Part 2. I had to decide what to do.

I flip flopped between making a pillow or a mini quilt. I flip flopped between no quilting (if a pillow), hand quilting, or free motion quilting. I finally decided on hand quilting, because I figured I could do the least amount of damage that way.

It didn’t work. I didn’t like the look of the hand quilting and I didn’t have the right thread for the hand quilting.

That left me with free motion quilting. No big deal, right? I mean, this was just a sample block for fun. But I like the block and I didn’t want to wreck it. I’m working on getting over free motion fear, and I think I made some progress toward that this weekend.

I settled on making a pillow. I realized that since I was going to fuse some very thin batting to the top for a little stability before adding the pillow form, I could actually do some quilting without having to put my walking foot or free motion foot on.

So I opted for just doing some freehand lines, letting let the block tell me what to do. Have you ever done that? Or do you always plan your quilting? It actually was pretty relaxing. I’m not sure I would say this actually counts as free motion quilting, truly, but it was close enough for me to gather a little bit more confidence in moving toward more free motion practice.

As a little side note that filled me with all sorts of happiness, a little while ago I won a pack of 20 threads of my choice from Aurifil. I found thread to match all the colors in this pillow from that pack. I love it when stuff like that happens!

I started with the center, first following the shape of the green pinwheels. Then I decided to quilt some lines like rays on the blue. I just drew them in lightly with a pencil and went to town.

Here’s a close up.

Next came the brown patterned section. I decided to use the red hexi as my pattern for quilting.

It was kinda fun, like having a brain teaser while I was stitching. How can I stitch all around this red pattern without stopping? Some were easier than others, and I did have to do some backtracking.

Here’s what the back was looking like at that point. It was nice knowing I didn’t have to hide my knots!

The black and white borders were done just with straight line quilting running the length of the strips.

The red points were just a quick echo stitch around the inside. The white, brown and blue blocks around the points were echo stitched, for the most part.  I think I was getting tired after all the brain teasers in the red patterned phase, being blonde ‘n all . . .

Once the top was done, I quickly made the pillow back with another piece of black and white fabric from my stash.

Then it was time to tuck the pillow form in. Drum roll, please . . . here is the finished pillow!

I’m very happy with the way it turned out. I might just add a funky button in the center of the green pinwheel. We’ll see.

There are so many fun options with this pattern. Beth shows some different ideas on her post. If you like, why not give it a twirl!

Keep those stitches running!

Linking up today with Em’s Scrapbag and Cooking Up Quilts.

Wendy