don't call me becky

Quarter Square Triangle Quilt

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Quarter Square Log Cabin Quilt

When Radiant Orchid was named Pantone's 2014 Color of the Year, it unleashed the inner purple lover in me. I've always loved cool colors like green, blue and purple, but for the last fifteen years I've swayed more toward green or teal. I've fully embraced my love of all things purple again this year and this quilt is no different. My 7th grade self would totally go crazy for this quilt!

Quarter Square Log Cabin Quilt

This quilt came together super fast. To recap my WIP Wednesday post, I used Rossie's tutorial (seen here) for quartered log cabins. The centers of each square started at 8"x8", the top and bottom strips were 3"x8" and the left and right strips were 3"x13". For this quilt, I made 48 large cabins and then cut them each into 4 different 6"x6" quarters (196 final blocks). I used up most of 24 different fat quarters for this quilt coming in at a final size of 66"x88".

Quarter Square Log Cabin Quilt

I quilted this with free motion squares after being inspired by Angela Walter's craftsy class, Machine Quilting: Small Changes, Big Variety. In her class, she emphasized that it's best not to fret over how each tiny stitch looks and to use blending thread so that every seemingly huge mistake is less noticeable. While the quilting has lots and lots of mistakes in it, the overall organic look of the overlapping squares really shows through the errors I made and I love how it turned out. It's great to have another quilting technique in my arsenal, too!

Quarter Square Log Cabin Quilt

The drape of this quilt is one of my favorite parts. I've been using Pellon Nature's Touch batting for all of my quilts and I really like the thickness of the cotton. The hand of the Andover Alison Glass Sun print backing fabric and the peppered cottons are fantastic too.  I think those two factors, combined with the denser quilting, really created a soft and vintage feeling quilt.

Quarter Square Log Cabin Quilt

I'm debating what to do with this quilt. I love it, but we're reaching quilt capacity in our house, so I think it's going in the gift pile for now. I may need to live with it for a few more months before I can part with it, though.

Common Threads Quilt Bee Quilt

Monday, August 4, 2014

Common Threads Quilt

Back in 2008-2010, I participated in the Common Threads Quilting Bee. I never got around to posting about my second finished quilt due to my two year blogging hiatus, so here it is! Looking over my instructions post from November 2010, I see that I requested patchwork blocks with right angles and sent out a selection of prints and solids that coordinate with this butterfly print.

 Common Threads Quilt

I loved receiving so many unique and creative blocks! I never would have thought to embroider a butterfly or use fabric paint to stencil a matching butterfly onto the block!

Common Threads Quilt

Common Threads Quilt

The finished quilt is 58" x 72" inches and has a scrappy binding. This is one of my favorite quilts and is in constant rotation in our tv room. Every time I pull it out, I notice another fun detail in the quilt.

Common Threads Quilt

I think these online quilting bees are a quilt blog thing of the past, but my modern quilt guild chapter does do a round robin each month. I'm considering putting some fabric together and joining in later this month, but first I need to come up with a fun concept!

Radiant Star Quilt

Friday, August 1, 2014

Radiant Star Quilt 

Each summer, my aunt and uncle host my grandma's extended family at their lake house in northern Michigan. As a thank you to them for opening up their home to a 40-50 relatives each year, I decided to make them a quilt.

My aunt is an exceptional seamstress. She has made all of the drapes and many of the pillows in her home and has sewn beautiful clothing for herself. When I was just out of college and moving into my first apartment, she helped to spark sewing interest in me by letting me borrow her sewing machine to sew curtains. I have always been quite intimidated to sew anything for her because of her amazing attention to detail and skill level. Once I got over my hangups, I ordered a selection of yellow fabrics to match her home and then let them sit in a pretty stack for a few months while I waited to settle on a pattern.

quilt fabric 
I wanted to start with a traditional pattern to match her tastes and thought about enlarging this star pattern to make a one block quilt. After I realized that the white square in the middle would be the most predominant piece showing when the quilt is folded up on her couch, I decided to table that idea. Then I discovered the Designer Star pattern and this gorgeous version of it on from the blue chair and knew it was the perfect pattern.

Designer Star Quilt

The finished quilt is 72" square and uses a combination of yellow prints. I stippled the quilt and finished sewing on the binding with about one hour left before we had to leave for the family reunion. My aunt started crying when she saw the bag it was in and it took her a few minutes to even open it up and look at the entire quilt. She told me that she's always wanted one of my quilts but didn't want to ask me to make her one. It was so sweet and moving to receive such a huge reaction like that. She and my uncle have been so supportive of me through the years that it was the least I could do to reciprocate her generosity.

WIP Wednesday: Jumping on the Double Gauze Train

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Double Gauze Quilt 

Several people in the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild have recently been making soft patchwork quilts out of double gauze and I've been meaning to try working with this type of fabric for months now. I purchased a bundle of Framework fat quarters from Westwood Acres in May and I finally cut out squares and played around with the placement this week.

Double Gauze Quilt 

I was going to go with a simple design, but after thinking about it for a bit, I think I'm going to add a thick white inset border to the quilt. This should add more of a focal point and increase the size. As it is above, the final quilt would only be around 48" x 60".

Once the top is put together, I plan to turn this into a long term hand-quilting project. It will give me a chance to enjoy the feel of the fabric and it should help to avoid some bunching that machine quilting might cause.

Gifts for Friends

Monday, July 28, 2014


My sister introduced us to our good friends, Ben and Hannah, after telling us that we have tons in common and would get along well with each other (she was right!). They moved to South Korea last summer when Hannah accepted a teaching position at an international school. We had one last hurrah stateside in Chicago before we said our farewells.

Quilt for Hannah  Quilt for Hannah

Here's a quilt I made for Hannah as a graduation present for finishing her master's degree. The pictures are horrible as they were taken in the dark minutes before we had to leave for her grad party (in the middle of December 2012). Ben & Hannah love Asian culture and I made this to reflect their interests and to match their living room furniture. We spent many hours watching Korean dramas, Downton Abbey, The IT Crowd and The Mitchell & Webb Look together, so we became quite comfortable with their couch!

Earlier this year, Jon and I spent 2 weeks visiting them in South Korea. I made some bow ties for Ben and a Super Tote for Hannah, but either lost the photos I took or neglected to take them in the first place. Here's a few pictures where you can somewhat see what  I made...

Korea 2014 Korea 2014 Korea 2014
As you can imagine, visiting a cat cafe and dog cafe were some of the highlights of our time in Seoul!

Cross Stitch project supplies

As a thank you gift, I cross stitched a card that says "Thank You" in Korean and has a jar of kimchi and a bowl of bibimbap on it (patterns from andwabisabi on etsy)

Korea 2014 
I also made a cross stitch magnet with the characters on the IT Crowd (pattern from weelittlestitches on etsy).

Here's a few more pictures we took while visiting Jeju Island and Seoul.
Korea 2014
Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul

Korea 2014
Taking a break from biking around Udo Island

Korea 2014

Korea 2014
We were so fortunate to be able to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom!

Korea 2014

Korea 2014
Celebrating after climbing to the top of Mt. Hallasan (6400 ft). Little did we know that we'd spend the next five hours slipping and sliding down the mountain in agony...

Korea 2014
The snow covered trails on the snow-capped mountain were insane.

Korea 2014
Jon was in heaven seeing all the bonsai plants in progress.

Korea 2014
Power posing

Korea 2014
Posing in the Hello Kitty library at Hello Kitty Island.

Korea 2014
Much time was spent in the little liquid propane gas fueled car exploring the countryside

Korea 2014

Korea 2014 Korea 2014
Jumping on the selfie bandwagon!

Baby Quilts

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Baby quilts

At the beginning of 2014, I found out that two of my college roommates were pregnant and due a day apart from each other. A few months later, they both learned they were expecting boys. I set out to make two different but similar quilts that capture their mother's personal tastes.

Baby D's triangle quilt

Emily is super classic and traditional, so I pulled a palette of navy, gray and cream fabrics. I love the variety of prints and textures in this one.

Baby D's triangle quilt

Baby O's triangle quilt 

Amber and I spent our entire freshman year thrifting for the perfect kelly green graphic tee (spoiler alert: we only found one shirt each). We both still enjoy the color green, so I knew I had to feature green in her quilt. 

Baby O's triangle quilt

I backed Amber's quilt with a flannel fabric that is so soft. I liked it so much that I stocked up on this print in red and black for future quilt backs. I'd highly recommend using flannel for a super soft and warm quilt. The only difference from regular quilting cotton is that extra lint collects in my bobbin case. Quilting with it didn't create any problems. 

Quilt Label 

I waited until each baby was born to sew on a personalized label with the babies' first and middle names. This is actually the first time I've ever used a label on a quilt. I don't know why I've never done this before and I'm definitely going to make sure that I label my future quilts. My youngest sister, now 25, received a baby blanket when she was born with a label that said "handknit by Audrey Jensen." To this day, we still refer to her blanket as the Audrey Jensen blanket. I love that it has a name and that her blanket is still treasured! I hope my quilts will receive as much love in the future.

Baby D's triangle quilt

For each of these quilts, I used an isosceles triangle ruler with 5" triangles. They're around 42"x60" but I completely forgot to measure these before mailing them off so that's just a general guess.

Work in Progress Wednesday: In the Queue

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Several projects are in the works around here...

  Quarter Square Triangle Quilting in progress 
Quilting the Quarter Square Log Cabin quilt   
Several months ago I purchased Angela Walter's quilting class, Small Changes Big Variety, from Craftsy and I finally got around to watching parts of it on Sunday. I love how she encourages students to just freehand things, use blending thread, and not to worry about "mistakes" because they are so minuscule in comparison to the overall quilt. I decided to try out her overlapping squares pattern and am having fun working on getting those corners just so. It's a nice change up from the stippling that I've done in the past.

Diverging Diamonds Quilt top in progress 
Diverging Diamonds pattern from Fabulously Fast Quilts
I've never seen this type of construction before and I'm excited to watch this come together, so much so that the day this book arrived in the mail, I pulled out a set of fabrics and immediately cut the 2.5" strips to get started. The cut fabric sat around for several weeks until I sewed the first pair together at our guild's monthly sew in a few weeks ago. I've paired them into groupings of 8 strips and they're waiting until it rains outside so I can have a chance to sew them together.

Sunset Herringbone Quilt fabric pull Sunset Herringbone Quilt fabric pull

Planning to begin a Quilt as You Go Herringbone Quilt 
(tutorial at Maureen Cracknell Handmade) in a summer sunset colorway. I think I'm going to turn this into a gradient quilt to make it look like an actual sunset, but I'll wait until I have my pieces cut to plan the final layout.

Mysterious Halloween Town cross stitch

Working on Clue 2 of the Mysterious Halloween Town from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery 
I'm experimenting with house and door colors, which means some ripping out of work until I get it just right. I'm so not a Halloween person (other than liking purple?), but for some reason this pattern totally called my name and I'm really enjoying this project (the owls, the bonsai looking tree, the cute house, the picket fence). I hope to have this finished and framed in time to display during October.

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