Wednesday, January 26, 2022

New Baby + New Year = New Quilt

There’s no better way to start a New Year than with a new quilt, made in celebration of the birth of a precious baby.  A gorgeous day at the beach called for a photoshoot. Sorry, not sorry if it’s snowing where you are - I’m sure that’s pretty too. 

For the January 2022 Aurifil Artisan showcase I am sharing my original design inspired by two gifted quilts that came before it.  But before I reveal those- let’s take a moment to admire how beautifully blended the variegated 50wt color 4670 quilted up. 

I also used a neutral 50wt for the piecing, color 2000 even though there are lights and darks in the fabric. 

Here’s the completed quilt for our niece and her husband’s  newborn son.  I’m so pleased with how it turned out and that it was actually gifted on time.  They have sent us adorable pictures of it being well loved. 

When it comes to deciding on what to make, I try to personalize at every opportunity.  I made the quilt shown below for their wedding present.  Pattern Chain+Link by Elizabeth Dackson 

The palette and design influence is pretty obvious I think.  

When their daughter was born a few years ago, I made her this Lone Star in a Sharon Winters workshop. I combined the elements of the two to make the newest one feel related (pun intended). 

The 50 wt thread lays so nicely with opens seems that I just had to include an underbelly shot. 

And here’s a close up of the prints - there are nine in all and my stash served me well. A cohesive scrappy modern traditional design is my preference lately. 

For hand stitching the binding, I used color 2784 with my new favorite cut width of 3” instead of 2.25” so that it gives a substantial edge. 

The quilt measures right on target  48” square. Big enough for baby to lay on now and small enough for him to drag around when he’s grown and toddling about. 
Backed in flannel with bamboo silk batting, a cozy combination. 

Be sure to check out the other featured makers to see what projects they have shared and follow along on instagram #aurifilartisan @capitolaquilter 

Happy Stitching, Karen 

Monday, January 24, 2022

Aurifil Artisan - Night Fancy fabric


A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to receive the  newest line by designer Victoria Findlay Wolfe “Night Fancy “  from FreeSpirit fabrics and a lovely spool of 50wt thread from her collection.  I love being an Aurifil Artisan and am always up for a challenge. 
I knew immediately that the 4 Fat Quarter would make a great Improv Abstraction Log Cabin. Pairing Drift which reads dark but is also packed with lots of color with the black and white Wander for the high contrast portion and the blue tonal print Big Sliver with the solid for the low contrast was the perfect recipe. 

I shared in my (very long!) 2021 recap post yesterday the sixteen quilts finished for the year and you can see that I haven’t gotten this design series out of my system. Trimming the blocks made a pile of confetti and not much waste. 
Another reason I chose this for the project was because I wanted to expand my 16” block pattern to see how big it would grow to if I kept building until I ran out of fabric. Any guess? 

The mini ended up 26” - did you estimate high or low?  

During the photoshoot I attempted to make it appear bigger in some (near the ocean) and smaller in others (next to the mural). I think either way, it’s quite visually impactful 
Matchstick quilting on a long arm with Aurifil Forty-3 in color 2620 was a breeze even though I’m very inexperienced with that technique. I chose an organic wave motif to mimic the block design.  

For the label I matchstick quilted using the variegated color 3840 which has a subtle range to it.  Be sure to check out the full line of fabric and thread collection as well as the projects made by other artisans.  

 I’m going to include a couple more favorite shots in closing- happy stitching, Karen

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Sixteen 2021 Finished quilts

 January means reflecting back on  accomplishments. Sixteen completed quilts in 2021 is pretty productive for me  

Some were start to finish,  some were wrapping up long term projects, sizes range from mini to massive, most were gifts (retirement, babies & weddings), a swap and challenges. I kept six. 

“Either Or” 28”x38” was my response to the MQG fabric challenge using the fat-eights provided and additional thanks to a couple of guild mates  

The woven “fringe “ selvage edge was too tempting to leave out  

I’m enjoying the exploration of mixing thread color and weight as an Aurifil Artisan as evidenced in many of my finishes 

My temperature quilt is the largest and most blogged about I titled it : “Predictable” 91”x98”  

Started January 2019 with the top finished December 2019 representing temperatures throughout that year. 

Finally Completed October 24, 2021 in time for the QuiltCon entry deadline with high hopes for sharing it at the special exhibit but unfortunately it was not juried in.  

A much smaller version 50”x71” was gifted to our sons MIL to celebrate her retirement.  Unlike the temperature quilt, the blocks could be placed in any order on the design wall and didn’t take 365 days!  It’s interesting to see how scale plays in the overall look of the two quilts when compared  

I used a festive dotted binding and vintage backing. 

A collaboration with my DIL started during winter break of 2020 while we excitedly awaited baby’s arrival was an early 2021 success. The logistics of getting together for sew dates that last trimester was a bit challenging but we managed to pull it off and have great  memories and a keepsake to show for it  

Followed shortly after with baby quilts for three of her friends. 
She would find out the desired theme and palette and I would decide the details and designs, sending sneaks along the way so they felt collaborative too. 

In recent years I have gotten out of the habit of backing in flannel but was quickly reminded why it is such a cozy feature. 

Making wedding quilts for my nieces has always been a pleasure to gift and having just completed an Organized Chaos pattern  by Sujata Shah I jumped at the excuse to try the larger block size in a Tuscan palette inspired by the couples love of travel.  It was a marathon make that took a lot of hours and back to back long sewing sessions  I managed a backyard photoshoot before mailing it off 

The other wedding quilt made in 2021 was a long time coming and my son and DIL were so patient waiting almost 3 years.

Hand stitching their initials with a heart and including 28 half-rectangles to represent the day of the month they were married added a personal touch. Photos from their honeymoon were used for inspiration to capture an aloha vibe.  70”x74” a couples cuddle size with room for babe and pup.

I also completed  four minis: 

Made for an auction donation.  

A workshop project.

The MQG Together swap sent to my partner 
Stitching with high contrast thread became less intimidating the more times I did it. 

My MQG “tree” challenge entry. 

“Connections” deserves a separate blog post to properly credit the BeeSewcial contributors but until then  , details can be found on instagram. For this recap I’ll just let you take it all in

Attending Sewtopia has been on my bucket list and also warrants more than a quick mention. My sister and I had a great time. I am proud of my fabric challenge quilt but even more proud that she walked away with the winning ribbon for her entry! 

Last but not least, a One Block Wonder project that I talked my sister into doing years ago and she abandoned after cutting the parts. You can see the front in the mosaic picture and here’s the back that I like just as well  

Aside from the 2 workshop quilts, they are original designs. I did the quilting myself on my domestic or my friends long arm with the exception of my fabulous beesewcial by my sis.  I’m pretty sure I even labeled them all - a first. 

Hopefully I counted and credited correctly. The year has been a big messy blur, a huge struggle but fortunately also included precious moments and treasured events. 

Thanks for hanging in there to the end!