One thing that really charmed us on our visit to Seattle last month was these adorable flowering cabbages. They were everywhere, planted in medians and parking lots and flower pots. We have these back east too once in a while, but by February they are looking pretty haggard. These were so fresh and lovely. And my favorite shade of orchid-pink-lavender.
I have been wanting to make a spiderweb quilt for a long time. After one disastrous attempt at using true scraps, I realized that I would need to actually plan my color scheme in order to like my final project. This would be so fun to make! I would use really thin strings and not try to keep them rigidly straight, but not make them intentionally wonky, either. Just enough variation to show the human hand. Of course I would make it scrappier than this mock-up. This pattern just begs to be made scrappy.
I would also love to just make a pile of cushions, each one a variation of this block, in all different sizes.
My fabric images this time are courtesy of eQuilter.com. I divide my fabric money pretty evenly between eQuilter and Pink Chalk, so I am thrilled that they have both given me permission to use their images for this feature! Going forward I’ll be switching between the two.
So, I went to Seattle a couple of weeks ago. My first time anywhere on the west coast. I am in love. I simply adored the weather when we were there. 40s and misty/foggy most of the day, but somehow still bright and pleasant. It was just beautiful. So many shades of grey. The filtered light made all the flowers simply glow. Yup, flowers in February. But mild in the summer. What a lovely climate…
We went for a walk at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens one morning. We were still on east coast time, so we were up and ready hours before anything was open, which left us hours to leisurely stroll the gardens and snap photos. It was so serene. One of the first things to greet us was this spectacular witch hazel. Remember now, this was early February- so, it’s winter!
The crisp yellow against the foggy trees was almost too much- we could have gone back to the car at that point and I would have been satisfied.
What are those scraggly pine trees in the background? Larch? I think it’s the same one that is on the Oregon License plate. I love their irregular shape so much. Our boring old spruces with their perfectly triangular forms just can’t compare.
Anyway, the witch hazel. As if it wasn’t enough to find a sunny yellow flower against a foggy grey sky, each flower emerges from a base of deep rusty red. That little bit of rust does a lot of things here- it warms up what can be a very stark color combination, It adds a third color which can be useful when planning the design of a quilt, and I think it gives the composition a more organic feel.
Fabric images courtesy of Pink Chalk Fabrics
My quilt mock-up is obviously a pretty literal interpretation of the blooms. I think it would be fun to sew these free-form. Because machine paper piecing is just not my thing. It really wouldn’t take too long, right? Sew, press, trim, then add the little rust triangle, repeat. I have a quilty weekend coming up, so maybe… I think for this one, I would hand quilt some irregular wavy lines, sort of mimicking the branch structure, from the bottom right up to the top left.
I went back and recolored my Candy Hearts Quilt with these fabrics as well. Because that quilt was really bright 🙂 Love this.
I also want to share a quilt I have admired for years, Witch Hazel by Ruth B McDowell. This photo is from her book Fabric Journey. It’s one that I have probably stared at for hours, trying to absorb all the fabric information that is incorporated into the work. I adore all the pale greys she used for the background of this quilt, especially the one at the top with the branches.
This is cheating. Does one color plus white really equal a palette? I don’t know, but I have always loved the classic red and white quilts, so I’m giving myself a pass.
What I love is that, a red and white quilt made 100 years ago looks just as fresh as one made this year- and it’s often hard to tell from photos if a red and white quilt is old or new.
Did you hear about the fabulous exhibit of red and white quilts that the American Folk Art Museum put on in NYC back in 2011? These 650 quilts are all from the collection of Joanna Rose and, if I remember correctly, the exhibition was a gift from her husband to celebrate a milestone birthday, and was made free to the public.
I wish I could have seen that. I’m sure it was a once in a lifetime chance.
At the PA National Quilt Extravaganza (held outside of Philadelphia) last year, there was an exhibit of small quilts inspired by the exhibit in New York. I photographed a lot of them. I don’t have info on the makers of all these, but they are all from members of the Olde Kent Quilters Repro Bee of Chestertown, MD.
I have always wanted to own a solid red and white quilt, but I wasn’t sure I would have the patience to make it. I tend to get bored making the same block over and over. Now as I am getting older I think maybe I would be able to do it.
Like the process might actually be soothing instead of mind-numbing. I could keep it around for a while and work on it any time I wanted to sew, but not wanted to think. That’s most nights these days, after the wild things are all tucked away 🙂
Lately I have been seeking out blocks like this one:
It seems so simple, but you can build up complex patterns by spinning them different ways as you assemble the quilt. I think it would help to keep the construction process interesting, because as you complete more and more blocks, there is the fun of putting them together in different directions to see what patterns you can get.
Which layout do you like? I’m partial to 2 and 3, myself. 2 especially, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.
I was out of waiting-in-the-airport type projects so, (oh darn,) I had to start something new! So excited about this one! It’s my new favorite color palette: fuchsia, thistle, red, plum. A little flash of tangerine. So intense. I’m thinking it will be a table runner, English paper pieced and appliqued. Can’t wait to get started!
When Evelyn Bea was just a wee babe, we took a day out to visit Hershey Gardens, to enjoy the sights and take some pictures. It was a hot summer day and the sun was high in the sky by the time we got there, but as a mom-of-a-newborn I was just happy to be out of the house and in a beautiful spot with said newborn sleeping cozily in her sling.
The roses were in their full glory that day and even though I’m not usually a rose kind of person, I do love the colors I captured that day.
Soon Evelyn will graduate to her own big girl bed and I’d love to make her a new quilt using sweet girly prints and rosy hues. A little bit of pale sky blue would ground all that pinkiness and add depth.
And lots of white would keep it light and fresh for a little girl’s room.
This quilt would be so easy to cut and piece. When I piece by machine, I like it to be something I can just sit and chain-piece without thinking too much and this definitely fits the bill. If I want to fiddle with a bunch of little pieces that have to go together in just the right way, I’d rather be in a comfy chair away from the machine, English Paper Piecing. Nice and easy, that’s my machine piecing style!
Last week I did a snowy winter palette, and honestly I’m not sure I would ever get tired of rich neutral, wintry palettes. But this cheerful palette is for my friend Anjeanette, who doesn’t think the mid-Atlantic winters are so awesome. I got this bouquet at a farmers market in the dead of summer, and photographed it just as the sky was trying to rain. The cloudy sky made the cerise really pop and gave the greens a moody bluish cast.
I am so grateful that Pink Chalk Fabrics has granted permission for me to use their images to mock up quilt patterns! I have long admired their carefully curated collection of modern fabrics.
This quilt pattern is called Maltese Cross. If you use 15″ blocks like this, it will finish 64×85, perfect for napping on the couch or for my little girls’ beds!
One of my most favorite things to do is put together color palettes. Here is one from a favorite winter photo I took last year.
I designed a quilt to go with it! And I was going to pull some fabrics but my both my stash and my local quilt shop were lacking in the shadowy periwinkles. So. Time to shop. but here’s the quilt:
The block is called Castle Walls. There are a couple of different ways to put the “castles” together, and if you like the more asymmetrical layouts, I think that a handful of these clustered in one corner of a quilt would look just smashing.