Sunday, April 18, 2021

t-rex stencil quilt

I like to make a quilt for my grandchildren about the age of 5 or 6.   I saw this quilt a few years ago, and decided that I had to make it (shamelessly copy).   Little boys love dinosaurs!   

Dan Rouse from Piece and Press is a landscape designer and quilter, thus his incredible creativity.  He has made some impressive "stencil quilts", be sure to look at his blog.  I studied and studied his "lizard" stencil quilt for a long time, to figure out the process.  And slowly started working on it.  

In a nutshell, there are 2 contrasting quilts pieced, a stencil blown up of your "figure or design".  The quilts are sewn together (both facing up) along the stencil lines, then cutting the top layer inside the sewing line to reveal the bottom layer within the stencil with a raw-edge applique finish.

For my first layer, I went mostly with batiks for obvious reasons.   I found 8 or 9 fabrics, cut them into 5 inch squares, and made a disappearing 9 patch quilt top, 52 x 66 inches big.  

Starched and pressed it till it could practically stand up on it's own.

I took the image that I wanted, and the measurements that I had calculated and went to the printer.  He made me a big print out about 34 x 36 inches big.  

I found 1/2 a dozen orange fabrics, and used 1 solid for in each half square triangle square, and made a second quilt a few inches bigger than the stencil of the t-rex.

After sewing it together, I carefully pinned the orange quilt top to the back of the blue one, facing up, about where I wanted the t-rex to be.

I traced a copy of the t-rex onto a sheet of  Gold Threads Quilting Paper and layed it on top of the blue quilt, being careful that the orange quilt on the bottom was . . .  and I quilted on the traced line with blue thread.

Then, trimmed inside the the quilted line, between 1/4 - 1/8 of an inch.  

I then quilted the orange quilt that shows through with orange thread. (stitch in the ditch)


The rest went very quickly, because I was soooooo much wanted to see the washed effect on the raw edges.

pretty cool, huh?

finished size 60 x 75, washed

batiks blue and oranges
bamboo batting
stencil quilt

I was surprised at how easy this quilt was when I finally figured it out in my head.  

It makes a dramatic finish.

I will definitely be making more stencil quilts.

Loved :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

wild goose chase quilt

 This Wild Goose Chase pattern went together so quickly, that I had to do some research to find this information for you.  (ok, the truth is that all the info is in storage, along with our stuff)               


We live in a small town with lots of cool photoshoot opportunities.   When I have to mail a letter or return packages, I go to the postoffice . . . 

mostly, because there is this old cool barn across the street, (and a place around the corner to get a "little" snack shake :)

with awesome hardware.  I'd love to know how many times this barn door was opened, and what the life was like of the farmer who opened it each morning . . . and if he named his chickens.

I used fabric manufactured by Robin Picken.  She has only been around in the quilting public eye for a few years.  Her fabrics which I believe she originally designed on Spoonflower's website, quickly became popular, and of course!  What great colors and designs.  

I'm not sure what they call this design.  Stacked nickels?

quilt stats
size - 63x63, washed
fabric - blushing peonies (mostly, but other fabrics of Robin's thrown in as well) by Robin Pickens
batting - bamboo
quilting design - medium size meander

It's nice to have a variety of quilts around the house, different sizes and shapes, different weights and different backing fabrics.  I like to use dark fabrics for the backs occasionally, because sometimes you just need a dark backed quilt!  like when your husband puts his dirty suitcase on the bed to pack for a business trip and you come running in with a dark backed quilt. 

This is a nice light weight quilt for cool summer nights.  

Sunday, April 11, 2021

hamstring nature postage quilt

 I was asked to make a quilt with the colors of nature.  So I went to my pictures of Alaska.  We visited several regions of the state, with a variety of landscapes.  Some snowed upon, some not.
The vast waters mirrored endless images and colors of the land and sky.

The sunrises were especially spectacular.

endlessness . . . . . 

We were there on the coming edge of winter, giving the air a cool crispness, and an emotional intoxicating quietness.

The magnitude of the enormous mountains and valleys was spiritually moving.

What joy it brings to see the creativity of my maker, knowing that I too love to create

I found my colors and these were the fabrics that I chose.  

About the time that I was starting this quilt, we escaped the Texas summer heat, and spent a month in San Miguel de Allende, a charming colonial-era city in Mexico's central highlands . . .  and my favorite place to visit in Mexico.

On the quaint cobblestone streets, one can find a variety of bustling markets, with vendors selling their handmade wares in all sorts of colors and fashions.  

The city is known for it's baroque Spanish architecture, thriving arts scene and cultural events.  We happened to be there during the month of the Independence Day celebrations, including lively parades depicting native traditions, costumes, painted skin, and other festivities displaying life from the different regions of Mexico.  The entertainment was extraordinary.  The food was exquisite.  One night I ordered octopus.  Soon, placed before me was a WHOLE octopus the size of my dinner plate!

 We rented a colonial style house and I set up my work station with my Singer Featherweight on the beautiful wood dining table with curved wrought iron legs . . .

And my ironing station in the kitchen. . . so pretty and inviting.

 I spent the mornings up on the veranda reading and studying, enjoying the colorful views, the filtered sun and aromatic breezes.  The afternoon brought cooling showers which gave everything a fresh cleaning, and the perfect time to sew.

The postage quilt pattern had been decided upon.

Before we knew it, the month was gone, and we were headed back to Texas, with all intentions of returning to San Miguel the following year (it never happened)

My HQ Sweet sixteen is still my favorite machine to quilt on, because of the homemade (not made in China), organic feel it gives my quilting.

A tight straight line quilting pattern going only in 1 direction had been requested, but this quilt soon started to shrink into a long skinny quilt.  So, I had to alter the quilting pattern.  I staggered the tight lines and added lines going the opposite direction until it was the shape that I was looking for.  

quilt stats

aprox size  63x80, washed

batting - Winline 100% Bamboo, 6 oz. (a heavier weight for colder climates), renewable, breathable, durable fibers with anti-bacterial properties.

quilt - postage pattern

fabrics - various textured Konas, wovens and linen essex, depicting the colors of nature

quilting pattern -staggering tight and loose straight lines

thread - Aurifil 2890

On the back, I quilted the last line of a metta (positive energy and kindness towards others) practice:

"... and may you live with an unguarded heart"

The blue binding gives a coolness and adds a nice balance.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

more finished quilts

sparrows quilt - coming soon

snowball baby quilt 

 P-40 Warhawk stencil quilt (wow, that's blurry!!)

burgoyne surrounded - coming soon

                                                                Scrappy Omni Gen

                                                                              post coming soon