Houndstooth Quilt

Houndstooth Quilt

For the past couple of months, I had it in my head that I wanted to make a houndstooth-patterned quilt.  I’m not quite sure the reason for the obsession as I am not at all preppy and it’s not a pattern I would ever wear as a garment but I liked the idea of trying to turn the familiar into a quilt.  After spending an eternity sketching the pattern and trying to figure out the math, I found an awesome tutorial from the Missouri Star Company which clarified the technique.

The tutorial used only two colors but I had the idea that I wanted it to be scrappier, alternating a patterned block with solid yellow.  I cut out 5″ square blocks for the yellow blocks and if you follow the tutorial, using strips from fat quarters, you’ll end up with the right amount of blocks in the right colors, as long as you only sew two strips (in my case, a yellow and a fat quarter strip) together at a time and then cut them into triangles.  That will allow you manipulate the placement of the striped squares so they match the 5″ blocks.

Houndstooth Quilt

The quilt came out better than I ever could have imagined! There was a steep learning curve as I began cutting but once I really figured out the pattern and the seam allowances, it came together really easily. Once you sew together the two sets of striped triangles, it’s just sewing together 5″ squares. Easy, right? ;-)

Houndstooth Quilt

 

I’m still on a “use it up” kick so I used some larger scraps I had in my stash. I am sorry to report that this is the last of those yellow chickens :-(

Houndstooth Quilt

This quilt is for Project Linus.

dapper square quilt

happy quilts

The concept of “quilting as therapy” really speaks to me.  When life gets chaotic, I turn to quilting and channel my problems into my fabric.  I’ve also started to notice that the more complex my worries get, the brighter the quilts I want to make.  I went through two decades of wearing exclusively black so I find it kind of funny that now I just want to make bright happy quilts with bright happy fabric :-)  I made this dapper square quilt partly because I wanted to work out a couple of issues in my head and partly because I am kind of embarrassed at how much fabric I seem to be collecting.  I love how it came out!  The pattern was really easy to follow and I just kept cutting fabric until I had the right amount for the blocks and then put them all together – I didn’t really plan the layout at all.

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The pattern was really simple so I worked on my ironing skills and my piecing skills.  I think I need an ironing lesson – I feel like my seams are never even.
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I’m not sure if the colors “go” together but it makes me unreasonably happy to see all these bright fabrics sitting next to each others.
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The back is some yardage that I had originally intended to use to make a skirt but I gave up making clothes due to fit issues and decided I didn’t like the fabric all that much so I used it for the back and then used up some of the larger scraps that I had.  I am happy how the quilting came out!
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This quilt is quite a bit larger than the quilts I’ve been making lately and I’m so glad I went back to the larger size.  It’s for Project Linus and I know they can use the larger quilts.
dapper square quilt

X Plus Quilt

X Plus Quilt

Is it weird that I’ve starting picking quilt patterns based on the size and amount of scraps it will use?  Asking for a friend ;-)

Seriously, though, I have two scrap-intensive projects in the works, and oddly, I have run out of scraps.  I’m really good at using up what I have and then quickly using the leftovers so while those projects are at a standstill, I figured I might as well make another quilt which will produce a sizeable amount of scraps for my in-progress projects.  The good news is that the X Plus Quilt was super fun to make and, aside from all the cutting, came together really quickly.  The bad news is that while I used the dregs of some of my fabrics, there wasn’t a whole lot left over to use in my scrappy projects.  Not to worry – I’ve already started another quilt!

Each block has 19 individual pieces so there’s a lot of cutting. I tried to vary what I used between bright and dark fabric so there was movement when I put the pieces together.
X Plus Quilt

I think the colors are busy, but in general play well together. I like that the hot pinks stand out and that one orange “plus” stands out.
X Plus Quilt

X Plus Quilt

The back is larger leftover pieces of some of what I used on the front.
X Plus Quilt

I love how it came out – it’s so colorful and cheerful and busy. The blocks were a lot smaller than I thought they’d be – about 7.5″ so I wish that I had added a few more rows, but I think the size works for a baby quilt.

half-square triangle quilt

half-square triangle stripes

A secret fact about me is that I don’t like the color green.  I love green in nature but when those beautiful greens are transferred to clothing or fabric, it’s just “ugh.”  So when green fabric enters my home, I try to use it up as soon as I can.  I got some greens for Christmas that were a particularly icky shade of green that would only work well with blue.  So, I cut large half-square triangles and made them into a quilt that I don’t absolutely hate.  High praise, right?  :-)

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I had to be super careful when sewing the pieces together so as to not mess up the colors of the stripes!
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The back is just a bunch of left over green-ish scrap pieces I had. I was surprised I had so much! Now I have none, and I’m happy again :-)
half-square triangle quilt
The quilting is straight lines, shadowing the seams on the diagonal. I used my sewing foot as a guide and I like how it worked out. The quilt is small enough so it wasn’t super tedious to quilt.

This quilt is for Project Linus. There’s got to be a green-loving child who’s going to love this quilt!

Lizzy House Meadow Quilt

Lizzy House Meadow Quilt

In October, I took the Meadow Quilt class from Lizzy House.  It’s not a pattern that’s sold commercially – you can’t make it unless you take the class directly from Lizzy House.  Lizzy is a fabric designer and pattern maker.  I jumped at the chance to learn how to make this mysterious quilt and learn some new skills.  Boy did I learn A LOT!!  Scroll down beneath the pics of my awesome (seriously, right?  I love it!) quilt for more details on what I learned :-)

Lizzy House Meadow Quilt

Planning stage

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Half way there – note all the puckering in the finished blocks

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Top is done!

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Finished!

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It’s a big quilt – covers the entire top of a queen size bed

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Close-up of the petals

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The color block on the left is IKEA fabric from a few years ago.

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I love the way the longarm quilting came out.

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On the longarm

-This was a really fun class. We met four nights for three hours each night. It was intense but I really loved sewing with my classmates.  I’d like to do more sewing with others.

-Lizzy teaches the class in a very thoughtful way. It’s not the typical “here’s the pattern – go for it!” type of class. We talked about color and fabric selection and she’s very hands on with the complex construction of the blocks. It was suggested that we bring 24-48 fat quarters or fat eights so we’d have enough variety in our petals. I think I brought 20ish and thus had some repeats. I was a little overwhelmed by all the fabric on the table when we all started testing fabric for the layout. I actually bought some new fabric for this quilt (amazing, right?) and then used a lot of what I had. I knew I was going to keep this quilt, so I just picked colors that made me happy and it all worked out. Lizzy helped with the layout so the colors of the petals “flowed”. I am super happy with the fabric colors and patterns I used!

-The construction of the blocks was not for the faint of heart and was quite time consuming. We did some magic involving freezer paper, glue, starch and a lot of ironing. I learned that I don’t iron correctly – not the old “press to one side! no, press open! argument, but I’ve always ironed from the back of the quilt and Lizzy did it from the front and I have to admit, it really cut down on some of the seam puckering.

-Sewing curves is no joke, as in, I just about cried when I got home and had to finish my blocks. It’s so clear to me now that quality and weight of your fabric matters, especially when sewing curves. I used something lightweight and it was a nightmare to work with and created a LOT of puckering in the center of the blocks. I even tried to trim the pieces before sewing them together but it didn’t really help.

-Because of the puckering, I longarm quilted it. The owner of the shop actually had to move the fabric around the needle as I quilted it so as to reduce the puckering. It was insane, but really, any other option would have resulted in a super hot mess and a very upset me. I used yellow thread and chose a fairly open quilting pattern and it totally worked out! I love it so much!!

-The yellow/green/brown fabric on the back is some fabric from IKEA I got a a long while ago (the selvage says the design is from 2007). I’m not sure why I bought it but I kind of love how it came out – so dramatic and bold.

-I moved in December and I don’t really have somewhere to photograph my quilts outside yet.  There’s no natural place to hang them.  I’ll have to figure something out – now that spring is here, the outside is starting to look so green and pretty and it’s going to be the perfect backdrop for quilt photos.

-Though this was a tough quilt to make, I’m really happy I took the class and persevered.  I love how it came out and I absolutely love seeing on my bed every night :-)