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Posts Tagged ‘Good Folks’

Colorbrick!

At home

First it was the fabric!  I had to have Anna Maria Horner’s Good Folks collection – and the more the better!  I purchased a 1/2 yard set and started making little projects around the house, like my patchwork rugs and computer chair pad.

Then, gradually, I came around and admitted I wanted to make a quilt.  Colorbrick was born when Film in the Fridge posted a work-in-progress on her “Postcards from the Park” quilt (which coincidentally she submitted as her favorite to Blogger’s quilt festival!).  I didn’t know how she had achieved that look, but I knew that I liked the way the large rectangle shapes present the fabric.  Then one afternoon while reading, I glanced up to see some brickwork through my window.   Instantly, I knew that was the feel I wanted.  Isn’t that how it is sometimes – the right idea comes quickly like a gift from heaven!

Colorbrick Quilt

Good Folks would show off  in large brick shapes and natural linen would make a cool mortar.  Not knowing what I was doing, I set to work making the blocks via a paper-piecing technique.  Essentially, I was adding a strip of linen to the top and side of each rectangle.  Well, it worked, but that was silly!  Had I recognized that the top line was sashing, I could have cut one long strip to go all the way across each row of bricks, saving significant time in cutting and sewing.

Closeup Layout

I had planned from the beginning that I would use a thrifted wool army blanket (thanks, Mom!) as the batting and quilt the back in a stair step echo pattern that would emphasize the brick design.  Loved the quilting process!

 

Quilting

At first I finished Colorbrick with a bright yellow store bought binding.  It was awful.  I mean, just reaaaally bad!  After ripping it out I made some binding from scraps and it came out alright.  I machine attached it for a quick finish.  Thanks to all of you who have made sweet comments about my Colorbrick quilt!  That picture in the header was taken off the cuff, when we were finished photographing the rest.

Pieced Binding

The internet is a wonderful place!  Thanks, Amy, for organizing such a fun way to share our favorite projects and meet new friends!  I’m off now to check out the other quilts in the Blogger’s quilt festival!

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This morning Aria got comfy on the couch with our new pillow and my Colorbrick quilt.  It was a very warm morning…  I didn’t make them to match, per se, but Good Folks make good company.

Living Color Pillow w/Colorbrick Quilt
I put the final stitches on my Living Color pillow last night, while watching “The Invention of Lying” (which was a bust IMO).  The “twisted trees” design is from The New Crewel.  Because getting to the fabric store is just too much trouble for this busy mom, I recycled an old pillow, ripping out its stuffing to fill this new one, and backed my design with some yellow decorator’s weight fabric I had lying around.  Not sure if it was correct to do so, but I used one of those curved, semi-circular needles to hand stitch the bottom side closed.  A straight needle was causing a little ridge of fabric to form, but the circular needle made for a smooth finish.  So, I guess that’s right?

I was very tempted to try an invisible zipper closure via Sew Katie Did‘s tutorial, but in the end I decided to hand stitch it closed.  And, you know, for what it’s worth, I enjoy hand stitching so much that I’d probably just rip it open, remove stuffing, wash and restitch if necessary!  How’s that for stubborn?

By the way, gots to give credit to my mama who suggested a mirrored quilting design on the natural Essex linen/cotton frame.  I do love quilting patterns on solids it seems.

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Playing with Fabric

Today I played with fabric.  OK, so I did a lot of others things as well… but here’s the part you want to see:

My mother's day gift!

Oooh, la-la! Thank-you, thank-you!

My Mother’s Day gift arrived a little late, but I don’t mind ;).  I scored yards of Good Folks by Anna Maria Horner, purchased at a great deal from this Etsy shop.  She was having a moving sale on her already low prices, but that’s ended.  I got to know Kerith, the owner, while putting together my wish list.  She’s the sweetest thing and actually has more Good Folks in stock than are listed on Etsy.  Definitely convo her if you need some.

oooh, la la!

I’ve decided I can’t get enough of this fabric.  I like anything made in it.  I especially love my Colorbrick Quilt, Maureen’s Family Tree Pillow & my first Etsy Makeup Roll…. which no one has purchased.

I’m trying not to get discouraged by that.  It’s so easy to want to give up and hide my face.  I know that instant success is unrealistic, but I just need a little encouragement.  It really keeps me going that my Etsy Store is not really about me, it’s for kids who need help.  Course, it’s not helping yet….  I’d like to make more makeup rolls, so that customers would have some choices; but it feels foolish to make more if I’ve never sold one, you know?  So, tonight, I rolled up my sleeves and made a new listing for a Custom Makeup Roll.    I thought maybe it would help if I show some other fabric possibilities and make it real clear to folks that I’d love to do custom?  So, I also photographed LOTS of groupings of Good Folks that would make pretty makeup rolls and created this Flickr set.  That was the playing with fabric part of my day.  And it was fun 🙂

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Yesterday, on Mother’s day, I was gifted a leeetle extra time at the sewing machine during what was (for us) a relaxed Sunday.  Inspired by some of my Flickr favorites like this and this, I designed a rainbow of half square triangles to surround my finished crewel work.  It’s a pillow-front in the making.

Work in progress

I’ve never worked with half square triangles before, so it took some trial and error to figure out how to piece them without losing their points.  But, it was time well spent.  I forsee more half square triangles in my future!  I love that I finally have enough fabrics in my stash to do a rainbow like this without shopping. 

Half Square triangles are cut from squares, so each has a twin sister.  Now, I wonder what I’ll do with the rainbow of triangle “scraps” from this project?  Hmm….

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Good folks Napkins
Before moving on to another big project, I stitched through a few small projects in time for Easter.  I fell in love with the lovely spring colors of these cloth napkins by Molly of the Purl Bee.  We never seem to have enough napkins when we host Easter dinner, so I used some beautiful Good Folks fabrics paired with lively Kona Cottons to liven up our table.  The rest of our cloth napkins are solid green, so these four pretties really dress things up.  I purchased the Kona on sale at Hancock’s for quite a good deal.  They may not have much selection, but they certainly have the best price on Kona cotton!

New Napkins!

My cloth napkins are “luncheon size”, which is actually quite sufficient.  Why use more delicious fabric when good enough will do? Finished size is 9.5 x 15.5″. With a little care in folding, the colors really pop!

Easter Gifts

For our Easter baskets, I put my nose to the grind once again and made some clothing. Aria’s top is the “Blouse with Crocheted Doily Trim” from Carefree Clothes for Girls. This, my second jaunt with sewing clothing, wasn’t so painful. I’ll say that the directions in this book were quite a bit more user-friendly than the minimal ones included with that Hancock’s pajama pattern.  Several raw edge finishings in the blouse design also saved time.  Plus, when it came to Liam’s shirt, I used a plain, store-bought tank.  Liam has a sentimental attachment to a pair of outgrown robot pajamas.  I appliqued a large rectangle of the pajama fabric across the chest and hand-stitched two smaller, cut-out robots to hide the Old Navy logo.  Easy peasy.

Happy Easter!

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At home

At last, my Colorbrick Quilt is finished. Don’t I look fine curled up with it on the couch? Granted now it’s practically too warm for a throw quilt, but you don’t think I’m going to let that stop me, do you? Nope.

Quilting
You had seen the quilt top Work In Progress before, so I’ll tell you a bit about the finishing details. The back is mostly solid natural linen with a few strips of my favorite Good Folks fabric to liven things up. For batting, I used a thrifted army wool blanket. It’s washable, warm and indestructible. As such, I was able to quilt it loosely, just stitching in the linen “mortar” of the brick-inspired design.

Pieced Binding

The binding gave me the most trouble. I wanted to use a store-bought binding, so I settled with a bright yellow from Hancocks. It was brighter than I wanted, but I went ahead and focused on learning how to machine-apply binding. After I sewed the last stitch, I threw the quilt on the floor to get a look and immediately hated the binding. I removed it the next night! Forced to make my own binding, I used some trimmings from the quilt back and it wasn’t as hard as I feared.

Colorbrick QuiltI’ve used up my stash of linen, so I plan to order more for upcomming projects. I want to give credit to Rashida Coleman-Hane who blogs at I Heart Linen and recently published I Heart Patchwork. She’s created a fellow linen-lover. I too love how natural linen pairs effortlessly with fun cotton prints. It gives the look an earthy vibe, and tones down my color-loving craziness. I just droooool over I Heart Patchwork. It’s a beautiful book with lots of worthy projects. I made a set of Rashida’s Patchwork Coasters awhile back. My friends’ admiration drove us to organize a little sewing group where they are making Patchwork Coasters of their own. So, double thanks, Rashida, for helping spread the sewing-love among my friends! Coasters from I Heart Patchwork

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When I started sewing last summer, I said I wouldn’t be making quilts. I didn’t like quilts, and my husband hated the look. That was before I came across the modern quilt aesthetic exemplified by bloggers such as Film in the Fridge. Oh, I’m hooked. Waaaaaaay hooked. My husband still hates the look.

Yesterday I finished sewing the quilt top of my very first quilt. It is a brick-like design, inspired by this quilt by Film in the Fridge. I used my adored Good Folks fabrics by Anna Maria Horner, which I’ve already used to make a chair pad, make-up roll and my patchwork rugs. To create the brick design, each block has natural linen trim on 2 sides. Here are my finished bricks.

Pretty Pieces

They were easy enough to make, since I used the paper piecing method which I’ll explain a bit below. But, when laid out they look like this, with the linen becoming the “mortar” of the colorbricks:

Closeup Layout

Last night I sewed the backing, chose a yellow binding and some variegated yellow/golden orange thread for quilting. I can’t wait to make my quilt sandwich and start the finishing process this weekend!

For those of you who sew, you may be interested in a little paper piecing tutorial. Film in the Fridge has a great tutorial for strip-quilting with the paper piecing method. I adapted it to make these brick blocks.

First choose a lightweight paper and cut it to the desired shape of your finished blocks. I used old phonebook paper that was already about the right size. I only had to trim one side of the pages to match my quilting concept and used a rotary mat and cutter to assure 90 degree corners. Now cut your fabrics for the blocks. Next glue the first fabric with a touch of a glue stick to a paper piece to stabilize it.

Paper Piecing #1

Pin your next fabric to the first fabric with right sides together. Pin through both the fabric and the paper being careful to align the edges. In this case, I pinned the natural linen to the Good Folks cut. There was no reason for me to trim the linen to size in advance, as you’ll see later.

Paper Piecing #2

Now, sew those two fabrics together right through the paper, using a smaller stitch length than normal. I used 1.5 length stitches. Close stitches will make removing the paper easy when it’s time. Press seam open. Next pin on your next fabric piece. Here I added the second section of linen trim.

Paper Piecing #4

Sew, press seam open. Now your block just needs trimming. This is when paper piecing pays off. Flip it over to trim all edges from the back, using the absolutely square paper piece to get it easily square. Quick and very satisfying!

Paper Piecing #5

Make all of your blocks like so and leave the paper piecing on until you’re ready to sew the quilt top together. When it’s time, the paper rips right off because it is perforated from the small stitch length. Some people use muslin fabric instead of paper as the foundation so that they don’t have to remove anything. I found removing the paper quite easy and fast. My 5 year old enjoyed helping! Plus, this paper was free and already mostly cut to size.

The main benefit of paper piecing is the ease and accuracy of getting each quilt block square. When I sewed together my quilt top, it went together just right. Paper piecing also makes it easy to see if your fabrics will cover the remaining space without measuring or precutting. In my case, it made it easy to use up every little linen strip on hand.

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