Monday, June 20, 2016

Half way there!

Here's the latest block in the Modern HST Sampler hosted by the lovely Blossom Heart Quilts. This one is called Rockpool and I just love it!

Since this is Block #12, that also means we're half way through this quiltalong. I figured that made it a good time to gather all my blocks for a photo. Thankfully I snapped this just before a big gust of wind blew them here and there!

Blocks and bits

June's queen bee picked a colour scheme I quite adore - muted pink, coral, teal and blue. My only problem was narrowing down my choices. As usual this year, I made two blocks.

I also made two heart blocks with these Tula prints for the campaign hosted by the Orlando modern quilt guild to give heart quilts to those affected by the tragic shooting at the Pulse night club. I sent these blocks to a woman in the U.S. who offered to collect blocks and sew them into quilt tops.

I don't think I posted these two mini minis I made for the fun contest hosted by Make Modern magazine. Both are made with Alison Glass fabric and finish at 6". This was my first go at single binding and it went surprisingly well.

They now hang in front of my sewing machine with a few other favourite minis.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Tutorial: Squared Summits

This is my first go at a pdf tutorial, so please excuse the low production values. But it's a neat block I wanted to share and I hope people have fun making it too. It's simple, but quite striking. I called it Squared Summits because it's a square version of the traditional Delectable Mountains block.

You can find the tutorial here.

Here are a few examples that show you just how many possibilities there are with this block. Each one looks totally different depending on the size and fabric. Here are a few examples, which I have posted previously on this blog so they may look familiar. But it is neat to see them all together to see just how many possibilities there are with this simple block.

This uses Alison Glass fabric and off-sets the blocks with narrow sashing between.

This pillow's bold colour scheme of blue and orange, white and black really sets off the blocks.

Here's another pillow with an Anna Maria Horner floral print combined with Grunge and a border.

Below are two more matching tops that will become pillows as well.

This block is super versatile and super easy. You just need to master a half-rectangle triangle. Follow my tutorial and you'll be whipping up these blocks in no time! I also included a simple calculation to make them in any size.

I want to give a nod to Wendy on Instagram (@wens_was_here) for inspiring this tutorial. I saw a beautiful pillow she made with this block and I immediately made two! I had the math a bit wrong on that first go, and set to figuring it out. Not just for that four-block pillow, but for any size. And you can see I've kinda been hooked on making them in every size and configuration since! I hope you have fun with it too.

***If you do make these blocks, please share them on Instagram with the hashtag #squaredsummits and tag me - @johannaweidner. I'd love to see them!

Monday, June 13, 2016

52 Quilters

This week you can find me over on 52 Quilters. It's a neat social media experiment where a new quilter takes over each week. I'm very honoured to be chosen and hope I add something to the project.

I'll be posting on the blog and Instagram account - 52Quilters.

I've got a lot planned, the highlights being a tutorial and a little giveaway. I hope you'll follow along!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Pillows to solve the world's problems

Ooh, I am in love with this pillow! And not just because I amazed myself by figuring out the blocks correctly. (My brain strains on spacial reasoning.) The combo of orange and blue, with the dark grey and white is just so wonderfully bold. And I love the dense diamond cross-hatch quilting in light blue. And really I just can't be happier than when I'm sewing with Alison Glass fabric.

For the back, I pulled from my stash this grey fabric that's so wonderfully soft to the touch. Then for fun, I added this neat Kokka deer print with a sateen feel I bought when I was in Spain for a pretty penny.

This is where I got clever. I didn't want to waste fabric making a band when half of it would be hidden inside the pillow. Instead, I sewed a strip to the back of the grey, then pulled it around front and carefully ironed the seam. I folded over about 1/4" on the top of the band and ironed it flat, and then top stitched at the bottom and top. And voila! A nice detail without wasting fabric.

It gives the pillow back a nice sturdy feel too and I'm sure I'll do this again.

Catching up

Somehow I got a block behind on the #modernHSTsampler, and then another block pattern came out. Eep. Time to get cutting!

Here is Block #10 - Faceted Stripe. It came together quickly, thanks to using the eight-at-a-time method of making HST. Next time, though, I will cut the starting squares a bit bigger than the size given. When I trim my HST, I like a little extra fabric to work with so I can trim all four sides, not just the ears. These turned out to be just the size needed, and a bit smaller in some cases.

And here's Block #11 - Starshine. I really like this one, especially with that really dark blue.

Both use the same background fabric - a light grey quilter's linen - even though it looks different in the picture. The clouds cleared for a bit for the second photo, and I think the dark fabric changed the contrast.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Where are my sunglasses?

I may be softening on my long-held anti-yellow stance. Never in a million years would I have guessed I'd make something with this colour combo. Sure I like pink, but that yellow is crazy. "Uterine cramping" as one IG friend puts it. Yet, I love this.

Don't the three Alison Glass collections go crazy good together? I made a matching one, but a bit different and definitely more subdued.

These will become pillows because I seem to be on a pillow-making jag at the moment. Doesn't it always seem to happen that makers get stuck on something? I wonder what is next for me. Hmm.

If you like this block, I'll soon be sharing my tips and tricks on how to make them. Spoiler alert: they're super easy!

Welcome home

A handmade pillow seemed like the perfect house-warming gift for a friend and her family who recently moved into their first home. What an exciting and scary time!

I decided to revisit this traditional block that I used long ago for a mini quilt. Only this time I made it on a much bigger scale for a 20" pillow. (I just made it again, only on a much, much, much smaller scale for a mini mini challenge. Stay tuned!)

I pulled out my treasured Carolyn Friedlander fabric because I wanted a more neutral colour palette. I really love this muted combo of blue and green with a hint of orange. Taking a cue from the fabric, I quilted it with blue and orange thread. Good thing too, since I barely had enough blue to finish!

And here it is finished, complete with a "made by Johanna" label.

Here comes the sun

A while back I was chatting with an Instagram friend and we decided to do a private mini quilt swap. The good thing about that is you really have a good idea about who you're making for and what they'll like. The downside is that without the strict deadlines of an organized swap is that we took a bit longer to finally get them sent.

But I sure needed the time! I decided to make a hand-pieced mini after seeing variations on this pattern and Spring Carnival by Katy Jones popping up on Instagram. I figured it was the perfect project to take with me on my epic journey to Australia and New Zealand. The flights alone would give me plenty of stitching time, not to mention the month away.

I couldn't be happier with how it turned out! I love everything about it from the rainbow to the low-volume background to the quilting. I don't normally name my quilts, but this one screamed "Here Comes the Sun."

I love this detail and the lovely messages in the text print:

As an extra, I made a pillow inspired by one of her posts. Pressed for time, I enlisted my mom and her fancy embroidery machine to add the letters. It turned out great.

I found the perfect backing fabric in my stash, a long-hoarded Japanese print.

Then I used the pillow for wrapping, finished with a bow.

My friend Sarah really liked her mini and pillow. She posted a lovely slideshow, complete with the Beatles song, on IG. Now I am anxiously awaiting my package to arrive!