10 Year Anniversary Quilt

My sister and her husband recently celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary.  I have been wanting to make them a quilt for awhile now and this was a great occasion to commemorate.  They have three little ones, so I decided to make an oversized throw for one-to-five people to share on cold winter evenings (assuming three of those people are kiddles).

Front of 10-Year Anniversary Quilt

Front of 10-Year Anniversary Quilt

My sister is not a fan of traditional quilt blocks with uniform sizes, sashing, borders, etc., so I knew I wanted to do a quilt with an allover pattern.  I decided to use the Giggles pattern from Jaybird Quilts using the Super Sidekick Ruler I picked up at last year’s International Quilt Festival and Market.

I dove into my stash and pulled out fabrics with blue, navy, turquoise, and teal.  Here are the fabrics I picked:

Penny in Navy (Handcrafted, Alison Glass)
Grove in Blue (Sun Print Grove, Alison Glass)
Arrows in Indigo (Moonlit, Rashida Coleman-Hale, Cotton + Steel)
Netorius in Teal (Netorius, Cotton + Steel)
Static Dot in Indigo (Moonshine, Tula Pink)
Little Town in Blues (Emmy Grace, Bari J)
Tomahawk Stripe in Night (Arizona, April Rhodes)
Visionary in Winter (Shaman, Parson Gray)
Optical Origami in Shine (Urban Mod, AGF)
Nap Sak in Lake
(Modern Meadow, Joel Dewberry)
Aztec Ikat in Deepwater (Botanique, Joel Dewberry)
Squared Elements in Teal (Squared Elements, AGF)

I did a scrappy version of the Giggles pattern without a solid break.  A few great uses of the Giggles pattern can be found at Hawthorne Threads and Sara Lawson’s Sew Sweetness blog.  I used the 6″ diamond shape from the Super Sidekick Ruler and did five pairs of diamonds on the width and 12 diamonds down the height of the quilt.  I put together a scrappy back using some of the isosceles trapezoids that I had left over from cutting my diamonds.  .

Back of 10-Year Anniversary Quilt

Back of 10-Year Anniversary Quilt

I also used a new quilt label I designed and purchased from Spoonflower, simple, but just what I needed.  I really like how it turned out and it was a great stash buster, except I love all those fabrics and will need to get more!

10-Year Anniversary Quilt featuring my new quilt label

10-Year Anniversary Quilt featuring my new quilt label

Dimensions: approximately 60″ x 80″
Batting: 100% Cotton
Binding: Navy Kona

-Stephanie, HoustonDIY


Abstract Cityscape Quilt for my Brother

My mother, sister, nieces, and female friends are the main recipients of my sewn goods – bags, zippy pouches, clothes, etc.  My brother has been sadly left out until last Christmas.

For Christmas this past year (I know this post is dreadfully outdated), I wanted to make him something for his new house.  He likes black, gray, and red and I wanted to make a medium sized wall quilt for him.

I can’t pinpoint the exact inspiration, but I had talked with my brother earlier about abstract cityscapes in quits or wall art and landed on this idea.  I started with a fabric pull of solid black, grays, black prints, and reds.  I knew right away that a dark gray-to-black Ombre blender (Springs Creative) I had picked up at a previous Quilt Festival would be perfect to create some interest in the foreground of the quilt.

I created a cityscape with various fabric strips from 1″ to 6″ (finished) with varying heights, offset with a solid black sky/background.  I tried to place the “buildings” randomly to create an even look.  I used the gradient solid on the foreground / ground to add some interest.

Abstract Cityscape Quilt

Abstract Cityscape Quilt – Front

I used straight line walking foot quilting with a variety of thread colors (black, red, gray, metallic silver) and geometric designs on each of the larger buildings. The backing is scrappy pieced to used some of the left over pieces from the buildings.

Abstract Cityscape Quilt

Abstract Cityscape Quilt – Back with quilting detail visible

I think he liked it and hopefully it found a cozy spot in his new home!

-Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Gray and Purple Circle of Geese Mini

For a swap at the Houston Modern Quilt Guild last year, I made a purple and gray mini quilt using a circle of geese foundation paper piecing pattern. The FPP templates I used were from Piece by Number’s website (Colorwheel Geese).  This is a pretty straightforward, four-piece, 12.5″ unfinished block.

I made this a bit ago when my stash wasn’t as extensive.  I stuck with my mainstay colors of gray and a gradient of purple.  I made the block and added some quick borders.  I’m usually not a huge fan of borders, but in this case I wanted the mini to be a bit more substantial.

I added some quilting to accentuate the circular layout of the geese and a purple border.

Gray and Purple Circle of Geese Mini

Gray and Purple Circle of Geese Mini

The swap was fun and I received a lovely mini from Amy at House of Bad Cats.

-Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Pink baby quilt for Winslow

Front of Quilt

Front of quilt with pink checkerboard

A colleague had a lovely baby girl named Winslow recently and I made her a baby quilt to celebrate.  I pulled out pink and purple fabrics from my stash and set to work.  I chose a purple flannel for the backing that would be soft and cozy for the new little bundle of joy.  For the front, I combined a pink, plaid flannel with eight pink cotton prints.  I chose a simple checkerboard design with the plaid flannel dispersed throughout.

As with all my baby quilts, I machine bound the edges.  I always feel this is more secure and up to the task of many washes and tougher use.  I used a decorative leaf stitch with variegated pink thread.

Baby quilt

Baby quilt for Winslow with solid purple back ground and pink checkerboard front

Binding detail

Binding detail with leaf stitch

Dimensions: 42″ (l) x 42″ (w), approximately
: Pink plaid and purple marbled flannel from Jo-ann’s, assorted pink quilting cottons, Aurifil pink variegated thread for binding.
Assembly: Pieced, quilted, and bound on home machine

– Stephanie , HoustonDIY


Gathered Teal and Coral Baby Quilt

Front of quilt

Front of gathered teal and coral baby quilt

A very good friend was expecting her second child – first daughter – and I wanted to make a special quilt for this little one.  The mother-to-be told be early on she was thinking of a white and gold themed nursery with some other color accents to be determined.

At the Houston Quilt show last November I was immediately drawn to a half-quarter bundle of Violet Craft’s (@violetcraft) newer color ways of Brambleberry Ridge.  My friend had made an awesome dress from the Shimmer Reflection in Teal print so I had my eye out for something like this.  The bundle I bought from Modern Quilter at the quilt show included the Coral Palette and some selections from the Lilac Palette.  I was drawn to the coral and teal fabrics with white and gold accents.

Awhile ago I saw a Crinkle Quilt pattern from the Moda Bake Shop by Palak of Make it Handmade that I’ve had in the back of my mind for awhile.  I thought this would be a fun way to showcase Violet’s beautiful fabric while give the quilt some texture for the new bundle of joy.  I adapted the pattern to make a larger quilt with more rows of gathered fabric.

Detail of quilt

Detail of gathering and quilting

Back of Quilt

Front of gathered teal and coral baby quilt

A tip if you’re interested in gathering strips like this: use a serger with differential feed capabilities.  This allowed me to simply feed the assembled strip of fabric to be gathered and the serger took care of the gathering for me.  My inexpensive serger had this feature, so it should be fairly easy to find.

Dimensions: 64″ (l) x  40″ (w), approximately
Fabrics on Front: Violet Craft’s Brambleberry Ridge Coral Palette (12 fabrics), Art Gallery Solid Elements in Snow.
Fabrics on Back: Violet Craft’s Brambleberry Ridge Coral Palette (12 fabrics), an older Riley Blake print.
Assembly: pieced, quilted, and bound on home sewing machine and serger

– Stephanie, Houston DIY

Hexagons That Were Made Easy

My guild, the Houston Modern Quilt Guild, recently had a workshop with Jen Eskridge, author of Hexagons Made Easy.  It was a great class where Jen shared her stories of publishing three books and her years of quilting experience.  She taught us the technique from her Hexagons Made Easy book and it was an enjoyable class with my guild colleagues.

The course provided a fabric kit with Art Gallery Fabrics (Bespoken by Pat Bravo) with hexagons in dark purple prints, a turquoise and a purple fabric for the main parts of the quilt, and a striped fabric for the binding.  I decided to use all the dark purple hexagons and make the front and back out of the turquoise or purple.  I arranged the hexagons in an organized pattern starting in the corner with a few that disperse out.  I did the same pattern mirrored on the other side.  I sewed on all the hexagons with a 1/4″ seam before assembling the quilt.

Turquoise side of the hexagon quilt

Turquoise side of the hexagon quilt

Purple side of hexagon quilt

Purple side of hexagon quilt

For the quilting, I sewed around each hexagon with small (1/16 – 1/8″) seam through all layers.  I matched the bobbin thread to the background color of the bottom layer when I quilted each side.  Then, I finished up the quilting with a few randomly placed hexagons to cover the quilt.  All in all, it was a great technique to learn and my class sampler will hopefully make a great baby quilt.

Close up of the hexagons and quilting on the turquoise side

Close up of the hexagons and quilting on the turquoise side

– Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Little Monsters Baby Boy Quilts

When the fabric store gives you adorable flannel, you must make a baby quilt or two.  My local Jo-ann’s store closed recently and due to a few weekends of an epic liquidation sale, I was able to pick up quite a few adorable flannel prints that were perfect for baby quilts.  Since everyone and their sister seem to be having babies these days, it’s always good to have a completed baby quilt on hand for the next impromptu baby shower.

One of my recent finds was an adorable flannel with a colorful monsters pattern on a black background.  I used solid blue and red to piece a simple back to complement the monster flannel.  I had enough flannel for two small baby quilts so the each have the same back but I practiced a two different binding techniques with packaged satin binding and regular packaged binding.

Front and back of the first completed monster baby boy quilt

Front and back of the first completed monster baby boy quilt

These quilts were quick and easy to make since the print flannel was used entirely for one side.  I recommend some of the great patterned flannels at your local fabric store for the next baby shower you are invited to.

Front and back of second completed monster baby boy quilt - looks pretty similar!

Front and back of second completed monster baby boy quilt – looks pretty similar!

– Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Baby Boy Quilt – Monogram, Spiral Aligator

The second quilt I made for my friends’ new baby was inspired by alligator fleece I found at the fabric store.  This is the second quilt for the same new bundle of joy – I also made a mixed texture plaid quilt.

Front alligator quilt

Front of finished alligator quilt

Quilt #2: Alligator Monogram Quilt
With the yellow alligator flannel I wanted to make a smaller and simpler quilt. I decided on a square with an unfinished size of about 42″ to make assembly straightforward. To add some interest, I decide to piece in a monogram “L” for the baby’s last name. I did a simple piecing with navy flannel and the alligator print flannel to make a square.

I used low loft 100% cotton batting and plain navy flannel or the backing. For the quilting, I wanted to try a technique I had seen a friend from my quilt guild (the super talented Amy from House of Bad Cats) do on a small baby quilt – an offset continuous spiral. First, I traced a circle off-center using a salad plate positioned towards the “L”. I started quilting with yellow thread on front and back by sewing around the circle. Then, after a complete circle I eased out of the circle to eventually align the very right edge of my foot with the previous seam. I had set my needle to the left of center to created about 1/2 inch distances between spirals. Just keep sewing for a while and you’ll have a continuous spiral covering your quilt. Even with lots of safety pins on the quilt sandwich, I found the flannel tended to shift a lot. I tried to minimize this when I could and squared up the edges when I was done.

Close-up of alligator quilt

Concentric circle quilting starting just outside the “L”

Next, I wanted to try the rickrack binding technique I learned in Kathy Kansier’s “Quilts with Great Edges” class at Houston festival this November. (This class is great, by the way. If you can ever take anything from Kathy, I recommend it) I added green rickrack and a blue flannel binding. The flannel was not a good choice for the binding and I ended up with very pointy dog ear corners. I must need a refresher from Kathy. Oh we’ll, it was good practice of my binding techniques.

Overall, both quilts were easy to piece, assemble, and quilt and ended up good sizes for the new bundle of joy.

Alligator quilt

Alligator quilt ready for baby!

– Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Scrappy Quilt from Jessica Darling Color Theory Workshop

As a member of the Houston Modern Quilt Guild (HMQG), I had the privilege of attending a color theory workshop by Jessica Darling at a recent guild meeting. Jessica is an awesome person and has years of experience in sewing and quilting and has a professional long arm service. Jessica led us through a color workshop using scraps everyone brought in from their stashes. We dumped the scraps on the floor and went diving into the pile to create a new project.

I was not a very good student since Jessica was encouraging us to expand outside of our normal color palette and I stick pretty closely with the cools and grays I know and love. I added some lime and dark yellow, but I wasn’t as adventurous as my guild colleagues.

Color Theory Quilt Front

Color Theory Quilt Front

Using the scraps, I made modified log cabin squares with varying sizes of squares and strips. I made about 8 squares during the workshop and came home and made 16 more. I wanted to make a throw size quilt and ended up with a top pieced into a 6 by 4 square, made from 12″ squares.

I pieced a scrappy, striped back with some gray fabric I had, using 100% cotton low loft batting, and pieced scrappy binding. I wanted to try something new for the quilting and decided on using teal and gray to make irregular triangle pattern. I’m not yet up to free motion quilting, so I stuck with straight lines and my even feed foot. I decided to hand sew the binding on the back to finish the quilt. It looks pretty good, but I think I’ll save hand binding for special quilts in the future and use my trusty binding foot. After binding, it ended up 70 x 47 inches.

Color Theory Quilt Back

Color Theory Quilt Back

I encourage you to dive into your scrap pile or hold a similar workshop with your guild or bee. It’s good practice and combining colors patterns that you may not normally think of combining.

Completed Color Theory Quilt

Completed Color Theory Quilt – ready for watching a movie on the couch

– Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Baby Boy Quilt – Navy and Green Mixed Texture Plaid

A good friend had a precious baby boy in February. The baby shower was in early December so I wanted to rebel and go off the registry to make a baby quilt. The theme of the nursery is alligators, navy blue, and green as the parents are using the Pottery Barn Kids Madras collection for the crib bedding. The Madras bedding includes various plaid pattern as well as the navy and green color scheme and alligators.

I was inspired at the fabric store by a yellow alligator flannel and a blue & green plaid fleece I found. Since they didn’t quite go together, the only solution was to make two quilts!  The description of the first is listed below with the second soon to follow.

Front Plaid Quild

Front of finished plaid baby quilt

Quilt #1: Plaid mixed-texture quilt
Once I had the plaid fleece picked out, I found matching minky and flannel to make a quilt with a variety of textures. I didn’t have a real game plan for the design of the quilt except for wanting basic rectangles and squares and as much variety as possible. I only bought a 1/3 yd of each minky so that set the basis for 5 long stripes based on the overall size I wanted. I also wanted to use as much of the plaid as possible since that was what really tied everything together.

Back Plaid Quilt

Back of finished plaid baby quilt

In the end, I pieced 5 panels the long length of the quilt and assembled it. I chose to make thin stripes of interspersed flannel and minky as a type of centerpiece. I used basic navy cotton with stripes made of flannel to make a simple geometric pattern to have some interest on the back. Even though the minky and fleece are pretty heavy, I used a 100% cotton natural loft batting. For the quilting, I used a green/spring green/yellow variegated thread from Coats & Clark. I stitched in the ditch for each of the main vertical seams and then did chevron shaped stripes using the five panels.

Plaid Quilt

Plaid quilt ready for its close up

This was my first time working with minky and there were some challenges. I’m drafting a separate post with some tips and tricks for working with minky – stay tuned.

– Stephanie, HoustonDIY