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

Tutorial: Sewing and Quilting Design Wall

It’s well documented here that I have a great, although small, sewing room. Adding a design wall has been on my list for a while and I was inspired to get it done after seeing my friend Mona’s modular design tiles.

She sent me to The Quilting Edge’s tutorial on her design wall which I used as my starting point. This tutorial is great and I only made af we modifications.


1. Gather materials and plan. I planned my design wall to maximize a small section of wall I had available. Mine was 34″ wide x 70″ tall. I wanted one continuous piece so I started with a 4′ x 8′ piece of foam insulation. You can cut multiple pieces from this for your space or use the precut foam insulation squares. When you decide your finished dimensions, you’ll need both kinds of batting with that dimension, plus at least 4″ on each side.

2. Cut out foam board. Using a metal straight edge, tape measure, and box cutter, I cut out a 34″ x 70″ piece of foam insulation. The best approach was to first score the foam with the box cutter down 1/8″ to 1/4″ into the foam using the straightedge. When the piece was fully marked, I went back and gently sawed through the whole thickness of foam with the box cutter.  It isn’t as hard as it looks, the foam is pretty forgiving and remember that if it isn’t totally straight, we’re going to have layers of batting wrapped around each edge that will smooth everything out.

3. Attach the high loft batting. This is where I deviates from The Quilted Edges’ tutorial. I wanted a bit more loft in my wall since I was using thin Warm and Natural on top so I added a layer of high loft poly batting. I used The Quilted Edges’ method of cutting a piece to size, attaching to the foam with spray adhesive, and then using duct tape to secure the batting to the back. This worked very well and I had a secure high loft batting layer.

4. Attach the top batting layer. Next, I attached the top batting layer using the same method. I used the spray adhesive on the low loft batting and glued the top batting right to that layer. I secured the back with duct tape.

Design Wall 02

After using spray adhesive on the front surface, duct tape easily secures the edges of the batting on the back.

5. Hang up your design board and start sewing!  As recommended in the tutorial, I used Command Medium Picture Hanging Sawtooth hooks to hold up my design wall.  The wall has very little weight and I used 4 hooks, 1 in each corner.

Design Wall 01

New design wall in action

Possible modifications and improvements
– Run your batting through the dryer to loosen up any creases or bumps.  I didn’t do that and wish I had.
– Consider using black batting for a different look for your sewing room.

Since making my design board I helped my mom make one for her renovated sewing room.  The great part about this tutorial and using the 4′ x 8′ piece of foam insulation, you can cut it down to fit any area of wall you have.  In my case, it was tall and skinny while my mom needed a wide, short board.

– Stephanie, HoustonDIY

Zig zagging Trilobites – a Bryan House Quilts pattern

I was lucky enough to get my crafty hands on an early copy of Bryan House Quilts’ newest patterns, Trilobite, as a pattern tester!

Bryan House Quilts

This is an amazing pattern that is full of versatility. You can make a variety of quilts using the same two building block squares. There are 5 sizes, Youth, Throw, Twin, Queen, and King, and 5 different layouts, Trilobite, Bristled Geese, Sawtooth, Banner Geese, and Zig zag. I chose a throw version of the zig zag layout and I’m thrilled with the result.

Trilobite Quilt

Front of Trilobite Quilt based on the new Bryan House Quilts Pattern

The pattern consists of basic half-square triangles, HSTs to the experienced quilters out there, and larger right triangles. Even though the pieces are straightforward, the layouts and arrangements by Bryan house Quilts are what make the quilts so unique. The pattern was easy to follow and I had fun mixing patterned fabric with my background of navy blue. Bryan House Quilt’s two-color version is striking and modern – an instant classic.

Trilobite Quilt

Pieced back of my Trilobite Quilt based on the new Bryan House Quilts pattern

Warning, I tried my inexperienced hand at some FMQ. This was definitely the largest quilt I’ve tried to do FMQ on. I had a lot of fun and it was great practice with my free-motion and walking feet . I highlighted the parallelograms made by the zig zag pattern to practice a feather, scallop, and straight line fill pattern. I also used the color thread I was matching on the top as the bobbin thread, so the zig zag stripes stand out on the back of the quilt.

Trilobite Quilt

I was super happy with my finished Trilobite throw!

This was my first time piecing a large number of HSTs for a single project. I was a bit daunted by the 216 HSTs I would need for a throw sized Trilobite quilt, but then Becca pointed me to a tutorial on a her blog on how to make a lot of HSTs quickly. I followed this method and my HSTs went quickly and easily.

Trilobite Quilt

I followed this easy method of quickly making a large number of HSTs

In addition to this great new pattern, check our Rebecca’s new patterns in her store and her upcoming debut book, Modern Rainbows, from Stash books available for pre-order now on Amazon and in stores in February 2015. -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