Falling for Autumn

Autumn has always been my favorite season. Nice weather, orange leaves, football, pumpkin spice, Halloween, what’s not to like?! Now that I live in Austin I enjoy it even more because I know a frigid cold winter no longer follows. This past weekend we finally dipped down into the 80’s and I decided I just HAD to make an autumn quilt. I’ve been ogling the Modern Maples quilts the Emerald Coast Modern Quilt Guild has been working on from the Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays book by Lark Crafts. Maple happens to also be one of my favorite things on the planet, so this is a match made in heaven. If calories didn’t count, I could drink maple syrup straight from the jar like Elf, no joke.

I also happened to stumble upon THIS gorgeous quilt by Karen Black of Bungalow Bay Quilts. I can’t even descibe how in love with this quilt I am. I’d love a replica for myself, but instead decided to incorporate some of this inspiring quilt into a different version of the Modern Maples quilt. I’m going to call it my “Not So Modern Maples” quilt. My layout isn’t at all asymetrical, so I won’t even try to pretend it’s modern. I also picked out a bunch of non-modern fabrics this go round, I think it will be the most traditional quilt I’ve made!

This weekend I sewed up a ton of maple blocks, they work up very fast! I used a variety of oranges, with a few grey and maroon ones worked in. Not quite enough contrast if it were purely going to be maples, but perfect for what I’m ultimately going for.

maples

I’m incorporating the black and white nine-patch blocks from the star quilt to make it a little more “Halloween.” I worked up a bunch of nine-patches last night using the neutrals I used in the background of the maples. I like where it is headed, but I’m not quite there yet. I either need to take out the darker neutrals, or strictly stick with white neutrals. I’m going to work up a few nine-patches following both of those ideas and see what I like best. The leftovers can go on the back.

with-black

See what I mean about some of them being too dark? I only have about half of my maples up on the wall for the photos with the black and white nine-patches.

outlines

This weekend I’m heading to a Sew-in with the Austin Modern Quilt Guild at Honeybee Quilt Shop up in North Austin. I hope to make some more progress then!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday by Freshly Pieced!

Lessons Learned – Experimental Color Play

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People who know me know I love the water. Beach, lake, river, pond, pool, take your pick. I find it impossible to resist fabric with nautical themes, and in a perfect world I would live at the beach. Alas, I cannot afford that lifestyle so I make do by obsessing over anything beachy.

I have only been quilting for about two years (one of which was spent making just one quilt, so I don’t know if that counts), and I have found that while I love modern quilting, so far I’ve definitely leaned towards traditional quilts with modern fabrics. My most recent quilting goal is to turn some of my modern quilting ideas into reality. I came across this gorgeous quilt a while back on pinterest. The colors are right up my alley, and I thought the design really modernized what I believe is the rail fence pattern. To be entirely honest, I wanted to copy the quilt exactly, the coral orange would be perfect for my bedroom. Ultimately I decided to try something different and quickly picked yellow and grey as my two main colors. I went to work sewing the strips of a light yellow and light grey together, and in a matter of days had enough blocks to make a lap size quilt. I threw the blocks onto my design wall and sadness washed over me. It looked washed-out and I just didn’t like it. I couldn’t put my finger on it until my mom remarked that the colors were both too light, and there wasn’t enough contrast. I have a hard time completing quilts I don’t like, so I put the blocks away to be used another time and set out to come up with another plan.

I played around again in Illustrator and thought it might be neat to use different shades of blue and I arranged them in a way that reminded me of the depth of water, or ocean waves. I choose my pallette, keeping contrast in mind considering my failure with this pattern when I tried my beloved yellow/grey combo. I had so many lovely Kona blues to choose from, and my initial pallette didn’t contrast enough, and I feared the quilt would again look washed out, with the pattern getting lost. I settled on the colors above, worked up a strip-piecing plan, and got to work piecing the blocks.

Overall I think the concept is more successful than the grey/yellow scheme (which I can’t even bear to show you!) but I think the concept would have been conveyed better if there were LESS contrast this time. I can’t win! I still have a ton of Kona blues that I want to use to piece a similar quilt, with less contrast, so that the flow of the “wave” is more gradual. The quilt top works up VERY quickly, thanks to strip piecing, so hopefully within the next couple of weeks I’ll have another version to share. I want to quilt the version above with a water type pattern on one of our local quilt shops’ long-arms. The quilt is slightly smaller than a twin right now, the perfect size to drape over my couch.

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Linking up to Freshly Pieced for my first WIP Wednesday! Woohoo!

Binding into the night…

Tonight is the September meeting for the Austin Modern Quilt Guild, so I stayed up until 1am last night watching the new season of Hell on Wheels and binding this sucker so I could take it to show and tell. Overall it turned out okay, though I wish I had done the quilting differently. I ultimately thought the design was busy enough, so I just did simple stitch-in-the-ditch quilting around the blocks. I also almost had an anxiety attack when I put in the washing machine, thanks to the red fabric (Thank you Shout Color Catchers!). The red actually didn’t bleed at all, the color catchers were still pretty white after the initial wash.

There are a TON of things I’d do differently the next go round with this pattern. I wouldn’t have thought so hard about color placment on the intial strip sets, and would have varied them more. I also think it might be fun to toss in a print or two throughout. This quilt ended up being a smidge smaller than twin sized, but just large enough to snuggle into! It is by far the most modern quilt I’ve finished, and overall I’m pretty happy. I am hoping to post a little strip-piecing tutorial in the next week or so, stay tuned!

I leave you with a ridiculously cute picture of my Annabelle snuggling into one of my quilts.