Tuesday, April 16, 2013

marcelle medallion fever

The moment I saw this quilt in Alexia Abegg's new book Liberty Love, I knew I would have to drop everything to make one. The quilt is called the Marcelle Medallion and it just has such a fun, fresh feeling. I'd been craving a new design with some challenging piecing that would enable me to delve deep into my stash, and this pattern fulfilled all of those needs.

I've seen some other gorgeous versions with really original color schemes, but honestly I was so in love with Alexia's version that I didn't stray too far from the colors of her quilt. I had a ball stash-diving for prints old and new, brights and neutrals, Japanese treasures, beloved Liberty and favorite designer cottons. This quilt really got me to cut into my ever-growing cream and white stash too. Please don't be fooled into thinking I used a lot of scraps for this quilt - I actually cut into many fat quarters and yardage for the first time.

The center star is a bit tricky with it's set in seams but from there it's pretty easy. And fun! Lots of triangles, flying geese and crosses. One of the toughest parts is choosing the border fabrics - especially that really thick one. I'm very happy I went with the Tsuru print. 

The only major changes I made to the original quilt was to add the two outer scrappy borders. The inner bright borders was just comprised of 5.5 inch squares and fit perfectly. Then for the outside border I cut random lengths of 2.5 inch wide neutrals and added corner squares in a Liberty print.

Just in time my backing and binding fabric arrived! I'm still trying to figure out how to quilt this one. I want to do something that will be worthy of the design and challenge me without screwing it up! I'm getting more and more confident with my free motion quilting skills and this I'm sure will be another great one to practice on!

If you'd like to see some more gorgeous, inspiring versions of the Marcelle Medallion, be sure to pop over to Instagram and search under hashtag "medallionalong".

Friday, April 12, 2013

the bloomsbury gardens hourglass quilt

Oh hi! Yep, I'm still here. And if you're still coming despite my lags between posts, thank you. I've been sewing just a little bit every day, but between a very active toddler and a pre-schooler who isn't wanting to nap these days, time is precious. So I get a little lazy with the blogging and do most of my daily WIP sharing on Instagram. 

I have been feeling quite productive the last few weeks and now I have a new, shiny quilt to show you! When Liberty of London released their first-ever quilting cotton line, Bloomsbury Gardens, it was love at first sight. I've been a Liberty fan for awhile now so this was just a dream come true for me. I ordered a gigantic half yard bundle of the stuff, and while it was a true splurge, I'm still glad I did because these prints feel right at home in my stash and lots of patchwork projects. I haven't been feeling much of an urge to stitch up 'one designer line' quilts lately, but I had to make an exception here. 

The colors and prints in this line are so vibrant and beautiful I knew I wanted to set them off with pure Kona white for a more classic touch. The block I used, though sometimes looks like a pinwheel, is just a simple hourglass. You can find a great tutorial for the block on Ayumi Mills blog. This quilt is pretty big, I think around 75x75, and the blocks are just 4.5 inches, so it was a lot of piecework. Chain-piecing was my friend here.

I quilted this one on my own and I must say I think I'm more proud of this work than any quilting I've done yet to date. Once again I used a design from Angela Walters Free Motion Quilting - I've been getting a lot of bang for my buck with that book! This time I used the Paisley design. Luckily it was fun  to do because it did take me nearly six hours to complete over the course of a week. I went with good old plain white for the back too, and I'm glad I did because the quilting pops.

So that's that. I'll see you here again soonish with my Marcelle Medallion!