Arboreal Quilt


Arboreal Quilt by Amy Friend

I’m really happy with the way this quilt turned out!  I designed a paper pieced block using my improv paper piecing method.  The inspiration for my block design was the branching of a tree.  When I incorporated the mirror image of the block into the layout and then inverted every other row, I got this great repeating pattern.

Arboreal by Amy Friend

Admittedly, the finished quilt doesn’t scream tree branches, but I love that!  It does have a really cool organic feel to it due to its improvisational design roots.

Arboreal by Amy Friend

I have been wanting to make a quilt that incorporated cinnamon and pink for awhile now.  I love these colors…so adding mustard (another favorite) only made it better!  I colored and recolored the design in EQ7 until I hit upon this combination and it felt right. It certainly feels like fall to me so I am grateful that I was able to photograph it before the leaves were covered with snow.  The solids are a mix of Kona and Bella Solids and the cinnamon is a basic by Cotton + Steel with a tiny scattered dot.

Arboreal Quilting by Amy Friend

The quilting is straight line in 3 shades of Aurifil 50 weight thread. I matched the pink background fabric for the majority of the quilting using #2410 but I also stitched the occasional line in cinnamon and mustard. I love the subtle variation.

If you are intrigued by this design process, I encourage you to order my upcoming book, Improv Paper Piecing: A Modern Approach to Quilt Design. I explain my technique and provide a series of exercises to encourage you to design your own blocks. I think you will enjoy it!

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Plumb Line Quilt

Plumb Line Quilt by Amy Friend

It’s so nice to have a finish!  It’s tricky to find time for my sewing with all the end of the school year/beginning of summer events and the demands of the garden which can be very appealing after a long winter.  I am naming this quilt Plumb Line, a suggestion made by @turquoiseprism on Instagram.  The name describes the shape so well!

The pattern is block based and paper pieced from a template of my own design.

I enjoyed working on this layout and playing with the placement of light and dark solids.  However, the turning point for me came when I removed some of the shapes from my layout to incorporate negative space.  I wasn’t satisfied so I  reintroduced of half, or one side, of the shapes I had just removed from my design.  The half shapes represent the darker sides and then the light side becomes part of the negative space or background.  Once I made that decision while playing around with the design digitally, I was happy and felt that I had hit upon a successful layout!

Plumb Line Quilt Detail by Amy Friend

I like the simplicity of the design and the clean lines.  I decided to make my quilting simple, accordingly.  I used an off white color Aurifil thread that was a little darker than the background but wasn’t too stark against the colorful shapes.  My lines are spaced 1/2″ apart.

Plumb Line Quilt Detail 2 by Amy Friend

The finished quilt measures 60″ x 64″. It is pieced with Art Gallery Pure Elements, quilted with Aurifil 40 weight thread and backed with Cotton + Steel Posy Leaf from the Paper Bandana collection.

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Facets Quilt

Facets by Amy Friend

I finished my Facets Quilt late last night and photographed it early this morning before the rain started.

This quilt design uses 9 over-sized paper pieced diamonds constructed from templates that I created.  I started this project in a less intentional way than usual.  I had mocked up a block on the computer and liked the idea of using half solids and half prints.  I wanted the printed halves to be very similar in color to the solid halves but to be a slightly lighter shade or include some white in order to hopefully create a little bit of dimension.  It was only after making a few of the darker diamons that I thought that I would like to create a “faded” or pastel version of the block. I ransacked my stash and came up with some prints and solids that worked quite well.  I used a combination of Kona and Art Gallery Pure Elements solids from my stash along with a few older prints, some newer Carolyn Friedlander prints and just introduced AGF collections (including Fleet and Flourish, Essentials II, and Paint and Chalk).

Facets by Amy Friend

The layout was decided upon after playing around with the blocks on my design wall.  I knew I wanted to leave vast areas of negative space but wasn’t sure what fabric color I wanted to use.  My palette was pretty usual to start with but I am continuing with my personal exploration to use a variety of colors in my backgrounds rather than the easy fallbacks of white and grey. I settled on this Zucchini Kona.

Facets by Amy Friend

My quilt is quilted with a 50 weight Aurifil thread that was a close match to the background.  I stitched in diagonal lines and then a crosshatch in the lower left corner.  This is similar to the quilting I did in my last quilt but I liked it so I did it again!

As I was quilting this, I couldn’t help but think that I could never pull off wearing this shade of green.  Isn’t it fun that we can quilt in any colors we like?  Who cares if it doesn’t suit our complexion or a particular wall color. It’s satisfying to create for sake of design.

Facets by Amy Friend

I used this great Cotton + Steel print for the backing. It is just a few shade deeper and coordinated perfectly.

The quilt finished at approximately 54″ x 62.

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Sailor Top

sailortop
I’m sorry I have been a bit absent lately! I have been working on some projects that I can’t share yet and shoveling and shoveling and shoveling. Have you read all about the blizzards in New England? My kids are out of school all this week while they shovel snow off the school roofs. And we are expecting another blizzard this weekend. I have really never experienced snow in quantities like this before.  It has become tiresome to say the least.
To cheer myself up, I made a spring top. I tried the Sailor Top pattern by Fancy Tiger Crafts. I bought the Cotton + Steel Lawn from Gotham Quilts Super Bowl Flash Sale. I don’t watch football so it was the perfect sale for me! It had my full attention! I really like this pattern. It came together well and it is very wearable. The lawn feels great. I am going to work on another spring top soon in hopes that spring will come.  Forgive me for I lack decent selfie skills. I don’t know how garment sewists do it. Give me a quilt to photograph over a top any day!

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Kite Tails Quilt Pattern

Kite Tails Quilt Pattern by Amy Friend

If you are a Modern Quilt Guild member, you received a newsletter today with a link to the free pattern of the month for August which is this, my Kite Tails Quilt Pattern!  If you are not a member, you may now purchase the pattern in my Etsy shop or Craftsy shop.

Kite Tails is a paper pieced pattern that repeats one large block.  Although this is a single block quilt, the blocks are rectangular and occasionally inverted.  The end result has an irregular/random appearance.  The negative space plays an important role in helping to create a dynamic design.

The finished quilt measures 60″ x 72.”

Kite Tails by Amy Friend

Cotton and Steel generously supplied me with the fabric for this quilt top.  I chose some prints from each of the designer’s lines.  It was fun mixing and matching their prints and I love the touches of metallic!

Kite Tails by Amy Friend

I used Warm and White batting and some straight line quilting in x’s that echo the piecing but are placed randomly throughout the columns of pieced “kite tails.”

Kite Tails by Amy Friend

These are just gratuitous quilt shots but I really love this one.

Kite Tails by Amy Friend
And this one!

Kite Tails by Amy Friend

 

Oh, and this shot shows a bit of the backing which is one of my favorite parts of the quilt.  I used Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Polka Dot 2013 for Kokka on an 85/15 cotton linen for the backing. It’s wide so I only needed to add a strip a couple inches of a solid down one edge.  I found it still available at Sew Me A Song. Melody’s older line has bits of metallic and the arrows in common with her new collection for Cotton and Steel so it is a fun way to join the old and new together in this quilt.

This quilt could be made in so many fabric combinations. I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

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