Luminous Quilt

My local paper printed a really nice article about Improv Paper Piecing yesterday.  You can read the article here.  They chose the photo of my quilt, Luminous, for the article in the paper (all the photos I sent are in the online version but this was the image chosen for the printed paper).  I always love seeing what picture is chosen and how neat it is that everyone picks a different one!  This photo was taken at a local historic site, the John Greenleaf Whittier birthplace. Across the street from the white clapboard house, is a red barn. Beyond the barn is a cow pasture with this rusted gate and tall grass.  I normally avoid walking through tall grasses but risked the deer ticks for this shot.  You know, it’s always worth it for a pretty quilt picture.

The design of this quilt was inspired by the stars, a common source of inspiration for traditional quilters, as well.  But my stars are asymmetrical and less identifiable as stars.  They simply become interesting shapes.  Through the random coloration of each star and the rotation of the block throughout the quilt, the stars look unique. But, as you look at the quilt, your eye settles in on some of the more prominent shapes, such as the really wide, short arm of the star above, and you notice that it is repeated throughout.  Those interesting shapes direct your eye across the quilt.

I love the negative shapes created in-between the stars too.  They give the quilt some real energy!  I am excited to share my improv paper piecing design techniques at QuiltCon next week!

Edited to add: Yes, this pattern is available in my new book, Improv Paper Piecing: A Modern Approach to Quilt Design. It can be purchased in my Etsy shop or on Amazon. Also, be sure to ask for it at your local bookstore or quilt shop!

 

Peacock Crossing; A Sneak Peek from Improv Paper Piecing

I wanted to give you a little sneak peek from my book, Improv Paper Piecing.  I am told that Amazon will begin shipping mid next week!  You can preorder on Amazon or order directly from my Etsy shop.

This quilt is called Peacock Crossing and is from the Shape Based section.  The book is broken into three sections: traditional block based inspiration, shape based and object based.  I explain how you can use any of those approaches to arrive at improvisationally influenced paper pieced designs.  If you are going to Savannah for QuiltCon next week, you can visit this quilt in the Lucky Spool booth.

I have been able to share my book with a few early reviewers and love what Heather Grant had to say about Improv Paper Piecing,  She said “Amy’s quilts have always drawn me in because they are precise, yet organic. I couldn’t quite figure out how she managed this balance between two opposites until I picked up her book, Improv Paper Piecing. In this book, she outlines how to use paper piecing and improv to create quilts that are visually organized, yet free. This is a great book for any quilter looking to explore design using a technique to create one of a kind quilts.”  Pat Sloan will be sharing a review of my book on her blog next week so be sure to follow her!

I look forward to sharing more quilts in upcoming weeks!  If your guild is interested in an improv paper piecing workshop or trunk show, be sure to check out my Teaching/Lectures page and get in touch!

Special Ingredients

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So, I have to admit it, when Lucky Spool posted something on IG months ago talking about publishing their first cookbook, I fell for it hook, line and sinker.  I was excited too because I like to cook!  However, the actual project, The Quilt Block Cookbook by Amy Gibson, was not a let down by any means.  It’s a beautiful, hardcover book with 50 block patterns, or recipes, and unique sampler quilt layouts to showcase the blocks. Amy has figured out the quilt math for you and provides you with many options so that you can use the blocks in a myriad of ways and make them your own.  That’s just what I decided to do.

Owl Medallion by Amy Friend

I had recently made a paper pieced owl block of my own design (pattern can be found in my book, Intentional Piecing: From Fussy Cutting to Foundation Piecing). I enlarged it to 16″ and pieced it using Maureen Cracknell’s new collection called Nightfall.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the block and was pondering some sort of medallion when The Quilt Block Cookbook arrived at my doorstep. I added a 2″ border so that I could surround the owl block with 9″ blocks.

plus-one-block

I used the Plus One Block from Amy’s book.  I was so happy to see that she had the templates for the orange peel applique in a number of sizes so there was one that was just right for my 9″ block even though the recipe was for a 12″ finished block.

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The quilt backing is a fun mishmash of the rest of the Nightfall Collection.

Owl Medallion by Amy Friend

I’m really happy with the way the design worked out. The appliqued leaves on this block are just perfect with the owl.  I added one leaf on the otherwise plain corner blocks to make a sort of ring around the owl.  They lend the perfect softness to the design, balancing the pluses.

princess-cut-quilt

I think my favorite part of the book, besides the beautiful photos and Amy’s inspirational blocks, are the truly unique sampler layouts.  Often, I find sampler quilts a little too busy and like to see the blocks have some room to breathe.  Amy handles this beautifully–here is one example, the Princess Cut Quilt.  She has incorporated negative space into many of the layouts too, requiring fewer pieced blocks–I can see this being really helpful for those stacks of bee blocks that we all have hanging around waiting to be made into quilt tops!

I believe that I will turn to this book again for inspiration and am happy to add it to my quilt book shelf.  I think you would enjoy it too.  It can be purchased here.

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Baby Fletching

Fletching by Amy Friend

My mom and I made our first collaborative quilt together this summer as a baby shower gift for a friend.  We used my Fletching pattern from Scraps II. We just scaled down the blocks to 8″ square and used a 5 x 5 layout for the perfect 40″ square baby quilt.  The mom has chosen a light mint green for the nursery walls.  I happened to have a few yards of mint green Kona on hand and then between my mom’s stash and my stash, we came up with lots of fun prints in the mint/navy/chartreuse families to coordinate.

Baby Fletching by Amy Friend

We managed to sneak in mushroom, lamb, panda, and ladybug prints and yet the quilt is still not super cutesy so it should grow with the baby boy nicely I think!

I straight line quilted every 1/2″ with mint green Aurifil.  The binding print pulled our color scheme together and my mom had just enough of it so we lucked out!  She hand stitched the binding in her nice, neat stitches.

Fletching by Amy Friend

I hope that baby Sam enjoys his quilt when he enters the world this fall.  We had fun making 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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Tumble ‘Round Quilt

Tumble 'Round Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

It’s poppy time of year.  In fact, I took this photo just one year and 5 days ago, the last time this field of poppies was in full bloom.  So, I thought it was fitting to share this quilt today!

I call this quilt Tumble ‘Round and the pattern can be found in my book, Intentional Piecing.  I think of this block as a spinning propeller of some sort and the feeling of motion is accentuated by the color placement in the “blades”, the directional print, and the concentric circle quilting.

Tumble 'Round Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing
I was fortunate to be able to take some pictures at an antique auto collectors home.  This car was the perfect match and the owner was kind enough to drive it into his field of dandelions for me.  I love this shot!

Thanks for visiting! I hope your summer is off to a great start.

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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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Scraps, Inc. Vol. 2: Fletching

Scraps, Inc. Vol 2 Cover

I loved contributing to the Scraps, Inc. Vol. 1 book so I was eager to make a quilt for the new Scraps, Inc. Vol. 2 as well!

Photo courtesy of Nydia Kehnle

Photo courtesy of Nydia Kehnle

My quilt is called Fletching because it is a highly stylized depiction of fletchings, or the feathers at the end of an arrow.  I really enjoyed settling on the color palette and digging through my stash for lots of scrappy prints.  Remember, a scrappy quilt can still have a palette, in fact, I think it’s often the key to success!  I used a mint green solid for my background and prints in apricot, coral, pink, muted blue, teal, grey and green.  While the block is a simple repeat, the color placement is not and it really adds interest to the quilt and makes the design more dynamic.

Fletching by Amy Friend

I love the way the quilting came out on this quilt.  I quilted with horizontal, evenly spaced lines, with the exception of one section where I echoed the fletching, zig-zag shape.  All the turning was a pain but so worth it!

Photo courtesy of Nydia Kehnle

Photo courtesy of Nydia Kehnle

For a limited time, you can order this book from Taunton for 30% off using the code Scraps30.  The discount is good through Tuesday, February 16th at midnight, no matter what your time zone.
The sale doesn’t end until 2 days after the  blog hop so you have a chance to preview all the quilts before you buy!

Monday, February 8

Amy Smart, Diary of a Quilter

Nydia Kehnle, Nydia Kehnle Design + Photography

Tuesday, February 9

Amy Friend, During Quiet Time

Alexandra Ledgerwood, Teaginny Designs

Wednesday, February 10

April Rosenthal, April Rosenthal – The {Studio} Blog

Dorie Schwarz, Tumbling Blocks

Thursday, February 11

Erin Harris, House on Hill Road

Janice Ryan, Better Off Thread

Friday, February 12

John Adams, Quilt Dad

Kari Vojtechovsky, Craft Happy

Saturday, February 13

Katie Blakesley, Swim Bike Quilt

Kati Spencer, From the Blue Chair

Sunday, February 14

Melissa Lunden, Lunden Designs

Allison Harris, Cluck Cluck Sew

Sherri McConnell, A Quilting Life

I have one copy of the book to giveaway. I will end the giveaway on February 15th…that way you can still take advantage of the discount if you are not the lucky winner!

I think you will love this book. Thanks for visiting!

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Wings Quilt

Wings Quilt by Amy Friend

I just finished this quilt that I am calling Wings.  While designing it, I found myself referring to the elongated triangles as wings, and the black triangles that are present in some of the triangle sets as “beaks.”  I then arranged the triangles in flocks of birds flying in the same direction.  There is a slight change of course in the second row (the watermelon colored block 4th from the left).  Where that bird turns and pushes through the wind heading in the opposite direction, the quilting changes too.  From the tip of that bird out, the quilting is a diagonal grid.  To the left of that bird, the quilting is only on the diagonal.

Wings by Amy Friend, quilting detail

You may be able to see the quilting detail better in this picture.  When planning the diagonal grid, rather than starting at opposing corners, I followed the lines of the wings so that the shapes produced would be elongated diamonds to correspond to the elongated triangles that form the wings.  The prints that have strong directionality were carefully cut to echo the wing shape and enhance the feeling of motion. You can see that most clearly with the Cotton + Steel black and white stripe, but also the AGF Squared Elements print to the left of it and the Heavy Metal print in to the far right in the center row.

I was speaking with my former colleague, architectural historian Victoria Solan, about this quilt. She pointed out that the suggestion of motion, that I worked to include in this quilt, is characteristic of mid-century modernism in America.  She cited Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal from 1962 as an example. What I love about this example is that it too was intended to suggest flight in an abstract manner.

spaulding dinner ware set mid century melamine pace setting

1950’s Melamine Set, photo used with permission from CollectibleCorner.

The color palette that I used is reminiscent of mid-century modern melamine. My grandmother had a set of these dishes that my mom grew up using, and then we used them for years when I was a kid.  I will confess that this association was not purposeful when I selected the colors. I was going for a particular feeling, which I can now see was very mid-century modern in color as well.

The quilt has a certain feeling of whimsy due to the simplified palette and the fabric choices. I included a quirky Japanese print with little bunnies sitting on the moon as well as a Cotton + Steel print with smiling clouds.  Vicky said that it appears that, “Charley Harper seeped into your conscious.”  I love that association.  His American Modernist designs were inspired by nature but pared down to their simplest form; bold shapes like triangles, squares and circles. His work is often described as colorful, bold, minimal and whimsical.

Wings Quilt backing by Amy Friend

I used Caroline Hulse’s To Live by Love text print for the back of the quilt, from her Happy Home collection for Art Gallery Fabrics.

The finished quilt measures 48″ x 54″.

 

Pointed Statement

Pointed Statement by Amy Friend

I am so pleased to share this completed quilt today!  I showed you a few of the blocks a number of weeks ago.  I designed my own paper pieced pattern for this quilt and pieced it using 5 shades of Kona quilting cottons.

Pointed Statement by Amy Friend

I scattering the colors rather randomly while piecing, intentionally favoring the peaches over the greys.

Pointed Statement by Amy Friend

I really love the colors in this quilt; they are most accurately represented in this photo. They are so soothing and at the same time fresh and uplifting.  I worked on this quilt while waiting for spring to arrive here in New England and I think that the colors were just right for that.

I chose to quilt using straight lines and three shades of Aurifil 50 weight thread because the vertical rows of stitching work well with the vertical orientation of the triangles.  As you can see in this detail, I quilted with my lines spaced 1/4″ to 1/2″ apart.

Pointed Statement by Amy Friend

I used one of the prints from Art Gallery Fabrics’ Maker collection for the backing along with bits of leftover solids from the front.  And I bound the quilt in the background fabric color, Kona Light Flesh…an awful sounding name for a pretty color!  The finished quilt measures 48″ x 60.”  My mom suggested the name, Pointed Statement, which seems just perfect.

I am planning on offering this pattern for sale soon. It’s in the works!

 

Baguette Quilt Pattern Available as PDF

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I have been working to add some of my recent patterns to my pdf offerings.  I just listed Baguette in all of my pattern shops-Etsy, Craftsy and my own pattern shop (not just for international customers-for anyone).  See links in the sidebar!

Baguette by Amy Friend

I still love, love, love the quilting that I did on this one, especially now that it is done!  It was rather back breaking!

Next up will be my Haberdashery pattern. I have gotten lots of requests for it.  Thank you for your patience!

 

Fat Quarters: Small Fabrics, More Than 50 Big Ideas

Fat Quarters: Small Fabrics, More Than 50 Big Ideas

I wanted to let you know that Fat Quarters: Small Fabrics, More Than 50 Big Ideas, a collaborative book published by Lark Crafts, will be released in March.  I know you all have lots of fat quarters in your stash!  Hopefully this book will give you some new ideas to use them up.  There are lots of familiar names in the contributor section: Maureen Cracknell, Beki Lambert, Kaye Prince, Abby Glassenberg, Malka Dubrawsky, Shannon Cook and more.  Projects range from items to make for babies/kids, to bags, quilts, pillows, home decor, wearables and gifts.  I have four projects in this collective and would like to share them with you today.

Hothouse Flower Pillows by Amy Friend

I might as well start with my Hothouse Pillow Set since one of my pillows is sitting pretty there on the cover!

Hothouse Flower Pillows by Amy Friend

The pillow pattern is an 18″ paper pieced block.  It makes terrific pillows but I would also love to see a quilt made up using these blocks and some soft feminine colors.  Wouldn’t that be pretty?

First Aid Kit by Amy Friend

I created a First Aid Kit for the bag portion of the book. It’s a practical item that everyone can use.  It would be perfect to hold some band aids, headache medicine, etc. in the car for those little emergencies that come up while traveling.

 

First Aid Kit by Amy Friend

This is a small bag but it fits quite a bit!  Someone on Instagram said that this would make a great teacher’s gift, filled with bandaids for the classroom. I think that is a great idea.

Patchwork Sewing Machine Cover by Amy Friend

If you are a long time reader, you have seen this project before.  But my patchwork sewing machine cover pattern is also included in the book. The patchwork was inspired by stitches; the cross stitch, straight stitch, and zig zag!

Groovy Vibes Quilt by Amy Friend

And finally, you will find my Groovy Vibes Quilt made from Pat Bravo’s Carnaby Street collection.  I used the 8″ Sizzix Tumbler die which makes quick work of a fat quarter, cutting 4 perfect shapes from each. I love this project idea for a fat quarter stack, so much so that this is the second quilt I have made like this; the first using Splendor 1920 by Bari J.

Groovy Vibes detail by Amy Friend

In keeping with the lava lamp shape, and “groovy” feel of Pat Bravo’s collection, I chose to quilt in what I am calling lava lamp bubbles.  I cut circles (also using the Sizzix) out of contact paper in 4 sizes and stuck them on the quilt.  Then I free motion quilted a wavy line up each column and around the circles as I came to them.  As I made the quilt, I kept thinking that it seemed most appropriate for a teenage girl.  Happily, this quilt now lives with one who is enjoying it!

You can preorder the book right here so that you can see all the other fun projects.  I  hope you get to spend some time sewing this weekend!

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Baguette Quilt

Baguette, American Quilter Jan 2015

I am pleased to finally share a quilt I made over the summer.  It feels like forever ago!  I call it Baguette and it can be found in the January 2015 issue of American Quilter Magazine.

Baguette by Amy Friend

My quilt was inspired by gem stones and their cuts, specifically the way color can reflect off of a clear diamond and create bursts of color. I chose pastel hues that I tend to notice in my engagement ring.  I also thought it would be a great opportunity to use some of the metallics that are a current trend in contemporary fabric designs. I used a bit of Brambleberry Ridge by Violet Craft for Michael Miller and Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman among others.

Baguette by Amy Friend

This quilt was the second one I made using Warm and Plush, and extra thick batting. I quilted in the ditch along all the strings that made up the gem stones.  Then I outlined the secondary star like design that I created with the quilting (based on the seams from the foundation piecing).  And then I free motion quilted tiny pebbles.  I think I was a bit off my rocker when I planned that because it took forever, however, I love the way it worked and am pretty proud of the effect that I achieved with the quilting here.  The quilting was difficult with the added weight of the Warm and Plush but it was also what gave it the great “pop”.

Baguette by Amy Friend

I am going to show an excess of pictures here because I took a lot for the magazine and might as well share them!

Baguette by Amy Friend

This is the photo that they chose of the quilt hanging in a tree. I like this one too but I am glad that I didn’t have to pick.

Baguette by Amy Friend

I love how these detail shots show the variety of fabrics used in pale pinks, yellows, greys, lavender and blue.  The background fabric is a Moda Grunge in Vanilla.

Baguette by Amy Friend

See the depth that was achieved with the quilting and the extra plush batting? It was worth the effort though I seriously questioned it at the time, especially about half way through!

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Haberdashery Quilt

Haberdashery Quilt by Amy Friend

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen lots of “in progress” shots of this quilt. I just finished it up and couldn’t be happier with it!  My goal was to experiment with the diamond shape  in a minimalist design with a restrained color palette.  I drafted a simple paper pieced block with two diamonds of unequal size.  I used the Pure Elements Empire Yellow for the diamonds and the background is made up of Pure Elements Creme de la Creme and Linen White (I believe) as well as the two tone on tone white prints from Carolyn Friedlander’s Doe collection.  The various shades of white/off white in the background add interest and dimension.  I think that this layout creates a bit of an optical illusion too. Do you see it?  The rows look like that are at an angle though I assure you, they are square-I blocked it and everything!  It was something I noticed even in my initial sketch.  Funny, I couldn’t have created an optical illusion if I had tried to. It was clearly accidental.

The backing is Lotta Jansdotter’s Bergen in Myer Yellow from Mormor.  It’s nearly the perfect color match plus I love the similar minimalist feel.  I particularly love this front/back combo.

Haberdashery Quilt by Amy Friend

Normally, I don’t decide on my quilting until the quilt is well underway but the plan for this quilt was a tight grid right from the start.  The lines are spaced about 1/2″ apart.  I used a 50 weight Aurifil #2021.  The quilting is by no means perfect but I am pretty happy with the consistency in the spacing, the straightness of the lines and lack of shifting.  I took this photo with light on one side only and it really  highlights the amazing texture that the tight grid achieves!

Haberdashery Quilt by Amy Friend

My mom often helps me name my quilts and this one is no exception.  We both saw ties in the quilt, though that was certainly not my intent.  I thought of playing off that idea and she suggested Haberdashery. I love the word for this quilt because in America, the word means a shop that sells men’s accessories, such as ties.  In the UK, it means a shop that sells sewing notions. I love the fact that the name is associated both with ties and sewing.

The finished quilt measures 49″ x 56″.

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Scraps, Inc. and Twinkle

Twinkle by Amy Friend

 

I was so excited to be invited to contribute to Scraps, Inc., a collaborative book published by Lucky Spool. Working on this book was a wonderful experience with lots of collaboration so I truly felt part of the process. And I was honored to be in such good company. Contributors to this book are: Alex Ledgerwood, Allison Harris, Amy Ellis, Amy Smart, April Rosenthal, Beth Vassalo, Camille Roskelley, Faith Jones, Jeni Baker, Kati Spencer, Lee Heinrich, Melissa Lunden, Sherri McConnell and Susan Beal. I bet you can all find one of your favorite quilters in that line up.  I know I can.

Twinkle by Amy Friend

My quilt is named Twinkle and is, you guessed it, paper pieced. I arrived at this “new to me” color scheme through the inspirational mood board provided by Lucky Spool at the beginning of the process. I quite like the colors but didn’t have enough of them in my stash so I asked my guild, the SMQG, for contributions. Several of the members were kind enough to bring me scraps in these colors. I used so many different prints in this quilt! I have to say, that made it really fun to piece. I didn’t get bored even though I worked on this quilt for weeks.  There was a method to my madness. I sorted my scraps into 7 color groups and then assigned each color to a section of my paper pieced foundation. But it was so fun picking from each pile to assemble the blocks.

Twinkle by Amy Friend

I threw in some fussy cuts here and there including little bicycles and foxes.  And I used some of my favorite text prints too.  The resulting pattern has small dark charcoal pinwheels where the wedges meet at one end and light grey pinwheels at the other.  I quilted with diagonal lines set 1/2″ apart.
Scraps Inc. Cover

 

Lucky Spool is offering this book at 30% off right now using the code “SCRAPS30.” Enter that code where it says “Coupon Code” at the time of check out.  The code will expire on 12/1/2014 and can only be used on this title.  The discount is taken off the original price of $26.95.

photo courtesy ©Lucky Spool Media, LLC.

photo courtesy ©Lucky Spool Media, LLC.

Scraps, Inc. is full of beautiful quilts by talented quilters and designers. My favorite picture in the whole book is this one–and it’s not because my quilt is in it! It’s because the four quilts look so pretty together and yet so different from one another. I think that’s where the shared mood board and color guidance really came into play. One of my favorite quilts in the book is Sunset Tiles by Jeni Baker which you can see here on the bottom right.

I hope you will pick up a copy and do some scrap busting. I know that’s a New Year’s resolution I often hear among quilters and the New Year is almost here!

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318 Patchwork Patterns Blog Hop

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Today is my stop on the 318 Patchwork Patterns blog hop!  This book containing paper pieced and appliqued designs by Kumiko Fujita was first published in Japan in 2005 and is now available in English thanks to World Book Media.  You can buy a copy of the book here.

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For my project, I choose to use three fruit blocks: the apple, the pear and the cherries.  I don’t particularly care for freezer paper style piecing and like to just simply foundation piece so I had to redraw portions of the apple and the pear in order to do that.  If you are familiar with paper piecing and block construction, this isn’t difficult to do.  My blocks are  6″ square.  I made 2 of each blocks and as a personal challenge, I didn’t allow myself to repeat any fabric selections (except for the background fabric).  It was tricky to come up with enough browns in my stash to not repeat in any of the stems!  I had made 5 of the six blocks before I decided to use the cute Lori Holt kitchen print for sashing. Once I decided on that, I chose to make one pair of cherries pink to bring in the pinks from the print. It makes for a very cheerful runner.

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I used a simple stitch on my Janome for the quilting, following Amanda Jean’s tutorial for “honeycomb quilting”. It was a quick way to lend some all over texture to the table runner.

backing

For the back, I used this Retro Kitchen print ordered from Sew Me A Song. Sew Me A Song is a great resource for fabrics that are fun to use in paper piecing projects like this one.  You can also find the book there.

If you would like to see some more projects from the book, check out the following:

October 20: Kerryfrom http://verykerryberry.blogspot.com
October 22: Penny from http://sewtakeahike.typepad.com
October 24: Angela from http://cuttopieces.blogspot.com
October 27: Amy from http://nanacompany.typepad.com
October 29: Amber from http://oneshabbychick.typepad.com
October 31: Latifah from www.thequiltengineer.com
November 3: Charise from http://charisecreates.blogspot.com
November 5: Leila from http://wheretheorchidsgrow.blogspot.com
November 7: Amy from http://duringquiettime.com
November 10: Faith from www.freshlemonquilts.com
November 12: Caroline from www.sewcanshe.com
November 14: Rashida from http://iheartlinen.typepad.com

World Book Media is offering a copy of this book to one lucky reader! Enter below. International entries welcome.

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Thanks for visiting today!

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Primrose Square Quilt Pattern

Primrose Square Quilt Pattern by Amy Friend for BasicGrey

While at quilt market, I was able to snap this picture of Primrose Square, my most recent quilt pattern designed for BasicGrey using their new collection, Fresh Cut. The collection is described as “fun corals, tart citrons, sweet pinks and grassy greens creating a bouquet of color and charm.”  The pattern is made up of simple squares and HST units, suitable for a beginner but fun for those with more advanced skills as well.  The flowers are oversize giving the quilt a playful feel.  I enjoyed designing it and hope many of you will enjoy sewing it!

Primrose Square

Primrose Square Quilt Pattern and Fresh Cut fabric will be available in January which is really right around the corner, isn’t it?  I mean, in my world, November and December pass so quickly in a blur!

Not to jump way ahead, but I can picture some adorable Easter dresses made from this collection and polka dot ties for little boys!

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World Without End Variation

World Without End Variation by Amy Friend

I just returned home from Quilt Market in Houston, Texas.  Sizzix debuted their new die, “World Without End,” at market and asked me to design a modern quilt using the die for their booth.  A quick Google search will show you a broad range of World Without End quilts, most of them more traditional.  I spent a bit of time playing around with different designs and settled on this, what appears to be interlocking rings.  I set the strip off with negative space.  I quilted in concentric circles using Aurifil thread, beginning in the center of the strip, the deepest orange section, which is not the center of the quilt.  I like the added movement that the quilting provides as well as the texture that blends in the heavy piecing with lots of seams and the negative space.  The Kona colors I used here are Silver, Graphite, Charcoal, Sunny, School Bus, and Kumquat.

World Without End Variation by Amy Friend

I used a Madrona Road print for the backing.  I like how the punch of orange on the back livens it up a bit.

World Without End Variation Detail by Amy FriendWhen I start circular quilting, I like to cut a perfect circle out of contact paper or freezer paper and then adhere the circle to the quilt and stitch around it.  Then I remove the paper circle and use the guide on my walking foot , set to about 1″ and stitch the remaining circles.

World Without End Variation by Amy Friend

I’m happy to be able to share this quilt and die with you now!  It’s available for purchase here and this quilt pattern is offered for free right here. The finished quilt measures 60″ square.  Each pieced unit is just 3″ finished!

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Irish Chain Variation Complete

Irish Chain Variation by Amy Friend

I have finished my Irish Chain Variation!  As I mentioned in a recent post, this quilt was inspired by an Amish quilt on the back cover of the book A Gallery of Amish Quilts.  The original quilt was all yellow and blue.  I obviously went with white and black and then broke into the negative space with reds in an ombre progression. I had been calling this a Nine Patch Variation because that’s what I thought it was…then I read the caption on the original quilt and it is an Irish Chain.  So I guess I will now call this my Irish Chain Variation.

Irish Chain Variation by Amy FriendThe fabrics used are Kona Pepper and Kona White, along with various shades of red to salmon in Free Spirit Solids.  The finished dimensions are approximately 63″ x 75″.

Irish Chain Variation by Amy Friend

The quilting was done in irregularly spaced but straight (as possible) lines to form a diagonal grid. I debated thread color a lot. I ended up going with a soft gray Aurifil which blends well in the white and red areas but certainly shows in the black. I didn’t want to change threads and do freemotion quilting inside the black shapes because it just wasn’t the look I was going for.  I sort of like the overlay of lines.  It adds another dimension to the quilt.

Irish Chain Variation by Amy Friend

I chose to use the solid white for the binding, a foolhardy choice, I know. But I like how it blends with all those setting triangles.

Irish Chain Variation by Amy Friend

And here is one last picture for fun.

Thanks for visiting.

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Nine Patch Variation WIP

Nine Patch Variation by Amy Friend

 

I have been working on a new quilt recently and thought I would share a couple of pictures here that I have previously shared only on Instagram. This is the top as it was about to be basted.  Honestly, it’s pretty square!  The angle was just really off because I was standing on a chair trying to get a shot of it with my phone camera.

The quilt was inspired by a two color (yellow and blue) Amish quilt. In my verions, I broke into the negative space with my ombre design elements and am really happy with the way it worked!  The black and white are Kona solids and the ombre shades are Freespirit Solids.

Nine Patch Variation by Amy Friend

I got the quilt basted two nights ago and hope to find time today to start quilting. I want to do an all over cross hatch like I did on my recent mini, but the lines will be further apart and perhaps irregular this time (not evenly spaced but straight).

I’ll show pictures of the finished quilt when it is complete.  Enjoy your day!

 

Curious

Curious by Amy Friend

As I made my Melon Ice table runner recently, I was reminded of how much I like the diamond shape. I wanted to explore it a little more in a minimalist design using large scale piecing.  I drew several diamond designs and settled on this one.  While it is a simple design, I contemplated the placement of the diamond quite a bit.  The finished mini measures 20″ x 20″ and I used Art Gallery Pure Elements Solids.
Curious by Amy Friend

I quilted using a 50 weight Aurifil thread, in a diagonal grid, with lines spaced just over a 1/4″ apart.

Curious by Amy Friend

The texture is really amazing.  It was worth the three solid hours of quilting.

It was a fun exercise for me and I think I will work on a few similar projects because I enjoyed it!  I am naming this piece Curious after a comment made by a friend on IG.

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Melon Ice Runner in Prints

Melon Ice Runner by Amy Friend

I’ll be teaching a workshop this winter based on my Melon Ice Quilt Pattern.  I just finished this sample to bring with me, using my coveted stash of Anna Maria Horner fabrics.

Melon Ice by Amy Friend

If you remember, my original Melon Ice was a 72″ x 72″ quilt with large scale piecing and solids.  It was featured in American Quilter Magazine and the pattern is available in my Etsy and Craftsy shops as a pdf download.  When I made the original, I had so many quilt ideas for the single paper pieced block that I had designed.  I have been wanting to try them all out but it’s the same old story…too many ideas and not enough time!  I am happy to have fit in this project at least because I love the results!

Melon Ice Runner by Amy Friend

These blocks were made 50% smaller than the template included in the Melon Ice pattern.  My fabric placement is completely different.  I used a single fabric, Kona Oyster, for the squares and diamonds.  Then I placed the prints in such a way that it appears that the rings are interlocked or layered.

Melon Ice Runner by Amy Friend

I used an Alison Glass text print in charcoal for the binding which I just love!  I wanted something to compliment the darker print with pink flowers in the runner.

Melon Ice by Amy Friend quilting detail

I straight line quilted about a 1/4″ apart with Aurifil thread and a stitch length of 3.5.  I like the way it sort of negates the piecing lines.

I look forward to sharing this project and seeing how each quilter makes it his/her own.

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Indelible Footprint Quilt Top

Indelible Footprint Quilt Top by Amy Friend

I was thrilled to be invited to join the Indelible Blog Hop celebrating the Indelible collection by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics. This collection captivates me. I love the doily prints, the text, so much about it!

Indelible Footprint by Amy Friend

My quilt top was made using a Fat Quarter bundle of the Subtle Watermarks colorway. I was inspired by a Moroccan floor tile design to create this hexagonal pattern. That’s also how my quilt top got it’s name. I have heard people speak of leaving “indelible footprints,” meaning footprints that can’t be erased, or a lasting impression.  Since the fabric collection is named Indelible and the pattern is that of flooring, it works!

Indelible Footprint by Amy Friend

I used my Sizzix Bigz Pro Hexagon Die with 5″ Sides. I was able to cut 4 large hexagons from each fat quarter though my design only requires 3. I cut additional hexagons from the Mystic Grey Pure Elements Solid. Then I cut partial hexagons from Moonlight Pure Elements Solids. I trimmed away the corners of each hexagon and added the Moonlight sections which create the pattern.

Indelible Footprint by Amy Friend

The hexagons were joined on my machine using Y seams. This was my first Y seam intensive project and it gave me lots of practice!  It just involves starting and stopping a precise 1/4″ from the edge of each hexie. It is a little slow going but very doable.

I am not sure yet how I plan to quilt this top but I will share it again once I decide!

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You can read more about the blog hop and the other contributors here.

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Mittens & Main Quilt Pattern

PAT-8118_MittensMain_Cover

I’m happy to finally share my newest pattern designed for BasicGrey!  It’s called Mittens & Main and it features their new Christmas collection, 25th and Pine.  The collection is full of fun prints in green, red, ivory, and navy.  I was happy to see navy included because I think it helps extends the fabric collection into the winter months, beyond just Christmas.  For that reason, I focused on mittens which are not exclusive to Christmas but are worn all winter long.  Each mitten highlights a print from the collection paired with a grunge cuff.  I think that my favorite print might be the deer and evergreen print but I really like them all.

Mittens & Main by Amy Friend for BasicGrey

 

I designed this quilt back in the fall so it is fun to finally share it!  The mittens are easy and enjoyable to piece so the top comes right together.  I think it would be really fun to make a version of this quilt where there is one set of mittens and the rest are random.  Or, make it a quilt full of pairs of mittens.  There are lots of possibilities.  Putting the blocks on point and changing the direction of the mittens gives the quilt a lot of movement.  I pieced the quilt and the quilting was done by Krista Withers.

Oh, and the lap quilt is a healthy 68″ square so it is really great for cuddling on the couch and keeping you warm from toes on up!

The entire collection is now available at the Fat Quarter Shop as is the pattern. Patterns only will be available from the BasicGrey site shortly.  The pattern includes multiple sizes and works well with precuts.

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Selvage Whirlwind Complete!

Selvage Whirlwind by Amy Friend

I am so excited to share my completed Selvage Whirlwind quilt today.  It turned out just the way I had hoped and I love it!  I think shots of quilts blowing in the wind are pleasing so I had to include this one.  Is it just me?

Selvage Whirlwind by Amy Friend

The finished quilt measures 52 1/2″ x 60″ and is backed with DS Quilts prints that I had in my stash which worked out perfectly. It is bound in the same Kona Putty that I used while piecing.

Selvage Whirlwind by Amy Friend

Humor me…I am going to show close ups of some of my favorite selvages….do you see the row of colorful bees here?

Selvage Whirlwind by Amy Friend

I love the bow ties here in the navy block!

Selvage Whirlwind by Amy Friend

I love this one too with the woman in the high heel and the row of bows.

Selvage Whirlwind by Amy Friend

I was able to fussy cut so that I could include the anchors from the print in the blue block and put the seashell selvage next to them. In case you were wondering if my piecing was random or not; it wasn’t. It was pretty carefully considered throughout. I fussy cut many selvages to include fabric names in their entirety or a favorite designers name, or a certain bit of the actual fabric design that I wanted to show, etc.

Selvage Whirlwind by Amy Friend

And yes, I am continuing to collect selvages!  I think I have at least one more selvage quilt in me!

Selvage Whirlwind by Amy FriendIt is spring in New England…the snow is mostly gone but there is no green yet and these are dry leaves left over from the fall!

 

 

Selvage Whirlwind Quilt Top

Selvage Whirlwind Quilt Top by Amy Friend

I’m excited to share my completed Selvage Whirlwind Quilt top! Thank you to all my friends and fellow guild members who contributed selvages.

I was so pleased to share this top today but today we are experiencing high winds. The weather is calling for hurricane force winds, in fact, so the photo-shoot was quick. This was the only shot I could get with the quilt top not blowing in the wind!

I really enjoyed arranging the blocks in a loose spectrum. I’m so pleased that I finally did something with my selvages and love the results.