Sixty Seconds Quilt

I thought I would share another quilt from my book, Improv Paper Piecing: A Modern Approach to Quilt Design today.  I named this quilt Sixty Seconds because I based my design on the traditional hourglass block.  I divided up the space a little bit differently though.  My hourglasses are asymmetrical, improvisationally sketched.  I decided to add lines for the sand falling through the hourglass just for fun.  I tried to find all white prints and black prints that had speckled types of designs on them that suggested sand.  I had to go on quite a hunt to find them all!  I folded the quilt back in this picture because I love this backing for this particular quilt so I wanted to make sure it showed. I just feel like it fits the mood of the quilt nicely.

I decided to lay my blocks out with a lot of negative space so that the layout was also an hourglass shape. Here in New England, there are lots of barns with X shaped supports on their doors and I thought it would be great to get a picture of the quilt on a barn with such a door.  This one was perfect, with two doors and a nice plain wall for hanging!

Here’s a little detail so you can see some of the prints and the quilting. I quilted in an regular irregular grid where the lines were all spaced either an 1/2″ apart or 1″ apart.

Debbie from A Quilter’s Table recently reviewed my book and made a table runner using this block pattern as the basis of the design. Then, she added her own spin. Check it out!

 

Fussy Cut Melon Ice

I just love fussy cutting. Recently, while preparing to teach my Melon Ice pattern for a workshop, I came up with a new idea. I was actually trying to fall asleep when I started to wonder what would happen if I fussy cut the diamond centers of the block. First thing the following morning, I started combing through my stash for something that would work. I had a FQ bundle of Maureen Cracknell’s Garden Dreamer fabric and the Diamond Fragments print seemed just the thing! I immediately made a few blocks and quickly ran out of fabric. Fussy cutting the centers isn’t terribly economical, but, as I say in my Intentional Piecing book, “If it yields the results you are looking for, then it is an investment in your design,” not a waste. I ordered more fabric and carried on! I chose a light blue and darker blue print from the collection to surround the fussy cuts. I chose prints that were subtle and read as solids so that they didn’t look too busy and let the fussy cutting really show off. Rather than creating just circle shapes with the blocks as I did in my original pattern and first runner, or just X shapes as I did in my second runner, I opted for a combination of the two. See my post here for prior variations.

I quilted with straight lines in toward the center and back out again in four V shapes. I used a really pretty soft shade of thread, Aurifil 2315. I definitely got sidetracked by this project but I am glad because I enjoyed it and I like the way it turned out.  It was time well spent!

Shibori Quilt

Shibori by Amy Friend

I’m so excited to finally share this quilt. I had a hard time making time for it with my busy fall schedule but, tada, it’s done!

This quilt was designed using the improvisational paper piecing technique that I outline in my second book, Improv Paper Piecing, that will be published in February.  I am so excited to share this book with everyone and teach you my technique!

Shibori by Amy Friend

After much hemming and hawing, I have decided to name this quilt Shibori.  While the individual blocks suggest leaves, the repeat, especially colored in this gradient, feels a lot like tie dye or shibori to me.  My fabric selections are all Pure Elements solids from Art Gallery Fabrics.

Shibori by Amy Friend

The backing is a Cotton + Steel print from the Print Shop collection by Alexia Abegg.  I love not only the awesome color match but the modern feel of the print and it’s touch of whimsy that compliments the graphic design of the quilt front.

Shibori by Amy Friend

I often use solids when I really want my pattern design to take center stage, which is what I did here.  Then I find myself wishing I didn’t have to quilt because I don’t like quilting that takes away from that bold statement.  I find that straight lines are normally the best option because they don’t tend to detract and I end up liking the layer of added interest.  Here I quilted in vertical lines using Aurifil 2600 (a light gray that I love) and Aurifil 1147 (for a pop of green).  I used a 50 weight thread for the majority of the quilting which is spaced at 1/4″ and 1/2″ intervals, but the green pops are in 40 weight so they stand out a bit more.

The finished quilt measures 48″ x 56″.

Shibori by Amy Friend

I’m also appreciative that the foliage cooperated for these shots.  Had I finished even one week later, I would have missed that gorgeous color.

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Observing a Dragonfly

Dragonfly by Amy Friend

I was sent some of April Rhode’s newest collection, Observer, and knew immediately that I wanted to use her Indigo Window Sulphur print for dragonfly wings. I think that the fabric evokes the network of veins that make up the wings and the ethereal quality as well. The color suits too. The fabric that I used for the background is a fabulous choice for paper pieced backgrounds because you do not need to worry about directionality and the seam lines just blend.  I had a blast making this.  Now I have the same problem I always have…what do with the block!  Sometimes, I truly believe it is ok to make a block just to make it.  They are mini masterpieces.

This is my own paper pieced block design. I actually designed the block 3 years ago.  It’s available for sale here. Be forewarned, it’s not the easiest block but worth it!

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Plumb Line Quilt Pattern Available

plumb line cover square

 

My Plumb Line Quilt Pattern is now available as a pdf download here on my website in the Pattern Shop, and on Etsy and Craftsy (links in sidebar).  I hope you enjoy making your own version!  If you do, please share using the hashtag #plumblinequilt.

This quilt is foundation pieced and assumes a general knowledge of foundation piecing. However, it is not complicated piecing and therefore, accessible to someone who is fairly new to paper piecing.  It could look great in prints or even scrappy.  There are so many possibilities!

To read my original post about this quilt, click here.

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