Revolution Quilt

Time has gotten away from me and it’s been almost two weeks since I shared a quilt from my new book, Improv Paper Piecing: A Modern Approach to Quilt Design. The book is available on Amazon and signed copies are in my Etsy shop (sent with a free postcard while supplies last!).  I love this photo.  And sharing it provides a good opportunity to thank my mom who came along with me to many of these photoshoots.  She helped me with this one, when I took photos in our Old Town Hall built in 1842 with its beautiful light and high ceilings.  The ladder was found in our barn when we moved into our house, the chair was found on the roadside and refinished by me, and the orchid is my husband’s.  That’s why these photos mean so much to me. They incorporate so many of the things I love and a lot of my personality.  I am grateful to have had the opportunity to take the photos for both of my books.

This photo was taken in the Everett Mill building in downtown Lawrence, MA. It was a former cotton mill and later shoe manufacturer. Again, my mom and her husband were with me, which was very helpful, especially when a big nail became imbedded in my tire and I had to carefully drive home with a flat. It was a beautiful space and I was able to take several photos there.

This quilt is based on the traditional Tallahassee block, sketched in an improvisational fashion with askew lines and asymmetry. Part of what makes this quilt successful is the layout. I placed the blocks in a sort of serpentine fashion, echoing the motion I felt from the block.  The colors are bold and the binding is another color all together–a fun bit of whimsy.

You can find this quilt pattern and related design exercise in the section of my book based on Traditional blocks. I hope you enjoy it!

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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Caged Quilt

Caged Quilt by Amy Friend

I recently finished my latest large scale paper piecing project, the Caged Quilt.  These blocks are BIG–nearly 3 feet long.  It made for tricky piecing but the paper piecing technique allowed for great precision which is what I was going for.  The finished quilt measures 50″ x 64″ and is made using five different Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements Solids, carefully chosen and placed to create a sense of depth and dimension.

Caged Quilt detail by Amy Friend

I created this design based on something I doodled in my sketchbook months ago.  After playing around with the design, I arrived at this layout and configuration. I think it has a strong Art Deco feel to it with the precise geometric design and bold colors.

Caged Quilting Detail by Amy Friend

I kind of didn’t want to quilt this piece at all because I loved the crisp, clean lines. I wanted to quilt it in a way that didn’t detract from that at all so I went with 1/2″ spaced lines using Aurifil 50 weight thread (their finer thread so it blended more than the 40 weight would have).  I wanted the piecing to be more prominent than the quilting.  I chose a light grey thread.

In this detail shot,  you can see a bit of the backing fabric–it was just perfect for the angularity of the pieced design!  It’s one of Pat Bravo’s Essentials II prints.

Caged by Amy Friend

I am really pleased with the execution of this design.  You just never know for sure until you try it, right?  I am happy that it turned out the way I had hoped.

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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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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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Improv Fans Mini Quilt

Improv Fans Mini by Amy Friend

Last week I worked on this mini for our Seacoast Modern Quilt Guild exhibit at this year’s The Gathering in Manchester, NH.  Our guild has been asked to create an exhibit that will give a clear idea of what constitutes modern quilting.  So, we are attempting to include only quilts that have alternate gridwork, negative space, solids, improv, bold colors, etc.  For one portion of the exhibit, each member has been asked to make a mini measuring 18″ or 22″ square.  They are to be modern takes on traditional blocks and use only solids.  We were assigned traditional blocks and mine was the Grandmother’s Fan. You can see a sample here.

Improv Fans Mini by Amy Friend

I decided to take an improvisational approach to the block. I chose a selection of Kona and Pure Elements solids based loosely on the Cotton + Steel color scheme.  I then handcut and randomly pieced a small fan and three larger arcs.

Improv Fans Mini by Amy Friend

I hand cut curves and sewed the arcs together. I squared up after adding each new arc.

Improv Fans Mini by Amy Friend

I had my quilting planned from the beginning. I quilted in arcs from the lower left to upper right corner, spaced 1/4″ apart.  Then I reversed the arc and quilted a wide band through the quilt in the opposite direction. I love how the lines crisscross and overlap and form diamonds.

Improv Fans by Amy Friend

I had so much fun with this mini!  While paper piecing is my go to technique, I love to mix it up once in awhile.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the other members of my guild come up with. I think it will be a fun portion of the exhibit and ALL members’ minis will be accepted so everyone has a chance to have their work shown in the exhibit.