Friday, November 26, 2021

Just in case sailboats aren't your thing...

I really enjoyed making Sailing School and wanted to make more strip-pieced waves, but I didn't need two sailboat quilts.  I played with different block option to replace the boat, and of course I defaulted to stars.  There's just something about stars!  In this case, they bring to mind light sparkling on waves crests, so I named this quilt Bright Seas.


The star design may seem familiar.  I used it most recently in Stellar Stacks.  


I really like this particular star design for two reasons.  First, the proportions are a little bit different than those of a traditional sawtooth star block.  I like that they are a bit less square, yet not as complex as a Lemoyne star.  Second, the block construction is very forgiving.  There there are no seams crossing the points or valleys in the star, and while you can match seams to line up the points on the center, it won't be obvious if you're off a little bit.  There are also no triangles to cut and no bias edges to sew.



Aren't these fabrics beautiful? These batiks are from the Calm Lagoon collection, Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting's newest signature collection from Island Batik.  As always, Island Batik fabrics were lovely to work with.  They're crisp to work with but drape beautifully in the finished quilt.  Starting on December 1st, Sherry is hosting a blog tour to highlight this collection.  I'm not participating this time, but I encourage you to go take a peek.  There will certainly be lovely eye candy.

As in Sailing School, these waves were strip-pieced, so they were quick to make.  The fabrics are distributed in the strips and two different blocks to appear well-distributed without having to shuffle pieces around on the design wall.  That also contributed to making this quilt a quick finish.


While my version is definitely beach and ocean themed, I think this design would lend itself to any color scheme.  At this time of year, my thoughts are turning to red, green, silver and gold.  I may need to go play with that idea.  There's always room for a new Christmas quilt, right?

I'll leave you with a question.  What's your favourite star block and why?


You can  pick up a PDF version of the Bright Seas pattern in my Etsy shop, or ask for a print version at your favourite quilt shop.


Friday, November 12, 2021

I miss the ocean - so I made a quilt

I spent my teens and early adulthood in Nova Scotia, never too far from the ocean.  There's nothing like the smell of the ocean and the sound of the waves breaking on the shore.  Since moving to Iowa, I have learned to appreciate a different kind of natural beauty, but I still miss the waves.  

The summer of 2020 was supposed to take me back to Nova Scotia for a visit. I had the plane reservations all set,  but we all know what happened with 2020!  The trip was cancelled, and I didn't get to see family or the shore.  Maybe that influenced my designing that fall.  I missed the sea and I missed family, and though I wasn't dwelling on that, my mind still created this:

Patchwork quilt.  Blue and red on a light background.  Sailboat blocks and squares arranged in a wave pattern.
Sailing School by Canuck Quilter Designs


I am so happy to finally share this finish, because it's one of my favourite recent quilts.  I had to wait a whole year to share this finish, until the Island Batik Sail Away collection I used was available in stores.  Island Batik sent me advance sampling to make the quilt for their Spring/Summer 2021 catalog.  I love that the collection has a range of blues, as well as prints in different scales to add visual interest.  that pop of red is great too!


Patchwork quilt made of blue and red fabrics on a light background. combination of sailboat blocks and squares  arranged in a wave pattern.

There's a bit of a wave in there, and did I mention my dad loves to sail?  (If you've been following this blog for  a while you might remember this quilt I made for him, also with a sailboat theme.) 

Those waves units are strip-pieced, so it didn't take very long to make this quilt.  I didn't even have to shuffle pieces around on the design wall in search of the perfect arrangement.  If you look closely, you'll see they are in a particular repeating order, listed in the pattern, but I think at first glance the pieces look pretty well distributed in a faux-random kind of way.


Closeup of a sailboat quilt block in a quilt, photographed  on a beach near the water.  Quilt features red and blue fabrics on a light background.
Closeup of Sailing School by Canuck Quilter Designs

I learned all about half rectangle triangles to design this sailboat block.  I wanted to be able to make it without paper piecing and without specialty tools.  In the end, I made them oversized, and added  templates to trim them properly.  (Spoiler alert: you can't trim with the diagonal running directly through the corners, or you'll end up wit cut off points.)  I do have a tutorial in the works.  It's much later than anticipated, as other priorities popped up, as they often do.  I promise it's coming, though!  It's about 3/4 ready, so how much longer could it possibly take?  Now I've jinxed it!


Sailing School by Canuck Quilter Designs. 
Photo by Jerry Khiev of Island Batik.

 I didn't have much time to make this before they needed to be at the Island Batik warehouse so they could take the photo above for the catalog.  I had two other quilts to make for them on the same deadline, so I didn't have time to quilt them myself.  Liz Meimann helped me out with a really quick turnaround time for longarm quilting. 

Did I just pique your curiosity about the other two quilts?  I'll share those soon!  

Happy quilting!

Joanne

Sailing School is listed in my Etsy shop as a PDF download.  If you prefer a print copy, ask your favourite quilt shop to order one for you.  I sell wholesale to shops through my website and through major distributors.

Monday, October 25, 2021

How do you feel about bias edges?  I've been playing with a new idea for placemats (yes, I'm still on a placemat kick!) and there are two ways to build them.  There's the slow way, one piece at a time, one after the other.  The second way is much faster, with strip piecing making it super quick.  

Echo Point Placemat - mocked up in Northcott's Bliss Basics

The catch is that the quick way involves bias edges, and I'm not sure how quilters in general feel about them.  These are not very long, they don't get handled very much to risk too much stretching, and there are ways to stabilize them.  I'm leaning towards the second method.  I really prefer fast when it comes to placemats!

Here's the runner to go with it.

Echo Point runner - mocked up in Northcott's Bliss Basics

I can think of a lot of variations.  This one uses two fabrics and a background, but I mocked up other versions with three or even four fabrics... It would also be easy to make longer or shorter, and the pattern could be easily written to make six placemats or a set of four placemats and the runner.  I see so many possibilities...

I plan to make a set for myself.  I already have fabric, though not the pretty Bliss pictured above.  What do you think?  Should I write the pattern?