my creative pursuits with quilts and knits

Posts tagged ‘batiks’

TBT – Pineapple Quilt

TBT is Throw-Back Thursday, and this quilt came very early in my longarm/custom quilting career.  I won “Best Rookie” in my guild’s President’s Challenge back in 2006, about 6 months after I purchased my longarm!


The challenge was to use the square-in-a-square pattern, with five colors.  I love batiks, as you can see!  I wanted to try something along the lines of thread painting, so I (obviously) free-hand quilted the pineapple.  Did I even think about drawing it with chalk first?!?  Yikes!  Overall, I am happy with this quilt, because many elements turned out pretty close to the vision I had in my head.  When that happens, I call it success 🙂


Here you can see (maybe) some of my other design elements.  I did a free-hand spiral flower in the pink border.  The blue corners have an orange peel/continuous curve design.  I did make a one inch chalk grid to guide me on that portion, and it turned out well.  The outer border…well, let’s just say I would use a completely different pattern if I were to do it over today! I tried some parallel lines, and a spiral in the center.  It’s sooooo wonky, LOL!  Good thing I was the only rookie that year, wink wink nudge nudge.

SO, if you are a beginning free-motion quilter, take heart, you *will* get better!  Just jump right in.  I love challenges, because they provide focus for your creativity.  Sometimes it is hard to come up with a design if you are staring at blank paper, but if you have some guidelines, they become a springboard for new ideas.

Look back at your early quilting efforts, and celebrate how far you have come on this journey.



It’s that feeling when the stars align and pieces fall into place, an Ah-Ha moment.  So let me tell you a story about Serendipity in my life this week.

I read a lot of quilting blogs, and Sew Mama Sew featured interviews with the women who started “Quilt Design A Day.”  You can find related posts on facebook and instagram.  The basic concept is to design a new quilt pattern every day.  Participants are using design software and spend 15 – 30 minutes playing with their design each day.  Check out their posts for lots of eye candy and inspiration!

The starting point for today is this picture from Design Seeds.  You can use the color palette or the picture as a starting point.  GlobalTones_1Because of the windows in the picture, I might make a quilt design with a lot of negative space and just a few floating blocks on one side.

I have been designing quite a few quilt patterns lately and I am getting close to the publishing stage.  I bit the bullet and got EQ7, the quilt design software, since I was tired of driving to my mom’s house to use her copy!  Right after I installed the program, I got a message asking for contributions for a new quilt design.  I went right to work and had a basic design to submit within a few hours. If my design is selected, you will see it in September.  If not, I will share it sooner 🙂

Electric Quilt is a great company with lots of resources for their users and the whole quilting community.  I will be a frequent visitor to their site – Do You EQ?  They offer a monthly download of new fabrics, and this month they have a contest to design a block and be entered into a raffle for Tonga batiks.  Yummy fabric, and how hard is it to design a block?  See what I mean about serendipity?

Here is what I started with:

cabana quadrantThe fabric is Tonga Cabana.  The EQ website has detailed instructions for how to upload these fabrics into your own EQ library. Once that step is complete, you start on the Block Worktable to design your block.  I am imagining stars from the white portion at the bottom and sunrise colors from the three pieces along the top.  This is just one quadrant of my star.  EQ7 includes an option in the Block menu called “Serendipity” so of course I had to check that out, it’s the theme of the week!  There are many tools for creating additional blocks.  I used the Shrink and Flip tool which spins the block in a variety of ways.

Here are two versions using the basic quadrant, a star:

cabana starAnd a pinwheel:cabana pinwheelI love my new tools!  And a shout-out to a fellow blogger BeaQuilter, who has many tutorials about EQ7 features.  Check them out here.


Race against the clock

Want to win some fabric?  Comment on this post.

One of the recent trends in the quilting world is the “Jelly Roll Race.”  The premise is that you pick a jelly roll (collection of 40 strips cut at 2.5 inches), sew them end to end, then fold and sew the long seams until you have a strip quilt approximately 50×60″.

My “warm up lap” took several weeks, since I worked on this in between other projects.  I used diagonal seams, but some quilters use straight seams, or filler squares, or triangles to make it interesting.  Here are all the strips in a bag as I’m cutting the excess from the diagonal seams.  I thought I saved the jelly roll label, but alas, it’s gone.  Pretty batiks in tans and blues.  I wanted a masculine palette so that I can donate this to Quilts of Valor.

Lap 1 was pretty easy.  It took me about 20 minutes.  The night before, I sat down with some pins and prepped the strip so I wouldn’t have a big twist at the end.  It’s hard to keep track of something like 42 yards of fabric!  Lap 2 proved to be more difficult…

The biggest challenge was unfolding the fabric to keep right sides together at the same time you are trying to prevent twisting in your 20-yard strip!  I ended up with a KNOT.  I did a fairly decent job of finding the middle to cut the strip in half and kept the machine humming along 🙂

The last two laps were much easier.  I have not pressed any seams yet.


Start to finish: about 62 minutes.

Now to decide on borders?  It’s a nice size for a lap quilt now, so maybe just a dark blue binding.  Fun, fun project.  Anyone interested in swapping 2.5-inch strips for a virtual jelly roll race?

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