CMYK - Another New Start

Mighty Lucky Quilting Club Carolyn Friedlander

Another new quilt start. Smitten from the beginning.

The Mighty Lucky Quilting Club is running again this year. I am signed up for a turn hosting in a couple of months. This year, however, the Club will work together to make an entire quilt. That is, each month plays well with each other and the whole thing is designed to give you a quilt top at the end. Still regular challenges, but with a different end goal in site.

The other difference this year is that the entire thing is about colour. So by the end of it you will have a quilt top and a deeper understanding of colour for all your other work. All without making a colour wheel.

Carolyn Friedlander kicked things off in January with a discussion about creating a palette and translating colour inspiration to picking fabric. I love her piece. I will admit, however, to be to being stuck on what I wanted to do. I've never been stuck for picking a palette before! New territory for me. But I didn't stress. Instead I pet some fabric and lived my life, confident that something would tickle my fancy eventually.

Enter the latest issue of Uppercase Mag. Devoted to CMYK - Cyan, magenta, and yellow. The base colours for printing. As with all issues of the magazines I had to wipe up my drool as I read it. Then I knew exactly what I was going to do for this Mighty Lucky Quilting Club challenge.

Uppercase Magazine CMYK
CMYK Fabric Mighty Lucky Quilting Club

So I picked a stack of fabric in these intense, pure colours. Not stressing too much about whether this pink perfectly matched that one. If I went that detailed then there would be no point to piecing! You need a bit of contrast in value, texture, and hue to have some depth to your piecing.

Then I printed off the templates for Carolyn's rows. She is a paper piecing master and it was good to work with her pattern. Pretty straightforward as paper piecing goes. Do not be intimidated at all! It takes me about 45 minutes to make 1 block. A beginner would probably take about an hour or more. Don't stress, just do it one seam, one block at a time.

While I usually like to use freezer paper when I paper piece, this time I used Carol Doak's Foundation Paper for my templates. They print right on my home printer, are thin, and are easy to remove. The print at home factor was big as I didn't want to draw out the templates for 12 blocks. (No affiliation, I just like it.) 

In a week I have 6 blocks done. I will plug away on these then start the next round - it's improv!

To sign up to receive the bimonthly challenges, and the templates for this particular block, check out Mighty Lucky Quilting Club. It is $50 for the annual subscription. 

A Blue Quilt for The Blue Gala

Blue Quilt Hattori Wiliamson Charity Quilt

From one demo block in a quilt class to this finished top. Oops, I did it again.

It truly did start as a demo block in a string piecing class. Then my friends from H/W Ballet asked me if I would donate a quilt to a silent auction for a gala ballet event. Well, of course I would. The event is called the Blue Gala. And wouldn't you know it my sample block was from some blue scraps? Not to mention the event raises fund for Pancreatic Cancer research and guess what stole my father-in-law?

Truly, it was all meant to be.

Blue scrap quilt

The quilt came together in the morning hours. I could sew together strips and square up about 4-6 blocks in about 20 minutes of Morning Make. Every day I made a few more blocks and threw them up on the design wall. A few weeks ago I added a short yoga practice to my mornings so I would then stare at the blocks and make rearrangements when I was supposed to be in downward dog.

Now to get this quilted for the early February Gala. Should be plenty of time. Then it will be up for silent auction. Don't hesitate to shoot me a line if you are interested in bidding...

Hattori Williamson Blue Gala Charity Quilt

Amanda Jean Made Me Do It

Seven years ago I made a leap. I was recuperating from my stupid knee injuries and thinking a lot about life, about what I wanted to be when I grew up. At that time I started emailing another blogger a bit more. One day we decided to take our relationship to the next level and talk on the phone. It was like being a teenager all over again, chit chatting for hours as I lay on my bed and ignored my family. Now I consider her a good friend, a professional colleague, and a quilty inspiration.

No Scrap Left Behind Binding Triangles

Amanda Jean Nyberg now has a new book. It is out now and I jumped on board to help her celebrate. No Scrap Left Behind is her perfect book. She is extraordinarily frugal and saves everything. This book takes that mentality and applies it to all your fabric. She does so with useful tips, storage ideas, and completely inspiring quilts. 

To celebrate the release of the book Amanda asked us to not only blog about the book but to also make something from it. Back when we were writing Sunday Morning Quilts she got me to save my binding triangles. Those little bits we cut off when joining binding strips. I hadn't exactly been throwing them away, but they got dumped in with the rest of my colour sorted scraps. In our discussions writing the book we agreed on sorting by colour as well as pulling out strips/strings and snippets. She took it to the next level with those binding triangles. So I started putting mine aside. They filled a jar. Then overflowed the jar. After that they filled a bowl. Just as I was thinking it was time to do something about them No Scrap Left Behind comes out. It was meant to be.

No Scrap Left Behind Chain of Diamonds

There are two quilts in the book that I could have done, Remainders and Chain of Diamonds (not to mention Up, Up, and Away from Sunday Morning Quilts). I chose Chain of Diamonds because it reminded me of a sketch I once made myself from a store window I once saw. Plus, I had a lot of colours in my overflowing jar and bowl.

I'm not going to lie, this was an intense make. Made more so by me doing it over the last 2 weeks while I was sick (and my kids). I counted, there are 1709 seams in this quilt! But the good thing is that they are all small. 

No Scrap Left Behind Small Piecing

To keep the project a lot more manageable, I suggest turning this into one of two things. Make the blocks as leaders/enders. That is, prep your background squares and keep them next to your machine with the triangles. At the end of a seam when you are working on something else sew a triangle on instead of cutting your thread. Or, turn this into a Morning Make project. Spend 10-20 minutes a day and slowly but sure the blocks will come together. 

Regardless of how you do this I would totally recommend this quilt. It was fun, it has great impact, and it makes excellent use of those scraps!

I went from a full platter (once I unsquished them from the jar/bowl) to barely a third. I even had to cut a few extra scraps to round out the selection. Now I just might have to make something else to use the rest of the triangles! For a change from my instinctual mix of low volume fabrics for the background I went all the way to the other end of the spectrum. Black prints, including many from my Tag collection, played together. As I made blocks it was a lot of fun to think back to the quilt where the scrap came from. So many memories.

No Scrap Left Behind Binding Triangles

Thanks for being a good friend all these years Amanda Jean. And for continuing to be such an inspiration to quilters everywhere.

I'm happy to be giving away a copy of the No Scrap Left Behind to a lucky reader, courtesy of C&T Publishing. Trust me, you want this book! Please leave a comment below, including your email: nameATserverDOTcom. I can't auto reply through my blog so I need your email to get you your prize. US winners get a hard copy of the book, International winners will get a digital version.


No Scrap Left Behind


Make sure you check out all the other bloggers sharing their projects from the book:

Monday, April 24th Mary Kolb

Tuesday, April 25, Lee Monroe

Wednesday, April 26, Sandi Hazelwood

Thursday, April 27, Bernie Kringel

Friday, April 28, Erin Cox

Monday, May 1, Katherine Greaves

Tuesday, May 2, Tracy Mooney

Wednesday, May 3, Cheryl Arkison

Thursday, May 4, Debbie Jeske

Friday, May 5, 

Giveaway Winner was Sue, comment 190/226. Thanks to the Random Number Generator.

Love the black & white background you used! It's nice to read how you became friends with Amanda Jean too. :)


Cirrus Solids Improv Quilt


60'' x 60''

Improv isn't just for wonky cuts and pulling fabric out of a bag. You can start with a shape, precise cuts, and a playful spirit. That's exactly what I did when I started this quilt, oh... almost 3 years ago.

I did have a plan, but when that didn't work I had to figure out something else that would still make a beautiful quilt. There was no way this beautiful fabric was going to waste. It is made from the Cloud 9 Cirrus Solids, their first colour release. It is extremely soft and oh so delicious. Bonus, it is certified organic cotton. So when my initial intention did not work out, I came up with an alternative quilt top.

This is what playing with improv teaches you to do - figure out a solution no matter what. Whether it is running out of background fabric or making a mistake in piecing, whether you simply don't like the way it turned out or you suddenly want to make the quilt bigger, having the spirit of improv means you can come up with a low stress solution. It is about tapping into that ability to embrace the unknown and find a path forward. 

So back to the quilt.

Half Square Triangles Quilt

When I took my mostly random half square triangles and settled on a layout - after a lot of design wall play - the top got pieced and added to the pile of tops in the closet. Periodically I would pet it (that fabric is seriously soft) but that's about it. Fast forward to last month when friends of ours asked if just maybe I had a quilt to donate to a charity event they were hosting. I think my husband answered for me, with the strongest yes ever. Rather than take a finished, and therefore used, quilt from the racks I decided to finish one fresh for them.

I've also learned that for charity donations like this people seem to like quite traditional or quite bold quilts. This one is definitely bold! The other thing I've learned is that while I am generous, I can't be ridiculous with my time. I do have that family/work thing to do. So I went with straight line quilting that actually added some movement plus a cool secondary pattern of an Ohio Star where the lines intersected. I picked a turquoise Aurifil because when any colour will work that is always an excellent choice! It also looked great on the back, one of the first Prints from Rashida Coleman-Hale with Cotton and Steel, Moonlit.

Heather Givans Paper Obsessed Quilt Binding

Binding choice was probably the most difficult. Again, any solid colour would likely do. I was leaning towards hot pink or carrying the turquoise out. Then I spied the perfect fabric peeking out of my stash - a ruled sheet of paper inspired print from Paper Obsessed by Heather Givans (of Crimson Tate fame). It's already on the bias, and the touch of blue and pink is just enough to make it so much more than a solid binding. And thankfully it looked great on the back.

The quilt has already been auctioned off. I'm always a little bit sad that they don't fetch more, but happy that the quilt is going to a loving home. And I met the winning bidder so I know it will be well taken care of. I may however, need to restash some of those Cirrus Solids now.