muse monday: a little paper piecing

And I do mean LITTLE. (Finished size: 4-3/4″ x 4″)

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This block was inspired by a birdhouse in a tree that I saw on my morning walk. Walks are the best for thinking up things!

I immediately wanted to make a paper-pieced birdhouse in a tree to go with Jessica’s Cabin block. Complete with bird.

But that would have to be one tiny bird! All the people following along in our block of the month group would probably run away screaming. So I decided on a dog house instead.

houses1-2

Actually the dog and the dog house are probably a little bit out of proportion to the cabin, but this is folk art so that’s OK. It’s a quilt block, not an architectural blueprint.

It takes a little time to get used to tiny paper piecing, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a snap! And if you make a mistake, it doesn’t waste much fabric at all.

Enjoy!

Download the free Dog House pattern.
Download the free Jessica’s Cabin pattern.
Request to join our Spool-Along Facebook group. (We had so much fun with the Spool-Along blocks that we decided to keep on going with a new block of the month series. We’re posting a new mini house block pattern every first of the month. It might be here on my blog, on another participant’s blog, or in the Spool-Along Facebook group.)

Have you been inspired on your walks lately? Do share!

For more Quiltspiration 365, visit these Quiltspiration bloggers:

first quilt, last quilt

first-quilt So, I thought it would be fun to have a little Throw Back Thursday and share my first quilt and my last quilt. (Actually latest, to be exact. I’m not planning on it being the last quilt I ever make. First quilt, last quilt is just more fun to say.)

Here’s my first quilt, a baby quilt made in 2000 for my daughter. I loved bright colors then, still do now.

I remember being torn about the ties at the block intersections. While some of the ties cover up corners that don’t match so well, others cover up perfectly matched corners that I was pretty darn proud of.

The border became that width because I only had a certain amount of the teddy bear fabric and that is the size that would leave me enough to use it for the borders and the backing. Ha! Guess it never entered my mind to simply go back to the store for more fabric or to just piece the backing.

last-quilt Here’s my latest quilt, or sort of anyways. When I started going through my quilts to find the first and the latest, I realized that I haven’t actually finished a quilt in 2014.

I’ve started a lot of projects this year, however, and this quilt is missing only the binding.

Some time after the baby quilt I started a rail fence. The pattern I was using was scrappy, but I didn’t think it was scrappy enough. I wanted to use each fabric only once like a charm quilt. Instead of cutting one block of each, I cut an entire width-of-fabric strip, giving me ten or eleven of each block. So you can imagine that I had a lot of extra blocks.

This quilt is part of a series of quilts I’m creating to use up those rail fence blocks and show different ways that you can use traditional blocks and fabrics, and make artistic, modern quilts. Since many of these quilts use a fair bit of background fabric and fewer blocks, they also give ideas of layouts you can use for leftover blocks or even complicated blocks that you got tired of making after only a few.

freemotionquilting-laurawestkong And there’s that bright green again. Love it! As you can see, I’ve moved from yarn ties to free-motion quilting. The funky floral design on the navy border is one of my favorites that I’ve created so far.

I’ll be sharing this quilt and the rest of the updated rail fence series in trunk shows and workshops, as well as here on my blog, so stay tuned.

Now it’s your turn! Share the first quilt you made and your latest, and add your blog post link below.

  1. 1. Click “Add a Link to the Party” and fill out the information for your post. Use the specific blog post link and not your general blog address.
  2. Link back to this post in your blog post.
  3. Visit and comment on some of the other First Quilt, Last Quilt blogs in the linky party.
  4. Have fun! It’s always interesting to see peoples’ first and latest quilts, and how their styles have changed.
  5. Linky Party closes September 20, 2014.

first quilt, last quilt linky party

There are no submissions yet. Be the first and add yours below!
Submissions have ended.

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Shared at Richard and Tanya Quilts’ Link A Finish Friday.

muse monday: inspired by laundry

I {heart} laundry. The color. The clotheslines. The smell of sunshine. Real sunshine, not scented goop from a plastic bottle.

In my neighborhood, people don’t hang their clothing out for the world to see on clotheslines in their front yards. Maybe that’s a good thing, or maybe I’m missing out on some hometown laundry inspiration.

Clotheslines bring a little pop of the personal and the unexpected to an otherwise anonymous landscape.

When I travel, I love to see and photograph clotheslines full of laundry. Laundry hanging in urban skyscraper patios in Hong Kong. Clotheslines on a dusty South African savanna. And most recently, laundry in the foothills of the Himalayas, in Aizawl, Mizoram, India.

So I bring you a week’s worth of Aizawl clotheslines and Kona color palettes to match.

Sunday:  This laundry-lover truly lucked out. Here is one of the views from my hotel, complete with an epic clothesline.

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Kona Cotton Colors: Steel, Charcoal, Coal, Dresden Blue, Ash, Sable, Laurel, Sprout

 

Monday:  Unfortunately this laundry didn’t make it inside in time before the rain poured down.

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Kona Cotton Colors: Steel, Evergreen, Bison, Smoke, Nautical, Putty, Torch, Butterscotch

 

Tuesday:  A rooftop labyrinth of vibrantly-hued laundry.

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Kona Cotton Colors: Iron, Coral, Deep Blue, Earth, Stratosphere, Brick, Primrose, Basil

 

Wednesday:  An informal gathering of clotheslines on a hilltop.

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Kona Cotton Colors: Shadow, Moss, Avocado, Lipstick, Mushroom, Charcoal, Tulip, Ocean

 

Thursday:  Candy-colored clothes with a view of an emerald hillside.

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Kona Cotton Colors: O.D. Green, Spring, Pomegranate, Avocado, Berry, Cadet, Bison, Blueberry

 

Friday:  Clotheslines in a courtyard garden.

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Kona Cotton Colors: Charcoal, Baby Blue, Steel, Khaki, Palm, Grass Green, Pond, Spring

 

Saturday:  Love this pop of color against concrete gray.

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Kona Cotton Colors: Steel, Mocha, Fog, Avocado, Charcoal, Moss, Hyacinth, Red

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my city-wide tour of Aizawl clotheslines. Does laundry hanging out to dry inspire you, or am I just a little crazy? Does laundry hanging out to dry inspire you, or am I just a little crazy? Which is your favorite laundry palette?  (Kona color palettes powered by Play Crafts’ Palette Builder.)

For more quilt-y inspiration, visit these Quiltspiration 365 bloggers:

muse monday: the making of a medallion quilt design

It’s great fun to see a quilt design come together before your eyes. So much so for me that if I think I know exactly what a quilt is going to look like, I lose interest in making it. I love the drama and mystery of a quilt going from pile of fabric to finished design. It’s like a novel you just can’t put down, or an edge-of-your-seats movie.

That’s part of the appeal of creating improv quilts. You, the quilt-maker, get to play a part in the design action. Like the main character of the story, you haven’t already read the last chapter of the book. You don’t know how this quilt is going to end until it’s all over.

We got a little piece of that quilt-design action this past week over in the Quilt Design A Day (QDAD) group with a Medallion Challenge. Let’s take a look at how my medallion’s plot progressed…

chapter one
Feathered Hues (Design Seeds: August 10, 2014)

qdad-medallion-1
Inspired by this vibrant bird, I decided to create a star for the center of the medallion. I wanted my star to be delicate and colorful, so I gave it elongated points and I pumped up the saturation and brightness of the given palette.

chapter two
Flora Palette (Design Seeds: August 11, 2014)

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I kept my feathered hues palette and took inspiration from the shape of these pretty petals. I took the dark center of the roses and translated it into a fabric square surrounded by contrasting stylized petals.

chapter three
Polar Hues (Design Seeds: August 12, 2014)

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I love the cracked ice pattern in this polar bear picture and created a round of icy-hued crosses to complement the stylized roses.

chapter four
Flora Brights (Design Seeds: August 13, 2014)

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Time for a costume change! I couldn’t resist this eye-popping palette and so I recolored my design to match the stylized poppies in this quilt-y garden round.

chapter five
Fox Palette (Design Seeds: August 14, 2014)

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That face! How could I not create a fox block for this round!? This little guy was a lot of fun to design and I’d love to see him come to life in fabric.

chapter six
Global Spectrum (Design Seeds: August 15, 2014)

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So many patterns to choose from! The white zig zag element at the top of this photo caught my eye and became the inspiration for Friday’s round.

chapter seven
Color Fawn (Design Seeds: August 16, 2014)

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Not another woodland creature! I tried to create deer head blocks for this round, but they didn’t quite fit in. Focusing on the spots on the fawn’s back was a simpler solution that complemented the previous rounds without competing with the foxes. And a perfect ending if I do say so myself.

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This was an fascinating and challenging journey with many twists and turns. I could never have guessed on day one when I started out with a star that this was how the design would end up. How about you? Do you like a little mystery with your quilt-making or do you like to know how the story ends?

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For more quilt-y inspiration, don’t miss these Quiltspiration 365 posts:

muse monday: quilt design a day

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Safari Summer, one of Anne Sullivan’s Alien Flora quilts made from a QDAD design. Below it are other designs in the series.

In my Scrappy Arrow post we talked about how quilt-y inspiration doesn’t come to those who sit and wait for it. Inspiration comes to those who jump right in and start designing. Let’s continue with that thought…

Last week I joined the Quilt Design A Day group on Facebook started by Anne Sullivan of Play Crafts. The idea behind Quilt Design A Day (QDAD) is to spend 15-30 minutes each day designing a quilt block inspired by one of two daily photographs/color palettes from Design Seeds.

Sometimes you love the given colors, and other times you get an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and play with something different from your usual. You may not always adore every design you create, but occasionally you end up with a design that simply shouts out to be made into a quilt. Anne Sullivan has stitched up quite a few of her QDAD Alien Flora series into real quilts.

Most importantly, when you take the time to design every day, you will absolutely grow in your skills and creativity.

Here are a few recent examples of Design Seeds and a few of the resulting quilt designs:

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Design Seeds: July 29, 2014, Global Brights (above left, clockwise from top left)

Design Seeds: July 30, 2014, Feathered Hues (above right, clockwise from top left)

  • Anne Sullivan designed a delicate feathered star pattern.
  • Gillian Smith created a modern flying geese design.
  • My block was inspired mainly by the palette. I wanted to use a lot of that sunny yellow.

Here are the rest of the QDADs I’ve created so far. They’re part of our Week of Challenges.

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QDAD Week of Challenges 2014 

  • TOP row challenges: Flying Geese, “300″ (30 Xs), Square/Rectangle
  • MIDDLE row challenges: Curves, Triangle, Triangle (same blocks with wide sashing)
  • BOTTOM row challenges: Nine Patch, Stars, Medallion center (beginning of Medallion Challenge Week)

If you’d like to participate in Quilt Design A Day, or simply enjoy the eye candy, join the QDAD Facebook group or check out #qdad on Instagram. You can see Michelle’s QDADs on her blog, Factotum of Arts, and Anne’s on Play Crafts. I’ll be posting my designs here on Adventures of a Quilting Diva from time to time, as well as on Instagram every day.

For more quilterly inspiration, don’t miss these Quiltspiration 365 posts:

muse monday: inspired by scraps

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The last of a favorite black & white fabric print.

Those little rectangles of fabric left over from cross-cutting strips. You know the ones.

Last week while sewing three different half square triangle (HST) bee blocks, I was getting quite an impressive stack of leftover rectangles. One of them was the last little bit of a favorite print.

scrappylogcabin1 I had loaned my scrap bins to a friend, so I had no good place to put these rectangles and they were getting in the way of my rotary cutter. I certainly didn’t want my precious little fabric scraps to come to an unfortunate end!

Why not start a Leader-Ender project? Protect the corners of my HSTs and put my treasured bits of fabric to good use at the same time. A win-win! Sometimes inspiration is practical.

scrappylogcabin2

a two-story wonky log cabin

I got out a bag of random width fabric strips and sewed a few rectangles to the strips in between string piecing my HSTs. A wonky log cabin is the perfect block for a mismatched bunch of fabrics in different shapes and sizes.

As I stitched along I started more and more log cabins. Before long I had just as many, if not more, wonky log cabins as I did HSTs. And after I finished the bee blocks I kept right on sewing wonky log cabins. I can’t wait to see this quilt come together!

Time to dig out your scrap baskets and bins. Where will your fabric scraps lead you? What will they inspire you to create? Share your favorite scrap project.

For more quilterly inspiration, don’t miss these Quiltspiration 365 posts:

Jessica’s Cabin

cabin01

Jessica’s version

Our Spool-Along Facebook group has been having such a good time, we decided to continue on together with another block of the month series after the spools completed in June… Mini house blocks!

This time however, I am sharing the designing love and enlisting the help of volunteers. Each month a new member will design and post a new mini house block pattern. At the end of a year we will have stitched together an adorable mini friendship village quilt. How fun is that!

my version

My friend Jessica created the first mini house paper pieced block, “Jessica’s Cabin”. Isn’t it adorable! It finishes at 5″ x 4″ and uses up the tiniest of scraps that even the most intrepid scrap saver would throw away.

The house section is a simple, easy paper piecing job, mostly rectangles. Although you can see in my block that I was a little bit out of practice in my paper piecing skills, because I cut short a couple of pieces of fabric. It’s more noticeable on the roof than on the cabin wall. I decided to have the blossoms falling from the tree onto the roof and used the contrasting floral print for the extra roof bit. So even if you make a mistake, this is the kind of block that can stand up to a little improvisation.

The only thing that’s tricky about the tree is the tiny fabric pieces. (The tree unit is 1-1/2″ wide unfinished, 1″ finished.) But the bright side is that it’s mighty hard to sew down a piece that’s too small. :) If you’re feeling shaky about your paper piecing skills, Quilter’s Cache and Connecting Threads have some beginner paper piecing tutorials to help you out.

We’ll post a new mini house block pattern every first of the month. It might be here on my blog, on another participant’s blog, or in the Spool-Along Facebook group. We’d love to have you join us!

Download Jessica’s Cabin paper piecing pattern.
Request to join Spool-Along Facebook group.

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{Shared at: Lily Quilts’ Fresh Sewing Day}

muse monday: bee inspired: scrappy arrow block

scrappy-arrow-finished-block Time for a little Quiltspiration 365!

Quilt inspiration comes from many sources. Last week I was inspired by indecision to design this Scrappy Arrow block for my turn in August as Queen Bee for the Stash Bee 2014 online modern quilt bee group. (tutorial below)

I couldn’t decide which block to choose: Should it be a Japanese x and + block, an improv crazy-pieced block, a wonky star, or something else all together? I love them all and must have changed my mind at least weekly since the year began. So I finally decided to simply design my own bee block.

I’ve learned from previous guild and online block exchange experience that the best exchange blocks are eye-catching, but not too complicated. For example, you shouldn’t choose a block that is so time-consuming or difficult that the only way you’ll complete an entire quilt of it is if you pawn off 11 out of 12 blocks onto your unsuspecting fellow bee mates. A log cabin, improv or traditional, is one example of a great exchange block. A feathered star, lovely as it is, is not such a good choice for an exchange block.

My design goals/requirements for this bee block were the following:

It must…

  • be scrap fabric friendly
  • use construction techniques that people are already comfortable with
  • take a reasonable amount of time to complete
  • be interesting without being overly complicated
  • have a graphic, modern style
  • (not a must, but) a shape other than a square would be fun

arrow-sketch Although my goal was a modern bee block, my method of getting there was anything but! I grabbed an old-fashioned pad of notebook paper, a ball point pen, and a handful of neon highlighters. I didn’t originally start out with the intention of designing an arrow block. That idea came to me while I was busy doodling other quilt blocks, some rather nice and others just so-so.

It’s romantic to think that inspiration just strikes a person from out of the blue. Sometimes that’s the case, but usually inspiration favors the prepared designer. Because I knew the requirements for what kind of quilt block I wanted to design (not just simply “I want to design an awesome new block”), I was able to avoid wasting time and effort on a whole slew of unsuitable blocks, and zero in on a successful bee block. Actually I came up with several potential new bee block designs, any of which could have worked well, but I was instantly smitten by this arrow block. I knew it was the one for me as soon as I sketched it out.

Once you have a few guidelines for your quilt block design, dive in and start doodling. Inspiration also favors the designer who isn’t afraid to get her (or his) fingers smudged with highlighter ink. Don’t worry if you don’t have fancy acid-free graph paper or special Pantone color pigment pens. Use whatever tools you have on hand and just have fun! Don’t worry about accurate 1:12 scale, drafting perfect shapes, or making a mistake. When you call it ‘doodling’ instead of ‘drawing’ or ‘drafting’, you remove some of the pressure of perfection. Just fill up the page with quilt doodles. It’s OK if they’re wonky. Once you zero in on the right design, then you can pull out your rulers and graph paper if you’d like, or boot up Electric Quilt or Quiltography if technology is your thing. Or you can leave it wonky if wonky is your thing.

I hope these tips help inspiration find you! Do you have any tips to add? I’d love to hear them and I’m sure my readers would too. Click here to leave a comment and share your inspiration tips.

Want to make a Scrappy Arrow block of your own? If you can make half square triangles and log cabin blocks, you can make the Scrappy Arrow block. It’s made up entirely of only half square triangles and partial log cabin units. You can find the tutorial for the basic Scrappy Arrow block below.

Stay tuned for future Scrappy Arrow installments. I have some fun Scrappy Arrow block variations and layout possibilities to show you. Eventually I’ll share the Scrappy Arrow blocks from Stash Bee 2014 Hive 11, and of course my finished Scrappy Arrow quilt.

Let’s get started!

Scrappy Arrow block

finished size: 6″ x 18″ (unfinished 6-1/2″ x 18-1/2″)

All seam allowances are a scant 1/4″.

Cut the following from a scrappy assortment of bright colors (graphic tone-on-tone prints, a few multi-color prints to mix things up, and solids) and whites (solids, white-on-whites, black & white or gray & white prints that are mostly white, and a few very low volume prints).

arrow-block-cutting-guide 4″ x 4″ squares
One each from 2 different color fabrics
One each from 2 different white fabrics

3″ x 3″ squares
One each from 2 different color fabrics
One each from 2 different white fabrics

2-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ rectangles
Two each from the same white fabrics as the 3″ x 3″ squares

1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ rectangles
One each from 8 different color fabrics

2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ rectangles
One each from 4 different white fabrics

arrow-step-by-step-1

1) Draw a 45° diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of each of the white 4″ x 4″ and 3″ x 3″ squares as shown above left.

2) Place a 4″ x 4″ color square and a 4″ x 4″ white square right sides together. Sew a scant 1/4″ away from each side of the drawn diagonal line as shown above left. Repeat for the remaining pairs of 4″ x 4″ and 3″ x 3″ color and white squares.

3) Cut along the drawn line on all four sewn fabric pairs. Press seam allowances open or towards color triangles as desired. You’ll end up with 4 large (about 3-5/8″ x 3-5/8″) and 4 small (about 2-5/8″ x 2-5/8″) half square triangles (HSTs).

4) Trim large HSTs to 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ and small HSTs to 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ as shown above right.

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5) Arrange and sew a matching 2-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ white rectangle to each of the 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ HSTs as shown above left. The 2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ units should be mirror images of each other. Press seam allowances open.

6) Arrange and sew a color 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ rectangle to each of the four Step 5 units as shown above right. The units should now be 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ and each will have a different configuration. The top two will become part of the arrow point and the bottom two will become part of the arrow tail. Press the arrow point units (top two) open and the arrow tails (bottom two) towards the color rectangle. (Less bulk this way. I often press seam allowances whichever way they want to go, rather than rigidly sticking to one method.)

arrow-step-by-step-3

7) Arrange and sew one of the remaining four 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ color rectangles to one of the 2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ white rectangles to make a 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ unit as shown above, top left. Press seam allowances open. Repeat with the remaining three color and white rectangles.

8) Arrange all 12 units into an arrow and sew the left and right units together as shown above, top right to make six rows, 6-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ each. Press seam allowances open or to alternating sides as desired.

9) Sew rows one and two together, three and four together, and five and six together to make three 6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ units as shown above, bottom left. Press seam allowances open or to one side as you or the blocks desire.

10) Sew the top, middle, and bottom units together as shown above, bottom right to complete the Scrappy Arrow block. Press seam allowances open. It should now be 6-1/2″ x 18-1/2″ and will finish at 6″ x 18″ when you sew the blocks together into a quilt.

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Quiltspiration 365

I love the idea of quilt-y inspiration every day. See what has been inspiring the Quiltspiration 365 team this week:

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{Shared at: Lily Quilts’ Fresh Sewing Day}

muse monday: agra red fort

Welcome back to Muse Monday, one of my favorite blog series. And welcome to Quiltspiration 365, a collection of daily quilt-y inspiration brought to you by a wonderful group of quilt bloggers. Find out more about Quiltspiration 365 at the end of this post. Right now though, without further ado, here’s Muse Monday: Agra Red Fort.

Quilters can and do find inspiration every day, in places both extraordinary as well as ordinary. I recently returned from a mission to India, where I had the opportunity to volunteer in an eye clinic, giving free eye exams and glasses. But my trip wasn’t all work and no play. Here’s a peek at some quilt-y inspiration I discovered at the extraordinary Red Fort in Agra, India.

Doorways are always intriguing. They’re an eye-catching, graphic subject, perfect for art quilts. They also have a sense of mystery: What surprises lie behind that door? This doorway has a wonderful, carved hexagon-star motif above it, quite inspirational to quilters who love their hexies, and as it is the Red Fort, a classic palette of Indian red sandstone.

muse-monday-agra-red-fort-01-palette

Kona Cotton Colors from left to right: Cappuccino, Taupe, Smoke, Mahogany, Ice Peach, Honey, Cinnamon

 

These guard towers above the entrance to the Agra Red Fort remind me of a row of charming cottage quilt blocks.

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Here is some beautiful old inlaid work. These would make lovely English Paper Piecing quilt patterns.

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And some more gorgeous inland work, this time in marble. Doesn’t it remind you of intricate applique borders? In fact the construction is somewhat akin to applique in fabric, except with gemstones on marble. (More on this interesting process in a future post.)

muse-monday-agra-red-fort-04-palette

Kona Cotton Colors from left to right: Straw, Honey, Spice, Moss, Cedar, Charcoal, Sweet Pea

 

This exquisite carved marble wall could easily be incorporated into quilt designs.

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Even when you look down at the ground, quilt designs jump right out at you! Improv Rail Fence, anyone?

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This patio was so Escher-esque, I just had to include it. I’m a big M.C. Escher fan. :)
And the palette is perfect for any quilter who loves Japanese taupes.

muse-monday-agra-red-fort-07-palette

Kona Cotton Colors from left to right: Straw, Biscuit, Mocha, Mushroom, Mahogany, Caramel, Stone

 

Sometimes when you’re looking to capture modern or artistic quilt-y inspiration with your camera, it’s helpful to take some shots of abstract shapes. This close-up image of a corner somewhere in the Red Fort reminds me of a modern improv quilt design.

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Is the muted red sandstone palette getting in the way of seeing the modern quilt locked inside? Here’s a mock-up of one way this image might become a bright, modern quilt.

muse-monday-agra-red-fort-09-palette

Kona Cotton Colors from left to right: Charcoal, Ash, Coal, Water, Chartreuse, Lemon, Papaya, Pomegranate, Cerise, Magenta

 

That’s all for this edition of Muse Monday. I hope you were as inspired by the Agra Red Fort as I was. Thanks to PlayCrafts’ Palette Builder for the Kona Cotton Color Palettes.

Now back to the subject of Quiltspiration 365. How wonderful would it be to have a little taste of quilt-y inspiration each and every day! That’s what Quiltspiration 365 is all about.

Quiltspiration 365

I hope you’ll join all the Quiltspiration 365 bloggers on our daily inspiration adventure! What places have inspired you lately?

spool-along: block 12

spool-along-block-12 We’ve finally made it all the way to block 12. Congrats to those of you who’ve been spooling around from the very start and welcome to those who have recently joined us! I hope that all of you have been having fun with these blocks.

It’s only fitting that for summertime we have an easy-peazy ice cold lemonade squeezy block. Like a beachy summer novel, nothing too complex or strenuous.

Take a look at the finished block on the right. Although there are snowball corners on the spool ends, there are no points to match up or sharp triangle tips to worry about chopping off!

Stay tuned and later on in the summer I’ll give you some tips for arranging your spool blocks. Don’t look for them on July 10, though. Between now and then I will regrettably be away from my trusty sewing machine and won’t have a chance to stitch up any Spool-Along quilt tops for your viewing pleasure.

Here’s a peek at one of the tops that I’ve started:

spool-along-top-preview

hexies Although I won’t be machine piecing, I will however, be spending some quality time with my EPP (English paper piecing) 1/2″ hexagons. And if I find a decent internet connection along the way, I promise you some Muse Monday inspiration and a travelling hexie update.

Anyways, enough about me. What about you? Are any of you as hooked on EPP hexies as I am? How long have you been spooling along? What’s your summer quilt project? Please share. :)

Without further ado, here’s your last Spool-Along block. Enjoy!

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spool-along block 12

Block size 5-1/2″ x 12-1/2″
(5″ x 12″ finished)

Cut the following:

background fabric
(2) 1-1/2″ x 9″ pieces
(2) 5-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ pieces
(4) 1-1/4″ x 1-1/4″ piece

spool fabric
(2) 5-1/2″ x 1-3/4″ pieces

thread fabric (stripes)
(1) 3-1/2″ x 9″ piece
(make sure the strips are going across the short side of the rectangle as shown in the finished block)

Instructions:
(all seams are 1/4″, sew right sides together)

spool-along-block-12-pic-1

1). Sew a 1-1/2” x 9” background piece to each 9” side of the 3-1/2” x 9” thread piece. Press toward the thread fabric.

2). Mark a 45 degree diagonal line from corner to corner on the reverse side of each of the 1-1/4” x 1-1/4” background squares.

3). Place the marked 1-1/4“ x 1-1/4” background squares on top of the 5-1/2” x 1-3/4”  spool fabric pieces as shown, then stitch on the diagonal lines.

4). Press all background squares toward the corners as shown. If desired, trim away excess fabric behind the top layer to reduce bulk, leaving a scant 1/4” allowance..

5). Sew the 5-1/2” x 1-1/2” background fabric piece to one of the spool-triangle units as shown so that the background piece is on the top and the triangles are on the bottom. Press toward the spool fabric.

spool-along-block-12-pic-2

6). Sew the thread-background unit to the remaining spool-triangle unit as shown so that the thread-background unit is on the top and the 5-1/2” side without triangles is on the bottom. Press open.

 7). Sew the two units together as shown to create the spool block with the background piece at the top and the spool at the bottom. Press open.

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