New Pattern – Angel Wings

Have you ever seen a knit baby blanket that had a halo and wings? It makes an awesome backdrop for newborn portraits.  I decided to make a quilted version. Introducing a new pattern: Angel Wings.  This baby quilt pattern gives you step by step instructions for a crib-size quilt that would be a lovely shower gift.

Angel Wings quilt in pink fabric

I use alot of 2-1/2″ squares in my patterns, and this quilt follows that trend!  This quilt is so versatile – make it as scrappy as you want! The wings are 2-1/2″ squares while the white “body” is a single unit.  The background can be pieced in small or large units.  You can easily customize the background of this baby quilt pattern to match the nursery colors or a theme such as sports, cartoon characters or hobbies.

I made a second version of the Angel Wings baby quilt in blue, as a gift for a close friend.  This quilt is ideal as a picture backdrop.

Angel Wings as backdrop for baby

You can purchase an instant download right now and get started on an heirloom quilt for the next bundle of joy.
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Productive Retreat

Quilting retreats are the best!  Working from home gets lonely, so I am always excited to join other quilters for a day of sewing or taking a class together.  Last week, I joined my church’s Quilting Retreat and we had a blast.

The hostess planned simple meals and turned on Netflix while we worked. One gal sewed bindings, another hand quilted, some baby quilts were finished and many borders sewn on.

Quilting Retreat Project 1: Easy Pillowcase

My first project was a Halloween pillowcase for my daughter. The fabric was purr-fect for my cat lover.  I used the All People Quilt Roll It Up pattern. This will double as her Trick or Treat bag before it goes on the bed.roll it up pillowcase with halloween fabric

Quilting Retreat Project 2: Charity Quilt

Next on my to-do list was to finally sew my split nine patch blocks into a quilt top. It took me several years of stitching these blocks in between other projects to have enough for a 60×72 quilt.

quilt blocks

I spent some time playing with half square triangle designs in EQ7 and settled on this one.

Quilts of Valor split nine patch

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Quilting Retreat Project 3: Something for me!

By day three of the retreat, I was ready to tackle my final project.  At a quilt show last spring, I fell in love with the Two Color Bargello quilt (find the pattern and kits here). It comes in many colorways, but blue is my favorite so I decided this would be a new quilt for my bedroom.  It needed borders, so I improvised the inserts of the focal prints with the ombre and black fabrics.

two color bargello in blue

A very productive retreat!  And sharing stories and laughter with good friends is even better.  I highly recommend going on a quilting retreat.  If travel to a camp is not in your budget, follow the low-cost option that my church group uses. Someone opens their home, everyone brings their machine and a folding table, buy pre-made pasta for lunch and dinner and you are all set for days of stitching fun!

Quilts and Free Motion Quilting: Favorite Projects of 2015:

At the end of the year, many of us reflect on the journey.  I completed alot of projects and worked on my free motion quilting.  Here are some of my favorites from the past year.

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.free motion quilting projects from 2015  The pictures are in somewhat random order.

Top Row

Top row left shows the back of my latest longarm project, a Judy Neimeyer Mariner’s Compass quilt that I finished for a client. Judy Neimeyer designs amazing quilts using paper piecing to create fabulous medallions with lots of points.  It is always a fun challenge to think of complementary free motion quilting designs.

Top middle is the progress on my 92 Stars quilt .  Although I planned to piece several blocks each month, this project keeps getting pushed aside when more urgent deadlines appear.

Top right is my entry in the 2015 Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake fabric challenge.  I tried improv piecing and straight line quilting as my personal challenge with this quilt.

Middle Row

The middle row shows my sketchbook.  It is very relaxing, almost meditative, to begin the day by filling a page with doodles, which eventually find their way into free motion quilting designs.

The middle image is my banner for True Blue Quilts. I use this as a sample of my free motion quilting designs which were featured in several Free Motion Monday posts.

Middle right shows the Garden Twister pattern which is available through Craftsy. I love pinwheels and the Twister rulers!

Bottom Row

Bottom left shows the feathers on the Mariner’s Compass quilt.  It can be tricky to fill triangle spaces, but I found a way.

In the middle, you see a block from a new pattern, Beaded Curtain. It goes together quickly with jelly roll 2-1/2″ strips.

Bottom left is my first book of quilt patterns, Monochromatic Quilts: Amazing Variety, which can be purchased on Amazon.  My mom and I had fun designing, sewing and writing patterns together.  It was a long process – almost 4 years from idea to publication – but what a thrill to hold the actual book in our hands!

That’s it for me.  What was your favorite project of 2015?

Happy Quilting!

Andi

Quilt projects: Rising to the challenge

Have you entered a quilt challenge?  One of the benefits of belonging to a quilt guild or quilting bee is participating in a challenge where someone else sets the guidelines for a project.  Some quilt challenges are based on a specific fabric, or color palette, or pattern.  Other times the host may announce a word or theme that is open to interpretation.  Here are a few of the challenges I have participated in over the years.

Quilt Challenge: use a specific pattern

quilt challenge Amish Square pattern 2007 – Arizona Longarm Quilters.  We had to use five fabrics and the square-in-a-square pattern.  I did not mark the pineapple, but I did mark grids in the blue section for continuous curves.  I think I just used a ruler to stitch straight lines in the outer border then added some fillers between the lines.  I won “Rookie of the Year” for this quilt.

Quilt Challenge: use specific colors

Night blooms black and white quilt

The 2008 Challenge was black and white.  I named this “Night Blossoms.”  I love picking a gradient of fabrics for the Blooming Nine Patch pattern. It was my first time quilting with stencils.  Unfortunately, most of my free motion designs are invisible against the busy, dark fabrics.  quilt challenge using black and whiteLesson learned…if you are going to spend time with custom free motion quilting, let it shine.  A different choice of thread, or even a plain backing fabric would allow the viewer to appreciate the work.

Quilt Challenge: use a specific line of fabric

quilt challenge riley blake fabric

Fast forward to the 2015 Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake fabric challenge.  Participants were given six fat-eighths and could add more yardage if desired.  I was inspired by the birds and used a large piece of that fabric. Continuing with the theme, I designed a nest with some hatching eggs.  I experimented with some free form piecing for the nest, machine applique for the eggs, then embellished with thread play, and had lots of fun with the free motion quilting.

I wonder what quilt challenges 2016 will bring?

Happy Quilting!

~ Andi