A coworker of mine has been gearing up for her best friends wedding all year. She has been all over the place planning parties, a stagette, showers, and helping with the details of the big day. They have been friends since high school, and she wanted to do something really special as a wedding present. She asked me come up with a quilt that would capture her friends crazy and quirky nature, while still complimenting her wedding colors.
I suggested a free-pieced low volume log cabin block inspired by a WIP posted by Anna at Play-Crafts. She took one look and loved it, so we went out and picked up a stack of low Volume fabrics. Some Batiks, a lot of Comma, and some random pieces, with some colorful pops and a gorgeous Disco Dots backing in teal, and we had a quilt!
The Wedding Quilt for KT
The blocks are 12″ finished. I cut a ton of random strips from the low volume fabrics, and built them up log cabin style randomly around the center piece. KT sent me her favorite pictures from the last year, and I used Iron on photo transfer paper to attach them to the blocks. Next time I may print right onto the fabric, as the transfers have a very bad habit of melting near heat, and they did not want to secure properly.
Lovely engagement photo!
I quilted the entire thing in straight lines in a windmill pattern, so the lines are all in different directions, skipping around the photos. The blocks were sewn together randomly so there is technically no up or down to the quilt. This way no matter how the quilt is laying she can see the pictures.
I double stitched the binding. I like the look of 2″ binding, it turns over snugly and has a low profile around the edges. The black really sets off the quilt. I have a really easy technique for finishing the binding, I am working on a tutorial.
I had so much fun making this quilt. All free pieced, no borders, no rules! A very freeing experience, and I think is one quilt option that will make another appearance in the near future!
I don’t mean unidentified flying objects, I mean UnFinished Objects. And I have a lot. A LOT….the rule of thumb is no more than 3. Lately my brain has been in quilting overtime. I have so many ideas floating around and they are all coming out in different ways. The chaos of my sewing room is overwhelming to everyone but me.
Organized chaos is the key here……
I do love my sewing room. There is a special spot for baby H, a wonderful peg board installed by my father, a ton of space to stuff bins of fabric ( there are 10) and my Precious. A Janome 1600P Professional semi industrial sewing machine. It is a straight stitch only machine with 3 speeds: Fast, faster, and holy cow.
At the moment I have 5 projects going (that I can remember O.o;)
1. A reproduction of Claudia Clark Myers and Marylin Badger’s quilt Sparkle Plenty
I also have the fabric collected for another Jacqueline de Jonge project, Circle of Life, and I have sketches for a quilt series (more on that to come!)
I am excited about the modern quilt. I have recently discovered a love of hexagons. I have ordered the Hexa-Go-Go book, written by the very talented Tacha Bruecher. She is a founding member of Fat Quarterly ezine (I highly recommend subscribing), and you can find her blog here. My block idea combines hexagons with my love of paper-pieced stars. There will be a sneak peak at the end of the month!
I also received a call from the Georgia Quilt Show. They received my entry. Fingers crossed that it gets juried in! I finally named the quilt Sapphire Star.
My patient husband acting as a display rack
Quilted by Julie House of Sculptured Threads Quilting
Alrighty, for all my Modern Quilt Guild friends (and anyone else who enjoys modern/wonky quilting), here it is! The Wonky Compass Tutorial with 2 methods of construction! I did half of my blocks freestyle and half pre-marked. For those of you who are unsure about freestyle paper piecing the pre-marking method is best.
You need scrap fabric (3 colors per wedge), a marker and straight edge ruler , 8 wedge templates to create the circle, and a template for the border to make the block square. If you need one, you can use my Quarter Compass Wedge and Template. The template finishes 12″square.
Mark out 3 points on your wedges, one on the upper curve, and one on either side
Lay your first main fabric (yellow) RIGHT SIDE UP on the blank side of the paper. Lay your first scrap of background fabric (white) right sides together (RST from here on out) with the main fabric. Sew a straight line from the center mark to the right side mark.
If your line doesn’t cross the mark, that’s ok!
Check to make sure the fabric covers the section from your sewn line to the seam allowance. Fold the paper back on the line you just stitched. Trim the seam allowance to ¼”. Put the paper back in place and press your fabric open. Repeat for the left side mark, making sure that your seams meet somewhere at or slightly below the seam line at the center mark. This way your points will be nice and pointy later!
Check the wedge with your l0cal wedge inspector, and then continue!
With RST, lay a piece of main fabric (green) from your top right corner to somewhere along the opposite side. The bulk of the fabric should be at the curved top of the wedge. Sew a straight line through the right corner to anywhere you like below your mark on the opposite side. Again, make sure the fabric covers the seam allowance at the top corner. Trim your seam allowances and press. Tear the paper along any intersecting stitch lines to make trimming easier. At this point it does not matter if you have gaping spots or your fabrics weren’t long enough to reach the marks or opposite side, as the last step will cover any of that up!
Take your last piece of scrap fabric (blue) and lay it RST from your top left corner to somewhere along the right side, making sure you can see the background fabric and 2 previous main fabrics extending past the edge of this piece. I like to hold my block up to the light so I can see where the straightest edge of the last fabric needs to be in order to cover all the blank spots.
Sew your line, and check to make sure the remainder of the wedge is covered and there are no missed open spots in the middle of your block.
Trim around the outside of your block, leaving a ¼” seam allowance around your block lines. If you are using the template provided the seam allowances are included on the block, just trim around! You get a wedge that looks like this:
Repeat this process for the remaining 7 wedges. Do not remove paper.
Mark and draw your stitching lines on your wedge as shown in the example below. Lines 1 and 2 must intersect somewhere along the top curve. Lines 3 must enter through the top right corner, cross line one, and end on the opposite side ( above or below line 2, whatever you want) Line 4 must enter through the top left corner and cross both Line 2 and Line 3. If you want, for blocks with a little more consistency and a more compass-like look, have lines 3 /4 meet the opposite sides below the marks for lines 1/2.
Place your first main fabric and background RST along the straightest edge. Hold it up to the light to align with Line 1 as shown below. Sew along your line, trim and press. Repeat for the remaining lines to get your wedge. The fabric placement is the same for this method as the one above. Lines 1/2 the background is sewn to the main fabric, line 3 is your 2nd color, line 4 is your 3rd color. Repeat for remaining 7 wedges. Do not remove paper.
To finish your Wonky Compass block, trace the curved template onto your background fabric. Cut around the curve, on the line if using the above template, or making sure you have proper seam allowance if you aren’t. I like to leave the outer edges jagged, as shown below. This comes in handy for squaring up your finished block.
Fold your curve in half, find the center and pin. Set aside. Repeat for all curved templates.
Make 2 piles, 4 wedges in each pile. Pin one wedge from each pile RST at the top and bottom. Tear the paper from the pinned section that will be FACEDOWN on your machine. This lessens the bulk in your seam and you still have a stitching guide. Sew on the line. Tear paper from lines 3 and 4 on both wedges, leaving the paper on the center diamond shape and the background fabric. This makes 4 quarter wedges.
I use the three pin method as follows to sew my curved seams. You can use whatever method you are comfortable with.
Pin your curve template to your ¼ wedge at the sides and center. With the curve template facing you, sew your curved seam by easing the fabric into place with your finger or a tool. Press your seam away from the curve. Repeat for remaining ¼ wedges.
To trim, take your 6 ½” square ruler and line the 45 degree angle line with the center seam on your ¼ wedge. Trim the block as shown.
Pin 2 quarter compass blocks together, matching at the curved seam and the points. Sew a ¼” seam. Press open. It is critical that your press all your seams in the same direction in order for your block to lay flat! Repeat for remaining blocks. This makes two ½ blocks, which we sew together to make the compass block. Pin your ½ compass blocks together at the center and the curved seams. Sew your ¼” seam. Open the block and check that the seams all match in the center. Adjust if necessary, but do not press yet. A trick to get perfect seams the first time is to pin through the center of each block. With the pin in a vertical position holding your center point together, place 2 more pins, one to either side. Remove the vertical pin and sew. Voila! Practically Perfect Every Time!
We want our block to lay flat, so that means the seams need to all be pressed in the same direction.
In the picture below you can see that my seams rotate in a counter-clockwise direction. This is the direction I will press, but first I need to open the stitching in the center of my block.
Finger Press your seam open. Find the seams shown below by the pins. They are the seams that made your ¼ blocks into half blocks.
With your seam ripper, very carefully pull out a few stitches, making sure not to rip out the seam connecting your ½ compass blocks. It should look something like this.
Now you can finger press the seams so they lay in the same direction, in this case counter-clockwise. It should look like 4 tiny 1/2square blocks in the center of your seam, like shown. Press your seams flat. Turn you block right side up, and press, using steam to set your block.
Trim your block to 12 ½” square by aligning your ruler with the seams as shown. All that extra fabric you has around the outside is now trimmed away, and you have a perfectly square block!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If anything seems unclear, or you need any help at all, please post below and I will help you as best as I can!