Fun · Quilt Making

Some Of My Favorite Places To Quilt

I absolutely love making quilts. That’s probably obvious, I have this entire blog set up to talk about quilt making. My studio is well set up at home with everything I’d ever need to crank out my latest creation, but I’ll admit sometimes it gets a bit lonely, stale, or even a little old.

From time to time I like to change it up and take my projects on the road. Here are some of my favorite places to quilt outside of my studio.

At The Beach

When most people think of the beach, they probably think of sand, sun, and swimming. I think these things too, but most of all I think of what a great place it is to quilt. I love getting up early in the morning and making my way to the beach before it fills up with the crowds. I set up my spot and get to work as soon as I can. It’s best to get most of the work done in the morning.

There are a few drawbacks to the beach, but I take it with a grain of salt. If it’s a windy day, it becomes quite frustrating trying to quilt. In such cases I’ll just call it an early day, or I’ll scrap the idea all together. Another issue is that by noon it’s often getting quite hot. If that is the case, usually the beach gets crowded and noisy too. Nonetheless, when the conditions are right the beach is a beautiful place to get some quilting done.

By The Fire

There’s something so calming about quilting by a fire. Whether that’s indoors by a fireplace or outdoors by a bonfire. During the cold winter months I love to visit my parent’s house when they have a fire going. We can spend hours just sitting by the fire, having a nice conversation, and quilting together.

When I’m on my own at home I don’t have the luxury of a real fireplace, my home isn’t set up for it. I do have a contemporary electric fireplace though which is quite nice to look at and can put off a good amount of heat too. Sometimes I’ll even play fire sounds from YouTube to make it seem even more like the real thing. It may sound goofy but its true! This is a great substitute if you, like me, don’t have a fireplace of your own.

On A Plane

I love traveling so so much. Seeing the world gives me so much perspective on my own life, and makes me value it so much more. Plus, just having exciting trips to look forward to throughout the year is just one of many things that keeps me going on a day to day basis.

Aside from the excitement of travel though, plane trips give me a long, extended period with not much to do but quilt or look out the window. If you know me, then you’ll know that quilting takes the cake in this side-by-side. Some of my greatest quilts have been made on a plane. Of course it requires a little prep work, otherwise you’ll make a mess and have the flight attendants and your neighbors at least mildly displeased (I’ve done that before too!).

So where are your favorite places to quilt? I’d love to hear any ideas you may have. Have you quilted at the beach, by the fire, or on the plane? How did it go for you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Creative · Fun · How To · Quilt Making · Tips

Quilting Under The Stars

If you’ve been sewing for a long time, chances are you’ve amassed a fairly large stockpile of scrap material. Even more likely, you hang on to every last piece of scrap in the off chance that you’ll find a use for it. Fearing that you’re the next face of a Hoarders episode, you begin to formulate uses for some of the surplus. The moment has arrived. You decide to use what you can on the Quilting Under the Stars pattern. It’s a solid choice.

The materials you’ll need for an 80 x 86-inch, roughly a queen-size, quilt are as follows:

  • 126 — 5-inch squares
  • 40 — 2 ½ x 44-inch strips
  • 2 ¾ yards of background and inner border fabric
  • 1 ½ yards of outer border fabric

Nothing to it. Once you’ve gathered your color-coordinated pieces, it’s just a matter of cutting, piecing, and sewing them together. Yes, all of them.

It’s best to pre-cut the sizes you need all at once, and then you’re ready to begin assembly:

  • 126 – 5-inch squares
  • 40 — 2 ½ x 44-inch squares become 320 – 2 ½ x 5-inch rectangles
  • Out of the 2 ½ yards of background, cut the following:
  • 2 ½-inch square block = 110 total squares
  • 1 ½-inch square block = 880 total squares
  • 1 1/2 yards of outer border fabric

While this pattern is intended for the purpose of cleaning up some of your scrap, there’s another aspect you might consider. That’s right, buying more material, perhaps precut pieces that already match.

It’s actually a pretty straight forward pattern that takes a little thought and planning, but you also have a great deal of leeway for artistic license in the color and material department. It’s an intermediate, or very confident beginner, level pattern. Perhaps next time you’re sitting  by a warm, open fire, looking up at the clear starry sky, you’ll be quilting your “under the stars” pattern.

The key is to organize all of the precuts into individual groups, so that when you begin sewing, you can run through the quick stitches and ironing in an assembly-line manner. This is a pattern that you can do while you’re watching television; however, you do need to devote some attention to fit and measurement. Since this is a pattern focused on stars, it’s important to make sure that they line up as they should.

This type of design lends itself nicely to batik fabric prints. The colors in batiks are so vibrant that the star cut in a coordinating color really stands out and clearly defines the pattern. This design seamlessly lends itself to a variety of decorating styles. It all depends on the fabrics you choose, but it can work just as well in a modern setting as it does in one that’s traditional or country.