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March Design for the Basic Group: Rainbow

Dojie's fabrics

Dojie’s fabrics

Dojie’s rainbow quilt sounds delightful:

Here is my inspiration quilt

Rainbows of Summer by Ann Brauer

Rainbows of Summer by Ann Brauer

– Ain’t she purty?  Ours won’t really look much like that, but it’s what I started out trying to duplicate.

We’ll use a modified version of this Overlapping Squares tutorial.  We’re each only making one of the blocks (like the yellow center square – not the whole thing), so follow Steps 1-6 only – and the size will need to be increased to end up with a 12.5 x 12.5 block…. We’ll end up with five multi-colored stripes that I hope will turn into a rainbow when it’s all put together.  So each person will get a set of four to five fabrics in Red & Orange, Orange & Yellow, Yellow & Green, Green & Blue, or Blue & Purple.

 And finished blocks have started to come in. Here’s Secretariat’s!
Secretariat's block for March

Secretariat’s block for March

Posted in Basic, Design Announcements, Finished Blocks

March Design for the SMA group: Earn Your Stripes

Earn Your Stripes Quilt Block

Back in January, amelioration, the SMA group’s designer for March, told us where she was with her process:

I’m getting super excited planning the block for March, and created a board on Pinterest in case you guys want to follow along with me. I love modern quilts, and the book that Margaret first mentioned as an inspiration for this project was full of stuff that made me waaay too excited. I’m planning a palette of grey (for the background) and yellow, with turquoise highlights, in graphic prints. Right now, I’m torn between the Uneven Coins quilt and the Wonky Stripes quilt. The Pinterest board has photos of those two quilts from the book (coming from the websites of the designers), as well as the fabrics I’ve identified so far. I’m still toying with some of the fabric choices, constantly adding and subtracting things, trying to get the right balance of tones.

amelioration's pinterest board

amelioration’s pinterest board

Also, you may notice that most of the fabrics are coming from two sites – Hawthorne Threads and Spoonflower. Both of these sources are great in that they let you search their fabrics by color scheme. Spoonflower is, frankly, crazy expensive, but each order is custom printed, and there’s some incredibly gifted independent designers selling there that aren’t available elsewhere, which makes me feel it’s worth the price.

As you can see from the photo at the top of this post, she chose to model her quilt after Elizabeth Hartman’s Wonky Stripes Quilt from Block Party:

Elizabeth Hartman's wonky stripes quilt

Elizabeth Hartman’s Wonky Stripes quilt

After that email, peachfuzz responded, saying “love grellow!  Also, just sayin’, because I see so many intersecting circles in the fabrics – you know about cathedral windows (and reverse cathedral windows), yes?” and we got yet a glimpse into what will happen with amelioration’s MetaQuilt!

get out of my brain! I’ve actually been thinking about doing something a bit different than a sampler for my MetaQuilt, and rather than making a composite quilt of the 16 blocks each of us designs, using the fabric of each contributor provides for “my” block each month to make either a few cathedral windows or a confetti block. I love the idea of having a quilt that represents each of the designs over the course of the project, but my scientist brain does not do well with the asymmetry of sampler styles, so I’ve been trying to figure out a middle way, and incorporating all of our fabric choices into a single pattern is the way I think I may go. The cathedral window scares me more, so naturally, I’ve been leaning in that direction.

Cathedral Windows quilt

A Cathedral Windows quilt by Marci Girl Designs.

Posted in Design Announcements, SMA

February Design for the SMA Group: New York Beauty

A little while before katemonster sent out the fabric and instructions for her block, she sent us a sneak preview:

It’s a New York Beauty! New York Beauty is a traditional block, and is generally considered to be fairly challenging, with its curved seams and (one hopes!) precise points.

Here’s the info katemonster gave us after this delightful tease:

Short version: Please make 8″ New York Beauty blocks, paper pieced, with the gray fabric for the background.  Other than that, go nuts!

Long version: I’ve sent you each an assortment of fabrics.  Everyone got 4 rectangles of the gray, which is to be used for the background arcs*, as well as pieces of fabric ranging from about 11″x13″ down to charm squares and jelly roll strips.  I would love to see other people’s fabrics end up in my quilt, and please feel free to use or leave out any of the fabrics I sent you.

Patterns: I’ve sent you a copy (printed on 20# copy paper) of one of the simplest NYB blocks.  Here are links to a couple of sites that have several PDFs each.  If you want to come up with patterns from elsewhere, that’s great too.  They can all be the same or they can each be different.

Paper piecing: I’m brand new to this myself, but I’ve been really thrilled with the accuracy I’ve gotten.  There are bunches of tutorials on YouTube, including one I really liked from Connecting Threads:


Here are a couple of other links I’ve found useful:

*Special info on the background arcs: You’ll need to piece these. Most patterns come with the arcs in two pieces; if you need to piece them more than that (e.g., if you’re using a pattern with particularly fat background arcs) that’s fine. To get four blocks out of the fabric I sent, you’ll need to nest the pieces in a kind of head to toe fashion.

Posted in Design Announcements, SMA

February Design for the Basic Group: Card Trick

February’s designer for the basic group is cheesegrater. Here’s how she introduced her block, a traditional block called Card Trick:

I think I’d like to switch gears somewhat from January’s quilt—have a quilt made with the same blocks. If you all feel up to a bit of a challenge, I really, really like the Card Trick block. Really good tutorial here.  It involves a lot of pieces and a lot of steps, but all straight lines.

And here are the lovely fabrics she selected:

And here’s a finished block, by Eyebrows McGee!

Posted in Basic, Design Announcements, Finished Blocks

MetaQuilter’s First Finished Block! Yeeha!

Finished this weekend by somanyamys:


Posted in Basic, Finished Blocks

January Design for the Basic Group: Naturalist’s Journal

Laura (Eyebrows McGee on MetaFilter) is the Basic Group’s designer for January.  And she’s got a great design in the works! Read on…

Dr. Seuss Fabrics

Dr. Seuss fabrics are cute; but Laura wants a quilt that will grow up with her kids.

Initially I thought I might do a kids’ quilt using super-adorable Seuss fabrics (right), but then I thought my kids have plenty of bedding and it might get too juvenile too fast and I wanted something I could enjoy for a long time, so I decided on something more adult. My toddler loves butterflies, so I was looking at butterfly fabrics, and I ran across the Michael Miller French Journal series. I chose those as my inspiration for a “Naturalist’s Journal” theme.

I opened my box and found this:

Michael Miller's French Journal fabrics

Michael Miller's French Journal fabrics. Gorgeous!

Half the blocks will be blue and half will be yellow. Here’s the blues:

Blue Fabrics

Along with the main fabric there’s an architectural stripe and then a blue-green with handwriting.

Here’s the yellows:

Yellow Fabrics
In addition to the main fabric, there’s a fabric of postmarks and custom forms and so forth, and there’s a yellow paisley.

My other fabrics are these. The top one will be the backing. The middle will be the sashing between the blocks (so many butterflies!). I may use the bottom one for the intersections of the sashing, or I may just put it in my stash.

Backing and sashing fabrics

The quilt will be 16 squares, 4×4, with sashing between the squares. (Laid out something like this crazy quilt.)

I’ll ask each of quilter to put together a square however they choose, with the idea in mind of a naturalist’s journal. I hope it’ll be something like a scrapbook, with each page different and put together in a unique way. The prints are somewhat larger-scale than I’m used to but I think it will be cool.

The fabrics have been mailed to the quilters and are starting to arrive … I’m very excited!

And so are we! Thanks, Laura!

Posted in Basic, Design Announcements