Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Shabby Chic Pinwheel Quilt

This turned out to be a gorgeous pinwheel quilt.  The colors are so soft and feminine.  I tend to not be a soft and feminine kind of girl.  Creating this quilt helped me find and unleash my soft, girly side.  It is an adult lap size quilt.  Soft pinks and blues were used to create the shabby feel.  Creams helped the pinwheels stand out but kept the colors soft.

I used this method to create the pinwheels.

They came out beautifully.  I decided to FMQ in the white space and leave the colored space untouched.  It really helped the pinwheels to pop.  It created a really nice look on the back.  

I needed to include some eyelet in the quilt and decided to use this flowering eyelet.  It isn't a traditional quilting fabric but that shouldn't ever stop you.  I loved the dimension it added and definitely flowed with the soft, shabby theme.  Always look outside the quilt fabric section for inspiration and never be afraid to try something different.

Having spent most of my life in Texas, there is definitely a slightly country side to me.  The part of me that wants to live far away from others, surrounded by trees and hills, on a sticky warm Texas summer night, quilting away to the sound of chirping crickets and other creatures in the distance.  Some day, I hope.  It is definitely part of our 10 year plan.


Monday, April 2, 2012


I was given the honor of making two silhouette quilts.  They wanted the quilt to be different than the standard black and white silhouette.  Something that would accent the diversity of the classroom.  They turned out beautifully.  It was a fun and exciting project to work on.

This is going to be a photo heavy posting and I'm going to briefly go over how I constructed them.  This might be a bit dry and technical.

Each black square is about 9 by 9.5 inches.  The silhouettes were sent to me via email.  I went ahead and fit them to a custom sized page in Microsoft Word.  That way, they would all be similar size and would fit in the black squares.  Initially, I had the black squares larger but there was too much empty space.  I traced the heads, backwards, onto Wonder-Under and then fused onto the batik.  I, then, cut the heads out, peeled the paper off, and fused onto the black block.  Each child's name is stitched onto their silhouette, using the letters on my Baby Lock Symphony.  That completed the silhouettes

I also did blocks for the school mascot and class information.  The class information blocks are sent out for embroidery by a local company that I use.  The dragons were done by printing on fabric.  I will share how I did that at a later time.  The dragons were fused in the same manner as the silhouettes.  

The blocks were sashed with 3 inch wide strips of a blue batik.  Then a 6 inch red border finalized the quilt top.

I backed the quilt in black using a wide backing.  FMQ in black and red.  I did some SITD with clear thread on the top.  The quilt was bound in a plum.  When I FMQ around the silhouettes, I didn't want to actually stitch on the heads.  So, I loosely went around them and meandered to fill in the space.  I really enjoyed the effect on the back.

The Wonder-Under did a great job of stick through all the washing and quilting.  A few silhouettes had to be fused on again, however, they reattached with no problem.  I use Wonder-Under for all my applique needs and love it.  

I finished off the quilts with a hanging sleeve using the method found here.  Since I didn't stitch the silhouettes down, this quilt is considered a display quilt.  It just wouldn't hold up, long term, to daily use and multiple washes.  

Let me know if you have any additional questions.  This is something that could be easily made for your child's class.  I have thought about doing one for our family.  I bet the kids would love to have it, when they are grown up with families of their own.