Monthly Archives: January 2016

Adding a New Line to My Collection

Standard

It’s been a while since I’ve explored a new color/pattern option for the quilts I sell. My standards (Classic Americana, Warm Earthtone, Cooler Neutral/Soft Pastel/Beach Colors, Funky Random, Cottage Chic and Spring Green) have been selling well the past several years.

But, lately, I have been itching for a color scheme that evoked a lighter, simpler quilt experience. I like the bright primary colors in the Classic Americana–a LOT. So, I took that style and “lightened” it up with some beige and white offsetting squares.

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Selecting the light prints.

I started by pulling some bolts of light fabrics, with small prints, from my shelves.

From each bolt, I cut 5″ strips across the width of the fabric and then cut 5″ squares from those strips. I have created a box of squares especially for this color scheme. It will be the Americana Offset box. (Every color scheme has its own box. I am constantly adding 5″ squares to all of the boxes.) I then added Classic Americana 5″ squares to this box.

Squares are sewn to each other in strips. Half of the┬ástrips end up with the light fabrics at the end and other half has the light fabric in the middle. The 9-patch blocks are sewn together with a similar pattern–half have the light squares in the corners and half have the primary prints in the corners. Ironing a stack of 9-patches gives me a lot of peace and serenity.

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SIXERS!

When I started making quilts for SecondSanctuary, I needed to develop standard, interchangeable parts, so I created the SIXER. A SIXER is a unit comprising six 9-patch blocks sewn two across and three down. I use four SIXERS for a lap quilt, six for a picnic/double quilt, six (plus 13 9-patches) for a queen and so on.

I like to use a bright red backing fabric for any of the Classic Americana quilts, including this newest version, the Americana Offset. I need just over 3.5 yards of backing fabric for a lap size quilt. Then, I mount the backing, some cotton batting, and the top of the quilt onto my log-arm quilting machine and do rows and rows of a loose meandering stitch design to keep everything together.

I like my binding strips to be scrappy, just like my quilts! I have a huge pile of 2.75″ strips in one corner of my sewing studio–I’ve chosen five strips that will match the Americana Offset look. I stitch the binding to the back of the quilt first and then bring it around to the front for a final run through the machine. I do this so that my label ends up on the front of the quilt.

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Lap-size Americana Offset quilt! 54″ X 81″

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Cozy shot of a cozy quilt.

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