modern sampler quilt along: block C link-up

The Modern Sampler Quilt Along is an informal and virtual quilt along where we make a block from Yoshiko Jinzenji's Modern Sampler Quilt pattern each month. You can follow the hashtag #modernsamplerquiltalong on Instagram to get a peek at everyone's blocks, fabrics, and progress, as we work our way through the pattern together. On the last Tuesday of each month, we gather here to share the blocks we've made; this month we worked on Block C from the pattern.

Welcome to our third link-up for the Modern Sampler Quilt Along! This month's block was a bit of a departure from previous months' blocks---there were curves!

Block C features a cup and saucer, and I opted to construct and sew my cup using needle-turn appliqué. I cut out templates of the shapes (adding in a seam allowance), which I used to cut my fabric. I then basted my fabric shapes to the background and hand stitched the edges, turning them under as I went.

How did you piece Block C? And which block has been your favorite so far? I'd love to know!

If you've never tried needle-turn appliqué before, Carolyn Friedlander's book, Savor Each Stitch, is a great resource to get you started.

1. Click the "Add your link" button below, and link to a blog post or Instagram photo of your Block C. In the "Link Title" field, enter your blog name or Instagram handle.

2. If you're linking to a blog post, please link back to this post somewhere in your post. If you're linking to an Instagram photo, be sure to tag your photo with the hashtag #modernsamplerquiltalong.


amish hourglass baby quilt

After making this mini Amish hourglass quilt, I was itching to make another, larger, one---so I did!

This version features a combination of an American Made Brand navy solid and scraps of solid white, and slightly larger hourglasses. I really love the simple and graphic look of this particular design, and I enjoyed revisiting it (and I foresee more in my future!).

The back is a Dear Stella ikat print from my stash, and the quilt is bound with a navy-and-light blue Cotton and Steel plus-sign print, which I picked up on a recent visit to Quilted Threads, a local quilt shop.

This quilt will be available for sale at The Maker's Waypost, a curated shop in Whitinsville, MA, which opens next Saturday!


oversized log cabin baby quilt

Lately, I've been playing around with the log cabin block, experimenting with scale, color placement, and improvisational piecing. This quilt is the first result of my efforts: an oversized log cabin baby quilt. I selected a simple color palette of navy, cream, and peach for the quilt, using American-made solids for the top.

Wanting to maintain the quilt's simplicity, I quilted it with a grid, using cream thread.

The back, a super soft Nani Iro double gauze, is my favorite part. It's so soft and squishy! For the binding, I used Bonnie Christine fabric left over from my circles and triangles wall quilt.

This quilt will be available at The Maker's Waypost, a new shop in Whitinsville, MA, which opens Saturday, November 28. The shop will be carrying a number of my one-of-a-kind quilts and patchwork pillows, so be sure to stop by if you're in the neighborhood!


modern sampler quilt along: block B link-up

The Modern Sampler Quilt Along is an informal and virtual quilt along where we make a block from Yoshiko Jinzenji's Modern Sampler Quilt pattern each month. You can follow the hashtag #modernsamplerquiltalong on Instagram to get a peek at everyone's blocks, fabrics, and progress, as we work our way through the pattern together. On the last Tuesday of each month, we gather here to share the blocks we've made; this month we worked on Block B from the pattern.

Welcome to the second link-up for the Modern Sampler Quilt Along! Thank you so much to everyone who posted a Block A last month; your blocks and fabrics choices were excellent!

Since Block B had a significant number of pieces to it, I opted to use foundation paper piecing to construct mine. I traced the pattern template onto paper (in reverse), and stitched the fabric directly to it. Similar to Block A, I again used out-of-date quilt labels and a Yoshiko Jinzenji print for the background, and this time included a bright pink Kei Honeycomb dot and a sage green print by Umbrella Prints in some of the main shapes.

If you're new to foundation paper piecing, and would like to use the technique in this or future blocks, Michael Ann has a great step-by-step photo tutorial and simple block pattern to get you started.

Have any tips or tricks or observations about making this block that you'd like to share? Leave them in the comments below.

Now let's see your blocks!

1. Click the "Add your link" button below, and link to a blog post or Instagram photo of your Block B. In the "Link Title" field, enter your blog name or Instagram handle.

2. If you're linking to a blog post, please link back to this post somewhere in your post. If you're linking to an Instagram photo, be sure to tag your photo with the hashtag #modernsamplerquiltalong.


three pineapple rind scrap quilts

Have you seen Vanessa Christenson's Simply Color books for Lucky Spool?  Each one is dedicated to a color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple) and contains a bit of color theory about that color, as well as a handful of sewing projects made from the featured hue.

Being a fan of yellow quilts (as seen here, here, and here) I grabbed a copy of the yellow volume a few months ago, and loved all of the projects in it. I was immediately drawn to the Pineapple Rind quilt (pictured above), since it appeared to be such a great candidate for using up scraps---something I'm always attempting to do.

I wound up making three versions of the quilt, and, rather ironically, didn't use any yellow fabric! Instead I made blue, green, and red iterations of the pattern.

It was such a fun and satisfying pattern to make (I highly recommend the book!), and a great way to make a dent in my stash. All three quilts are now available in the shop (blue, green, and red).

P.S. Tomorrow is the link-up day for Block B of the Modern Sampler Quilt Along! You can find more details about the quilt along here


do. good stitches: birds in the air quilt

Right around the time of our move to NH, it was my turn to act as the quilter for the Wish Circle of do. Good Stitches.

I requested all of my circle members to create two Birds in the Air quilt blocks, albeit with a slightly different color placement than the tutorial. I asked for a mix of solid whites and grays, with an orange print in only one of the two blocks.

Once I received all of the blocks, I played around with the layout, winding up with something quite different than I had originally envisioned---which I love! I also love the variations in the shades of solid gray, and the random pops of orange scattered throughout the quilt top.

I used an orange Marimekko circle print for the background, quilted it with intersecting lines in orange thread, and bound it with a scrappy orange binding.

This quilt will be donated to my local chapter of Project Linus.

P.S. I'm super close to 2,000 followers on Instagram, and once I hit that magic number, I'll be doing a sale! Be sure to follow me there to be among the first to hear about it.


pistachio whole-cloth quilt + an interview with kelsey boes of lovely and enough

Today, I'm so excited to reveal the second of two whole-cloth quilts I launched this week! (You can read about the first one here.) I've been collaborating with a few designers to design quilt tops for the shop, which I then have digitally printed onto fabric and turn into finished quilts. You can read more about my thoughts on whole-cloth quilts and why I've been exploring them here.

The second quilt in this collaborative series was designed by Kelsey Boes of Lovely and Enough. Kelsey is a quilter, textile designer, and PhD student. She designed the Pistachio Quilt for the shop, which features her hand-drawn motif in an elegant gray, white, and red palette. The quilt is now in the shop and will be made to order. 

Please read on to learn more about Kelsey, what store she'd love to sell her quilts in, and her process for designing this quilt. 

Caitlin: Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to design fabrics and quilts?

Kelsey: My love of textiles began with a pair of knitting needles from Disney World when I was eight, and has morphed and blossomed unimaginably since with encouragement from my mom. Fabric design has been the most recent adventure. Just two years ago, I stumbled upon Leslie Keating’s Hand-Printed Fabric Swap online and printed my first fabric design, Drunken Circles, with a stencil and embroidery hoop. That next summer while studying abroad, I took a textile silk-screening class for a month and fell in love. Come fall, I wheedled an independent textile design course out of my advisor and transformed it into a senior exhibition the next spring. It’s a year and a half later now, and I have never looked back.

C: Tell us a bit more about the degree you're pursuing. How do you balance your creative time with your course load?

K: I’m a nerd. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Fiber and Polymer Sciences at North Carolina State University. Learning about topics as far reaching as dirt-masking carpet fiber shapes, wrinkle release treatments, and color vision has only enhanced my interest and passion for fabric. This semester, especially, I am known to spew tidbits from my most recent lecture to anyone who will listen (or can’t escape). Balancing creative time with my course load is tricky and lately has involved umpteen sketch breaks during proposal writing and lab reports. I find a little creative break is the best way to rejuvenate me before hitting the books again (and a little book studying is the perfect way to energize me to sew!).

C: How would you describe your aesthetic? What motifs and colors do you find yourself drawn to?

K: I am a stickler for clean design, which more recently has pushed me toward grays, white, and red.

I am also obsessed with midcentury modern furniture: clean lines and eye-catching angles. If my quilts could be sold just one place, I would choose Room & Board. When I’m dreaming up a new quilt, I imagine I’m standing on the first floor of Room & Board in Chicago, and I try to picture how the quilt would look hanging above the Eames chairs and minimalist table there. If the quilt fits, it’s a winner.

C: Can you describe your workspace/sewing space in Raleigh, NC?

K: My workspace is in flux right now. Although I mostly sew in my bedroom, I feel most inspired to sketch in the gorgeous modern library at school. With rather poor light at home, photographing for the blog happens across the city, from the library to the warehouse district to a panel of beadboard tossed on the balcony. In fact, my favorite new way to snap quick pics is rolling the butcher block kitchen cart over to the window and pulling the white curtains around for extra reflected light.

I'm in my bedroom right now actually! I just assembled a new desk this weekend so that I can have my sewing machine set up at all times. I do believe that sewing productivity is dependent on having good work flow with stations for cutting, pressing, and stitching all at the ready. Now, I have two of the three! When I want to truly get in the zone, I pop up the antique wooden ironing board that is propped against my wall, and then I am set to go for hours with Netflix as company.

C: Tell us about the gorgeous Pistachio quilt you designed for Salty Oat! What was your inspiration and how did you decide on a design?

K: Thumbnail, thumbnail, thumbnail. Ms. Tank would not allow me to begin a printmaking assignment until I’d drawn at least six thumbnail sketches, her theory being that your first idea is likely not your most developed. I have carried that practice with me and draft multiple versions of a project before beginning. Sometimes I circle back around to my first strokes, but often my mind wanders, and I end up in entirely new territory. The pistachio quilt was seven of nine. Experimenting with transparency and seeking a graphic gender-neutral quilt, the design morphed a fair amount moving from paper to computer, finally landing with a red overlay and five minimal stripes.

C: Where can readers find you online? 

K: You can find me online at LovelyandEnough.com, as well as LovelyandEnough.Etsy.com, or follow me on Instagram.

Thank you so much to Kelsey for sharing a behind-the-scenes look at her creative practice! You can now find the Pistachio Quilt for sale in the Salty Oat shop.