solid scrappy trip around the world quilt


Since my weekdays are currently spent sewing commissioned quilts, along with goods for the shop, I like to set aside time on the weekends to sew for myself and catch up on charitable sewing projects. This past long weekend I did just that when I basted, quilted, and bound a quilt destined for donation.

It's no secret that I'm a fan of the Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt pattern (this is my fourth time making a quilt from it; here are quilts one, two, and three), but each time I work with it, I like to approach it differently. For this go around, I opted to use only solids from my scrap bin and try out a new block layout. The result is a bold, and very colorful, quilt.

For the back, I used a floral cotton voile I bought while living in Maryland. I have to say that the voile makes this quilt so soft, which makes me want to back all of my quilts in voile from now on.

Rather than adding a Salty Oat tag, I sewed a "Handmade with Love" tag into the machine-stitched binding, as a little note to the recipient. You can find my tutorial for making your own handmade fabric tags over on the Spoonflower blog.

This quilt, along with those that I make for the Wish Circle of do. Good Stitches, will go to my local chapter of Project Linus.

Quilt Stats
Finished dimensions: 47" x 59"
Quilt pattern: Scrappy Trip Around the World by Bonnie Hunter


black-and-white pow-wow quilt in cotton lawn


Just before I left Spoonflower, we added a super soft cotton lawn to our line-up. I was really excited for this fabric's release, as I knew it would be perfect for quilting (think Liberty of London's Tana Lawn). Wanting to make a quilt from it myself, I selected a number of low-volume designs from the Spoonflower marketplace, and the Marketing team kindly provided me with a stack of fat quarters to work with.

I quickly decided that I wanted to give Cluck Cluck Sew's Pow-Wow quilt pattern a whirl (I purchased it a number of years ago). Rather than using prints for the arrows and a solid for the background, as the pattern suggested, I switched things up and used a solid black for the arrows and the assortment of lawn prints for the background.

I really love the graphic pop that results from pairing the low-volume prints with a solid black, and how the prints create a subtle, yet interesting background. It's fun to spot faces, bow ties, and letters between each of the arrows.

The construction of the arrow blocks results in leftover half-square triangles, which I in turn sewed into a row, and set amidst a light gray cross-hatch print on the back, which shows off the zig-zag quilting beautifully.

I used a black-and-white striped binding (love!) to finish everything off, which I machine-stitched down.

With the remaining half-square triangles, I then pieced a complementary throw pillow cover. I really loved working with the cotton lawn---it was super soft---and I didn't have any issues pairing it with a heavier weight quilting cotton. I think the fabric gives both the quilt and the pillow a nice hand, making them perfect for snuggling.

Both the quilt and the pillow are now listed in my Etsy shop.

Quilt Stats
Finished dimensions: 38.5" x 42.5" 
Spoonflower designs used: Gilhoolie Tulip in Peachy Pink by Gilhoolie; Letters by Anke Panke; Cute Faces by Anke Panke; Bow #2 Black on White by I Got Stripes Studio; Mod Baby Tiny Crosses Grey by Miss Tiina.
Quilt pattern: Pow-Wow by Cluck Cluck Sew


a custom half-square triangle quilt

Prior to our departure from North Carolina, a dear Spoonflower coworker commissioned me to make a quilt for her and her husband. She provided me with a few fabrics from her travels to Japan and San Francisco---a navy floral, a mustard polka dot twill, and a blue-and-white ditsy floral---and expressed a love of triangles. My friend is a computer engineer, so when it came to the quilt's design, it was no surprise that she included the code-generated quilts of Libs Elliott (such amazing work!) in her list of inspiration quilts.

Inspired by Libs' designs, I created half-square triangles in two different finished sizes---5" and 10"---and stuck them up on my design wall, constantly rearranging as I went along, until I had a composition I was happy with. In addition to the fabrics my friend provided, I added in a few pink prints, a Leah Duncan print that happened to coordinate beautifully with the palette, and a large navy cross-hatch which I used for the binding.

For the backing, I used large, leftover pieces of the original fabric, along with a few extra half-square triangles. You can spot a few in-progress shots of the quilt over on Instagram, as I worked on the cross-hatch quilting and then added a leather Salty Oat label.

The quilt is now back in North Carolina, at home with its new owners, to whom I am so grateful for the commission and the fun design challenge!

Quilt Stats
Finished dimensions: 60" x 60"
Fabrics used include: Mojave Illuminated by Leah Duncan; Glimma Crosshatch by Lotta Jansdotter; Pink Paint and Pink Dot from Picnic Pals by Penguin and Fish
Quilt pattern: original by Salty Oat (me!)


quilting with stripes (and working from a kit)

After spotting a Kaffe Fassett quilt and its accompanying kit during a visit to the Waterwheel House Quilt Shop this past fall, my mom and I struck up a deal that she would buy the kit and I would make the quilt for her for Christmas.

I finished the quilt just in time to gift it to her for the holidays (I shared a process shot on Instagram back in November), and it's been a staple in the living room ever since.

This was the first time I'd made a quilt from a kit, and while the colors and fabrics were outside of what I typically work with, I really enjoyed learning a few new piecing techniques, and having the chance to work with the soft, yarn-dyed, woven stripes.

For the backing, I used a deep solid turquoise from my mom's stash, and added a strip of leftover stripes to the middle. I quilted it with a turquoise thread in a large grid, keeping the quilting somewhat minimal, so as to leave the quilt puffy and soft.

Have you ever made a quilt from a kit? If so, would you do it again? I'd love to hear about your experiences!


an embroidery stitch sampler

When I worked at Spoonflower, I had the chance to teach a number of classes in the company's public meeting space, The Greenhouse. Hand embroidery is one of my favorite things to teach---it's portable and so addicting---and with the ability to print patterns directly onto the fabric of your choice through Spoonflower, it was the perfect opportunity for me to design a few simple patterns for my students.

One of the first samplers I created was this stitch sampler. I quickly realized it was not a project that could be completed in a three-hour class (French knots take a long time!), but instead is best for stitching over time, as you learn and perfect your hand stitches.

Each word is stitched with the stitch that it represents---fern stitch, stem stitch, split stitch, satin stitch, chain stitch, running stitch and the French knot---and is framed with a back stitch and cross-stitch border. I kept my color palette super simple, using black floss for all of the stitches with the exception of the back stitch border, which was done with gold metallic floss. There are so many variations that you could try though; I think a color gradient, moving from light to dark, could be really beautiful.

Rather than using a hoop, I decided to staple the finished piece to canvas stretcher bars. The finished embroidery turns into an excellent reference chart to hang on your wall and refer back to as you stitch other projects.

If you'd like to try your hand at stitching up your own sampler, you can buy a pre-printed fat quarter in my Spoonflower shop (I recommend the linen-cotton canvas). Please be sure to share any projects you create with the hashtag #saltyoat, so I can see and share them. Happy stitching!