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 Similar to Block A, I again used out-of-date quilt labels and a Yoshiko Jinzenji print for the background, and this time included a bright pink Kei Honeycomb dot and a sage green print by Umbrella Prints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. 


a custom flying geese wall quilt


One of the benefits of making Salty Oat my full-time gig, is that I now have the time to take on commissioned quilts for customers. I was recently asked to make a wall quilt which would be hung above a bed, and needed to work with the room's color palette, which included orange, teal, beige, and gray.

After learning more about the customer's style---including their preference for triangles and diamonds, and a love of animals---I sketched an idea and pulled fabrics from my stash. The design was quickly approved, and I got to work on this 30" x 30" wall hanging, which features two sizes of flying geese, flying both clockwise and counterclockwise.

I loved working with a new-to-me palette, as well as some of my favorite fabrics (like those Japanese elephants!). I also really enjoyed working on something while being able to visualize the space in which it would eventually hang.

I used my go-to Marimekko dots for the backing (I stocked up on so many colors of this print the last time I was at the Crate and Barrel outlet!), and included a hand-stitched hanging sleeve so that it can go right up on the wall in its new home.

I'm currently accepting custom orders for the holidays, so if you've been thinking about commissioning a quilt for holiday gifting, now is the perfect time to get started! Simple send me an email at saltyoat at gmail dot com and we can discuss details, pricing, and turnaround times. Happy Wednesday!


fairy tale whole-cloth quilt + an interview with this paper ship

Today, I'm so excited to reveal the first of two whole-cloth quilts I'll be launching this week! 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 first quilt in this collaborative series was designed by Joel and Ashley Selby of Saxapahaw, NC, the married duo behind This Paper Ship. Their adorable Fairy Tale quilt is now available in the shop, and will be made to order. Each quilt features a black-and-white bias stripe binding, a Carolyn Friedlander gray-and-white grid backing, and, of course, This Paper Ship's whimsical fairy tale-themed design. I hope you love this new quilt as much as I do!

Ashley and Joel so kindly took the time to answer a few questions for me while they awaited the arrival of their baby girl, who is scheduled to arrive today! I hope you'll read on to find out more about them, their work, and the inspiration for their quilt design!

Image source: This Paper Ship

Caitlin: Can you tell us a bit about your background and why you started This Paper Ship?

This Paper Ship: Going way back, we've both been obsessed with drawing for as long as we can remember. We met in a freshman drawing class and hit it off over a fabric study, kept drawing side-by-side throughout our design degrees, and graduated together. During our last year of college, we started an Etsy shop using our own illustrated wedding invitations as an example, and picked up our first client the day before our wedding. The economy was terrible around that time, which prevented us from ever getting our coveted entry-level design jobs, so we just kept plowing forward with self-directed work and paper goods! Seven years later, we're still crazy enough to continue to make a living off of drawing, and now even raise a family off of it. It's been a wild ride, but we wouldn't have it any other way.

Image source: This Paper Ship

C: How would you describe your illustration style?

TPS: In a word: whimsical! We love bright colors, simple shapes, unexpected textures, hand lettering, and fun detail you can get lost in. Our style is made up of a combination of our two hands, since every drawing is a complete collaboration from sketch to ink to final touches on screen. It's taken a long time to merge our two (often) very different approaches to drawing, but it's been worth the effort, and we learn from each other nearly every day. We both like to approach the world with a sense of childlike wonder, though, so that's often our common ground on everything.

C: What have been some of your favorite projects to work on?

TPS: Other than our self-directed work, which 99% of the time ends up in our online shop, our favorite area to work on is the children's market. We both find that drawing things for an audience of children allows us the greatest freedom to play, to use our imaginations, and to really go for broke on bright colors! Specifically, we got the chance to illustrate for a bathroom line and a sleeping bag for The Land of Nod a few years back, which was awesome. We also really enjoy doing greeting cards and have had a good working relationship with American Greetings for a few years now.

Image source: This Paper Ship

C: Can you describe your studio in Saxapahaw, NC?

TPS: Saxapahaw is a hundred-plus-year-old cotton mill and mill village about 20 minutes west of Chapel Hill. The mill shut down 20 years ago but has since been rebuilt into a small community of businesses and loft apartments, and we're blessed to live and work out of one of them. We wake every day, walk downstairs with tea and coffee in hand, and go to work at a vintage drawing table and letterpress among the old brick walls, massive steel roof beams, and original floorboards pitted from cotton spinners.

Fairy Tale Quilt Sketch. Image source: This Paper Ship

C: Tell us about the stunning Fairy Tale quilt you designed for Salty Oat! What inspired the theme and color choices?

TPS: First, we had a blast doing this—it belongs among the projects in question 3! We had decided on a loose fairy tale theme for our baby girl due October 3 (still not here as of the time of this writing), so we took the basic idea of medieval European banners and used them as the basis for the quilt pattern. In the alternating rectangles with images in them, we drew objects that were personally meaningful to us, but also worked well as general heraldic-style symbols—a ship (for This Paper Ship), the fleur-de-lis of Florence (one of her middle names, where we honeymooned), a bird (inspired from a vintage wall decoration from Ashley's grandma's house), etc. For the colors, we wanted to go bright and make the design work for both boys and girls; we were inspired by Disney's immaculate Sleeping Beauty and their vibrant treatment of color in a Middle Ages setting.

Image source: This Paper Ship

C: Where can readers purchase your work? Any upcoming events or exciting projects you'd like to share?

TPS: We currently are selling solely at our Etsy shop, but are also working on a new shop site coming soon. The next market we'll be vending at is the Saxapahaw Holiday Market in early December at the beautiful Haw River Ballroom—come on out if you can, and you just may be able to meet little miss Sadie in her holiday best! We plan to do a lot of craft markets in the new year, which we'll be announcing on social media as we book them up (@thispapership on just about everything). We're also really excited to announce that we're finalists in the Martha Stewart American Made 2015 Awards, so we would be honored to have you go vote for us! You can vote up to 6 times a day until October 19. (You can see our profile and vote here.)

Thank you so much to Joel and Ashley for taking the time to answer my questions and for designing a quilt for the shop, and congrats to them on their growing family! You can find their quilt in the shop here.


echo baby quilt

When Lotta Jansdotter released her first fabric collection with Windham Fabrics back in 2011, I was super excited. Her collection, Echo, was so different than anything else out on the market at the time, and it was so fun to see Scandinavian-inspired designs, with the look of a block print, on quilting cotton.

I received a layer cake of the collection's prints for Christmas that year and held on to it, not sure what I wanted to make with the 10" precut squares.

Fast forward to a few months ago, when I pulled the layer cake out and was inspired to cut into it and create a small quilt.

Each square was divided into four triangles, which were rearranged and sewn back into squares, with a balanced mix of light and dark values among the prints in each block. With the layout that I chose, a checkerboard, set on point, emerged from the quilt top's design.

Having no real negative/white space in the quilt's top means it's quite busy, but I love the look of having so many saturated prints nestled together.

This quilt is now available in the shop.

Quilt Stats
Finished dimensions: 34" x 42.5"
Fabrics used include: Prints from the Echo collection by Lotta Jansdotter for the top and binding; large beige circles by Marimekko for Crate and Barrel for the back.
Quilt pattern: An original Salty Oat design


donut quilt

This quilt has been in progress for what feels like forever, so I'm so excited to finally have a finish to share with you today!

The Donuts quilt pattern has been on my mind ever since I saw Amanda's Donut Quilt back in 2013. I loved the whimsical nature of the design---donuts!---and the staggered layout, so I bought a copy of the quilt pattern from The Workroom.

Knowing that this would be a quilt I would keep for myself, I chose to use a number of Maze & Vale panels that I'd been stockpiling for the donuts. Leslie's fabrics are gorgeous, and I was excited to sew with them and finally include them in a quilt. I used a blue Essex linen for the background, which paired beautifully with the screen-printed fabrics. According to Instagram, I made the blocks for this quilt a year ago.

I recently had a quilt to send off to Crinklelove for quilting, so I figured this was a great time to take the top out of the WIP pile, and finish it before the New Hampshire winter starts.

Sarah did a beautiful job quilting Denyse Schmidt-style loops across the top; I'm in love with the texture they created! I inadvertently made a Scandinavian backing for the quilt, pairing a large-scale Marrimekko dot print with a text print from Ikea.

I'm so excited to have finished this quilt---and the final result!---and am looking forward to adding it to the quilt rotation in our house. Do you have any quilt patterns that you love and are hoping to make yourself? I'd love to hear!

Quilt Stats
Finished dimensions: 50" x 61"
Fabrics used include: Various screen-printed panels by Maze & Vale; Essex linen-cotton blend by Robert Kaufman; large-circle print by Marimekko; Britten Nummer fabric by Ikea; and Herringbone in Pond by Joel Dewberry.
Quilt pattern: Donuts Quilt by Johanna Masko