Update on my Iceland quilt

I used a walking foot to quilt the Iceland quilt.  I quilted using wavy lines that were close together.  Even though I have already trimmed the quilt, I think that I will make the edges wavy and then put a facing on the quilt instead of a binding.  I am going to use a facing technique from Vikki Pignatelli (“Quilting by Improvisation”).  I took a quilting workshop with Vikki a few years ago.

Once the facing is on, I am going to make a second quilt using Kona cotton – medium gray color – and make this quilt  larger than the Iceland quilt.  I will add some skinny strips around the edges of the the gray quilt.  I am still thinking about the design.  Once this quilt is quilted, I will then attach the Iceland quilt to the background quilt.  I saw this technique in Jean Wells’ book – “Intuitive Color & Design”.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna


Iceland landscape quilt inspired by Jean Wells abstract landscape quilts

Final design

I wanted to make a landscape quilt of Iceland after our trip in August.  During the trip, Mary found a book – “Iceland colors + patterns” with photographs of Iceland and colors representing those photographs.  I have wanted to make a quilt using Jean Wells’ techniques so I ordered her book and started sketching designs.  I wanted to make a quilt to represent different aspects of the landscape: night sky, volcanos, green meadows, and the ocean.

Northern lights elements

Elements within in the landscape: lava rocks, moss on the rocks, flowing lava, northern lights, and waterfalls (I didn’t include the waterfalls element in the final quilt).   I used curved piecing and improvisational cutting and piecing for the quilt blocks. I inserted strips of fabric to represent the elements.  I had lots of scraps of Kona cotton in many colors so I used those scraps for some of the elements.  I used mostly solid fabrics with a few exceptions – ocean, mountains and moss.   I tried to use fabric to represent the elements in an abstract way instead of using realistic elements.  I had lots of fun with this quilt.  Of course some elements didn’t work so I had to start over (ex. mountains).

Mountains, waterfalls, and Angelina fiber that didn’t really work for the final design.

Angelina fibers would have added great movement for the northern lights.

I really like adding embellishments to my landscape quilts but I had to hold back with adding the Angelina fibers to the sky – it would have made a great embellishment for the northern lights if I was doing a more realistic landscape.

Next steps are the quilting and binding the quilt.  I have to read more of Jean Wells’ book to get some new ideas.

Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Scrappy quilt as you go baby quilt

bags of strips

I had a bag of strips (different widths) that I decided to use to make a baby quilt.  I thought that I would use up most of the strips in the bag but I still have lots of strips for another baby quilt.  I made 16 squares of batting and backing (about 11″ squares).  I used left over pieces of flannel for the backing.

flannel backing

I still have lots of flannel scraps left for another quilt.  I used the same blue fabric for the center stripe on each square.  I decided to just use blue and green strips for this quilt.  I trimmed the squares to about 10.5″.  I used green and blue strips to piece the squares together using quilt as you go technique (see Leah Day video quilt as you go on you tube).  I just found another quilt as you go technique on Missouri Star Quilter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79Tm7oyIDNo).  There are lots of resources on youtube with tutorials on quilt as you go.  Give it a try. The finished quilt is a more than 40″  x 40″ square.  I think I will be making a yellow and green quilt next.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

Square Drawstring Bag by Gourmet Quilter

I won this pattern by Susan Claire (Gourmet quilter) and fabric in a raffle drawing at a quilt retreat that we went to last year.  I found the pattern in my UFO box earlier this week and decided to make the bag.  Sometimes I need to do a small project after completing big projects.  The pattern requires 5 six inch squares of fabric of assorted colors and a 30″ piece of cord which is cut in half.  There is a video tutorial on how to make this bag (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmEJsMhP14o).  I decided to use the video tutorial since I started this project at night.  Not sure I would read all the directions correctly late in the day.  The tutorial was great – I would recommend using it.  This was a fun little bag to make.   I made 6 bags that I can have ready to give as little gifts.  I think they look super cute.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

Bonnie Hunter’s – Scrappy Mountain Majesties!

For the record, I’m not a scrappy quilter.   While I really love seeing scrappy quilts and can appreciate all the work that goes into it, it’s just not something that I’ve wanted to do.   I guess, I’m much more of an art quilter and modern quilter.

One of my quilter friends, Carolyn, is a huge Bonnie Hunter fan and is always trying to get me to make one of her scrappy quilts.  You see, I never thought that I would ever finish a quilt that required you to sew 300, 500, or even 600 little small pieces of fabric together.      I had, successfully resisted the scrappy movement…. until I saw this one quilt that Carolyn made from mens shirts and I loved, loved, loved it.    Then she made and showed me another one.  Come to find out it is a free Bonnie Hunter pattern called Scrappy Mountain Majesties.   Oh My Needles, I just have to make this quilt.

We needed a new throw for our living room couch, so I pulled together blues and neutrals (tans/creams), bought some additional fabric (so it’s probably not “pure scrappy”), downloaded the pattern, and went at it.   It’s a great pattern with lots of different layouts.

Here is my finished throw.   I love the movement and it was EASY!  Yes, I said EASY.

majestic mountain

I can now say, I MAKE A BONNIE HUNTER SCRAPPY QUILT!    I guess that means that I am now in the club.

Oh…. notice that I also made a scrappy border and binding to use up my scraps.   Do I get extra points for that?

Happy Stitchin’


Ps.  Yes, Carolyn, I put a label on the back.



Another UFO completed: SeaLife collage quilt

The first two blocks in this collage quilt were made at a workshop (Mid-Atlantic quilt festival – Feb. 2015) with Linda Schmidt (Life’s a Beach class) – the wave and the sandy beach blocks. It is amazing how well the shells stayed on the fabric with fabric glue.  I did have to pull off a few shells when I added the binding but I glued the shells back on when the binding was complete.   A year later I decided to make more SeaLife quilt blocks to create a collage quilt similar to my Bird collage quilt (All about Birds).  You can read about the other blocks in earlier posts on the blog.  I really enjoy making collage quilts.  It is fun to make random blocks of different sizes and experiment with new techniques.  Then the challenge is to fit the blocks together and fill in the holes with new blocks to complete the quilt.  I used lots of different techniques on the SeaLife collage quilt.


The final 2 blocks added to the quilt were the seahorse block and the filler water block with the 5 orange fish.  To make the fish, I added Pellon 950f to the back of an orange fabric to stabilize the fabric for free motion quilting. Then using black thread I made the outline of the fish and added details to the fish.  I cut the fish out and glued them on the quilt and then stitched them on using a triple stitch and black thread.

I bought the seahorse square (about 12″ square) from a vendor at a quilt show earlier this year. I added a border around the seahorse square so that it would fit on the final row of the quilt.  Then I used free motion stitching to quilt the block.

I am very excited that this collage quilt is finally done.  It took some time to figure out what to add to the quilt and how to put the rows together with the quilt as you go technique.  My next collage quilt will be travel inspired.  I already have some small quilt blocks that I can use for this next quilt.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

Quilting workshop in Iceland with Gudrun Erla and Icelandic quilters

“Katie” quilt pattern

Gudrun teaching the quilting workshop

Mary and I with our quilting buddies, Carolyn and Barb, took a bus tour of Iceland with quilter Gudrun Erla as our tour guide.  Gudrun was born in Iceland so she was a great tour guide.  As part of our tour we stopped at a textile museum and gallery and a wool shop.  On our last day in Reykjavik, Gudrun gave a quilting workshop with about 28 women on our tour and 14 Icelandic quilters.  The Icelandic quilters brought their sewing machines and supplies to the class so that we could work together to make 2 different quilt blocks.  We used 2 of Gudrun’s patterns to make

“Kira” quilt pattern

the blocks: Kira quilt pattern and Katie quilt pattern.  Check out Gudrun’s website for more quilt patterns, books, and tools – GE Designs (www.gequiltdesigns.com).   After the class, we had a show n tell with quilts made by our new Icelandic quilter friends and the American quilters on our trip.  I brought a small table runner for show n tell (one of Gudrun’s patterns – Peek a Boo).

Icelandic quilter shares her quilt

It was fun to hear the stories behind the quilts.  Fabric is very expensive in Iceland and there are very few places to buy fabric so they have to order through the internet.

Icelandic quilter (Anna) shares her quilt

Gifts from our Icelandic quilter buddies (Anna and Steinunn)

The American quilters on our bus tour bought gifts of fabric to give the Icelandic quilters who we were paired with during the workshop. We received handmade gifts from our Icelandic quilter buddies.

Icelandic quilter (Steinunn) shares her quilt

At the end of the class we had a dinner with the Icelandic quilters.  Now we have some new quilting friends on Facebook.  We had a wonderful day meeting new friends and quilting together. Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna