Road Signs Quilt (Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts)


My package is already to go for my first ever Traveling quilt. The blocks are done. The solid yardage has arrived (including the Kona Torch).  You might say I am over excited about this….I am probably driving the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts” crazy.


The last thing I have added to my package is a small traveling journal/design book for folks to fill in along the way. The first pages goes through my ideas (similar to this post)…

  • Inspiration: The Road signs I all of a sudden found interesting on our way up to the North Carolina Mountains for vacation.
  • Style: Very much a minimalistic, architectural feel, influenced by Erin Wilson’s quilts (which are featured in the pictures
  • Color Palette: Navy (Kona Nautical), Orange (Kona Torch), Aqua (Kona Pool), Dark Grey (Kona Graphite) and then Neutrals for the background (White, Bone, Oyster, Putty, Ash, Silver etc). A minimal use of prints is ok.

I love the idea of the little design book/journal…I did feel the kid come out in me again and the creativity renewed with this little project. I hope the others have fun with it. Here are the others in our fab little group.

Liz – Beadqueene’s Bits and Baubles
Ashley – Wasn’t Quilt in a Day
Jessica – Quilty Habit
Laura – Little and Lots
Renee – Quilts of a Feather

I am off to ship my package!!

It takes a Village

You have seen some snippets of this project on my IG and Blog feeds the past months. For some reason, this quilt has taken me forever!!  Its not overly complicated. I had deadline pressures, which made me procrastinate and really not enjoy working on it. You know how that goes….and its not really about the project at all.

I decided that I would fix the issue by submitting another project, and just take the time I need to finish this the way I want to finish it.

Great news is, I no longer need to hide the overall quilt from you all, since I am no longer submitting it as a project. The actual front of this quilt is almost complete –  just quilting a couple more rows, and then the triangles to go.

This design was one of my early QDAD designs. It is one of my husband’s favorites. It reminds him of a village, the triangles representing roof tops. I added the circle quilting to represent the town center.

I am actually loving the brown/neutral color palette. Surprisingly, loving the C+S tack fabric print, which helped me pull in that blue solid that appears today, in the back but also will appear in the binding and quilting thread color.

Isn’t it amazing what happens when you just change your perspective, and now this project works for me!!I think I actually might make my A lovely year of Finishes deadline this month!!

Linking up with Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social.

Sew Fresh Quilts

Sunday Stash: New fabric lines

Once again, there are so many new fabric lines that I am liking!! Here are a couple I recently purchased selected prints of.

Hello, Bear: Love the muted palette, especially the splashes of teal and coral amongst the neutrals.

Yoyogi Park: A friend Just let us know she was pregant, and then I received Hawthorne Threads newsletter with this wonderful line from Skinny La Minx. Perfect for a baby quilt – right!!

Elizabeth: Of course Tula Pink’s new line, my favorite prints are the stripes.  I did not pink up the flower pints. Don’t shot me, but this is one of first Tula Pink’s lines I have liked a majority of the prints, in a while. I think there are some great basics in this line that can be mixed in with other prints.

Linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash. See button on the right.

QDAD: Early March

I have started of March feeling renewed and inspired. I hope you enjoy the first set of designs.

Please note the palettes for the following designs are on the groups Facebook page.

02 March: Boat Shed

03 March: Grass Fields

04 March: Bike Spokes

05 March: Forest + Luxury Cars
I was not sure about the racing stripes with the car, though I love the red with this color palette. So here is the design again with just the forest trees.


07 March: Paper Fun

08 March: Along the seashore

Please Note: If you would like to make or use one of my designs, please email me (ml_wilkie(at)hotmail(dot)com) or leave a comment below. I am happy to talk with you on options and provide the relevant measurements etc. or have you test out a pattern. Also, if you use one of my designs, please use the following text to credit me the design: “Designed by Michelle Wilkie @ Factotum of Arts”.

Sunday Stash: Stash Building

I have been trying very hard to reduce my shopping and stick with “Sew my Stash 2015″. It has gone pretty well so far, except for the past two weeks, when I have not been able to sew. I call this the aftershock of QuiltCon, just too exhausted and overwhelmed – needing to recuperate (hehehe).


I will say, other than my new Janome Machine which I needed for traveling around, I was very conservative with my QuiltCon purchases. I only picked a few Japanese Fabrics. The calendar print I plan on using as backing for a quilt; the sheep, I mean do I need to say more :-)…and then of course some Yoshiko Jenzinji fabrics were included.


That was it for my QuiltCon haul, however, I have also bought some fabrics for my stash.

Warm Palette colors:

I am not usually a pink fan but recently have been working with it and I found I needed a little more brighter choices. I found those fantastic foxes at my LQS (Cary Quilting Company) and could not resist.

Cool color palettes: GreenStash

After attending Vanessa Christensen’s class at QuiltCon, I decided I need to pick up a couple of the Ombre Strips….I see new pillows in my future. My favorite print though, is that middle one with the bees and flowers. It is a print from Norwegian Wood by Hawthorne Threads Beekeeping in White.

Neutral Stash (of course mostly grays):

These purchases were a mix from Hawthorne threads and LQS (Cary Quilting Company). I am digging the Katrina Roccella Cuneiform Script prints (3rd and 6th from the left). I am desperately waiting for some of the C+S black and white prints to join some of these in a new quilt design I am working on.

That’s it. Next week, I have a couple of fabric lines to share. Linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash (see button on the right).

My new class idea: Modern Quilt Designing

I have been mulling over a new idea for a class. As you know, I am really enjoying the designing process for making my own quilts. I really want to share that with people. I would love your feedback – so bear with me as I walk you through my idea.

So, the class is about using things around you for inspiration when designing modern quilts – “Every Day Inspiration for Designing Modern Quilts”. I think have a structure, and some of the content decided….

___________________________________CLASS CONTENT__________________________________________

Sources of Inspiration

  • Art History: I think it is important that we understand what has been done before us not only in quilting but also in art using other mediums. I have a focus for Abstract art, with examples of different artists that influence my design aesthetic. Where to look and find resources.
    QDAD_Balcony_DustyBlue24JUL2014  IMG_2228
  • Your environment: How can you use things around you to inspire a design? What should you look for? Photographic examples are used to illustrate how to identify design elements.


  • Initial Design: This covers how do you take these concepts/ideas to create an initial design?
  • Color Palettes: How do use a given color palette and does placement of colors make a difference to the design? Does not cover detailed color theory but elements are discussed and can be provided.
  • Fine-tuning of the design: Experimenting with size and placement of the design elements can make a difference to the overall design.

Additional Information/Class Wrap-up: What tools are out there for designing? Where/What can you do to continue learning?

Student hands on activities for the class: I think it takes practice to be able to find your aesthetic and start to fine tune your skills in what you see around you (something I learned participating in quilt design a day). So my goal for the hands on exercises/activities is to start that process, and practice.

Students come with:

  • 3 photos that either provide inspiration from a color palette or, contains subject matter they are inspired by or, has geometric design elements.
  • Design tool of choice (paper/makers or pencils; computer with software

Exercise 1: Same subject matter, different perspectives

  • Based on an instructor provided photo, draw an initial design in 20 mins.
  • With 10 more minutes what changes would you make (play with color placement or design elements)
  • Individuals will be selected to share with the class your design explain why your inspiration

Exercise 2: Small Group Selection

  • Everyone brings their photos and the group selects one photo that they will use to draw an initial design in 20 minutes
  • With 10 more minutes what changes would you make (play with color placement or design elements)
  • Individuals will be selected to  share with the class your design explain why your inspiration

Exercise 3: Different subject matter

  • Take one of your 3 photos draw an initial design in 20 mins
  • With 10 more minutes what changes would you make (play with color placement or design elements
  • Individuals will be selected to share with the class your design explain your inspiration.

Exercise 4: Abstract artist (if time permits)

  • Repeat Exercise 3 with another photo but use an abstract artist we covered in class to inspire your initial design (20 minutes).

___________________________________________ END_______________________________________________

Ok. So I would love some feedback about what you guys think about this class. Here are some questions I have and if you think of anything else – I would love to hear about it.

  • Is this something you would like to do?
  • Is there anything missing in the class that you would like to see?
  • What to you think about the above Student Hands-on Activities?
  • Do you think most people will bring paper as the design tool and should this be the default? NOTE: I will not be able to offer assistance to those who bring software
  • Do you think this can be a full-day class or 1/2 day class? What would you prefer?
  • Do you think folks would like an exercise, in which, they take their cell phones and take a photo in the class/environment around them to use this for a design? Will everyone have a phone?




Two quick-ish WiPs and ALYoF Goal

I have two WiPs that were not on my large list for the month, that is my focus this week.

The first project are my starter blocks for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts. My idea was to use road signs with a “architectural” feel and a minimal color palette and lots of neutrals (this post has all the details and inspiration). I have cut out 4 of the 6 blocks and plan to finish these this weekend where they will be shipped out to Liz over @ beadqueene.


The second project….you will laugh…but it is Phased circles again. I got really great feedback from the judges at QuiltCon on the lack of quilting for the inner circles, which I went back and forward on in my head for several weeks. So, more quilting is happening this week, as I may enter it in another show.

My WiP that will be my goal for this month is a project you have seen glimpses of. I am 1/2 way through quilting but to be honest a little over it/bored with it.  To make sure I finish it….I need it to be my goal for “A lovely Year of Finishes” (see button on the right). Keep on quilting, keep on quilting.

Pyramid_QuiltDesign IMG_3310

Finally, I wanted to share my favorite photo from my instagram feed this week. Look how pretty my work place was in the snow last week.

Linking up with Lee over @ Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday (see button on the right).