Unveiling first two secret projects!!

I worked out the other day that I have been working on 6 secret projects. It’s been killing me that I can’t share with you all. I have exciting news today!!

My first two projects are being released tomorrow and…
it’s my first publication and….
my project made the front cover of Love Patchwork and Quilting
[Photographs courtesy of Love Patchwork & Quilting]LQP_23_cover_cmyk_300dpi

I learned a valuable lesson while quilting this project…..if you have batting you know and you like it stick with it….your first publication, with tight deadlines, is not the time to try new batting. “Stick with what you know”. I had a terrible experience with slippage and puckering while quilting this project. I probably quilted each line at least twice.

In the end, I had to glue baste + pin baste + iron each row before and after stitching. It earned a nickname – “I hate you Quilt”.

I suppose now that it’s on the front cover, no hard feelings.

The other finish was a matching wall hanging. I love that stripped binding and the look of the diamond quilting on this mini.

Anyway, the pattern for both quilts are in Issue #23 of Love Patchwork & Quilting. It goes on sale tomorrow, so I hope you enjoy it!!Project_hot_d1

Another Secret Sewing Project

I am working on another secret sewing project, but good news is that it will be revealed around July 1st and will include the pattern!! So not a big wait. It will be called “Altitudinal Ecosystem”…its the biology/ecology side of me being released :-).

I have a couple of photo’s though that I posted on instagram for a sneak peek (sorry for tease).

 I had a hard time with creating the back as I wanted to use my scraps from the front but I really wanted to use one of the mountain prints from Sarah Watson’s Indian Summer Fabric line. It just wasn’t working. Instead I went with a combination of the print and grey and white stripes. I added the pops of color from the front into the back which I love. This design choice evolved from cutting a strip to short and adding a filler from the scraps. 

 I decided to do mostly straight line quilting on the front. I had a blast at our guilds sew-in on Sunday and at Spoonflower’s pins & needles meet-up quilting it. I have decided to add some wavy line quilting using the method I used on my one first finished quilts.

 My other projects look like this:

Project Dates Current Status
  Idea, Design, Create  8th June  TOP, BACK, BIND (shipped for
 Altitudinal Zonation  25 June  TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT (Underway), BIND
Can-Can Girls
(Row for Sisterhood of Traveling Quilts)
 30 June  2 of 6 blocks complete
 Pushme, Pullme  30 June
(ship for quilting)
 TOP (last-minute changes – adding a strip to top),
 Yoshiko Jinzenji Quilt Sampler  30 June  TOP (UNDERWAY), BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND

QDAD: Miscellaneous Designs

I have missed posting a few designs over the last couple of months. I thought I would use this post to catch you all up….if you follow me on IG (ml_wilkie) you may have seen some of these.

I was inspired with the uppercase magazine on type printing and decided to try my own initials (MLW). I really liked this color palette which would not have been my typical choice.


Island Blossoms:
I am trying to get of my butt and start playing with machine sewing curves. This design is a repeated block and reminded of the big flowers you find in the Pacific Islands. I love the secondary design. Surprisingly though the colors were pink and green I struggled with color placement on this initial design.

Once I used my own colors (a brighter palette) I enjoyed this design more:

Or maybe in a neutral and darker palette:

Toppling Jenga:
I was fascinated recently with Jenga and blocks toppling. I also wanted to play around with some transparency and overly patterns. I really liked how this one turned out. I like the combination of that pine green, brown and pinks with a subtle green as a background color. This is the final design.


It is amazing how a small change and color placement can change a design. With this initial design I did not have the green involved. I landed up not liking that darker pink and thought the espresso brown added a better contrast. I also like how the darker green pulls the colors together. The addition to the design was the bar through the middle of the top layer….I think it made a huge difference.

This design was inspired by a drain cover in a bathroom that I noticed while on vacation. It was a very muted palette which I am not sure on.  I love the of screen placement of the design – this was not the original. I think this shows how playing with placement is important and can make a big difference to composition.

This is the original design which is still off centered but it just did not feel right.


The photo inspiration was of rows of cotton spools. I loved the color palette – I think browns are so under rated (expect to see a post this month from me on playing with browns). I like what the white brings into this design for balance.


Bits and Bobs:
Another repeated block, which may actually look better as fabric. I love the mod feeling with this one – the color palette  is one of my favorite at the moment…mint, coral/peach and navy!!


Sliding Hinges (??):
I had taken a break of a couple of weeks and was lying in bed, and had this design pop into my head. Again, I love the color palette combination of the teals/aquas + citrons + the two neutrals (light grey and oyster). This is on my make list….I am just not sure when ;-)


That’s it. I think I am all caught up :-).

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”.

Celebrating the small finishes

Over the last couple of months, I have felt like I have been making little progress on things. I think it is more about that the pile of WiPs is shrinking so slowly. Anyway, to change that feeling, I am celebrating the small things today.


I have finished a quilt back for Idea, Design, Create Quilt which I finished back in April. I mostly used left over scraps, including some selvages, and the main panel print from the Cloud 9 Biology prints.


I really loved the improv, patchwork look for this back. The colors in this fabric line – I love!!Close-up_IdeaDesignCreate_Back

It is all ready now to ship off to Sarah @crinklelove for quilting. On to the next project!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for finish it up Friday.


June Objectives

This week, I have been pretty busy with multiple projects. My favorite project was testing this CanCan Girls Pattern by Juliet at Tartankiwi. I decided to do a mash-up of Tula Pink and Alison Glass Fabrics. There will be a total of 6 rainbow based blocks (ROYGBV).


Being so busy, I did want to take a breathe and reflect on what I am working on and what my goals are for this month.

Project Dates Current Status
  Idea, Design, Create  8th June
(ship for quilting)
 Altitudinal Zonation  25 June  TOP (UNDERWAY), BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
Can-Can Girls
(Row for Sisterhood of Traveling Quilts)
 30 June  2 of 6 blocks complete
 Pushme, Pullme  30 June
(ship for quilting)
 TOP (last-minute changes – adding a strip to top),
 Yoshiko Jinzenji Quilt Sampler  30 June  TOP (UNDERWAY), BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND

I am loving working on my secret modern quilt project – Altitudinal Zonation.

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

A Modern Sampler

I was asked by World Book Media to make the Modern Sampler Quilt pattern by Yoshiko Jinzenji. Of course, I said yes as I love the aesthetic and her fabrics. I have almost 5 out of the 12 blocks done and have hopes to finish all by the weekend.

For those that want to give the pattern a try, you can find them here or on their etsy store. The pattern for each block is a template which you trace onto tracing paper so that you can use that template to cut out each piece (adding seam allowance).


The template approach allowed me to have some flexibility in how I make the blocks. I can decide if I am cutting each individual piece, or use the template as a paper-piecing template or  modified a couple of the blocks to avoid partial seams. Once complete though, the blocks still have the same overall appearance.

I have done well with my projects so far this month. Here is where I am at for my other projects:

Project Dates Current Status
 Sisterhood Quilt  18th May (ship)  COMPLETE & SHIPPED
 It takes a Village  18th May  COMPLETE
  Idea, Design, Create  18th May
(ship for quilting)
 Pushme, Pullme  18th May
(ship for quilting)
TOP (last-minute changes – adding a strip to top),
 Yoshiko Jinzenji Quilt Sampler  End of May TOP (UNDERWAY), BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND

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

It takes a Village – Finish

I started this quilt, “It Takes A Village”, back in December. I think February, March and April, I listed it as my monthly goal for “A lovely year of finishes” but could not get it done. Well, I am ecstatic to say that have finally finished it!!


It Takes A Village, started out as one of my Quilt Design a Day designs. I actually kept pretty close to the original color scheme.


While pulling the fabric, I decided to switch out the lighter brown for a Cotton and Steel print. I thought it added some interest into the quilt, while the background color was similar to the design.

I tried a couple of new things with this quilt:

  • I bought a new tool – a BLOC LOC Ruler for a triangle in square. I loved it! It made it much easier to trim up the triangles and it improved accuracy.
  • I was inspired by Angela Walters book “Shape by Shape”, and decided to quilt each individual triangle, with one of three designs.

I used Aurifil for my quilting and it provided the most amazing texture to the quilt.


For the back, I wanted a patchwork brick feel. However,  when finished, the back did not look right with lines moving horizontally, so I flipped it so the lines ran vertically. The final design decision I made, was to pull one of the colors out of the Cotton and Steel print and use it as a main color in the back and binding. It landed up being the blue, the pink just didn’t work for me.

Here are the final details for the quilt.


Name: It takes a Village
Dimensions: 48″ x 48″
Design: Michelle Wilkie

Yarn-Dyed Essex Linen Flax; Kona Chocolate; Kona Silver; Kona Oyster; Cotton and Steel – Tack; Back + Binding: Also includes Kona Lagoon

Quilted: Walking foot. Triangles: Quilted using 3 designs; Negative Space: Circle represents a Town Circle while the lines are pathways through the village to add movement.
Thread – Aurifil (50 wt): White – 2021; Light Beige – 2310; Turquoise – 2810 (used for 3 triangles + binding).

Linking up with Amanda Jean over at Crazy Mom Quilts for next week’s Finish it up Friday. I will be writing it up as a pattern and hope to release it next month.