Author Archives: mlwilkie

About mlwilkie

Software Developer, Mother, Wife with keen interest in art, design and crafts of all kinds.

Umbrella Stripes {a finish}

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Photo by Love Patchwork & Quilting (Issue 54)

Umbrella Stripes quilt was inspired by a beach umbrella image from Design Seeds via @thebungalow22. The design is a simple stripe design but I loved the variations in widths and color of the original design.

 

That design is now a quilt available as a pattern in issue 54 Love Patchwork and Quilting (available today via digital media here in the US). The color palette for the design was changed for the actual quilt. This versions played with a much warmer palette of pinks/corals and the cooler colors of the pale green and grey.

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Photo by Love Patchwork & Quilting (Issue 54)

I had a lot of fun making this and it came together quiet quickly. I can’t wait to get my copy of the issue so I can see the other great quilts that are in the issue.

Details

Name: Umbrella Stripes
Design:
Design by myself
Fabric: Kona Cotton (Salmon, Petal, Pearl Pink, Honey dew, Shadow)
Backing: Ludovika, Edholm Uilenius for IKEA
Binding: High Meadow, Meriweather, Amy Gibson
Dimensions:  60 x 60″
Quilted: Straight Stitched Lines (at 2″ and 1″ apart).

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San Francisco Bustle {a finish}

I am so happy to share this quilt, finally. San Francisco Bustle is this months MQG Quilt of the Month and the pattern is available to all members here.

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Last May (2016), I posted a spark for the Quilt Design a Day Facebook group of a Cable car stop in San Francisco.
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From this image, I designed this minimal abstract quilt design. The blues are from the cable car, the orange from the cones, the yellow from the road markings and the grey from the footpath corner. I will say the top grey box was a mistake and was out of my sketch pad but when saving it, it showed up. I loved the balance it provided and left it in.

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I used all Kona Cottons for the quilt, and love this palette (White, Tangerine, Papaya,  Sage, Storm, Ash). I am sure I will use it again in future.
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The piecing went quickly and I had the quilt top finished in about 3-4 hours. Then I got stuck. I had no clue how to quilt it. Thanks to friends encouragement, I got past the block. The quilting is a variety of straight line designs, done on my domestic sewing machine. You can really see the quilting in this picture in the direct sunlight.

SF_Bustle_QuiltingThe binding, which I am in love with, is block matched with the shapes that are along the edge. I thought about doing faced binding for the first time but really wanted the straightness and sharp corners of traditional binding.

Details

Name: San Francisco Bustle
Design:
Design by myself
Fabric: Kona Cotton (White, Tangerine, Papaya,  Sage, Storm, Ash)
Backing: Heather Givans, Literary, Pages in New and scraps
Binding: Kona Cotton (White, Sage, Storm and Ash)
Dimensions:  68 x 75″
Quilted: Variety widths and directions straight lines, domestic sewing machine with Aurifil

 

 

Quilted Postcards {Tutorial}

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In my previous post, I shared my current experiment with quilted postcards. I make a finished 4 x 6″ standard sized postcard. Here is the list of materials and the instructions which start after you have a finished 4 1/2 x 6 1/2″ postcard front.

Materials

  • One (1) 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ pieced front
  • One (1) 4 1/2 ” x 6 1/2″ backing fabric
  • One (1) 4 x 6″ Fusible Fleece (like Pellon 987F) or
    Two (2) 4 x 6″ SF101 Pellon ShapeFlex
  • Thread for piecing/quilting
  • One (1) Adhesive Postcard back (purchased from Amazon.com)

Instructions

The postcards cannot be too thick otherwise you will not be able to use normal postcard postage so I use fusible fleece that is like a quilt sandwich or two pieces of Shape Flex interfacing (one on each side fused to the back and the top).

I have two ways of making my postcards. The first is not that different from a normal quilt, and can be seen in this image below. Take the postcard pieced top and baste to the fusible fleece, and then baste with a glue stick the bottom fabric to the fusible fleece. Quilt as desired, trim. Zig-zag or overlock the edge of the post card to finish.

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The second method, I chose since I was using bias tape and wanted to encapsulate the bias tape edges within the edge of the postcard. Here are the step by step instructions for this finish.

  1. Fuse the fusible fleece to the top of the pieced postcard top.fullsizeoutput_23fb
  2. Quilt the top with the fleece as desired and add the bias tape to the front.fullsizeoutput_23f9
  3. Place the top and back right sides together (RST). Stitch a 1/4″ seam around the postcard edge, leaving a two inch opening along one edge.fullsizeoutput_23f7
  4. Cut the corners inside the seam line, removing the bulk in corners. fullsizeoutput_23fc
  5. Turn the postcard inside out, using a chop stick or pencil end to push the corners out.
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  6. Press the postcard edges, to position the seams folds correctly. Top stitch the edge of the postcard. fullsizeoutput_23fe
  7.  To finish the postcard, take one of the adhesive postcard backs and place it on the back side of the fabric.
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The other size you can consider is a 5 x 7″ postcard and you will need to purchase the appropriate adhesive backs.

Let me know if you have any questions. If you make any postcards I would love to see them on Instagram – just tag me @ml_wilkie or use #quiltypostcards.

 

 

 

 

Quilted Postcards

I had a goal for September to make 30 postcards in 30 days (#30daysofpostcards) and have been sharing over on Instagram. Well, I will have 30 but it will take me more like 60 days. It has been the greatest experiment to play with 4 x 6″ quilts. I love it as I get these ideas all the time, and this size allows me to play but not invest too much time, to see if it works or not.

Right now, I am at 29 postcards. I am sending around 17 of them off, as postcards, to people who wanted to receive one. They in turn will send one postcard to someone else. I love the idea of sending a traditional note, a piece of mail, with a little quilty inspiration.

The first postcard that kicked it off was inspired by my effort in finding balance. The line representing balance and the quilting about finding the positives. I had to use my wonder women stamps in this pic., it seemed fitting.

Balance_Postcard

I have a couple of other book project ideas rolling around in my head. I experimented with both ideas and will likely move forward with these as book projects.

The first is a project based on the plastic construction fences.
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The second an improvisational triangle idea that is based on airplanes. ImprovTriangles_Postcard

With these next two postcard, I had vivid shapes pop into my head that I could not shake. The first being a Square with a cream border on one side, and one half made up of two triangles at various heights and dimensions. I played with the white and cream solids, stripes and black linen for interest.

Minimalism2_Postcard
The second shape was split across 4 postcards, where each had a corner of a square. One of the corners was a 1/4 circle instead. In my head this 1/4 circle was also the opposite in color combination. I had not envisioned a color combination but decided when making it to do it in a navy and bright yellow. This is my favorite combination and will likely become a much larger quilt at some stage.
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For the longest time, I have admired Erin Wilson’s work (@erinwilsonquilts) who does amazing line work in her quilts. These last postcards were my study of lines. I still need to quilt these two.

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I have loved playing with this size that I think I might do another round, but this next one will be a cohesive collection vs. random experiments. I am thinking of playing with minimalism or just with lines in a specific color-way. The idea is still forming.

PS. If you are living in the US, I was very surprised with some of the great stamp collections the USPS (US Postal Service) has at the moment. I went a little crazy in purchasing a few, so I am thinking my son can now collect stamps ;-).

PPS. In a couple of days, I will post a tutorial so that you too can make your own quilted postcards. I am just finishing editing the photos.

 

5 Years! {+Give away)

I can not believe it has been 5 years since I started sewing/quilting and blogging. I did not start out to be a quilter.  Last time I sewed anything it was a pillow case in home economics when I was 13. However, I have always been someone who dabbled in all art medium and baking//cooking, where the blog started.  I was always had a diverse range of interests from Art to Science to Languages. Quilting really has been one of those “hobbies” that has integrated the love of art and math.

I am lucky to be inspired by my own family. My Dad and Aunt are amazing artists, and my mum a highly skilled seamstress with a career in science. My only regret with starting quilting so late is not being able to actually sew with my Mum, but I love that I was able to gift her with a quilt.

Just to show you how far I have come, my first quilt was an original design of the 4 season of an apple tree. I would do this so differently today – and PS its still not finished. Yes, those are buttons and glittery snowflakes all hand stitched onto the top.

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The first finished quilt, was for the MQG Madrona Road Challenge. It was loosely inspired from tiles and a Turkish bath (inside the blue square). I still love this image today.
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The quilt now hangs in my studio, to remind me of my journey.
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In 2014, I joined Quilt Design a Day on facebook….a game changer for me. It moved me away from a multi-subject blog to mostly quilting. The designing of quilts and bringing them into reality is my passion. (so thank you Anne @playcrafts :-))

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I am so appreciative of the opportunities that this group has led me too. This is my first design for QDAD and it also won a quilt design competition. I gained enough courage to submit an idea, shortly after, to Sew Mama Sew and do a mini blog series on design to reality. Sew Mama Sew directly directly influenced the wonderful opportunity I got to work with Love Patchwork and Quilting. Eager for the opportunity to have a magazine submission, I committed to delivering a quilt in 10 days (while working a full-time job and being a mom). I was so shocked, it paid off though, as my first submission was a quilt cover.
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While I look back, it makes me smile. Seeing some of my favorite quilts I have made. Two of which are Sunday Best and Altitudinal Ecosystem which represents my bi-polar quilting interest; Improvisation and Minimalism.

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A couple of the big challenges I gave myself this year were:

  •  To enjoy my blog and just post when I have content I want to share. Very different to posting to gain followers and following a fixed schedule.
  • Write a book. It is underway but I will say it is a much slower process than I expected. Life is always in the way (and definitely not in a bad way).
  • Be bold and submit for an exhibit, which I am still working towards. This idea though, led to me submitting to an art curator. They purchased 3 of my quilts yesterday (you can see my digital portfolio I submitted).
  • Lastly, setup my own business. I am hoping to have it all complete in a couple of weeks.

I have learned so much in this process, and still work on most of these every day:

  • Be you and don’t worry what others think. If you try to please others you are likely not going to enjoy things.
  • Be adaptable, things are always changing and new opportunities become available.
  • Don’t be afraid of rejection. A no is just a no.
  • Be bold, email manufacturers to discuss fabric and possibilities, submit to magazines, submit to quilt shows, etc. The worse that will happen is they so no.
  • Experiment, find you. Give yourself permission to just play and enjoy the process.
  • Enjoy your people. Support others and give back. We learn so much now-a-days via the internet and others in the community. Share experiences, techniques, support others, give feedback and if you don’t have anything nice to say – don’t say it.

Give Away

Thank you for all your support in me and my blog. In the spirit of giving back I am doing three things:

  • Posting fabric postcards to individuals (over on my IG account: ml_wilkie , tutorial coming later this week)
  • Giving one of my blog followers a $50 gift card to Hawthorne Threads. Leave a comment below telling me what one of your goals are for this year. Leave a second comment if you are a follower. I will randomly select a winner next Saturday.
  • The winner of the giveaway, will also designate a charity of their choice, where I will also donate $50 (Please make sure they accept online contributions).

NY High Line {a finish}

My quilt New York High Line was released as a pattern this week, via the Modern Quilt Guild resource web page and newsletter. It is free to members.

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This quilt was designed as part of quilt design a day. It was based on an image I had taken of a building from the New York High Line.  This image was our used also as our QuiltCon Showcase earlier this year.

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This is a great quilt if you want to play with accuracy, as matching the various lines is important to the overall composition.

I feel very rewarded now that the quilt is done, though the 1/2″ straight line quilting was a difficult task. A mix of  lots of procrastination, burying all those threads (which was due to thread matching, lead to a process taking 5 months.

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I did extend the quilting lines through the orange stripe, edge to edge.

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Details

Name: NY High Line
Design:
Design by myself
Fabric: Kona Cotton
Backing: Variety Carolyn Friedlander prints
Binding: Kona Snow
Dimensions:  72 x 72″
Quilted: With straight line quilting 1/2″ apart

 

 

Improvisation: Lines and Shapes

I have been developing a class that is based on playing with a quilt composition consisting of lines and various shapes using improvisation techniques. I based this class on my Sunday Best quilt. It’s such a great exploration with fabric scraps.

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This weekend, I did a test teach with a group of friends using paper instead of fabric.  It was so much fun and my friends walked away with an art canvas. There’s nothing like playing with paper and mod podge (glue)!!

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Here are Valerie’s (left) and Melissa’s (right) art pieces from their improvisation explorations.

I loved their results and can’t wait to see how people do with fabric in class. I am currently teaching this class locally at Sewingly Yours and Cary Quilting Company. You can register for the classes here:

If anyone is interested in having me come teach this class for them in 2018, please send me an email (ml_wilkie (at) hotmail (dot) com) and I can provide you more detail. Check out my class list for 2018 here. I am currently building my schedule and have availability May, June, September, November and December 2018.