Category Archives: Quilt designs

Isolation {a finish}

Idea

Have you ever felt left out, or just on the outside of a group or even cast out? I assume most people at one time or another have felt like that. I have at various times, more than once. This quilt was originally designed based on that feeling of being on the “outs” from a group.

Design

I started the design with an idea of a group people being represented by 10 lines; 9 black (representing the group), 1 red (representing me or the person who was feeling left out). The other big decision I made was on the placement of the red line. Originally, I had the red line to the right but still in alignment with the group of black lines.

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In the end, I moved the red line down 50% and decided to emphasize the mis alignment.

Create

The piecing was relatively simple. I did stitch the Width of Fabric (WOF) black and white strips together before I cut them to size to make it easier and more precise. I used Robert Kaufman Kona cottons for the piece; White, Black and Ruby.

Backing is Moda Fabrics Chicken Wire print. I choose this as it fit the theme of being in prisoned or cordoned off.

Quilt

Since COVID-19 isolation, I have been looking at this unfinished quilt top, and it speaks to me now of self-quarantine and the distance from our friends and family. As a person with Asthma, considered to be in a riskier group (if I catch COVID-19 my symptoms may be more severe), I am realizing I might be here in quarantine for a couple more months.

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These feelings of being into quarantined introduced the idea of ripples and how things effect other elements. I decided to show this effect by using overlapping circular designs around the two groups. The top negative space is then finished with vertical lines and the bottom with horizontal lines, again showing different forces with the direction. All the quilting is 1/2″ lines.

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Finishing this quilt did lift a weight off my shoulders, I did not know needed to be lifted. It was great being able to express yourself through art. The feedback from the community and how people have related has been so wonderful. Thank you all.

Details

Name : Isolation
Design:
 Original Design
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Kona Cottons White, Black, and Ruby
Backing: Moda Fabrics, Chicken wire
Binding: Carolyn Friedlander, Carkai
Dimensions:
34 x 41 in.
Quilted: 1/2″ Circular & Straight line quilting using Aurifil #2021

 

On the angle {a finish}

Just before Christmas, I made a couple of mini quilts as gifts. I have not shared those makes with you yet. One of those quilts was a striking black and white minimal quilt.

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Idea

This quilt was inspired based on a drain cover discovered on our family walk around the neighborhood. I loved the diagonal pattern of lines.

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Design

During the design phase I used those 45 degree lines in the top part of the design. In the drain you have this bar 1/2 way across the lines, giving it a broken line feel. For me, that translated into this break a a random angle with the lines then being distorted back the opposite angle. fullsizeoutput_13c6

Create

The creation was relatively simple, using PBS White solid and black fabric at 1″ unfinished, I stitched 16 pieces together. Making sure the angles were at a 45 degrees I then cut an angle that closely matched the design above. The remaining fabric, I removed the excess lines and added a much larger white section to the stripes for the lower negative space.  I lined up and pined where the lines best connected. Once pinned, I cut the fabric at the appropriate angle and stitched the two pieces together. It was both liberating and a little scary as I did not measure or carefully planned these connections. Luckily, it turned out as expected.

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Quilting

As this was a small piece, I kept the quilting design simple. I stitched about 1/8″ from exhaustion of the stitched lines (both sides of the line). I did not bind the quilt to finish, as the final piece was framed and ready to be hung.

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I swapped this gift for 6 ginger pear galettes from a local baker, Meg. The family loved them. So amazing (including the extra banana pecan bundt cake that was added)!!

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Details

Name : On the Angle
Design:
 Original Design
Fabric: Black & White Painters Palette Solids, Paintbrush studios
Dimensions:
12 x 14 in.
Quilted: Straight line quilting using Aurifil #2021

Book Project: Rotating Spokes {a finish}

I have not given up on my book “Idea. Design. Create. Quilt.” It is just taking more time than expected. I did finish another one of my book projects last year. This table runner, I am calling “Rotating Spokes”.  I love how it looks on our outside table in these pictures.

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This was inspired by an Art Deco style wrought iron balcony rail, I saw in New Orleans. I immediately a design formed, and it is repeated but rotated for each of the circle designs. The fabric choices were also an easy decision. I used:

  • Black Essex Linen (Background Fabric)
  • Recycled Clothes (T-shirts, wool trousers and Corduroy)
  • AGF Denim
  • Kona Cotton (Silver & White)
  • Various yellow prints
  • Various grey prints

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It took me a little while to decide on the quilting. In the end I decided to quilt the circles with 1/2″ straight line quilting. Where the triangles meet at a 90 degree angle, I have lines following the angle and making a crosshatch. The background is quilted in 1″ horizontal lines.IMG_7896

I realized fairly quickly that I did not want the family to spill food on it. So, I moved away from using it as a table runner and it’s found a home above our bed. It is a perfect width across our King size bed.

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This was one of my favorite finishes of the year.

Details

Name : Rotating Spokes
Design:
 Original Design
Fabric: Variety of Prints, Neutral solids, Recycled Clothes and Essex Linen
Binding and Backing: Carolyn Friedlander, Carkai Print
Dimensions:
15.5 x 80 in.
Quilted: Straight line quilting using Aurifil #2021

Mt. SohCahToa {a finish}

When designing a new quilt design, I am usually inspired by things around me and what I have seen. This time was no different. This past year (April 2018), we had the most amazing road trip in Utah and a smidge in Arizona. We visited 7 national parks and a couple of other parks in 7 days (Arches, Canyonlands, Natural Bridges, Monument Valley, Glen Canyon Dam, Horse Shoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyon @ml.wilkie_adventures).

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More images of our trip you can check out my other Instagram account (@ml.wilkie_adventures)

It was such an inspiring trip. One of the images that made me think of a quilt design was one of the La Sal Mountain range seen from Arches National Park. The continuous looking peaks lead me to a design using lines of angled triangles. The color’s represent the snow-capped peaks and rock base. These colors are also inspired by the color of the mountains from a distance.

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I submitted the design to the MQG for a Quilt of the Month and it was released in December (lucky last of the year).  Knowing that I had to make a pattern from this, meant I actually needed to consider repeatability and provide measurements that when making  I wouldn’t normally worry about.

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After some trail and error, I paper pieced the triangles as accuracy of those triangles were important to the overall design. In a hilarious conversation with friends on working out the length of those rows, I broke out my math skills. As these are isosceles triangles, I divided a single triangle down the middle and worked out 1/2 Base using the right-angled triangles using some geometry (Soh-Cah-Toa). This gave me enough to calculate the length of those rows for you all but more importantly a few laughs with friends. When it came to naming the quilt, this conversation lead to the name.

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For quilting, I used a light blue grey Aurifil thread for some 1/2″ straight line quilting. I used the horizontal lines of the triangles as a guide. As a surprise, adding more interest, some echoed triangles were stitched randomly into the quilting lines. You’ll find these not only within the triangles but also echoed in some of the negative space.

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Lastly, I wanted to highlight that last horizontal lines (the base of the snow line). I did this using two different colors in the binding and color blocked it to match the fabric color palette in the design.

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Details

Name : Mt. Soh-Cah-Toa
Design:
Design by myself
Fabric: Paintbrush Studio’s Painters Palette Solids.
Binding: Paintbrush Studio’s Painters Palette Solids
Dimensions:  60″ x 60″
Quilted: Straight Line 1/2″ with inset echoed triangles

If you are an MQG member, you can get this free pattern from the resources web page here.

Playing with Color

Have you ever played with re-coloring your design or a pattern from another designer. I love playing with color and finding new color combinations. I recently had to do this for two designs.

This first one, was designed based on an image from Design Seeds via @thebungalow22 of a striped beach umbrella.

I loved how the original design came out. The color palette landed up being an unusual and unique palette.

When playing with color combinations for this design, I wanted to make sure that I kept this uniqueness and the combination of cold and warm color balance.

The first playing with oranges, blues and grey, which I think maintains the freshness.

The second, a more reserved palette with teal, green and peach.

A third version, using peach-pink, green and greys.

With these striped designs, I am thinking of making prints or fabric wall hangings, to see them side by side – it would make an interesting color study I think.

The second design was based on an old gas lamp at the Mannheim water tower (Wasserturm), a picture captured while visiting family. The color palette was created using the Palette Builder tool from Play Crafts.

The original design, definitely with this color palette, gives an air of Art Deco (1930s). I like it but knew if I made it I would need to re-color it.

I first tried a black, white and grey version, which I think I need as a floor (tiles).

I played with some bright colors, and had fun with mixing pink + orange with some aqua + greens.

Keeping with bold colors, used a warm palette here with pinks + oranges + purples, using the white to make the colors pop.

Wanted to play with more muted tones, so added some pastel based colors to this purple + yellow based palette.

Liking the white but wanting to give it some freshness in this one. I went back to the warm + cold palette with this one. A mix of green + pink + peach and using the pastel versions of the green + peach, and again the white to add to the brightness and contrast.

Lastly, I wanted to  play with some prints, my go to Carolyn Friedlander prints. I like the variations in her blue prints and love the lilac prints that are in her collections. (color: blue + lilac + mustard and cream).

Do you play around with color in your designs or patterns? What are your favorite combinations?

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”.

What Shade Are You: Rails {a finish}

REPOSTING from RJR Fabrics “What Shade are You” Blog post today.
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Today, on “What Shade are You” I would like to share with you on my design journey and inspiration for my quilt “Rails”.

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I am Michelle Wilkie. I can be found on Instagram @ml_wilkie, or on my blog Factotum of Arts.

I was so excited to be participating in What Shade are you, and when I received my bundle in the mail a multitude of ideas came to mind. The colors are so vibrant.
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My original bundle, had a couple additional colors but the final fabrics I chose were:

Cotton Supreme Solids:
Optical White
Black
Turks & Caicos
Night
Electric Blue
Anemone
Citron
Sunny Delight
Tangerine Dream
Chilli Pepper
Grape
Shell pink
Raging Ruby

Additionally, I used some C+S fabrics to add some interest within the solids:
Sprinkle in Corduroy
Dottie in Fedora
Dottie Cousins in Natural

I get inspired all the time from the world around us. For this quilt, it was no different. My husband is from Mannheim Germany, where we both lived for a few years before moving to the US. My inspiration for this quilt came from the Neustheim Train Junction.

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The lines fascinated me. I loved the idea of using improvisation strip piecing to try and mimic these strong direction lines. It was an interesting experience bending the fabric to make the gentle curves. Some tips:

  1. I started this quilt at one end and added in one direction, using strips to mark out where I was adding curves that would intersect with other lines.
  2. Use a lot of starch to get the pieces to lay flat and press often.
  3. Make sure you trim your threads and additional fabric as you go, especially when using white.
  4. Lastly, I glue basted this quilt while it was on my design wall. I pressed each layer to fix it to the one beneath. This technique was important as it helped the top to adhere flat to the bottom layers and hold in place as it stretched out some of the puffy areas.

Here’s a close-up of the quilt top. The predominant colors are blues, yellows and white, however as I stepped back with each addition, I decided to add pops of colors. This adds balance and richness to this quilt that helped also break up the stark bands of color. You can see the use of red, purple, pinks, and orange.

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For the quilting, I used Aurifil 2410, 2021, 2120, and 2783. I used irregular-spaced wavy lines that flowed with the fabric strips, to complement the colors and design of the quilt. In the binding, I also added some interest and continued the flow of color by inserting a piece of C+S print and a small blue strip to my white binding.

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This was so much fun to play with such vibrant colors. I loved the overall finish that the Cotton Supreme Solids provided. Thanks to RJR fabrics for the opportunity and to you for stopping by.
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Stop by my RJRFabrics and ml_wilkie (on Instagram) for a giveaway later today.

Mad Dash {Pattern Release}

Today I am releasing my Mad Dash Quilt Pattern. It is now available in my payhip and craftsy shops.

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Over some time, I had started to collect a significant amount of scrap and panels of Maze and Vale low volume, hand printed fabrics. Saving them for the perfect quilt. After playing around with dashes, inspired by the lines in a text document, I came up with this design.

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In my head, I could envision the recently released Art Gallery Fabrics soft Denim for the dashes, and the Maze and Vale prints for the backgrounds.

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I love how this quilt turned out. I have two layers of batting and denim on the back as this is now our picnic blanket.mad-dash-back
The pattern includes 3 alternative sizes. The pattern testers did an amazing job. I love their choices.

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Photo Credits to each of the testers:
1. Debbie's Pillow (IG: @aquilterstable); 
2. Katherine's Lizzie House quilt (IG: @katgraycraft);
3. Jacqueline's quilt using solids (IG: @jskarritt); 
4. Molly's in a great woodsy palette (IG: @lane33andhalf)

Details

Name: Mad Dash
Design:
Original Design (Payhip or Craftsy)
Fabric: AGF Denim Studio, Maze and Vale Low Volumes
Backing: AGF Denim Studio
Binding: AGF Textured Denim
Dimensions: 60 x 60″
Quilted: Sarah @ Crinkle Love

I would love to see any makes with the pattern. Tag me on Instagram (@ml_wilkie) or use the hashtag #maddashquilt