Tag Archives: quilt design

Natural Corridors

I have finally finished my charity quilt that was completed as part of our guild’s Spoonflower Fabric Challenge.

The rules of the challenge were:

  • Any child sized quilt in any design goes
  • Use the FE Spoonflower fabric bundle
  • You can add up to 3 solids


I loved the color palette. I knew exactly the quilt design I wanted to use. My first quilt design ever – “Natural Corridors“.

This design was based on a concept that I studied in Ecology. In nature, a corridor is a link of habitat, generally native vegetation, which joins two or more larger areas of similar wildlife habitat. Corridors are critical for the maintenance of ecological processes including allowing for the movement of animals and the continuation of viable populations.

The solids, I used with the FE Spoonflower bundle, were Kona white and pickle. My math was a little off, once I increased the pattern to lap-size, so to compensate I added the scrappy row at the top. This mistake actual is my favorite part of the quilt. The quilt top was perfect, as it took me 3 hours to make up, and I was limited on time.


I kept the backing simple by using tangerine Crosshatch (Carolyn Friedlander) wide back fabric. The binding I actually used two fabrics. This chevron fabric was used to bind the lighter scrappy row at the top and then a darker blue for the rest of the quilt. I think it works and balances out the quilt well.



Name: Natural Corridors
Designed by me
Fabric: Solids: Kona White & Pickle, FE Spoonflower fabrics:

Dimensions: 54″ x 56″
Quilted: Cary Quilting Company

I am so excited to give this to our challenge charity – Raleigh Methodist home for Children and to a child who I hope will love it.

If anyone is interested in the pattern let me know and I can work on releasing it before the end of the year. Linking up with Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday.


Altitudinal Ecosystem

The last of this round of secret projects was revealed last week!! “Altitudinal Ecosystem” was August Quilt of the Month for the Modern Quilt Guild. Amazing to think that thousands of people got my quilt in their email last week. WOW!! In case you missed it, the pattern is available to MQG members here.

Altitudinal Ecosysytem

This design was created as part of Quilt Design a Day (QDAD). It was inspired by Anne @ Play Crafts spark (inspirational photo and color palette) of Crater Lake.

The mountain in the middle of the lake reminded me of my ecology studies. We looked at the impacts of altitude on species causing zonation/changes of various species (both plant and animal).

This gave me the idea to represent the zones by various colored bars and graduating the color from light green to dark green to white (snow caps).
Altitudinal Ecosystem Forest

For the back, I really wanted to use this mountain print from Sarah Watson’s Indian Summer line and some of the off cuts from the front. However, the off-cuts were too bold for the print so instead I created a grey and white stripe section with splashes of the color from the front.
Altitudinal Ecosystem Back

You may also notice in this photo above I have used color blocked the binding. That is, The mountain areas is in  dark green (pickle), the lake in the dark blue and the sky area in Lighter blue.

The quilting was all done with my walking foot and various Aurifil threads. I used standard straight lines following the direction of the zones, for the mountain. This represented the solid nature of the mountain. The sky and the lake though I wanted to introduce more movement. For the sky, I used wavy lines representing air movement.
Quilting Sky

The lake, I was thinking about circles but since it it not symmetrical I thought an improv. irregular block design could work. This quilting design was inspired by some of the quilting Carolyn Friedlander uses in her savor each stitch quilts. I really like the look and the texture is fantastic.
Quilting Lake

This is definitely one of my favorite quilts, I have made so far, its getting a little hard to choose now :-). I hope you all enjoy it too.


Name: Altitudinal Ecosystem
Designed by me, available from the MQG site (if you are a member)
Fabric:  Kona Solids (White, Shadow, Pickle (which was provided by Robert Kaufman), Wasabi, Prussian, Oasis); Back: Woodland in Pine, Indian Summer, Sarah Watson, AGF, Kona Solids (White, Shadow, Pickle, Oasis, Prussian)
Dimensions: 60″ x 60″
Quilted: Using walking foot and matching Aurifil 50wt threads; Ultra wavy lines, Improv. Irregular block shapes, Straight line quilting.

If you want to submit a quilt design for the MQG Quilt of the month, you can – they are looking for 2016 people. Vist this page for the information and submission form.

Linking up with  Adrienne for 2015 Finish along, as this was one of my goals for Q2 to finish.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side



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 erinwilsonquilts.com).
  • 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!!

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?




Design Inspiration: Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts

Last year, I watched a group of friends participate in the Sisterhood of the traveling quilts. I loved the idea, and the wonderful creations they made.

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

The idea is that you start your quilt and then it moves onto the next person and they add something based on your guidelines. I am so happy, I am joining in on all the fun, this year. Also joining is Liz from Beadqueene’s Bits and Baubles.

This was my inspiration mosaic (posted on IG. (ml_wilkie) and pulled from my inspirational quilts board on pinterest (squeekcrafts)).

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 10.18.41 PMNote: Top left, middle and bottom right are all by Erin Wilson, Top right is by zipper teeth, Botton Left is a mosaic of Hopewell quilts.

I was additionally inspired today by the road signs as we traveled to the mountains. My husband thought I was crazy snapping road signs all along our trip, but then he also finds it funny that I see a quilt design in everything 😀


So, taking these images and combining it with my preferred color palette (Kona Torch, Kona Pool, Kona Titanium, Kona Regal and various Neutrals)….my initial block designs for my sisterhood quilt look like this so far.


I may add a couple more blocks that are based on some of the other things we saw – like a bridge, ski lift etc. Now, all I need to do is get these made before QuiltCon so I can pass them along to the next person who will be adding to my blocks.

Blogiversary + Giveaway

It’s been two years already!! Where did time go?? This year has been a big one for my blog and myself. You may have noticed I stopped posting about topics other than quilting/sewing. This was not a conscious decision. It kind of happened organically, as such, I changed up my blog menu, to reflect more of my active quilting topics.

Some of the big things that have happened in the last year:

  • Won Designers Choice award for the Threadbias Critters Patch Baby Quilt Design contest.
  • Participated in my first online bees – Scrapbeelicious and Stash bee.
  • Started Book Review Tuesdays (which is still happening just a little more sporadically).
  • Hosting Gypsy Wife Quilt Along and it was the first time I reached out to get sponsors.
  • My most successful post is the tutorial for the iPad/iPhone stand.
  • Teaching 4 modern quilting classes at Spoonflower using my Sampler Quilt design. Part 3 of the 4 classes is currently open if you want to attend and in the Raleigh/Durham area.
  • Participated in Sew Down Nashville and met some of the folks in the blogosphere. Also met Ashley (finally) from Wasn’t Quilt in Day!
  • Joined the Quilt Design a Day group.
  • Michael Oakshott, sponsored my “Neighbourhood” quilt and sent me fabric!!
  • Won the Jungle Ave + Quilt Now Quilt Design contest.
  • You can check out my finishes for this year here.
  • Last week, I reached over 100,000 views!! and ~800 followers
  • Today, I have a featured tutorial on Sew Mama Sew for my new quilt, which is one of my Quilt Design a Day designs. I will be choosing a couple more designs over the next couple of months and sharing them on Sew Mama Sew (if you have a favorite let me know).

A thank you goes out to the top 5 recent commenters to my blog. This is based on a wordpress statistic which does a count of the number of comments made by a person in the last 1000 comments. I will be sending a gift card to these 5 people from Hawthorne Threads. An email has been sent.

In addition to this I want to thank all those who have supported me in my new hobby/obsession, I thought a giveaway would be in order.  All you need to do is leave me a comment about a project you are proud of so far this year (include a link so I can take a look. I love seeing everybody’s work). If you are a follower leave a second comment for a second entry. The winner will be announced after 6pm EST this Friday (5th September).

The giveaway includes:

  • A 1/2 yard bundle of a selection (at least 3-4 yards) of my “Elements” fabric designs from Spoonflower.com.
  • A Robert Kaufman Kona Color Card from the FQS.
    Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 11.29.35 AM
  • And a box of Alison Glass Aurifil thread kit (small)

Linking up with Lorna for Let’s bee Social (see button on the right).

QDAD: Quilt Design a Day (Week 8)

This week has been an exciting time for our Quilt Design A Day group, especially exciting for Anne. Anne presented a great presentation on the “Quilt Design a Day: Discovering Your Creative Process”. If you are a MQG member, you can find the recording here.

Now, just as a reminder we are having a couple of challenge weeks at Quilt Design a Day. Last week started a shapes challenge…its finished up here this week, and followed by the beginning of the Medallion quilt design challenge.

 7 August: Challenge Day 5 “Triangles” – Pennants

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 8.25.29 PM
This design is based on the international numeral pennants (0 through 9).

Based on feedback from the group, I added orange  which I really like  a lot. The second design I did for Anne to show the same design in prints.
QDAD_Pennants_Orange_7August2014    QDAD_Pennants_Prints_7August2014

8 August: Challenge Day 6 “9 Patch”

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 8.26.13 PM
The inspiration or challenge today is to use the 9 patch block in the design. I deconstructed the squares and made scrappy blocks in prints of that are representative of the above color palette.


9 August: Challenge Day 7 “Star” – Tapa Star

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 8.26.34 PM

This is an older design that I reused for the star challenge and played with this color palette. I would not usually use this palette so it was good to play and see what came from a new palette.


10-13 August: Medallion Challenge Day 1 – 4 (to be continued next week)

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 8.26.55 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 9.10.44 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 9.10.55 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 9.23.47 PM
I had seen this cool black and white circle rug recently at either West Elm or CB2. I was thinking what a great idea to incorporate. Why not a circular Medallion quilt and what if some of it was bias applique.
QDAD_MedallionCenter_10August  QDAD_MedallionBorder1_11August QDAD_MedallionBorder2_11August QDAD_MedallionBorder3_13August

That’s it this week. I am really looking forward to seeing how the medallion quilt turns out.