curved log cabin block and new stash

New stash is always exciting : these fabrics are from my friend Kate. She visited in Las Vegas not only shows, but also a few quilting shops. It is a perfect collection of blenders and patterns in bright hues.

stash 1606 - skalabara quilts

The colors come together really nicely and it is a great addition to my stash.

stash 1606 detail - skalabara quilts

new stash = new idea = new project

The other day I was on the internet looking what other fellow quilters are up to and I came across a curved log cabin block. Log cabin is always a versatile block with many different quilt layout possibilities. But the curved log cabin block makes a nice optical illusion – it looks more like a circle than a square block. I just had to try out this new variant of the classical block. What better could I do with the new fabrics I got!

17 different fabrics + white background + yellow binding later :

curved log cabin 8 3 - skalabara quilts

The result is a mini quilt measuring 19″ x 19″ with 4 curved log cabin blocks. This block type is ideal for a QAYG (quilt as you go) pattern, but the block should be larger, lets say at least 24″ square. This size is good for a cushion cover or for a throw. I have a few ladies attending my classes that prefer to work on larger, individual blocks and piece them first together when all blocks are quilted. I am starting to be an expert on QAYG patterns. At the moment I am revising my scribbles and feeding the computer with all the QAYG patterns I have written down in my paper notebook.

curved log cabin 8 3 - skalabara quilts

I shall keep this mini quilt, that I have free-motion quilted with a loop pattern, as a sample for patchwork and quilting classes. Over the last few months I have started preparing different patchwork blocks and quilting samples to show to my patchwork and quilting pupils.

For the next block I have pieced, I added one more strip. Piecing four blocks together and adding an outer border makes the block 21″ square.

curved log cabin 10 2 - skalabara quilts

Here a detail (trying to take a nice pic on a windy day)

curved log cabin 10 detail - skalabara quilts

The block is now larger, but still not big enough for a QAYG pattern. I added one more strip and this brings the block including the outer border to a size of 26″ x 26″; i.e. the quilt size is 78″ x 78″ when making 9 blocks.

curved log cabin QAYG block

More details on the curved log cabin QAYG project coming soon!

barbora flower small skalabara quilts

place mat with frances firefly block from the fancy forest pattern

This place mat is the result of a Frances Firefly block that was not wide enough to use it in a small version of the Fancy Forest quilt. Precise piecing is a must for all blocks as well as accurate cutting and pressing. So that you do not end with a few more place mats.

I have decided to practice my free motions skills on this small project and got out some variegated cotton threads from Superior Threads : King Tut Quilting Thread. I have been using this thread for many years and I think that the quality is outstanding. I buy neutral colors in cones and color threads in spools.

fancy forest frances firefly thread - skalabara quilts

But what free motion pattern? I started practicing an “eight” pattern on some scraps. After getting more confident I filled the wings and the body with the new design. Even though my Bernina sewing machine came with a BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) for easy free motion quilting, I prefer the ordinary embroidery foot. And practice, practice and practice …….

fancy forest frances firefly wings quilting - skalabara quilts

For the background quilting I used the pebbles pattern. It keeps the place mat nicely flat and smooth.

fancy forest frances firefly pebble quilting - skalabara quilts 1

fancy forest frances firefly pebble quilting 2 - skalabara quilts

The binding fabric is a solid in bright fuchsia. Solids are my favorite fabrics for binding a quilt – it is like adding a frame to a nice picture. It should underline the quilt design, but it shouldn’t be the highlight.

fancy forest frances firefly place mat - skalabara quilts

I didn’t quilt the small colorful 1″ squares on top, they just pop up.

fancy forest frances firefly - skalabaraquilts

My next project is a second place mat with Hazel Hedgehog block, once more with free motion quilting finishing to match this place mat.

barbora sbq flower

hedgehog parade

Here is my hedgehog parade :

hedgehog parade pillow covers - skalabara

Christmas is coming quickly. This year I am going to spend the festive season with my Mum in Prague. As I have 5 kids in the family, I was thinking about some sewn presents for them. Two years ago I made these pillow covers :  birds and planes. This year I came over a wonderful hedgehog pattern for a pillow cover or a quilt by Elizabeth Hartman.

hedgehog parade pillow covers 6 - skalabara

So here I am – sewing 5 little hedgehogs for the kids. The pattern is very clear and all steps are well explained. I have followed the color palette suggestion in the pattern. This time I got out my stash box with all the solids. I am happy how the hedgehogs turned out – gloriously colorful and bright!

hedgehog parade pillow covers 3 - skalabara

All pillow covers are free-motion quilted, each with a color matching thread. I have used different quilting threads from my stock : Mettler – Quilting Cotton 40/3, Cotton Patch – Cotty 40/3, Superior Threads – King Tut 40/3 and Gutermann – Sulky 30.

hedgehog parade pillow covers collage - skalabara

The backing fabric I have bought some time ago. It has in the pattern all the colors I have used for the hedgehogs. All pillow covers have zippers on the back – here a quick and easy to follow tutorial by Riley Blake Designs.

hedgehog parade pillow covers collage detail and back - skalabara

Happy quilting, have wonderful weekend, Barbora

feather picture and knitted pillow covers

This is my very first feather block I made. Today I have added binding and 2 triangles as holders to the back so that I can hang it up in my sewing room.

feather block - skalabara

feather detail - skalabara

feather back - skalabara

I have also finished one position from my UFO-list. The knitted pillow covers sat for some time on the shelf as I knitted them already in the winter. I have lined them with muslin and made an envelope closure.

knitted pillows - skalabaraknitted pillow 1- skalabaraknitted pillow 2 - skalabaraknitted pillows back - skalabara

Have a wonderful August, thanks for stopping and happy quilting, Barbora

feathers and pebbles

Even though I have tried not to start any new project and finish all the UFOs I have on stock, I could not resist to try paper piecing. I wanted to make some pillow covers for a good friend of mine. It is Mary’s birthday end of this month. I thought it was time to try out a pattern I had for some time on my mind : Feather Bed Quilt by Anna Maria Horner. I must admit I really enjoyed working on this project. The block with 2 feathers is 18″ x 18″ finished and it makes an ideal size for pillows.

When I thought how to quilt the pillow covers I gathered that free motion quilting is the only choice. I copied the shape of the feathers with a brownish thread and went for a pebble pattern for the background. As I haven’t done free motion quilting for some I changed my piecing foot to a free motion foot and started practicing on some scraps. I am happy with the result, free motion quilting requires a lot of practice. I have some days off in August and practicing free motion quilting will be on the top of my agenda.

Here the 2 different pillow covers :

feather pillows 1 - skalabara

feather pillows 2 - skalabaraA quilting detail – copying the feather shape and pebbles for the background :

feather pillows detail fmq - skalabaraFor the back side of the pillow covers I choose a beige/gold fabric and a zipper closure :

feather pillows collage - skalabaraHope you are having a wonderful summer, Barbora