This is another long episode because I’m talking about six quilts. These are mini quilts, all created based on prompts. I love making mini quilts because I can really experiment with ideas and techniques without committing to a full quilt. I highly recommend making them!! I’ve listed the names of the quilts and the time they appear in the video in the Description box on my YouTube channel, just in case you want to jump to one in particular.
The next quilt in my virtual trunk show is called Baby’s First Chevron. This quilt was gifted long before I shot this video, so I can only show photos. I made this quilt out of a collection of chevron blocks that were made by members of the Brooklyn Quilters Guild for one of our block of the month raffles. Because I wanted the finished quilt to be bigger than the number of blocks I received, I decided to use this as an opportunity to design a more contemporary-looking quilt with a lot of negative space. Thank goodness for my design wall!!
This very special episode of my continuing virtual trunk show required a new location because my fifth quilt — Cabin Windows – Verona, PA ca. 1768 — was made as a housewarming gift for Shannon Reed and can normally be found draped on her bed. Similar to my previous quilt, Caged Cacophony, this quilt organically evolved from a very nebulous idea into what has become one of my favorite quilts I ever made. It was such a joy making this knowing that I would be giving it to my dear friend who would appreciate everything that went into it. Be sure to watch the video to hear about the process as well as to see some close-ups of the very dense free-motion quilting in all of the sashing.
I recently traveled to Ohio to visit my family. Since we’re still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, our options for fun things to do outside of the home were quite limited. Thankfully, my brilliant mother came up with a brilliant idea — the Ottawa County Barn Quilt Trail! Some of you may be wondering just what exactly is a barn quilt? It’s a piece of wood that has been painted to look like a quilt block and then affixed to a barn (or any building, really). Check out the articles below to learn about the surprisingly short history of barn quilts. I actually had no idea that barn quilts only date back to 2001 until I started writing this blog post!
My parents live in Northwest Ohio, so the Ottawa County Barn Quilt Trail was the closest one for us. This trail is a collaboration between the Greater Port Clinton Area Arts Council and the Ottawa County 4-H Program. There are currently 22 quilts displayed on the trail with more coming this fall. They are scattered throughout the county, which means quite a bit of back and forth if you want to see them all. But it’s so worth it!
Not only are the barn quilts themselves so cool to see, but it was such a pleasure to drive through the beautiful countryside with glimpses of Lake Erie and the bizarrely juxtaposed sight of the Davis-Besse cooling tower and its enormous cloud of steam often spotted in the distance. We also managed to have a delicious socially-distanced lunch of lake perch at Jolly Rogers in Port Clinton. What a lovely day! Scroll through the pictures below and enjoy!
This fourth video takes us on a little tour of the first bed-sized quilt I ever made — Caged Cacophony. It kind of all happened without any real plan at the beginning. In fact, I didn’t even plan on making a bed-sized quilt when I first started working on it. I’m a big fan of flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to designing and making quilts, and this quilt epitomizes that philosophy. Watch the video to learn more!
The third quilt in my virtual trunk show — Beyond the Machine — is very near and dear to my heart because it is the first quilt I designed myself. This quilt was made as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the Brooklyn Quilters Guild. I wanted to make an industrial-looking version of the New York Beauty pattern, so I created a template that came together as cogwheels. Watch the video to find out more!
The Craftsy 2012 Block of the Month by Amy Gibson sampler quilt is the second quilt I ever made. I learned so many useful basic quilting skills and techniques, and I also used this as an opportunity to teach myself free-motion quilting thanks to Leah Day’s Free Motion Quilting a Sampler class, also on Craftsy.
Heads up! This is a very long video because I say a little bit about each block of the quilt. I’ve listed the blocks with their corresponding time stamp in the Description box below the YouTube video, so feel free to skip to whatever block you’re interested in.
Welcome to the first video of my virtual “trunk show”! Since I’m not planning on showing my quilts in person anytime soon, I decided it would be fun to take you on a chronological journey of my quilt making. In this video, I talk about the very first quilt I ever made thanks to a Craftsy class by Amy Gibson. If you want to make sure you don’t miss my following trunk show videos, be sure to click on that Subscribe button! Keep on making, everyone!
This quilt design was inspired by all of the rooftop water towers you’ll see as you perambulate around New York City. You might think the rooftop water tower is just some rotting old, unused piece of infrastructure from a bygone era, but after reading this article from 6sqft you’ll realize they’re just as much in use today as they were decades ago. As a result, the rooftop water tower has become a well-recognized symbol of NYC, appearing in graphic designs on hipster tees, screenprinted tea towels sold at outer borough flea markets, and stenciled graffiti walls throughout the city.
When I was working on my BK Snaps quilt, I wanted the blocks to represent different “snapshots” you would find around Brooklyn. Of course, I had to include a rooftop water tower. I used scraps to make my prototype block, and it was so cute I decided right then and there that I would design a whole quilt around that block at a later date.
A few months ago I finally started working on a bunch of different water tower blocks. I was determined to only use scraps for the blocks themselves and improv piece them so they were each unique. Once I made a few, I started thinking about the overall layout I would want for the quilt top and decided I wanted it to look like a gallery wall of “framed photos” of rooftop water towers. So I framed each block with matching solid strips of fabric and kept making blocks in different shapes and sizes until I was satisfied with the layout.
As I was piecing the quilt top, I began thinking about the overall quilt design. Because the blocks are scrappy and cutesy, I wanted the quilting to contrast — maybe something a little more graphic and urban. I decided to fill the white background sashing with various triangular shapes and sharp-angled polygons filled in with very dense matchstick quilting. Then every once in a while, I would break that up with a more open grid-like quilting design. I find the overall effect to have a graffiti-like quality, which I think is appropriate for the subject matter.
Because the majority of the quilting is very dense, I decided to keep the quilting inside the blocks very simple. I stitched in the ditch around each water tower and then quilted easy wavy lines in the “air” around each tower. I ultimately decided to not quilt inside the actual frames at all because I wanted a noticeable break between the dense quilting of the sashing and the very low-volume quilting of the water towers. (A distinction you might notice more on the back of the quilt.)
My final design decision was using a striped binding to frame the entire “gallery wall.” I was fortunate enough to have this fabric on hand, and the colors of the stripes are varied enough that they seem to match whatever colors are near them. And the colors of the binding are light enough that they don’t take the eye away from the blocks, which should be the focus of the quilt.
Et voilà! That’s my Rooftop Water Towers quilt! It took me FOR-EV-AH to finish, but I’m so happy with how it turned out. I really love how it combines urban imagery with a traditional crafting style. Have you ever been inspired by your surroundings and created something as a result? I’d love to hear about it, so please post comments and questions below. Share your own crafting stories, please! Happy making, everyone!!
I just completed a new quilt, and this video takes you from the beginning to the end of the process. And what a process it was! Whew!! I’d love to hear about your own quilting and making process, so be sure to leave any questions or comments here or on my YouTube channel so we can keep the quilting conversation going. And please subscribe so you don’t miss out on any upcoming videos!