Marsala Quilt Challenge: Reveal

I’ve completed my Marsala challenge quilt! You can see my design and fabric pull here, pattern creation part one, and part two. df4c6-marsala2bbutton

Wine-ing Down, designed, pieced and quilted by Jenn Rodriguez

OH, this quilt! I love that the Marsala fabrics are the center of the design, but the background is just as interesting as the foreground.

I love the binding! In the QDAD group, I’ve seen some designs that use skinny stripes in the binding and I wanted to try it out. I used different widths from scraps so I could also get a feeling for proportion. It turned out wonderfully!

I also experimented a bit with my quilting. I recently purchased “Shape by Shape” by Angela Walters. It’s always inspiring to see her work. The  spiro-graph and flower petal motifs are from her book. I wasn’t sure how these curvy shapes would look next to the straight line quilting; and was constantly second-guessing my decision. But seeing it here – so lovely!

Wine-ing Down, designed, pieced and quilted by Jenn Rodriguez

I am a big fan of pieced backs. Although, this might not be my best work, it was fun to experiment (and use up some of my scraps).

Wine-ing Down back, designed, pieced and quilted by Jenn Rodriguez

I think my dissatisfaction comes from the green that I added in. I should have just stuck with the diamonds.

The quilt measures 47 x 47 inches.

Marsala Quilt Challenge, Pattern Creation, Part II

I’ve completed the top for my Marsala challenge quilt. You can see my design and fabric pull here and pattern creation part one here. df4c6-marsala2bbutton I finished the center of the quilt… Marsala Center, design by Jenn Rodriguez …and then got down to figuring out the rest of the construction. As I said in my previous post, I was unsure of how to do the math. So the rest of this post is my how-to. Figuring out the construction I used the 90 degree angle markings on my cutting mat. Lined up the block so the center seam was in the middle and there was about a half-inch between the center block and the 90 degree line (see arrow). Then I measured how long the side needed to be, 18.5 inches. I added an inch for good measure. I’d rather be too big than half an inch too short. This is when I realized I wasn’t making an HST (half-square triangle) rather a QST (quarter-square triangle). I learn something with every quilt I make. I feel like this one is a basic and I’m not sure how I missed it. Or maybe I just really like HSTs.

I laid out my quilt, aligning the seams. Marsala quilt construction, by Jenn Rodriguez I knew that upper, right-hand corner would involve a little more work. I trimmed the lighter portion of the QST and used the trimmed portion to lengthen the block. Then cut another light background 90 degree triangle to fill out the corner. Like so:Marsala quilt construction, by Jenn Rodriguez Next came the trimming, so everything was square. Marsala quilt construction, by Jenn Rodriguez Finally, I added a border along 2  sides (top and right). I’ve started to think about the back. I love pieced backs. I have some left-over HRTs and think I’ll make some more. I’ve also been trying to think of a name for this quilt – “Wine-ing Down” is all I can think of right now. I might need to sit down with a thesaurus to get some more ideas.

I’ll post pictures once everything is finished.

Marsala Quilt Challenge, Pattern Creation, Part I

I’ve started sewing my Marsala challenge quilt. You can see my design and fabric pull here. df4c6-marsala2bbutton I’ve switched out two fabrics – changing the medium green in the 4-patch and switching out the solid for this Sarah Watts, Shibuya in Rust fabric (upper left). Wining Down beginning, design by Jenn Rodriguez I wanted to walk through how I get from a design to a pattern. (I am by no means an expert, but this is what works for me right now.) I print out my design and, using a pencil, outline my blocks. Then I breakdown the elements within each block to traditional quilting shapes. For this design, I have a 4-patch element in the center, then star points, and half-square triangles (HST) in the background.

I debated how I wanted to construct the star points. My choices were between creating a paper-piecing template or make half-rectangle triangles (HRT). I recently saw this tutorial by Josee Carrier on Sew, Mama, Sew for HRTs and decided I would prefer to do it that way. The selling point for me – the templates and math were already done for me. Bonus!

Then, the math. I start with the smallest element (or nested element) – the 4-patch in this design. I decided on 2.5 inch strip sets, making the 4-patching 4.5 inches unfinished.


Based off of the 4-patch, the short side of my HRT needs to be 2.5 inches. Going back to the tutorial, I printed out the templates for the 2.5 x 4.5 inches unfinished HRT (2 x 4 finished).


To complete the star block, I would need 4, 4.5 inch squares.


The block is 12.5 inches unfinished (surprising, since I wasn’t trying to make a traditionally sized block). So the completed 4-star center design is 24.5 inches. This is where I stopped my math.

I know I want to use large HSTs, cut in half, to finish most of the background. But I’m not completely sure how to do the math. So my plan is to start making the stars, hoping that I’ll figure it out by the time I get the center stars constructed.

Stay tuned for a part two.

Cirrus Solids BOM Challenge

Cloud9 is having a year-long challenge to create quilt block designs using their new line of Cirrus solids. I am so thrilled that they picked my Twirling Geese design for March!

Here’s the test block I made from my stash in the Nautilus color way. Twirling Geese block, designed by Jenn Rodriguez

(I love this design! I’m going to turn this into a quilt using a mixture of the Cirrus solids and fabrics from my stash.)

Head over to the Cloud9 blog to download the pattern!

2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala

I like (sometimes love) quilt challenges. Gets me out of my comfort zone and pushes me to create something different. Playcrafts and On the Windy Side are hosting the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge and I’m in.

2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala

Go over to Playcraft’s post and read up a bit. I especially liked Latifah Saafir’s post on Pantone’s color of the year. It really helped me to get a grasp of the color palette and get excited about creating with Marsala.

I started with a Pinterest board – just to see what was out there. Check it out if you need some eclectic inspiration.

Here’s my design idea.

Marsala quilt challenge design

I think Anne’s design influenced mine.

Then I dug through my stash.

Marsala quilt challenge - fabric pull

Marsala is a mixture of brown, red and purple. The fabrics I pulled reflect that range (as I don’t think I have any true marsala colors in my stash): Amy Butler, Alison Glass, Cherrywood Fabrics solid and the top one is a random fat quarter that, of course, doesn’t have the selvedge edge with the fabric information. I wanted to keep the background fabrics light. I’m adding a bit of a medium green in the four-patch. It kind of clashes with the background colors, but I like the combination.

Now on to the sewing!