Finished – Color Wheel Mini

For our January quilt guild meeting, our program was learning about the color wheel. Everyone was asked to bring a half yard of medium gray fabric and received a bag of 2-inch squares of fabric in a rainbow of colors. During our meeting we talked through the color wheel, organizing our pieces of fabric as we went. At the end of the meeting, they asked us to create something with the fabric and bring it to the March meeting.

I wanted to do something simple and without curves (I’m already in the middle of a big circle project). I came up with a variation on a 9-patch that evoked the feeling of a color wheel, without any curves. I brought in a few different gray fabrics for the background. It was a quick project that was fun to put together.

Color Wheel Challenge, designed and quilted by Jenn Rodriguez

For the back, I used up the scraps pairing complementary colors together.

Color Wheel Challenge, back, designed and quilted by Jenn Rodriguez


Local Quilt Shop Challenge – or how I research a quilt pattern

My local quilt shop is having a challenge this year – make a quilt using only Tula Pink and Moda Grunge fabrics. I knew I had a number of Tula Pink fat quarters. So I pulled all of those from my stash. It turned out to be a majority of purples, blues and greens. What am I going to do with these?

So I did a little browse through my Pinterest boards and narrowed down to a Pickle Dish pattern. I’ve been wanting to do one for awhile and really love the vintage ones that I’ve seen. So I did a quick Pinterest search on “modern pickle dish quilts”. There are surprising few quilts labelled this way. But I kept doing various searches and saved a few more images of quilts that I liked. Feel free to take a look.

I also did a google search on pickle dish tutorials. I can figure out the basic construction, but wanted to research a bit more. I came across this blog post on Bryan House Quilts and this one on Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night. Both of them were really informative and also helped me dive a little bit deeper into the research portion. Ashley recommended Gypsy Kisses pattern by Sarah Fielke from “Material Obsession 2” and Pickle Dish Quilt in Kaffe Fassett’s “Quilt Romance.” I happen to have Material Obsession 2 and remembered I had ooh-ed and ahh-ed over Gypsy Kisses the first time I saw it. It’s got a great retro look to it. Then I went to my library and borrowed Quilt Romance. I enjoyed comparing how these two designers constructed their quilts and it really helped me to define how I wanted to approach this quilt. I have a big hand sewing project going on right now, so going with the Kaffe Fassett pattern I’ll machine piece this.

I sketched out my idea by hand first, then on the computer. I’m liking this version.

It’s going to be scrappy using the various fat quarters of Tula pink, but the background will be a dark blue or purple Moda Grunge. I’m excited!

This & That – February 2018 Edition

I turned 40 in February! My boys treated me to a nice dinner out (desserts and drinks included) plus they indulged my sewing habit and gave me Every Day Essentials by Anna Graham. My sister took me to a Valerie June concert, first live concert I’ve been to in about 10 years. My brother gave me one of his amazing paintings! It inspired me to set up a picture wall in our living/dining room area.

Tracking my reading this month, I finished 4 books. My favorite was Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. Way out of my normal genre, but so engaging and moving!

I’ve been really trying to sew from my stash for the last couple of years. I really enjoyed reading about this stash shrinker. I’m giving it a try.

I’m a big fan of The Moth podcast. So when I saw a grand slam winner has a podcast, Family Ghosts, I added it to my listen-to list.

Pillow February

Somehow February ended up being a pillow making month. My boys had been asking to make pillows for a couple of weekends. I finally went out and bought pillow forms. I let them “design” the front, then helped them cut out the rectangles.

The boys are finally tall enough they can reach the foot pedal and guide the fabric. Though the foot pedal is much more fun and I ended up being the fabric guide for a lot of the sewing. I did give them a break, while I re-enforced some stitching. Then they finished up sewing the back to the front.

These are pretty proud boys.

My second project was a reverse applique pillow. My local quilt guild is having a May flower challenge – you can make anything but you need to use at least 6 inches of the focus fabric and it can’t be bigger than 36 inches square. I haven’t done reverse applique in awhile and thought this would be a fun way to showcase the focus fabric. I chose a solid color jersey knit that complemented the fabric. I traced the basic flower pattern I had in mind, but then tried to free-form or improv embroidery stitches/patterns. This was such a great, quick project! And the pillow has found it’s mate with my blue reading chair.

May Flower Challenge Pillow, designed and made by Jenn Rodriguez


Last year, Michelle Wilke, did a series of postcard quilts. I really loved the idea of a small project to test out a design idea, or just to play around to see what works. The smaller scale is less intimidating and you don’t feel like you’ve wasted too much time or fabric if you end up not liking it.

I tried this technique out this month with a quilt idea. I’ve been wanting to do a red and white quilt and had this idea of off-center, 45 degree-angles stripes.

Red and White quilt doodle, by Jenn Rodriguez

I learned that I’ll need to figure out the math for making the strip sets wide enough. Angling them at 45 degrees takes away quite a bit of width. I also need to work on the proportion of the solid backgrounds on the top and bottom of the quilt.