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Squared Elements Modern Strip Pieced Quilt

Christine Vinh of StitchesnQuilts created a beautiful modern quilt for display at Artistic Artifacts that features the Squared Elements line from Art Gallery fabrics — a quick and easy quilt to put together!

Featuring Squared Elements fabrics by Art Gallery, this modern quilt was strip pieced by Christine Vinh of StitchesnQuilts

Chris used methods similar to a Jelly Roll Race quilt (there are many Jelly Roll Race tutorials online), but instead of using a prepackaged Jelly Roll of strips, she rotary cut her strips, and also incorporated solid white into her design.

Some of the colors of the Squared Elements line by Art Gallery Fabrics

Chris began by choosing 13 colors of Squared Elements: Blueberry, Cyan, Fuchsia, Honeycomb, Lime, Mandarin, Navy, Noir, Pomegranate, Shadow, Turquoise, Wasabi and Watermelon.

Her first step was to cut the Squared Elements fabrics into 2.5 inch wide strips. She then cut those strips into different (and random) lengths. A solid white cotton fabric was cut into strips that were 2.5 inches wide (the same as the colored fabrics), but a consistent length, 5.5 inches.

To begin the quilt construction, Chris stitched together the randomly cut longer color strips on the short 2.5 inch end, alternating each color with the white 2.5 inch x 5.5 inch strip.

Chris notes that the length of the sewn strips you create will depend on what size quilt you desired. “I made mine approximately the size of my design wall,” she said, “but a bit longer to allow for some minor adjustment in vertical strip placement.”

She continued randomly stitching the colored strips to the white strips, placing them on her design wall when complete. Once you have enough strips completed to create the width of the quilt, fine-tune your strip placement if desired. Once your strip order is determined, square up the ends of your strips if you have staggered the vertical placement of the strip to achieve a more pleasing order. Stitch all strips together on the long sides to complete the quilt top.

Squared Elements modern quilt by Christine Vinh of StitchesnQuilts in progress

One aspect of the Jelly Roll Race quilts is that the strip placement is NOT planned and you’re encouraged not to fuss over it. Chris challenged herself to work in the same random way. If two like-colored strips end up next to one another, that’s okay!

The back of the Squared Elements modern quilt by Christine Vinh of StitchesnQuilts in progress

Chris is known for creating quilts that are just as pretty on the reverse by piecing her backings, and this quilt is no exception — see above. She used leftover Squared Elements fabrics and pieced them with Moonstone Pure Elements fabric, also from Art Gallery.

The finishing touch was machine quilting by Mandi Singer-Persell, a fellow member of the Arlington chapter of Quilter’s Unlimited. Mandi’s business SewcialStitch is passionate about fabric and quilting, and offers professional longarm services to help you finish your quilting projects. A detailed view of the gray solid back of the quilt so you can appreciate Mandi’s quilting design:

Detail of longarm machine quilting by Mandi Singer-Persell of SewcialStitch

Chris is also working on another quilt using the Squared Elements, a Log Cabin block variation set on point, seen below. We hope these modern style strip pieced quilts have inspired you!

Another Squared Elements quilt in progress by Chris Vinh of StitchesnQuilts

Folded Fabric Tree

Folded fabric tree by Julie Middleton of Artistic Artifacts
Art Gallery Fabrics fabric tree project

My sister Julie Middleton made the above pictured Folded Fabric Tree. She was inspired by the Holiday Decorating 101- Decorate like a Pro post earlier this month on the Art Gallery Fabric blog.

It included 6 free patterns and ideas for holiday decorating — although the Divided Organizer Caddy project is a great year round idea! Julie fell in love with #4, the fabric Christmas tree (Art Gallery version pictured right).

Blog author Meli wrote, “Wanna take a break from sewing? Try making a fabric Christmas tree by following this fun folding and pinning method. I love how professional all the folded clean edges look. Add your tree to the center of your table to make the most darling centerpiece!” View their easy video tutorial below.

We love the beautiful modern cottons by Art Gallery Fabrics — you can see our in-store quilt using many of the colors of their Squared Elements line in the background of the above photo. Julie used a variety of fabrics (detail pictured below), including selections from our Black and White Fabrics section — including Australian Aborigine designed prints and our own Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik such as Folklife-Paisley Leaves Mystic.

Detail, Folded fabric tree by Julie Middleton of Artistic Artifacts

Instead of creating a star, Julie topped her tree with a vintage spool of thread. This might be a fun project to do as a group as you gather with friends and family this holiday season — many hands would make light work of cutting and folding the fabric squares to create the tree. You can match any decor and vary the size: how about a grouping of trees gracing your mantel or tabletop?

Art Gallery Fabrics is also offering a free download of cute gift tags inspired by some of their fabric collections for those doing last minute gift wrapping.

Happy Holidays to all!

Red Flower Wonky Log Cabin Quilt

I actually thought I was creating wonky log cabin blocks in a previous blog post when I used Australian fabrics by M&S Textiles. But I just wasn’t wonky enough! Who would have thought?!

Why was I back to creating Wonky Log Cabins? Because we will use a Wonky Log Cabin blocks in our 2015 Row by Row Experience pattern! I thought I should practice first (this is totally out of character for me) and began to investigate the technique.

I found a terrific blog online: Quilt Dad, the alias of John Q. Adams. He has already done the hard work of creating a wonderful instructional tutorial posting on the Wonky log Cabin.

Thanks to his influence, I fashioned my step by step photos like his (because why reinvent the wheel when someone has done such a great job?) Thank you, Quilt Dad!

Above, I began with a mini hand drawn batik panel, Red Flowers, by Hari Agung, trimming the sides at a bit of an angle. The actual cutting is approximately ¼” to ¾” on each side.

Adding "logs" of fabric around the center panel

I then decided on my selections for the additional fabric I wanted to use for the logs around the center panel. Once I had them picked out, I cut them approximately 1½” each for ease (above). I would then trim different amounts off with each row to add variety to my wonky logs (below).

Trimming the added "logs" of fabric around the center panel

I continued to add “log” strips.

Adding and trimming "logs" of fabric around the center panel
Adding and trimming "logs" of fabric around the center panel

Then I added a 3″ border (below). This is I Make The Path, Spirit by Frond Design Studios.

Three-inch border added

Lately I have noticed that I tend to find myself sticking with like fabrics in my projects, and am trying to change that. For example, when I work with batiks, I tend to work with only batik fabrics, even when my intent is to be scrappy. I think I have been limiting myself with that approach, so I am challenging myself to move out of that comfort zone and mix up my fabric choices.

Final touch: lime green piping and a narrow batik binding

I did use one of my favorite tools, the Groovin’ Piping Trimming Tool, to create the lime green piping (shown above). The piping was stitched on first, and then the binding. I have tried to combine these steps in the past with one sewing pass…unsuccessfully. So now I take the time to sew them each on separately.

I added some free-motion stitching on the panel and throughout red border fabric. It’s difficult to see in these photographs, so I took a closeup photo (below). It was great fun following the Frond Fabric wisps and curves! (You can see a bit of that in the binding photo above.)

Free motion quilting on red flower panel

My Finished Quilt (below). I have used batiks, Australian Aborigine, and the Frond Design Studios in this small quilt, and they look great together!

Red Flower Wonky Log Cabin by Judy Gula

Stay tuned for our Row by Row announcement in a future e-newsletter or blog posting, and “like” Artistic Artifacts on Facebook to see our Row first!

P.S. Remember, Artistic Artifacts will be an exhibitor at the 42nd Annual Quilter’s Unlimited Quilt Show in Chantilly, VA, May 28-31. The shop will be closed Friday and Saturday, May 28-29, so locals, please plan visit us at the show!

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