Aran Star Quilt Pattern

While browsing knitting patterns and attempting to learn about the history of knitting, I came across Aran knitting.  I find the cable designs of Aran knitting to be incredibly intricate and beautiful.  This is my Aran star – possibly my most favourite star among knitting star quilt blocks.   The diamonds and the lines between them in this star are very much inspired by Aran knitting.

Aran Star Quilt Pattern

This was the initial block I made using the Grandma’s House Keys fabric for the background.  I love to pretend that the “petals” are portals to different worlds.  With a different key, a completely different world opens up through the same portal.

Aran Star Quilt Pattern

Pattern on Etsy and Craftsy

Although the Aran star is not nearly as complex as traditional Aran knitting, it can have that layer of intricacy by adding extra colours to the basic design.

Fair Isle Star Quilt Pattern

The Fair Isle Star seemed like the perfect companion for the Aran Star since they share similar diamond shapes and lines.

Fair Isle Star Quilt Pattern

This exact block is the reason for my having to make two of each!  I made the Aran Star with the Keys fabric at first, and then I moved on to making this one.  Once I finished the block, I realised that I had printed this one at 94%.  Since this was going be used on a mini quilt, I needed this to be an exact 10″ block.  By now I had completely run out of the keys fabric since I only had a fat quarter to begin with.   So I had to switch to a different background fabric and I made the Fair Isle Star with the blue background.  Since I couldn’t have just one star with a different background, I had to make another matching Aran star with the same blue background fabric as well.

To avoid future printing mistakes, I have started putting a 1″ square on every page of my new patterns.  I am updating all of my old patterns to include that 1″ square as well.  Hopefully no more printing mistakes for me.

I think I will make pillows with the keys blocks.  They will go very well with the Fairy Door Pillow that I made earlier this year.

Fair Isle Star Quilt Pattern

Pattern on Etsy and Craftsy

I could play with the colours on these two stars forever!  I love how the look changes with the added colours on the straight lines.  They look like Star-bursts.

Star Quilt Patterns

Mini quilt layout with my knitting stars quilt patterns – Vale, Fair Isle, Aran and Argyle

Patterns on Etsy and Craftsy

In retrospect I am actually happy the mistake happened.   Rather than having all four blocks with a green background, the blue blocks add more interest to the mini.  I will be using Kona Bone for sashing.  I really want to hand quilt this mini which will have to wait until I finish making the Halloween quilt.  You will see these stars appear again on that quilt too.   I am also nearly finished with the layout of the star quilt with solid colours as well.  More on that later!

Happy Sewing,
-Soma


Argyle Star Quilt Pattern

I took a much-needed break from all kinds of technology last week and used that opportunity to take a break from writing a post as well.   We had no wi-fi or electricity, so we hung out, read books, drank lots of tea, played games and at night we looked at the stars outside while keeping ourselves warm with a log fire.  I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the simple life.  That ties in with what I am going show you today, my vintage-themed quilt blocks.

When I picked up four fat quarters of Grandma’s House last year,  the only thing I was sure of was that I wanted to make vintage-style blocks without using the usual vintage quilt patterns.  Then, very recently, while browsing through knitting patterns, the perfect idea came to me.  I made four quilt patterns inspired by the knitting designs and history.  This is the Argyle Star, I don’t think introductions are needed for this design.  I love the little points at the end of the crossed lines.

Argyle Star Quilt Pattern

Pattern on Etsy and Craftsy

Of course I couldn’t help but play with the colours a little bit.

Vale Star Quilt Pattern

This is the Vale Star, inspired by the Yorkshire Dales knitting tradition.  I wanted to keep this block very simple to represent a simple life.  Simple, but full of activity because this block also makes me think of roads leading in and out of the center square.

Vale Star Quilt Pattern

Pattern on Etsy and Craftsy

Here’s my colour-play with the Vale Star.

These are so easy to make and there is hardly any aligning of sections.  I am almost done with the other two blocks and can’t wait to show them to you.  I am making a mini with these already-made blocks for my kitlets to snuggle on during cold nights.  I am planning on making a quilt with solids for the bipeds in this house.  These stars are also going to appear on my Halloween quilt.  Versatile, don’t you think?

Until next week,
-Soma


Winter Rose Quilt Pattern

It has been often said that your enemies define you.  “My best enemy” is also my best friend.  She has always been a stubborn little thing who can be very distant at times,  but her sweet nature can also cast a charm that is very hard to ignore.   We had a rocky start because of our hotheadedness but our relationship evolved into a strong bond over the years.  We have been known to annoy each other the most and also to love each other equally.  I have found my biggest strengths through her and utmost weaknesses because of her.  To me, She will always be a Winter Rosebud trying to bloom amidst snow.

Universe And Us Quilted in Gallifreyan

If you haven’t guessed it already, this wall hanging is about our friendship.  I mirrored this photo to show what the quilting looks like from the front.  I started with quilting our initials – S and P – written together in the centre.  I am glad of the hourglass shape, which was a complete coincidence born from my doodling, adding that extra touch of everlasting friendship through time.  The stars in the night sky also seem to last forever, and I have always dreamt of seeing them a little closer.  So I quilted the circles around our initials as though she and I are travelling together through the stars.  Finally, I added “Universe and Us” in Gallifreyan within our initials.

 

Tardis In Flight Quilt

Since travelling through space requires a ship,  I borrowed the idea of The Doctor’s Tardis.  It is so much more romantic than any earth-rocket!

Universe And Us Quilted in Gallifreyan

I can take on the Universe with her beside me and she would come along just to be with me!!

-Soma

Update – I got a few enquiries about the Winter Rose quilt pattern.  The pattern can be found on Craftsy & Etsy.  Thank you so much!

Credits – “My Best Enemy” is the title of a musical piece composed by Hans Zimmer.  Tardis is the spaceship used by The Doctor in BBC’s television show Doctor Who.


Bear Cub Quilt Pattern

Few years back we contemplated moving away from California, but I just could not make myself do it.  Despite being aware of the risks of earthquakes, I still want to continue living here.  Then a big earthquake came last weekend in the middle of the night right where we live and gave us a strong jolt.  I cope best by drowning myself in work, so next morning I went into crisis mode and took care of everything methodically.  However, I was shaken up nonetheless.  Even though it still didn’t make me think of moving away, I needed a strong reminder of how much I love the parks and the land here.

I had been planning on showing this little bear cub made by Pam Brown this week and, strangely enough, the timing could not have been more perfect.  Talk about coincidence!  Pam made this wall hanging from my bear cub quilt pattern and entered it in the Sonoma County Fair.  This darling little bear cub was entered in the theme celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the California State Parks and Smokey The Bear.  Her bear won the 1st prize AND the Best of Section!!  How amazing is that!!

I told Pam that California Parks are very dear to me and I was thrilled to hear that she entered the bear cub in that theme.  I can’t thank her enough for emailing me and reminding me that even though nature shakes us hard now and then, it also offers us a lot of happiness every way it can.  The little bear cubs are part of my vivid memories of time spent in the California Parks.  I am looking forward once again to enjoying the California outdoors that I love so much!

Napa Earthquake 2014

We moved to this city earlier this year.  I am so thankful for the kindness of everyone around here, the unexpected visits from people who came to check on us and the emails from my online friends.   This was my sewing room after the quake.  The room is  put back to normal now and you would never know that the quake hit it this hard.  I am actually sitting right inside this room while typing up this post, slowly trying to focus and get back to normalcy.

Daffodil Quilt Pattern

I am not ready to sit at my sewing machine just yet.  I have a few designs and hand sewing projects that I can work on and this wall hanging is amongst them.  I still need to finish cleaning up the threads from the circles and then I need to hand sew the binding on it.

I am working on a custom pattern for an extremely brave group of people – the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)/Bomb Squd, such a special project!

I am also one of the girls lucky enough to get a set of fabrics for the upcoming Black Cat Crossing Blog Hop and I am designing a quilt for my most favourite holiday.  Here are a few clues for you – it contains a cat, leaves and seven stars!

 

Sew Cute Tuesday

One of the many things that made me smile this week was The Sew Cute Tuesday Link Up at Blossom Heart Quilts.  This is one of the first Linky Parties I joined and I am thrilled to be one of the guest hosts.  Make sure to drop by there to see my Rock Music quilt top and three of my picks from the last week’s link-ups.  I promise you will laugh out loud!!

Have a very safe week, everyone!
-Soma


 

Fabric Basket With Fair Isle Star Quilt Pattern

I love Fair Isle knitting, but my knitting skills are currently not up to par to knit anything as fancy as that.  So earlier this year I made a very quick Fair Isle star quilt pattern and made a block with that very shortly after.  I wanted to make a fabric basket with it, but unfortunately it sat among a pile of orphan blocks until very recently.

Making a fabric basket with a paper piecing block entails working with four individual side pieces that join to the bottom base piece with corners.  I don’t like guesswork, so I was determined to find a formula for creating good, perfect corners every time.  In the hope that someone else might find the method helpful as well, I wrote up this tutorial.  This is more of a tutorial for sewing perfect corners than a tutorial for a fabric basket.  I can definitely see using this method for sewing the pieces of a bag together.

My fabric basket is made with a 10″ square paper pieced block.  You can of course mix and match the outer fabrics for the other three sides or even patchwork the sides.

Note -  This tutorial uses the example of making a 10″ fabric basket with 0.25″ seam allowance.

Material For The Fabric Basket -

1 x 10.5″ square paper pieced block
4 x 10.5″ squares of outer fabric – for the other three sides and the bottom
5 x 10.5″ squares interfacing
5 x 10.5″ squares of lining fabric
Fabric Marker of your choice

Prep-work -

Cut the corners of the interfacing pieces and iron them onto the back of the outer pieces.

 

Sewing the lining -

Fabric Basket Tutorial

Step 1 -

First we are going to sew the two side pieces to the bottom piece.  Start sewing 1/4″ from the top and finish with 1/4″ to spare at the bottom.  I used 1/4″ on both sides because that’s my seam allowance.  I would probably use 3/8″ seam allowance for sewing bags, so I would start and end the seam 3/8″ from the top and the bottom.   So match the measurement with your seam allowance.

I marked the start and end points of my piece with red lines in the photo.  If you need to, you can use a fabric marker to mark the start and end points before you start sewing. After you finish sewing, iron your pieces.  You will have three consecutive stitched pieces.  The middle piece is your bottom piece.

Fabric Basket Tutorial

Check Point - I pinned the piece back in this photo to show you how I started stitching  the pieces together 1/4″ from the top and ended 1/4″ from the bottom.

Fabric Basket Tutorial

Step 2 -

Now let’s join the back piece to the bottom piece (the one in the middle).  Note the seam line between the bottom(middle) piece and the side piece.  We are going to use that seam line as a guide.

Fabric Basket Tutorial

Place the side piece on top of the bottom(middle) piece, lining up the top and the corner, right sides facing together.  Now feel the seam line from the previous photo and draw a small line right behind the seam using a fabric marker.  That’s your start point.

Fabric Basket Tutorial

Step 3 -

Fold the side piece down and pin it out of the way.  That’s the left side prepared.

Fabric Basket Tutorial

Step 4 -

Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the right side – feel the seam between the bottom(middle) piece and the side piece, draw a small line right behind the seam using a fabric marker and pin the side piece back out of the way.  Those are our start and end marks for sewing the bottom and the back piece together.  Stitch those two pieces together starting at the top mark and ending at the bottom one.

Fabric Basket Tutorial

Step 5 -

Repeat steps 2 – 4 to join the front side.  Iron them flat.  Now you have all four sides sewn to the bottom(middle) piece with open corners.

Fabric Basket Tutorial

Check Point - This is what the corners should look like.  All the sides should be stitched to each other with 1/4″ opening at the corners.

Fabric Basket Tutorial

Step 6 -

Now we are going to start sewing the sides to each other, starting from the bottom corner and sewing toward the top.

Line the corners of two sides together at the bottom, moving and pinning the bottom(middle) piece out of the way.  You can see how I moved the bottom(middle) piece out of the way at the top corner.  Make a small line with the fabric marker on the top piece perpendicular to the stitching line of your bottom and side pieces.  You can see that in the picture here.  I made that mark so that I know not to  stitch behind the start point of that stitching line.  You want to sew your seam to the immediate right of that line, and take care not to cross it.  That creates a really perfect corner.  So once you have that marked, make sure the bottom piece is out of the way and stitch the two side pieces together all the way to the top opening.

Fabric Basket Tutorial

Check Point - This is what the corner should look like once you line the two side pieces together, moving and pinning the bottom piece out of the way.

Fabric Basket Tutorial

Here’s your perfect corner!  Repeat this step for the other three sides of the lining.

Sewing The Basket -

Repeat steps 1-6 to make the outside of the basket.

Fabric Basket Tutorial

Sewing The Pieces Together -

Now put the lining inside the basket with the right sides facing each other.  You will see the wrong sides of both pieces.  Line up the corners of the two pieces and then start with pinning the corners together.  Then pin rest of the top together.  Sew all the way around leaving a 4″ gap.  Turn the pieces inside out through the gap.  Put the lining back inside the basket and iron along the top seam.  Then run a 1/8″ stop stitch all around the top, that will close the gap as well.

Fabric Basket With Fair Isle Quilt Pattern

Here is my finished fabric basket which is already filled with yarn.  I had always wanted to make a fabric basket using one of my paper piecing blocks.  Now that I have formulated a method for sewing corners, I am pretty sure I will be making more!  I hope you found this tutorial helpful!

-Soma

 


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