Hello! Are you ready for some colorful fun? Looking for a simple quilt pattern for some nearly instant gratification? Well, you’re in luck! I have just the thing. Last month I showed you some of the strips of Kaffe in my “To Do” stack. I finished putting them together, loaded it onto the quilting frame and got it done. It’s super simple but full of drama. And, it has a touch of whimsical applique. What could be better?You can add any silhouette applique you like. Do a Google search for “silhouettes” to get started on ideas. But if you like the Stinka applique, it’s included on the pattern. It turns out Aboriginal Dot makes perfect eyes for the kitty. I used Jane Sassaman’s Sew Sassy thread by Superior Threads for the blanket stitching around the eyes.I wish I could tell you exactly which Kaffe Collective design roll I used, but I have no idea which one it was. It was not a 42 piece roll, though. I had to dig into my stash to add some extras, but as always with Kaffe, there’s no problem mixing designs from previous years. You need 42 different strips for this pattern, so be sure to check your design roll before beginning, as all 2 1/2″ design rolls are not equal.My selection has lots of color and moves from dark to light. You’ll find many Kaffe design rolls are more color specific. You can certainly choose your favorite and make a blue one, a green one, a red, etc. Or you could pick two and mix them, possibly having enough for two quilts or a front and back. Blue with green or purple, red with browns, or maybe go for a softer version and choose from Kaffe pastels.There’s no matching of seams for this one which makes it great for beginners. Just two small seams per strip and then sew all those long strips together. Easy peasy. I backed mine with Kaffe wide backing. Have I told you how much I love these wide backings? They’re so soft and they quilt up so nicely. Even Stinka appreciates the quality. I quilted it with some loops using gray Aurifil I had leftover from another project. I bound this with Kaffe’s Roman Glass. I believe the color is Sludge. It goes well with both front and back.You can find the free pattern here. For future reference it’s also in the Freebies section. I hope you like it!
Happy Friday! It’s been a week of the unexpected here–hotter than normal temperatures, a ton of digital work (mostly Kaffe related, incidentally) and two spider bites. A day of forced stillness with my feet up gave me time to think about the first project in Kaffe. Choosing one idea out of the many that are swirling around in my head was the hard part. Let me back up and show you how I went from a stack of pre cuts to the beginning of a new project.I started by narrowing it down to the pastels, specifically the 6″ design roll. I pulled some shot cottons and started thinking about the type of project. This may seem backwards–choosing fabrics, then deciding what to do with them. To be honest, this is my modus operandi and I find my creativity is a bit stifled when I have to change it.
There is a lot of freedom doing it this way. At this point in the process I am not committed to anything. I can go big and make a quilt top. Or go small and make a patchwork bag. Or a pillow. Or something else entirely. I’m sure the heatwave pushed me into choosing the pastels, but now that I have, the mood is set. Optimistic, light-hearted and pretty.I start thinking about quilt blocks. Something that would utilize the two solids and emphasize the prints. I’m already envisioning a white background. I narrow the solids down to two and find a quilt block that just might work, the Rocky Road block, as found in 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks.It’s not exactly what I want though. There’s something hidden in this block and I want to bring them out and let them shine. See the squares with the orchid HST? Well, to me, those look like they should be hearts. And I don’t want to make them with HST’s. So the block needs to be reworked into something simpler. Like this…
Have I lost you yet? I know, I know. It looks totally different now. But let me show you what I’m seeing. Just turn it on point, add color to differentiate and…ta da! Hearts on a String, which is what I’m calling this block.Now I just need to decide on the final application for these blocks. For starters, I’m going to make enough for a table runner (which is also the size of a row for a throw quilt, just in case I change my mind before I’m done). I need two of these full blocks plus the setting triangle pieces, so 14 hearts. I want it to be scrappy, so I pull out 14 prints from the design roll.I’m ready to cut. My finished units for the block will measure 5 1/2″ (for a finished block size of 16 1/2″). I cut 3 1/4″ squares and 3 1/4″ x 6″ rectangles, one of each from all the prints. I need a minimum of six 3 1/4″ squares of each shot cotton. (Since I’m not sure about how I’ll finish the row, I may need more. There’s still plenty of time to make that decision.) I also need twelve 3 1/4″ white squares for the four patch with the shot cottons and fourteen 3 1/4″ squares for the hearts–total of twenty-six 3 1/4″ white squares.And now, it’s time to put it together. When I post again to show you the completed blocks, I’ll have a project sheet in pdf form for you to make it easier for you to follow along and make your own.
Once I start cutting, I feel more committed to the project and the other ideas settle down in the back of my mind. They’ll still be there when I’m ready for them, plus a few more besides. Ideas seem to breed quickly. You just need to stay open to possibilities and assure yourself that having more ideas than time is a good thing.
So…that’s a tiny peek into the way I work. It’s not the right way or the best way. It’s just my way. I’ve been doing this for a long time and can’t imagine doing it any other way. I work by instinct and intuition. For me, that’s where the joy comes from. And nurturing that joy is important!
Pay attention to parts of the process that bring you joy. Whether it’s piecing or quilting, planning or playing, stick to it!
In the midst of all the recent chaos, a fun filled box arrived on my doorstep. Westminster Fibers kindly sent me a bunch of Kaffe pre cuts to work with. The Big Plan is for me to make projects to inspire you. From now through the Fall (and possibly beyond), I’ll be showing you what I make with these. I’ll have patterns for you and ideas for alternate versions so you can make your own One-of-a-Kind Original. But more than that, I want to share my process.
Some of you are intimidated by Kaffe prints. Others are hesitant to tackle new projects or techniques. And many are simply in need of a few encouraging words. My goal is to
pull bring you along with me on a creative adventure. I often talk about listening to fabric and doing what’s best for particular prints. Hopefully, I can give you a glimpse into what that means.I’ve talked about pre cuts in the past. I love them. They’re a great way to add variety to your stash and are especially helpful if you love a scrappy look. And the great thing about Kaffe prints…they’re easily interchangeable. You don’t have to have the exact pre cuts I’m using to get to the same effect. Although, I should point out that all of these are available currently.I even have some shot cottons. Aren’t they gorgeous?
I’m looking forward to some colorful projects. As of right now, I have no concrete plans for any of this. You’ll get to experience my process vicariously as I dive into it.
Don’t worry if you’re not a big Kaffe fan. I’ll be posting other things in between my Kaffe posts. See you back here soon!