The Commuter Quilt

 

Complete Cover

I’m excited to finally share with you my first pattern, The Commuter Quilt! When my husband and I decided to go carless, I began making items that could utilize our bicycles better. I enjoyed making bicycle gear so much I continued even after we ended up getting a car. This quilt came out of that love.

The Commuter Quilt is designed to be carried on to your bicycle. In the instructions, I show you how to add straps to the quilt so you can roll it up and strap it to the top tube, rack, or handlebars of your bike.

Also, the quilt top is super easy to make. I wanted to be able to feature larger-scaled prints without cutting them up. Instead of making half square triangles I show you how to cut the pieces as a whole. You then strip piece them into columns and assemble them to make the block.

You can order a printed or pdf version of my pattern online.

The PDF is available for download with purchase in my Craftsy Pattern Shop and my Etsy store.

In my Square Market you can get either version.

 

Make sure to check by regularly as I’m working on more patterns geared for your bicycle!

Cheers,

Kyle

Last week my friend Veronica learned to sew and quilt. Her parents sent her to Denver to spend a fun two weeks with me. After camping at the Sand Dunes, walking up Zapata Falls, and white water rafting through Browns Canyon we needed an easy going project.

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I showed Roni examples of some quilts she could accomplish in her short time here. Nothing really spoke to her so we designed a custom quilt for her to work on. Her family moved to Seattle last year so I thought that should be her inspiration.

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The idea was to improv piece the top of the quilt using light shades of sky colors and as you move toward the bottom it would change into gray tones to mimic city buildings. Then we’d fuse applique the space needle and free motion details to it. Lastly the quilting would mimic the sky with a sun and clouds and fade to a more geometric rectangle design at the buildings. We choose to make a lap size quilt mostly because of time. It ended up being 36”x46”.

She got a quick lesson how to work the sewing machine, cut with a rotary cutter, and how to approach improvisation piecing. We pulled fabrics from the stash and I let her loose. Roni pieced the whole top by herself in just one day. Every so often she’d ask me for my artistic eye on placement but it was all her.

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The next day she finished the quilt entirely. She fused some Heat n Bond Lite to some black fabric to create the Space Needle. I drew out the Needle with a chalk pencil and she cut out the design. Then she fused it to her quilt top with the iron.

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She then free motion stitched the Space Needle in hot pink thread to make it more secure and to add some fun details.

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Matilda decided to take a nap on the top while we measured and cut her batting and backing. I warned Roni that Matilda is a quilt hog helper.

Next I showed her how to put all the layers on the longarm and how to quilt with it. She got the hang of it super quick.

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We did have some issues. We discovered that The Beast had a hard time quilting through certain fabrics. The fabrics that had white printing on them seemed to be more like paint on the the fabric. It seemed to me the needle had trouble going through the printed portions of it. After messing around with different needles and tension we gave up. Roni ended up quilting all the other areas and skipped those fabric portions. When she finished on the longarm we pulled the quilt off and free motioned those sections on my other machine. So she got a lesson in different kinds of quilting. She had a hard time free motioning on my smaller machine. She did a few blocks and passed the rest to me. In the end Roni did probably 90% of the quilting.

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After all that was complete, we trimmed and squared the edges of the quilt. At this point Matilda opted to take a picture with the quilt too.

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I then showed her how to make and attach binding. Veronica opted to have a mostly black binding to reference the Space Needle. I suggested adding a few fun pieces in with it. She machine stitched on the binding and we turned and hand stitched the back. I helped her with the hand stitching as I knew if the quilt didn’t get completed here it would never get finished. We sat on the couch watching a movie working at opposite ends. While I may have done most of the hand stitching, Veronica still made most of the quilt with little aid from me.

Then her quilt went into the wash and dryer. Below are some closeup images.

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For the back she chose a bird fabric I bought from Ikea. I bought a bolt when it went on sale a few years back.

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Roni spent the next few nights sleeping with it and carried it with her on the airplane. For a first quilt it came out great. She did an amazing job!

Cheers,

Kyle

In my last post I told you about my friends Meg and Bill who got married this past weekend. Meg is a Marine Biologist and lived in Hawaii for many years. Her love for animals and the Hawaiian culture inspired their wedding quilt. When I did some research into Hawaiian quilts I learned the motifs you cut out of the fabric are to represent the people you are giving it to. It’s a very personalized quilt.

I searched online to see other’s Hawaiian quilts to get an idea of how the motifs work together. Then I began sketching out my own design. The hard part is you are drawing out a 1/8th portion of the whole quilt. You know those paper snowflakes you made in school as a kid? It’s basically the same concept. You fold the fabric into eights and cut out your design. Then you open it up and you basically have a fabric snowflake.

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I didn’t want to risk it looking ugly so I scanned in my drawing to see all 8 sections together. Below is a digital image I mocked up beforehand to see if I liked the pattern I created. I also scanned in the fabric I wanted to use to see if I liked them together.

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Traditionally you use two solid colors but that is no fun. I decided to use two prints. The green is a batik fabric I’ve had on hand for awhile and the coral is a Tula Pink Prince Charming print I found on sale. The print has giant turtles all over it. I thought it would be great with the Hawaiian theme.

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I was nervous about cutting into the fabric. The most difficult part was cutting though all eight layers. You need really sharp scissors. I ended up getting a blister on the inside of my thumb from cutting so much.

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When you cut it all out you lay it out and baste it to the backing fabric. Pin basting doesn’t hold up, you have to thread baste. Ask me how I know. Above is a picture just after I laid the top fabric to the back.

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Now to the tedious part. Hawaiian quilts are traditionally hand appliqued. I decided to go traditional because it just wouldn’t have the same effect. Hand applique basically means you tuck under about 1/8-1/16 of an inch of fabric around all the edges and sew tiny invisible stiches by hand to keep it from fraying. I’m about a quarter of the way done now. I have to take many breaks because my fingers get pretty worn and my eyes exhausted.

I actually presented their quilt at their rehearsal dinner unfinished. I knew there was no way it was going to be done by their wedding and I wanted to be able to work on it when they are over at my place. Their family enjoyed seeing it. It’s a small quilt about 45”x45”.

I’ll keep you updated with work in progress shots and finished images.

Cheers,

Kyle

My good friends Meg and Bill tied the knot this past weekend at a beautiful castle outside of Denver. Meg having lived in Hawaii for many years had a summery beach theme. Most of my dresses are very fall colored so I thought I'd make a dress for her special day.

I used Simplicity pattern 4070. Instead of using all the same fabric I used a mix. I also lined the bodice in cotton. I do this for more strength in the corseting and comfort. When you are hot and sweaty it feels great. I lined the skirt with a polyester that had similar drape to the coral fabric. If making this dress make sure to try the bodice on multiple times. It fit terribly from the pattern as is. I had to take in the sides and above the bust to make it fit more properly.

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When I was digging through my stash I found the coral fabric in my skirt. It was a flowy polyester I bought probably 10 years ago! I realized it looked great with the Boucherouite print in Blush from the Luxe in Bloom fabric line. Luxe in Bloom was designed by a friend I went to college with, Sarah Watson. Maybe I'm biased but I do love the line.

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I actually made the dress with the intention of not adding the belt as seen in the pattern. When I tried it on I realized it did indeed need a band of something around the waist. I used one of the coordinates from Luxe in Bloom, Crystalline in Cobalt.

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I also whipped up a little clutch to match my dress. The bride saw the clutch the night before and asked if I could make something for her in her wedding colors to carry around at the reception. I unfortunately do not have a picture of hers.

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So my hair looks like hell and let me explain why. When we were getting ready to go to the hotel I had the dress on to figure out what shoes to wear. As I bent over to take them off the invisible zipper in the back snapped apart! Luckily it snapped at home and not at the wedding. My husband had to literally cut me out of the dress to get it off! He seam ripped out the zip while I finished getting stuff together. I quickly put in a heavy duty metal fashion zipper. I didn't have time to hand sew the lining to the zip as I still had to finish putting makeup on in the car ride to the hotel. We got to the hotel with very little time to jump on the shuttle. My plan was to quickly change at the wedding location. So I brought needle and thread to stitch the lining on while we rode to the wedding location...

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But the shuttles took all the guests to the wrong wedding!!! I managed to get a hold of some of the bridal party to tell them we were going to be late. Thinking I'd have no time to change I shimmied my dress under the one I was wearing. With the help of the mother of the Officiant and, we had me dressed and ready to go. Then we got word another shuttle broke down and had to wait for a new one to get the guests! Yikes. Meg handled the whole mess up beautifully. Everyone finally made it to see Meg and Bill look so dashing to say their vows.

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Here we are with the bride and groom!

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Cheers to Meg and Bill,

Love,

Kyle

Eights Quilt in Progress

Well, an after progress. I actually finished this big guy last week but haven’t had a chance to get pictures of it as it is so large! But here are some progress shots.

I decided to free motion the whole quilt. In the black background of the quilt I opted for this swirly design. In the octagons I free motioned feathers. My first time doing feathers! And why you don’t see an image of them? Because well they are… okay.

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For the binding I opted to do a mostly black edge. I used some scrap of the teal, white and red in the edge as well. Here I am attaching the binding. My sewing table is actually quite large but doesn’t seem like it with this King taking over the table and eating me.

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Of course attaching a binding means you must have help. Matilda is making sure it doesn’t slide off the table while I work.

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While taking a break both kitties had to come take a nap it in it. So it seem this quilt has been used before my Dad and Step Mom get it. Of course they left a ton of fuzzies all over it!

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After I completed the binding I went to wash the quilt but it was way too big to fit in our washer. I had to stick it in my bathtub and walk all over it to clean and squish the water out. Luckily it fit the dryer. Now it’s hiding on top of my fabric drawers high away from the kitties so their fuzz won’t contaminate it.

I’ll try and get pictures of the completed quilt this week.

Cheers,

Kyle