Blue Maize Quilt

At long last, 270 5.5″ HST later – here is the quilt top for my sweetie. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to photograph the whole top – but, I’ll wait until I’m finished the quilting to figure that out. The quilt is massive though – he asked for a king sized but, I could only find batting for a queen sized quilt – thankfully!

This is a side view of the Blue Maize Quilt the blue zig-zag stripe is actually at the top of the quilt. It is 18 rows high. It is made with 15 yellow fabrics – most of them are various shades of yellow Kona cottons but, there is one linen fabric and 3 pieces that are yellow prints just to give it a little interest. There are five  shades of Kona blues that comprise the blue zig zag area. It will be backed in Kona Snow and I believe I’ll bind it in Snow as well.

A detail view. Excuse all the wrinkles and strings! :

Once again, the quilt is turned around to better show it. It’s actually upside down in this shot to show the blue zig-zag area.

I originally planned to have a 6″ square final block size. I started out with 7″ squares but, once the HST’s were finally cut out they were too skewed and small to cut down to a 6.5″ square, so I had to trim them down to 6″. Of course once 6″ blocks are sewn together, you end up with a 5.5″ final block. Oh well. More reason for this to be a Queen size versus the original request of a King size quilt. But, look at this yummy pile of trimmings. I was a little skeptical at all the yellows and the blues but, my fears were quickly assuaged as this pile was built up.

I can’t wait until this baby is all finished!

Latifah - January 24, 2011 - 10:43 am

:-) Happy Zombie, thanks for such a kind comment!

Latifah - January 24, 2011 - 10:42 am

Yes, yellow is definitely not a color that I work with often – or probably ever. I’ll write one day why I made this yellow and blue quilt. . . But, I’m so glad that I was pushed to make this! It is sometimes gratifying to work outside of your norm!

Pam - January 23, 2011 - 7:20 pm

I love your quilts. The whole cloth quilt is beautiful. The colors in this yellow quilt are exquisite.

Those strings are wonderful. I just made a Bonnie Hunter quilt that had a string block. Now I covet your pile of strings! I hope you use them to make something else equally as wonderful!

Patty Simmons - January 22, 2011 - 7:46 am

Absolutely gorgeous! I’m glad it’s not just two fabrics, but how you’ve used so many different shades of the two colors. You may push me into trying yellow. . .

happy zombie - January 19, 2011 - 10:57 am

WOW! If I had socks on, they’d be knocked off right now! I love so much about this – the movement, the dimension, the playfulness… but most of all I love how you’ve made the solids come to life and KA POWIE ZOWIE!

Rosamaría - January 17, 2011 - 5:19 am

wow! that quilt is reeeeally gorgeous!
love the assembly!

mjb - January 9, 2011 - 2:29 pm

Beautiful! I love the sense of movement in this.

Angie - January 6, 2011 - 7:04 pm

What a great assembly of HST. I like the colors with the various hues – Wonderful job!

Kathy Howard - January 6, 2011 - 6:38 pm

There is a way to do binding with one color on one side and another on the other side. I don’t recall the size strips you need. If I find the directions, I’ll post a link here or on twitter.

Latifah - January 6, 2011 - 11:22 am

Oh Lauren! Thanks so much for saying that! Can’t wait until Sew Modern is open!

Sarah – I did think of a blue binding and I think it would be gorgeous. But, my boyfriend asked for two things – a yellow quilt and and all white quilt. Long stories behind why he wanted both but, I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone. If I have a Kona Snow backing and binding then he’ll have an all white quilt on the back! ;-) There is a method to the madness! :-)

Vicki, Chris, and Debbie – thanks so much for the comments!

Sarah - January 6, 2011 - 11:00 am

Gorgeous! So vibrant and beautiful. Have you thought about a blue binding?

Lauren - January 5, 2011 - 8:04 am

Oh, Latifah, I’m exhausted from gasping at the beauty an ingenuity of your quilts. You just take my breath away…and Inspire!

Vicki W - January 5, 2011 - 6:31 am

That quilt is going to be fabulous!

Kris - January 5, 2011 - 4:57 am

Wow! That is stunning. I love the way you used so many shades of the same colors. It has so much depth.

Debbie-Esch House Quilts - January 5, 2011 - 4:52 am

This quilt is stunning! The blues look so rich against the yellows. I also love the scrappy yet limited color range. Beautiful!

Bricolage & Butter Bee Blocks – the Finale

I am officially, THE WORST BEE MEMBER EVER. Not proud of it, but, it’s officially a fact. So, I spent my vacation in December catching up! I figured I should at least start the new year off being all caught up.

I don’t know why I’m so bad, but, I think that my Bee blocks get in the way of all the other quilty ideas spilling out of my head and if you could only see the inside of my head you would understand!

In any case, I’ll post about these in two different posts for the two bees that I’m closing out for the year. The first Bee was the Bricolage & Butter Bee. I HAD to finish these blocks since we were having our B&B Finale celebration, which happened a few nights ago. And, guess what? I actually had lots of fun putting these together. Why, oh why did it take me so long?

First of all I would like to thank Jamie for hosting such a fun Bee! It really was a great group! I can’t wait to see the finished product of all of these blocks!

First are blocks for the fabulous Terri (who hosted our finale shindig at her equally fabulous home). I’m so embarrassed to say, Terri was Ms. May in the Bee. I told you I was bad. In any case, Terri’s quilt will be amazing when it’s done. She picked out all of these luscious shades of reds. Terri is a very precise and meticulous quilter and her instructions for the Bee were very meticulous and detailed and dare I say a little intimidating. But, it was fun to finally put these blocks together. This quilt is going to be beautiful!

I think I was the most inspired by Chris’s blocks. I’ve been intrigued lately by neutrals with that pop of color so this definitely spoke to me. (I so want the first block as a whole quilt! Gotta put that on the list!) This is going to be so yummy when Chris finishes!

And, then there was Emily. Emily, picked out this amazing array of fabrics in gray and chartreuse and aqua. I love this color combination. (I so think that my mother would love a quilt out of these colors. Gotta put that on the list!) I chatted with Em at the party and I was sad to find out that in hindsight she wishes she had asked us to use more of the solids in our blocks. She said the blocks were looking too busy when they were put all together. I can’t wait to see how she puts them all together though! Sometimes the most amazing creations are formed when out plans don’t work out as we wanted.

Liz’s blocks were fun, quick and easy to put together. Liz is having a little girl – very soon I must add – and wanted us to make blocks for a quilt that would go on the guest bed in the baby’s room. I absolutely love the colors that she chose. Aren’t they fab? Perfect for a baby! I love that she chose non-traditional colors for a baby girl too.

And, last but not least how cute will these little houses be in a quilt? Kelli had us make these little houses and I can’t wait to see how her quilt will come out! She asked for four of these super quick and easy blocks but, I only had enough fabric for 3 and a half!

Jamie G - January 16, 2011 - 11:25 pm

Latifah! It was wonderful beeing with you this past year. much love!

Debbie-Esch House Quilts - January 4, 2011 - 6:01 am

What a great bunch of blocks! I must say the neutral one is my favorite too.

Cheryl Arkison - January 3, 2011 - 2:39 pm

Those neutrals with the turquoise! Incredible.

Measured Improv: Love Potion #9 (Wonky Hexagon Quilt)

Hexagons are perfect in so many ways.

One of the reasons they are so perfect for quilts is because they are the only other regular polygon, besides for squares and regular triangles, that will tessellate. I hope I didn’t lose everyone in that last statement. In plain English this means that you can piece together regular hexagons over and over again covering a space without any gaps or overlaps. (If ANYONE is curious, the word “regular ” in terms of polygons means that all the sides are the same length and it also has the same angles all around). As a result there are many wonderful hexagon patterns for quilts. And, of course we have the old craze becoming new again of paper pieced hexagons.

So, I started thinking about how I would do hexagons. I also wanted to complete a quilt in my Measured Improv. series that wasn’t so much an artistic quilt like The Big Log or Up In The Air but, a more fun, creative, crafty one. Of course it still had to utilize the method of Measured Improv. Somewhere along the way I thought, how about improvisationally pieced Hexagons! Wallah!

So, I came up with this pattern. It was a lot of fun to put together. I’ll be posting a tutorial of this one soon! It’s fairly simple and painless with very little measuring.

There are 9 “Wonky” Hexagons each has a blue center. There are three other colors in each block that are arranged in alternating arrangements: reds, oranges, and greens/turquoises.  There are fabrics from quite a few different lines in this quilt, I wont try to name them all. Two lines that stand out and appear more than once are Love by Amy Butler and Modern Meadow by Joel Dewberry. The background is Kona White. I thought about using Snow or something a little more mellow but, I love how crisp this quilt looks with the bright Kona White. The hexagons are pieced improv style with very little measuring which makes them fun and very organic. I love that they are not perfect “regular” hexagons but, each one has it’s own personality.

I love the binding for this quilt. It is from the Joel Dewberry’s line Modern Meadow. To me it looks like stripes and zig zags all at the same time.

The backing is a mostly denim. I wanted this quilt to be fairly sturdy. I even toyed with the idea of using an indoor/outdoor fabric on the back. But, I realized that the quilt would have to be dry cleaned if I did that so that quickly got voted down. I decided to use an old standby for durability – denim – and realized that Elizabeth from Oh Fransson! recently used the same for her picnic quilt! How fun is that. I wanted to just put denim on the back but, I guess I underestimated the amount that I would need. So, I pieced strips of leftover fabric from the front and made an elongated hexagon  out of it to add to the back.  (The following image only shows one half of the backing because the grass was a little damp and I didn’t want the front to get muddy.)

I pieced my label into the denim backing. The quilt wasn’t named until after it was completed so I simply added the name to the label.

Naming quilts can be very difficult for me. I think I have a hard time naming them because I’m too close to them.  After working on them for so long, it’s hard for me to step back and look at the bigger picture. Lucky for me I have the “bestest quilt namer” in all the world in my corner, my girlfriend Courtney! All I have to do is snap a picture with my phone and shoot it across the miles to Texas where she lives. She is so awesome and comes up with so many amazing names! They are so great that I want to use them all! For this quilt she started off with the concept of “Hexed” as in a spell and from that came up with “Love Potion #9″. Genius! It was especially perfect since this will be used as a Picnic Quilt for two, hence the “Love Potion”. And, it has 9 Hexagon’s in it! Yay! Thanks Courtney for coming up with so many amazing names for my quilts!

Stay posted for the tutorial for this quilt as well as lots of cool picnic accessories!

Heather - September 20, 2013 - 11:48 am

Love everything about this site especially the thought process behind each quilted piece.

EG - July 27, 2012 - 7:24 pm

Did you post the pattern/ tutorial? I really like this!

Linda High - January 16, 2012 - 6:04 pm

Do you have the pattern for this quilt? How do you make the blocks?

anne - October 21, 2011 - 3:24 pm

wow love this quilt and the fabric looks great. Is there a tutorial on this one as it sounds like it would be fun to make.

Mandy M - July 17, 2011 - 6:17 pm

I really like this top and can see me using several scraps. My question to you are the hexs appliqued or pieced to the kona white? I looked for your mention of a tutorial but didn’t find it, did I miss the location?

Latifah - January 24, 2011 - 10:44 am

:-) Just love to inspire! And, work can absolutely wait! Haha!

happy zombie - January 19, 2011 - 10:52 am

I love the quilt and I love the most perfect name! I really see myself having a problem coming to your blog, Latifah… I want to drop every thing and make something from all that you inspire me with. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing – work can wait!!

NancyinSTL - January 10, 2011 - 10:20 am

For your friend Courtney, there might just be a new quilt business opportunity for her as a professional quilt namer. I’ve had conversations with my quilter friends about how difficult it is to name their quilts.

All kidding aside, I also love the idea of using denim for the backing of a picnic quilt, but until now, never thought of using black or another colored denim. Thanks for that idea!

Angie - January 6, 2011 - 7:12 pm

Very fun quilt – I am a huge fan of a pieced quilt to bring the front and back together :) Great fabric selection too!

Lori - January 5, 2011 - 8:19 pm

Do you have a tut out for this yet? Every time I see it I fall in love again!

lib - January 5, 2011 - 2:13 pm

latifah, i love your label… care to share about it?

ps – this is lovely… as are all your quilts!

Desiree - October 10, 2010 - 6:50 pm

I really like the Wonky Hexagons! I can’t wait to see your tutorial. Great job!

Jessica - September 24, 2010 - 12:42 pm

I just found your website and I am IN LOVE with every stinkin little thing on it. I want to make them all! You have a wonderful eye for color and shapes and are very inspiring. Thanks for posting!

Rachel - September 11, 2010 - 11:55 am

Love the quilt. A couple of years ago, I declared the hexagon my favorite shape. Aside from just being more interesting than squares and rectangles, it can be divided equally into six triangles, three diamonds, or sliced in half (I don’t know the name of that shape.). I think that’s kind of cool.

Val - September 9, 2010 - 6:50 pm

I love love love it, Latifah. I can’t wait to see the back!

Goldhara McKay - September 8, 2010 - 12:58 pm

so awesome.. can’t wait to make one. You’re the bomb! :)

Patty Simmons - September 5, 2010 - 6:40 am

Beautiful work and thanks for putting together an upcoming tutorial! It is such a fresh design.

krista - September 3, 2010 - 5:57 pm

This is so cool! That Modern Meadow is one of my favorites, especially the herringbone print.

I don’t name my quilts because it’s just too hard. Does Courtney name quilts for complete strangers too?

Nanna - September 3, 2010 - 4:23 am

Love your quilt. Looking forward to the toturial.

kathy - September 2, 2010 - 3:10 pm

Beautiful quilt and I love the free style….good job! am ready for the tutorial.

mjb - September 2, 2010 - 8:56 am

Can’t wait to see the tutorial – these look like hexagons that even I could handle.

Nichole - September 2, 2010 - 4:11 am

this is really beautiful! i love that you took hexagons and made them log cabin style. very creative use of the pattern!

Lauren - September 1, 2010 - 5:22 pm

I LOVE it. and the name couldn’t be better. You rock, Latifah!

Mary - September 1, 2010 - 2:02 pm

Gorgeous quilt! I love the bold style and the mix of Modern Meadow and Amy Butler.

WIP’s: A Pixel Quilt

Does having the fabric cut out count as a WIP (Work In Progress)?:-)I hope so because I don’t even have the quilt laid out yet. But, I’ve been dreaming about a pixel quilt for a long time. Here are my fabrics – 20 Kona Cottons. I can’t wait! Have a good week everyone!

Mariyn Bauer - December 16, 2012 - 12:02 pm

I would love to make a pixel quilt but not sure where to start, so I am going to start with a picture. I will pick something out then start reading everything I can get my hands on.

kelly - August 30, 2010 - 7:14 am

oooh, i’m curious as to how this is going to look. the other day, i was scribbling with my oldest daughter, and i thought “this would make a cool looking quilt. if i did it in squares it would look pixelated.”

Jack-In-The-Box Modern Baby Quilt

This must be the year of the baby! This is the fourth baby born in my office this year and we only have about 20 people! And, we still have one to go! Not to even start counting my friends. . . . But, I’m not complaining. More babies mean more fun baby gifts to make and give. I was trying to do something simple for this one since I found out about it last minute. I had most of these fabrics in my stash so that made it easy. I just had to pick up one or two more. The “feature fabric” on this one was the Michael Miller “Giraffe Garden” in Citron. I love giraffe’s and this showcases them in such a fun way. Of course it wasn’t until I took these pictures that I realized that I could have done a little fussy cutting to actually get the little giraffe heads in but, luckily, giraffes have cute legs too.;-)There are a number of other fabrics on this quilt too but, the majority of them are Michael Miller prints.

I call this the Jack-In-The-Box Quilt. The accordion shape that the different colors make in the quilt reminds me of the Jack-In-The-Box toys where “Jack” I presume pops up out of the box and bounces around. Does it remind you a little of the accordion body? This quilt started out as an experiment in using trapezoids in piecing a quilt. I had so much fun playing with them. The problem is that there are only about a million different arrangements you can put them in.  This isn’t really a problem but, then you have to choose just which of the arrangements you are going to use. Luckily, I was working on this at a weekend sew at the LA Modern Quilt Guild and my good friend Katie helped me to lay this out and decide. Thanks Katie! I think it turned out awesome! I’ll have to share some of the other trapezoid layouts with you too – traps are awesome!

This was my first time using flannel on the back of a quilt. It makes it so soft and cuddly. One of my favorite local fabric stores, M&L Fabrics in Anaheim has a wonderful selection of flannels for under $3 a yard so I thought I’d try one on this quilt. Believe me, it won’t be the last time! I really did like the effect. Of course, I forgot to put my label on before I basted and quilted this baby, so I had to put it on afterward. And then, I put the label on and hadn’t written the details on the quilt so I had to write it on the quilt after it was attached.

The quilting lines are very simple. They just shadow the lines of the accordion shape.

They show really cool on the back of the quilt though!

I probably shouldn’t do this because the label is not my finest work but, here’s a closer view of it. Note to self: Put label on BEFORE the quilt is basted and quilted AND write the information on the label before you attach it!

Oh, I chose to bind the quilt in white. There were so many colors going on that I thought a nice white would frame it well.

Once again, I didn’t get around to stitching up a card with a piece of fabric the way I like to so I used the jpeg images of three of the main Michael Miller fabrics in the quilt. I kinda like how it turned out. Simple and cute. Of course, you didn’t think I’d make a baby gift without a bib, a burp cloth and a onesie, did you?:-)(One day I’m going to fool all of you and do something different!)

And, here’s the ball!

I love how the quilt looks all rolled up and tied and ready to go into the basket!

And, here it is all put together! I get pretty lazy on this last step and just get a basket, tulle and ribbon. I’m going to have to be more creative next time. Overall I’m happy with how this came out. It’s a nice, easy, quick baby quilt to throw together! I hope baby Eli likes it. His dad took it home tonight.

Heather - September 20, 2013 - 11:54 am

I just figured out how to reliably pin something. I am old school and not high tech soi can’t follow you on social media nor do I want to join in this way but I’ll try to keep current with your output. Right now I’m working backwards.

Fern Royce - January 28, 2013 - 2:44 pm

A friend just forwarded me your site. Love it. Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

Amanda - April 12, 2011 - 4:46 am

I love your little bibs!!! Do you have a pattern for them that I can use?? Gorgeous fabric too. I’m so impressed!

NancyinSTL - January 10, 2011 - 10:24 am

Your quilt labels are very cool too!

happy zombie - December 21, 2010 - 10:35 am

I love, love, love your JITB trapezoid quilt! Mad crushing!!

Leonie -Australia - October 9, 2010 - 8:16 pm

I love all of these baby gifts, I need to make two baby shower gifts at thhe moment, Do you sell patterns for these?

Blanka - September 19, 2010 - 6:53 am

Everything is beautiful and flawless! You are very clever and resourceful. I wish you many beautiful and new inspiration! You are great! Blanka.

Kim - September 15, 2010 - 3:35 pm

Eli loves his beautiful quilt. Thank you so much!

Tacey - August 31, 2010 - 8:59 am

I love your work. It is very fresh and innovative. Great Job!

mjb - August 30, 2010 - 11:54 am

I’m impressed that you go to the extra effort to make the onesie, burp cloth, etc! I figure a quilt is enough of a gift and stop there – not to mention your cute packaging in the basket.

beth - August 30, 2010 - 6:27 am

great quilt!! I used the giraffe print in a quilt recently and struggled with coordinating fabrics. Your choices are wonderful.

Kim - August 29, 2010 - 5:18 pm

That’s such a cool design! And the matching card is too smart!

DianeY - August 29, 2010 - 4:25 pm

I love it! The colors and design are perfect, as well as your other little gifts! A I wouldn’t change a thing about your wrapping-so sweet!

Debbie-Esch House Quilts - August 29, 2010 - 6:38 am

What a great quilt – and all the other gifts too! Lucky baby!

Rebecca Merry - August 29, 2010 - 6:33 am

So bright and cheerful! I just love the traps!! What a brilliant baby gift!

Dree - August 28, 2010 - 9:17 pm

Beautiful–all of it! The white binding is absolutely perfect.

Andrea - August 28, 2010 - 8:57 pm

It looks great! You are very talented. I really like the pattern and how your fabrics work together.

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