Scrappy Quarter-Square Log Cabin Quilt

My newest Scrappy Quarter-Square Log Cabin quilt started innocently enough. We had company over the winter holidays and when they were busy or not yet awake, I’d slip into my sewing room and grab a few scraps. (I have LOADS of fabric scraps, it turns out.)

I’d start with small pieces and add longer strips to two sides. It is a surprisingly fast, mindless process.

A few years ago, I made this quilt as a gift for one of my Sister-in-Laws:

Scrappy Quarter Square Log Cabin | Jen Eskridge | Scrap Quilt | ReannaLily Designs

I liked that quilt so much, I thought in this holiday-down-time sewing, I’d make a small scrappy quarter-square log cabin. Each block is trimmed square.

It quickly got out of control. I’m sure no one saw that coming. Haha. Setting the blocks on-point made for a really unique design. Now, in my mind, these are completely different quilts.

The blocks just kept going and going. The quilt kept growing and growing. (That sounds like something straight out of Willy Wonka. If only my quilts were made from chocolate!)

Since the quilt was created entirely from fabric scraps, I now needed to come up with a solution for the setting triangles around the edge of the quilt. I snapped a pic, but it is tricky to see, since the design wall is also white.

For the setting triangles, I made templates from white cardstock paper. Then I pieced random white/light/low-volume fabrics. I laid the templates over the white patchwork pieces to cut my shapes to size.

I’m happy to report I have a LARGE bed quilt ready to hit the longarm. I debated on whether or not to post the quilt as just a quilt top. Of course, when this quilt is finished, you will not be able to see the quilting on it since the body of the quilt has so much movement and color. On that note: Here’s the Scrappy Quarter-Square Log Cabin 2019.

Get out there and use your scraps! Sew in brief little spurts when no one is watching. It is crazy what will turn up from, what is essentially a minimal level of sewing/quilting commitment.




Just Draw

Jen-Eskridge-Sketchbook

Just draw as much as you can. I know that sounds silly but as I tell my quilting students, muscle memory is important.

Muscle Memory

mus·cle mem·o·rynoun

  1. the ability to reproduce a particular movement without conscious thought, acquired as a result of frequent repetition of that movement.”typing relies heavily on muscle memory”

Sketchbook

In college we were required to keep an inspiration journal & sketchbook. At the time it was to add in photos, notes, sketches, really anything.

Jen-Eskridge-Sketchbook

Building on that sage advice, I’d like to encourage you to keep inspiration at your fingertips. Pinterest boards, photos on your phone from quilt guilds and quilt shows, and sketches from anywhere.

Jen-Eskridge-Sketchbook

The importance of a sketchbook, to me, is that while I can find amazing photos of cool-looking designs on the entire internet, my sketchbook is the place where I can see what I can actually draw.

From here, I can plan to build on skills sketched on previous pages to create something intricate and useful.

Jen-Eskridge-Sketchbook

And while it may seem like I’m just sitting there with a random marker-color-of-the-day, I’m actually building muscle memory and creating a resource to flip through at a later date.

Jen-Eskridge-Sketchbook

Quilting

Using the sketchbook to completely inspire your quilting has been made quite popular by Karlee Porter with her Graffiti Quilting style. I’m a huge fan.

Graffiti Quilting by Karlee Porter

I’ve found, though, that I’m even able to break out some designs and add them into my own brainstorming. Recently taking a Handi Quilter class, I used my sketchbook ideas to help draft a couple blocks.

Jen-Eskridge-HandiQuilter-Class

You never know when these ideas will come in handy. I encourage your to just draw as often as you can!




Free-Motion Framework Video Trailer

In October 2018, I was honored to be included in C&T Publishing’s video series of book trailers. At the Quilt Market in Houston, TX, we shot almost an hour worth of footage for the promotion.

Free-Motion Framework Machine Quilting Skill Builder Book | Wholecloth book | Jen Eskridge | C&T Publishing

Through the magic of editing and the genius of youtube, the video is only 7 minutes long. Hopefully, it will give you a good idea of how Free-Motion Framework can improve your quilting skills.

Take a peak here:

It was a blast to film, but my time slot was 3p. That is 3p after an entire day on the quilt market floor, buzzing around seeing friends and quilts. I promise I do not always look this exhausted. However, I do always talk about quilts.

I asked the producer, Amy to snap a picture of me before I left the shoot. And yes, I did wave a bit of a photoshop-magic-wand on this one.

Jen-Eskridge-Video-Filming

Updated to add:See all the Free-Motion Framework details, workshops, projects, and samples here.




Vibrant Wild Birds: Applique Quilt

Inspired by the incredible applique of Kim Mclean, I set out on my own vibrant wild birds applique journey. Her pattern that put me on this path was Lollypop Tree. (You can grab the original Kim Mclean pattern at Glorious Color.) It is an amazing quilt that I’ve enjoyed since I first saw it years ago. My design is a much simpler, plainer version with birds and a splash of asymmetry.

Starting the Applique Design

I’m not much of a hand-applique person, but I thought it might be time to give it a whirl. Recently working on a challenge quilt, which I’ll blog about shortly, I dipped my toe into hand-applique designs.

This project completely started out as a bright-colored, hand-applique improvisational experiment. Lots of adjectives just to say, “I wonder if I can make a block?”

I’m happy to report, that this quilt is made entirely from fabric scraps from my own stash. My scraps are sorted by color into ziploc bags, and holy smokes, there’s lots of ziplocs.

After watching endless videos on applique, I ended up trying the Appliquick method to prepare my shapes. In a very basic nutshell, here’s what I did:

  • Trace shapes onto fusible interfacing
  • Fuse to wrong-side of fabric
  • Cut fabric 1/4″ – 1/8″ larger than interfacing
  • Use tools and glue to fold edges around applique
  • Press

I ended up choosing shapes I liked and making many of them. Next, I’d store them in an unused 8″ pizza box to use them as I randomly created each block design.

To my surprise, the little birds turned out to be a favorite design. Luckily the bird body and bird wing were interesting shapes in themselves. You’ll see them in the blocks, used in many different arrangements along side leaves, bias tape and circles.

Improv Applique Quilt Blocks

For each block, I would start with a 15-1/2″ x 15-1/2″ woven cotton fabric background. Press a center fold, then press three fold lines perpendicular to the vertical center. I don’t know what will be applied to the lines, but they’ll help keep things balanced and symmetrical, if need be.

This isn’t a pattern release or free tutorial. I’m simply sharing a project I made from an incredible inspirational source. To see each block larger, click on it. If you end up making these blocks, that’s cool, but I do not have a paper template or design.

Finishing The Quilt

This quilt has quite a bit going on. There’s bias tape; there’s embroidered beaks, eyes, and feet. There’s circles and layers. I’ve never made anything this colorful, I don’t think.

In an efforts to go full on “MORE IS MORE,” I cut 3-1/2″ squares for a patchwork sashing.

Each block finished up at 15″ square which means I would need 20 small sahsing blocks around each applique. Add a dash of math to get the cornerstones, and I’m all set.

Ok, yes. This will be A LOT of color. Once I had all the sashing on the wall, and after confirming with my art guru, we decided to add some white applique shapes sashing in an efforts to calm the color slightly.

More is more!

Custom Quilting

The backing is pieced fabric from my stash and the batting is Fairfield Hi-Loft Poly. The thread is White Glide 40wt, Magna Glide 60wt Bobbin, and I’m using my HandiQuilter Avante, free-motion/hand-guided to quilt.

Quilting this was a blast. I outlined each applique shape/unit and filled in the background with all sorts of designs. Swirls, pebbles, and little feathers are featured in most of the space.

I added spine-less feathers in the patchwork sashing. Though you cannot see every quilted stitch, it does make a cool texture.

The white shapes are also outlined, though nothing is stitched inside. I wanted those areas to appear “puffed up.”

Vibrant Wild Birds

With the quilt completed, I just need to add a hanging sleeve on the back so this little baby can be entered into the Greater San Antonio Quilt Show in September.




Antique Linens Quilt Challenge

Antique Linens Challenge Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Prepare to be overloaded with images of my Antiques Linen Challenge Quilt.

My local longarm group issued a challenge to stitch up an antique linen in the style made popular by Kelly Cline and others. There are so many cool ways to incorporate old linens into new designs.

The design I went with is more of a Frankenstein version of a linen challenge. I’ll lay out the reasons why I needed to add all sorts of things to this quilt.

It features:

  • One Handkerchief
  • Four crocheted coasters
  • One Bread Basket Liner (cut into quarters)
  • Two large crocheted doilies
  • Two different bed sheets
  • Four kinds of lace

The center of the quilt starts with a men’s handkerchief. It is plain and simple. I bought it at an estate sale and didn’t notice that it had stains on it. I went ahead and appliqued traditional orange peel shapes over the stains.

Antique Linens Challenge Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

I created spaces within my quilt using techniques from Free-Motion Framework, my most recent book release. Simply divide the space in to large usable shapes and then practice a quilting fill within that shape.

Antique Linens Challenge Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

The bread basket liner with a crocheted trim was next. I cut the liner into fourths and stay-stitched over the crocheted edge. I then appliqued over the cut crocheted edges with a smaller orange peel design.

Antique Linens Challenge Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

It was really fun trying to think of different things to quilt into all these spaces. Unfortunately, the pictures jump around a bit. That happens because I was quilting “just one motif” at a time, rolling the quilt up and back on the longarm’s frame.

Antique Linens Challenge Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

The lovely tan coasters are serving a fantastic purpose. They are covering seams where I mis-measured the solid fabric borders. That’s right, now you all know all my business.

I had two large doilies that I think are intended for end tables. I decided maybe I should chop those in half. The crochet was so tight that even when I cut the pieces with a rotary blade, nothing happened. There was no fray, no wobble, nothing.

At this point my mom suggested set the center of the quilt on-point to make it more interesting. Man, she was right! I generally quilt with the brightest fabrics I can get my hands on, so this piece was a visual challenge.

Antique Linens Challenge Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Antique Linens Challenge Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Thank goodness for the Glide Presser Foot! I’m 100% certain this quilt was only stitch-able thanks to the bowl shape floating freely over the lumpy pieces in my quilt.



Antique Linens Challenge Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

I added some really neat triangles into the second-to-last border. I needed something to still puff on this design as I’ve quilted most of it to death. The batting in this quilt is one layer of American Fiber 80/20 and one layer of hi-loft Fairfield Poly.

Antique Linens Challenge Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Antique Linens Challenge Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Antique Linens Challenge Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Antique Linens Challenge Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Antique Linens Challenge Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

This quilt has EVERYTHING, and I’m adding more! I don’t have a photo, but I’ve added four vintage/costume buttons to on-point center of the design. This is to cover up the lack of points on my large orange peel shapes.

I then thought the buttons looked a bit extra, so on all the quilted intersections on the handkerchief: CRYSTALS. Yes. It is out of control. Then I thought, “Well, I own a small cache of crystals, maybe I should put them on every cross-hatched intersection in the triangle border, too.” That isn’t done yet, but man, it will be cool when I’m finished.

Oh, right, you haven’t seen the whole quilt composition. It is very hard to get a photo of this quilt where the features really stand out. I took one, but then altered it to be darker so you may see it a bit better.

Antique Linens Challenge Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

You can see it in person at the Greater San Antonio Quilt Show, Sept 20-21, 2019




Quiltville 2018 Mystery Quilt

Quiltville | Good Fortune | Bonnie Hunter Mystery

This is the Good Fortune Quiltville Mystery Quilt for 2018! If you don’t know the Bonnie Hunter Mystery, you should! She starts around the end of October announcing a color palette using paint chips. Then in November, she starts weekly clues for cutting and piecing. The entire event finishes up in January. She’s hosted many mysteries through her blog.

I wanted to try something I’d never done before. I don’t think I’ve ever done a real-deal full-on mystery quilt. Man, it was fun. It was also a bit stressful for me, but it really was fun.

I did create the quilt top entirely from fabrics I already owned. No shopping for this girl!

In Bonnie Hunter’s original design, she includes at least two more pieced borders. Although I sewed those elements, I ended up not adding them to my quilt.

Quiltville | Good Fortune | Bonnie Hunter Mystery | 2018

I was on pace to finish along each week with the her blog postings. Once we arrived at the end of the mystery, my quilt went a slightly different direction.

I tried hand-applique!

Quiltville | Good Fortune | Bonnie Hunter Mystery | 2018

Turns out, I like hand applique. I ended up adding two featured corners to my Good Fortune Quilt.

Quiltville | Good Fortune | Bonnie Hunter Mystery

The quilt is so visually active that will be tricky to see the longarm quilting. I ended up stitching a simple meander all over the quilt’s center and then swirls + piano keys along the quilt’s borders.

Quiltville | Good Fortune | Bonnie Hunter Mystery | 2018

Quiltville | Good Fortune | Bonnie Hunter Mystery | 2018

The perfect quilt back for this festive quilt was scored at a local thrift shop. That’s right, the back is an old sheet. The sheet is 50/50 cotton/poly, but the print was fantastic.

Quiltville | Good Fortune | Bonnie Hunter Mystery | 2018




Longarm Gallery Update

ReannaLily Designs | Jen Eskridge | Longarm Gallery

After a brief blogging break, I wanted to share more longarm quilting pictures with you.

I’m enjoying free-motion quilting on my customer’s quilts and my own. I think I learn something with each new quilt, which is always good news.

The quilt below is part of my 2019 Challenge Fabric Quilt entry for the Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild’s show on Sept 20-21. I cannot show you the whole piece quite yet. Just know, it is asymmetrical and absolutely bananas-looking.

ReannaLily Designs | Jen Eskridge | Longarm Gallery

I’ve been lucky to custom quilt a few projects for some local San Antonio area friends. Check out their quilts:

ReannaLily Designs | Jen Eskridge | Longarm Gallery

ReannaLily Designs | Jen Eskridge | Longarm Gallery

A new friend found me online and mailed this next quilt from their duty station in Japan. This semi-custom small quilt is so charming!

ReannaLily Designs | Jen Eskridge | Longarm Gallery

With a quick turn-around, I was able to get the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild‘s charity quilt quilted and bound and mailed in time for the big show, QuiltCon, in Nashville last month. It is a conceptual beach scene with sand, sea glass, and breaking waves.

ReannaLily Designs | Jen Eskridge | Longarm Gallery

And of course, I love doing edge-to-edge designs all over quilts. An edge-to-edge is any design that I can draw with the longarm that literally travels from one edge of the quilt to the other without stopping.

ReannaLily Designs | Jen Eskridge | Longarm Gallery

ReannaLily Designs | Jen Eskridge | Longarm Gallery

If you want me to longarm a quilt for you, please email me or see more details on my ReannaLilyQuilts.com page.




Make Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils

Make Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils with a tracing wheel, paper, and pounce chalk pad | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

I recently had the opportunity to take a class from a certified HandiQuilter instructor, Mary. It was an outstanding class. In the class she mentioned making our own custom stencils for longarm quilting, which sounds awesome! The method involved sewing through marked paper with an unthreaded needle. This absolutely works, and you  may have seen it before. I’m late to the party.

Free-Motion Framework Machine Quilting Skill Builder Book | Wholecloth book | Jen Eskridge | C&T Publishing

For my use, I thought, “Custom stencils would be fan-freakin-tastic for Free-Motion Framework quilt markings!” It would be so much more convenient than tracing through light colors and it is ideal for dark color fabrics.

Free-Motion Framework Quilts- A Workshop by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | ReannaLily Quilts | C&T Publishing

For projects in the book, each quadrant is 20″ x 20″ to mark on a 40″ square of fabric. I wasn’t too sure how to go about sewing through the paper without crumpling up a portion of the 20″ square in the throat of my domestic sewing machine.

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

As recommended in the HandiQuilter class, punching holes in the paper using a dress maker’s tracing wheel isn’t too effective by itself. But then I got to thinking…

What if there was something spongy for the tracing wheel to punch into? For dress makers purposes, you need to roll the wheel on a hard surface (like a rotary cutting mat) to have the carbon markings show up. If your goal is to puncture the paper, though, as ours is, it is needs some give.

Here’s what you’ll need to give this project a try. Keep in mind, I am going to use it to mark linear designs as guides for free-motion quilting. You could use this for quilting stencils, guidelines, hand embroidery and so much more!

Supplies:

Make Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils with a tracing wheel, paper, and pounce chalk pad | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Prepare the Stencil

If you have not printed a copy-right free image from the internet, simply draw a design on paper. Anything will work for this test run.

Make Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils with a tracing wheel, paper, and pounce chalk pad | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Notice the difference between the two tracing wheels I have on hand:

The tracing wheel at the top has deep teeth and the one at the bottom has much shallower teeth. Since we need holes through the paper, I opted to use the deep-pointy-teeth tracing wheel.

Make Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils with a tracing wheel, paper, and pounce chalk pad | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Take a quick look at the craft foam. The odds are you have this around your house already. 

Make Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils with a tracing wheel, paper, and pounce chalk pad | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Lay the paper on the craft foam, print side up.

Trace over all the lines with the tracing wheel.

Make Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils with a tracing wheel, paper, and pounce chalk pad | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Remember, if you go over a line or run too far past an intersection, at the end of the project you’ll be the only one who ever knew that happened. These lines are meant to be temporary.

Make Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils with a tracing wheel, paper, and pounce chalk pad | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

The relatively quick process does chew up the foam a bit, but the foam is quite inexpensive and is the perfect tool for this method.

Make Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils with a tracing wheel, paper, and pounce chalk pad | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily DesignsMake Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils with a tracing wheel, paper, and pounce chalk pad | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Transfer the Stencil

Now, just like if you had sewn through the paper, flip the punctured design over to use it.

Make Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils with a tracing wheel, paper, and pounce chalk pad | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Position the stencil on top of your fabric. I’m still working on the foam, but at this point, you do not have to. Any work surface will be good.

Make Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils with a tracing wheel, paper, and pounce chalk pad | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Pour a small amount of chalk into the pounce brick. Shake the Pouce Pad to load the chalk into soft surface.

The watermark (below) looks like a tattoo on my hand. It is NOT. Don’t worry, Mom!

Make Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils with a tracing wheel, paper, and pounce chalk pad | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Rub the pad from right to left over the nubby backside of the stencil. I peeled back my stencil every so often to make sure I was achieving complete coverage.

Make Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils with a tracing wheel, paper, and pounce chalk pad | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

That’s it. That is really all there is to it. 

Remove the stencil.

Make Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils with a tracing wheel, paper, and pounce chalk pad | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Although this was a test run, I cannot wait to make another larger
Free-Motion Framework quilt using this incredibly easy stencil-marking technique. Thank you so much Mary, from HQ, for getting the wheels turning!

Updated to add:See all the Free-Motion Framework details, workshops, projects, and samples here, on the blog.




Custom Quilting Gallery – Sampler Quilts

Let’s take a peek at two very different custom quilted sampler quilts. All the quilts featured in this post were created by my customers. I added the longarm quilting to showcase the blocks. Sampler quilts, or block of the month quilts, are so tricky because each block is receiving its own unique design. If you have a quilt you’d like for me to finish, read more at www.reannalilyquilts.com or drop me an email.

Local Quilt Shop’s Block of the Month

First up is a block of the month hosted by a local quilt shop. My customer picked up fabrics each month and created her blocks. I think this is the 2017-2018 project. See my customer’s whole quilt on her instagram.

I kept the borders a bit simple so the blocks would really stand out.

Custom Quilted Sampler | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Quilts | Customer Quilt

Now onto the ruler work and stitching designs. I tried to apply the Divide and Design method to each block.

Custom Quilted Sampler | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Quilts | Customer Quilt

For consistency, I also tried to keep types of block units treated in a similar fashion. By that I mean, if a block had a large square, it would get a sort of 4-corner star. If it was a small square it would have orange peel stitching. It didn’t always work, but it helped quite a bit.

Custom Quilted Sampler | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Quilts | Customer Quilt

And sometimes, I didn’t pay too much attention to the piecing at all. I jumped right in to create new shapes by connecting points with in the block. You can see four “footballs” in the block below.

Custom Quilted Sampler | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Quilts | Customer Quilt

If you have a quilt you’d like for me to finish, read more at www.reannalilyquilts.com or drop me an email.

A Kit Turned Into a Quilt

My customer tells me this quilt has been in progress for quite some time. She wanted to have it quilted to be in a show next year. I cannot wait to see it. You can see more of this customer’s amazing work in her shop on etsy.

Custom Quilted Sampler | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Quilts | Customer Quilt

I’ll be honest with you, this sampler was incredible and far outside my quilting comfort zone. It has everything.

Flying geese, applique, traditional blocks, sashing, no discernible grid, and more!

Custom Quilted Sampler | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Quilts | Customer Quilt

I don’t see too many traditional quilts come through my studio. The challenge is incredible, though. That part, I love. I hope my customer loved it, too.

Custom Quilted Sampler | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Quilts | Customer Quilt

Like with the previous sampler, I tried to stay consistent in my “certain shapes get certain treatments” plan. All flying geese blocks have connected wishbone stitching lines.

Custom Quilted Sampler | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Quilts | Customer Quilt

The quilt is very densely quilted, too.

Custom Quilted Sampler | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Quilts | Customer Quilt

Her workmanship was next level. I spent most of the time working on this quilt just hoping I don’t mess it up. It was so complex and stunning.

If you have a quilt you’d like for me to finish, read more at www.reannalilyquilts.com or drop me an email.

And Don’t Forget Edge to Edge

For good measure, lets take a minute to love the wispy ribbon swirls of a fantastic edge-to-edge design.

What does edge-to-edge mean? In the most simple terms, it means I can use my longarm quilting machine to stitch from one edge of your quilt to the other without stopping.

Edge to Edge Swirl Quilting | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Quilts | Customer Quilt

These long swirls that look a bit like ribbons are a new addition to my edge-to-edge free-motion stitching designs. If you have a quilt you’d like for me to finish, read more at www.reannalilyquilts.com or drop me an email.

 




2002 Squares: Scrappy Trip Around The World

2002 Squares | Scrappy Trip Around The World | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

2002 Squares is my latest Scrappy Trip Around The World quilt. I’ve made a few Scrappy Trips, using the methods in Bonnie Hunter’s FREE pattern from her Quiltville blog.

I altered the pattern slightly to accommodate my own math. I save my binding strips in big “cinnamon rolls” shapes. Once I have a few rolls, I’ll try to add them into some kind of strip-based or jelly roll based design. My binding, however, is cut 2-1/4″ wide, which means I need to switch the math a tiny bit for anything that is originally designed for a jelly roll, which are strips measuring 2-1/2″ wide.

Saved Scrap Binding | ReannaLily Designs

You can hop over to Quiltville to see the original, super-easy method to create these quilt blocks.

Strip Method

It is similar to a bargello-style quilt in terms of construction:

  • Create a strip set
  • Sew the strip set into a tube
  • Sub-cut the strip set
  • Rip out one seam to reveal a set of joined squares
  • Rip out a second seam, etc
  • Arrange the set to create a feature diagonal color
  • Sew the block

That is it in a very tight nutshell.

2002 Squares | Scrappy Trip Around The World | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Altered Math & Tips

Here are some of the details & tricks for my binding scraps quilt.

Since my strips were 2-1/4″, I ended up sewing 8 strips together in my sets. My sub-cut pieces were also 2-1/4″. The squares in this quilt finished at 1-3/4″ with 64 squares per block.

Also, as I was using binding pieces, none of them were with regular width of fabric. To combat this, I joined many pieces of bindings that shared a similar value. Using this longer piece, I then created MEGA strip sets. Each one was probably over 2 yards long. Here’s a zoom in, below. You can see how much that bonus seam does not matter at all in the quilt block.

2002 Squares | Scrappy Trip Around The World | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

By working with long strip sets, this quilt went together really fast. And that is saying something because, this is a fast pattern in itself.

Blocks

When creating my block, my only restriction was to choose the darkest color to be the diagonal line. As far as dark & light fabrics go, you’ll see from block to block the “darkest” fabric varies quite a bit, but it is all relative to the adjacent 1-3/4″ squares surrounding it.

I felt like I had a mountain of binding pieces. Wahoo! Turns out. Those only made about 6 or 7 blocks.

2002 Squares | Scrappy Trip Around The World | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

I needed to dive into the scrap ziplocs to find more long fabric pieces. This was easy! Most of the longest skinny fabric scraps are from quilt backs. Either my own, or some that my longarm quilt customers may have donated to me.

2002 Squares | Scrappy Trip Around The World | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Perfect. I’m on a roll now. Except, wait. Looks like each pile of scraps yields only a few more blocks at a time.

2002 Squares | Scrappy Trip Around The World | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

The cycle continues.

2002 Squares | Scrappy Trip Around The World | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

More blocks stitched.

2002 Squares | Scrappy Trip Around The World | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

And each time I added a new set of blocks, I would rearrange the design wall. Any given strip set had a similar color set, so I needed to mix them into whatever was previously stitched.

2002 Squares | Scrappy Trip Around The World | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Hooray! I have 30 blocks!

2002 Squares | Scrappy Trip Around The World | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

2002 Squares

This super scrappy quilt top has 30 blocks with 64 pieces each. My grand total of squares, if I stopped right now, would be 1,920. My OCD team at the house decided we should take the quilt to a solid 2000 squares. I opted to create borders and add 20 additional squares spilling into each corner. I knew this quilt would be going to my son, and his birth year is 2002. What the heck, I might as well add 2 more squares to have a birth-year quilt. The two additional squares are the only two pieces of military uniform I added into this quilt. (You know, I like adding in some military uniform pieces.)

If you want to go geometry crazy, technically this quilt is 2,010 rectangles.

2002 Squares | Scrappy Trip Around The World | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

The quilt is already on his bed. I love how it turned out.

His younger brother was my quilt-holding assistant today. He’s been bragging about how tall he is. Well, that backfired on ya, kiddo. Now you get to hold the huge quilts.

2002 Squares | Scrappy Trip Around The World | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Quilting

This design was so busy with color, pattern, print, scale, and seams, I simply quilted a meander design from one edge to the other edge.

2002 Squares | Scrappy Trip Around The World | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Last Tip

One last tip: If you are digging through the fabric scraps, trimming everything to 2-1/4″, and your pattern requires you to seam rip, maybe do not wear a black shirt.

Black Shirt while Scrap Quilting




All The Pinks: Scrap Quilt

Pink Scrap Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

After a short blogging break, I’m happy to share my All The Pinks: Scrap Quilt with you! Unfortunately I do not have a pattern for this quilt, but I can share the process with you, today.

I love sewing with my fabric scraps. Each fabric should be in at least two quilts, in my house. I wrote an article about my scrap process a short while ago for FaveQuiltsTo start, I keep all my fabric scraps in two bins under my sewing table. The pieces are sorted by color into gallon ziploc bags.

Method

To start this quilt, I simply dumped out the bag of “pinks” onto my table and started randomly sewing pieces together. If they were roughly the same size on any side, I’d join those two pieces. ANY two pieces. I joined and joined and pressed and trimmed and joined more until I had weird shapes that were larger than 14″ on each side. This was a leisure/on-the-side project. The pink was all over the table for quite a while, but it was nice to be able to sit down and sew up pieces in small chunks of time. I learned that tip from Victoria Findlay-Wolfe’s book, 15 Minutes of Play.

Pink Scrap Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

I trimmed my wild pink blobs into 14″ squares. When I finished with that ziploc, I had a not-quilt-math-friendly number squares. Does that make sense?

Layout & Design

If you create a basic, traditional quilt, you’ll likely use a grid design. Four blocks by five blocks, or something to give you a pleasing rectangle or square shape. I had a total of 21 pink blocks. Hum, a three by seven grid would give me a quilt that measured 42″ x 98″. Now that would be a bit unusual. I could have not used a block giving me a total of 20, sure. That would be a tidy four by five grid. However, I opted to to add in four more blocks to get my total to 25 blocks, making a five by five grid. Remember, my goal is to try to sew up and use everything in the scrap bin.

Once I added four white squares, created in the same manner, I had a brainstorm: STARS!

Pink Scrap Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Using the “mark up” feature on my iphone edit photos dealio, I decided that I was not going to try to make any stars on this quilt. They look cool for a second, but mostly I don’t love them. Thank you, digital auditioning tricks for all the testing ideas!

Skip that idea and get those blocks together.

Pink Scrap Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

I joined the blocks in a straight-forward simple way. Join pairs to form rows. Join rows. Press each of the seams.

Pink Scrap Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Borders

The top is together. It seemed like it needed a frame or something to keep all the pieces visually together. A thin binding was probably not going to cut it.

I needed a border. Of course, my go-to for giving your eye a place to rest is BLACK. I think it is a designer trick. I’m not sure I pulled it off, though. Using the same “grab a ziploc and sew all the things together” method, I made a 4″ black border.

Pink Scrap Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Turns out, if the border is scrappy and easily as busy as the rest, the eye isn’t really resting but rather getting glow sticks ready to head to the rave. Just sayin. I was on a roll. The black ziploc was used up and the white was pretty well used up, too. High five.

The quilt is so very busy with prints and pattern, I opted to simply meander quilt all over the design.

Pink Scrap Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

The binding looks like a fantastic bias-prepared black stripe, but really, it is an old piece of chevron print. Now that was an easy, awesome, lucky binding. It is all cut on the straight-of-grain.

Pink Scrap Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Strangely, I didn’t use up my reds/pinks ziploc scrap stash. Who knows what kinds of quilts will receive the remaining pieces? Rest assured, I’ll show the pictures here, though.




Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panels From Spoonflower

Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower

Grab Your Quilt Panels Today!

I’m so happy to announce the new release of Free-Motion Framework PANELS! These 36″ x 36″ square panels are directly inspired from the best-selling title, Free-Motion Framework.

Free-Motion Framework Machine Quilting Skill Builder Book | Wholecloth book | Jen Eskridge | C&T Publishing

Updated to add: See all the Free-Motion Framework details, workshops, projects, and samples here, on the blog.

In the Isolating Shapes chapter of Free-Motion Framework, we cover how to take any linear framework and select areas in which to quilt. I’ve illustrated how easy it is to isolate shapes by color-blocking them in as a visual aid. Well, as luck would have it, those color-blocked images looked really cool.

With the help of C & T Publishing, nine fabric quilt panels are now available at Spoonflower.com!

Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower

Purchasing

Choosing your panel couldn’t be easier. Simply head over to the Free-Motion Framework Collection at Spoonflower.com from the ReannaLily Designs shop and select your favorite design.

You’ll be able to choose your fabric type. For this demonstration piece, I choose satin. It’s only $.50 more than the woven cotton, and the results are stunning.

You’ll also have the option to pick a test swatch, fat quarter, or yard. Choose Yard.

Notice also, the fabric width is 42″. The design will repeat a bit. (Shown marked off in RED below.) This is actually perfect because it gives you a chance to test out ideas and colors before stitching them directly onto the 36″ square panel. Neat trick, right?

Spoonflower and Jen Eskridge bring you Quilt PanelsThreads

For my own project, I opted to match thread colors with the color-blocked shapes. Here’s my suggestions:

  • Glide Linen 10WG1
  • Glide Celery 60580
  • Glide Cerulean 30308
  • Glide Split Pea 60389
  • Glide Baby Blue 30290
  • Glide Jungle 63415

Glide Threads perfect for Free-Motion Framework Panels by Jen Eskridge

Quilting

Using my HandiQuilter Avante longarm I set up the satin panel with wool batting, just as I would load any other quilt. You absolutely can do this on a domestic machine, as well.

Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower

As suggested in Free-Motion Framework, I worked symmetrically, trying to complete a single color at a time. The satin is quite shifty, so I opted to pin baste around the quilt top as I stitched.

Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower

It was so neat to work within coloring shapes. Trying to stay “in the lines” is an added level of control and practice.

Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower

You can really see the satin “puff” and pins in this next image.

Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower

Working on this small panel for only a day, you can also see the light change throughout the day, on the photos. Thank you, quilt texture and shiny fabric.

Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower

Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower

Once the project panel started looking like it would come together nicely, I really started snapping a thousand pictures.

Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower

Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower

I actually quilted all the color threads, leaving a large portion of the linen area un-stitched. I just couldn’t decide what type of quilting fill I’d like to put in the space. Finally, I decided on hooked feathers. That last area really completed the design.

Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower
Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower
Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower

Finishing

Finishing the edge of a quilt is traditionally done with a quilt binding. I wasn’t sure if a cotton fabric around a fantastically shiny quilt would look right. Facing the quilt seemed like the best option. I was able to trim my quilt 1/4″ past the panel’s printed design. By doing this, it added a seam allowance to the piece and allows me to add the facing without cutting into the actual shapes, points and design of quilt panel.

Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower
Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower

Of course, light is everything.

Above: Inside.

Below: Outside

Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower

Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panel from Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Spoonflower

Updated to add: See all the Free-Motion Framework details, workshops, projects, and samples here, on the blog.

I hope you grab a panel for yourself. It is a great way to practice your machine quilting skills while creating a really cool quilt.

If you are on social media, share your work with the hashtag #FMFWQ or #FreeMotionFramework.