A place for me to journal and post pictures about my quilting adventures.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Design wall Monday 2-25-13

Alternating blocks! Who said they have to be boring? These are 3 choices I've come up with. Please realize the pieces are just sitting there, not sewn.

The other blocks have a lot of the white with black and red and white in them. The first one here is the recommended one. DH calls it “somber”. #2 would use up some alternated centers I tried but decided not to use. The third one would be pointed stars, not the blunted pieces you see. I know you don’t know how the other block will look, but which one appeals to you? I’d show you the other block, but it is a scrap squad secret project.

Last Friday Aunt Marti’s Majestic Garden was posted on the Quilty Pleasures Blog. Please visit!! Hers is different from everyone else’s.

Today I have been married 7 whole years. Life is good!
Happy Quilting,

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tutorial for Big Star Baby Quilt

Disney babies big star
Note: The striped fabric was added to the corner blocks because of a cutting mistake. These directions do not include it.

1. Prepare embroidery blocks.

Trim 4 of the to 8” square. These will be the center blocks.
Trim 4 of them to 8-1/2” square. These will be the corner blocks.

2. Cutting: Flip-and-Sew method: **see below for cutting regular flying geese

Background – cut 4  16-1/2” x 8-1/2” rectangles
Starpoints – Cut 8  8-1/2” squares.

Center trim (Stripes) cut 2  1” x 8”, 3  1” x 16”, and 2  16-1/2”

Borders are cut 6” wide on the lengthwise grain. Cut after finishing center of quilt, using Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltville tutorial.

3. Make a Sawtooth Star

Center: Sew a 1” x 8” striped strip between two embroidered Blocks (EMB). Repeat, making sure the EMB are in correct alignment. Sew the resulting 2 sets together with a 16” strip in the center, taking care to align center strips. Sew a 16” strip to the top, then bottom of the square. Finish with 16-1/2” x 1” strips to the sides. This should measure 16-1/2” x 16-1/2”. (See above photo) 

Star points: Draw a diagonal line on the 8-1/2” colored star points. Using the flip and sew method, make flying geese blocks that end up 16-1/2” by 8-1/2”. See this tutorial if you need further directions. 

(I never use flip and sew. I just cut the pieces of flying geese and sew them together. To cut these, cut a strip 8-1/2” wide of both background and starpoints. Using a EZangle cut 8 HSTs 8-1/2” for starpoints. Using a Companion angle cut background strip into 4 QSTs 16-1/2 x 8 1/2” . Then just sew them together, taking care to not stretch the bias.IMGP2575IMGP2576

Finish the star by sewing a nine-patch. Sew Flying geese units to top and bottom of center, checking alignment!! Sew two corners to remaining two flying geese. Sew to center unit. Check again that all your EMB blocks are right side up!!!

4. Add Borders

Measure center star  - It should be 32 1/2” square. If not – cut your borders following Bonnie’s tutorial listed above. If your size is like mine, cut 2 6” strips 32-1/2” long – apply to each side. Measure again, cut 6” strip to match this measurement (44 1/2”). Apply to top and bottom. I use a lot of pins to keep these even.

5. Quilt and bind

It’s assumed you already know how to do this, if not, follow any basic quilting book or on-line tutorial for this.
Your finished quilt should be 44” square. I gave mine to my massage therapist, who reported that her baby loved to poke at the figures while having tummy time on it on the floor.

Changing the  Size:

You can make any size big star you want, using a little math. For a big one, I start with a 16” center, add 8” finished star points to that. This is 32” square. 

 I then make another star point round, adding 16” (finished) star points, usually using a fancier center for the flying geese, such as the block “best of all”. The center star is now 64”. 

That size looks nice with a 6-8” plain border to cover the top of a king-size bed. From there, you just keep adding borders to reach the size you want. That is how I made these two quilts, both of them are 
about 120” square.Buffalo quilt cropped full size 

I hope this helps you make bunches of Big Stars. To vary the center star, a good reference is by Evelyn Sloppy.

Don't forget to look at the Quilty Pleasures blog for another version of the Scrap Squad's Majestic Gardens.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, February 11, 2013

Design wall Monday (or table)

A bit of misdirection from Scrap Squad, so I finished cutting out all the pieces to this project, and will put it away for a bit while I make the next one.

Were you one of the thousands of people who thought this fabric that appeared on the front of the Connecting Threads catalog was wonderful? I kept trying to tell myself I didn't need any, but it had Circles! By the time I gave in to ordering some, there wasn't any yardage left, not even any fat quarters left, so I had to order a kit to get some of it.IMG_2245
Actually, I ordered both of these kits. I took them apart last night, and started pulling for the next Scrap Squad project, one that has NO points to match! Yeah!!

The reds on the left were in the kit – very little texture in them. I pulled the ones on the right to add more texture.

There was only one red on black other than the circle fabric in the kit (bottom fabric). I pulled these others, two batiks and a regular fabric, to go with it. I learned today how hard it was to take good pictures of black and red. All these are really black.

The red on whites from the kit are on the left. I added these others to them. I just love the red ants.

I needed some nearly blacks, so pulled the ones on the left. They really are black, no matter what the picture reads. I also needed some blacks on whites, and some stripes for accent. I also pulled these black and whites and red hearts because I like them, but I don’t know whether they will fit in.

These are the fabrics for Scrap Squad Project #2 – appropriate for Valentine’s day. There are 39 fabrics, not as many as usual for me, but there is some strip piecing in this one. Other than the kit and about 4 fat quarters, these are all left-overs from the 2 quilts pictured here. I’m off to cut. I have Accuquilt templates for the pieced block in this project. That's sure to help the hands.

Happy Quilting,

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My love affair with Big Stars

I’ve mentioned before that one of my first classes was with Alex Anderson making all the stars in her book, Simply Stars. The first day included Sawtooth Stars. She said that they were the best stars to make up quickly to do a lot of filling. The header quilt was made from her class and subsequent classes that I taught on star-making.

This was my first big star quilt. The idea for it was in a quilting book that was a compilation of quilts in magazines. I was asked by the LQS to develop and teach it as a class. I did, and did, and did.
If you are like me and it makes you crazy to cut homespuns not on square, the most time spent on this quilt is pressing fabric for cutting, pulling on the bias until it lays square in both directions. I made a cutting diagram for this one so you could cut it all from fat quarters, 8 light and 8 dark. Only the border requires yardage. Even the binding is made from scraps from the fat quarters. You really can make this quilt in a day, even the cutting.

The next Big Star was made from fabric collected on my first vacation with DH, only we were just dating then. We did a week long trip down Rt. 49 – the gold trail – in CA, and visited every quilt shop along the way. DH models 1895-9, so all these trains are steam locomotives. I used the block Best of All for this one. The corner stars are 16”, to give you an idea of size. The top and bottom border are made from 6” squares. (If you use that tiny sashing between the border stars, you don’t have to match points.) This made it fit the top of his queen waterbed.

I did a lot of fussy cutting on this quilt so all the pieces faced the right direction. The pieces in the middle of the flying geese can be read straight on – all the way around. This created no small amount of frustration, as I should have purchased more fabric to cut it this way.

Buffalo quilt cropped full sizeDisney babies big starheartstringsnavychevronsquilt 1sawtooth star completed top heartstringsstevie's blockugly big star center
These are some of the Big Stars I've made since the top one. They make good baby quilts, extend the size of HeartStrings quilts when there’s not enough blocks,back art from left-overs, and are ideal when you need to make a really big quilt with a lot of punch. The top brown one is 120” square, and makes a wonderful bedspread size for a king bed. When you go this big, I recommend wool batting for weight control.

Tomorrow you will see my latest Big Star over at Quiltmaker Magazine’s blog, Quilty Pleasures http://www.quiltmaker.com/blogs/quiltypleasures/ . It is my first Scrap Squad project. I hope you’ll check it out.

Happy quilting,

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Picking colors for second Scrap Squad project

We’ve received our next project, and I am having a bit of trouble deciding on colors. I’m enlarging the project enough to make a quilt of valor if it doesn’t morph to something else.
Blues: Since I used a lot of shaded blues last time, I’ve picked, according to Joen Wolfrom’s Color Guide, pure blues this time. The bottom, lightest, slightly greyed blue will be a consistent background this time. The bright blue with the grey stars is actually the center of a border print, which I won’t be using.

This is about 15+ years old, one of the first fabrics I bought, and have yet to use. Whoever heard of frogs leaping for freedom? I have a great niece who was into frogs, and I thought (wrongly) that she would like this fabric for a pillowcase. NO!

Reds: I pulled orange reds this time. The red in the first one on the right isn't very orange, but the gold stars in it make you think it is. This is a nice, safe group of reds. A little too safe, known as boring.

I decided to pull some gold, bordering on orange yellow, or yellow orange, and they brighten up the mix. I could go for this. If you enlarge the picture, the bottom right figure on the color guide shows the blue as a complement to the orange reds through the yellows. It’s still a bit safe and traditional. 
I pulled some more pieces with more orange and yellow in them. The yellow on the right and the orange above really don’t play well. That yellow looks green next to the others. I like the figured fabric in the middle, with both yellow and red orange in it as well as black. It will give the black every quilt needs if I can find a place for it.

So these are my “final” choices – Will I be brave enough to use them all? Forward we go!
Happy Quilting,