Monday, September 24, 2012

Design Wall Monday 9-24-2012

Not a whole lot I can show you today.  I finished these pineapple blocks for Joan as part of the FCQEquilters group.

As I said earlier... what a great way to use up scraps. 

I also made this wonky log cabin block. I don't think I followed the directions correctly as I had a hard time getting the block to grow evenly on right side and bottom.  I have one more block to make with these fab colors so I should get it right.  This is for the Quilting Bees.  I volunteered to make 2 so the second one will go together easier, or so I hope.  Check out the tutorial at Just Jude
I've just about finished Scrap Squad #4.  Quilty Pleasures has begun to feature the quilts on the blog.  You can check out the first one by clicking the link.  Wow!  Donna did a fabulous job.  And, her quilting is putting mine to shame.  Heck, I'm doing a fast hand quilting as it is small and I really didn't want to put it on Ruthie. 

On to the goals from last week. 
Week of Sept 17
bind Snowmen and Santa quilt
Put Scrap Squad #4 together
Pull fabric for Scrap Squad #5
Make a sample block for #5
Put the new memory in the laptop√ 
Not bad but I haven't done anything on SS #5.  What I did do was begin to quilt a charity quilt on Ruthie.  I decided to try feathers on it.  Um, er, didn't work out really well.  So my feathers became palm fronds and voila!  It looks great.  But it is time consuming so I've done about half and will get back to it this week. 
Week of Sept 24
Finish handquilting SS #4
Finish pillow sham for bedroom
Finish charity quilt on Ruthie
Finish 2nd Wonky Corners block
Draw SS #5 in EQ
Make a sample block of SS #5

It's time to link up with Patchwork Times' Design Wall Monday post.  And, I'm getting right on the scrap squad quilt quilting.
Happy Quilting All! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

On the Auction Block

The machine embroidered quilt I showed a few weeks ago is finished. It's been titled Santa and Snowmen in the Pines.  Oops, I forgot to take a picture of the label.  Sigh. 

This was a great first project on the embroidery machine.  No thread changes, no stitch out issues that I couldn't handle.  Love the finished product. 

It will be auctioned next Saturday at our church near Richmond.  Anyone want to come to a catered dinner with wine and see what else is up for bids?  Send me an email and I'll get you in touch with the ticket sales committee.  

Other things I'm working on.... Scrap Squad #4 is a center of a top and I've figured out what I'm doing for the borders.  A charity quilt is about to go on Ruthie and hopefully I'll finish it today.  Scrap Squad #5 is floating around in my brain coming up with some ideas on how I want to proceed with it.  

Happy Quilting Everyone! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Design Wall Monday 9-17-2012

Here's what's on my design wall that I can actually show you -- 

These are for Joan of the FCQ Equilters.  She sent us preprinted pineapple foundations.  I'm using them as leader/enders.  It's been fun to visit scraps and be reminded of other quilts I've made.  And, it's great to move out some scraps.  I've been using some 2" strips because I don't normally save 1 3/4" strips that are called for.  And, if any strips needed using, it would be the overflowing 2" drawer of strips.  But, honestly, it really isn't making that big of a dent. Hopefully every fabric is different in each block, although the same fabric can be repeated in other blocks.  I'm trying not to repeat any but I doubt I'll be 100% successful on that.  Take a look at other design walls by visiting Patchwork Times. 

The next pictures I'm sharing come from my daughter, Jenny.  She is a great sewist (if you use the modern word) and will try all sorts of new and interesting things to make.  She made this darling backpack for Sophia's 2nd birthday.  

Here's the front of it.  The only thing I can  claim to have helped her on is providing a pattern for the dog's head.  

Imagine me playing Vanna now. 

Notice the piping.  The dog's body is also a pocket.  

Here's the side.  Cool pull tab to hold while zipping and unzipping. 

Notice the water bottle holder.  
And now the back.  The straps are adjustable.  And, of course, the top strap in case you want to hang the backpack up. 

And the final picture shows the darling fabric inside.  It's water proof... I'm not sure if it is vinyl or oil cloth.  

Ok, end of the Vanna routine.  And, you too can make your special toddler a backpack just like this one.  Jenny got the pattern from the Moda Bake Shop blog.  Check it out.  
Here's the goal report: 
Week of Sept 10
Quilt and bind Snowmen and Santa quilt
Get back to work on Scrap Squad #4
Take a class on my new iPad
Mail blocks to Fran and Ashley
Decide which UFO to work on & work on it! Nope, didn’t happen
Week of Sept 17
Bind Snowmen and Santa quilt
Put Scrap Squad #4 together
Pull fabric for Scrap Squad #5
Make a sample block for #5
Put the new memory in the laptop 
I got a lot done this week considering I was out and about 2 full days.  This week "Santa and Snowmen in the Pines" will be done and turned over to the auction committee at church.  Hopefully SS #4 will be on the frame to be quilted and work will be started on #5.  Have a great sewy week! 

Happy quilting all! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

1800's Block of the Month

I've been having trouble finding new web sites that show antique quilts from the 1800s.  But I recently found this site.  Check out the quilts of the Great Lakes Quilt Center of Michigan State University Museum. The first quilt shown in the collection is a wholecloth from 1790. The most recent is 1993.  Although navigation through the quilts is pretty clunky you do see some wonderful old quilts.  There are very few pieced quilts compared to whole cloth and applique.  

Let's try a little paper piecing for this month's block. And, yes, you will be making your own foundations.  

This month’s block was shown in the book Remember Me by Linda Otto Lipsett.  Rather than being a book of patterns it is a history of friendship quilts that became a fad in New England in the early 1840s and  then spread west as people migrated.  This block can be made leaving room for a signature of a friend or perhaps the maker’s name, date and location.  I made mine with a regular 9 patch in the center.  Check below for a close up picture of the block from the book if you would like to leave room for a signature.

Cut – 8 -- 3 ½” squares. 4 are for the foundation pieced triangle units and 4 for the outside corners of the block.  (If you don’t mind using a larger piece of fabric on your foundation cut a piece larger than 3 ½” but I had good luck cutting the exact size.)
Cut – 8 – 2 ½” x 4 ½” rectangles for the sides of the triangle units
Cut – 5 – 1 ½”  square of dark fabric for center 9 patch*
Cut – 4 – 1 ½” square of light or medium fabric for center 9 patch*

*(If you want to make this like the photo from the book cut one light rectangle 3 ½” by 1 ½”; 4 dark or medium 1 ½” squares and 2 light 1 ½” squares. (use photo to the right for how to place fabrics for the patch.) 

Making the foundation:
Using 4 squares to the inch graph paper draw a 3” square.  Mark the center of the top.  Draw diagonal lines from the center out to each of the bottom corners. Then draw a ¼” seam allowance around the previously drawn square.  Extend the  diagonal lines through to the cutting lines.  Note that the bottom of the diagonal lines do not go through the center of the corner of the cutting lines.  Yep, that’s the way it is suppose to be. 

Make 4 copies on the foundation paper of your choice.  I’ve had really good luck with Electric Quilt’s Foundation Sheets.  I was amazed how easily they tear off.  If you choose to print copies of your foundation make sure you check that from seam line to seam line the block is 3" square. With the seam allowance added the block should be 3 1/2" unfinished.  I found it just as easy to trace 4 copies on my foundation paper. 


Layout the 1 ½” blocks to form a nine patch.  Sew the patches to form rows; then sew the rows together.Press each seam to the darker fabric.  The only difference if you are making the signature block is you have a rectangle in the center rather than 3 blocks to sew together. Sew the units into rows, matching seam lines.  The unfinished block is 3 ½”. 

Paper Piecing the triangle blocks:
When sewing paper foundations use a smaller stitch.  I usually set my machine for 1.5 (normal is 2.5).  It is recommended to use a larger needle but I generally don’t unless I’m using copy paper rather than a thinner paper. For foundation piecing you line up your fabrics on the right side (no writing) of the foundation and pin and sew from the wrong side.  To hold the 3 ½” square inside the drawn square, I used a very small dab from a glue stick. I placed the glue inside the sewing line at the top triangle and inside the sewing line at each bottom corner.  (It’s best to use temporary glue if you have it although I used so little of the permanent glue I had on hand it wasn’t an issue.) 

It was much easier for me to work with the next fabrics not having to deal with pins or the first fabric moving.  Holding the foundation to the light, place the rectangle piece so that ¼” is over the sewing line, right side to right side.  Because I have problems getting fabrics to completely cover the required space, I always pin on the seam lines, flip the fabric over and make sure there is enough fabric to cover all the way to the cutting line of the foundation. If there is, I pin perpendicular to the seam line and then remove the pins on the stitching line. If the fabric doesn’t cover all the way to the cutting lines try again until it does. Stitch right on the line from cutting line to cutting line. Fip fabric 2 into correct position to make sure it actually covers the whole #2 space and the seam allowances. (Hey, I double check ALL the time on foundations…)  Fold back the foundation on the sewn line and make sure #2 fabric is out of the way and cut fabric #1  a quarter inch from the seam line. Iron fabric #2 in place.
Repeat for fabric #3 – sew on the line, trim the under fabric away leaving a ¼” seam.  Iron the unit.

Trim the block on the cutting lines.  It should measure 3 ½” unfinished.  Carefully remove your foundation from each block.  Be careful handling the blocks at this point as there is some bias in pieces # 2 and # 3.

Layout the block as shown and sew the units into rows.  I pressed my seams to the darks in my block but the center row I pressed to the little 9 patch.  Sew rows together.  

We are close to having all the blocks made for this quilt.  I will have two more blocks to share with you and will give you measurements to put the tree of life block on point.  I haven’t decided about borders but I’m sure the top will need some.  My big question is will I run out of my fabrics before the borders?  Seeing my block in the pictures made me question the colors of the nine patch.  Don't know whether I will change them or not.  Here's a final picture of the quilt this block was taken from. This quilter was very careful about her use of stripes.  She did a great job with them. 

Any questions?  Feel free to email me at


Monday, September 10, 2012

Design Wall Monday 9-10-12

First off -- Happy First Anniversary to Kevin and Aimee.
On to the quilting!  I am sorry to say I haven't a whole lot to show this week.  I made some blocks for Fran, from my FCQEquilters group.  I am very late as she was the July - August person.  I didn't even start the blocks until Sept.  They are made and I just need to decide on how to package them to get them to her in New Zealand.  Fran, if you are reading this, I plan to mail them this week!
I began on Joan's blocks but I'll wait to show them until at least one of the 3 is done.  She sent printed foundations for pineapple blocks.  Lots of pieces but every piece is coming from scraps. 

I did go shopping and lunching with the gal pals.  I was able to buy a backing for the Christmas Redwork top.  I'm trying to come up with a snappy name.  I notice as I reread this I've called it two different names in the goals.  Can you think of something snappy? I like Santas and Snowmen as a start.... I'll take any and all suggestions.  You can see part of the top here. It needs a better picture which I will post after I finish it, hopefully this week. 

That's what I did last week.  Check out design walls across the country by going to Patchwork Times.  

So how did I do on my goals last week? 
Week of Sept 3
Finish blocks for Fran (FCQ E Quilters)
Quilt a customer’s quilt
Put 2 borders on Christmas Redwork top
Get ready for mini class on Saturday
Make and write instructions for Sept 1800’s block
Pretty good.  I decided I didn't need to start another quilt especially since Sharon and I had already made one from the block being shown at the mini class. I hung out and got a lot of great tips though.  
Week of Sept 10
Quilt and bind Snowmen and Santa quilt
Get back to work on Scrap Squad #4
Take a class on my new iPad
Mail blocks to Fran and Ashley
Decide which UFO to work on and work on it!    

If you are looking for the next installment of the 1800s quilt check back later in the week.  I promise to get it posted soon. 

Happy Quilting All!