Mar 17 2018

Magical Mystery Blocks

The slow pace and easy steps make the Magical Mystery Blocks fun to do.  This morning I sewed clue 4 which was released yesterday and of course, I had to play with the block parts.

Whatever the final block layout this has been an enjoyable project. Thanks for hosting this mystery, Libby.

When people find out I am a quilter I usually get one of four responses.

1. Okay, nice – and on to another topic of discussion.  This doesn’t bother me at all because I have the same response if someone’s hobby is yodeling or rugby.

2. Hey, can you make me a king sized quilt for $50 by next Sunday? Umm-no.  Enough said.

3.  Can you repair my Grandma’s quilt that has been shredded by my cat?  Umm-no.  I have no experience in restoration work.

4.  Hey, my Grandma/Great Aunt/Father’s Cousin’s Sister was a quilter and she passed away.  Here is all of her stuff.  Umm-okay??!

It seems that every Grandma/Great Aunt/Father’s Cousin’s Sister has a Double Wedding Ring project that was started, but not completed in her stash.  This box is one that was gifted to me by way of the 4th response.

I have had it for several years now, but while looking for something else came across it again and pulled it out.  Isn’t the box great?  There is not a date on it, but the candy bars were selling for 5 cents each.

And in the box was her Double Wedding Ring.

There are 79 arcs with fabric & a cardboard template, some muslin melons with a paper pattern, a pattern (but not the one she was making), a Denver Post ad to buy a DWR pattern for 20 cents, and a paper pattern for the center.  She signed her name on the back of the box – Nettie Ethel Whitford.  Nettie must have enjoyed sewing the arcs, but how many did she need?  Just how large of a quilt or how many was she planning on making?

I think I need to finish this quilt in memory Nettie – it can go on my to-do-quilt list.

Happy St Patrick’s Day

Marlene

Mar 11 2018

Faux Cornerstone Tutorial

My oldest daughter is dipping her fingers into the quilting world and had a question about keeping blocks straight when using long sashing pieces between the rows.  The directions for Oriental Tiles said to do exactly that, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to make a faux cornerstones tutorial.

The vast majority of cornerstones are a contrasting color to add interest to the quilt top.

But for the Oriental Tiles the contrasting color is irritating instead of interesting, so faux cornerstones to the rescue.  The only thing that the “faux” means is that the cornerstones are cut from the same fabric as the sashing.

The next part is easy.  Sew block-sashing-block twice and sashing-cornerstone-sashing once, pressing to the sashing.  Here is what the backside will look like.  You can barely see the sashing in the top row once it is pressed.

Sewing the block row to a sashing row is made easier by nesting the seams.

It took longer to get a picture than it did to pin the whole row.  Can you see how those seams are nested together?  Using the thinnest pins I can find, I pin all the seams then sew the row – right over those pins.  By sewing slowly over the pins I rarely have any problems.

Once the quilt top is all together, it is difficult to even see that cornerstones were used unless you get really close.

And the best part is that all the blocks line up across and down.  In my opinion it doesn’t take any more time to sew faux cornerstones than it does to make little pencil marks on the long sashing to attempt to line up the blocks.

Marlene

Mar 05 2018

Design Wall Monday 03/05/18

Even with a play date with my youngest granddaughter, I still found time this weekend to finish sewing the rest of the Oriental Tiles blocks.

The top row is sewn together and – hopefully – by Friday the rest of the rows.  All that will be left is the sashing between the rows then the top & bottom sashing and it will be completed.

Now to be honest, the fabrics in this quilt top are not my favorites.  I used the ones that I liked the best in the Oriental Fortune quilt,

but I am having fun with the block.  All that is left of the jelly roll is 31 – 2 1/2″ squares which I consider a win.

Libby at Life on the Hill is sponsoring a Magical Mystery Block quilt-along every Friday.  I was running a bit behind, but got the fabric cut and the first clue sewn yesterday afternoon.

I have no idea if the rail fences will be placed in this setting, but I liked the way they look.  Thank you Libby for hosting this mystery.  It would have been difficult to fit in a full quilt, but I can handle four blocks.

Check out all the other quilting inspiration at Judy’s Design Wall Monday.

Marlene

Feb 28 2018

Di Ford Mystery Quilt

Last November Quiltmania magazine announced a mystery quilt box set designed by Di Ford.  The box sets were numbered with only 400 being sold worldwide.  Well, I really wanted one!  So with some Christmas money and family support, I jumped online and snagged one.  Yeah!

This picture is of the first two of six boxes

and a peek of the contents.

Each box has fabric and directions to make two blocks along with helpful goodies.  To my surprise the Aurifil thread is on a wooden spool.

The first block is half finished – all that is left is some EPP flowers for the corners.

I am in no hurry to get the blocks done.  I want to enjoy the process and – maybe- switch things up a bit, however it is a lot of fun getting a mystery box every month.

This is my 2018 project to stretch me out of my quilting comfort zone both with fabric colors (do these really look like my colors?) and techniques (Broderie Perse, really?).  What a fun journey this is going to be.

Marlene

P.S. In case anyone is interested, my box number is 268.

Feb 26 2018

Design Wall Monday 02-25-18

Shortline is now a completed quilt top.  I am very pleased with the end result especially the neutral string blocks.  They make the colored string blocks stand out and take center stage.

Now I am getting ready to start another Cozy Quilt Design pattern – Brownstone.

It is difficult to take a good picture of the pattern when it is printed on glossy paper, so this was the best that I could do.  For the longest time I was planning to make this quilt with a brown & black jelly roll and a burgundy accent.  However when I pulled out my dark red fabrics it was like Goldilocks and the Three Bears – this one is too light, this one too dark, this one had too much texture.  Nothing was just right.

Then a stack of turquoise batiks yelled at me for attention.  So when that happens the only thing to do is make a couple of sample blocks.

It is difficult to get a good idea of what the finished quilt top will look like from just these two, but I am going to continue along this path and see what happens.  I really need to start taking a picture of the jelly rolls before I open the package to sort the strips, but I get too excited to start a new project.  Anyway this one is a Bali Pop from Hoffman called Coconut.

Check out all the other quilting inspiration at Judy’s Design Wall Monday.

Marlene

Feb 19 2018

Design Wall Monday 02-19-18

Sunday was a bouncing sort of day – bouncing from one project to another.  I started with Oriental Tiles – the center is now completed, so all that is left is the borders.

Since the setting triangles were cut from a white spiderweb fabric, I thought about going with a Halloween theme.  After placing the fabric on the design wall I realized that it was way too busy, however I think that there is enough to use as the backing.  Then I remembered that I had the reverse print of the white spiderweb fabric which will make a great border.

Once the border decision was made, I bounced over to the Oriental Tile block.  This is the first block –

and this is my test block with 1/4″ narrower sashing.

It is a subtle difference, but the narrower sashing looks so much more in proportion to the block.  Now I needed to see it in the Oriental fabric.

Everything looks good, so  I only have one problem – the black, red, & gold block is so darn cute that I need to do something with it.  Isn’t it crazy how these projects keep multiplying?

Check out all the other quilting inspiration at Judy’s Design Wall Monday.

Marlene

Feb 17 2018

The Designer of the Year is . . .

The 2016 designer was Judy Neiemeyer with her Rocky Mountain Bear Claw pattern and the 2017 designer was Jen Kingwell with Long Time Gone.  So the designer of the year for 2018 is Cozy Quilts Designs.

While looking through my patterns, I was surprised to discover that I own 10 Cozy Quilt patterns and have only made one.  That is going to change this year!

First up is Shortline – with a few changes.

I thought that this would be a great pattern to use the single color string blocks that I made in 2015.  There are 13 colored blocks which will alternated with neutral string blocks.  The rail fence blocks would be scrappy black with a mostly white center strip.

The string blocks are 5″ unfinished (smaller than the pattern), so the rail fence blocks needed to be resized also.  I am considering a black & white strip for the setting triangles, but no firm decision has yet been made.  So far this quilt is looking like the idea in my head.

Saturday update – All the rail fence units are now completed and up on the design wall.  Isn’t it looking good?

Now I am off to dig through my stash for the setting triangle fabric.  Wish me luck!

Marlene

Feb 12 2018

Design Wall Monday 02-12-18

The Oriental Fortune quilt top (70″ x 70″) is finished.  It is a good pattern to showcase a special jelly roll and I am very pleased with the final result.

Of course, there was a pile of leftover strips that begged for a home.

After looking through Kim Brackett’s books, I decided on the pattern Tiles in Scrap-Basket Strips and Squares.

Since her strips were larger than 2 1/2″ I needed to resize the block so that it would work with the Oriental jelly roll strip.  Once that was done, all that was left was to tame the pile and see exactly how many blocks it would yield.

Everything cut, stacked and ready to make 30 blocks along with a pile of 2 1/2″ squares.  After finding a dark turquoise in my stash, I needed to make a trial block, right?

My block measures 8 1/2″ unfinished, so the quilt should end up around 46″ x 55″.  What a fun little quilt this will be!

PS After looking and thinking about this block overnight, I have decided to take it apart, trim the turquoise accent strip by 1/4″ and sew it back together.  The accent strip feels too wide so it is going on a diet.  Hopefully I will be happier with the end result.

Check out all the other quilting inspiration at Judy’s Design Wall Monday.

Marlene

Feb 10 2018

On My Design Wall – Good Fortune

This was intended to be my Design Wall Monday post, but it gives you an idea of what my week has been like since it is now the Saturday after post.

My current project is Good Fortune by Kate Spain for Moda.  I believe that Good Fortune was a free pattern on the Moda website, but I have no idea if it is still available.

Since my jelly roll was of Oriental fabrics, I decided to name my quilt Oriental Fortune.  Nine mostly turquoise strips were used for the 9 full blocks and 4 mostly coral strips for the corner blocks.  The half blocks were all made using the darker strips from the jelly roll.

This quilt sews together very easily although some attention needs to be given to the sashing strips – don’t ask me how I know this!

On last Sunday (02/04) morning there were 6 completed full blocks, but by Sunday evening my design wall looked like this.

Three completed columns and most of the remaining blocks.  I really had grand plans to work on this during the week, but it didn’t happen.  So this morning I started in again and now the quilt center is completed.

All that is left is the inner and outer border.  Fun, easy, and smaller was just what I needed after the intense concentration needed for the last three twin-sized quilts.

Sometime tomorrow this should be a finished quilt top – just in time for a Design Wall Monday post.

Stay warm,

Marlene

Jan 29 2018

Design Wall Monday 01-29-18

This last weekend was busy, but I did find time to squeeze in some sewing.  First up, the Bouillabaisse quilt top is completed.  When there are only 12 blocks and each block measures 20″ square, the center of a quilt top goes together very quickly.

At first I was wondering if the border (cut 6 1/2″) was too wide, but now that the top is finished I think that it looks good.  It finishes at 72″ x 92″ for a nice twin sized quilt.  Maybe now I will work on some smaller projects – like a doll quilt.

I had a visitor and sewing buddy on Saturday – Evelyn, one of my granddaughters.  She wanted to sew a doll quilt, but was a bit surprised at all the math involved.  After deciding on a finished size (18″ x 24″) and the size of the squares (3″ finished), we worked the math to figure out how many squares in a row, how many rows to make, and how many total squares needed for the quilt top.  I had her work with paper and crayons on color placement & design for her quilt, then Evelyn picked the fabric from my 3 1/2″ strip bin for the squares.  She did all the sewing for the doll quilt top, while I rotary cut the fabric, then machine quilted & bound the project.  We were determined that she would have a finished quilt to take home with her and it happened.

Doesn’t she look like she is already planning her next quilting project?

Now it is time for me to start planning my next project.  Hmmm

Maybe it will help me decide if I check out the quilting inspiration at Judy’s Design Wall Monday.

Marlene