Apr 23 2018

Design Wall Monday 04-23-18

The weekends in April and May are filling up fast with family events, but I was able to find some time for quilting.  Last weekend the machine quilting on Ruby in the Sky – a quilt top made in 2011 – was completed and the binding sewn on.  All that is left is the handwork and I am hoping for a Friday finish for this quilt.  On April 15th I went to the Degas exhibit at the Denver Art Museum along with my brother and middle daughter.  What a great experience!  On display were numerous sketches & sculptures before showing his final painting.  It inspires me to continue to stretch myself as a quilter.

I also tackled the issues with the Double Wedding Ring – namely no fabric or template for the cornerstones.  A partial solution involved a trip to the quilt store since there is no 30s fabric in my stash.  That isn’t a style of fabric that appeals to me and it was very difficult to make a decision.  I really should have known better, but I only bought one piece of fabric for the cornerstones.  Once I was home however, I realized that I should have bought two.  There was a piece of darker gray lavender in my stash, so I started cutting into that.

But after getting a few of the melon shapes together it is very evident that this will not work.  After work on Monday I stopped at the quilt store – again – and came home with a pink 30s print to use for the other cornerstone.

Doesn’t that look a lot better?  The rings are not sewn together yet – the parts are just lying on the floor so that I could get an idea of size.  It may be hard to see in the picture, but from outside edge to outside edge it measures 26″.  The wedges in the arc are 3 1/2″ tall which seem larger than usual.  I have decided on a 3 x 3 layout which I am hoping will be in the 65 – 70″ square range.

I am making all the melon shapes first and then will sew all the units together.

Next up will be putting a round peg in a square box.  I am not a big fan of scallops, so I want to do something different.  Some of the DWR quilts that I have seen with straight sides are appliqued on a wide border – I don’t want to do applique. So what I plan to do is make a border template using the middle background piece to fill in the gap between the rings and give the quilt straight edges.  I will let you know how that goes.

I want to start documenting my reasons for the quilts that I decide to sew.  The Double Wedding Ring has two main reasons:

1.  This is a great way for me to learn how to assemble a DWR quilt without the pressure of fabric that I absolutely love and with part of the piecing already done.  There has been a steep learning curve and I am sure that there will be more lessons in my future, but I wouldn’t hesitate to tackle another DWR.

2.  I like the idea of Nettie’s UFO finally being finished.  Of course I have enough of my own UFOs, but there is something gratifying about completing someone else’s.

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

Marlene

Apr 09 2018

Design Wall Monday 04-09-18

The Brownstone quilt top is finally completed.

It took longer than anticipated to finish mostly due to not enough background fabric and the Easter weekend.  I was short by 5″ x width of fabric for the first border.  But with some helpers along, a substitute fabric was found.

The friendly ladies at Holly’s Quilt Cabin let the girls each pick out a strip of fabric – the perfect length for hair bows.  Don’t those smiles just brighten your day?

Now back to fabric choices.  If you look closely you can see that the border fabric is just a touch darker than the block background fabric, but it is not noticeable from farther away.  The second border is a striped brown from my stash that was also one of the strips in the jelly roll.

The accent strip and third border were sewn from 3 – 1 yard pieces of bright turquoise which I bought for a paper piecing project that didn’t happen.  The turquoise really makes the quilt cheerful even though the center has so many browns & blacks.

Right now I have 7 different projects on my design walls – which is a lot for me, so I had better get busy.  First up is finishing the machine quilting on Ruby in the Sky.  This project has been sitting under the needle for at least 4 weeks, however I was able to work on it this morning.  Hopefully the quilting will be finished by Tuesday so that the binding can go on Wednesday evening.

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

Marlene

Mar 26 2018

Design Wall Monday 03-26-18

My Bernina came home from the spa on Friday eager to finish the center of the Brownstone quilt.  So that is what we did.

All that is left are the three borders – light tan, brown and turquoise.  I am very happy with the turquoise accent and think that it will look even better with the borders attached.

Libby’s Magical Mystery Blocks is winding down.  Here are my two guesses in the “What block do you think these units make?” game.

Tomorrow we shall see how well I did.

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

Marlene

Mar 24 2018

Down the Rabbit Hole . . .

Sometimes you just need to follow the white rabbit and that is what I am doing.  At the beginning of the year using an Oriental jelly roll, I made this quilt top – Good Fortunes.

With the leftovers I made this quilt top – Oriental Tiles.

Since the block for Oriental Tiles was resized smaller, I tested out my calculations with this sample.

I like this block – the color combination, the fabric, and the striped burgundy fabric accent.  So what was I going to do with it?  After several days of contemplation, I started looking through my files of quilt pictures, patterns & inspiration and came across the picture of this block.  I don’t even know the block’s name, just that it looked like a fun block to make.

I think it was from an ad in a magazine.  Doesn’t it look like the background may have been cut from a layer cake since all the directional fabric is vertical?

After a couple of hours with a calculator and help from Bonnie Hunter’s Square in a Square chart (under Tips & Techniques tab), I had the measurements for the block units.

The finished block needs to measure 8″ unfinished, so the center square would be 5 3/4″ unfinished.

To make the block cut:

1 center square – 2″ square

4 accent strips – 1″ x 4″

4 main strips – 2″ x 4″

4 corner triangles – from 4 1/2″ strip cut 4 triangles using the Easy Angle ruler

Sew the accent strips to the main strip.  Sew the first rail fence unit to the center square with a partial seam.  Add the remaining rail fence units and then finish the first seam.

IMPORTANT:  Because the cutting measurements were rounded up, the center square should measure 6″ square at this point, so it will need to be trimmed down to 5 3/4″

Add the four corner triangles, and then trim the finished block to 8″.

TA-DA  The finished block.

The cutting for the Oriental Tiles block is:

1 center square – 2 1/2″ square

4 accent strips – 1 1/4″ x 5 1/4″

4 main strips – 2 1/2″ x 5 1/4″

The construction of the block is the same as the center of the first block.

See how the two block look together.  The sad part of this whole story is that 12″ strip on the right side is all that is left of the lovely striped burgundy fabric.  The chances of finding more of the fabric ranges from non-existent to very-very-very slim, so I will need to find something else to use.  My best recollection is that the fabric designer was Nancy Halverson from 10? 12? years ago.

I am thinking of a 5 x 5 layout which would be around 38″ square before borders, but for right now I am just going to make blocks and watch them grow on my design wall.

So this is the beginning of the story about the white rabbit.  Who know what will happen next?

Marlene

Mar 19 2018

Design Wall Monday 03-19-18

This weekend was busy working on Brownstone by Cozy Quilt Designs.  Since my Bernina sewing machine is going in for a couple of “spa days”, I wanted to get as many blocks together as possible.  Saturday morning started with all the strip sets sewn for block A and all the fabric cut for block B.  By 4pm my design wall looked like this:

By bedtime all the strip sets were pressed and cut into units.

Since everything was ready, the blocks came together quickly.  After all now it is only 3 seams to a finished block.

All the block B’s are completed and 8 of block A.  I know the layout on the design wall looks strange, but I have a method behind the madness.  The block B’s were laid out alternating brown and black – as much as possible.

Each width of fabric strip set makes two A blocks, one with one fabric as the inside pinwheel and the second with the other fabric as the inside pinwheel.  Because I didn’t want the same two fabrics next to each other, the first block with a black pinwheel was placed upper left and the second with a brown pinwheel on the bottom right.  The next two A blocks were placed with the brown pinwheel top center and the black pinwheel on the bottom center.  Now I will just alternate black & brown meeting in the middle of the quilt top.  Since the size I am making calls for 21 A blocks, the singleton block will be right in the center.

The turquoise accent is quite striking, isn’t it?  I hope that when the quilt top is completed, I don’t smack myself on the forehead and ask “What was I thinking using that bright turquoise?” This is the “second-guessing myself” stage of a quilt followed by “Will I ever get this finished” and “Borders take forever to put on”.

But for now this project will have to wait until my sewing machine is back home.  The plan is to finish the machine quilting of Ruby in the Sky and get it bound although I think that I will pull out my Featherweight for some piecing.

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

Marlene

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