Sometimes things just happen. As I was looking for a particular fabric yesterday, I happened onto a little box that was full of 3-1/2″ squares and some half finished four patch blocks. I think these were made when my Mom was living at our house the year before she died. I even recognize some of the fabric she and I used at a retreat or two. I decided to stop what I was doing and finish the four patch blocks. That exercise turned into a finish of a comfort quilt for the cancer center. Sherry had given me some Kaffe Fasset fabric awhile ago and it was a print that had all the colors that I saw in the four patch blocks, so I put it together and this is what I have. I will get it quilted today and send to Sherry for binding. I love it when a project gets done so quickly.
Ted has introduced the children to roller blades – he pulled our old blades out of the closet. They are so excited. But disappointed they have had to wait for the new helmets, knee, elbow, and wrist pads to come. Today is the day.
On March 28, 2015, my brother’s house was destroyed by fire. And I do mean destroyed–there was almost nothing left. Many things were literally vaporized, never to be seen again. Fortunately, all of the humans and four-legged fur creatures were safe and sound, although my sister-in-law and nephew made it out without even their shoes. Miraculously, some of the many quilts that were made by my grandmother, mother, and myself were salvaged. They were in cedar chests which were scorched on the outside, but the quilts inside survived with minor damage. Those cedar chests were on the top story of this house, which is gone. This is a back view of the house just after the fire.
One of the favorite quilts that I had given them was displayed on a chair in the front entry. It was damaged, but not completely destroyed. And it’s a salvage project that I will work on this summer. There is still fabric in my stash from the original quilt. The quilt aged significantly from the fire and subsequent cleaning, so the fabrics will not match exactly. This is what it looks like now.
There are six blocks on the bottom half of the quilt that survived intact. The goal is to make a wall hanging from those blocks. Because of the damage to the binding, the edges will be trimmed a bit, but the wall hanging may exist with even some of the damage intact.
Here’s a closeup of damage to the binding–and in the full picture, you can see along the sides and bottom edges how the binding is frayed.
And this is a picture showing the quilting I had done on this quilt. It was all done free-hand on my old Nolting Hobby Quilter.
And I would like to express my appreciation to the community of support for my brother and his family which has been incredible. I have never seen anything like the level of support they have received from friends, neighbors, and even members of the community they didn’t know very well before.
I have been so swamped with my Mom and my children that there has been no time to write. And this post is coming from my phone so it’s always an adventure.
I have had a summer of finishes and working on UFOs. I had these leftover 3inch squares from novelty fabrics and had even stitched some of them into nine patch blocks.
However after making more nine patch blocks I could not find a way to put them together into a quilt that I liked. Now I ask you–how hard is it to mAke a quilt with 9patch blocks. I must have been out of sorts or so something.
So I decided to add triangles. I have the Accuquilt 8″ half square triangle die so I cut the nine patch blocks to eight inches. That was better but not great. So after stitching three rows together I got very brave or brazen , not sure which, a d cut all the blocks to six inches. This is much better.
Interesting that taking pics with my phone is how I decided which layouts I didn’t like.
The big lesson here. Planning saves a lot of time and angst and not all scraps look good together in a quilt.
Finished the owl quilt yesterday for baby Johanna. She’s due in September and the baby shower was yesterday. I finished the quilt at 9am and the shower was at 11am, so it was a tight squeeze. But I was so pleased with it. The embroidery designs (all but one which was my design) were from DesignsbyJuJu.com owl sets 1 and 2. The flowers are my Accuquilt GO! fun flowers and I used the design that was digitized with the free-form applique embroidery edge. I quilted edge to edge with the Double Bubble Panto from Urban Elementz.
This has been a summer of finishes, primarily quilting some tops that have been around for awhile. The blue top dates back to my pre-Accuquilt days. And I believe Norma pieced the sunflower quilt top for me. It is definitely a bright one.
At the quilt expo in Raleigh back in June, I tried all of the longarm quilting machines. My Nolting Hobby Quilter was made before any of the current machines that have all the bells and whistles. I fell in love with the HandiQuilter Avante and before I knew it, I had ordered one. It came a couple of weeks ago, and I have been quilting steadily ever since. I love this machine. I am also loving quilting some edge to edge designs that I created over the past few years. These two designs are available as digital downloads at IntelligentQuilting.com. Here are two finishes from last weekend:
These are two of Sherry’s quilts that I just finished. She has been binding for me, and I have been quilting for her. I think I’m getting the better end of this deal, but she says she has come to like doing the binding so who am I to protest. Which is your favorite–binding or quilting?
I used Aurifil–as always–for quilting these and did spiraling squares for the three-dimensional quilt and a zigzag overall for the black and white. I fell in love with the 3-D quilt the minute I saw it and bought the book (Scraps by Judy Martin). Haven’t made it yet, but it’s on my bucket list.
Here’s a quilt that I finished this weekend as a gift for my neighbor. It’s been in my unfinished bin for quite some time. His wife passed away last Spring, and he has been donating her stash to me, box by box. I took a beautiful piece of fleece that he brought me and used it for the backing. The quilting is a geometric pattern and there is no batting. It is a very soft and drapey quilt which I think will be just perfect for these chilly Spring days.
And, of course, it’s impossible for me to make anything using a rotary cutter these days, so I wanted to give you a little tutorial on how to make this using the AccuQuilt Go or Studio cutter.
The strips are scraps and are random widths. The first blocks that were made were pieced using a 10 1/2″ paper foundation. You can also use a fabric foundation. When trimmed, the blocks look like this.
To make the block into half square triangles, a 10-1/2 inch solid piece of fabric is cut and layered together with the pieced block with right sides of fabric facing each other, then a line is marked from corner to corner and stitched 1/4″ on either side of the marked line. This makes two complete blocks. All blocks are trimmed to the same size, and the quilt assembled. While I did a straight layout, the blocks could be turned many different ways to create a number of different unique layouts.
As I was stitching the last few blocks so that this quilt could be completed, I started thinking about ways to make this using my AccuQuilt cutter. I find making the blocks on a foundation very cumbersome because after stitching, each strip has to be trimmed in length. And then there is a trimming process in the end.
The first thing I tried was to make a row of strips as shown below. This strip looks nice and even, but it was made from scraps and then trimmed to 6-1/2″ using a ruler. You could make the strip any width. After the strip was trimmed, it was cut into half square triangles.
At first I used the 45 degree angle across the ruler to cut triangles. Then it occurred to me that the 8-1/2″ quarter square triangle die that cuts the triangles lengthwise would work. This made me very happy. You can see the fabric after being cut with the die shown below.
Of course, the next thing that has to be cut is the half square triangle from solid fabric that is needed to complete the block. Because the outside of the pieced half square triangle is cut on the bias, it is ideal to have the solid fabric half square triangle cut with the straight grain on the two outer edges of the block. Thus, I didn’t want to cut the solid fabric half of the square using the 8-1/2″ quarter square triangle die. The nearest size half square triangle that would match the 8-1/2″ quarter square triangle was the 6-1/2″ half square triangle.
When the pieced half square triangle and the solid half square triangle are stitched together, you will see that the solid triangle is just slightly larger and will have to be trimmed to a square. Because of the fabric grain, it is worth it to me to do that little bit of trimming because of the squaring issues that a bias quilt presents during the quilting process.
But there are other options that could be used so that one only used the quarter square triangle die or only the 6-1/2″ half square triangle die. For example, if you cut all of the triangles – solid and strips, with the 8-1/2″ QST die, then you could put them together like this and have the straight edges on the outside.
Or, you could make the strips like the original plan on a foundation and then cut both the pieced strip square and the solid square with the 6-1/2″ half square triangle die.
Hope this helps you begin to brainstorm ways to use up all those short ends of strips that you’ve cut from other projects.
What a busy week I had last week. After two months of blogging about Quilts of Valor, I buried myself in other projects for a week and stayed away from the computer. Most of the time was spent with my Mom, my daughter, and my grandchildren. But I managed to get a little stitching time in also.
There were two new grandsons in February and neither one had a single new baby quilt from me. Thus, I made and/or finished four baby quilts last week. My longarm has seen little use the past year, and there’s a whole stack of quilts to be quilted. Someone needs to get busy!
It was so much fun to be actually quilting the tops. Finishing the Quilts of Valor got me started, and now I hope this will be a summer of finishing all those tops. What’s interesting to me after almost a year of doing very little quilting is that it seems that I can now do some of the things that were once so hard for me. Doing freehand continuous curves was almost impossible and now I seem to zip through them with little effort. Not sure what the secret is; maybe I’m more relaxed now than I used to be, not sure why–but I feel as if I can quilt almost anything now.
Here are some photos. I still haven’t done the official photos of the quilts hanging, but you can get a pretty good idea of these baby quilts.
This quilt was made two years ago by my friend Kay. She did the embroidery (because I didn’t even own an embroidery machine at that time). It is finished and will go to a grandson.
This quilt was made from orphan blocks left over from the quilt I made for my nephew. I added a row of four patch blocks on the far right to make it wide enough.
The quilting is done with an Aurifil variegated thread. I love the way it looks.
This quilt is similar to the attic windows quilt. It’s sort of an I spy quilt with the novelty fabrics in the center of each block. It’s a leaders and enders quilt – there are many more blocks just like these. I used a striped fabric around the blocks and for the binding. Have been saving that fabric forever b/c I love it so much. Now it’s all used up and there’s room for a new stripe in my stash.
I love to quilt freehand swirls and spirals and this border turned out nicely. I didn’t plan it this way, but started out with a swirl and this is what happened.
And this is the attic windows quilt – in use! Isn’t he just adorable?
This is a particularly special Memorial Day for me as we go into the last lap of the GO! for a Star Quilts of Valor Challenge. I have “met” and become aware of so many quilters who are dedicated to honoring the military service men and women who serve to protect us, our country and our way of life. The Quilts of Valor program is a wonderful way to give back to them.
And here are the quilts that I have been working on for the last few days. Every minute spent on them has been enjoyable. There is still time for any of you reading this to become a part of this Challenge and to make a single quilt block or several quilt blocks and get them in the mail to Richard and Tink Linhart by May 31. You can find more information here.
This is the quilt made with the Triangle in a Square Accuquilt die(55027). I had made 12 blocks as I worked with this die, so bordered them with the blue and did a wide sash (3 inches finished) so that the quilt would be large enough. This one still needs binding on it.
This is the split star quilt made with 12 inch blocks. It turned out beautifully and is even prettier in person.
You just have to see this. Jane LaFazio does some wonderful art quilts and this one is spectacular. Head on over to JaneVille: Stitch Ritual and take a look at her work. Here’s a sample closeup of the stitching – and there are so many beautiful pictures of this quilt in her post.