my creative pursuits with quilts and knits

Archive for the ‘Blocks’ Category

Status Report

I fell down the rabbit hole of busy working mom.  I am a high school teacher, and after 15 years, I got my dream assignment of teaching World History.  Unfortunately, new class = lots of homework (lesson planning) for me, so I haven’t had much time to quilt.  We are at the midpoint of the semester so I have finally settled into a routine.  The other crimp in my style is my daughter’s figure skating career.  She is practicing two solo routines for fall competition, and she is in a group number in November and a holiday show with two weekends of performances in December.  I haven’t found a way to sew at the ice rink, but I try to get my grading done there.

I am still working on stars for my True Blue 92 quilt:

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This beauty, pieced by my mom from a Judy Niemeyer pattern, is on my longarm. I am doing lots of custom filler designs so it is taking a while.

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And the biggest news of all, three years in the making… My first book!

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Self-published through CreateSpace, an Amazon affiliate.  Purchase here, or search the title “Monochromatic Quilts” on Amazon.

Sewing Day

Once a month, my mom’s quilting guild hosts a sewing day at a local Bingo hall.  It’s a great space with plenty of room for everyone to spread out.  And there is a great Italian restaurant a block away so we had yummy Stromboli for lunch.  I wish I were retired too so I could join the group more than once a year!

I packed three bags…one is my sewing machine and then I have four different projects to work on.   image

First, I added borders to the leftover Swoon blocks and brought the backing up to size.  I hope to get this quilted before school starts in a few weeks.    image

Then I worked on some HST for the Starry Night for Josh QOV quilt-along.

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The tables were a little too low for comfortable cutting, and I didn’t have the correct size ruler and mat,  so I set this project aside.  Sometimes it is just not worth it to “make do” especially when there is new fabric to play with! image I opened a couple jelly rolls and started a new design.  Unfortunately, I did not think ahead more than one step, so I spent some time ripping while making the strip sets!

It was a lovely day, but now I am back to longarm work.  I have another Aviatrix Medallion on the machine and we are expecting summer thunderstorms as remnants of Hurricane Dolores pass by.

Small projects

We have been on a family vacation, and I wanted some hand work to take along for the plane rides and long trips in the car.

I am using a skein of Dizzy Blonde yarn/colorway Run Amok to make a scarf.

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I wound the yarn into two balls, and I am waiting to see how long it is after one ball before I decide if it is too wide.  I generally prefer skinny, long scarves, but I am trying to keep an open mind.  Plus, I am basically lazy and don’t want to rip it out to start over!

For my second project, I jumped onto the English paper pieced hexagon craze.  No scissors on airplanes, so I prepped a bunch of pieces before leaving home.

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I am making diamond units, and I plan to use an argyle pattern, so there will be solid color sections with white Xs.  These are 3/4-inch hexagons so this piece will probably end up as a wall hanging.

True Blue progress

Today Vicki is taking stock of her dream projects, so it’s time for an update on my next BIG quilt.  My college class was nicknamed “True Blue 92” so I am making a blue and white quilt with 92 stars.  I shared the layout in this post.

Here are the latest blocks.

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I am trying to use a different blue fabric in each block so it will take some time to collect that variety.  I am using patterns from Quilter’s Cache, and many are paper pieced.  I need to do more organizing in my sewing room to find the blocks I made when I first had the idea for this quilt…way back in the fall of 2013!

Alternatives

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I was putting together the blocks for the 2014 Mod Mod Sampler from Block Lotto, and here is my epic fail at sewing curves.  I have successfully made Drunkard’s Path blocks with quarter circles, but these semi-circles were too much.

I needed to come up with something else for that space in the quilt.  I looked at some traditional blocks, but this is a Modern Modular design.  So I improvised, first trying string piecing.

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Then I turned to my favorite bit of quilting, the 2-1/2″ square.  I had a stack of red and blue squares and I needed a 7×7 grid to make my 14″ block.  Here is the arrangement I came up with.

imageNow I just need one more 14″ block and I can finish the sampler.

I keep sewing the split 9-patch as my leader-ender project.

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I have sewn 76 blocks, and I want 120 to make a quilt top.

 

Sewing for Me!

I loaded one of my own projects on the longarm this morning.  When I checked my notes, I found it this is the first time all year that I am working on something I will keep!  It’s my Women of the Bible quilt.  The blocks were sewn from October 2013 through September 2014.  I decided on a simple stitch-in-the-ditch outline of the primary element in each block, with free-motion feathers in the borders.

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I won’t win any awards for my ditch quilting becauseit gets pretty wobbly, but since this is not going to be judged I am not stressing over it. My plan is to hang the finished quilt in the room at church where my adult Sunday School class meets.

I made another block for my True Blue stars: image

And I am still working on split 9-patch blocks as my “leader-ender” (in-between-other-things) project.image I need to count them to see if I am halfway to a quilt top yet.  My goal is a 60″x80″ quilt for QOV and that will take 120 blocks.  Scrappy heaven!

Another Star for True Blue

You can see from the button on my sidebar that I have an epic, long term project in the works.

It is my True Blue 92 stars quilt.  The plan is to make 92 star blocks in blue and white to commemorate my 25th college reunion in 2017.image

I found my patterns on Quilter’s Cache.  Today, I paper pieced a block called “Belted Star.”

imageMy initial plan was to use 44 blocks, and make 2 of each with 4 corners to make 92 stars.  I have adjusted that plan a bit.  Of course, I lost the scrap of paper where I drew the most recent layout, so back to the sketch book.

The Creative Spark

Happy Memorial Day!  Ahh, the start of summer vacation…in another week.  Last week I said goodbye to my seniors, and I have three days to clean out and move my classroom this week before Graduation for the Class of 2015 on Friday.

Today, I spent a few minutes cleaning up the piles next to my sewing machine and organizing projects for the coming weeks.

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Does anyone recognize this little bundle?  Riley Blake offered members of the Modern Quilt Guild some fat eighths as a fabric challenge.  I have plans for improv piecing and applique.  I hope I can create something to make the vision in my head!

The next treasure I found:image

some I-Spy blocks.  I need to verify the layout I had in mind so I can finish and write a pattern.

I was successful in my hunt for these squares, which went up on the design wall immediately:image

They will become a Lil Twister wall-hanging.  I meant to crop the photo, but I forgot, so you can see the “Cherry Pi(e)” block in the corner.  I still have my eye out for more cute prints to use in that project.  If I can find some small scale flags, I will make the “American Pi(e)” next!

And my diversion…imageDragonVale, a game on my iPad!  Very simple premise, hatch dragon eggs to display on island in your park.  I like the artwork and some of my online friends play so we help each other out during special events in the game.

WIP Wednesday

I have a forced day off since my daughter is home with a sore throat.  She is tucked into her sick bed on the couch with a marathon of cartoons, and I have some extra time in the sewing room!  I am still working on Bonnie Hunter’s Grand Illusion (remember to print out the pattern if you want it free…she will take it off her website soon for future publication).

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The green checkboard rows are the sashing.  There will be additional borders.  If I can stay organized enough, I put tops together in a “twosy-foursy” method that I learned from Jackie Robinson.  I made myself some notes…

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Since you don’t want to end up with double sashing, some blocks get one, two or three sides sashed and then attached to other blocks.  My grand plan fell apart rather quickly, while I was trying to do multiple rows instead of an orderly progression.  I haven’t needed to rip anything yet, so it’s all good.  I just need to slow down and work step by step.  This is a perfect place to incorporate some leader-ender squares!

Epic

Today, 3-14-15, is a mathematician’s dream – Pi Day of the Century!  A friend of mine has posters in his classroom of all sorts of Pi puns, which I thought would make a cute quilt.  Now I will be on the hunt for small prints to make this work.

My first effort:  Cherry Pi(e)!

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Very simple process for a raw-edge applique block.  Find a pi symbol you like online, and print it as a five inch square.image Layer the paper on top of your focus fabric (cut a square 5-6″), on top of the background, which I cut at 6-1/2″.

Sew along the printed line of the pi symbol.  Tear away the outside of the symbol.  I left the middle paper in place for stability while I trimmed the fabric on the outside of the stitches.  Be careful to only trim the focus fabric – NOT the background!  When you are done trimming, remove the rest of the paper, and you are done.

I am looking for pumpkins, American flags (the song…), other fruit, etc.  Even a Mustache for Tom Selleck as Magnum PI, LOL.  If I can find pots small enough, that would be a cute block also…or a fussy cut shepherd, inspired by another tasty recipe.  What are your favorite Pi(e) day puns?

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