Saturday, April 20, 2019

Adventures in foundation piecing

An addition to my quilting library last year was this book by Juliet van der Heijden (tartankiwi patterns).  The animal patterns were all very enticing, but I finally settled on "Howl" -- the wolf pattern, as it would be ideal for a quilt for an upcoming baby.

The patterns are quite large -- the wolf is one of the smaller ones with a 20" block.  The patterns are easily printed on 8 1/2" x 11" paper using the CD that is included in the back of the book.

I decided I wanted my wolf reversed from the way the pattern is designed, so I printed off my pattern using the mirror image command.

Then I made a cup of coffee, put on some music (Jonathan Antoine), and settled down to prepare my foundations.

First I cut out the sections and assembled them in roughly the correct configuration, using the "maps" in the book.  Fabric choices are not indicated on the foundations.  I studied the colour diagram and used coloured pencils to block in the fabrics where I wanted them.  For fairly large pieces like these I prefer to use freezer paper for my foundations, so once everything was labelled, I set up my light table and traced each piece and all my notes onto freezer paper.  This wasn't a quick process -- I think I listened all the way through my music several times.
Printed foundations with notes about fabric placement. 

Each foundation was traced onto freezer paper. 
The sewing step was fun.  There is that eagerness to finish just one more section so you can watch the picture come to life.

All the sections are completed and it is time to sew the block together!

I framed the block and extended the "night sky" fabric to the edge of the quilt.  I chose the column of Plus Sign blocks to balance the quilt and give it a bit of a modern look. 
The new parents were very pleased with the quilt, although they have decided that it depicts a coyote, not a wolf!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Success! I really did USE UP a scrap!

I quilted a little table mat this week.  Trimmed up the edges and started looking for binding.  My calculations determined I needed to bind an edge 60 inches long.

I came up with this piece of fabric -- exactly the right colour.  It was less than 7.5 by 10.5 inches, though.  

I cut the piece into six strips just over an inch wide.  (This is a table mat, so a single layer binding will be fine.)

I joined the strips with tiny seams, abandoning my usual diagonal joins to conserve fabric.  Then I pressed under 1/4 inch along one edge.  Measured it -- this looks like it will work.

Then I sewed the binding into place.  It reached all the way around with enough for a seam.  There was even a tiny bit left over!  

 I'm very pleased to have this tiny UFO done, and I'm ridiculously happy about using up that bit of fabric!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Some finished quilts

As a new season of quilting starts up it is time to clear the decks a bit.  Several small projects that were made as class samples have been quilted and bound over the summer and are on their way to the regional hospital for use in the preemie ward.

Starting with a square and adding frames is a process with lots of possibilities.  This little quilt used strips made of random sized scraps for the frames.  Using one fabric for all the light areas adds a bit of unity.

Making framed squares and then cutting them into quarter blocks leads to the popular Bento Box pattern.  Perhaps the pattern gets lost a bit with all those fabrics, but it is definitely cheery.

After all the scrappy fabrics in the previous two quilts it was time to make a top using only three fabrics.  The blue was the middle band in each block and that gave the opportunity to create a path through the yellow and butterscotch squares.

The bin of flannel scraps never seems to end.  It took only a few strips to piece a backing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Sampler quilt

This year our annual Friends' Challenge required us to use our initials to choose colours, blocks, and quilting designs.  My challenge piece was this Sampler Quilt which was made as a Block of the Month project in the sewing group.  Actually it was more of a Section of the Month -- each month participants were given the dimensions of the next section which they could then proceed to complete using whatever blocks and patterns they wished.  The results were all fantastic, and they were all completely different from one another. 

My version of the sampler uses a number of blocks beginning with D (my middle initial).  You can see Dresden Plates, Diamond Stars, and Delectable Mountains.  

My colours began with L.  I used Lemon, Licorice, and Lead.  And I called the white areas Linen (though that really isn't a colour name, but I liked it!).  

To complete the initials, I quilted with R patterns -- Right Angles, some Round bubbles, and a lot of Random lines.  
I like the way the quilting enhanced these basic little Rail Fence blocks.  

I seldom do a sampler project.  This one was an adventure all the way through and I am pleased that it manages to look reasonably coordinated in the end. 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

More baby quilts

The sewing group has an on-going project of making quilts for the regional hospital.  I find it simple to make class samples in the size needed for preemies. I love how this lets me have projects to show the group, uses some stash, adds to the stack for the babies.  Winning all around!
Lots of 8-pointed stars have been made lately.  Extra donated blocks make a cheerful quilt.
Can't play with diamond stars without making one of these!  Might have used the last bit of that blue Hawaiian fabric, too.

Hunter's Star is another beloved variation of stars made with diamonds.  

Little Memory Quilts -- blankets given to mothers who have lost an infant.  Donated fabrics. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Piecing Adventures

I’ve been enjoying a new book.  Modern Quilt Magic: 5 Parlor Tricks to Expand Your Piecing Skills by Victoria Findlay Wolfe.  

Her first “parlor trick” is the partial seam.  And her designs are of the type I’ve looked at and and thought -- can’t make that -- so many partial seams.  Her take is,  “Yes, that involves a bunch of partial seams -- so?  Let's do it!”  

After studying her diagrams I set about making a little piece of interlocking rectangles, just to see how bad all those partial seams might be.  

The rectangles finish to 3" by 1.5".  That size was not difficult to piece, so I might try something a bit smaller.  The only "difficult" part of the construction process was not being able to use chain piecing easily.  
Well, that was easy!  Now what will I try?

I’ve always loved designs that look like strips are woven over and under each other. I've avoided these because construction usually involves “cheating” by seaming some of the strips.  With partial seams, though, this should work! 

I pieced rectangles from strips of various widths (used a very eclectic variety of fabrics spanning quite a few years) and cut background squares from white.  Then I laid out the whole thing on the living room floor and set to work piecing it together.  I made many trips back and forth to the living room as I found I needed to keep returning units to the layout to see where I was going.  But that was the only complicating part of the project, and I told myself that I was at least getting some steps in on my fitness tracker! 

The quilting doesn't show on the scrappy fabrics, but I had a wonderful time adding a variety of free hand feathered designs on the warm coloured strips and lines and leaves on the cool ones.  
I’m delighted with Happy Trails! Let's see what other ideas are in this book -- perhaps some curved seams next?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks

The new issue, Volume 16, is on the newsstands NOW!    I'm sure you want to rush out and look for it right away!

And when you find it, you know the drill -- turn to the appropriate page -- this time it's page 51.  Find my block.  Gasp, utter exclamations of awe!  Explain to passersby that you know the quilter who designed this particular fabulous block!  (It really is fabulous -- says so right on the cover!)

My block in this issue is called Step Right Up.  It is based on a design I found in my file, a sketch on graph paper that my son Sandy did when he was in school. 

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 16.
 The magazine is resting on a quilt that I made using my Step Right Up block