Friday, August 31, 2012

Philisophical Pfridays

I thought I would take a moment this Friday to talk about quilt layouts. Specifically about changing your layout once you already planned it. 

Original (pretty traditional) layout:

I sewed all the blocks into rows and then started sewing the rows together. After pressing I decided to play around with a few alternative layouts. 

This one is pathway-ish

I really like where this one was headed. Lots of small focal points with radiating zig-zags

In the end I decided to go with the original design, but it was liberating and a lot of fun to play around with the strips. I now have lots of ideas of what to do next with HSTs. I think sometimes I put so much effort into the planning and cutting of the quilt subunits that when it comes time to put it all together I just go ahead without playing around first.

How about you, do you...
plan a layout and stick to it?
start with a layout and then modify throughout?
just improvise?

Also, I'm curious, what would you have done with these blocks stuck with the traditional design or gone wild?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Across the Square, A Block Tutorial

This block is pieced together log cabin style. The fun part is alternating dark and light fabrics to make the center cross.

The Specs:
12.5 x 12.5 inch square
All seams are 1/4 inch and pressed open
Beginner difficulty level

The Fabrics (all are from connecting threads except the dark gray):
dark gray- Kona gray
light gray- silver lining
dark yellow- morse code
light yellow- not exactly sure but its a floral print
dark purple- mirage iris
light purple- mirage lilac

As an aside, I am still on the fence on the mirage line. I think you have to be really careful with them to make sure the finished block or quilt does not look muddy. When used correctly I think they make good solid-but-not blenders.

1. Cut your fabric:
You will need only one 2.5 inch light gray square and one 2.5 x 5 inch light yellow strip. For all other fabrics cut two pieces of each.

2. Piece the center 9-patch

Sew the two light yellow 2.5 inch squares to the light gray 2.5 inch square

 Sew the two dark yellow pieces to the light yellow piece and cut in half across the strips 
(see the next picture).

Piece the two outer rows to the center row.

3. Make the middle and outer square "logs"

Cut the middle square logs into two 2.25 inch strips

Cut the outer square logs into two 2 inch strips

4. Assemble the block

Press the final seams open and if necessary trim to 12.5 inches square. 

I hope you will find that it's a very versatile block. It is also a great way to use a jelly roll, just make each "log" individually instead of the way I did it in step 3. 

Here is a quilt mock up of this block. Doesn't it look fun!

Here are the measurements to make a 19 inch square based on my faux pas (but it makes a great pillow!)

Center 9-patch
Use the same measurements as above 

Middle square
two 5.75" x 15.5" dark gray
one 2.5" x 15.5" light gray
Sew together as before and cut into 3.75" strips

Outer square
two 9" x 15.5" dark purple
one 2.5" x 15.5" light purple
Sew together as before and cut into 3.75" strips

If you use this tutorial I would love to hear about it, especially if something is not clear. Happy piecing!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WIP Wednesday - WIPped by HSTs

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

This week I tackled all those HSTs leftover from the Arkansas crossroad blocks in my Scrapasaurus Rex quilt.
284 HSTs freshly pressed

Trimmed to 2 inches and sorted by color

My poor rotary cutter next to scrap mountain.

These will be used to recover this sad, sad pillow. And horrors, I have another one just like it. I swear it didn't look so sad when I bought it.

Cypress and Leuko fight over who hates the pillow more.

Here is the layout andI already started to piece it because it will not last long in this state on the table.

In other WIP news...
1. I still need to quilt the simpatico monsterz baby blanket

2. I started to cut the fabric for a quilt for a friend's wedding
3. I am writing up another block tutorial

I leave you with the tiniest HST in the world. Maybe the borrowers can use it for a ultramini quilt?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August Blocks Received

I entered my first bee this August. NuBees was a great option because you commit on a monthly basis. I asked for eggplant purple and mustard yellow. I don't have much purple fabric on hand even though it is my favorite clothing color. I am like the purple power ranger over here. It's not as bad as Marie on Breaking Bad if you watch that, but close (Also you should watch Breaking Bad, it's streaming on Netflix). Oh right the blocks...

August NuBee blocks

I made one for myself so I could try out my honeycomb tutorial. And me and K over at Crafternoon Delight  are going to continue make extras to swap with each other even when we are not in the same hive.  Hers is the bottom middle one. 

Love, love, love them all (probably should have pressed them before taking the pic!) I think they all go so well together, uh except maybe mine because it is too orange-y. A few more months and I will have one killer lap quilt. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Working out the kinks of a new block tutorial

I am working on another block tutorial for a 12.5 inch square block that I can use for the September Nubees swap EDIT: Here is the tutorial. I had this idea to play with light and dark tones to make a log cabin block with a cross. Here is my first finished block (note the 7 inch long rotary cutter for scale):

Hmm, a little big, right? It's 19 inches square. I never was good with math. I knew when I was cutting huge pieces of fabric that something was wrong. Oh well. I decided to trim it down to 18.5 inches square and make another pillow for my living room. 

Close up of the concentric circle quilting

Here is the back. It is a hand printed fabric my friend S brought back from a trip to Vancouver. 

Operation redo all of the sofa pillows is 50% complete.

An unanticipated check on my to-sew list for a productive Saturday morning. Stay tuned for a tutorial on a smaller version of this block.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Philisophical Pfridays

Happy Friday everyone. I've been thinking a lot about thrifty ways to back a quilt while still making it "special." I think the back should look as good as the front. So far I have used...

1. Joann's flannel when it is on sale. I have a sneaking suspicion that if I buy some designer flannels I won't want to go back to Joann's. Is this true?

2. A vintage sheet at the Salvation Army which I am using for my Scrapasaurs Rex (genus species names are always italicized) quilt.

3.Sewn together remaining fabric I have leftover from making the front.


4. For my next quilt, I am going to get some sheets from Ross.
5. Any other ideas?

K over at Crafternoon Delight is also playing Philisophical Pfriday today. She also said I have to make a button. So, if you know how to make a button that would save me the trouble of googleing it myself.

Stay crafty peeps.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Simpatico Monsterz quilt top complete

42x42 inches. 
Monsterz and Simpatico fabrics from Cloud9
Sashing is silver lining by connecting threads.
Jungle path baby quilt pattern designed by sewcraftyjess. This is a free pattern from the Moda bake shop a great stop for some fun free patterns using charms, jelly rolls, layer cakes etc. 

Here are some of the cute monsterz prints.

I have to say it was refreshing to use a pattern and not have to do the math myself this time around. This pattern was very clear and simple to piece. I would use it again for sure.

I need to piece the back which shouldn't take too long. I think this guy will be done by the end of the weekend. Any suggestions on quilting this baby? I was thinking zigzag or wavy horizontal lines.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happy Birthday to ME

I bought myself a yard bundle of Robin Zingone's newest line Modern. Got it from CottonBlossomFarm Etsy shop. They were super fast. And no, they didn't pay me to say that.

I am about two weeks early but so what, I am a planner and like to get these things done ahead of time. These fabrics are going to make one hell of a Honey quilt, you know, the on one the cover of Elizabeth Hartman's Modern Patchwork.

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Here is my finished scrappy Arkansas crossroad block quilt top. Even though I posted on this yesterday, it is so massive and I am so proud of it that it deserves another shout out. I was going to baste it last night but I do not have a piece of batting that is big enough.

I started working on a baby quilt for some good friends who are expecting in December (plenty of time to finish it right?!). I decided on the Jungle path baby quilt pattern from the Moda Bake Shop. 

It mostly Monsterz and Simpatico from Cloud 9. The colors go perfectly together from the two lines. The gray solid is silver lining by connecting threads. And I can't remember where the dots are from at the moment and since the fabric is all nicely folded up again so you will just have to wait.

I am also still chugging along with the Zakka style SAL. This week is a picture frame and I have absolutely none of the supplies needed to construct a frame so maybe I will pass on this week...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Scrappysaurus quilt top is done

First a few pics of the top:
oh so scraptacular
Good thing hubby is on call tonight, his spot in the driveway is taken!

Car for scale (not for sale)
The stats:
Approximately 80" x 100" ish.
448 3" squares in the 16 x 16 square blocks.
224 more 3" squares in the Arkansas crossroad blocks.

The border needed an additional 60 so... my scrap pile looks a bit smaller. That's a total of 732 scrappy squares folks!

I really don't like to waste fabric so when I cut my crossroad blocks I sewed another line of stitches 1/2" from the first one to make a HST instead of throwing away the triangle scraps.

Do you want to see what 284 tiny HSTs looks like???
Maybe If I leave them on the ironing board a little gnome (gnoma?) will press them for me. Also I am taking suggestions on what to actually do with them.

What I especially love about this type of quilt is that it is a catalog of all of the projects I have done the last two years. There are some really special fabrics are in this quilt. Here are a few:
The little polo patch is actually from my hubby's favorite shirt that he wore until it disintegrated.
Math and DNA fabric for the nerd in us all
Sweet vintage lamb kisses
Soon Rex will be at home on my guest room bed.
Next I will be basting and quilting this sucker. I am not scared this time because I managed to quilt a queen sized quilt (nicknamed my moms big F'in quilt (BFQ)) before on my dinky machine. Which reminds me that I still need to take pictures of the BFQ to show to you all. My mom will get the quilt in October when I fly home.

Also I'd like to introduce you to Orbson Wells. He has taken up residence in my grape tomato plants. I know he eats nasty bugs so I am happy to have him around, but I don't think I will be picking tomatoes any time soon.
Orb spider guards the tomato