Friday, August 07, 2020

Progress on my Crazy Jane quilt - Row J is finished!

 I decided that this month was a good one to make some serioys progress on my Dear (Crazy) Jane quilt project.  I haven't been working on it much this year, but it is on my UFO list for the year, so I need to get busy and make a bunch of blocks.

My plan is to try to make a block a day.  After counting up the blocks I have left, I can come pretty close to completing the center by the end of August if I keep up the pace!  

Row J was tough - so many applique blocks!  I learned that it was really not a good idea to save those until the end!
These little teardrops were kind of fun, but the piecing was even more fun!
Not as many melons as the one that had me "blocked" for months!  They all look really good, I'm just not a fan of applique, even though I am perfectly capable of making them.

And it was so gratifying to add another row to my top!  Just three more to go, and if I keep up with my daily block I'll be able to sew row K on next week.  
Yes, more applique...at least not curves!
And today, a pieced block with no applique!  Woohoo!  I did have a little trouble recollecting the formula for setting triangles - hopefullynext I'll remember it's the width of the block times 1.41 plus 1.25 bfore I cut them the wrong size to start off with (I divided instead of multiplied...those triangles were too small!).

It's back to appliqe tomorrow, but there are definitely more pieced blocks in the future so I'm happily looking forward to them, and to finishing another row!
 

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

One Montly Goal for August and July PHD in 2020 report

August is here, and it's always a month I enjoy.  I'm celebrating a milestone birthday this year, and even though it's not going to be what I thought it was earlier in the year I am still going to celebrate and make the most of it!  

First of all, my One Monthly Goal for this month is to finish this Lover's Kiss quilt made from an Island Batik Lavendula strip pack and coordinates.  I couldn't resist using this cute bird fabric, even though the fact that it is directional made my task a little more challenging.  I'll post about how I managed to get all the birds right side up when I'm finished with this project.
Did July seem like a super long month to you, too?  I started off with finishing my July Mini Madness -I have two of the three quilts I made finished, and good progress on the third, which I am hand quiting.

I'm using Hobbs Heirloom silk batting on this one, just to see how it hand quilts.  I'm liking it so far!
And this version with 6 inch blocks I did with spiral quilting.  I just love how it came out!  This one has the Hobbs Heirloom cotton batting with scrim.  It has a lovely soft drape to it, and feels so cozy!


I finished this shop sample for Threads That Bind.  I love the floral stripe in this quilt!
I made a custom sewing machine cover for a friend.
Made two custom mug rugs for a customer on Etsy
Finished my UFO challenge (and July OMG)
I also finished my Island Batik Ambassador challenge for July.
And added the final hand quilting stitches to a quilt for a friend!  Now I can get back to that June Mini Madness quilt, then a quilt for my own bed that I want to hand quilt.  

So a productive month of stitching - here's my chart so you can see how it's all adding up:


So I did lots of stitching in July.  My friend was wondering how many miles of thread I've used over the years in quilting, and I know it's been a lot, can't even hazard a guess to that number!  

I'm planning lots of fun sewing in August as well - I'm going to start a project just for me - I have Paris panels to make a One Block Wonder, and I'm going to start that this month.  I don't know if I'll finish this month, but it will be a fun project that will be just for me, so I'm looking forward to that!  Here are the links to follow along and see what other projects people are working on this month/finished last month!



Saturday, August 01, 2020

August Island Batik Ambassador Challenge - Try A Tool

Can you believe that I have already finished my August Island Batik Ambassador challenge?  I can't!  This month for our challenge we were provided with a ruler by Deb's Tucker Studio 180 Designs - I chose the Corner Beam ruler, and I have to say that I definitley haveto give it a 10, two thumbs up, and five stars!  But let me tell you more about the challenge.


The rules for this challenge were very simple - just to make a project of any size using at least 16 units and use the ruler to make it!  I was super excited to see that my ruler made units as small as 1 inch finished - yes, that means I get to make a fun mini quilt!  Woohoo!

Since the units are small, the William's Garden precut strips were a perfect choice for my project.  This is from the Spring 2020 Island Batik line - the precuts are available in shops now, but the yardage won't be arriving in shops until September/October.  I really like getting my hands on the precuts early, it's like getting a preview of what's coming up!  This was designed by Kathy Engle for Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design Studio.

I started out by unwrapping the ruler and checking out the directions. Then I went to the Studio 180 designs website and watched the video - it looked very simple and easy to make the corner beam units, so I cut a 2 1/2 inch square from each of the 20 strips and got to work!
  
Arent' they beautiful?  Each of the units measures 1 1/2 inches finished.  Look at those precise tips!  And they were so easy to cut, piece and trim.  
Before I knew it, I had all 20 little corner beam units sewn up.  I divided them into 5 stars.  Each unit is so precise that they sew together very nicely!  I was impressed at how well everything matched up.  And I love the pretty blues, greens and purples in this line!  

I decided to put them together into an point layout.  (The background is Egg White)  I added a skinny border (1/4 inch) of the light green (Marble - Frog), and 1 inch of the darker green (Grass).  They really do make a wonderful frame for this quilt!

I love how that light green just sparkles!  Now it was time to quilt it.  I used a size 10 Professional Chrome needle from Schmetz, and 80 wt thread from Aurifil that had been provided in an earlier Island Batik Ambassador box.  It's really great for quilting miniatures.  I used some of the Heirloom silk batting from Hobbs because it's so nice and light - perfect for mini quilts!


I chose to just add some straight echoing lines to give this some nice texture.  I used green thread in the stars and border, and off white in the background.  I think it came out really well!  I am getting a lot more confident in my ruler work!  On a little quilt like this, it's nice and easy to maneuver, too!


This mini quilt measures 11 inches square and I'm delighted with it.  I still have a lot of that strip pack left...I'm pretty sure that there will be more playing with the Corner Beam ruler and William's Garden this month.  I definitely want to explore more designs with this unit - there are so many possibilities!

Keep an eye out for more mini quilt fun on my facebook page.  And you'll want to watch the rest of the Ambassadors blogs this month for more great projects using Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Designs rulers!  


Thanks to all of the wonderful companies for giving me these items to make this project with!


 





Stepping Stones Sampler Lesson 7 - Foundation Piecing

I hope you had fun with last month's Dresden Plate blocks!  If you haven't finished them yet, keep working on them - I purposely did not put this one at the end because sometimes it takes a little longer if you are hand appliqueing them.  This month we will be doing a Foundation Paper Piecing technique.  This is a great way to gain accuracy in your piecing, and many people find that they really enjoy doing it!


This is the block we'll be working on - it's a bit of a variation on a Duck and Ducklings block.  First of all you'll need to download the pattern for the block and print up the foundation pattern.  You will need 16 squares and there are two on a sheet. Make sure your printer is set for full size or your blocks will be the wrong size! If you don't want to print that many pages, you can print a page, then layer that on top of 3 more sheets of paper, stapling at the corners.  Take the thread out of your machine and with a size 12 or 14 needle and a normal stitch length, stitch along all the lines on the pattern.  That way you can make multiple copies with the one print, plus they will be easier to tear off at the end!

Start by using a pin to secure a 4 ½ inch triangle of your medium fabric over section 1 of your paper template with the fabric facing right side up on the backside of your paper.  Make sure you have at least ¼ of an inch over all the lines.  Place a 4 ½ inch background piece on top of this – right side down, lining up the long edge with the long edge of the medium fabric.   You can pin these through the paper, but make sure the pin is out of the way of your stitching line (flat headed pins are perfect for this).  Turn the paper over so that the printed side is on top and the fabric on the bottom.  Make sure not to allow the fabric to fold over or move out of place, and stitch across the diagonal line on the small triangle.  Start and end your stitching ¼ inch beyond the printed line so that your seam will not pull out later.


Trim your thread ends, fold the paper back on the stitched line and trim your seam to ¼ inch.  (Add a Quarter rulers are great for this!)  Fold out the background triangle and press.

Working from the printed side of the paper foundation, use a piece of template plastic or card stock to fold the paper back at the next seam line.  Trim your fabric 1/4 inch from the seam, it will be a guideline to add the next background triangle

See how the ruler helps you to cut a nice accurate seam allowance?  There is also a 1/8 inch ruler that I use for miniature blocks.

Repeat the process to add the third background triangle.  
Trim off that last edge and add the large triangle.
Press, and trim all edges 1/4 inch from the printed line.
Now you can remove the foundation paper from the back.  I like to do this in reverse order of sewing.
Don't worry if your first block seems to take a long time, you will get faster with practice!  

Make four of these units, then add four rectangles of your main fabric and the center square of your background fabric to complete a block!  (It should finish at 12 1/2 inches)  Keep sewing the remaining paper foundation squares and make a total of four of these blocks.

Download Lesson 7 Instructions here!


Next month we'll be making blocks that you can either piece with templates, use foundation piecing, or specialty rulers.  It's always nice to have options, you know!  They will also be the final four blocks we will need to complete the quilt.  The process will be speeding along and you will have a finished top by the end of the year!

Thanks for quilting along with me!  I hope you are enjoying the process and I am very much looking forward to seeing your progress. 

Happy Stitching!

Friday, July 31, 2020

Monthly Color Challenge 2020 block for August

Here is the August Block for Patterns by Jen's 2020 Color Challenge!  I am really loving doing my blocks with the black background.  I'm using Island Batik scraps, and solid black.  They are just so much fun.  Hop over to Jen's blog - linked above - to get the pattern and see how she made it.



This block was super easy and fun to make and I think this would be a really interesting block to use in a quilt.  I just love strip piecing, so this was right up my alley.

  
Here it is sideways....still fun!   Pink is a favorite of mine - I love the floral look of this one.  It really does make me think of a flamingo, it just has a tropical feel to me.

Want to see more versions of this block?  Check out the rest of the featured bloggers for this month:

Anja of Anja Quilts
Kathleen of Kathleen McMusing

Make a block and link up with Jen and you can win a prize each quarter!  Here is the complete list of quarterly sponsors:

Sponsors July thru September

Quilters Chic - PDF Pattern
For The Love of Geese - PDF Pattern
Carole Lyle Shaw - Pattern and Grunge bundle
Quilters Dream Batting - Dream 80/20 - 60" x 60"
The Fat Quarter Shop - Fabric Bundle








Warm Company - Warm 80/20 - 55" x 60"
Warm Company - 1 yard Insul-Bright
Make Modern Magazine - 6 month subscription
Patterns By JenSuperior Thread S-Fine 50
Patterns By Jen - Magic Wand





I'm also hosting a quilt along this year - Stepping Stones Sampler.  If you would like to join us, sign up for my newsletter:  Stepping Stones Sampler

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Christmas In July with AccuQuilt and Island Batik

This month we had a really fun assignment as Island Batik Ambassadors!  AccuQuilt sent each of us a GO! Me Fabric Cutter Starter Kit and asked us to make a quilt using only the two dies included in the kit (3 inch finished quarter square and half square triangles) and present the cutter and small quilt as a gift to someone that we thought would really enjoy using it!

The items in this post were provided for me to use through the Island Batik Ambassador program.

If you haven't seen the Go! Me cutting system yet, here are some of the really great things about it:

  • Ultraportable - allows quilters to take the GO! Me with them anywhere

  • New quilter gains confidence in their art form faster

  • Elevates workmanship of the quilter

  • Same cutting performance as the GO! - Fast, Accurate, Easy and Safe

  • Includes two GO! Dies, cutting mat and pattern book

  • A great gift for any quilter



Not to mention, that it is so totally stinking cute!  Plus there are tons of dies that you can use with this, from piecing to applique.  You can visit the AccuQuilt site to see more of what they have.  Plus the Go! Me is on sale right now...I don't know for how long, but it's a good price for the starter kit!

On to the challenge!

I was having a hard time deciding on who I would gift this to, so I decided to get started with the quilt while I was thinking.  There are a few nice patterns in the book that's included with the GO! Me starter kit, and there was a baby quilt that used this pinwheel block, so I decided to make a few of them and see where that led me.  I was so delighted to discover that the Island Batik Stashbuilder rolls are the perfect size for these dies!
I cut quarter square triangles from these and used Sprinkles from the foundations for the background.  I decided to offset the colums because I liked the movement this added to the design.  I added a half pinwheel to square my little quilt off and it was finished in no time.  I just love using the Accuquilt for triangles because there are no dog ears to have to trim off!  It really makes the sewing go quickly.

And in hardly any time I had this cute 24 x 27 inch quilt.  I had two of the gold strips from my rolls, so I used those for the binding.   I quilted it in a spiral pattern using Aurifil thread in a pale gray 50 wt.  Goes with everything!  The batting is a piece of the Hobbs Heirloom cotton with scrim - which has a lovely softness and drape for small quilts.  Of course I used a Schmetz needle for the piecing and quilting!  I like the size 10 chrome Professional for piecing and the size 12 for quilting.

By the time I finished the quilt I decided that I would like to surprise my friend Lora with this fun Christmas in July surprise!  I have known Lora for quite a while now, she took some of my classes several years ago when she was a very beginner and is now also working at Threads That Bind!  I arranged to meet her yesterday afternoon, and presented her with the quilt and the cutter.  She was so surprised!


Lora and I both want to say a big Thank You to AccuQuilt for their generosity in sponsoring this challenge!  As well as to Island Batik!  I also gave Lora the leftover fabric and a few Stashbuilder rolls to play with.  It was fun to think of getting another quilter addicted to the fun and ease of using the Go! cutter - I know she is going to love it as much as I do.  

Make sure you visit the rest of the Island Batik Ambassadors and see their Christmas in July posts!  We have all had such fun being able to gift these wonderful little Go! Me cutting systems, and it was really a great moment for me to get to share this with my friend, Lora.  It was a very fun Christmas in July, indeed!