Monday, March 18, 2019

Daisy Chain QAL - Unit B

After getting the directions for unit B of the Daisy Chain Quilt Along,  I decided to switch gears and use some of my Island Batik fabrics as the "Assorted Scrappy or Coordinating Fabrics."  You all know how much I love using batiks, don't you?

So I chose two batiks and cut the required strips needed.  Then I sewed strip sets as directed.

Next,  I sub-cut the strip sets and sewed the four patch units. 
These thirteen squares would make a great table topper all by themselves.  
I am sure that I will get a very pretty quilt using these fabrics.  
Color me happy!


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Value Makes a Difference

While playing with some more orange and purple fabrics I made two versions of a particular block.  More about the block later, but first let's take a look.
You can clearly tell that  one has higher contrast than the other. But you can see the design.  But suppose you were colorblind...  To simulate that, I changed the photo to grayscale.
The one on the right appears to be all one color. This is the difference that value plays in quilting. In either version of the photo, the block on the left is nicely contrasted and would even show well in dim light.  But, in dim light the block on the right would look "fuzzy" and lack definition.
The old saying is: "Color gets all the credit, but value does all the work."  I hope you can see the truth in that by looking at these blocks.
 If you are uncertain about picking value you can use a value viewer or if you have a smart phone, just take a photo of the fabrics together.  Most phones have an option of converting the photo to black and white.  If not, there are plenty of free apps that will do it.

That said, I will still use the bland block in the final quilt (unless I end up with an extra block.)

This block design is one that I found on Pinterest (I think.)   But there it was made with all half-square triangles.  I quickly saw that I could use the Accuquilt Go! Qube set to make an 8 inch version using the parallelogram  and the half square triangle. That removed eight seams per block. It did take a bit of thinking to figure out how to do the construction.  But it turned out to be easier than I initially thought.

I am considering doing a tutorial for this block using the Accuquilt Qube set.  I just wonder how many people would be interested in seeing it.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Two more Purple and Orange


Way back in January I made three quilt blocks using Orange and Purple as the main colors.  I mostly did it for play.  Then I needed something calm and relaxing to do this weekend after a bad fender bender.  I am fine but the car isn't - but I was pretty well shaken up. 

To relax I cut some pieces to make a couple of friendship star blocks.  I decided that they would add to the stack and slowly become a quilt top one day. I plan to save this as a playtime project when I just want to sew and not be stressed by it.

Here are the two blocks:
I love orange against purple.  I think these are a bit more intense than the other three.  That is good as it will add variety and contrast to the final quilt. 
Here are the other three blocks


What do you sew "just for fun?"
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

A little Bit of Improv

Improv piecing is always fun for me.  I was surprised to learn that improv piecing is one of the elements of modern quilting.  Why? you may be asking.  You see, I have never thought of myself as a modern quilter.
The following comes for the Modern Quilt Guild "What is Modern Quilting" pdf.  There is a lot more information there about modern quilting.

MQ Design Elements 
• Use of negative space 
• No borders 
• Minimal 
• Bright and graphic color palettes       
• Improvisational piecing 
• Grid work 
• Asymmetry 
• Modern traditionalism 
• Exaggerated scale •
 Pixelization 
• Texture 
• Less is more

At least some of these are the usual hallmarks of what I like to do, although I do tend to add borders. I love bright and graphic color palettes AND improv piecing.  Here is what I have been working on.
Two improv "blocks" and an improv strip.
Aren't those bits of "snakeskin" batik a fun addition?
 I hope you are noticing the gray fabric in these pieces.  It is an Island Batik solid made from the same fabric used for the batiks. It is more densely woven which results in less fraying.  It also comes in a black and a white version.  I absolutely love using it.
On this section of the improv strip you can see that some of the pieces are not cut straight.
Here is a close-up showing some of the tiny pieces that I rescued and added to the piecing.
The pennies are there for scale.
And finally, here are the Island Batik Moroccan Bazaar strips that I am using as part of this.


The fabrics used in this were all provided to me as an Island Batik Ambassador to use in projects and challenges.  However, I do buy Island Batik fabrics for other projects because I love working with it.


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Daisy Chain Quilt Along - The Piecing Begins

You may remember that I chose the fabrics  for the Daisy Chain Quilt Along



Then  I  did the cutting and actually organized it quite nicely (for a change.)









Now the first sewing instructions have been posted and I have completed the first step.
In this stack there are 40 four patches for the Mystery Quilt.  The directions call for 39 but I had enough pieces to make 40 - and I didn't count until all 40 were made.  I call it good.  It is nice to have a spare in case one isn't quite the right size - or if I mess it up in a later step.
That is really purple... the colors did not photograph well. 
I must say that I have gotten spoiled with the Island Batik fabrics.  They don't generally fray - but as you can tell, this orange fabric has frayed quite a bit.  This will still make a good quilt  but it will leave more of a mess in the process.

Are you quilting along with us?  It isn't too late to start.  There are four size options from Baby to Queen.  I am making the throw size.  It is bigger than a baby quilt, but smaller than a twin.   It is nice to have throw quilts to snuggle in on a cool night - or to take on a sunny day for a picnic.   But you may want to dip your toes in making a baby quilt. Those are great to have on hand for baby gifts.


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Vintage Reimagined -Cabins in the Stars

The March Challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors is  titled "Vintage Reimagined."   Since that can have so many possible meanings,  I choose to reimagine some blocks and blend them together.

I used a slightly modified log cabin block and placed it inside an Ohio Star block.  Thus, the title I have chosen for this quilt is "Cabins in the Stars." 


The lovely Island Batik fabrics were provided by Island Batik  to the Ambassadors.  I used a variety of greens and purples with a pale yellow center for the Log Cabin blocks.  The lovely cheddar colored blender made perfect star points.  This was rounded out with the Iceberg and Silverado blenders along with a bit more of that dark purple batik as my background colors. The borders are also Island Batik in black and white solids.  I love the dense weave of these fabrics.  They are a delight to work with as they have almost no fraying.

















By having the star points meet, the background creates a nice secondary diamond shape.  I changed the background for the points that meet in the center to create an area to showcase the appliqué piece that I planned for the center.

The center is appliquéd with a machine embroidered circle.  The embroidery is from Patsy Thompson's Feathered Wreath machine embroidery collection.
Rather an embroider the center, I stopped the machine so that I could appliqué a small circle of the Iceberg batik there.  I used a purple Aurifil thread (also provided to me as an Ambassador) for the purple in the embroidery. My embroidery machine loved it.

After applying the center circle, I realized that there was just a bit too much space around it.  So I used the Accuquilt Daisy die that has two sizes of circle for the center and made a few more fusible appliqué circles.  My original idea was to use them to create an arc in each corner.  As I was preparing to fuse them down, something magical happened and this arrangement occurred. I think it makes the design a bit bolder.

We took the quilt, which measures 36 1/2 inches square, to my brother's house on the lake for the photo shoot.  So here are a few more gratuitous shots from the photo outing.
My brother and I, holding the quilt so you can see the lake in the background.

Of course, you probably want to see the back of the quilt also. I had a lot of fun quilting this small quilt. I used several quilting motifs that I have learned in various classes -and I made up a few also.
The Backing is a lovely Island Batik fabric named "Whip Cream."  It has bits of
blue and gray in a subtle design on the almost white fabric. 

And one more of my brother and I holding up the quilt for you. 

He was such a good sport to help with the photo shoot. 

Did you notice the flange on the binding? The binding is black. After trimming the quilt backing and batting, I saved the excess backing and made the flange. It was my first flanged binding, but it will not be my last.

I should also mention that I used the wonderful Hobbs premium cotton batting in this quilt.  It quilted beautifully.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Blocks Made -Possible Layout

As you may know, I have been working on the LHQSQ 2.0 quilt along blocks of my choice.  I opted to change the shape of the quilt from square to a long rectangle as I find that more useful in a smaller quilt. 
Here are my blocks and a possible layout for them.
I will also be changing the sashing strips to 2 1/2" wide (finish at 2".)  I am still unsure about the color or colors I will use for that.  I am thinking of using the 2 1/2" squares of Kaffe fabric that I have left over for the cornerstones.  However, at the moment this has been moved to the back burner to simmer for awhile. 

If the weather permits, we will be going today to photograph my March challenge quilt for Island Batiks.  I am also working on my April challenge quilt.  These will be fun to share with you at the appropriate time.  The March challenge is called Vintage Reimagined.  Mine is a bit of a mashup version with some fun design elements added.  I can hardly wait to show it to you.  I am rather proud of how it came out.


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Shhh....A "Secret" Project

After diligently working on my Island Batik March project, I am nearing a completion.  Of course I can't show it until March - and I hope I finish it by then.
I am doing something I have never done.  Yes, this is a true confession.  I am hand sewing the binding to the back of the quilt. I honestly have never done this before. But, as it is the traditional method, I decided I needed to do it at least once.  I sewed more than one side without using a thimble -mostly because I couldn't find one here.  Yes, I do own thimbles but as a rule I dislike using them.

Since I can't show you the front of the quilt, let me tease you a bit with the back of it.  The backing fabric is a delightful Island Batik Neutral called "Whip Cream."  It is off white/cream with a spattering of pale blue and a darker cream swirl pattern.

I have adjusted the photos to show off the quilting better so the colors are not true in the photos.



I had lots of fun quilting this quilt and deciding which quilting designs and motifs to use.  There are a number of "Square Flower" motifs which I learned from Lori Kennedy.  I also pulled out a book or two to look at other ideas. One of those was 180 Quilting Doodle Designs compiled by Karen Burns.
Another was Step-by-Step Free-Motion Quilting by Christina Cameli.   Christina has been one of my favorite FMQ teachers. Her teaching and "you can do it" attitude have really helped me to be better at Free Motion Quilting.  Even though we have never met, I consider her a true friend.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you will return in March for the reveal of this quilt. But don't wait until then.  I am sure I will be posting more here before the end of February.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

A Real Cut-up

I spent a day being a real cut-up.  You see the cutting directions for the Daisy Chain Quilt Along were posted on Monday.   My choice is to make the throw sized quilt for this one.

I got my rotary cutter and mat ready and the fabrics pressed and neat for cutting.  But I noticed that a couple of the sizes of cuts would work with Accuquilt dies that I have. So I pulled out my Accuquilt Cutter and those dies.  Here  are my stacks of fabric all ready to make into a quilt.
















Those stacks are each labeled with the letter from the cutting instructions as well as the size and number cut.  I am trying to be really organized for this quilt along so that I finish it in the appropriate time frame.  This should also be a lesson to keep me on-track for other projects.
You may notice that the purple and aqua/teal fabrics are still wrapped on the cardboard mini-bolts. That is because I will pick which one to use and cut those strips (2 1/2") as I need them. It is likely that I will use them both.  I also have jelly roll leftovers for the scrappy fabrics listed in the cutting - but I may choose to cut those from yardage as I go along also.

I have finished all of the blocks for my "Left Handed Sampler" quilt along quilt.  My plan is to use adding the sashings and cornerstones as "fill-in" time between other projects. I am sure I will show some of those as it progresses.


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Monday, February 18, 2019

3 More Sampler Blocks

Today was pretty but cold. I did all my chores and then after supper I made three more blocks for the LHQSQ (Sampler Quilt.)

I am not sure I can tell you the names of these. I know the first one is Thrifty.
The next one she has listed as Double X No. 1

Then there is this one,  a Four-Patch Chain


But this last one is not in the Quilt Along at all.  Rather I took the leftover pieces and decided to make my own block.  So, unless someone knows a "proper" name for it I am calling it "Monday Leftovers."

Honestly, I really like this little block. The quarter-square triangles combine with the half-square triangles to make an interesting block.

Do you ever create your  own blocks just for fun? I find it entertaining. For me it is like playing with some of the tangram puzzles I did as a pre-teen.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

LHQSQ Blocks

I made two more blocks for the LHQSQ 2.0 quilt along.   A Left-Handed Quilter posted two more blocks this morning and I decided to use those two in my sampler also.  The blocks are the Hourglass and the Attic Window blocks. This is not the Attic Window that immediately comes to my mind, but it is called an Attic Window in Electric Quilt.
While looking at her blocks I saw that I could combine a couple of shapes and cut pieces with my Accuquilt Go! cutter.  One of those shapes is the chisel for the Attic Window.
Unfortunately, I neglected to pay attention to the orientation of the chisel shape.  So, my attic window block is a mirror image of hers.  I also mirror imaged the Hourglass block just because. Ha ha.

I am slowly accumulating enough of these blocks that I should soon get to start on the sashing and joining.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Little Love

In honor of the day --you know February 14th - today......that mushy love day,  I spent a little time sewing and practicing my free motion quilting as well as some straight line quilting.  I used an orphan block that had a little heart appliquéd on it as part of the design.  So here is my little table mat.  It is a bit bigger than a placemat.

You can see that I echo quilted that little heart applique.
The original block was part of a jelly roll race quilt that I started and realized that I didn't like all that much. I prefer the back of this more.
It is always good to make a small simple piece to practice your free motion quilting before you jump into quilting a project.  Normally I just do a practice sandwich, but this works well also.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Monday, February 11, 2019

A New Video -Accuquilt Go! Cutter

Over the weekend,  I was planning to cut some 2 1/2" squares from some layer cake and charm pack squares.  So I decided to do a video showing my method using the Go! cutter and the 2 1/2" strip die as well as the Go! Qube die for 2 1/2" squares.

This video has also been added to the Tutorial Video tab so that you can find it again easily.
You can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel to be notified when I have new videos.

I have added social media buttons on the left hand sidebar for your convenience.  I hope you like the blog redesign.

I have also added a page tab with all of the current Island Batik Ambassadors and blogs/websites.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Sampler Blocks

The  Left-Handed Quilter Sampler quilt along is moving along and I have made a few blocks.
This sampler is based on the nine-patch grid so each block is a type of nine-patch. In honor of that, I have included a basic nine patch with the other blocks.

From left to right the top row is: Friendship Star; Blue Chains, Aunt Malvernia's Chain Variation
The second row is: Greek Cross Variation,  Basic Nine Patch, Contrary Wife.

So, for this I have only nineteen blocks left to go.  Actually, I did make a Churn Dash. It seems I never get those to come out correctly.  After ripping out seams several times, the fabric frayed and distorted so that it is a quarter inch small in some areas. I will put it in the sad orphan blocks for future use.  Maybe I will try again on the churn dash for this little quilt.


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.