Wednesday, August 6, 2014

First and Most Recent Quilts

My friend Laura West Kong has started Quilt Bloggers Collective on Facebook, and today she decided to offer a "seed" for August. I just had to give this one a try. She says, "August Blog Seed: write a post featuring your first quilt and your last quilt. Its quick, fun, and interesting. Takes two photos and a paragraph or two about how your quilt making has evolved over the years."

This faded and out-of-focus photo is of the very first quilt  I ever made. It's from 2009.
I was a cross-stitcher who decided to learn to sew and make quilts. I took a class at JoAnn on how to use a sewing machine, and then got some books from Barnes & Noble to teach myself about quilting. I was afraid of triangles at first, so my first few quilts are squares and rectangles.  But here's the thing - I didn't know about pinning to match seams!  So my quilts from back then are wonky, with mismatched seams. I have 4 like that.  Also, I didn't know how to quilt, so this first one is tied. The next couple quilts I tried quilting in the ditch, and wasn't really satisfied with that.

I spent the next couple of years making miniature quilts and paper-piecing. I participated in online mini-quilt swaps, and grew tired of that because I really had no use for them.  I have a couple of drawers full of mini-quilts and don't know what to do with them.  I tired of paper-piecing, as well - but will paper-piece occasionally if I have to.

My passion now is piecing and using up scraps. I'm in two guilds, and both of them have community service programs which take donated quilts and give them to shelters, veterans, sick children, etc.  I have a few friends in the guilds, Laura included, who take my tops and do the quilting - most of them also provide the batting and sometimes even the backing - then I put bindings on them and turn them in.  I've made quite a few personal quilts - for family - and have several places and friends who will quilt them for a fee.  But my community service quilts are all "scrappy."  I use EVERYTHING - pieces even as small as 1" x 1.5".  I'm known as the "scrappy lady" at my guild, and at every meeting, someone will hand me a bag of scraps. I cut them into strips and squares, and use a variety of patterns to turn all those scraps into tops. Sometimes I'll use Kim Brackett's Scrap-Basket books, sometimes I'll use a Bonnie Hunter (Quiltville) pattern.  But there are times I'll design my own.   This one below is the most recent quilt I've finished.  I took a regular Ohio Star and elongated it - I did this on graph paper.  Then I used a concept from a designer/author named Karen Combs, called split 9-patches. 

This quilt is made up of 2.5" squares and HSTs that are first sewed into 9-patches.  Some are all neutral or all scrappy, and some are split like a giant HST between neutral and scrappy.  If you look at the quilt, you can see that the top row is made up of two all-neutral 9-patches and six split 9-patches. The sandwiching and quilting was done by Cathy Kreter, and I will be donating this one to community service at our guild. All of the squares and HSTs are from donated fabric, and I got the border fabric on sale for $5 a yard at a shop in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

5 Quilts Finished

This one is for my guild's community service project.  It's made from 2.5" scrap squares, and was quilted by Judee Koda, a gal in my guild. 

 This one is called Pink Charlotte - it's from the book Three Times the Charm.  I used a charm pack.
 Jessica Cook quilted this one for me. It's a gift for my great-niece Cadence.

 This is made from 2.5" scrap squares, and all I did was design a star and then elongate it. Jessica Cook quilted it, and it's for community service.

 This was my very oldest ever UFO - the second quilt I ever made.  It was back when I hadn't learned about pinning to match seams, but it's good enough for community service.  Jessica did the quilting.

This one is called Town Square, and it's from the book Scrap Basket Sensations by Kim Brackett. It was quilted by Cathy Kreter, and is for community service.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Easy Wonky Tree for Sew Bee Wonky

This is the July block for Sew Bee Wonky.  It's from the book Modern Quilts in the Blogging Universe

My wishes for this block: 
Background/Neutral - anything from solid white to beige.  Any white-on-white or cream-on-cream or beige-on-beige or solids in white/cream/beige will do. 
Trees:  BRIGHT rainbow colors in modern prints which can include dark pastels (say bright pink but not pale pink, for example). Please do not use black, brown, or any civil war or 30s repro fabric. I'd like my trees to be as bright and modern as they can be. Multicolor trees are fine, too - as long as they're bright and modern.

So here goes.
1. Start with a tree - a triangle shape (wonky or even - doesn't matter) that's no taller than 8" and no wider than 4". 
2. Cut a piece of neutral background fabric about 11" tall and any width from 5" to 8".
3. Lay your tree on top of your background fabric as I did below.

4. Using your ruler, cut the background off the bottom even with the bottom of the tree. Set aside for later. 

5. Slide your tree about 1/" to the left of its original position. Use your ruler to cut the background fabric along the right side of the tree. Set the piece of background fabric aside for later.

6. Slide the tree to the right so that it extends about 1/2" past the edge of the background fabric. Use your ruler and cut the background fabric along the left side of the tree.  Discard the little triangle of background underneath the tree.

7. Lay the tree along the left piece of background fabric as shown. Sew together. 

8. Press the seam allowances open.  

9. Repeat with right side of background fabric. 

10. Press seam allowances open. 

11. Attach the bottom piece of background fabric. Press seam allowances open. 

DO NOT TRIM THESE BLOCKS. I will trim them to shape and size that I need.

Note:  If you'd like to get fancy and add a trunk to the base of the tree, that's fine. It's up to you.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Some scrappy tops I made last month

My own design - I just took a star and elongated it. This uses the split 9-patch technique. All 2 1/2" squares and triangles.

Swoon; uses the split 9-patch technique.  2" squares and triangles.

Using up some 3' squares and triangles.

This one is called "Six Degrees South of the Equator." It's from Scrap-Basket Beauties, but I used 2" strips instead of 2 1/2"

"Lake Cabin" from Scrap-Basket Sensations

"Over and Under" from Scrap-Basket Sensations

Top made using Diamond Ripple block from 100 Modern Quilt Blocks

Monday, February 3, 2014

Things I've been working on lately

I haven't posted in a long while, but I've been busy!

Used up a bunch of low-volume strings - a smaller version of "Sunday Morning" from Sunday Morning Quilts

"Parachute" - inspired by Jacquie Gering

"Fake Geese" - actually pairs of HSTs

Top made from blocks acquired from a swap

Star Struck

"Christmas Swoon" - hanging at my local quilt shop - I taught a class on this one

Baby quilt for my great-nephew

Friday, November 8, 2013

Tutorial - Woven Strings block

I was fiddling around on Pinterest the other day, and saw this quilt.  The artist calls it Ribbon Lattice. I really, really like that quilt.  This month for Stash Bee, the block we did was called Simply Woven, and it's a Moda Bakeshop Pattern.  Here are the blocks I made for Stash Bee:

I figured I could follow the steps in the Simply Woven tutorial but use 1" strips, and come up with a block to my liking.  So here we go, and I'll call this Woven Strings.

You'll need 1 8" square of background fabric, and 6 to 8 "strings" that are 1" wide and between 8 1/2" and 10" long.

1. Make a freehand slightly curved cut about 1 1/2 - 2" from the left side.

2. Add one of your strings. Press towards the dark.

3. Turn the square so that the first string is horizontally across the top. Make another cut - either slightly curved or straight. Try to mix them up.

4. Insert another strip.

5. Turn the fabric again so that the most recent string is at the bottom as shown.  Make another cut.

6. Insert another strip.

7. Keep going - you can make the strings closer together if you wish, to get 4 strings across instead of 3.

8. Keep going!

9. Another one!

10. (I cut before I took the photo...)

11. More...

12. Looks like I have room for yet another string.

13. So make another cut.

14. While this is the last one I inserted for this block, it's possible that you've cut yours close enough together that you can do four across and four down. I'd like any combination - 3 + 3, 3 + 4, or 4 + 4. 

15. If you're keeping your block, trim it to the size you desire. If you're making the block for Sew Bee Wonky or Stash Bee, please don't trim it. I'll do it when I receive it.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Odds and ends

I've been catching up on BOMs and swaps.

 This is a little top called Charlotte - from the Book 3 Times Charmed. I used up some blue charms.

 Star of Hope  - made for Dawnelle - November block for Block Swap Adventure.  She asked for southwestern batiks, with the outside being dark and the inside being light.

 Simply Woven blocks - the November blocks for Alison - Stash Bee

 October Block for Sugar Block Club - Lucky Star

October Blocks for the Sisters 10 BOM.  The one on the left incorporates the label made specifically for this BOM.