Monday, January 12, 2015

Polar Vortex Instruction

I made this quilt last year when the weather was so frigid cold. This year Pat Sloan has put out a challenge on her facebook page to use our 2.5" squares.  I showed this as the project from last year and had quite a few request for the pattern.  Since I did not use a pattern - and to my knowledge there is not one - I said I would put the instructions up on my blog.

But before I start I need to wish everyone who does follow and look in once in awhile:

May you have a Happy and Bountiful New Year!

This quilt was an over sized queen.  It consisted of 25 blocks.  They were all made from 2.5" squares.

Here is what you will need for one block:

60* ruler at least 10" high

72 - 2.5" squares
8  -  3" squares for center  -  I use a busy design in my sample.
2  -  6" squares cut in half on the diagional. This fabric should be what you are going to use for the sashings.

My fabrics for my blocks.  The center is a very busy print and the dots are the sashings and borders.

Lay out your 2.5" squares in a pyramid using the 3" square at the top.  Center each row above the previous row by folding the solid square to find the center.  At this point there are no seams to match.

Let's talk about pressing.  Pressing is done BEFORE trimming.  I forgot to take a picture but it can be explained here.

You are going to make 8 sections  -  You will press 4 sections with the seams going down toward the bottom the other 4 sections toward the top.

After they are pressed you will trim them

Now lets talk about the ruler.  We are going to make a few registration marks on the ruler to help make sure the blocks when sewn together fit well.

I am using the Starmaker Ruler from Kaye Woods but you can use any 60* that is tall enough for your section which is 9.5".

First there should be a center line on your ruler.  This will line up on the seam of row 2.  The next mark is a horizontal line.  Use the seam between rows 2 and 3.

The last mark is the very bottom.  You can mark with a marker or I use duct tape.  These lines are going to help you keep the wedge centered therefore making it easier to sew the wedges into a circle.

Now trim your wedge.  You will need to make a total of 8 wedges.  Remember to press 4 with seams going up and 4 with seams going down  BEFORE you trim!

Let the ruler hang 1/4" over the edge of the 3" square.  This will eliminate the point on the wedge and create less bulk in the center

One down seven more to go!
When arranging your wedges remember to alternate them with the seams pressed in opposite directions.
Sew them together in pairs.  Press the seams open. Lower left of picture.
Sew the quarters into halves.
Your halves should be flat.  Now take your ruler and line it along the edge of the center seam.  Trim away any buldges.
Pin and sew that center seam.
Add the triangles to four corners. 
This picture shows the blocks with the sashings and corner stones.
Hope you enjoyed this lesson and were able to understand it.  Please send pictures of your blocks and would love to see your comments and thoughts!
Thank you!

Monday, September 1, 2014

2-4-1 Part 2

Serendipity Quilt
Fig 1
Sew your strips into 4 sets ( cut your full width strips in half)  with all the strips lined up the same.  Separate into 2 sets (Fig 1) - one a mirror image of the other.  Press one set with all seams toward the #2 strips and the other sets toward the #7 strips.
Fig 2  
Now you will separate the strips into 2 piles.  One pile will have the seams pressed toward the top and the second will have them pressed toward the bottom.  Fig 3 The easiest way to do this is to pick up the stack of 4 strips - lay the first 2 to the right and the next 2 to the left.
Now you will start building your first blocks.  Get out that seam ripper!
Fig 4
Fig 5

You will start with a full strip - placed in the center.  The next strips 2 & 3 you will remove the first square.  Set the removed  squares off to the side you will use them later.  When you are picking up your strips to add to each side alternate between the 2 piles you made when you were separating them (Fig 3).  I flip up a strip on the pile that I will be using next.  You do this so that you have opposing seams.  Continue in this manner, removing one more square each time, until you have only one square on each end.
Sew your  ½ block - starting with the single square on the far left and then add a strip until have added all of the strips and you have a triangle.  This is the first half of block 1.
Take the squares that you removed from the strips in block one and arrange them in the same manner.  Your ½ block will not be as large as the first by one row.  This will be the second half of block 2!
Flip your stacks of strips over and start building the next parts of your blocks.  This time you will start with the opposite end of the strips - strip #8.  Continue until you have the opposite sides of the blocks.    You will have extra strips that you may need to use in order to get your last 2 single squares. 
Sew the 2 halves down the center and you have completed 2 approximately 18” blocks from you strips sets.


2-4-1 Quilt Instructions

Monday, March 24, 2014

March Finish!

I finished this quilt a couple of weeks ago.
 I started it back in 2008 as a friendship  project with my Tuesday morning group.   I cut the 4-patch posey blocks from a very bright large floral fabric.  I gave each person sets for  4 small patches and 1 large patch.  They could arrange them anyway they liked.  There was almost every color in the flowers but since blue is my favorite that is what I asked them  to use to complete the 4-patch posies block!
 I set the blocks on point by adding triangles in natural tones.   The sashing is a coordinating  print that went with the large florals. There are tiny 4-patch posey blocks as the corner stones.
 Overall I like to look of the quilt.   It only took 6 years to complete!   Not too bad for me!

What do you think?  It is bright and on my bed right now!  It makes waiting for spring to really get here a little easier!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Polar Vortex

The polar vortex is over!   Or so we hope!   It has been the second worst winter in Michigan's recorded history.   I can truly say that I did not enjoy being part of history!   But I do believe that spring is on its way!

During our mini ice age I did start and finish a real scrappy quilt. I used only fabric from my stash and scrap box!

I didn't really have a pattern.  I had seen this block demonstrated at an expo for the purpose of selling the templates.  I made one block using the sizes that were recommended (by using the templates), but it just seemed too fussy and wasteful.   Not that I am that frugal but it had to be done quicker.  I had a huge stash of  2.5" squares ready to go!   So that is where I started, making my wedges!

The top block is made using the intended shaped pieces.   The bottom block is made using 2.5" squares and then trimmed to the correct size wedge.   It was much quicker and really not that much waste.   I did use the original block in the quilt.  It is not that easy to spot.  Can you find it?

Well that is it for this time.  I will be posting again real soon with the UFO that is almost done!


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Latest UFO

I finished this about 5 years ago at a retreat.  I had been working on  it for a long time.  The petals are all hand appliqued.  I am not sure why I hadn't had it quilted.  I guess maybe I hoped I would become skilled enough at long arm quilting to do it exactly as I wanted.  Well, at that time I didn't even have a long arm!  To this day I have not become that skilled!  I had a certain way I wanted everything to be done, cross hatching behind the flowers, a vein in the petals and some type of feather in the sashing.   I finally decided to send it to a professional.  That would be Brenda Stump, Carleton, Michigan.  She did an amazing job.  Everything just as I wanted!

Now let us step back to that retreat about 5 years ago.  My friend, Barb Donathan, was inspired by mine to make one for her niece's wedding.  Isn't the black and white dazzling?  Same pattern but oh so different!  Way to go, Barb!  Notice the cute bag she also made.
Now to my  "woe is me" moment.  My long arm froze up on me today!  The polar vortex must have attached itself to my Bailey.  She will go to the doctor tomorrow!  In the mean time I guess I need to send some more of these 24 plus tops out to be quilted.  My goal this year is to reduce this stack - I didn't really set the goal that I had to be the one to do them!!!!!  My biggest problem is that I LOVE to piece the blocks.  Not that fond of putting the whole thing together but the block by block process is my favorite!
PS.  I got the pattern from a friend Nancy Noll but if you are interested in the pattern you can call or write this lovely lady, Evelyn McCarty.  She is 84 years young and such a sweet person.  She will personally mail it to you for $8.00 (which barely covers the cost).
Shadowed Daisy Pattern
Evelyn McCarty
3020 Moselle Rd
Union, MO 63084
Have a great stitchin' time and enjoy the game today (if that is you thing)!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Magnetic Pin Dish

Which would you like setting next to your machine, the pretty dish or the cracked and boring plastic one?

These are so easy to make!  Here is all that you need!
The dishes are from Goodwill but I have a couple of Polish Pottery dishes that I am going to convert!  I used this heavy duty  silicone but any good strong glue would do.   I bought the magnets at the hardware (the big round one) and the others from Hobby Lobby.  After I made these and realized I like them enough to take the plastic one apart.   I pried the plastic one apart and it actually has 2 rectangle 1" x 2" magnets in it.  I really like the magnets from the hardware much better than from the craft store.
The important thing about the magnets is to make sure they fit inside the rim on the bottom of the dish.  If they are thicker use enough so the dish will sit flat and not teeter.  Notice the square one has one magnet in each corner and one in the center.
Hope you enjoyed this quick craft.  My next project is going to be Modge Podge fabric to the magnetic steel dishes that I use on my long arm.  They were purchased at Harbor Freight and look like they belong in a mechanic's tool box.   They really need to be dressed up.
The dishes were not my original idea - but I can't remember where I saw them.  It was just something that stuck with me because I really liked it!