Friday, August 19, 2016

Black and white

Hi everyone!  We are back from our visit to our grandson and I already miss him so much!  I'm also missing the cooler weather and the clean air, but not as much as those baby fingers!

Since we travelled this week, I didn't get a lot of sewing time, but I did manage to make up these:

As they used to say--do not adjust your set! A black block and a white block for the postage stamp quilt!  I tried laying out the 16 blocks that I had and decided that I want the quilt to be rectangular and not square, so I need 4 more blocks.

I wasn't planning to make a black block or a white one, because I was afraid that either one would be too dull and would act as a "hole" in the quilt.  I was so wrong!  These two turned out to be a couple of my favorite ones!  There is so much to look at in each of them.  I'm really glad that I went for it.

I swear to you that this block is straight!  The photo lies!

So I still have 2 more blocks to make, which means more sorting, which is frankly the worst part of the whole endeavor.  Don't know what color they'll be, but I want to wrap this up by the end of next week, because we move in 3 weeks!  No tiny pieces left behind!

I have these two little pieces left over.  I couldn't decide if they were black or white, so I left them out of both.  Where would you have put them?

In other news, I have finally joined Instagram!  I wasn't planning to, but there are some fun things happening over there that I want to participate in, so I took the plunge.  Come on over and join me @academicquilter!

Everybody have a wonderful weekend.  I have brought out the boxes and am beginning the task of packing up the condo.  This is a happy thing, right?

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Oh Scrap!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Intricate Stitches--Bonus Block 2

Hi all, and welcome back to the Intricate Stitches quilt!  Today is block number 10!  Recall that the Rainbow Scrap Challenge only has 10 months this year, so we have had to double up for a couple of months so that we can have a full 12 blocks for the quilt.

Here is the second bonus block, which I made up in blue, green, and yellow:

I love this block!  This has a couple of names, the earliest of which is Kansas Star, from the Kansas City Star newpaper in 1932.  Carrie Hall, also from the 1930s, calls this Eight-point Allover.  It's number 1732a in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia.  Here is the best part of this block--it is made with 9 repeats of one unit, and the whole pattern comes from the placement of the colors.  This makes it super easy to cut and piece, which means you can knock this one out before school starts up again.  And we all know how fast that's coming!

A note about colors:  I made my block using scraps in various colors.  The success of this block depends entirely on the values of the colors chosen.  Use any colors you would like, but keep the values the same as the ones shown in this block.  Your lightest color should correspond to the yellow, with the darkest color corresponding to the dark blue.  This will make sure that the pattern in the block comes through.


There are only two sizes of pieces to cut in this quilt!

Cut 2-7/8 inch squares:                                          Cut 3-3/8 inch squares:

2 yellow                                                                    4 yellow
2 dark yellow or gold                                                  5 dark blue
4 dark green
4 bright green
6 medium blue

Cut all of the 2-7/8 inch squares in half from corner to corner to make two triangles and you are finished with the cutting!


This block uses one unit, a simple square in a square.  Take 4 of the appropriate colored triangles and add them to the edges of the 3-3/8 inch squares.  These units should be 4-1/2 inches each, to finish at 4 inches in the block.

Make one using the 4 dark yellow or gold triangles and a blue 3-3/8 inch square.  This is the center square for the block.

Make 4 using the remaining dark blue squares, 3 medium blue triangles, and one yellow triangle:

Make 4 using the yellow 3-3/8 squares, 2 of the bright greens, and 2 of the dark green triangles:

That's it!  All the units are made!


All the final assembly requires is to lay out the units as shown:

Stitch together into rows and then join the rows to make the final block.  Give it a good press and admire!

A little wrinkled from being carried in my pocket!

One tip for this block--I never advocate pressing seams open, but it helps a lot with this block to press open the final seams that join all the square in a square units.  Backstitch at the ends to be sure the seams don't pop.

Have fun with this not-very-intricate but uncommon block, and be ready for block 11 (!!) coming up on September 6.  We are racing towards the finish of this quilt!

Sharing at Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, and soscrappy for RSC16!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Friends in the forest

I don't know if you all have noticed, but it is almost mid-August.  How did this happen?!  I am looking forward to the end of summer, but I didn't know it was coming so soon!  Yikes!

This weekend, the hubs and I are off on our last trip of the summer, a visit to our son, daughter-in-law, and sweet grandson.  I cannot wait to hug that baby, but that reminds me that I never did show off the quilt I finished for him:

This is Forest Friends, another pattern by Lorna McMahon.  Since our son and daughter-in-law love the outdoors, especially camping, this is a perfect quilt to get their little boy started learning some animals.

The badger does have eyes, they just blend in!

This pattern is not paper-pieced, but it did use some very small pieces.  It was not difficult, just a little putzy.  And the results are absolutely great.  I quilted this up myself using just some basic wavy lines in an antique gold thread from Connecting Threads.  It has a very cute blue flannel on the back:

I'm not sure how well those wavy lines work.  When other people do them they turn out great, but my own I'm not too sure of.  Also, the flannel was very bulky--but totally worth it because it's so cozy!--and that made it hard to make the lines close together.  Not sure about using flannel on the back again.  I do really like the dark green binding, which makes a nice frame.

You can buy this pattern in Lorna's pattern store , and the pattern includes a couple of sizes and some alternate blocks (including a Canadian beaver!), plus some ideas for using the blocks in different ways.  I already plan to make myself one of the love birds blocks for a small wall hanging.  (For the new house!)

Everyone have a wonderful weekend.  Here's hoping you don't melt!  I recommend popsicles, AC, and maybe ice cream. 

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and TGIFF at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

Friday, August 5, 2016

A bear paws through the woods

Hi all, and happy Friday!  Guess what?  We finally found a house and have an accepted offer!  I am so excited.  Here's the best part--we walked into one room and my husband said "This would make a great sewing room." Best husband ever! Is he a keeper or what?  The really great part is that he was totally right--it will make a great sewing room!

In between looking at houses and negotiating the offer, I did do a little sewing.  For this week's finish, I have this to show off:

Isn't this darling?  This is the Bear's Paw pattern, which I tested for Lorna over at Sew Fresh Quilts. Lorna has the cutest patterns and I can tell you that they are terrific.  They always turn out so nicely.  And they are all pieced using regular-sized pieces--they are not paper pieced!

We all know that I have trouble making a quilt exactly as the pattern shows, so I made a few different choices for my quilt.  (And of course I had to make it as difficult for myself as possible instead of following the pattern exactly.)  Lorna shows the quilt with all the Bear's Paw blocks in the same color, which looks terrific in her quilt.  I had a stack of 10-inch squares in solids, so I made the Bear's Paw blocks using those squares.  You can cut one of the Bear's Paw blocks from a 10-inch square and have some nice-sized scraps left over.

The other thing I changed was the color of the bear.  My daughter-in-law loves black bears so I made this bear black as well.  I think he turned out pretty well. Pretty sure it will show every little bit of dirt, but don't bears collect stuff in their fur anyway?  I have this piece with some fun owls for a backing:

I have a couple of tips for success with this pattern.  First, read the entire pattern before you start.  I get the patterns as a download, but then I always print them out and write all over them.  I also cross out as I go, because otherwise I get confused, and that's never pretty.

My second tip is to label all the pieces as you cut them:

It's just so much easier when everything is labelled and I don't have to guess.  My last tip is to sort the pieces by block after they're cut, which means you can grab one stack and sew without having to fuss with finding the pieces.

Lorna plans to offer this pattern as a quilt-along later this year, but you can totally buy the pattern in her pattern store and make your own before then.  She has a lot of other really fun patterns, too, so you should totally go and check it out!

Thanks to Lorna for another great pattern!  This little quilt is becoming a part of my Grandma stash, which is a bunch of quilts that I have for tiny humans when they come to my house. Who doesn't need some of those around all the time?

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  We will be sorting and putting things in boxes, at least until the thunderstorm knocks out the power again.  Seriously, is the power grid made of paper mache? It has gone out a lot these last few weeks.

Happy sewing!

Sharing atConfessions of a Fabric Addict and Let's Bee Social.