Well things have got interesting…

It has been over a year since I have blogged and what a year it has been.  Like everyone else I have hunkered down in my house, venturing out only when absolutely necessary.  You would think this would mean a flurry of quilting activity but it has not.  Like so many I have found it hard to be creative in lockdown… and I have made a LOT of masks.

So to try and break out of this rut I thought I would share a few quilts with you that have been finished in the last year.  When I actually looked at what I had shared and what I had not I realized there was quite a bit of stuff that you have not seen… so we are going to start with this beauty…

finished aqua cross quilt

This quilt was made a one of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild (PMQG) charity sew days… back when we had charity sew days… oh I miss those days and that wonderful group of ladies.  Anyway I digress…

aqua close

The block was a simple nine patch block with an extra background row on two sides of the nine patch.  I love adding the background to the block as it allows for lots of fun negative space when you lay out the quilt.  If you are not sure what I mean look at my Bee Block post from May 2018.  I used the same technique when I made the wonky star blocks.

aqua closeup

I used a ton of pre-cut 3 1/2 inch squares… I have got in the habit of  “processing” my scraps through the Accuquilt die cut machine and so have boxes and boxes of squares.  3 1/2 are my favorite size and I have made lots of charity quilts with them.

closeup 2

For this quilt we wanted to be gender neutral and a little more teen than kids – so I picked a black/dark grey printed background with white and cream prints for the cross parts.  The center squares were all solid fabrics in shades of aqua.

aqua quilting detail

The quilting on the quilt added a wonderful layer to this design, echoing the squares of the quilt in the pattern of the quilting.  I am always in awe of the amazing group of long armers who help make these charity quilts.  Their talents always add so much to the finished product.   This quilt was donated to last years Camp Erin where I hope it gave comfort to a grieving camper.

pinkies

Of course I must finish up with a the obligatory shot of Mr Wombat’s pinkies.  These photos were taken last year before lock down and he was such a good sport as we drove around town looking for interesting walls to photograph things against.  I am hoping to convince him to come with me to photograph a new batch of quilts in the coming week – of course while we wear masks and social distance.

QUILT DETAILS:

Block:  12 inch Floating nine patch
Fabric:   Scraps and selection of Kona solids.
Quilt Size:  60 x 72 inches

Another Do Good finish…

I am back with another finished Do Good Stitches quilt… actually the weather in Portland has been lovely these last couple of weeks so I had the chance to photograph a few quilts which I will share over the coming weeks… but first up…

do good stitches wonky star quilt

These blocks were made by myself and my fellow Hope Circle Bee hive members.  I love a good wonky star and this block was extra fun because of the low volume background.

modern scrap quilt

Using blacks and dark grey for the stars meant that the fabric we used as the background could have more color and interest in it.   The stars were going to stand out against just about anything we threw at them… so we went fussy cut, novelty print crazy.  The background does make for a good game of I spy.

easy kids quilt

The only low volumes that were a little problematic were the black and white ones… and only when they were used in making the star points.  When choosing your low volume fabrics for a project it is always a good idea to:

(1) double check that they read low volume…. I do this using the mono chrome setting on my phone camera.  Some low volumes can be deceiving and are tonally much darker than they appear.

(2) check that the print does not interfere or intersect with the foreground or main fabric.  I have had this happen when the low volume print have had a strong print with the same color in it as my foreground fabric (this is why the black and white prints could be problematic with this quilt).

wonky star detail 3

Because of the structure of this block you have a bit of built in negative space to play with.  The block uses 3 1/2 inch squares, so one side of the block is just negative space (you can find the directions for the block here)…

Modern scrap bee block

Scrappy wonky Star 12 inch block

This allows you to play with the layout of the stars on the finished quilt.  The layout can be uniformed or more off grid, like I did.

quilt detail

I must admit I loved the randomness of the star layout in this top… I think it gets your eye moving around the quilt in interesting ways.

As always this quilt is heading out into the world to do some good… at our local Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.  So many hands help make this beauty and I am constantly reminded how many good people there are out there in the world, trying to make a difference.

Quilt Details:

Block:    12 inch off set wonky star
Fabric:   Scraps and more scraps
Size:       60″ x 60″

Back for some fun little Bear Paws…

This month I am the setting the blocks for our Do Good Stitches Bee… and I find that it is easier for me to blog the block instructions that to try and do it all on Flickr….  Of all the social media platforms I use Flickr is really the one that constantly surprises me that it has not died yet.  It is so clunky and not at all very user friendly for some things.  Anyway rant over… here is the blocks.

color bear paw

I went with a simple Bear paw section… I have a ton of little scraps and this seemed like a great way to use some of my precious little bits… I have decided to do the block in two sizes – 6 inches and 9 inches…

finished blocks

And I worked out a way to make both sized blocks at the same time… so here goes….

fabric requirments

Cutting Instructions:

Background fabric (we are using low volume or white on white):
5 (five) x 3 1/2 inch squares
1 (one) x 2 1/2 inch square

Colored fabric (we are using bright primary colors):
8 (eight) x 3 1/2 inch squares of various prints
4 (four) x 2 1/2 inch squares of various prints

 

Step one:

Choose four of the 3 1/2 inch squares and four of the 2 1/2 inch squares for the center part of the block .  When I was choosing these fabrics I selected the more interesting fabrics for the center squares (ie. the ones with fussy cuts).

The remaining four 3 1/2 inch squares will make the half square triangles (HST).

Step two:  Make the HSTs.

mark fabric

 

Mark a line down the center of the back side of your background fabric, going corner to corner.

Then mark another line 1/2 inch from that line.  These two marks are your sew lines – you will be sewing directly down these lines.

 

 

cut hst

 

Cut down the middle of your sew lines… you are actually cutting 1/4 inch from the center line.  You now have your two HST components.

Press your HSTs (I usually press my seams open).

 

 

 

trim hst Trim each of the HST components .  

Your 3 1/2 inch HST will not need much trimming (it should be almost perfect).

There is a bit of wiggle room with your 2 1/2 inch HST so you will have a little bit to trim off.

 

Remember to use the center diagonal line of your ruler to make sure you are trimming straight.

Step Three:  Sew it all together.

rows

 

Sew your block sections together in rows.

With my blocks I have been ironing my seams open… but you can also nestle the seams.  It is up to you.

iron seams

 

Then sew your rows together to make your blocks… and trim as needed to the finished size.

Just for fun I have made a couple of tiny versions of this block…

3 inch bear paw. Scrap quilt block

This block finishes at 3 1/2 inches… all the bits are 1 1/2 inches which is a little crazy but also kind of fun.  I have been having a blast finding little bits to fussy cut at this size.

I am having a blast with this project.  I have actual work sewing to do and I do not want to do it… all I want to do is cut my scraps up into little bits and play.

Got the blues…

This weeks game of catch up involves a lovely little scrap quilt I made last year…

Irish chain quilt. Scrap quilt. Modern quilt.

The pattern is an Irish Chain variation and I had a blast using all the little bits of blue scraps I had accumulated…and it was surprising how many little bits I had.

quilt detail 2

I used 2 1/2 inch squares for the nine patch block… lots of little bits from mini charm packs I had accumulate over time… and the snowball block started as a 6 1/2 inch square of low volume blues & white prints.

quilt detail 3

Again I was surprised by how many of those I had in my stash.  It always surprises me when I get an idea in my head and then find everything I need in my stash…. though sometimes it disappoints me too as I loose my excuse to pick upnbnew fabric when my stash provides.

quilt back

The back of the quilt was also from my stash.  Awhile ago I picked up a few yards of this wonderful Laura Ashley print at a Thrift store.  I do not often thrift my fabric but I could. not leave this fun print behind…. and as all the quilts are washed before donating I was not worried about using it as a back.

quilt holder

This was actually the last shot of an afternoon of quilt photography.  Mr Wombat was such a good sport… patiently humoring me as I drove around the neighborhood looking for fun quilt locations.  I think sometimes he misses the days when I used to just hang the quilts on the back fence!

Quilt Details

Size:  42 x 54 inches
Pattern:  Irish Chain variation
Fabric:  Mini charm squares and scraps.

100 Blocks seems like a lot…

Last year I attempted to take part in the 100 days 100 blocks quilt along. I started out strong posting 4 blocks on four consecutive days on Instagram then life got in the way…

100 block 1

I had not attempted a Quilt Along (QAL) before… it is not that I am not a joiner, I just do not do well with enforced schedules….

block 29

I do love the idea of being given a structure to work to but trying to make a block a day can be a hard practice to get into….

block 12

I have made a quilt using Tula Pink’s 100 Blocks book before.  I did not make all the blocks the first time and it was the same this time…

block 4

There are some blocks in the book that I look at and think life is too short….

block 13

But since the quilt along finished I have been making a block here and there….

block 11

I am now up to 48 blocks which is enough for a quilt I think….

block 2

I am not sure what I will do with them… actually, if I am honest,  I am not sure where I have stashed them at the moment…

block 23

I put them somewhere safe and I can not find them…

block 3

Do not judge me… things got a little crazy a few months ago when our teenager moved back in with us…

block 26

and my stash and bits had to be hauled out of the spare bedroom…

block 22

I think this may be the one and only QAL I do… it will take an extra ordinary project to make me want to repeat this experience…

block 15

How do you feel about quilting along?  Have you done any?  What was your experience? Any tips?