Back with a block…

After a flurry of online activity, life once again got in the way of blogging but I am back again, this time with a block pattern for my Do Good Stitches circle.  You see in June I am the designated quilter which means I pick the colour scheme and block for my fellow DGS peeps to work with…

I never make this decision easily… I always ‘um and ah’ between a couple of block options… sometimes making test blocks to see what my idea looks like.   This month I settled on the colour scheme quickly…

CW_MoodBoardMonday_BluesGreens

and pulled these fabrics to match from my stash….

fabric pull

but struggled to pin down what sort of block I wanted to make.  I finally settled on a simple 12 inch block which Is called a Double T and dates back to 1882 I believe e…

finished T block

To make one block you will need to cut:

cutting instructions

This 12 inch block uses two different types of block components – flying geese and half square triangles (HST).  So lets start with the HST…

For these components you will need the two white 5 inch squares and the two green 5 inch squares.

mark down center

Using a fabric marker (I use my trusty Frixon marker) mark a diagonal line down the center of both the white squares..

Place one white square and one green square pattern side together and then sew down both sides of the center line using a scant quarter inch…

sew down each side

Then cut down that center line using your rotary cutter…

cut down drawn line

You now have two half square triangle pieces….  iron the HSTs with the seams open.

trim block

Then trim your ironed HST to 4 1/2 inches square.  For each block you will need 4 half square triangle components.

Next component is the flying geese…and you can make these one of two ways – either using traditional piecing or paper piecing…  the cutting instructions above are for the traditional pieced version.  If you are paper piecing you can cut a little more generously – say about 1/4 inch more on all the geese pieces.

Lets start with the traditional version…. first mark up all of the 2 1/2 inch squares with the same diagonal line you used in the HSTs.

geese corners

Place the small green squares pattern side down on the corner of your white triangle pieces.  Sew down your diagonal line…

Trim the excess corner fabric off your rectangle and press the green corner up on your block, pressing your seams open…

geese corner 2

Place the second 2 1/2 inch square on the opposite side of your rectangle piece and again sew down the marked line, trim and press seams open.  You will need to make two of these geese blocks for each flying geese component…

flying geese unit

If you would like to use paper piecing to make these components you can download the pattern for these 4 1/2 inch flying geese here… Flying Geese components

paper piecing option

Once you have made your block components lay your block out like this….

block components

I then sew the components together in rows…. and press the seams to the side, making sure that the bulky side of the geese is laying flat.

block rows

I then sew the rows together and viola you have a block…. and in a month or so I should have a collection of blocks from my fellow Do Good Stitches peeps which will become a pretty quilt top.

On a roll….

Another Friday finish for you…and this week is a darling little baby quilt I made using some small wonky star blocks I had floating around…

finished small wonky star quilt

Usually when I make wonky star quilts I use 5 inch squares to make the stars , but for this quilt I used my stash of 3 inch squares and a pile of scrap pieces to make 8 inch (unfinished) stars.

small star detail 2

Actually these stars had been sitting in my WIP pile for a while when I dug them up and started playing… I did not want to make any more stars so instead I used a pile of low volume scraps to play with the star layout.

small wonky star detail

I tried to lay the stars out randomly and used filler pieces – mainly 3 inch squares, 3 x 5 1/2 inch and 3 x 8 inch strips to fill in the gaps.  I wanted the background to be just as scrappy as the stars so I did not use any really big low volume pieces.

small star detail

The scrappy background also gave me more opportunities for fussy cutting, allowing me to cram in even more novelty prints (have you spotted the squirrels yet!).

My binding choice was a little different from usual with this quilt too… I went with low volume soft colours to frame the quilt instead of my usual wonky star binding – navy blue or scrappy brights.  I liked how this choice lets the stars jump off the quilt instead of containing them inside a frame.

quilting detail

The wonderful free motion quilting on this piece was done by my friend Michelle of Mariposa Quilting.  I was so pleased this quilt was not ruined by my clumsy straight line quilting.

Once washed this quilt will head off to the our local Pediatric Intensive Care unit where it will hopefully be used for a couple of good games of I Spy….

An emotional finish…

One of the quilts that I recently finished up was one that had been languishing in the WIP pile not because I was bored with it but because I was not emotional ready to deal with finishing it.

The quilt was started in 2015 while I was recovering from surgery after an ectopic pregnancy.  For the last year or so I was not ready to deal with finishing the quilt up… then one day I looked at the quilt top and decided it was time.  I bundled it up and sent it to my friend Kazumi to finish up…

finished star cross quilt 2

The quilt top was made using a paper piecing pattern that I designed…and making the top was a slow and deliberate process for me as I healed.  If you are interested in reading more or using the pattern you can follow the links to my earlier posts.

star cross quilt detail 3

This quilt is our new couch quilt and my new comfort quilt.  I have not kept many of my quilts but this one will be treasured.  I look at it and see all the pain but also all the strength it took to keep going.

cross star quilt detail 2

I also see lots of little treasured bits of my stash, including some fabrics which were bought decades ago when I started quilting.

cross star quilt detail

I am really proud of this quilt… it is not my most creative masterpiece -my most creative quilt to date is my Michael Miller challenge quilt I think – but as I made this quilt piece by tiny piece I stitched myself back together.  I am proud of that.

quilt wrangler

And I could not have done any of it without the support of my wonderful quilt holder and partner in crime.  Thank you Mr Wombat.

The struggle is real…

For some unknown reason I have been struggling to get motivated to blog… I mean I have got procrastinating and deflecting down to a fine art by now.  I have been quilting away the last month or so, creating and having fun, but I have struggled to get back into the habit of photographing what I am doing.

The weather here in Portland has been unhelpful… I am sick of sticking my quilts on the back fence and photographing them… I have found no end of excuses to NOT post.  Finally last weekend my husband gave me a stern talking too and dragged me out to photograph some of my finished quilts.  Have I mentioned how much I love him!

Anyway here is the first quilt from the selection we photographed last weekend…

drunkard path quilt

This is one of my projects from 2014 (wow has it been that long!)… I am trying to get some old WIPS finished up.  I love this quilt… the solids play so nicely against the black and white prints.  You can see my original post for this quilt here

quilt details

For the quilting I used my domestic machine and walking foot to quilt round and round and round and round.  I picked one of the circles that was a little of center as the start for my quilting which means the finished radiating result is not dead center.

quilt detail 2

I still struggle to get a neat start to the circle quilting…it definitely gets easier and neater as you move outwards.

quilt detail 3

The back of the quilt was pieced using bits and pieces I had floating about my stash… including a nice chunk of old Ikea fabric (the black and white illustrations).

quilt back

The finishing touch was a scrappy binding using some of my left over solid scraps.  I am really thrilled with how this quilt finished up… and I am feeling motivated to try some more curves… they really are fun and easy.

Back with some Bee blocks

This week I managed to get some Bee blocks done in between work and another cold.  I must admit I love making Bee blocks like this one…

bee-block-2

 

Blocks that are more complex and use small 2 inch squares and lots of scrap pieces…. blocks that I would love to see a quilt made out of but do not have the patience to make 20 or 30 of them for a whole quilt.

bee-block-1

These blocks are perfect for a quilting Bee because you share the quilting load… making two blocks each makes the quilt manageable.  This block is called Scrap Jar Star and you can find the free pattern on A Little Bit Biased’s website.  It was just what I needed to kick start my creativity this month.

A little Improv

After battling with Internet outages all this week I am pleased to be able to share another quilt with you this Friday….I was planning a WIP post on Wednesday but we had not internet all day.   It is not until you are unplugged that you realise just how much you rely on the net for your day to day workings.  I am now playing catch up on the Aussie Open tennis  and quilting while watching the matches of the last couple of days.

Anyway onto business… today’s quilt is another beautiful group quilt from the Portland Modern Quilt Guild charity sew days.  We are currently making quilts for the local children’s hospital, and they are readily supplied with cute kids quilts, they struggle at times to find quilts suitable for their older patients – they treat kids up to 18 years old.  So with this in mind I chose a black and white with a splash of colour…

pmqg-improv-charity-quilt

For this quilt I pulled a whole pile of black and white scraps and a small handful of solid scraps in ranging in colour from orange/yellow to a pink/red.  The scraps were dumped out on a table in our sewing area at Modern Domestic and people just went to work sewing bits together and making blocks.

quilt-detail-4

There are so many fun little bits and pieces in this quilt… and also some nice little fussy cut moments.  I love this kids quilts because it is such a great opportunity to throw in  a fun print here and there…even for the more “grown up” kids.

quilt-detail-2

Some of our talented volunteers went about making their own fabrics by cutting and cross cutting their blocks.  I just love how different each piece was…

quilt-detail

The over all result is just so much fun…

improv-quilt-detail

The finished quilt top was then handed over to the wonderful Nancy Stovall who weaved her quilting magic all over it.

improve-quilt-detail-2

For the back of the quilt I must admit I got a little carried away piecing it… I had some larger black and white scraps as well as a part quilt top that had been donated.  It was all sewn together to produce this…

pieced-quilt-back

The quilt was then finished off in some scrappy solid binding, reflecting the colours of the solids in the quilt…

binding

If you have the opportunity to be a part of a group charity quilt you should jump at it.  There is something wonderful about a group of people getting together and making something for a stranger…it gives me such a sense of community and gives me hope.

Quilt Details:

Name:  Improv love
Pattern:  12 inch Improv blocks
Fabric:  black & white scraps and Kona solids
Finished size:  60 x 72 inches