The weather has finally co-operated…

After some miserable weeks of rain here in Portland it has recently fined up enough for me to drag Mr Wombat out and about to photograph some quilts.  It used to be much easier when I hung the quilts on the back fence, but not as much fun.   The first of the recent quilts I am going to share is a Do Good Stitches finish….

double cross quilt

You might recognize the block as I shared the details for making the double plus block in November and if you are interested you can find the pattern here

pinkies close up

It is a fun block and a real scrap buster…and my fellow Do Good peeps did a great job with their Double Pluses.   Mr Wombat was also on good pinkie form don’t you think?

double cross quilting

In true scrappy form it is full of fussy cut goodness and fun bright colors… and is wonderfully gender neutral I think.  I do love my charity quilts to be cheerful and worthy of a good game of I spy.  I was talking to a friend today about stashes and I realized where other people (aka. grown ups)  go for simple blenders, I will always go for a novelty print if I can.

double cross detail 4

The quilt was quilted and bound by one of the fabulous PMQG members.  Our Charity program receives quite a few quilts from different Do Good Circles (or Bees), and each one is sent to our local Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.  Every month or so we send to the hospital between 15 to 30 quilts… some of them are panel quilts but most of them are beautiful handmade masterpieces.

double cross detail 5

I am constantly in awe of the people of my quilting community and the wonderful work they do.  I have always made charity quilts – it has been my passion/obsession for over 20 years… but I never expected so many people to jump in so enthusiastically and help out.  I am constantly speechless at the generosity I see.   There is such good in the world.

double cross detail 3

Quilt details:

Pattern:  12 inch Double Plus block
Fabric:  Scraps…nothing but scraps.
Quilt Size:  48 x 60 inches

It is time for another Bee Block….

Ah yes it is that time again… I am setting another block for my fellow Do Good Stitches gang… and this month snuck up on me so I have resorted to a variation of an old faithful….the wonky star…

dgs wonky star

For this 12 inch block I used:

  • Fifteen (15) low volume 3 1/2 inch squares
  • One (1) black/dark grey 3 1/2 inch square
  • Eight (8) black grey triangles – I used scraps but you can cut a 3 inch square in half to make the triangles.

Step one is to make the star points:

To make the star points you will need 4 of your low volume squares and your triangle pieces.

step 1

 

Take one of the squares and sew a triangle onto one corner, making sure the pattern sides of your fabric are together and when the triangle is flipped it covers the corner of your square.

 

step 2

 

Next trim the excess low volume fabric from the corner and press the triangle over into place.

 

 

step 3

 

Then add another triangle of fabric to the other side of the square…. sew it down … trim the excess low volume fabric and press over.

 

 

step 4

 

Your next step is to trim your block back down to 3 1/2 inches square.

 

 

step 4a

 

The back of your block should look like this…. now repeat the process until you have 4 star point sections.

 

 

block layout

Step Two:

Lay out your block as illustrated….

sewing block together

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Three:

Sew the block together in rows… then sew the rows together to make a completed block.

 

 

 

 

 

What I love about this block is that has built in negative space which allows for you to stagger the stars layout when putting the quilt top together.  You can also make a couple of blocks that are just low volume squares (no star) to break up the layout of the quilt.

In the coming months I will have two different variations of this quilt to show you, as I also used this block recently at out Guild charity sew day.   For the sew day we used a rainbow of solids and a white star which gave us a really fun bright quilt.  If you want to see a work in progress shot of that quilt head over to my Instagram account.

Mini Charm Square block

After I posted the scrappy quilt on Friday I had several requests for a  link to the block pattern, which was hard to do becauseI had not followed a pattern.  I had been inspired by some log cabin blocks I had seen and some quilts I had seen on the internet and so worked out the math and then did a step out for our charity sew group.

So on the weekend I photographed the steps just in case you want to play with your own pile of mini charm squares.  There are two blocks that make up the quilt…

Block One…

mini charm block 1

For this block you need:

mini charm block 1 cut instructions

When making these blocks I sew the mini charm squares into strips first…

block 1 construction

The block is then put together as a log cabin block would be… adding the smallest strip to the side and working my way around.  If you are using mini charm squares cut by manufacturers be aware that they do come in slightly different sizes… some cut with. straight edge and some cut with a crimped/pinked edge.  The squares with the zig zag edges can be slightly larger than 2 1/2 inch.  If in doubt trim your mini charm strips to get a clean sewing edge.

For every block 1 you make you will need a Block 2:

mini charm block 2

For this block you will need:

block 2 cut instructions

Please note that I made a mistake with this photo, so follow the words not the picture and make sure you have two strips of 2 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches.

Both finished blocks should measure 10 1/2 inches square unfinished… trim blocks as needed.  Make as many blocks as you need to get the sized quilt you want.  My quilt on Friday was 60 x 70 inches finished  and there were a lot of hands making blocks for this quilt, which made it a quick process.

Elizabeth Hartman quilt detail

Double Plus Block

After another absence I am back…this time with a block for my Do Good Stitches Bee.  It is my month to set the block and after much back and forth I came up with this block….

double plus block

To make this 12 1/2 inch block (unfinished) you will need:

5 (five) x 3 1/2 inch squares of your main color
10 (ten) x 3 1/2 inch squares of low volume prints
5 (five) x 1 1/2 inch squares of your secondary color
4 (four) x 1 1/2 inch squares of low volume prints

STEP ONE – Make the small cross

smallcross

  • Layout your 1 1/2 inch squares in the desired layout.
  • Sew the three squares in three rows.  Press seams as desired (I pressed mine open).

IMG_1596

  • Sew the rows together again pressing seams as desired (I pressed my seams open).
  • Trim the finished block to 3 1/2 inches square.

trim block

STEP TWO – Make the block

Layout your block as below…

blocklayout

  • Sew your squares into rows and then your rows into a block.
  • Iron your seam as desired – I ironed mine open to get the block to sit as flat as I could.
  • If required, trim final block to 12 1/2 inches. Repeat the process until you have as many blocks as you need….

Our quilt will be a rainbow of color, with each block having two bright colors per block… but I think it would be fun to do a block with just two colors – one for the big blocks and one for the small blocks.

As a caveat to this blog post it is the first one I have done on my new MacBook.  My old computer gave up the ghost a couple of weeks ago (one of the reasons I have not been posting) and I am still finding my way around this machine.  My hope is a new computer will encourage me to post more… heres hoping!

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.