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!

Playing with a Lizzy Rainbow… and a giveaway

Last weekend my darling husband abandoned me to go on a boys camping trip, and as soon as he had walked out the door I knew exactly what I was doing with my free time….

You see just before DH left I took delivery of the latest Lizzy House range, Lovely Hunt….and I knew that I had to use it immediately so I pulled out ALL my Lizzy House fabric….

my lizzy house stash

…and cut out a 5 inch square from each piece of fabric.  Then, using my hexagon mini for guidance I got to work….

lizzy house hexagon mini wip

As there was no husband I could keep working without having to pack things away… I had squares and fabric all over the floor…and it took me a couple of days to get all the blocks up…I kept adjusting and rearranging, coming back to the design wall in between other tasks…I finally ended up with this…

Lizzy House simple patchwork

The first block I placed was the low volume cats and then I just worked slowly from there.  I tried to tackle one or two colours at a time, making sure that there was a flow to the colours…

the cat start

Not all the fabric made it into this quilt top…

Lizzy House quilt detail

I only ended up using 168 different fabrics and had about 20 left over.  I could not work out how to make the brown palette work so it did not even get a look in.

quilt detail 3

A couple of the prints had too much colour variation in them at 5 inches big to make the them work, but all the wonderful blenders…the Pearl Bracelets, the mini bracelets, the Butterflies and the chain links helped make the novelty fabrics play nice.

the king and queen

This quilt is definitely my quilt… it is not going anywhere but onto our couch.  As the weather starts to turn icky here in the Pacific Northwest this quilt will keep me warm and cozy…. all I have to do is finish it up!

Now while I was cutting up my Lizzy Stash I cut an extra fat eight or two for a give away.  By the time I had finished working through my stash I had a stack of 25 different fabrics… including quite a few out of print beauties, as well as some of the new Lovely Hunt….

giveaway bundle

So if you would like to win this fat eight bundle just leave a comment below, telling me what you would do with this wonderful bundle of colour.  I will draw a winner next Wednesday, and as always the contest is open to my overseas friends too.

This giveaway is closed. Thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations to Linda who won.

The joy of a good Crossword Puzzle…

This week I have been working on a top-secret project for Quilt Market so my personal quilting has been at a minimum… but I did manage to squeeze enough personal sewing time in to get my Crossword Quilt top all done…

crossword quiltThis is a very quiet quilt and very simple, but I love it.  The subtly of the pattern is just perfect and adds just the right amount of interest to this low volume quilt.

Crossword Detail

I used white on white tonals, creams and greys for the back ground “newspaper” of the quilt and black and white/cream prints for the crossword section.

font print detailI used as many font or print patterns as I could find, which included raiding a few of my friends, stashes…. special thanks goes to MaryAnn who had some wonderful prints in her collection that she kindly shared.  Oh and of course there is some Pearl Bracelet… I can’t make a scrap quilt without surreptitiously sneaking it in somewhere!

crossword detail 2This top is a big one… 67.5 x 76.5.  I actually played with the original pattern a little to make the quilt just a smidgen smaller than the on in “A month of Sundays”.  The book actually encourages you to make up your own crossword, which is kind of fun.

So this is the point in the post where I admit I don’t understand the joy of a good crossword puzzle.  My mum does them everyday but they frustrate me no end…oh and do not get me started on the craziness that is cryptic crosswords.  Seriously they make no sense at all.

A work in progress to change the pace…

I recently had the privilege of receiving a review copy of Cheryl Arkison’s book “A month of Sunday’s”.  The PMQG is often sent books to review and when this title was offered I jumped at it.  I loved Cheryl’s first book “Sunday Morning Quilts” which she co-authored with Amanda Jean Nyberg.

month of sundays bookThis book has a different feel and pace to it than Cheryl’s last book.  It has recipes, bag patterns, musing on life and the best chapter EVER on low volume quilting.  The chapter “Turn it Down” does a marvelous job of explaining what low volume is, how it works and how to select fabrics.  It has tips on value, scale and colour in low volume fabrics and I learnt some neat stuff.

The book’s quilting projects are all fabulously low key, low volume and fun. You are challenged to take what you have learnt about low volume and apply it to patterns. There are helpful hints about turning up the volume on the patterns too but they are all perfect for the quieter style.

Flipping through the book there was one pattern in particular that caught my eye and I knew I just had to make it…

crossword quiltSo fabric was pulled (I had a surprising number of text prints!) and then cut.  Now, after months of loud bright colours my design wall at the moment is full of scrappy low volume prints.

my wipThe wall looks so strange with the random placement but as the rows are sewn together I am seeing some magic appear.  I used more creams in my top, which gives my Crossword an old newspaper” feel I think.

wip crossword quiltI have no husband for the weekend so I am hoping to have this top finished for a reveal next week.

Some low volume fun…

I have just manage to finish up one of two low volume quilts I have been commissioned to make… despite the universe conspiring against me getting a finish for Friday.

low volume quiltRecently I was asked to make two low volume quilts for some adorable twin toddlers… with the instructions to make sure there was lots of pink, green and purple and only a small hint of yellow or orange, if necessary.

low volume quilt detail eOkay I found it necessary to use a hint of orange just to include these adorable Heather Ross mice but other than that I stuck to the instructions.

low volume quilt detail bPulling the fabric stack was fun – the first round  was only fabrics with a white/cream background and then I went back and pulled out a couple of soft pastels.  I find low volume quilts some of the easiest to pull fabric for, because you are using fabric that reads as light but are not worrying too much about scale or style.

low volume quilt detail aAnd when in doubt there is always the quick trick of photographing your fabric and turning the photo black and white to see how the fabric reads.  I usually do this step when I have the blocks up on the design wall and always end up rearranging the blocks and sometimes removing a fabric or two altogether.

black & white fabric I of course had a fun time putting in as many novelty prints as I could…. because what kid quilt is completely without the ability to play “I Spy”.

low volume quilt backFor the back of the quilts I fully embraced pink… choosing some of my favorite fabrics to highlight, namely some Lizzy House “Catnap”.

low volume quilt backing detailI kept the quilting simple and went with a soft pink binding, in a shade just a little different from the backing solid and chose to attach the binding by hand.  I love the hand-made touch that hand binding gives to a quilt… those little stitches let the recipient know that the quilt was made with love.

low volume quilt bindingNow all I have to do is finish up the binding on the second quilt and they will be ready to send to their new owners.