Return of the pinkies…

Yep you heard that right… the pinkies are back after an extended vacation…

solid wonky star

We made the most of the brief bout of sunny weather here in the Pacific Northwest and took some finished quilt photos over the summer.  I actually wanted to take all the quilts I had to photograph (about 12) to Hawaii with us on holiday but Mr Wombat did not like that idea.  So instead we stayed local.

wonky star quilt

I choose this as the first quilt to share with you after such a long break because I LOVE it.  It is so bright and fun.  It was made a one of our Portland Modern Quilt Guild charity sew days from my large stash of 3 1/2 inch solid squares.

solid wonky star detail

I process all the small scraps I make and am given into 3 1/2 or 5 inch squares using my trusty Accquilt cutter.  It has made charity sew days so much easier for me having the Go Cutter to work with… I have spent many a happy evening cutting bits of fabric while watching trashy tv….somehow I am less guilty watching bad TV if I am doing something constructive while doing it.

quilting detail

The blocks are 12 inch finished blocks and use a 4 x 4 grid or 3 1/2 inch squares.  They are so easy to make and even though there were at least 12 people making these blocks I had no trouble matching seams.

quilt feet

This was truly a team effort with PMQG members sewing the blocks, quilting the quilt and binding this beauty up…. and finally Mr Wombat helping with the photography and supplying the quilt feet and of course…

the pinkies

The pinkies…. this was the last quilt we photographed and by the time we found this great yellow wall he was pretty close to divorcing me… but all has been forgiven now.

Quilt Details:

Block:  12 inch wonky star variation
Fabric:  Kona and RJR solid scraps
Size:  60 x 72 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.

Getting a little personal….

I am currently finishing up a few small baby quilts which are part of a personal project I took on at the end of last year.  These quilts are part of my “Quilts for Pablo” project.

This project started last year when a dear friend lost her son after only 10 short days.  In her son Pablo’s memory I want to make 10 quilts for my local hospital’s Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  The day that I got word of Pablo’s passing I also got a wonderful package from Michael Miller Fabric – I had won a competition that they ran and they sent me two fat quarter bundles which were perfect for my project.

finished Aviation quilt

This is the first little quilt I finished up.  The fabric line is called Flight School and this is just one of the two colour ways I have.

aviation quilt detail

The fabric just called out to be made into wonky stars and I used as much of the fat quarter for each fabric as I could…fussy cutting as needed.

quilt detail 2

The layout makes the most of the fabric, using as many 4 1/2 inch squares as had left over instead of just using white in the background.  I kind of like how it turned out.

I am also using these quilts as quilting practice…I am using Jacqui Gerings wonderful book “Walk” and I am determined to use as many of her quilting patterns as I can.

Mr Wombat

Mr Wombat says that this photos is the result of cheating…as I took the photo as he was about to fold up the quilt… hence no pinkies in this shot.  But you do get to see a little more of him…

Quilt Details:

Pattern:  Wonky Star using 4 1/2 inch squares.
Fabric:  Flight School by Michael Miller
Size:  36 x 40 inches

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….

Everybody loves a wonky star…right….

My final finishes for 2015 and first finish of 2016 has been putting the binding on a couple of wonky star quilts.  If you follow this blog you know how much I love a wonky star, and I found during my recent health issues that I could make wonky stars without too much effort or thought (I seem to have good muscle memory for this quilt block!)….

white star quilt

What made these quilts so easy for me to make was that I used some of my huge stash of 5 inch squares and lots of scraps.  For this first quilt I grabbed a pile of blue squares and my bag of white/cream scraps and got to work.

star detail

What you can not see too well in the photos is that each center of the star is made up of improv scraps.  This is my favorite bit of the process… sewing all the little scraps together to make my own fabric.

white star detail

For all my wonky star quilts I did simple straight line quilting, but with this quilt I used a variegated thread I found in my thread box.  I kind of love how it turned out…

For my next two wonky star quilts I took some scraps of Hoffman batiks that I had been given and had some fun…

pink quilt

This is my favorite of the quilts… I love how the soft pink and blue play together….

pink quilt detail

Plus I got to play with novelty prints which makes me so happy.  The background  for the stars uses 4 different Batiks and with all these quilts the colour variation  in the background adds a nice texture to the overall quilt I think.

pink backing fabric

I got to back my pink stars with some of my favorite fabric from Michael Miller.  I love the mermaids so much…and this fabric was so perfect for the quilt it had to be used.

finished aqua baby quilt copy

For the background of this quilt I used creams/beige batiks from a Hoffman layer cake or two.  I do not use batiks much in my quilting but I love how they work as a support to the modern quilting fabrics.   For this quilt I played with batting loft and used a wool batting.

wonky star detail

The batting gives the quilt a lovely warmth and softness… it is nicely puffy.  I can see why long arm quilters would choose to use a higher loft batting, as it really does make the quilting stand out.

So there are my last and first finishes.  Very simple, very easy and kind of fun.  Each quilt finishes at 41 inches square, a perfect size for our local Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.