Friday, July 1, 2016

Nautical Knots

      I don't think I am the only quilter who has been obsessed with the latest internet buzz on the garlic knot block.  Bonnie Hunter featured them on her last quilt cam, apparently, and I keep seeing references to them on Facebook, chat groups, etc.  I looked for my issue of Quiltmaker that was supposed to have it in the Addicted to Scraps column, but couldn't find it.  Its in this house somewhere, but thats another subject.  I did see a post from someone else that said it is a traditional block called Arrowhead Puzzle, but my 501 Quilt Blocks book didn't have it.  After chasing this block all over my house and the internet, I finally decided to draft it myself and get it out of my head. How hard could it be?  Its just squares and rectangles.  My first adventure with it took place with my scraps from the Seven Sisters topper from our guild workshop.  There were some 2-1/4" scraps, which I cut down to 2' and made a Christmas Knot.  It finished at 6-1/2" and is cute as a button.

     I thought this would satisfy my obsession, but alas, it wasn't to be.  With the 4th of July rapidly approaching, I had a yen to sew with patriotic fabrics, so out came the red and blue scrap bins.  Suddenly, this little table topper appeared on my design wall.  I'm calling it "Nautical Knots".

     Just in case, anyone else is having garlic knots or arrowhead puzzles swarming in their heads, here is a short tutorial on the one I drafted.
Fabric requirements:
Nautical print - 1/2 yard
Red accent - FQ
Kona Snow background - 1/4 yd.

For each block, cut the following;
6) 2-1/2" squares of nautical print 
2) 2-1/2" squares of red accent
4) 2-1/2" squares of background
2) 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" rectangles of background

Make 2 small blocks in this configuration with a background rectangle and square,
plus a square of the nautical print.
     Make 2 small blocks in this configuration with two nautical squares, an accent square, and a background square.

Make a larger 4-patch with your four components in this configuration.

     This completes the 8-1/2' knot block.  To make the topper, make four of the knot blocks and arrange with the four blocks as the center.  My inner border was cut 1-1/4" to finish at 3/4" and my outer border was cut at 3-1/2 to finish at 3".  The topper will finish at 23".  

     If you get the urge to make one of these, be sure to share it in the comments section.  
Have a great 4th of July!


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Seven Fancy Sisters

     My Quilt Guild recently sponsored a workshop featuring the Seven Sisters quilt pattern which requires Y seams or a partial seaming technique.  This is a quilt pattern I had always admired, but found very intimating because of this technique.  Kelly Ashton ( taught the class and soon had all of us sewing partial seams like pros.  Here's a photo of us at the end of the day, proudly showing our progress.
     (Photo is courtesy of Kelly Ashton Quilting Lectures and Workshops Facebook page)

   The emails have been flying as friends are finishing their projects.  I will share the ones I have received to date.  



Gina's, in progress

      And mine.  

      I have had these fabrics since last summer, ordered from the Renee Nanneman website. I love that tree print with the black background.  It just had to be the border.  I was happy to have a fun project to test these lovelies.  The stars and background only required a few 2-1/4" strips for the diamond and triangle shapes, so I have a little of each print left for another project.  I actually trimmed down the scraps to 2" strips and tested a block that has been the subject of lots of Internet chatter for the last couple of weeks.  Can you guess?  More about that in a subsequent post.

Monday, June 27, 2016

RSC June 2016

     Better late than never, right?  I was traveling the first two weeks of June, a driving tour of the National Parks of California.  We saw some beautiful country, my favorite being Yosemite National Park.

Just beautiful, isn't it?

     I came home with a cold, so it took a few days before I was ready to attempt catching up with my sewing.  After checking my stash for the beach colors designated this month, I thought about just skipping June as there was one piece in an aqua and it had cows on it.  Not exactly beach style.  I couldn't believe how very little blues and greens there were in those shades.  Lots of olive and leaf greens, lots of navy blues and country blues.  Obviously, some stash enhancement needs to happen.  I did find a panel I recently purchased to make my charity boy quilt.  It is a port scene with ships, etc. so added some strips of coordinating colors and that took care of that personal commitment.  

Just a flimsy at this point.  I think some little boy will have fun with it once it is quilted and bound.

My two Father's Choice blocks were difficult too, as beach colors don't usually reside in my Civil War bin.  I did find some blues tending toward a teal to make those blocks.  They sew up so fast now that I've made six months of them.  
     I now have twelve of these and plan to have twenty-four by the end of the year.  It should make a large quilt depending on the setting.  I've been thinking about that a little, mostly about some type of sashing.  Any suggestions? 
    Linking up (very late) with SoScrappy.
     There is a lesson in this blogpost.  When you get discouraged about being behind on your projects or your commitments, you just ......
Start stitching,

Monday, May 30, 2016

RSC 2016, May

     The Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for May was green.  It was exciting to think about my Civil War blocks because I could use that interesting "poison green".

But when I began thinking about what to do for my little boy charity quilt, I was at a loss.  I looked through my green 2-1/2" strips and was not inspired.  They were all olive greens, suitable for use in my usual color palette, but not for a child's quilt.  There were no primary or leaf greens to be  found.   I finally thought of my Christmas stash and found some better greens there, more of a forest green.  Who knew shades of green had so much personality?  Some little rail fence blocks later and a cute  "wheels" print and I had a flimsy.  This paragraph makes it sound so easy, but the truth is those green and gray blocks were stuck to the design wall for two weeks, waiting for inspiration to strike.

     I found a cute dinosaur print for the backing at Sew Sweet on Saturday so I'm ready to finish it after I return from my vacation. 
I will attempt to link to SoScrappy.  Be sure to follow the link party to more RSC fun.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Bricks in the Barnyard

     You may remember back in September when my quilt guild hosted Bonnie Hunter for a trunk show and two days of workshops.  The first day was Bricks in the Barnyard and the second, Smith Mountain Morning.  I had a bin full of homespuns, so knew I wanted to use them in Bricks, but had decided to do a smaller version.  How many large quilts does a woman need?  It has only been a year or so since I did the Split Nine Patch in the barn raising setting, so wanted a different setting for this one.  Here is what I chose.  

I really like it, though not so crazy about the error I made.  I had made it to that corner with the quilting when I discovered it, although it took me awhile to decide what was wrong with it.  Can you see it?  What did I do wrong?  

Do you ever just want something finished?  I was working on that braid border and was so over it.  So I just quit!  Sometimes we just have to take charge.  There are no quilt police.  So I seamed my two partially built braids together (that was a trick which involved some partial seaming) and put them in the center of the backing.  The sides are unbleached muslin ( I bought a bolt of that in one of my moments of insanity).   

I will admit, though, that nothing highlights your quilting like muslin.  

Done is better than perfect.  Now I can 
keep on stitching'

Monday, May 23, 2016

Quilt Camp 2016

     Quilt Camp in Arrow Rock is my favorite time of year.  It doesn't get any better than May in Missouri, then you add in good friends, shopping and quilting and you are getting close to perfection.  I teach a Mystery Quilt class, so get to meet many of the participants.  We had such a wide variety of students this year with even Hawaii and New Zealand represented, as well as many mainland states.  As many of you know, I live in a historic village with lots of 19th century buildings.  My classroom was in the building known as Brown's Chapel.  It is a historic building which served as a church for the African-American residents in the 19th, into the 20th century.

Doesn't it look inviting?

    Here is the mystery quilt for this year.  I call it Village Life and designed it to use a layer cake with a background and a border fabric.  I used a Bonnie and Camille fabric line called Hello Darling.

Here are some of the others in various stages of construction.  There were several who got it to the flimsy stage.  

     I didn't take pictures until the final day, so not all of them made it into this post.  I'll try to do better next time.  
    This is our Challenge Quilt contest  displayed in another of the historic churches.

     This is the inside of the chapel with mystery quilts in progress.  For lots more pictures, see the Arrow Rock Quilt Camp Facebook page.  For information about next years camp, see
Thats all for now.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Start, and a Finish

          First, the finish.  We have a great niece graduating in May and her mother and I planned a quilt together.  I blogged about it a couple of weeks ago, while it was in progress, but now it is a finish.  The niece is active in music groups and theatre, so that was the theme.  The border is a very cool theatre print.

Here are some of the embroidered snowball blocks.

Next, my new start.  In fact, there should be no new start.  I have UFO's enough to keep me busy for the rest of the year.  But, I fell in love with this fabric at my LQS.  I talked myself out of it the first time, but when I went back to Second Saturday, I succumbed.  It is Regent Street by Sentimental Studios for Moda.  It is designed to look and feel like the lawns sold by Liberty of London.  I actually visited the store a few years ago and purchased some 1/4 meters.  I had used one of them, but still had the second one, so incorporated it with this Moda collection.  It will be a churn dash block.
The middle and upper right blocks are from the Regent Street line and the other blocks are from stash, but went with them well.  It will be all florals. I forgot to take a picture of the Liberty Lawn.  I'll try to remember to include it next time. 
I'm using my AccuQuilt Go to cut the churn dash blocks.  I have been buying a couple of dies at a time, just to see what works for me.  This is the 9" Churn Dash block die.  It worked well, especially the HST's, the corners are trimmed and they are accurate.  Most of the learning curve is figuring out how to fit your fabrics on the die.

     Arrow Rock Quilt Camp starts next week and I have friends coming to stay with me.  These are the same friends I sewed with in Florida in January.  I have a goodie bag for each of them and this is the mug rug they will receive.  The selvages are from fabrics we bought together on a shopping trip last year.  

We are having a beautiful spring day here in Missouri and the forecast for next week is good.  There will be a lot of stitchin' going on.  Hope you're getting some done too.