Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Hearts Desire Pattern

Thanks to William, who has been diligent and has been keeping me on task, We have the next pattern written, photographed, and published and ready for sale.  It's called Hearts Desire.  I originally designed this block for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 8.  You might remember reading about it here.

I've made another sample.  This time out of chocolate brown and coral and red.  I love it!

It's a pretty easy quilt to piece, especially for an intermediate quilter skill level.  I really think a confident beginner could do it too.  The block makes a secondary pattern when set together.  (That's where you get the upside down hearts.)  I purchased the fabric, cut out and pieced this at the Stronghold Retreat two weeks ago.  The pattern features 5 sizes; lap, twin, regular, queen, and king.

It's available for purchase under the Quilt Pattern Tab or you can click here to order the Hearts Desire Pattern.  I hope you'll LOVE it too!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tips, Tricks, and Tuts Tuesday - Charming Quarter Square Triangles

Have you been keeping up with this series of Tips, Tricks, and Tuts Tuesday using 5" charm squares to make block components like 4-patches, half square triangles, hourglasses, and now quarter square triangles?  If you missed them and want to go back and check it out you can click on the one you want and see the post.

First you will need two charm squares to make a pair of half square triangles.  Click on the above post on how to make a half square triangle.

Now pair each of the half square triangles with another charm square of your background color, placing right sides together.  Your background charm square will be 1/2" larger than your half square triangle.  That's ok.  Just eyeball the half square triangle in the center of the 5" charm square.  It will just give you a little bit extra wiggle room to square it up later.  Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner, opposite the way the half square triangle is.

Sew 1/4" from the drawn line down each side.  Cut apart on the drawn line. and press to the background triangle.

Once again I like to use the Quilt In A Day Fussy Cut Rulers to square the quarter square triangles up.  This one happens to be 3 1/2".  As you can see you have plenty of "square up room" and you could actually square this to a 4" square if your pattern calls for that size.  I am using 3 1/2" as that size works well in my scrap busting system that Bonnie Hunter recommends.  

You will have 4 quarter square triangles using this method.

With these basic block components you can put together or create many, many, many block combinations.  Be creative... make a few of the block components and play around with the layouts.  The other nice thing about all these block components is that they all can be squared up to the same size if necessary and play well together with lots of block combinations.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Strip Twist

While at the Stronghold Retreat last weekend, I finished another UFO and now I have another Flimsy.  I took a Bonnie Hunter class with my friend Linda a couple of years ago.  You can read about it here.  It was so much fun.  I actually had all the blocks finished  for this Strip Twist Quilt and several of them set together but for whatever reason, it kept getting pushed to the back burner.

It is really, really, big.  Like king size big.  So big, William couldn't hold it up high enough and his arms weren't wide enough, and it was too windy and rainy to take a picture outside.  So you get this terrible picture of Strip Twist.  If you'd like to make the Strip Twist, you can get the pattern here on Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville's Quips and Snips site.

I haven't been doing much sewing or quilting that I can share with you.  You know... one of those top secret projects again.  I will be able to share one of the top secret projects soon, maybe later this week but soon.  I've also been sorting and purging in the basement.  I'm getting closer and closer to being finished.  Whoo Hoo!  But don't celebrate yet... I said ALMOST finished.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Farmer's Wives Blocks

Here are 12 more Farmer's Wives Blocks that I finished at Stronghold Retreat this past weekend.  You can see my other fabulous finishes from the retreat here in case you missed it.   I am getting so close to being done.  I think there are only about 1-2 more months left.  I haven't added them up yet but I think my block of the month I'm participating in said there would be 16 months and I think this is month 15.  At any rate, I guess I'll know when my BOM shop tells me it's finished.

I am really enjoying the stories that come with the blocks.   And I can't believe how different the blocks look when set on point and with different fabrics.  These blocks finish at 6".

 Cut Glass Dish Block

Flower Basket Block

Butterfly at the Crossroads Block

Country Farm Block

Birds in the Air Block

Broken Dishes Block

Spool Block

Whirlwind Block

Puss in the Corner Block

Economy Block

Honey's Choice Block

Wrench Block

I have added the cornerstone and sashing on two sides of the blocks in hopes it will be less monotonous when setting it together. I hope my plan works.  I'm so anxious to get these together.

I finished one more project at retreat but I still don't have a photo of it and another one that is already on the quilting machine.  The quilt top is BIG and it's been cold and WINDY here so it makes it difficult to photograph.  By the way, it's so windy it blows the old fashion iron chairs I have setting on my front porch off almost daily!  URGH!!!!  Will the wind ever quit blowing or the temperatures warm up?  I'm beginning to think NOT!

This was the view out my patio doors this morning.  I told you I live in the middle of a corn field.  Despite the cold temperatures in the 30's and spitting snow, the farmer's are beginning to work the ground in preparation for corn planting.  So far no planting yet though.  This guy's tractor is pretty small in comparison to the the field he's working and in comparison to the other tractors in other fields nearby.  



Tips, Tricks, and Tuts Tuesday - Charm Hourglass Blocks

The last two weeks on Tips, Tricks, and Tuts Tuesday, I've shown you some block units to make from 5" charm squares.  This week on Tips, Tricks, and Tuts Tuesday we making hourglass blocks.  The other two blocks, 4-patches and half square triangles will work well together as they both finish 4 1/2".  These hourglasses are a bit smaller.  They will finish 3 1/2", which is still a great size to work with and use with other block units.  If you follow Bonnie Hunter, you know her scrap system incorporates both 4 1/2" and 3 1/2" units or blocks.  You can read about how she does it here.

To begin, you will pair two 5" charm squares together, right sides together and make a half square unit like we made last week.  If you need a refresher or missed it, you can read about it here.  As you can see, I already pressed my half square units when I realized I hadn't taken a picture yet so that's why they look like this.

Now place the two half square triangle units together, right sides together and opposite of each other.  You will place them directly on top of each other when you do this.  In this picture I staggered them so you could so the opposites.
 When you flip back a corner, you should see the makings of the of the hourglass block.  Line them up by nesting the seams together.  The seams will lock together and magically match when sewn again.

Now draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.

Sew 1/4" from each side of the drawn line and cut apart.  You can check your intersection to see if the seams match before cutting but if the seams lock together, they will match.

Open and press to one side.  You will now have 2 hourglass units.  Square them to 3 1/2".  I like to use the rulers from Eleanor Burns Quilt In A Day to square them as they have an X on them and it's easy to line the X up with the seam lines.  They come in several handy sizes.  I have 2 1/2", 3 1/2" 4 1/2" and 6 1/2" in my collection.

This method will give you 2 hourglass blocks.

I have one more unit to show you next week on Tips Tricks and Tuts Tuesday with charm squares and then I'll share some layout ideas using them.  


Monday, April 20, 2015

Stronghold Quilt Retreat

Over the weekend I went to my first Illinois quilt retreat at Stronghold Camp.  It is a Presbyterian Church Camp that has some interesting history to it and some pretty nice facilities too.  We had hotel style rooms to stay in; nothing fancy but really, how much time do you spend in your room at a quilt retreat?  I've always come home pretty sleep deprived from retreats so that doesn't leave much time for sleeping.  Besides I can sleep at home; I cant always quilt for myself at home.

Our workspace was a bit crowded though.  We shared a 6' table with another person.  We didn't have design walls, or cutting stations at the appropriate height or ironing boards at the appropriate height but I don't think it slowed any of us down too much.

I'll show you a few of the things I got finished.  I haven't photographed everything yet.  Remember we were a bit crowded so not much room to photograph completed progress at the retreat.  I had to wait until I was home and I haven't taken all the photos yet.

This little quilt is only 13" x 17".  I've had it pieced for quite some time (like 2 years ago).  It was my first Little Jo's Club project.  I decided to just quilt it on my domestic machine with straight lines. I'm not sure I'm 100% happy with it but it's a finished Flimsy.  

I pieced this quilt top from the Little Jo's Club (again a long time ago).  I decided to quilt it the day before I left for retreat so I could bind it at the retreat.  Another Flimsy finished!  Whoo Hoo!  And I've already hung it up in the stairwell going up to my studio.

Ooops!  Two steps forward, one step back.  I created another Flimsy.  I appliqued this at retreat.  Now before you're too impressed, it was a pre-cut, pre-fused kit and it's only 12" x 18".  I laid it out without a design sheet.  Apparently you have to purchase a book to get the layout guide.  I just winged it from the tiny 1" photo on the package.  It's suppose to be a block of the month but I only wanted this one for a wall hanging.  I'll add a border the color of the watering can and then quilt it... someday.

And no retreat is complete without a shopping trip to the local quilt shop.  I picked up these "Chicken Scratch" pieces at Stitches in Time in Oregon IL.  I only paid $2 for them.  I just couldn't pass them up.  I don't know what I'm going to do with them but I bet you'll see them again someday.  

And a certain little boy I know will love this panel in a quilt.   Another bargain!

And just because it was $2 off per yard and then she gave us an additional 20% off because we were retreaters.  What a deal!   

I also finished 12 Farmer's Wives blocks, put a binding on a top secret quilt, and completed a scrappy UFO at the Stronghold Quilt Retreat.  I'll share those with you on Wednesday.  Tomorrow is Tips, Tricks, and Tuts Tuesday.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Quilting Eye Candy

Wow, I'm on a roll with this quilting... which means I'm not getting much done as far as the house goes.  But a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.... and that's get her quilting fix... and make my customers happy.  

Linda is a happy quilter.   She makes happy projects like this table runner.  She requested custom quilting on it.  She does pretty needle turn applique.

And Linda did this happy quilt too.  It's called Roundabout.  It's custom quilted too.  You might remember me posting about the trials of the quilting pattern for this quilt here.

Lane made this Hounds tooth Gone Awry for her nephew for graduation.

Quilting Pattern:  Wild Cherries by Urban Elementz
Thread:  Gray

Lane also made this for a dear friend.  It's every longarm quilters challenge.  You see the points on the star are made with folded triangles so they have one edge that is open... which the hopping foot of the quilting machine likes to catch on and do all sorts of crazy things....

Quilting pattern:  QOV2 e2e (that I call stars and hearts QOV)
Thread:  Glide white

And the last one from Lane is some hand embroidery red work called "A day in the Life of Goodnight Bear"... or something along those lines.  She made it for her granddaughter who is now 5 but thinks its more appropriate for her other granddaughter who is turning 3.  I love the scrappy pinks and reds she used to set it together with.

Quilting Pattern:  Cotton Candy by Anne Bright

Janie made this sweet nine patch with the center patch an Easter fabric.  

Quilting Pattern:  Cotton Candy
Thread:  Glide Lt. Turquoise

Janie also made this nine patch set on point.

Quilting Pattern:  Damask E2E by Wasatch Quilting
Thread:  Signature Bagette

I think I deserve a break after all this hard work.... so I'll treat myself to a retreat with my new friends at the DeKalb County Quilter's Guild.  We're off to Oregon... Oregon Illinois that is...  

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