Sunday, January 12, 2014

Slowly Working on Celtic Solstice Quilt

I suppose that I should sit down and put together a post so that I can get it on the Linky with Bonnie's Quiltville blog.  I have been slowly working on making blocks for this years mystery quilt, with slowly being the operative word.  I actually did get a couple of blocks made and put together on New Years Day and then things really slowed down.  This is what I had at the the end of New Years.

See what I did there?  Turned the points on the chevrons in and made the block a star.  I did not even think about it until someone brought it to my attention after I posted the picture on Facebook!  I'll be honest, it just seem to want to go together that way.  After observing the discussion on the Facebook page from the other quilters, I have decided to to the quilt with some of the chevron block both ways.  One of the other quilters is making an 9x9 block quilt the same size as mine and is putting a 'star' block at the center and then alternating with the 'correct' block out from there.  Her quilt looks great and so I am borrowing her idea.

So making the quilt bigger means making more blocks.  Back to the cutting table and the sewing machine.  I am finished with the blocks with the blue star points and I am currently working on more of the chevrons.  Here is a pic of what I currently have completed and on the design wall.

I think that the colors are very cheerful!  I do think that I will cut down any more of the really pale green as it looks really washed out in the pictures and sort of breaks the design of the diamond in the block.  I'm still debating about the border color.  I have lots of greens but after having seen some of the quilts with blue borders, I like them too.  I guess that I will need to see more of the design of the total quilt before making that decision.

The process is slow as do not have much time during the week to work on the sewing.  But now that I have most of the components of the larger block complete, even a little work will result in a block or two being put together.

I have enjoyed seeing the other quilter's work in the links with Bonnie's blog.  I really like some of the different color combinations.  Maybe next year I will branch out and try different colors.

Another reason that the quilting thing was slowed down was this handsome guy.  He spent several days at my house at Christmas and of course you don't get much sewing done when you are playing!

I will be looking forward to the Link up next Month so see all of the finished quilts!   Go see all the fantastic work that has been done so far here

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Little Bit of Everything

I have been doing as Bonnie has suggested, making a few of the pieces from each clue as they appear.  You can see my progress in the picture.  My box is slowly staring to fill up.

I did manage to over cut a few of the white triangles for the first clue, but never fear, I have set them aside for another day.  I may even use them to piece blocks to use for the for the back of the quilt.  Clue one is finished and I have been working steadily on the other 2 clues when I have time.

The clips that you see in the picture are the new larger clips by Clover.  They are working very nicely to hold the counted blocks together so I know how many I have completed.  Now if I could just figure out a way not to make the counting mistakes when cutting fabric.  lol

Looking forward to the next Clue out tomorrow.  Please take a look at the progress of all of the other folks who have linked to Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice quilt page -  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

No Waste (Triangles)

I was finally able to get all of the white on white scraps together and to find some yellow and golds for this clue as well.  I have decided to go with the white background as I had lots of scraps from previous projects and decided that this would be a good time to use them.  The print backgrounds are nice, but after 2 mysteries with rather busy backgrounds, I thought it might be time to tame it down a little bit.

I also thought that folks might like to see how I made the chevrons with out any waste triangle.  How can that be?  Well, some fancy footwork with the easy angle ruler and a template will get you this block with out the waste of the sew and flip.  I had used this once before when working on rectangles that needed a sew and flip triangle end and I was running short of fabric and thought that there must be a better way.  Who would have ever thought that the geometry that I took in high school and college might come in handy?

So here we go - how to do this without waste.

First cut a piece of paper to the 2 inch with that your fabric strips will be.  I used a piece of used printer paper.  Measure your 3 1/2 inch length that Bonnie would have you cut your green fabric somewhere in the middle of the length of the paper.

Next measure 2 inches toward the center of the 3 1/2 inch piece as shown.  This will show you where the corner of the 2 inch white or yellow square would be on the larger piece of fabric if you were doing the sew and flip corners.

Next you will draw a line from the corner to the 2 inch mark that you just made.  I made a dashed line to represent the sewing line that you would be sewing from corner to corner of the square white or yellow piece if you were sewing.  It is marked in the picture below.

Now take a ruler and add your 1/4 inch seam allowance to the sewing line that you just drew.  This shape, a parallelogram, is the shape that you will need to cut from your green strips.

Adding my seam allowances

Cut out the parallelogram on the edges where the fabric will be cut.  Sewing line is marked as noted previously.

Now you will take that shape and using your easy angle or other ruler used to cut half square triangles (you see that I use a Omnigrid product) you will place the template (paper shape) on the ruler that you can use to cut your fabric.

The tip of the template should be at the one of the 'straight' edges of the triangle and the seam edge will lie along the angled edge of the ruler.  Make sure that this is the way you place the template on the ruler.  Your marked 'sewing line' should be parallel to the angled edge of the ruler.

As you can see the 'top' edge of the template lies just on the 1 1/2 inch line, which by the way, is also the line that is used when I cut triangles from a 2 inch strip.  Line up the cut edge with the angled edge of the ruler as shown and tape the template to the top of the ruler.  You are now ready to begin cutting your fabric.


Take 2 strips of each of the green, white and yellow colors and place each color together either right side together or wrong sides together.  I do whatever, as you can see from the pictures.

I then put my two white and two yellow strips together so I could cut all four at the same time.  I don't usually do more that 4 strips at a time to keep things from sliding when I cut.  Cut some half square triangles.  These at for the 'tips' of the half-chevrons.

You can see in the picture how the ruler sits on the fabric for cutting the triangles and how that relates to your template.

No you will cut some green parallelograms.  After straightening the end of the strip, cut a half square triangle.  This will make the angled edge you need to start cutting with the template.  I do this and save the triangles for a future project.  The pieces that you see in the little drawer are all from the Lazy Sunday mystery.


Using the template you constructed, you can now begin cutting the green parallelograms as shown.  The 'back' edge of the template goes along the angled cut edge of the fabric and the top and bottom of the template along the edges of the cut strip. 

Here are some cut pieces.  

Remember that you cut the fabric right sides together and now when you take the pieces apart, you have the uphill and downhill parts of the chevron as shown.

I have no idea why that template looks so much bigger that the fabric pieces but believe me they are the same size.

Take your yellow and white half square triangle and arrange then as shown to begin sewing the chevrons.

The left side of the pictures shows how the triangles will lay on the parallelogram for sewing.  Sew one triangle to the green fabric, fold that triangle back and sew the opposite triangle on.  Keep track of your colors, you should have one white and one yellow for each green parallelogram.

One triangle is on.

Both triangles on.

Now press the pieces, remembering to orient the seams so they will nest.  I found that pressing the seams in the directions shown result in pieces that 'nest' nicely and have the seam on the piece of the block that comes in contact with the bed of the sewing machine pointing away from the needle for easier sewing.

Sewing to block together as shown results in fewer dog ears to trim as shown below. 

Right way

Wrong way,  more 'ears' to trim

You can now begin putting the pieces of the chevron together in order to get this....

Now with a few 'friends'.

Hope that you enjoyed the tutorial.  Making your chevrons using this method results in only 'dog ears' to throw away or deal with.

I am going to work on finishing my Lazy Sunday quilt tonight.  I only have one border to put on and I am determined to get it finished and out of the way!  I am looking forward to seeing everyone's progress on Celtic Solstice on the Monday Link-up!

WOOHOO!!! The border is done and on!  I decided to make the quilt larger and so it is square and queen sized.  This is the completed quilt laid out on my full sized guest bed.  Now I need to get the backing done so this can go to my quilter.  Time to straighten the sewing room and really get into the new mystery.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mystery Time Again

Time to re-activate the blog for the Bonnie Hunter 2013 Mystery, Celtic Solstice.  I did manage to get last years mystery done and was able to have it in the guild quilt show this spring.  Still finishing up the Quiltmaker's Mystery.

I still have one more border to put on that quilt, but needed something to show for the Monday link-up.  Here is a picture of the two block that I have done.  Ended up cutting eight block to make but decided to make just 2 to use the rulers and check out my seam width.  Everything appears to be working well.  I am enjoying everyone's pictures and blog posts!

Now ready to go for tomorrow's clue.

The rulers make cutting the pieces easy and accurate and with a correct size seam the block turn out a perfect 3 1/2 inch size.

Check out all the links

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Slowly Finishing Easy Street

Easy Street is starting to come together!  Of course, I always have to look for the longest and the hardest way to get to the end, and this time is no different.  I got behind on the clues and so I have been making my quilt block by block instead making all of the blocks and putting them together.  Doing this has shown me several things about the construction of the block that may be of help to the folks who were waiting to make the quilt later or have not finished yet.

Construction tips for Easy Street.
1.  For the obsessive among us (yes, me too.) the seams will nest better if you make a few of the gray and white foursies twist the other way.  You will need 4 of the reverse twist four patch blocks for each B block and 2 for each setting triangle.  It will be obvious where they are to go when you lay out the block.  I had kept a few of the four patches back to use as leaders and enders so I was able to make a few of the blocks with the reverse twist.

2.  When pressing and during construction, press toward the green.  This will allow the seams to nest better and will give you crisper corners.  I used Bonnie's color scheme, so if you have changed the colors just substitute your colors.   Be aware that you may have to un-twist some of the four patches and make the seam lay all the same way in order to get the proper fit.

3.  I pressed the seams on the A blocks up and the B blocks down and they fit together nicely.

4.  Watch the direction of the four patch blocks closely!  I think that I wasted more thread un-sewing than I saved by chain piecing.  :-(     Oh well, that is part of the process.

The quilt went traveling as well.  I had a week off and spent part of it with my son, daughter-in-law, grandson and daughter during the first part of the week and the last part of the week with my other daughter.  And I did get some sewing done!

Here are some pictures of the still not completely completed quilt top.  I still have not picked out a border fabric, but I have the backing ready to prepare.  I picked it up on sale and it is the apple green color!

I just want to thank Bonnie for all of the fun with the mystery and tell everyone how much fun it has been seeing every one's progress on their quilts.  There are a lot of very talented people out there in the blogosphere  that quilt!  Keep up the good work!

One corner is done! (natural light)

More of the quilt is done. ( Incandescent light)

It is hard to get much sewing done when there is a baby to play with!
  It's a tough job, but Grandma's got to do it, right?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Waiting until the last minute!

Decided that I had better get something on the blog or it would be too late to make the link for this week.  I did not get much done on Clue 4 of Easy Street, as I had many other thing to do this week.  Last minute sewing for Christmas and such as that.

I did get a few of the purple and turquoise geese made and a few of the 3 1/2 inch green blocks cut for demonstration purposes.

No idea where I got the green with the little lavender sprig print, but I think that it will help to tie the colors together.

Another reason that I didn't get much sewing on the mystery is this little quilt.  When I finished with clue 3, I was in a sewing mood and pulled something off the the shelf to complete.  I was determined that I would finish this project that I picked up on a shop hop in 2005!

I miss-cut several times, it was a good thing that there was extra fabric in the kit.  This should make a cute table topper as it is only about 38 inches square.  Anyway off to get this in with all of the posts in Bonnie's link for Clue 4 of Easy Street mystery!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bury the Lede

Well, the weekend was rather productive, but the week was pretty much a total loss.  Didn't get much done as I had a horrible cough and laryngitis that lasted all week.  It took a day and one-half of resting my voice on Saturday and today to get back to something that sounds like normal.

I didn't get all of the part 2 geese done for Easy Street before the 3rd clue came out on Friday.  So I did have some catch-up to do.  Luckily, Bonnie had a couple of sessions of Quilt Cam this weekend, so I had time to get caught up.  I finished up the purple geese and then started on the new blocks so now, I'm all caught up with the clues.  Am waiting to cut the green squares until I know how they will be used.  Then I can chose the 'right' green.

I ended up not using a couple of the aqua blue/turquoise fabrics that I had chosen because they looked to light.  My colors for this group are very saturated and the lighter ones would just have washed out too much.  Anyway, here at the Part 3 blocks of Easy Street in all their glory!

I was playing around with the blocks and the rectangles that we had cut previously, anyway these are laid out on the 'outback' part of my Koala Outback Jr. sewing table.  The green thing at the top of the picture is the box that the mystery pieces live in until they become a quilt.  Here they are all arranged in their separate compartments.

The notebook has the clues for this year and from last year's quilt, Orca Bay.  Now comes the buried part.  I said that I was finishing that quilt in last weeks linked post and did get it done to take to my guild meeting on Thursday.  I am a member of the Lake Area Quilters Guild.  I would like to thank the ladies who helped me get the picture of my quilt!  I didn't have anyplace to hang it for photos.

You don't really get the full effect of the amount of movement in this quilt until you get a chance to step back and take a look at it.  I really like the red and blue.  I decided to add the black border to make it a little bigger to fit the bed that will be graced with this quilt.  Penny Barnes of The Quilted Forest did the machine quilting for me, using a variegated thread.  This is a freehand design.  The red and blue print that you see is the fabric on the back of the quilt.

I was quite pleased with the finished product and if Easy Street is as good (and I am sure that it will be) I will be a happy camper.  

We did get a little snow today, none of which stuck around very long.  It did look quite impressive for a while. This is the tree in the yard across the street from my front door, taken this afternoon.

Happily, it did not snow like this for very long!  

Looking forward to seeing all of the progress on the Link-up on Monday!  It is so much fun to see what everyone is doing!

Happy quilting!