Thursday, 28 February 2013

February Round -Up

I can't believe it's the end of the month already.  It feels like only a few days ago I was writing up the January Round-Up, but no, here we are, about to enter March.

It's been a funny old month sewing wise.  I haven't had as much time to sew as I would have liked, due mainly to my aged father being unwell and having to take him to doctor and hospital appointments and generally keeping an eye on him.

Here's what I've done this month:

  1. One mini quilt started and completed  (blogged here).
  2. One 12" block to complete the blocks for my 2012 BOM quilt (blogged here).
  3. Six 12"  blocks for my 2013 Combined BOM quilt (blogged througout the month)
  4. Ten 12" blocks to complete the blocks for my Scrappy Trip Around the World.

So, that's one mini quilt and 17 quilt blocks for this month.  I had wanted to make a start on some Farmer's Wife blocks but never got round to it.  Hopefully this month I will.  Hmm, I think I said that last month!

Linking to:
Small Blog Meet at Lily's Quilts
Finish it up Friday at crazy mom quilts

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Road to Oklahoma

This is a traditional block, usually made in multiple amounts to make a large quilt, which I have altered in the way it is cut and put together to make a stand-alone 12" block.

The traditional block is only one quarter of this, so you would need to make four - 6" blocks to get a square this size.  I only wanted one 12" stand-alone block so I pieced it all-in-one to eliminate the centre seams.  The red pieces in the middle of each edge now become rectangles instead of 2 small squares, the star points become stitch and flip triangles on a large square instead of 2 squares and 2 half square triangles, and the centre becomes a single large square instead of 4 small squares.  I much prefer the look of it without the centre seams, and it lays flat nicely.  I think if I was making a large quilt I would make the blocks like this.

I love working from a picture, drafting it out on squared paper and working out the best way to cut the pieces.  So satisfying!

Monday, 25 February 2013


I found this block, called Abundance, on Humble Quilts blog.  It is actually taken from a little pattern for a doll's quilt, but it is perfect at 12" as a block to go in my Combined 2013 BOM quilt.  There is a tutorial too, which is very easy to follow.

I love the star within a star effect on this one.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

What shall I do with the leftovers - Part 2

Back at the beginning of this month I made the final block for last year's BOM quilt and I had 32 teeny-tiny half square triangles left over from making stitch and flip corners (blogged here).  I played around with these for a time wondering what to do with them.  I thought maybe just sewing them together for a little mug rug for my computer table.  I tried out different arrangements and liked pinwheels, but then I thought that with a bit of added fabric they could be the points of a star. I could make the stars into 4" blocks, add sashing and bring it up to 12".  Plenty big enough for a mini quilt.  I played a bit more, and then saw this book lying on the table.  I'd been reading it the day before looking for inspiration for February's mini quilt.

My stars looked just like the ones on the front cover, but these were set en-point.  Could I do that?  I'd never tried en-point but thought I'd give it a go.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained as the saying goes. I could manage the stars, and the other square I could make using stitch and flip, so that was OK, but then I realised I'd need setting triangles.  I've never done those.  How to get the right size?  I thought about using Pythagurus' Theorum, you know the one that goes "the square on the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the squares on the two adjacent sides" but then all that kept going round in my head was Danny Kaye singing a song about it, so that didn't help.  So I made up the star blocks, measured them and then cut out some paper squares the same size and played around with paper triangles until I came up with something that fit.  I sewed it altogether and ended up with an 11" square.  Three borders and a binding later I've ended up with a quilt measuring 19" square.

I used cotton fabric from a couple of old shirts and a bit of an old sheet for the borders and backing, and hand quilted it in navy thread.  When I saw this photo I thought that the centre looked a little bare, it needed something to draw the eye in, so I did this.

Yes, that's right, I added a button. Just the finishing touch that it needed.  I made hanging triangles so that I can insert dowelling for hanging, and the final finishing touch is the label.

Oops!  Can you see what I've just seen?  I haven't finished the last line of quilting,  Better do that before I go to bed.

One of my aims for 2013 is to make a mini quilt each month, so this fulfils my quota for February.  So far, so good.

Starburst and Rose Charmer

Two more blocks are finished for my Combined 2013 BOM quilt.  Actually, I'm not just using BOM blocks, but also other ones I find that I like.  I'm choosing ones that have a star-like quality to them, rather than more modern, graphic type ones.  I'm saving those designs for another quilt, perhaps when I can afford  a more modern looking range of fabrics.  I'm getting a bit low on the Chambray Rose fabrics, but with careful cutting I hope to make at least another three to bring it up to twelve blocks.  With sashings and border that should be a good sized lap quilt.

The first one this week is Starburst by Melissa Corry.  She has a very good tutorial for making it here, but it is sized for 22", 32" or 40" blocks.  I resized it for a 12" block.  I'm really pleased with my colour placement on this one.  The red really explodes out of the star which was the effect I wanted.

The second block I've called Rose Charmer.  My inspiration for this block was Lynn Wilder's block for the Country Charmer Quilt-A-Long that so many bloggers seem to be doing.  Again, I wanted it to be more star-like so I changed the central panels and resized it to 12".

I'm so loving making these starry blocks.  The next one has the fabrics chosen and is waiting to be cut.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

A Heavy Cross

I took a break from making Scrappy Trips to make a block for my 2013 Combined BOM Quilt as I love the fabrics I am using for that so much.  I chose to make the one from Aurifil called A Heavy Cross.  I debated with myself for quite some time as to whether or not I would make this one.  It has a lot of small pieces in it, lots of triangles, and the example square shown is in very busy fabrics .  I couldn't see the design of the square through the fussiness of the print and it was difficult to pick out which parts I wanted to highlight.  You can see the pattern here. In the end I decided to just  go for it.

I started by giving my fabrics a really good starching so that it wouldn't stretch too much on all those bias cuts. The cutting out was a bit of a nightmare.  With so many small pieces to join together it was obvious that precise cutting was manditory as  there would be no room for fudging.  Some of the pieces are measured in 16th of an inch. My quilting rulers only measures in 8ths and so I had to hunt for an old school ruler to measure that one. To get a good point on the rectangle I cut it a bit larger and then trimmed it to size after cutting the triangle wedge off.  I labelled each set of pieces so I wouldn't get muddled up.  Here's all 61 pieces cut, labelled and ready for sewing.

I followed the plan for the piecing, making sure that my seams were a scant 1/4 inch.  For the first time ever I didn't press each seam as I sewed it but just finger pressed each seam open as I didn't want to distort the fabric in any way.  With all the starch I used this worked really well.  I finger pressed open seams because I wanted to get those joins as flat as possible.  In some places there are six different pieces in one intersection.
I also shortened my stitch length to 1.5 so that the pieces didn't pull apart at the ends, which was fine until I needed to use the seam ripper to unpick a few times when points didn't match up properly.  This block took me about four times as long as it usually does to make a 12 1/2 inch block, but I am reasonably pleased with the accuracy of it.  I pressed right at the end and had the minutest bit to trim off when I squared it up.

It was a very challenging block to make, I like the pattern design, but I won't be making another!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Scrappy Trip nos 15 - 19

It hasn't stopped raining at all today, but I have been snug and warm indoors sewing all afternoon.  I've completed five more Scrappy Trip blocks.

Only another five more blocks to go, and then I can join them all together.  This evening I'm going to sit and watch some TV and do a bit of hand quilting on this month's mini quilt.

Friday, 8 February 2013


I made a version of this block for last year's BOM quilt and like it so much I've made another one for this year's quilt.  It is called Pathways, but I can't remember where I copied it from.

I'm really loving making these  12" blocks in this colourway, with the Chambray Rose collection by Shabby Chic, and the Clermont Farms red stuff.  I've found a load more patterns that I want to make, as well as the new blocks from the February BOMs, but haven't had much time to sew this past week.  Hope to put in a good bit of time over the weekend at the sewing machine.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

What shall I do with the leftovers?

I made this block today for my 2012 BOM quilt to replace one that I don't like very much.   It's a scrappy version of  'The Road to Tennessee'.

I used this tutorial to make it from Sew Me blog, but I did an extra step so that I would have some usable leftovers.

When I had stitched the small square onto the corner of the large square I stitched another seam the foot's width away towards the corner.

I then cut between the two stitching lines with my rotary cutter.

This left me with two perfect little Half Square Triangles ready to use without any need to match up pieces, and ready to use on another project.

I had 32 little HSTs from making this one block, each 1 1/2" unfinished.  I could make mini pin-wheels and make a little 8" x 4" mug rug

or I could make 4" squares, add some sashing and borders, and make a mini quilt about 12" square.

Hmm, placement could be better, but you get the general idea, don't you?   I'm off now to play with my little HSTs,  so watch this space to see what I come up with.

Friday, 1 February 2013

January Round-up

So ends the first complete month of my blog, and I thought I would take a look at what I've achieved this month.  When I think about what I have done it doesn't seem very much.  I have spent a lot of time looking after my aged dad who hasn't been too well this month.  Taking him to hospital and doctor's appointments have eaten into my time, as well as the extra shopping trips for him, and let's not forget shovelling snow, and just keeping him company.  He's 88 and is generally quite active, and likes to get out and about, but his jaunts have been curtailed this month and it makes him grumpy.  Still, he seems to be on the mend now so should be a bit happier.

Let's see what I've done then.

  1. Doves in the Window mini quilt (blogged here)
  2. Little Red Schoolhouses mini quilt (blogged here)
  3. 7 blocks for the 2012 Crafsty BOM (blogged here and here and here)
  4. 14 Scrappy Trip Around the World blocks (blogged, hereherehere and below)
  5. 5 blocks for the combined 2013 BOMs (blogged herehereherehere and below)
In the last couple of days I've made a couple of Scrappy Trips, bringing my total up to 14, so only another 10 to go.  Here's what they look like so far.

I saw this block on Dizzy Quilts blog.  It's designed by Bonnie and Camille for the FQS Mystery BOM. and is called Lime Sherbert.  I copied it onto squared paper and made it in my combined BOM colours.

Here are the 5 blocks I've made for this quilt so far.  I'm rather liking how they look.  So glad I added the red to the Chambray Rose fabrics.

So, two completed mini quilts and 26 blocks for three different quilts.  Not so bad after all.

I haven't started any of the blocks for the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt so I hope to make a start on them in February.

Linking up with Lily's Quilts.
Lily's Quilts