Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Changing a Block Pattern to a Setting Triangle

If I decide to piece this quilt on the diagonal and
if I decide to use half-square blocks like the blocks in the quilt,

then I need to know how to cut the pieces of the half-block so the edges (on the diagonal now) will be on the straight grain when finished.


I think I can leave most of the block the way it is.
I think I can cut the center square (which will be a triangle) with the straight grain along the long edge, and cut the two light squares (which will be triangles) on either end and the two red squares (which will be triangles) near the center on straight grain.

I'm just beginning to investigate this change but are there any experienced quilters who want to weigh in on this idea?  I would be ever so grateful.  Thanks in advance!

I'm linking this post to WOW at Esther's Blog and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  Thank you, Esther and Lee.

--Nancy.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Current Works in Progress

I'm sewing more of these

to make more of these.
I have 41 of these 9½" blocks.  Depending on whether I choose sashing or not, choose alternating blocks or not, straight or diagonal placement, I may need more.  I haven't laid them all out together yet.  Looking at this photo, maybe sashing would be a good choice.

On the hand quilting front, when I finally reach an edge, even for only one section, I feel like I'm making progress.

Those are my works in progress at the moment.

I'm linking this post to
> WOW at Esther's Blog
> WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
> Let's Bee Social #63 at Sew Fresh Quilts.
 Thank you, Esther, LeAnn, and Lorna.

--Nancy.
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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Staying Indoors

by Jean Edouard VuillardWe're having more snow today--enough that church was cancelled.  Sundays (and the rest of the week) just aren't the same when I can't go to church.

I think the colors in this painting  are beautiful.  Some of the pieces of linen I've collected are in this color range.  A linen quilt is in mental progress, pondering quilt patterns, colors, and color placement.  One of these days....

I hope you having a great day despite the lionishness of this March 1.  Since it's come in like a lion, I hope March goes out like a lamb.

--Nancy.
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Monday, February 16, 2015

Square and Triangles = Circle?

When I first saw this quilt block I couldn't get it out of my mind.  (For copyright reasons I'm not posting a photo but sending you to a pinterest image with the link to the blog post where the image appears.)  I'm not keen on appliqueing and kept thinking about how I could make a similar block using only squares, triangles, and rectangles.  I doodled some sketches.


Then I saw this block and wondered if little triangles around the center square would trick the eye into seeing circles, at least at first glance or from a distance.  I'm fascinated by angular shapes that sometimes give the impression of circles.

So I laid out some possibilities in fabric creating 12" squares.  Forget the colors and just look at the shapes.  I could go with one color in a range of fabrics, or more colors in a variety of fabrics.  So forget the colors.  Also look at the backgrounds.  From a distance do the center shapes look like circles?

With a center figure.

With a plain center.

With a second "circle" around the center and a printed background.
Those little rectangles would need triangles at the corners to truly give the impression of a circle.

With a muted background.

If I were to make blocks like these I ask myself if I would like all the "blank space" filling the four "corners."   Either the fabric would have to be interesting or the the quilting would need to fill and enhance the spaces.

Is this a real block, already created by someone else?  If so, does it have a name?  Anyone know?

So, that's what's on my design wall this week.  It's all play right now.

What are you playing with?

I'm linking this post to Design Wall at Patchwork Times.  Thanks, Judy.

--Nancy.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hand Quilting Sunday Morning and Two Bibs

I thought I was making good progress on this quilt.  Then I took the hoop off to look at the back and, well, I have a long, long way to go.  Winter is a great time to quilt -- and it looks like we'll be having another 6 weeks of it.

I'm quilting diagonals across each block using masking tape for a guide.  With so many seams I knew I didn't want an intricate pattern to hand quilt.  The parallel lines are 1 1/2" apart and create a 4" square between two blocks.  I'll probably quilt another square inside that one using 1" masking tape.  I sure hope the masking tape doesn't hurt the fabric.  I've seen other quilters use it and they haven't mentioned any problems because of it.  

Looking through my fabric cupboard I happened upon this delightful fabric with vintage Valentine cards on it.  I've had it for years, probably bought on sale after Valentine's Day, and I've never used it.  Click on the image to see it larger or follow on Feedly and look at it there.  (Feedly makes the photos large enough to see details.)  Oh, and I took a few photos of some of the "cards" which you can see below.


I decided to use it for bibs for my grandbabies.  It's great fabric to camouflage all the food that doesn't quite make it to the mouth.  Can you tell which is his and which is hers?


I made scrappy backs.  I'll put the snaps on the backs tomorrow and then I can send them off.



I'm linking this post to
> WOW at Esther's Blog
> WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and
> Let's Be Social #58 at Sew Fresh Quilts.
Thanks, Esther, Lee, and Lorna.

I hope you're staying warm (in you're in the northern hemisphere) and working on something fun.


--Nancy.
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Monday, February 2, 2015

Quilts from a Sale at the Fairgrounds

The sale was one of those affairs where lots of dealers set up for a day or two to sell their wares.   

I love the vintage prints in this Double Wedding Ring but I'm not keen on the green and orange corner blocks.
Vintage Double Wedding Ring with Green and Orange Corners
The quilting in the "eyes" looks very Mary Engelbriet-y to me.
Vintage Double Wedding Ring with Green and Orange Corners


The colors of these wool hexagons delighted me.  This was not a quilt but several blocks.  They were not in very good condition.
Wool Hexagon blocks


These double nine-patches were blocks but not a quilt.
Double Nine-Patch Block


This huge tulip caught my eye, not just because of its size and color but also because of the handwork.  I think it was at least 12 inches long.  See a close-up of the handwork below.
Tulip Applique Quilt


Tulip Applique Quilt


This was a whole quilt but I could only get a photo of a part of it.  I just now realized that it's quilted with Baptist Fans.  (It's hard to spend too much time when others aren't interested in quilts, so I miss a lot of details until I see them in photos.)
Large applique flower quilt


I don't know the name of this block....


I've noticed that one needs to be very aware of the odor of old quilts.  Sometimes the smell won't come out.  Still, I love to look at and photograph them.

--Nancy.
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

All Is Well


It's amazing what a good night's sleep will do for one's attitude about and insight into solutions to problems.  There was last night's mess that I didn't want to fix -- that I just wanted to be fixed.  I awoke with more energy and a clearer vision of the problems I would have if I just left the quilt back as it was.  I decided to remove the quilt top (that hadn't yet been pin-basted) and batting and increase the width. 

I added 8" along the left side in the photo above and the back is plenty big now.  It may not be as good as if I'd measured correctly the first time, but it will work.

Thank goodness for sleep!

--Nancy.
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Measure Twice

You know that old adage, right?  The one that says, "Measure twice, cut once?"  I worked in a wood shop for a few years so I know that adage.  But do I think of it when I'm working on a quilt?  Not usually.

Case in point:

The Sunday Morning quilt top laying on top of batting and backing.  Before making the backing I measured the top at 67 1/2" x 90".  I spent nearly a week making a scrappy back that measures 76" x 98", or a little more.  (I didn't think I needed to be too careful about the outside edges of the back being even so some sections extend wider.) 

I finished the back today, pleased to have batting on hand, pleased that I could get on with the layering, basting, and finally the quilting, which is what I really want to be doing. 

I pinned the back to the floor.  I layered the batting on top.  I carefully laid the quilt on top.  What?  How could the back not have 4" all the way around?  I measured the top again only to find that the real measurement is 74 1/2" x 90".  Disappointment set it.  I am so sad.

As I see it, I have three choices:
  1. Take off the top two layers.  Take out the pins in the back.  And add a strip of fabric along the width of the back.  (I have no interest in doing this.  I'm tired of working on the back of this quilt.)  Or,
  2. Remove one block along the width of the quilt top, thereby making it 67" wide.  Are the proportions out of whack for a quilt to measure 67" x 90"?  Or,
  3. Quilt it as it is and try not to let the top shift (and add fabric to the back if/when I find it needs it.)
Have you ever had this problem?  What did you do?

One more quilting lesson -- learned the hard way.

--Nancy.
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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Scrappy Back In Progress

Scrappy quilt back for Sunday Morning quilt
- a mess on the way to becoming a quilt back -

Sewing together large pieces of fabric is so far out of my comfort zone that I almost backed out of a scrappy back for my Sunday Morning quilt.  It feels like a puzzle but without the help of the photo on the box.


The first challenge was whether to keep the colors light or use medium tones.  I thought if I used medium tones it would be like having two quilts in one, but I couldn't commit to the light and medium back to back so I've stuck with a lighter color range.

The next challenge was whether to use only a particular range of colors.  The quilt has a wide range of light colors -- tints! -- in it.

Then the layout.  Then the measuring, the cutting, the sewing.

I hope it lies flat when all the pieces are finally stitched together.  The layout has been in progress for a few days.  I hope the cutting and stitching will go quickly.  Only a few of the pieces on the lower right have been sewn together and, of course, I may change my mind again about the fabrics and arrangement.

I'm linking to
> Scraptastic Tuesday at She Can Quilt.  Thanks, Leanne.
> WOW at Esther's Blog.  Thank you, Esther.
> WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  Thank you, Lee.

--Nancy.
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