Friday, September 23, 2022

A Churn Dash Quilt Top

A finished top!  Not perfect, but finished.  I love it!  It will be such a feminine quilt and reminds me to think of the girls and women who used churn dashes to make butter.  I wish I had batting and backing to layer and quilt it now.  Quilt tops always seem fragile until they become quilts and I hesitate to do much more than lay them on the floorChurn dash quilt top in coralsThe top measures 69" x 90¼".  A little long, maybe, but it will shrink with quilting and washing/drying.

I made the side and bottom setting triangles larger to extend the width and length of the quilt.  Without the side triangles being wider the quilt's width would have been 61".  When Lizzy of Gone to the Beach reminded me how stretchy side triangles can be I took extra care, but you'll notice a little waffling in the photos above and below.  I may go back and redo some seams but I think those will quilt out.  What do you think and what is your experience?  Do they need improved? 
Churn dash quilt blocks in corals
In a recent previous post I wrote about the challenge of cutting such large triangles--21" square, cut diagonally twice--for the sides and bottom.  I didn't have a cutting mat large enough to cut 21" fabric squares so explored cutting options.  I finally decided to cut strips of fabric 10½" wide as if I were using an Easy Angle ruler, then cut the strips into triangles.
cutting very large side setting triangles
I have a 6" x 24" ruler with a 45-degree angle marked on it, which I tried, but I didn't trust it for accuracy.  I also tried using the 45-degree line on the cutting mat but didn't trust that, either.  (I knew that having an accurate 90-degree angle at that corner was important for accuracy.)
cutting very large side setting triangles
I finally used my 12½" ruler to cut the triangles. I was careful to align the ruler exactly at the upper edge of the fabric where the 90-degree angle was.  (For you observant readers, the triangle below is for the top of the quilt and not for the sides or bottom.)
cutting very large side setting triangles
I was happy with this method for cutting triangles, though it took extra steps compared to having a larger cutting mat and ruler.

This quilt is the first I've ever made using the same background fabric for all the blocks, and it's the first quilt I've made using a white background.  I'm not a huge fan of white but I think it works for this quilt.

Finishing this top completes my One Monthly Goal for September so I'm linking to September One Monthly Goal Finish at Elm Street Quilts when she posts the goal finish link-up.  Thank you for hosting, Patty.

Also, I decided to make this top to sew-along with Chookyblue's Churn Dash Quilt-Along.  Thanks for the fun, Chookyblue.

I'm linking this post to
> Finished (or not) Friday at Alycia Quilts
> Peacock Party at Wendy's Quilts and More
> Brag about Your Beauties:  a Pageant of Finishes
> Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina Marie
Thank you for hosting, ladies.

Autumn's here!  It pushed summer aside yesterday.  On Wednesday, the temperature went above 90o with high humidity.  Yesterday it was in the 60s, and this morning it was in the 40s, both days with sunny skies.  I think we'll have an early autumn, as far as leaves turning colors, and I wonder if we'll have an early and hard winter.  For now, we're headed into my favorite season.  I hope things are good in your life.

Thanks for visiting, reading, and leaving a comment (if you do).
--Nancy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Nudging a Seam a Tad Narrower to Preserve Points

I thought I had my quarter inch seams worked out--finally.  But when I sewed a few churn dash blocks together I noticed points missing here and there.  It wasn't such a big deal but it was on my mind as I was sewing more blocks together.

It occurred to me that the problem might not be my 1/4 seam but that sewing eight layers of fabric together (four on each side of the seam) might effect how flat the fabric lays when pressed.  The seams do press flat but with so many layers it seems like the points just slightly curve into the seam, giving the appearance of a missing point.  With so much fabric in one spot, you can only press the fabric apart so far, even if the seam is pressed flat.

I decided to try nudging the seam a tad narrower to see what would happen.  It's a little hard to see in the photo below but click to enlarge if you want to see detail.  I wasn't sure if sewing a little closer to the edge would distort the seam and the whole block or not.
Here's the seam pressed open, below.  The slightly narrower seam over the points doesn't seem to have affected the blocks and the points aren't missing.  Hooray!
This is something I'll try to remember to do when I have to sew points again, always checking to make sure the blocks come out okay.  (Are you cringing at this idea?  Have I missed a reason not to do this?)

Life Aside from Quilting
We spent a few days with my daughter and her family last Thursday and Friday.  I always come home sore and tired but it's so worth it to be in the company of her and her husband, and our delightful grands.  (I forgot to take photos, again.  Sight.)  We went down for a Grandparents Day event at the school, a sprawling "fair" on the school grounds.  I think the favorite part of the event for the grands is always the book fair but the lines were so long we missed most of the other activities.  The children didn't seem to mind.

Did you see the moon last Thursday or Friday night?!  It was huge, low, and golden as we drove home.  Gorgeous!

We've had two beautiful late summer/early fall days yesterday and today.  The high temperatures were in the low 70s with sun, a few clouds, and wonderful breezes.  It seems like we might have an early fall this year....

I finally cut setting triangles.  I think they'll work.  (I'll write a post about that later.)  I'll recheck sizes tomorrow and then pin and sew.  I have to get a move on this quilt so I can have it done by the end of the 3rd week in September since I'll be at the ocean the fourth week.  I'm so looking forward to that!

I hope all is well in your world.

--Nancy.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

A Simple Job Made Harder & My Head Hurts

This happens--a simple job becomes hard, that is, making large setting triangles for this churn dash quilt--when you don't have the tools to make it easy.  
The blocks finish at 8 3/4".  By the generally accepted calculations for side triangles (size of block x 1.414 + 1.25) I need to cut 14" squares, then cut twice diagonally.  That gives close to an exact fit.  If that's what I wanted, it would be fine, but I need to add (because the quilt would finish at 58 3/4" wide, I really do need to add) width--several inches of width.   Increasing the size of the square by 2" (from 14" to 16") adds 1" per side.  An 18" square would allow the triangle to extend 2" beyond the blocks at the edges to give a final measurement of 62".  That's still narrow for a quilt.

The challenge comes because my largest cutting mat is 17 3/4" x 23 3/4" with marked of 17" x 23".  Too small.  My biggest square ruler is 12", also too small.  My biggest long ruler is 6" x 24", which should be big enough.  . 

Trying to figure how best to do this makes my head hurt.

I have both Easy Angle and Companion Angle rulers but the Companion Angle's biggest triangle would be the equivalent of an 11" block cut diagonally twice.  It falls short of the minimum size to fit the blocks by 3".  (Do they even make larger Companion Angle rulers?)

Common sense tells me there must be a way to do this without using one of the angle rulers, but not without the long ruler to get a straight cut.

My first idea was to cut a square of paper as large as I need it and use it as a template.  I had a 14" x 20" piece, so used that to make a 14" square.  When I placed it by the blocks I knew it was too small.  I tried it with a larger paper and cut an 18" square.  Better.  But imagine trying to hold paper in place to use it as a template to cut an 18" square of fabric?

My next thought was based on the idea of the Companion Angle ruler.  Cut strips of fabric the height needed for a side triangle, then use one triangle from the paper square (having cut it diagonally twice) as a template.  But there I am again with a paper template on fabric.  Tape it down?  Cut the first diagonal on the fabric using a ruler, then use the template and ruler to cut the other side of the triangle?
The last idea I had was to cut a square as large as I need it, cut once diagonally, then rearrange the triangles so I can sew two straight edges together in the configuration for a setting triangle.  But do I really want that seam down the center of a setting triangle?  I don't think so.

None of these ideas seem simple or easy.  How DID those early quilters manage to cut large pieces of fabric without the aid of our modern rulers and templates?!  How did they make squares that were square and triangles that were accurate?  How did they cut long strips that were the same width along the whole length?  There's some part of me feels like I've missed out on some essential quilting information because I must use tools to make everything easy and simple.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm thrilled with easy and simple, but there are times when knowing the harder way might actually make the job easier.

This is a challenge ONLY because I want larger-than-usual setting triangles.

Maybe none of these ideas will work to cut over-large setting triangles.  Maybe, if got them cut, sewing them to the quilt won't work!  Maybe I won't like the look of those over-large setting triangles. 

I'll work on the possibilities on Tuesday and hope to actually cut the triangles on Wednesday.

Have you ever cut over-large setting triangles?  How did you do it?  Do you have ideas for how to make cutting these triangles simple?

Thanks for visiting and reading.

--Nancy.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Links to Enjoy #2

This is a round up of posts (and two items that are not posts) that caught my attention and interest over the past month.  I hope you find something to enjoy.

The Goodnight Quilt by Mary Jane Hannaford.  Michele of Pennsylvania Piecemaker wrote a beautiful post about this quilt 
a month ago.  (Thank you, Michele.)  I was fascinated by the appliqued images of people and animals and also by the poem embroidered on the quilt.  I followed the link Michele included in her post and was delighted to see more photos and learn about the quilter who made it.  These kinds of quilts are so interesting to me because of the detail, the individuality of them, and the near-primitive style.  They seem almost autobiographical.

Lace on very large scale murals is both beautiful and amazing.

One of the Ninety and Nine.  This song was written by Michael McLean after he'd had read the Parable of the Lost Sheep in Luke 15: 4-7.  This is especially apropos if you feel left out or unnoticed because you're not the one the Savior went to find.  If you want the story behind the song, listen from the beginning of the video, here.




Why not tock-tick instead of tick-tock?  And about the order of adjectives.  There's not a link for this image below, just the image.  I love learning about words, word origins, idioms, and other interesting things about words and language.  I thought this article was too fun.  Here's the link to an explanation for this phenomenon about the order of adjectives, called the rule of ablaut reduplication.
When ice cream could kill you!  Gosh, I'm glad we can buy ice cream in cartons and that there are government regulations.

Quilt Show Photos at Quilt Inspiration from the Springville Museum of Art here, here, here, here, and here.  There were some amazing quilts there.  I was especially taken with the first post in the last link.  Beautiful!

Some Birds Changed Their Tune during the pandemic.  What would a post highlighting links to enjoy be without a nature post?  Be sure to listen to the two 30 second audio clips.  

I hope you find at least one post to enjoy!

--Nancy.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

An Almost Finished Quiltlet

Making this little quilt was an impromptu, last-minute decision so I haven't quite finished quilting it.  I'm just sharing its in-progress photo this month.

This was made from strips left over from another quilt.  The logs finish at 1/2", the blocks at 3", and the whole quilt will finish at 12" x 15" or thereabouts. 
I'm quilting the center of the logs, but not all logs.  On half the blocks I'm quilting the outer round of logs and the 3 in the center.  On alternating blocks I'm quilting the second from the outer round of logs.  I may go back and quilt the outer round on all of them.

Wendy of The Constant Quilter invites quilters to post a miniature quilt at the end of the month.  Click the link to see a list and links to others who often participate.  It's such fun to see so many tiny quilts.  Enjoy!

I'm also linking this post to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than Housework.  Click on the link to see other scrappy creations.  Thanks for hosting, Cynthia.

--Nancy.
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