Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Plethora of Round Robin Border Challenges!

Saturday, everyone at Guild received their Challenge Mystery Projects back - sometimes this is called a Round Robin. We added borders. The owner started with "a Star". Next clue for the next person who received the box was "add a 4-patch or a 9-patch." Next clue was "add a curve to at least 2 sides." Final clue was "add a triangle." What creativity - what variety!!! I missed a few photos, but here is a great sampling! Mine was already posted. Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz, was a different sort of 'star'! What fun! "

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Challenge Quilt

Yesterday, National Quilt Day, was our Quilt Guild meeting - always a wonderful day. Additionally, it was held in my own town - saving me 2 hours of travel time. Attendance was possibly a record - 76 I believe -- that alone was wonderful.

The hostess committee outdid themselves! What a spread! Shrimp, cheeses, breads, egg tarts, fresh fruit, and a multitude of other goodies!

And the best part - we all showed our challenges, which we had started last fall. This is my finished gorgeous project. I cannot wait to finish it.
There were 44 other gals who had joined in on this fun, divided into groups of 4. The owner started with "A Star". That's my Star, along with the 9-patch corners and bars. I said I wanted a finished small quilt - no other instructions. We were adding borders, not rows. All was very secretive, when we passed our boxes from one person to the next.

Next was "add a 9-patch or a 4-patch" ... Jacci put my star on point and added the cheery blue/red 4-patches/flowers and corners. Cute! Thanks Jacci!

Next clue was "add a curve to at least 2 borders" ... look at how bold the red drunkards path shows up on two sides - and how it starts looking rectangular, like a quilt needs to be. Joyce hand sewed those curves and how clever her corners are! Thanks Joyce.

Next clue was "add a triangle to at least 2 sides." Sharon knows how I love string piecing and she did all those string triangle borders and clever corners - I see that a border does not necessarily have to go around the corners. I couldn't have asked for anything more. She probably also added the 2 narrow borders to separate her border from the previous. Perfect, Sharon!

We all stood up and admired each project -- it was AMAZING how differeetly each one turned out. We saw a number of clever techniques. Every single project was a treasure!

Thank you, Jacci, Joyce, and Sharon for my quilt top - I LOVE it. It even has the flavor of western Nebraska! We're hoping to have them DONE and displayed at our next Quilt Show in July.

It was a GOOD day. 8-)))

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Catching up on pleasure

See? a person should always save their thread! What a perfect match for my little QuiltForKids project.

My crooked neck, sore shoulder didn't get any worse after making and quilting and finishing the little QuiltForKids project so I dragged out this QOV, that has been lanquishing in a pile with other unquilted tops. What is there about threads sewn along a curved line that is so appealing? You see, I'm just starting - this particular pattern is one I do well, but gets lost on a busy top. In some areas it's almost invisible, and then it is ME who gets lost. Still, I feel so much happier now that I can sew again.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

On a Whim

I've heard quilters discussing Quilts for Kids, for hospitalized children, sponsored by Downey, so I gave it a try. Just a few clicks and a packet of fabric was on it's way. I received it in less than a week, all precut, with instructions, a drawing, and "please return in 4 weeks." They ask for a LOT of quilting, no ties!" I can do that! The fabric is excellent quality and delightful! That GREEN is the backing and binding.

Below is the finished top - this little project was a good reminder that it's really much easier to assemble a quilt if the pieces are large AND precut! It's about 36 x 45. I add my batting and pay for return shipping. Maybe I'll also include one of my other kids quilts in the return package.

Give it some consideration - the top took only a few hours to assemble, and you can stitch in the ditch with your walking foot, or practice your machine quilting. (No invisible thread, please).

Monday, March 08, 2010

Webbing the block

Several of you have asked "What is webbing"? OK, here's how I do it.

Every time we handle our pieces, it's time consuming, so the less handling of individual units, the better.

Here is my 9-patch. My half square triangle is pressed -- some pressed open, some to the dark - not much difference. A block with 36 patches is done the same as this 9-patch is done. At first I could not grasp the concept but I guarantee it's easier than fiddling with each unit numerous times.

Lay them out in the correct order, and keep the same orientation each time. I'm showing you just one block.

I work in columns, not rows. Below - place the top middle on the top left and sew it together, leaving a few spaces before you start on the next piece. Do not cut thread! Sewing on air about 3 stitches, pick up the middle middle and sew to the left middle. Do not cut your thread. Pick up the bottom middle and sew to the left middle. When you are done, cut from machine. (I have an auto thread cutter! VERY handy!)

OK, now your 6 pieces are all together, kinda dangly - do not cut apart. It's easier to move one unit of 6, than it is to move 6 separate units. Now sew the top right on your block, sew on air about 3 stitches, then sew the middle right, sew on air and then the bottom right. Cut from machine but do not cut apart. I am not pressing yet. Now all the units are held together.

See the connecting threads holding the whole block together? Don't get them too close together. These threads now take the place of pins.

Now you sew the rows together, never dropping any of the units, or getting them in the wrong order because they are still connected together. (I couldn't take a photo and hold them together at the same time!) I finger pressed the seams in the correct direction, and when all was together, I pressed. I was 'on target' on practically each and very seam.

Below is the finished block. Keep in mind that the first time you try this, you will feel like "all thumbs" sewing the rows together. If you have left about 3 stitches you should have room to manipulate. Two stitches is tight and you might have to clip that thread when butting the seams together! Try it and let me know what you think. I avoided learning this technique for years - it just seemed too spider-webby! But I was stubbornly not open to suggestion. Now, I use this technique as much as possible.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Split; 9-Patch - WIP

I thought I'd add blocks with BLUE as the diagonal - I like it! Maybe I'll alternate the blocks - not sure yet but so far, it looks good to me.

At first I found this pattern tedious until I had a duhhhh moment, and practiced webbing the block. Wow - who knew it would increase efficiency and decrease hand movements so dramatically? Of course, webbing is easier with a 9-patch than with a 36-patch but so far, so good. (note to myself ... Why do some clever techniques take me so long to adopt?) Mom always said I was stubborn.

And I noticed the inspirerer (is that a word?) of this piece, Ms. Bonnie, (Quiltville.com) has a new project, with what appears to be the same units.

And I DID manage to finish a challenge R x R block - I hope Jacci likes it! Nopers, no photo. All of them will be revealed at next Guild meeting - I cannot imagine what mine looks like. This has been fun, a stretch to our imagination and skills.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A Pile of Strips

OK, we probably all have boxes looking something like this -- what a mess but ....
Look what they turned into - this is called a Split 9-Patch. The original idea is from Quiltville.com, but there are many variations arount the net, and Bonnie's version WAS my favorite, with the red/white in that position. I will keep the red/white constant, although I already ran out of that particular RED - I have others. First issue I am having is, what value should my darks be? Next issue is, 'should I go to the tans, browns, forest colors? or stick with blues, reds, etc., or shall I mix them up?

This is about one hours worth of work, with strips already cut, and I DID remember to do some stretching X's between working. (clarification) This is 4 blocks together, making one 12 inch block. I'm liking it!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Pressie, finishes, and a DONE Quilt

This was to be a this-year Linus Quilt but I did not make the deadline. I LOVE the way the strips weave in and out - a simple quilt to make. It was quilted on my DSM, with big loopy-loops, with white thread.

Below is a lovely box of 2 1/2 in strips from Gypsy Quilter who is trying to reduce some of her stash. mmmm - she's showed photos of her stash - I don't think this box will help much but I like how I benefitted. The enclosed chocolate bar did not last long enough, especially as I asked DH to help open the package and he saw it first! Thank you, San!!! 8-)) Below is my (drum roll please!) finished Pineapple Blossom Quilt started in January with Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville.com as our teacher. It's a large quilt, about 70 x 70 inches. The real colors are a bit brighter. I'm liking it, and used mostly stash except for that bright fushia and a bright blue that took it from blah to lovely.
I saved all the 'waste triangles' and made the border. If you have not made this quilt, you might miss the details in the triangles border. Each triangle is made up of 2 pieces - that adds a lot of MORE interest. I trimmed the waste triangles exactly to 2 1/2 inches and using this layout, they fit together very nicely. Maybe I can quilt this summer.