Baby James Quilt One

IMG_0950A quilter from an online quilt forum I visit often lost her grandson three days after he was born due to a birth defect. Her son and DIL are expecting another baby later this year, and grandma wants to donate a quilt in baby James’s memory to all the babies in the nursery when the new baby is born. I am honored to make a few quilts for her. Here is my first one.

I used the same technique as my Bisection quilt but cut this up differently. I started with four fat quarters – two grey prints and two bright red prints. I stacked and aligned them as much as possible (no trimming yet) and cut into 10 sections of varying sizes. I mixed them up and laid out till I was happy with the balance of colors.IMG_0646

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I sewed them into 4 blocks and used the 4 long strips – two on each side to offset the blocks. No matching seams anywhere!

IMG_0650I wanted to quilt a large spiral – used a dinner plate to draw a large circle and echoed around the circles to make a spiral. There are a number of tutorials online but this is the first time I’m quilting this. The guide bar on my walking foot didn’t work very well for me. I ended up eyeballing the distance from the previous line. It’s not perfect but I love the texture.

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I didn’t want a very tight spiral since this is a baby quilt and I wanted to keep it soft and fluffy. I just quilted some crisscross lines inside the circle.

This is my first finish for the baby James quilt project. I have two more coming later this week.

Linking:



Needle and Thread Thursday

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Citrus Plus

IMG_0943_editedWhen Sandra of mmmquilts announced a quilt-along for her Plus+ Playtime quilt, I knew I had to quilt along. It is such a fun, clever pattern of a string of pluses on one shadow plus, and looked simple enough to squeeze in between my other work-in-progress projects. Besides, Sandra is a lovely person – the best of quilt blog-land, and she has been such a great cheerleader throughout this QAL. And, she is dangling some carrots for a finish this week!img_0618.jpg

This is a small enough quilt that I could find several possibilities in my stash. I settled on a very simple combo – Kona oasis and Kona coal for the background – I had got a yard each two last year without any specific plan. They have this deep, saturated color and very attractive. I had a chunk of Blueberry Park fabric leftover after my Stalactites quilt (renamed, finished blog post to follow soon) and the Spiral Nova. The bright reds, oranges and yellows pops out over the calm and sedate oasis and coal backgrounds. I name this Citrus Plus – checkout the picture above with our orange tree in the background.

IMG_0934This quilt went so fast. I cut and pieced most of it in two or three sessions. Sandra had some neat ideas for quilting. My initial plan was to just do a simple meander in the background and some straight quilting in the pluses. I used a high loft polyester batting I had from long ago. I loaded it on my frame and the quilt seemed to have a mind of its own. By this point, I’d decided that the quilt will go on the blank wall above the fire place in our bedroom (Yes, we have a fire place in the bedroom in Texas and no, we’ve never used it :-).

Since this was going to be a wall quilt and not meant to cuddle under, I decided to do some heavy quilting – at least heavy by my standards.

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I quilted with a ruler outlining each of the pluses and about one inch inside. The background is conveniently separated by the chains of pluses. For the top area, I just went with some tight swirls and pebbles.

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For the second area I tried a chain of swirls from left to right and filled the rest of the area with more swirls and echoes. I love how this turned out.

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For the third area I tried a large feather but that didn’t go very well and ended up looking like the slush leftover from hurricane Harvey :-). Lesson learned: stick with a plan, don’t just wing it while the machine is running.

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I had run out of steam by the time I reached the bottom. I just went with a few wavy lines. Wavy lines,  I’ve found, are the best texture you can get for very little effort and skill. Given that the background and shadow plus are about the same value with not much contrast, I thought it needed a bright binding to define the boundaries. IMG_0946 (1)

Citrus Plus
54″X 54″
Fabric: Kona cotton Coal, Kona cotton Oasis, Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis (warm colors)
Batting: high loft polyester
Thread: Aurifil 2021 for piecing, Isacord Smoke and Isacord White for quilting

Linking up to Sandra’s linky party for Plus+Playtime Finishes.

Needle and Thread Thursday


Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

A Quilt for Baby Misha

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First time using my Storied Quilts label!

I’ve blogged about this quilt here. I used 2.5″ strips from various pink prints to make the hexagons and used a dark grey Kona cotton solid as background. This was the second quilt I quilted on my long-arm (BlockRockIt 15). I’m so happy how this turned out.

My friend is having a get together tomorrow to meet her newest granddaughter, Misha.  I quickly sewed the binding and label, and washed it last night. It’s now ready for baby Misha.

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Lovely yard after days of torrential rain and the last few fruit from our peach tree. The local raccoon has discovered the tree and most of the fruit disappeared overnight.


Sew Fresh Quilts

One Monthly Goal

One Spiral Nova

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I made another Spiral lone star this month using pink and purple prints from the Blueberry Park collection by Karen Lewis for Robert Kaufman. The pattern and construction for this lone star is very similar to a traditional lone star except for the placement of fabrics. In this post I shall try to do a tutorial in pictures.

What size star? I am usually overwhelmed when I start making a lone star. There are so many things to decide – the width of the strips, the number of colors, the number of diamonds in a row and the final star size. I did some math and came up with this table. This table is for the spiral star, so the number of different fabric is always 8. For a traditional lone star the number of strips of each color varies based on the layout but the strip width and length from this table will work.

SpiralMeasure

Spiral lone star configurations

IMG_0673IMG_0619Materials (for a 40″ finished star – first row in the table):

  • 8 different fabric for the star. Some gradation in the value or hue of the fabrics work very well for this pattern.
  • From each star fabric: 4 strips 2.5″ x 18″. If using a jelly roll, you will need two WOF strips for each color.
  • For the background: 1.25  yards. I used Kona cotton medium grey.

Cutting:

  • Before cutting, iron and starch all fabric. We will be cutting and sewing on the bias a lot. Starching helps keep the shape.
  • From each star fabric:
    • Cut 4 strips 2.5″ x 18″
    • Label the fabric strips 1-8 after you decide their order.
  • From the background fabric,
    • Cut 4 13″ x 13″ square
    • Cut 4 9.5″ x 9.5″ squares
    • Cut each square once along the diagonal. You should have 8 small triangles and 8 large triangles.

Construction: I am using numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 for the 8 fabric strips. Letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H for the 8 strip sets and Roman numerals I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII for the large diamonds or arms of the star.

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Mapping strips to strip sets and strip sets to diamonds

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  1. Strip sets: Use the table above for reference to sew 8 strip sets. Each set has 4 fabric strips in order. Offset each strip by about 2 1/4″ over the previous one. See picture for details. Press seams open. This will make matching seams a lot easier in later steps. StripSets
  2. Trim strip sets:
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    Trim edge of strip set

    First trim off the jagged edges of each strip set. Line up the 45 degree line on your ruler along the top edge and cut across the strip set.

  3. Cut slanted strips:
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    Cut slanted strips

    Cut slanted strips 2.5″ wide parallel to the previous cut. Line up the 45 deg line on your ruler with the bottom edge of the strip set and the 2.5″ line on your ruler with the slanted edge of the strip set. If both lines don’t match exactly, re-trim the slanted edge to match exactly. This gives perfect strips you can join put together without tugging and pulling to match seams. Repeat for all strip sets.

  4.   Layout: After all the strips are cut, lay them out and play with the layout. IMG_0613You cannot change the order of the strips at this point but you can make the spiral go clockwise or counter-clockwise, etc. This will also help you make sure you are consistent the order of strips in each strip set.
  5. IMG_0615Joining the slanted strips: We now join the slanted strips to make the large diamonds or arms of the star.
    • Place adjacent strips right sides together and pin at the seams. See picture below. Pin the two sides at exactly 1/4″ from the edges along the seams.
    • Repeat for all eight large diamonds. You may use my table above but it is better to layout the strips first and sew them together as laid.
  6. Layout the finished diamonds and the background triangles. Each diamond will be next to one small and one large triangle.
  7. First sew the small background triangle and then the large triangle to each diamond. Trim excess fabric from both background triangles.
  8. IMG_0625Sew together the diagonal sections in each quadrant. Carefully pin the two sections such that the seams match exactly 1/4″ from the edge – similar to step  5.
  9. When all the quadrants are done, join them together like a four-patch, taking care to match the seams as before.
  10. Optional: Cut 4 2.5″ strips from the background and add a border all around if desired.IMG_0652

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

I entered this in the Tips and Tutorials festival jointly hosted by Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl and Cheryl of Meadow Mist designs in June 2018 and it won 1st place under Block and Pattern tutorials! Please visit the festival page and checkout all the great tips and tutorials.

Linking:
http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/

One Monthly Goal

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Spiraling Lone star

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Many years ago I made this spiraling lone-star quilt. It hung over our kitchen table for a couple of years and I never took a single picture of it. Then a couple of years ago, I got to meet my college friend Poonam in New York City. Poonam had gone though some difficult times and I wanted to give her a quilt. I didn’t have time to make one for her at that time, so I decided to give her this bright quilt to cheer her up. My friend Indu took this picture in a hotel room in NYC with no natural light. It looks a lot better in person.

Digging through my old pictures from 2013, I found a few pictures I took when I was making the quilt (and not a single one after it was complete)! I’m still looking for that piece of paper in the first picture with calculations using the Pythagoras theorem. Then again, wouldn’t this be a good math assignment for my 8th grader?image (6)

All fabric from my stash – mostly batik, except the red and the fuchsia. The background is also a lovely batik with cream, tan and a bit of grey. Very simple quilting with a walking foot – this is from my pre-free motion days. I can’t even remember what I used for the backing.

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This is my Throwback Thursday blog entry. Thank you Sandra , for the encouragement. I’m officially bitten by the spiral lone-star bug and I feel an inexplicable urge to make one using a Kona cotton jelly roll I got recently. This is therefore also my One monthly goal for May – to recreate the spiral lone star.

One Monthly Goal

 

Bisection quilt Pattern

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IMG_0224Finished size: 42″ x 54″.

Materials:

  • 6 coordinating fat quarters (18″ x 22″)
  • 1 yard contrasting solid fabric
  • Rotary cutter with a fresh sharp blade recommended.

Instructions:

  1. From the solid fabric, cut 16 strips  1″ x WOF. We will sub-cut as needed when we join the blocks.
  2. Stack the 6 fat quarters aligning the edges. Trim and square the edges of the entire stack.
  3. We will be making several cuts through the entire stack of 6 FQs. There are no measurements for the cuts. You may make the cuts anywhere in alternating directions to give it a balanced look
  4. Make the first cut along the shorter (18″) side so that one side is slightly bigger than the other. My cut was approximately 2/3 from the left. This gives us two rectangles.IMG_0228
  5. Make the next cut within each rectangle, perpendicular to the previous cut. Make sure the cuts on each side are staggered to give an unmatched look.img_0229.jpg
  6. Make the next cut in some or all of the four rectangles above, perpendicular to the previous cut, making sure the cuts on adjacent rectangles do not match. I did not sub-cut the block on the top right since it looked small enough. IMG_0230
  7. You may stop cutting here or make one more cut in some of the rectangles, perpendicular to the previous cut. In this step, I cut just two of the blocks. img_02311.jpg
  8. We are done cutting. Each rectangle/square above is a stack of 6 fabric. Next step is to arrange the fabric within these rectangles.
  9. Leave stack 1 alone with no change. For stack 2, move the fabric in top to the bottom of the stack. For stack 3, move the top two fabrics to the bottom. For stack 4, move the top three fabrics to the bottom. Likewise for stacks 5 and 6. Since we only have 6 fabrics in the stack, the fabrics for stacks 7, 8 and 9 will repeat and they will be similar to stacks 1,2 and 3, respectively. When all stacks are rearranged, this is what they look like:img_0232.jpg
  10. Now we are ready to join the rectangles into pieced blocks.
  11. From the 1″ solid strips, sub-cut a strip approximately as long as the bottom edge of rectangle 7. Sew it to rectangle 7, right sides together with a 1/4″ seam. Press towards the solid strip. Sew rectangle 9 to the other side of the solid strip.
  12. You will put the block back together in exactly the reverse order in which you made the cuts. Use the 1″ solid sashing between rectangles.IMG_0237IMG_0238IMG_0239
  13. Repeat for all the fabrics in the stacks. Make sure you keep the order of the fabric in the stacks. Here are all 6 pieced blocks.IMG_0240
  14. Again use the 1″ solid sashing to join the blocks.IMG_0370

This was my One Monthly Goal for April. Linking One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts.
One Monthly Goal

Stalactites!

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IMG_2890I can’t believe I completed this quilt top in the month of March, with hours to spare! My One monthly goal for March was to complete a quilt top using a FQ bundle of Robert Kaufmann Blueberry Park collection by Karen Lewis. I wanted that perfect design for this fabric and I could not make up my mind till the middle of the month.IMG_0266

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I decided to just cut them up into equilateral triangles (my current favorite shape 🙂

I tried different layouts from totally random to regular and symmetric. I finally settled somewhere in the middle.

I wanted to keep the gradation in the hue and value, going from dark on top to light at the bottom and going from pink on one end to yellow at the other end.

It’s a lovely day with bright sunshine and blue sky but the breeze makes it so hard to get a nice picture.

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One Monthly Goal


Sew Fresh Quilts