Friday, April 22, 2016

Fussy Cutting for My Hexie Blocks

Do you remember the blocks I did to celebrate the first day of Winter? Not that I like winter, but for me that means that the days get 1 more minute of sunshine from then on!

Here are the two blocks I made using Paula Nadelstern's Fabracadabra Collection for Benartex:

Winter Solstice Block (I've since removed those borders)
 And, Here Comes the Sun! (click the link and you can see the steps to make this block)
Here Comes the Sun!
Paula's panels with the large kaleidoscopes also have smaller motifs at the selvedge ends. Let me show you what I did with those!

Fabracadabra panel showing large and small motifs
Some Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks made with 1-3/4" hexie papers
Six GFG blocks with a fussy cut motif in the center
Then I got to thinking about stars (since I'm a Block Star, ha ha). And I wanted to rotary cut some 6 pointed stars and here is what I got:

Circle of Stars
That center motif is one of the larger ones in the panel (same size I used in the Winter Solstice blocks above). I sewed NO y-seams. Made each individual star:

Single rotary cut star (no y-seams)
Then sewed the 6 stars into a circle and then added the interfaced center hexagon to the center using monofilament thread and a machine zigzag stitch:

Interfaced hexagon prepared for center of 6 stars
And here are two more blocks I made using the smaller motifs. Yes, I've been so captivated by these!

Twisted Hexagon (rotary cut and stitched)
 This one is called "Sarah" in the book "The New Hexagon."
Sarah Block
Paula has a new collection out now called Chromazone (also by Benartex). I'm getting some and will be sharing that in the next month.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Please Welcome the Dear John Quilt

I received an email last week from John of Maryland. He wanted my permission to display his quilt in a county fair this summer. That was super courteous of him and not necessary. Of course, I said YES! He used 99 of my 366 quilt blocks from my Quilter's Block a Day Calendar for the quilt center. He resized them all to a uniform 6".

Quilter's Block-a-Day Calendar
His inspiration was the Dear Jane Quilt (patterned from an historic quilt made in 1863: The Jane Stickle Quilt). He created some of his own outside triangle patterns and used some from the book by Brenda Papadakis. His sizing is unique (the Dear Jane blocks finish to 4-1/2" square).

Let's see the Dear Jane quilt (made by Jane Stickle in 1863 with 169 five inch squares, 52 border triangles, and 4 corner triangles):
Original Dear Jane Quilt
And here's the Dear John Quilt!

Dear John Quilt by Johncog of Maryland
I am truly humbled and honored that John used 99 of my blocks in this quilt. I am confident he will win a blue ribbon for his work. And the colors are so awesome! Thank you, John, for letting us feast our eyes on this.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

More Hexagon Stars

And I keep rotary cutting and stitching with those Paula Nadelstern motifs. I have 6 stars which will be sewn into a ring and then I will put a fussy cut larger motif in the center. What's your super power?

Stars with fussy cut centers
 Here's the magical center. Paula Nadelstern has the super power, not me!

Fussy cut motif from the Fabracadabra Collection
Because I'm out of town and not near a sewing machine, I'm not able to stitch this together. But everything's ready and waiting at home. My dog can't figure out the sewing machine or it would be done by now!

I'll keep you posted. I'm sure you've noticed how enamored I have become with this fabric.

Monday, April 11, 2016

More Hexagons, More Fun

For some reason, I'm stuck on hexagons. They are magical to me and I love the seemingly endless ways of putting together blocks with 60 degrees. Here are a few that I'm working on:

I discovered that I could fussy cut [center a motif in a specific shape] the kaleidoscope printed images on the Paula Nadelstern Fabracadabra panels I have. I realized that they work beautifully with 1-3/4" hexagon papers. The companion fabrics create quite a striking "flame" stitch, don't they?

Grandmother's Flower Garden with fussy cut center
 Then I realized that I could make the motifs the center of a 6-pointed star. There are NO set-in seams; all straight seam sewing for this block. Magical, huh?

Six pointed star with fussy cut center motif
I used these panels in a previous post, Here Comes the Sun. The larger motifs are fabulous to play with and though they are technically octagons, I was able to turn them into hexagons.

I made 6 different 6-Pointed Stars and plan to sew them into a ring and add a center cut from the larger motifs. All is ready to go, but I'm on the road again tomorrow until Saturday night and for some reason my husband and dog still don't know how to work my sewing machine! Sigh.

In case you missed it, I also updated my Honeycomb Table Topper. Here are some pics of my recent update using my Kaffe Fassett fabrics:

Honeycomb Table Mats
 And putting all 4 together:

Ring of half-hexagons with fussy cut center (appliqued over the "hole")
You can see the original table topper at my Craftsy store. This was so quick and easy. Both the half and whole hexagons are cut from a multi-sized 60 degree ruler. No set-in seams. I bet you didn't know you could do that! No need to rely on templates - you can cut any size you want with what I call my "Power Tool." A great way to showcase your luscious, large scale prints!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Upcoming Classes in Des Moines for Quilts of Valor Show

Memorial weekend in Des Moines? That's where I'll be and teaching 5 classes at the Quilts of Valor Show. Let me show you the projects and if you're in town (or know of someone in that area), I'd love to have you consider taking one!

Coffee Filter Mariner's Compass - yes, you read that right!
Thursday, May 26, 6 - 9 pm

A wonderful new way to create the popular Mariner’s Compass, precise points and all.  Begin with a 100 cup coffee filter (20" diameter) as your base. Draw a few lines, foundation piece the center spikes, add a halo of flying geese and learn how to sew the curved background pieces to finish this stunning 32" Mariner's Compass quilt top. Bring your own fabric, see supply list for details.

Yes, they are 20" in diameter!
 Don't you just love the grays for a background?
With a halo of Flying Geese around the compass

Ezekiel's Crown
Friday morning (May 27) from 8:30 - 11:30 am

Satisfy your desire to learn both paper piecing and working with curved units to create this dynamic Ezekiel’s Crown quilt. Composed of 16 blocks that are arranged in my “when 4 makes 5” assembly system, the magic happens in how we turn the blocks. While this isn’t a project for beginners, it is certainly enjoyable - and doable - for those who are confident with their piecing skills. Includes master pattern, all templates, several printed foundations, nicely illustrated instructions and Debby’s helpful, practical and easy to follow direction in class, of course. Bring your own fabric, see supply list for details.

Ezekiel's Crown: Learn how to paper piece those sharp, pointy units
Modern Vortex
Friday afternoon from 1-4 pm

Work with pre-cut strips to create this amazing two-color quilt using a simple acrylic template. Choose ANY COLOR! You’ll strip piece, then cut into wedges and stitch some more. If you’ve wanted to know how to set ANY block on point, this is the class, with the bonus of using two-color setting triangles. A true optical illusion quilt!  Bring your own fabric, see supply list info for details.

Choose multi-colors as Jane H. of Maryland did!

Modern Vortex - Jane H of Stitch by Stitch
Or two colors:
Modern Vortex - or two colors!

Machine Quilting, Basics and Beyond
Saturday, May 28 from 8:30 - 11:30 am

Using Debby's KISS Method (Keep It Small & Simple), discover how liberating free-motion machine quilting can be. Discuss threads, batting and basting, then do lots of PRACTICE. Doodles, swirls, curves and other simple shapes gently guide you into this exciting world. Excellent for both beginning and intermediate level free-motion quilters.

English Paper Piecing with Hexies
Saturday, May 28 from 12:30 - 3:30 pm

Hexagons are once again taking the quilt world by storm! This great take-along project is perfect for making Grandmother’s Flower Garden (GFG) blocks. Learn the simple art of hand stitching with the English Paper Piecing technique – the creation of a block or entire quilt using a paper template for uniform units. It can be both beautiful and addictive. Debby’s collection of samples is a treasure trove of inspiration – all sorts of ways to use your blocks in a variety of settings and flavors.

Be inspired on how to use your Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks

Double up your hexies!
 I bring a LOT of samples and projects made with my blocks, along with pre-cut fabrics with papers for making several sizes of blocks! Kits are provided for you.
The perfect take-along project!
So, if you're in the area or want to travel for the American Quilts Expo (Quilts of Valor), please do consider my classes!