Sunday, April 29, 2018

May Calendar Blocks and Pattern

Because I have two roll-outs at the first of every month, I like to share my Block a Day Calendar blocks a little early. There are 31 blocks in TWO sizes, along with complete directions for one small quilt. This is the Trillium Wreath block (12") set on point. I have a quilt made from this block somewhere . . .

Trillium Wreath
Here is what four blocks would look like (the pattern is not in the set of May blocks, but I sure like this, don't you?)

Four Trillium Wreath blocks
Here is the REAL Trillium Wreath block made by Patricia Bryant of Australia. Very sweet!

12" Trillium Wreath block by Patricia Bryant
The 45 page pdf has all 31 blocks in two sizes with all templates full size. A variety of sizes of blocks and colors and styles!

Here are the links to the blog posts I had here last year that shows ALL the blocks from May. I share several quilts I've made from many of these blocks, so take a trip back in time to see more than just blocks.

Week 18 Blocks
Week 19 Blocks
Week 20 Blocks
Week 21 Blocks
Week 22 Blocks

You can find the 45 page pdf on my Craftsy site: May Blocks from the Quilter's Block a Day Calendar.

See you Tuesday for the 5th block in my 2018 Tea Party Block of the Month!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Windham Wednesdays - Uncorked!

No, I'm not falling apart. That's the name of a new collection by Windham that mimics that of cork. There are 24 skus in these blender-type fabrics. Let's see them.

Uncorked by Windham Fabrics
 I decided to revisit a project I have made more than once. It's my Dancing Squares pattern. So, of course, I had to cut some squares!

Squares cut from Uncorked
Here is a little quilt I made using the Forest Parade Collection (Windham) from 2015. I just finished quilting it yesterday and hope to get the binding on today. I'll share that picture soon!

Dancing Squares made with Forest Parade by Windham
I made my Dancing Squares pattern using Uncorked and love how it turned out. The blocks are 6" x 6" and the quilt is 51" x 51".

Uncorked Dancing Squares
I will share more on this pattern soon. Very easy using two different sized squares. If you look close, those smaller squares are zigzag stitched onto the larger squares! My first one appeared in my first book (Bold, Black and Beautiful Quilts, AQS 2004). OK, I'll show that to you!

Check with your local quilt shop to see if they carry this amazing collection of blenders with just a touch of gold. Click that link and you'll go to the Windham page that lists those shops.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Technique Tuesday on the Front Porch

Well, not exactly ON the Front Porch. The name of the fabric line is Front Porch. I was asked to come up with some quick and simple projects using this collection and the companion panel. First let's see the fabrics.

Front Porch by Cherry Guidry for Benartex
I was asked to make something with the main panel. Ooohh! I love a challenge. As you can see, it has various squares and rectangles. The center was calling to me: Make me a pillow! The four little squares are a perfect size for mug rugs; I saw journals with real paper on the inside. And I even thought that I could make two good sized bookmarks with those tall, skinny rectangles.
Front Porch panel: 23" x 42"
Now, let's see how I did it.

BOOKMARKS were made by cutting out the flower panels. I left a little bit of the white background fabric on to give me some trimming room. I then transferred fusible webbing to the wrong side and then ironed each one to card stock. I used my Fiscar specialty scissors with a curved blade to cut around the outside, as you can see. Easy. Quick. Not too big for most books

Next, I pulled out my Tri-Recs tool and cut half-rectangles to tilt those four little squares. It's good to audition the triangles to make sure they are in the right position (ask me why I say that . . .)

Added 1/4" to small flower square and cut slightly oversized half-rectangles
As you can see, sometimes you sew the wrong triangles to the wrong side! Time to rip out!

Here are my set of four mug rugs. Of course, I added batting and backing. Left an opening for turning and then top stitched it closed. Very cute, don't you think?!

4 Mug Rugs using Front Porch
I didn't have the time to make a pillow with that center design with those inviting chairs under that awning, but let me show you how I made my two art journals!

I cut out two adjoining rectangles, planning on the pinwheels print to be my front cover (the book is finished in this shot).

Two adjoining rectangles will be the front and back covers for my journal
I cut a piece of contrasting fruit salad print for the inside pocket. It is the same size as the two panel piece above (with seams, of course). Fold in half, wrong sides together. This is now pocket height.

I cut the pocket fabric the same size as the rectangles and folded it in half
Now, align it with the inside green honeycomb print (the same size as the journal cover) with a piece of batting wedged between. Pin.

Align folded pocket fabric with inside lining

Place journal front piece right side down on the pocket and pin.

Align parts and pin
Stitch 1/4" seam around, leaving about 6" open for turning. You can see my opening right under the "s" in "Quilts" below.

Stitched with opening for turning
 Trim the four corners to reduce bulk:
Trimming four corners

I turned the journal right side out and stitched around the outside about 1/8" from edge. I took 7 sheets of 8.5" x 14" paper, trimmed it to fit the inside (took 1" off both horizontal and vertical), centered it and stitched right down the middle!

Paper added to inside!
And let's see the pocket!

Journal with pocket for a pen
Here is a picture of two rectangles joined by a small piece of that blue floral print from the top and bottom of the panel. The book is finished.

Two rectangles joined by the blue floral print. I wanted the Lemonade stand to be the front

And the inside of this journal with one of those bookmarks!

Inside of 2nd journal with a handy bookmark!

Now I bet you won't look at panels the same anymore, will you? I can't wait to gift these to my grandsons' teachers. This sunny group is quick and easy, don't you think?

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Recent Quilt Finishes

I have been on a roll to try and make a dent in my stacks of unfinished quilts. I don't think I'll ever get them all done (I have at least 3 dozen or so). But here are 3 of my recent finishes (last week) that I enjoyed completing. All were quilted on my Handi Quilter Sweet 16.

I made this quilt several years ago. I love making these tilt blocks using my own template set (Arrowheads) which are the same angle as Darlene Zimmerman's Tri-Recs. I've been making my tilt blocks for about 20 years.
Cream and Sugar Tilted Squares: 47" x 51"
Notice that I didn't use a single piece in the border. That's because I only had scraps from the remainders! I cut rectangles and squares and even extended the sashings into the border. I call this really making do!

Next is a quilt that began in Paris, France in April 2001. My husband and I were on our way to Spain to visit our daughter who was studying abroad. I visited a quilt shop and bought the center toile panel. Not sure if it was made in France, but it certainly has that personality, doesn't it?

I put this together about 15 years ago for a borders workshop, to show how you can create compensating strips between a center and some pieced units so you are working with "normal" numbers. I think some child will enjoy this (40" square).

Memories of France 2001: 40" x 40"
And the final quilt is one pieced several years ago using my own Spikey Star pattern, paper pieced. This block is a whopping 30" x 30". That means those four spikey units are 10". How I miss my large format printer. Gotta get another one soon.

Blue Spikey Star: 40" x 40"
I just quilted a small quilt this afternoon which awaits the binding. I have another one layered and sitting under the needle of my HQ Sweet 16. And I'm piecing a backing for yet a 3rd quilt which will also be quilted this week. I did a tutorial on it a few years ago using the Forest Parade collection by Windham. The next time you'll see it, it will be quilted.

Dancing Squares using Forest Parade by Windham Fabrics
Hope you enjoyed the show. Now I'm off to cook dinner!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Windham Wednesdays with Yesterday's Collections

Twilight is a lovely "mud cloth" type of fabric released by Windham Fabrics last year. Two of my daughters fell in love with it and claimed most of it for pillows (made by mom, of course). I blogged about them last Fall.

Audrey (my oldest) claimed the darker fabrics. I made her a pillow. 

Twilight Fabrics
Then she wanted placemats for her dining room table - and she wanted them by Easter! She decided on a finished size of 13" x 18". Whew! I only had 1/2 yard cuts and knew I could get 3 cuts from each. I would need 16 cuts (front and back times 8). That's all I had of the dark fabrics plus that cream! Here they are.

My husband and I took them to her house for Easter dinner. Here is my place.

One of 8 placemats
 And another of the placemats. She was so excited to use some tan linen napkins and the carved wooden African animal napkin holders that I brought home from Africa 40 years ago.

A second placemat
 Here is the table setting. Yes, that's one of the Gee's Bend quilts on the wall. My daughters took every single one of the quilts I made for myself. None in my home!
Audrey's lovely table set for Easter
Here are all 8 placemats, with the second shot showing both fronts and back (all reversible)

8 Placemats using Twilight
And front and back:
Showing fronts and backs
Now, the second project from "yesterday's collections" is the Far, Far Away quilt I made for Audrey's daughter, Eva. She is 4 years old and loves princesses. Audrey discovered this pattern from a few years ago and said, "Mom. Please make this for Eva." Sigh.

This is not my pattern, but Windham hired me in 2014 to pattern it for the designer (who made this improv style). I had quite a bit of the fabrics remaining, so I jumped in. The background yellow fabrics are from the Gee's Bend collection. The pattern is STILL AVAILABLE and FREE. Even if you don't have these fabrics, it wouldn't be hard to improvise.

Here are the fabrics.
Far, Far Away Fabrics
This was beautifully quilted by my dear friend Connie Gallant. I'll show you some up close quilting in a minute. First, the finished quilt:
Princess and the Pea: 60" x 85"
And some quilting up close:
Crowns, magic wands, stars!
And here's a picture of me with Eva. Obviously, she's thrilled (but I don't share facial images of my grandchildren)

Eva and me with the Princess quilt
 Can you see that lovely lamb embroidery on the wall? I bought that crib sheet for $1 and then quilted it. It's so sweet!
Eva and her quilt
You can have the Princess and the Pea quilt. It's still available at the Windham web site. Even if you can't get the fabrics, you can find something similar fit for a princess!