Tuesday, June 30, 2020

This and That Recent Quilt Finishes

This was a post from November 2012. I have since put the blocks into a quilt top (with the help of my friend Rhoda) and it is going to my guild friend Jeannie to machine quilt for a charity giveaway.

Here's a recap with updates from this week.

I must confess: I am not a big fan of the muddy colors of reproduction fabrics. But when I saw this new collection from Windham Fabrics, New Colonies, I was immediately taken by them. Why? Who asks "why" when you have new fabric? You pull out your rotary cutter and start playing.

New Colonies fabrics by Windham. A bundle of 1/6 yards (12" x 22")

Aren't they beautiful?!!
I am in my current streak "Turning 60" and my favorite shape, the HEXAGON, was beckoning. I had a set of 3" English Paper Piecing papers from years ago and started cutting out rectangles. Oh, you don't cut rectangles when you EPP? It sure is easier than skimpy hexagons and a lot quicker to cut.

Block #1 (fits on a 12-1/2" square). Notice the messy folds.
You don't think I'm going to leave the backs of the hexagons looking like this, do you? It is faster to whip stitch around the corners (but not through the papers). Then I forgot about the hand stitching all together. I used my iron to press the folds, took out the cardstock paper and then (you won't believe this, but I am telling the truth): I butted the ends up together and used a teeny, tiny zigzag stitch with invisible poly thread in top, white in bobbin, and stitched the 6 hexagons together. Click the pic and see it up close!

Block #1 front. You can't see the top stitches in real life, either!
Now I was on a roll. But, then I thought I should at least cut out the hexagons. I did and then sewed the 6 outer hexagons into a ring (just like I did in my September post "Owls Are the Bomb."

Now, where do you think I'm going with my hexagons made with New Colonies? Here are a few other modified/simplified EPP blocks:

Compare Block #2 and its back below with Block #1

Another block:
Block #3
I soon realized that it would be smarter to cut hexagons for my work. This is where my 60 degree ruler comes into play. This info has been shared several times in the past with a variety of my quilts. A folded strip cut as seen below will create a perfect hexagon shape.

Easy cutting on a hexagon with only 2 cuts with a 60 degree ruler
 Open it up and this is what you get!

Perfect hexagon!

I stitched until I had 16 blocks.
16 Blocks pieced on 3" papers
Then I played around with an assembly. (Bad lighting, I know, but you get the picture!)

Assembly #1
And then just straight up!
Assembly #2
I finally appliquéd them to background squares. A quilting friend (Rhoda) put the blocks together and I added the borders yesterday. It goes to the longarm quilter tomorrow and will be designated another charity quilt. Notice how Rhoda arranged the blocks - not all with the hexagon at the top; some have the "v's" at the top.

Large Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt
I must have given away all the leftover fabrics from New Colonies. Sigh! I am itching to play with these amazing colors again. I just dug out my Jamestown fabrics (also by Windham). They have that poison green, the fugitive purple and chrome yellow so you may see some more blocks like this.

Check out my multi-sized 60 degree triangle ruler at my Etsy shop. I bet you probably have one similar to it (Creative Grids, Fons and Porter). But I bet you didn't know you can cut whole and half hexagons with it!

Monday, June 29, 2020

Two Winners for Winding Ways

Many thanks to all of you who entered my contest to win either a bundle of these gorgeous fabrics from Windham: Sweet Wish. And, as always, I am so appreciative of your kind words about my work and quilts. The quilts especially love to hear nice words about how pretty they are (such preening I have never seen before!)

The winner of the fabrics is Susan N. of Grand Rapids, Michigan. I am sending her 8 fat quarters!

Sweet Wish fabrics
Remember the quilt? Go check out the steps with pics from last Wednesday.

EZ Winding Ways quilt: 48" x 48"
The international winner for the pdf pattern is Mary Jane from Canada.

Congratulations to these two quilters. And again, many thanks for playing along!

Friday, June 26, 2020

Free Pattern Friday: Aliens!

Aliens in My House!

This pattern was designed the Summer of the solar eclipse in 2017. I was reminded of it because it's the pattern I have in my 2020 calendar for this week! Here is the Windham pattern (free at their site).

My Outer Space Buddy pattern
This is the collection of fabrics that Windham sent to me. I donated them to my guild for making another charity quilt for a local child.

Aliens Fabric
Here is a variation made by Quilter's Studio (Fairfax, VA). Very cute!

Variation of Aliens pattern
Here is the pattern as it appears in my 2020 calendar. Just a little bit different.

Outer Space Buddy Quilt: 39" x 39"
The center block is a large appliqué, with other appliqué elements surrounding it. I'm sure you can find some young astronaut-hopeful in your life who would love a fun quilt like this!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Happy Hexie Runners

I designed a quilt for Cut Loose Press featuring their Creative Grids 60 degree ruler. It was a REAL success! It sold hundreds of patterns. Was it because there are no y-seams in this? Was it because the fabrics are so happy? Whatever the reason, I finally quilted another of my class samples made with this pattern. This was waiting in the wings for 7 years. Hey - I'm busy, alright?!

The hexagons are cut with a standard 60 degree triangle ruler (no funky templates).

Happy Hexie Table Runner: 29" x 54"
This was the last of some fabrics from 2013. Before I show you the other 3 runners, let me show you the items I made with this same collection. I made 3 Twisted Hexagon blocks and set them with the side triangles. I fussy cut the centers with that awesome motif.

3 Block Twisted Hexagon runner
And here is the 4 Block Table Topper I've shared here before. These blocks use the same patches as the Twisted Hexagon, but they are arranged in the vintage Wagon Wheel assembly. There are NO y-seams because the half-hexagons are stitched into a ring and the center hexagon, interfaced, is appliquéd to the center opening!

If you click on the link to my Etsy store listing, you will see what I mean about the interfacing!

Table Topper
Now let me show you the other THREE runners I've made with my Happy Hexie pattern. This is the project that appeared with the CLP pattern. These fabrics are from Windham.

Happy Hexie Table Runner: 29" x 54"
And one made with some lovely blues and yellows. This was from the Ambrosia Collection by Blank Fabrics. Not quilted yet.

Happy Hexie Table Runner: 29" x 54"
And the last one, which I gifted to my dear friend Connie G. She loves these romantic reproduction fabrics and the Rebecca Collection (again, from Windham) did not disappoint!

Happy Hexie Table Runner: 29" x 54"
So, I don't know about you, but I seem to make a pattern more than once (or twice or half-a dozen times in some cases).

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Windham Wednesday's with Sweet Wish & Giveaway!

Do you love batiks? I do! I love the color drenched fabrics with blendy prints. One of these I recently designed with is called Sweet Wish by Jacqueline de Jonge for Windham Fabrics. Let me show you the collection. I hope you like green and turquoise! (The giveaway is 8 fat quarters of these fabrics!)

The contest is over and I have two winners (one for fabric; one for the pattern).

Sweet Wish for Windham Fabrics
I'm working with one of my "go to" patterns that I've made almost a dozen times in the past 25 years. It's the cheater's method for Winding Ways. First, I cut TWO stacks of 25 squares each. The squares on the left are 8" and the ones on the right (using 2 of the prints) are cut 8-1/2".
Two stacks of 25 squares
I traced my Winding Ways template onto freezer paper and then used it to cut out 25 patches. Yes, a lot of work! For some of the patches, I used fusible interfacing (NOT Wonder Under) so that the dark background square wouldn't show through on the top appliqué patch.
Freezer paper template
Here are all 25.
25 Appliqué Winding Ways patches
I selected a turquoise thread for the top and white for the bobbin for my machine and set the stitch to a zigzag. Then I stitched 25 of these. Yes, it took a good bit of time. I got pretty good about going around those curves and stitching the tips!
Winding Ways stitched
Stitching from the back:
Stitching from the back
After I trimmed away the dark background print:

Trimming away the background print
And here are my 25 Winding Ways blocks made with Sweet Wish.

25 Winding Ways blocks
I made another Winding Ways quilt using a Windham Collection called Lemmikki. Click the link to see my steps. And another one using the Hand Maker collection. And here's a VERY detailed tutorial which also shows how to draft Winding Ways blocks.

And, now for the quilt! I think she's so beautiful. Because I used 8" finished blocks, this finishes to 48" x 48". I have plans to quilt this on my Handi Quilter Sweet 16 soon.

Winding Ways Quilt: 48" x 48"
Now for the giveaway. I have 8 fat quarters of Sweet Wish as the prize. This is only available for USA residents (postage is prohibitive internationally). Leave me a comment about this post. Make sure I have your email. (Many, many folks who leave a comment are considered "unknown" and I have NO WAY to reply). If you're nervous about leaving your email, then send me an email with Sweet Wish in the subject line and I'll consider that an entry!

If you are an INTERNATIONAL visitor, let me know. I will choose one international winner for a free pdf copy of the Winding Ways pattern.

Contest is over midnight Saturday June 27 (EST). Yes, it's over!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Lone Star Week, Day Four

Now for just a few more variations. This is from a student of mine last summer. Susan H. decided she wanted to put a mini Lone Star in the corners of her One Day Lone Star quilt (35" block). This little pieced Lone Star measures 11" x 11" finished. How's that for tiny pieces?

Mini Lone Star by Susan H.
Here is her gorgeous quilt with FOUR of these minis in the corners! These 9-Patch diamonds are stitched using 3-1/2" strips.

Lone Star Quilt by Susan H.
I found this quilt online years ago. It is from the Lapp Family in Smoketown, PA. Very Amish looking with those solids. Don't you love how those diamonds radiate out from the center. Don't look at it for too long - you can get dizzy!
Lapp Family Lone Star
I decided to dip into my Kaffe Fassett scrap bin. I cut out 6-1/2" diamonds (NOT tip to tip but from flat side to flat side). Ever wonder about those 45 degree lines on your acrylic rulers?
String Pieced Diamonds
Then I cut the setting triangles (so I won't have y-seams). There's no "match-y match-y" going on here. I let the strips just run wild!
Single Lone Star: 28" square
And here she is hanging on my back fence. I hope to get her quilted this summer. 
String Pieced Lone Star: 58" x 58"
I have it in my Etsy shop. It's string pieced on large pieces of newsprint. It can make a dent in your scrap bin (but you know how that is, right?)

And here's one more in the "When Four Blocks Become Five" arrangement. I made it with leftovers from that Season's Greetings collection I showed you yesterday. I have a lot of piecing in those light colored background fabrics! But you can't see it, so I won't show you!

Here's the center star (19-1/2" x 19-1/2"):
Center of my 2nd Lone Star quilt using Season's Greetings
And the same arrangement as the String Pieced Lone Star above. The center star is 19-1/2". Each of the quarter stars is around 9-3/4" x 9-3/4". It's not a "perfect" number because I am rotary cutting those diamonds instead of using fussy templates. This is SO easy!

Lone Star with 19-1/2" blocks
You can find THREE Lone Star patterns in my Etsy shop:
I hope you enjoyed my Lone Star Week. I would like to know how you like my THEMES each week. I have a list of about 2 dozen other themes (and, yes, with a LOT of supporting quilts). And, yes, I'm thinking of having Animal Week pretty soon. How do you like that?

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Lone Star Week, Day Three

Another day, another way to arrange the patches in a Lone Star quilt. I designed and made this quilt for Windham Fabrics in 2007 using their Farmhouse West Collection. These are 19-1/2" finished blocks and there are 3 variations. I also included this in my second book, "Supersize 'Em Quilts" (Martingale, 2009).

Farmhouse West Quilt: 
Let's unpack the 3 Lone Star variations. I showed you the first one yesterday with the block from the Carmen Collection. Each of the eight 4-Patch diamonds has the dark diamond at the tips. This creates a second star in the center.

Lone Star Block #1
This next block is made with a single fabric in each of the eight diamonds. No 4-Patches.
Lone Star Block #2
Here is one like that quilted:
Lone Star Block #2 quilted
I have two quilts using the simple star with 8 diamonds. This first one was made with a Benartex collection called Season's Greetings. This is a HUGE 29" block! I call this my Big Block Lone Star.

Season's Greetings Lone Star. 29" block
And a closeup of the center as I was quilting it on my Handi Quilter Sweet 16:

Closeup of the simple 8-Diamond Lone Star
This is also from that Farmhouse West collection, a single star with triple sashing strips and 9-patches in the corners. I wonder if I still own this . . .

Lone Star wall quilt using that Farmhouse West collection from 2007
This 3rd block uses a combination of a single fabric diamond joined with a 4-Patch diamond. Quite a fun look, huh?

Lone Star Block #3. 19"
Here's one quilted. It's a bit hard to see the contrast between the fabrics in the 4-Patch.
Lone Star Block #3
And one more quilt that has a 29" block! I call this BIG Block Lone Star and was has been a popular workshop. The pattern in my Etsy store ($6 pdf) gives directions for all 3 variations you see here.

This quilt was also in my Supersize 'Em Quilts book. I called it EZ to be Green. 29" (also in the pattern mentioned above). 29" block. 41" x 41" quilt

EZ to Be Green. 29" block.
Tomorrow I'll share a few more variations (yes; I do have some!) See you then.