Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dresden Plate Construction

I'm making a Dresden Plate quilt.  Information about it can be found in my last post. 

Before making the block, you have to form each wedge.  That's done by sewing across the wider end of each cut wedge.  I just fold mine in half length-wise, then stitch across the end, chain piecing to save time.

Here's what a chain of stitched pieces looks like. 

And here's the back side of a finished wedge.  Now you can see how that pointed end happens. 

I use a wooden point turner to help get sharp points at the top of each wedge. 

I need 300 wedges so there is a lot of chain piecing and pressing ahead.  That's ok; it is a good workday evening sewing project because I can work on it for 20 or 30 minutes after dinner and make real progress by the end of the week.

Cindy at Hyacinth Quilt Designs posted a tutorial for the block as she made her quilt.  You'll find it here.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dresden Plate

A Dresden Plate quilt has long been on my quilting bucket list.  Last year, I saw one made by Cindy of Hyacinth Quilt Designs.  It stayed in my mind and as I thought about what to make from my stash of Fig Tree fabrics, the Dresden plate kept popping up in my mind.  I decided to give in to the inevitable, mulled over it some more, considering different options and settings, and eventually came up with a plan.

Like Cindy, I am using the Fat Cat ruler, a 30 degree wedge ruler.  (I couldn't find the ruler at any of my local stores or usual online quilting supply sources and ended up buying it on Amazon.com, from an Amazon Marketplace seller.  The service was excellent.)

The Fat Cat ruler results in a Dresden plate block with twelve wedges forming the circle.  Most traditional Dresdens are made with a narrower wedge.  For example, an 18 degree ruler means 20 wedges around the circle.  With the Fat Cat, the wedges are wider, which is good for showing off bigger prints.  Of course, it also means fewer seams to sew.

For my project, I cut strips from fat quarters, 4 1/2" wide, then used the ruler to cut the strips into pieces.  I got eight wedges from each strip.  I figured out that I could also cut eight from a layer cake square without much waste, so this could be a layer cake-friendly design (with the addition of yardage for the center circles, sashing, and background).

I'm planning on a 25 block quilt so need 300 wedges.  I've cut about 170 so far, and want to make a few blocks then assess the color balance before I cut more. 

More on assembly in my next post.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Next Up

While working on my just-completed project, I was already thinking ahead to the next.  Actually, I have a number of quilts planned out in my head and it was difficult to pick which to start next.  Thelma of Cupcakes 'N Daisies is making French Vintage, a pattern on my to-do list.  I was tempted to jump in and play along, using my fat quarter bundle of Etchings.   But I am dedicated to this Fig Tree Harvest project I dreamed up (using my ample stash of fabric from Fig Tree Designs by Moda) so I decided to skip French Vintage for now and move along to my next figgy. 

I will be using this stack of fat quarters.

You can see them a little better laid out here.  Again, I'm going with the cheery pastels:  green, yellow, blue, aqua, and several shades of pink.  

I've got lots of brown and red prints left so I'll have to think of something to do with them.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

First Fig Tree Harvested

Using this pattern, Changes from Cotton Charm Quilts...

I made these blocks.

And now they are all sewn together into this flimsy. 

It is 79" square, not quite large enough for the bed, but will make a generous extra quilt for the foot of the bed.  I'm calling it Hello Sunshine because the combination of colors is so cheery. 

Here is a close-up of a corner block with the borders.  Apple green floral print for the first border then a lighter floral for the outer border. 

It is hanging on the to-be-quilted hanger now. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Do You Pin?

I recently started pinning on Pinterest.  If you haven't discovered Pinterest yet, I give you fair warning:  it is fabulous for inspiration and a handy tool but it can be a real time suck!  You think you will just browse for a few minutes and before you know it, an hour or two or three have sped by.  Ask me how I know this!

But that issue aside, it is a wonderul way to save all those images you see on the internet.  You know, the one of that well-styled living room mantle that you wish was in your house, if only you owned some heirloom crystal.  Or that quilt that you added to "your list" and you remember there was a tutorial for the block but you can't remember which blog it was on.  So now, when you see these things that you want to save, you just "pin" them to one of your Pinterest boards.  Then when you want to see it again and get to the original source, it will be there waiting for you.

Pinterest is an online pin board or inspiration board that lets you organize and share things you find on the web. You can use it to plan decorating projects, plan events, and organize recipes.  I've got pin boards for home decorating ideas, Christmas decorating ideas, one I call "Corgi Love," and oh yeah, quilts I admire.  When you pin a picture from a website, it is saved to your board with the website name noted below the picture and the url embedded.  So all you have to do is click and you will be taken back to the source.  Easy way to get back to the tutorial, or online store, or whatever the source is.  

If you want to start pinning, go to the Pinterest site and register for your own (free!) account.  If the site won't let you register without an invitation from another member, email me and I'll send you one.  And let the fun begin!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Visit To The City Quilter

On Wednesday, I went to NYC for a business meeting and my walk to the meeting location took me right by The City Quilter in Chelsea (25th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues).  I was early, so I went in for a look around.  The owners have expanded the store since my last visit and now operate a small gallery for art quilts in the adjacent shop front.

The City Quilter has a large selection of fabric, including an impressive collection of Asian and Asian inspired fabric.  They also stock New York City themed fabric, most of which is their own design, and have several kits from this fabric that would make good souvenirs for a visitor.  The fabric above, called New York Line By Line - Day, is one of their original designs.  They had some cute pajama pants made out of their subway map print on display. 

The store also sells a number of New York and sewing-inspired items that would make good souvenirs of your visit or gifts for sewing and quilting friends back home.  The City Quilter sells these items online; they also sell some fabric and kits online. 

I managed to get away without spending a fortune (bought a gizmo for storing stencils or rulers, along with a pattern for tiny paper-pieced blocks).  When you are next in the Chelsea area, try to visit The City Quilter.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This Month's Quilting Magazines

I just got the March/April McCall's Quilting and the April American Patchwork & Quilting.  Both magazines have noteworthy projects this month.

McCalls has this quilt, called Good Morning, by Holly Holderman of Lakehouse Dry Goods.

The designer used fabrics from the Pam Kitty Morning line but it is a versatile design that lends itself to just about any fabric collection, including stash and scraps. 

The super prolific Gerri Robinson has a quilt in this issue too.  It is Midnight Garden, using three different 20" block designs.  I like the block designs and think they could each be used alone.  This quilt was made with the Blueberry Crumb Cake fabric line from Moda.

In American Patchwork & Quilting, I found Reel Deal, an applique and pieced quilt designed by Jo Morton.  I've been looking for a block like this to practice my applique skills on.  The directions for the quilt include a new-to-me applique technique called back-basting.  There are very detailed instructions along with photos.  I think I'll give it a try.

I also like this pillowcase, designed by Monique Dillard, and shown on the last page of the magazine.  I've been wanting to make pillowcases to coordinate with bed quilts and this looks like a good project that uses small pieces and scraps left from the main quilt. 

You should be able to find both magazines at your local quilt shop or at Barnes & Noble book store.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Little Bit More

I made some more progress this weekend.

All 25 blocks are done and I have them in an arrangement that pleases me on the design wall.  Sorry for the crummy picture but I can't get far enough from the wall to get the whole thing in a photo, plus the table with the Bose iPod dock is in the way.  But anyway, you get the idea.

Next up, the sashing and borders.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

On My Design Wall

15 blocks finished and up on the design wall.  The other 10 blocks are work-in-progress.  Already, I am going through my usual agitation over block placement, trying to abide by my "rules" about the same fabric not being in adjacent blocks. 

The pattern is called Changes, designed by Kelly Guy, and is available from Cotton Charm Quilts.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Goodies By Mail

I have more fabric stash than I can reasonably expect to use so I've been trying to restrain myself when new fabric lines come out.  I have not been entirely successful with the restraint thing, though.  But this time, I managed to limit myself to some charm packs, rather than my usual fat quarter bundle plus yardage.

I bought a couple of charm packs from Fig Tree's newest line for Moda, called California Girl

The colors in the line are so cheerful.  I particularly like both shades of blue and the taupe as a neutral.  I figure I can always use the charm packs in a Schnibble or work them into another project. 

I also bought a pattern from Fig Tree, called Boardwalk.    

Boardwalk was designed for the California Girl line but I am thinking of using my layer cake of Mill House Inn. 

But first, I need to finish the current project!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bargain Prices on Fig Tree Fabric

An email message from Hancock's of Paducah alerted me to a sale on Moda's Butterscotch & Rose fabric line by Fig Tree.  I need more fabric like I need a nose ring but the sale prices ($2.49 per half yard!) were too good to pass up.  I just ordered backs for some of the projects I have in mind for my Fig Tree Harvest. 

You can find the Fig Tree fabric here on the Hancock's of Paducah site.  They have other fabric lines on sale too.