Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tutorial For Sewing Partial Seams

I used a partial seam technique to sew the center square in the star block below.  This is a handy technique to know when you want the strips on all sides of the center square to be the same length. 
(When this is not a concern, of course you can sew strips to two opposite sides of the square then longer strips to the other two sides.)

The center of the star is 6" finished.  I wanted my center square to be framed by 1" strips so I cut the center square 4.5" and cut my framing strips 1.5" wide and 5.5" long.  You start by sewing the first strip to one side, sewing only part way along - at least 1" but not more than halfway.  As you can see, the strip extends past the square. 

Fold the first strip back into place and fingerpress about one inch along the seam. I normally press with an iron but find fingerpressing works best for this step. Line up your second strip along the edge of the square and the first framing strip across the partically sewn seam.  Sew in place and press. 

Add the third and then the fourth strip in the same manner.  After the fourth strip is added, you will sew the remaining part of the first seam.

This is when it helps to have finger pressed rather than ironed as you need to fold the piece back down so right sides are together.  Sew in place, overlapping the end of the first stitches. 

Now you can press in place and the center of your block is done.

Then go make some more!

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Start Of A New Quilt

I started a new project.  The piece of fabric below is my inspiration for the color palette; this piece is from my stash and I don't have any identification for it.

I used it to pull from my stash.

I'm using a pattern called Peppermint Float by Cindy Lammon.  It is in her book Simply Modern Christmas and also the December quilt in That Patchwork Place Quilt Calendar 2015.  But I'm making the variation that Cindy showed on her blog.
Test block done!

Time to make more blocks.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Brownstone - Last Finish of 2014

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.  We had a quiet one here on Main Street because part of our extended family was in Florida and part in Puerto Rico for the holiday.  We decided to stay at home and had a lovely day, just the three of us plus dogs. 

I'm unveiling Brownstone, sure to be my last finished quilt of 2014. 

Mr. Main Street is my quilt holder while Dillie the Corgi photo bombs.

I finished piecing this curved log cabin quilt back in March but the quilting part was delayed while my long-armer moved south.  I finished the binding and labeling last weekend but needed a day without clouds and rain to take a good photo. 

Brownstone is 72" square (the blocks are 9").  The curved effect is achieved by making the pieces on the light side narrower than the pieces on the dark side.  Despite being all straight line piecing, you get this curved look to the blocks.  I blogged the how-to in February, here.

I used my stash of Fig Tree fabrics from Moda.  I like the look of the light side so much I am thinking of making a whole quilt from the light neutrals that remain in my Fig Tree stash.  I just need to come up with a design. 

Karen Thompson quilted Brownstone using a panto design of swirls.  I think the quilting design works well with this block. 
I have a few days off work over the holiday and have already started my next project!  Of course!

Monday, December 15, 2014

One Item Checked Off The Bucket List

My double wedding ring quilt is finished and on the bed.  That's one item checked off my quilting bucket list (but plenty remaining to be tackled).

I'm calling this one Love Actually Kari Ruedisale did a fantastic job for me with custom quilting.  It is exactly what I envisioned. 

She quilted a motif to fill the center portion of the interlocking ring and a series of loops on each arch of the ring.

And the border is absolutely fantastic, with vertical lines and a wonderful feather making its way around the outer edge.  

Love Actually took a while to finish; let's call it slow quilting.  Made mostly from prints from the Paris Flea Market line by 3 Sisters, with a background from a newer 3 Sisters line (Printemps?).  I used a set of acrylic templates from Marti Michell and highly recommend them.  They made the cutting easier and the piecing more accurate than trying to cut with cardboard forms.   And I'm thinking of re-using the template set to make another quilt on my bucket list, the orange peel.
In the first photo, you can see the pillow cases I made from the background fabric.  I'm planning to make some pillow shams from my remaining Paris Flea Market hoard.  But in the meantime, there's a big check mark on my list.  What's on your list?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Need A Gift For Someone Quilty?

To celebrate my birthday last week, my husband gave me the books on my wishlist, including 500 Traditional Quilts, from Karey Patterson Bresenhan (director of the Quilt Market trade shows).

Wow, what inspiration.  Photo after photo of stunning quilts!  There is a lot of variety represented, including applique and both simple and complex pieceing.  Each is a marvelous example of the art of quilt making.  There are plenty of quilts included that I wish I could make, and plenty more that give me real ideas for something I could actually complete.

This book does not include any instructions; it is inspiration only.  But I think it is something every quiltmaker would enjoy looking at and like having in her library.  If you need a gift for a quilting friend, or even for yourself, 500 Traditional Quilts could be just the thing.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine

While browsing at Barnes & Noble the other day, I came across a new-to-me quilting magazine, Love Patchwork & Quilting.  It is published in the UK and a bit pricey by my standards ($11.99, though about $9 after various B&N member and coupon discounts) but I could not resist buying this issue, labeled "Festive Issue Fourteen."

The project that especially caught my attention is this clamshell pattern called Super Scallops.  I've seen clamshell quilts made using English paper piecing but that technique does not hold great appeal for me.  This project uses more of an applique method where the sewing can be done by machine or hand.  By the way, the individual clamshells are quite large; that is a bed size quilt pictured below.

But there is also a mini version that uses a smaller size clamshell.  The only question is, should I go big or small?  I'm leaning towards the wall hanging because we really don't need more bed-size quilts here on Main Street.

The cover quilt also got my attention.  It is another bed size quilt, 80 inches square, called Chevron Snowflake.  Given the way it is pieced, I think it would go together quickly. 
There a several other projects in this issue, including a duffle bag.  All in all, an impressive publication.  I'll be on the lookout for future issues of Love Patchwork & Quilting!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Merry and Bright - A Finished Quilt

I finished a Christmas quilt, just in time for the Christmas season.  Here is Merry and Bright!

I made Merry and Bright using a pattern called Trellis Crossroads from the book Modern Bee.  I like the clean lines of this design, so modern, and have seen it made up in other fabrics on the internet.  The design lends itself to just about any fabric collection, plus stash, which is what I used for my Christmasy version. 

This is what a finished block looks like.  The blocks get trimmed down and then sewn together to create the look seen in the finished quilt.  And this is where I had a problem with the pattern.

The directions for trimming the blocks are too cryptic. It is important that you measure from the center of the block out to edge and trim, to ensure the trimmed blocks will be uniform and the seams will match when you start sewing together.  If you don't do this, you will have mess of mismatched seams. 
Karen Thompson quilted Merry and Bright for me, using this loopy design.  I think the seams in the large white spaces will be less noticeable after a washing. 

My finished version is 62" by 74" which is a good size for a throw quilt.  It is our first Christmas decoration of this season.

I did a lot of labeling over the weekend.  When I cleaned up my sewing room for the house tour, I found a stash of labels I had made for various quilts but never sewn on.  That oversight was rectified this weekend and I am now caught up. 

Occasional Piece Quilt has a tutorial on how to make this kind of quilt label using your computer printer.