Sunday, April 26, 2015

HSTs and QSTs - a Pet Peeve

It really, really bugs me when quilters use the HST term for both kinds of triangles. Yes, they look the same, but in half square triangles, the diagonal is on the bias and the edges are on the straight of grain. Quarter square triangles are the opposite, with the diagonal on the straight of grain and the edges on the bias. For stability of your blocks it helps to have all the outside edges be on the non-stretchy straight of grain. Thus, placement and type of triangles used is important for accurate measurements, matching seams and points, and preventing the block from having a 'wonky' shape.

I see all sorts of videos and tutorials for making quick triangle units. The triangles are invariably referred to as half square triangles when they actually are quarter square triangles. One such tutorial is the 'tube' method where you stitch 2 equal sized strips together on both the long sides, then cut them apart on 45 degree angles. Most of these tutorials recommend heavily starching the fabric, I guess to cut down on the bias edges stretching out of shape.
 

I have no problem with people posting and using these methods. It's totally OK if you want to do it this way. There's no 'rule' that says you can't. Just please give the triangles their correct names. It seems pretty simple to me and would certainly help clarify whether the edges will be on the bias (QSTs) or not (HSTs).

There's a detailed explanation of HSTs and QSTs on the Guidelines for Quilting web site. I'm not affiliated with this site (they sell rulers), I just think they have a pretty good tutorial.  

http://www.guidelines4quilting.com/HST-QST.html

Friday, March 20, 2015

My latest efforts


'Sunday Supper' ( Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots) is quilted, mostly in the ditch with a walking foot. The black binding seems to frame it nicely.

Quilt size 13 1/2"x16 1/2", block size 4"


Little Bites Tidbit No.3 (Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.) is also quilted in the ditch and bound. As I hoped, the straight line quilting in the border hides the seam where the extra fabric was added, and the striped binding, which shows up much better in real life, is just the right touch.

 Quilt size 18"x21", block size 3"


'Barn Stars' is from the 2nd Simple Whatnots series. It's quilted in the ditch and ready for binding.  I like that this quilt has light neutral stars on darker backgrounds. It's a nice contrast to another little quilt I did last fall that is the reverse with colored stars on neutral backgrounds.


Quilt size 20"x20", block size 4"
  

'And now for something completely different.'

I've had my eye on the Robbi Joy Eklow 'Groovy Guitars' wall hanging pattern for a couple years, and finally decided to make it using batiks from my stash. The pattern size is 35"x47". That was a little large for my purposes, so I reduced it to about 22"x25".

It was a challenge to work with the idea of 'transparency' where the guitars overlapped, especially using only fabrics that I had on hand.  I ended up cutting and trying several different colors for some of the pieces before finally finding what seemed to work the best. In spite of the 'extra' pieces, it was a fun process....and I don't think I wasted too much fabric.

All the applique pieces are fused to the background with fusible webbing and now need to be stitched down. I'm not sure whether to use a small zigzag or just a straight stitch close to the edge. I also have to add a narrow black border and then of course quilt it. That'll be a whole nother challenge.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

More winter's work


While at the quilt shop picking up my Simple Whatnots kits of the month, I naturally keep finding other projects that call my name. Lately I've been drawn to reds and creams and there were some store samples using these colors that I couldn't resist.

The first was from a pattern called Little Bites Tidbits by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. 18" x 21".


The shop sample used 2 mini charm squares, a cream pin dot, and a stripe from Moda Petite Prints by French General with reds, creams, tans and browns. In my mind's eye I remembered the striped fabric as the border. It was difficult to tell which of the 3 pattern designs was used for the sample but I thought it was the one with the inner and outer borders. There were equal amounts of the pin dot and striped fabrics in the kit, so I made the inner border with the pin dot and the outer with the stripe. It looked ok, but just not quite right..


Next time I was in the shop I checked out the sample and saw they had used only one border and it was the cream pin dot fabric. The stripe was used for the binding, and that is what had caught my eye. Unfortunately I hadn't thought to take a picture of it the first time I saw it.

Since I had already cut and stitched the pin dot for the inner border, there wasn't enough of it left to make the complete wide border. I decided to cut what I had and sew it on to the existing narrow border.  I'm much happier with it now and can't wait to get it quilted so I can add the striped binding. Hopefully the quilting will somewhat hide that extra seam in the border.

 
 
*****
 
Another sample I saw at the shop was Waiting for Spring from Fit to Frame Set 9 by Lori Smith. The quilts are pretty, but I don't think I would have noticed the pattern were it not for the sample of the one on the upper left done in reds and creams instead of blues.
 

 
Here's my finished quilt, 11" x 14", using fabrics from my stash. The blocks are so small, 2" x 2", that it didn't even begin to make a dent in said stash. Oh well.
 
 


 
*****
 

I always love working on some sort of northwoods pattern, in the midst of all the reproduction designs, so I hauled out this kit purchased on a trip to Maine last fall. It's called There's a Moose in the Woods from Sewing by the Sea in Trenton, ME. I've been to Maine many times and have never seen a moose there in spite of all the 'watch for moose' signs.  I think I'll have to be content with a fabric moose.

This one is 14" x 33". The moose is appliqued and the trees are paper pieced. I don't like paper piecing but thought I'd do it...for the sake of the moose. I like the quilt but still don't like paper piecing. :)




Winter's work


This cold, snowy winter has been a great time to stay in and work on some of my many wips, both old and new.

Last summer I signed up for the Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots club at my local quilt shop. Each month a kit is available which uses her Vintage Farmhouse fabric line. These small quilts  have been a good study in piecing. I discovered the truth to needing to be REALLY accurate in cutting and stitching blocks that are only 3 or 4 inches in size. Seams that are only a fraction off can cause all sorts of problems. They can't be eased in like they can on large blocks, so my seam ripper has been getting a good work out.

This one is called Sunday Supper. It's 13 1/2" x 16 1/2", with blocks that are 4" x 4". It's pinned and ready for quilting.

 

This is Laundry Day, 20 1/2" x 20 1/2", with 3" x 3" blocks. I added in some fabrics from my own stash as is suggested in the kit. Leftover scraps from the blocks are used to make the randomly pieced binding. I liked that idea a lot and think it adds  the perfect finishing touch to this quilt.

 
 
Idaho Lily is one that is actually all done and hanging on the wall in my living room. It wasn't until I finished it in December that I realized it would be just right to hang at Christmas time. I don't have enough wall space for the many wall quilts I've done over the years, so now I have to rotate them. I quilted in the ditch around the lilies and leaves, stippled in the background and did feathers in the border. The feathers don't show very well since I used red thread. I should have used a different color, but I'm happy with the result anyway.
 
 
 


Thursday, January 01, 2015

Another loon quilt


The latest loon wall hanging, a gift for my daughter this past summer. This is the same McKenna Ryan pattern I have used before, but with a few changes. I added pine boughs, subtracted a canoe, and arranged the trees differently.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Civil War Minis

 

I didn't have room to pack my entire fabric stash to take on vacation, so I just took one tote bag of fat quarters, mostly civil war reproduction fabrics. The small amounts were perfect for making small quilts. I made these little 9 patches by sewing sets of short strips together first. I ended up with 2 blocks in each color, one with dark corners and one with light corners, enough for a 2nd quilt.


Little quilts go together very quickly, so I was able to make several. These next two were made using the leftover triangles cut from flying geese units in another larger quilt.

 
 
 

 
 
I found a little basket pattern in an old quilt magazine and thought it would work in another small quilt. I used fusible webbing for the appliques and stitched them down with a machine blanket stitch.
 
 

 
 
The last small quilt is called Blackbirds and Berries, designed by Kim Diehl, from her book Homestyle Quilts
 
 


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pumpkin Wall Hanging


I appliqued this pumpkin  quilt several years ago and started the cross hatch quilting on my old sewing machine. A couple years  later I was fortunate enough to be able to buy a better machine and then finished quilting around the appliques. Finally, again a couple more years later, I sewed on the binding (just a few days ago). I really should not procrastinate so much!

 
Here's a close up of the pumpkins.
 
 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Vacation quilt


I finally finished this log cabin wall hanging while on vacation and hung it over a bed in the cottage. I used stitch in the ditch and outline quilting to keep it simple.
 

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Quilt Show


There was a wonderful quilt show this last weekend, done by the Genessee Valley Quilt Club, with over 600 quilts. There was a great variety of styles represented from antique to civil war to applique to contemporary to art quilts. What an inspiration!!!

Here are a couple pictures of the amazing work:

 
  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Homestead

 
I started this small house wall hanging so long ago I had to dig out the pattern to remind myself what it was called.  It's from One Day in the Country Quilt Cards designed by Sarah Sporrer and is #QC115 Homestead. It's very folksy with the appliques stitched down with long stitches. The sheep just need legs, then it'll be ready to finish. I think maybe the big stitch hand quilting will be the way to go with this one.
 
 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

FMQ


I came across a little folk art fabric panel in my stash a while ago and thought it would make a good quick pillow....no piecing, so I could get right to the quilting. I really don't like to mark quilting patterns, so I just stitch in the ditch, stitch around appliques or shapes in the fabric, and free motion quilt the rest. I like to use feathers if at all possible. Here I did some feathers in the large triangles.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mixed Bouquet in a Tall Vase

 
This work in progress is a 26" x 32" wall hanging designed by Betsy Chutchian found in the book Cotton and Ewe by Chutchian and Edgell,  published by Design Originals.  It's my first attempt at using felted wool for applique and I rather liked doing so...no raw edges. I'll use a machine blanket stitch for the larger appliques, but will probably do the small blue flowers by hand.
  
 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Civil War 9 Patch

 
This is the last of the Serena Wakelin pieces purchased in Kennebunk, Maine. It's a 9 patch and is about 13" x 17".  
 

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Flowerpot Applique Wall Quilt


This wall hanging is from the book, Remembering Adelia, by Kathleen Tracy. It's about 19" x 25" and still needs some of the appliques stitched down and  to be quilted and bound (with a nice rusty brown print).
The flowers are ruched by basting the edge of a strip of fabric, pulling the thread to gather, forming it into a circle, and stitching the ends together. Small buttons will be sewn to the flower centers.  I'm thinking about making another one of these too, a little smaller, and with a more floral stripe for the border.
 

 

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Civil war reproduction mini quilt

 
This is another little civil war reproduction quilt by Serena Wakelin from Mainly Quilts. It's called Rosie Finch with Pinwheels and is 10" x 16".
 
 

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Cabin in the Woods

 
This wall hanging was started last summer when I was on vacation. Cabins and woods and pines and such always seem to appeal to me then. The pattern is by Jell Kemp from a Bears Paw Designs booklet, Northern Reflections. I put in some extra trees and a bear, and may or may not add the borders called for in the pattern.