Friday, July 24, 2015

Death Star Wall Hanging

I made this wall hanging for my middle grandson who has been a Star Wars fan for years. I used a free pattern on the Quirky Granola Girl blog but enlarged it to make the star about 12" in diameter. Total size of quilt is 22 x 22. I cut the patterns from freezer paper, ironed them onto the fabrics, then glue basted the pieces together. I hand embroidered the stars and machine quilted everything using a walking foot.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Kansas Troubles pattern


This little quilt is from a pattern I purchased in a quilt shop in Freeport, Maine. It's called KT Classic Charms, designed by Lynne Hagmeier, and is 22" square.  I used some charm squares from a Jo Morton pack I bought at the same shop. Like many (most) of my quilt tops, it remains to be quilted. I'll probably do stitch in the ditch on the main section because I want the fabrics to be the center of attention. Then I'll do some free motion in the border. By the way, all those little triangles are  HALF square triangles :)                                                                        

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.

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.