Friday, October 31, 2014

Scrappy Trip Around the World and a Note About Value

Well here she is, my scrappy trip around the world.  I know you guys already made them way back at the beginning of the year.  Yep, I'm that slow getting to projects I want to make!  But this one is different - really.

I started out making it just like the pattern says, but when I got my strips sewn and cut I got a crazy idea.  Why not make it really scrappy and spread out those strips of 5 so it would be even more scrappy?  Great idea if I had remembered what I learned this year about value.

What is value you might ask?  Value refers to how light or dark a color is in relation to surrounding colors. Value helps us decide how to layout a quilt to make the fabric either blend or contrastThis quilt needed a dark value for contrast as the running diagonals.  I thought the turquoise fabric would be contrasting enough to stand out, but I was wrong.  I should have used a navy. 

Since it was too late to start over, I was hoping to bring out the diagonal with some quilting. The turquoise is quilted with a terry twist and the centers with the straight line diamonds. It doesn't help as much as I had hoped for, but it is better.

So let this be a lesson to me!  Always think about value when picking fabrics for a quilt.  Even when you are making a rainbow quilt from scraps.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Disappearing 4 Patch Complete!

My friend Norece made a disappearing 4 patch a while ago saying that she had a stack of 6.5 inch blocks.  That got me thinking that I might have one in the closet too!   I did and it was a black Hawaiian  print that I had bought from the estate sale.

Love the pattern.  I wanted to make it bigger, but I ran out of the light fabric and couldn't find anymore.  I used the rest of it on the back to make racing stripes.  

Quilted in swirls to soften all the straight lines on the front. 

 Sometimes it takes a friend to encourage you to make a new pattern.  Thanks Norece for all your good ideas!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Quilted Fleece Redo

Here is my original fleece blanket that I quilted a while back.  While I loved the quilting, I didn't love the fringe.  Bunk House Quilts made a stadium blanket last week and it had a different kind of edge - fleece binding!  She even linked to her tutorial on how to do it.  

So I cut off the fringe and added a fleece border that matched the back of the blanket.  It's a little small, but I intend to give it as a lap quilt.

Her directions are very clear, but I pinned the binding anyway.  There was enough overlap when I pinned it.  I trimmed it with my smaller sized super sharp scissors.

You round the corners with a plate, sew the binding (unfolded) to the front with a 1/2 seam allowance, then fold over and stitch in the ditch on the front.  Almost like for a regular quilt except there is no ironing!

This is a great type of blanket to practice quilting on.  My daughter is doing this with a printed fleece (same fabric on both sides)  The quilting doesn't stand out so much this way.  We'll be posting on that soon.  I accidentally gave the first one away without taking a picture!

My cute helpers!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Two Favorite Quilting Tools

I was cutting my scraps the other day and got to thinking about how much I love this ruler.  So I thought I would share my 2 favorite tools with you today!

#1 Favorite Tool:  Shape Cut Pro

This ruler tool cuts 8 - 2.5 inch or 4 - 5 inch strips very quickly!  No moving your ruler, just lay the shape cut pro on top of your fabric, aline the top fold and cut, cut, cut!  This is great for cutting binding strips.  You can also use it for cutting squares but cutting your strips, rotating the ruler 90 degrees, then cut again.

 Here I am using it to cut my 2.5 inch strip pieces into squares.

Then I put all the pieces smaller than 2.5 in this bucket for Josie to play with.

 #2 Favorite Tool:  Simplicity Bias Tape Maker

You might guess that this tool irons 2.5 inch strips into binding for you!  How can you not love that?  Ironing is my least favorite part of quilting and this tool helps with that.  All you have to do is sew your binding strips together on an angle, load onto the roller and feed through the metal tip.  The 2.5 inch single fold tip is not included with the machine.

  Perfectly folded binding every time!  What are your favorite time saving quilting tools?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pumpkins and Leaves Fall Jelly Roll Quilt

I've had this jelly roll for years.  Years!  Time to get it off the shelf and onto my couch!

This quilt is modeled after Christa's Quilt Along on Christa Quilts.  I followed her directions to the T except I made my quilt bigger.  And I only used 1 jelly roll.  The difference between how she cut her strips and how I cut mine is this:  I did not cut mine in half. 

We both sewed 2 strips together.  She cut her half strips into 4 pieces and I cut my full strips into 9 pieces.  She ended up with 160 (and used 145).  I ended up with 180 (and used 180).  No wasting and you get a bigger quilt. 

This quilt is about 50 x 62 inches.  One other thing I did different - I laid out the entire quilt on my design wall borders and all.  I wanted to make sure I spread out all the different colors even in the borders.  I took the top and bottom borders off and labeled them 1 and 2.

Then I took down and labeled the sides. I drew a picture and put my numbers on them so I wouldn't forget what went where.  Finally I took down the rows and labeled them with a different color sticky note to keep them straight.

For the quilting I stitched in the ditch around the cream borders.  Then I free handed leaves with a swirl in the border blocks.  On the 2 sides where there is an odd number of squares, I quilted a heart with a swirl. 

The center is a looping meander.  I connected the start of the first row to the start of the next and the end of the first row to the end of the second. It took 4 passes so there are 2 sets continuous loops.

Friday, October 10, 2014

My Scraps and the Easy Angle Ruler

I have been working on getting all my scraps pressed, cut, and organized.  I have finally decided on these sizes:

2.5 inch strips (over 13 in long) and squares:

4.5 inch strips (at least 5.25 inches) and squares:

5 inch squares:

I had these scrapbooking boxes in my closet and they are perfect to store my scraps in:

This is how I used to store my scraps by color.  They may not look like they are getting empty, but most of the bins are at least half way.  I still have one bin of small strips for a string quilt that I might make someday under the table.  I hope to have this all cut up by the end of the year!

So I found this, this, and this pattern for using 4.5 inch HSTs and 4 patches.  I needed to find a way to use the scrap sizes that I was already cutting instead of adding another size.

This is the Easy Angle Ruler.  You may have heard about it from Bonnie Hunter.  It takes 4.5 inch strips and makes 4.5 in half square triangles (HST). 

 I tried it out to see how long a strip you would need to make 2 HSTs.  Start with 2 strips right side together. Line up the left side of the strip with the width of square you want.  4.5 inch will give you a 4 inch finished square.  Cut down the angle on the right side.

Flip the ruler over like this, line up on the 4.5 inch line again and cut down the right side.

Sew down the diagonal lines on both sets.

Press and trim the dog ears (there are only dog ears on 1 corner as opposed to 2 corners when made tradionally).

It took 5.25 inches to make both these HSTs.  No trimming down to size.  No waste.  Gotta love it. This ruler works on any size HST up to 6.5 inches.  But the 4.5 inch HST will pair nicely with a four patch made from 2.5 inch scraps.   

This quilt is one of my favorites I made from scraps.  It uses 4.5 inch and 2.5 inch blocks to make the 9 patches.  I also want to make this quilt that uses 4.5 inch blocks.  

Here is a rainbow quilt made from 2.5 inch squares. I love this one too! You can see the rest of my scrappy quilt inspiration on pinterest here.  There are several quilts that use 2.5 inch squares.  Maybe you'll see something you would like to make too!

Linking with Sarah

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

ABC Rag Quilt Letters

I saw these rag quilt letters and thought Josie might like to play with them.  I followed the directions on her site, but when I printed out the letters they seamed too small.  And it was a lot of cutting.  So I got out my Cricut, hooked it up to my computer and got cutting the easy way!  I made my letters 6 inches tall and used Arial font. 

Some of the letters are still a bit "skinny" for my taste, like the M, W, V, and U. They flop around when you pick them up.  So if you make them, you might make them thicker as well as taller.

I backed each letter with a rainbow polka dot flannel so that Josie would be able to tell the front from the back.  She has been having trouble with a few letters getting turned over during school so I thought that would help her.  I also made 2 of each vowel so she could spell some words.  Really need to make a few more of the more used letters too so she can spell her brother's names!

Sew Fresh Quilts

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Navy, Gray, and Red Baby Quilt

Last night I tried to get some pictures of this quilt with two little girls in the room. Emma figured this quilt must be for her since I put it on the floor.  She proceeded to crawl all over it, throwing herself back and forth on her tummy claiming it as hers!  I wish I could show you the scene, but I couldn't find a picture that wasn't blurry except this one:

Anyway, the block finishes at 6 inches and is made up of 1 rectangle (3 x 6.5) and 2 squares (3 x 3).  The white strips are cut 1.5 x 6.5 and 1.5 x 3.  Then just add the 1.5 in strip between the blocks and she's done.

I quilted it with a panto called loops and stars.  I used the 7 inch, but I think the quilting is a little dense and should have used the 10 inch. It might also be a little denser because of the red fleece I put on the back of it.

Another photo session this morning on the couch.  Yep, Emma was here too!  Gotta love her.

But I finally did manage to get a good picture.

Linking with Connie and QuiltStory

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