Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Last Day To Vote!

I know most of you found my blog through Lee of Freshly Pieced, but for those of you who haven't heard, Lee entered a fabric design contest through Connecting Threads.

This is the fabric she designed.  I can see lots of fun projects made out of this.  Perhaps a skirt for my 4 year old?  I am always on the lookout for a great floral that has lots of colors.  It makes letting her dress herself easier on my eyes when all shirts are potential matches.  ;)

How to vote?  Go to the Connecting Threads site.  Lee's design is four rows down on the right side.  Find it and click Vote!  You can vote for more than one design so go give some other great fabric designs some love - there are some beautiful ones with only a few votes.  Kind of sad.    Of course we don't want to vote for the competition (Lee currently has 931 votes!), but I think letting someone with only a few votes know that you like their fabric would be heartening for them.

The contest ends tonight!  Go Vote!

Friday, August 26, 2011


Not  :) 

But I am being featured over at Gen X Quilters.  
Thanks AnneMarie!

Head on over and see what my sewing room looks like when I spend some quality time cleaning it.  :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Corner to Corner Method for Making Flying Geese

Tomorrow I will post instructions for our last Flying Geese block.  I was planning on showing how to make some of the flying geese units with the corner-to-corner method, but I don't have very much of the light yellow fabric I want to use and this method is a bit wasteful of fabric.  So I am just going to introduce the corner-to-corner method tonight.

The pros of this method are that it is fast, easy to be accurate and the math is very straightforward.  It is also useful if you only have to make one or two units.  The only negative is that it uses more fabric than the other methods.


Edited (5/15):  The Skill Builder Sampler will is available for purchase in book form!  It has been renamed "You Can Quilt!  Building Skills for Beginners" but covers the same skills with the easy, medium and challenging blocks and is a million times better than the original quilt along.  It is perfect for the beginning quilter or the experienced quilter who wants to branch out and learn new skills.  Find more information and order a signed copy in my Etsy shop or order on Amazon.  Because of the release of the book some posts have been removed.

To make a flying goose unit cut a rectangle 1/2 inch longer and wider than the finished flying goose unit.  This will be your goose.  The sides are made from two squares that are 1/2 inch larger than the height of the finished unit.

The rectangle in this example is 4.5 x 2.5.  The squares are 2.5 x 2.5.  Draw a line from one corner to the other of each square.

 Place one square on the side of the rectangle and sew ON the line.

Trim off the corner and press.

Place the other square on the other side of the rectangle with the diagonal line running up towards the other side piece.

Stitch on the line.  Trim off the excess - be sure to leave at least a quarter inch seam allowance.

 Press and you are done.

 Now you know three ways to make flying geese:  The traditional/exact method, the "Magic" method and the corner to corner method.

Here are some more very detailed posts on making flying geese units from the Skill Builder Series you might want to read:
Traditional, Squares/Corner-to-Corner and Dimensional
Magic Method (she doesn't call it that, but that's what she means :)  )

P.S.  It is getting late, my mind is fuzzy, Block 9's tutorial isn't done and the kids have dentist appointments tomorrow morning...so the next  block probably won't be posted until tomorrow afternoon.  Sorry.  It will be worth the wait though.  It is one of my favorite blocks so far.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday

It has been forever since I linked up with a Work in Progress Wednesday, but today I really felt the need to get organized and figure out what I have to work on.  So here it is....

In process:

1.  Amish Braid - I need to finish quilting and binding it before next week, but I am scared.  The quilting terrifies me because it shows up so much and will really make or break this quilt.

2.  Stars and Pinwheels - I have been adding regularly to the blocks, 
but still have about 8 to go.

3.  Skill Builder Sampler - Caught up!  :)  

4.  4x5 Modern Quilt Bee Blocks- about half way done with the blocks.  
They will each have the star outside with a customized center.

5.  Chicken Baby Quilt - I have started cutting up fabric for a baby quilt for one of my favorite people.  I started with my red fabrics and let's just say that I have a lot more reds than I thought, so the quilt might turn out to be primarily red and white - with an appliqued chicken or two.  I'll devote a post to the quilt later - it deserves it.  :)

6.  Commissioned Tree Quilt - I am making good progress with this.  I love making these tree blocks.

7.  Flower Garden Quilt - slowly but surely it is progressing.

8.  Crazy Quilt - I just need to add a simple fleece binding to this.
Why has it taken me months?!?

9.  Scrappy 9 Patches - they are sitting on my worktable but going nowhere.

10.  Dresden Plates - I am nervous about sewing these into my white fabric 
so I keep putting it off and working on other projects.
I love them so much I don't want to mess them up.

Man, I sound like a bundle of nerves over here.  "Cowboy up, cupcake!" is going to need to be my moto for the next few weeks until I can get all of these nerve stalled projects under control.  :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Commissioned Tree Quilt

Eeek!  I am making my first commissioned quilt.  My sister in law's manager loved the Big Tree Quilt I made for them and asked if I could make a baby sized one for her good friend who loves trees.

The Big Tree Quilt

I am so glad I said yes to the commission.  I have had a blast making these blocks and am sad that I only have 4 more to make.

The blocks in the Big Tree Quilt were 12 inches square and these will be 10 inches.  I find that I am making the trees slightly larger than last time so there isn't quite as much white space.  I'm not sure how I feel about that right now.  I might add some white sashing to spread them out a little bit more, we'll see.  The last four blocks will definitely have single smaller trees in them so there is more white space in the finished quilt.

I went to the local quilt store today to buy the backing and binding.  She wanted a pieced backing with light and dark green fabrics - no problem.  I picked up some Central Park and a coordinating Civil War reproduction fabric manufactured by Andover Fabrics.  I love how the traditional and modern fabric compliment each other.

It was only when I got it back home and put them next to the tree blocks that I realized how much yellow was in the backing fabrics.  Most of the trees have more blue undertones.   I think it will be ok since it is on the back - it would never do for a border fabric, but I am not in love with it.  I am going to make some of the last trees with some with yellow undertoned fabric and hopefully that will help it blend more.  What do you think?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Iowa State Fair, Quilters Edition

Yesterday I took the girls to the Iowa State Fair.  I wish I could say we had the time of our lives, but honestly, it was packed, we got lost, I got grouchy and did I mention I had four kids with me?  Don't get me wrong, we had fun, but it wasn't magical like the fair sometimes is.

 One of the first things we saw was a line of quilt blocks surrounding the Jacobson Exhibition Center.  From a flier:  "A call was sent out to Iowa counties in the Spring of 2009 to create a quilt block design to represent each county in an outdoor mural at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.  The winning designs from each of Iowa's 99 counties have been constructed in tile on the exterior of the new Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center.  The quilt block project incorporates Iowa's heritage and tradition of barn quilts into the Fairground's newest facility."

The flier also had thumbnails of all of the quilt blocks.  I am sorely tempted to make an "Iowa" quilt out of them.

The next stop was the Thread and Fabric exhibit.
Every year there is a Make-A-Block category at the fair.  They send you fabric and you make a block that is judged.  Then they take the blocks and make a quilt that is raffled off the next year at the fair.  Fun!  I have to remember to sign up next year for sure.  Do you see the cow block that took fourth place?  Here is the tutorial for it.  How fun is it to know where someone got their block pattern from?

 As we walked along the walls of quilts, I realized two things.  #1 - I was at least 15 years younger than most of the women there and  #2 - quilt shows are a much better place to see quilts.  In order to maximize space only a few feet of each quilt is showing.  Bummer.  But here are some favorites.

A Dear Jane Quilt

This one was on the cover of a recent Quilters Newsletter

I am hoping to enter my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt next year,
so I needed a picture of the competition.  :)

I love the graphic look of these flowers.
An appliqued flower quilt is on my must make someday list.

Loved these bright HST

The six year old loved the yo-yos.

I really liked the colors
and different designs in all the diamonds.

Got to love the vintage quilts.

Great Cathedral Windows and Stars.

Tiny pieces in this around the world/postage stamp quilt

More Beauties.

Snakes!  Love this block.
This was the last quilt in line and much to the girls' relief we left the quilt area, wandered around, ate, looked at animals and went to the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit.

Me milking a cow!
She must be so embarrassed to have this picture of her on the web.

I must say that I enjoyed looking at the animals.  They had a great building with newborn baby animals and their moms.  If it hadn't been so crazy in there I could have stayed all day just looking and petting.  And cow milking?  Awesome!  I am totally a natural.  :)

Did you go to the fair this year?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Block 7 - Virginia Star

Welcome!  Ready for another skill?  This month we will focus on flying geese.

This is a flying geese block.  It is made up of three right triangles and is twice as wide as it is high.  The block could be made out of two half square triangles, but using a single piece of fabric for the main (green) triangle gives the finished block a cleaner look - and quite honestly, the fewer seams there are, the less likely we are to mess up.  :)  Flying geese make a great quilt all on their own and are also components of many other blocks.


Edited (5/15):  The Skill Builder Sampler will is available for purchase in book form!  It has been renamed "You Can Quilt!  Building Skills for Beginners" but covers the same skills with the easy, medium and challenging blocks and is a million times better than the original quilt along.  It is perfect for the beginning quilter or the experienced quilter who wants to branch out and learn new skills.  Find more information and order a signed copy in my Etsy shop or order on Amazon.  Because of the release of the book some posts have been removed.

There are three common ways to make flying geese blocks.  Each way has it's pros and cons.  I will introduce a different method each week.  If you prefer one method over another, feel free to use it instead of the one I show.

I planned on showing the "corner to corner" method today, but the batteries on my camera are dead.  So, instead of staying up until all hours to take pictures after the batteries charge, I am going to refer you to a great tutorial for the same block.  The only difference is that it uses the "exact piecing" method.

I am sooooo lucky that Kate from Swim, Bike, Quilt recently wrote this tutorial as part of the Summer Sampler Series.  I know some of you have already made this block.  If so, you can take the week off and sit by the pool - if not, it is one of the best basic blocks out there.

The points of the Virginia Star are flying geese made with the exact piecing method.  This piecing method is great because it does not waste any fabric and it is easy to make the side triangles out of different fabrics if you want.  The only con is that it requires accurate cutting and 1/4 inch seams.

The basic formula for this method starts with determining the finished size of the flying goose piece.  Once you have determined the size of the finished unit, cut one square that is 1.25 inches larger than the finished base of the flying goose.  Then cut the large square from corner to corner into 4 pieces.  These pieces are the large main section of the goose.

The side triangles are made up of a square that is a 7/8th inch larger than the finished height of the flying goose.  Cut the square in half from corner to corner to get the triangles needed for the sides of the goose.

No worries - Kate gives all the measurements for this block, I just thought you might like the basic formula for future reference.

I am going to send you off to Kate's Virginia Star tutorial  now.  Just one last thought.  The 6.5 inch center is rather large and would be a great place to show off any of your large scale fabrics.  If you want to take this block up a notch, you could also piece a 6.5 inch block to use as your center.  I used an extra 9 patch block I had on hand.  The sky is the limit.  Have fun!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Blocks 4-6 Giveaway Winner!

The kids have gone to bed and I am typing up the tutorial for tomorrow. 
But most importantly the winner is....#37
I will email you to get your shipping information.

Be sure to check out all the beautiful blocks posted on our flickr group.  
Great job you guys!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bee Blocks And Swaps

I am finally catching up around here.  I finished my July blocks for Michelle in the Twist on Tradition Bee.  I really like the design she choose.
These are the August blocks for Jodie.   Yea!
I also cut up 2 yards worth of charms last night for the Rainbow Charm Swap.  My color was blue and I ended up choosing just about the lightest and darkest blue out there.
Not only did I finish all of these projects, but I put them in the mail!  A major accomplishment for me.  And impressive since our small town post office is only open for 2 hours on Saturday.  What have you been up to this weekend?