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

9 - Double Star

Alright!  Are you ready for the last flying geese block?

Fabric:  Fabric choice is VITAL in this block.  You need a light, medium and dark fabric.  Choose the lightest fabric in your collection.  For the pattern to stand out it must be distinctly different from the medium and dark fabrics.  It is not quite as vital for the medium and dark be significantly different from each other as long as there is a high contrast between med/dark and light.

Cutting:  There are a lot of pieces in this block so just take your time cutting.  I will give measurements for both traditional and magic methods here and for the corner-to-corner method below.

For the traditional and magic methods:

From the light valued fabric cut:
1 - 4.5 inch square
12 - 2 7/8 inch squares (4 many be in one color and 8 in another light color if you desire)

From the medium valued fabric cut: 
1 - 5.25 inch square
4 - 2.5 inch squares

From the dark valued fabric cut:
2 - 5.25 inch squares
4 - 2.5 inch squares

For the corner-to-corner method:

From the light valued fabric cut:
1 - 4.5 inch square
24 - 2.5 inch squares

From the medium fabric cut:
4 - 4.5 x 2.5 inch rectangles
1 - 2.5 inch squares

From the dark valued fabric cut:
8 - 4.5 x 2.5 inch rectangles
4 - 2.5 inch squares 

Sewing:  Now it is time to make our flying geese.  For this block you get to choose whichever method you prefer.  In the end we want to have 4 medium geese with light sides and 8 dark geese with light sides.

If you are doing the traditional method, cut the 5.25 inch squares in quarters on the diagonal.  Cut the light fabric in half on the diagonal also.  Piece the light triangles on each side of each light and dark triangle as explained in this post.

For the magic method draw a line from corner to corner of each of the light squares and follow the instructions given in this post.

For the corner-to-corner method, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on each of the small light squares and follow the piecing directions in this post.

Once you have made all of the flying geese units, lay them out as shown above.  That's right, there are two different designs you can made depending on which direction the outer round of geese face.  I think I kind of like the one I didn't choose better - oh, well.

Once they are laid out how you want them, piece the inner star.  Sew the squares to either side of the top and bottom goose and sew the side geese to the large middle square.

Next sew the top and bottom pieces to the middle section of the star.

I like to pin where the seams match up at the edge of the corner squares and in the middle of the flying goose.

The center is done!  Now to piece the outer round of geese.   Sew two geese together for the sides - press seams open (I know, I never say that, but these seams are Bulky!)  Sew two geese and the corner squares together for the top and bottom sections.

Attach the sides, pinning at all intersections.

Attach the top and bottom strip.  
You are done!
Great Job!



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.

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?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Block 8 - Breaking Out

When I saw this block by Jennie (aka sunflowerquilts)  on flickr it was love at first sight.   knew I had to make one and today I will show you how to make it too.

Skill:  Flying Geese, the "Magic" Method.

Fabric:  Choose three different fabrics for the geese and one fabric for the background.  Make sure the geese standout against the background fabric.


1 -   5.25 inch square out of 3 different fabrics
        (3 squares total)
12 -  2 7/8 inch squares
4 -    6.5 x 2.5 inch rectangles

 Draw a line from corner to corner on each 2 7/8 inch square.

Pin two small squares to opposite corners of each large square.  Position the small squares so the diagonal line runs from corner to corner.  The small squares will overlap in the center.

 Sew a seam 1/4 inch to both sides of the line.  It is better to be a hair closer to the line than a 1/4 inch than a hair away, so don't stray.  :)

 Cut apart on the line.

 Press towards the little triangles.  The pieces should look like little hearts now.

Pin a small square to the remaining corner of the large piece.  Make sure the line runs from the corner of the large piece to the middle of the two small triangles.  Sew a seam 1/4 inch away from the line on both sides.

 Cut in half.

Press open.  It's like Magic!  I could make hundreds of flying geese with this method.  Love it!  But we are not done yet.

Trim all of those dog ears off to reduce bulk.  Check the flying geese to make sure they measure 4.5 x 2.5.  If they are larger, trim to size.  When trimming be sure to leave a 1/4 inch between the point of the goose and the edge of the fabric or else your points will be cut off.

 Lay out the pieces as shown.
 Sew each set of three flying geese together.

Sew the rectangles to the left of each flying geese unit.

 Sew two of the quarters together.

 Sew each half together.  The block should measure 12.5 inches square.

And you are done!
You did it!

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?