Saturday, November 26, 2011

Getting My Points Across

Another block done. Takes a couple days of sewing per block, but with two blocks nearly done, I've got almost half the quilt finished!

One thing the pattern doesn't mention is how to match the points. Here's what I'm doing:
Marking a quarter inch at each intersection in the strip sets with a permanent pen.

On the wrong side, of course!

Insert a pin straight into the seam at the quarter-inch mark on the top piece.

And straight out the other piece in the seam at the quarter-inch mark.

Keep the pin straight up and down and pin the two pieces of fabric together. I pinned this one parallel to the edge. Remove the straight up and down pin.

You can also pin perpendicular on either side of the straight up and down pin. That is probably the better way to go so you can sew with either piece on top. If I see that there is more fabric between the pins on one side than the other, I sew with that piece on the bottom so that the feed dogs help gather up the excess fabric without creating a pleat in my seam.

Press seams open.

Points match!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Start of Something New

First block (almost) from "Shades of Grey" by Sarah Fielke from Quilters Newsletter August/September 2011. Blocks are huge -- 36 inches -- so only need four! Unlike the original, I'm making each square in different fabrics. My stash pieces don't usually go beyond a half yard unless I think they might be potential borders or sashings, so I'm having to mix it up. (Also, it would be too boring to make two the same.) I'm even using fat quarters for the two inner most diamonds, which means some diamonds are pieced together. Starching the fabrics before cutting helps control the bias. Pressing the seams open.

Monday, November 14, 2011

UFO's run in the family

My mom likes to applique and doesn't care much for piecing so she mailed me some blocks to put together for her. I squared them up as best I could.

This is a Piecemakers pattern from 1996 called "Times and Seasons." I think it's a block of the month that can then be put together into this quilt. Mom's been working on it for years.

I found the perfect backing fabric in my stash: Alexander Henry from 1999. I have just enough for the back. I knew some day I would find the right quilt for this fabric, which has all the same colors as the front.

I think there's enough border fabric for the binding. I'll put that and the back together and mail it all back to mom. There needs to be some applique finihsed that crosses over the block seams (and maybe a little extra to hide where I couldn't quite match the hills across blocks). It will go back to Mom for that. I'd rather piece than applique.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Get one while you can

Barbara Brackman announced this week that her book "Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns" is now out of print. How sad. I've used that book countless times.

The book was invaluable in planning my Florida quilt. How else would I have found so many Florida-themed blocks such as Tallahassee, Key West, Sunshine, Orange Peel, Storm at Sea, etc.?

I took over my guild's block of the month program right after September 11. I used this book to find blocks that seemed relevant to the events (Birds in the Air, New York, White House Steps, etc.) and then drafted them all to the same size. Each month in 2002 members could make the blocks for the drawing in that month's colors and/or for themselves in red, white and blue for a sampler quilt.

Several other quilts have been planned and countless block names confirmed with her book. Not to mention all the blocks I've discovered when looking for something else.

This book has been around for years. Before computers. You can only imagine the dedication required to gather all that information and then put it together and index it with drawings of each block. And to think she did it with a typewriter and graph paper!

Read her funny post about the book here

Sunday, November 6, 2011

It's done whatever it is

Piped windmills, 30.75 inches square.
Finished the blocks and added a border yesterday. Not enough piping fabric left to add some between the blocks and border. Oh well. I took the class to learn a technique and didn't really have a plan for a quilt. Now I have a 30.75-inch square top that is a complete composition. Not sure what to do with something that size. Table topper maybe. There's no piping in the middle so you could put a vase there and not have it wobble.  
Piped binding sample from class.
I don't see myself making another top with piped blocks, but I am planning to try piped binding in the future. I've already made the top. Just need to get it quilted so I can bind it. Ah, another UFO awaits.