Friday, June 27, 2014

Hexagons and Value Proposition Quilt!

I seem to have gotten a bit behind on my Value Proposition blocks.  Karen at has an awesome QAL to make a hexagon quilt.  This is a study in value and has been a great learning experience.  I have just completed block four and have cut out the hexagons for blocks five and six.  Here is block number four!
 I have cut out for both blocks five and six.  This is block five.  Let the basting begin!  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great weekend.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cut your own Templates for English Paper Piecing!

I am an avid English Paper Piecer!  I used to cut my own papers from freezer paper and thread baste. I am discovering that glue basting is so much faster.  Now, I have been spoilt with hexagons as I have two Fiskars paper punches which I use for templates.  I cut through four layers of paper at a time with them and the pile mounts up pretty quickly.  Last night I wanted to make papers for an elongated hexagon.  I grabbed my supplies and started tracing away.  One at a time.  I cut out a row and just wanted to scream - SO SLOW!  So I sat and thought about this problem for a while and came up with a solution which works like a dream.  You could use freezer paper like I have or any paper really.  So gather your supplies and let us cut some papers.  You will need your template, a pencil, scissors, stapler and of course your paper - lots of it because this is quick!
 Stack together four layers of paper.  I just pull a length out of the box and accordion fold it and then cut it off.
 Trace your shape out onto your paper.  I don't like sharing a line between shapes because then you can't cut on the edge of the line without cheating the other side out of a microns worth of paper.
 Next you will want to get your stapler and staple along the shortest edges.  In the case of a hexagon, any side will do.  Notice how my staples will not get in the way of cutting.
Then you will want to staple opposite and diagonally across from the first staple.  This gives a really steady hold to the paper stack.
Now you are ready for cutting.  Cut the long edges first leaving the staples in place.  The stapled area will be cut of LAST!
 Next, clip of the two edges not stapled.
 Lastly you will snip of the two edges holding the staples.  Here are your four papers cut out very accurately.
 This stack happened really quickly.  Give it a try - it's so much faster than one at a time.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Dresden Plates and some Crocheting!

I have been working on the Dresden Plate Quilt albeit slowly.  I am doing my best work and therefore not rushing.  Slowly and carefully stitching around those plates.  I like to have a bit of crocheting to do and decided I needed a new pot holder.  Not because my others are worn out.  Just because I felt like making one.  Here it is!!!  A cheerful vintage looking potholder.
I have been attaching the red centers to the Dresden plates.  I am really enjoying working on these.
I started cutting sashing yesterday.
Two more circles cut and prepped for attaching to the Dresden Plates.  I have a question and would so appreciate your feedback.  The sashing is in red - do I do white cornerstones or do I make them scrappy?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Small Finishes on Various Projects!

I have been stitching away on various projects and getting through a few blocks.  Here is my Half Block for the Value Proposition quilt.
A diamond block for the Temecula Quilt Co challenge!
 A Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses block!
A few years ago I won a pack of dresden plates.  They had been cut out and the points stitched.  I had to sew the plates together and now I am stitching them to the background fabric.  There were about 23 dresden sets in the pack.  Lucky me!
 Another POTC block.  I am now officially out of papers and need to buy some more.  I love making these blocks.  They are just so pretty.  Have you seen all the beautiful variations of  the block on Pinterest.  Just lovely!

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Cushion Cover!

My youngest son has been asking me for a nap pillow for a while now.  I put it on my UFO list although I had not started the project.  I did this because I am trying to work my way through my LOOOOONG list of UFO's and thought it would act as a reminder.  Sure enough it did.  Kevin's bed has a grown up nautical theme to it.  Blue and white fabric.  There is a printed line across the duvet cover which has longitude and latitude coordinates printed on it.  Really cool.  So I thought a pop of red would be perfect and an anchor to "anchor" the theme would be great.  I freehand drew an anchor and cut it out.  Then I transferred it to Wonder Under! I cut the anchor out and ironed it onto background fabric.  Next I machine blanket stitched around the perimeter of the anchor.  Next came the quilting.  A simple shadow quilting!!  Then I put the cushion together.

 I free motion quilted a label for the boy just to let him know it is his cushion.  I caught the label in the binding to secure it to the pillow.
 Half red and half white on the back of the cushion.
 The cover is done and the pillow form is inside!
 Ooh, I think it works!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Moda Candy Mini!

I have many projects that take a long time to finish.  Sometimes instant gratification is what I am looking for.  I happen to love small quilts and mini quilts so I decided to go ahead and make a mini.  Moda has two of these booklets.  This is the second one.
 I flipped through until I came across a sweet little quilt.  I gathered my little 2.5" candies and some yardage.
 Started putting together those nine patches.
 Setting triangles went together so well in this little quilt.
 I wanted to try some new free motion designs.  I took a long time quilting the quilt in comparison to how long it took me to make it.  I will post a picture of the finish tomorrow when the binding is done.
Thanks for stopping by to have a look.  Also a warm welcome to my two new followers - ladies, you made my day!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

What am I working on?

I have a tray that holds my EPP handwork which I use when I am watching TV.    On it I have a Godstone Grannies block and a Patchwork of the Crosses block plus some Value Proposition pathway blocks.
Also on the sofa is this afghan that I have been working on for years.  It is crocheted in single crocheting stitch.  You work into the back of the loop only and the result is a very slow progressing but dense, pretty stitch.  I am bound and determined to finish this afghan in the next few days.  Gotta have another tick on that UFO list.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hexagons and Value Proposition Quilt!

I have been working on my Value Proposition Quilt blocks!  Karen at is hosting this wonderful quilt along.  Besides having hexie fun, it is a great lesson in value.  We are talking color value.  Get it right and it makes such a difference to your quilt.  You can choose a color e.g. pink.  Within the pink color you have light pink all the way through dark pink.  This is value.  In Karen's QAL you need a light fabric, usually two medium tone fabrics (one lighter and one darker but still fitting into the mid tones) and a dark fabric.  Here is my first block.  My light fabric is black on white.  My mid tones are the greens and the dark fabric is a white on black.
In block two I have added the first round of a triple pathway.  Isn't this a lovely design - spokes come to mind.
Here is my third block all done.  Tomorrow Karen is going to post a partial block because the quilt requires some of those along the edges.  Otherwise she posts a new block every two weeks.  Her tutorials are very detailed.  You will get the pattern description along with alternate ideas.  She is wonderful with all her suggestions.  Go check it out - It's fun, I promise.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Bibliophile Files!

Well I can't believe a whole month has passed since the last bibliophile files!  May was not a very good reading month.  May was a wonderful family month with the kids all coming home from college and a trip to Charleston for my sons graduation from The Citadel.  I did read two books though.  The lovely Sarah at hosts the bibliophile files once a month.  It is great to see what people read and to get good recommendations.
I have been reading a bunch of these books by Sally Goldenbaum.  They are set in a coastal town called Seaside.  The group of close friends and knitters are also amateur sleuths.  These are fun, clean books without too much graphic detail in the murders.
 I really enjoy series for the young folk.  I have read all the Harry Potters, the Twilight series and the Hunger Games series!  This Divergent series is good.  Reminds me of Anthem etc.  America is divided into factions who each have a job to perform.   The social structure is very strict - you can move from one faction to another, but it is very difficult.  What happens when one faction becomes power hungry and teams up with another faction?  Read it - it's rather good.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Project from Quilty Magazine!

I love the new Fons and Porter Publication, Quilty Magazine!  It is probably in its second year of being published.  It is a modern magazine with a wonderful assortment of modern quilts.  I am working on one of the quilts from the May June issue called Peppermintz.
 This is a schematic layout of the quilt and what one completed block looks like.

 To make a block you will start off by choosing two different fabrics.  You will need three blocks of each of the two colors.  You will place two different colors right sides together and mark two diagonal lines (each a 1/4" from the center line).
 Take them to your machine and stitch on the marked line.  This project lends itself to string piecing if you prepare a number of the blocks at a time.
 In this picture I have stitched two blocks worth of half square triangles.
Next you will cut them apart from corner to corner.  Iron them open.  Press two of the blocks seams in the opposite direction to the other four.  This way when you sew them together you will be able to lock your seams together.
Lay them out in this configuration.
First you will sew the rows together and then you will stitch the three rows to each other.  That gives you one completed block.
 I have tried hard to select modern fabrics and I must say I am enjoying making these blocks.  I need a total of 56 blocks and am well on my way to having them done.  It is a fun block to make.  I have been using a spray starch before I cut the blocks across the diagonal because of the bias edges.  The starch gives some stability.  I use Faultless professional starch on the blocks.