Sunday, July 29, 2018

Even the leftovers have leftovers

I found myself left with a rainbow of colorful scraps after I finished my Dinosaur quilt.

I knew there had to be at least one more kid's quilt in that pile.  What's a gal to do but invite a few friends over and have a sew day?

I cut out as many 3 1/2 inch squares as I could from the pile:

Then I sewed them up into four-patch units and alternated those with plain white squares:

The last step was to find a border fabric. Turns out  I had a rocketship fabric that contained all the same bright colors:

A narrow inner border of blue and a wide border of the rockets resulted in this cute quilt top:

With 3 of us sharing just one ironing station, it turned out to be the one place where a bit of a traffic jam could take place.  (Not that we minded the chance to take a break and chat while we waited our turn..  It was more like we didn't want the person at the iron to feel rushed.)  Anything that could economize on the use of the iron was handy.  So, I came up with a plan to sew the two borders onto the quilt with only 3 trips to the ironing board instead of 4.

1:  Sew top and bottom inner borders to center of quilt.  At the same time,  take remaining 2 inner border pieces and sew them to two of the outer borders pieces.    Iron quilt and also the border pieces.

2:  Sew left and right borders to quilt.  Iron.

3:   Sew remaining outer borders to top and bottom.  Iron.

I had lots more colored squares and enough rocketship fabric to make a second quilt top.  I forgot to get a photo of the finished top before I turned them over to our Quilt for Kids coordinator, but here it is what it looked like in progress.

Oddly enough, my pile of rainbow scraps doesn't look much smaller, but that only means there are more quilts to come.

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Monday, July 23, 2018

And Jill came Tumbling After....

I have been enjoying making more tumbling blocks in Civil War reproduction fabrics.

I wanted lots of variety, so the first step was going back to the scrap pile from my "Long Time Gone" quilt and pulling out any usable pieces:

From the darks and mediums, I cut diamond shapes and from the lights I cut triangles.  Then I laid them out in rows.

Keeping all those little pieces in line while I sewed the rows required a system.  I slid the pieces from the first row on the right over to my sewing machine and worked on them first:

I sewed triangle/diamond pairs, and then placed them back in order.

Then, one pair at a time, I pressed the seams open with a mini iron and a small ironing mat.

It was wonderful not to have to keep getting up and going to the ironing board to press all those seams, and sewing each row one at a time made it easy to keep track of each piece in the puzzle. Over the course of a couple of days, I had completed the following:

As I said in my previous post, I have a plan for these little tumbling blocks.  I want to make some additional units to my "Long Time Gone" quilt to make it into a twin size.

The Tumbling Blocks will become the center portion of an additional row that will cover the pillow area when on the bed.  I have to decide on two more patterns to fill in the other sections. I know that at least one of them will involve rows of little houses.  More to come...

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Taking on the Tumbler

One quilt block I have always wanted to try is Tumbling Blocks, and when I came upon a tutorial for making them without the dreaded "Y" seams, I knew it was time to give it a try.  The tutorial was by Leah Day and she used the "Sidekick" ruler designed by Julie Herman of Jaybird quilts.

Since I already happened to have a "Sidekick" ruler, I pulled out a few scraps and gave it a try.

The traditional Tumbling Blocks pattern calls for three diamond shaped pieces, but the strip pieced version uses two diamonds and two triangles:

 I decided to experiment with the 2 1/2" size, and sewed my pieces into two vertical strips:

When the strips are sewn together, the Tumbling Blocks magically appear:

Having some success in the 2 1/2" size, I decided to experiment with the 1 1/2" size:

Here are my finished samples side by side:

I have a plan for these adorable little blocks, now that I know how to go about making them. 

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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Child's Play

One way to beat the heat is to stay inside and sew.  I had yet one more panel that I wanted to turn into a small donation quilt.  It was this rainbow bright dinosaur print:

I also had a small amount of a coordinating dinosaur print:

I cut up the panel into smaller pieces, and fussy cut some of the dinosaurs from the coordinating fabric:

I pulled an array of bright colors from the stash, and added some fabric frames to the fussy cuts:

Now it was time for the real fun to begin.  I started with the top row and set it out next to my machine:

I played around with some randomly cut strips and got an idea of what I wanted the finished row to look like:

Then I just started joining adjacent pieces, and trimming off any excess as I went along.  Eventually, the top row looked like this:

I did the same thing to the next three rows:

All that was left was to sew the rows, square up the side edges and add some borders.  Here it how it ended up.
The edges are droopy because they extend beyond my little design board, 
but I assure you they are flat. 

I had such a fun time putting this together.  And all the while, I had steak tips slowly simmering in the crockpot and potato salad cooling in the refrigerator.  Not exactly your average Fourth of July, but I'll take it.

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