Saturday, July 20, 2019

Scrappy Pineapple Progress

I spent time this week making more progress with my scrappy pineapples.

I started these blocks  as a way to use up some scrappy strings, and they have quickly become some of my favorite blocks.

The blocks are made in alternating rounds of lights and darks.  As each round is added, you don't need to have pieces that extend all the way to the edges of the block (like you would when making a Log Cabin,)
because those white strips get trimmed down to triangles before sewing the next round.


It was interesting to see the piles of trimmings leftover from each round as they collected across the top of my cutting mat, with lights and darks corresponding to each round

After 8 rows were sewn, my pineapples looked like this:

 Note that each block still needed an outer corner:

The instructions that come with the ruler, suggest adding one more strip of dark fabric to each corner and then trimming:

Instead of reaching for a new strip for the corners, I rummaged around in the pile of trimmings and found cast off triangles that would do the job:

I sewed a triangle to each corner, and pressed them open:

Then one final trim.

One advantage of using the triangles on the corners is that they help stabilize what would otherwise be all bias edges.

Here are my nine scrappy pineapple blocks:

I like the way they look with the white showing through between each block, so I will be sewing them together with white sashing strips.   I looked in my scrap pile to see if I had something white that I could use, and I found this:

Shh, don't tell anyone that if you look closely you will see it is printed with snowflakes.  Actually, with the heat wave we are currently experiencing, it's nice to be reminded of snow. πŸ˜„




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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Scrappy Strippy Pineapple


A few months ago, our guild had a silent auction of quilting gizmos and gadgets.  I was lucky enough to "win" a Pineapple Trim ruler for the tidy little sum of only $4.00. 
A very good deal since the ruler usually goes for about $25.00 at a quilt shop, and this one was even still in it's original shrink wrap! 

How can you take a bargain like that and improve that value even more?  Well, you use your $4.00 ruler to make a quilt using only scraps.  Luckily,  I had the perfect supply of those.

For years, whenever I have leftover scraps  that are long and narrow, I put them aside in their own drawer.



One day last week, I decided it was time to pull out the drawer and  see what was in there that I could use to make a Scrappy Pineapple quilt.  There were layers and layers to discover.  This was just under the top layer.

and this was what was stashed under that one:
And that wasn't even the bottom!

Eventually, I collected an impressive stack of "cool" tones of mostly blues and purples:

and also a collection of lights and whites:

I selected 9 colored strips from which I cut the center squares for the Pineapple blocks.

Then surrounded each square with the first round of lights:

I wasn't sure about mixing the bright whites with the off whites, but I decided to go for it.  After trimming with the Pineapple ruler, this is how they looked.

Then the real fun began, digging into that pile of cool toned blues and purples to find fabrics for the next round.  Nine blocks and nine trims later, and I had these:

Can't wait to see how this continues to develop! 


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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Pattern Testing

Back in January, Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs put out a request for pattern testers and I volunteered to take part.   The test block would be made in shades of teal, lime and magenta and, being a jewel tone kind of gal, I knew I wanted to play.


Beth has engineered a new way to make half square triangles with lots of variety that she calls "accordion sewn". She asked her testers to make two blocks, one using traditional methods for making half square triangles and the second one using her method.

My first block used 2 teals and two limes and looked like this:

For the second, accordian sewn block, you start with many different teals and limes and cut them into squares.

You lay them out in the order specified in the pattern and then sew them together accordion style.

Pattern testers from all over were posting their completed accordions on Beth's Facebook page.  I couldn't help but have a little fun with my photo:

After you cut apart your caterpillar accordion, you have a multitude of half square triangles, each paired with a different fabric.  Now it was time to make my second block:

Here are the two blocks, side by side.
You can see that the accordion sewn one, on the right, has a lot more variety, and, in my opinion is more lively.  I believe that was the point that Beth was trying to have us test out.

She asked us to send both blocks back to her, so she could use them as examples when she teaches her method.  As a thank you to her testers, we each got a free copy of her completed pattern after she published it.  Mine came in the mail about a month ago:

I'm not sure which block in the  cover quilt  is the one the I sent in, but I was able to find my traditional pieced block in the photo of the alternate settings:

Pattern testing turned out to be fun, especially doing it as a group, sharing photos of our blocks, and then seeing them all come together in a finished pattern that got delivered to my doorstep.  πŸ˜€

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Friday, June 28, 2019

InVESTment

It was over a week late, but I finished making a denim vest for my husband for Father's Day.

He had been shopping around for a vest with an interior pocket for his cell phone and had not been able to find one that didn't look like it was suitable to wear for fishing or the great outdoors, so I volunteered to make one for him.

We took a trip to the nearest JoAnn's store to pick out a pattern and materials.  It was oddly amusing to head to the back of the store and sit at one of the little tables with him while looking through pattern books.  There were not many to choose from, but a basic vest is a basic vest so we chose this one:  

It did not have the inner pockets he was hoping for, but I thought I could engineer a couple of pockets in the lining for him.   We headed to the fabrics and chose a denim for the exterior fabric and a flannel for the lining.  

Initially, I though I would make zippered interior pockets similar to those I had seen in linings of purses, so that's why the zippers are in the photo.  Later,  we thought that maybe the phone might get scratched by the zipper teeth when going in and out of the pocket, so it was on to plan B, which was a pocket with a flap.  Here is my trial pocket:

Looked good, but the extra layer of denim for the flap was awkward and bulky on an inner pocket.  After more consideration, we took a look inside one of his suit jackets and realized there was another option:  a welt pocket.   I had to look that one up to figure out the mechanics of sewing one, but eventually, and with help from this video  I did a trial run and was successful.

Now I felt ready to (finally!) make the vest.   

Two welt pockets?  Check!
 
Two fake welts on the exterior just for show?  Check!

Buttonholes and buttons?  Check!

I think it's done!


Here is my impression of an  L.L. Bean catalog shot.  (Note the calculator in the upper left corner for authenticity.)  😊

No photo of him wearing it, because after he put it on for the last trial fitting, he's still wearing it!


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Meet the Challenge

Every year, our quilt guild issues a challenge to the members to make a quilt following certain guidelines.  This year's challenge was called a "Magazine Challenge", and the idea was to take a page from a magazine and use something on that page to inspire your quilt.  Inspiration could be a pattern, a color palette, a theme, a word, or anything the sparks your imagination. The page had to be submitted along with the quilt.  

Sounded like a fun idea, and so I checked out a few magazines until I came across this page:

I liked the color palette, which was actually somewhat outside my comfort zone, and I also liked the orderly arrangement of horizontal shelves with vertical items, so that was the page I decided to work from as my inspiration.

The first step, of course,  was to choose fabrics:

For a pattern, I immediately thought of Come What May by Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts.

Here is my first arrangement of blocks on my design board:

The most difficult thing about  following the pattern  was to arrange the blocks so that the white strips would only fall along the horizontal direction, hoping they would mimic the white shelves in the magazine photo.  I liked it, but I wanted to make it bigger, so I added another row and sewed the blocks together:

I added a couple of borders, and quilted across the rows to make them like continuous units that wove in an out and over each other:


For the binding, I went with an orangey-rust batik.

Then I started wondering if I had done enough.  I thought about adding an applique of some kind to really hammer home the "pottery" inspiration.  I made a few sketches, based on the magazine page:

Eventually, I came up with a pitcher and bowl concept:

I chose what I thought were contrasting fabrics and ended up with this:

But, when I put the applique against the quilt, it just disappeared into it:

So I guess my challenge quilt was finished after all.  It would remain unadorned with additional pottery.  I submitted it to the quilt show as is, and no one was more surprised than I was when it ended up earning First Place in the Challenge category!

The finished quilt measures only 24 X 24" and was almost dwarfed by the ribbon.  Winning it was made all the more sweet by the fact that my mom, who had never been able to attend one of our previous quilt shows,  was there with me when my name was announced.  Turns out we never get too old to want to say "Hey Mom, look what I did!" πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€


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