Saturday, January 8, 2011

Today's 12" block

Today, I worked with the pink again and added a bit of turquoise. This block was from a quilt designed by Gerrie Robinson. I am very pleased I got the points to come together in the middle. I am getting better with practice.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Playing with Pink - disappearing nine patch

Today's 12 inch block is a disappearing nine patch. I heard about this block and wanted to try it. I opened the bin with pink fabric and the one with purple. I picked out nine fabrics that worked well together and built a standard nine patch block. Then I cut vertically down the middle and turned it to make the cut the other way. I played with the blocks until I came up with a pattern I liked. I can see there are wonderful possibilities with this pattern depending on the colors, patterns, and ways you turn the blocks. The bonus is that there are no points to match. I will get back to a new star block tomorrow.

For a completely different sort of quilt, I have started an intuition quilt based on instructions over at 15 Minutes Play by Victoria. I have been having a great time creating cloth from scraps and crumbs. For the intuition quilt, I have been pulling colors from the scrap bag that I really like together - golds, oranges, greens, and purples. I will probably add some blues before it is all done. This is the center 12" by 12" block. I love the freedom to this method. I can use abstract collage style along with some more traditional. I added a star and some flying geese as well as a wonky house. The next step for me is the first border. Since I am using only fabric I have on hand, all the borders will be pieced in some manner.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Another 12" Star Block

I finally got a 12 inch block I am pleased with. All the points are in the right spots. The measurements came out right. I like the colors, even though they do not show up well in this photo. I took it in really poor light at the end of the day in the studio. The orange is not nearly as muddy at this looks.
Before I started this, I spent time figuring out what size to cut squares to get the half square triangles the size I want. The method I use is to put two squares together, front sides facing. Then I sew a 1/4 inch seam all around the block. Then, I cut from corner to corner twice. I learned this method from Jenny Doan at Missouri Star Quilters. Some people don't like that the resulting squares are on the bias, but I have not had any problems with that so far. I learned that I need two five and a half inch squares to make four three and a half inch half-square triangles. It was worth the time to figure this all out.
Tomorrow, another 12 inch block, and more fun with fabric.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Today, I ripped out as many seams as I sewed. I guess this is the way I am going to learn. These are the three blocks I managed to complete. The one on the upper right is a wonky log cabin. (I told you I was embracing wonky.) I had the most fun with this free form scrappy block. I only used scraps that were pretty small. I ended up with a six inch block I really like. I will try and make one of these each time I go into the studio. Eventually, I will have enough to make a lap quilt. That would be very cool.
The block on the lower right is a five inch pinwheel block. For some reason, I had loads of trouble with this small easy block. I just could wrap my head around the geometry. I am very pleased that I finally conquered it. It is not my favorite pattern, but it had to be done.
The largest block is a twelve inch block in a traditional pattern. This one really threw me for a long time. It was, once again, a matter of me trying to adapt a pattern without the necessary knowledge. In this case, I wanted to use flip and fold instead of trying to peace triangles. Unfortunately, I did not measure right and ended up with triangles that were too small. I am going to look for a tutorial on how to measure correctly for this method.

This is a photo of the fabrics I have chosen for the disappearing nine patch. The bottom fabric is the inspiration for the rest of the colors. I am still thinking about the light purple. It really stands out in this photo. I may not use it, but I do want some light colors.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Quilting Fabric Choices

Here is the preemie quilt with the borders. I am wondering if I should have done a dark green border to match the sashing before I put on the yellow. I like it this way, and I have a size constraint, so this works for this one. I will have to try it differently next time. I could do six 8" blocks with sashing and borders next time and stay within the size limits. By the way, I have decided to embrace the wonkiness, so I have called this Wonky Zoo, which brings me to the fabrics.

I chose not to use my stash for this one because I didn't really have anything for babies. I went shopping at my local large chain fabric store. All the fabrics in this quilt are from their line, and I am not thrilled with the quality. The overall animal pattern on the light fabric is cute, but the fabric is hard to work with. It constantly sheds along the edges. The dark green has an overall dot pattern that is very wonky. Just when you think you have figured out a straight line, it has a tilt, like a screen was used and turned very slightly every time it was moved. I think this could be effective if done a little better. I guess you get what you pay for. In the long run, you make quilts to last. It is worth spending the extra money to get really great fabric. There are always sales online if you look.

Here is the first in my larger block practice stars. This one did not quite work out. I think if I had actually followed the measurements on the pattern, it might have worked better. I, of course, had to resize it. From now on, I will either look for patterns in the size I want, or change the size I make to the pattern size. Lesson learned. I will learn how to resize as I improve, I am sure. For now, I will find another star to practice on, and find cut fabrics for a disappearing nine patch I want to make. So far, I have found the inspiration fabric and a few to go along with it. I will show you what I come up with when I find the fabrics.