Saturday, 30 June 2012

Geometric Illusion Quilt Block

I love the way that you can create optical illusions with colour placement in quilt blocks.  This white cross really stands out and that's why I prefer the name geometric illusion rather than some of the block's other names like night and day, white cross - although that is perfectly accurate.  I've put the instructions for the block on the website.


I've also been playing around with the sunny lanes quilt block.  It's one of those simple blocks that you can do so much with.





With four blocks I thought that the obvious placement would be this one with the small squares making quite a nice design feature.





But you can also get an interesting design by using a different rotation of the quilt blocks....





   ..... and this one has possibilities.  I think that I'm going to have to leave these pinned up for a while till I decide which way to sew them together.





The big event of the week was attending both a talk and a workshop given by the immensely talented Sheena Norquay.  Lots of work on both sewing curves and using twin needles to sew the curves.  I'm definitely hooked on twin needle quilting now.



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I hope to see you again soon.
Rose



Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Dutchmans Puzzle Quilt Block

The work in progress that I'm frantically trying to finish this week is this irish chain medallion quilt.  It's one of those really simple projects that has gone together really well.  The holdup has been with my finding the time rather than the quilt itself.

Yesterday I fetched my daughter Samantha from Nottingham - she has finished at the university and is home for some of the summer before starting work in the autumn.  This really is the end of an era, with all the children launched in their careers.  It's lovely to have her back for a while, but of course that meant that I had to remove all my spare fabric, unifinished quilts and more from her room.  It took so much longer to empty her room than it did to fill it ...

I did have time for a quick play with this dutchmans puzzle quilt block.  I thought that it was all half square triangles until I found a gap in the layout and realised that there are four squares just diagonally in from each corner.  I made it using 4.7/8" squares for the half square triangles and 4.1/2" squares for the plain lilac squares.


The main reason that I wanted to try this quilt block out was to see what happened when several of them were sewn together.  As you can see, blue stars form where the blocks meet to alternate with the yellow squares.  I think that I might try it again with a white background and lots of different fabrics for the stars - might make a good stashbuster quilt.


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Rose

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Quilt Kits

This week I've been working on quilt kits to go up for sale on the website.  This one is a very simple celtic wall hanging aimed at a complete beginner.  The celtic panels are from Fabric Freedom and make a lovely colourful splash.  I'm hoping it will appeal to beginner quilters because it uses the principles of quilting but there's a minimal amount of piecing to do.






The other quilt kit that I'm working on is a rag quilt using a rather gorgeous cat fabric.  It's the first rag quilt that I have made using my accuquilt to cut the squares.  What a wonderfully easy way to make a rag quilt - all the fringes are ready cut so there are no hours spent cutting the seams into fringes after it's all sewn together.  A few more washes and this one should be nicely ragged.





The major work in progress is quilting the Morris quilt.  I've had some wonderful suggestions in from other quilters on a more imaginative name to give the quilt and now I'm trying to get it quilted in time for Friday's newsletter.  I wanted to lighten the cream fabric through the quilting so I have used micro stippling in white thread - well as micro as my stippling can get, anyway!  So far it seems to be working and I'm quite pleased with the way that it's turning out.


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Rose

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Swing Quilt

Once again I've made a quilt that doesn't look anything like I thought it would look!  I've used the Swing in the Centre quilt block - well that's the Nancy Cabot name for it but it goes by many other names.




This is the individual quilt block so I was expecting the white circular bit in the middle to form the dominant pattern.  Of course I should have realised that the dark fabric in the corners would combine with the corners of adjacent blocks when several were sewn together.



As you can see, the quilt block is easy enough to construct.  I've made it using 4.1/2" squares with 4.7/8" squares for the half square triangles.  I used four blocks to make a quilt 48" square and I haven't decided yet whether to add a quilt border or not.  I'll put full instructions on the website later this week.  Oh yes, and the two pink half square triangles at the bottom of the block are facing the wrong way.  Luckily I realised this before I sewed it all together.

The other quilt that I'm still working on was made using the Jefferson City quilt block.  Not sure about this one.  I made four blocks and when I was sewing them together I rotated them to make a pinwheel in the middle.  Now I think it looks a bit incoherent.  Perhaps I should have placed all four blocks facing the same way as each other.  Oh well, put it down to experience!

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Rose














Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Hummingbird Quilt Block

I've sort of finished my elephant quilted wall hanging - just the binding to go and that will have to wait until the weekend.  I decided on a simple mitred quilt border using the same red.  I've written the instructions up now and you can see them on elephant quilted wall hanging.



The quilting on the elephant took longer than I expected so I have only started one other project these last few days.  When I say started, I mean I have made one block, liked it, and now have to decide what I'd like to make with it.  One of its names is Hummingbird.  That was given to it by Comfort Magazine but various other magazines of the time published it under a variety of names - I'll stick with hummingbird because that's so pretty.

It's a two colour quilt block and I've made it 12", using 2.1/2" squares with 2.7/8" squares for the half square triangles.





For each block you'll need four 2.7/8" squares in each fabric for the half square triangles on the edges, two 4.7/8" squares for the half square triangles in the middle and four lilac rectangles 6.1/2" by 2.1/2".




The hummingbird quilt block needs to be sewn together in quarters rather than in rows.  Sew the small half square triangles together in pairs and then sew one pair to eaach of the large half square triangle units.  Sew a lilac rectangle to each half square triangle unit and then sew the top two and the bottom two quarters together.  Sew both halves together to complete the block.  Now, I just have to decide where to use my hummingbirds.

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Rose


Sunday, 10 June 2012

Elephant Wall Hanging

Isn't this guy gorgeous!  I'm so pleased with the way he turned out.  He's just straightforward patchwork - squares and half square triangles.  I happened to have a sort of blue/ grey fabric that had a bit of direction to it so by rotating the grey blocks I was able to get a mottled effect for his skin.  I'm going to put a bright border on this and I think it would make a great wall hanging for a child's bedroom.  When I've finished I'll put full instructions on the website.

If you read my last post, you'll know that I was struggling with the Lady of the Lake quilt block.  It looked so simple, using just two different sizes of half square triangles, but I must have been brain dead that day because I could not sew the small half square triangles on the right way to create the flying geese.  Anyway, you'll be pleased to hear that I finally managed it and I've made four more blocks like this so that I can make them into a 40" lap quilt.

I've also made a simplified double star to use as a table centrepiece.  The usual one seems to be a bit shorter and fatter, but the one I made was terribly simple - again it was just squares and half square triangles.




As you can see, there are six rows of six blocks.  It's made using eight 4.1/2" white squares, eight blue/white half square triangles, eight red/white half square triangles and eight red/blue half square triangles.  I used the red fabric for the binding but I think now that I should have put a simple border on it as well.  I like plain and simple, but I think this one is perhaps too simple.

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Rose




Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Lady Of The Lake Quilt

This quilt shouldn't be a work in progress - by now I should have completed the quilt top, layered it and decided how I'm going to quilt it.  As it is, I have two completed quilt blocks ........

The quilt block itself is called Lady of the Lake which was what first caught my eye:  what a wonderful name.  When I looked a little further I found several blocks with that name, all completely different from each other.  I like mine for now - although I may of course ending up making some of the others as well.

  The block itself is dead easy.  All it takes it a half square triangle unit made from a 6.7/8" square and sixteen half square triangle units made from 2.7/8" squares.  Yes, it is a lot of half square triangles to make, but once you set up a production line it doesn't take too long.  Sew three small half square triangles together for the top and bottom and then add two strips of five half square triangles to the sides.  I used four different fabrics and thought that I had got it nailed so I went to autopilot.  That of course was a major mistake.

When I put four of the Lady of the Lake quilt blocks together I wanted to find the two blue fabrics making a square in a square pattern and the smaller triangles joining up to form flying geese.  I managed the square in the square but not the flying geese.



Re arranging the blocks gave me the flying geese but not the square in square.  The only option now is to unpick the small half square triangles and sew them back together while paying more attention to what I'm doing.  That's why I only have two blocks complete, fourteen to go.




My other work in progress is a rag quilt which is proceeding more satisfyingly than the lady of the lake.  I've used my Accuquilt to cut the squares so that I won't have all that snipping of seams to do at the end.  The fringes are precut by the Accuquilt and I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out as they are longer fringes than I normally use for rag quilts.

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Rose

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Jack In The Box Quilt

You'd think that by now I'd be used to all the lovely secondary designs that turn up when you sew several quilt blocks together, but I was amazed to see this star forming when I made several of the humble Jack in the Box quilt blocks.  I rather feel now that I should always make several of any quilt block just to see what appears when they are sewn together.



This was the start of it all:  four half square triangle units.  Two of them are made with dark fabric and background fabric.  The other two use a medium and a light fabric, both with background fabric.  I've made these using 4.7/8" squares and to make the quilt you will need sixteen squares each of dark with background fabric, eight squares each of medium and background fabric and eight squares each of light and background fabric.  You will also need four 4.1/2" red squares and sixteen brown rectangles 8.1/2" by 4.1/2".


Each quarter of the quilt is made using four of the half square triangle blocks, four rectangles and one square.  Note that the half square triangle blocks are rotated so that the large triangle formed with the dark fabric is first on top then on the right, the bottom and the left as you move around the square.



Sew the two top squares and rectangle together to form one row of the quilt.  Sew the two rectangles and red square together for the middle row.  Sew the two squares and rectangle together to form the bottom row.  Make four of these blocks and when you sew them together you'll see that wonderful star appearing.  This quilt measures 40" square.


I suspect that I may well spend the rest of the afternoon with the tv on to watch the royal pageant on the Thames for the Queen's Jubilee celebrations.  Better find myself some hand sewing to do.

Thanks for visiting my blog.
I hope to see you again soon.
Rose