Red & White and Black & White Done!

I reached my goal and have finished piecing the little red and white blocks. All that’s left is to add a small sashing and border and get the little red and white top quilted, which I think I can possibly … Continue reading

A Different New York Beauty

This is the first of seven New York Beauty blocks that will be made using these fabrics. I have a plan for a small doll/teddy bear quilt. Oh, who am I kidding? I just really wanted to see how the block would look in a more muted colourway. Now I know. I don’t think there’s a set of fabrics that wouldn’t be fabulous for NYB. I still have plans to play with batiks and Fassett prints and shabby chic and who knows what else. I can’t get over how quick a block this is to hand piece. It’s easy to piece one an hour.

Seams graded and pressed. One thing is noticeable. This is an ordinary quilters’ cotton while the Tiffany lamp fabrics have a metallic element to them. The ordinary cotton presses flatter with less effort. This block got the Baxter seal of approval – he licked it!

A question was asked yesterday about how I use Inklingo, whether it is to print the shapes on fabric or to print templates to trace. So I thought I’d show on a couple of fabrics just how perfectly the shapes print right on the back of the fabric. First on a light fabric. Oops — thought we had taken the picture before I started cutting but quickly realized we hadn’t. The smaller arc is the only thing missing from this sheet. If you click on this photo to enlarge it, you can see the stitching and cutting lines and matching points and crosshairs.

And then on a dark one. There are lots of ink colours from which to choose for each fabric. That said, I’ve been using Inklingo long enough that I can pretty much group the fabrics I’m printing and use certain ink colours for each group. I do tend to use the reds more than anything else as the red ink always seems to rinse out in seconds, although I always do a test sheet when I change ink cartridges just in case the manufacturers have improved their inks.

For the NYB blocks, I’m using one of the combo sheets. In this case, it’s the combo sheet which has all the shapes for a block. Each of the blocks will be slightly different as a result. For identical blocks, I would print each shape separately on the fabrics. In the case of the New York Beauty blocks, I print every shape on my fabrics as I’m hand piecing.

For some other blocks, particularly those using HSTs or QSTs, I might only print on one of the fabrics, in this photo on a muslin, and then use those lines to stitch by machine as shown for the sailboat blocks here.

When we were setting up to take the missing picture of the light fabric, Baxter decided he had to lie down on the fabric first. There’s nothing he loves more than a piece of fabric to paw at and possibly lick. Mr. Q.O. captioned this one, “Well, I’m helping, aren’t I?”

Little Red and White Blocks

Remember these little 6″ blocks? They’ve been languishing on my sewing table, waiting to be turned into a small quilt. I was looking at them last night and thought I had decided on a setting that will require only two more blocks. That is, I thought I had until I noticed the secondary star pattern they create when put together this way when I looked at the photo. That may change my setting idea.

Here are the pieces for one of the two remaining blocks, ready to be stitched together. With any luck, I might get the remaining two blocks done this weekend and may even get a start at putting the little top together.

One of my goals is to do a series of two-colour quilts. So far, all those that I’ve done have been lap size or larger. The little red and white one will be the first small two-colour quilt, but I’m now thinking that a whole series of two-colour little quilts might be fun.

Baxter caught sight of the pieces for the little red and white block and this was his reaction. He really loves to get a piece of fabric and march around with it in his mouth so I could almost imagine him thinking, “Yum, fabric bits!”

Sailing Away to the Sewing Machine!

After looking through a few quilt books and thinking about it, I finally decided on a quilt block. Within a few minutes of making that decision, the fabrics were pulled and I had everything cut for the first block. Some muslin rectangles, a print rectangle, two large squares — one of muslin and one of the print — for the HSTs and I was ready to go.

In just a few seconds, the muslin square was printed, using Inklingo, with the 3″ HSTs for the block. The muslin was layered with the print. Using the machine, I stitched along the stitching lines. The fabrics were then cut along the cutting lines, the pieces were pressed and …

A few seconds later I had perfect 3″ HSTs. No dog-ears, no having to cut down to size. Just easy perfect HSTs.

A few minutes later the HSTs and rectangles were joined and the first of the sailboat blocks was done. The block finishes at 12″. I’m going to use a three or four-inch muslin sashing between blocks. My plan is to make 12 blocks and set them 3 by 4 as this is destined to be a lap quilt.

I didn’t time it, but I doubt the block took even half an hour to make. Once the HSTs were done, it took only a few more minutes. So I may just get all the blocks finished today. I’m curious to see if I can get the whole top done by the time the weekend is over. I may get distracted by a hand-piecing project .. in fact, I can almost be sure of that happening.

Baxter was practicing his lounge lizard look, I think. The crossed paws make me laugh every time.

Jagged Edges

Something completely unusual for me — a completely machine-pieced block. Last week I was leafing through Jinny Beyer’s The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns and this block, called Jagged Edges, caught my eye. I decided to make it using 2″ HSTs and squares. The block finishes at 16″. I got out a handful of batiks and hand-dyed fabrics and think I’ll make enough of these blocks for a lap quilt.

It took me only a minute or two to print the HSTs and I was off to the races. Sew on the stitching lines, cut the HSTs apart, stitch the units together into rows and rows together and it was done. I’m already playing with design ideas for a border.

The plans I had for stitching on the weekend weren’t met, thanks to some rather nasty hand pain and then a migraine, but I’m pleased I got the first of the Jagged Edges blocks done as well as finishing the fifth of the Feathered Star/Sunflower blocks and a couple of the shabby chic Yin Yang blocks.

For the first time we’ve got a bird’s nest in the tree outside the living room window, a robin’s nest to be precise. I wondered why the robins were hanging out in that tree so much, and now I know. It has been rather wonderful to be able to watch the adult robins feeding the babies.

While we’re not sure if Baxter has spotted the activity in the tree, he has been spending a fair bit of time on the windowsill watching something out on the roof garden.

Fabric Choices

The weekend plan includes making some blocks using these fabrics. There’s an idea for a small quilt that’s begging to be made so last night I pulled some batik and hand-dyed fabrics that will be in the 12 blocks I plan on making. I’m planning to stitch them on the machine and am hoping that I can get all 12 done quickly and then put the little top together. There are a lot of tiny HSTs (half-inch ones, actually) in each block. I may decide to use a black fabric instead of the white.

My plans for the long weekend are almost all quilt-related. Along with the blocks mentioned above, there’s one quilt I want to get quilted (machine quilting), a top I want to finish and perhaps get basted, a top I want to baste and perhaps start the quilting of and a few design ideas I’m dying to play with.

While putting the fabrics out on the board to photograph, a little helper arrived to investigate.

Baxter seems to prefer to sleep with his front paws up around his ears. Makes us laugh every time.