|Posted by email@example.com on August 16, 2011 at 1:45 PM||comments (0)|
After sewing furiously for a week to get this sampler done, on Saturday I sewed the last stitches in my border.
I bought the fabric for this quilt about a year ago: I knew I wanted to make another sampler after my first one, and I knew I wanted it to be pink and brown. What I didn't know was when I'd do it or what blocks I'd use.
I'd originally bought brown fabric for the border because I didn't originally plan on using brown in my blocks. So, off to the fabric store I went on Saturday afternoon in search of dusty rose fabric to use for my backing.
With the brown in the blocks, when I laid it out I decided that using brown in the border too would have been too dark. So my pink backing became pink border fabric and the brown became binding and backing along with the leftover pink fabric and scraps from the front.
I'm excited about how this quilt top turned out. It has so many seams that I refuse to tackle quilting it by machine and I don't think I'd want to tackle quilting it by hand either. I'll drop it off at my LQS this week.
Thanks to the three ladies who hosted the Summer Sampler Series quilt along: Katie at Swim, Bike, Quilt!, Faith at Fresh Lemons Quilts and Lee at Freshly Pieced. This quilt top has definitely been a skill-builder and your tutorials were clear, which was a big, big help! (Learning to paper-piece opens up new possibilities, but I still think I'll use it as a last resort....)
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on August 12, 2011 at 8:35 PM||comments (0)|
It's been a productive day! I cut the sashing and cornerstones for the Summer Sampler quilt and sewed it on; tomorrow I'll finish up the quilt top with cutting and sewing my borders. I also want to piece my quilt back. Once that's all done, it's off to the LQS....
I didn't originally plan on sashing these blocks; I was going to alternate each pieced block with a filler block of coordinating fabric. But when I laid it out the filler blocks were just too dominant, so I quartered and trimmed each filler block into sashing. I am so happy with the way it turned out!
On a different note, I was in a thrift store today. I like to see what they have in the line of pre-loved quilts and afghans, if anything. It's not too often I'll actually find a quilt in there, but I walked out of there today with an eight-dollar orange and white tied Rail Fence quilt. It reminds me of a Creamsicle! I love the bright, cheery colours.
|Posted by email@example.com on August 11, 2011 at 4:35 PM||comments (0)|
I did it. Less than a week after the twelfth of the twelve quilt along blocks was posted, I finished my last block. It's taken me all day to do it, but it's done. I did block #11 yesterday. Here they are:
|yesterday's block: Evening Star|
Making the kaleidoscope quilt helped me with these two blocks because they are made up of triangles that meet at a middle point. Pressing the seams open seems to be the trick to aligning everything at that mid-point. The seams laid flatter and it made all the difference in the world.
|today's block: Kansas Dust Storm|
I originally wanted Kansas Dust Storm to have more of the solid tan fabric in it, like Evening Star. Small problem: I ran out of it! By using the red floral fabric as my main print it had the desired effect of making it the predominant fabric in these blocks. Before I did these last two blocks, green and brown were dominant and I didn't want that; I wanted green and brown to be accents. I am now happy with the balance between all the colours and fabrics. Here are all twelve blocks:
The picture's not great because the design wall doesn't hang flat but it gives a general idea of what I wound up with. (I keep all my rulers and stencils behind my design wall.) The next decision will be what to do for my border and backing. Once my blocks are joined and the border is on, it's off to the LQS to have them quilt it with a gentle meandering pattern. I'll finish the binding myself when I get it back.
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on August 9, 2011 at 8:50 PM||comments (0)|
Summer Sampler Series catch-up part 2: the Minnesota, Rocky Road to Kansas and Arkansas Traveler blocks.
All three of these blocks are paper pieced. Yes! I am almost a paper piecing expert, and that after one week's experience! And that is because...
...I made almost every mistake that's possible to make with piecing these three, and especially Arkansas Traveler.
No, diamonds such as are pictured below, are indeed NOT my best friend. The points are a pain, and it turns out there is a reason those numbers are on the templates. I sewed and ripped more on this block than any other to date for as long as I've been quilting (just over a year). It's one thing to turn your stitch length down to 1.5 to ease future removal of the paper by perforating it, but it is next to impossible to rip those teeny tiny stitches out of screwed-up seams. But having gotten that rant out of my system, I must say I do like the looks of this block.
Minnesota was the first block I paper pieced. It came together fairly seamlessly (ha ha!), which showed me that paper piecing does have some advantages when it comes to accuracy. I did not like the look of this block at first because of the colour combo I used, but against the other blocks that have brown in them, it looks fine.
Rocky Road to Kansas: my first attempt at a string block. I can now say I've tried the technique, and while I like the look of the finished block, I found sewing the strips together to be somewhat of a drag. It makes sense as a way to use up every conceivable scrap of fabric, however, which is what people had to do "back in the day."
|Rocky Road to Kansas|
I've now got ten blocks completed and no plans to sash this quilt top. No, what I'm going to do is alternate these blocks with at least eight filler blocks using the yard of coordinating fabric that I have. Then I'll put a border on it and decide from there on exactly how to quilt it.
|First ten completed blocks|
Two blocks to go: Evening Star and Kansas Dust Storm.
|Posted by email@example.com on July 28, 2011 at 5:25 PM||comments (0)|
KT left a very nice comment on yesterday's blog entry that got me thinking this morning. All she said was "Who needs paper-piecing when your blocks come out like this! Perfect!"
Hmm. KT gave me an idea....
I'm not generally as accurate as I need to be with my cutting to have my piecing align perfectly, but I was totally impressed with how accurate my piecing on the Six-Pointed Star block and Lucky Pieces block was. Maybe practice is having the desired effect of improvement?
"Well self," I said, "why don't we try something here? Let's try making the snazzy-looking Star block for this sampler with templates instead of paper piecing! Let's consider it a test of sorts, and a challenge as well! If it doesn't work, I can always redo it and try paper piecing it!"
I'd already printed off the paper piecing templates for this block, so to make my templates, all I did was cut one apart into the three different sized triangles and tape them onto a piece of sandpaper. Then I traced around them, adding the quarter-inch seam allowance to the sides that didn't have it, and cut them out.
I cut my fabric, paying attention to cutting pieces both from the right side and wrong side to get the pieces for both A and B paper piecing templates. They're mirror-image of each other.
Then I laid the pieces out on top of the respective paper piecing templates to get my seams aligned properly, left the paper piecing template on the ironing board and went back to my machine to do my sewing. When I pressed the mini-blocks, I made sure they were as close to the paper pieced template size as possible.
From there I aligned and sewed the four star point blocks. It took me all afternoon, but here's the finished result:
|Look Ma! No paper piecing!|
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on July 27, 2011 at 6:10 PM||comments (0)|
I haven't blogged here in the past week because I've been busily quilting. What a concept, eh? I'm trying to get caught up and set myself up for some finishes so I can return to my UFOs from earlier in the year. These recent projects have been skill-builders though, so that's time well spent! Here's what I've accomplished this week: Farmer's Wife QAL week #5
I have now completed eighteen blocks. Above are blocks #17 and #18: Cats and Mice and Buzzard's Roost respectively. I'm happy with my fabric choices, although Cats and Mice was finished before I realized I'd used my Summer Sampler fabric for it! That's okay though.... That block had many little triangles so I didn't nail the alignment perfectly, but it looks good from a distance.
I used the templates for Buzzard's Roost, which also utilized various sized triangles except for that centre square. Because of that it's not as aligned as I'd like either, and both blocks came out at 6" instead of 6.5" finished size. However, because of the bias edge factor involved I think they'll stretch to the requisite size when I sew them to sashing. I think Buzzard's Roost would've turned out better if I'd pieced it as flying geese units instead.
The beauty of this sampler though is that you don't have to use all 111 blocks, even if you decide to make them all. It just depends what size quilt you ultimately decide to make. So the option remains to either redo the sub-par blocks or omit them altogether when it comes time to make the quilt. Here are the first eighteen completed blocks:
Summer Sampler Series I think I like working with 12" blocks better than the 6" ones because the pieces are bigger and easier to put together. The 6" ones help fine-tune my technique though, so I should be fairly accomplished by the time this Farmer's Wife quilt is completed! I still haven't tried paper piecing. Blocks 5 and 6 from last week were both paper pieced and they're sharp-looking! I've printed off the tutorials and have every intention of making them, but I'd like to have an open uninterrupted block of time in which to concentrate on what I'm doing. I don't imagine they'll be too difficult, and skipping them isn't an option because I'm very much an all-or-nothing person. If I miss any blocks, I may as well scrap the ones I've made too. Speaking of the ones I've made, I am impressed with the way the three I did make turned out this past week! Check 'em out!
Block 4 - Flower Garden Path (alternate piecing method)
Block 7 - Six-pointed Star. Probably the most precise block I've ever cut.
Block 8 - Lucky Pieces
|Six of eight - (top row) Sawtooth Star, Greek Cross, Mosaic, (bottom row) Flower Garden Path, Six-Pointed Star, Lucky Pieces||
On top of my week's piecing, I also marked my Kaleidoscope quilt top, basted it and began quilting it. This is only the second quilt I've machine quilted and it's tedious. I'm hoping it'll get easier with experience. On the plus side, I sprang for my first can of 505 temporary adhesive and spray basted it rather than using pins. I'm not sure I'm a convert, but I was impressed with how easy and quick it was. No overspray or any other kinds of problems!
|Posted by email@example.com on July 20, 2011 at 1:55 PM||comments (0)|
As well as the Farmer's Wife Sampler blocks, I've been working on two other samplers this week and my kaleidoscope quilt is waiting to be sandwiched and quilted. I marked the kaleidoscope quilt yesterday and bought some 505 temporary adhesive so I'm going to give my first attempt at spray basting a go! I refuse to baste with thread and I'm hoping it'll be easier to quilt with the layers lightly glued together rather than pinned.
One of the other samplers I've been working on is my Bible block wedding sampler: it's still in the design stages. I've spent some enjoyable hours playing with EQ7 and the Connecting Threads "Batik Paradise" files that I imported to it. I'm almost ready to order the fabric!
The twelve blocks we're doing came from Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. While the book isn't required, I went ahead and ordered it because Amazon had it and I'd been looking for it previous to this quilt along.
Three blocks a week isn't something I'm going to keep up with, given all the other projects I have on the go. But it's a nice change to make 12" blocks again after all the 6" Farmer's Wife ones! Also, these Summer Sampler Series blocks are more complex than what I've done before, so I want to make sure I do them right the first time! Here's the first one I made: Mosaic. It went together quickly after I chain pieced the sixteen HSTs.
The second block I did was Greek Cross. It was another easy one.
Monday, I looked at what block #4 was and I think my easy-piecing days are over for this quilt along. Flower Garden Path, in Brackman's Encyclopedia, is a thirty-six square block! That translates into piecing 32 half-square triangles, unless you use the alternate pattern that Kate posted, which I just might do!
Being Wednesday, block #5 is now posted, and it's paper pieced. I've never done paper piecing before, but the Star block tutorial looks clear enough.