Category Archives: Piecing in progress

Boring or efficient?

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Boring or efficient?

I had the morning to spend in the sewing room while the cleaning woman was here and after pulling out a couple bins, I found the leftover strips from my PLUS 1 quilt. Since I’d just used the little rectangle quilt as an example of quilt math, I knew I had enough strips (18) and after pulling a gray background – knew that as long as I cut carefully, I’d have enough of it to make another small quilt. 


The blocks are ready to assemble, I still have enough scraps for a doll quilt, and my house is VERY clean! A good morning all the way around. 

Sewing along with HeartStrings

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Sewing along with HeartStrings

The WI/MN group is sewing together today in Roberts, WI and I’m working along with them from home. Kathy is focusing on RWB quilts for veterans on hospice but since I’ve got several of those to quilt this summer at Big Canoe, I decided to make one of our planned Sharon HeartStrings quilt. I’d bought fabric back to FL from GA last summer and after looking a bit in the FL stash, these are my 8 fabric choices. 

I haven’t decided whether to make a 24 block quilt and add a border that can be quilted here in FL or to make a 48 block quilt that I’ll take to GA for quilting on the longarm. My intention was one that could be quilted here but now that I’ve got more blocks on the design wall I’m leaning toward the larger size. I’ll get 24 blocks made and then decide. 

My first 4 blocks on the design wall. 

Just in case you want to make your own version here are the guidelines we follow for these. 

: please review these guidelines to see how we make our blocks first and then adapt them as noted below. 

Choose 8 fabrics – I yard each ( not all of each fabric will be used)

 All strips are cut 2 inches (fabrics 1-7)

For the corner triangles (fabric 8), use the same fabric on both sides of the block and they are cut from 4.5 inch squares (cut the squares first and then cut them on the diagonal).

This is a planned quilt with all the strips in the same place for each block.

NOTE: Nann made one last year and was a little more precise in her fabric measurements — we just estimated a yard of each knowing there would be some leftovers but I’m including Nann’s measurements here in case you have some fabrics you’d like to use but have less than a yard of them. 

*It turns out that you don’t need one-yard pieces of all eight fabrics. Label the center 1, the strips flanking it 2 and 3, then 4 and 5, then 6 and 7, and the corners 8. #1, #2, #3 — 16 strips (32″). #4 and #5 — 12 strips (24″). #6 & #7 — 11 strips (22″), #8 — 4 strips (8″). That is handy to know if I try another Sharon quilt. 

On my design wall

Published / by Mary / 12 Comments on On my design wall

You’ll probably get bored seeing this one but now I’ve got half the rows pieced and up on the design wall. Of course it’s pinned sideways – normally I’d just lay these long skinny rows on the floor but I’ve still got fabric all over the floor and need to cut some more triangles before I put it away. I love how this is coming together!


I also got my oldest UFO pinbasted. This quilt is a prime reason I don’t like to put away partially finished piecing projects. I just don’t ever go back to them. In this case, the quilt in progress became a lap size top with the leftovers being used for a doll quilt. I’ll start quilting this one tomorrow. Just straight diagonal lines and either a meander or maybe stars in the border. We’ll see. 

 

Do you hand piece?!

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Do you hand piece?!

Foundations are cut, string bin has been pulled out, squares cut for block corners …

On this week’s agenda: HeartStrings blocks, pin basting the Churn dash quilt, and yes … I might have lost my mind. 

I found these two sets of Honeycomb precut blocks and decided to throw them up on the design wall. After researching sewing them by machine I’ve decided to hand piece them …. do you hand piece? I hand pieced my first quilt because I didn’t own a sewing machine and hadn’t ever used one. I’ve got a UFO from  2008 or so that I started to hand piece… but rather than pull that one out, I decided I’d hand piece this top.  The easy part will be to sew the rows together and my goal is one row per day and then I can label the rows and take them off the design wall. My follow up goal will be NOT to set it aside until the top is assembled!!!

Happy New Year!

Published / by Mary / 11 Comments on Happy New Year!

I hope you all had fun bringing in the New Year. We’re not party people so it was a quiet event here. Around 9 PM I fixed a Brie and fruit tray and Keith opened some champagne. We sat on the porch and talked some about the challenges we had in 2016 and our hopes for 2017 and then Keith took a little nap and I woke him up in time to walk down to the bay to watch the fireworks at midnight. 

As a reward for working so hard last week to finish up as much as I could, I got to start a new quilt today which also meant I got to use my new GO electric that arrived right before Christmas for the first time. Last night I drafted this quilt based on a vintage quilt I found on eBay.

Quilt size is 48 x 64

I’m using 4 inch finished half square triangles which will make the block size 16 inches finished (16.5 with seam allowances).


This afternoon I pulled out the GO ….


Pulled out the box of fat quarters that were purchased a while back ….


And I quickly realized that my plan to make this quilt scrappy wasn’t going to work with the fabrics I have. There are 16 HSTs in each block and while I don’t mind repeating a fabric if needed, I didn’t have enough fabrics of a similar shade in each color so plan B is to make the quilt as drafted. Luckily, I’m adaptable!

I’m using a light gray solid for my background and I’ve got the first 3 blocks made – I love starting a new quilt!

Carpenter Star

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Carpenter Star

After waffling most of yesterday and today about what to work on, I decided to start the Carpenter Star this afternoon. It’s another one of the kits I cut from stash while I was at Big Canoe in July. I’ve done this one before in brown and pink and this time I’m working with green and brown.


As I’ve said before, I often refer back to my own instructions when I’m making a quilt a again. This one is easy to piece in 4 sections and quick too – I’ve already got two done. I’m using a single fabric for the background here although the first one had a scrappy background. In this case, I was trying to cut multiple kits and it was just easier to use one.

This pattern also makes a great Christmas Tree Skirt. Mom has made several of them including this one.


It was beautiful along the bay tonight when we went out for our walk.

Tumblers

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Tumblers

I’m often asked about the GO tumbler dies. I use my 6 inch tumbler frequently and just finished a UFO last week from that die. I also have a 3 inch die but other than cut out a top 2 years ago at the same time I cut the larger one I just finished, I hadn’t used it. 

I was never one to cut kits out but a few years ago I bought a sewing machine for Big Canoe and knew I wanted to kit up a few projects to work on there and then shortly after, we made the big move from Minneapolis with my longarm and stash going to Big Canoe – all the sudden I needed to make up kits while I was in GA to bring back to FL.  I’m not sure why this one has waited for two years (cut Oct 2016) for me to assemble but after finishing the Log Cabin I once again wanted to sew without having to think or cut so out it came. 


A few years ago when we were working on tumblers in Maine,  Jackie wrote up some general guidelines to help us with quilt sizes and numbers of tumblers and I’ll share that here with you all in case you’re interested.

Tumblers

We all know how to figure out how many square blocks we need for a quilt, but tumblers are a little more tricky. How do you measure if the bottom of the tumbler is so much wider than the top? So here is how I do it.

Small tumblers are 3″ high finished and approximately 2 1/4″ wide through the center (or I figure 4 1/2″ for every two tumblers across).

Large tumblers are 6″ high finished and 4 1/2″ wide across the middle (or 9″ for every two tumblers).

To make it even easier, here is what we have found works well.

Small Tumblers:   

Set 14×14 (196 pieces) makes a quilt top 31 X 39″ Add a 1″ inner border and a 3″ outer border for a finished top that measures 39″ x 47″.

Set 25 x 25 (625 pieces) makes a quilt 56 x 75″ with no borders needed.

Large Tumblers:
Set 7 X 7 (49 pieces) makes a top 31 1/2 X 42″ Add a 1″ inner border and a 3″ outer border for a top 39 X 50″

Set 9 X 9 (81 pieces) makes a top 38 X 54″ with no borders needed.

Set 12 X 12 (144 pieces) makes a top 54 X 72″ with no borders needed.
Note: These measurements are all based on tumblers cut with the Accuquilt Go! system
Have fun sewing tumblers,
Jackie from NJ at the Maine sew-in

Something new

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Something new

When I was at Big Canoe in July I blogged about buying these bins to hold pieces for a log cabin quilt. I went back and forth about what to start today and in the end, this was the easiest project I had waiting – no thinking required. 


This is just the second quilt I’ve made with the Log Cabin die by Accuquilt partly because I wasn’t sure how to keep the pieces separate to bring them back to FL with me but that problem is solved now. 

By the way, I also use the instructions on my website – no need to figure things out multiple times! I just finished this Log Cabin quilt this year but I pieced it back in Nov 2012. Now all I need to do for the one I started today is follow the instructions I’ve got posted. 

Interruptions

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Interruptions

I hadn’t counted on having so many interruptions today but there were lots of questions and consultations in both bathrooms. Since I just wanted to sew and not cut, I decided to pull a couple sets of 2.5 inch strips and make a scrappy bargello. I don’t use her instructions but Bonnie Hunter has a free pattern on her quiltville.com site if you’re interested. I’m probably going to make this 4×5 blocks and add a border but we’ll see. 

Blocks are done

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Blocks are done

I’m done sewing for the day but the Churn Dash blocks have all be cut out and assembled and I’ll work on sashing them tomorrow. That darker purple has more contrast that it appears to have in the photo.

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Although the black appears solid above, it isn’t, it’s a print. I use solid black occasionally but I think a print picks up less and shows less lint in the finished quilt so when I have a choice I usually go with the print. You can see it better in this photo.

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