Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ten fat quarters

I just love how my accuquilt cutter slashes the time required to make blocks. The pieces cut accurately, so they fit together accurately, and piecing is a breeze. Plus, did I mention how much faster it is to cut this way?

I picked eight fat quarters from my stash and added two more from my local quilt shop, for a total of ten. (Did I mention that I'm trying to use up my stash?) I cut them up using the signature die and the coordinating half square triangle.

Then it was just a matter of sewing together the blocks.

 I love how the seams just match perfectly...

And the size of the block is exact, even when sewing on the bias like this one...

 Without borders, just right for a baby quilt at 40x45".  This will definitely be on my "do it again" list.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Simpler is better

So, for my One Block Wonder, once I had it all sewn together, the challenge became how to make it look more finished; what kind of border(s) to use. I played around with a few ideas, but in the end, decided less is more and left it at this:

Then I also decided that one of these quilts was enough. Pretty sure I won't get the urge to do another any time soon.

I'm adding this one to my growing pile of tops that I want to quilt myself on a long arm machine. A local company offers classes that teach how to use one (you learn how on a charity quilt), then lets you rent time in their studio to do your own quilting. This is how I will decide if I really want to own a long arm, or if I just think I do.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fabric box

Quick and easy project that took less than an hour to put together from stash fabric.

Tutorial available on this other blog if you would like to make your own:

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Work in progress

Tip one: make sure your hexagon block halves are securely pinned together, because when you keep moving them around on your design wall, you often knock others off, and it'd be a shame to put some back up out of alignment and throw off the kaleidoscope design.

Tip two: keep looking at your design wall from different distances and angles, and look through different mediums, like a camera lens or on a phone screen, to find just the right balance of color and contrast. (After a couple days of constant rearrangement, you might want to just decide "good enough")

Tip three: number the top piece in each of your columns before you start taking pieces down to sew, and only take one column down at a time. It'll save headaches later by keeping the pieces in order.

Tip four: admire how it all comes together so beautifully as you actually join the blocks. Press well as you go, and allow for lots for time to do this part... It seems endless... 

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

One block wonder

In another effort to use up what I already have, I dug deep in my stash and pulled out lots and lots of this gorgeous fabric:

It's been waiting about eight years to become a stack and whack quilt, but I just haven't wanted to do another one. I made so many of them years ago when the books first came out, and loved everything about them, but I am stacked/whacked out.

I went online to my facebook quilting page, and posted that picture of the fabric. I asked for suggestions for an easy pattern idea that would showcase the beautiful colors. Overwhelmingly, the response was for stack and whack... sigh... But somebody also suggested "one block wonder". 

I had seen these before, and was intrigued, because surely they weren't simple?  I went on you tube and found a perfectly clear and understandable tutorial and made the decision. It was going to be a one block wonder. Let the cutting begin.

99 sets of 6 triangles, to be pieced together to form kaleidoscope hexagons, much like in the fashion of stack and whack (but this isn't stack and whack. It's one block wonder).

Then comes the fun part: trying to arrange them in a pleasing manner. "The blocks just speak to me" she says on the video when describing how easy it is to lay them out. I found this was not the case for me. I am a little bit artistically challenged, so I can maybe see that something somewhere isn't right, but I wouldn't necessarily be able to tell you why.

So, for my first attempt, I tried to blend the colors, or maybe it was transition them. Either way, I didn't like it. 

It looked too "heavy" or something where the red was, and it didn't seem to blend at all, once I backed up far enough to take the picture (it's not as light as it looks, but that's just my camera). 

I appealed to my facebook fellow quilters for help, and got plenty. There were a few that liked it how it was, but the most common opinion was to back up and judge each block by only one color... 

So I tried again, also attempting to more evenly distribute the reds.

 I like this layout much better, but have tweaked a few blocks since taking this picture. I think I'll let it hang for a day or two, and see what I think over time. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Scrap quilting

You might remember from an earlier post that I used my Accuquilt Go to cut up the smallest pieces I had in my scrap drawer.  I randomly pieced them together into blocks, not caring what color they were or if they matched. I just sewed. Then I put the blocks up on the wall and had a look:

Wow! That's a little too busy to me and my eyes. I had some leftover gray from the last top I put together, so used it to sash the blocks on two sides. 

Then I arranged them in a way that I didn't have to match up seam lines, except for along rows, and went to town, putting them together.

Ahh... That's better. Still bright and busy, but not overwhelming. I opted to leave out the larger 4" blocks, for now, although I may still incorporate them into a border. I don't think this one is finished yet...