Thursday, June 25, 2015

rail fence streak of lightning--process

My 2 1/2 inch square shoebox has become two shoeboxes and I have been looking for a project to use them. I saw a picture of a quilt using squares in a rail fence block in a straight set--I decided to try to set them on point.

Sew the squares into 3 piece units, press to one side.
Then, sew two units together BUT, in two different ways.
Set 1 sew with the seam allowance toward the needle.
Set 2 sew with seam allowance away from the needle.
Keep these sets separate, and sew a solid 6 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch piece on to each set.
Set 1 press all seams to the solid fabric.
Set 2 press all seams away from fabric.
I keep one block of each by the machine to keep this sewing and pressing plan in front of me as I make more blocks.
Sew two of the same set together. Pictured has set 1 on top and set 2 on the bottom
Then, using one section from each set, put together into one large block.
All this sorting allows for the seams to nest. Eventually  in putting the top together there will be some twisting ones, but I can live with that.  If you wish, you can make all the rail fence blocks the same and just deal with more twisted seams.
I am keeping some sets unsewn into blocks so they will be available to fill in on the edges once I decide how I am going to do that.
 This is using up a lot of squares!

Monday, June 22, 2015

an extravagant welcome, installed

It was such a delight making this quilt. If you click the label below, you will be brought to all posts I made while making the quilt, along with detailed tutorials on how to make the various blocks.
The project was made replicating the ideas and lay-out of a group quilt designed by Melissa Kane for a raffle quilt made by members of Illinois Quilters, Inc.
Beautifully quilted by Sue DiVarco.
Measures about 80 by 120. Blocks finish 4 by 6.

Andy and I donated it to St Pauls with gratitude for our children's church school education. It was installed in the Social Hall.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

ships, progressing

I keep making more blocks, heading to set it 7 by 8.
It is fun working with the odd prints from my shelves (and from my floor...).

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Claire Witherspoon over at Cspoonquilt has put together a tutorial inspired by an antique quilt from Barbara Brackman's blog.

Here is the tutorial:
Here is the quilt on Barbara's blog.

My first quilt was a ships quilt made for my nephew back in 1980.
I have started some new blocks using Claire's directions. I have changed up the pressing a bit to accommodate my sewing quirks, and have discovered I really hate trimming half square triangles to size, but will persevere. Her directions are well written and her blocks are great inspiration.

A funny story about ship quilts. When my sister curated a display of military artifacts, one family brought in a quilt a neighbor made for them in memory of their brother who died at sea in WWII.
I remarked, "Oh, a ships quilt," to which the woman said, "What?" For 60 years she just saw it as abstract triangles and rectangles--she didn't see a ship depicted. Now she wonders how they missed that!

postage stamp--top completed

Pieces cut 1 1/2 inch squares, made into 64 patch blocks, with 32 each solids and scraps.
I didn't do any strip piecing for this--all scraps from my shoebox of 1 1/2 inch squares and solids from my stash--most solids were Kona.
It used a lot of thread!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

tessellated crosses top completed

It was so much fun to make this design again. I used lots of odd fabrics.
Each cross is cut from 2 1/2 in strips, with one 6 1/2 inch rectangle and two 2 1/2 inch squares. A few 4 1/2 inch pieces to even out edges.
I don't think I repeated any fabrics.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

next up, tessellated crosses

In my small group we choose a fabric type for the others to give us on our birthdays. Kathryn asked for strips of fabrics we were working with for a tessellated cross quilt.
I enjoyed making one about  20 years ago, so while cutting for Kathryn, I decided to make one too.

My pieces are cut from 2 1/2 inch strips, with two 2 1/2 squares and one 6 1/2 inch rectangle for each cross. A few 4 1/2 inch rectangles are needed on the ends here and there to complete the pattern.

I am working from the bottom up, but sideways so I can use the length of my design board for the width of the quilt.
I lay out about 3-5 rows, sew them together, then lay out 3-5 more.  It goes fairly fast.
Many fabrics are from my mother's stash of scraps sewing for us as children.
I am enjoying my first weeks of a reduced summer work schedule. Lots of machine time and hand bindings work. Now, to find someone in this house willing to hold some quilts for pictures!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

postage stamp progress

It is nearly finished! I haven't posted about this quilt since February. After a rapid start, it needed to be set aside due to a very busy semester. I fit in a few blocks here and there, and today completed the final two blocks. Along the way I decided to make it larger than originally planned.
It is 81 blocks, 9 by 9.
I made each block with scraps from my 1 1/2 inch scrap bin--which is greatly reduced but still has several quilts in it. The scraps include many of my mother's. The solids were also in my stash as small yardage pieces.
I sew them together in 2s, then 4s, then 8. I press to one side and nest the 8 rows together into a block.
The block is then pressed all to one side.
This pressing allows the whole quilt to have butted seams.
I put the quilt together into nine sections of nine blocks each.
Then, put these together in sections, leaving only one long seam that goes for the whole 9 block length.

I have 5 seams left to go!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

from Lorraine's stash

This little doll quilt was made from my neighbor Lorraine's stash. I will give it to the Block Party this year for the raffle.
I worked on this one at the same time I made one for Lori's Humble Quilt exchange.