Friday, September 30, 2011

September UFO finished the last minute of course. This picture was taken before I put the binding on, but today I put the binding on, and I just clipped the last thread a few minutes ago (11:15 p.m. my time). It is just under four feet square. The fabrics I used are: a few traditional cotton quilting fabrics, lamé, glittery net, a few different sheer and satin fabrics, silk, gilded kid leather, corduroy, velvet, microsuede, and chiffon. It was inspired by a sheer nylon quilt I saw in a book by Yoshiko Jinzenji. I pulled the book out today and saw that it was published in 2003. That was about when I started this quilt. After I got the top together, one of the lame fabrics shredded. So I had to pluck out 52 squares and replace them with a stabilized version. I could not quilt it at the time, so I considered myself defeated. This time I built a frame to quilt it. I backed the quilt with sheer fabric and pinned the top to the backing with straight pins. I taped the backing to the frame and stitched every row in the ditch. In this picture it is slightly backlit, hanging from a rafter in my sewing room. The detail shows some of the sheer fabrics.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Grange Fair

This is an origami box that I folded both to enter in the fair and to donate to the auction. It didn't win a ribbon, but I wanted to take a picture of it because it was sold - I learned at church today that it was bought by a very enthusiastic little girl who also entered lots of craft items.
This is the necklace that Cathy made me for my birthday. She was so excited that it won a blue ribbon.
My origami quilt won a blue ribbon. I donated this to the auction too. All of my origami is from the designs of Tomoko Fuse. She has written many books on origami boxes, one on origami quilts, one on unit origami, and one on kusudama. Probably many more too. She also has founded a company that makes origami picnic bowls, cups, and plates.
This is the origami quilt that I had made for the fair, but I could not muster up the energy to put it in a frame. The one I did enter was already framed. In this picture it is sitting on the glass. At some point I will frame it. So, it is still mine to have. I'm glad because I liked it a lot.
Finally here is a tie-dyed handkerchief that I entered at the last minute. It also won a blue ribbon in the "crafts" category. In this picture it is hanging up at Sandy Island family camp, where I made it.
Three items that I've previously posted on this blog also won blue ribbons. I'm almost embarrassed to tell because the only quilts entered in the fair were my two quilts! But they were some of the best quilts I've made. I'm sure their presence at the fair delighted many people. But I wish there had been more competition. I would never have finished my hidden wells quilt (not quilted in the picture) this soon if not for the deadline that I set for myself, to have it done for the fair. The other quilt I entered was my big fall colors quilt, and the third item was the knitted roman squares blanket that I made for our church's charity blanket project.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lazy day half-square triangles

I was too lazy this Labor Day weekend to work on the really hard quilts that I would like to be finishing. These blocks are actually quite small - the one on the left is about two inches square. Maybe someday they'll all be part of an interesting pieced border.

This one is about eight inches square. It's loosely based on the Year's Favorite quilt block. It will go into my block box, which is filling up nicely. Then someday I'll make another couple of quilts like Cindy's and Cathy's.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dual Boston Commons Quilts

These dual Boston Commons quilt tops were made with the same fabrics in each (the colors are different because the pictures were taken at different times of day). Each quilt is approximately 42 x 54 inches. This is the size we use for our church charity quilts. I have always wanted to make a Boston Commons quilt, and of course I wanted to strip piece it. Because there are different numbers of squares of each color, the only way to make strip piecing work is to make two of them. It turns out these are much easier to strip piece than the dual trip around the world quilts, which I tried to explain here. If there are any problems or questions about these instructions, please leave a comment.

Choose eight fabrics - selvage to selvage (not fat quarters). You will need more than 1/2 yard - at least 5/8 yard. Number the fabrics 1 to 8. In this picture, number 1 is on the left and number 8 is on the right. Number 8 will be the fabric that forms the "border."

Cut four strips 4 3/4 inches wide from selvage to selvage of fabrics 1 to 7.

Cut four strips 5 1/2 inches wide from fabric 8. The extra width is needed for the additional seam allowance along the diagonal.

Sew half of the strips in pairs: 1 & 2, 3 & 4, 5 & 6, 7 & 8, so that there are two pairs of each. Note: either press all seams towards odd numbered fabrics, or press all seams towards even numbered fabrics.

Sew the other half of the strips in pairs: 2 & 3, 4 & 5, 6 & 7, 8 & 1.

Cut the first set of pairs into two halves, each slightly longer than 19 inches. Sew them together so that there are four different sections with the fabrics in the following order:

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8
3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 1 - 2
5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4
7 - 8 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6

This is a picture of those four sections, overlapped, from top to bottom.

Cut the second set of pairs into two halves, each slightly longer than 19 inches. Sew them together so that there are four sections in the following order:

2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 1
4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 1 - 2 - 3
6 - 7 - 8 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
8 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

Cut four strips from each section, 4 3/4 inches wide. Arrange them so that the top row starts with fabric #1, second row starts with fabric #2, etc.

Sew the rows together. Not all the cross seams will match up, because fabric 8 is wider. Note: don't press seams, or press seams lightly all in the same direction. When the quilts are assembled, we will want seams to alternate pressed towards odd numbered rows on one quilt and even numbered rows on the other quilt. We have to cut the panels apart first.

Cut the panels apart along the diagonal. The cut should go straight through the middle and should be 1/4 inch from the points of the squares on either side.

Arrange four identical triangles so that the center squares of the side triangles overlap, and the end triangles match up. Decide on the best arrangement and remove one square from one of the sides. Open the seam between rows about an inch and a half more than is needed to remove the block.

Now the large triangles will be sewn together. Make sure that the point where the 1/4 inch seam allowances meet lines up with the seam between the last square and the end triangle. Mark the seam allowances if you have to.
Sew the two end triangles to the sides of the side triangle that has the center removed. At this point you can figure out which way to press the long seams so that the cross seams interlock.
Sew one edge of the remaining side triangle to the edge of the other side that was detached when the center square was removed.
Sew the last pair of inside edges together.

Cut off the corners.
Repeat this with the other four triangles, and you have two beautiful quilt tops.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

August UFO

I finished this today - a day late I suppose. But it is done. I chose the colors from a book of style palettes. This is the antique postcard / hand-tinted photo palette. I hand and machine quilted in the ditch, and stitched a large meander around the border. The border fabric was left over from my sister's curtains many years ago in Lansing, Michigan.
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