May 25, 2016

Quilt 60: Double Square Star

Pauline, my quilting guru, came across this video on YouTube showing a very interesting "star" block, called "Double Square Star Quilt".  The quilt is made with charm squares and oh, my it just looked too easy!

I tried to embed the video here on my blog, but for some reason it isn't working.  No worries.  Here's a link to the video on YouTube:   Double Square Star Quilt

I really enjoyed the video, and had to laugh when watching because "Jenny" sews like I do - fast and furious, no pinning, no pressing unless absolutely necessary.  Looks like she's got lots of other videos out there - I'm going to have to check them out, as I'm sure she can teach me some new tricks.

I was completely intrigued with this project and, of course I have a huge stash of charm squares, so hey, let's GO!

There's one caution here: Not all charm square packs will have enough squares to complete the project in Jenny's video.  Be sure to check the package.  It takes 6 squares to make one star  - and there are 20 stars in the quilt, - that's 120 squares.

For my quilt, I'm going to use Moda's "Picket Fence" charm squares.

 Just as shown in the video, I've got 3 packs of these squares.  I went through and found the matching squares from each pack, then cut one square into quarters.
Then I cut out 5"x 2.5" strips of my "background" fabric (just white homespun), and 7" x 2.5" strips.  Then I stitch the small squares to the ends:
When I fold back the edges, you can see the general idea of where this is going:

Then I cropped off the excess from the ends of the strip, being careful to leave a 1/4" seam allowance:
 Then I stitched the strips to the squares, sewing the 5" strip first, then the 7" one - and voila!  Just as Jenny said - it came together pretty darned fast!  Here's 1/4 of my first "star" block:

One down, 79 to go...

May 18, 2016

Quilt 59: "Under The Australian Sun" Placemats - DONE!

In last week's post, I mentioned a Robert Kaufman (fabric manufacturer) design.  Well, here's another one - this one called "Under The Australian Sun" and features clusters of gum leaves:
(Click any picture on this blog to see a larger image)
I'm a big fan of Robert Kaufman - and quite a few of my projects have been made with their prints. The fabric is very high-quality (and pricey... like $20-$26 per meter!), and the designs are just awesome.

I made some placemats last year with left-over charm squares.  It was something of an experimental project, but in the months since I did that, those placemats have become my favorites.  I thought this gum leaf fabric would make a very nice placemat - with the golds, greens and little hints of turquoise.

The fabric is a one-way design, and I want the quilting to be very simple, just a series of wavy lines running in the same direction as the gum leaves. Simple idea and very easy to do.

I wanted several placemats (4 for me and a half-dozen to give as gifts or to sell), so I bought 1.5 meters of fabric, and cut off the side so that instead of 44", I had 30 inches (which will give me 2 placemats 15" wide).  Then I mounted the fabric with backing and batting on the longarm:

 I quilted with simple wavy lines going from end to end, using dark brown thread:
 Then, after quilting, cut the large panel into sections, giving me ten placemats sized 12" x 15":
Here's a photo of the back showing the stitching.  The lines are uneven and wavy, giving an organic kind of feel to the mat:
And the result?  Here you go:

May 11, 2016

Quilt 58: Persian Carpet in Gold - DONE!

Pre-cut panels are a great way to start a quilt top.  I found one online late last year that I just adore - it looks like a Persian carpet:
(Click the picture to see a larger image)
 As much as I like the center, I'm not too sure about the green edging.  I'm thinking I want to bring out the golds, rusts, and reds in the center of the panel, not the bright green:
 So I trimmed the green back and added a narrow gold border.  Yes...!  This is more what I'm looking for.
Next I added a rust border (which in the photo below looks a bit orangey... the camera just doesn't catch the colour well), and then a print which mirrors the medallions in the center, with finally a gold border on the outside:

At this stage, the top is 52" x 60"
There's a lot of colour in the center of the panel, esp. navy, turquoise and a splash of green.

Here's a closeup of the medallion border.  What you can't see is the very subtle metallic gold highlights on the medallions (below) and in the panel center (above).  The overall effect is very rich, textural.
And here (below) is the finished quilt.  It turned out gorgeous!
The binding and backing are done in a Robert Kaufman metallic print which splashes deep sunset orange with maroon and metallic gold highlighting. The quilting is in a pale gold thread, which is very visible on the plain gold and orange borders, but fades beautifully into the prints.
(Click the picture to see a larger image)
And here's the backing, giving you a better view of the design.
I used the "Blustery Breeze" groovy boards for the quilting - and am really pleased with how the design blends in.  Instead of "Blustery Breeze", on this quilt it looks to me like a shiracco!