Monday, August 31, 2015

Design Wall Monday 8/31/15

Over the weekend I pulled out a quilt that I am considering working on as my next UFO project. It is my Tell It to the Stars quilt, which was a BOM by Judy Laquidara last year. I did well at keeping up with the monthly clues until near the end of the year when we got to the assembly and borders. Here is what I had when I packed it all away last November or December.

The main reason I put this project away was because I realized that I made the pieced setting triangles with the wrong color. They should have been turquoise, but I used black by mistake, and I'm not sure I like how dark the outside of the quilt looks. I've also been having trouble getting those outer border blocks to come out the right size. In other words, I'm just stuck and don't know what to do next.

I am linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times and to Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt. Check them both out for lots of amazing quilting inspiration!

Julie in GA

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Stash Report Sunday 8/30/15

My stash report had another good week with a decent amount of usage and a little added too. I finished two sets of blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and also finished another quilt back. (You can see the blocks and the quilt top HERE.)

Rainbow Bowties--50 black/grey blocks        1.125 yd.
RSC Circles--13 indigo blocks                        .375 yd
9Patch quilt back                                          4.75 yd

Hidden 9Patch back
71" x 84"
My addition for the week was another giveaway win, this one from the sponsors for Scraptastic Tuesday. I have been very lucky at winning fabric lately!

Used this week:                    6.25 yards     
Used year to date:              120.0 yards

Stashed this week:                  2.0 yards
Stashed year to date:          97.75 yards 

Net year to date:              22.25 yards used

Check out more stash reports at Patchwork Times.  

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Indigo and Black

This week I finished making the rest of my August blocks for the Rainbow Scrap ChallengeOur color for the month is indigo (purplish blue), with black and grey as alternate choices. I tried to pull out blues that tend toward purple for my appliqued circle blocks. Here they are on the design wall along with all the other blue circles from an earlier month, plus 50 bowtie blocks in blacks and greys.

I also finished the top for my UFO of the month which has quite a bit of black in it. Last week I talked a bit about my method for joining the diagonally set blocks together in this quilt. Check out my post from Monday if you would like more detailed information on that technique. I am almost done piecing the back for this quilt.

Be sure to check out all of the wonderful scrappy projects at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and at Oh Scrap! over at Quilting is more fun than Housework on Sunday.

Julie in GA

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Throwback Thursday--Ocean Waves

I joined my first quilt guild in the fall of 1997, two years after I started quilting. One of their activities was an annual quilt challenge, and that first year the theme was Amish. I researched Amish quilts, checking out many books from the library. I especially liked An Amish Adventure by Roberta Horton. The pattern I chose to make was an Ocean Waves quilt. 

Ocean Waves Quilt 1998
Honeybees Guild Amish Challenge
43" x 56"

This quilt was my first experience making lots of HSTs. I used the bias strips technique that I learned from a book by Marsha McCloskey. I just discovered a recent blog post from her explaining this process. You can find it HERE. The pieces shown in the photos below were made for another quilt, but use the same technique. I find this method to be extremely accurate for making lots of HSTs, and less tedious than making them oversized and trimming down.

Check out other Throwback Thursday quilt posts at Krista QuiltsEven better, add your own post to the link-up. We'd love to see your quilts from the past! 

Julie in GA

Monday, August 24, 2015

Design Wall Monday 8/24/15--A Finished Top!

Those of you who have read my blog over the past couple of weeks have witnessed the trials and frustrations of my latest UFO. This project started with a box of 9-patch blocks left over from a couple of quilts made 12 -15 years ago. It took me a whole week of playing in EQ7 and auditioning about a hundred different fabrics to figure out a plan for how to use the blocks.

Once I had a plan, it took me just over a week to make more blocks to complete the rings of color and to get them all joined together. On Saturday I shared a little about how I assemble a quilt top like this, and there were so many interested responses that I would like to explain it further.

My quilt is laid out like the "Blooming Nine-Patch" pattern, which originated in the 1996 book Tradition with a Twist by Blanche Young and Dalene Young Stone. This is a fabulous book that I would highly recommend, and it has been in publication for almost 20 years. My only problem with the book is that this quilt is assembled by joining the blocks into diagonal rows, then sewing all of the long rows together. I find it much easier to join the blocks into groups, then sew those groups together.

The following diagram shows the EQ7 layout for my entire quilt. You can see where I drew black diagonal lines dividing the blocks into groups of 9. I started at the very center of the quilt and worked out from there. The photo after the diagram shows my blocks joined into these groups.

The next step is to join those groups into even bigger sections. Again I started at the center and made a giant 9-patch. There are two partial corner sections that attached to the center and two bigger corner sections that got joined on last.

Yes, I realize that my seam lines go the opposite way in the diagram than they do in my quilt sections. It doesn't really matter, but I hope you can see how the parts fit together. Doesn't this look easier than sewing all those long diagonal rows together? All that's left is to share the finished quilt top.

9Patch Leftovers
59" x 69.5"
It feels great to get another batch of blocks stitched up into a quilt top. Even after all of this, I still have some blocks left, and they will definitely get used in the back of the quilt. If anyone has a good idea of a name for this quilt, I am drawing a blank and welcome all suggestions.

I am linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times and to Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt. Check them both out for lots of amazing quilting inspiration!

Julie in GA

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Stash Report Sunday 8/23/15

My stash report this week shows some fabric going out and some coming in. The outgoing was 1/8 yard for background hexies on my orange hexie star, plus 5.25 yards for the 9Patch UFO top that I have been working on all week. I finished putting the top together yesterday, and I will try to get photos of it later today.

The incoming fabric is a Moda layer cake that I won in a giveaway from the Martingale Publishing blog. It is called "LOL" from Me and My Sister Designs. Check out all the wonderful prints! I am envisioning a cute girly quilt. Free fabric--always a treat! I also won a 10-spool package of lovely Aurifil threads. 

"LOL" layer cake and Aurifil threads

Used this week:                  5.375 yards     
Used year to date:            113.75 yards

Stashed this week:                2.75 yards
Stashed year to date:          95.75 yards 

Net year to date:               18 yards used

Check out more stash reports at Patchwork Times.  

Julie in GA

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Scrappy Circles and UFO 9Patches

My current projects for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge have been moving forward this week. I have been working on bowtie blocks and plan to have them all ready to show next weekend. I appliqued a couple more indigo circles, bringing my collection up to a dozen.

My main focus for the week has been my 9Patch UFO. After my frustrations from the previous week, it felt good to get down to sewing. I finished making the needed 9P blocks, then started joining them together.

I took a Blooming 9Patch class many years ago and learned a very useful trick for joining blocks together, and it works especially well for this design. Instead of sewing the blocks into long rows, then joining the rows together, I start by stitching the blocks into large 9Patch units. Then the bigger units get joined to one another. You can get a better idea what I mean from my photo.

The trickiest part of this is keeping the blocks in the correct positions. The next step will be to make a giant 9Patch from the blocks at the center of this layout, then join the rest of the units into sections that finish it off. I am hoping to get it all put together this weekend.

Be sure to check out all of the wonderful scrappy projects at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Julie in GA
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