Saturday, July 30, 2011

Empty Spools - Week 31

When I read this morning's Civil War Quilts entry I commented to Norris, "This is an easy block - it won't take long to make." So he asked if I would like him to make it for me.

I wasn't sure I liked the block at 8 inches, so I made 4 of them at 4 inches. The traditional way to set them is to rotate every other spool, but I think it looks more like stacked spools this way -

And I got to use four of my blue fabrics in one block.

Monday, July 25, 2011

New from Old Challenge

My quilting partner Dorry came up with the idea of doing a New from Old Challenge some time back that I was very enthusiastic about. When Mary Kerr, the creator of one version of the concept, came to the Reston guild, Dorry was finally able to recruit other quilters to play along.

I forgot to take a photo of my starting point before starting in on it so I've covered over the center by pinning on a circle of paper to size -

I'm no expert, but these look to be 1930's era fabrics. I have to make some minor corrections to what I've done in the covered-up center because, as is often the case with blocks that were never made into a finished quilt, this one doesn't lie exactly flat. That made it difficult to decide what size the center circle would need to be. I have a solution for the flatness that does not involve redoing any of the original seams and even if the center was not exactly a circle when I started.

Dorry added to the challenge by asking us to use Blue in our 24 inch square New from Old quilts, and she gave the challenge the name of June Bride, which we could use for inspiration - or not as we saw fit. I believe all the participants got Dresden Plates, though I don't remember how similar they are, and I don't know how many of us will be making these quilts. I've just started on mine and so far am having a great time picking unexpected fabrics to put with the Plate.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Week 30 - Peterson's Stars and Stripes

Ms. Brackman created a simplified Stars and Stripes block for us this week. My stripes are straight, but the camera angle was not because my design wall is full - the bare spot I found was above eye level.

I looked through the blues that have been set aside for Joyce's quilt to come up with this musical print one for the star. One of my "white" stripes is the reverse side of the cat-in-the-garden toile I've used previously. I objected to the design's even number of stripes so I changed it to mimic our flag's red stripes top and bottom. I cut my stripes at 1 3/4 and used a slightly larger seam allowance than usual. I only had a bit to trim from the top and bottom to get an 8.5 inch square.

I hope Ms. Brackman is not staying away from applique because of the comments she had on the only other one she's had so far. I used my favorite silk thread buttonhole stitch on raw edge applique for the star. One point came unglued as I worked - doesn't it give the star a dancing aspect?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Two weeks

Making up for missing last week with family visits and a trip out of town, I have two of the bluest blocks I've made thus far to post today. They were also remarkably similar in construction.

Week 28 Next Door Neighbor
Even though the Friendship Star that this is based on has never been one of my favorites. I used a lower contrast between the two background light/medium blues on purpose. I guess in my mind both were backgrounds. I think about how I would quilt a block, and for this one, you need to treat the star points and the backgrounds differently - I will probably treat all those light blues with denser quilting than the star points.

Week 29, Railroad Crossing -

I was more interested in this block and had more fun choosing the fabrics. I paper pieced this one. Both blocks came out correctly sized.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Irish Chain

This week's block was a bit of a surprise, coming the week of Independence Day.

I chose to use the one predominantly green fabric I had used early on in the series, to signify the Irish part of the story of the week behind the choice of the Irish Chain. It's one of the fabrics Mom chose for the musical themed quilt I made for her and Dad several years ago.