Sunday, February 26, 2012

Remake 2012 - Progress Report #1

Progress has begun on Remake 2012 - The Churn Dash.  Here is a photo of the quilt that is being copied.

We decided to make a few changes from the original layout (12 x 12 blocks with two borders) and will be using a 13 x 13 block layout to give it more balance and symmetry.  This will put a pieced Churn Dash block in each of the 4 corners.  Also, we will add a 3rd border so the total border width will be approximately 10 inches.  This will give a finished quilt size of  98 x 98 which will fit nicely on a queen size bed.

After all the decisions were made - the cutting and piecing have begun.

Statistically, the 13 x 13 layout will require a total of 169 blocks !  (YIKES !!)

But, only 85 of them are pieced and the other 84 are setting blocks (HUGE SIGH of RELIEF !) 

However, to complete the 85 pieced blocks, we need a total of 340 half-square trianges, 85 strips sets, and 170 burgandy 2.5 inch squares.....   (AND A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE...)

Wow - what a pile of fabric.... but block by block it will come together. 

I think it always goes faster when the finished blocks go up on one of the design walls at the studio.  At least it gives some visual inspiration on those days when motivation is lacking !!

These blocks are just pinned in place, but it already confirms that we are on the right track for replicating the look of the original quilt. 

I'm so excited... stay tuned for more progress reports on Remake 2012 !

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I'm typically not someone who decorates for Valentine's Day.  But the last of the Christmas decorations came down the other day; and well, frankly, the house seems a little naked....It didn't seem naked before the Christmas decorations went up, but now it does. 

To remedy this situation, I created a simple little wall hanging to brighten the walls in honor of Saint Valentine.  It is very scrap friendly with few rules. 

First, I went through my stash and started pulling out fabrics.  I went with a chocolate and pink color combination but it can be done in reds and whites or any combination that you like.

Next, I pieced the background with a center pink panel, a chocolate brown inner border and pink outer border in fabric that matched the center panel.  I made the background about two inches larger than I wanted my finished wall hanging to measure to account for shrinkage during quilting and to allow me to square it after quilting.

Next the heart cutouts were fused in place. It was a trip back memory lane to grade school when I made the heart templates - folding the paper in half and drawing all sorts of fun and funky heart shapes. I cut them out of scrap fabrics and fused them in place with a double sided fusible web.

After the hearts were in place, I quilted a dense edge to edge pattern across the entire wall hanging.  This will hold the hearts in place and provide stability to help it hang straight.  After quilting, the binding and hanging sleeve were attached.  

And finally, my favorite part - embellishments !!

I hand sewed buttons in place to give some pizzazz but it still needed more - so out came the "blinger" and the hot fix crystals were added for the final look.

Happy Valentine's Day !! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sedona Star - What have I gotten myself into ??

One of my resolutions for 2012 is to take my piecing to new levels...  ya know, as Emeril would say "kick it up a notch or two".

I want to try more paper piecing, I want to sew more curves, work with more angles, basically add more funky stuff into my piecing.   And I found the perfect quilt to expand my piecing horizons.

The "Sedona Star" by Sarah Vedeler - the 2012 Block of the Month on the 


It was love at first sight - Wow - what a quilt.  Bright colors, paper piecing, curves, everything I was looking for !!!

So "Merry Christmas" to me - I signed up and downloaded the first month's patterns.  I went through my stash and pulled out some fabrics and then did some shopping to fill in the few fabrics I was missing. 

And I started in .....  I was reading the instructions word for word, I printed my paper templates and started paper piecing.  Now, you must realize, I have NOT been a huge paper piecing fan in the past.... ever since the day I managed to sew fabric to both sides of the paper and the poor instructor just looked at me and shook her head and muttered something about maybe I should stick to just quilting.... 

But this is different.... I'm LIKING it !!! 

So I set up the laptop next to the sewing machine and I followed the instructions and I sewed and I sewed.

and in the end I was pretty darned impressed !! 


The center section of my Sedona Star is complete.  Just 11 more months to go.  Stay tuned for updates - February includes 9 applique blocks ...  I can't wait.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Remake 2012

One of my favorite past times is finding a vintage quilt with a really neat look, then figuring out how it was made and making a new quilt using the same pattern. Sometimes this is easier said than done.  Older quilts weren't always cut and pieced accurately and the blocks were often made from the fabrics on hand. Most of the time they are not perfect and that's okay !

Here is a picture of the quilt from my collection that will be the Remake 2012 quilt. 

When I first saw it I went WOW !!  I saw the "X"s in the setting blocks with a cross intersecting it - kinda like a wheel spoke.  It wasn't until closer examination did I realize the block pattern is a churn dash block alternated with a plain setting block.  The background fabric is what really makes the quilt.  The tiny calico blends together from one block to the next to create the illusion I was seeing.

Combining the dark green calico with a white and black pindot fabric, the churn dash blocks disappear into the background and create the subpatterns while the lighter fabric appears to rise off the quilt.

The original is a summer quilt.  The batting appears to be just a thin piece of flannel and the backing fabric is pieced together.  The entire quilt is hand quilted and the quilting pattern isn't consistent from one block to the next.  The pink binding may have been applied later as it is machine sew on.  Regardless of it's imperfections - I still love it !

The next step is recreating this look that I loved.  While the quilt was hanging out on my studio wall last Fall my mother decided she wanted to make it.  She had just finished her 2011 quilt - a remake of another old pattern - and was ready for a new challenge.  So we started selecting colors that would fit her decor. 

The first fabric selections yielded this block.

While the colors go well with her decor the block just didn't seem to have the pizzazz we were looking for, so back to the fabric stash. 

The second try was much better.

The darker burgandy background on the calico gave it the depth needed to really make the lighter fabric pop.  Yep - this is the color combination we want.  When we put the two blocks side by side on the design wall and stepped away from them, the choice was easy.

Now the fun begins.  An overall quilt layout on paper gets created and then it's onto figuring the number of blocks needed, the number of half square triangles to create, the number of strips to cut.  We have already made the decision to make the quilt slightly larger to accomodate a queen size bed. 

Stay tuned for updates on Remake 2012 during the year ! 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fun, Functional and Accessible

It's wintertime.  It's lazy nights in the living room watching TV and movies.  It's friends and hanging out time.  It's snuggled on the couch with my favorite pooches time.  And nothing snuggles better than a quilt! 

Here is a easy way to store quilts so they are easy to get to by anyone who happens to be hanging out.  No digging in the closets or the cedar chest - just grab a quilt and cuddle up.

Just fold the quilts lengthwise into either quarters or thirds, depending on how large they are and how large the crock is, and then roll them up sleeping bag style and slide them upright into the crock.

Quilts with thinner battings roll easiest and the larger the crock, the more quilts it will hold. 

You can let them be a focal point in the room and compliment your decor or you can tuck in the corner.  Regardless of the location, your quilts will be ready for the next time you need them.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year - What are your quilting resolutions ??

Happy New Year and Welcome to my Blog !!  Yes, I now have already completed one of my New Year's Resolutions - setting up this blog.  What are your quilting resolutions for 2012?  Organizing your stash? Cleaning your sewing area? Finishing UFO's? Entering a quilt show? Going on a shop hop? Learning something new? Taking a class?  Whatever your goals are for the year, I wish the best of luck in achieving them.