Monday, April 19, 2021

Charity Quilt #9 - Rail Fence

Still working through the box of scraps given to me by our charity quilt group.  This makes #5 from the box, and #8 since the first of December.  This pattern is super easy to make and is called rail fence.  All I did was to the sew the 2-1/2" strips into VERY long strips; sew 3 colors together, and cut them into 6-1/2" squares. 

The layout alternated the black on the bottom with the black on the left-hand side.  There are 120 blocks needed for this size, which is 60" x 72".  Here is the completed quilt top:

I hope you like it! 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Square in a Square calculator

I recently stumbled across a simple calculator for square in a square blocks on the internet.  Don't get me wrong -- I love math!  But rather than go back and figure this out again, or find something in my files, I hit the internet.  

Quilter's Paradise has developed a simple square in a square calculator.  You either enter the inside square or the outside square and their formula calculates everything for you! To get there, click on this link:

Square in a Square calculator from Quilters Paradise.  

I was trying to figure out the pieces for a 6" inner square and 12" second outer square.  Here's what the calculator gave me:

The first result is for the 6" inner square:

The second is for the 12" outer square:

Now, I can confidently make the blocks I need for an interesting quilt that starts with a double square in a square block.

I hope you can use this calculator too!  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Charity Quilt #8 - Modified First Crush

I'm still working through the fabric that was donated to our quilt guild.  I was able to make 2-1/2" strips and 5" squares from the fabric.  In December, I made First Crush, which was a pattern in the Charm School book by Vanessa Goertzen.   Here's what that quilt looked like:

This quilt is basically the same, except that I didn't have any more white fabric, so I pieced the long black strips to the long blue strips.  From those strips, I cut 4-1/2" squares and 4-1/2" x 8-1/2" rectangles.  

I pulled some yellow fabric from my stash and used that to make the half square triangles.  Here's what each block looked like before it was pieced.

I didn't like the look of the quilt when I laid it out like the first one, so I turned some of the squares this way and that until I liked the layout.  And here is what the modified version ended up looking like.  It's 61" x 73".

I hope you like it! 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Owl Art Quilt - Final - "Hootie"

This is a continuation of 2 previous posts about the making of the owl art quilt, ad the final one of "Hootie".

I decided to paint the owl since there were so many tiny little pieces in its breast feathers.  The process was the same that I've used in previous quilts, which is basically a paint by number technique.  I made sure to shade the outside edges of the owl to make it look more like it was in the shadow of the tree, and also shaded the tree itself.  I also decided to add the moss around the hole, instead of just the left and right top.

The owl got a lightweight stuffing underneath it and the edges were glued to the backside.

The tree got two layers of batting underneath it to give the whole piece more depth and the moss was placed on the edges of the tree.

It was lightly quilted and bound with traditional binding to match the tree color.  It measures 15-1/2" W x 20" H.

I hope you like it!

Monday, March 22, 2021

Owl Art Quilt - Part Two

This is a continuation of a previous post about the making of the owl art quilt.  I sent my concept picture to my sister for her review.  It was the wrong type of owl!  So she sent me a recent picture of "Owlie" who is still living around Wellton, Alaska. 

Here is the revised picture with the right owl in it:

I traced the picture and intended to take it to a copy shop to enlarge, but then decided that I could do this simple enlargement at home.  

I painted the background fabric (the tree) by first gluing tissue paper to muslin, and tinting it with acrylic paint.  

Then I made some moss with yarn, thread, and wool roving.  It was formed on a base of tulle covered with Solvay, stitched with green thread, rinsed, and dried.  I even put some of the real owl's feathers into the moss.  When the moss dried, it had a realistic texture.

I placed some plain black fabric underneath the tree, moss and sketch of the owl.  It seemed like it was too high up in the hole in the tree, so I moved the owl down a little bit.  

Next, I worked on the owl to be placed in the hole.  See the next blog on the final art quilt.  I think you'll like it!

Monday, March 15, 2021

Owl Art Quilt - part One

My sister sent me photos of an owl near her property in Alaska and some of it's feathers a few years back.  I sketched it up and had plans to make it when I was doing a lot of nest art quilts.  Well, other quilts and plans got scooted in front of it and, before I knew it, it had fallen off my list of quilts to make.  Guess I got tired of seeing it week after week, month after month, and year after year on the list.  Best to start with a fresh list and not beat myself up about unfinished projects, even if they had never been started.  My thinking is that is what a sketch book is for - ideas that you might use some day.  Here were my sketches back then:

Since all of my outside activities with friends and family got cancelled due to the continued surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, I had time to get this project kicked back to the top of the list.  I didn't like any of my original sketches, so I hunted on Pinterest and the internet for more ideas.  It's pretty neat to be able to print them out and paste them into your sketch book.  (Do you know how to do a print screen on your computer?  Just hit Alt+PrtSc, which puts the image into your clipboard.  Then, in a word document, hit paste, and there it is.  From there, just treat it as one picture, which you can crop and move around.)

In the end, I liked the owl looking out from a nest in the tree.  And I liked another picture of an owl.  So, I imported them both into Photoshop and merged the two images.  Here it is printed out:

I decided to make it about 18" tall and paint some fabric again!  It was so much fun on the hiking art quilt!  

Stay tuned for more on this art quilt!

Friday, March 12, 2021

Pets helping me (?) make quilts

We have a cat and a dog now and both like it best when I give them my undivided attention.  When I don't, they make it so that I can't ignore them.

Here's our dog anchoring a quilt that I was attempting to sew a label on.

Here's our cat preening on top of my cutting table with a quilt underneath him that I was trying to trim.

And here they both are in the morning as I was trying to sip my coffee and read the paper.

I think I need a bigger house. Or least a bigger chair!