Monday, September 13, 2021

African fabrics

I ended up with another bag of fabric from my friend Bonnie Keller.  She served in the Peace Corps in Africa when she was in her twenties.  She's had this African and African inspired fabric for quite a while and hasn't been able to bring herself into cutting it and making a quilt with it.  I'm not sure if some of it was from 50 years ago, or if she purchased it more recently.  Anyway, she asked me if I was ready to tackle it.   I felt like this was a monumental request, and I really put my thinking cap on for a design.  Here are her fabrics and some that I collected to go with her African fabrics.  The darkest piece is a very dark blue batik, which coordinates with the blue in the African pieces.

I liked the idea randomly piecing blocks and setting the quilt off into 4 unequal quadrants.  Here is my sketch:

I started with the square within a square blocks and mostly cut the center pieces at 8-1/2" x 8-1/2". A couple of them got trimmed to 6-1/2" x 6-1/2".   I tried to vary the size of the square blocks by adding different width of strips, improv style.  Here they are in place on the design wall:

Then I started cutting strips between 1" and 3" wide.  Here's the pile of the strips:

I sewed these together with wonky seams so that I would end up with a big pile of strip sets.  From these, I cut the strip blocks.  Here they are on the design wall with the square blocks.

The next thing that I sewed was the triangle sets.  I pieced these together on freezer paper to keep the diagonal sides from stretching.  Here they are on the design wall along with the other pieces.  

The piecing from there on was pretty straight forward, since I had designed the quilt in 4 quadrants.  Here is the top all sewn together.  It measures 66" W " x 78" L".  It's a tad too big for the size the charity group usually likes, but this is just how big it ended up being by the time I added borders.

I hope you like it.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Geometric scrap quilt

I saw this pattern on Pinterest and decided to make it with fabric that was donated to me by Bonnie Keller, as well as some fabrics from my stash and a lot of plain black.  The previous geometric quilt tops that had a similar look got me excited about doing one a little more complicated.

The one that I made used her yellow, yellow-green, and green fabrics.  I added some blue and turquoise and olive green fabrics from my stash.  I changed the pattern up a bit and made the squares really small.  As in 3" finished size.  This one was a real puzzle. (I love puzzles and geometry!)  I don't think I could have made it without a design wall. 

I first made a bunch of half square triangle pieces, pairing the like colors with each other; yellow with yellow; blue with blue, etc.  Starting with 4" squares and trimming to 3.5" after sewing and pressing.  I placed them up on the design wall.  When there was a layout that I liked, I cut 3.5" wide black strips, to place in-between the colored rows.  I really polished my ability to multiply by 3 (6, 9, 12, etc.) to cut the strips to length. After enough of the pieces were sewn together, I placed a black ribbon around the edges so that I could see when I needed to add or stop with the blocks.  Here's a picture of the quilt top after it was all sewn together.

I decided to go ahead and quilt this top with my sit down longarm, and used thread to match the fabrics.  The black was all quilted with straight lines 1/2" apart; the colors were done in stones and marbles.

It ended up being 70" x 58". It will be gifted to my brother-in-law and his wife after it is exhibited in the Clark County Quilters show in October. 

I hope you like it!

Monday, August 30, 2021

3-D quilt in 4 colors

I saw this picture on Pinterest and decided that this would make a fun 3-D quilt.  

I made the blocks pretty small so that I would end up with a smaller quilt.  It's made with 3-1/2" finished blocks.  I used gray, black, white, and green, and in hindsight, should have put the two lighter colors together and the two darker colors together, instead of substituting green for the red.  Because of the value difference, I lost a lot of the 3-D effect.

Here's how I made it:

This is entirely made with half square triangles.  Determine where you want the different colors to be, and count the number of pieces you'll need.  (Sorry, I forgot to keep the count for the blog!).  Cut the squares 5", mark the center diagonal seam on one of the squares and sew them together for half square triangles.  Cut them apart, press towards the darker side and trim to 4" square.  You'll end up with six different combinations of blocks, as shown below:

Lay the blocks out according to the picture, sew the rows and press each row in opposite directions.

Sew the rows together, pressing the seams all in one direction. 

Stay stitch around the outside edge.

For quilting, I ran parallel lines in the areas that that are supposed to look like long lines on the diagonal.  And then quilting heavily in the background spaces to "push" those areas to the back.

The quilt ended up being 42.5" W x 56" H.

I hope you like it - now I just to figure out what to name it.  Can you help?

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Dying fabric

Our quilt guild hosted a fabric dying class recently and I was thrilled to get into the class and learn a little more about fabric dying.  One guild member hosted the workshop in her yard and the other guild member prepared all of the fabric dye and material for the class.  PLUS, she brought all the containers and squirt bottles, measuring cups and spoons, and fabric soap.  It was so amazing that both of these women went to so much work ahead of the class for all of our benefit.  Bravo!

The first gradation that we dyed was of one color, with 8 steps.  I used blue.  Here are they dye cups from the class, and the first gradation:

The next set was a rainbow gradation of 12 colors, using 3 primary colors of dye.  Here's my set:

The last set that we dyed was a gradation of 9, using 2 primary color dyes.  Here is my set:

It was a wonderful day and I ended up with some really cool fabric.

And P.S. They had donuts, cookies, and coffee in the morning, and chocolate in the afternoon.  What's better than that!

Monday, August 23, 2021

Pale Green Charity Quilt

I saw this pattern on Pinterest and decided to use the pale green scraps that were donated to me by Bonnie Keller.  I don't know if Sweetwater is the name of the designer's company or the name of the pattern, but isn't cute?

I added some of the pale green, darker green, and brown fabric from my stash.  Without any preconceived size, I just pieced 60 degree triangles together in vertical rows until I had at least 12 or 13 triangles.  This ended up at about 65 inches in length.  I added 5" strips between the double rows of triangles and at each side.  It was finished off with 5" borders on the top and bottom.  

Here's the finished quilt top.  It measures 64" x 75".

I think the original is much sweeter, but when you have scraps, you do the best you can.  I hope you like it.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Zig Zag Scrap Quilt #2 in 2021

I finished a really cute and modern zig zag scrap quilt.  It was the same pattern I used on a previous quilt with turquoise and blue fabrics.  This one turned out a lot better because I used the same solid white for all of the background pieces.  The purple fabric was donated to me by Bonnie Keller from her stash.  I've lost count (again) on how many quilt tops I've made for our charity quilt group this year.  I'm definitely on a roll!

This quilt is 65" x 70", and was made with 5" finished squares.

I hope you like it!

Monday, August 16, 2021

Charity Quilt - 2021 - Alternating Stars

This quilt top, made for the Clark County charity group, utilizes a focus fabric and dark and light fabrics that coordinate with the focus fabric.  Most of this fabric was donated to me by Bonnie Keller, and some was donated from the stash by the charity group.

It is 72" x 72", and uses 10-1/2" squares from the focus fabric, 25 squares of the light fabric that were 5-1/2", and 80 half square triangles made from the light and dark fabrics.

I hope you like it!