Friday, May 31, 2013
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
But every once and a while we have to challenge ourselves and jump out of our comfort zones even if it only for a brief moment. So, when putting together the quilt back for my current quilt project I decided to make it a personal challenge to only use the scraps that I left over from the quilt top and piece something together for the back. There was definitely some trail and error along the way, and a few choose words as ripped out seam after seam, but I am happy with the results even though my husband response was that it wasn’t my best work. It may not be but that is OK too.
I looked at this whole project as the perfect opportunity to try something new. The quilt top may or may not be considered improv but for me it was all about trying something new. Every once in a while we need that project with no destination or home in mind so we cam spread our wings and see which way the wind takes us.
This project started with a large print fabric that was discontinued that I didn’t quite know how to incorporate into a quilt. I did not have a clear plan when I started this quilt and since I could not buy any more of the fabric or others that were the line, I had to make do with what I had. Ultimately, I decided to pair it with some solid fabrics.
The vision of of this quilt has changed quite a bit over the past year and as I prepare to quilt it I find myself once again unsure of how to proceed…
Friday, May 24, 2013
My LQS only had these 4 prints, I wish she carried the entire line I would have bought more. The quality and feel of these fabrics are amazing.
The line is called Textures designed by Angela Waters for Art Gallery Fabrics.
I am not quite sure what to do with it yet… but I am sure I can come up with something.
Have a great holiday weekend!
Thursday, May 23, 2013
As I started piecing the hour glass blocks I wasn’t sure how this quilt was going to play out. Honestly, I really thought it was going to be the ugliest quilt ever, but since it was headed to the family room, and the was going to be at the mercy of the kids, I didn’t really care how it turned out. I just needed a quilt that could be abused and loved. Also, I took the opportunity to practice some precision piecing, taking the time to press and trim, and really concentrating on lining up all my seams.
This was also the first time I used Aurifil thread to piece and to machine quilt. I hate to admit it but I am hooked. I was surprised to see that there is really a difference compared to regular cotton thread. Now we will see how it stands the test of time… and the kids. Like I said before this quilt is headed for the family room and all the punishment the kids can dish out.
Also, I am finding Instagram invaluable when it comes to the work in process. I love the immediate help and encouragement I can get along the way. Above are some of the pictures I took. If you are on Instagram and want to follow along you can find me at @agirlinparadise.
The details: This quilt measures about 65” by 82” with 500 blocks pieced together in a 20 by 25 layout. I used this tutorial for the blocks. For the fabrics I used variety of scraps. For the backing and the binding I used a moss green dot. The quilting is a basic straight line on the diagonal that follows the quilt block, using white Aurifil tread.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
My addiction to scrappy hour glass blocks has turned into a little bit of an obsession, because who in there right mind would turn five hundred random 5” charm squares in to a scrappy hour glass quilt? Apparently the answer to that question is me. There were two things that I wanted to accomplish when I set out to make this quilt, the first, I wanted to use up some of my scraps, and second I really wanted to practice some basic piecing. Taking the time to concentrate on some effective ways to match all my seams precisely and press them all without creating any bulk or knots.
I chose the hour glass block because there are a lot of seams that intersect throughout this quilt and the block itself is quite basic. Really, it is just a double half square triangle, and because you are not using a light and dark fabric like with a traditional hour glass block, piecing is very easy and no two blocks will look alike.
Step one – cut two squares of equal size, and mark a diagonal line on one of the squares.
Step 2 – with right sides together sew on either side of the line, using a 1/4 seam allowance. Then cut along the line you marked earlier creating 2 HST’s.
Step 3 – Press your seams to one side. Take 2 different HST’s with right sides together, with the seams locked into place, mark another diagonal line going in the opposite direction of your seam.
Step 4 – Again, sew on either side of the line, using a 1/4” seam allowance. Then cut along the line you marked. Now you should have 2 hour glass blocks. Press this seam open.
Step 5 – Trim your block square. It helps if you match the diagonal line on your ruler to the diagonal line on your block.
A few things I learned along the way…
Make sure that not only are you using a 1/4” presser foot on your machine, make sure you are sewing a straight line. Seems simple enough but wavy lines can really distort your blocks once you press them. Practice, practice, Practice.
Pressing seams that need to be lined up to one side and in opposite directions helps you to lock your seams into place and prevents shifting when you are sewing. Lining up your seams perfectly and effortless every time.
Pressing seams that do not need to be lined up open helps to reduce bulk.
Trimming blocks is worth the time. Trust me when I say trimming 500 of these blocks was not a fun task, but when it came time to sew together the rows and then sewing those rows together, having all my blocks the same size did make my life a lot easier and made all my seams lined up perfectly.
Whatever your taste, scrappy or traditional, the hour glass block is a great way to use up your scraps or those cute little charm packs we all can’t get enough of. Let me know what you think of this tutorial or if you have any questions.
Have a great day!