HRTs in Process

HRTs in May
HRTs in May

A lot of what I am doing at the moment is prep. Cutting fabric that I can’t sew together now, but will do so later. Pressing fabric that will be cut whose small pieces will eventually be sewn back into a large piece of something. This is the sad nature of Hunting & Gathering.

As I mentioned the other day, I have been cutting clues for more Spiky 16 patch blocks. I have quite a number of 16 patches waiting to be spiked, so there is a never ending need. For some reason that I can’t remember right now, I couldn’t actually get fabric under the machine, but I could cut and I cut a lot.

I have to say and I am really liking the Split Recs ruler by Studio 180 Designs. I can cut gazillions of these pieces without thinking twice. Watch the video!

Big Stitch Update

BAMaQG IRR May 2018
BAMaQG IRR May 2018

I made some progress on the BAMaQG IRR at Craft Night the other night. The image shows the whole piece. Obviously, you can’t see the hand stitching, but you can get an overall view of the piece.

I am not using a pattern or marking much when I Big Stitch. I am following the stitching lines and eyeballing where my stitches go. They are mostly straight lines, a quarter inch from seams.

I plan to use different threads, especially the Sue Spargo threads I have been buying, but at the moment I am using an Aurifil embroidery thread.

BAMaQG IRR May 2018 detail
BAMaQG IRR May 2018 detail

The Flying Geese made some arrow type designs.

You can see, especially if you click on the image to make it larger, that I am doing multiple rows of outline stitching. I don’t want the piece to be stiff, so I probably won’t fill in the whole arrow, but I might do a few more lines. I’ll have to see.

BAMaQG IRR May 2018 back detail
BAMaQG IRR May 2018 back detail

I am pretty pleased with the way the back looks as well. Unlike 10 stitches to the inch hand quilting, the stitches on the back of a Big Stitched quilt are supposed to be smaller, according to Sarah Fielke. Mine are smaller and even, which is what I have been working to improve.

BAMaQG IRR May 2018 detail
BAMaQG IRR May 2018 detail

If I were to put stitches in all the solid areas so there was no open space, the look would be somewhat like one section I already did. The section between the green dots and blue flowers has about 4 lines of stitching that covers the whole area.

Another Spiky 16 Patch

Spiky 16 Patch n.7
Spiky 16 Patch n.7

In between all that sewing for the Octagon 9 Patch, I made a few 16 patches and another Spiky 16 Patch. The center 16 patch is actually one of the 16 patches I made. Instead of putting in the pile and taking one of the centers I intended for the Spiky blocks, I just started adding bias rectangles to it.

I won’t be able to make anymore of these until I make some more of the left facing HRTs. I am almost all out and I always forget to make them.

Now I have three blocks for this donation quilt. I am thinking 4 or 5 blocks will make something nice. I want to set it a big asymmetrically like the giant Sawtooth Star quilts I made. I’ll have to play around as these 16″ blocks are larger than the Sawtooth Stars.

April Donation Blocks

I have been working on the Spiky 16 Patch prep so I haven’t made as many regular 16 patches. These are particularly nice.

I have been cutting up new fabric, which means I have some fresh fabrics to use and that is always fun.

Inspiration from Liz

Liz's Star Quilt
Liz’s Star Quilt

I get a lot out of the guild meetings and the April meeting was no exception. I already talked about Alison’s blocks and Tim’s quilting. Liz is a new-ish member and she brought her star quilt.

This quilt reminds me of my Star Sampler.

One of the things I liked about this quilt is that there are a lot of half square triangles that make secondary designs. The half square triangles also make up the border. This is a great self bordering border!

I also like that there are four patches. This tells me I could use leaders and enders if I want to make this quilt.

There really is a lot to like about this quilt including the stars within stars.

Meeting Inspiration

Alison is really great. She always brings something to work on after the meeting. I have brought things in the past and I seriously thought about bringing the BAMaQG IRR quilt to stitch on. I think I need to try my hand at Big Stitch again at home before I start Big Stitching in public.

This time she brought scraps. She brought them to sort out. I didn’t get to ask her how she normally stores them. What I saw was a big bag in which they were shoved.

Alison's String Blocks
Alison’s String Blocks

Alison was sorting scraps to make these 12/5 x 4.5 rectangles to make a quilt from a book called No Scrap Left Behind. She started out using a foundation (tracing paper), but found after a few blocks that she didn’t need it. This is definitely a block you make with what you have and then trim to the right size.

I like how the sizes of the strips are different. Alison said that she doesn’t use any strips larger than 2.5″ wide and I think that makes sense. I like the skinny little strips as well. They add a bit of pop to the block. I am kind of excited to try this, not that I am done making the Bias Rectangles for more of the Spiky 16 patch quilts.

This block sparked my interest. I have a ton of scraps. I do use them, but the piles are not getting any smaller. This block would enable me to use different scraps together. Once finished, I could put the blocks together in different ways to make interesting and fun donation quilts.

Ends Quilt n.2 Finished!

Ends n.2 donation quilt
Ends n.2 donation quilt

Back in November, I made a donation quilt from the trimmings from the back of the Carpenter’s Wheel quilt. At the meeting on Saturday, Tim brought the finished quilt. He quilted it and it looks GREAT!

I really like it that he is bold enough to use dark thread. His motifs are large-ish and very loose, which makes the quilts nice and drapey.

Ends n.2 donation quilt detail
Ends n.2 donation quilt detail

He also is doing a nice job with the pebbling.

Ends n.2 donation quilt back
Ends n.2 donation quilt back

The back looks a lot better quilted!

I am so pleased to be able to collaborate with Tim. He seems pleased about it as well. I do hope he will tell me if he doesn’t want to quilt some of my donation quilts.

Since I put this in last year’s list of donation quilts, I will not include it in this year’s list.

BAM Pillow Swap

BAMaQG Pillow Swap entry
BAMaQG Pillow Swap entry

I needed to rest at the beginning of March, but knew I had a pillow swap to finish by the April meeting. My recipient’s color preferences were listed as:

  • Green (lime, pickle)
  • magenta
  • orange
  • white

I wanted to be sure my design was modern, fit the desires of the recipient and wasn’t too difficult to piece. I immediately thought of the Alison Glass fabrics I used for the Triple Star. Except for the white, I thought those fabrics would fit well with the desired color scheme.

I had a pillow I thought was made by my pal Amanda stuck in my mind. I asked her about it and she suggested Pinterest. I immediately found the design for which I was looking – the X Plus O block. Once I had the name, I found a lot of examples and spent a happy hour laying on the couch and looking at them.I also found an example that I thought would be good inspiration.

Before I could really sew again, I worked on the design using EQ8. I was able to play with the size and get the elements right.

Maria's BAM Pillow Swap in process
Maria’s BAM Pillow Swap in process

After I could sew again, I went back to working on my Sew Together Bag project. In the middle of that project, I needed a break, but didn’t want to reset my machine for piecing. I knew that if I did, I would have three more UFOs and another year would pass before I could give the gifts. Cutting was a good idea, so I cut out all of the pieces.

One of the helpful parts of EQ8 is the ability to print out rotary cutting directions. I found a bug in the process of doing this, which I reported to the Electric Quilt Company. It turned out not to be a bug; they don’t consider a lozenge shape to rotary cuttable. I was able to figure out the size to cut a square as I plan to use the flippy corners method or the Simple Folded Corners Ruler.

I also used the Spoonflower zipper installation instructions. I acually watched the video and found it to be really helpful. I am pleased with how my pillow’s zipper closure came out, though I had to redo it a couple of times. I think the problem was the zipper foot I used. I used the flat snap on zipper foot. I didn’t feel like I could get as close to the zipper as I like. As a result I didn’t catch the seam allowance, which makes a closed up area around the zipper. I should have used the tall, skinny foot. I am used to it. I didn’t use it because I was sick of installing feet and resetting settings on my machine. I paid the price.

BAM Pillow Swap Recipients
BAM Pillow Swap Recipients

We exchanged yesterday and everyone did a wonderful job. I am behind Christina, but you can see my pillow over my head.

Finished: HRT Donation Top & Back

HRT Donation Top - April 2018
HRT Donation Top – April 2018

I finally got into a  rhythm with the Bias rectangles (HRTs- half rectangle triangles) and was really able to make a lot of them, get them trimmed and put blocks together. The sticking point is always hauling fabric out of the fabric closet. If I didn’t want to make these pieces scrappy, it wouldn’t be a problem, but I do like the scrappy look.

My original idea was to make a large quilt with 16 blocks. When I realized that each block was 52 pieces, I decided that I would start with a 4 block quilt and go from there. It isn’t difficult to make the HRTs once I got the hang of it and the blocks really don’t feel like they have 52 pieces. Still, I wanted to finish and the top I made finishes at 39″ x 39″. That is big enough for the NICU. I still have the other 16 patches and will continue to make bias rectangles until I have made 4 quilts like this one. I should be an expert by then!

HRT donation quilt back
HRT donation quilt back

The back was also scrappy, of course. I used up some fabric that has been hanging around.

A Few More Donation Blocks

Again, I have been able to make a few of the 16 patch donation blocks for BAM. The HRT donation quilt has taken up a lot of my donation making time, but not all. I want to help the Charity Girls keep their supply of 16 patches fresh.

I am running out of foreground squares so I will have to get DH to haul out the Accuquilt for me and cut up some scraps before I can make many more. I have the additional HRTs to make, so I am not completely out of the game.

Merit Hexie Pillow

Merit Hexie Pillow Layout
Merit Hexie Pillow Layout

As you know we have been earning merit hexies in the guild. I had a few minutes before I had to get ready to go out, so I designed a layout for my 2017 merit hexies.

I used the leftover basted sandwich from the Walking Foot WOW class. I laid out my hexies in a couple of pleasing ways and finally decided on this layout.

I pinned everything in place and will begin appliqueing the hexies down soon. I might have another chance to install a zipper!

HRT Donation Quilt

HRT Donation Quilt - March 24, 2018
HRT Donation Quilt – March 24, 2018

I made the blue and green donation blocks last year with the idea that I would add HRTs to the blocks to make something a little different.

I have been struggling along with the HRTs,despite all the different tutorials and information I found. I was about to put it away and try “later” when I got a new burst of energy for the project. I worked on it much of the day Saturday. The burst of energy came from watching the video on how to use the Split Recs ruler. DUH, I know. I did read the directions, but clearly didn’t understand them, because I was struggling mightily to use the ruler. I really needed to watch* the video, because there are certain steps and tips that come across a lot better via video. The biggest tip: both fabrics need to face the same way. This means wrong side to right side NOT right sides together.  HUGE tip. HUGE.

HRT Donation Quilt - March 31, 2018
HRT Donation Quilt – March 31, 2018

The picture (above left) is from my first struggles with the ruler and different ways of making the HRTs.

The image (right) is from today, after I trimmed the HRTs I had and started making new HRTs to fill in the gaps.

The quilt will be 4 blocks – it will be a small NICU quilt. I have 16 blocks and may make more of these spiky blocks. We will have to see. I am pleased I am finally making progress.














*I don’t know why I am so resistant to watching quilting videos. I suppose I perceive that it takes my time away from the actual sewing. I found the Split Recs video to be invaluable and am sorry I didn’t watch it sooner.

Ends Donation Quilt n.4

Ends Donation Quilt n.4
Ends Donation Quilt n.4

I finished a second donation top last Saturday. It was nice to be able to sew as much as I did that day.

I made this second top because I was too lazy to put away the rest of the taupe fabric. I knew I wouldn’t use it and I thought there was enough for a second top so I got to it.

I would have liked to add another taupe strip to the left hand side, but I ran out.

I am using a small white dot on aqua for the back. The background and the backing are all Moda so they are fraying all over the place. Once the quilt is quilted, it will keep someone warm and cozy.

Two tops in one day must be a new world’s record [for me! ;-)]