Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Twister in Progress

Cutting out the Blocks

My husband and I recently watched this twister tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  He thought it was really neat and encouraged me to make a twister quilt.  I knew it would drive me crazy to sew a quilt top only to cut it up and make a smaller quilt top, so I tried to figure out a different way to do it. 

I first drafted a twister quilt on graph paper. 

Then I drew large squares on a big paper and tried to figure out a different way to cut out the blocks.  I realized that instead of cutting a piece out of each corner leaving a square in the middle, I could just cut a square in quarters making them equal in size.  Kind of like a crazy 4 four patch.  There is minimal waste doing it this way.  (Just when squaring up the blocks.)

I decided to use some of my pink fabric to make the quilt. 

I pulled out 17 fabrics, but only ended up using 16. 

I cut four 10 inch squares out of 15 of the fabrics for the middle, and I cut twenty 10 inch squares out of my border fabric.  (3 of the border squares will be for the center of the quilt.)

I wanted to add that when pressing the fabrics, I used some Best Press spray starch.  I knew I would not always be sewing on the straight grain and didn't want the pieces to stretch.  I am so glad that I did!

Then I made a template out of paper and taped it to the bottom of my 12.5 inch ruler.  The template was made from a 10 inch square with a diagonal from 2.5 inches on top to 7.5 inches on bottom.  I did a test cut to make sure it was accurate.  I learned from similar quilts that you must make sure all fabric is right side up so the blocks will all twist the same way. 

I carefully stacked 4 squares on my rotating mat and made one cut. 

Then without moving the fabric, I rotated the mat 90 degrees and made a second cut.  After making the second cut and separating the pieces it looks like this.  All four pieces are the same size, and what you see is enough for four blocks. 

Then I cut out all the squares this way.  I separated it into piles so that I could distribute it more evenly on my design wall.  There will be 63 center twists plus the border half twists.  I really like doing all the cutting before I do all the piecing. 

Then the fun part of playing with my design wall began.  I think I really like this layout.  (I realized once I put it on the design wall that my twists are going the opposite direction of my drafted pattern.)

I am excited to get sewing the blocks together.  I will sew each block together carefully like a four patch.  Then I will sew columns.  Then the columns together to make the quilt top.  I am estimating that the quilt will finish at 72 x 90 inches, if each block finishes at 9 inches. 

After sewing a few blocks, I know that they will finish at 8.75 inches.  I square them up at 9.25 inches.  So the quilt will finish a little bit smaller, about 70.5 x 88 inches. Click here to see how I pieced the blocks together, and click here to see the finished quilt.  

I just wanted to add that I think that the normal way for sewing twister quilts is really cool, and the rulers are an excellent design.  I just know that this will work better for me.  :D


P.S.  I will be linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts,  Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict (I am totally dancing for joy that I can make the quilt this way). 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Big Red Finish

I was able to finish up my red strings quilts.  They are for my February goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes (link #5) which was to make something with my red fabric.  I absolutely love how they turned out.  (Just ignore the dead grass.)  ;o)  I blogged about the piecing of them here.  And the finish post for the table runner is here

The first quilt I finished is the smaller one.  I have named it "Roses are Red."  Thanks to my friend Jessica for coming up with the name.  It is for my sister-in-law L. 

It has red music notes on the back and my new favorite corner label. 

It looks great in my kitchen, so I will be sure to tell her that if she doesn't like it that I will keep it.  ;)

Quilt Stats #90
Name:  Roses are Red
Pattern:  Altered from this tutorial
Fabric:  Reds from my stash
Amount used: 4.5 yards
Batting:  Warm and White
Size:  about 40 x 52 inches
Date finished:  February 2012
What I learned:
  • Reds bleed even with color catchers.  (More about that at the end.)
  • This is a great use for strings. 
  • I like the 3.5 inch cut strips between the 5 inch cut coins.
The second quilt I finished was the bigger one.  I call it "Rich in Love," because with all those red coins I must be rich, right?

The backing is this totally fun autumn and winter fabric. 

It also has my new favorite corner label. 

I made the label from a 5 inch square which I folded in half and sewed in with the binding. 

I wrote on the label on top of my sand paper board.  I used my new glow-line tape to mark one half inch from the edge so I wouldn't write in the seam allowance.  I will be doing this on most of my quilts from now on. 

I quilted in the ditch around the stacks of coins on both quilts. 

On the small quilt, I used a red Aurifil thread because of the red backing.  On the larger quilt, I used a cream Aurifil thread because of the lighter backing.  The quilts drape really nice, which is good because the larger one is a cuddle quilt. 

I will be keeping my larger quilt on the sofa throughout different months of the year... February, July, and December. 

Except when it gets taken off the sofa for things like this...

And this...

By the way, we call this the "Stomp of Approval."  Most quilts get initiated in this way. 

Quilt Stats #91
Name:  Rich in Love
Pattern: An uneven stacked coins quilt
Inspired by: This scrappy quilt
Fabric:  Reds and creams from my stash
Amount Used:  8 yards
Batting:  Warm and White
Size: About 60 x 80 inches
What I learned:
  • This is a great use for strings.
  • Reds bleed even with color catchers.  (More on this later.)
  • Sometimes simple quilting is best for me. 
  • I love, Love, LOVE my new corner labels. 

I joked around thinking that I should have never hung my sister-in-law's quilt in the kitchen, because it looks so good there.  But I do love the way my older Cross My Heart quilt looks there.  :D

When talking with my sister-in-law, I asked her if she wanted me to prewash the quilt for her.  She said, "Yes."  So after taking these pictures, I put both quilts in the wash with color catchers.  The reds still bled.  So I am off to the quilt shop to purchase Synthrapol.  According to Cynthia of Quilting is More Fun than Housework, it should do the trick.  Here is her post about using Synthrapol.  Wish me luck! 

I just wanted to add that the Synthrapol didn't change anything.  Every time I washed the quilt the cream turned more and more peachy pink.  So I gave up.  I think it must have had something to do with the cream print.  It just sucked up the dye.  It doesn't look bad, but it is not the look I was going for.  My sister-in-law still loves hers and plans to hang it up in her basement, and I have still been enjoying it on my sofa. 


P.S.  I am linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Country Rose

This is my Country Rose quilt.  I first mentioned it here.  I pieced the quilt.  (Finally added those dreaded borders.)  I basted it with pins, and did the binding. 

Then I took it to the church, where I used thumb tacks to attach it to quilting frames. 

Those flannel strips protect the finished edges from the thumb tacks.  They are approximately 2.5 x 6 inches, and I folded them in half. 

Instead of C-clamps, we use glue clamps on the corners.  (My dad came up with this idea many years ago.)

Here it is all ready to be tied by the women in my ward for a sister whose family has been going through a very rough time. 

I even got a bunch of needles threaded and ready to go.  Did you know that padded chairs make great pin cushions?  And would you believe that I had so much fun working on the quilt and teaching others how to tie it, that I forgot to take fun pictures with my friends? 

We didn't actually finish it at the church, so we took the thumb tacks out on the two short sides, and rolled it up on the long boards to fit it in my vehicle.  Then my sweet husband helped me get it set up in our basement.  My friend S, helped me finish it the next day.  I was amazed at how well it went together, even with having to take it down at the church. 

Here it is all finished.  (It was really gloomy outside, so these are indoor pictures.)

Quilt Stats # 89
Name:  Country Rose
Pattern: Double 4-Patch
Fabric:  Hoffman floral and pinks from my stash
Amount used:  11 yards
Batting:  Polyester comfort loft
Tied with:  Crochet thread
Size:  about 68 x 86 inches
Date finished:  February 2012
What I learned:
  • While I love the look of quilted quilts, there is something so wonderful about sitting around a frame with other women all adding their love through their stitches. 
  • I love the simplicity of the double four-patch to showcase the floral fabric. 
  • I like 100% polyester batting in tied quilts. 

Another reason why this quilt was so much fun to work on was because my second pieced quilt was made out of the same floral.  My Barn Raising Log Cabin top was pieced in 1994, but I finished hand quilting it in 2000.  Here they are together. 

And another one...

It is my hope that the woman we made this quilt for will feel the love of all the Relief Society and our Savior as she enjoys this quilt.  I really enjoyed making it for her with the help of my friends at church. 


P.S.  I will be linking this up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Small Red Finish

I was able to get my Rosy Red table runner finished last Saturday.  It is part of my February goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes to make something with my red fabric. 

Things have been so busy that I haven't had time to blog since Saturday.  ;)  I absolutely love how this runner turned out.  It looked so pretty on my table the day after Valentine's Day.  I will enjoy it there all month and beyond! 

I just quilted it in the ditch with my walking foot. 

The backing is just a solid burgundy red fabric from my stash.  (Not sure why my photos are looking so funny, but oh well.  The lighting hasn't been so good because it has been kind of gloomy outside.) 

It finishes at about 16 x 42 inches and has a Frankensteined Warm and Natural batting.  It used 1.75 yards of fabric.  I can't wait to finish the quilts made from these same fabrics. 


P.S.  I will be linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Double 4-Patch in Progress

I did decide to take a little break from my red strings quilts and work on this double four patch.  It was a hard decision to make, because I just itch to get them finished. 

This quilt was a request from some of the women at church.  They wanted a quilt to tie for one of the women in our ward.  I said that as long as she would like a floral, I would be happy to donate all the fabric.  They thought she would love it, so I pieced this quilt. 

All it needs is borders.  Here I am using my design floor to decide on an inner border.  I will go with the light pink, but use the teal for the binding.  The teal solid is also the backing.  I better stop procrastinating and just DO the borders.  Borders are my least favorite part of all quilting.  But like my friend Deb says, "It is just eight long seams." 

They are hoping to tie this at an activity next Tuesday, but understand if I can't finish it in time.  I think I will be able to get it ready by then.  :o)

I just thought I would add... a design wall works a lot better with my two-year old, Monkey, than a design floor.  He thinks it is so much fun to run across my project if it is on the floor.  But if he knocks something off the wall he says, "Uh oh.  Sowee, Mom."  Then he hands me the piece that fell.  Go figure. 


P.S.  I am linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Red Strings in Progress

I was finally able to get working on my red strings project.  My husband took the older boys to see the new Lego Movie, and Monkey was taking his nap.  This is turning out even better than I thought it would. 

I started by sewing the red strings into sets according to length (whole width of fabric, half width of fabric, and smaller).  I first sewed strips of twos, then fours, then eights.  This is what it looked like on my design wall. 

I realized that I really enjoy the mindlessness of strip piecing.  Once they were in these sets ranging from 11-14 inches wide, I cut them into 5 inch pieces for two stacked coins quilts.  Then I sewed those sections together to get long strips. 

This large wall hanging is for my sister-in-law L. 

This large lap quilt will be for my home.  (That sounds nicer than saying it is for me, right?)

I was amazed at how fast these went together.  After the strips were sewn, I trimmed them down to approximately 47 and 71 inches.  I got all this done on Saturday.  :D

Then I tried out some sashing strips. 

I loved the warm marble cream print, and even had enough for both quilts. 

On Monday I was able to get the small quilt top finished. 

I used Amanda Jean's stacked coins tutorial for most of the dimensions on this wall hanging.  The sashing and borders are cut 3.5 inches wide. 

This morning I was able to do the last four seams to finish this quilt top. 

I cut the sashing strips at 2.5 inches wide, and the borders are cut at 5 inches wide.  This uneven stacked coins quilt was somewhat inspired by this scrappy quilt machine quilted by Natalia Bonner

I even had enough strings left over from the two quilts to make a table runner which is about 15 x 45 inches. 

 The table runner and small quilt look so good together.  Especially with my early Valentine's gift from my husband. 

 I will be sure to tell my sister-in-law that if she doesn't like the quilt she can just give it back.  It wouldn't hurt my feelings at all.  (But I don't really need two quilts that are almost identical, and I know she loves the fabric.)  Lol.

I am thinking about calling the large quilt "Rich in Love" or something like that.  I am not sure what to call the little one.  Any suggestions?

I am excited to get these finished up, hopefully this week.  However, I may need to take a break to piece a floral quilt for the women in my ward to tie. 


P.S.  I will be linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Night and Day: Another Blue Finish

I thought that I would be working on a new red quilt this week.  However, when I heard one of my uncles was having some health challenges, I decided to make him a quilt.  Blue seemed the perfect color for him. 

I used up the last of my ten inch squares that I cut at the beginning of January.  I had the exact number of lights and darks which I needed to make this quilt without cutting into the stash.  I can't believe all of the quilts I have been able to make out of my blue fabrics.  I told my husband that it reminded me of the miracle of the "Loaves and the Fishes."  (It is a bit of a running joke in my husband's family that dishes seem to multiply and we always talk about the Loaves and the Dishes.)

I talked more about the piecing of the top and backing in this post this morning.  I had no idea that I would be able to finish the quilting and binding so quickly.  All I have to do now is add the label and wash it, so I can gift it to my uncle. 

This quilt turned out even better than I expected, and I can see myself doing more hourglass blocks in the future. 

I have decided to call this quilt "Night and Day" because of the dark and light blues.  This block especially reminds me of the a midnight sky and a noon sky.  Cool, huh?

I quilted with a large stipple in a light blue over the blocks and a navy blue over the dark border.  I used the walking foot to get a clean line with the narrow stop border.  I avoided quilting over the eight-point intersections. 

I pieced the backing with fabrics I had in my stash.  I love how it turned out, and Cheetah first thought it was weird.  Then he said, "Oh, it's like a flag."  He cracks me up.  Lol.

Here is a close-up of the backing. 

I bound the quilt in a solid navy blue, and stitched it to the top by machine.  I have heard a lot of people say that it is stronger than doing it by hand.  It is my hope that my uncle will use this quilt and it will need to be washed again and again. 

Here it is in all its glory.  :o)

All of the fabric came from my stash except for the border and binding, for which I traded with my mom.  No increase in my stash yardage.  ;)  I continue to be amazed at what I can make with what I have. 

Quilt Stats #88
Name:  Night and Day
Pattern:  Hourglass (tutorials here and here)
Fabric:  Blues from my stash
Amount used:  8 yards
Batting:  Hobbs 80/20
Size:  about 61 x 70 inches
Date finished:  February 2014
What I learned:
  • There are eight points where every block meets in an hourglass quilt. 
  • I had to let go of perfection. 
  • I love the way the lights and darks play together in an hourglass quilt. 
Hopefully, I can now work on my red quilt...


P.S.  I am linking up with Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.