Quilts And All Things Fabric...

As an avid fabric enthusiast, a blog about quilts and all things fabric just seemed the obvious thing to do.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Beginning a "splendid" journey

It has been quite awhile since this blog was updated . So very much has happened in my quilting and crafting journey in the last year it might be impossible to catch up. So the best approach appears to just pick up in the here and now and move forward.

Current quilting activities include several BOM's and mystery quilt-along projects.

Today's focus is on The Splendid Sampler...already up to Block 8.

(If you are not familiar with this 100 block journey be sure and visit the main site by clicking the link above.)

The blocks are offered by some very talented and fabulous designers and  come out two times a week on Sunday and Thursday.  Why not come play along?

Here is my version of the latest block entitled "Friends Around the Square" designed by Julie Karasik.

This is a lot of fun. The little blocks are only 6.5 inches and will make for a "Splendid" sampler quilt when completed.

As a quick catch up for the previous seven blocks, here is a combined photo.
It's going to be a wonderful journey!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Grand Illusion Part 3

Grand Illusion Part 3

More adventures in mysteryville this week! Step 3 of the Quiltville Mystery Quilt Grand Illusion is a fairly quick and easy sew. Cut the 2" strips, sew the strips together in the correct order to make the strip sets, stack/nest the strip sets paired up (again in the correct order/direction), sub-cut the strip sets and sew the neatly nested little sub-cut sets together for a cute little block. Easy as long as you cut accurately, arrange in the correct order and sew nice straight 1/4" seams. :-)
The opening photo above shows the first block prototype cut and stitched from the first strip set. Came out great the first time. Whew!

To make the process MUCH easier, as I cut the stacked/nested strip sets, I stacked them into little rows ALL going the same direction. This way each unit was picked up in the correct position for stitching and I didn't have to make sure I was sewing the correct side of the unit. Yes, it does make a difference. The first block came out perfect, but to make sure it wasn't a fluke, I only cut one of the strip sets to begin with. Chained sewed them and checked each one to make sure the seams were nesting well and the points were good.

Once I was satisfied that all was well, I cut the rest of the sets. Again stacking them up in the same order so when picked up to sew, they were in the correct position.  the above is of all the blocks for Step 3...the first prototype, the original group chained together and the rest waiting to be sewn.
ALL sewn, pressed and stacked ...not so neatly...for their photo op!

So far, I am loving the units in this Mystery Quilt.
The above photo is of Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3.
Can't wait to see what the next step has in store. It's going to be a beautiful quilt!
Until next time...craft and create! It's good for your health.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Grand Illusion Part 2

Grand Illusion Part 2

Slowly progressing on the newest mystery quilt, Grand Illusion. After posting last weeks link up, I did finish part 1 and have them all safely tucked away in a big zip lock bag waiting their destiny.
It seems there were weeks I literally hunted for a project of some sort to keep me busy on a daily basis. Now that the new mystery has begun, everybody and everything is demanding a piece of my time...time I really want to be devoting to this quilt! But you have to deal with daily life. Even if it is a "mumble grumble, this is no fun" situation. "You don't have to like it, but it's gotta' be done". :-)
 Like having to hold the ladder for my husband to clean the acorns and oak leaves out of the gutters that he had taken the covers off and didn't replace. And cleaning the house, and cooking meals. And finishing up the crocheted Poncho and matching Head Band that I want to wear to the Quilt Guild Christmas party meeting this week...oh wait! I WANTED to do that one......Ok, ok,  so we had fun yesterday going to Silver Dollar City to see A Dickens' Christmas Carol musical stage production and all of the wonderful Christmas lights. And going out to dinner with friends afterwards is definitely part of the Holiday Season Festivities that make it all worthwhile. AND then today was laundry and grocery shopping....you get the picture. LOL
Anyway during all the hustle and bustle since Part 2 came out on Friday I have managed to get ALL the pieces cut out and a test unit made using Bonnies' method #2 with the template taped to the back of the easy angle ruler.
This method worked like a charm once I got the printer to produce the correct size (almost) template and got it trimmed to size and taped to the ruler. I did consider using the method#3 to get the extra HST units for later use, but decided to go ahead with the ruler method and get her done! Since I will most likely add an extra border to enlarge the quilt slightly, and would probably used the extra HST units in the extra border it might have made since to proceed that route. BUT I really don't know what kind of extra border I will add, and didn't want to chance using up fabric that might be needed later.
After getting chores done today and getting in a 3 mile walk, I got a few more of the units sewn and a whopping SEVEN more blocks made. Yeah!  Well, it is progress. The blocks are still fitting together perfectly and measuring out right on target. So, all is well. This is what I have done so far.
By the time Part 3 comes out, the rest of Part 2 will be complete.  I really do love this block. Can't wait to see how it plays in the overall scheme of things.
Thanks Bonnie Hunter! I LOVE these Mystery Quilts!

Monday, December 1, 2014

And the Grand Illusion Begins....!

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt

Step 1 Block
It's that time of year again! When that wonderful mystery begins. The one where you get a new clue on Friday of each week beginning the day after Thanksgiving and continuing on for several weeks until the final reveal. When you get to pick fabulous fabrics and play along. Anticipating what is coming next. Wondering how it will all turn out. But KNOWING it will be FABULOUS!
YES! I'm talking about the infamous Bonnie Hunter, Quiltville annual winter Mystery Quilt!

I chose to stay with the recommended colors this time round since Aqua, Pink and Green are right down my color alley.  However I'm not doing scrappy. Just chose one fabric in each color. Here is what I chose to go with:

Not real pleased with the way the color is showing up in the photo, but you should get a general idea. The yellow is not that vivid and has slight color variation streaks throughout and the pink is really a very pretty shade of pink.
The Aqua/Teal/Blue is a beautiful batik that really does cover all those color ranges. It should play very well in the quilt giving it a little color variety.  The pink has a slight color variation throughout and silver flowers drawn all over, although they are not showing up in the photo. The color variation in the pink shows up more from a distance and I am hoping that holds up in the quilt. Although, in Part/Step 1 the units were cut fairly small. That green is a fabulous print of little swirls made up of dots.  The black is just a solid black; simple, nothing fancy. But the neutral totally rocks my world. Hope you all like it, too. It is a grayish batik with hints of all the other colors in the group faintly visible.  And most fabulous of all, it's pattern design is dragonflies! I am totally in love with this piece of fabric. Must admit that I picked this piece first, then pulled the rest to work with it.
I just know I am going to LOVE this quilt!
Although Part/Step 1 has lots of little units, it is relatively simple consisting of half square triangles made with the Easy Angle Ruler and squares cut from 2.5" strips. Here is a peek at part of the cutting process and the "prototype" first block.
After chaining all 200 of those little HST's together, they make an impressive pile!

Ok, so I was just being silly here, but this is what came off the machine. Much easier to leave them all sewn together like this and string out on the ironing board in a big long banner to press too!
Still have quite a bit of sewing to do, but can probably finish it up today. 

The above picture is the blocks being constructed. You can see some of the HST's in the top left of the photo. Those are the 80 extra's for a later step. It won't take long to zip through this stack.
Here is what's completed so far:
Had some fun stacking these up and laying them out just playing around with them. No idea how these will end up in the quilt, but so far it is a lovely little block.

Hope you enjoyed my little show and tell here. Come back next week for Part 2! And while you are here, brows some of my other older pieces of work. I haven't been good about keeping this blog going and did take off a lot of time this summer when I fell and broke myself. Dumb thing to do, let me tell you! But thankfully, I am able to get back at the machine and getting better every day!  I do have several other projects that should be added to the photos, so I will be adding some other items from time to time.
Enjoyed having you visit here! See you next week for more of the Grand Illusion Mystery.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Catching Up on Celtic Solstice and the Final Reveal

Now, with the Holidays officially over, catching up on the Celtic Solstice steps 4 & 5 was an easy task.

Step 4 consisted of making green and orange 4 patches.  


Step 5 used the remaining Half Square Triangles left from Step 3 and added white "wings" and a blue triangle to make a very stunning block.

Both Step 4 and Step 5 went together quickly and easily. Here are the completed units all stacked up waiting their place in the quilt.

I wasn't expecting the final steps and reveal to all come together in Step 6, but there it was! A New Years Day Surprise!
The smaller units made in Steps 1 through 5 were combined into Two different blocks and a pieced border.

 This is the Block A unit called 54-40 or Fight! Easy to assemble. Just had to keep your head on straight and keep the units going in the right direction. Much easier said than done.

Block B is Bonnies "Birthday Girl Block" from 100 blocks Vol. 2. Here they are laid out to be stitched. You can see one completed in the background laying on the notebook that holds all the mystery clues. The Block A units are finished and safely stored in a giant zip bag showing in the left rear next to the finished B Block.

One of the great things about Bonnie' Mysteries is that her patterns fit together beautifully. If you at least attempt to measure, cut and sew with a reasonable degree of accuracy they FIT.
And at long last, the units went together to create this totally FUN quilt. A small inner border of white/neutral was added. Then the pieced border assembled from the remaining units created using the Tri Recs rulers in Step1.
Presenting....drum roll please.....Celtic Solstice.... ta da!
Now the real challenge is to find backing that compliments this and get it quilted!
Until next time....happy quilting everyone!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

One Quick Step Closer

Step/Clue 3 nudged the quilt one quick and easy step closer to fruition.
Usually I take lots of pictures during the progress of the step; but this week it was so easy and quick lots of random photos seemed unnecessary.
Simple and easy Half Square Triangles with half of them turned into Pinwheels.
My method of choice was to use the Easy Angle ruler as demonstrated by Bonnie in the tutorial. Although I did make one group using the "Magic 8" method. It's a quick, easy, and very accurate method. You can find several tutorials and You Tubes for that technique. Just give it a Google. But for those curious now, here is a little diagram that shows stitching lines and cutting lines. To obtain the 2" HST for this clue just start with a 4 3/4 inch square of Orange and Yellow (or whatever colors you may be substituting). Stack them up, mark the diagonals corner to corner and sew 1/4" on either side of both marked lines (stitching shown with dash lines ----). Then measure in from the side 2 3/8" and down from the top 2 3/8". The lines should intersect at the center of the X mark. Cut apart starting with the vertical and horizontal lines drawn last. This produces 4 squares with the double stitch line on the diagonal. Then cut these units apart between the stitches on the first lines drawn. Easy! 
Here are the finished HST's and Pinwheels.
With the holiday season rapidly approaching, I will be behind for at least the next two clues. But don't worry, it will all be worth it because I will be playing with grandkids! And will catch up as soon as possible.
I hope all of you that are making Celtic Solstice are thoroughly enjoying the journey.
See you all in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Celtic Solstice Step 2

Week 2 of the Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt brought Chevrons our way!

Ok, so that may not excite many of you but it did me because they are "easy-peasy" units to put together. That means a quick clue week and back to working on other Christmas projects...even though I love doing the mystery there are some other projects that just NEED to be finished up.

Since I am doing the smaller quilt, and using a limited fabric selection, the cutting went fairly quickly.  Here are all the pieces needed to construct 100 Chevron blocks.

After getting all the pieces cut, next step was to mark diagonal centers for the corner pieces. That meant marking all the white and all the yellow squares. Time consuming, but necessary to get nice straight seams for a good fit later.
 Here is a one of the units going through the machine. Notice how the needle is just to the side of the line (on the side that gets cut off). This gives that extra little needed for the fold over to be just the right size.
In the photo above, the polka dots on the white show through to the back side very clearly. This is a fun fabric. But it is a white on white, and very difficult in certain lighting situations to distinguish right and wrong side. Glad to have the stitching line mark in place on the wrong side of the fabric. Don't want to admit  how many times in past projects I have had to rip out and re-stitch because of not "seeing" the difference.

The key to a good join of the two sides is ironing the seams in opposite directions. For example, side 1 iron in one direction - up, side 2 iron in the opposite direction - down. I didn't take pictures of this step, but check out Bonnie's tutorial for good photo examples. Then join by "nesting" the seams. My preferred  method for these units was to nest the seam where the white/neutral and green met, then align the two fabric pieces upward to the top and start to sew. I sewed about half way down the white/neutral section, peeked to check on the "nested" seam and made adjustments if necessary. Sewed on through the "nest" and half way through the green section. Then again checked the "nested" seam and sewed on the end. I started out pinning these, but found it worked better for me to just nest them and check them as they were sewn.

And are all the completed Chevrons stacked up and waiting for their place in the quilt.
I am hoping that the different swirl patterns in the fabric adds an element of movement to the quilt. It will be a wait and see situation.
In past blogs I have included a segment of what I called "Garden Variety Inspiration". This included photos of various things in the vegetable garden, or flowers in the yard that inspired ideas for color and or texture use with textiles. This time of year, it is difficult to come up with beautiful blooms, or colorful vegies to photograph. But Mother Nature has come through for us with some lovely snow and ice covered ornamental grass tassels. I thought this appropriate for this blog because of the use of neutrals/whites in the mystery quilt. These almost look like black and white pictures, but they are in full color. Just taken on a very grey day. And I refused to venture off the back porch to take the pictures. Yes, I am a wimp.  There is even a little contrasts in the neutrals of the white on cream and especially with the grey background.
 See the grey in the cream of the tassels?And the grey background? I love the use of grey in quilts.

Here is the big picture.

Hopefully these photos stirred up some inspiration or at least piqued you interest.
Well, that's all until next week when we get to see what clue/step 3 has to offer. Until then quilt on!