Monday, August 14, 2017

Quilter's Recipe Box - Butterfly Unit - Eclipse Block

Technically it's still Monday here on the Pacific Coast, so I'm not late yet with my block for this week's post!  I am later than I planned because I had a sudden change of mind and decided to switch my plan up.  I don't know about where you are, but here in Oregon the Eclipse that will be taking place next week is THE topic of conversation everywhere!  I originally planned to have this block next week, but then I thought it might be more fun to do it beforehand in case anyone would enjoy making it before the event.  So...here is my Eclipse 2017 block:


It's not your typical quilt block, but it's a fun way to commemorate this uncommon event, and  it uses the butterfly unit in a fun way!  You need three fabrics - sun, sky, and moon.

To make this block you will need three 2 3/8 squares (cut in half diagonally) and three 2 inch squares each of your sky fabric and sun fabric for our butterfly units.  You will also need two 2 x 3 1/2 rectangles each of your sky and sun fabrics for the split square units.  We will be making four modified lozenge units.  Cut four 3 1/2 squares of your moon fabric, three 2 inch squares of your sky fabric and one 2 inch square of your sun fabric.

First we'll make three Butterfly units with the sky and sun fabrics.  Sew 6 half square triangles with the 2 3/8 inch squares.  Press seams toward the dark fabric.  Arrange in three sets as below and sew together.
Sew two split square units using the sky and sun rectangles, then add one of the remaining 2 inch squares to one corner of each of the 3 1/2 inch moon fabric squares.  I was excited to make these, as I recently acquired a laser to attach to my sewing machine so I don't have to mark my squares!  I've used sticky velcro for the moment to attach it - I'll let you know how it holds up!
Easy as can be to sew on the line!  I made sure to put the soft part of the velcro on my machine so it won't catch on anything.

I also pried the magnets out of the base of the laser light just in case - I'm a little nervous about those kind of things and figured it wouldn't hurt to get rid of them!  Anyway - back to my block.  Lay out as below:
And sew together...


One more week until the big day - let's hope the weather cooperates and we get to enjoy a real eclipse!  No matter what, I will enjoy this block in my finished quilt and it will be a great reminder of this rare occurrence this year - maybe you will, too.  


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Weekly Progress - August 12, 2017

This week sure went by in a flash.  My poor husband has been down with a very sore back - we've been to the Chiropractor several times, and even to Urgent Care one morning when the pain was so severe he wasn't even sure he could make it down the stairs from our bedroom!  Needless to say, I've been busy taking care of him and making sure he is comfortable (lots of back rubs with muscle cream seam to be the best therapy!).  I did get the weekly alterations finished up, plus managed to make progress on one of the projects on my master list.

This is a sample of my Big Surf quilt that I am making for the quilt shop.  I pieced all 12 blocks, assembled them together into a top and actually have it basted and ready to quilt.

And I finally added a strip to the backing for this quilt and am ready to start quilting it as well.  It wasn't part of my original list, but I've added it because I want to get it finished up this week.  I also made my first block for the I Wish you a Merry Quilt Along.  At first I was going to do a plain red and white block, but I saw so many cute fussy cut blocks that I decided I wanted to go that way.  So this morning I pulled out my Christmas bins and chose fabrics.  Most of my choices were the precious last pieces of the Kate Spain "In From The Cold" line, and I found some fun things that went well with that - including the kittens in mittens I used for my block:

The background is some cute snowmen - this is a BasicGrey print I've had for a while as well.  I think this will be a fun wintery quilt when it's finished!  The next block debuts on Tuesday - if you want to see more blocks, and join in you should join the facebook group:  I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long.  So far it's been a blast and I can't wait to see the next block!

So - for next week I want to set a few goals.  I won't bore you with the alteration projects, they are pretty mundane, but for quilting my goals are:

Quilt and Bind Allietere.
Quilt and Bind Bug Surf.
Make 5 Farmer's Wife blocks (this is a Christmas quilt and I would love to finish it this year!)
Make 5 Dear Jane blocks (my forever project)
Work on writing pattern for Twinkle Star.
Cut out and start sewing my Quilt as You Go project for the Island Batik Challenge this month.

That should keep me quite busy!  I'll let you know next week how I do with it - I'm hoping that by setting some specific goals I can start making progress on some of my long term projects as well as finishing up other short term projects.  Hopefully DH's back will continue to improve and my schedule will be a little easier this week.  I can't complain, because I know it's no fun to be in that kind of pain day after day!

Wishing you a good weekend, and some time to quilt as well!


Monday, August 07, 2017

Quilter's Recipe Box Unit for August - Butterfly

It's been a busy day already, and it's still not noon yet!  We had to pick up a rental car and take our regular car into the shop to get some damage repaired, stop at the bank, pick up some items from the store and tried to make a payment at the dermatologist office.  Can you believe that they could not take a payment because the person who does that was not working today?  That was really strange to me.  Anyway - I'm sure you would rather read about the new block and unit for the Quilter's Recipe Box than hear about my trials and tribulations!

This month's block is Crown of Thorns and the unit is what I call a Butterfly.  It is the corner unit with two triangles and two squares.  This unit goes back to our half square triangle, but in a smaller size.

To make this block you will need:

Focus Fabric:  Cut one square 3 ½ x 3 ½.
Color 3:  Cut four squares 2 3/8  inches (cut in half diagonally for butterfly units)
Color 2:  Cut four squares 2 x 2 (butterfly units)
Color 1:  Cut two squares 4 ¼ inches (quarter square triangle units)

Background Fabric:  Cut four squares 2 3/8 (butterfly units) four squares 2 x 2 (butterfly units) and two squares 4 ¼ inches (quarter square triangle units)

We'll start off by sewing the butterfly units.  Cut each of the Color 3 and background 2 3/8 inch squares in half to make 8 triangles.  
 Sew them together as in the lesson from the Half Square Triangle Unit.
And trim those dog ears:

They should measure 2 inches after sewing.  Next, arrange two triangles, one color 2 square and one background square as I show below -
Sew together, press and repeat to make four matching units:

They should measure 3 1/2 inches square when complete.  These will be the corners of your block.

Next, make the four Quarter Square Triangle Units using the 4 1/4 inch Color 3 and Background squares.  (See the post on that method here)
Place these on the sides of the block:
Then add the center block of your focus fabric:
Sew together and press to make your completed Crown of Thorns block!

Isn't it pretty?  This has been one of my favorite blocks for many years.  The first time I used it was to make an insulated window shade for a drafty living room window.  It was the first quilt I ever made using fabric purchased from an actual quilt shop!  Sadly it was so long ago that I don't have any good pictures of it on my computer, so I'll have to find a print one to scan and post later.

You can download the recipe card for this block by clicking the picture below:

As always, join me on every Monday in August for a new quilt block featuring this month's Butterfly unit!  Thanks for joining in on the fun - don't forget to invite your friends to play along, see the Quilter's Recipe Box tab at the top of my blog to see all the previous units and blocks.  Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to get the link for each month's new card directly in your in-box.

Enjoy your day and go do some quilting!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Cobblestones Table Runner Pattern

Several years ago I had a goal of writing a different pattern for each month of the year using charm packs (5 inch squares).  Several of them are still in draft form, but one of my favorites was the one I designed for March, which I named Cobblestones.
It's a wonderful pattern to use for romantic florals as the piecing allows the fabrics to mix without the pattern of the piecing taking over.  I decided I needed to come up with some new samples for my pattern, so dug through my stash of charm packs and pulled out a few to see how they would work for it.

The first one I made was from Sweet Blend by Moda - so pretty!  I really love the way it came out and realized I had totally forgotten how fun and fast this pattern is - the cutting and sewing is simple and satisfying.

Next I decided to try an old set of gorgeous florals by April Cornell - I've had these for years, but it was hard to use them for a project because I liked petting them so much.  I finally decided that they should be used because I actually have another set in my drawer :)

Very soft and sweet!  I just love the aqua in this line with the pink.  After this one I decided to be a little wild and try using one of the Kiss, Kiss charm packs I had on hand.  Now this line is definitely a little crazier with the color, so it's not as soft looking, but is very vibrant and lively looking!

Last, but not least, I found a charm pack of PureBred.  The colors in this are soft, and the prints are very different, but lend themselves well to this project:
So there you have it!  All four were pieced and quilted this month (July), so you can see that it's a project that you can finish quickly.  I've listed all the finished table runners in my Etsy shop - just click on the pictures to see the listings.  You can also purchase my pattern in my Etsy shop or on Craftsy.  

My favorite thing about these table runners is that each one can be made from one charm pack!  At least I've made a dent in my collection, plus I enjoyed doing some simple piecing and quilting.  My goal for next month is to use another one of my patterns to make a few new samples - plus maybe get busy and finish up one or two of those patterns that are still drafts - there is a really cute butterfly that I'd really love to get done up in fabric!  

Oh - and today starts the "I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along"!  If you would like to join in making a sampler quilt of 12 different blocks, the first block is here at Quilt in Piece.  I need to go look at my fabrics and get going - they have some great prizes, and isn't it always more pleasant to sew with a group?  Come join in!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Oh Baby!

Wow, I cannot believe that it's the end of July!  This was one of those months that seemed very long - I guess that means it was pretty busy.  I don't have a new block for you this week for the Quilter's Recipe Box, but I do have a project that grew out of my block of the month series!  This quilt was inspired by my Twinkle Star post, and created for the Island Batik Ambassador Challenge this month - Oh Baby!

I've been sending out teasers on my Instagram and Facebook accounts all week - the fabrics are so pretty!
This block uses the Half Square triangle unit, the Split square unit and the nine patch unit.

And this one uses the Quarter Square triangle as well as the Four Patch.

Put them all together and you get a really pretty little quilt top:
The fabrics in this quilt are from the Sour Apple and Country Dozen lines.  I used leftovers from the quilts I made for Island Batik to display at Spring Market.  These fabrics are available for ordering now and  will be shipping to your local quilt shops in the next few months, so make sure you tell your shop that you would love them to order these - they are really fun prints!

I've been doing a lot of simple quilting lately, so I was on the lookout for a different idea of how to finish this quilt.  Well, wouldn't you know it, Angela Walters had a great free motion pattern on her blog this week:  Flower Meander!  I decided to try it out and see how I liked it.

Nice texture!  I kept my flowers big and loose and just did a wavy line for my flowers.  It was a nice variation on my usual kind of quilting, so it was fun, and I think I will use it on another quilt I want to finish this week.

I found this great yellow/orange Aurifil variegated on sale at the quilt shop, and it was nice on this quilt.  I'll tell you a secret - the 50 wt thread is so subtle in your quilting that you can use a color that doesn't match exactly and it still looks fantastic on your quilt!  I love the way that it just blends in and creates great texture.  If you want your quilting to stand out more, use a 40 or even the 28 weight. But if you just want to have beautiful texture, the 50 wt works fantastic every time!

Here is the finished quilt, posing with my lovely yellow rose bush - so pretty together!

I am really pleased with how this quilt came out - and what a fun way to use some of the blocks from my Quilter's Recipe Box collection.

Here are the twenty eight blocks I've shared so far:


I can't wait to put them together at the end!  I just love sampler quilts!

And the surprise is:  a new box of fabric from Island Batik!  Are you ready for some fun?  (I must be because I said that word over and over again!)  Here is the video of my live unboxing!




I think I need to practice my video skills :)

Have a great week and join me next Monday for a new Quilter's Recipe Box Unit and block!  Sign up for my newsletter and you'll get the link directly to your inbox.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Making progress on my list...

I'm glad to say that I am making good progress on my list!  So far I've actually finished 4 of the projects, and have moved a few of them along in the process.  I realize that at least 4 of them are long term projects so I probably need to either set some deadlines or figure out some way of making sure they get worked on in due time as well.  Here is what my list looks like at the moment:

I've been dating the progress I make on each project so I can see how recently I've been working on them.  I feel like the list is really helping me to focus on what needs done and I think I am getting things under control in my sewing room, which is fabulous!

I finished this cute little quilt last night - I was very happy to find some fabric that was perfect for the binding in my stash!

The little scenes in this are so cute!  I cut up the other panel and used several of the pieces in other projects.  This one, I thought would be a fun lap quilt or wall hanging.  (It is available in my Etsy shop - Domestic Diva Quilt)

I'm not a Domestic Diva, but I think this fabric is super cute!
I love the mint green and chocolate brown in it, as well as the touches of red.

For the backing I was able to use a piece of a vintage sheet from my stash.  It was the perfect color and perfect for this project.
And the cute cupcake print in the corners is pretty yummy as well!  I quilted it in a loose meander using a variegated 50 wt thread by Aurifil.  Then I found the perfect green for the binding in my stash. Yay for being able to finish this project without having to make a shopping trip!

Linking up with Jennifer for Wednesday Wait Loss!  Don't wait, join up and start working on some of those projects that you want to get finished!


Monday, July 24, 2017

Quilter's Recipe Box Alternate block for Lozenge Unit

I was looking through some quilting magazines this weekend and found some terrific scrappy quilt patterns.  One of them actually used a combination of lozenge units and four patch units so I thought it would be fun to use that combination for this weeks block:
To make this block you will need to cut four 3 1/2 squares of your featured fabric, eight 2 inch squares of your background fabric, and one 2 x 22 inch strips of two different fabrics.

Sew four lozenge units from the featured fabric and the background fabric and lay out like this:

Make five Four Patch units by sewing the two 2 x 22 inch strips together.  Press and cut this pieced strip in half.  Place right sides together with the opposite colors facing each other, then cut into five 2 inch strips.  I like to use my June Tailor strip cutter for this step, it's super fast and easy!

I experimented with laying out the Four Patch units, because I was not sure which way would look better.  First I tried with the green squares lined up with the lozenges:

Then I tried turning them so the red squares were lined up with the lozenges.  I liked it this way best.
Sew the squares together and you are finished!  That's it for July - next week I'll round up our progress so far - 28 blocks - plus will have a fun surprise for you.  Then the first Monday of August we'll learn a new unit - can't wait!  You'll also want to check out my posts later this week as I am working on my Island Batik challenge for the month - Oh Baby!  You'll notice some familiar units in this project :)