Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BOM7 - Pretty Purple Flowers

Not a very exciting title, but what are you going to do?  Definitely doesn't reflect the coolness of this block. The last couple of blocks have been really challenging, but this one came together right away.

I actually thought of the design while in the class getting the fabric and pattern. I thought I'd change it when I got home, especially because I had plans for the last two and then came home and discovered I didn't have enough fabric, but it worked! Yeah!

Rather than create one big flower, I decided to break it into three flowers with a stem this time.  The pattern leant itself to that well.

That makes seven blocks now.  It's really starting to come together. I love seeing all of these blocks laid out. I have actually thought about quilting-as-you-go on this one because I keep thinking of quilting patterns for each of these flowers as I piece them together. I hope I can remember what I was thinking about when I am all finished and ready to quilt. I've never tried the quilt-as-you-go method so it's a little intimidating. Maybe I need to add it to my sewing 'bucket list'.

Have to get this block over to the Quilters Market for display and then next week we get our new block. Can't wait to see what's next! These are awesome, and have been so much fun!

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Rainbow of my Very Own

This finish is so special to me. I'm very excited it's done! I have posted tidbits about my daughter's hearing loss, but to understand this quilt, I have to tell a little story.

When I first started reading books with her I had a music stand set up with the book propped on it so I could sign with the book open. We had a pretty good rhythm down until she received her first cochlear implant. After that, she didn't want to sign books anymore. What I thought would be our signing part of the day became our speaking part of the day. It was wonderful to see how she responded to the stories, and she immediately identified her favorites, as all kids do.

One of the first books we read together was, "A Rainbow of my Own" by Dan Freeman. It's a lovely story about a little boy who goes out after a rainstorm to find a rainbow, but when he gets to where the rainbow should be, it's gone. He imagines what it would be like to have a rainbow to play with. While the little boy is playing with the rainbow, they decide to play hide-and-seek and the rainbow hides in a flower garden. At the end of the book, he finds a rainbow of his very own in his room.  It's so sweet, and my daughter loved it! She would have me read it again and again. You can tell by how tattered the book is that we've enjoyed it tremendously.

I was so inspired by this book and the love of verbal reading it encouraged in my daughter, I wanted to make a quilt about it. I had a couple of fat-quarter packs of hand-dyed fabric in a rainbow spectrum. I bought it years ago at a LQS that's known for having a little of everything. It was totally meant to be used in this project.

I got some green batik to use as the greenery surrounding the flowers, and offset the flowers themselves to make it look like they are swaying in a garden of flowers. The flowers are basically 4 snowballs, each with 1 yellow corner and 3 green corners to create the flower center and the leafy edges.

The flowers ended up creating a long, narrow quilt and I still had a ton of scraps left, so I decided to create the repeating rainbow bands down each side. It gave the quilt a nice width to balance the length a little more.

The backing is a batik I purchased at another LQS that recently closed. I was able to get it for a pretty good deal. I like that it has all sorts of colors on it, although I admit it's not my favorite print. I struggled with whether to actually use it, but in the end decided I was interested in the front, so it didn't really matter what was on the back. Now that it's completed, I think it looks pretty nice.

I modified a quilting template I had to create the flower look on each flower in the garden. Other than that, I kept it really simple with 1/4" offset lines down the borders. I didn't want to take away from the flowers; the whole point of the quilt.

Finally, I hand-stitched the binding down, which went surprisingly fast, and I added a label on it. I actually named this one and dedicated it to my daughter. It's a keeper.

I am linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finished Friday. I feel like I've been able to really crank them out lately. I worry I might be coming to a screeching halt as we approach the holidays and the chaos that comes with them.  We'll see. Fingers crossed I can keep chugging away.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sailboat Block Tutorial

After finishing the Sailboats Quilt, I worried I'd loose the measurements for the pattern. I also thought it would be fun to share it with others. So...

I decided to put together a tutorial with pictures and everything.

This pattern makes 2 Finished Blocks: 7 ½” x 7 ½”

Pieces Needed to Complete the 2 Blocks:

2 - 2 ½" x 7 ½" strip, color
4 - 2 ½" x 2 ½"squares, white
1 – 5 ½" x 5 ½" square, white
1 – 5 ½" x 5 ½" square, color
1 – 3 ½" x 3 ½" square, white
1 – 3 ½" x 3 ½" square, color
2 – 2 ½" x 3 ¼" strip, white
2 - 1" x 7 ½" strip, white

Draw sewing guide-lines on all of the white squares. The 5 ½” square and the 3 ½” square need lines on either side of the diagonal point. The 2 ½” squares need one line each from corner to corner. 

Match the squares together and pin; set aside. Align the 2 ½” squares on each end of the color strips and pin.  Sew the squares along the lines. Iron smooth and then cut ¼” seam allowances along the sewn lines. 

This will create 4 HST's and 2 rectangles with white triangles on each side. Iron towards the colors and trim the flags off the HST's.

Take the 2 -  3 ½” HST's and lay them out. Align the 2 - 2 ½” x 3 ¼” strips with the tops of the HST's, making sure that one of the color triangles in the HST is facing left and the other facing right. The 2 ½” x 3 ¼” strips should be attached to the white part of the HST's. Iron towards the white strips.

Now sew the strip you just made with the 3 ½” HST to the 5 ½” HST, making sure to have the colors up against each other. Iron towards the 5 ½” HST. 

Sew the 7 ½" color strip to the HST's so that the colors are matched up with each other. Make sure to align up the points before sewing. Iron towards the 7 ½ “strip. 

Finally, sew the white 1" x 7 ½" strip to the bottom of the boat. Iron towards the color strip and you are finished!

Aren't they soooo cute?!? Just a fun little pattern that has so many applications. I hope others find this helpful! This is such a fun and easy block, and I have been loving it.

I am linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday and with Kelly for NTT. I am also posting this in my tutorials link. I'm looking forward to seeing what others have been working on.