Friday, December 30, 2016

The Best Quilts of 2016

How better to finish off the year than with a review of my favorite quilts?

Again, it's a tough decision as there are so many that I adore! This time it's my top 3 favorites.

1. Seed Mix. Once again, this is my most favorite quilt of the year, and I can't wait to hang it up again!

The colors, the pattern, the quilting - this quilt has it all.

My favorite table runner from the year. Love the pink and pale aqua, the design, and the quilting, plus it garnered the Best of Show in Sewing at the fair. A real winner!

The turtles are just too cute to ignore on this one, so it rounds out the top three.

Do you have favorites made from this year? Write a post about it and share on Midweek Makers - everyone would love to see!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Scrap Strata

The last few weeks have been so busy creating more quilts from Christmas fabric. Presenting Scrap Strata!

Some of you may remember me working on this quilt. I've always talked about doing a scrap quilt, one that uses every bit that's in the bin. Though I haven't touched anything in those bags (and yes, they have even more fabric scraps in them now!).

July's mission was to sew same width strips into longer strips,

which led to strips being laid out in rows, working on even color distribution, offset seams, and width variety. 

Keeping one side even, strips were sewn into 15" panels for easier handling, then sewn together and trimmed to 60" wide. 

But wait, as the quilt gets longer, it also becomes boring. Time for a design challenge! That's where those 6" squares came in handy,

as they made these awesome pinwheels that when inserted as a panel, taking a ho-hum scrap quilt to a whole new level!

A pretty awesome scrap quilt if I do say so myself!

Some closeups - see if you recognize any of the fabrics in your stash.

Of course, the backing is composed of larger scrap pieces - just tryin' to move it along!

And yes, there are still bits remaining from this quilt,

plus this stack,

some of which went to Home for Christmas, and some to A Kid's Christmas. This quilt just proves anything is possible with scraps! And any remaining leftovers are going to one more scrap quilt, then I'm done with Christmas for a while - phew!

Happy Quilty Holiday!

Friday, December 16, 2016

A Kid's Christmas

Another finish for the holidays! Calling this one A Kid's Christmas, it turned out pretty cute!

The design is a D9P , with every other block turned. This makes two circles, and two X's, while the added sashing separates the greens, and makes the quilt larger.  The traditional D9P layout looked terrible because all three fabrics are the same scale, and there was just no differentiation between the colors. That design got tossed out so quick, I didn't even consider taking a picture!

With more red square fabric than green or white, and wanting a rectangular quilt, the simple border was added to the top and bottom, further increasing the size. Now it's a perfect quilt for a toddler or young child.

Some closeups of the Holly Berry panto.

 The back was a tough one on this, as I've made a substantial dent in the red/green Christmas yardage in the stash. But hunting through the green bin yielded a piece that works as a backdrop to the strip of remaining scraps sewn down the center.

Kid's Christmas quilt

It may be a bit dull, but it works.

Kid's Christmas quilt

With a pretty red binding, this quilt is sure to put a smile on any child's face!

Kid's Christmas quilt

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Half Log Cabin Block Tutorial

How about a tutorial today? Get your 2 1/2" strips of lights and darks and let's make some half log cabin blocks!

Traditionally, log cabin blocks start with a red square in the center, but here I changed it up and made it green. You can use any color you'd like, just make sure you have lights and darks for the entire block.

From green 2 1/2" strips, cut to make 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares. Do the same with the light strips. Sew them together like this:

From both light and dark (I used dark red) 2 1/2" strips, cut 4 1/2" and 6 1/2" rectangles. From only the dark 2 1/2" strips, cut 8 1/2" rectangles.

Mix up your pieces within each size stack by moving the top piece to the bottom occasionally. That way, there won't be identical blocks appearing.

To the 2 1/2" unit made before, add a dark 4 1/2" piece. Keep the first unit oriented in the same direction throughout the block.

Press the seam, and add a 4 1/2" piece to the unit, keeping darks on one side, lights on the other.

Press, and add the 6 1/2" piece to the unit, next to the previous dark piece.

Press again, then add the 6 1/2" light unit onto the light side.

Press once more, and add the final dark 8 1/2" piece.

This unfinished block measures 8 1/2" x 8 1/2". Once there's a stack of blocks, start playing with arrangement, as there are many ways to place these blocks.

Have fun!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Home for Christmas

Another quilt to snuggle under this season, as I'll be Home for Christmas.

In trying to come up with a name for this quilt, I tried to consider it's makeup, so bear with me on the logic. The setting is an offset barn raising of half log cabin blocks. Now a barn could be considered a home, to animals at least, and of course, the Christmas birthday we're celebrating supposedly occurred in a barn. Though a barn is usually not constructed like a log cabin, the barn/home in this quilt is composed of half log cabin blocks, further establishing that this is 'home'.

And what 'home' would not be complete without a tree? Whether it's the wood that makes the home, provides shade for the home, or decorates the home, as does this Christmas tree, a home is not complete without a tree.

Thus, the log cabin barn raising and the tree combine to make Home for Christmas. 

Quilted in gold with the panto Holiday Garland, it was the perfect topping for this double sided quilt - the panto looks beautiful on both sides.

Front closeups:

And back closeups:

There's still more Christmas fabric to use up - stay tuned to see what I come up with!

Happy Quilting!

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Christmas Conundrum

I wish this were one of those instances of not knowing what to give someone for Christmas. When all else fails, give food. But no, here we're talking quilt backs. Ugh.

On my latest Christmas quilt, I thought I was being all smart by stitching together small scraps to make big enough pieces for more blocks to go on the back. 

And by the small scraps and a bit of yardage that's left, I'd say I was successful in using up what I started with.

But here's the problem. 

22 blocks. Not enough to make a square, rectangle or complete a design. And those scraps are not going to squeeze out two more blocks. Ugh.

I'm totally stumped. I've stared at this problem since Saturday afternoon, and still haven't come up with a solution. Blocks have been rearranged, spaced apart, and put in funky settings. To no avail. And it doesn't help that my personal challenge is to use all those blocks and make the back look somewhat planned. I didn't go to all that work stitching Christmas scraps for nothing!

So if anyone has any ideas to help with this Christmas conundrum, feel free to leave a comment. In the meantime, I'm off to make some cookies to give away!