Tuesday, February 26, 2013

String Quilt - A Collaborative Project

"String Quilt" 36" x 48", assembled by Pam Geisel, January 2013

Many years ago I participated in a block swap where we each made twelve string blocks 12.5" x 12.5" large. Then we sent them to one person who divided them up and sent us twelve different blocks.

I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with the blocks that I got but I didn't want to use them at the size they were so I quartered them then cut the smaller squares in half diagonally. I sewed these pieces with white half square triangles then put them in a box and forgot about them.

Recently I was contacted by someone from the Children's Museum of South Dakota. They have a sod house exhibit that has a small bed inside and asked if I could make a quilt for it. I remembered the swap blocks and agreed to make something for them.

I assembled the squares into rows and sewed those together, quilted it, then made a scrappy binding to finish it.

The wonderful women who were a part of this block swap are:

Sue Andrus, Andrus Garden
Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts
Kym Delmar, Kimbuktu
Dayna Evert, Threaded Expressions
Karri Anastasia Gravina, Vintage Sew and So
Akiko Kunst, With Hugs & Stitches
Amy Perrin, Perennial Piecer
Michelle Rollins, Dragonfly Stitches
Nancy Tanguay, Uniquely Nancy
Barbara J. Wood, DownHome Designs
Robin Woods, Whimbrella

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul - Project Quilting

"Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul," 8.5" x 10.5", made for Project Quilting Season 4, Challenge 4: Wish Upon a Star, Feb. 2013

Quick recap of the challenge: "Wish Upon a Star"
1. Your project must include at least one star. It can be a traditional star block, an appliqu├ęd star, a star in the embellishments or quilting…use your imagination. More stars are fine, but there must be at least one.

My project this week is a little quilted birdhouse. It is machine raw edge appliqued using many different types of white, cream, and brown fabric including commercial cottons, sheers, linen, burlap, and silk ribbons. There is a light brown star near the center of the birdhouse. The roof was made by wrapping some brown fabric around a thin piece of craft felt that was machine appliqued to the quilt.

The pieces were stitched down during the quilting process with the edges left raw similar to what grass and twigs might look like in a bird's nest. The edges that aren't under the roof were bound with a zigzag stitch.

Several white buttons were hand sewn on top of a white ribbon and other color buttons were added to the star, roof, and center of the birdhouse.

I also added some bone-style beads to the bottom of the quilt. As always, you can click on any of the photos to see a larger image.

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As always, you can click on any photo to see it larger.
To see other entries for this challenge, visit the Wish Upon a Star page.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Favorite Block Quilt Along : Heart Block Tutorial

"Heart Block" (shown in two sizes) created by Pam Geisel of For Quilts Sake

Several years ago I wanted to make a heart block but didn't want to use curved pieces so I came up with this pattern. One of the things I like about this block is it utilizes the rotary cutting piecing method of making half square triangles and Flying Geese squares without having to sew along a bias edge, so no bias stretching to worry about.

The block on the left is the 6" (finished) block; the block on the right is the 12" (finished) block.

Cutting for the 6″ block
From the RED fabric (can be the same or different fabric) cut :
 - 1 rectangle : 6½″ x 2″
 - 2 rectangles : 3½″ x 2″
 - 1 square : 3⅞″ x 3⅞″
From the WHITE fabric cut :
 - 4 squares : 2″ x 2″
 - 1 square : 3⅞″ x 3⅞″

Cutting for the 12″ block
From the RED fabric (can be the same or different fabric) cut :
 - 1 rectangle : 12½″ x 3½″
 - 2 rectangles : 6½″ x 3½″
 - 1 square : 6⅞″ x 6⅞″
From the WHITE fabric cut :
- 4 squares : 3½″ x 3½″
- 1 square : 6⅞″ x 6⅞″

Half square triangles (bottom of finished block) : Mark a line on the diagonal on the wrong side of the larger white square, pair with a same size red square placing right sides together.

Sew ¼″ away from both sides the marked line.

Cut on the diagonal line and press the seams toward the red.

Flying Geese (top of finished block) : Mark a line on the diagonal on the wrong side of the four white squares. Lay square on the left side of the smaller red rectangle with right sides together. The line should go from the lower left to the upper right. Unlike the half square triangles, sew ON the line then trim the upper left corner leaving ¼″ seam allowance.

Press seams toward the red. Repeat with the square on the right side of the rectangle with the line going from the upper left to the lower right.

Finishing : Following the diagram, sew the two Flying Geese squares together, and sew those to the top of the long rectangle. Sew the two half square triangles together, and sew those to the bottom of the long rectangle. Press the seam allowances toward the red fabric.

This is a quilted necklace that I made with this block, which is only 1½″ in size.

This tutorial is published for "My Favorite Block Quilt Along" hosted by Kim of Persimon Dreams. You can see photos of finished blocks on the My Favorite Block Quilt Along Flickr site and you can check out the other tutorial for this week the Owl Block at by BeaQuilter.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Wedded Bliss" - made from a wedding dress

"Wedded Bliss", 58" x 58", July 2008

Five years ago (before I started blogging) Brandi got married. Because the wedding was close to Valentine's Day, and because her dress had red accents, her bridesmaids wore red. Later that year she contacted me about making a large wall hanging using her wedding dress, a bridesmaid's dress, and the flower girl's dress.

The wedding dress had lots of great beading which I was able to use in the quilt. It also had a lace-up corset in the back which Brandi wanted in the center.

The six hearts were paper pieced, each with different embellishments from the dresses.

A detail photo of the beading from the wedding dress.

Happy Valentine's Day! And Happy Anniversary Brandi!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Coneflower Confection - Project Quilting

"Coneflower Confection," 16.5" x 17.5", made for Project Quilting
Season 4, Challenge 3: Annie's Vision, Feb. 2013

Quick recap of the challenge: "Annie's Vision"

1. Your inspiration is the art of Annie Young. Explore the colors, the textures, the style, the subject matter, the feeling. Choose what speaks most to you and use it to make your quilt.

The first thing I noticed when I looked at Annie's art was that her painted backgrounds looked similar to some of the hand dyed and hand painted fabric that I had. So I started this challenge by looking through my fabrics to find one that made me think of her backgrounds.

Something else I recognized was that she frequently uses flowers as her subject matter. I decided to make a cone flower because it tied in with the pinkish purple spot in the upper left corner of my background fabric. I fused the flower pieces to the background then made the quilt sandwich with wool batting so the stitches that hold down the fused fabric are also the quilting stitches.

One of my favorite aspects about Annie's work is how much energy and movement it has. She often goes around her subject matter with many strokes. I immediately thought of mimicking that look but using couched thread instead of paint.

For the petals of the cone flower, I cut the hand-painted pink fabric a little larger than I wanted then trimmed it down saving the "outline" which I fused on top of the petals. I stitched them down then couched some thread over the petals echoing the petal shapes. I also couched this yarn in the pinkish purple area in the upper left corner.

Annie's painting "Confetti Susan" has painted confetti on it, which reminded me of seed stitching, so I did some blue seed stitching in the background of the quilt, which also added some texture to this area. Another piece titled "Rug Eyes" looks like it has buttons for the center of the flowers so I added one for the center of my cone flower.

The quilt is finished with a strip-facing binding.

More about Coneflower Confection

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Click on any of the photos to see larger images.

To see other entries for this challenge, visit the Annie's Vision page.