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Friday, January 10, 2014

Three Quilts part 3...or... a mid-course correction!

The 3 quilt story begins here.   Part 2 can be read here.

Now to continue the tale of Three Quilts...

I had cut all the pieces for each special type of block and sewn 3 of them for the satisfaction of seeing them finished.


B's square
E's pinwheel











KA's star
Then I decided to sew all the simple squares first, cut a few of the large Bird print blocks and lay them all out on top of the blue calico (spaced to look like sash between blocks). The result was not what I expected! The computer drawn image is helpful, but it can't take the place of seeing the actual cloth sewn together. I thought sash would be a unifying element to bring the plan for all three together, but it was not "working" in the squares quilt!   One of the first images we saw when thinking about these quilts was a large-block quilt with no sash between the blocks, so...I moved all my blocks together to hide the calico (erase the sash). Oh how much better it looked to me!  The calico squares looked happy to be floating on a bed of flowers, and not behind the bars of sash!  But would the other quilts look good with out sash? ....back to the drawing board (or computer program in this case).

B's squares with out sash

E's pinwheels with out sash
KA's stars with out sash

I have adjusted the size of the borders to make up for the removal of the sash (none of which has been cut yet!).

A little time has past and a little more sewing is complete...
... here is B's center portion...
Big blocks sew up quickly!
E's pinwheels are done, and the Bird blocks are cut; waiting for a turn at the sewing machine.

Eight Bird print blocks and 7 pinwheels.
One "opps" moment...remember this block...

First pinwheel was not on the table while the others were being sewn.
So I had to take it apart to make it match all the others!

Now it is time to start cutting border pieces.

Finished quilts photos here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Three Quilts part 2

Read part 1 here.
After washing and pressing all this cloth...31 yards of various calico colors; 14 yards of Bird & Flower print...
Calico washed but not pressed.

...it is obvious that I have way too much fabric for this project...so I think I will piece the backs out of "left-over" calico.

Each quilt will have its own unique pieced blocks; all three will have solid blocks of the Bird print.

Each of the blue calico prints will be used for sash and outer border in one quilt.

Here is the plan for KA's quilt.
Pieced stars, the most complex of the three.

B's squares

E's pinwheels


I spent some extra time figuring out how to cut all the different pieces and waste as little as possible, then realized I had more than enough!
All the pieces for all the pieced blocks (7 blocks per quilt)

B's squares
One of B's squares sewn together.


Some of E's pieces folded to try out colors.

Decided on one calico per pinwheel for E's quilt.

All the pieces for KA's stars
Notice that the blue calico in the pinwheel photo is NOT among the star pieces...because it will be the sash and border for this quilt.
Those pieces do not look like the typical star pieces because I am using a "No Y seams" method that I found here.  I have seen "star-like" blocks made from Half-square triangles but I do not like the seam in the star point that results from that idea.

Small square of Flower, diagonal pencil line for seam, sew to calico.

This is the beginning of star points. The extra corners will be trimmed off.

Corners trimmed, seams pressed, next piece sewn.

Seam NOT pressed flat, try again!

This one looks better.

Diagonal pencil line for seaming pink to green points.

An additional seam allows the "bonus block" to be cut off the corner.
Star points and a bonus block for later.

A note about pressing seams - sometimes I press them open to get a clean fold, then press to one side.

Pressed in the same direction as the other seams.
Four units of 2 points each make up an 8 point star.

Pairs sewn together.
Now to sew the pairs together ...those central points must match up exactly, so it is worth taking a few extra steps to get it right.

Use a pin to pierce EXACTLY at the point, and then through the corresponding point on the lower piece.

Pins on either side of the match point hold the alignment, and the red pin is removed.
Sew a few inches and then check it!

I'll take that for good enough! ....and sew the rest of the seam.
Press all the seams and it is done!
Six more stars...six more pinwheels...six more squares....to sew...before I can show you the next part.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Three Quilts for Three Sisters part 1

How does one find 3 coverlets or 3 quilts to please the tastes of three very unique girls (now occupying one room)? And...by the way...their MOM has an opinion too! so...Grandma offered to make 3 quilts using all the same fabrics, but slightly different designs. (This Grandma isn't crazy...she has a computer program to help with the calculations).
This is one of the ideas we worked on together.
But I am getting ahead of the story...
   we did not plan quilts, then shop for cloth...we found these prints (see below) then figured out how to use them!






Scanned images for the quilt generator.













Since I was not entirely sure how much of each I might need...I bought all that was left; it will be enough.
These two prints are the inspiration for the color scheme, more "players" are needed...

These were what I chose to add.

Now there is a small mountain of cloth in this project bin...pieces ranging from 1 yard to 8 yards. If you have ever washed a load of long yardage...you know that I was not looking forward to "laundry day". I did not want to risk dye bleed out or differing rates of shrinkage, so everything MUST be washed. But before the washing day arrived a wonderful hint came along with a quilting tutorial I was watching!!!

[found the video again! watch Kaye Wood here.]

The cloth is laid out flat, then fan-folded up the yardage and the selvage edges pinned together with several large pins.

Here is the Bird print folded and pinned, ready to wash.

Here is the green, washed, dried and ready to be unpinned and pressed; very few wrinkles actually!


I should have "pinked" the cut edges, but there were no long tangled wads to unwind!
All the calico on the left is washed and "Flower" and "Bird" are pinned and ready to be washed!

And that stack of calico is just how it came out of the dryer-minus the pins!

The story continues here.