Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sunflower Stars!

My One-Block Wonder quilt top is done -- I just had to share it with you!

The inner border is a deep gold.  The lovely Colleen from my favorite LQS found the fabric for the outer border -- on the sale rack!!  It's a slightly uneven stripe with gold, rust, green and black.  It looks like a piano key border, but no sewing required (except to attach it to the quilt, of course!).

I was stumped about where to spread it out, ended up taping it to the back fence.  Note to self:  seek a better system.  Removing the tape pulled the loose threads out of the border! 

This oblique view is washed out by the bright sun, but the stars really pop.  It's amazing how these quilts change when you look at them from different angles.

Now I have to figure out how to quilt this baby.  I've poked around on the web for ideas, but nothing really called to me.  Let me know what you think.  You don't have to sign in on Google and join the blog to comment!  If you have a quilting friend, ask her (or him) to look at this and make a suggestion!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oooh, yes!


The local Ben Franklin store in Gaylord, Michigan, is folding.  My sister-in-law told me about it two weeks ago; she said that everything in the store was 30% off.  The store carries a lot of quilting cottons, so as soon as I got here, off to town I went!  Sad to see that the window that in July was touting AccuQuilt and many area quilt shows now looks like this.


So look at the prices today!

Open the door and find that the inventory is still quite large.  These shelves are all autumn/Thanksgiving fabrics.

The rear wall is all novelty fabrics, with an emphasis on "north woods" themes -- fishing, hunting, canoes, woods, cabins with smoking chimneys.

 Lots of kids' fabrics -- cartoon characters, cars, sports, princesses.

As if all that fabric wasn't feast enough, this sign was posted in the fabric section:

If you can't read it, the little note says that you get 40% off PLUS an extra 50 cents per yard!

Many of these are good fabrics, too:  Thimbleberries!  Moda!

To think that someone at my Simple Sampler class last week noted that you don't usually see much red in Thimbleberries.  Huh!

I've been on the lookout for something with a black background to make another One-Block Wonder [kaleidoscope] quilt.  There wasn't enough of this fabric to make a lap-size quilt, but maybe I can get a few hexagons out of it for a table runner or some pillows.

This is what I ended up buying -- end-of-bolt for all four, so the most expensive fabric (the Moda) was only $8.50 per yard. 

According to one of the employees, the store will only be open for another week or two.  Guess I'll stop in every couple of days to see if the prices drop further.  There are still 3 other shops in town, one with traditional quilting fabrics and oodles of pre-cuts, one with more modern fabrics, and a Hobby Lobby. 

Enough talk about quilting -- time to do it!  Unfortunately, it turns out that I somehow took all my bobbins and good thread home in July, so back into town I must go.  Fun this morning; now, not so much.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Kaleidescope Adventure Continues!

The One-Block Wonder Class is so much fun!  I can't imagine doing a project like this without a few other people in a class to exchange perspectives.

So, I got all those triangles cut and spend quite some time figuring out the best placement of each group to create a hexagon.  Then I sewed them all together, 3 at a time, to create half-hexies.

First, sew 2 triangles together from each set of six.  Make sure that you keep track of where the points are going to meet in the center of the hexagon (I did have to rip out a few seams...).  Press the seams open (not to the side).

Then sew a 3rd triangle to each of the triangle pairs that you just made, again making sure that the center points meet and pressing the seams open.

 This can all be done by chain-piecing.  You just have to be careful to keep each hexagon in order!  You'll end up with two half-hexies that you pin together.

At the second class, we all arranged our hexagons on a piece of batting, then started moving them around to find a layout that we liked.  This was stressful for me, because I didn't think that my fabric pattern was working.  But everyone in the class liked it!  :-D  And everyone in the class (well, except one person) hated their fabric, too.  But guess what -- all of the quilt layouts looked WONDERFUL!  Can you see the stars and swirls starting to form? People suggested different ways to arrange the hexagons, and everything started to come together.

I'm so disappointed that I didn't take pictures of the other projects -- they were so nice, and every one was completely different.  I hope everyone brings their completed quilt tops back for show-and-tell, so I can share these beautiful creations.

Now to start putting everything together.  Each hexagon is arranged so that there is a continuous seam line vertically (line them up so that there is a point at the top, not a flat side).   In one row, the line is between hexagons; in the next, it's down the middle (that's why we didn't sew our hexagons together before we arranged them).  I don't know if you can see this in this photo.  I need to figure out how to add graphics to these photos -- little arrows and comments. 

 When I got all my hexies lined up again at home,  I started sewing them into vertical "rows" (AKA columns).  I ended up with 16 vertical strips and tons of leftover hexagons and half-hexies.  I'm seeing a couple of table-runners in my future!

All my columns are sewed; now it's time to press all those seams open.  Ugh!  Once that is done, I'll sew the columns together and the basic top will be done!  

I'm off to Memphis for my grandson's 6th birthday (how did that happen?!?!).  When I get back, just wait until you see the border fabric that I'll be using!