Loose Threads

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Making Hexagons

I had a great time  sewing last Tuesday up in the northern part of Indiana with a nice group of girls that I met several years ago at the Jane Stickle retreat in Shipshewana, Indiana.   I usually only get to see them twice a year at the retreat, so it was great to have a get together and visit in between retreats.  We were working on Lone Star quilts using Quiltsmart interfacing.   I'll save that for another post when I hopefully have photos of some of their finished tops.   Toward the end of the day Nancisue asked me what happened to my blog.   A few days earlier I heard from friend, Trudy, who wrote that she missed my blog.  And I ran into Denise last weekend at Back Door Quilts.  I hadn't seen her for at least four years, and she asked about my blog.   So I thought it was about time for a post.  

 My laptop is in here in my sewing room, so instead of sitting at the computer I usually sit at the sewing machine.   Most of you that have an IPAD know that you can't really write a blog post on an IPAD or Iphone.  I have a keyboard that will Bluetooth connect to the IPad so I'll have to see if that helps.   I am over on Instagram a bit.   Over there it's just a photo with a couple of sentences and some hash tags ####.   I never thought I'd see the day when I would hash tag anything, but I do.  That was what we used when we played tic-tac-toe to kill time in study hall.   A hash tag is just another word for labels.   I put as many labels as I can on my blog posts and Instagram posts so if someone is searching for a topic, they might come across my posts.   

Here is what I've been spending a lot of my sewing time on.  These are 3/4" hexagons.   A group of us over on Instagram and Facebook are making the quilt that Libby Morgan made in the book by Leah Zieber, Libby Morgan Reunion.  The quilt is made of hexagons surrounded by a path.   

The next few photos are of some of my latest  3/4" hexagons.   Most of my hexagons are fussy cut...probably 99% of them.   Most of my fabric looks like Swiss cheese, but I love the look of fussy cut hexagons or anything English paper pieced.





This is part of what I have cut for this project.  I think I am about half way done sewing hexagons.  The quilt has a total of over 200 hexagon rosettes.  


Here is the beginnings of adding the path between the hexagons.  Karen over at FaeriesandFibres blog  adds 5 path hexagons to each rosette, and they fit together kind of like a puzzle.  That is really a good way to work on the path right along with sewing the hexagons. 



I'm not exactly sure what fabric I will use for my border fabric, but I auditioned this fabric by Di Ford Hall and think it is a definite possibility.





Then a few of us over on Instagram went off the deep end and are making these double hexagons.  We hashtag them Liberated Libbies because they are the regular inside hexagon arrangement with the outer ring arranged in different ways.   They are really just double hexagons.  You saw the photo above with the container of 3/4" hexagons cut and over half are ready to be glue basted to the paper pieces.  I have a container of 1" hexagons with the same amount or more.  I also have a bag of 1 1/4" hexagons left over from my Route 66 quilt found in Di Ford's first book, Primarily Quilts.  I'm taking the leftover hexagons from that quilt that are my favorites and cutting them down to use with my other 1" hexagons.  

Here are my double hexagons so far.  I've cut a few "new" hexagons, but I'm trying to use those that I already have cut to make this quilt.  I'm not quite sure of the arrangement I'll use yet.  Right now, I'm just having fun matching up the fabrics and sewing them.



I  really love to fussy cut hexagons or any English Paper Piecing as much if not more than I like to sew them.   Here is the link to my fussy cutting tutorial.   I explain how I choose fabrics for fussy cutting and how I place my templates on the fabric.   I use pretty old fashioned methods, but I enjoy tracing around my template with a marker and then cutting the hexagons out with scissors.  That is great TV work in the evenings, and I find it relaxing.  

Here is the link to my Lucy Boston Framed Tutorial showing you how I fussy cut a striped fabric to make a frame around the outside round of a Lucy Boston block.  

I have a lot more in the works to show you, so I'll be back again soon.  


Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

I hope you're finding some time to stitch today!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! 

I really appreciate all of you that still visit my blog in spite of all of the "dry spells".   It's a drizzly day here to the point that it looks foggy out.  It's a perfect day to spend in the sewing room.

You've seen this quilt here on my blog before.  I had it quilted last year by my long arm quilter.  It is made of red and white string blocks.   You can see the heart motif that he put in the border. 



Below is the drawing from my Electric Quilt file.  You can see the breakdown of the blocks a little easier.  You can make the string blocks any size that you want.  Here is the link to my string block tutorial.  You can also get there from the tab under my header.

You could also use squares and half square triangles to make the quilt if you don't want to make string blocks.  In that case you would need the following:

 6 red squares
2 white squares
40 half square triangles (half red-half white)

My blocks measure 8 inches, but you could make them any size.  I know it's too late for this year, but if you are in a Valentine mood you could start today and have the quilt finished for next year.


Here's a better look at the string blocks in the center.  I used any and all reds.  The whites range from pure white to creams, and I even used some shirting pieces.



I love the photo below.  It was taken at my husband's family farm. This was taken before it was quilted.



Here is a smaller version using 3 inch (finished) blocks.  This is a table topper size and finishes at about 18 inches.  You can find my tutorial on how I made this table topper in my blog post here.  
It includes more on how to piece the string blocks and cut them into half square triangles.



Here is a close up of one of the string blocks.  I quilted this after watching Leah Day's Heart Paisley video.  I love her videos because she does her example on a square, and she shows you how to get on and off of that square and fill the entire area.  She has lots of videos on line if you just search.



Here is the same table mat using 3 1/2" unfinished squares and half square triangles.
For this you will need:
6 red squares
2 neutral squares
28 half square triangles

You can find more detail about this version of my table topper in my blog post here.



Here is the pattern for the table mat drawn in Electric Quilt.


The pattern for this little Valentine quilt and the Valentine table topper pictured are both available for sale in my Etsy shop.  The little quilt below fits on a wire table stand.  I have one of the Sunburst Dresden Table Toppers for every season, and there is one in the center of my table all year.  The patterns are also available at Back Door Quilts






I'm not sure what the Valentine plan is, but I bought each of us one of these.  I thought this was a better option than having a whole box of chocolate here . 


Are you all watching the Olympics coverage like I am?  There is not only the network coverage, but there is a cable channel that covers some live events.  It's NBCSN.  The problem with that is the time difference, so to watch you have to sit up into the wee hours of the morning because they won't let you record on that channel.   So I'm a bit sleep deprived, but I'm getting some stitching done in the evenings. 


Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

My 2017 Quilts

Hello Everyone

Writing this blog post is like back in the day when we wrote snail mail letters back and forth with a friend - days before we had email.  The letters came every week at first.  Then they came every other week, and then eventually it ended up that those weekly letters turned into a form letter stuck in a Christmas card.  I think when you write less often, it is harder to figure out where to start.  That's where I'm at today.  I didn't plan to be gone for so long, but I've had two bouts of the flu since Thanksgiving.  Both times I ended up with an infection and an antibiotic.  I'm trying to take it easy and slow down......some.

Right before I got sick this last time after Christmas, I pulled everything that wasn't nailed down out of my sewing room which is the room that should be our guest room.  It is about 11' X 12'.   I put everything out into the entryway, great room, and on the table and that is where it stayed until recently when I began to feel better.  I was going to start with a blog post with those photos, but I lost my nerve.

So I decided to start with the quilts that I finished in 2017 instead.

This is my version of Brinton Hall.  The pattern was published in Quiltmania magazine No. 82. 


Here is a closer look at the center.  Instead of the applique' flowers in the pattern, I chose to do broderie perse flowers, and I added some embroidery flowers and leaves.  This center was so much fun that I was kind of sad when I had finished it.


This quilt is just something I made up.  I still love making string blocks.   Here is a link to the string block tutorial on my blog.  You can also find it in the tabs under my blog header.


This quilt was machine quilted by Paul WyCoff.  

This is my Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses quilt.  I finished these 16 blocks, sewed them into this small quilt, and machine quilted it on my home machine.  I still have more block kits prepped so who knows where they will end up.  You can find my tutorial here on how to fussy cut your Lucy Boston blocks so the outside round forms a square.  That link is also under my blog header.  


Here is a small part of my 2" six pointed diamond quilt.  When there is a sunny day, I'll take a photo of the entire quilt because I don't think I blogged about it since I finished it.  It was just finished this past year.  This was quilted by Paul Wycoff.

 Brinton Hall is one of my favorites because I love hexagons.  It is another pattern from Quiltmania magazine 107-108.  The original pattern called for a row or more of blocks around the hexagon center.  I believe they were star blocks.  I liked the quilt just as it is, and I liked the border with it.  This was quilted by Paul Wycoff.  

This is a quarter Dresden blade pillow I did with embroidery in the sashing.  I just made this up and plan to write a pattern with the pillow and the quilt in the next photo.  

The quilt is a Dresden Hourglass.  I really enjoy using the Easy Dresden ruler.  I hate to think of how many years I had that ruler sealed up in its package before I ever opened it and made my first Dresden.  Now it's hard to stop.  I quilted this one myself.  

This twisted bargello has been in my stack of UFOs for several years.  It was there mostly because I didn't know how to quilt it.  So one day I just basted it and started quilting.  I made this by reading through a pattern I bought years ago, looking at a pattern in a magazine, and I ended up just doing my own thing.  

I sew with a group downtown on Thursday mornings.  We try to do a group project of some sort each year.  Last year we did Gypsy Wife.  Everybody did the blocks they wanted and as many as they wanted.   Some people substituted other blocks for ones they didn't want to do.  I had a bag of half square triangles so I substituted those.   This is my version.  I machine quilted this one.

The pattern for this quilt is from Pacific Rim Quilt Company.   These two color quilts are a manageable size and are a lot of fun to hand applique'.  You just pick a color of thread that works and stitch.    The background is a creamy yellow fabric hand dyed by my friend, Val, from Canada.  I machine quilted this one. I like to echo quilt, and these flowers seemed like a good place to do that.  

Here is another quilt that was in the UFO pile for a lot of years.   I believe this is from a book by Gai Perry about 1995 called Impressionist Quilts.  This quilt is made of all squares that finish at 1".  These were all put on a design wall and sewn together individually.  I machine quilted this one.


This is Alletaire the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt from 2016.  It was machine quilted by Paul Wycoff.  This is a photo of the finished top.



I love the design he did in the border.  


Talkin' Turkey is another Bonnie Hunter pattern.  I did the top over a year ago.  It was started in a Bonnie Hunter class that I took over in Cincinnati with my friend Michele.  What a fun time we had!


Here it is quilted although you can't see a lot in this photo.



This quilt is in Edyta Sitar's book Friendship Strips and Scraps.  I like this quilt.  No, it didn't use up much of my stash at all.



This quilt is made from Anita Shackleford's Ohio Collection book and some blocks were taken from 
Album Quilts of Miami Valley.  There were four of us that worked on our own version of this quilt and shared ideas and blocks and motivated each other.  Karen, Cathy and Lori and I had fun doing this project and sharing our progress on our blogs.  Karen even drew several of the blocks and shared her original designs.   


Paul Wycoff quilted this with an all over Baptist Fan design which works well with these blocks.

This is my version of  Holly and Mistletoe from the Blackbird Design book When the Cold Wind Blows.  The original quilt had a couple of applique' blocks in the center and the vase of holly was off center.  I like symmetry, so I put the vase in the center and left out the other two blocks.  The original border is all appliqued', but I've had this red and green fabric in my stash just waiting for the right quilt so I used it for the border.  


Here's a closer look at the center.  It is all hand appliqued'.


Here's what's for dinner tonight.  Chili really hits the spot when you don't feel well or even if you do, and we've eaten a lot of it this winter.  My recipe makes enough that we can have leftovers for a night - sometimes two nights.  That leaves more time for sewing.    Here's the recipe:

Chili
3 pounds ground chuck
1 large yellow onion (or a large and a small one) finely chopped
1- 46 ounce can tomato juice
2 cans dark kidney beans
2 cans light kidney beans
1 - 8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 heaping tablespoons sugar
4 heaping tablespoons chili powder
salt and pepper

Brown ground chuck and finely chopped onion.  Drain fat.  Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until desired thickness.  Reduce heat and simmer to blend the flavors.


That's it for now.  I'll try not to stay so long next time.


I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Print This Post

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...