Saturday, October 25, 2014

It's Blogger's Quilt Festival Time - Cherry Blossom Quilt

Once again a huge thank you to Amy of Amy's Creative Side for organizing the Fall 2014 Blogger's Quilt Festival. You can submit nominations for two of your own quilts. It is a great way to share your work with others and to be eligible for some lovely prizes. Take a look at all of the registered quilts and then select three for Viewers' Choice category.  Nominations are open now and they close on October 31. You can start voting for your favourite quilts in all categories starting November 1. Voting closes on November 7 and the winners will be announced on November 8th!

I've entered two quilts and this is the second, Cherry Blossom. I wrote the pattern for my quilt and it is available free-of-charge under the tab Patterns by Karen H.  Cherry Blossom is entered in the Original Design Quilts categoryThe pinks and reds reminded me of cherry blossoms hence the name! 

This is a scrap quilt. Whenever I have some leftover 1 1/2" squares I use them as leaders and enders when I'm sewing. They get stitched into nine patches that finish at 3". When they are done I give them a press and store them in a box. When I decided to make Cherry Blossom I fished out all of the 3" pink nine patches from the box. When I ran out of pink I added some yellows and oranges. These would be stitched together to make larger nine patches. I also pulled 12 red nine patches along with small scraps of all sorts of colours. I used these scraps to make half square triangles that bordered the little red nine patches. 

Here you can see the two blocks in the quilt; the pink nine patches are stitched together with white squares to make larger nine patches and the red nine patches are bordered with white, half square triangles and the background fabric!

I added a nice wide border because I wanted to fill it with a feather and a stippled background.

This is such a summery quilt and it is one of my favourites. If you like it too why not make your own using my pattern! 

It's Blogger's Quilt Festival Time - 81 The Giant Mostrosity

A huge thank you to Amy of Amy's Creative Side for organizing the Fall 2014 Blogger's Quilt Festival. You can submit nominations for two of your own quilts. It is a great way to share your work with others and to be eligible for some lovely prizes. Take a look at all of the registered quilts and then select three for Viewers' Choice category.  Nominations are open now and they close on October 31. You can start voting for your favourite quilts in all categories starting November 1. Voting closes on November 7 and the winners will be announced on November 8th!

I will enter two quilt and this is the first, 81 The Giant Monstrosity. I am working on a pattern for my quilt and will publish it in the near future. I'll be making it available free of charge! I've entered 81 in the category Home Machine Quilted. This photograph  shows the quilt but doesn't show the quilting so I'll share some close-ups.

81 The Giant Monstrosity

I used a neutral soft grey backing fabric and it shows the quilting beautifully. I used my Juki TL2010Q domestic sewing machine. While it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles is is a workhorse and the stitch quality is amazing!

This is what it looks like from the front. There was virtually no marking required. I just doodled with my sewing machine and I adore the effect!

In this picture the quilt is folded so you can see the outer border front and back. I love the effect of the straight line quilting in the border!

I blogged about how I quilted the background filler designs and you can read about it here and here.

Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H

Friday, October 24, 2014

The next two blocks in my Gardens of a King quilt

I had previously showed a Gardens of a King block. I just love everything about this one from the design to the colours I chose!The one little fussy cut in the middle is perfect! It is a leftover bit of fabric from the late 1990's. I bought it to use in my Dear Jane quilt. I just can't bear to toss these little scraps because I know that they will eventually find a home! This one waited 15 years!

The pattern calls for two blocks from each pattern and this is the second block. To make it look a little different I reversed the placement of the different values and I'm thrilled with how it turned out!

Missie promises that the Gardens of a King pattern will be available soon. She was recently at a quilt show and her sample quilt was on display. You can see it here. What you don't see is that there is one more border to go on the quilt and it will be appliqued motifs. I just got the patterns for the applique border blocks and as soon as I finish piecing the circular blocks I'll be on to them! I can't tell you what they are but I promise that they are very pretty!

I've managed to complete one more Lozagons hexagon block. The colours are a soft and muted. Now that I look at the picture is appears a little beat up from the last round of stitching!

I probably should have given it a press before I took the picture but I'm in a rush to get out the door. Today is the first day of the Creativ Festival and I'm going to have a look around and see what's on offer! I'm sure I'll come away with a scrap or two of fabric. Really, who can resist? Certainly not me! So until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A busy day of sewing

My friend Babs is making a quilt for a family friend who is a teenager and I offered to help her out. Yesterday we spent the day putting the blocks together. Our mantra is "less talking, more sewing"! We decided to make elongated churn dash blocks to showcase some attractive prints. The large rectangle in the centre is the perfect spot for them and it is a great negative space that will be available for quilting!

The blocks are primarily variations of turquoise but there are a few pops of orange to make the quilt sparkle. We managed to make all of the blocks (I think there are 25 of them) and they are now on the ironing board waiting for a good press with a little starch. I can't wait to see how they look when they are all sewn together! I think the plan is for a quilt top of just blocks with no border. I'll be sure to take pictures and share them with you!

Babs allowed me to take some pictures of the coil baskets she has made. I think they are fabulous. She has been using her scraps of batiks and I love the earthy look. The basket on the upper right has a small band of orange. She had just a little strip so she threw it in with the greens and works! If I didn't have so much to do I would be making one of these for myself!

I continue to put together my Gardens of a King blocks from Missie's pattern that I'm testing. I'm not sure which block I like better, the red or the blue! I like the subtle change of the different blues that I used.

The paprika coloured fabric in the outer ring is a leftover scrap from the backing of my quilt Good Golly Miss Mollie. I hate throwing out scraps because there's always a place that they can be used!

Right, time for one more cup of tea and then I've got some running around to do. I'm hoping that my book store has the current issue of QuiltMania in so I can pick it up. Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H

Monday, October 20, 2014

Five minutes of sewing here and there

I've been busy and have managed to stitch up a bunch of blocks. I always have a little sewing kit at the ready so if I go out and have five minutes of sitting and waiting I can take a few stitches. It might not be much sewing but all those five minutes sure add up! This is my sewing kit and it was made for my by Bunny of The Creative Hare. It was made from a free pattern that you can find here.

It is very spacious inside so I can fit a few spools of thread, scissors and my EPP (English paper piecing) pieces. I store spare needles inside the flap. I use my little pouch every day and just love it. It would make a terrific holiday gift for a sewing friend!

So what have I made in those five minutes of sewing here and there? Well let me show you some Lozagon hexagon blocks and Gardens of a King blocks that I've managed to finish in those sewing minutes! This Lozagon is kind of wishy washy isn't my favourite but it will work just fine in the finished quilt.

Some years ago I had been at a White Elephant sale in a church basement and I bought a bag of old scraps, many of which were cut as blades for Dresden plate blocks. I am using some of those scraps in my Lozagons quilt. In the next block you can see some of the prints in the hexagons that surround the solid centre. Unfortunately I was only able to cut five hexagons from the scraps so I went through my stash and found a fabric that was a similar colour but a different print. Even though it is a striped fabric I think it works just fine. I love having the occasional odd patch because it adds interest! The purple flowers on the white background in the outer border are also cut from the old scraps!

How about some Gardens of a King Quilt blocks! This is a pattern I'm testing for Missie of Traditional Primitives. The more blocks I stitch the better I'm getting at making them and I adore these tiny treasures! Missie is also testing the pattern and you can get a sneak peak of what's to come here! For now I'll share some of my blocks with you.

Originally I had dark brown for the outer round of triangles but it was too close in value to the green fabric. I tried the gold scraps and they work perfectly.

I didn't throw out the brown triangles; instead I used them for my second block. Blue and brown are a great colour combination so I searched my stash for the right blue (I needed a blue that was a lighter value than the brown) and this is what I came up with. Notice I rotated the centre pie wedges. This was a mistake and I considered correcting it so that it would be the same as the previous block. My attitude is fix the things that will bother you and leave the rest alone. This is a mistake I can live with so it will stay as it is!

The next two blocks have more pieces (each has 56 pieces). I was dreading sewing this block because of all the pieces but I took care when prepping the patches for EPP, stitched carefully and the blocks came together nicely. I particularly like the red/pink ring around the first of these two blocks. I used a single grey fabric so that the centre star could really pop and I think that this was a good choice!

This second block is much darker and more dramatic. It isn't perfect but I can live with it!

Right - I'm off to see if I can find some spare minutes so I can get cracking on more Lozagons hexagon blocks and Gardens of a King blocks! Until I post again I hope you are able to find five minutes to take a few stitches!
Karen H

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tiny treasures

I'm working on another tiny star for the Gardens of a King quilt pattern that I am testing for Missie of Traditional Primitives. I've already made one tiny block centre and this is the second. The second is always easier than the first - at least that's what I find! The finished size from point to point is 2 3/4". I am so pleased with this tiny treasure!

Some time ago I entered in a giveaway by Sheryl of Sewing After Seven and I was fortunate enough to win one of her exquisite scissors pouches. If you aren't familiar with her blog I can assure you it is worth a visit. I drool over Sheryl's amazing handwork which is exquisite. Sheryl is running another giveaway to celebrate her one year anniversary and this is the tiny treasure she will give to one lucky person!

To enter Sheryl's giveaway go here. It couldn't be easier and while you are at it why not sign up to follow her blog? You won't be disappointed! For example, check out this cushion cover that she made! She posted lots of close-up pictures; you'll be astounded at the level of detail! See all of the pictures and read about the Henry and Anne cushion cover here.

Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H

Friday, October 17, 2014

Value Proposition QAL - Block 14

Where have the past two weeks gone? Time flies by far too quickly! It's time for Block 14 in my Value Proposition Hexagon Quilt Along (QAL). I had told you we are going to make fabric for this one and that's exactly what we will do! This technique for "made" fabric will be used in another block. It is a great way to give your blocks a very different look and you will be surprised at how easy it is to do! I know there are some very creative readers out there so I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

Value Proposition Map for Block 14

Value Proposition Recipe for Block 14

  • Cut 7 Light* identified as A on Map (1 for Centre and six for Round 2)
  • Cut 6 Light/Dark "Made" Fabrics** identified as B on Map (for Round 1)
  • Cut 12 Medium identified as C on Map (6 for Round 3)
  • Cut 12 Medium-Dark identified as D on Map ( 6 for Round 2 and 6 for Round 3)
* If you want to add some extra pizzazz two of the A hexagons identified as A* on the Map can be "made" fabric. Scroll down for the instructions for "made fabric"

** See below for the instructions for "made" fabric

My Value Proposition Block 14

This is a black and white picture of my block. Notice that I made my own fabric for the spokes in round 1. I made a second strip of fabric and added two "made" fabrics in Round 2 on the sides. These two are optional. You could just use a light fabric in place of the made fabric.

Instructions for "Made" Fabric
Select two fabrics, one of which is Light and the other medium or dark. My darker fabric is a directional print; it adds some interest and complexity. From the darker fabric cut one strip that is 1 1/4" wide by 15 1/2" long. From the lighter fabric cut 2 strips that are the same length and width. Shorten the stitch length and sew a light strip to either side of the dark strip. This is important because you will be cutting your "made" fabric and you don't want the stitches to come undone!

Press the seam allowances open. A spritz of starch and a press with a hot dry iron will kept them nice and flat. That's it - "made" fabric. Now on to making the hexagons! Cut six 2 1/2" patches. I applied a tiny dab of glue stick to my hexagon paper. I placed the paper on the wrong side of the "made" fabric making sure the dark stripe was reasonably centered in the hexagon. 

Trim the excess fabric at the corners. I like to leave a generous seam allowance of roughly 3/8" all around. 

There you have it - "made" fabric! Continue in the usual method of English paper piecing to complete Round 1.

I set up a Value Proposition QAL page on Flickr so that you can post pictures of your blocks and also see what others are doing! There are many very different and exciting blocks to see and there are also some pictures showing a bunch of blocks arranged together and that is very exciting to see! 
If you are looking for previous Block installments of my Value Proposition Hexagon QAL you will find all of the links under the tab Quilt Alongs by Karen H just under the banner. Have fun making Block 14. Block 15 will be available on October 31, 2014. 

I hope you are enjoying my QAL! If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I send an email response to every comment so if you don't hear from me it means you are a no-reply blogger and I have no way of contacting you (unless you leave me your email address).

Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H