Friday, October 31, 2014

Value Proposition Quilt Along - Block 15 on Hallowe'en!

Welcome to my Value Proposition Hexagon Quilt Along (QAL). Today I will share Block 15. In Block 14 we used "made" fabric and I shared with you how I do it. Once again used "made" fabric in this block but it is optional - if your prefer you can just use fabric of the correct value where I used the "made" fabric. If you need a refresher on "made" fabric you will find it here.

Value Proposition Map for Block 15

Value Proposition Recipe for Block 15

  • Cut 6 Light "Made" Fabrics* identified as A on Map (for Round 2)
  • Cut 18 Complementary** Medium identified as B on Map (6 for Round 2 and 12 for Round 3)
  • Cut 13 Slightly Darker Medium identified as C on Map (1 for Centre and 12 for Round 3)

* if your prefer not to use "made" fabric then just cut 6 Lights. If you use "made" fabric pay particular attention to the placement of the stripe in the made fabric.
** select a fabric that is complementary to the Cs. I chose to use a blue because it complements and contrasts with the beige-brown. We will use colour rather than value to create the shape in this block. In addition I chose to use a different medium for the 6 Bs in Round 1.

My Value Proposition Block 15

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 15. Block 16 will be available on November 14, 2014. We also have two more partial blocks for the sides so they will be coming soon!

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 and happy Hallowe'en from Gump and me

Karen H

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Sentimental Journey

My friend's father passed away many years ago. She had kept his silk ties and had planned to make a quilt with them. She spent hours taking the ties apart to obtain the beautiful fabric. You would be amazed at how much fabric there is in a silk tie! The quilt was started but set aside. The box of deconstructed ties has been staring at her begging to be turned into something wonderful.

She also wanted to be able to share some something of her father's with his grandchildren and that's when she got the idea to make fabric coil baskets with the ties. A perfect gift! Here are two of the baskets that she made already made with the ties.

She also added a little bit of batik fabric to create the green band on the basket on the left. I think the grandchildren will be very touched by these gifts this Christmas.

I've asked my Mom to make me one of her an African themed wall hangings as my Christmas gift. She started this one but doesn't think it is good enough. She still has more work to do but so far I think it is looking pretty impressive! There are more figures to add and of course she will embellish it like crazy once it is quilted!

Tomorrow is Value Proposition Hexagon Quilt Along day so I'll see you first thing in the morning! Until then happy sewing!
Karen H

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How are you? I am sew, sew!

I've been busy sewing up a storm any time I can find a few minutes! I made these two Gardens of a King blocks. All of the block patches are prepared with the English paper piecing method, starch and the Starch Brush from Missie of Traditional Primitives. I experimented with different construction methods and found the one that worked best for me!

Missie's pattern for Gardens of a King (it will be available soon) was inspired by the King George III Coverlet. This is the original.

What you can`t see very clearly in this picture is that there are some blocks with mariner`s compass style blocks with sun faces in the middle. There are two on either side of the top of the centre medallion and one on its lower left side. I decided to try to conduct an experiment using Missie`s technique and my pattern drafting skills. My first step was to draft a pattern. It took a little while but I figured it out! I drew the face on a piece of muslin with my Sakura pigma pens and then prepared all of the mariner`s compass patches with freezer paper and starch. I reverse appliqued the face to the first round of the compass.

I then stitched the rest of the mariner`s compass and added it to the sun face. This is the finished block; it measures 11" across.

If you would like to learn more about Missie's technique for English paper piecing with starch go here.

I've also finished one more Lozagons block! The pink and white print hexagons around the centre are more scraps from the bag of Dresden plate blades that I bought at a church basement sale. I like the red and white gingham in this one because I think it adds a little tension!

If you haven't been over to Amy's Creative Side for Blogger's Quilt Festival I encourage you to visit. There are some wonderful quilts entered including Mary's Soupcon quilt which you can also see on her blog! Be sure to nominate your three favourite quilts (the deadline is October 31) and then come back between November 1 and 7 and vote for your favourites in each category including those in Viewer's Choice! I've registered 81 The Giant Monstrosity in Home Machine Quilted and Cherry Blossom in Original Design. I would be honoured and privileged if you would consider nominating and/or voting for either of my quilts!

81 The Giant Monstrosity (pattern coming soon)

Cherry Blossom (free pattern available under Patterns by Karen H)

Today little Jinx is off to the vet to have his "pockets picked"!  He'll have the surgery and spend the night in the hospital. He'll be home tomorrow. Poor old Gumby (or Gummy as we've started calling him since he had some teeth extracted) will be glad for the peace and quiet!

On Friday I'll publish  block 15 in my Value Proposition Hexagon Quilt Along! Hope you like it! I haven't decided which block it will be but one thing is for will be one of my favourites!

Until I post again, happy sewing!

Monday, October 27, 2014

What are those hexagons for?

Eagle-eyes Sarah wrote to me in response to the picture I posted of Babs' fabric coil baskets and she asked about the tray of hexagons and wanted to know what they are for!

The hexagons belong to Babs and they are leftovers from her Yellow Bird quilt (below).

Yellow Bird by Babs 2014

Babs is a great proponent of using what you have and if you have leftovers use them in a new project. so the leftover hexagons are going to be used for a new quilt and it already has a name.....Yellow Bird's Sister!

She pulled out all of her Yellow Bird leftovers and started making hexagons rosettes. She made a rosette using my foundation paper pieced English paper piecing technique and since it included yellow it was the starting point for her new quilt.

Here's a sneak peak of the centre of her new quilt! This one will also be yellow, grey and black. I think it is going to be a stunner!

It Blogger's Quilt Festival time at Amy's Creative Side. A huge thanks to Amy for arranging this even! Between now and the end of October nominations for Viewer's Choice are open. You can nominate three of your favourite quilts by going here. I've entered two quilts, 81 The Giant Monstrosity in the Home Machine Quilted category and Cherry Blossom in Original Design. If you like either of my quilts I would be grateful and privileged if you would consider nominating one or both of them for Viewer's Choice! There are lots of great entries including a reader's Soupcon quit from my first QAL so if you have time take a look at all of the entries. Voting will then be open from November 1 to 7 and the winners will be announced on November 8th!

81 The Giant Monstrosity

81 The Giant Monstrosity close-up

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom close-up

Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H

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

UPDATE: 81 is one of the Viewer's Choice Finalists! How exciting is that? If you like my quilt you can also vote for it in the Viewer's Choice category as well!

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