Friday, June 29, 2012

Trimming tedium

Not much happening here other than trimming over 400 3.5-inch squares!  I am the coordinator of the top-secret group baby quilt project, and no, I am not normally anal. But when there are 6 different quilt block sewers, there are 6 different quarter-inch seams. If we want to have a prayer of these blocks fitting together nicely, these squares need to be trimmed to a consistent size.  

Picture me with my 3.5-inch square Creative Grid ruler, turning and cutting, turning and cutting, turning and cutting. Whew!   

This is the Step 2 directions I wrote out for my sewers when I return 8 blocks-worth of trimmed half square triangles to them.

By the way, the baby is due early August. I still feel we can get it done before the baby gets here, but then I have always been an optimist. We already gave her an i.o.u. at the work baby shower today.

Friday, June 22, 2012

"Do Something" game

My 2012 "Do Something" block
One of my monthly quilt groups work on our own projects most of the time. We don't have a formal name but loosely call ourselves "Girl Gang" because we've worked on Jan Patek projects in the past.  It's fun to see the variety of people's projects, and most seem to favor antique and primitive quilts.  I would say everyone is an advanced quilter (especially with appliqué) compared to me.

Our leader, Sandy Z, invites us to her home for a Christmas potluck in December (this year I will post some photos so you can see her wonderful collection of Santas and antique red and green quilts).

She has sets of antique blocks that she has collected over the years, and wants them to find a new home with us. Her "game" is that she gives each of us one of these blocks in a sealed brown paper lunch bag, and tells us we must "do something" with the block before next year's party. We have to bring our project back the next year to show. If we neglect to do anything with the block, we have to give it back.

I can't show you any more about my 2012 block plans (top photo) because we're supposed to keep it secret until the party. But below is last year's project. It started out as three blocks with four "pinwheels" per block.  I took the blocks apart, added Kona Snow strips around each block, squared them up, then added the blue sashing and coral cornerstones. (The person who hand sewed these blocks did a funky double backstitch that was nearly impossible to unsew -- no running stitch for her!).
What I did with the 2011 blocks

Monday, June 18, 2012

Seven equals six?

Tennessee lightning block
When does seven equal six? When you are making the Tennessee Lightning block with half square triangles via this method. Why? Because you get 8 half square triangles per subdivided square.

Click photo to see cutting and stitching lines.

And to make the Tennessee Lightning block, you need nine half square triangles.

So, in order to get six Tennessee Lightning blocks from the same light and dark colors (in my example, red and tan batik), here's the math:
Seven blocks times eight half square triangles equals 56 half square triangles.
56 half square triangles divided by 9 needed per completed block equals six completed blocks.
Are you still with me?

We need 48 completed squares for the baby quilt. We're using 4 different light and 4 different dark fabrics, and there are six sewers.  Let's see if I did the math right when the completed blocks come back to me for assembly (yikes).

I have to say, that despite the mental gymnastics, the half square triangles came out decently square using this method.
(And of course, if you are doing a different method of half square triangles, or if you want your blocks to be more scrappy rather than planned, then you are on your own for the math.)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Baby quilt packets ready!

I finally got the batik squares cut and marked for my co-workers to sew half-square triangles.  We have six sewers including me.  We are making Tennessee Lightning blocks for a co-worker's baby quilt. Baby due date is early August so we have no time to spare!

Here is the tutorial link for this method of half-square triangles. More to follow!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pink and green

My light pink astilbes with a faint perfume of peaches.  Wish they lasted a bit longer.

And I've been playing hide-and-go-seek with this little guy for the past week. He likes to hide between my stacked outdoor chairs, but is in a different place every time I look. Today he got perturbed at me taking photos, and jumped right onto the siding.  Sorry to bug you, Mr. Tree Frog. I just love looking at you.

Friday, June 1, 2012

New top secret baby quilt project

A group of us at work will be making a baby quilt for a co-worker. This first time mom-to-be is not interested in doing baby colors -- she will be using her guest room for the baby, which is decorated in jewel tones. I picked the fabrics above as a starter, but I need another light batik.

Of course I had to throw in the teddies for the backing, cuz who wants a boring baby quilt? Hah. Mom does not know what we are up to, and will not see it until it is done.

I am in charge of choosing the pattern (it will be like this) and assigning tasks for each sewer. I will be getting everything prepped and a little tutorial written up for each person. Almost like teaching a class, I'm thinking. I will show you the steps as we make progress.  To be continued....