Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler

I am working on a “shop sample” of the Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler quilt sbslarge[1] by Jennifer Chiaverini, inspired by the Elm Creek Quilts novels. The quilt at right is the one pictured in her book. The shop I teach at – Quilting Bits and Pieces in Eudora, KS – is doing the entire quilt, all 140 blocks, as a block of the month. Well, more like 5 blocks a month. They are doing it in 2 color ways. I am doing the “True Blue” color way, the fabric line by Benartex designed by Eleanor Burns. The other color way is Hoffman Christmas fabrics. I am not sure which I like better, but they have both been extremely popular at the shop.

Month 1 Sylvia's Bridal SamplerHere are the first 5 blocks. I added a couple of pinks to the mix, as well as adding some additional medium greens and dark blues.

I am doing all the appliqué blocks using fusible web and will edge stitch when I quilt. They are just too darn small! The medium blue sashing fabric is not from the True Blue line, and is just a dab darker than one from the line. I am using pimatex antique white for the backgrounds.

I have redrawn each block in EQ6 so that I can P8300129 calculate both rotary cutting and foundation piecing measurements. I am writing additional instructions to go with each block to help out those who are not as experienced putting together some of these blocks. You would have to buy the book to do the kits, but some of the instructions are very brief. I am keeping a notebook with my drawings and notes so I remember what I changed! :-)

Several blocks I have redesigned or changed the construction method from the directions in the book. I always try to simplify if I can, or come up with a better way to be accurate.

These are 6” blocks and they are kitting them at the shop, so I have to be very accurate in my fabric calculations. I am a bit generous, because I don’t want anyone to run out of fabric in their kit.P8300127

Here are the second set of blocks.

The Lemoyne star block was redesigned to be paper-pieced in the Carol Doak technique. She divided 8-pointed stars into 8 triangles by making seams in the corners and centers. It adds seams but is way more accurate and has no “Y” seams.

The second block down – the one with the green squares and yellow star – was rotary cut. But the measurements were given to the nearest eighth of an inch, but accurate piecing required measurements at sixteen of an inch. I remade that one twice to get it right. Didn’t quite reach the points when I added the sashing, and cut off the points on the Chinese coins block (2nd to last).

The most difficult block so far is the third one down, the spinning star with the pink center. Yipes, it was a booger! You start with a partial seam then sew on triangle segments which are very tricky to accurately align. Won’t be making THAT block again any time soon!

Here is a close-up of each block:

Month 3 is in the album above. I redesigned the grandmother’s flower garden block in month 3. The book only had a center and six petals, so I decreased the size of the hexagons and added a third row around the yellow. The hexagons are 5/8” and really came out cute in the block. I English paper pieced the hexagons and put the block together by hand. I glued it to the background fabric with Roxanne Glue Baste and blanket stitched by machine around the block once I pulled out the cardboard templates. Then I cut out the back of the white background to decrease the bulk.

I just finished month 4. I don’t have the blocks made yet but here are the blocks and fabric selections.

This has been a fun project so far, lets see if I am still saying that when I get to block # 139. . . .?!?!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Seminole Patchwork Sampler

I have been working on this Seminole Patchwork Sampler recently, and today I taught a class on how to do Seminole Piecing at my local quilt shop.  Two wonderful students, Jane and Linda, participated in the class and we had a wonderful time learning the cutting and piecing techniques for these fabulous bright strips.P8150088 The bands were made by members of a recent small group who each made a band from a pattern designed by Barbara Siedlecki and hosted on the Quilter Community.  Each quilter made one of the 7 bands.  In exchange, I made a block of their choice for each of the 7 group members.  I put the bands together this spring and finally got the binding on it today.  The tiny piping was made with the Piping Hot Binding ruler by Susan Cleveland, which is wonderful in getting that tiny little piping to go perfectly between the border and the binding!

P8150094 OK, as you can probably tell, the binding is on but I am still sewing it down. . . Alas, I am kinda slow with binding. 

Here are the strips we worked on today in class:

P8150092P8150091P8150090 We ran out of time  before we got to make our fourth band.  But we did cover all the basic techniques in the first three bands.P8150089 It was a great class and I want to thank Linda and Jane for making it so fun and Quilting Bits and Pieces Quilt Shop in Eudora, KS for hosting it.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Guild Presentation in Topeka

On August 11, 2009 I will be doing a presentation on EQ6 at the Topeka Capitol Quilters Guild. I am so looking forward to this presentation as I will have the chance to meet some friends I swapped with some years ago. I always love talking about EQ6 also, and all the incredible designs tools it offers to quilters. If you are in the Topeka, KS are on Tuesday night at 7 pm, stop by and say hi!