Monday, July 21, 2008

Visit with Schnoodle!

I stumbled on a quilting blog about a month ago, I guess, and added it to my list to check every few days. Lindsay has a block-a-day quilt calendar, and has been actually MAKING every block on the calendar, one per day. In some cases, she's sticking pretty close to the colors given in the calendar, and in others, she's experimenting and changing colors up. There's a lot of inspiration here.

Pause here, and go look at SCHNOODLE! and scroll down to see the collages she's made of her completed blocks to date. Also note her Milky Way block for Saturday, July 19. She didn't like this one, but I had to go put it in EQ and see what it'd look like on point. Here it is in the colors she made it with:

Then I set it horizontally, but did each star in a different color. I kinda like this one, but something about it reminds me of barbed wire, so I put it against a pale pink background. Pale pink not being something you'd think of with barbed wire:

And then I had to see what it'd look like against navy blue instead of pale pink. The deep purple stars didn't show, so I swapped them for pink and added some pale orange. It would be a pain to make unless you had a design wall, but I really like the woven star look:

Sometimes playing with EQ is just as addictive as a computer game. ;)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Assorted Blocks and Jewel Box

Are you ready? A post without pictures of tomatoes! :D My 3 plants are going great guns, the Goliath has about 18 on it (ping pong to tennis ball sized, but all pretty green yet) the cherry tomato bush has uncountable little ones on it, and the Better Boy has about six, one getting orange.

And what I've been doing quilty lately - First, the top third of the jewel box quilt:

Here's the guild block of the month for July. Instructions on the UCquilts website. I gave everyone that wanted to try it a strip of green fabric for the bottom, then they were to come up with their own flower and stem. This is mine, I traced around a spool for the red posy petals, very simple:

I've been making string blocks for Heartstrings quilts, (link and logo on my sidebar)and I decided to do one using four 7 inch squares of foundation, in 'my' colors. I have a never-ending UFO sampler quilt in brown, green, and cream... and every time I think about it, I'll make another block for it:

Our guild past-president gets blocks from everyone in the guild, as a thanks for being the prez. They choose their own block design and colors - here's her cat block in pink and cream. I liked this one so much, I did one for me in brown, with an extra little triangle of fabric at the tail. I think I'll give my cat a strip of forest green fabric to sit on, and more cream around the edges, till I get it 12½ square - and add it to my sampler block box.

Last, here's Toby, giving his best innocent eyed look. He has a real gift for sitting on the blocks I'm trying to photograph. I'd just chased him off again, but he was obviously not scared enough to run far.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Jewel Box instructions

Several people have asked how I got from the design to the instructions to make this Jewel Box quilt with the medallion center and pieced border, so I'll show you how I planned it out. First, the picture of the EQ design I made. If you don't have EQ, I certainly recommend it, it's great.

I divided the design I made with EQ into nine sections to make it easy to sew. I'll assemble the nine sections at the very end, like a huge nine-patch, so I'm not dealing with a king size top until the final seams.

Then. looking at my sections, I counted out exactly what combinations of blocks I'd need to make the four corners. For each corner section, I will also need 6 solid navy rectangles to complete the border edge.

The middle of each edge section needs just two solid navy rectangles for the pieced border, but also had the most different block combos:

And the center of the quilt was the simplest, needing mostly blocks with the navy blue, except for those 4 white triangles at the corners:

If you don't like half square triangles, don't start this quilt... I made 396 white-to-a-color hsts and 184 blue-to-a-color hsts to use in the whole quilt, then divided them up into 9 piles (and nine ziplock baggies) to spread out the different fabrics to the different quadrants. I was afraid if I didn't, I'd end up with a glob of lime green or red in the last corner... lol

I used a paper template to make the half square triangles. You can print them free on your computer from sites like Block Central. Here's a link to the size I used in this quilt:

Half Square Triangle paper

In order to make this bright and scrappy, I used some 4 inch squares I'd ordered on eBay to make the hsts, plus cutting into my stash of fat quarters. The only fabric I bought is the navy blue that makes the pieced border. Even the white on white used in the quilt is scrappy. It's been a great stash buster.

I made a lot of the sixteen-patches using Bonnie Hunter's leader/ender method, but I also sewed together strips cut from fat quarters to strips from the navy or white on white fabric, then pressed them and sub cut them into two-patches. If anyone is counting, I needed 784 white-to-a-color two patches, and 512 blue-to-a-color two patches to make my 16 patch blocks. :D But I AM making a king size, and that's a lot of bed to cover. This will be my summer quilt, bright colors and lightweight batting in this one, when I get it quilted.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tomato Crop and Jewel Box Quilt

Here's what I've been working on lately... :)   My guild had a board retreat, and I took a bunch of unfinished things to finish. Here's one, a crib quilt from April's bom blocks. I added sashing to this, now I'm trying to come up with a decision on border color.

I also got a bunch done on my jewel box quilt, this picture is of TWO ninths of it, can you see the pattern start to emerge? I'm on vacation this week, so on of my goals is to get this top one third done:

And my tomato status - too many to fit in the bowl! The large one on the right in the bowl, and the two orangish ones outside the bowl are Goliaths, the one on the left side in the bowl is a Better Boy. My cherry tomato plant has been the best producer so far. I would have had more to show you, but I've been eating them... five last night and four today! The nine cherry tomatoes in the bowl need to get just a little redder. Even that green one I kept is starting to get ripe. I'm going to cut that biggest one into wedges for supper tonight, dribbled with just a little zesty italian dressing, I think. *licks lips*

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