Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Tutorial: DIsappearing Hour Glass Quilt

 I've finally documented the steps in making a disappearing hour glass quilt.  There are video tutorials available - in particular the Missouri Star Quilt company have a great one, but this is just a quick photo one.

Pick your fabrics.  I chose three.  Background, and medium and dark colours.  Having looked at the quilt, I would go back to choosing a background and two medium value colours in the future, like other quilt tops that I've made, or even just two contrasting fabrics, each using 2m.

I used approximately 2 metres of background and 1m of each the colours.  This gives me a quilt of approximately 57" square (twenty five blocks set 5x5)
 You will need to cut a total of 50 10" squares.

Twenty five from the background fabric, and 12 and 13 of each of the two colours.

Place each colour square right sides together with a background square.  Line them up as carefully as you can!

Sew around all four sides of the square, using your 1/4" seam allowance as usual.

 Once you've done that, cut them diagonally from corner to corner in both directions and open them out.  You have created four half square triangles (HSTs).
 Now rotate two opposite HSTs to create an hourglass block (make sure you don't create a pinwheel by accident!).

Sew to create your blocks.  Do the same for all 25 blocks. Then press them carefully.  Your block should be 12 3/4" square.
 Now you need to cut the blocks into thirds in both directions.

I find it easiest to use a ruler that is a little wider than the 2 1/8" that you will need to measure on either side of both central seams - but you might have your own 'easiest method'.
 Once you have your block in nine pieces, you need to rotate five of the pieces.  You need to rotate the four corner blocks sew that they have the little triangles facing out (half a turn each) and the centre piece just a quarter turn, so that it makes a nice chequered pattern.
 Sew these resulting pieces together to make your final block.  Again, repeat for all 25 blocks.  Your blocks should be 11 1/4" (if my maths is right!).
 I choose not to press again, so this is how my two piles of blocks looked at this point.

Lay the blocks out in alternate colours.  Make sure that all the blocks are facing the same direction, so you end up with 'secondary' diamonds being formed, alternating white and colours.

Finally, sew these together to make your quilt top.

 As I said earlier, I think that having the two colours closer in value gives a more pleasing effect, but this will still work OK!

The total time that it took me to get this point was about eight and a half hours.  That included pulling various fabrics from my stash and measuring them to see if I had sufficient to make this in greys.  It will now go on the back burner until the backing fabric and wadding that I have ordered arrive and let me make more progress with it.  I'll show photos again once it's quilted, bound and finished.

I hope that if you choose to make a disappearing hour glass quilt that you have good fun with it too!

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

The Same but Different!

 I made Leah Day's 'two-for-one' rainbow star quilts this week - pattern here.  I adjusted the size to make them slightly larger, so mine are 36" square.

Can you see that I stacked and sewed the pieces wrong for the rainbow, though? Doh!

Of course, as you are making all the HSTs at the same time, the second quilt was also going to be wrong.
 I decided to switch the colour blocks around a little in this one, so at least it didn't look so much like a wrong rainbow!
It would have been better if I'd been able to make the two pairs of warmer colours opposite each other, but I couldn't figure out how to do it with the pieces that I had.  Sigh! 

Never mind.  I've learned a lot, made two little quilts for Project Linus, and have a good idea for another quilt that I'd like to make using similar ideas.  Not bad!
 The first quilt I quilted with a large stipple.
 The second quilt with a 'loop the loop' pattern.
 Love this giraffe backing fabric - I just bought 10m of it, so expect to see more of it this year!

I was also pleased that the lime green spot binding picks up on some lime green in the pattern, although it doesn't show that here.
Finally, if you have a chance to get to Winter Lights at Canary Wharf one evening this week (5 - 10pm until Saturday 26th Jan) , then do go.  Its magical!  My DDs and I were captivated by almost all 30 of the light sculptures on show, and very pleased with the food trucks for our supper too!

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

First Quilt of 2019 Complete

 First quilt of the year is complete!
I found a metre of car fabric and decided to make a 'fast four patch' quilt, using other scraps from my pile.

One of the 'bear' patches had to be made of two pieces of fabric, and I didn't have enough of the brown to make all the squares that I needed, but it works, I think.
 I tried to make it as non-girly as possible.  This part is OK, but there is another section of the back that does have plants and swirls.  Hoping that any boy this is gifted to can overlook that!
 The label was added after I finished binding, and there it was, the first finish of the year.  44" x 64".
I also completed the bunting this week - a total of about 60m bundled into 10m lengths and ready to post!

A little more sewing related tidying to do (I still haven't put away my Aves fabrics yet!) and then I'll set off on my next quilt!  Love sewing! Love having time to sew! Love sharing quilts with the world!

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Bunting and Blocks

Small sewing projects for the start of the year, when my DDs were still off school and we were making the most of the holidays with games and family time....

First of all, these five blocks for a block 'raffle' activity.  I'm not sure quite what it entails - I suspect that it's all a gamble whether I end up with these blocks or others, and a greater or lower number than this group of five, but I do know that Benta is going to organise us, that it will be fun, and that there will be some charity quilts as an end result!
I have to say that my blocks are a little bit 'Animal Farm' - all blocks are created 8.5" but some are more 8.5" than others!

Hope that they are within the tolerances allowed!
I've also been making bunting.  Nothing fancy, just single sided triangle pennants hanging from cotton twill tape.

So far, 9m of children's bunting and 10m of yellowish bunting.  More triangles are cut, ready and waiting, and still more will be cut when the fabrics I've ordered have arrived.

Not tricky sewing, just perfect for a little mindless time with the sewing machine whilst the goings on of the house rattle along around me.
Now that my DDs have (just!) gone back to school the house can return to its normal rhythm and I can return to sewing 'properly'!