Thursday, May 05, 2016

Danuta's Garden Sew Along

Over the last little while I've been asked by a few people if I would do a sew along for Danuta's Garden. Now I have to admit that I'm a total rookie when it comes to sew alongs - I've never participated in one let alone hosted one, primarily because I don't know what they are. But last week, thanks to Paulette, I discovered that Kaaren at The Painted Quilt was going to host one so I skulked over to her blog to see exactly what that might entail.

Kaaren provided a PDF of detailed instructions for how to sew a beautiful checkerboard quilt and then illustrated the steps with photos (I am soooo tempted...). She has also given rough fabric requirements. Mystery solved! So, here's my version of Danuta's Garden (aka The Civil War Quilt) given that the pattern is no longer available for purchase. There are no assembly illustrations but the blocks are very straightforward so hopefully the photos suffice and all of the essential details are covered.

Because I created the pattern from a photo and because I am making a scrappy version, the background fabric is the one that you will need the most of - I'm thinking maybe 4 metres. For the Four Patches, Nine Patches and Ohio Star blocks pull together a good mix of fat quarters - I'd say between 20 to 30. For the Four Patches I also raided my stash and scraps so there would be lots of variety.

I've mentioned before that, with the exception of the background, I started with the leftovers from the first version that I made with mom over 15 years ago and then added to that, focusing on floral prints, but you can choose whatever suits. My friend Linda is making hers in a gorgeous collection of soft blues, yellows and pinks.

Linda's sister Jane made her second version using Kaffe Fasset prints and called it Summer Frolic. I'll see if I can get a pic of the first one that she made - it's done in a green palette and equally beautiful.

For some reason when we made the first version we didn't go with a basic 3.5" block for the Nine  Patches - my blocks are 3 1/8" so the Nine Patches and Ohio Stars are 8 3/8" unfinished. Feel free to use whatever size works for you but be prepared then to figure out the math for the pieces needed for the sashing strips. Also, I am using Ohio Star blocks for my corners instead of four different blocks as shown in the original pattern.

There are five basic blocks/pieces:
42 Nine Patches
- cut 9 squares 3 1/8" x 3 1/8", five in one colour and four in another; 378 3 1/8" squares in total

30 Ohio Stars
- cut four squares 3 1/8" x 3 1/8" from the background fabric for and corners of each block
- cut one square 3 1/8" x 3 1/8" from your second print
- for the star points, cut four 2 7/8" squares from your second print and cut them again on the diagonal to create eight triangles; make four       3 1/8" Hourglass units

30 Solid Sashing Strips for between the stars (8 3/8" x 3" unfinished)

347 Four Patches made from 1 3/8" squares (cut 1,388 squares 1 3/8" x 1 3/8")
Use the Four Patches to assemble two different lengths of sashing:
- 48 short sashing strips made from three Four Patches and four corner triangles, and
- 7 long sashing strips made from 29 Four Patches and four corner triangles

402 Setting and Corner triangles
- cut 2 7/8" squares from the background fabric and cut those on the diagonal; the corners are slightly larger than need be but will give you room to trim

So that's it. I'm not at the point yet where I am assembling blocks and sashing, but as I get there I'll gladly share pics for you. Also, because I am sewing this by hand I have a scant ¼” seam allowance so if you are sewing this on a machine you may want to do a set of test blocks to make sure that the sashing strips align with the blocks.

Hopefully this is clear enough but let me know if you have any questions. I'd also love to see yours if you decide to make one....M

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Star Power

Here's a peek at how the next border on Betty's star quilt is coming together, and the gorgeousness just keeps coming. She took the same 4" stars and put them on the point and is using that fabulous large green floral for the setting triangles to create a strip roughly 6" wide. It looks amazing.

I didn't realize it, but this is the first time that she has made a quilt with star blocks and she is loving it. The colours are a little washed out because the photos were taken under her quilting lamp, but it is all very creamy and delicate.

Each one is unique and a beautiful amalgam of colours. The stars are seldom all from the same fabric but the combinations work beautifully together.

So, so pretty. I'm anxious to see the border attached to the rest of the quilt.

I think that Baylea is too....M

Monday, April 25, 2016

Another Beauty From Betty

Is this not just one of the prettiest quilts that you have ever seen? And isn't that little pup holding it in place just the sweetest? This is Baylea inspecting Betty's progress on the star quilt that she's working on, as Baylea always does. When there's a quilt on display she needs to be on top of it, or helping rearrange the pieces. She must be a quilter at heart...

The centre panel of small stars is surrounded by a border of larger stars within a star, each of them a work of art. Then there's a sawtooth border of grey and soft green. And yes, it's all hand sewn.

Here's a close-up of one of the corner blocks. You can see that she has inserted a row of cream entre deux trim, usually used for lingerie, to soften it even more and add great texture.

She brought it out to show us a couple of months ago as she was trying to determine what the design of the next border would be and whether or not the large green floral would suit.

Laid out on the deck you really get to see its full beauty.

On the weekend I snagged a few pics of the next border that she is making with the larger green floral and they are just beautiful - surprise, surprise. I'll share those next time (how's that for a cliff hanger?)....M

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Slow Mo

As my cold clears up I'm slowly getting to the point where I am even the slightest bit interested in putting something together, and that's a nice change. Nothing huge, but a start. I joined my three scrappy basket blocks with mismatched pieces of sashing and laid them out with the picot border.

Because I just sewed my border HSTs to a size that I liked and not necessarily one based on the basket block size I'm going to need to insert a sashing along the edges to make everything fit. That's been too much math for me to get my head around lately so I think what I'll do is just sew a long 2.5" strip of neutrals together to keep things scrappy and then trim what I need to so that everything fits.

I need to lay it all out on a larger table to work on it so that I have at least half a chance of getting the dimensions right. And as I look at the photos I'm starting to wonder if I need to add the brown floral outer border. More decisions to be made.....M